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The Smart Drug: What Are Nootropic Supplements and Do They Work?

nootropic supplements

When you’re trying to improve your health and well-being, taking nootropics can assist you more than you know. Nootropics are supplements that improve the way that your brain works. Taking the time to add nootropic supplements to your life can help you with your clear thinking, creativity, and memory capacity. 

But what exactly are nootropic supplements and how can they help? Keep reading to learn more about these supplements. 

What Are Nootropic Supplements?

While the definition of nootropics is broad, it’s a type of substance that enhances your brain in some form or fashion. People take these supplements in the form of different foods, herbs, supplements, and drugs. 

Some nootropics are better for broadening your mind and helping you become more creative. Other nootropics are neuroprotective and can help you prevent long-term cognitive damage. 

People also use nootropics alongside their cardio workouts because of the improvements in blood flow. Each nootropic has health-affirming properties that you can experience.

How Do Nootropic Supplements Work?

So what is it about nootropics that makes it such a cognitive enhancer?

First off, these substances often improve blood flow throughout your body, which also gives your brain more nutrients to function better. Some of the supplements also act as stimulants, which increase your dopamine and serotonin levels. 

Other substances give you more energy to be able to maintain mental alertness. All of these effects allow your brain to fire on all cylinders, which can help you to thrive as a human being. 

Whether you need to pull an all-nighter studying, want to make a push to get a business idea off the ground, or just want to be more focused and present in your daily life, taking nootropics will help you out. 

What Are the Best Nootropic Supplements to Take?

With these nootropic benefits in mind, you’ll want to consider the various supplements you can take. You can find plenty of these nootropic superfoods at your grocery store, farmer’s market, or health store. 

Here are some of the best nootropics you can give your brain on a daily basis:

1. Chlorella and Spirulina

Starting with something green is a good idea no matter what health changes you’re trying to make. Chlorella and spirulina are excellent candidates when you’re getting started with your nootropics journey. 

Chlorella is a type of sea algae that is rich with vitamins, minerals, and protein. Spirulina is the same and is also an excellent plant-based source of vitamin B-12. 

Adding some fresh chlorella to a smoothie will also help you improve the way your brain functions. Both chlorella and spirulina work to add balance to your brain’s neurotransmitters. 

They are also dense in both omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. These healthy fats can help your brain cells grow.

The fiber that these sea vegetables provide will also help your digestive system and the way that your body regulates energy. Gut health interlinks with brain health, so you can expect clearer thoughts and sharper cognition.  

2. Black Coffee

Caffeine is a long known nootropic, and arguably the most popular worldwide. Drinking a hot, fresh cup of black coffee every morning can ramp up your brain performance. 

This is why so many people, from plumbers and PE teachers to coders and attorneys, fuel themselves with coffee to get through their work.  

The boost that caffeine gives works by blocking out the neurotransmitter responsible for making you sleepy. This works to upgrade your brain performance and can also unlock creativity and bolster your will. 

Several people swear by coffee to sharpen their performance due to these nootropic health benefits. 

3. Hemp, Chia, and Flax Seeds

Fatty seeds are also high in healthy fats. The omega 3 fatty acids in these oily seeds interact with the brain by reducing inflammation. When your brain is less inflamed you’ll reduce headaches, minimize and avoid depression and deal with stress better. 

Adding hemp seed to your diet will improve your brain performance better than several food items on the planet.  

Omega 3 fatty acids are also great for anti-inflammation properties that will heal your muscles from pain and discomfort. When your body is less sore and pain-free you’ll have a better mood and mental function.  

4. Ashwagandha Root

This is an herb that people have taken for thousands of years because of its benefits. People that use ashwagandha report better concentration, an improvement in their energy levels, and less stress. 

It also helps to keep your blood sugar levels regulated so that you don’t have mood swings or go into starve mode. This root reduces your stress hormone levels, which can help you to avoid anxiety and panic attacks.  

People also use Ashwagandha root to heal their bodies of the pain and toll that workouts take on their health. When you can reduce pain and feel comfortable in your skin, you’ll also be less depressed.  

5. Melatonin

You’ll only get optimal brain function when you get a good night’s sleep every night. Melatonin is a supplement that will help you get the sleep that you need and are likely missing. 

This is a hormone that your brain already produces. It is responsible for regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle and how you rest and recover.

If your body isn’t releasing enough melatonin when you go to sleep, you might not be getting the restorative sleep that you need for your brain to operate at its peak. 

When you take melatonin as a supplement you’ll get better sleep that will help you recover.  

6. B Vitamins

Taking a daily multi-vitamin and a B Vitamin stack can be a valuable addition to your regimen. It also helps to nurture and preserve the blood-brain barrier. 

Your brain will get better blood circulation and this preserves your ability to think and make mental connections.  

These vitamins are also responsible for helping your body digest food and facilitate it into energy. This uptick in energy will help your brain work at its best.  

