The Beginners Guide to Nootropics


So, you’re a newbie to nootropics…maybe you’re so new that you’re asking yourself “what in the heck are nootropics?”  It’s a good question.  When it comes to health, we may talk about cardiovascular fitness or weight loss.   You might consider how to eat healthier or you may even spend a small fortune on skin care products.  Indeed, health can be seen from many perspectives, but how often do you consider your brain’s health.  If my own thoughts are any indication, you probably don’t put much thought at all into brain health – but why not?  It is, after all, the most important organ when it comes to your drives, ambitions, and motivations – including those surrounding health.

So, nootropics then, what are they?  Essentially, nootropics are natural or synthetic compounds that are known to improve general cognitive abilities such as:

  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Focus
  • Alertness
  • Motivation

Sometimes known as smart drugs or smart pills, nootropics are not actually new – they have been in use for thousands of years even if they have only recently been “discovered” by modern scientists.  Ancient records from around the world dating as early as 1100 BC in Chinese medicine show that nootropics have long been utilized as cognitive enhancers.  So, let’s learn more.

Using Nootropics

It’s important to understand that nootropics will not help you develop improved cognitive function; instead, they enhance the cognitive functions that you already demonstrate.  Improving cognitive ability requires discipline and the regular involvement in attention-strengthening exercises.  However, if you combine these types of exercises with nootropic supplements, you’re sure to seean improvement.  Consider nootropics something akin to workout supplements – if you take them, but you never go to the gym, your physical health will not improve.  However, combining supplements with regular workouts will enhance the benefits of the workout.

The Benefits of Nootropics

Modern nootropics offer a wide range of benefits.  In general, nootropics enhance five main areas of cognitive function

  1. Memory – Some smart drugs target short-term memory while others long-term memory
  2. Focus – Nootropics can enhance your focus and attention, while also improving clarity.
  3. Mood – Enhanced mood is one of the many benefits of nootropic smart drugs.  Improved mood relates to reduced anxiety thereby improving cognitive function.
  4. Fatigue – Nootropics can prevent fatigue by improving cognitive efficiency.
  5. Reasoning and Creativity – Nootropics influence reasoning and creativity in a way that has been shown to improve problem-solving and other cognitive abilities.

Examples of Nootropics

So, we’ve got a brief background on nootropics, but what are some examples?  Not surprisingly, many nootropics are substances you have come across in the past.  Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common nootropics and their effects.

  •          Caffeine and L-theanine: improves focus and attention, motivation, and mood while reducing heart-rate, blood pressure, and anxiety.
  •          Creatine: improves muscle strength and mass, enhances ATP synthesis for efficient energy production, and improves short-term memory as well as reasoning skills.
  •          Bacopa Monniera: improves memory, enhances attention and focus, and reduces anxiety.
  •          Piracetam and Choline: these two are among the first nootropics discovered by modern scientists.  Piracetam increases acetylcholine uptake for improved memory and when combined with choline memory enhancements are even more pronounced.

Nootropics pose an interesting avenue of health supplements. With more research and Hollywood films like Limitless and Lucy hitting the bigscreen, you will probably hear of Nootropics more often.

Have you taken any Nootropics? Share your experiences in the comments below!



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