Nootropics, also known as “smart drugs,” have gained in popularity in recent years, with people looking for ways to boost their productivity & brainpower and improve brain health. But the question remains, Can nootropics make your brain work faster? This article addresses this question and explores the basics of nootropics, including their benefits, side effects, & risks. It also covers the best “smart drugs” (natural and synthetic) available on the market you can use to ameliorate your cognitive function.
What Are Nootropics or Smart Drugs?
The term “nootropic” was first coined by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea in the 1970s. As a psychologist & chemist, he synthesized a compound called piracetam, which was found to ameliorate memory, creativity, & verbal fluency. Since then, the definition of a nootropic has expanded to include both natural and synthetic substances that enhance cognitive functions with minimal negative effects .
Some cognitive enhancers don’t qualify to be nootropics. Indeed, certain cognitive enhancers can upgrade specific cognitive abilities but may not have neuroprotective properties & could potentially cause serious negative effects. Moreover, the body may develop tolerance to certain cognitive enhancers, reducing their effectiveness over time, whereas nootropics maintain their potency even with regular use.
Nootropics can be divided into 3 main types :
- prescription nootropics: They are meds commonly used to treat medical and mental conditions, such as narcolepsy and dementia. Examples of these “smart drugs” include Adderall (amphetamine), Provigil (modafinil) & Nuvigil (armodafinil), and Ritalin (methylphenidate);
- synthetic compounds: These are racetams, which have a similar chemical structure. Phenylpiracetam, piracetam, aniracetam, oxiracetam, and pramiracetam fall into this category. These compounds are often available over the counter (OTC);
- dietary supplements: This type includes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, and other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. They are usually available in the form of tabs, capsules, powders, liquids, & bars. Examples include omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, ginkgo biloba, and L-theanine.
While these substances may have cognitive benefits, it’s important to consult a doctor before taking any supplements or meds to ensure their safety and effectiveness. Additionally, synthetic nootropics and prescription medication should only be used under the guidance of a medical professional.
How Do Nootropics Work?
Nootropics affect the brain performance through various mechanisms. Some products increase blood flow to the brain, allowing for more oxygen and nutrients to reach brain cells. Others stimulate the production of neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin, which play a crucial role in brain function. Additionally, some “smart drugs” protect brain cells from damage caused by toxins and other harmful substances, while others improve communication between brain cells, leading to enhanced cognitive function. It’s worth noting that the exact mechanism of action varies depending on the specific type of nootropic. However, most “smart drugs” share the common goal of improving cognitive function while minimizing negative effects.
The Best Natural Nootropic Supplements
Several natural nootropic supplements may offer cognitive benefits without the potential side effects linked with most synthetic substances. Here are some of the best natural nootropics you can consider using:
- Bacopa monnieri: This herb improves cognitive function, reduces stress & anxiety, and enhances memory & learning;
- ginkgo biloba: The leaves of this tree contain flavonoids & terpenoids that may aid in boosting blood flow to the brain & protect against neuronal damage;
- Rhodiola rosea: This herb reduces stress & fatigue and increases energy levels. It also helps improve focus, memory, and mental clarity;
- ashwagandha: This herb is known for its stress-reducing effects, but it may also improve cognitive function. It contains compounds called withanolides that may protect against neuronal damage and improve memory & attention;
- lion’s mane mushroom: It stimulates the growth & repair of nerve cells in the brain, improving cognitive function. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that protect against nerve damage;
- curcumin: This compound improves memory & attention by increasing levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that augments the growth and survival of neurons.
There are several other vitamins & supplements available as a stack. They contain the above-mentioned natural substances plus other efficacious ingredients. Examples include Mind Lab Pro, Qualia Mind, Alpha Brain, Gorilla Mind Rush, Performance Lab Pro, etc.
Top Synthetic Nootropics to Improve Brain Function
Numerous synthetic nootropics on the market effectively improve brain function. Here are some of the top products:
- modafinil & armodafinil: They are wakefulness-fostering agents that improve cognitive function and boost mental performance. Armodafinil is a more potent form of modafinil, and its effects may last longer. However, they both are effective in improving focus & concentration, ameliorating learning & memory, and increasing energy levels;
- piracetam: Piracetam was the first nootropic ever synthesized and is still widely used today. It improves memory, learning, and overall cognitive function;
- aniracetam: This is another member of the racetam family that helps ameliorate creativity, focus, and memory. It has anxiolytic properties, which can help reduce anxiety;
- phenylpiracetam: It can help enhance memory, focus, and attention. It also promotes brain recovery from a stroke and other brain injuries;
- Noopept: The drug helps improve memory, learning, and focus. It is believed to have neuroprotective effects, which may help protect brain cells from damage.
