Can you imagine a pill that can change your life for the better? By adopting it, you can speed up your thinking processes, increase your memory and become more productive. There are nootropics that promise us a positive result, but it’s quite difficult to understand if they work at all. Here are the most popular cognitive enhancers, and that science actually speaks about them.
I suppose, when you hear about nootropics, which often called “smart drugs,” you probably first of all present something in the frame of the movie Limitless, where the character Bradley Cooper becomes excellent after taking a strange pill. Drugs and supplements currently available do not have such a strong effect, but the concept is basically the same. Increased memory, focus, or motivation — these are the effects that most often promise us. But the most effective nootropics, such as Modafinil, are not intended to be used without a prescription to treat a particular condition. In fact, the recreational use of nootropics is very vigorously debated among doctors and medical researchers. Many of them are concerned about the possible negative effects of long-term use, as well as the ethics of using cognitive substances, to gain benefits in mediocre life.
However, this did not stop entrepreneurs and their customers from experimenting and buying magic pills. In 2015 alone, the nootropics industry raised over $ 1 billion, and websites such as subreddit nootropics, the Bluelight and Bulletproof Exec forums, are popular and rich with people looking for easy ways to improve their mental performance. In order to get deeper into this topic, I spoke with Kamal Patel, the director of the evidence-based medical database Examine.com, and even tried to test some commercially available nootropics on myself.
Caffeine and L-Theanine are more recommended for use.
I’m sure each of you took these supplements most often: caffeine and L-theanine. Both are found in coffee and green tea, but in small amounts compared with nootropic doses.
We talk more about how caffeine affects the body, but the basic idea is that it can improve your motivation and focus, increasing the transfer of catecholamines. Its effectiveness declines over time, however, you are a priori more tolerant of caffeine. The study of L-theanine, a common amino acid, suggests that it contributes to the health of neurons and can reduce the incidence of cold and flu symptoms by strengthening the immune system. physiological stress reactions, so it is often consumed along with caffeine. In fact, as part of a systematic review of 11 different studies published in Nutrition Review, researchers found that using caffeine in combination with L-theanine promoted alertness, task switching and attention. Reviewers note that efficacy is most pronounced during the first two hours after a dose, and they also indicate that caffeine is the leader, since higher doses of caffeine are more effective than large doses of L-theanine.
Although these two components may not be as exciting as the magic pill, which instantly unleashes the full potential of your brain, they currently have the most scientific basis for studying and supporting them. And, as Patel explains, they are both relatively safe for healthy people of most ages.
A caffeine dose of 100 mg (or one cup of strong coffee) in combination with 200 mg of L-theanine is what the nontropic subdredit recommends in the FAQ for beginners, and many nootropic vendors, such as peak nootropics, offer the same thing.
Piracetam and choline may be helpful, but…
Piracetam, is a synthetic stimulant designed to improve brain function. Piracetam is considered the founding grandfather of all races, and the term “nootrop” was originally coined to describe its effects. However, despite its popularity and many experiments, researchers still do not know what its mechanism of action is. Patel explained that the most important hypothesis suggests that Piracetam enhances the function of neurons, increasing the fluidity of the membrane in the brain, but this has not yet been confirmed.
However, there are many studies showing the benefits of this nootropic. One study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, suggests that brain function in elderly patients can be significantly improved after regular dosing with Piracetam. Another study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, found that Piracetam improved memory in most adult experimenters. And another, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, suggests that it can help students improve their non-verbal learning skills, such as reading ability and reading comprehension. In principle, researchers know that this has an effect, but there is no general certainty.
So I decided to try it on myself.
For several weeks I took doses of Piracetam (about 1600 mg three times a day).
However, when I didn’t collect it with Choline, I would get what users call “rockets”. Choline, as Patel explains, is not a true nootropic, but it is still a pro-cognitive blend that many take with other nootropics on the stack. It is an essential nutrient that people need for functions such as memory and muscle control, but we cannot produce it, and for many Americans it’s not enough. The headaches that I had were terribly painful, but they were uncomfortable, and I stopped taking Piracetam on my own. Even without a headache, I didn’t like the level of focus that Piracetam gave me. I did not feel the presence when I used it, even when I tried to mix caffeine and L-theanine. And although it seemed that I could concentrate and do my work more quickly, I made small mistakes in my letter, for example, skipping words. In fact, it seemed to me that my brain was moving faster than it could.
Modafinil – the promise by prescription
Modafinil is most often advertised as the best nootropics. It is a powerful cognitive enhancer, great for increasing vigilance and has very few, mild side effects that most healthy users will never experience. And no, you can`t buy it easy. Sorry. Modafinil is a prescription drug used to treat disorders such as narcolepsy, sleep disorder for job changes, as well as for those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
As with other nootropics, the way it works is still partially mysterious, but most studies indicate that it acts as a weak dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Simply put, it increases your dopamine levels in the same way as cocaine, but to a much lesser extent. However, the improved reward system he creates in the brain does what Patel considers the most powerful cognitive enhancer; and he notices that some people go from laziness to a superman in few hours of his acceptance.
Modafinil’s studies show greater efficacy in young healthy people, and not only in the elderly or in people with cognitive deficits. That is why it is great for (and often prescribed) military personnel who are on an intensive tour, or for those who cannot sleep for physiological reasons.
What is the result? There are many long-term studies, so we do not know how this will affect your brain chemistry in the future or after prolonged regular use. In addition, you can not get it very easily or legally in this regard, if you live in the United States. It is classified as a scheduled controlled substance IV. That’s where Adrafinil comes in.
Adrafinil is a prodrug for Modafinil, which means it can give you a similar effect. And you can buy it legally anywhere. But there are some unpleasant flaws. It is much more difficult to achieve such an effect as Modafinil, you have to wait an hour for it to take action, there are more potential side effects, and there are no other advantages to take it.
Most studies of these nootropics suggest that they have certain advantages, but as they write in the journal Nature Nature Barbara Sahakyan and Sharon Maureen-Zamir, no one can say for sure about the long-term effects. Also, we may not know how it can chemically affect your brain. about. If you want to, then do your research first and be careful.