Do you want to boost your cognitive abilities? Do you want to overcome cognitive disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Narcolepsy, or Alzheimer’s disease? If so, you should consider taking nootropics.
Before that, do nootropics really work or are they just another myth? Can cognitive abilities really be boosted or is it all just another rumour? Is there really a cure for cognitive disorders? Kindly read on to find out.
What Are Nootropics? And Do They Really Work?
Nootropics are also known as smart drugs or cognition enhancers. They stimulate our brains in such a way that our focus and energy levels improve. Nootropics are also said to cure cognitive disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Narcolepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Nootropics can broadly be classified into two types: Prescription Nootropics and Non-prescription Nootropics.
Prescription Nootropics are the drugs that doctors prescribe to cure cognitive disorders like ADHD, Narcolepsy, Dementia, etcetera. There are mainly four drugs that come under Prescription Nootropics. They are:
This drug gives a person a lot of energy when ingested. It prevents sudden drowsiness, which is a symptom of the cognitive disorder called Narcolepsy. Use this image for Modafinil.
This drug cures the symptoms of Attention Seeking Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and therefore is used to treat people with ADHD. Use this image for Adderall.
This drug contains Methylphenidate, which can cure ADHD as well as Narcolepsy. Use this image for Ritalin.
This drug contains Memantine, which can cure Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a cognitive disorder that deteriorates a person’s intelligence, memory, and the ability to understand instructions. In other words, a person affected by Alzheimer’s disease will behave like a mentally retarded person. Use this image for Axura.
A person should take the above-mentioned drugs only with a doctor’s prescription. Otherwise, they could give a person the following side-effects:
- An increase in BP and pulse rate.
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping at night.
- Blurred vision.
- An addiction to the above-mentioned prescribed nootropics.
- An enormous spike in libido and the tendency to undertake risky sexual practices (like having premarital sex without using condoms or having sex with cancer or AIDS patients).
Non-Prescription Nootropics or OTC Nootropics
Non-Prescription Nootropics are also called Over The Counter (OTC) Nootropics. They are substances that can be had to boost mental abilities without a doctor’s prescription. Given below is the natural nootropics list:
Caffeine can be found in everyday beverages like coffee, tea, and many brands of soft drinks. They have been found to be safe for people in moderate amounts. Caffeine gives people a lot of energy and heightens their focus.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that a person does not consume more than 500 milligrams of caffeine a day. This amount translates to not more than five cups of coffee a day.
Men who consume excess coffee in a day suffer from insomnia, liver damage, and sometimes, even death. Excess caffeine (which is present in coffee) in women has been linked to an increased probability of abortion during pregnancy.
This is a type of amino acid that is found in black and green teas. L-Theanine relaxes the mind and sends it to a state known as the Alpha state. In the Alpha state, the mind is both relaxed and alert.
Studies have shown that L-Theanine works better if it’s combined with caffeine. L-Theanine boosts a person’s concentration and intelligence. The FDA suggests that a person does not consume more than 400 milligrams of L-Thianine a day. This translates to the consumption of not more than four cups of green or black tea a day.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are the most renowned natural nootropics. They can be found in fish oil and various types of nuts. Omega 3 fatty acids slow down the aging of the brain and strengthen the nerves.
They also stimulate the birth of new and healthy brain cells. Omega 3 fatty acids can interact negatively (interfere) with medications that enhance blood clotting. So beware!
Racetams are chemicals that boost the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. The most popular racetams are:
However, racetams have only been tested on rats successfully. They have not been tested on humans. Hence, a person should consult a doctor before having racetams.
This tree is native to China, Japan, and Korea. Its leaves contain some substances that are nootropic. A research was conducted in China during 2016 with the leaves of Ginkgo Biloba.
The research found that Dementia patients who consumed more than 200 milligrams of Ginkgo Biloba leaves a day for five straight months were cured of Dementia. Since the research was conducted only for five months, critics say that more research is required to confirm the benefits of the leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree.
Panax Ginseng is a shrub that is native to China and Siberia. The roots of this shrub contain nootropic substances that can cure cognitive and neural disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.
The nootropic substances contained in the roots of this shrub also help people’s brains recover after a stroke. The downside to this natural nootropic is that it interacts negatively with many medications. So consult a doctor before you have it, especially if you’re on medications.
The FDA recommends that a person not have more than 1.2 grams of Panax Ginseng a day.
Rhodiola is the biological name given to the roots of a rose plant. It contains certain natural nootropics that boost a person’s intelligence and focus. It can also cure Parkinson’s disease. The FDA recommends that a person not consume more than 200 milligrams of Rhodiola powder a day.
Interestingly, the effectiveness of Rhodiola has been found to vary from person to person. Some Parkinson patients have found Rhodiola to be highly effective while some others have found it to be only moderately effective.
