Imagine walking into your partner, mixing a mélange of chemicals together for breakfast. It is not a bizarre image since it is happening across the Silicon Valley and other parts of the US.
People interested in gaining complete coNootropics, smart drugs, and cognitive enhancers: How to take charge of your brain?ntrol over their body and mind are making cocktails of chemicals every day and downing the same with their morning coffee or smoothie.
The practice is not as random and sketchy as it sounds. These chemicals are not the random crushed up pills or powders that come with standard formulas and strength. These chemicals are highly regulated products that can give anyone the key to their brain function.
Across the US, a slew of brain-hackers is taking considerable interest in the practice of using smart drugs or nootropics. These are the chemicals that can boost your cognition, memory, and problem-solving. Nootropics consist of a wide range of DIY concoctions and dietary supplements and pharmaceutical drugs.
What are nootropics and smart drugs?
Smart drugs allegedly turn up your brain activity up a notch. However, not all concoctions seem to work. Many people claim that they have been using nootropics for months without enjoying any of its benefits. Then there are hardcore non-believers who simply discard the idea of chemicals boosting brain activity.
Amidst the confusion of opinions and the lack of enough unbiased research, nootropics enthusiasts are losing their direction in their biohacking journey. It is indeed a risky path towards brain hacking if you do not know your chemicals and nootropics stacks.
So, do you have to be a pro chemist or pharmaceutical student to hack your way to the maximum function of your body and brain? Is biohacking going to be the forte of chemists and pharmacists only? Do you need a keen understanding of your neurological signaling mechanisms and body functions to find the best-suited nootropics stack for yourself?
The answers to these critical questions are not as simple as you would like them to be. However, the easiest way to go about finding the right composition is by eliminating fake compounds and drugs that do NOT qualify as nootropics and smart drugs.
What are cognitive enhancers?
Smart drugs are cognitive enhancers. Sometimes, people use the terms nootropics and smart drugs interchangeably. However, these can be distinct compounds with very different effects on your body and mind.
Most nootropics are not prescription drugs. You can purchase natural nootropics over the counter as supplements. Some herbal supplements, like extracts of Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri), have little to no side effects. In Asian countries, people have been using purified extracts of the leaves for millennia for its neuroprotective and cooling effects.
For example, modafinil qualifies as a nootropic as well as a cognitive enhancer. Typically, it treats symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. This compound will counter the effects of sleep deprivation and chronic attention deficiency in adults. However, it is also a prescription drug that requires strict dosage administration.
What are some of the most common nootropics you can find?
The effects of natural nootropics like these are not similar to the mystery smart drug from Limitless. The natural compounds enhance memory, improve cognition, promote neurogenesis, and help in countering the effects of free oxides. However, these actions are prolonged. They do not render superhuman abilities upon consumption. So, if you are thinking about filing backed up taxes in the next 20 minutes or acing your upcoming test by studying for just an hour, you might be out of luck!
Not all nootropics are NOT smart drugs. You can think of them as health supplements for your brain. Interestingly, the effect of a nootropic depends on a person’s metabolism and pre-existing conditions. Visit BestNootropicsNow to learn more about the mechanism of action and the impact of true nootropics and smart drugs.
Ritalin is another popular cognitive enhancer that belongs to the methylphenidate class. It is the most popular drug in the US and the EU for treating Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The hydrochloride version of the compound is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. Ritalin is an extensively-studied drug in ADHD patients and some with depressive disorders.
According to a study dating way back to 2005, over 7% of students in the country use Ritalin to boost their focus in class and especially before an examination. A very recent study (2017) shows that 11% of students in the US are using Ritalin and its derivatives as smart drugs. Others use Adderall for academic purposes, typically, during exam week.
Adderall is a smart drug that adults and young adults extensive use as a smart drug in the US. Nearly 68% of the surveyed students stated that they resort to Adderall for academic purposes since it enhances their concentration and boosts their memory.
Adderall alters the catecholamine levels in the brain and other parts of the CNS. It is a critical neurotransmitter involved in the signaling process. While Adderall is very similar to Ritalin in its actions, it is ideal for those who have ADHD, but benefit little from Ritalin.
It consists of amphetamine salts, levoamphetamine, and dextroamphetamine. Therefore, it is a potentially risky choice of medication for anyone seeking an OTC nootropic. It does stimulate the nervous system, but the side effects, including sleep deprivation and loss of appetite, are quite significant.
Sildenafil is not a name many expect to see on a list of nootropics. While it is certainly not a smart drug, it is a compound that blocks cyclic guanosine monophosphate. In the last few decades, it has become a miracle drug that has helped millions with erectile dysfunction.
Sildenafil citrate has pronounced nootropic effects in combination with galantamine. Currently, the majority of published research is on animal models. The lack of the study of the effects of sildenafil in combination with galantamine in a human model has deterred its widespread use as a nootropic.
Can you use nootropics for an extended period?
Ritalin, Adderall, and Sildenafil can have pronounced side effects upon long-term use. Even modafinil and armodafinil can elicit an unpleasant impact on the body and mind if you do not control the dosage over extended periods. If you want to switch to a new nootropics stack or try a long-term nootropics schedule, you should talk to a medical professional and smart drug expert.
Caffeine is NOT the nootropic you were hoping for
The true nootropics (which does not include caffeine) exhibit protective and nurturing effects. Unlike the immediate gratification and a boost in the short-term like a strong cup of coffee provides, true nootropics like N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine offer conditional enhancement of cognition. Just like Adderall, NALT works by modulating the catecholamine levels in the brain.
NALT improves cognition by boosting catecholamine levels under stressful conditions. Nootropics with long-term enhancement potential continue to protect and enhance brain activity in the short term. Still, the brain and the body do not develop a resistance to the active compounds even after months of use.
Nootropics should not be addictive
Another question people ask after on-and-off experimentation with Ritalin and Adderall is, “Are nootropics safe for long term use?” According to the father of nootropics, none of the true nootropics should be addictive, and they should not harm the body or the brain upon long-term use.
Any compound that poses the threat of addiction or dependence, high tolerance, and other harmful effects do not qualify as nootropics. While caffeine is not a true nootropic, noopept takes away the trophy for being an exclusive nootropic and smart drug that is safe for extended use.
Dr. Giurgea clearly stated these compounds should not be habit-forming. People should not experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping its use, and they should never result in unpredictable mood swings, depletion of mental health state, and harm physical health.
Who can use nootropics and smart drugs?
Nootropics are not just useful for high profile accountants, undercover, Hollywood stars agents, and biohackers interested to mint money overnight. Anyone can leverage the power of these brain supplements. The natural compounds that come from plants like Bacopa, periwinkle, and Coleus Forskohlii are much safer for extended use. Their doses are comparatively flexible. You can consume most of the naturally-sourced smart drugs or cognitive enhancers along with traditional medication and treatment.
Synthetic nootropics are the ones scientists and researchers have created in the laboratories. Most of them have come to the market after extensive human trials. Certain popular medications like Ritalin, Modafinil, Armodafinil, Adderall, and Sildenafil, are now part of the nootropics movement. However, if you want to hop on this train, you might want to consult your general physician first.
Due to their highly purified state, and prominent effects on other parts/systems of the body, most true nootropics have potential degenerative effects on those with high blood pressure, cardiomyopathies, kidney problems, depression, bipolar disorder, adult ADHD and personality disorders.
Even short-term use of most of the chemical (medicinal) compounds mentioned in this article requires a valid prescription and strict advice from a general physician or a specialist.