Power Pills: Can Nootropics Boost Your Brain?
- 1 Power Pills: Can Nootropics Boost Your Brain?
- 2 What are Nootropics/Smart Drugs/Cognitive Enhancers
- 3 History of Nootropics
- 4 Neurotransmitters
- 5 1. NooCube
- 6 2. Lumonol
- 7 3. Mind Lab Pro
- 8 4. Geniux
- 9 5. Addy Focus
- 10 6. Alpha Brain
- 11 7. OptiMind
- 12 8. Adderin
- 13 9. Smart-X
- 14 10. Brain Pill
- 15 Are Nootropics Safe?
- 16 Do Nootropics Work?
- 17 Final Verdict: Top 10 Brain Supplements
- 18 Nootropics FAQs
- 18.0.1 – FAQ #1: So, Just What Are Nootropics?
- 18.0.2 – FAQ #2: How Are Nootropics Categorized?
- 18.0.3 – FAQ #3: Do Nootropics Have Side Effects?
- 18.0.4 – FAQ #4: Can you combine Nootropics?
- 18.0.5 – FAQ #5: What Happens if I Cease Using Nootropics?
- 19 Nootropics Buying Guide
- 20 Brief Nootropic Supplement Guide:
- 20.1 General Duty:
- 20.2 Mood Boosters:
- 20.3 Memory Enhancers:
- 20.4 Step 4 – Understand No List Is Complete
- 20.5 Step 5 – Try A Nootropic For Yourself
- 20.6 Author Recommended Posts
Pills to boost your brain power might sound like science fiction or something that’s way in the future, but they’re not!
The nootropic supplements to improve memory, clear brain fog, make learning easier and increase mental energy are available today.
This article is about nootropics, or special supplements claimed to increase brain function.
Maybe you’d like to try one yourself.
In any event, get ready for a fascinating read about the world of brain-boosting pills. But first, a little history and information about these smart supplements so you can better understand how they work in the body and brain.
What are Nootropics/Smart Drugs/Cognitive Enhancers
The word nootropic is Greek.
It means toward the mind or bending the mind.
Nootropics all claim to improve brain function, but how?
Well, according to wikipedia.org, many of these supplements focus on improving the supply and quality of the brain’s neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers. It’s how brain cells communicate with each other. It’s an incredibly complex system.
So, it makes sense that a shortage of these chemicals could affect such things as memory, learning and mental acuity.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that supplying the body with the raw materials for neurotransmitter production, which are mainly the proteins or amino acids found in our food, will bring about better brain production.
It doesn’t mean that the body will utilize these nutrients in that way.
The body is very complicated and it may well be that it’s just not that simple and that other factors may be at play.
No one really knows for sure.
But then again, maybe nootropics do work!
History of Nootropics
Nootropics were first discovered in the 1960’s by a Romanian physician who was working with piracetam, a brain-enhancing drug still used today both alone and in certain nootropic supplements.
First trials with nootropics actually were for the purpose of combating motion sickness.
From there the trials with piracetam, which we will discuss later in this article, moved on to trials involving memory, and from there, better general brain function.
As time went on, many other substances were discovered and thought to assist in better memory, learning and focus.
It’s from this long-ago research that many of today’s nootropics have their roots.
One example is acetylcholine.
It’s a critical neurotransmitter synthesized by the body from the vitamin known as choline.
It can be difficult to get enough of this substance from diet alone, so providing more of it from a supplement does make sense.
Other important neurotransmitters are glutamate, serotonin, and dopamine.
Glutamate is closely associated with memory and learning.
Serotonin levels have been associated with depression.
Dopamine is the feel-good brain chemical, involved in reward and feelings of well-being and pleasure. It is also necessary for normal body movement.
Individuals deficient in this brain chemical usually show symptoms of a disease known as Parkinson’s.
Dopamine also plays a critical role in the development of a drug addiction.
All neurotransmitters are critical for proper brain function.
