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What's the Deal with Nootropics?

What’s the deal with nootropics?

Nootropics are a new class of drugs that promise to boost brain power and enhance cognitive function. But what are they? And do they work? In this article, we'll look at the science behind these "smart" drugs, the risks associated with them — including potential side effects and withdrawal symptoms — as well as tips for safely using nootropics if you decide to try them out.

Nootropics: what are they?

Nootropics are any substance that enhances cognitive function. They’re also called smart drugs, memory enhancers, and brain boosters.

Nootropics have been used by people for thousands of years—the ancient Greeks drank coffee to stay awake; the Romans ate nightshade (belladonna) to enhance their vision; and Hawaiian hunters in the 19th century chewed kava root when they wanted to kill pigs more quickly.

And though nootropic use is becoming increasingly popular today, many people still don’t know what they are or how they work.

Types of nootropics

Nootropics are a type of smart drug. They can be considered memory supplements and brain supplements, as well.

The most popular nootropic supplements include:

  • Piracetam
  • Alpha GPC
  • Vinpocetine

What are the benefits of nootropics?

So, what are the benefits of nootropics?

  • Much like caffeine and other stimulants, nootropics can help improve memory. This means you'll be able to remember things better and more easily.
  • Nootropics can also increase your focus and attention span. If you've got a big project coming up at work or school, they may help prepare you for it better than coffee alone would.
  • Nootropics have been shown to reduce stress levels by increasing the availability of serotonin in your brain—this is important because low serotonin levels have been linked to depression and anxiety disorders (among other things).

What are the risks of using nootropics?

While nootropic supplements can be beneficial, they do come with some risks. Some nootropics have side effects that you may not expect. For example, modafinil has been linked to sleep disorders and other problems in the liver. This is because it blocks histamine receptors and over time can cause a buildup of histamine. Other nootropics have been shown to interact with medications—for instance, some herbal remedies contain chemicals similar enough to prescription drugs that they can result in dangerous interactions when taken together.

Some nootropics also carry health risks: tianeptine has been shown to increase blood pressure when taken at higher doses; phenibut has been associated with withdrawal symptoms on discontinuation; and selegiline can cause anxiety or insomnia when taken long-term (among other side effects).

Finally, if you’re taking a medication for a condition other than depression or anxiety (or any other mental illness), it’s important not only that you talk with your doctor before starting any new supplement but also that you check whether there could be potential interactions between them.

Nootropic safety tips

  • Start with the recommended dose.
  • Don't mix nootropics with other drugs or alcohol.
  • Avoid taking more than the recommended dose of a nootropic, especially if you're new to it.
  • If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, don't take any supplement without first consulting your doctor.

Nootropics can help improve a person's ability to focus, reduce stress and boost memory retention.

Nootropics can help improve a person's ability to focus, reduce stress and boost memory retention.

Nootropics are safe and legal. They’re not a substitute for medical treatment or advice from your doctor, but they may help you feel better overall when taken in moderation.

Nootropics can be a useful tool for improving memory, focus and reducing stress levels. However, they should not be used as a substitute for proper nutrition or medical treatment. If you’re interested in using nootropics as part of your daily routine, make sure to discuss it with your doctor first.


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