Nootropics are substances which improve the functional capabilities of the central nervous system including the brain with few side effects or toxicity issues.what are nootropics. They also possess a host of other names such as cognitive enhancers, smart drugs, neuro enhancers, and intelligence enhancers among many more. Nootropics are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals and functional foods that improve one or more aspects of mental functions such as motivation, attention and working memory. These drugs (nootropics) are legal and can be bought over the counter without necessarily requiring a doctor’s prescription. Scientific data has come out strongly to prove that these drugs can be used to safely treat certain neuro conditions.
Nootropics are Smart Drugs?
There is often some confusion over the terms used to describe these supplements; All nootropics are generally considered to be cognitive enhancers (or smart drugs) but not all cognitive enhancing supplements fit the criteria of a nootropic. Substances like caffeine or amphetamines for example, may provide some benefits to cognition, but often come with the dangers of severe side effects, or problems with tolerance and addiction. Of course, the concept is also somewhat ambiguous and it is important to note that even after the term nootropics was first coined by Dr Corneliu Giugea over 40 years ago, scientists are still in disagreement as to the exact criteria for a substance to be considered a nootropic. There are various nootropic substances sold in the market. However, most of them have the main features as below:
- Brings about improvement in acetylcholine function which is a neurotransmitter that is directly in charge of higher cognition.
- Work as a positive allosteric modulator of acetylcholine or glutamate receptorsImpact other neurotransmitter systems like dopamine to improve cognitive capability.
- Lead to rise in neural activity in one or maybe more parts of the brain, along with concomitant enhancement in memory and thinking ability.
- Enhance energy by means of adenosine triphosphate which well known as ATP in the brain.
Increase oxygen levels in the brain, which is related to improved flow of blood in the cerebrum.
Things you should know before taking Nootropics
The way that nootropics are portrayed in the media has led to somewhat unrealistic expectations. Contents below should help to address a few of these misconceptions.
1) Nootropics do not give you superhuman abilities. Nootropics certainly can help you to improve your cognitive performance but not to the extent that you would be considered superhuman, as depicted in the film Limitless. It is a common misconception that we only use 10-20% of our brains and that by using 100% we could become exponentially more intelligent, or even possess psychokinetic abilities. This however, is simply not true as Nootropics work only within the boundaries of normal human physiology.
2) Nootropics are not a replacement for sleep. While it is true that nootropics can both improve the quality of sleep you receive and help you to perform better while sleep deprived, it is not a replacement for sleep altogether. Sleep is essential for our survival as humans and there is no adequate replacement for it. In fact, sleep deprivation can be so severely damaging that it has been used as a form of torture, and can lead to death in extreme cases.
3) Nootropics are not a substitute for working hard. Many people assume that nootropics will instantly make a genius of them, but this is simply not the case. Students will still have to study and carry out the tasks they normally would, nootropics simply facilitate the learning process, making it easier to remember and understand new concepts.
4) Stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are not nootropics. Again, this is a problem that comes down to the definition of nootropics. While these substances could certainly be considered cognitive enhancers, the dangers of their side effects and the fact that individuals may develop a tolerance to them means that whatever definition of nootropics is considered, these supplements simply do not fit the criteria.
5) Nootropics are not completely free of side effects. While it is true that most nootropics are safe when used correctly, as with any supplement they are not completely side effect free. These supplements simply exhibit side effects that are far less common, and usually quite mild compared to those that are seen with the use of other performance enhancers like amphetamines. Furthermore, nootropics show much lower levels of toxicity than other cognitive enhancers.
How Nootropics Work?
There are literally hundreds of types of different substances that could be considered nootropic supplements. Each of these has slightly different properties and mechanisms that contribute to the brain working more efficiently. Many nootropics work by modulating the level of various neurotransmitters in the brain, which can be achieved for example by providing a greater amount of neurotransmitter precursors, altering the sensitivity of receptors, or by inhibiting enzymes that break down neurotransmitters. Others work by increasing cerebral blood flow, bringing with it a greater amount of oxygen, glucose and other materials needed for neurons to perform efficiently. Some even stimulate the release of substances like nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), types of protein that encourage the growth and repair of neurons, which can lead to greater synaptic plasticity and fluidity in cell membranes.
What Benefits Can Nootropics Provide?
The effects a user will see depends largely on the type of nootropic used, although it is important to consider that experiences are also likely to be highly subjective as everyone has different expectations, and will react slightly differently to a given supplement. Many nootropic supplements can enhance an individual’s capacity to learn and remember information, particularly when concerning the racetam and cholinergic varieties. Individuals commonly observe an improved ability to process, consolidate and recall information, while comprehension of difficult concepts also comes with greater ease. Nootropics can also provide greater levels of attention and the ability to focus on important tasks, with increased motivation to carry them out. Some supplements appear to exhibit neuroprotective properties, shielding the brain from damage by physical trauma, toxins and neurological diseases alike. Others have therapeutic uses, for example phenibut and picamilon are used by sufferers of depression and anxiety for their anxiolytic and mood brightening effects, while they also appear to improve the quality of sleep and aid with disruptions to sleep cycles. Nootropics are even used to improve physical performance; athletes report phenylpiracetam to be an effective pre-workout supplement, helping to decrease recovery time, provide the motivation to carry out more challenging exercise routines, and help the user cope with the stress caused by physical strain. Types of nootropics, the cognitive enhancers, nootropics, exist in two states. There are those that are found naturally and some that are synthesized from the laboratory.
Natural brain enhancers include merchandises like Brain stack and Alpha Brain. They are naturally made from vitamins, natural herbs and minerals which include ingredients like Vitamin B6, Alpha GPC, Bacopa,Vinocetine, Huperzia Serrata, Amino acids ( L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine), AC11, among many others. If you are not exactly sure what these are do not be worried, you will get a lot of relevant information pertaining them in this site going forward.. Synthetic/Chemical nootropics. Chemically based nootropical compounds refer to products like Racetams, Piracetam and Noopept. These are products produced by combination substances that have been scientifically synthesized in the laboratory. It must be noted that despite possessing a higher potency, chemically synthesized, as opposed to naturally occurring drugs, are always laden with contraindications. Therefore, you have to be extremely careful before taking any nootropic that belongs to this category.