What Are The Best Nootropics Which Are Safe To Take?
In the waning years of the cold war, deeply embedded in Northern Vietnam, and at the height of the nuclear arms race, President Richard Nixon’s motorcade sped through the frozen streets of downtown Moscow. An unscheduled meeting with Mr. Brezhnev had the entire entourage racing across town. It was the first time an American president had visited Moscow and tensions were high. A very carefully selected group of Soviet citizens stood dutifully, silently waving both Russian and American flags.
As the motorcade passes, another visiting scholar, psychologist, and chemist from Romania silently mutters under his breath “man is not going to wait passively for millions of years before evolution offers him a better brain” and silently returns to his work.
His name is Corneliu Giurgea and he is credited as the father of brain pharmacology and mental performance research.
The year was 1972 and Mr. Giurgea coined the term nootropic.
Almost a decade earlier he synthesized a new drug called Piracetam which he later labeled the first nootropic.
According to his definition nootropic drugs should include the following characteristics:
- enhanced learning and memory effects;
- enhance the ability of learned behaviors to resist disruption (AKA improved focus);
- protect your brain against various physical or chemical injuries;
- enhance the efficiency of your brain functions;
- and this one is important – they should lack the usual side effects of other psychotropic drugs. Namely sedation, loss of motor control, and most importantly…
- nootropics should have very few side effects and extremely low toxicity.
So, what exactly are nootropics?
Nootropics are any drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, and any functional foods that help improve mental functions.
Top Benefits of Nootropics
Nootropics hold the promise of helping with:
- your memory storage and recall
- your cognition or ability to pay attention and comprehend ideas
- your reasoning ability
- your decision making
- your problem solving
- you ability to communicate
- your motivation
- your intelligence
- your concentration
And, most importantly, it is believed that nootropics can help improve your overall health.
Sounds like a magic pill, which it isn’t, but you should think of nootropics like this…
Your brain controls all the functioning organs in your body. From your metabolism, to your nervous system, to your digestive system, every organ in your body is controlled by your brain. When your brain is healthier and functioning better your entire physical well-being is improved.
Not to mention your emotional makeup. Many of modern life’s maladies such as depression, anxiety, ADD, and addictions can be traced to unhealthy brains.
What Nootropics are NOT
A critical definition of nootropics is that they convey some benefit to the brain and that they are almost completely non-toxic. This is your brain we are talking about, not something you want to experiment on.
You need to be aware that many so called nootropics available today contain stimulants like caffiene, ephedrine, or any other psychoactive drugs that temporarily increase your alertness. They do have a powerful effect on your brain, but not necessarily positive. They do not have any long term health benefits. The primary of these is Adderall which is actually a medical drug associated with significant side effects and toxicity damage to your brain’s dopamine neurons. Certainly not what you want.
Another commonly mis-labeled drug is Modafinil. This is actually a prescription drug used to treat narcolepsy and other sleeping disorders. The list of side effects of Modafinil is long and not pretty; including chest pain, anxiety, and hallucinating.
Please stay away from any brain health supplements that contain stimulants, or other boosters which attempt to give you a sensation or rush.
Two Schools of Thought on Nootropics
Two schools of thought have emerged within the world of nootropics.
The first school, and probably the first to come to mind when you think about smart drugs or pills that make you think better is focused on the short term. “How can I improve my focus and attention, today”? Much like the movie Limitless, modern society wants a pill to solve a problem immediately. This isn’t necessarily bad. It is akin to weight loss. If you were over weight, of course you are going to want a pill that will shed the pounds quickly right? Problem is, your body doesn’t work that way.
While there are, certainly, drugs that can really increase your thinking, focus, and attention like Adderall, they do work, but at what cost? Adderall is a Schedule II drug specifically for its addictive nature and potential for abuse. All these short term “pills” typically come with a high price tag. Even a simple substance such as caffeine from coffee. Studies do show that it will improve your focus and attention, but if you drink excess amounts of it you will not only burn out your adrenal system, you will probably be a hot mess as well.
Many of the racetams fall into this category. Particularly students looking to improve testing results like these types of nootropics. Again, they do work, well, but they come with a price extracted from your brain and body. Nothing is wrong with occasional use and we are actually looking at including oxiracetam into our next formula, but we don’t suggest anyone take it on a long term basis, or any of these types of nootropics long term for that matter.
The second school of thought, and the one we fall into stakes its claim in the long term health of your brain.
Quite literally your brain controls everything in your life. These types of brain health supplements can help improve your brain health and thus your memory, your focus, your attention, your emotions and moods, even your metabolism but instead of extracting a price from your health they actually benefit you in the long term.
And, the best part, when you give your brain the proper nutrition to function properly you…
- Can shift every area in your life into high-gear – your thinking, your health, and your emotions. Everything just starts working better.
