As of 2015, nootropics became one of the most sought after drugs that are still legal to purchase. The claim is that they work by protecting your brain’s neurons from any damage, while increasing neuroplasticity--how your brain responds to sensory information.
All in all, these drugs are able to improve your cognitive health, which includes (but not necessarily limited to) your attention span, learning capacity and your memory.
While these claims are good and well, the exact science isn’t fully understood, despite numerous studies. There has been studies that proves nootropics have a positive effect on those who suffer from a decline in some degree in their cognitive abilities because they suffer from conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
However, when a healthy person consumes the nootropics, the benefits are still a bit of a question.
The idea behind nootropics is that the nutritional or metabolic function of the brain (namely the function that revolves around memory and attention) are targeted by supplements. Then, there is a nutritional precursor that leads to the metabolic path.
The nootropics are supposed to enhance how active the neurotransmitters, the enzymes, and other metabolic functions.
It’s worth noting that the research around nootropics and their effects on a person isn’t a lost cause, but it isn’t something that is easily understood. Our ability to come to conclusions by what we find during the experimentation process is quite limited.
It doesn’t matter how promising a new treatment may look in when it is being theorized, it’s the clinical proof we need to understand if it has a lasting and measurable clinical effect.
As we’ve previously stated, the science behind how nootropics is still a bit murky and that is due to several reasons. The effectiveness of your nootropic stack will depend on numerous factors, such as your brain’s chemistry which is connected to your genes, your moods, how you sleep, and even how much you weigh.
With so many different factors to consider, it’s really difficult to get a clear answer on why they work.
Another reason why we don’t fully understand how nootropics work is because there are some ingredients that have been studied more extensively than others.
We all know how the popular nootropic caffeine works on our bodies because we all know that one person who is a complete coffee addict (heck, you may even be a coffee fiend yourself!).
We know that over time, we have to increase how much coffee we drink in order to feel the caffeine, because we’ve built up a tolerance.
Researchers found that the amino acid, L-theanine, is capable of reducing psychological and physiological stress responses. This makes it the perfect companion to caffeine, but it also promotes brain health.
There’s been studies where both of these compounds were taken together and the results show that the pair can increase alertness, ability to pay attention and multi-task. Because of these findings, it isn’t uncommon to find stacks comprised of caffeine and L-theanine.
There is another factor that needs to be considered and that while a substance is included in research studies, researchers aren’t studying the right thing. For example, racetams have been designed to improve a person’s cognitive function, but researchers aren’t quite sure why they work in the way they do.
Kamal Patel, the director of evidence-based medical database at Examine.com notes that this is partly due because most of the research that focuses on Piracetam is done on elderly patients, or people who have cognitive issues, instead of using people who have all of their faculties and are quite healthy.
It is worth pointing out that there are studies that have proven in some degree that taking nootropics can be beneficial. There’s one study that shows how daily doses of piracetam can significantly improve the brain function in elderly patients.
The supplement can also improve a person’s memory and help students improve their ability to learn. Basically, there is proof piracetam works, but researchers don’t understand how or why.
Ingredients like huperzine-A, L-tyrosine, Alpha GPC, Cat’s Claw, and others are all key players in nootropic stacks that can have amazing effects on learning, memory, cognitive flexibility, and even destroy free radicals in the body.
It is a common belief backed by research that gives nootropics the right to claim to improve a person’s cognitive function. With more and more research being conducted on the various nootropics, it’s understandable that more and more people are interested in trying them for themselves.
When we take into consideration the research that already exists, it seems like these supplements are most beneficial when they are used to treat a neurological disease like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.
The nootropics have also been shown to be able to repair damage that occurred in the brain, but also improve mental function of healthy individuals and even children.
It may be safe to say that if you already have healthy habits like eating properly, exercising often, and having a good sleep pattern, nootropics can be a great way to bolster your mental capacity, regardless of your age or mental abilities.
If you’re thinking about dabbling in nootropics yourself, you’re going to want to do a bit of research to find the best nootropics that will cater to your specific needs.
Not only that, but we recommend consulting with your physician for their recommendations and guidance. Also, if you are concerned about what nootropics are legal in your area, you should check with your local agency that governs food and drug regulations.