Boost Your Brain Game with Nootropics

We’ve all seen The Matrix or Limitless and wondered at one time or another what kind of pill would really give us the ability to “free our minds” and truly push the neurological and cognitive boundaries of the human mind. Sure, various stimulants might boost some cognitive abilities and enhance focus for a couple hours, but that usually comes with a nasty energy crash in the ensuing hours and no long-lasting benefits.


We’re in need of something that provides both acute and cumulative effects on the human mind, something that truly delivers brain gains!


The answer, quite simply, is nootropics!


We’ve got a primer on these incredibly diverse and engrossing compounds to give you an idea of just how powerful they can be and which ones to keep an eye out for!

 

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are relatively new to the realm of sports supplements, but have really caught on in recent years as more companies have come to realize the unharnessed power of these powerful compounds. Nootropics are often referred to as “smart drugs,” since they’re most frequently associated with enhancing various critical functions of the brain.

 

How do they work?

Let’s get something out of the way first. Nootropics will not instantaneously boost your IQ 10 points or make you see all sorts of colors….unfortunately that’s not how they work.
However, nootropics will significantly enhance brain function via several different mechanisms[1]: 

- Boost production of vital transmitters, hormones, and enzymes
- Improve neural plasticity
- Increase cerebral blood flow
- Enhance connection and communication between synapses
- Reduce neuro inflammation

 

Nootropics research continues to evolve, and more benefits and mechanisms of action continue to be discovered as scientists delve deeper into the power of the human brain.

Why is this important?

 

The brain consists of a rather large and complex network of neurons connected by synapses. In fact, there are over 100 billion neurons in the brain![2] 


Neurons communicate or “talk” to one another using chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Nootropics increased levels of these neurotransmitters (acetylcholine, dopamine, epinephrine, etc.), which typically lead to improved memory, longer attention spans, heightened concentration and greater capacity for mental processing. With prolonged use, resting or “normal” levels of these everyday neurotransmitters can become altered (in a positive way) leading to long-lasting benefits for overall brain health!


Other nootropics function as vasodilators, which increase blood flow to the brain (and muscles) -- delivering more oxygen, nutrients, and glucose which is incredibly beneficial for the brain as glucose is the preferred energy source of the brain![1] Furthermore, greater blood flow and oxygen delivery result in substantially greater focus and memory, something incredibly useful for those cramming for finals!


Lastly, nootropics work to protect and preserve neural tissue. This occurs primarily due to the altered neurotransmitter levels discussed previously which help slow down or “reverse” the aging process. Assorted nootropics can stimulate production of brain cells and at the same time slow down their degradation. Projecting this across several years of continued use, you can only imagine how aging, memory loss, and various other neurological diseases (such as Alzheimer’s) can be drastically reduced.

 

Benefits of Nootropics 

 

 

It should come as no surprise that since nootropics work via a number of different mechanisms, their benefits are both numerous and diverse including: 

- Improved brain health
- Decreased inflammation
- Heightened focus
- Greater mental clarity
- Improved cognition and memory formation
- Elevated mood
- Reduced stress
- Increased motivation

 

The benefits listed above make nootropics one of the hottest ingredients around right now, and is a big reason why you’re seeing them included in pre workout, mental productivity supplements, and even fat burners!


A couple of things to note though:

1. Habitual use of nootropics is required by many to achieve the long-lasting benefits described above, and...
2. While stimulants like caffeine have tolerance build up, thus losing their effectiveness, nootropics are just the opposite. Continued use of them enhances their benefits and provides long-lasting effects.

 

Popular Nootropics 

The landscape of nootropics is rather large and very in depth, far to expansive to cover every single “family” of nootropics in this blog post. However, these nootropic “families” do exert similar benefits and can be grouped according to their mechanisms of actions and effects.


Note though, that each person will respond very differently to each individual nootropic, some respond great to a particular ingredient, while others feel almost nothing at all. It takes some tinkering to find your perfect blend, but here’s a bit of info on some of the more common nootropics and what may stack well with each other:

 

- Choline: Precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that aids attention, memory recall, mood, and the all-too-important “mind-muscle” connection
- Aniracetam: An extremely powerful member of the racetam family of nootropics. It improves cognition and offers neuroprotective benefits. Frequently paired with choline.
- L-Theanine: Amino acid prevalent in tea leaves that mediates stress, elevates mood, and boosts cognitive function. Stacks well with caffeine.
- Vinpocetine: Nootropic that increases cerebral blood flow, improving concentration, raising energy levels, and increasing motivation. Its considered one of the most effective nootropics for improving brain blood flow, which boosts concentration and increases energy levels and motivation

 

There are many, MANY more nootropics available, but this is just a small sampling of the most common ones you’ll encounter as you explore the world of nootropics.

 

Takeaway

Whether you’re hitting the gym or the books, nootropics can help you dial in your focus and vastly improve your overall brain function leading to vastly superior brain gains and health!

 

References



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