Nootropics 101 - Introduction To Nootropics

Nootropics 101 - Introduction To Nootropics

Apr 20, 2020Tristan van Moerkerken

The world’s most motivated people are always searching for a competitive edge. It’s why they pull all-nighters before tests. It’s why they take internships that call for 18-hour days. It’s why they drink that second (or third) cup of coffee in the morning.

Yes, even the slightest competitive edge means a lot to motivated people. Which is why a new category of supplements is rapidly growing in popularity — nootropics.

Wall Street brokers, high-risers at technology companies, start-up entrepreneurs putting in long hours — professionals in each group are now turning to nootropics to gain the edge they need.

What Are Nootropics?

Simply put, Nootropics are supplements, compounds, foods and nutrients with the main function and aim of improving brain health and cognition. Nootropics aim, in general, is to enhance an individual's attention, mental acuity, short and long term memory and even aspects of right and left brain thinking. 

While the concept of nootropics isn’t new, their presence on the consumer market is. Many are asking questions about the safety and benefits of nootropics. But, while some are taking a wait-and-see approach, others are diving in and taking advantage of the benefits now.

The history of nootropics dates back more than half a century. In the 1960s, Romanian scientist Corneliu E. Giurgea discovered that a substance called “piracetam” activated the brain rather than quieting it. He declared that this new drug should fit into a new category called “nootropics,” which derives from the Greek word for “mind.”

Are Nootropics Safe?

Are nootropics safe? That’s the first question that many ask. Industrialized nations around the world have government agencies whose job it is to test new products and ensure they will cause no harm to consumers.

The United States Food and Drug Administration is one of these agencies. It treats many nootropics as a dietary supplement, which means individual products do not need approval before heading to the open market. Why? Because, while the concept of nootropics may be new to the mass market, the ingredients in most nootropic formulations have been around for a long time.

Exceptions to this are obviously present, with many compounds not being regulated by the FDA or MCC. However, by a general rule of thumb, in order for a substance to be referred to as a nootropic, it is required to meet a set of guidelines set out by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea:

  • Enhance Memory & Learning
  • Enhance learned behaviors under conditions known to disrupt them
  • Protect the brain from physical or chemical injury
  • Enhance the tonic cortical/subcortical control mechanisms
  • Exhibit few side effects and extremely low toxicity

  • Types Of Nootropics: 

    1. Natural Nootropics: Plant-based or derived from plants, including: Lion’s mane mushroom, Bacopa Monnieri, Phosphatidylserine and Huperzine A. 
    2. Racetams: Arguably the most popular and common class of nootropics, these are synthetically derived and include: Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, Piracetam and Phenylpiracetam. 
    3. Ampakines: One of the newer and less researched classes of synthetic nootropics, known for their effect on glutamate activity, include: Sunifiram and unifiram. 
    4. Vitamin B Derivatives: This includes synthetic substances that are derived from vitamin b molecules, including: Sulbutiamine (Vitamin B-1 derivative) and Pyritinol (Vitamin B6 derivative) 
    5. Choline Nootropics: Responsible for increasing levels of acetylcholine in the brain, also known as the “memory neurotransmitter”, include: Alpha GPC, CDP Choline (Citicoline) and Centrophenoxine. 
    6. Peptides: Possibly one of the most interesting classes of nootropics and very popular in the biohacking space, include: Noopept, Semax and Selank.
    7. Eugeroics: Otherwise referred to as “wakefulness enhancers”, this class of nootropics is known for their ability to enhance wakefulness and focus, including: Modafinil and Adrafinil. 

    Interested In Trying Nootropics? 

    Battling with brain fog or just looking to “upgrade” your mental performance? Well we have developed some truly cutting-edge formulations to get you started!

    1. Prime Mind - Daily memory, clarity and brain health nootropic
    2. Total Focus - Mental energy and focus formulation
    3. Shroom Elixir - 3-in-one mushroom elixir for total mind and body optimization

    Closing Thoughts: 

    Nootropics present significant benefits for improving cognitive performance. If you’re looking to optimize memory, learning, attention span, focus or alertness, consuming a nootropic may be an excellent solution, accompanied by a healthy lifestyle and diet of course! Deciding between natural and synthetic nootropics is a personal choice and the decision you make will depend on your personal preferences and overall benefits. You may also benefit from ‘stacking’ several nootropics together for optimal results on better brain functioning. 

    The same way that millions of people turn to gym supplements and vitamins for a boost on the sports field, you can do the same in your day-to-day life for mental performance and cognitive optimization!

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