Nootropics

May 04, 2020

Nootropics

All of us had lazy days when you can barely make yourself get up from bed and cannot even think about training. Anybody who trains regularly also knows that feeling when you can’t push yourself hard enough to do a proper training, or you simply cut it short because you are not in the mood for training hard. In the modern world we live in, the life is so dynamic that we sometimes simply feel too exhausted and tired for the gym or anything which doesn’t include sitting in front of the TV after the working hours are over. It is no wonder then that the supplement industry focused their power and knowledge in order to give us the product which would help us overcome these feelings. Many people know how steroids work - you train regularly and they increase your muscle mass and strength. However, nootropics are completely different compounds making sure that you get up every day and do highly intense training while maintain your mood, focus and energy level. While other supplements affect your body, this one is created to affect your mind. Let’s see how.

What are nootropics?

Nootropics are the group of substances which are used as the booster of our cognitive functions. They maintain healthy operations of the brain, which is why they are frequently called smart drugs. The name is derived from the Greek words meaning „mind“ and „turn“, so nootropic literally mean mind-turner or bending the mind. Initially, the name referred to a particular substance, but now the same name is used to refer to a wide variety of food and supplements which can improve our mental state. The trait which connects them is the fact that they can enhance our motivation, memory, focus, cognition, learning, concentration, decision-making processes, inspiration and sleeping patterns.

These substances are becoming more and more popular among the people of different age and backgrounds. Many students decide to try them during the examination periods and in order to improve their learning process and have more energy to go through the exams. Adult people who have long working hours or simply have jobs which are exhausting, frequently opt to use one of the nootropics. These substances are also popular among people who work in shifts because it helps them regulate their sleeping pattern. Recently, more and more older people started using these supplements because they can contribute to maintaining healthy cognitive skills which can naturally deteriorate with age. Some types of this supplement can be bought legally and even prescribed. Most commonly, doctors would opt for trying this as the solution if the patient is suffering from memory impairing disease such as Alzheimer’s or for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is the disorder leading to rash and impulsive behavior, abnormal hyperactivity and lack of focus. These substances found many use cases. Healthy people who can’t get a prescription would sometimes opt for buying them under the counter or ordering them online.

Types of nootropics

There are different types of nootropics. Generally speaking, they are divided into three broad categories. The first one is prescription drugs. These are the ones commonly used for patients suffering from ADHD. They have the ability to make you focus and alert. These drugs are also used by people who don’t suffer from any medical condition, but just want to improve their attention span. However, healthy organism reacts differently to the drugs, so it is important to know that the effects of the drugs can vary depending on the user.

The other group is synthetic compounds. They are used to improve memory. This group of nootropics is sometimes prescribed to people suffering from any type of brain injury which affects their cognitive skills. The jury is still out when it comes to the question if they can improve memory in a healthy person.

The last category is dietary supplements. Some types of food and drink are considered natural nootropics. This is why researchers say that the majority of the world’s population takes nootropics in one form or another. The most popular ones are herbal tea and coffee. This is why people tend to drink more coffee when they have to work or study hard. It simply improves our energy levels, makes us more focused and less tired, even for a little while. There is no doubt that natural options of nootropics are good, however, research shows that synthetic versions have stronger and more durable effects.

Nootropics and training

Nootropics became very popular in the world of athletes too. They can be used alone or in addition with other performance and muscle boosters. People who use them in order to improve their training routine can choose between natural nootropics containing substances such as caffeine, Omega-3 fatty acids, kava, Lion’s mane mushroom, and synthetic ones which are frequently bought under the counter or online. The natural ones bring fewer side effects, but the synthetic ones are more effective. One of the greatest benefits of these compounds is the fact that they can make us more focused on the training. People who are focused and alert tend to do trainings more efficiently as they channel their energy more effectively to the task at hand. Some nootropics also have the ability to help you overcome the feeling of exhaustion and improve your mood and motivation to train. Athletes who have general feeling of happiness and well-being tend to be more productive at the gym. Only some nootropics have the effects of the actual performance boosters. Most of them create the atmosphere and preconditions for doing a successful training. However, if you find the right nootropics, you can use them to better your performance, improve stamina, and ensure that you have an additional energy reservoir when you are working out. Finally, some athletes who participate in team sports discovered that particular nootropics can improve decision-making process and shorten the reaction time, which potential leads to outplaying the opposite team.

