What are Nootropics?

What are nootropics? Everything you need to know about nootropics, what are they, what can they do for you and how you can use them to improve your brain health. As with your brain, nootropics are complex and as such the answer is complex.  With this “guide” we try to cover the many complex areas and questions regarding nootropics and their effects.

Nootropics are natural and synthetic compounds or supplements that are used to improve concentration and boost memory power also referred to as cognitive enhancers, brain boosters, brain supplements, and other substances that improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, stress resistance, alertness or motivation in healthy individuals. They are NOT “smart drugs” Smart drugs are mind altering and in many cases cause negative side effects, whereas nootropics by definition must be safe, neuroprotective and pose a very low risk to healthy users when taken as part of a healthy diet.

In there natural state most nootropics are powders derived from plants and the like. Nootropics typically come in powder form, tablets or capsules. The actual definition of what makes a supplement a nootropic is still in debate and being formally classified.

The broadly agreed definition covers the original definitions outlined by Dr. Corneliu and are as follows.

For any substance to be called a nootropic, it must:

  1. enhance memory and learning ability,
  2. help the brain function under disruptive conditions,
  3. protect the brain from harmful chemical damage,
  4. improve neuronal firing mechanisms, and
  5. lack any sedative, stimulant or toxic effects.

NOTE: Nootropics are not medicines/drugs: medicines/drugs bring you back to health when you’re ill, whereas nootropics can help you improve your brain health and function when you’re healthy.

The term “Nootropics” was first used by psychologist and chemist Dr. Corneliu Giurgea a Romanian in 1972 to describe compounds that could ‘turn the mind’ (from Greek, nous trepein). (r.1) (r.2)

Its now known nootropics share similar mechanism/transport actions by enhancing increased communication between neurons, helping to balance neurotransmitter levels or by promoting brain cell health. They may help improve energy metabolism in your neurons, support neuroplasticity, or even stimulate the growth of new neurons and synapses.

What are Nootropics and how do they really work? Which are the best nootropics to use if you are a new user?

Are Nootropics Safe to take?

As a general ruling YES, Nootropics are safe. However, there are some possible side effects you may need to look into, less ethical producers use of bad manufacturing process can cause issues. Always ensure you fully understand what it is your buying, the reputability of the product your taking and the company you’re buying from.

  1. Choose the right nootropic – high-quality ingredients, safety certifications, well-designed formulas, and clean labels;
  2. Take the nootropic the right way – using established stacking strategies, cycling if necessary, and following the manufacturer’s directions

Check out our in-depth article on “Are Nootropics Safe

Which nootropics should I take?

Are nootropics good for you?

What are all natural nootropics?

List of Natural Nootropics

    • Hordenine
    • Agmatine Sulfate
    • GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid)
    • Rhodiola Rosea
    • L-DOPA
    • Bacopa
    • L-Theanine
    • Huperzine A
    • Uridine

How do nootropics work in the brain?

Nootropics have a positive effect on the brain, but the type of nootropic will dictate the response.

What is the best Nootropic supplement?

What is a nootropic stack?

What are the side effects of nootropics?


Choline Nootropics

  • Alpha GPC
  • Phenylethylamine (PEA)
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine
  • Centrophenoxine

Other Nootropics

  • Noopept
  • Piracetam
  • Sulbutiamine
  • Adrafinil
  • Aniracetam
  • Oxiracetam
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS)

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