Have you heard the term “smart pills” or “smart drugs”? If you have, those terms were simply being used to describe Nootropics. But are they really smart pills? Do these drugs or any other ones for that matter make anyone smarter? These are some of the questions we will be attempting to answer as we try to differentiate between the myth and truth of these substances known as Nootropics.
What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics is a word used to describe supplements, drugs, and any substances that in one way or another helps improve memory, motivation, creativity, and other cognitive functions of the brain, especially those that have to do with execution. The term “Nootropics” was coined by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea and he set out a list of specifications that a drug or supplement must meet for it to be regarded as a Nootropic. These specifications include:
- Ability to improve memory.
- Ability to help the brain function even when conditions are not right.
- Increase the efficiency of the mechanisms that control neuronal firing.
- Possess the ability to shield the brain from physical and chemical assaults.
- Be non-toxic and have little or no side effects.
While a lot of the drugs passed around as Nootropics do not by a long stretch possess all these features, they possess a number of them.
What Exactly Do they Do?
The Nootropic or smart pill industry is worth over $2billion today and is expected to be worth over $11billion by 2024. With the increasing demand for performance at different levels, more and more folks are looking for ways to give themselves that required edge. This includes students, professionals, athletes and more. This explains the increased and increasing demand for these drugs or supplements. So what do these drugs or supplements actually do? These drugs do not all have the same effects. We will discuss the general effects here and then later share specific drugs or supplements and the effects they have. Generally, Nootropics affect the brain in different ways. We MUST however state very clearly that it does not make you smarter. Nothing can make you smarter than you are. To get smarter, get more information, read more and learn more. However, in the process of studying, reading and attempting to learn more, you could have problems of focus, tiredness, or sleepiness. The right drug or supplement can help improve your ability to stay focused on what you are doing, keep you awake and sharp and by so doing, improve your learning process and retention.
Examples of Nootropics
Let’s now look at a few specific examples and their effects.
This is a natural compound that we find in coffee, kola, and other plants. It’s quite common and it helps the brain by improving attention and alertness.
This is an amino acid that has the capacity to improve reasoning ability and short-term memory. It is very effective on persons who are stressed and also vegetarians. This compound has been proven to be safe for long term use.
This is another amino acid and is great for enhancing calmness and an increase in creativity. It can be found in tea and is usually combined with caffeine for an even more pronounced effect.
This is another compound that occurs naturally. It is known to enhance motor functions, attention and alertness. On the down side, it can be toxic when taken in large quantities and it is also addictive.
This is a prescription drug sold under the brand name Provigil. It is primarily used in the treatment of narcolepsy which a condition in which the individual is always drowsy. When taken as a Nootropic, it enhances wakefulness and also improves the functions of the brain. It is actually said to have similar effects as cocaine and amphetamines but without the addictiveness.
This is an extract from Ginkgo biloba leaves. It is said to be good for calming stress and also enhancing mental processes as well as improving memory.
This root has been used for ages for improving brain functions. There are however no definitive studies to prove its long term benefits or effectiveness.
This is an herb that helps the body deal with stressful conditions. By doing so, it also reduces the mental fatigue that usually comes with stress.
The list above does not cover all the known drugs and supplements. You can see that there are slight differences with each. To be sure of which to use, it is important to check reviews of these drugs and supplements. You can get such reviews from sites like Nootropics Review Nerd. While studies are still on-going, there is no doubt that some of these drugs do really enhance cognitive functions, allowing us perform better and for longer. Carefully choose the right Nootropics and you may just begin to wow yourself.