Have you noticed those “smart pills” banner ads on the internet lately?

As it turns out, this is just one of the common names used for cognitive enhancers called nootropics.

The term was coined by Romanian psychologist and chemist Corneliu E. Giurgea in 1972.

Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and other substances that help improve our brain’s executive function, memory, creativity, and focus.

Although the term is relatively new, people have been using smart drugs—in one way or another—since the ancient times. Records of traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine show that herbs from different parts of the world were used as brain boosters.

We have a love affair with improving what our brains can do since time immemorial. However, it was only recently that science is able to catch up.

What Nootropics Can Do for You

Not all nootropics are created equal. Depending on what you would like to achieve, these cognitive enhancers have a variety of uses.

Improved Short and Long-Term Memory

People, young and old, benefit from better memory. Fortunately, there are nootropics designed to impede mental degradation that causes Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Nootropics that are known to improve short and long-term memory are:

  • Bacopa monniera
  • Creatine
  • Piracetam
  • Choline
  • Asian ginseng

Enhanced Focus and Attention

If you are a coffee drinker, you have a pretty good idea of how it can perk you up. When paired with L-theanine, caffeine can be a nootropic. In addition, there are smart pills that not only improve focus and attention, but also create a sense of clarity.

Nootropics that are known to enhance focus and attention are:

  • Caffeine
  • L-theanine
  • Bacopa monniera
  • Asian ginseng

Reduced Anxiety for Better Cognitive Performance

There are studies indicating that reduced anxiety can result to better performance during exams. Good thing, there are nootropics meant to improve your mood and reduce anxiety.

Nootropics that are known to enhance your mood and reduce anxiety are:

  • Caffeine
  • L-theanine
  • Bacopa monniera
  • Asian ginseng
  • Rhodiola rosea

Reduced Fatigue and Work Efficiently

Fatigue can have a negative impact on your productivity. Good thing, there are nootropics that help prevent fatigue from happening by boosting brain receptors like dopamine and serotonin. That way, you can work longer and more efficiently.

Nootropics that are known to help you overcome fatigue are:

  • Caffeine
  • L-theanine
  • Bacopa monniera
  • Asian ginseng
  • Creatine
  • Rhodiola rosea

Improve Creativity in Problem Solving

Some nootropics are believed to influence your general reasoning skills. Thus, it can help improve your creativity when solving problems.

Nootropics that are known to improve your creativity in problem solving are:

  • Caffeine
  • L-theanine
  • Bacopa monniera
  • Asian ginseng
  • Creatine

What You Need to Know When Taking Nootropics

You may be unfamiliar with some of the aforementioned nootropics. So, where should you go when you have to purchase some?

There are nootropics available in brick-and-mortar stores like GNC and Whole Foods. The problem, though, is that retailers only have a limited selection of brands and they tend to be pricey.

You can go online for better choices and more affordable nootropics. Just keep in mind to purchase from online sellers with third-party certificates of analyses. You can also check out online review and forums like LongeCity and the Nootropics sub-reddit.

In addition, there is a proper way of using nootropics. After all, your goals and how you use them may not be the same as the next guy.

1. Track Your Results

Nootropics produce different results for different people. There are also other factors you need to consider if you want to understand how nootropics affect your mental performance. Fortunately, there are apps like TrackMyStack, StackDB, and NootDb that allow you to test and track your nootropic use.

2. Do Not Crave for It

Some users of nootropics tend to become addicted overtime. Unfortunately, these compounds can alter brain chemistry in the long run. Thus, it is advised that you only take nootropics in special situations. If you feel like craving for it, it is an indication that you should stop taking nootropics for a while.

3. Nootropics Will Not Solve Your Problems

Nootropics are meant to boost mental performance. However, it will not be effective if you constantly lack sleep, have poor diet, and do not exercise. It is important to live a clean lifestyle first before you take cognitive enhancers.

There Is No Shortcut to Mental Sharpness

Despite the nootropics available in the market nowadays, there is still no smart pill that can instantly transform you into a super genius just like Bradley Cooper in the movie Limitless.

In fact, this compound can only enhance whatever mental strength you already have.

Take nootropics the way you will take supplements for physical workout. It will not transform you into a genius unless you engage yourself into mental exercises.

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