It is amazing to think about all the things we have within easy reach to help us in our lives, in this case nootropics or as we are get use to call them, smart drugs can be really exciting whether you are a student, a worker or you just want to learn more about cognitive enhancers.
What are Nootropics?
Nootropic is a term generally used to refer to a natural or synthetic substance that affects positively some cognitive functions such as memory, motivation, attention and creativity. Nootropics are divided in three categories: prescription drugs, dietary supplements and synthetic compounds.
– Modafinil/Provigil (treats sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy or apnea)
– Adderall (treat ADHD)
– Methylphenidate/Ritalin (can treat symptoms of narcolepsy and ADHD)
– Memantine/Axura (treat symptoms of Alzheimer)
The most common side effects of these nootropics may be:
– high blood pressure
– fast heart rate
Over-the-counter-sales or natural nootropics:
Ginkgo Biloba: this is an herbal supplement, we found it in some energetic drinks and it is usually used to treat diverse mental functions and blood circulation among others.
Caffeine: It has stimulant effects, people consume it on coffee, tea and cola drinks. Caffeine may give you a boost of mental focus but it is not recommended to consume big amounts of it, to be more specific you should drink up to 4 cups of coffee per day.
Omega 3 fatty acids: these fats are important for brain cells, they repair and renew them. Omega 3 is found in fatty fish and oil fish supplements. It is recommended to include omega 3 in our diet.
Racetams: This is a type of synthetic nootropic that can affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Some nootropics racetams are: pramiracetam, piracetam, aniracetam and phenylpiracetam. In the case of racetams, more research is needed, evidence isn’t consistent enough to confirm its benefits for dementia.
Creatine: It is an aminoacid popular among athletes, it is a building block of protein, and also helps with short term memory.
L-theanine: is an amino acid (in bllack and green teas), it may also work well when mixed with caffeine. This combination helps boost cognitive performance and alertness. The recommended dosage is 100 up to 400 mg per day.
Pandora: is a natural nootropic, some of its ingredients are: ginkgo biloba, bacopa monnieri, caffeine. It can be used to improve study or just your daily (rendimiento).
Bacopa: It is a plant considered invigorating for the nervous system, also enhancing cognitive functions. It effectively improves memory and concentration, being of great help for people who are studying. It is considered a natural stress reliever, and is of great help in states of depression and anxiety.
Rosemary: Rosemary is a plant with great medicinal power. It is a great ally in processes of memory loss and concentration. It is advised to take to improve cognitive decline as it has neuroprotective properties. Its continued use could be beneficial in the prevention of Alzheimer.
Nootropics and anxiety
The cause of anxiety is usually the stress we have daily, this reduces the levels of dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine from our brain. It is difficult to think that a nootropic could help with anxiety but there are a few that could make that possible.
Theanine or L-theanine: is a non-protein amino acid principally found in green tea. It increases levels of GABA, serotonin and dopamine, it is available as a nutritional supplement that reduces stress, improves mood and feelings of relaxation. Theanine supplements are available as tablets and capsules in doses between 50 and 200 mg.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA: is an amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in the brain, when GAB attaches to a protein known as GABA receptor, it produces a calming effect that can help with anxiety, stress and fear.
Ashwagandha: is a small shrub, it is commonly used for stress. Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might calm the brain and reduce blood pressure. Research shows that taking a specific ashwagandha root extract 300 mg twice daily after food is possibly effective for reducing stress.
Nootropics for weight loss:
If we talk about weight loss, we have to take in consideration the elements that influence our body and brain: motivation, energy, memory, concentration and a low level of stress. There are some nootropics that can help to achieve our weight loss goals and enhance the sport and physical performance:
Modafinil: A 2008 study revealed that with a dosage of 400mg of Modafinil per day in adults, decreased average daily caloric intake by 38% and led to a significant decrease in perception of hunger. The most interesting discovery was that levels of fats, carbohydrates and proteins consumed don’t change. Modafinil leads to a dramatic decrease in impulsivity among normal body weight adults, therefore, it could have an even greater effect on food addicts, who lack certain types of dopamine.
Alpha GPC: It is a chemical made from a fatty acid found in soy. Alpha GPC is a prescription medication indicated for Alzeimers desease. In the USA, it is available as a dietary supplement to improve memory.
Alpha GPC increases a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine, this chemical is important for memory and learning functions. It can cause side effects in some people including heartburn, headache, insomnia, dizziness, skin rash, and confusion. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for alpha-GPC.
Rhodiola Rosea: Rhodiola is a plant used as a medicine, as an “adaptogen” to help the body adapt to and resist physical, chemical, and environmental stress. It seems like a short-term use of this medicine might improve athletic performance and reduce muscle damage due to exercise. Rhodiola might cause dizziness, dry mouth, or excessive saliva production; although it is safe to take it twice daily.
DMAE or dimethylaminoethanol: it increases production of acetylcholine, so consuming DMAE as a supplement may boost brain health. DMAE has also been looked at to boost athletic performance, elevate mood, and address symptoms of depression. The side effects may include, increased blood pressure, stomach upset, headaches, muscle tension, drowsiness, confusion, and irritability.
This isn’t a medical article. It is important to remember that self-medication isn’t recommended, consult your head doctor and avoid any kind of medical problem you could lead into.
To sum up, there are a large list of benefits that nootropics can bring to our brain and body if we learn to use them properly, there are also some side effects but they are minimal. Nootropics can be used as supplements in our daily life and help us to manage better our lives and activities in general.