Looking at ways to improve focus and mental performance is a top priority for many people. Choosing to use nootropic supplements is one way to enhance cognitive functions. These natural supplements can be purchased over-the-counter or at health food stores. Constantly checking out the ingredients and following the on-label instructions is essential before taking nootropic drugs.
What are Nootropic Supplements?
Nootropic supplements are also known as "smart drugs" or "memory enhancers." These supplements are intended to boost mental performance in a variety of ways. Initially, the term "nootropic" specifically focused on a chemical that can improve brain function, enhance memory, and protect the brain. However, now the term is used more loosely to cover any natural or synthetic substances that can potentially act as a "cognitive booster."
What are Nootropics Drugs?
All nootropic products can be labeled into two categories: nootropic drugs (over-the-counter or prescription) and dietary supplements. These types of nootropics contain various substances marketed to boost mental functions, such as motivation, memory, concentration, attention, focus, and even overall brain health. The one drawback of nootropic supplements is the potential for containing approved or unapproved drugs labeled as "new dietary ingredients."
All prescription nootropic drugs must undergo the FDA approval process for specific medical purposes, whether treating Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or other health issues. For example, various drugs for treating Alzheimer's are classified as nootropics, as they have been tested and proven safe to use while under medical supervision.
Nootropics Dietary Substances
Nootropic supplements marked as "herbal" or "natural" often include ginseng, omega-3 fatty acids, valerian, rhodiola, ginkgo biloba, ashwagandha various other ingredients. Sometimes vitamins and minerals are also marketed as nootropics, whether it's magnesium or B-complex vitamins. These are natural and safe options to consider if you’re looking to help improve overall cognitive performance.
It's also important to remember that the FDA regulates dietary supplements much differently compared to prescription drugs. For example, dietary supplements do not need to undergo FDA approval before marketing, which increases the chance of these supplements being misbranded or even degraded. In the past, the FDA has found that some nootropic dietary supplements include drugs and other ingredients that are "hidden" due to them not being listed on the product label. It’s very important to educate ourselves on which brands to take. Take Xeed Labs as an example and notice the clinically-studied ingredient list in their Focus formula. This shows that the formula uses ingredients from natural and credible sources, making it a safe brand you can trust.
Ingredients to Watch
Knowing the ingredients in nootropic supplements that the FDA has yet to be approved is important before taking any of these products. A few of the most common ingredients to avoid include octodrine, phenibut, DMAA, piracetam, oxiracetam, pramiracetam, phenylpiracetam, and aniracetam. Other questionable ingredients marketed as "natural" or "herbal" include adrafinil, B-PEA hordenine, methylphenidate, modafinil, and sulbutiamine. Staying aware of these various ingredients is critical before taking natural nootropics.
Benefits of Natural Supplements
Reaching out to your doctor before taking nootropic supplements is important to avoid any potential adverse reactions. Natural supplements can often provide various benefits, such as boosting mood, improving gut and digestive function, supporting cardiovascular health, improving the immune system, and supplementing diet deficiencies. Taking these natural supplements can also reduce the chance of health problems in the future.
Natural vs. Synthetic Nootropics
Deciding between natural or synthetic nootropics is a top concern for many people. Synthetic nootropics are manufactured pills created to improve cognitive functioning. Synthetic nootropics include Modafinil, Noopept, and Adrafinil. These compounds do enhance mental function, but many also come with side effects. On the other hand, natural nootropics are often a safer option. A few of the most popular natural supplements include L-Theanine, Bacopa Monnieri, Piracetam, Choline, and Ginseng.
Understanding the various types of nootropics is always essential before using any of these products. These natural supplements can potentially offer a wide range of benefits, whether you are looking to improve your performance at work, school, or even personal hobbies. Doing your research in advance will help you determine which natural nootropics can benefit you the most. Contacting your doctor can help you determine which nootropic drugs can be beneficial in helping you live an even healthier life.