It is important to know that not all of the nootropics will be effective on your organism. You need to find the right one for you. Also, researchers have noticed that some people experience placebo effect when taking them. This means that they feel more energized and focused because this is what they expect from the substance and not because of the substances’ effects on the organism. Nootropics are by no means a replacement for a healthy life style. They should be an addition to a healthy diet, regular sleeping pattern and training routine. Also, bear in mind that nootropics are not closely regulated by FDA. You need to do your research, read the label carefully and find verified sources before opting to buy and use one of these.

Most Popular Nootropics

There are many nootropics on the market. They include various substances and can have different effects on your brain and organism. It is expected to see even more of them being produced and marketed in the future. We will now present you with the most popular ones at the moment.

Modafinil

This nootropic is initially invented to treat medical conditions such as narcolepsy, sleep disorders in which people feel constant sleepiness, experience sleep paralysis and periodical loss of muscle control. Now it is frequently used by people suffering from sleep deprivation due to the nature of their work such as truck drivers, doctors, nurses, Also, it has become very popular among students, especially around the time of exams. Modafinil can make you more productive and give you more energy and focus. This substance also helps overcome the feeling of fatigue and exhaustion. Many people using it also reported a short-term memory boost after taking it. The side effect is that it can limit creative and problem-solving skills. Even though this nootropic can help you study more and work harder without having all the psychological burden which comes with it, it is not a replacement for a good night of sleep. You will be able to do some tasks for a longer period of time, but your cognitive skills will also decrease as your brain is getting tired and needs a rest.

Adderall

Adderall is the prescription drug initially used to treat disorders such as ADHD and narcolepsy. It contains stimulating amphetamines. When taken, it triggers a significant amount of chemicals which already exist in our brains such as dopamine and noradrenaline. This leads to being more focused, awake and motivated. Adderall can also improve short-term memory and improve mood and general feeling of well-being. Its effects vary depending on the dosage taken, but they last on average half a day. The substance became very popular among students who found the way to buy it without prescription. Side effects of this nootropic is anxiety and lack of sex drive. Mixing it with other substances such as drugs and alcohol can have more severe side effects, and ultimately provoke a heart attack.

Ritalin

This nootropic is quite similar to Adderall. It was also initially used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, and has the ability to enhance the amount of dopamine and noradrenaline in the area of the brain in charge of memory, focus and attention. Ritalin can improve short-term memory and speed up the process of learning and processing new information. Unlike Adderall, it doesn’t contain amphetamines. Good side of this nootropics is that its side effects are milder. Some of the common ones are headache, insomnia and appetite loss.

Memantine

This substance is used for treating several conditions such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and withdrawal symptoms present in the period of addiction recovery. It works by improving neuronal synaptic plasticity in the brain and protects neurons from being destroyed by high levels of glutamate. Glutamate is crucial for thinking process, but in high levels it has impairing effects on our brain. Memantine is very useful in addressing this issue because it registers the levels of glutamate and activates only when it is high. While glutamate is within the limits Memantine is passive and on stand-by. Researchers see this as the explanation for very mild side effects and general good experience people have when taking it. Some of the side effects are nausea, dizziness and tiredness. This substance is also used by healthy people who want to improve their cognitive abilities. It is most frequently consumed by young people and students, as it can improve focus and attention-span, boost short-term memory and limit the feeling of anxiety and depression.

Summary

Nootropics come in different forms- they can be natural and man-made. Their primary feature is that they can improve our cognitive abilities, memory, learning process and help us overcome the feeling of fatigue. They are used to treat various cognition impairing diseases, but also by healthy people of different age. Most frequently they are used by students and the greatest substance abuse and buying under the counter was observed on campuses. Athletes find them very effective too. They can be used to improve stamina and focus when working out and for overcoming the feeling of exhaustion. However, these substances come with some side effects. This is why you should find the one which is suitable for you, take it in small amounts, and never as a replacement for healthy life habits.


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