Also known as “smart drugs” or “cognitive enhancers,” nootropics are drugs and supplements which improve mental functions such as memory, intelligence, motivation, clarity of thought, and ability to focus.
This article will provide an in-depth explanation of what nootropics are and how to best use them to improve your mind.
Check out our nootropic faq for answers to specific questions, or the nootropic list for information on a specific nootropic.
What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics are “smart drugs” that improve mental functions such as memory, intelligence, motivation, attention, concentration, and cognition. These “smart drugs,” range from drugs constructed in laboratories, all the way to natural supplements and plants that have been discovered to have nootropic benefits. It is important not to be misled by the idea of nootropics. They are not going to turn you into a genius overnight. You aren’t going to take one, and all of a sudden know advanced calculus. However, if you stick to a balanced nootropic regimen, you will notice a difference. You will feel more motivated, more focused, and have a much easier time remembering things while promoting good mental health all at the same time.
It is perfectly natural to be a skeptic when it comes to nootropics. After all, if a pill could make you smarter, more focused, or more motivated, then why isn’t everyone taking it? Many skeptics fall into the fallacy, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. If everyone were to pass on things that appeared “too good” then one would miss out on a lot of opportunities. Even though skepticism is healthy, it is important to conduct your own research and form your own opinion. When one looks into the possibility of smart drugs on a deeper level, it becomes apparent that not only are smart drugs plausible, but that science has proven their existence and their benefits to humanity as a whole.
In order to understand the plausibility of nootropics, one must first understand exactly how the human brain processes information. The cerebral cortex of the human brain may contain anywhere from 20 billion â€“ 1 trillion neurons. Each of these neurons can then be linked up with as many as 10 billion synaptic connectors. When your brain receives any sort of input these neurons communicate to their respective connector using a combination of different chemical neurotransmitters. One commonly known neurotransmitter is dopamine. Dopamine acts upon the reward system of the brain causing feelings of enjoyment and motivation. In many cases, depression is the result of low levels of dopamine. A common trait among people with social anxiety is a poorly functioning D2 Dopamine receptor causing low dopamine levels.
Every person’s state of mind at any particular time is linked to the levels of different neurotransmitters. For example, alcohol increases levels of the neurotransmitter GABA and lowers the level of Glutamine. As your brain receives more GABA and less Glutamine, you become more sluggish, lose your ability to reason, lose your ability to concentrate, and your motor skills decline. Adderall is an example of the opposite. It affects the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. More substantial levels of dopamine cause a feeling of arousal and alertness while increased levels of norepinephrine cause increased mental clarity and focus. In fact, because of adderall’s effects the illegal consumption of it has skyrocketed in recent years among college students.
Everyone tries to reach their full potential, but not everyone succeeds. Nootropics will help you achieve that full potential. I firmly believe that one-day nootropics will be taken as commonly as coffee to give people an edge. Whether you are skeptical or not; I urge you to read the information on this site before deciding to purchase nootropics. It is essential to make an informed decision. Not many people have ever heard of nootropics and just the fact that you have stumbled onto this site provides a unique opportunity for you.
Why Take Nootropics?
There is no denying that everyone wants to be smarter. Realizing you want to be smarter isn’t the tricky part. The tricky part is actually doing it. Improving your memory, your focus, and your ability to learn does not come easy. Some people work hard every day hoping to make the dean’s list or hoping for that next promotion. If there were a way to improve your chances at success simply taking a wholly safe and non-reliant supplement, wouldn’t you take it?
Improved mental functions aren’t the only reason to take nootropics. After all, what would be the point of improving your memory, focus, and motivation if it depleted your brain faster? Luckily for us, the opposite is exact of nootropics. Many nootropics were developed to help people with mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia but were later discovered to benefit healthy individuals as well. Not only do certain nootropics help protect you against disorders such as these, but some also slow the aging process that takes place in your brain. If another goal of yours is staying as sharp as possible for as long as possible, then nootropics will help.
There is a wide variety of completely safe supplements available for your use. Whether you want to use completely natural supplements, man-made supplements, or both, the option is there. This is an opportunity not many people really explore, and it would be a shame for you to miss out. Nootropics will help you reach your full potential and achieve success in your future endeavors.
There is no denying that everyone wants to be smarter. Realizing you want to be smarter isn’t the tricky part. The tricky part is actually doing it. Improving your memory, your focus, and your ability to learn does not come easy. Some people work hard each and every day hoping to make the dean’s list, or hoping for that next promotion. If there were a way to improve your chances at success simply taking a completely safe and non-reliant supplement, wouldn’t you take it?
Improved mental functions aren’t the only reason to take nootropics. After all, what would be the point of improving your memory, focus, and motivation if it depleted your brain faster like amphetamines do? Luckily for us, the opposite is true of nootropics. Many nootropics were developed to help people with mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia but were later discovered to benefit healthy individuals as well. Not only do certain nootropics help protect you against disorders such as these, but some also slow the aging process that takes place in your brain. If another goal of yours is staying as sharp as possible for as long as possible, then nootropics will help.
