The world is always changing in strange and peculiar ways. If someone from the 1990s could have had a look at where we’d be as a society by 2019, they probably wouldn’t have been able to believe their eyes. So much has been altered and so many new phenomenons have been created; think of the internet, think of social media and the ability to talk to people on the other side of the world as though they’re sitting right next to us. Think of the way that online news has outgrown the popularity of newspapers, and think about the ever-continuing craziness of some of the world leaders nowadays. Chances are in another thirty years the world will be even more unrecognizable, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Another thing which has drastically changed in recent times is the way in which ‘medicines’ are used. Long gone are the days where they were created for one single purpose and that was that. New discoveries, both scientific and experimental, have found new uses for a wide range of drugs. While these tend to have started out with a genuine medical use, new uses have been found for them- and that’s where nootropics came from. More and more ‘brain food’ drugs have risen through the ranks in recent years and have shot to popularity, and more and more people have become interested in using them.
These kinds of drugs have come from all different areas of the medical world, and they all have different uses. Some help us sleep, some help us concentrate better, some help keeps us awake for longer; the list goes on. The scientific research behind these uses tends to be lacking a bit as it’s difficult to come up with reliable results, but what we do know is that their popularity is showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. What actually are nootropics, though? What are the different types? Who actually uses them, and could they benefit you? These are all very valid questions I’m sure you’re asking, and you don’t have to worry. I’m here today to explain all of this to you, so sit back and relax while you check out my guide to nootropics in 2019.
What are nootropics?
To put it simply, nootropics are drugs or supplements that are supposed to improve cognitive function. This refers to all of the weird going ons in our brains, so they more or less act little boosters for our brains whenever they’re taken. They can improve a wide variety of different functions such as memory, creativity, and motivation. They can make people feel more alert or have the opposite effect, depending on what kinds of nootropics you take.
Nootropics have risen to prominence among a lot of people despite being surrounded by a cloud of controversy. I’ve already mentioned the lack of proper research on them due to the difficulty in finding reliable results, and so a lot of people are unsure over their potential uses, the adverse effects they can have and the fact that that they are lowering the popularity of regular prescription drugs. This negativity hasn’t slowed down any sales of nootropics, however, with these kinds of drugs being sold to great effect in countries such as the USA.
There are a lot of different kinds of nootropics out there which we’ll discuss in later sections. If you want to check out the Best Nootropics Now, follow this link.
How do nootropics work?
Nootropics and brain health supplements work in a variety of different ways and it tends to depend on what one you’re using. In general, however, it can be safely stated that nootropics generally work by affecting different brain pathways in one way or another. The brain is one of the most complex things in existence, never mind in just the human body, and it’s really difficult to understand. There are so many different reactions, so many different chemicals and so many different neurons firing to keep a count of, but we know it’s these kinds of things that are altered when nootropics are used.
An example of a pathway enhanced by certain nootropics is the energy pathway. In this case, the production of and workload performed by mitochondria in the brain is increased dramatically. This, in essence, acts as brain food and puts the brain into a greater state of alertness. This is common in the kind of nootropics that are designed to keep us awake for longer and keep us more concentrated in times of need.
Brain chemicals can also be altered by nootropics, which tends to affect mood and other similar things in the brain. This is done by either slowing down or increasing the firing speed of different neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline). These kinds of changes alter the state our brains are in, either relaxing us when a user wants to chill out or increasing brain activity when people want to stay awake for longer.
It’s these kinds of effects that have made nootropics so popular in recent years. There are brain drugs for all kinds of occasions, and no matter what needs you have for them there tends to be a nootropic out there for everyone. It’s all about finding the right one and making sure it’s safe to use.
Examples of nootropics
Modafinil- Modafinil is one of the most popular nootropics out there. Originally designed last century as a medical treatment for sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy and insomnia, other uses have been found for it as a cognitive enhancer. It acts as a stimulant, really waking up the brain and making the user feel much more alert and focused. This has made it really popular for people who need to study for a test, have a hard long project to finish or simply need to remain focused for a while, whatever the reason for that may be. It improves and increases mood, ADHD, memory, focus, and energy in our brains which is great for these kinds of tasks.
