Is nootropic a supplement or drug

The 14 Best Nootropics and Smart Drugs

Nootropics and smart drugs are natural or synthetic substances that can be taken to improve the mental performance of healthy people.

They have gained popularity in today's highly competitive society and are most commonly used to increase memory, focus, creativity, intelligence, and motivation.

Table of Contents

Here's an overview of the 14 best nootropics and how they improve performance.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world (1).

It occurs naturally in coffee, cocoa, tea, kola nuts, and guarana, and is added to many sodas, energy drinks, and medications. It can also be taken as a supplement, either alone or in combination with other substances (2).

Caffeine works by blocking the adenosine receptors in your brain and making you feel less tired (3).

A low to moderate caffeine intake of 40-300 mg increases your alertness and alertness and decreases your reaction time. These doses are especially effective for people who are tired (4, 5, 6).

SUMMARY

Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical that increases your alertness, improves your alertness, and reduces your reaction times.

2. L-theanine

L-titanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in tea, but it can also be taken as a supplement (7).

Several studies have shown that taking 200 mg of L-theanine has a calming effect without causing drowsiness (8, 9).

With just 50 mg ingestion - the amount found in roughly two cups of brewed tea - alpha waves in the brain associated with creativity were increased (9).

L-theanine is even more effective when taken with caffeine. For this reason, they are often used together in performance-enhancing nutritional supplements. They are also both naturally found in tea (7, 10).

SUMMARY

L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea that can enhance the feeling of calm and be associated with increased creativity. In combination with caffeine, its effectiveness is even greater. it is therefore a popular nootropic.

3. Creatine

Creatine is an amino acid that your body uses to make protein.

It is a popular bodybuilding supplement that promotes muscle growth but is also beneficial for the brain.

After ingestion, creatine enters your brain, where it combines with phosphate to form a molecule that your brain uses to quickly fill its cells (11).

This increased availability of energy to your brain cells has been linked to improvements in short-term memory and reasoning skills, especially in vegetarians and highly stressed people (12, 13, 14).

Studies show that it is safe to ingest 5 grams of creatine per day with no ill effects. Larger doses are also effective, but research into their long-term safety has not yet been carried out (15).

SUMMARY

Creatine is an amino acid that can improve short-term memory and thinking skills. It is most effective with vegetarians and people who are under stress. Doses of 5 grams per day have been shown to be safe over the long term. It is therefore highly recommended as a nootropic.

4. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve brain function.

Several studies have found that Bacopa monnieri dietary supplements can speed up information processing in the brain, reduce reaction times, and improve memory (16, 17, 18).

Bacopa monnieri contains agents called bacosides that protect your brain from oxidative stress and improve signal transmission in your hippocampus, an area of ​​your brain that processes memories (19).

The effects of Bacopa monnieri are not felt immediately. Therefore, doses of 300-600 mg should be taken for several months for maximum benefit (20, 21).

SUMMARY

Bacopa monnieri is a herbal supplement that has been shown to improve memory and information processing when taken for several months. So it can be used very well as a nootropic.

5.Rhodiola Rosea (rose root)

Rhodiola rosea (rose root) is an adaptogenic herb that helps your body deal with stress more effectively.

Several studies have found that Rhodiola rosea supplements can improve mood and reduce burnout in anxious and highly stressed individuals (22, 23).

Small daily doses of Rhodiola rosea have been shown to reduce mental fatigue and increase student wellbeing during stressful exam times (24).

More research is needed to determine the optimal dosage and to better understand how the herb causes these effects.

SUMMARY

Rhodiola rosea (rose root) is a natural herb that can help your body adapt to times of high stress and reduce the associated mental fatigue. It is therefore one of the recommended nootropics.

6. Panax ginseng

Panax ginseng root is an ancient medicinal plant that has long been a nootropic and is used to increase brain function.

Taking a single dose of 200-400 mg of Panax ginseng has been shown to reduce brain fatigue and improve performance on difficult tasks like mental math problems (25, 26, 27).

However, it is unclear how Panax Ginseng promotes brain function. It may be due to its powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which protect the brain from oxidative stress and improve its function (28).

Some longer term studies have found that your body can adapt to ginseng, making it less effective after a few months of use. Therefore, more research is needed on its long-term nootropic effects (29).

SUMMARY

Occasional doses of Panax ginseng can help improve mental function, but more research is needed on its long-term effectiveness.

7. Ginkgo biloba

Extracts from the leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree can also have beneficial effects on the brain.

Ginkgo biloba supplements have been shown to improve memory and mental processing in healthy older adults when taken daily for six weeks (30, 31, 32).

Taking ginkgo biloba before a very stressful task also reduces stress-related high blood pressure and lowers levels of cortisol, a type of stress hormone (33).

It is believed that some of these benefits are due to increased blood flow to the brain after supplementation with ginkgo biloba (34).

While these results are promising, not all studies have shown positive effects. More research is needed to better understand the potential benefits of ginkgo biloba for the brain (35).

SUMMARY

Some research suggests that ginkgo biloba can improve memory and mental processing, and can be beneficial in stressful situations. But more research is needed.

8. Nicotine

Nicotine is a naturally occurring chemical found in many plants, especially tobacco. It's one of the compounds that make cigarettes so addicting.

It can also be consumed through nicotine gum or absorbed through the skin through a nicotine patch.

Studies show that nicotine can have nootropic effects like improved alertness and alertness, especially in people with naturally poor attention spans (36, 37).

It has also been found to improve motor functions. In addition, chewing nicotine gum is associated with higher handwriting speed (38).

However, this substance can be addicting and is fatal in high doses, so caution should be exercised (39).

Nicotine is not recommended due to the risk of addiction. However, nicotine use is justified in trying to quit smoking.