What’s more, synthetic nootropics such as Adderall (amphetamine) & Ritalin (methylphenidate) are widely used as potent cognitive enhancers. While these meds can improve cognitive function in certain individuals, they have a high potential for abuse & addiction and may cause serious side effects. So, such drugs should be used under medical supervision.
If you are a newbie and looking for what nootropic to choose, consider trying modafinil. It’s a well-researched drug with a high level of safety and efficacy. If you live in America, it’s best to use a vendor that offers modafinil next day delivery in the USA. This shipping option has no customs issues, and you can get your product swiftly. Further, modafinil is considered better than other stimulants like Adderall because it has a lower risk of addiction & dependence. It has minimal side effects and a long duration of action, which means that it can provide sustained wakefulness & cognitive benefits without the need for multiple doses throughout the day.
What Are the Benefits of Smart Drugs?
The effects of “smart drugs” can vary depending on the specific substance used and other factors. Below are some potential benefits of these brain boosters:
- increased productivity: By improving cognitive function, nootropics may increase productivity and efficiency in work, school, or other tasks to help achieve an edge;
- reduced fatigue: Some nootropics like modafinil help reduce fatigue & increase mental energy;
- neuroprotection: Certain “smart drugs” may have neuroprotective properties, helping to prevent or slow down neurodegenerative diseases & age-related cognitive decline;
- improved mood: Brain boosters may help boost mood and improve overall emotional well-being;
- heightened athletic performance: Some nootropics, such as caffeine & creatine, can enhance physical performance & reduce fatigue, making them popular among athletes.
Overall, not all brain boosters are created equal, and their benefits can vary depending on the user and their specific needs. Additionally, the long-term effects of nootropic use aren’t well understood, so it’s essential to use them with caution & under the guidance of a physician.
Possible Side Effects and Risks
While nootropics are generally considered safe & well-tolerated, like any substance, they may have negative effects & risks. Here are some of the most common side effects linked with brain boosters :
- mood changes;
- high blood pressure.
Besides, potent stimulants like Adderall may cause addiction and dependence if not used as prescribed. Nootropics may also cause interactions if combined with other meds, leading to serious health problems. Some “smart drugs,” particularly stimulants, can cause an overdose if taken in high doses or combined with similar substances. Additionally, individuals with certain health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, may be at a higher risk for adverse effects.
Another risk linked with nootropics, particularly dietary supplements, is the lack of regulation & control in the industry. Many of these substances aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means that there may be limited control of the manufacture, labeling, & marketing of these products. This can make it difficult for users to know what they are getting when they shop for a nootropic supplement. It’s essential to talk to a physician before starting any brain booster to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for you, particularly if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking other meds.
In conclusion, nootropics are brain boosters – substances that can improve your mental performance. They may improve cognitive abilities, but they cannot fundamentally change a person’s innate intelligence. Most of the discussed brain boosters are designed to enhance brain function or mitigate the effects of cognitive decline. They are not a magic solution to cognitive problems or a replacement for healthy lifestyle habits.
It’s great to be cautious when considering the use of nootropics, as some substances may have potential side effects and risks. If you need the best nootropic that is well-researched & is known by scientists to be safe & efficacious, consider trying modafinil. Choose the best vendor that offers next-day delivery and a great customer experience.
- Corneliu E. Giurgea. Retrieved: March 16, 2023. Wikipedia.org.
- What Are Nootropics? By Kendra Cherry. Medically reviewed by Shaheen Lakhan. Updated: November 3, 2022. Retrieved: March 16, 2023. Verywellmind.com.
- Are Nootropics Safe? Reviewed by Matt Huston. Published: February 19, 2020. Retrieved: March 16, 2023. Psychologytoday.com.
- What Are Nootropics (Smart Drugs)? By Jennifer Berry. Medically reviewed by Alan Carter. Published: September 18, 2019. Retrieved: March 16, 2023. Medicalnewstoday.com.