Nootropics is a term for “smart drugs” or cognitive enhancers, which are natural or synthetic compounds that improve brain function
Between the high-performing entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley and the cutthroat Wall Street world, nootropics are growing in popularity and usage.
The film, “Limitless,” brought cognitive enhancement into the mainstream by showing a fictitious and exaggerated benefit of smart drugs.
Unfortunately, there is no pill that transforms you into a cognitive superman.
Nootropics cannot lead to overnight financial prosperity, but they can help to achieve a higher level of performance required in this increasingly competitive world.
Goals and Uses of Nootropic Drugs
Even if the term “nootropics” is new, you are probably familiar with the concept of improving cognitive abilities with the use of a substance. Coffee (and caffeine) is one of the most consumed beverages on the planet and is used in every college campus, hospital and business known to man.
Many of the most popular and well-studied nootropics are herbs and plants from traditional Chinese or Ayurvedic Indian medicine, which have been used for cognitive enhancement for thousands of years.
Before you learn what to take and how it can help you to get ahead, take a closer look at these benefits and how they fit into your goals and needs.
Memory – We could all use a better memory, but in some cases it is more important than others.
University students involved with difficult and rigorous testing need to have a better memory than most.
There are numerous memory enhancers that work for short and long term benefits. Piracetam and choline are the most common memory enhancing nootropics.
Focus – Caffeine is the most well known nootropic that improves focus, but there are a range of others that provide focus with a sense of clarity as well.
Caffeine can be paired with a compound called L-theanine to improve focus further.
Mood Enhancer – Enhancing your mood can be a conduit to more energy, confidence and greater cognitive abilities.
Some nootropics that enhance mood do so by increasing brain chemicals that lead to happiness while others reduce anxiety.
Ever had test anxiety? Nootropics like bacopa monnieri can reduce that so you can take the test in peace.
Anti-Fatigue – College students, entrepreneurs and Wall Street executives know about long nights and restless work weeks.
To combat fatigue and sleep deprivation nootropics like creatine and rhodiola rosea are effective.
Reasoning and Creativity – Influencing creativity and reasoning skills is important for artists and those looking for creative solutions to common problems. Iodine, creatine and nicotine can actually be great creativity enhancing nootropics.
Starting Compounds and Nootropic Stacks
A nootropic stack refers to combining nootropics together for synergistic effects. For beginners, stacking nootropics together can improve general cognitive performance.
Caffeine + L-Theanine
If you think coffee alone is useful for your studying or professional work then you will assuredly love L-theanine with it.
This amino acid is found in green tea and can negate the side effects of caffeine use while enhancing the positives.
Some of the advantages include improved focus and attention compared to caffeine alone, relaxation response from alpha brain waves, as well as reduced heart rate, blood pressure and jitters.
Taking 200 mg of L-theanine with every 8-ounce cup of coffee will provide the best results. Keep this at a 1:2, caffeine to L-theanine ratio if possible.
Creatine supplements are not just for bros in the gym. It is a powerful brain-enhancing drug, as well.
The benefits of creatine are enhanced energy formation in the brain, improved short-term memory (using fMRI brain scans) and better oxygen flow to the brain, which reduces symptoms of fatigue.
Taking the standard 5 grams of creatine per day is great, but you can also use the creatine monohydrate loading phase of 20 grams per day.
There are few side effects of creatine, except for cramping without enough water.
Piracetam and Choline
The term “nootropic” is derived from a Romanian scientist in the 1970s who discovered a synthetic compound he called piracetam.
This chemical helps to improve the use of brain chemicals to form memories and learn more efficiently.
Even though it is a synthetic drug, it has been researched for decades and has many studies showing efficacy and safety.
By adding a choline supplement, piracetam can be even more effective and powerful for memory formation. Try to get around 1600 mg of piracetam and combine it with 200 to 300 mg of choline for maximum effects.
This herb has been used in ancient Indian medicine for thousands of years and continues to be a cognitive enhancer.
The benefits are well-studied and include improved short- and long-term memory, reduced anxiety for better test performance, as well as increased attention and focus.
Find a bacopa product that has around 200 to 300 mg of bacopa monniera extract (50 percent bacosides A and B) to get the best results.
Note that most mainstream nootropic blends include bacopa, but not in high enough doses.
Getting Ahead the Right Way
Now that you have an introduction into nootropics and why high-performing people across the globe are using them to get ahead, it’s important to get started the right way.
If you can get enough sleep, eat right and exercise, you are going to see many cognitive advantages, so never use nootropics as a substitute if you can help it.
Buying all of these ingredients and taking them at once will probably not give you the desired effect, and it will be difficult to determine what exactly is improving your cognitive abilities.
Try to pick one or two nootropics from the list and use them to meet your desired goal.