What is a Nootropic, and How Do They Work?
Nootropics is the buzz word for a new generation of substances taken to make users think faster, remember for longer and concentrate harder. Think of the drug that was the subject of the Bradley Cooper movie – Limitless!
Other than in Hollywood, nootropics appear to have some beginnings in Silicon Valley. High-performing tech entrepreneurs tried to get an edge over their competition by using “neuro enhancers”. Now, these “brain drugs” are widely available to us everywhere in various names, compounds and consistencies.
It’s hard to know just how many people are taking nootropics. But go online nowadays and there are hundreds of forums and podcasts devoted to discussing them. You will certainly run into the debate: Are we just born with a certain capacity for intelligence? Or is there really a way to improve our cognitive potential?
What does Nootropics mean?
In 1964 a Romanian psychologist and physician by the name of Corneliu E. Giurgea, synthesized a chemical compound known as Piracetam. He created a drug he believed enhanced memory and learning. Because it was unlike anything he’d seen before, Giurgea classified it as a new type of substance, coining it a Nootropic.
“boost the performance of the human brain.”
He defined nootropics as a substance that can be used to effectively boost the performance of the human brain, thereby increasing all kinds of cognitive functions in processes such as:
– Better Memory
– Enhanced Learning
– Longer Attention Span
– Improved Verbal Fluency
– Better Mood
Definition of Nootropics
Nootropics could technically be anything from caffeine to unlicensed medicines, psychedelics to legal, prescribed pharmaceuticals and other natural compounds. They are a group of chemicals that heighten things like concentration attention and memory.
Ritalin, Adderall, and Modafinil
Prescription nootropics are also very common these days. They can be extremely useful to those who need them. However, they have proven to have potent biological effects, both good and bad. Ritalin, Adderall, and Modafinil are types of drugs that are used for people who have deficits. If you don’t have a deficit and you take these drugs than you will develop a tolerance. This means you will have to take an increased dose which will ultimately lead to increased side effects.
In reality, humans have been using nootropics for thousands of years in the form of roots, leaves, berries and seeds. You can think of these natural nootropics as super foods or nutrient-dense foods that specifically boost your brain power. I discuss most of these brain foods in another post, which I encourage you to read. These nootropics not only support brain health and brain wellness; they can also improve your mental performance and basic brain operations.
Natural nootropics can be used for a lot of things! This includes reducing your stress levels, helping you focus on new information, enabling better thought flow, helping your memory and more. But people don’t just want to push their brains up a gear. They want mental preservation, too. That is where nootropics, and especially the natural nootropics, can help keep our brains in optimal condition. In some cases, these even set the stage for the growth of new brain cells.
At the moment, many nootropics can be bought over the internet, which can be a dangerous thing… You could go online and think you are buying a genuine medicine. But you may very well not be; it could be something completely different. It could have a different active ingredient, or have no active ingredient. Or it could have twice the potency that you thought you were getting. It is always important to do your research first! To start, make sure that the product is right for you and your needs. Secondly, be aware of the makers behind the brand and what they are trying to achieve. Lastly, examine what has gone into their supplements, and what methods are in place to ensure its effectiveness and -essentially- its promise.
I have tried and tested quite a few of the best natural supplements out there. On top of that, I consume a diet that is high in natural nootropic foods. Without a doubt, should I falter from my whole foods, natural diet I would almost immediately feel the impacts. This goes especially for my mental health, activity levels and mood. It is also no surprise that exercise and sleep can produce profound psychological, psychical and cognitive benefits. If you don’t get enough of both of these things then your nootropics won’t work as well as they could.
The nootropic supplements found in pills contain a bunch of individual ingredients that can help you enhance your cognitive abilities and your mood. On their own, each of the ingredients in the pills have different benefits. Some help you to sleep better, some improve your memory and some slow down cognitive decline.
When individual ingredients such as L-Theanine, Lion’s Mane, Macopa Monniere (and others) are all put together in a pill, they are referred to as a stack. “Stacking” refers to taking more than one nootropic ingredient at a time. You can accomplish this via one pre-mixed formula or by taking multiple supplements. Sometimes the ingredients won’t have any interactions, but other times they’ll have extremely good or profoundly bad interactions.
When you start stacking, make sure to add each ingredient one at a time, so you know which one is causing any new reaction.
Qualia Mind by Neurohacker Collective
Qualia Mind is a beast in terms of being stacked with premium quality ingredients that are known to have good evidence backing their neurological benefits. When I was supplementing with these pills, I definitely felt a boost in my focus and concentration. It was a nice calming effect; not a jittery one that you tend to experience on coffee or Adderall. I was relaxed and present. Another great thing about this product is that there is a caffeine-free version – which I usually tend to go for.
In terms of affordability, Qualia Mind is a bit pricey. However, we do have a 15% off discount code that can help. Similarly, if you sign up for “subscribe and save” you can save an additional 50% off! A cool thing to note is: you can cancel at any time. So that is another great way to make it more affordable if you choose to give this product a try.
When is comes to a nootropic like Qualia Mind, the return on investment is worth it. The company behind Qualia Mind, Neurohacker Collective, is very well-known and has been in the industry for several years. They have a very evidence-based transparency policy that can be hard to find in this industry.
We’re Here to Help
We’ve got quite a large community of self-improvement seekers and biohackers in this space. All can provide valuable insight and information on nootropics. So do some research online, but let us know where we can lend a hand. And remember: we are all different, and we each respond to things differently. So it’s important to listen to your body, do the necessary research that is appropriate for your goals, and seek professional help and advice where necessary. Good Luck!
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