In broad term, nootropics are substances with the potential ability of enhancing the functionality of the brain in various capacities. The main aim of taking nootropics is to improve the functionality of the brain, and as such nootropics are considered “smart drugs” and the term cognitive enhancers is often used interchangeably in defining nootropics.
Although the above definition is very broad, this article would go into specifics about what nootropics are and what they are not.
Nootropics can come in various forms, either as a drug, as a supplement, herbs or in any other form you can possible think of. As long as the potential benefit of what you’re taking is to improve the functionality of the brain, then it falls into the category of what we call nootropics. Coffee is a nootropics substance as well.
Nootropics are known to improve seven major functionalities of the brain; memory, executive function, attention span, motor skills, information processing, perception and language. However, most nootropics in the market are incapable of improving the brain in all these functionality. Most tend to focus on two or three functionality at a time.
With various rave and big pharmaceutical companies pushing smart pills adverts on the web and offline, it’s very easy to get confused on what the real nootropics mean, what they do and most importantly where to get them. This article would answer most of these questions.
Top 7 Benefits Of Nootropics
Everybody wants to be smarter, everybody wants an edge ahead of others. As mentioned earlier, when I was defining nootropics; I defined it as “any substance” that is capable of improving the functionality of the brain. I also went further in listing out the seven (7) most important functionalities in which nootropics are known to affect.
This section of the article would pick those functionality one after the other and discuss them in relative to the benefits of nootropics.
1. Nootropic Improve Memory
We all want to remember stuffs in details. We want to remember things without struggling. We want to remember names, address, phone number, what we studied the other night, our dreams, name it! A larger percentage of the criteria used by the modern society in judging human intelligence is how memorable such an individual is.
The key to great memory is by increasing the connection between the neurons that stores the memory. Scientifically, this is called plasticity. The more frequent you retrieve the information from your brain, the easier it is to remember it every time you try to recall (tricky huh?). In fact, the science behind it is that, we recall things from the last time we remember them.
A larger percentage of nootropics work on the memory is by improving the connection between the neurons in the brain. This is done through the stimulation of brain cells to secrete more brain chemical known as neurotransmitters.
These neurotransmitters carry messages from one neuron to the other thus improving neuroplasticity.
2. Nootropics Improves Attention Span
One of our greatest undoing in this generation is our short attention span. The inability to focus on something for a very long time is the reason why we miss lots of opportunity, and more importantly why we make poor and uninformed decision.
Nootropics are known to greatly increase the attention span of the brain. This explains why physicians would usually prescribe such drugs to people with attention disorder. If you would like to increase your attention span, then popping a pill of nootropics wouldn’t be a bad idea.
This comes handy, especially for those that are into creative work, and students as well. Since the generally attention span for a average individual is twenty (20) minutes.
3. Nootropics Improves Information Processing
It’s easy to make perfect decision when you’re able to see the entire details from different perspective. When your visual and spatial processing ability is top notch, then making good decision would be as easy as it could get.
Nootropics are known to improve spatial working memory. Which is the ability to store an information temporarily until a certain task is completed. This ability gives room for various mental manipulation within the shortest time frame.
Other benefits of nootropics include..
4. Improved Motorskills
5. Improved Executive functions of the brain
6. Improved Learning abilities
7. Reduced Brain Stress HormonesExample of this are the L-Theanine Supplements; here is our guide on best l-theanine supplements/
Types Of Nootropics
Nootropics is define as “any” substance that is capable of improving the brain functionality in some certain capacity.
Nootropics can come in form of drugs or supplements. There are natural supplements as well, example of which includes, fish oil, gingko bilboa extract, all naturally occurring antioxidant and a wide varieties of others.
Nootropics Side Effects
There is a misconception I would like to clear out as far as the use of term is concerned. I mentioned earlier that the term nootropics and cognitive enhancers are often used interchangeably. However, there is a clear difference between the two, and this is the appropriate section to clear out this misconception.
All nootropics are known to perform cognitive enhancing function, but not all cognitive enhancers are nootropics. The difference between the two lies in the perceived side effect.
The term nootropics is generally reserved for cognitive enhancers with very minimal or no side effect whatsoever (at least that the initial definition of nootropics). This term has been abused over the years, and as such people now call cognitive enhancers nootropics as long as they can improve certain brain function, without giving consideration to possible side effects.
Nootropics generally have no side effect on the brain. But Cognitive enhancer does. However, there is no clear distinct between nootropics and cognitive enhancers as of today because the market is flooded with various products and no standard body is responsible for regulating them.
What this implies is that, new drugs called “nootropics” might have their own side effects, which is why it is very important to seek physician opinion or at the very least read other users review before committing to long term use of certain cognitive enhancers.
For each category of Nootropic we review, we factor into accounts the following..
#1. Number Of Purchases
This is a very crucial factor in the selection process. All products reviewed in this post has nothing less than one thousand purchases.
We decided to go that high, basically for two reasons; the first being that, if the number of purchase is high, it’s either the product is being marketed aggressively by the producers, or the product is that good, and as such it is being recommended by people.
The second reason for considering high number of purchase as a rating factor is because, it gives room for variant opinion. The higher the number of purchase, the higher the number of reviews, which leads me to the second ranking factor.
#2. Number Of Reviews
This is directly related to the first factor. All the products I analyzed in this post has nothing less than fifty reviews on it. I also scouted for products with independent reviewers and verified purchase.
I won’t be naïve to the fact that, it’s very possible for companies to hire random people to leave good reviews on their product page. I put that into consideration, and as such, I made sure that a larger percentage of the reviews are verified purchase, and that they’re also made by amazon regular users.
Another important factor I considered in this regard is the time difference in the reviews. I went back as far as twelve calendar month to make sure the good reviews are not based on company’s hype and aggressive marketing effort.
#3. First Date On Amazon
None of the listed product is less than six month old. While many people would argue that the product age shouldn’t be a significant factor. I am of the opinion that, a product with good review over a long period of time is arguably serving it’s purpose. Because if it’s not, then the positive review wouldn’t keep coming up.
#4. Amazon Star Rating
All products have nothing less than 4/5 product star rating on amazon. While this rating system is highly subjective, I still consider it a valuable method of selecting the best product simple because it’s a public opinion. One of the traditional rules of shopping on amazon is that, the higher the number of star rating, the better the product. I didn’t phase out this rule in my selection process.
This isn’t a rule of thumb, because not all the products listed passed this test. I searched for product produced by companies that are specifically into nootropics production. I wanted to see if they have various products listed, and what the difference is; between those product. While many people may consider this unnecessary, it isn’t so, simple because a larger percentage of products on amazon are listed more than once; albeit with different names. This is a marketing gimmick in other to create a complex paradox of choice for potential buyers.