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Why Nootropics Are the Smart Person’s Supplement

Since the beginning of the human race, people have done their best to be at the head of the pack. In the days of old, peak physical and cognitive abilities could keep you alive in the face of trying times. Given the need to maintain an edge as a means for survival, it’s no wonder that since the beginning of our existence, we humans have taken natural supplement to enhance their abilities.

The Chinese have employed these natural methods in their traditional medicine – employing the use of a multitude of herbs for optimal energy flow throughout the body.

Yerba Mates has always been the herbal stimulant of choice for South Americans. It’s a drink with a plethora of potent wellness properties.

As time has passed, humans have tried to add their own man-made synthetic properties to performance-enhancing stimulants but they are harmful, addictive, and brimming with side effects.

Thankfully, there are still tons of natural performance-boosting supplements out there, including nootropics, otherwise known as ‘smart drugs’. Nootropics are the most viable, sought-after performance enhancers because they contain the healthiest ingredients with the best results.

Below is a breakdown of these ‘smart drugs’. We’ll explain how they help your performance and take a deep dive into various nootropic topics!

Defining Nootropics

As natural compounds that enhance brain function, the properties in nootropics work to increase focus, boost energy, and enhance mood. These ‘smart drugs’ are also believed to shield the human brain from conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Interestingly enough, the science behind nootropics is still a mystery to experts. However, there’s hard evidence confirming that they promote better blood flow to the brain, improve neuron signalling, and trigger neurotransmitter production. All of these factors lead to our brains functioning at a higher level.

‘Smart drugs’ is a cute nickname but let’s not kid ourselves — our IQs aren’t going to go through the roof because of a nootropic. But, they certainly will help us function and think with more efficiency.  

The Evolution of Nootropics

In 1972, the ‘father’ of nootropics, Dr. Cornelius E. Giurgea, gave the ‘smart drugs’ their name. His vision was a drug to enhance human evolution.

The good doctor is responsible for the very first synthetic nootropic, known as Piracetam. To this day, Dr. Giurgea’s original nootropic is still taken to help with memory.

Here are the five guidelines Dr. Giurgea classified when developing the ‘smart drug’, under the premise that they can be synthetic or natural but must abide by these characteristics:

  •      Must better our memory and learning abilities

  •      Neutralize distractions

  •      Shield us from brain damage

  •      Improve wakefulness

  •      Have minimal side effects and non-toxic properties

Contemporary Nootropics

The latest trend of the day is nootropics – and that’s a good thing. Funnily enough, the recent ‘smart drug’ surge is directly related to biohacking movements in Silicon Valley.

Nootropics were largely brought to life by the fictitious ‘NZT-48’ in the action-thriller Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper.

Unfortunately, despite claims that a drug taken for epilepsy known as Modafinil mirrors the powerful properties of the movie’s drug, such a magic substance does not exist. Nootropics don’t change people at the blink of an eye – but when coupled with healthy life choices, they certainly will boost our overall performance and makes us more alert and observant.

What Nootropics Can Do for You

It’s pretty easy to understand why people start taking these ‘smart drugs’—it makes them feel awake and concentrated, similar to coffee.

Unlike coffee, nootropics don’t lead to an eventual crash. The wakeful focus lasts all day without side effects in most cases. Keep in mind that natural substances aren’t great for everyone and can lead to side effects and addictions in certain instances, particularly when not used as instructed.  

But, in the majority of cases, nootropics have been proven safe and non-addictive.

Clearing Up Brain Fog

When we can’t think clearly, struggle with decisiveness, poorly articulate words, and/or have difficulty with memory, it’s commonly referred to as brain fog.

It can be triggered by not getting enough of sleep, poor nutrition, a sedentary lifestyle, or living in an environment filled with toxins and pollutants.

Thankfully, nootropics combat these symptoms via increasing blood flow to the brain and bringing an influx of nutrients and oxygen along with it, ensuring your brain is operating with premium fuel. Thus, you’ll be more alert.

