Nootropics have been around for as long as anybody can remember. However, it’s only been in the past few decades that they’ve become defined the way that they are today. As a result, the products’ popularity has begun to skyrocket in recent years. A lot of this has been fueled by new discoveries about the benefits of nootropics.
Given their prevalence, someone who is just beginning to research the topic may want to know more about them. However, they might not know where to start. This is where our nootropics buy guide comes into play.
The starting point to learning more about the topic is finding out exactly what nootropics are and determining if they can benefit you.
On top of that, it’s worth looking at what kind of nootropics might already be in your diet and what nootropics would benefit you the most. This is exactly what we’ll be doing in this buying guide!
So without further ado, let’s get started!
Chapter One: Introduction to Nootropics
Naturally, there are quite a few questions that you might have about nootropics. That’s because, outside of the people who are already taking them, most of us don’t know much about them. That being said, there’s a chance that you already know more about them than you realize.
That’s because there’s been a significant amount of buzz around ‘smart drugs’ on television and social media for quite some time now. As result, you may have heard about them without even noticing. There’s also the fact that some products that you use daily might have a nootropics as an active ingredient.
All of this brings up more questions than answers, though, so it’s worth diving into what nootropics actually are and how they can be used.
What Are Nootropics?
Naturally, the question of what nootropics are comes up as soon as you start talking about them. Despite their popularity, not too much is known about them by most people. Also known as neuroenhancers, nootropics are commonly referred to as ‘smart drugs.’
That’s because the cognitive boosts they offer are commonly known among people who use them. Specifically, they can help to improve your focus, concentration, and memory (alongside other areas of your mental and physical health) when you’re using them. These are typically experienced in short-term bursts, which is why many people use them to study.
However, what you might not know is that there are also multiple prescription nootropics that people take advantage of. These are typically people with ADHD and similar conditions who need extra help to maintain their concentration. It goes without saying that you’ll need to speak to a medical professional if you think you need to use on of these.
That being said, the majority of neuroenhancers are available over-the-counter. In fact, quite a few are available at most retailers. That’s because they can take the form of supplements and other products. Some manufacturers add nootropics to their products to help boost their benefits. As a result, you may have taken some nootropics without even knowing it.
This may lead to a few other common questions.
Do They Work?
Whether or not nootropics work is a much-debated issue. For every person you find that says they do, there’s someone else who says that they don’t. The reality, however, isn’t as clear-cut as that. Instead, the issue is relatively blurry, as it can come down to a particular product and brand.
As a result, there isn’t a definitive yes or no answer across the board, although it leans heavily toward ‘yes.’ You’ll need to spend some time researching particular nootropics to see if they offer the benefits you need. You should also check how effective they are, as some work much better than others.
It’s also worth trying different options, as you might find one that doesn’t work for you but several others that do. That’s because there are many factors that can impact whether or not they help you, potency being one of the more significant ones.
Essentially, potency refers to how strong the nootropic is. The more potent it is, the more effective it should be. Coupled with this is the fact that many neuroenhancers are designed to work in different ways. Some of these have proven to be better than others. As such, a certain amount of trial and error is sometimes necessary.
By researching ahead of time, though, you can narrow down the number of nootropics that you should try. After that, you shouldn’t have any problem determining whether or not they work for you.
Are They Safe?
Whether or not nootropics are safe should be one of the first things you ask. While this is usually a simple question to answer, it isn’t in the case of these smart drugs. That’s because their safety can be affected by several factors. In general, though, nootropics are quite safe to take, but should nevertheless be taken only in moderation as is the case with anything.
If you suffer from a medical condition or are pregnant, then you might not want to take certain nootropics. That’s because some of them can cause adverse side effects or interact negatively with particular medications. As a result, you should speak to a medical professional if you have a condition and are considering taking nootropics.
By doing so, the doctor can evaluate your situation and recommend or prescribe something that should be safe for you. This will have the added benefit of allowing you to take them under medical supervision. That should add another layer of safety to your situation.
Outside of this, however, it can really depend on the products. While the vast majority are known to be safe, there are always going to be some that aren’t. That means that you’ll have to be careful with which ones that you buy. In general, this should be a relatively easy thing to do.
