Nootropics are some of the most exciting and effective ways to biohack human performance – discover what they are, what they do, how they work, what the most popular ones are, if they’re legal and how to pick what’s right for you.
What are nootropics? Nootropics, also known as Smart Drugs or Cognitive Enhancers, are synthetically created compounds designed to enhance the cognitive abilities of healthy individuals. In
Here’s what we’ll cover as we go in to detail:
- What is Biohacking?
- What are Nootropics?
- Why Should You Use Nootropics?
- Why Should You Use Nootropics?
In today’s busy world, everyone is constantly looking for a way to stay ahead. Between the daily chaos of balancing work, family and friends, it can be difficult if not impossible to reach peak performance.
I mean, who DOESN’T want to perform at their very best?
Today, people are working longer hours than their parents and grandparents. It’s not uncommon to feel fatigued, depleted, and exhausted on a daily basis. Some days we may feel like we can barely function at all.
BUT what if I told you there was a way to tap into your full potential, get smarter, think better and have more energy than you’ve ever had before?
If you’re conjuring up images of Bradley Cooper (Limitless) using that miracle brain enhancing drug to become filthy rich, you’re not alone!
Okay, so maybeyou won’t become a millionaire in the next 24 hours, but we might be able to help you do the next best thing – be the best YOU.
Sound too good to be true?
By now you’re probably expecting us to introduce you to some brand new miracle drug? Sorry to disappoint, but that’s definitely not going to happen!
But what if I told you there are brain enhancers available backed by thousands of pieces of published research based on hundreds of clinical trials over the last SIXTY YEARS?
We aren’t messing around here.
In 1964, a chemist by the name of Dr. Cornelieu E. Giurgea wanted to create a category of drugs designed to improve memory and enhance the ability to learn.
Dr. Giurgea was no slouch either. Known as ‘the godfather of cognitive performance research science’, Dr. Giurgea was able to make an entirely new class of substances that did all that and more. He called these new substances ‘nootropics’ meaning ‘mind enhancer’.
Mind enhancer? What could be more brilliant?!
Dr. Giurgea may well have been the first ever biohacker and didn’t even know it…
What is Biohacking?
If you aren’t familiar with the term, you may be invisioning scientists performing intricate experiments on people (uhhh scary right?).
Although science plays a large role in biohacking, it’s probably NOT what you think.
Biohacking involves making your body and mind better or ‘hacking’ it in order to get smarter, faster, stronger, etc.
Who doesn’t want that?
This may involve the foods you eat, supplements you take, and even thoughts you think. Basically, it’s changing your whole life for the better.
Have you ever tried a new diet? That’s a form of biohacking.
Do you drink coffee everyday? Also biohacking.
Do you do anything and everything under the sun to sleep better? Yup, that’s definitely biohacking!
As you can see, biohacking can relate to a number of different areas.
One way biohackers improve their bodies and minds is through the use of nootropics. So just what are nootropics?
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics are not medicine but can be used to treat certain ailments. Each type of nootropic is unique in their own way and every person will see different benefits.
Nootropics are not only used for making you smarter, but can also make you healthier. Everyone from stroke patients to people with seizures have used nootropics to improve their health.
While no formal criteria has ever been established for labelling a compound as a nootropic, they all generally follow a similar set of principles including:
- Improvement of memory and increased learning capabilities;
- Enhanced cognitive awareness;
- Protection from neurological decline;
- Improved communication within the brain; and
- Must be free of sedatives, stimulants, or other harmful ingredients.
Any drug or supplement that makes you smarter, more energetic, or a clearer thinker can be considered a nootropic.
In practice, nootropics aren’t meant to improve your brain, but rather make your brain work better.
By incorporating nootropics into daily life, we can take control of our brain’s ability better than ever before.
Why Should You Use Nootropics?
Anyone who wants greater control of their brain, mood, and state of mind should consider looking into nootropics.
So basically that’s everybody right?
Many people start their morning with coffee to help them power through the day. Nootropics act in a similar way, only better.
The most common reasons people use nootropics are:
- Increased productivity
- Nootropics as alternative treatment
- Controlling stress and anxiety
While these are the most common uses of nootropics, their broad range of uses go far beyond what’s listed here.
Do More in Less Time
If you feel like you aren’t as productive as you’d like to be, you’re not alone.
Very few people are naturally productive all day, every day. In fact, some people never get close to full productivity.
Nootropics can help unlock some of the brain power you’ve been missing out on. If you’re in need of greater focus at work, college,as you build up to or during an event, or for some other activity, nootropics may help you reach a higher mental state.
The best part is you don’t need a prescription for them.
These days, most people have an attention span of around ten minutes. That’s barely enough time to switch your computer on.
How are you supposed to work an eight to ten hour day when you’re bored after ten stinking minutes?
Nootropics can help you with both short and long periods of intensive focus. For short periods of concentration such as examinations or public speeches, nootropics can help you perform at your very best.