How Do Nootropics Work?
There are many different kinds of nootropics. It would be near impossible to explain how every single one works in one article. However, there are two prevalent mechanisms of action that nootropics use which I will explain, along with a rare, yet revolutionary mechanism of action.
1. Many nootropics affect neurotransmitter levels within the brain â€“ If you have read the introduction to nootropics article, then you already have a good idea of how this works. Simply put, your brain is driven by levels of neurotransmitters that your neurons distribute to a multitude of synaptic connectors in your brain. There is a wide variety of these neurotransmitters and they act as your brain’s way of communicating with itself.
Communication between these neurotransmitters and their connectors result in certain outputs such as a mood, a feeling, or a thought. Increasing or decreasing the levels of these chemicals in the right way can result in quicker and more efficient communication within the brain. This results in increased focus, clarity, memory, and learning. Think of your brain as a factory, the workers as neurons, and the neurotransmitters as the product. Simply put, some nootropics allow your workers to make more products in the same amount of time.
2. Many nootropics increase the flow of oxygen to your brain â€“ Think of oxygen as fuel for your brain and body. Your brain not only uses this fuel but acts as a hub, distributing it to other parts of your body. The decrease of oxygen to any body part is called hypoxia while the complete lack of oxygen is termed anoxia. Symptoms of mild hypoxia may include lack of concentration and lack of coordination. Prolonged hypoxia and complete anoxia can result in permanent brain damage and death. Complete lack of oxygen can result in death in as little as 4-5 minutes.
When your brain is receiving sufficient levels of oxygen it distributes it to life-support functions first, such as your heart, and then to higher level functions such as your memory. This means that when your brain’s intake of oxygen increases, the extra oxygen goes straight to the higher level brain functions. This leads to improved memory and concentration among other things. In retrospect, when oxygen flow decreases, these higher levels functions are the first things that lose oxygen.
Let’s go back to the factory example. Oxygen is what is powers your factory. When your factory has no oxygen the power goes out and the machines stop running. When you have excess oxygen the lights are brighter and the machines run
3. Few nootropics increase your neuron growth factor (NFG) – Some people have heard growing up that you cannot create new brain cells. There was a time when this was a common belief but science has since disproved this rumor. Rita Levi-Nontalcini and Stanley Cohen discovered the neuron growth factor in the 1950′s and after gaining recognition, won a Nobel Prize in 1986 for their discovery. The neuron growth factor is a metric used to gauge the growth and maintenance of certain neurons.
Think of the factory example one last time. Remember those workers that are producing products for your brain. Well as in any factory, workers retire and workers are hired. When it comes to your brain, workers have hired less quicky then they retire hence the mental breakdown that results from aging. Certain nootropics can actually hire workers at a faster rate. This promotes overall mental health and can actually slow the mental breakdown that occurs from aging. An example of a nootropic that does this and that I believe should be in every regimen can be found here.
Before you even begin constructing your regimen it is important that you understand how to use smart drugs. Nearly every smart drug that has been studied has an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve. This means that if you take too much then you may get an opposite effect, and if you take too little you won’t get any noticeable effect. It would be nice if I could tell you the exact dose you need to take to hit the top of the U-curve, but that’s not possible. Every person is different and different people may require different doses. So how can you determine the exact dose that is right for you?
1. Start with only one nootropic or smart drug at a time. If you start on three or four at once you may notice effects, but you won’t know which effects are coming from which smart drugs. You may have the right dosage from one nootropic while being completely off on another and not even know it. Even worse, you may experience unwanted side effects and have no clue which smart drugs are causing them. This is why your best bet is to start with one, and once you have perfected your dosage move on to another. This way, you know that each nootropic is working and that you are getting the wanted benefits from each one.
2. Start with a low dosage and work your way up. This site lists the recommended or standard dosage for each nootropic. It is always best to start a little lower. If you feel no side effects and aren’t completely satisfied with the results, then move up to the standard dosage. Keep in mind that everyone’s body and mind is different. Also, ask your friends or family if they notice anything different about you. The effects of some nootropics can be very subtle and just because you haven’t noticed an improvement, doesn’t mean that nobody else has. You could be paying better attention in class, performing better at work, or remembering things better without even realizing it. Keep in mind these effects don’t all hit you at once. They slowly build up.
Picture the effects of a nootropic like this. There is an object 300 feet away from you. Every day the object moves closer to you by six inches and stops moving after 50 feet. Chances are unless you were measuring that object each day you would never notice that it has gotten any closer to you. Even after 100 days, when the object is as close as it will get, you might not notice. That doesn’t mean the object hasn’t gotten closer, and it certainly doesn’t mean no one else has noticed the object’s movement. The moral of the story; pay close attention to the object, and ask other people if they have noticed the object move. Maybe you’ve been remembering one extra thing each day or figuring things out a couple seconds faster each day. Sometimes this can be hard to notice. If you really want to track your progress find some brain and memory games to play online. Take note of how well you do and track your progress.