An Introduction into Nootropics – A Complete Newbies Guide
Questions that arise: What are the effects nootropics have on the conscious mind such as “improved attention span” or the “perceived clarity of mind”?
Potential side-effects such as incorrect dosage or half-life information are also what a newbie might be interested in, plus the neurological aspects: Which receptors do they bind to or modulate, what neurotransmitters do they increase or decrease, inhibit or enhance?
How far can I up my performance and how will I know when to back-off, reduce my dosage or stop completely, what are the tell tale signs that may be inducing cognitive harm or are they just a bunch of hyped up baloney?
There are so many underlying questions when it comes to the ever evolving world of nootropics, that by the time one eBook’s released, it will soon be outdated.
So for the benefit of this Nootropics for Newbie’s new eBook, let’s try and be transparent, succinct and concise and give you the most relevant info for 2016, before donning that noot jacket (noot – a keyboard term coined for nootropic user’s) and diving into the world of memory, neuro, cognitive and intelligence enhancers.
So what are Nootropics?
To be clear, nootropics are both synthetic and natural compounds that provide your human brain with cognitive benefits or improvements or enhancements.
It’s difficult to properly clarify the exact correct term as to how they help you in the cognitive department as each experience is personal and subjective but in reality, saying that nootropics promote cognitive functions that also have anti-stress and sleep support properties is a fair description.
Coined by Dr. Cornelius E. Giurgea, in order for a supplement to qualify as a true nootropic, he explains that such a substance must meet 5 criteria with the objective of shielding and not harming the brain.
5 Criteria a Nootropic must meet:
1. Increase learning & memory capabilities
2. Strengthen efficiency of neuronal mechanisms upstairs
3. Assist brain in operating under stressful conditions i.e electroconvulsive shock & hypoxia
4. Safeguard brain against physical/chemical injuries inflicted from barbiturates & scopolamine
5. Free of typical pharmacology found in other psychotropic drugs with few side effects plus extremely low levels of toxicity
When labeling a supplement a nootropic, there isn’t a mandatory rule when it comes to releasing a new supplement on to the cognitive health market but the general consensus is that if the manufacturer is using premium, clinically backed nootropic ingredients that adhere to a strong safety profile with zero to little toxicity then GRAS as the FDA liked to refer to them – generally regarded as safe – seems to fit their profile.
Those who most use Nootropics
It may not be surprising that men make up 92% of the nootropic market with the average age of 25 according to an online survey, with the two biggest online noot communities leading the cause over at Reddit and LongeCity.
However, of the 162 people this survey reached out to, not all responded so this can hardly be called a large pool and this doesn’t therefore concur that the majority of noots are in there 20’s, far from it.
Just scrolling through the reddit/nootropic threads you can see and read that there are some quite high flyers there and esteemed academic’s that are clearly in their 30’s or 40’s plus.
While students, teachers, corporate people, athletes and work from home individuals just to name a few help sharpen their mental firepower, concentration, memory and learning skills, nootropics are also used by those in their silver years to help treat brain diseases such as dementia, Alzheimers and trauma.
Quashing the Illusion
Straight off the bat let’s clarify that nootropics do not make us more intelligent or upgrade our IQ.
They are cognitive enhancers which is very different. They instead heighten your mental capability, specifically (depending on your choice of nootropic) either memory, attention span and/or recall.
This can result in improved productivity and your ability to concentrate more easily.
They won’t transform you from a regular debater into a brilliant polemicist overnight but they can help you get more things accomplished throughout the day.
They also don’t always demonstrate noticeable effects or sometimes may deliver unwanted desired effects like feeling a boost in productivity at 1am in the morning when you’d hope to get some shut eye.
Each subjects experience will all boil down to overall body chemistry, state of mind, physical health, weight, current sleeping pattern and diet.
For first time noot’s, effects can in fact – although rare – take over a week to kick in while many nootropic newbies often report very little in terms of return after their first dose.
But do hang on in there as once you get your correct formula right, the experiences can be quite profound based on the online reports blogged by thousands of avid noots across the net.
Difference between Smart Drugs and Nootropics
There’s no harm in referring to nootropics as smart drugs but there is a medicinal distinction.
Prescription drugs like Ritalin and Adderall used to treat mental or cognitive disorders like ADHD for example are “smart drugs”.
Smart drugs in short contain stimulants that may boost energy and focus, increase the body’s dopamine and norepinephrine levels, first off having a positive effect on mood, but later creating dependency, tolerance, affecting heart rate, appetite, stress levels and mood health in a negative manner.
Not dissimilar to caffeine or amphetamines, the effects are short lived and peaks are often followed by troughs – Nootropics are different.
Nootropics are non-prescription synthetic compounds that contain mostly natural ingredients designed from herbs, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, bacosides and phospholipids.
As stated at the beginning of this article, there are 5 prerequisites that in essence allow a supplement to market itself as a nootropic of which the cardinal role is to safeguard cognitive function and enhance cognitive behavior without detrimental effects.