Nootropics – The Smart Drugs
Few drugs are known to have some level of effect in the area of improving cognition. The drugs are called Nootropics. Research on most the existing drugs is still ongoing to ensure that they are all-rounded for their exact purpose. The most common drug, in fact, a class of drugs that comes close to have some level of effect on the functions of the brain (enhancing cognition), are stimulants such as caffeine.
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics are cognitive enhancing drugs that are at times called smart drugs, or brain food.
A quick look at “brain food” takes way much of the hype about these cognitive-enhancing drugs or supplements. Foods that help to increase various aspects of the functions of the brains such a cognition, alertness, focus, and the general well-being of the mind are been around for many years. Take simple foods such as coffee and even fish, these have been known to contain properties that help to develop a healthy brain and boost its functions. The drugs, therefore, bring is a fancy and flashy way of supplying our brains with specific elements to enhance cognitive functions.
How Nootropics Work
The name Nootropics was coined by Dr. Corneliu E. Giugrea, a Romanian doctor; he come up with the word by combining two Latin words – nous and trepein (nous that means mind and trepein that means bend). The words are in fact a perfect definition of how Nootropics work “mind-bending,” but is the good way. The drugs have the capacity to bend the mind increasing its functions that are a wide range that can include, focus, memory, and even rest.
The advanced definition of Nootropics would see the drugs termed as neuro-enhancing drugs. Why? Because they work by affecting the brain at a neurological level by acting as an additive to neurochemicals present in the brain. The chemicals vary, some can contain neurotransmitters, other hormones, and other enzymes and all of them are important in areas such as increasing and controlling blood supply to the brain, support nerve growth, and support cognitive functions among other things.
Whether the use of these smart drugs is safe is still a matter of debate. Critics say while the drugs might actually work in the areas of brain function, they view these drugs just like many other pharmaceutical drugs placing concerns on adverse effects.
Given the diversity of the various players in the pharmaceuticals industry, these concerns bear some level of validity. Issues such as the unavailability of data on long-term effects and safety coupled with the different makers of Nootropics have raised a few eyebrows. Nevertheless, these so-called brain foods, be it pharmaceutical or non-pharmaceutical cognitive enhancing drugs are still approved for use.
Which Nootropics Are The Best?
Different Nootropics offer different effects in regards to brain function, some help to make a person alert other help to make the mind calm and collect for a better focus, other help with memory, while others even help with sleep. As such, saying that once particular Nootropics brand is better than the other would be a relative answer. The best way of narrowing down things to end up with the best possible pick would be to adhere to the criteria that Dr. Corneliu gave. The criteria consist of five key factors that characterize Nootropics, and these include:
• The drug should have the capacity to enhance or improve memory and learning abilities
• Should protect the brain from any physical and chemical assaults from barbiturates and anticholinergic drugs among other substances
• The drug should be a non-toxic substance that lacks a generalized sedative and with few to no side effects
• Should improve neurological function such as boosting neuronal firing control mechanisms
• The drug should help with brain function under disruptive conditions that may include electroconvulsive shock and low oxygen levels in the brain
Given the above factors, it is important to note that many of the Nootropics brands out there just borrow from the concept of how this brain food should work. As mentioned, any such smart drug should not have a sedative or stimulatory agent, which is not the case with many of the new brands. The brands are made with stimulants such as ephedrine, caffeine, and other psychoactive substances that only result in temporary alertness and cognitive functions.
While this might be what most people are after because nobody want to have long-term alertness, it is not an ideal option. Based on such facts, it suffices to say that some Nootropics drugs contain chemicals, some man-made and others naturally-occurring – that trigger certain functions of the brain.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Nootropics?
Nootropics are available in different brands, some being pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers and other non-pharmaceutical. Whichever the cases, the drugs have relatively similar methods of action yet each bearing a particular set of effects and overall benefits.
By understanding the unique qualities of each, it is possible to deduce whether or not a certain brand is suitable for you.
