The brain is one of the essential organs in the human body that not only plays a vital role but also regulates the functions of other organs as well. This complex organ is responsible for every single action and reaction that happens within the body each day. The average human brain weighs about 3 pounds, and this organ is what allows us to be able to think, feel, memorize essential things, and learn. These facts are why taking care of your brain is so important, since to make rational decisions, and get through daily life efficiently it’s vital that the brain functions properly.
Some people, unfortunately, go through situations where the brain is negatively affected, through accidents, toxicity, or old age, the mind can slow down or stop functioning correctly. In these cases an affected individuals life and daily routine will be negatively impacted in a big way, even changing the persons personality and slowing growth. In some instances, certain nootropic drugs may be helpful in reducing or preventing these things from happening altogether by helping to regulate brain performance. We believe it’s important to understand what nootropics or “brain pills” can do and how they work before taking them and benefiting from their astonishing results.
The Most Popular Brain-Enhancing Drugs
Nootropics, also known as “brain enhancers” are substances that work by affecting the brains chemistry, improving many factors in overall performance and functionality. Nootropic is a scientific name describing a group of drugs which often labeled as brain enhancers. However one might say that there is a difference between the two. Not all brain enhancers are nootropics; however, all nootropics are brain enhancers, so that’s the main difference. Also, nootropics are not addictive while some other brain enhancers may be. So if you see a drug labeled as a brain enhancer that does not necessarily mean it is a nootropic.
Let’s get into a bit more detail on some popular nootropic substances that work below.
Piracetam is a popular nootropic drug that is known to enhance learning ability and memory retention. This drug has little to no known adverse side effects, and that’s why students so regularly use it for exam preparation, assignment completion, and more. This substance also works well in boosting concentration and focus since it increases blood flow within the brain which results in many cognitive enhancing benefits.
Piracetam has also been used to treat sufferers from strokes and other brain injuries. This nootropic drug also contains anxiety and depression-relieving compounds which also helps many students and others to get through their day. There are some minor side effects which may happen while taking piracetam such as headaches. However, these side effects only occur in a small percentage of users.
Aniracetam is another popular nootropic substance that is a part of the racetam family of nootropics. This drug is used by many people worldwide every day. Aniracetam is an extremely useful racetam that has many cognitive benefits including memory and learning enhancement, mood improvement, anxiety prevention, and many more. Like many nootropics, there are some minor side-effects that a small percentage of aniracetam users may experience such as insomnia, headaches, and nausea. These side effects vary greatly between users with most users experiencing no side effects at all; also, piracetam is non-toxic.
Adrafinil is almost identical to another nootropic drug called modafinil. The only real difference between them is the fact that adrafinil is a “prodrug” meaning that it needs to become filtered before it becomes metabolized by the body and used as its active chemical modafinil. Modafinil itself, however, is the pure form of adrafinil and is not filtered, when ingested its effects are immediate, so it’s much more potent when taken this way. Many countries have banned modafinil due to its potency so it may be much easier to find adrafinil depending on where you live. Adrafinil is extremely popular due to its strength and benefits. Some of the benefits that users may experience when taking adrafinil are, increased mental performance, wakefulness, decreased fatigue, and more. Adrafinil also does have some side effects such as increases in blood pressure and headaches in individual users.
Oxiracetam is another popular nootropic drug that we believe is important to mention in this list for various reasons. Oxiracetam is exceptionally safe, potent and effective in producing its many cognitive benefits. Oxiracetam is also a part of the racetam family and is known to be very beneficial in helping to regulate specific cognitive processes. This substance is also great for improving memory retention and enhancing concentration and focus. Oxiracetam is also known to work well in treating and preventing age-related cognitive decline.
Physicians and patients often use oxiracetam as a stimulant. Though it’s considered to be a mild stimulant, regular use of oxiracetam in specific amounts can provide many stimulating effects such as increased mental energy, increased physical strength, improved alertness, and more. Some users even claim that oxiracetam helps them feel more motivated and attribute their success partially to the use of this drug. As with any synthetic drug, there are some minor side effects to using oxiracetam which include, rare cases of rashes, restlessness, and nausea.
