You would have heard this advice from top achievers in any field, “Work Smarter, not Harder.” Then why not extend the same philosophy in all areas of your life? Are you smarting from a situation wherein no matter how much you exercise, eat healthy, and sleep well, you still find it a struggle to focus and motivate yourself? If yes, you need smart help that is not hard on you. Try ‘Smart Drugs’, that could help you come out of your situation, by speeding up your thought process, boosting your memory, and making you more creative and productive.
Sounds too good to be true? Welcome to the world of ‘Nootropics’ popularly called ‘Smart Drugs’ that can help boost your brain’s power. Remember the scene from the movie “Limitless”, where Bradley Cooper’s character uses a smart drug that makes him brilliant? Yes! the effect of Nootropics on your brain is such that results come as a no-brainer.
What constitutes Nootropics?
Nootropics, also known as ‘brain boosters’, or ‘cognitive enhancers’ are made up of a variety of artificial and natural compounds that help in enhancing the cognitive activities of the brain by regulating or altering the production of neurochemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain. It improves blood flow, stimulates neurogenesis (the process by which neurons are produced in the body by neural stem cells), enhances nerve growth rate, modifies synapses, and improves cell membrane fluidity. Thus, positive changes are created within your body, which helps you to function optimally; whatever be your current lifestyle and individual needs.
Currently, Nootropics are getting more popular by leading its sales to burgeon into a billion dollar industry. A 2014 study done in the U.S. found that more than 18% of juniors, sophomores, and seniors at Ivy League colleges, had used a brain stimulant at least once during their scholastic careers.
Today, the nootropic drug industry is rapidly evolving, by catering to a wide user base that needs these drugs for a variety of reasons. Nootropics are also being taken in combination with natural supplements to enhance its potency.
Do you want to try Nootropics, but are confused with the plethora of information available online? If that’s the case, then you might get confused about what nootropic supplement you should buy related to your needs. Here is a list of the top 10 Nootropics available in the market, and their corresponding uses:
1. Modafinil – the Most Popular Nootropic of All Time
Amongst the brain focus supplements that are currently available in the nootropic drug market, Modafinil is probably the most common focus drug used by people, and it’s actually touted to be the best nootropic available today. It is a powerful cognitive enhancer that is great for boosting your overall alertness with least side effects. However, to get your hands on this drug, you require a prescription.
Modafinil is used to treat many disorders, like shift work disorder, narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea. It works by increasing the dopamine levels in your brain, similar to cocaine, but in a more pacified manner. This helps in creating an enhanced reward system in the brain that makes it more potent.
The main USP of Modafinil over other smart drugs is that it is effective over a wide age group and the benefits include improving fatigue levels, reaction time, vigilance and motivation of users. It also improves the brain function of those who are sleep deprived.
Modafinil is not addictive but there may be chances of drug abuse and memory impairment. This can manifest in people who consume it to stay up for way too long, as a result, this would probably make them sick. Long-term use of Modafinil may reduce plasticity and can have an adverse effect on the memory of some individuals. Hence it is sold only on prescription by a qualified physician.
Source: Vassar College Libraries
2. Caffeine- The Most Commonly Used Nootropic
Caffeine, in the form of coffee or soda, is the most common nootropic that has been used for many centuries. Now-a-days, it also comes in the form of supplement pills. According to various studies, people who consume coffee, have less chances of developing disorders like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and other memory related conditions.
Though coffee gives instant alertness and many cups of the beverage are downed throughout the day, the effect lasts only for a short while. People who drink coffee every day may develop caffeine tolerance; this is the reason why it is still important to control your daily intake. It is advisable that an individual should not consume more than 300mg of coffee a day. Caffeine, the world’s favourite nootropic has very less side effects but if consumed abnormally high can result in nausea, restlessness, nervousness and hyperactivity. This is the reason why people who need increased sharpness would rather induce L-theanine, or some other Nootropic, along with caffeine. Today, you can find various smart drugs that contain caffeine in them. OptiMind , one of the best and most sought-after nootropic in the U.S, containing caffeine, is considered more effective and efficient when compared to other focus drugs present in the market today.
