What Are Nootropics And How Do They Boost Our Intelligence?

What are nootropics and how do they boost our intelligence?

Nootropics are also known as “smart drugs” for the results they promise, which are no small feat: improving our mental performance and enhancing our cognitive abilities. Their popularity has grown in recent years, to such an extent that thousands of people are already taking this golden pill for breakfast to be more productive at work.

To contextualize nootropics a little better, just remember the movie  Limitless. In the latter Bradley Cooper took an experimental drug called “NZT-48”. Shortly after hiring her, the world seemed more alive, his senses sharpened and his cognitive potential rose to 200%, to the point of enabling him to learn multiple languages ​​fluently, be a financial genius on Wall Street or remember whatever he had seen, read or heard.

Such a thing would allow us – apparentlyto  be more productive than Stephen King, to memorize the same amount of information in half the time, or to activate those neural structures capable of awakening the genius of music or mathematics. that is in each of us. Obviously we specify “apparently” because  the reality is different, it is certainly more limited, modest and less glittering, but still interesting.

The pharmaceutical industry, for example, invests billions in the development of new nootropics every year and it does so for a very simple reason: the demand is multiplying.

We know that the pressure of work is getting higher and higher: you need to always be attentive, improve your concentration, be more agile mentally, more creative, more productive … They all want to achieve better results without having to resort to dangerous substances, and this is where nootropics or “smart” drugs enter the scene.

Nowadays we know that these drugs are very popular among university students, air force pilots, computer programmers or product developers for advertising companies, who seek in these drugs a resource, apparently harmless, with the which to enhance the intellect, improve attention and give the best of themselves in achieving their goals.

Well… do nootropics really work?

Nootropics to promote concentration

Nootropics: an accidental discovery that shaped “smart drugs”

There are those who call nootropics the “drug” of the future, a product for a fast-paced society that wants to go beyond its means. However, this term is uncomfortable, we do not like it and we do not accept it because  – for the most part –  they do not have any side effects or are “psychostimulants”. Hence the choice to define them with a much more inspiring term: “cognitive enhancers”.

There are also those who even go so far as to say that  nootropics will be the evolutionary plan of tomorrow and that, thanks to them, it will be possible to reach another level of brain development.

Strange as it may seem, this is precisely the goal of large companies or well-known entities. Silicon Valley – the world capital of the technology industry – has been working with nootropics for years, to the point of finding new mechanisms with which to intensify their properties, effects, duration and even usefulness.

They will not only serve to improve our attention and creativity, but have already made it possible to experiment with lucid dreams or a level of relaxation similar to that which would be achieved only after several years of meditation. However, we are fully aware that, for many of our readers, some data may seem like pure science fiction and, for this, it is necessary to proceed in small steps.  First of all, let’s find out its origin.

From sleep inducers to attention activators

We are in the 1960s and in the Belgian laboratory  Union Chimique Belge, where  the Romanian neuropharmacologist Corneliu Giurgea works on the synthesis of various chemical compounds, with a very specific purpose: to induce sleep.

However, he discovered a very special molecule that allowed him to create the first nootropic in history,  namely Piracetam . This drug, far from reducing neuronal excitability and promoting rest, actually had the opposite effect: alerting the mind and improving some cognitive functions, such as memory and concentration.

Very productive man because he takes nootropics
  • This was possible thanks to the chemical displacement of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine and glutamate; moreover, it did not have too adverse side effects.
  • The Piracetam Corneliu Giurgea was soon to be commercialized, encouraging also other subsequent proposals such as ‘ Oxiracetam , the’ Aniracetam , the  Pramiracetam and or Fenilpiracetam .

The mechanism of action of nootropics varies. However,  most of them have effects on  vasodilation, i.e. they improve blood flow to the brain, bringing it more oxygen, more nutrients and glucose, an essential source of energy that the brain uses to guarantee long periods of concentration.