For longer periods, such as work days or extended periods of study, you could look into taking Piracetam, Phenylpiracetam, or Adrafinil. These nootropics have been shown to enhance learning ability, increase motivation, and even spawn creativity.
A 2012 study cited that nootropics showed memory enhancing properties in clinical trials. In fact, some experts have claimed nootropics are so effective they could be considered a form of cheating and should be banned.
You heard right – CHEATING! That’s how well nootropics can work.
What Else Can Nootropics Do?
While nootropics, smart drugs and cognitive enhancers are not medicine, they may do some things to improve your health.
In a 2000 study performed on recovering stroke patients, it was found Piracetam along with speech therapy can improve language recovery. Stroke patients recovered faster both verbally and physically.
Nootropics can also help people struggling with epilepsy. In a 2000 studyperformed on patients with epilepsy, nootropics proved to be an effective way to treat symptoms of the disease.
For people that have been taking prescriptions their whole lives, it could be a better option.
Nootropics not only increase your mental ability, but also help prevent againstbrain damage as we age. Many nootropics were originally created with the intention of protecting the brain against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A 2017 studyperformed on animals showed the nootropic Brahmi Ghrita to be an effective agent in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. No matter your age, it can help protect your finest asset, your brain.
Controlling Stress and Anxiety
The benefits of nootropics go far beyond increasing mental acuity and improving focus. Certain nootropics can make you feel calmer and more relaxed.
In today’s crazy world, we could all use a little helping unwinding…
If you feel distracted or worried about outside problems, nootropics could help you overcome stresses related to work, family and social problems.
L-Theanine is a nootropic designed to provide calming benefits within the brain. A 2008 study showed L-Theanine induces a calming sensation without the negative side effects of drowsiness.
For people with anxiety, certain nootropics may provide a better alternative to traditional medicine. A 1987 studyshowed the nootropics Adafenoxate and Meclofenoxate produce an anti-anxiety result.
As a form of alternative therapy, certain people may benefit from incorporating nootropics into their treatment regimen.
How do Nootropics Work?
There’s no single set of regulations to define what a nootropic is, but the original creator Dr. Corneliu Giurgea said they should meet all the following criteria:
- Enhancement of memory and increased ability to learn
- Assist in overall brain function
- Provide neurological protection for the brain
- Improve the efficacy of mechanisms within the brain
- Possess little to no side effects and be non-toxic
The goal of any nootropic substance is to boost brain function and improve overall brain health. Better brain functionality will help you live a better life.
Hundreds of clinical studies have been performed on various nootropics, but its exact mechanisms are still not fully understood.
Better Connection in the Brain
Nootropics help your brain fire on all cylinders to maximize your production. Piracetam is a popular nootropic believed to help your brain function. One of the neurotransmitters it effects is acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine can help improve memory, concentration, and learning. A studyperformed in 1988 found the nootropic Piracetam increased acetylcholine receptors in the brain. In other words, memory improved after taking the brain booster.
Nootropics also help to improve neuron connections within the brain. A neurotransmitter frequently involved in synaptic connections is glutamate. Glutamate controls how strong or weak synaptic connectivity is. A 1991 studyfound nootropics such as Piracetam increase glutamate receptor sensitivity.
What does this mean exactly? Better memory and improved mental performance.
Improved Brain Communication
Although our brains have evolved tremendously compared to our prehistoric ancestors, we could still do more to improve our brain as a whole. Nootropics may help to improve blood flow and communicative channels within the brain.
Brain function relies on proper circulation in the brain. A 1987 studyperformed in Russia showed brain function becomes maximized when blood flow allows oxygen and nutrients into the brain. Nootropics improve brain metabolism allowing nutrients into the brain.
Nootropics also provide a vehicle for information transference between both sides of the brain. By allowing the brain to communicate better, motor skills and coordination are improved. Not only is this beneficial for stroke recovery patients, but it can also help everyday people perform better.
Nootropics can empower the way you think, feel, and perform.
What are the Most Popular Types of Nootropics?
Nootropics are a broad-based category of supplements or drugs designed to enhance functionality within the brain.
Whether it be for memory, cognition, focus, or creativity, everybody is looking for that extra edge to maximize their performance.
You may be wondering what are the most popular nootropics out there?
Even if you haven’t heard of the term ‘nootropics’ before, you may be taking certain nootropics already and aren’t even aware of it.
Some of the most popular nootropic options on the market today include:
- Fish oil
- Modafinil and Armodafinil
- Bacopa Monnieri
You’re probably already taking some of these items. Let’s take a closer look at some of them in detail.
You may surprised to find out caffeine can actually be considered a nootropic. If you’ve been drinking coffee your whole life, you already know the benefits it can provide.
As a natural nootropic, it can provide many natural brain enhancing benefits. Whether you need to stay awake after lack of sleep, focus on your big presentation, or improve mental energy, caffeine is the pick-me-up of choice for millions of people around the world.