Source: Harvard Medical School
3. L-theanine- The Anxiety Reducing Nootropic
Brain focus pills largely contain chemical components like L-theanine which is naturally found in green and black tea. It’s associated with enhancing alertness, cognition, relaxation, arousal, and reducing anxiety to a large extent. Theanine is an amino and glutamic acid that has been proven to be a safe psychoactive substance. There are studies that suggest that this compound influences, the expression in the genes present in the brain which is responsible for aggression, fear and memory. This, in turn, helps in balancing the behavioural responses to stress and also helps in improving specific conditions, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Theanine can also be combined with caffeine as both of them work in synergy to increase memory, reaction time, mental endurance, and memory. The best part about Theanine is that it free of side effects and is easily available in the form of capsules. A natural option would be to use a good green tea brand which constitutes of tea grown in the shade, because then Theanine would be abundantly present in it.
While L-theanine has many benefits, there are some side effects linked to it as well. Patients who have cancer can have serious side effects from L-theanine. Also, having larger quantities of the substance causes irritability, stomach upset, and nausea.
Source: PennState World Campus
4. Bacopa Monnieri- Best Natural Nootropic
Known widely as ‘Brahmi’, the Bacopa Monnieri or Water Hyssop, is a small herb native to India that finds mention in various Ayurvedic texts; it has been used traditionally for memory enhancement, asthma, epilepsy and improving mood and attention of people over 65.
A study mentioned in Neuropsychopharmacology as of August 2002, showed that Bacopa Monnieri decreases the rate of forgetting newly acquired information, memory consolidations, and verbal learning rate. It also helps in enhancing the nerve impulse transmission, which leads to increased alertness. Also, it is known to relieve the effects of anxiety and depression. All these benefits happen as Bacopa Monnieri dosage helps in activating choline acetyltransferase and inhibiting acetylcholinesterase which enhances the levels of acetylcholine in the brain, a chemical that is also associated in enhancing memory and attention.
Bacopa Monnieri is probably one of the safest and most effective memory and mood enhancer nootropic available today with the least side-effects. In some humans, a majorly extended use of Bacopa Monnieri can result in nausea. Amongst AlternaScript’s, primary products is Optimind, a nootropic supplement which largely constitutes of Bacopa Monnieri as one of the main ingredients.
Source: US National Library of Medicine
5. Creatine - Natural Power Packing Nootropic
Creatine is a substance that’s produced in the human body. It is initially produced in the kidneys, and the process is completed in the liver. It is then stored in the brain tissues and muscles, to support the energy demands of a human body. Athletes and bodybuilders take creatine supplements for relieving fatigue and increasing the recovery of the muscle tissues that are affected by vigorous physical activities. Apart from helping the tissues to recover faster, creatine also helps in enhancing the mental functions in sleep-deprived adults and it also improves the performance of difficult cognitive tasks.
There are many studies that suggest that Creatine helps in treating cognitive decline in individuals when combined with other therapies. It also helps people suffering from Parkinsons and Huntingtons disease. Though there are minimal side effects associated with creatine, pretty much like any nootropic, it is not absolutely free of side-effects. An overdose of creatine can lead to gastrointestinal issues, weight gain, stress and anxiety.
6. Armodafinil - The Superior Form of Modafinil
Also known as Nuvigil, this generic drug is a derivative of Modafinil and is more potent than it. Armodafinil largely mimics Modafinil and is used to enhance mental performance, based on its ability to improve alertness and wakefulness.
In recent times, Armodafinil’s popularity is rising fast, as it provides greater and longer stimulant effects by improving the capabilities of the human brain. It also helps in weight-loss and is used to treat children suffering from ADHD.
It’s recommended that you consult a doctor before Armodafinil dosage because it may have some serious side effects. Some of the common side effects of the supplement include headache, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, dizziness, anxiety, and nervousness. Some can also experience serious side effects, like palpitations and hallucinations.
Source: Duke University
7. Alpha Lipoic Acid – the Brain Cell Damage Preventing Nootropic
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a vitamin-like chemical filled with antioxidant properties, that naturally occur in broccoli, spinach, yeast, kidney, liver, and potatoes. The compound is generally prescribed to patients suffering from nerve-related symptoms of diabetes because it helps in preventing damage to the nerve cells and improves the functioning of neurons.
It can easily pass through the blood-brain barrier, and is known to protect the nerve tissues present in the brain. There is evidence that the acid plays an instrumental role in preventing strokes in adults by decreasing the number of free radicals in the body. It increases the production of acetylcholine , a neurotransmitter that most Alzheimer’s patients are deficit in.