Noopept is not a part of the racetam family but has many similar effects and similar chemical makeup. It is one of the most popular brain-boosting supplements and is also by far the most potent especially when compared to racetams. Noopept is one of the best-selling nootropic drugs on the market right now which has been proven to provide a host of cognitive benefits such as improved mood, enhanced memory retention, focus, and learning. Noopept also has a “wakefulness” effect like many other racetam nootropics and is known to reduce feelings of fatigue and depression. One of the unique things about noopept is that when ingested it acts exceptionally quickly, its effects become felt and noticed by users within minutes of taking the drug. Some side effects of noopept are nausea, headache, and restlessness.
As we mentioned, a bit earlier modafinil is effectively the same as adrafinil with some minor differences. Modafinil is exceptionally potent, and you may not be able to purchase it with or without a prescription depending on what country you live. Some of the benefits of this drug include improved decision making, analysis, logical and clear thinking, planning, and more. The more common side effects of using modafinil are headaches and nausea.
Phenylpiracetam is another member of the large racetam family. Phenylpiracetam is a newer substance so is not as commonly known as other racetam members. However, this substances popularity is growing as common knowledge about it increases among users. Phenylpiracetam is a suped-up version of piracetam mixed with the chemical compound “phenyl,” hence the name. Because of its chemical makeup, phenylpiracetam boasts multiple unique effects such as the ability to improve both physical and mental performance and its neuroprotective properties.
Last but not least let’s talk about pramiracetam. Pramiracetam is popular among nootropic users and medical professionals alike and is known as one of the most influential cognitive enhancing supplements available on the market. Not only does pramiracetam have the ability to improve many cognitive skills such as memory, learning, and concentration, but it also has the unique ability to help users suffering from long-term memory related issues which makes it popular among older adults. Pramiracetam also works well as a nootropic stack when taken alongside certain other nootropic drugs maximizing the effects of itself and the other nootropics taken at the same time. Some common side effects of pramiracetam are headaches and nausea, but of course, just like all other nootropics, it is non-toxic.
Who’s Using Brain-Enhancing Drugs (And Why)
Many people across the world rely on nootropics or other brain-enhancing drugs to achieve daily success, and the number of users continues to rise each year. Since nootropics have both physical and mental benefits, they are popular among athletes and bodybuilders. However, these types of drugs have many other users as well such as students who use them to help prepare for exams and other school-related activities. People take these supplements because they help to enhance their performance whether its physical such as lifting more weight at the gym or mental such as getting a higher grade on a test. Highly pressured individuals such as business professionals may use these drugs to help cope with the stress of speaking in front of large audiences and groups. Its also been reported that scientists use cognitive enhancing supplements to improve their concentration and focus while researching and completing projects. It’s important to remember that successful use of these substances depends on taking them constructively and responsibly.
Do Brain-Enhancing Drugs Really Work?
A question often asked by many who have not used any cognitive enhancers in the past is if they work and are effective. Some people believe that brain-boosters are a myth, placebos marketed as a business strategy solely to make a profit. These claims could not be further from the truth; the fact is that cognitive enhancing supplements do work and if taken correctly they can have extremely beneficial effects. Cognitive enhancers work wonders, and they can maximize our innate capabilities and help us to overcome difficult situations.
With all this said at the end of the day, nootropics and any other “brain pills” are still considered drugs and should be treated as such. Despite all the benefits that nootropic substances have they do have some minor setbacks. Some brain-enhancing specific medicines can be addictive, such as caffeine or amphetamines and those are not entirely safe. It’s important to remember that these drugs are meant to be aids and provide relief. It’s up to the user to weight the individual pros and cons of a substance before using it. In conclusion, we believe that with all the different cognitive enhancing drugs out there each person should be able to find which one works best for them to improve their life effectively.