We will now look at some popular Nootropic products and Brain supplements and see what they really have to offer.
Are they worth taking?
Are they safe?
Are they worth the money?
Read on to find out!
Let’s now look at some of the best brain supplements for 2018.
This brain supplement purports to:
- Boost brain function
- Enhance concentration
- Improve multitasking
- Improve memory
- Increase mental energy
The product claims to do this by providing essential vitamins, amino acids and other substances the brain needs for optimal function.
So, Noocube may have something there, but it’s also true that amino acids are present in just about all high-protein foods in our diet.
They are not hard to get!
Noocube is average price for these type of brain supplements.
Some Noocube ingredients are:
- Alpha GPC
- Huperzine A
- Cat’s claw
Huperzine A and cat’s claw are herbal supplements.
Huperzine A is thought to boost acetylcholine levels in the brain by preventing them from breaking down quickly.
Cat’s claw may have neuronal, or brain cell, protective effects especially regarding the cell’s DNA.
There was actually a study done with the first ingredient, Alpha GPC.
In 2013, a study involving Alzheimer’s patients was conducted.
These patients were given Alpha GPC three times a day for six months and according to the study, they showed marked improvement in cognitive tests while on this substance.
Alpha GPC is a form of the vitamin choline, which is involved in the synthesis of the vital brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
The name probably refers to the word light, as in a light that may have turned on in the brain due to its use.
It too is one of the mental focus supplements.
It claims to help with:
- Poor memory
- Feelings of fear and anxiety
- Foggy brain
Lumonol claims to bring clarity and peace to the user’s life.
It comes in three different formulas: Energy, Focus and Memory.
All of them are supposed to improve brain function with special nutrients.
Noopept is what they call their own special ingredient that they claim boosts levels of acetylcholine.
- Acetyl L-carnitine
- Phosphatidyl serine
The first two are amino acids, or protein building blocks, while phosphatidyl serine is a lipid, or type of fat, present in brain cells. It assists brain cells in signaling to each other.
The manufacturer claims that Lumonol performed well in tests, but it cites no particular studies.
3. Mind Lab Pro
Well, this one promises 100% brainpower. It asks you to imagine your brain firing on all cylinders at once, which is powerful imagery indeed.
The ingredients, such as lion’s mane mushroom, maritime pine bark, N-acetyl L-tyrosine, seem to reflect a formula based on herbs, natural supplements and amino acids.
It claims to work on more brain pathways than any other brand, hence the claim of superior brainpower.
Like the others mentioned so far, this one promises better focus and mental clarity.
It offers the chance for the user to be at the top of their mental game.
It’s careful not to claim to treat anything such as dementia but it mentions that one in nine people over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia.
It also mentions that someone in the US is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease every 66 seconds.
Geniux includes such ingredients as Bacopa Monnieri, which is supposed to improve cerebral blood flow and vinpocetine, which helps the brain to use glucose better.
5. Addy Focus
This one is more for concentration.
It’s called Addy Focus as a reference to the prescription stimulant Adderall.
It’s supposed to provide the same focus and energy benefits that Adderall would give but without the dangerous amphetamine side effects.
And also without the need for a prescription, because Adderall is prescribed for attention-deficit type disorders, not just to improve brain function.
Pirecetam is the only ingredient to have any scientific evidence of actually boosting brain function.
6. Alpha Brain
Alpha Brain is supposed to give one a competitive edge by helping with brain wave optimization, focus and memory.
It’s supposed to stimulate the brain’s neurotransmitters but it fails to say how. It doesn’t contain any stimulants such as caffeine, though.
Listed ingredients include cat’s claw, oat straw, and L-tyrosine, which are herbs and an amino acid respectively.
It also contains bacopa, which has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a brain memory aid.
Another important ingredient is huperzia serrata, which is a plant extract supposed to be able to provide the brain with more of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Not as expensive as some of the others.
OptiMind is a little different. It’s not being marketed just for seniors and older people.
It’s for anyone who wants to have their brain working at its maximum.