SUMMARY

Nicotine is a naturally occurring chemical that promotes alertness, alertness, and motor skills. Still, it is addictive and toxic in high doses. It is therefore one of the dangerous nootropics and we do not recommend it.

9. Noopept

Noopept is a synthetic smart drug that can be bought as a supplement.

Unlike some of the natural nootropics, the effects of Noopept can be felt in minutes instead of hours, days, or weeks, and typically last several hours (40, 41).

Animal studies have shown that Noopept speeds memory formation and retrieval by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a compound that promotes the growth of brain cells (42, 43, 44).

Human research has found that this smart drug helps people recover faster from brain injuries, but more study is needed to understand how it can be used as a nootropic in healthy adults (45, 46).

SUMMARY

Noopept is a fast-acting, synthetic nootropic that can improve memory by increasing the levels of BDNF in your brain. However, more human-based research is needed.

10. Piracetam

Piracetam is another synthetic nootropic that is very similar in structure and function to Noopept.

It has been shown to improve memory in people with age-related mental decline, but does not seem to have much benefit in healthy adults (47, 48).

In the 1970s, some small, poorly designed studies suggested that piracetam could improve memory in healthy adults, but these results have not been replicated (49, 50, 51).

Although piracetam is widely used and advertised as a smart drug, research into its effects is lacking.

SUMMARY

Piracetam is marketed as a nootropic dietary supplement, but there is a lack of research to support its effectiveness. Hence, we cannot recommend it as a first choice among all the other effective nootropics.

11. Phenotropil

Phenotropil, also known as Phenylpiracetam, is a synthetic smart drug that is widely used as an over the counter supplement.

It's built up similarly to Piracetam and Noopept and helps the brain recover from various injuries such as stroke, epilepsy, and trauma (52, 53, 54).

One study in rats found that Phenotropil slightly improved memory, but research to support its use as a smart drug in healthy adults is not available (55).

SUMMARY

Phenotropil is marketed as a smart drug, but research showing healthy adults have memory-enhancing benefits is not available.

12. Modafinil (Provigil)

Modafinil, often sold under the brand name Provigil, is a prescription drug that is widely used to treat narcolepsy, a condition that causes uncontrollable sleepiness (56).

Its stimulating effect is comparable to that of amphetamines or cocaine. However, animal studies suggest that it has a lower risk of addiction (57, 58).

Several studies have shown that Modafinil significantly reduces feelings of fatigue and improves memory in sleepless adults (59, 60, 61).

It also improves the functioning of executives or the ability to properly manage your time and resources to achieve your goals (60).

While Modafinil appears to have powerful nootropic effects, it is only available by prescription in most countries.

Even when prescribed, it is important to use this drug responsibly to avoid negative side effects.

Although Modafinil is generally considered non-addictive, cases of addiction and withdrawal have been reported at high dosages (62, 63).

SUMMARY

Modafinil is a prescription drug that can reduce drowsiness and improve brain function in healthy adults, especially people who are sleep deprived. However, it should only be taken as directed.

13. Amphetamines (Adderall)

Adderall is a prescription drug that contains highly stimulant amphetamines.

It is most commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, but it is increasingly being used by healthy adults to improve alertness and focus (64).

Adderall works by increasing the availability of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine in your prefrontal cortex, an area of ​​your brain that controls working memory, attention, and behavior (65).

The amphetamines found in Adderall make people feel more alert, alert, and upbeat. They also reduce appetite (66).

A review of 48 studies found that Adderall significantly improved people's ability to control their behavior and improved short-term memory (67).

Depending on the dosage and type of pill prescribed, the effects last up to 12 hours (68).

It is important to note that these drugs are not without side effects.

Adderall is widely abused on university campuses, with some surveys showing up to 43% of college students taking stimulants without a prescription (69).

The side effects of using Adderall include anxiety, low sex drive, and sweating (70).

Recreational Adderall abuse can also cause more serious side effects, such as heart attacks, especially when mixed with alcohol (71, 72, 73).

Evidence that Adderall improves mental performance is strong but should only be taken as directed.

SUMMARY

Adderall isn't available without a prescription, but it appears to improve brain function in healthy adults and people with ADHD. Due to its side effects, it is clearly one of the dangerous nootropics.

14.Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

Ritalin is another prescription drug that is used to treat symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy.

Like Adderall, it is a stimulant and increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. However, it does not contain amphetamines (74).

In healthy adults, Ritalin improves short-term memory, the speed and attention of information processing (75, 76).

It is typically well tolerated, but can have the opposite effect and affect thinking if an excessive dose is ingested (77).

Like Adderall, Ritalin is widely abused, especially by people 18-25 years of age (78).

The most common side effects of Ritalin include insomnia, stomach pain, headache, and loss of appetite (79).

It can also cause hallucinations, psychosis, seizures, arrhythmias, and high blood pressure, especially when taken in high doses (79, 80, 81, 82).

Ritalin is a powerful stimulant that should only be taken as directed and that is closely monitored for abuse.

SUMMARY

Ritalin is a smart drug that improves information processing, memory, and alertness. It is only available by prescription.

The conclusion to the mentioned nootropics

Nootropics and smart drugs refer to natural, synthetic, and prescription substances that improve mental function.

Prescription smart drugs, like Adderall and Ritalin, have the most powerful and significant effects on memory and alertness.

Synthetic nootropic supplements like Noopept and Piracetam are widely used, but research into their effectiveness in healthy adults is lacking.

Many natural nootropics are used in alternative medicine, but their effects tend to be more subtle and slower. They are sometimes taken in combination to make them more effective.

The use of nootropics and smart drugs is increasing in today's society, but more research is needed to better understand their benefits.

Categories NootropicsTags Nootropics, Nootropic