September 7, 2019


What Are Nootropics?

Nootropics are substances that enhance your brain's cognitive performance; focus, memory, motivation, relaxation, etc.

These substances do this by interacting with the processes of your brain. Not unlike drinking alcohol or experimenting with herbs.

Origins of Nootropics

The word nootropic came from Romanian chemist and psychologist Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea after he created the synthesized substance Piracetam.

The word nootropic comes from the Greek words νοῦς (nous) or “mind,” and τρέπειν (trepein) which means "to bend the mind".

A true nootropic is defined by these five traits:

  • Enhances memory and ability to learn
  • Protects the brain from toxins both physical and chemical
  • Increases natural cognitive processes
  • Assists brain function in various conditions
  • Must be non-toxic with no adverse side effects

This means that minerals, vitamins, etc. are technically nootropics.

This also means that substances like Modafinil and Adderall NOT considered nootropics. Instead they are considered "smart drugs".

Smart drugs are NOT nootropics. This website does not refer to nootropics as smart drugs outside of an interesting tagline.

You should also know that nootropics are not:
- Intelligence pills (IQ doesn't increase)
- Substitutes for dietary nutrition
- Cures or treatment (consult a doctor)

What Are the Benefits of Nootropics?

The benefits you get depends on the nootropic you consume.

Although the general reason to take nootropics is to improve your life performance, the specific categories tend to be:

Focus. The ability to concentrate on a given task and put you in a state of flow.

Productivity. To boost cognitive abilities via increased wakefulness, creativity and increased resilience for stressful situations.

Memory. Improve short-term memory and enhanced ability to recall memories.

Mood. Decrease anxiety and increase sense of well-being by manipulating neurotransmitters; dopamine, serotonin, etc.

Energy. Increase energy levels by manipulating oxygen delivery to brain, mitochondrial ATP, etc.

Sleep. Promote relaxation and hastens ability to fall into high-quality sleep.

Do Nootropics Have Side Effects?

Nootropics are generally safe if you use them responsibly. You should always read dosage recommendations.

You should be careful and aware of how these substance interact with other substances.

Substances that alter dopamine or serotonin should be carefully monitored. Especially if you use anti-depressant medication (beware Serotonin Syndrome).

Since some substances work as precursors (e.g. racetams) they may cause minor "side effects" on specific parts on your brain.

To counteract these minor "side effects", another supplement may be used alongside it to balance it out.

Although nootropics are free of side effects by definition - the common side effects tend to be:

  • Headaches
  • Moodiness
  • Issues Sleeping
  • Stomach Pain
  • Bloating
  • Brain Fog

Typically you'll be free of these ailments when you do your research and use nootropics responsibly.

Are Nootropics Legal?

It depends on the country where you are located.

Smart drugs like Modafinil and Adderall are prescription drugs that must be prescribed by a licensed medical professional

Nootropics, however, are typically categorized as "dietary supplements".

What may be a prescription drug in one country may be a dietary supplement in another (and vice versa).

In the USA you can get dietary supplements without a prescription. This applies similarly to many other countries.

However, it's best you research the legal status of any specific nootropic in your country.


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