So it’s for students, businessmen and athletes too.
It also includes GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, an important brain neurotransmitter.
The product promises better cognitive function, more energy and improved focus and attention span.
Their formula is based on 50 years of neuroscience study.
This one too alludes to the prescription stimulant medication Adderall.
It promises more mental energy, focus and faster mental processing speeds.
Adderin is moderately priced.
This one is like a combination of a super-vitamin and a nootropic.
Smart-X claims to improve mental focus and energy with such ingredients as huperzine A, vinpocetine, phosphatidylserine, which is a compound found in cell membranes thought to be involved in cell communication, and cognizin, which is supposed to raise levels of the critical neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
It also contains glucuronolactone, which is supposed to provide energy. It’s commonly found in energy drinks.
Another ingredient is DHA, a type of fat, or lipid, critical to proper brain function.
It also includes some B vitamins in the formula.
10. Brain Pill
Brain Pill claims that brain power peaks at about age 30.
It says their formula can help someone compete mentally with others half their age!
This formula includes an ingredient called synapsa, which is supposed to help memory, multi-tasking, and information processing, and also L-thenaine, a mind-calmer.
Brain Pill’s splashy website features endorsements by a physician and also Ken Jennings, who won the championship on Jeopardy for months in a row before finally being defeated.
He is now a spokesperson for Brain Pill. This formula seems to be pretty standard.
This nootropic is about a third more expensive than average.
Are Nootropics Safe?
Yes. There is no evidence that these supplements have the ability to harm anyone.
Some do contain caffeine and stimulating herbs, but these would just produce a possible nervous feeling, not any real harm, unless taken in very high doses, of course.
Studies on nootropics going back to the 1960’s suggest that supplementing the diet with the nutrient choline may also help brain function.
Do Nootropics Work?
These products are very subjective and then there’s always the power of suggestion.
If you think your brain is working better, then maybe it will seem to work better. Or maybe you just think it does.
The bottom line is, with nootropics, you will have to try them for yourself. (We Recommend NooCube)
Just because a product contains important neurotransmitters doesn’t mean these ingredients actually work within the body to improve brain function.
It’s possible that the brain ages just like the rest of the body and there isn’t a lot that can be done about it as far as supplements go.
On the other hand, they probably can’t cause any harm except maybe to your budget.
And then again, they may make a difference in your brain function and in your life.
Most of these manufacturers will let you try their product for free.
Well, it’s not actually free. There’s a shipping charge to your credit card, and if you don’t cancel by the agreed date they will charge your card again and ship you more product.
With NooCube, you will get Buy 2 Get 1 Free offer with Free Shipping to any part of the world.
Final Verdict: Top 10 Brain Supplements
If you’d like to try a nootropic product, then go ahead.
There is no evidence of harm, and many people swear by them.
You may like the results and choosing the right brain supplement can make a positive difference in your brain function.
We have carefully sorted the list of Top 10 brain supplements for you. It is based on rigorous testing and research and we believe it can greatly benefit you.
You’ll have to try one to know for sure, but you can use the information you read here today as a good guide.
Select the one you think is best for you and then give it a try.
We recommend NooCube and it’s our Top rated Nootropic supplement.
Nootropics are supplements and chemicals that have been correlated with improved motivation and memory recall, enhanced mood, increased general intelligence, and heightened attention span.
In short, if a substance has been linked to improve intelligence or emotional function, then it qualifies as a nootropic. Various organizations and groups have very different opinions on just what qualifies as a nootropic, but this is a good rule of thumb.
Specific areas of debate include discussions as to whether prescription medications qualify as nootropics. The two broad camps include the “all natural” camp arguing that nootropics only include non prescription supplements, and the inclusive camp which argues that any chemical improving brain function qualifies.
There are four distinct classes of nootropic that are broadly accepted by most groups advocating their use.
Racetams are a family of drugs that can affect the brain in a number of ways. Some have been used for years in Europe and other countries specifically for their cognitive enhancing abilities (piracetam in particular).
