The Ultimate Guide To Nootropics
The word “nootropics” is a wide term that is used to describe supplements which are either man-made or natural and meant for improving cognitive function. As far as the improvement of the cognitive function goes, nootropics are believed to yield a number of benefits. For instance, they enhance memory, boost one’s ability to learn and also promote the recovery of brain cells and neurons. As you can imagine, there is a lot to know about these brain supplements so, here are some of the common questions people might ask regarding nootropics.
What Are Nootropics?
According to a scientific article published in the Journal of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2016, nootropics are compounds that influence the brain (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5021479/). Available in both natural and synthetic forms, these supplements are thought to influence brain performance through a number of mechanisms and pathways.
For instance, they can boost how your brain works by speeding up the transfer of signals at the neuronal level. Nootropics can further be used for memory enhancing roles or even in the management of disorders such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Some of the common alternative names for nootropics include “memory-enhancing drugs,” “brain boosters,” and “smart drugs.” An example of a natural or herbal nootropic is Gingko Biloba while a notable lab-created noot is Piracetam.
Are Nootropics Safe?
The jury about nootropic safety is still out and that’s because of two good reasons. First off, different people respond differently to different kinds of supplement. Besides that, different nootropic manufacturers take different approaches meaning while some of the products available on the markets are safe, there exists a few that still can’t be trusted.
So, from an expert perspective, there is no one-size-fits-all answer on the safety of nootropics. That said, we do recommend taking caution especially if you have ever been diagnosed with a chronic lifestyle condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, liver or kidney failure.
It’s, however, encouraging to note that a vast majority of the premium-grade nootropics are generally safe. Note that, you would still need to stick to the provided dosage, otherwise, like any other drug, an overdose of nootropics can expose you to all manner of health issues.
Pundits have, however, floated the idea that more regulations still need to be developed in order to ensure the safe use of the “smart drugs (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5022156/). Stricter limits may also still need to be implemented especially in regards to dosage to prevent a situation where an unregulated use of these substances leads to their abuse.
But generally, if taken as per the recommended dosage (and also taken responsibly) nootropics, in general, appear to be safe. This partly explains why these supplements have become pretty popular on the online marketplaces nowadays.
Should You Take Nootropics?
The decision on whether to take nootropics or not is entirely personal. Why so? Because you need to, first of all, understand why exactly you need these supplements. Normally, it’s important to understand why people take noots and some of the effects to be expected from taking them.
For instance, if you are in a demanding career that requires you to be in your best state of mind at all time you may need a healthy mental boost to succeed. Likewise, if you are a student and are facing some tight assignment deadlines, nootropics can significantly improve your brain power. The same case applies to anyone who might be looking to recover from brain fog or any other cognitive degeneration related issues.
If you are healthy and looking to up your game in life so you are more productive, there’s no worry in taking noots. However, if you’ve been having some health issues or are currently using other drugs, you may need to avoid taking smart drugs just to prevent any chances of drug interaction.
Do Nootropics Show Up On Drug Tests?
No. Nootropics are ideally meant to test negative to drug tests. But even with that said, some false negative results have also been reported in the past. One thing you need to know is that drug tests do not directly test for the drug taken. Instead, they check for metabolites which are the sites in the body that drugs affect.
Therefore, common drug tests are not entirely designed to test for nootropics. For instance, the Standard 5-panel drug screen which is a basic requirement in most workplaces only tests for opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, THC, and PCP. Fortunately, nootropics do not cause false positives on any of those tests.
However, just to be on the safe side, we’d recommend exercising caution when undergoing any drug test. This is especially important if you’re slated to undergo an extensive drug test soon.
Also, it’s important to note that some amphetamines like Adderall, Dexedrine, and Vyvanse may show up on standard drug screens. If you have a doctor’s prescription for any of these, then using them shouldn’t really be an issue. Otherwise, you should completely steer clear from any stacks that may contain amphetamines.
What we generally recommend is checking the list of ingredients used in any product. Fortunately, the vast majority of the premium-grade nootropics are made up of natural ingredients which have been separately studied and clinically proven.
How Long Do Nootropics Last?
It really depends on the type of nootropic one is taking – how bioavailable and potent its elements are. Let’s put this into perspective. Typically, the effects of L-Theanine can usually be felt in 15 minutes or thereabouts. Noopept, on the other hand, takes between 3 and 4 hours to achieve a peak effect.
Some nootropics take longer than others for their effects to be felt in the body. In that case, the manufacturers usually recommend taking such noots for long and give them time to build up in the body.
So, basically, the longer you take some of these nootropics, the higher the likelihood that they will last in your body for long. But even then, if you’re using a highly bioavailable product, it would only take a few days for the body to completely rid itself of any traces of nootropics.
