Nootropic 101: Smart Drugs to Power and Sharpen Your Mind

nootropics smart drugs

Nootropic supplements aim to increase the brain’s functionality and help the user to focus and concentrate on the work by eliminating all distractions. The other names of nootropics supplements include smart drugs, cognitive enhancers, and brain boosters.

For the readers’ information, we would like to inform you about the origin of the word nootropic which is a Greek word, a combination of “noo” and “tropein” meaning ‘mind’ and “towards” respectively.

You will be surprised to know that computer programmers and tech entrepreneurs are the major users of nootropics supplements and they always look for the best nootropics to get better concentration and increased motivation.

Benefits of Nootropics Supplements

Before discussing the working mechanism, types, and other details of nootropics supplements, I would like to share the outstanding benefits of nootropics supplements so you get to know the actual reasons which tend a person towards them.

Improved Memory

Whether you are a student or a successful businessman, a good memory is the need of every individual irrespective of age and profession.

Nootropics supplements increase the efficiency of the brain and help to cure brain issues that affect your memory such as Parkinson’s, senile dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

Moreover, there are some types that are helpful for short-term memory while the others have long-lasting effects.

Better Focus

Focus is the key to successful task completion. It saves time and increases the brain’s functionality by increasing the alertness level. Nootropics supplements enhance your concentration and make things clear to you.


Fatigue reduces the work capacity. Nootropics supplements act as anti-fatigue as they block receptors in the mind and help the user to work longer hours. Examples of anti-fatigue agents are Rhodiola Rosea and creatine.

Mood Enhancer

Many nootropic supplements are used as mood enhancers. These drugs reduce anxiety levels and improve memory that resulting in increased cognitive function.

Higher Creativity Level

Creativity is necessary for a better understanding of a problem. That’s why many computer programmers use creatine to enhance cognitive abilities.

Categories of Nootropic Supplements

Synthetic, natural, and in-betweeners are the three categories of nootropics.

Lab-made compounds are known as synthetic nootropics while the naturally occurring herbal compounds fall in the category of natural nootropics.

Those which contain the characteristics of both are categorized as in-betweeners.

Synthetic Nootropics

These nootropics have many uses including the improvement of general cognition, long-lasting memory, and protection from the breakdown of neurons in the brain.

Aniracetam, Phenylpiracetam, Oxiracetam, Pramiracetam, and Piracetam are examples of widely used synthetic nootropics. The last one is the most popular nootropic supplement which is being used for neuroprotection.

It doesn’t have any major side-effect and the researchers have found the following benefits:

  • It cures depression and helps people fight against anxiety in chronic cerebrovascular disorders.
  • People who suffer brain trauma can distinguish different colors with the help of synthetic nootropics.
  • Elderly people and heart patients can enhance their memory and attention by using the prescribed amount of Piracetam.

Examples of Synthetic Nootropics


The drug has various benefits and is commonly used to boost energy and focus. It has proven benefits to treat hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A person can concentrate on the work, complete more tasks, and stay up longer when using the recommended amount of Adderall. However, excess of everything is bad and one shouldn’t exceed a certain limit to prevent the side effects of drug abuse.


Fighting against sleep disorder is the actual use of the drug and it helps to treat hypersomnia and narcolepsy. Once the user takes a dose of Modafinil, it retains the mental energy and lessens the sleeping urge and the laziness.


Researchers find Ritalin useful for the treatment of ADHD.

Natural Nootropic Supplements

Natural nootropics are also known as adaptogens and they help to reduce anxiety, fatigue and improve the overall health of the brain. These herbal nootropics supplements also power the brain to resist biological stress.  

Plats are herbs are the natural sources of herbal nootropics and these plants are called tinctures which are later compressed and converted into pills.

Examples of Natural Nootropic Supplement


It belongs to the nightshade family and works as a mood booster, reduces anxiety, and improves memory.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

It’s traditionally used in Chinese medicines to prevent cognitive decline and improve cognitive function. Positive outcomes were yielded when it was used for the treatment of depression and anxiety.


The proven benefits of ginseng include better mood, improved memory, and strengthening of the immune system.

Rhodiola Rosea

Its herbal nootropic gives excellent results for the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and mood swings. Golden root is another name of the Rhodiola Rosea.

Ginkgo Biloba

It’s especially used to resolve memory issues and helps to increase focus on the task.


The drug is extracted from the Apocynum Venetum plant found in Asian countries. Mostly, its leaves are used for the preparation of tea and help to fight against blood pressure, depression, and stress.

In-betweeners Nootropics

This category includes the nootropic supplements which are found naturally and then processed in the labs to give them the best results. They have shown proven benefits for different health-enhancing functions and play an important role in the treatment of sleeping disorders, cell death prevention, depression, and stress.

Examples of In-betweeners Nootropic Supplements


It’s the actual ingredient of coffee that increases alertness and powers brain functionality.

Alpha GPC

Eggs and soy lecithin are the basic sources of Alpha GPC that is rich in choline. The ingredient is highly powerful and takes no time in crossing the brain barrier. Once it crosses the brain barrier, it converts into acetylcholine that is an important neurotransmitter.


The supplement is used to ensure better and sound sleep. The human body also produces it naturally while the fermentation process is used to produce this sedative neurotransmitter in the lab.


The nootropic supplement is also known as a learning drug as it produces acetylcholine neurotransmitter that increases the learning ability.


Phenol is an organic acid that is being used for the extraction of non-essential acid is the source of L-Tyrosine. The supplement is used to fight against depression and cognition as it’s known as a forerunner for the hormones adrenaline and dopamine.