Others, such as levetiracetam, are prescribed as anti-convulsant medication, but have been linked to improved cognitive function as well. Currently only levetiracetam is approved for medical use in the United States of America.
The use of levetiracetam for anything other than anti-convulsant therapy is controversial, because it has been linked to health and dosage issues.
Eugeroic drugs are classified as wakefulness enhancers. They are in essence a more mild stimulant than many medications available through prescription. Adderall and Ritalin are the classic stimulants used to boost focus, but given their close relationship to amphetamines they have a high abuse potential. Eugeroics by comparison have a very low dependency rate in most users, making them far more palatable to people needing a nootropic agent.
– Vitamin and “Natural” Supplements:
This is a very broad category, unfortunately. It includes any substance used as a brain-boosting supplement that does not fall under prescription guidelines. It can include simple vitamins such as Vitamin D; Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to lower energy levels and reduced ability to focus due to exhaustion. Alternately it can include substances such as Ginko Biloba, which has been linked to improved memory.
The key advantage of Vitamins and Supplements as Nootropics lies in the ease of access. These are available over the counter in virtually any pharmacy, and do not require a prescription. Many of the more common ones are quite inexpensive and readily available.
Cholinergics are drugs that produce, promote the production of, or simulate the function of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is an important part of memory and cognition in the brain, and disruptions in its function have been linked strongly to memory loss and focus decrease in Alzheimer’s patients.
Every chemical you put into your body has a side effect, and all prescription or over the counter medications are made of chemical components.
The degree of these side effects varies between substances, and between patients taking them. Anyone who tells you a substance is totally side-effect free is wrong. Even drinking too much water can cause water toxicity in the body!
What we can say is that many supplement and vitamin derived nootropics have very few side effects. Most are substances your body needs anyway; we refer you again to the concept of Vitamin deficiency and its effects on the mind.
In many cases, you absolutely can. Remember that the term Nootropics is a wide category encompassing many sub-categories. Having a prescription for acetylcholine stimulating medications in most cases would not prevent you from taking mood enhancing vitamins such as Ginko Biloba or St John’s Wort.
However it is vitally important that you confirm all of this information with your personal doctor. A doctor’s education is extensive and broad, and they ideally should know the particulars of your medical history. Ask them about interactions and side effects of various compounds before beginning any kind of supplement regimen.
If you have been taking a Nootropic supplement and experienced a positive result, there is a good chance that stopping taking them will result in your cognitive state returning to its pre-supplement ability.
Again, this varies from person to person. The brain is a marvellous organ, and the concept of neuroplasticity tells us that it can adapt and reshape itself with time and effort in many cases. Some people might find their cognitive abilities are quite fine even after ceasing their regimen, while others might find themselves returning to their previous baseline.
Nootropics Buying Guide
Step 1 – Identify The Nature of Your Need
The first step in any venture is figuring out where you are, and where you want to go. This sounds obvious, but many people don’t realize how important self-analysis is in determining what supplement stack to take. Decreased cognitive function can result from a number of causes.
For example, you may have trouble focusing on or completing important tasks as a result of a limitation on your cognitive ability itself. Weaker ability to make logical connections is a key factor in problems we loosely group together as Executive Dysfunction. In this case, you would seek out a brain-boosting supplement focusing on increasing cognitive levels, or perhaps improving memory.
On the other hand, it might be that you simply have a lower overall mood. The blues can result in reduced motivation and energy levels, leaving you unable to approach basic tasks with the vigor they need for completion. In this case, a mood boosting supplement such as St. John’s Wort might be the ticket, instead of a memory enhancer such as Ginko Biloba.
Step 2 – Consult With Your Doctor
Many conditions we might be experiencing can be related to underlying health issues. For example, chronic low level pain has been linked to poor emotional states. If your doctor can identify a particular cause and recommend a course of treatment, there is no reason not to avail yourself of their services.