The Downside Of Brain-Enhancing Drugs
We believe that its essential to provide both the information about the positive effects that these drugs have and the potential side effects to paint a realistic picture. It’s not fair to readers if we don’t share the potential downside to taking these supplements. So below we have listed some of the drawbacks to taking brain-enhancers that we think you should know.
- Specific brain-enhancing supplements can be addictive and can be hard to quit after you start taking them.
- Teenagers should not use smart drugs, and its use should be prohibited since they can negatively affect the developing brains of young adults.
- Always speak with a medical professional before taking any brain enhancing supplement since they can be potentially dangerous to anyone with pre-existing conditions or allergies. They may cause life-threatening symptoms to those individuals, so it’s important to speak with a doctor beforehand.
Many cognitive enhancers are meant to be short-term “cyclic drugs,” which means they should not be taken for an extended period to avoid adverse side-effects. Permanent use of some brain enhancing supplement could result in permanent damage and could also be life-threatening in some cases. Please keep in mind for both yourself and your loved ones before abusing any drug, be aware of the consequences, its important that we all make smart decisions, and cherish this life and do not take it for granted.
Brain-Enhancing Drugs: “No Biological Free Lunch”
Learning from the mistakes of our ancestors and the people around us is vital for human development. Because of the vast knowledge, we have online, and in other databases, you don’t always have to test for reactions in yourself or be the guinea pig.
Famous author Tim Ferriss (Writer of the 4-Hour Work Week) is a knowledgeable person. Tim has done a lot of research on mind-enhancing supplements, and he famously once quoted that there is no such thing as a “biological free lunch.” He goes on to explain this further by stating that any drug that claims to have many benefits must also have many side effects as well. His belief is that of mainstream science which is every action has an equal and opposite reaction. While not all members of the pharmaceutical or nootropic community agree with him, no one can prove his opinion to be wrong either. Tim recommends that every person who uses these drugs track the amount, and times they use them and also track their reactions to get more information as a collective about this subject.
Alternatives To Brain Enhancement Drugs
Various drugs used by many people around the world claim to enhance cognitive ability. However, some benefits affect other areas of the human body. With that said, there are many alternatives to the brain-enhancing drugs that we mentioned in this article, and we have listed some of those alternatives below.
- Play video games
It may seem like a dream come true to some readers but its true. Playing video games is a scientifically proven effective method in enhancing cognition. The reason for this is because playing visual games causes the mind to think critically, which improves specific thinking and analysis abilities in the brain. Some companies even may use video games as a way to enhance the productivity of their employees.
- Move yourself
Physical activity is by far one of the most widely accepted and effective ways of stimulating the brain. There is no better natural and healthy way to enhance your minds cognitive ability than physical exercise. Physical activity increases blood blow throughout the body and to the brain, which improves all of our cognitive skills including imagination and creativity. Most office job employers advise employees to exercise either before work, after work, or during breaks to clear their mind and stay healthy. Research shows that employees who exercised regularly achieved greater success in the workplace when compared to their co-workers who did not.
- Fasting also helps
Fasting or intermittent fasting is proven to have fantastic health benefits. The body needs to recover, and fasting helps to cleanse the body and aids in the recovery process. When fasting for long periods of time the body may enter a state of ketosis which is essential for the body to function correctly. During this process, the body will burn more fat for energy, and also helps to keep the individual feel more alert and improves concentration among other things.
- Take L-theanine and caffeine
L-Theanine is a natural nootropic substance found in tea, and this substance is often used to reduce stress levels. When taken with the stimulant caffeine the two make a good team. One balances the other out exceptionally well which results in many cognitive benefits and reduces the chance of experiencing adverse side effects.
All in all, most users believe that cognitive enhancers work well for them, and help them to solve their everyday problems. However, this may not be the case for everyone, and it’s essential that users study both the positive and negative effects that these drugs can have on the body before making a decision.