The primary goal of using Nootropics is to help enhance brain function, but what are the other related benefits of using these smart drugs? Here is a breakdown of the top benefits, generalized.
• Increased Memory
For many people, waking up to a cup of pure coffee is that they need to get that kick to start their day. It helps them become alert but may fail to boost other issues such as memory. Such is the reason more and more people are keen on using Nootropics, to help increase memory. It is widely considered the resounding effect and benefit of using these drugs, almost across the board.
The only issue is the level of effect in the use of the drug. Different brands have supplement made by various substance that have different effects on different people. Some people may experience a more direct effect causing them to remember every single detail about something. Others will experience a more subtle effect that will see them remember things over time.
• Enhanced Mental Focus and Clarity
The use of Nootropics helps to enhance the mind giving it a better clarity and focus. A clear mind have the capacity to stay alert and focus. A simple definition of this experience would be feeling like a veil is lifted from your eyes giving you more clarity in various issues of thought and physical functions. The mind is turned to be alert thus increasing the attention span that increase the ability to stay focused, which in turn boosts the level of concentration and recollection.
• Reduced Stress, Improved Mood, and Better Sleep
A stressed mind will have adverse effects on a person’s mental, emotional, and physical state, all of which can be read through moods and body language. The use of Nootropics has been found to help with lowering stress levels. The drugs make the mind alert but also help to make it collected in how it functions, which helps to minimize stress by pushing it to work on overdrive. Low-stress levels results in better moods, which can also contribute to have a mind that can relax allowing people to find it easier to even sleep better and for the recommended hours.
• Enhanced Neuroplasticity
The use of Nootropics affects the neurological activities of the brain, the neuroplasticity function to be specific. The brain is a mesh of billions of neurons each having a particular purpose and collectively helping to keep the mind sharp and functioning at an optimal capacity (especially in cognition and intelligence). Nootropics have been found to help in creating the neurological activities and in boosting and creating new neuron connections, new synapses, rejuvenating neurons, and creating new ones. This is one of the reasons research on the full effects and benefits of Nootropics is still ongoing; that and the need to find any possible negative short-time and/or long-term side effects of using the smart drugs.
• Overall Brain Health
Research on the use of the drugs has revealed that they can increase blood supply to the brain, which means adequate nourishment and oxygen supply that promotes an overall general health of the brain. A brain in such a state has a better glucose metabolism thus having more energy to excusing various functions and stay focus and alert.
Do Nootropics Work For Everyone?
The approval of the use of Nootropics is often as supplements, and just like other types of supplement, some may work better for some people than they would for others. Then again, the effects will also be different in different people. While the general perception is that these smart drugs will work, not everyone using Nootropics will experience all the benefits of using the drugs. A good percentage of the users will experience a majority of the benefits while others may experience a few – to some just one of two.
The human brain has a unique set of capacities, which is why people have different brain chemistry. Some people have the capacity to work even under stress better than others. Some people can recollect things even when having a low level of alertness. As such, different people will need different dosages of Nootropics to see and enjoy the benefits of using the drugs. Some people might need a higher dosage while other need just a single dose, some might need to take it daily while other take it every other day.
It will take some time before a person can figure out exactly what dosage they need for the Nootropics to work for them, but the drug will eventually have some notable effects in regards to cognitive behavior.
Side Effects of Using Nootropics
Pure Nootropics should be made from all naturally-occurring compounds with exceptions open for nontoxic man-made chemical; this is in a bid to ensure that the drugs have minimal to no side effects. However, people have different chemical makeups thus will have different reaction when they introduce something foreign into their bodies. As such, the use of any drug, whether approved or not always has room for detrimental effect. As such, acknowledging that side effect may occur, as rare as they may be, is important.
Some of the notable side-effects of using Nootropics include headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions.
As is with the use of any supplement, the use of Nootropics should be a few at a time during the initial stages for the body to adapt. Doing this also helps to isolate any other would-be cause that triggers any negative side effects. Reading the ingredients in the Nootropics brand will also help note if there is any compound in the drugs that is the cause of negative side effects.