Many supplement sites will argue that their product is “the” key and nothing else is needed. Don’t trust such claims. Your doctor knows a great deal, and can help you understand what you may be going through in a number of ways. Further, a doctor can tell you if some compounds might interact with prescriptions you may be taking for other, unrelated medical needs. Always include your doctor as a major part of any health decision you decide to make.
Step 3 – Examine Possible Options
As mentioned previously, some Nootropics are prescription-only drugs, such as Modafinil. They have strong results, but have enough potential health effects that they are strictly regulated in their use. A doctor may prescribe them, but it is up to their discretion. This makes them a powerful, but less accessible option for patients.
Supplements and Vitamins in special combinations called Stacks are therefore the most readily accessible combination that most patients can use for Nootropic purposes.
Again, different stacks have different effects. Research the various compounds included in each Nootropic to determine if they fit your needs. After all, you’ll be the one taking them, so you need to be sure you’re getting the best combination for your best life.
Brief Nootropic Supplement Guide:
With the previous step in mind, let’s have a look at some of the categories of Nootropic Supplements available.
These are “broad” category Nootropics that are correlated with improving a variety of mental factors, including cognition, mood, and memory.
A natural compound that has been linked to supporting healthy brain structure at a cellular level, improving mood, enhancing the ability to recall memory, and strengthening both focus and the ability to learn new facts.
This nootropic has been linked to reduced anxiety, improved mood, and improved logical cognition ability.
A Nootropic demonstrated to improve focus and reduce the numerous side effects of stress, while also helping improve logical cognition and reducing fatigue.
Considered a neuroprotectant, it helps reduce the impact of stress on the neuro structure of the brain. It also reduces stress and improves memory recall, making it a solid multi-purpose Nootropic compound.
These Nootropics are compounds targeted specifically at improving mood and mental health, giving an enhanced sense of well being and reducing anxiety’s degrading effect on cognition.
Chemically similar to the neurotransmitter GABA, Phenibut acts on two channels. It reduces anxiety, leaving you more mental energy for your work. Secondly, it helps improve the quality of restful sleep, which is closely connected to overall mood and well-being.
An all-natural relaxer, it helps create a sense of ease and comfort. However, it is not so strong as to be a pure sedative, meaning that it won’t impair your ability to focus and get things done.
St John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is interesting, as it is commonly prescribed by doctors as an alternative treatment for depression and anxiety. It has been shown in German studies to be as effective at treating mild to moderate depression as several tricyclic or SSRI antidepressants.
This makes it a very useful mood boosting Nootropic, helping give you tools to combat the deleterious effects of an overwhelming bad mood.
As it says on the label, these Nootropics are associated with increased fact recall and memory formation.
Ginseng + Ginko Biloba
This is a combination with a long, respected history of use in Chinese Traditional Medicine. It has been associated with increased memory function in a number of studies, and is one of the longest-lasting supplement trends in the world.
This is a unique herbal supplement that helps with memory formation on multiple levels. In particular, it has shown a strong effect in reducing memory decline in older men. It functions by helping with the conversion of short term memories to longer term, and reducing the rate at which set memories are lost through lack of use.
Step 4 – Understand No List Is Complete
The list we discussed above is only a miniscule fraction of the potential supplements you can find in the Nootropic category. To list every single one would result in an article that would be impossible to read, as it would be longer than most webpages.
What we intend to do here is provide this as a starting place, to see some common compounds and how they might be used for Nootropic purposes. There are others, some of which are combined in the stacks we discussed elsewhere in this article. Other stacks may include new compounds that weren’t listed here. If it isn’t on this list, that isn’t an indication that it isn’t something you should consider!
Step 5 – Try A Nootropic For Yourself
Whether you settle on a single-compound supplement like St John’s Wort or decide to use a multipurpose Nootropic stack, ultimately you are the final arbiter of what is or isn’t working for you.
Select a product we’ve discussed and give it a try for yourself, so that you can see what the results are. In the end, it is your life that will be affected, and only you can decide how a product has made you feel.