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What Are Nootropics?

What are Nootropics? 

You might have come across the word Nootropics without actually understanding what they’re all about. Simply put, nootropics are medications designed to boost or enhance the overall performance of the brain. Nootropics are found in prescribed medications, typically to help those with any issues in brain functions. They’re prescribed for a wide variety of conditions including ADHD, narcolepsy, and even some cases of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Are all Nootropics medication?

Nope! Nootropics are not limited to prescribed medications. In fact, some of the non-prescription nootropics are substances that you might already be familiar with! 

Natural Nootropics vs. Medications

While natural nootropics can have a positive effect on the brain, they’re not used to treat medical issues with it. However, they can have a positive effect on the thinking process, including memory and other functions of the mind. 

Four Common Nootropic Substances

Creatine:

Creatine is probably familiar to athletes and gym rats who use them in their workout routine. This is because creatine is an amino acid that forms the building blocks of proteins. 

While this substance is more associated with muscle building and enhancement, studies have shown that it helps improve short-term memory along with reasoning.

Nobody is quite sure how creatine helps the brain the way it does, and its effect seems to be limited to the previously mentioned benefits. However, it’s safe to use in moderate amounts and perfect for those looking to build muscle and improve brain function.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

While Omega-3 is most associated with improving the cardiovascular system, it also helps build membranes around the cells in the body. The polyunsaturated fats not only repair and renew brain cells they slow down the aging process in the brain as well.

Long-term studies have garnered mixed results in terms of the overall brain-boosting effects of Omega-3. However, what’s for sure is that these fatty acids do help protect the brain and boost cardiovascular health.

Caffeine:

A lot of people already know that they function better after their morning coffee or tea and science supports that too! 

When consumed in moderate amounts, it can help boost the focusing capacity of the brain. However, consuming too much caffeine can harm the mind and body. 

It is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that you consume no more than 400mg of caffeine per day, which is about five cups of coffee. 

Keep in mind that caffeine is found in other beverages and food products. So, you will have to be careful about what you eat and drink throughout the day.

L-theanine:

This is an amino acid that is often found in black or green teas and there are also L-theanine supplements available. 

L-theanine simultaneously boosts awareness while creating a relaxing and soothing effect. This means that the alpha waves in the brain are increased which helps enhance brain function and performance.

Perhaps not surprisingly, L-theanine works well with caffeine. So, if you consume two or three cups of black or green tea per day, you should receive the effects of both substances to improve brain function.