The acid is also known to restore the vitamin C and E levels in the body. Alpha Lipoic Acid’s efficient antioxidant property protects brain cells from damage during any injury. This helps in making sure that your brain functions normally even if there is any external or internal brain injury. OptiMind, one of the best nootropic supplements that you can find today contains Alpha Lipoic Acid that can help in enhancing your brain’s capabilities.
8. Sulbutiamine – the Nootropic that treats Mental Fatigue
Also known as Arcalion or Bisbuthiamine and Enerion, Sulbutiamine is a compound of the Sulphur group and is an analogue to vitamin B1, which is known to pass the blood-brain barrier very easily. Sulbutiamine is found to circulate faster than Thiamine from blood to brain. It is recommended for patients suffering from mental fatigue caused due to emotional and psychological stress. The best part about this compound is that it does not have most of the common side effects linked with a few nootropics.
Those who take Sulbutiamine on a regular basis can notice a marked increase in consumption and retention of new information, along with improvement in both long-term and short-term memory skills. Also, Sulbutiamine increases dopamine levels in the brain elevating energy and alertness.
As Sulbutiamine crosses the blood-brain barrier very easily, it has a positive effect on the cholinergic and the glutamatergic receptors that are responsible for vital activities impacting memory, concentration, and mood. The compound is also fat soluble, which means it circulates rapidly and widely throughout the body and the brain, ensuring positive results. Thus, patients with schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease will find the drug to be very effective.
Source: US National Library of Medicine
9. GABA – the Anxiety Busting Nootropic
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA, naturally produced in the brain from glutamate, is a neurotransmitter that helps in the communication between the nervous system and brain. The main function of this Nootropic is to reduce the unnecessary activity of the nerve cells and helps calm the brain. . Thus it helps improve various conditions, like stress, anxiety and depression by decreasing the beta brain waves and increasing the alpha brain waves. As a result, cognitive abilities like memory power, attention, and alertness also improve. GABA helps drug addicts recover from addiction by normalizing the brain’s GABA receptors which reduce anxiety and craving levels in the absence of addictive substances.
Whereas in ADHD patients it helps in promoting sleep, improving mood, decreasing inflammation, and increasing focus and also accelerates the level of growth hormones. A study by the American Journal of Psychiatry has found that patients with panic disorders benefit from GABA.
Source: US National Library of Medicine
10. Alpha GPC - A Natural Memory Booster and Potentiator
L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alfoscerate, also known as Alpha GPC is a natural nootropic which works both on its own and also in combination with other nootropics. It can be found in the human body naturally in small amounts. It’s also present in some dairy products, wheat germ, and in organic meats. However, these dietary sources contain small amounts of GPC, which is why people prefer taking it through supplements.
The compound has great nootropic properties that includes memory enhancement and protection against brain aging. There are studies that suggest that the compound is an effective treatment for disorders like vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s, brain stroke, anxiety and depression. However, there are some side effects associated with Alpha GPC, like headache, heartburn, dizziness, skin rashes, insomnia, and confusion.
These are some of the best Nootropics for focus and other benefits that they bring with them. They might intrigue you in trying out any of these Nootropics to boost your brain’s power. However, you need to do your research before choosing the right Nootropic. One way of doing so is by consulting a doctor to know the best Nootropic for you. Another way to go about selecting a Nootropic supplement is choosing the one with clinically tested natural Nootropic substances. There are many sources where you can find the right kind of Nootropics for your needs, and one of them is AlternaScript.
Source: US National Library of Medicine
AlternaScript - A great source to find the best Nootropics and health supplements
At AlternaScript, you can find four different types of Nootropic/Health supplements viz. OptiMind, NuCulture, NatureThin & RestUp. These four brain supplements help in enhancing your cognitive functioning and boost up your overall productivity as well.
OptiMind - It is one of the best Nootropic supplements available and brought to you by AlternaScript. It contains six natural Nootropic ingredients derived from plants that help in overall brain development. All the ingredients have been clinically tested for their effects and benefits, which has made OptiMind one of the best brain pills that you can find in the US today. It is worth adding to your Nootropic Stack.
NatureThin – This drug helps you to lose weight and also ensures that your body gets all the necessary vitamins it needs.
RestUp - Adding to these, AlternaScript also markets a product called RestUp. This product aims to relax your body and mend your sleeping habits.
NuCulture - In addition to all these aforementioned products, AlternaScript also has a health tech product called NuCulture, which is a probiotic that fortifies your immune system and aids in digestion too.
Explore AlternaScript to learn more about these products.