Today, we will be discussing the cognitive enhancers aka smart drugs AKA Nootropics.
You will learn how these drug works and different types of Nootropics available. So, without further ado let us learn what Nootropics exactly is.
What are Nootropics?
The human brain is considered one of the most powerful tools present in the entire universe. Every invention on the earth is because of the involvement of the brain.
A true fact is that people have different cognitive abilities, that means the level of thinking learning, analyzing and comprehensive ability is distinct in every human being.
That being said, there have been a discovery of drug in the medical field which helps in enhancing the cognitive function particularly, intelligence, memory, and focus in healthy individuals. These types of drugs are known as Nootropics.
Nootropics are also known as the smart drugs and are considered one of the best and most popular supplements for individuals who are suffering from stress, anxiety, and other aspects of daily life.
You can think of it as compounds (usually in capsule form) that speed up your thought process, boost your memory or make you more productive.
Originally, there were 5 criteria that were set by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea in 1972 (the man who coined the term Nootropics’)
The substance must:
#1: Enhance learning and memory
#2: Enhance learned behavior under traumatic conditions
#3: Protect the brain from chemical or physical hit/assault
#4: Enhance the tonic cortical and subcortical mechanism of your brain
#5: Possess no or few side effects/ be non-toxic
Use of the term nootropics today isn’t as strict in that a substance but have all these features but instead, all they really need to do is enhance cognitive function without major side effects. Furthermore, many nootropics users use a mixture of compounds that have certain strengths or functions to create a more synergistic effect.
Two major category of Nootropics
#1: Synthetic Nootropics
These are the substances that are created in the lab. It has been found that these substances are cognitively enhancing the brain performance with no to little side effects. Most of these substances came into the picture less than 50 years ago and includes the Racetam Family and modafinil.
Most of these substances have been shown to be safe to use in the short term, but long term use isn’t usually recommended so users usually employ what is called “cycling”.
#2: Natural Nootropics
These are the substances that can be found in the wild, such as tea, coffee, herbal roots, and mushrooms are all considered to be natural Nootropics due to the compounds that they contain (caffeine in coffee, for example). The great thing about natural Nootropics is that they have been around for an extremely long period of time so their effects have been observed for hundreds of years. You know that coffee won’t kill you or shorten your lifespan because millions of people have drank it and still consuming it daily.
Let us dive deeper in the nootropic world and see some of the best and powerful substance that can make you almost like a Bradley Cooper from the movie Limitless.
This list is just a teaser to expose you to some nootropics examples. Andrew Ferebee published a huge 7,000 word article discussing the best nootropics to take for whatever your goal is (very helpful and detailed).
3 Powerful Nootropics
1: Modafinil – It is referred to as a wakefulness promoting drug. Since its stimulant effects are often subtle it is used for many disorders that feature sedation and fatigue. However, it is widely popular with people who want to increase their cognitive ability because it helps in alerting the mind for a very long period.
2: Adderall – It is the brand name for the mixture of amphetamine salts that was developed for treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder also known as ADHD. Adderall affects the neuroreceptors in the central nervous system, increasing the effect of serotonin and dopamine.
3: Ritalin – The generic of Ritalin is methylphenidate and this is the form that most people take. The good part of the drug, when used responsibly, are –improve mood, enhance memory and focus. However, Overdose can cause insomnia, anorexia, headaches and stomach ache.
Nootropics Psychedelics – for creative thinking and boosting brainpower
1: LSD – Lysergic acid diethylamide is a type of a synthetic drug that is famous for altering your perception and creating hallucinations. Used when you want to do artistic things or things that require out of the box ideas.
2: Psilocybin – These are the compounds that are formed by mushrooms. Universities has found that Psilocybin is used to ease depression, cure drug addiction, and reduce the emotional suffering of terminally ill cancer patients.
Nootropics to improve cognitive performance
1: Nicotine – It is an alkaloid that is found in tobacco leaves and has been used by humans for its nootropic properties for thousands of years. It has shown to improve working memory and the efficiency of acetylcholine receptors. The drawback of nicotine is that it is highly addictive.
2: Piracetam – It was the first of the racetam family. Due to the lack of observed side effects, Piracetam is widely used by hackers to restore their cognitive performance and reduce depression.
Some other common Nootropics are
3: Huperzine A
4: Gingko Biloba
5: Bacopa Monnieri
6: Lion’s Mane
7: Uridine Monophosphate
Nootropics are compounds that help to improve cognitive function, thereby helping to boost your productivity.
There are many different types of nootropics that help with different goal (memory, focus, motivation etc) so there is truly no one size fits all. Furthermore, a nootropic will never be able to replace or fix lifestyle problems that are preventing you from reaching your full potential (such as sleep deficiency).
What they can do is, assuming your health is in good order, help your brain to perform more efficiently and how you want or need it to on a certain day.