What are nootropics?
I have to assume that not all of my readers have heard of natural nootropics. The simplest explanation calls them “smart drugs”. These compounds have been purported to improve focus, mental alertness, mood, memory, and generalized abilities such as motivation, and perseverance.
Have you ever used Nootropics?
We live in a period of history when we spend vast amounts of money and research on herbs, essential oils, vitamins, and minerals. Nootropics offer another level of help for good cognitive health. You may be surprised to learn you are already unknowingly using nootropics. For example, these compounds are considered nootropics: caffeine, omega-3s, creatine, and L-theanine. Did I astonish you? Perhaps you are like me; I had no idea I used nootropics until I did some of my own research. As you read, I encourage you to keep an open mind as to the possibilities these elements offer you in terms of better mental health.
Do your own research.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting nootropics is to plunge in full force, perhaps taking bigger doses than what is recommended, thinking they can reach their long-term goal more quickly. In bodybuilding this does not work. The same is true here. You can overdo to the point of injury, if you take more than the suggested amount. Also, some people mix these with prescription drugsand other OTC medications, without checking on the possibility of harmful interactions. Some prescription drugs may actually increase or decrease the effect a certain nootropic has on your life. Ritalin and Adderal are amphetamines and interactions with nootropics can prove dangerous. Many suggest using nootropics in place of these prescription drugs, which according to users have aggravating side effects. Before you start any new product, Google it, do your own research as to which nootropics interact with the compounds you are already using. Here’s a list of things to consider:
- What long-term results do you wish to effect?
- Are you trying to lose weight?
- Do you need a better memory for enhancing your test scores?
- Has old-age played havoc with remembering where you put things?
- Are you forgetting to go to appointments?
- Are you struggling to say focused at school or on your job?
- Has stress and anxiety played havoc with your everyday life?
2. How do you find a good quality product? Most nootropics are not regulated by the FDA. You need to check to look for third-party testing which has been done on the products you are considering.
3. Track your changes. This is a very important part of the process. Some sites offer tools to help in this arena. Search for those. There’s no reason for you to try to re-invent the process, but by all means do keep a record.You can always create you’re your own spreadsheet or even use a blank tablet as a diary of sorts.
The racetams work very well, especially when combined with choline supplementation according to numerous studies and trials in the past 40 years or so.
Some other fairly potent resources include aniracetam and oxiraetam. They have been reported as acting faster, promoting great stimulation, and improving panic attacks by diminishing nervousness and calming anxiety.
Some winning combinations/stacks
When nootropics are used in tandem or combinations of two or more, they are referred to as “stacks”.
- Caffeine + L-Theanine – This is a highly recommended stack for beginners. You may have already used it. By combining coffee and green tea in a balanced ratio of 1 part caffeine to 2 parts L-theanine, you get a recipe designed for prompting alertness, wakefulness, and attention. Of course, you need to see what time of day you use this combination and what level of caffeine your body tolerates,while still allowing you to get a good night’s rest.
- Nutrients – So many are available, but using them in proper combination can make a world of difference in how you feel physically, how you respond to stress, and how well you perform mentally. Health food stores often have staff or owners who know how to do muscle testing, thus determining the best dosage for you and the situation you are trying to change for the better.
- Ayurvedic Compounds –the Ayurvedic from the Far East Indian cultures were ahead of their time with nootropics. Their contributions include:
1. Bacopamonniera – this herb works by reducing anxiety and boosting cognition. Since it is fat soluble, many traditional Indian families in remote villages take this with ghee (clarified butter).
2. Ashwagandha – also known as Indian ginseng, can reduce anxiety and improve concentration and focus. It’s an ayurvedic herb. I taught school with one lady who found great relief by using this and other ayurvedic compounds.
- Chinese Compounds –traditional Chinese medicinal practices have existed with thesenootropic compounds for thousands of years. Although we think of nootropics as a modern thing, many Chinese usethem in remote ruralvillages, while Wall Street financiers discover their benefits.
1. Asian ginseng (panax) – this drug can improve learning capabilities since it has a relaxing / calming effect.Many report its blessings as being able to reduce anxiety and stress. An extract from the berries having a highginsenoside content, which is the active ingredient and then the roots seem to work best. Ginsengseed has the least amount of useable compound.
2. Ginkgo biloba –has great antioxidentproperties whichcan also reduce anxiety. The way Gingko biloba works on the memory has been well studied.
Despite the seemingly beneficial effects nootropics can have, there are still a lot of things we don’t know about them. Interactions are one of the biggest concerns. Should you have an adverse reaction to one of them and need medical attention, would traditional 21st century medicine know how to deal with your situation? To that end, I reiterate, please do your research, and track every dose and change without fail.