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We have all experienced it before: We forget the names of our colleagues, let ourselves be distracted too quickly or have difficulties learning new things.
What if I tell you that you have all these problems and awkward situations with the right nutritional supplements and herbal ingredients you can avoid? At least that's why nootropics and smart drugs are used by innovators, for example, who reinvent the world in Silicon Valley every year.
Even if the term nootropics is not as common as anti-inflammatory drugs or antioxidants, these substances have an incredible potential to become known in a similar way. Some of these nootropics have been studied and tested in studies since the 1970s - with success!
So you're having a bad day, battling the fog in your brain, or regularly struggling to learn new things and new knowledge? Then it will make sense for you to take a closer look at nootropics.

What are nootropics? Nootropics: what is this term?

The term nootropics describes a wide range of dietary supplements and herbal ingredientsthat are able to optimize your mental abilities or as natural mood enhancers to improve your mood.
While one nootropic can increase your focus, another will make you feel more comfortable and happier. Yet another nootropic can help you relax so you can meditate better or fall asleep faster.
Maija Haavisto, a 33-year-old Amsterdam-based writer with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) says she wishes "more people with chronic illnesses should learn about nootropics!" She was diagnosed with her illness at the age of 16 and has suffered from the effects ever since. Among other things, she has great difficulty writing, reading and learning new things.
Through her own research, Haavisto then became aware of the topic of nootropics. She quickly realized that many people who suffer from chronic illnesses also have cognitive problems. She found a combination of nootropics that helped her to think clearly again and to be able to remember things better.

SummaryThe term nootropics describes a wide range of nutritional supplements and herbal ingredients that are able to optimize your mental abilities, improve your mood, shorten your sleep time or reduce your stress level.

Who are nootropics for?

While nootropics can help people like Maija Haavisto cope better with their illnesses, healthy people can benefit from nootropics too.
The natural brain boosters are particularly popular with people who have to achieve an incredible amount mentally and cognitively. These include lawyers, programmers, executives, entrepreneurs and doctors.
Even competitive athletes from various sports such as skiing, golf, tennis or athletics and CrossFit are increasingly using nootropics. It is also extremely important to them that the nootropics are not contaminated with drug residues. That would be noticed immediately in doping tests.
Chances are, you've heard of nootropics or even ingested some of them. These include Bacopa Monnieri, Omega-3 or Ginkgo extract.
This means that you may already have had your first experience with nootropics. Now is the time to learn more about the exciting world of nootropics.

SummaryNootropics are suitable for all people who want to improve a certain area (concentration, mood, sleep) of their cognitive abilities or their mental well-being with the help of food supplements. Nootropics are used by competitive athletes, programmers, executives, entrepreneurs, doctors or completely normal people, among others.

How do nootropics work?

The mechanisms of action behind each nootropic are different and science is not yet ready to study all nootropics and prove their effects. Perhaps one of the most famous nootropics is morning coffee and the caffeine it contains.
We know caffeine as a stimulant, and it helps us feel fitter and focus better. However, we rarely think about how and why caffeine actually works and how our body reacts to it in detail. Caffeine has a stimulating effect because it blocks certain receptors that would normally reduce the brain's performance.
The second nootropic that became officially known is Piracetam. Studies have shown that piracetam can improve cognitive functions in children with ADHD or dyslexia. Another substance is pyritinol. Pyritinol is a semi-chemical substance and consists of two vitamin B-6 molecules that have been bound to each other. It is associated with improved memory and faster reaction times.
As I said - every nootropic works differently. It is therefore important to get an overview of the various natural and synthetic ingredients and supplementsin order to be able to make an informed and conscious decision.

List of the most important nootropics at a glance

Here is a list of the top nootropics so you can get a quick overview of the options available to you:

Improve concentration & memory

The following nootropics have positive effects on memory, knowledge retrieval, focus, and the ability to concentrate:

1) Piracetam

Piracetam is a nootropic that is able to improve your cognitive abilities. It is known to promote creativity and logical thinking and to positively influence the storage of knowledge in your long-term memory.
Piracetam was first synthesized in Romania over 50 years ago and nowadays it is used for medicinal purposes in Europe, South America and the USA.
In order to be able to concentrate or to be able to store and retrieve knowledge, an adequate supply of your brain with oxygen is essential. Piracetam works because of its ability to improve blood flow to the brain and to stimulate key neurotransmitters.
Recommended daily dose: 4800 mg
Half-life: 4-5 hours
Can be combined with: Alpha GPC, Oxiracetam, Aniracetam, CDP Choline

2) Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is one of the oldest and most powerful nootropics. In Ayurvedic medicine, Bacopa Monnieri is also known as Brahmi and es has been used for centuries to increase concentration and memory.
In addition, Bacopa Monnieri promotes the reduction of stress and, in the right dosage, even reduces signs and symptoms of depression. The nootropic effect is comparable to that of Piracetam. The difference, however, is that Bacopa Monnieri is made naturally and not in a laboratory.
The effect of Bacopa Monnieri is mainly due to the fact that the phytochemicals improve neuronal communication and support the production of important neurotransmitters.
Recommended daily dose: 300 mg (50% bacosides)
Half-life: 2-4 hours

3) Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest medicines and was used thousands of years ago by Chinese scholars and doctors. Then as now, ginkgo is associated with more energy and better concentration.
Ginkgo is obtained from the leaves of the ginkgo tree. Modern studies have shown that there is increases the viscosity of the blood and thus improves the supply of oxygen to the brain.
Recommended daily dose: 400 - 600 mg
Half-life: 4-6 hours
Can be combined with: Vinpocetine

