What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics are substances which enhance cognitive function without major tolerance issues or side effects. All nootropics are cognitive enhancers, while all cognitive enhancers are not nootropic per se. A classic example would be caffeine, which enhances cognitive function but strictly speaking isn’t a nootropic as it has tolerance and side effects. Understandably there’s a big grey area. We cover this question in detail in our what are nootropics article.
How Do Nootropics Work?
Virtually any process in the brain that is beneficially modified could class as a mechanism of action for nootropics. Common mechanisms are; improving blood flow (and subsequently oxygen and glucose delivery), altering neurotransmitters, modifying synapses, providing raw materials (as with choline), enhancing nerve growth rate (via nerve growth factor) and by improving cell membrane fluidity.
Misconceptions and the Truth
The media portrayal of cognitive enhancement has been somewhat unrealistic. This has led some to have unrealistic expectations which we hope to clear up.
- A replacement for sleep In the long term.
- Able to turn you into Bradley Cooper (sorry).
- A substitute for hard work.
- Stimulants such as adderall, modafinil or caffeine (strictly speaking – more information here)
- Free of side effects. As with any substance, use common sense.
- The cognitive icing on the cake.
- Able to enhance learning, memory, intelligence and motivation.
- Relevant for the young and old.
- Sourced both naturally (eg bacopa) and synthetically (eg piracetam)
Where To Begin?
Consider reading the following articles:
- What Are Nootropics?
- The Best Nootropic? Don’t Believe The Hype
- Start Easy – Go For The Low Hanging Fruit
- Good Starting Stacks For Newcomers
- 5 Ways To Get Nootropics
- Designing Your Own Stack – 3 Starting Guidelines
- Which Choline Source Is Best?
- The Best Racetam? A Comparison Of The Popular Racetams
- 3 Motivation Stacks I Keep Handy
Where To Purchase Nootropics?
We are affiliated with a number of suppliers that meet our quality standards. We trust them as reliable sources and providers of high quality products.
Pure Nootropics – Wide range of popular nootropics. They are a paragon of excellence in terms of quality of products and customer service. If they carry a particular product I usually won’t shop elsewhere (racetams, herbal nootropics, mushrooms and more).
Absorb Health – Supplies various nootropics, both powders and capsules.
Intellimeds – Supplies the UK and EU market with various capsules, powders and nutrient based nootropics.