Free Shipping on U.S. Orders Over $35 100% Satisfaction Guarantee


What Are Nootropics and Do They Actually Work?

What Are Nootropics?

The term 'nootropics' actually encompasses a wide variety of different substances that share one basic commonality: they enhance the capacity of your brain to perform certain mental functions.

From improved memory recall and cognition to better mood management, nootropics are substances that can offer all sorts of potential benefits to your brain.

Also known as ‘smart drugs’ and ‘cognitive enhancers’, nootropics come in many forms. From organic-based compounds like herbs and amino acids to completely synthetic drugs designed and manufactured in a laboratory.

Nootropics of all kinds have seen tremendous growth in popularity in recent years. They're now used by athletes at all competitive levels and are relied on by many programmers and developers in the tech world. In fact, nootropics have made their way into mainstream society.

Well, if we want to be completely accurate, they’ve actually been there for quite some time. In reality, you’ve probably been taking nootropics for years, you just didn’t know it.  If you’ve ever had a cup of coffee or a spot of tea, then you have taken a nootropic.  

Caffeine is the naturally occurring psychoactive ingredient found in coffee beans and tea leaves. Its ability to jolt your brain into a heightened state of alertness makes it the most popular nootropic substance in the world.

But it’s not just their energy-boosting properties that have made nootropics popular, they're known to enhance your cognitive functions on several different levels.

Do Nootropics Work: What Sort of Benefits Have Been Observed?

There are a number of different benefits associated with taking nootropics. Some have been thoroughly researched and discussed in scientific journals while others have not. Here we’re going to focus on 6 scientifically-backed aspects of your mental functioning that can be improved by nootropic substances.

What are the benefits of taking nootropics?

1. Nootropics Can Help With Your Memory

Several different nootropic substances have been observed to have memory-enhancing effects in randomized clinical trials. Through a number of different pathways, nootropics likeginseng have been shown to help boost cognitive functions like working memory and memory recall.

2. They Might Also Help to Improve Your Mood

There are also a number of nootropics that can aid in supporting your peace of mind. Some, in fact, can help you to more effectively deal with stress. Natural amino acids like l-theanine, for example, have been shown to help alleviate feelings of nervousness and uneasiness in several human-based clinical trials.

3. Your Motivation Might Improve With Nootropics

Whether you’re a student, working professional or competitive athlete, people from all walks of life find themselves struggling to summon the inner motivation they need. Luckily, nootropics like 5-HTP can help to boost your drive and will power through the regulation of brain chemicals like serotonin, which helps to produce a calm and focused state of mind.    

4. Nootropics May Boost Your Creativity

The tech world has played a major role in the popularization of nootropics in the mainstream. For decades now, some of Silicon Valley’s most creative minds have been experimenting with all different kinds of nootropics to enhance their creativity and imagination -- some of them legal, some of them not so much.  

While there are some extreme practices, like micro-dosing LSD, there are plenty of more conservative (and legal) nootropics that can enhance your creativity.  Huperzine-a (HPA),for example, is a natural substance derived from the Huperzia Serrata plant. Artists across many different disciplines have found that supplementing with HPA,helps to enhance their ability to think creatively -- similar findings have also begun to emerge from within the scientific community as well.

5. They Can Increase Your Attention

One reason prescription-based nootropics like Adderall are ubiquitous on college campuses across the U.S. is that they can dramatically increase your ability to concentrate and focus for extended periods of time.

While they may be effective, some synthetic substances may have unknown health risks. Certain herbal extracts and supplements like rhodiola rosea and choline, on the other hand, can also help to increase your productivity and don't require a prescription -- they've also been well-researched and don't appear to pose any serious long-term health risks.     

6. They May Also Help With Learning

In addition to enhancing cognitive skills like your working memory, some nootropics aid in other aspects of the learning process as well. From information processing to retention and storage, nootropics like l-tyrosine help to improve your cognitive capabilities both inside and outside of the classroom.

On the other hand, nootropics like GABA help to boost Alpha brain waves (they’re more in the middle of the spectrum), which helps to alleviate stress-related feelings by producing a calm, relaxed mental state. (7)

What Do Nootropics Actually Do?

how do nootropics work

When it comes to the question “how do nootropics work”, it is tough to boil things down into a one size fits all answer. There are dozens of different nootropic substances and each of them interacts with the brain in a distinct way.   

We can, however, break them down into different categories based on the brain functions in which they affect. Some nootropics may interact in your brain by influencing the production of certain chemicals, while others may instead help to promote improved blood circulation and nutrient absorption. Some may do both. Others may do neither.   

In general, nootropics help to improve your cognitive abilities in one or moreof the following ways:

⫸Protect Your Brain

Some nootropics function as neuroprotectors,meaning that they help to protect your brain against other substances that can impair cognitive abilities like memory and information processing.