Creatine is an amino acid that is a component of many proteins. It boosts the muscular strength and cognitive ability of a person. Creatine improves the memory and intelligence of a person.
It does not, however, enhance the focus of a person. The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends that a person takes 30 grams of creatine a day to be in good mental and physical health.
What Nootropics are used for and how do nootropics work? Can everyone eat nootropic or is there an age limit?
Nootropics boost cognitive abilities in the following ways:
- They enhance the supply of fatty acids to the mitochondria in our brain cells.
- Mitochondria are the powerhouse of brain cells and boosting their activities, indirectly boosts one’s cognitive ability.
- Nootropics help our brains absorb more oxygen from the blood that is being supplied to it. Hence, we remain fresher and mentally more active and alert for a longer time.
There is no age limit as to who can consume nootropics. They can be had by children and old people alike. Prescription nootropics, as the name suggests, should be had only with a doctor’s prescription.
Some OTC or natural nootropics interfere with some medications. Hence, if you’re on medications of any sort, you must consult a doctor before you consume any natural nootropic.
What are the pros and cons of Nootropics?
Like all things on Earth, nootropics too have flip and flop sides. The pros and cons of nootropics are thus:
- Nootropics provide short and long term benefits to brain health.
- Some nootropics provide relief within a few hours while others must be consumed months on end to get tangible benefits.
- Some natural nootropics are more effective when combined with other natural nootropics. Since natural nootropics are easily and widely available, patients with cognitive disorders can benefit immensely by combining and having certain natural nootropics.
- Some natural nootropics also strengthen one’s muscles along with boosting one’s cognitive abilities. Hence, they are like a coin with heads on both sides and must be consumed regularly (in safe doses).
- In short, nootropics boost a person’s intelligence, concentration, energy, memory, mood, and enthusiasm.
- Nootropics, both natural and prescription-based, cause harm to one’s health in large/excess doses. Sometimes, they can also prove fatal in large doses.
- Some natural nootropics interfere with many medications and must be consumed only with a doctor’s advice, especially if one is on medications. If not, they could cause poisoning and prove fatal.
- Sufficient research is lacking for many natural nootropics. Hence, their health benefits cannot be said with certainty.
- If bad quality ingredients are used to manufacture natural or prescription nootropics or if they are manufactured in unhygienic conditions, they could turn poisonous and thereby fatal.
- An overdose of natural or prescription nootropics can cause side effects like diarrhea, hyperactivity, insomnia, addiction, allergies, fever, headaches, and sometimes even death.
Here is the list of best nootropics you must be aware of in 2020.
According to a survey conducted in 2020. There are the top 10 natural nootropics based on effectiveness, user reviews, availability, and cost effectiveness:
- Bacopa monnieri
- Rhodiola rosea
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom
- Vitamin B12
What do people and doctors think about Nootropics? According to the internet research and doctors and people’s review.
Nootropics have received mixed reviews from people. Some people are curious about it. Some are cautious about it. Some have said that it has been immensely beneficial to them while others have considered it to be a waste of their money.
I have listed the reviews for a brand of a nootropic called Neuro Push. Kindly go through it and see if it’ll be worth your money.
Some nootropics are no doubt well researched and have proven to be beneficial to mankind. They can be had without fear. Prescription nootropics should be had only with a doctor’s prescription and people on medications of any sort should be careful about consuming natural nootropics as they can interfere with some medications.
Some natural nootropics are not very well researched and should be avoided altogether to be on the safer side. If you want to be sure about the best natural nootropic for you while buying it, you can read and compare the reviews of a lot of nootropics given on Your Inception website, which is run by Greg, the founder of Your Inception .
What is the maximum limit for taking any kind of nootropic?
No nootropic should be consumed in excess of 600 milligrams a day as it is the maximum limit allowed on any kind of nootropic, be it OTC or Prescription-based. People generally take nootropic pills twice a day. One in the afternoon after lunch and one in the night after dinner.
Are natural or OTC nootropics better than prescription-based ones?
Yes, generally, natural nootropics are better than prescription-based ones as they have fewer side effects, are more widely and cheaply available, and are more effective than prescription-based ones, especially when combined together and had.
Is CBD a natural nootropic?
CBD is not officially or globally recognized as a natural nootropic but it has shown health benefits that are similar to natural nootropics like improving cognitive ability, relieving depression and stress, and curing Insomnia.
The full form of CBD is Cannabidiol. It is one of the 60 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant.
Do nootropics show up in a drug test?
Drug tests are usually done to check the presence of cocaine, PCP, amphetamines, opiates, and THC. So no natural nootropics show up during drug tests as they do not contain those compounds but there is always a chance for a false positive.