If you have watched the Limitless movie, then you must have dreamed about having a pill or a drug or something close that would help you use your brain in its 100% capacity.
If you haven’t watched the film, well, then it is highly recommended to watch it.
Let’s come to the main point – what if we told you that there are certain brain boosters that would help enhance the cognitive functions of your brain? Well, say hello to Nootropics or the smart drugs that reckon to take your brain performance to a whole other level.
These magic pills have become the talk of the health and wellness industry as people are using this dietary supplement to improve their memory, focus, ADHD, and overall brain health. People are used to following the trends but just because others are taking it, should you also take them?
The simple answer to the above question is that you must learn about Intrigued to learn more about these miraculous products? Well, keep reading!
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics, often referred to as the ‘smart drugs’ or ‘brain enhancers,’ are a category of vitamins, stimulants, and other nutrients that help in boosting the performance of the brain.
The first kind of cognitive enhancement drugs came into existence about 50 years ago, when Romanian scientist, Dr.C.C Giurgea, who coined the term ‘nootropics’ which meant ‘bend or shape the mind.’ He, along with his team, came up with the first brain enhancement pill, called Piracetam, which is also known as the ‘original smart pill.’
Since then, Nootropics have been in use here and there, but in recent years, it has come to the notice of the health and wellness industry, and thus, the rate of purchase of the same is only increasing.
Nootropics are greatly used by people suffering from brain-related problems, such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, and other cognitive functions.
What does the research say?
According to Barry Gordon, MD, PhD, and director of cognitive neurology division at the John Hopkins Medicine, there is still no strong evidence to support the ability of Nootropics as brain-boosters.
He says, “It’s not clear that they work and not clear that they’re safe.” He further adds, “The circuits that are involved in human cognition are very complicated and not fully understood,” he says. “You can’t just ‘turn up the dial’ that easily.” He notes that people who believe their mental performance has increased thanks to nootropics are largely being influenced by a placebo effect. “If you’re more confident and think you’ll do better, you will do better.”
Chris D’Adamo, who is the director of research and education at the University of Maryland’s Centre for Integrative Medicine, however, believes that Nootropics have the potential to offer help to people looking for the same.
You can anyway keep up with your cognitive function with good sleep, diet and stress management. However, in today’s world of overwhelming stress and bad lifestyle, these supplements might come in handy for you. However, you must know about the Nootropics that suit you the best.
What are the best types of Nootropics?
According to Chris, all of us consume caffeine on a regular basis in our coffee, which is also a Nootropic. Caffeine helps in keeping up with the short-term memory and learning, however, when used in access, it is important to keep a check on your coffee intake.
However, when we talk about Nootropics, we mean more than that. People are using them as a dietary supplement, and include herbs and drugs like Bacola, CDP-choline, Racetams, vinpocetine, huperzine A, L-theanine, and creatine.
Nootropics are divided into two categories – prescribed and non-prescribed or over-the-counter. Prescribed Nootropics are largely related with the treatment of serious problems like Alzheimer’s and ADHD. Some of the prescribed Nootropics include-
- modafinil (Provigil), a stimulant that addresses the sudden drowsiness of narcolepsy
- Adderall, which contains amphetamines to treat ADHD
- methylphenidate (Ritalin), a stimulant that can manage symptoms of narcolepsy and ADHD
- memantine (Axura), which treats symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
The non-prescribed or over-the-counter Nootropics are recommended for people who want to improve their focus and attention. These include caffeine, omega-3 fatty acids, Ginkgo biloba, and Creatine amongst many others.
Are there any risks involved?
One should always be aware of the risks and side-effects that might come up with the consumption of Nootropics or any medication. While there aren’t many risks involved with over-the-counter Nootropics, the prescribed ones might come with the following side effects:
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart beat
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Trouble with vision
Also, it is recommended to consult a doctor before starting any kind of medicine or supplement, especially the prescribed one. If you are taking any other medication, then it is also advised to let your doctor know about the same. It is cool to keep up with the trend but you need to care about yourself enough to understand that what works for everyone doesn’t work for you.
Do Nootropics really work?
Due to lack of research, the evidence is pretty limited relating to Nootropics and their ability to work in the human brain. Even so, there are various anecdotes across the world where people claim to have benefitted in their cognitive performance and even showed massive improvement in their memory.
However, as per this report, there is not enough evidence to prove that cognitive enhancers are effective in their job. Nonetheless, people are trusting their own self (and doctors’ help) to keep their brains alive and kicking even at quite an old age. Call it a placebo effect or anything else, but going by the anecdotes and stories, these magical pills really do help people.
So, should you take Nootropics?
It is entirely the choice of the individual to decide whether or not he or she wants to take the supplement. Nootropics are quite popular these days amongst students and working professionals because of their need and wish to have laser-sharp focus and enhanced memory.
People anyway like to try anything that becomes quite popular among the masses. That said, Nootropics are on their way to dominating the health and wellness market. Thus, most people in the US are or are willing to try these magical supplements.
Those suffering from serious health and memory conditions are recommended to try these since there are very few side-effects of the prescribed drugs as well, especially when taken under your doctor’s recommendation.
As mentioned before, all the details that you need about trying Nootropics are given below. However, it is recommended to do your own research before you start taking these smart pills. Rest assured, you might or might not experience any changes in the brain. However, it is required for you to do your own research to find the Nootropics that would suit you the best.
Here, a medical expert can help you as well and it is advised to not try any supplement or medicine without prescription or recommendation.
According to health experts, the best way to keep your brain healthy and working is to exercise, have a nutritious diet, get adequate sleep, and overall, have fun with what you do in life. However, for those who suffer with mental health problems, Nootropics or smart pills are quite a help. Enhanced cognitive functions, improved memory, sharp focus, and other brain-related advantages come as part of the package, once you are convinced that Nootropics are safe and effective in nature. If you have made up your mind to try these supplements, then consult your health expert today!