For example, l-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves. One of its functions is to inhibit the release of the excitatory chemical glutamate in the brain. Glutamate is a natural and necessary substance in your brain, but at high levels, it can induce feelings of stress and uneasiness.(1)

⫸Modulate Brain Chemicals

Nootropics can also work by increasing the production of certain types of chemicals in your brain, known as neurotransmitters. These are signal messengers that travel from nerve to nerve. Brain chemicals such as GABA, serotonin, and dopamine are known to enhance your feeling of well-being.

For example, a nootropic like 5 HTP boosts the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin in your brain, which helps to produce a relaxed, worry-free state of mind. (2)(3)

On the flip side, some types of nootropics work in the opposite way: by blocking the production of neurotransmitters that produce unwanted effects like stress and apprehension.

For instance, some nootropic substances help to improve your mood by targeting and inhibiting the production of cortisol, which is a neurotransmitter directly associated with stress. (4)

⫸Support Brain Energy

Nootropics such as creatine (a non-essential amino acid) help to boost the brain’s energy by increasing the output of certain chemicals such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your brain cells.

ATP is derived from the breakdown of food molecules like amino acids and glucose and is your brain’s primary chemical fuel source.  

The increased availability of ATP in the brain is believed to boost cognitive skills such as critical thinking and short-term memory. Some studies on creatine, for instance, have demonstrated that it increases ATP production which in turn helps to improve the cognitive performance.(5)

⫸Regulate Brain Waves

Another way in which some nootropics interact with your brain is by regulating the frequency of your brain waves. It all sounds pretty complicated...and it kind of is.

But in general terms, your brain waves fluctuate across a number of different frequencies, from delta at the low end, all the way up to gamma at the high end.

Different frequencies are associated with different states of mind. Some nootropics help to boost a particular brain wave frequency to produce a desired mental state.  

For instance, theta brain waves (which are on the lower end of the frequency spectrum) are believed to be closely associated with the creative process and the subconscious mind.

⫸Support Brain Blood Flow

Improved blood flow, circulation, and oxygen utilization are also benefits associated with some kinds of nootropics. Substances like ginkgo biloba (a natural herb), target tiny blood vessels in the brain, helping to increase oxygen uptake by the nerve cells these vessels supply.

Increased cerebral blood circulation is believed to improve your ability to perform cognitive tasks such as those that require memory recall and information processing. (6)

How to Take Nootropics Safely

nootropic safety

When taken at the correct dosages, there are many nootropics that appear to be safe for adults.However, it is important to point out that there has yet to be much research on the long term effects of many nootropic substances.

In any case, here are some basic rules to follow in order to minimize the potential dangers associated with taking nootropic substances:

Tip #1: Hold Off Until Your Brain Fully Develops

The primary function of a nootropic is to interact with your brain. However, when your brain is still developing, you may be at an increased risk of doing unintended damage. Long story short, it’s probably best to hold off on the cognitive enhancers until your brain is fully developed -- for most people, that’s somewhere in their mid-20s.(8)

Tip #2: Do Your Research

Know exactly what it is you are taking and why it is you are taking it. You should at least have a basic understanding of how the substance works and what its effects are before you begin taking it.

If you are looking for nootropic supplements, make sure that you are getting products from reputable manufacturers and distributors. Unfortunately, there are many tainted and/or miss-advertised supplements out there, so make sure that you are purchasing 3rd party tested, well-reviewed products.

Tip #3: Beware of Interactions With Other Drugs

One of the biggest things to be aware of before taking any nootropic product is the potential interactions it may have when combined with medication that you’re already on. If you are regularly taking some type of prescription drug, you will want to consult with a medical professional before adding a nootropic substance into the mix.

Can You Take Different Nootropics Together?

The short answer is yes, you can definitely take certain nootropics together in order to enhance their effects.  In fact, a number of supplement companies offer ‘nootropics stacks’ that combine several different ingredients to further enhance their effects on your brain.  

There are lots of different nootropics that become more effective when paired together; however, there are also some that become more dangerous.

As such, one of the easiest ways to avoid any of the dangers associated with stacking nootropics is by leaving the mixing and matching to the professionals. As with any supplement, do your research and be sure that you’re using ingredients that are safety and quality tested!

Brain Nootropics Stack

Improve focus, memory & recall w/ these 5 synergistic & clinically proven natural nootropics.

Learn More

Wrap Up

From improving your memory to stabilizing your mood, there are a number of benefits nootropic substances have to offer. They come in many different forms and each of them interacts with your brain through a unique set of pathways.

While thereappear to be numerous natural nootropics that are both safe and effective, there are some synthetic substances that relatively little is known about.

Many nootropic substances are available on the open market, while others are only available as prescription-based medication here in the U.S. When the appropriate factors are taken into consideration, there appears to be a number of substances with positive benefits and no serious long-term health effects.

Leave a reply

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Comment policy: We love comments and appreciate the time that readers spend to share ideas and give feedback. However, all comments are manually moderated and those deemed to be spam or solely promotional will be deleted.


Popular search terms: Whey Protein, Creatine, Multivitamin, CLA, TDEE Calculator, Nootropics, Burn Fat, Build Muscle, Energy