Medicines or drugs are made to treat living organisms. These medicines work, and sometimes, they are not that effective. The action or reaction of medicines depends on various factors like health, body’s response, conflict with other medicines, practitioner referred, etc. Today we will learn what are nootropics, are nootropics safe, how do nootropics work & nootropics side effects.
1. What are Nootropics?
The term nootropics is derived from the Ancient Greek words noos meaning mind, and trope meaning turning. It is a category of drugs or drug supplements consumed to improve brain functioning. These medicines claim that they improve cognitive functions. Such medicines are also known as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers. The term nootropics can be used in reference to natural as well as synthetic supplements or drugs. (See Is the L484 a Vicodin?)
2. How do Nootropics Work?
They improve or enhance acetylcholine activity. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter found in the nervous system, and it controls cognitive functioning like memory and learning. The nootropics affect glutamate, causing it to release more impulses to the brain, resulting in increased focus, learning, improved memory, and brain activity. (See Marijuana: 8 Reasons Why was it made illegal in the first place)
3. What are Natural and Synthetic Nootropics?
Natural nootropics do not have side effects like synthetic medicines made by humans. They are available in the market with GMP trademarks or labels. You can also find nootropics that are free from common allergens & do not contain artificial ingredients. Green tea, L-Theanine, Bacopa Monnieri, Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Lion’s mane mushrooms, Ginkgo Biloba, Piracetam, and Choline, are Natural nootropics. Therefore, the answer to are nootropics safe is yes, natural nootropics are quite safe to consume. (See What are the health benefits of drinking Green Tea?)
Synthetic nootropics are man-made medicines or supplements, including smart drugs like Adrafinil, Modafinil, Noopept & Racetams used to enhance your brain activity.
4. What are the Benefits of Nootropics?
Nootropics are capable of making a mind sharp and less stressed. According to the first nootropics researcher, Dr. Corneliu Giurgea, an excellent and balanced nootropic shall offer the following benefits without any side effects:
- Improved learning
- Brain cell protection
- Enhanced communication
- Short-term memory retention
- Increased resilience for trauma and stress hormones
You can use them for better creativity, increased motivation, and better intelligence. So the main question is, are nootropics safe? Let’s answer it in the next segment. (Additionally, Learn How to Zentangle)
5. What are Nootropics Side Effects?
Nootropics contain certain compounds which may have adverse effects but aren’t toxic. Some commonly noticed side effects of nootropics are:
- mood imbalance,
- tiredness or fatigue,
- tachycardia viz faster heart rate than normal,
- digestive system imbalance
- sleeping disorders like sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, and strange or lucid dreams.
Other problems like headaches, risky sexual practices, vision problems, or medicine addiction can occur too. Brain Fog is a condition in which the brain loses its energy, and the person cannot focus. The metabolic system is also affected, which may result in impaired thinking. On the other hand, Mega dosing needs to be taken care of. It is the condition when a person consumes too many nootropics, at once, resulting in short-circuiting cognitive function. After learning about these side effects, reconsider are nootropics safe to be consumed or not. (See Why you should drink more water?)
6. What Factors Determine Nootropics Side Effects?
As mentioned below, the defining factor of nootropics side effects falls into two categories:
- Research-backed tolerability means the phase of clinical trials of the drug over a number of people. During this process, all the people volunteering for the trials are given a therapeutic dosage of the medicine. If nobody shows any side effects, it is considered safe for sale to the masses.
- Anecdotal tolerability includes personal experiences of people and not the facts based on research. So, people using it may have some side effects, but that is not common in other people. So, it does not mean that the drug has side effects. It is simply the response of those particular people with minimal side effects. (See 11 Health Benefits of Eating Ice Apple Fruit)
7. How do Ingredients & Additives Determine Nootropics Side Effects?
All ingredients and additives are different. Sometimes, the best ones combined may also cause side effects for the consumer. Let’s understand why!
- If a nootropics herb is grown in a toxic environment, it will be of poor quality.
- Some supplements made from cheap ingredients are hard on the digestive system resulting in gastric side effects and affecting the metabolism rate too.
- Often, the manufacturers put some additives which are not equally tolerable. Artificial colors and preservatives may have neurotoxic properties and might disrupt gut microflora.
- Soy and Gluten may cause some digestive problems, while Carrageenan induces colon inflammation.
Therefore, always check the supplements facts sheet and then decide are nootropics safe for you & your family or not. (Also read How to Breathe through Both Nostrils?)