The supplement is found in the leaves of black tea and is more powerful than caffeine. It improves focus, reduces anxiety, and decreases stress.

How Does Nootropics Work?

The functionality of nootropic supplements is not well-defined as every supplement follows a specific mechanism. Every type varies in the interaction with the brain and works differently.

Researchers provide us with different mechanisms followed by the nootropics supplements which are mentioned below.

Regulating the Activity of Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters are responsible for the mood changes in a person. Nootropics affect the existing neurotransmitters and bring a positive change in the mood.

The mood-boosting neurotransmitters include serotonin, epinephrine, glutamate, dopamine, and acetylcholine.

Cortisol and glutamate are stress neurotransmitters and their concentration can be decreased with the help of nootropic supplements.

A lower amount of stress neurotransmitters results in a better mood, higher concentration level, and a fast learning process.

Supports Brain Growth Factors

Never growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) known as brain growth factors which are responsible for the growth of brain neurons in the key function of the brain.

NGF is used to improve the growth of sensory neurons and sympathetic neurons while the BDNF helps to maintain the growth and maintenance of neurons.

A higher amount of neurons improves the brain’s ability to differentiate and reorganize in stressful situations. It also helps to maintain the brain’s shape in the best way.

Develop Blood Flow

Nootropics improve blood flow in the small veins and arteries in the brain which help to decrease stress and increase the intake level of oxygen in the blood.

Moreover, it improves the absorption capacity of nutrients in the brain. All of these factors enhance mental and physical activities and bring accuracy in cognitive tasks.

Lower Inflammation

Brain inflammation significantly decreases the work capability which can be improved with the help of nootropic supplements. Hippocampus is the area of the brain specified for learning.

When a person uses a nootropic supplement, it beats the inflammatory molecules in the brain and increases the learning ability. Moreover, it also improves the spatial memory of the brain.

Increased Neuroprotection

Nootropics play an important role in fighting against age-related neurodegenerations and significantly improve memory as well as for information-processing speed. Ashwagandha is the best example of age-related neurodegenerations which increases information-processing speed.

Renowned Nootropics with their Respective Benefits

nootropics smart drugs
Coffee photo created by freepic.diller –

There are countless nootropics and their benefits vary from drug to drug. One shouldn’t start using nootropic supplements on their own and should consult their doctors before starting a specific nootropic supplement.

Here we are going to describe the major benefits of the best nootropic supplements for the help of the readers.


It’s the most popular nootropic supplement with a wide range of uses. The major benefits include improved psychomotor performance and better cognitive health. However, one needs to be careful in supplement intake. The prescribed intake for adults is 500mg/day.


Caffeine is one of the best supplements which is used to increase alertness and boost memory. The benefits include improved mood, lessening depression neurons, and helping to concentrate on work.

Rhodiola Rosea

It’s an excellent nootropic supplement to improve the brain’s functionality. The brainpower improves and it gets more strength to fight against depression. Improved mood and increased mental performance are some other benefits of Rhodiola Rosea.

Lion’s Mane

It keeps neurons healthy and plays a vital role to improve the never-growth factor.

Alpha GPC

The supplement works as a neuroprotector and enhances memory. The amount of the drug depends on the health condition of the person and age.


Another best supplement is that acts as a sedative that fights against depression, stress, and hypertension. Physicians suggest to not exceeding the amount of drug more than 50mg per day to ensure no side effects.


It directly affects vasodilation and increases the blood flow in the blood vessels. The increased blood flow helps to decrease stress and anxiety.

Nootropic Supplements for Better Sleep

  • Valerian Root
  • GABA
  • 5 HTP
  • Ashwagandha
  • Magnesium Glycinate are the best nootropic supplements to address sleeping disorders and insomnia.

Things to Consider Before Starting Nootropic Supplements

There must be a genuine reason for starting the nootropic supplement intake and one should consider the following factors before choosing a specific nootropic supplement.

Evaluate Your Need

Determine your need and the reason for the use of nootropic supplements. You must have a genuine reason for it, i.e. whether you need it to improve work efficiency or want to cure depression.

Your goals should be clear as it helps a lot in the selection of the optimal supplement.

Self-Research is Mandatory

Conduct comprehensive research about the drugs and thoroughly read the benefits and side effects of the supplements.

Be careful while selecting a nootropic supplement and make sure it doesn’t react with any other medication you are already using. 

It’s better to consult your doctor first so he can prescribe the best supplement by evaluating your age and goal.

Start from Smaller Intake

Never start taking excessive doses of nootropic supplements in the beginning. Start with slow intake so you can check its effect on your body and evaluate the possible risks if has any.

Don’t Expect Too Much

Always set realistic expectations and don’t expect the same benefits of a drug that someone else has gained from it as the functionality and performance of the supplement significantly depend on the body and brain’s chemistry.

Review Your Budget

Pre-formulated stacks and customized drugs are the two types of nootropic supplements. Pre-formulated supplements are cheaper than customized supplements as they are already prepared. On the other hand, customized supplements are produced by following the needs of the user.

Final Words

Nootropic supplements are highly beneficial to address serious mental issues which are proving a hurdle in achieving your goals. However, never use it more than the prescribed dosage limit as it falls in the category of drug abuse.

Research about the company reputation from where you are buying the supplements and also check the formulation of the drug.

The testimonials and reviews of the clients are also very helpful to determine the authenticity and proficiency of the company.

Never compromise over the quality of the supplement just because of the low budget as poor formulation of the supplement can trigger serious health issues.

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