Refreshing Memories

Two factors that will hinder your memory are not getting enough sleep and too much stress.

When taking nootropics, the brain receives replenishing micronutrients for neural maintenance and increased function.

Brain inflammation is regularly linked to Alzheimer’s disease amongst other brain afflictions. Nootropics are known to neutralize inflammation in the brain.

Laser-Like Focus

The internet and Netflix are the banes of everybody’s productivity. It’s hard to combat these pesky distractions. If you’re in a bad mood or haven’t slept, it makes it that much easier for our concentration to lapse.

Conversely, when the brain is well nourished and functioning optimally, it’s easier for us to zone in on our work. Enhanced blood flow to the brain through nootropics and lifestyle will make for improved focus.

CILTEP is one nootropic known for promoting blood flow to the brain. It also triggers neurotransmitter function in a way that betters our mood and increases efficiency.

Revitalized Energy

Approximately 50% of Americans claim to be overwhelmed with fatigue throughout the week – even with 7-8 hours of sleep.

While there are many contributing factors to low energy, not getting restful sleep is a prominent example.

Fortunately, nootropics are known to aid in restful sleep, meaning more productive and energetic mornings. ‘Smart drugs’ also send micronutrients to the brain and body that are lacking in diets throughout the country. An influx of these micronutrients will combat fatigue.

Easing Anxieties

Anxiety impacts everybody, but many of us don’t deal with it healthily. Many people attempt to function with really damaging anxiety at all times and it leads to elevated heart rates and cortisol levels, contributing further to our stress and anxiety levels.

With nootropics, we can minimize stress reactions because of the ‘smart drugs’ level out the abundance of chemicals triggered in the body when we’re stressed.

Anxiety hurts our energy levels, so neutralizing anxiety gives us more energy and mental strength to use towards more productive ventures. We also sleep better with less anxiety which leads to better overall focus.

Life Expectancy and Nootropics

It’s not 100% proven that nootropics lead to a longer life but there’s plenty of reason to believe they do.

Through various studies, it’s been learnt that nootropics have similar properties to drugs that treat age-related conditions. Therefore, it can be assumed that nootropics contain characteristics that can treat these symptoms or act as a preventative measure.

Shortening telomeres, cell damage, and inflammation throughout the body and brain also lead to rapid ageing. Nootropics proliferate nutrients to the brain which can help defend against cell damage and inflammation.

When coupled with a healthy diet and lifestyle filled with exercise, nootropics can certainly lead to a much longer life expectancy.

Top Notch Nootropics

In the list below, we’ll highlight nootropics with varying effects that can change between individuals.

Please note that the legality of some of these supplements is different country-to-country. It’s essential to double check before deciding on your ideal supplement.

We’re also not doctors. So consult with your physician before making a choice on nootropics so you don’t run into any health problems. Not all nootropics will jive with prescriptions and could be harmful if you’re pregnant or are suffering from other health problems.

Also, not all compounds make for good combinations and could have a negative effect if taken together. Plus, your own body’s metabolism and chemistry may not react well with certain nootropics.

Modafinil (Drug/Synthetic)

Throughout the past few decades, the synthetic drug known as Modafinil has been used as a treatment for sleep ailments such as narcolepsy.

Since Modafinil improves cognitive abilities while not causing a large number of side effects, it’s one of the more preferred nootropics on the market.

Experts cite Modafinil as a boon to mental alertness. Furthermore, it’s believed to be a great help in executive decision making and learning.

The dosage level is approximate 200mg per day and side effects include:

  •      Insomnia
  •      Anxiety
  •      Irritability
  •      Stomachaches

Armodafinil (Drug/Synthetic)

Much like modafinil, Armodafinil also contains the active ingredient, R-modafinil, meaning strong results with small dosages.

When compared to modafinil, those taking armodafinil claim to experience fewer lapses in attention. However, because the drug is stronger, the side effects can hit harder.