7. Reishi, Lion’s Mane and Other Mushrooms

Fungus literally creates the world’s neural network. Scientists have found that the seemingly infinite amounts of mold underground allow plants to communicate information that shares nutrients, warns of pests, and more. 

Since fungi plays this role in the world, it’s only right to expect similar benefits for your brain. Taking reishi, lion’s mane, and other kinds of mushrooms will help you concentrate and focus in your regular life. 

People that supplement with mushrooms find that they have more of a spark in their energy and are able to work through critical thinking tasks for longer without getting fatigued. 

Taking these mushrooms in the form of an extract, coffee, or as part of a meal will let you unlock these nootropic health benefits, in addition to anti-oxidant properties. 

8. Amino Acids

Amino acids and brain health go hand in hand. These compounds link together to create chains that eventually turn into various proteins. 

Some of the most common amino acids include Arginine, Glutamic Acid, Leucine, and Lysine. By supplementing with these amino acids, you give your body the tools and building blocks it needs to create healthy brain proteins. 

Tyrosine is an amino acid that helps your brain regulate both its fight or flight response and reward centers. When these brain signals are clearer, you’ll feel less stress and will be better able to get through the mental roller coaster of life. 

This improvement in brain function helps with your decision-making and time management. 

9. Ginseng Herb

There’s a good reason that ginseng herb has been used for millennia to help people with all sorts of health functions.  It’s a root native to Asia that improves blood circulation, among other benefits. 

People that take ginseng in the form of caplets or a tea report several health benefits. They say that they feel more energy throughout their day without the jitteriness or crash that they get from taking caffeine. 

Ginseng has incredible nootropic qualities, as it helps you to stay mentally alert, while also allowing you to relax. Being relaxed and alert prevents your mind from wandering, so you can improve your concentration and overall performance. 

It clears up brain fog and also regulates your blood sugar levels so that you don’t have a dip in mood due to hunger and glucose spikes. Stableness in temperament alone will help your brain to perform optimally. 

10. Kombucha Tea

Scientists in modern times are fascinated by research that shows a strong link between the gut and the brain. In fact, your intestines have several thousand neurons.

Your brain and gut constantly ping back and forth due to the vagus nerve. This means that feeding your gut healthy bacteria will also promote health in your brain. 

Kombucha is a probiotic drink that creates a healthy intestinal system. This abundance of good gut bacteria finds its way to your brain and helps you to have clearer thoughts and sharper overall mental function.  

How Can You Maximize Your Use of Nootropic Supplements?

Now that you know a bit more about nootropics, you should start taking them religiously. Remembering a dose of nootropic mushrooms or a sip of kombucha in the morning can be the difference between alertness and struggling to make it to lunchtime. 

But how can you get the most out of taking nootropics? Here are a few strategies that will take it to the next level:

1. Test Them Out and See Which Work Best and in What Amounts


There’s a supplement buzz going on right now, so don’t feel the need to swipe your debit card like crazy trying to stock up on every nootropic you can find. Start with one or two and test them out for a little while first. 

It doesn’t make sense to stock up on everything right away, because you won’t be able to test the effects against each other. Keep a journal and take notes on what mental improvements you experienced, and figure out which doses or frequencies work for you. 

2. Get Plenty of Rest Each Night

The health benefits of nootropics are always compounded when you find a way to get lots of sleep each night. Always shoot for 8 to 10 hours of good sleep in a dark room. 

This amount of sleep and in these conditions helps your body to produce more melatonin as you go through several cycles of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Not only does this alone boost your brain’s performance, but your body will be better able to use whatever supplements you take. 

3. Take Up Meditation and Other Brain Activities

Learning to meditate is like a nootropic all on its own. In fact, meditation is said to both change and heal the brain. 

This practice can heal your brain’s inflammation, help with your concentration, and make it so that you don’t jump on the anxiety rollercoaster. Even meditating for 10 minutes a day can bring about monumental benefits. 

4. Workout Several Times Per Week

Getting your body moving also has brain benefits. Exercise causes your brain to emit health, mood-enhancing chemicals. 

Doing strength workouts improves your testosterone, which also helps you to stay in a positive mood. When you workout you’re less stressed, which allows your brain to focus, rather than staying in fight or flight mode. 

5. Drink Lots of Water

Finally, don’t forget to drink lots of water each day. When you stay hydrated you’ll improve the way that your brain functions. Your brain is surrounded by fluid, and drinking water provides an electric charge to your brain that energizes it. 

When you’re even slightly dehydrated your brain performance will dip significantly. Keep a jug on you everywhere you go and make sure to drink frequently.  

Add Nootropics to Your Life 

As you can see, taking nootropic supplements can help your brain and your life as a whole. When you add them to your regimen you’ll get more done and will be ready to tackle the challenges of your day head-on.  

Check back to read more about everything from erectile dysfunction and brain health to working out, eye health, and improving your muscle tone. 

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