4) Alpha GPC Choline

Alpha GPC is one of the best choline and nootropics to improve your memory and prevent mental degradation. It will also Associated with improved focus and clearer thoughts.
For users, one of the most exciting benefits of Alpha GPC Choline is that it improves the effectiveness of other nootropics. Alpha GPC can particularly well support the effect of nootropics of the “Racetam” class such as Piracetam or Pramiracetam.
Alpha GPC is able to repair neural membranes and increase the amount of dopamine in your central nervous system. This mechanism of action has been thoroughly studied in the past and Studies confirm the positive effects of Alpha GPC.
Recommended daily dose: 250 - 600 mg
Half-life: 60-70 hours
Can be combined with: Piracetam, Aniracetam, Pramiracetam

5) Caffeine & L-Theanine

L-theanine can have impressive effects on your mental performance when taken with caffeine. This combination is therefore able to increase concentration and attention.
One of the reasons the combination of caffeine and L-theanine is so popular and well known is the low cost and effectiveness of this stack.
Caffeine is known to improve energy levels and alertness by blocking the receptors normally responsible for relaxation and calming. L-theanine bundles the effects of caffeine and makes you feel focused and not completely turned on. This is why these two nootropics are so effective together.
Recommended daily dose: 100 mg caffeine + 200 mg L-theanine
Half-life: 5-7 hours

Reduce stress & improve mood

The following herbs and botanicals can improve your mood, reduce stress, and prevent symptoms of depression:

6) Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a central component of Ayurvedic medicine, where the medicinal herb has been used for thousands of years to achieve various positive effects on health and performance. Nowadays, Ashwagandha is used as a nootropic to improve the mood of users and counteract chronic stress.
Ashwagandha works by repairing damage caused by the stress hormone cortisol and preventing it in advance. This will reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and make people who take ashwagandha regularly feel happier and more satisfied.
In addition, ashwagandha can increase GABA levels in your brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and can improve your sleep.
Recommended daily dose: 300 - 500 mg ashwagandha

7) kava

The kava plant is a small shrub that has grown on Pacific islands such as Fihi, Hawaii and Vanuatu for thousands of years. Kava is known for its positive effects on mood, sleep, relaxation and various other cognitive functions.
Kava works by being able to increase GABA levels in your brain, similar to ashwagandha. Kava also has a neuroprotective effect, which means that it is also used regularly in the fight against Alzheimer's.
In addition to the positive effects of kava on well-being and mood, this secondary plant substance can also improve reaction speed and memory.
Recommended daily dose: 3 times 100 mg

8) 5-HTP

5-HTP is an amino acid that is naturally produced by your body. 5-HTP is synthesized from the amino acid L-tryptophan that we ingest through our food.
5-HTP works because it is the direct precursor to serotonin. Also known as the happiness hormone, serotonin can improve your mood and lower your stress levels. This makes 5-HTP a popular nootropicto manage symptoms of stress, depression, or anxiety.
Recommended daily dose: 150-300 mg
Can be combined with: L-tryptophan, ashwagandha

Sleep & regeneration

Find out now how melatonin can reduce the time you fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep:

9) melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the pineal gland of every person. There are countless receptors and cells in the pineal gland that respond to light and darkness, among other things.
Melatonin is released whenever it gets darker and your body wants to signal that it is time to go to sleep.
By taking melatonin in the form of capsules or drops, you can help your body relax and thereby, among other things Shorten your time to fall asleep and spend more time in regenerative deep sleep phases.
Melatonin is also an effective antioxidant. It binds free radicals and reactive species of nitrogen. As a result, melatonin supports, among other things, the mitochondrial ATP synthesis. One of the reasons why melatonin is effective is that the hormone can cross the blood-brain barrier with ease.
Recommended daily dose: 0.3 - 1 mg (more about the dosage of melatonin)
Can be combined with: L-tryptophan, ashwagandha

Important Information What you should know about nootropics

When you first start taking nootropics, you may feel like nothing really has changed. At least that's how I felt! When I stopped taking the capsules a few weeks later, I felt an immediate drop in my cognitive abilities. That was really huge!
Among other things, this has to do with the fact that it feels natural at first when your brain is working better. It is just difficult for us humans to notice a 10 percent increase in our brain power. However, you will recognize a 10 percent drop relatively quickly.
It is also important to pay attention to the purity of the nootropics. Therefore, make sure that the capsules or powder are produced and marketed by a trustworthy company.
Before you start taking nootropics, the first thing you should do is stop eating certain foods, such as sugar and processed carbohydrates. Avoid foods that damage your cognitive abilities and brain performance. Once you've done that, you can start thinking about which nootropics make sense to you. Stick to this diet for a powerful brain.

Summary The bottom line

The term nootropics describes a wide range of dietary supplements and herbal ingredientswho are able to optimize your mental abilities, improve your mood, shorten your time to fall asleep or reduce your stress level.
Basically, nootropics can be divided into three categories. On the one hand there are extracts that improve your concentration and memory (caffeine, L-theanine, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, CDP-Choline, Piracetam, Bacopa Monnieri), on the other hand substances that increase your mood and well-being (5-HTP, Kava , Ashwagandha) and finally nootropics that can improve your sleep (melatonin).
When starting out on nootropics, you should work your way up slowly from low amounts. Pay attention to the quality of the raw materials and the quality requirements of the manufacturers. Listen to your body and find out which nootropics work best.
Personally, I've spent over $ 1000 on nootropics and learned over time what works and what doesn't. You don't have to go through the same process. Learn from my mistakes and heed the advice and tips in this article!

Hi, my name is Alex and I am part of the Riseon writing team. I love to realize ideas & projects on the internet that reach people, motivate them and help them to get more out of themselves and their lives. This is my great passion!