What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics are substances that are believed to enhance the mind’s ability to focus, retain memory, raise cognitive ability, and overall enhance brain performance. Anything from a supplement, botanical, prescription, over the counter drug, or other substance can be considered a nootropic. These brain enhancers are gaining in popularity as more people are turning to them for better work performance, school performance, and overall life. Nootropics can be regulated, or not, and natural, or synthetic. Examining more closely, many people are already unknowingly consuming at least one nootropic as a part of their daily routine.
There are many well known and widely used nootropics. Healthline has a list of 14 of the most popular nootropics. This is the top five from that list.
Caffeine- Number one, and the most well known is caffeine. Caffeine helps bo0st energy, sharpen the mind, and increase focus. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, certain foods, energy drinks, and even in over the counter medication.
L-Theanine- L-Theanine is an amino acid that is naturally occuring in tea. In larger amounts it can make the consumer sleepy, but in small amounts is known to help boost creativity. Consumers can also find L-Theanine in supplement form at local pharmacies or online.
Creatine- Creatine is an amino acid that the human body uses to make protein. When consumed, the brain combines creatine with phosphate which the brain then uses in order to fuel brain cells. Studies show that up to 5g of creatine can be safely taken each day without causing adverse effects.
Ginkgo Biloba- Extract from the ginkgo biloba plant has been shown to help some healthy adults with memory and mental processing if taken daily for six weeks. Is also known for reducing cortisol levels if consumed before a stressful task, allowing the body to maintain lower blood pressure levels while under stress. While results in studies have been promising, more research is needed before drawing solid and safe conclusions.
Nicotine- Though highly addictive, nicotine is considered a nootropic. It has shown to create some higher mental function, improved alertness, and greater attention span in those who consume it. Though not recommended, nicotine definitely belongs on the most popular nootropic list.
What About Adverse Reactions?-
As usual, with the good comes the bad. According to an evidence-based and peer reviewed article, nootropics can be problematic in different scenarios. For instance, in those with addictive personalities, nootropics can possibly become an addiction. There have been instances of young adults going to the hospital with symptoms like paranoia, psychosis, hypomania, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and more. These were all direct results from abuse and overuse of certain nootropics.
Nootropics are such a wide variety of different substances, that any consumer should do their research and be sure to use caution with which type and how much they choose to consume. Since not all nootropics are naturally occurring, and some of them are research chemicals, consumers should always be aware of what they are consuming. Research chemicals should be avoided at all costs. There are plenty of natural alternatives and those with more proven track records that can be researched and explored.
Like with anything, there are positives and negatives. Luckily nootropics have been widely documented and researched over recent years. If consumers are looking for something to help in daily life, there are a ton of safe and proven options out there. At this time, kratom is not considered a nootropic, but it is being studied, and it may be added to the list eventually. It’s promising that these substances are being explored and studied more. Just use caution when choosing nootropics to add into a daily routine.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition.**