Chapter 1: What are Nootropics?
The term “nootropics” is still unfamiliar to many. However, it has been around for decades and refers to drugs that have cognitive enhancing effects. Another term often used interchangeably with nootropics is smart drugs. These supplements have the ability to improve brain function and memory. They can help with concentration, and can even help to boost a person’s motivation level and confidence.
How Do They Work?
A Romanian doctor, Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, came up with the word nootropics in 1972. The word is an amalgam of two Greek words “nous” and “trepein”. The first means mind and the latter means bend. Nootropics bend the mind and help it to focus and have greater recall.
The drugs work by adding to the neurochemicals that are in the brain. These chemicals could be hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters that help with cognitive function. They can also help to stimulate the growth of nerves and boost the blood supply to the brain.
They are nontoxic and are not dangerous to take, which is important to note since many people take these products daily over the course of a number of years. As we will see in a later chapter, there are really very few side effects to make one worry when it comes to these drugs.
What Makes a Good and True Nootropic?
When Giurgea started working with the drugs, he developed a set of criteria to help people understand what was and what was not a true nootropic drug.
- The drug must enhance memory and learning
- Protect the brain from physical or chemical injury
- The drug must enhance learned behaviors under conditions known to disrupt them
- Enhance the cortical and subcortical control mechanisms in the brain
- Have few side effects and low toxicity
Where to Buy Nootropics
A number of these drugs are readily available on the market today. Some are made in laboratories while others come from natural substances. Both powders and pills are available online in various concentrations.
Chapter 2: How Nootropics Work
Although you are not going to need to get a degree in biochemistry, it is important to have at least a very basic understanding of how nootropics work in your brain. This knowledge helps you understand what to expect when taking the drugs.
Nootropics can work in a couple of different ways, and they have different effects on the body.
The drugs can affect your brain by elevating the number of neurotransmitters in the brain, thus improving neuroplasticity By increasing the acetylcholine and glutamate, as well as serotonin and dopamine in the brain, the nootropics are able to provide the memory and cognitive enhancement features for which they are known.
Some nootropics will also act as vasodilators. This helps to increase the blood flow to the brain.
Chapter 3: Nootropic Benefits for Users
Doctors have been using drugs considered nootropics for a number of years to help treat patients suffering from a variety of different types of motor function or cognitive function problems. Some of the conditions that they are using nootropics to help treat include:
- Huntington’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
Because of the benefits to memory and learning, as well as concentration and focus that researchers and users of the drugs claim, it is easy to see just why they can be useful for those suffering from the preceding conditions.
Of course, people today who do not suffer from these cognitive issues are taking the drugs as well. This is because they are still able to benefit from all of the positive effects that the drugs can offer.
The following is a list of many of the benefits enjoyed by many who are taking nootropics. This is not an all encompassing list, nor will all users find that they get all of these benefits. However, it is a well-rounded list that will give you a better idea of what the drugs might be able to do for you.
List of Benefits
- Better coordination with the mind and body
- Feel more productive
- Sleep better
- Improves your mood by increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain
- Better vocabulary
- Improves blood circulation to the brain
- Safe to take
- Protects the brain
- Reduces stress levels
- Prevents depression
- Improves neuroplasticity
Keep in mind that not all people are going to experience all of these benefits and some nootropics may not work as well for all people. After all, everyone’s brain chemistry is slightly different. You may require a different type of nootropic, or you might need to alter the dosage. Research and experiment to find the one that is going to work for your needs.
However, nootropics really do work and they really do offer a wealth of benefits. It pays to look into some of the different options available and to try them. Your brain will thank you for it.
Chapter 4: Popular Nootropic Ingredients
The most popular types of nootropics on the market today are the racetams, with aniracetam and piracetam being the “King of Nootropics” in that family of drugs. They are often the base of a nootropic stack, as we will see in the next chapter. However, they are not the only member of the racetams commonly used for cognitive enhancement purposes. Other common options include oxiracetam and pramiracetam.
Many will also take B vitamins in conjunction with other drugs, as research is starting to indicate that they can have a positive effect on cognitive function. Research in Norway indicates that Omega-3 fatty acids, as found in fish oil, help maintain brain function. Choline, DMAE, glutamate activators, beta blockers, ginseng, green tea, St. John’s Wort, and bacopa are some of the other popular options.