There are quite a few brands on the market that are well-known and respected. They also have many reviews available online. As a result, you should be able to research any potential product before you purchase it. In doing so, you will be able to determine whether a specific product is safe or not.
This will have the added benefit of telling you what the potential side effects are, as well as how effective the product is. Regardless of whether you’re looking for improved focus or better memory, this should help you find the best nootropics for you.
Chapter Two: Common Over-The-Counter Nootropics
There’s an extensive number of nootropics available on the market today. While some of them may only be available with a prescription, the majority can be bought over-the-counter. That being said, you might not know what the different nootropics are.
Though you might not have heard of nootropics, you would recognize several of them. You just might not have known that they were nootropics. There are many different nootropics, but some are much more common than you’d think. Moreover, some of them might already be part of your diet.
This is because nootropics can be found in a substantial amount of typical, day-to-day products. In some cases, they’re what give the product the benefits that it is known for. However, it’s worth noting that these come in different dosages and with other ingredients.
As a result, you might find products with relatively few nootropics in them and others with noticeably more. That can be especially true with supplements, which are the main form of nootropic that people ingest..
With all of that said, some nootropics are much more common than others.
You might be surprised to find out that caffeine is a nootropic. However, it happens to be the most popular option on the market, thanks to the popularity of tea and coffee. That doesn’t mean though that these are the only options for taking neuroenhancers. In reality, they can also found in a lot of foods and supplements.
You might be wondering what kind of benefits caffeine might offer. Of course, there are the obvious ones, such as an energy boost. There are several others, though, such as an improvement in your ability to concentrate. Some studies have also suggested that it can help with heart health in certain dosages.
The United States Food and Drug Administration suggests not ingesting more than 400mg of caffeine per day. That works out to about 4 or 5 cups of coffee on average. If, on the other hand, you’re taking caffeine in the form of a supplement, then you should still keep an eye on it. That’s because, with all of the products that contain caffeine, you could be ingesting more than you realize.
Taking too much can result in quite a few side effects, including digestive issues, lightheadedness, and several others. Naturally, you should aim to avoid these at all costs.
L-Theanine is something that very few people know about, despite the fact that it is ingested by people almost constantly. This nootropic is found in quite a few green and black teas. Several reports suggest that there could be quite a few benefits associated with Theanine, many of which are related to the healthy functioning of your brain.
Specifically, this nootropic has been known to promote the release of alpha waves in your brain. These waves, allegedly, can have several effects. For example, upon ingestion, you may feel yourself becoming more relaxed than you were previously. However, you’ll also feel more alert. These benefits are especially noticed when mixed with caffeine.
However, further research into this is needed to determine if there are more effects, both positive and negative. That being said, it’s recommended that you take no more than 400mg per day. Typical daily intake recommendations range between 100mg and 400mg.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have become quite well-known in recent years. That’s because they’ve been proven to have positive benefits on the body. However, few people still still recognize omega-3 fatty acids as neuroenhancers associated with certain tangible benefits.
The majority of these are centered in your brain. As a result, it’s often stated that omega-3 fatty acids are one of the best things you can take for your brain health. When taken in a healthy amount, they can maintain and often improve your brain’s functions. Particularly, your memory, concentration, and focus may all be enhanced when taking omega-3 fatty acids consistently.
They are also often taken for protection against many of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other age-related diseases. In addition, they may help prevent the development of wrinkles , which is appealling to many individuals. You can typically get omega-3 fatty acids through oily fish, but you can also find them in supplements.
However, these can often leave a smell and bad aftertaste in your mouth. You can minimize this by using mints or brushing your teeth afterward.
Although considered a vital component of the human body, few people know what creatine is. Its main function is it is used in the creation of proteins, which are then used by other parts of the body. The majority of these will have an impact on your muscles and heart health. Thankfully, our bodies already create a certain amount of this.
However, that may not be enough, especially if you’re a fitness enthusiast. The main benefits seen with this is that it can help you exercise much better than you would without it. That’s because it can initially give you a burst of energy, which should allow you to exercise for a longer period of time.
Coupled with this is the fact that your recovery should also be much better. That’s because the creatine will be involved in the healing of any of the muscle damage that a workout routine might cause. Protein is also a significant aspect of building muscle mass. That means you’ll need a lot of it if you want to increase muscle size.
