A Guide to Nootropics (Cognitive Enhancers)

What are Nootropics (Cognitive Enhancers)?
Nootropics, also known as “smart drugs” consist of medicinal substances that can be natural or synthetic, and improves human thinking, learning, and memory.

Many nootropics, namely L-Tyrosine, Rhodiola Rosea, L-Theanine, and Citicoline can increase dopamine levels and boost brain function.

They are designed to target these neurotransmitters, which play a crucial role in transmitting signals between nerve cells. By modulating the levels of key neurotransmitters such as dopamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin, nootropics can have a profound impact on cognitive function.

Are nootropics healthy?
It depends on the source of the substance, dosage and one’s current background.
Nootropics helps to mask fatigue, procrastination or boredom, but according to researches they don’t make people more intelligent in the long term since their effects only last as long as the substance remains in the body.

Are nootropics illegal?
Many nootropics are legal and generally safe to use.
They are classified as dietary supplements, which are regulated as foods.
Caffeine is also a nootropics that can enhance brain performance and attention momenteraly.

How quickly do nootropics work?
Time to effectiveness depends on the particular nootropic. Some work rather quickly as early as 20-30 minutes, while others need time to build up in the body over the course of several days to weeks in order to reach optimal concentrations.

Can I use nootropics everyday?
It depends. Some naturally-derived nootropics such as Ginkgo biloba can be used every day without unwanted side effects and most individuals won’t develop a tolerance. In contrast, other nootropics may lose their effectiveness over time unless the dosage is continually increased. Do your research before deciding to use a nootropic in the long term.

What nootropics increase Alpha Brain waves?
L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness.
Green tea and oolong teas have amino acid L-theanine, but it also can be found in supplement form. Although L-theanine has also been identified in some mushrooms, tea is the primary naturally occurring source of L-theanine.

What are Alpha Brain waves?
Alpha waves are at the center of your brainwave spectrum, between 8-12 Hz. They are responsible for relaxation, increased learning , memory, concentration, production of serotonin.
When your brain is operating at the alpha frequency, you’re able to absorb new information with ease and you’re significantly more creative and productive.

How much L-theanine should I use?
Several studies have shown that taking 200 mg of L-theanine has a calming effect, without causing drowsiness.

Taking even just 50 mg — the amount found in roughly two cups of brewed tea — has been found to increase alpha-waves in the brain, which are linked to creativity.
It is also said that L-theanine is even more effective when taken with caffeine. For this reason, they’re often used together in performance-enhancing supplements.

What is Brahmi?
It is classified as nootropics. Brahmi aka bacopa monnieri contains active compounds called bacosides, which protect your brain from oxidative stress and improve signaling in your hippocampus, an area of your brain in which memories are processed.
You don’t feel the effects of brahmi immediately. 300‒600 mg dosage should be taken for several months for maximum benefit.

What is Rhodiola Rosea?
Rhodiola rosea is a both nootropic and adaptogen, a natural herb that may help your body adapt to periods of high stress and reduce associated mental fatigue.
Taking small daily doses of Rhodiola rosea has been shown to reduce mental fatigue and increase feelings of well-being.

Ashwagandha is the most effective at promoting relaxation and calming stress and anxiety, whereas Rhodiola Rosea is fantastic for increasing energy levels, moods and mental performance. Rhodiola Rosea is the supplement for you if your goal is to improve energy and mood.

What is Panax Ginseng?
Panax ginseng is purported to enhance longevity, promote cognitive functions, and alleviate fatigue.
Dosage: Taking a single dose of 200–400 mg of Panax ginseng has been shown to reduce brain fatigue and significantly improve performance on difficult tasks like mental math problems.

What is the difference between Panax ginseng and Ashwagandha?
Both plants have adaptogenic properties; ashwagandha is more calming and Panax ginseng is more stimulating. Traditionally, Panax ginseng is for short-term use; ashwagandha can potentially be used for longer periods.

What is the difference between Rhodiola Rosea and Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is the most effective at promoting relaxation and calming stress and anxiety, whereas Rhodiola Rosea is fantastic for increasing energy levels, moods and mental performance. Rhodiola Rosea is the supplement for you if your goal is to improve energy and mood.

What is the difference between L-theanine and Ashwagandha?
If you’re looking for a supplement that can also help to increase muscle strength and endurance, ashwagandha may be a better choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a supplement that can help to improve sleep quality or focus and alertness, L-theanine along with caffeine may be a better fit.

What is GABA?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger in your brain. It slows down your brain by blocking specific signals in your central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord). GABA is known for producing a calming effect.

Does GABA have same effects with Ashwagandha?
Traditionally, GABA has been viewed as a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter of which the most sleep-promoting populations are GABAergic. Ashwagandha is an annual evergreen shrub that has been widely studied for its adaptogenic properties.

Gaba vs L-theanine?
While GABA and L-theanine have both been shown to promote relaxation, there are some differences between the two supplements. Efficacy: Taking L-theanine for anxiety might be beneficial over GABA because L-theanine can promote relaxation without causing the drowsiness that GABA supplements tend to. They also can be combined together.

For this reason, it’s best to play it safe and not use GABA if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Interactions. Not enough is known about how GABA may interact with drugs, foods, or other herbs and supplements, but use with caution if taking with blood pressure medications. It is also recommended to see a medical expert before taking supplements.

What is Guarana?
Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is a species of climbing plant native to the Amazon that is known as an antioxidant, traditional medicinal, and an effective stimulant since it contains caffeine.
A typical dose is 75 mg of guarana extract (approximately 12% caffeine) administered as a tablet. Guarana should not be used in persons with cardiovascular disease, who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have chronic headaches, diabetes, insomnia, mental disorders, stomach ulcers, or are taking theophylline.

What is Eleuthero? (aka Siberian Ginseng)
This plant is mostly used in traditional medicines as an adaptogen, a compound that helps the body better handle and adapt to stress. Eleuthero is also a nootropic, acts as a stimulant, increasing nervous system function.