At the same time, for information to reflect on, it is known that in Silicon Valley they work with nootropics by combining them with  biohacking,  in other words, they try to “hack” certain brain functions using different chemicals to enhance, in this way, the functions of the thought.

It seems that the door to take this evolutionary leap in our brain is already opening its lock …

What are the effects of nootropics? Are they as beneficial as they seem?

The goal that pharmaceutical companies want to achieve with nootropics is twofold. On the one hand, and as we already know, there is an attempt to improve basic cognitive processes, which, to a large extent, they have already achieved. The second aspect is that they  act as neuro-protectors and that their possible side effects are minimal, if not non-existent.

Well, one of the main problems that health experts are facing is that both university students and entrepreneurs and other people with a particularly stressful lifestyle  buy nootropics on the internet, without worrying too much about where they come from  or, what else. worst, of the ways in which they must be hired.

Let’s take an example. Caffeine is a natural nootropic, like omega 3 fatty acids. If we consume 10 cups of coffee in a single night, headaches, nausea and hypertension will most likely occur. The student who buys a nootropic on the internet, of which he does not know the composition or the methods of administration, with the sole purpose of passing the exam the next day, will feel the undesirable effects, rather than an improvement in attention and memory.

It is therefore necessary to keep in mind that:  nootropics help, but they are not the panacea.  Furthermore, the benefits will only be visible if you take them correctly, letting us advise you from an expert on the subject.

Another curious fact is that  Russian laboratories have created a new family of nootropics  all deriving from corticotropin, the stress hormone and GABA receptor agonists such as Phenibut or Tolibut. These drugs have been in very high demand lately, due to their anxiolytic and stress-relieving effects. It must be said, however, that their side effects are undoubtedly the most dangerous on the market, since they are addictive in the long term.

How to take nootropics

Experts say there are some basic steps we need to know before taking any type of nootropic:

  • Look for the nootropic that best suits your needs.
  • It is necessary to consult a specialist to guide us on the options available on the market.
  • Each person has a certain neurochemical and, in general, it is customary to start with very low doses, first trying one nootropic and then the other, until you find the right one.
  • If you feel unwell, such as headaches or nausea, you should stop taking them right away.
  • It is equally important to remember that these drugs do not have immediate action. The brain has to get used to them; their effect, in fact, will begin to be noticed after a few days or weeks.

Play sports instead of taking nootropics

They only work if we follow a proper diet and avoid a sedentary lifestyle

If we want to modulate our brain chemistry to work as well as possible, we need adequate nutrients that activate the mechanism of action of these smart drugs. In order for nootropics to work, therefore, it is essential to follow a balanced diet, rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Similarly,  if we lead a sedentary life we ​​will have a slow metabolism, less efficient and for which, moreover, our liver function will not even be able to process the components of nootropics in an excellent way.

Playing sports and having a balanced diet with a low saturated fat content are necessary precepts for these drugs to reach the set goals.

Types of nootropics

Importantly,  not all nootropics are drugs.  Many of them do not require a medical prescription since they have natural components and are easily purchased even in herbal medicine. Nevertheless, before starting to take cognitive enhancers, it is always advisable to consult a specialist.

We need to know what we are looking for, because, just as we can see, the supply of nootropics is quite large and will be even more so in the years to come.

  • Nootropics to improve the mood.
  • Nootropics to improve concentration.
  • Nootropics to combat anxiety.
  • Nootropics to improve memory.
  • Nootropics to improve rest, strength and sleep.
  • Nootropics such as anti-aging or longevity.
nootropics and their side effects

To conclude, it is essential to remember that these are nootropics and that they are not food supplements. It is not advisable to use them lightly, above all because the offer is getting wider and the effectiveness of the same less and less reliable. Even if we all want to optimize our cognitive abilities to adapt to the current labor market demand, it  will always be better to look for other strategies, other viable paths first.

Despite this, we will look forward to the evolution of these cognitive enhancers and their impact on our future.

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