Creatine is one of the better-recommended ways of doing so. Taking some just before or after a workout could prove to be quite beneficial to you. It comes in a few different forms, with powder being one of the more common, although you can also acquire it in drink form.
How much of it you need to take, alongside when you should take it in relation to your workout, can depend on the strength and composition of the product compared to other products. Naturally, it’s worth following the instructions for use from the manufacturer found on the label.
Chapter Three: Benefits Of Nootropics
The main reason that nootropics have become so popular is the benefits they are known for and associated with. Most of these are related to cognitive performance. As a result, they’ve often been labeled ‘smart drugs,’ as they can help students study better.
Typically, these benefits are:
- Increased focus
- Better concentration
- Better memory
- More energy
- Faster thinking
However, that doesn’t mean that these are the only advantages that you can expect. Instead, there are several others. Some of the more notable of these are related to anxiety and depression. In general, they can help ease symptoms of these conditions and boost your mood.
That being said, the mood boost can be seen regardless of whether you suffer from anxiety or depression. In addition, nootropics have been shown to reduce stress, which could also be beneficial. Difficulty falling or staying asleep, also known as insomnia, is another issue that they can noticeably help with.
Many nootropics are known to promote relaxation and help you drift off to sleep. The sleep you get is usually high-quality and should leave you feeling well-rested. This can sometimes come with a feeling of grogginess though. If you’ve been suffering from insomnia, though, this can be a welcome benefit.
One of the last core things that they can help with is digestive issues. While nootropics aren’t
going to cure any diseases, they can certainly help things run more smoothly. That’s because they can promote more digestive activity, which should speed things up. That can also come with some weight loss benefits.
It’s also worth noting that there could be some long-term benefits to taking nootropics, although research is still ongoing on many of these. The most notable of these are obviously the cognitive benefits, as your brain should remain more active the older you get. That should help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s and other age-related brain disorders.
Speaking of age, nootropics can help slow down other signs of aging, too. These will typically be related to the development of wrinkles. Essentially, the nootropics will keep your skin more elastic for a longer period of time. As a result, wrinkles shouldn’t appear as quickly and may not appear as prominent as they might have otherwise.
What About Risks?
Despite all of the positives that nootropics might have, consumption of them can also come with some risks. The majority of these will center around whether you have a medical condition. If that’s the case, then it’s highly recommended that you talk to a medical professional before taking anything.
If you’re on medication, some nootropics may interfere with them and cause issues. While many of these can be minor, some of them can be quite severe. As such, medical supervision will be required. Thankfully, there are several prescription nootropics that are available.
As a result, you should be able to get one that doesn’t interfere with any medication that you’re already on while still doing its job. However, there can be numerous other potential side effects associated with nootropics. Many of these can be quite common.
Some of the more notable include:
- Light Headedness
- Stomach Cramps
That list isn’t exhaustive, however. Instead, it’s some of the more common issues that you might face. Some can also be much more significant than others and may get worse with time. If you start suffering from any of the above symptoms, or others, then it’s recommended that you stop taking the nootropic(s) immediately.
You should also consider speaking to a doctor. Naturally, the kind of side effects you might experience depends on the product you’re taking. That makes reading the product label essential. If there are any side effects listed that concern you, then the product might not be worth taking.
It’s also worth noting that you shouldn’t feel side effects if you’re taking the reommended dosage. However, this dose can vary from product to product, which makes following the manufacturer’s instructions even more vital.
Most nootropics buy guides will tell you whether or not you should get the products being talked about. Others will simply give you the information that you need to make a decision for yourself. With all of the above in mind, though, nootropics can be a good thing for many people.
After all, some of them are already in most peoples’ diets, regardless of whether they realize it. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re taking full advantage of the benefits they can offer. This can occur if the amount already in one’s diet already not enough to experience the maximum benefit or range of benefits among other reasons
As a result, the popularity of nootropic supplements has grown significantly. That’s because they can offer a broad range of benefits, as highlighted above. While hat may be enough to convince a lot of people to take them, you should still always make sure that you’re staying safe and following all instructions found on the product label carefully.
Regardless of how good something might be for you, too much of it can be a bad thing. By staying smart and using your head, you should be able to decide if nootropics are right for you as well as the right ones to take.