What’s Right for You
These are some of the most popular nootropics available today, but they are by no means the only ones available. Remember that these are only the basic guidelines. If you find that the drugs and supplements here, or the ones in the following chapter do not provide you with the cognitive enhancing effects you need, start looking into some of the other nootropics on the market. Research until you find the ones that help you the most.
Chapter 5: Nootropic Side Effects
One of the best things about taking nootropics is the fact that they are not toxic, and you are rarely going to have to worry about any side effects. That said, some side effects may occur with some people who take the drugs. Even though they are rare, it does pay to know what they are.
Possible Side Effects
Here are some of the side effects people have reported when taking nootropics.
- Allergic reactions (very rare)
This list is small because one of the guiding factors in calling something a nootropic is that it has to have low toxicity and no ill effects!
Finding the Cause
One of the ways to avoid trouble with side effects is to start with just a couple of supplements at a time. If you notice any ill effects, it is going to be easier to narrow down the culprit so you can find an alternative.
If you find that you are suffering from what you believe to be side effects, you should make sure that you visit your doctor. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Chapter 6: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Nootropics
Taking nootropics is a great way to help with memory and cognitive enhancement, but it is important to remember that the drugs are not going to do all of the work on their own. You want to do everything that you can in order to give them the best possible environment in which to work. Here are a few tips that should help you.
Get Your Sleep
You need to make sure that you have enough sleep each night. Your body needs to repair, and so does your mind. Sleeping helps reduce stress levels and can help ensure that you are ready to tackle the new day. Try to get between 7 and 8 hours of good sleep a night.
Take Care of Your Body
You want to improve your intelligence and your memory, but you cannot forget your body either. Exercise helps to reduce stress, clear your mind, and give you energy. The nootropics will enhance these effects.
Try to eat a healthy diet that is full of nutrients as well. For example, people say fish is brain food, and they are right. Fish contains essential fatty acids, the Omega-3s. You can also get those through supplementation. Eating other healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables will ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need. Stay away from the processed foods and fast food that can be so tempting.
Along the same lines, you need to make sure that you are getting plenty of liquid intake each day. The liquids that you drink should be plain water or green tea without sugar and other additives. It is a healthier option and it is better for the brain.
Train the Brain
Start reading more and start learning the things that you’ve always wanted to learn. Try brain puzzles, tests, and other activities that will challenge your mind. By challenging yourself, you are going to be expanding the effects of the nootropics.
Experience a New World
Will taking nootropics and eating right turn you into Albert Einstein overnight? No, of course it won’t! However, you will start seeing some remarkable effects. You will be able to improve your level of comprehension and retention, your memory, and your overall intelligence.
They are safe and easy to take, and you will find that getting started is actually affordable too. You owe it to yourself to try nootropics today so you can experience a new world!
Chapter 7: Common Questions about Nootropics
Here, we’ll look at some of the common questions that people seem to have about nootropics that are not covered elsewhere in this guide.
How Long Before You See Results?
It is going to depend upon the nootropics a person is taking, and that person’s brain chemistry. In some cases, people report results immediately. In others, it can take several days before the effects become noticeable.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Them?
When you stop taking nootropics, the effects are going to wear off and decline. However, they will only decline to the point where you were before you started taking them. Most people who start taking the drugs want to continue taking them for life because they like their enhanced abilities.
Are They Addictive?
You can take nootropics everyday without worrying about becoming addicted to them. While the effects of having better memory and abilities are nice, you will not feel withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them.
Are They Really Working?
If you worry whether the drugs are really working or not, you should track your progress with them. Check out brain training games and memory games and see how much better you are able to do after you start taking the drugs.
Do They Work With Everyone?
As with all things in life, there are no guarantees. Brain chemistries are different, and the dosages needed can be different for some people. However, users all around the world find that nootropics really are providing them with more mental prowess, better memories, and more. The best way to see whether they are going to work for you is to start with a basic stack and then experiment to find the combination that is going to help your mind the most.
Right for You
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Not all stacks are right for all people. This is a common stack with which many find success though. Experiment and find the combination that works for you.