It is also worth noting that the more complex a nootropic stack is, the higher the likelihood of it taking longer to clear from the body. For instance, Qualia Mind with its 28 ingredients may have far-reaching and longer-lasting effects than say a simple L-Theanine and coffee blend. The former would, also, therefore, take longer to clear from your body system than the latter.
In all those situations, one thing you need to note is that different nootropics have a different half-life and also seek to achieve different effects. And while some take hours to completely clear from the body system, others tend to build up over time thereby requiring more time to be completely cleared up from the body.
When Should You Take Nootropics?
One thing we keep emphasizing to our readers is that nootropics are not supposed to be seen as a “quick fix” approach. If anything, most brain supplements are designed in such a manner that to get the most from them, you need to take them on a day-to-day basis. It’s a lifestyle! Which means you may need to take some stacks for months so you can judge their effects.
Of course, there are always some exceptions in every case. For instance, nootropic compounds that contain caffeine as an active ingredient may yield some near-instant effects. These are the exceptions, though and they are quite rare – plus as you know, caffeine has its own share of side effects as well.
So, the best time to take nootropics is when you understand what they really are and how they work. It’s also important that you understand yourself – what exactly you want to achieve in life and the state of your health.
Normally, if you’re a healthy individual, the earlier you start using nootropics the better. This way, you can leverage on the cumulative effects of taking the supplements in the long-term.
In regards to the best time or age to start taking noots, we’d suggest 18 years of age and above. Of course, it’s important that this decision is taken by an adult who is also ready to engage in noot consumption, responsibly.
The next important question is about the best time of the day to take nootropics. And once again, the rules may vary depending on the product you opt for. So, be sure to read the label of the bottle so you understand how best to take your product. In general, noots are best taken the first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The idea behind this is to increase the rate of absorption of the various ingredients into the body.
In some cases, experts recommend taking nootropic pills with a meal especially if the user experiences stomach problems. Worth keeping in mind is that quite a number of these supplements contain stimulants and should, therefore, be avoided within hours of going to bed to prevent insomnia.
Are Nootropics Natural?
Noots can either be natural or synthetic. Natural ones come from plant extracts while synthetic ones are manufactured in the lab. Likewise, it’s possible to have nootropic stacks that feature natural and synthetic ingredients in one thereby creating some hybrid forms of products.
Since the day when brain supplements became a buzzword, there has always been a debate on the significance and differences between “natural” and “synthetic” products. What we know, is that natural nootropics remain largely popular due to their perceived medically safe approach. If anything, natural nootropics have been used since time immemorial.
Advances in modern-science have, however, helped open new frontiers as well. And to this end, synthetic nootropics have carved a niche for themselves with their noticeable and immediate impact.
We’d recommend going fully natural for anyone who is skeptical or suffering from the fear of the unknown. However, if you’re open-minded, and looking for more diversity, you can’t go wrong with a well-made synthetic product. You only need to insist on one that’s made up to the existing standards.
Some examples of well-made natural and synthetic nootropics include:
What Are The Side Effects of Nootropics?
If you’re considering using noots or have just started using them, chances are that you’re worried if there’s a price to pay with your health. So, do nootropics have any side effects? The simple answer is that by definition, cognitive enhancers that meet the set scientific standards must be without life-threatening side effects.
There you have it – if your enhancer has some weird and utterly debilitating side effects, chances are that it’s not a true nootropic. But even with that said, it’s worth noting that one may experience some health problems due to prolonged overdose and misuse of “smart drugs.” What’s more? Some minor side effects like insomnia and stomach discomfort may be felt by some during the first few days of using noots (rarely).
Do Nootropics Work?
Yes, they do. The only thing that matters is how fast or slow their effects are. Caffeine-based nootropics, for instance, are known for their pick-me-up effects which are normally felt within minutes of consumption. Other noot supplements, however, take hours or even days to work. What matters is that at the end of the day, a well-made supplement should work. Anything that doesn’t work either is suspicious or clearly doesn’t meet the standards set on the markets so far.
Should You Take Nootropics?
When you’re studying in the library for long hours or coding on your computer for 20 hours a day, the logic does and you certainly need some extra help to power you through. As such, taking nootropics is a good thing to do but only if you know why you’re getting into it in the first place.
These cognitive enhancers are meant to reduce stress and clear brain fog. They can also help prevent cognitive decline and memory loss related issues in the long-haul. So, if you really care about your long-term mental health and also want to increase your productivity, it makes perfect sense to pop that pill.
So, there you have it – the definitive guide to nootropics. And as we have seen so far, the “smart drug” trend is here to stay. So far, the stats and scientific studies are largely in favor of this habit. Therefore, if you’re a healthy individual looking for that much-needed mental boost in life, you might want to ponder upon this option and examine the kind of possibilities (and detriments) it might link you up with. This way, you’ll be able to make an independent and sound choice.