Nootropics are a hot topic right now. And no wonder! Who wouldn’t want to boost their brain power? The claims about what they can do actually sound too good to be true – almost as if they’re some kind of magic potion.
But there’s nothing magical about nootropics, even though they are pretty incredible. Especially the ones that occur in nature and have been used for thousands of years. Before you start using nootropics yourself, it’s important to learn about how they work and the different varieties available.
Just What Is A Nootropic?
Nootropics (pronounced “new-tro-pik”) are chemicals that improve brain function. They’re also called “smart drugs” and are a type of cognitive enhancer. Sometimes people also include stimulants, herbs, medications, and foods that enhance the mind’s capabilities in the term “nootropics.”
Some nootropics occur naturally while others are man-made. And sometimes you’ll find supplements that contain synthetic versions of the nootropics that can be extracted from natural sources. For this article, we’re just going to talk about the kinds of nootropics that you can find in nature, enhance brain function, and don’t make you “crash” after using them.
How Do They Work?
The idea behind nootropics is that they’re going to target a metabolic or nutritional aspect of brain function. In theory, these compounds enhance an aspect of brain activity such as certain neurotransmitters or enzymes.
Even the most skeptical scientists admit this is a plausible assumption. Given what we know about how the brain functions there’s every reason to think we can tweak and enhance metabolic function (though that isn’t quite as simple as it sounds). There just aren’t many clinical studies examining how nootropics affect healthy people. But we do have plenty of examples of people who’ve used nootropics and can testify that they work. And in the case of naturally occurring nootropics, there’s often a rich history of them being used in traditional medicines.
What Do Nootropics Do?
Different nootropics will have different effects depending on how they affect the brain. For example, our mFocus & Relax blend contains three nootropics:
- Bacopa enhances cognitive functions like learning and recall speed, relieves stress and anxiety, and protects the brain.
- Holy basil contains an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and boost immunity. It also improves your body and brain’s reaction to stress and anxiety.
- Shilajit has fluvic acid as the main bioactive ingredient. It can act as a pain reliever as well as a memory and learning aid.
All nootropics increase blood flow to the brain which gives the brain a boost of oxygen and nutrients. Beyond that, the different nootropics target different areas of the brain. Some nootropics will make you feel stimulated. Others will make you relaxed and focus, like the ones we use at Crucial Four. You’ll have to research the different options available to see which ones are right for you. But if you’re looking for a starting point, we offer a nootropic bundle containing our top cognitive-enhancing products.