Nootropics are a class of drugs that are typically taken to improve cognitive function.
What are nootropics and what do they do? Let’s dive in!
Nootropics are drugs that are said to improve cognition and brain performance. They are also sometimes called "smart drugs" cognitive enhancers, or memory-enhancing substances. Specifically, nootropics are deemed to have positive benefits on mental functions such as thinking, memory, mood, attention, creativity, and motivation. Some nootropics are available as OTC (over-the-counter) drugs while some require prescriptions.
The term “nootropics” is said to be of Greek origins: nous means “mind” and trepien means “to bend.” The term is said to have been coined by chemist and psychologist, C.G. Giurgea.
Generally, the most common sources of nootropics are prescription medications, synthetic compounds, and dietary supplements. Prescription nootropics are nootropics that are used to treat or manage mental health conditions like ADHD and dementia. Synthetic compounds are nootropics used to help improve mental performance in “health” people. Nootropic supplements, on the other hand, can be found in dietary supplements and food and beverages.
In this article, we will be taking a closer look at three of the most common nootropics—Racetams, choline supplements, and L-theanine. We will also explore the potential side effects and risks associated with each.
Racetams are a family of synthetic compounds that are believed to enhance cognitive performance by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. They are purported to improve memory, focus, and clarity of thought, as well as reduce fatigue and improve memory recall.
The effects of these compounds vary, and the best racetam for any particular individual is often determined based on a case-to-case basis. Some of the potential benefits associated with taking racetams are improved memory, improved focus and clarity of thought, and enhanced learning ability.
Racetams include piracetam, oxiracetam, aniracetam, pramiracetam, and phenylpiracetam.
Racetams are generally considered to be safe and well tolerated, but like any drug, there are potential side effects. Common side effects include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. In rare cases, more serious side effects such as anxiety, depression, irritability, and aggression may occur. It is important to speak with your doctor before taking any Racetams and to follow their instructions for use. Additionally, Racetams should not be taken in combination with other drugs without consulting a doctor first.
It is also important to note that some Racetams have been known to interact with certain medications. For example, piracetam has been known to interact with anticoagulants and anticonvulsants. It is important to speak with your doctor before taking any Racetam to ensure that it does not interact with any medications you may be taking.
Choline is an essential nutrient that is found in foods like eggs, meat, and fish. Choline is often used for its cognitive-boosting properties, especially when turned into acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter that is important for memory and learning). It is believed that choline supplements can help improve cognitive function and memory recall.
Choline supplements come in various forms, including choline bitartrate, citicoline, and alpha GPC. The effects of choline supplements can vary depending on the form of choline taken and the individual taking it. Potential benefits associated with taking choline supplements include improved memory, improved focus and concentration, enhanced learning ability, and increased energy.
The most common side effects associated with taking choline supplements are headaches, nausea, and digestive issues.
Additionally, some people may experience an increase in anxiety or irritability when taking choline supplements. In rare cases, more serious side effects include seizures, liver damage, and cardiac arrhythmias. It is important to speak with your doctor before taking any choline supplement and to follow their instructions for use. It is also important to note that some choline supplements have been known to interact with certain medications. For example, citicoline has been known to interact with anticoagulants and anticonvulsants.
L-Theanine is a natural amino acid that can be found in tea, coffee, and other foods. Some people believe that L-theanine can help improve cognitive function and reduce anxiety. It is also purported to reduce mental and physical stress, improve mood, and improve focus.
While L-Theanine is not a sedative, it also helps improve sleep quality by promoting a more relaxed state for the user.
The most common side effects associated with taking L-theanine are mild headaches and digestive issues. In rare cases, more serious side effects such as anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and tremors may occur. It is important to speak with your doctor before taking any L-theanine supplement and to follow their instructions for use. Additionally, L-theanine should not be taken in combination with other drugs without consulting a doctor first. For example, L-theanine has been known to interact with anticonvulsants, antihypertensives, and antipsychotics.
Nootropics for Mental Health
Nootropics have become increasingly popular as a means for treating a variety of mental health conditions, including ADHD, depression, and anxiety. Nootropics is a type of supplement, often in the form of a pill or powder, that is claimed to improve cognitive function. They are also often used to improve focus, memory, and mental clarity.
For individuals with ADHD, nootropics are believed to improve focus and reduce impulsivity. Nootropics such as piracetam, aniracetam, and oxiracetam are often used to treat ADHD. These compounds are thought to increase levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is believed to be low in people with ADHD.
For people with depression, nootropics such as L-theanine, rhodiola rosea, and 5-HTP are often used. These compounds are believed to increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is believed to be low in those with depression.
For those with anxiety, nootropics such as ashwagandha, Bacopa monnieri, and kava-kava are often used. These compounds are believed to reduce anxiety and improve mood by increasing levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter involved in relaxation.
It is important to note that nootropics are not a substitute for professional medical treatment and should not be used as such. Nootropics should be used in conjunction with professional medical advice and treatment. Furthermore, it is important to be aware of potential side effects associated with nootropic use.
Nootropics are becoming a popular way for people to maintain and improve their mental health and cognitive function. These compounds usually contain a blend of natural ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs that are believed to help improve focus, memory, and overall brain function.
Racetams are a class of drugs that are typically used to improve cognitive function, and they are among the most popular nootropics available. Choline supplements are another type of nootropic that are believed to improve cognitive function by increasing acetylcholine levels in the brain. L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that is believed to improve cognitive function.
The effects of nootropics can vary depending on the individual and the type of nootropic taken. Potential benefits associated with taking nootropics include improved memory, enhanced learning ability, improved focus and concentration, and reduced stress and anxiety. However, the potential side effects and risks associated with taking nootropics should be considered before deciding to take them, as they can include headaches, nausea, and digestive issues. Consulting a physician before taking them is the safest way to go, even if you’re planning to buy OTC nootropics.