Caffeine can be naturally occurring or from man made sources such those included in supplements and energy drinks. A 2006 studyconcluded nondependent caffeine users perform better when taking caffeine.
Fill up that cup of coffee one more time please!
Whether you want to stay awake or just be more alert, caffeine sources such as coffee provide a valuable mental boost.
You’ve probably consumed L-theanine at some point in your life, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. As an amino acid found in green tea it provides many mind enhancing benefits.
When you drink green tea, you’ve probably experienced a sense of relaxation. This is no coincidence. A 2007 study showed L-theanine helps increase relaxation and produces an anti-stress response in humans.
Become calmer and less stressed? Where do I sign up?
L-theanine also enhanced memory and improved focus in a synergistic manner when taken with caffeine. It can also make you a better person when taken in moderation.
You could take L-theanine alone or with caffeine and there are several nootropic supplements that combine both of these ingredients as well.
It’s no secret fish oil has an array of health benefits, but did you know it’s a nootropic as well?
With its Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil has several cardiovascular effects including lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and decreasing the chances of heart attack and stroke.
A 2012 studyshowed fish oil can also help improve cognitive function and create a positive mindset. Fish oil can help avoid memory loss and possibly even treat depression.
No wonder they said fish was good for you!
The two types of fatty acids in fish oil are EPA and DHA. Most people don’t eat enough of these two fatty acids in their diet, which is why fish oil supplementation can be a great way to make sure you do.
So why not just eat oily fish like Salmon?
Good question. Fish goes off quickly and can be a pain to cook properly, and not all fish have the best kind of oil either. Fish oil supplements, on the other hand, last a long time and are a nutrient rich, easy to take alternative.
When you think of Creatine, the first thought that pops into your head is probably muscular juiced up bodybuilders hitting the gym hard. But did you know Creatine is also a nootropic?
A recent 2018 studyon Creatine supplementation showed cognitive function improved with regular use.
Short-term memory and intelligence increased with Creatine use in healthy individuals. The study also suggests creatine may help patients with dementia or other issues related to brain aging.
So next time you walk down the supplement aisle you might want to pick up some Creatine, even if you won’t be hitting the weights at the gym any time soon!
Modafinil and Armodafinil
As two of the most powerful synthetic nootropics on the market, Modafinil and Armodafinil are prescription medications designed for narcolepsy. However, they’ve also been found to have other benefits.
Modafinil has been shown to improve memory, increase attention span, and quicken reaction time. In a studyperformed on people that were awake for 60 hours straight, Modafinil was found to effectively fight the effects of fatigue.
Like other nootropics, Modafinil can also increase feelings of well-being and motivation. A 2013 studyshowed people taking Modafinil had increased rates of enjoyment while performing brain tasks along with improved performance.
You might not have heard of Bacopa Monnieri, but it could be considered one of the best all-natural nootropics on the market. With its ability to help you think and learn, it could be the missing link needed to biohack your life.
Created as a form of traditional Indian medicine, Bacopa Monnieri has been shown in studies to improve various aspects of memory. In a 2008 studyperformed on older individuals, it was found to be a safe method of improving mental performance.
Bacopa Monnieri has also been shown to provide brain protectionin aging individuals and increase attention span.
The benefits of Bacopa Monnieri are not strictly limited to older individuals. A 2001 studyon younger adults showed improved memory, better learning, and higher information retention.
No matter your age, you might want to look into Bacopa Monnieri supplementation for its cognitive benefits.
As the world’s first synthetic nootropic created over 50 years ago, Piracetam may well be the first ever modern nootropic. As one of the most widely researched supplements ever, numerous academic publishings have showed the benefits of Piracetam use.
Piracetam is used for a variety of different uses including: cognitive enhancement, memory improvement, treatment of depression, and prevention of neurological decline.
Piracetam has a range of benefits for a variety of users. Various studies have also showed Piracetam may be a treatment for other types of diseases including schizophrenia, epilepsy, and recovery from strokes.
Piracetam has worked for millions of people around the world and it just may work for you too!
Are Nootropics Legal?
Since the terms nootropics, smart drugs and cognitive enhancers cover such a wide range of compounds, vitamins, minerals, drugs, supplements, and food it can be difficult to determine the legality of every single substance. Many nootropics are commonly purchased from vendors everywhere. However, the legality of others may vary.
Our advice is that due to the nature of FDA laws in the USA and other government’s rules regarding food and supplements, some vendors may not sell certain items – so there’s no one right answer.
So be sure to check your country’s or region’s laws and regulations, and do your own research if you have any questions on specific nootropics, but don’t forget if there’s a problem getting what you want where you live, look for an alternative version that is OK to buy and use.
Choosing the Right Nootropics for You
With so many nootropics on the market, it can be difficult to determine which ones are right for you. The effects of each nootropic will depend on the person.
Remember, nootropics, smart drugs and cognitive enhancers should be used on an individual basis, so the best advice is to take things step-by-step and try using different nootropics one at a time to see which are best suited to you and your lifestyle.