Pramiracetam- this is widely known as one of the strongest of all the nootropics. It is designed to focus on cognitive functions like memory, concentration, and focus, giving them all a boost. It’s believed to work well along with other nootropics as well, so there can perhaps be a double effect. It can be taken in a variety of different ways, but it’s advised that you avoid doing it in powder form as it has a really dodgy taste!
Adrafinil- adrafinil is another nootropic that is well known for the power with which it delivers results. Rather than being focused on improving memory and sharpness of mind, this one is more bent towards keeping its users awake for long periods of time. It’s really popular among people who are going to have a long night and for whom coffee won’t quite suffice. It’s similar to modafinil in the way it works and is really popular as well.
Phenylalanine- this is actually an amino acid and it can affect a wide variety of areas in the brain, making it a popular choice for a number of reasons. This is a really popular choice amongst people who suffer from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, and this is due to its strong ability to improve the mood of its users. It can even act as a sort of painkiller, offering a possible alternative to normal painkillers if they aren’t doing the job for you. With memory and the general mood are improved, this is another strong nootropic.
Who uses nootropics?
There are a wide variety of people who use nootropics for a number of different reasons, and I’ll discuss some of them here.
Students- Students are probably the most popular people to use nootropics for one reason or another. We’ve all been a student at some point or another, so we can all relate to the stress of an upcoming deadline or having a big essay due the next morning. Sometimes we just can’t bring ourselves to concentrate, and that tends to be the way that students feel most of the time. Being a student myself, I know all too well about the stress of deadlines and the rigorous demands that are put upon us. That’s why students are definitely up there with the most frequent users; they need to be alert and focused at all times, feeling as awake as possible. That’s what nootropics help them to achieve.
Gamers- Gamers are also really high up on the list of people who use nootropics. The reasons for this are, in a way, similar to those that students use. Gamers, especially professional ones who compete in high demand tournaments and competitions, need to be as focused as possible while they are playing. They can’t afford to slip up at any time, as even the tiniest of mistakes could be the difference between victory and defeat. In order to continually feel alert and ready for anything that comes their way, they’ll turn to nootropics. Again, this is understandable; it gives them a welcome and much needed mental boost.
Benefits to using nootropics
As we’ve already discussed, there can be a lot of benefits to using nootropics and different kinds of brain drugs. First of all, they can help you stay awake when you really need to (depending on which ones you use). You might have a night shift, have a piece of work due tomorrow morning or simply want to stay up a little bit later than usual, but the right nootropic can give your mind a welcome boost of energy. You’ll feel less tired and feel more full of energy, giving you a better chance to get whatever task you want to do. On the flip side of that coin, you could also take a nootropic that makes you more tired if you want to get a good night’s sleep or fall asleep quicker.
You’ll also feel a lot more focused if you use certain nootropics. They really help to sharpen your mind in times of need, which can be really helpful in a lot of different scenarios. We’ve all been in those situations where we’re lacking in enthusiasm and freshness (like me writing this article right now, for example) and need a bit of help. Nootropics will help you wake up and improve your work rate. It won’t quite work like super drugs you’ll see in a Hollywood film, but they’ll do the job if you use them safely and correctly.
Downsides to nootropics
On the other hand, there are a few downsides to potentially using nootropics. One of these is one which we’ve already touched upon, and it’s the lack of proper research into this area of medication. Due to the fact that proper and reliable results are so hard to obtain with brain stimulants, it’s normally down to people’s first-hand accounts to prove the drugs are worth using. In general, people don’t tend to use a lot of medications if they aren’t sure of the research but tend to let it slip with these brain stimulants for one reason or another. I personally wouldn’t choose to use one until medical research is more clear and in-depth.
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding nootropics as well, with a plethora of people frowning upon those who use them. Chances are if you do choose to use them you’ll get a bit of hate from certain members of society, but it’s up to you of course. These people tend to be worried about the potential side effects of nootropics, so they are most likely just worried about your safety. These side effects could include insomnia, high blood pressure, and blurry vision if you aren’t careful, so make sure you’ve done all the necessary research before you do choose to use them.