So What Exactly are Nootropics?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a pill that made you smarter and more creative? Most people who are familiar with the various types of supplements and herbs have probably heard of Nootropics by now. However, for those of you who haven’t, I’m going to give you brief rundown of what they are and what the claimed effects are.
A Nootropic or “smart drug” is any supplement, herb, or substance that is believed or claimed to have cognitive performance boosting properties. The word ‘Nootropic’ has been around since 1972 when it was coined by a Roman Chemist/Psychologist named Corneliu E. Giurgea. The word basically means to ‘to bend or turn the mind’ in Greek.
These various substances do have specific and distinct differences in terms of effects, but the overall selling point is the fact that they aim provide some form of cognitive benefits. Smart Drugs first gained wide popularity shortly after the release of the hit Movie “Limitless“, in which Bradley Cooper portrays a middle-aged man who gains powerful cognitive enhancing benefits after taking a rare street drug referred to as “NZT”. I thought the movie was actually very good, and it was so popular that they even made a show based on it(the show is also quite good IMO).
Some common types of Nootropics:
Some examples of the most popular and the best Nootropic substances include Piracetam (One of the first and still most common nootropics), Noopept(synthesized from Piracetam, but much stronger), Aniracetam, and Adrafinil. Right now most people seem to agree that Noopept is the most effective and potent Nootropic available on the market. Users of this substance claim to have benefits ranging from increased focused, broader creativity and learning capabilities, more wakefulness, improved memory, and even an overall better sense of well-being. On the other hand, others have claimed to have felt after using the substance.
Many of the more commonly known herbs and supplements are often referred to as Nootropics as well(Choline, Alpha GPC, Bacopa, and many others), though many bio-hacking connoisseurs do not consider them to be in the same class as traditional Nootropics like Noopept. This is because a true smart drug should be developed specifically for strong cognitive enhancing effects and thus not something that can be obtained in nature or through diet. Some Nootropic Stack Products also tend to contain caffeine as one of the primary ingredients. Whether or not traditional stimulants such as Adderall should be categorized as nootropics is also a pretty widely debated topic. Another prescription drug called Modafinil(Not to be confused with the smart drug Adrafinil) is also very commonly referred to as a Nootropic. In fact, many popular figures in the Bio-Hacking community such as Dave Asprey from BulletProofExec.com, have documented some very beneficial effects that Modafinil can have. Dave is also the original pioneer of the concept of “Bulletproof Coffee” which is a mixture of Coffee, Organic Grass-Fed Butter, and a bit of healthy oil(such as Coconut oil) and the formula has become extremely popular over the past few years. I highly recommend you check out Dave’s website and explore some of his interesting ideas on health.
What do Smart Drugs Look, Taste, and Smell Like?
Nootropics come in different shapes and sizes, but they generally tend to come in a white crystallized powder/flour form. As for consumption, they’re normally taken in capsules or just mixed with water and nothing else. The taste of many Nootropics tend tends to be a pretty bitter and/or sweet taste, and some users find this to be a major con of using them. As for the smell, most Nootropic products tend to have very little or no smell at all. Since Nootropics are still a relatively new concept, I’m sure these attributes will change as new products hit the marketplace in the future.
A stack is a mix of cognitive enhancing supplements that are known to synergize well together to create potent concoction. In my opinion, ‘Lumunol’ is the most potent and effect nootropic stack on the market right now. It is a single capsule containing 3 different formulated blends: energy(Guarana, Panax Ginseng, Hordenine, and vitamin B12), focus(Noopept, L-Tyrosine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, and Phosphatidylserine), and memory(Alpha GPC and Ginkgo Biloba). The great thing about this stack is that it not only contains the powerful Nootropic Noopept, but it also contains so you don’t have to buy it separately. Many of the other ingredients such as Tyrosine and Ginko are also known to be pretty effective Cognitive Enhancers.
Can Smart Drugs be dangerous? What precautions should be taken when using them?
The effects and dangers of Nootropics are still very under-researched and strong caution is highly advised for those who decide to experiment with them. Smart drugs are known to cause various side effects such as headaches, nausea, and brain fog. When it comes to dose, you definitely do not want to overdue it. Stick to the recommended dose and don’t take them every day. You should also have a talk with your doctor before taking any smart drug to help avoid any adverse reactions or allergies that you may have to them. It’s also recommended that you take a Choline supplement with most Nootropic products on the market. This is because they tend to deplete your levels of Choline much quicker than normal.
Steve Cronin has been documenting his use of cognitive-enhancing products on Youtube for about 2 years. In this video, Steve talks about the main dangers and risks he has experienced and what to look out for if you’re using brain boosting supplements.
Do Nootropics actually work? What types of effects can you expect from them?
Those who seek the attractive potential effects of these drugs may feel inclined to go and purchase a Nootropic after reading this, but before you do that you should continue reading so I can help you make an educated decision. I’ve personally tried 2 different Nootropics myself (Piracetam, Aniracetam). As for the effects of these substances, I do feel like they both did alter my cognition, but in mostly subtle ways. In particular, Noopept seemed to have the most noticeable effects. While taking it I noticed an increase in focus/concentration, and it definitely seemed like my language/communication skills were noticeably better. To get the full effects I’d recommend taking a good stack product such as Lumonol. Just so we’re clear, like to state that these supplements did not give me any Superhuman abilities or knowledge like NZT did to the main character Limitless.
Also, the effects of most smart drugs will take some time to notice. It can take up to a month to notice the full effects of a product, and this is because they need time to build up in your system. Noopept is one of the substances that tend to provide quicker results with 2 weeks being the average amount of time required to notice its effects.
You’re probably wondering, are smart drugs right for you? Well, that really depends on where you’re at in your life and if you’re happy with your mental performance. If you feel as if you’re already a smarty-pants then I would not bother taking any brain boosting supplements because they obviously won’t be necessary. However, if you’re struggling to remember simple things, having a hard time concentrating, or your lacking creative vision, then trying a Nootropic supplement may not be a bad idea. Just remember to use them responsibly and don’t expect incredible results. It’s also important to remember that if you’re not living a healthy lifestyle and eating the wrong foods, smart drugs are still not going to help you very much. Like Steve says in his video about the dangers of smart drugs, you shouldn’t be using them as a means to fill the gaps in your life.
Hopefully this article cleared up any questions you had about Nootropics, and helped you make the right decision on whether or not to take try them. Feel free to leave your own experiences and thoughts in the comments section!