Athletes, gym trainees, or anyone who’s about to participate in a physically-demanding activity may often-times drink nutrient supplements that can help their body perform better. You have protein shakes, amino pills, strength boosters, etc. It is indeed very helpful for the human body to have these supplements as they are proven to increase physical performance.
However, what about supplements for the brain during mentally challenging activities?
Typically, you’ll see supplements that focus on the heart, the lungs, the muscles, the stomach, and other parts of the body. Perhaps you’ve probably never heard of the term nootropic – supplements that target the brain and are associated with increasing intelligence, motivation, and mental energy.
By definition, Nootropics are part of a class of cognitive enhancing supplements that are used to improve concentration and boost memory power. They are often used to increase attention spans, help individuals focus and serve as effective studying aids. Simply put, a nootropic is a brain supplement – hence being more famous as “smart drugs” – you can take them to enhance brain function, or lower unproductive conditions such as anxiety, hyperactivity, and inattention.
Nootropics are supplements that keep your brain sharp and healthy. There are many ways this is done. As such, it is important to know which ones to take, which nootropics work well together for synergistic benefits, and who the most common users are.
Here are some of the most famous nootropics that you can take if you need a mental boost for any mental engagements in your daily life.
Disclaimer: while the following nootropic suggestions are user-proven and well-researched, it is always the best course of action to talk to your physician first when taking any supplements.
Modafinil is one of the most famous smart drugs because of its reliability. Initially, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Modafinil (Provigil) as treatment for people suffering from sleep disorders such as those who have narcolepsy, a brain disorder which causes an individual to experience excessive sleepiness or suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times.
Studies have shown that Modafinil actually works as a smart drug for some individuals. The findings, which were published in the European journal Neuropsychopharmacology, suggest that in healthy people, the drug can improve attention, learning and memory as well as increase what is known as fluid intelligence, or a person’s ability to solve problems and think creatively.
Most of this nootropic’s users, particularly students, use it off label when studying for exams believing that this could help them focus regardless of lack of evidence that the drug can work this way. Modafinil is a nootropic that increases alertness and energy levels – especially in people who do not get enough sleep. It is frequently used as a component in nootropic stacks designed for studying and productivity.
This nootropic is also a good supplement for those who don’t get to enjoy the luxury of sleep. Modafinil has been shown to help people stay awake and active, as well as make their mind much clearer if their memory has been previously worsened by the onset of sleep deprivation. Studies have successfully shown a correlation between the use of this drug and retaining cognitive function in a healthy state against factors like lack of sleep.
Aniracetam is a popular choice among nootropic users for its ability to enhance cognition while reducing anxiety and boosting your mood. It’s also moderately priced and has little to no reported side effects when taken at recommended dosages. Aniracetam is chemically classed as a racetam (a drug that shares a pyrrolidone nucleus) but is clinically proven to be much better. Like most racetams, it works largely by modulating neurotransmitters.
Clinically, it is proven that Aniracetam increases literary fluidity and learning of abstract concepts in its users. It also contains ampakine, which causes increased memory retention when taken. Aniracetam is also a natural anxiolytic or mood enhancer. Moreover, this nootropic increases right brain functioning to boost creativity, while still helping its users’ vision to appear sharper and more vivid.
Aniracetam’s well-documented positive mood and anti-anxiety properties, combined with powerful cognitive enhancements and a demonstrated lack of side effects, make it one of the most popular nootropics on the market. While some users report an initial feeling of mental fogginess, the effect is usually temporary, and within a day or two, Aniracetam’s true nootropic nature starts to have a noticeable effect.
In addition to generally elevating mood and lessening anxiety, Aniracetam can improve verbal fluency, enhance creativity, and make understanding and remembering complex information faster and easier. In this regard, if you’re a creative speaker, check out Aniracetam especially when you want to be sharper during your engagements.
Users have reported a distinct feeling of calm and relaxation along with increased learning capacity, greater social ease and fluency, and better focus and attention to mental tasks over longer periods. Also, there are also reports that visual stimulation may seem more enhanced by aniracetam, making everything in your surroundings appear to have deeper details and become more vivid.
Aniracetam is fat soluble and is metabolized in the liver. Though it is fast acting (i.e. able to cross the blood-brain barrier in as little as 30 minutes), it has a relatively brief half-life of just one to three hours so multiple doses over a period of hours may be needed to maintain effects.
Ashwagandha is very interesting as a nootropic, since it is all natural. It has tons of benefits, holds an excellent safety record, is highly backed-up by a great number of researches, and has been used for thousands of years. Neuroprotection, enhanced virility, anti-cancer, and anti-anxiety effects are just some of the benefits of this wonderful herb.
Ashwagandha is a common name for the plant withania somnifera. This is a plant with tons of health benefits. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat a number of different conditions and as a general healing tonic.
As a nootropic, dealing with anxiety and improving cognition and memory are just two of the many benefits of Ashwagandha. This nootropic is excellent in calming the nerves of its users while essentially lowering anxiety levels through reducing stress.
Ashwagandha is also believed to promote social interaction and has been shown to reduce the negative effects of prolonged social isolation. This makes it an excellent supplement for people trying to overcome social anxiety.
While it can be effective at reducing social anxiety on its own, Ashwagandha seems to work best when taken with other anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) substances. It potentiates the effectiveness of other anxiolytics that affect GABA (one of the most abundant neurotransmitters), including alcohol.
Along with reducing anxiety and stress levels, the cognitive function of your brain is also improved by taking Ashwagandha. The healthier and more fluid brain function allows its users to be able to tackle problems at a much faster pace, concentrate for longer hours, and increase their attention span.
Another benefit of this herb is that it has been known for its effect on memory. You may not suddenly develop a super eidetic memory, however, your memory can drastically improve if you are the type of person who has been having highly inconvenient problems with it.