Nootropics are "brain boosting" supplements that improve cognitive performance and improve brain health. Nootropics work in different ways to provide a whole host of benefits to the brain, including improved memory, increased attention, increased focus, increased alertness, motivation, mood, stress resistance, and relaxation, to to name a few (7).
Neuroscientists consider the human brain to be the most complex structure in the universe - let alone in the human body. Responsible for producing our memories, thoughts, actions, feelings and experiences of the world; this jelly-like mass of tissue contains a staggering one hundred billion nerve cells (or neurons) and the complexity of the connectivity between cells in our brain is mind-boggling (2). Given the complexity of our brainpower, understanding nootropics and how they work can seem confusing.
We're here to provide information on these "brain boosters" by defining what they are, how they work, and helping you identify true nootropics with the strongest brain benefits.
Definition: Nootropics are natural or synthetic substances that can be consumed to improve mental performance and cognitive functions in healthy people. Nootropics have recently gained in popularity and are most often used to improve memory and intelligence, boost focus and motivation, as well as creativity. The term nootropic and everything summarized in it was coined by chemist and psychologist Dr Corneliu Giurgea in 1972.
Brain stimulants belong to two categories: natural substances such as Ginkgo biloba, creatine and caffeine; and synthetic prescription drugs, such as Adderall, and over-the-counter supplements such as Noopept or Piracetam.
Protecting the Brain - The brain reaches approximately peak mass at age 25 and then begins to contract. Substances that work to counteract this shrinkage or promote the growth of new brain cells may help our brains age normally.
The Mood - Corresponding to different moods, nootropics can up-regulate or down-regulate brain signals. For example, L-theanine, an amino acid abundant in green tea, can upregulate alpha waves and relax you.
Antioxidants - Free radicals are a by-product of many normal body processes. An inability to effectively remove free radicals is linked to brain atrophy (shrinkage of the brain). Compounds with a strong antioxidant effect may reduce the consequences of damage caused by free radicals.
Stress Resistance - Nootropics have well-documented anti-stress benefits that can improve performance for everyone from college students to competitive athletes.
Cerebral blood flow - a substance that increases blood flow to the brain will increase oxygen and support the conversion of glucose into energy. The consequences of insufficient oxygen supply to the brain can range from short-term thought disturbances and / or neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and long-term stroke.
Neurotransmission - these are compounds that send signals to the brain and body. There are many different types that can alter our mood, influence when we get up or go to bed, and even affect our appetite
Learning - students or anyone interested in learning and retaining new information can take advantage of the various benefits that nootropics can offer to cognitive learning processes such as memory formation, storage and recall
Attention - various aspects of attention, focus, and focus enhanced by nootropics can give users a productivity advantage
Physical effects - Although they are supplements for the brain, nootropics are taking off in the sports nutrition market due to their ability to increase motivation, step up training, and promote focus in the gym
Nootropics can take many different forms, each capable of producing one or more of the benefits mentioned above. Caffeine and turmeric are some of the natural nootropics. There are many other over-the-counter supplements and prescription tablets such as Adderall that are known to be mass-consumed by college students.
How effective they are depends largely on when they are taken, as certain situations will affect the type of effects required. For example, caffeine - the world's most popular nootropic substance - is used better in the morning than in the evening, where it can potentially negatively affect the quality of sleep.
Nootropics are found in micronutrients, vitamins and minerals that our bodies need in trace amounts for growth, development and well-being. They are "essential" which means that the body cannot create them in sufficient quantities. They must come from the food around us. There are 18 in total and these all have an impact on brain function.
Choline:Found in maximum amounts in dairy products, eggs and meat, people following a plant-based diet may not consume enough. Choline is linked to healthy liver function and also enables the production of acetylcholine, the compound believed to be responsible for transforming processed data into information. Attempts at high-dose supplementation have been made in hopes of improving the brain's ability to convert information into long-term memories. While eggs, milk, and beef are the main sources, it is also found in plant-based foods such as:Mushrooms, Baked beans, quinoa, Roasted soya nuts, Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, Peanuts
Amino acids:These are the building blocks of proteins; with twenty in total, nine of them are "essential" and therefore must come from food / supplementation. Some amino acids are praised for their muscle building properties, others are known to have a calming effect. In addition to having unique effects, the number of amino acids needed to achieve these desired effects varies from person to person. Each of us has a unique sensitivity to different amino acids, similar to caffeine, some of us being able to tolerate higher doses than others (5, 8).
With the popularity of nootropics continuing to grow, the decision to choose has become somewhat confusing due to the large variety available. Hundreds of people claim to improve the clarity of their thoughts, their speech, while others simply claim to increase their concentration and attention span. It should be noted that the effectiveness of nootropics will largely depend on the individual.
The best nootropic for you also depends on what you hope to gain. Are you looking for a complete product to improve concentration, increase motivation, reduce stress and improve mood? If this is the case, it is recommended to opt for a synergistic type product containing many ingredients in order to take full advantage of the benefits of each and increase the possibilities of activating several complementary brain pathways.
Nootropics can be available as a capsule, powder, or drink. As a popular drink, many people are now swapping them out to replace their afternoon coffee or energy drinks to keep them in shape for the rest of the day. Whether you prefer a capsule or a drink, this is your preference. drinks can be tasty while a capsule can be convenient.
Smart prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin have the strongest and greatest effects on memory and attention. Many natural nootropics are used in alternative medicine; However, as their effects are generally more subtle, they are sometimes combined to increase their effectiveness. Nootropics are being used more and more in the high pressure competitive society, but since this is a relatively new concept, more research is needed to better understand their benefits and to establish the most effective source.