- You get more respect and love from the people in your life now that your memory works better and you stop forgetting all the important stuff.
- You glide through the hardest tasks and your focus and attention are laser sharp.
- You see your health start to improve as your body systems begin to function better.
- You moods improve, along with your attitudes, making the world a much better place.
You will probably not experience a rush, or sudden sharpening of your thinking. You will notice the effects of a healthier brain within a few days. For me, I noticed about 4 days after taking MindBoost Day. After just 4 days I remember driving down the highway on the way home one afternoon. It was like my brain was just crackling, alive. It is a little hard to describe, but everything just seemed sharper, clearer, more real. I remember thinking that even the colors seemed brighter and sharper – almost like I had on some impossibly great new glasses.
This longer term view on nootropics we feel is far more beneficial than any short term gain from the first school of nootropics. This is your brain we are talking about. Not something you really want to experiment or play around with.
Particularly when you add in the benefits of MindBoost Night.
Sleep is so important. But that is for another day…
The Best Nootropic Stacks
As people experiment with different nootropics, these combinations are commonly referred to as stacks. It is a slang term, but you still see it used around the internet.
The field of nootropics is relatively new and growing rapidly as the promise is so great. Health improvements and science around Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are also driving the research. You can think of nootropics like other supplements, there are hundred of varieties to choose from, each with different objectives.
If you are looking to purchase and try some nootropics, the basic building blocks are varied.
The most effective nootropics are
Citicoline is a powerful nootropic which research has found to help improve focus and mental energy and may be useful in the treatment of neurological disorders.
One 2012 research study from Food and Nutrition Sciences, working with healthy adult women aged 40-60 showed that after 28 days of citicoline supplementation the women had 600% fewer mistakes than the placebo group!
Regarding improved memory especially as we are getting older as a population, citicoline supplementation has been shown to be possibly effective in the treatment of age-related cognitive decline that may be the precursor of dementia.
Rhodiola Rosea is an amazing plant which has been shown to promote cognitive function and reduce mental fatigue. It has been proven very safe and effective.
One, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the effects of Rhodiola rosea on students during an examination period showed “.. the overall conclusion is that Rhodiola rosea gave significant results compared to the placebo group”.
Another study attempted to document the anti-inflamitory and neuroprotective effects of Rhodiola Rosea in microglial and neurons. They found that “The protective effects of R. rosea against neurotoxicity may provide the pharmacological basis of its clinical usage in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.”
Study after study shows the incredible effects of Rhodiola Rosea.
Folic acid is essential for many biological functions. It has also been found to improve cognition in health adults. Folic acid may lower the risk of cognitive decline.
B vitamins, particularly vitamin B-12, have been shown to positively influence brain functions. Vitamin B-12 is a brain nutrient that appears that it may lower both the risk and rate of cognitive decline. Data suggests that Vitamin B-12 supplementation may have a positive impact on global brain functioning particularly on performance of memory tasks.
Picamilon is a combination of niacin and GABA. Research suggests Picamilon works effectively within 1 hour to diminish stress, worry, anxiety, and may allow the brain to focus and concentrate better. Unlike tranquilizer drugs, picamilon does not induce muscle relaxation, drowsiness or lethargy.
Olive Leaf Extract
Our Olive Leaf Extract is a high hydroxytyrosol extract. This is a type of phenolic pytochemical with potent antioxidant properties. Olive Leaf Extract is associated with lower odds of cognitive decline.
Green Tea Extract
Green Tea Leaf Extract, specifically polyphenol extracts are powerful antioxidents. They have been shown to improve memory, executive function and information processing speed as well as cognition. Some studies have also shown that green tea may reduce cognitive decline.
The goal of taking nootropics is for long term brain health improvements. You want to experience the benefits of better memory, thinking, and focus. Have sharper attention. Be more mentally awake while protecting from brain from the ravishes of time and disease.
You absolutely do not want to take any brain enhancing pills that are not backed by science, have little side effects, and include any risk of toxicity. You definitely do not want to take prescription medications or other dangerous stimulants which make you believe you are mentally sharper but are burning out your brain at an ever increasing rate.
Your brain works 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Even when you are sleeping, your brain never stops running your body and processing information. One could argue that your sleep cycles are more important to your health than anything you can do during the day.
See, you want the benefits of nootropics during the day, but your brain’s primary healing and processing time is at night.
MindBoost Night is the missing nighttime nootropic that allows you to fully maximize your sleep and rejuvenation.
When combined with the powerful effects of MindBoost Day, MindBoost Night gives your brain 100% protection.
If you are looking to improve your brain health, your memory, your focus, and attention look no further than MindBoost Day and MindBoost Night as the best nootropic stack you can take.