Nootropics are supplements, drugs and other substances that are believed to help enhance the capabilities of the human brain. These types of drugs or supplements are designed to boost concentration, memory, or motivation. It encompasses a lot of substance, both synthetic and natural, over-the-counter or prescription, illegal or legal medication.
One of the most common kitchen spices today, turmeric, can be a Nootropic, but it can also be said with LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) and Ritalin. The word Nootropics is from the Greek words “nous,” which means mind and “trepein, which means to bend or to turn.
It was used in 1972 by a Romanian scientist by the name of Corneliu Giurgea, the scientist who invented Piracetam, an early form of cognitive-enhancing supplement that helps improve learning and memory. Corneliu Giurgea makes it clear about the potentials of Nootropic. According to him, the human race will not wait passively for thousands or possibly millions of years for evolution to take place and provide them with a better brain.
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The thought of going over the natural brain chemistry to suppress any unwanted emotions and help enhance the memory, creativity and other functions of the human brain, has long been the stuff if movies and other science fiction literature like Flowers for Algeron, Brave New World or the 2011 film that stars Bradley Cooper, Limitless.
This drug’s appeal is very understandable since the regulations around cannabis products loosen and the options for maximizing the mind and body for a peak performance growth. According to a 2017 study conducted by the International Journal of Drug Policy, more or less 30% of all Americans said that they used or using smart drugs in 2017 a 10% increase from the previous years.
The culture to improve the performance of the human brain dovetails with the unstable job market has increasingly built on freelance work and zero-hour contracts. In this market, the importance of being a better version of yourself can be more of a necessity and less like a bonus.
There is a lot of interest when it comes to improving the cognitive capacity of higher education or the job markets to get more competitive. People are very desperate to get all the edge they can get to vice them a better chance to succeed in life. On an international level, the market for smart drugs or brain supplements is expected to dramatically increase from more or less $2 billion industry in 2015, t a whopping $12 billion by the end of 2024.
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To meet this rising demand, the Nootropic business has been created in San Francisco, where efficient creativity has been seen as the Holy Grail of brain performance-enhancing strategies like intermittent fasting and sleep tracking are starting to get trendy. A lot of smart drug brands are trying to carve out a niche in the industry.
Companies like Nootroo, TrueBrain and HVMN have starting to sell Nootropic products to help improve human cognitive, metabolic and physical endpoints for many years. While these companies are earning millions and millions of smart drug sales, as well as investment dollars, they are not without any controversies.
According to recent studies commissioned by HVMN, they found out that some of these supplements are less effective compared to coffee. Another report from NIH or National Institutes of Health, people using Nootropics, have a higher chance of getting an obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as severe addictive behaviors. And not to mention, there is an ethical dilemma. If these drugs work, do they give an unfair advantage to professionals and students who can afford to use these supplements?
How do these supplements work?
Nootropic enthusiasts are known to nix different array of brain enhancers, depending on their brain chemistry and their life goals. The cocktails are designed to create the perfect recipe to help provide humans reach their optimum potential known as stacks. There is an unlimited combination of stacks, and since everyone’s brain chemistry is different from person to person, the only way to see if the cocktail that will work on them is by experimenting on these supplements.
Most stacks are made from amino acid arginine that helps improve blood circulation, Ginko Biloba that helps improve brain functions, and bromelain, a material derived from fruits like pineapple that helps improve the immune system. These stacks can also include traditional biohacks like cardio training, drinking coffee or saunas.
Are these drugs safe to use?
A lot of Silicon Valley workers swear that Nootropics like Piracetam works well as a brain-boosting supplement. These people are used to using supplements because of the immense pressure to perform at their maximum potential.
Most enthusiasts called these supplements as smart drugs or a labor-saving device, although they are deemed crude and prone to injury. Research into gentler Nootropics, like L-theanine found in green tea, indicates excellent improvements in the brain functions, although not that much compared to synthetic Nootropics.
It is also hard to know what kinds of benefits the users are getting because it might be just a result of a placebo effect. Experiments to look for the best stack can also backfire and can cause different side effects like mood swings. The most significant risk can be from altering some aspects of cognition in many ways. For example, the focus can dramatically improve, but creative thinking can be impaired.
Enthusiasts are thrilled at the idea of hacking the brain chemistry, but the risk can also be high. Some Nootropics are very addictive and can have long-term side effects on the brain. All you need to do to avoid these side effects is to do your due diligence in researching every component of the drug and prevent anything dangerous to your brain.