Also commonly known as ‘smart drugs’, nootropics are a type of supplement that increase a person’s concentration and memory, whilst also significantly bettering their overall cognitive abilities. As such they are often used in order to help people focus, motivate themselves and retain information, for example when studying for an important test.
This article is going to cover the basics of nootropics, including which ones to take and how you can use them for your own benefits.
If you want increased concentration, clearer thinking and more motivation? You might want to give nootropics a try.
What Are Nootropics?
The very first nootropic, a compound named Piracetam, was invented in 1963 by S. Giurgea and V. Skondia, a Belgian duo of pharmacologists. They gave a broad definition of nootropics as substances that boost cognitive abilities, whilst having significantly low toxicity, making them suitable for usage over a long period of time.
Nootropics can be more generally defined as being any drug that enhances the brain’s capabilities with a minimal amount of side effects. In short, nootropics can improve the brain’s processes but without the negative side effects that are commonly caused by stimulants.
There are many nootropics available; one of the most common is called Piracetam, and is also known as Nootropil. It is a member of the Racetam family, the other members being:
- and Oxiracetam.
There are a number of natural nootropics, including bacopa monnieri, grape seed extract, fish oil, yerba mate and licorice, to name a few.
It is also not uncommon to see several different nootropic supplements combined in what is known as a Nootropic Stack for increased effects.
How Do Nootropics Work?
The main way in which nootropics work is by increasing the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby speeding up and bettering a number of cognitive functions. It is important to understand that they do not make you smarter or boost your IQ by a few points, rather they make the brain function more efficiently.
The brain is composed of a vast, intricate network of neurons that are connected together by synapses. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that enable the neurons to cooperate and communicate; the best balance of neurotransmitters within your brain, the better your cognitive functions will be; this includes, but is not limited to: a lighter mood, better concentration, improved memory, longer attention spans and a better ability to process new information.
Taking certain nootropics boosts the number of neurotransmitters in your brain, however if you take them over a long period of time, the average number of permanent neurons can rise, causing an improvement in the long-term health of the brain.
It has been shown that some other nootropics can increase blood flow to the brain. An increase of blood flow means an increase of nutrients, oxygen and glucose, the brain’s main source of energy during sustained periods of intense work.
This increased blood flow also results in a better ability to remain focused and retain pieces of information for longer. This class of nootropic is therefore especially popular with students who have extended periods of studying to do as the effects are almost immediately noticeable.
Tests have also shown that some nootropics have shown signs of both neuro preservation and neuro protection. This is because the nootropics affect the numbers of neurotransmitters that are associated with delaying the body’s natural aging processes.
Some nootropics have been known to cause certain types of brain cell to increase whilst at the same time reducing the number of brain cells that are destroyed. This could cause numerous signs of aging, such as memory loss, to slow down and could even prevent cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, from occurring.
Below you can find a selection of some of the most widely-praised nootropic supplements currently available. You will discover that each of the supplements works in its own individual way.
When thinking about taking a nootropic, bear in mind that you do not have to just take a single supplement; if you cannot find a supplement that satisfies your needs, you can opt to combine a number of different nootropic compounds into a stack, which is essentially a mixture of different nootropics that work together and enhance one another’s capabilities.
A number of those listed below are actually stacks comprised of several different synthetic and natural nootropics.
However, should you wish to mix your own stack, you can purchase the bulk raw powder, combining it with a number of supplements to fulfill your needs as you so wish.
As mentioned above, Racetams are a class of nootropics that include Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, Piracetam, Pramiracetam, and Nefiracetam all of which have a chemical make-up similar to that of the Pyrrolidone nucleus.
The way in which Racetams functions is by manipulating the number of neurotransmitters in the brain including acetylcholine and glutamate, both of which play key roles in cognitive function.
These chemicals have been proven to improve the brain’s cognitive abilities, increase the levels of communication between the brain’s two hemispheres and prevent damage done to cells by activities such as excessive alcohol consumption.
Choline supplements trigger a dramatic increase in the production of the brain’s acetylcholine neurotransmitter. Choline has a major role in the production of new brain cells and is commonly found in a stack along with Racetams, such as Aniracetam and Piracetam.
Taking Racetams leaves the brain demanding more acetylcholine and when choline is stacked together with Racetams, it greatly enhances the effects because it is supplying the brain with something it is lacking.
It has been shown in tests that taking choline supplements can actually improve a person’s social behavior, and can lead to them performing better in memory tests.
This nootropic greatly helps with long bouts of concentration and intense work as it helps the body’s uptake of glucose for a significant amount of time.
When you work or study over an extended period of time, the glucose stores in the brain start getting used up. These stores are the main way in which the brain gets its energy. And so by refuelling the brain with glucose, you are keeping the brain working at a steadier pace, which leads to better concentration and general cognitive abilities while you are working or studying.
Taking Pyritinol helps the brain to gather more glucose for its stores, thereby significantly increasing its mental capabilities. It also has numerous anti-oxidant effects that are beneficial for the brain’s long-term health.
It has been proven that Vinpocetine is among the most productive nootropics for enhancing blood flow through the brain.
This is because taking Vinpocetine causes the blood vessels to dilate, which in turn eases the circulation of blood throughout the brain. This causes numerous effects which can be noticed soon after, including higher levels of energy, increased motivation, quicker mental capabilities and a more focused concentration.
As you can gather, there is a wide variety nootropics currently available, all of which stimulate and improve your brain’s functions in a wide variety of safe ways.
Nootropics cater to all sorts of needs – if you think you could benefit from using a nootropic, keep checking this website regularly and be sure to read reviews of various nootropics to find one that will suit you best. Some opt for pre-made stack, while others choose to create their own combination by purchasing and using a number of ingredients such as Piracetam powder.
No matter what your needs and no matter what nootropic you choose to use, you are doing nothing but good to your brain, as nootropics only affect it in a positive and beneficial way. Use nootropics to make your brain perk up and give it a healthy boost from time to time.