If you’ve lately heard of nootropics or any of their nicknames (“memory stimulants,” “smart drugs,” “cognitive enhancers”) but have no idea what they’re for or what they’re for, this article is for you.

Over time, nootropics have gone from being the exclusive “smart drugs” for programmers or entrepreneurs to today being closer than ever to the worker, student or ordinary person who wants to improve their cognitive performance and work smarter.

So if you don’t want to get behind this trend, read on to find out all about nootropics.

What are nootropics?

Nootropics are a set of synthetic and natural supplements to boost your cognitive abilities, increasing your mental abilities related to memory, creativity, mood or focus.

And you’ll probably wonder where his peculiar name comes from. To answer this, you have to go back to the 70’s and the Romanian scientist Corneliu Giurgea, who gave them this name by mixing the Greek words “noos” (mind) and “trops” (movement). Together they talk about the idea of keeping the mind moving, or increasing brain activity, and this is precisely what they do.

Some of the most common benefits of nootropics are:

-Improve your memory and ability to learn.

-Increase your alertness and concentration.

-Improve your focus but keep you in a calm state.

-Reduce stress and anxiety.

-Help you rest and sleep better.

In addition, for a nootropic to be considered as such, it has to be low toxicity (with very low or no side effects) and not generate dependence, in order to be considered safe in the long term.

Types of nootropics

There are three main types of nootropics: synthetic (created in laboratories), natural (found in nature), and those that are a mixture between these two categories.

Synthetic nootropics

As we mentioned earlier synthetic nootropics are made in laboratories and the most popular are Piracetam, aniracetam, oxiracetam, pramiracetam and phenylpiracetam, all sharing the chemical structure of racetam.

Among these nootropics the most popular is Piracetam but they all have different benefits, from improving cognitive abilities and improving memory-related brain functions.

Natural nootropics

On the other hand you will find the nootropics provided by nature. It has been shown that the best natural nootropics can also improve cognitive abilities, reduce stress, fatigue and improve memory

Some of these are Ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, Guduchi, Eleuterococo, Ginkgo biloba and the fungi Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane. Click here to learn more about the benefits of each of these natural nootropics.

Mixture of natural and synthetic

There are compounds that come from nature but are only available after a laboratory process is carried out. Like the other types of nootropics, it has been proven that these also have benefits for improving cognitive abilities.

Some of the most common are caffeine, L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine.

How do Nootropics work?

Nootropics work in different ways to enhance your cognitive abilities:

Regulate the activity of neurotransmitters

Nootropics increase some of the most important neurochemicals in your brain to work better, such as dopamine, glutamate or serotonin, and reduce stress neurotransmitters like hydrocortisone or glutamate.

For example, increasing a hormone like Serotonin (happiness hormone) can help you reduce your stress levels and improve your daily rest.

2) Improve blood flow

Nootropics can also improve blood flow in your brain’s arteries and veins, causing more oxygen and nutrients to reach you and reducing your stress levels to perform better physically and mentally.

3) Reduce inflammation of the brain

Some nootropics can also reduce brain neuroinflamation by suppressing inflammatory molecules in the hippocampus, located in the medial part of the temporal lobe of the brain and responsible for tasks such as learning and spatial orientation.

4) Increase brain neuroprotection

There are also nootropics that help prevent age-related brain neurodegenerations, increasing memory and attention and information processing capabilities.

Effects of nootropics

Nootropics can be used to emphasize different aspects of the mind, with short- and long-term benefits. Here are some of the effects that exist.

1) Nootropics for mood

Many people look for nootropics by being prone to symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, among others. This type of symptoms have to do with issues of poor blood circulation in the brain or imbalance of neurotransmitters which can be improved with nootropics.

2) Nootropic for attention deficit

This type of nootropic is effective for people suffering attention issues in work or study activities. They can help you in different ways such as:

Selective attention: the ability to select and focus attention on specific tasks.

Split attention: the ability to simultaneously process two or more tasks or stimuli.

Alternate attention: the ability to change attention from one stimulus to another.

3) Nootropics for memory

One of the main benefits of nootropics is to improve memory-related brain functions, as many of them are reduced by more common situations such as stress or fatigue or more delicate ones like age.

For example, some of the types of memory that improve are:

Short-term memory:

The memory that temporarily retrieves the information being processed. That is, information that you retrieve for less than a minute and that does not include many elements.

Long-term memory:

It’s the kind of memory that collects memories that can be in your brain for years, decades, or even your whole life.

4) Nootropics for rest

Getting a good night’s sleep is key to the brain’s cognitive abilities fully developing. For this very reason, one of the great benefits of nootropics is for people who want to rest better to perform better during the day.

This type of nootropic promotes a mental state of calm and relaxation to not only sleep more, but rest and recover properly.

Learn about 5 supplements here that you can use to sleep better.


Today it is easier than ever to access nootropics. You can take the test and see the benefits for yourself.