As such, the recommended dosage is less than modafinil, at 150mg per day.

Here are some potential side effects:

  •      Headache
  •      Dizziness
  •      Upset stomach
  •      Anxiety
  •      Dry mouth
  •      Muscle pain
  •      Weakness
  •      Skin rashes
  •      Heart palpitations

Racetam (Drug/Synthetic)

Racetam is actually a family of several drugs that help with memory functions.

Here’s a list of the various racetams and an explanation of their varying properties:

Aniracetam is a high-potency, fat-soluble, short-lasting supplement. It’ used to combat symptoms related to degenerative cognitive disorders and general memory/attention problems.

Take 500 to 100g between 2 to 3 times a day.

Side effects include:

  •      Poor digestion
  •      Insomnia
  •      Headaches

Not too much is known about Phenylpiracetam as of yet, but it’s believed that this substance boosts memory and learning. It also is believed to help with overall mood and neutralizing depression and anxiety symptoms.

Take anywhere from 200 to 600 mg per day.

Side effects include:

  •      Headache
  •      Upset stomach
  •      Irritable mood

Known for increasing the production of acetylcholine on top of cushioning the brain’s cell membranes, Piracetam gives a welcome boost to short and long-term memory. It allows for the superior processing of glucose by the brain.

The recommended dosage is 1200-4800mg per day.

Side effects include:

  •      Drowsiness
  •      Irritable mood
  •      Poor sleep

Panax Ginseng (Natural)

Assisting with cognitive functions and long-term memory, Ginseng is a natural ‘smart drug’ that’s been prolifically used in Asia for thousands of years.

You should take 400gm a day.

Some potential side effects are:

  •      Excitability
  •      Hormonal reactions

Ginkgo Biloba (Natural)

A natural nootropic that’s commonly used alongside ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba helps general brain function and memory.

Take anywhere between 240-480mg daily.

The main side effect is gastrointestinal discomfort.

Bacopa Monnieri (Natural)

Bacopa is used for memory and reduced forgetfulness. It’s a natural product as well.

Take 150mg daily of full concentration bacopa.

Some potential side effects are:

  •      Gastrointestinal problems
  •      Dry mouth
  •      Reduced sperm count

Huperzine-A (Drug/Synthetic)

Known to decrease or even neutralize the cognitive effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia, Huperzine- is a synthetic nootropic that can also be used to prevent memory deterioration outside of medical usage.  

Take 200-400mg a day but make sure to cycle on and off.

Some potential side effects are:

  •      Digestive problems
  •      Blood pressure changes

Curcumin (Natural)

Derived from the Asian plant known as Curcuma long (also known for turmeric), curcumin contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It prevents oxidative damage and provides overall wellness and balance throughout bodily functions.

The recommended dosage is 500mg per day.

Potential side effects include:

  •      Gastrointestinal problems
  •      Elevated liver enzymes

Honourable Mentions

It’s hard to mention every single nootropic on the market. But there are so many worth checking out that contain properties that can lead to incredible self-improvement and better overall quality of life.

Here are a few more nootropics you should check out:

  •      Semax
  •      Selank
  •      Butyrate
  •      Creatine
  •      Glucose
  •      Citicoline
  •      Alpha-GPC
  •      Selegiline

The Power of Nootropics

We live in a day and age that places a mounting list of demands on us that are seemingly never-ending. It’s easy to see how these factors will hurt your mood and increase stress levels.

Unfortunately, many of us accept this as our ‘norm’ and don’t even realize there is a problem to begin with. But there is a problem and we need to take care of ourselves.

In a world that seems dedicated to pulling us in a thousand different directions at once, it’s essential to take care of our bodies and minds. The right nootropic could really help us give us that little something extra to help us own every day while avoiding dangerous side effects.

Nootropics aren’t about being crazy and going over the top. It’s about finding the balance to help with your overall quality of life.

 

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