(Natural News) Nootropics are natural or synthetic substances that boost brain function. If you want to enhance your memory and cognitive performance, consider taking a natural nootropic like curcumin or caffeine.
Nootropics, which are also called brain vitamins or smart drugs, boost memory and cognitive performance in otherwise healthy individuals. Additionally, nootropics offer neuroprotective benefits.
Nootropics can be natural, synthetic, or prescription. While many synthetic and prescription options offer a quicker reaction time, they also have more intense side effects.
For example, amphetamines like Adderall can make you feel more attentive, awake, and optimistic. The drug can also reduce appetite. Unfortunately, Adderall is often abused on college campuses.
The side effects of Adderall abuse include anxiety, low sex drive, and sweating. Recreational Adderall abuse is also linked to severe side effects like heart attack, especially when mixed with alcohol.
To avoid the negative side effects of synthetic nootropics, treat underlying conditions and use natural options to address conditions such as brain fog or fatigue.
Natural smart drugs include adaptogens, herbs, and beneficial compounds often found in healthy foods.
Listed below are six readily available natural options that you can try if you need to boost your brain function.
Caffeine is one of the most popular nootropics. Beverages like coffee and green tea or foods like chocolate contain caffeine. It is also available as a supplement.
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Caffeine makes you feel more alert and perks up your brain by blocking its adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a neuromodulator that binds with specific receptors, slowing down neural activity and inducing sleepiness.
Creatine is an amino acid that your body uses to produce protein and promote muscle growth. It is a popular supplement among athletes.
Creatine is also considered a great fuel for your brain. The amino acid binds with phosphate in your brain to give energy to your brain cells for improved short-term memory. (Related: The natural supplements you should be taking to boost mental performance.)
Curcumin is the main compound in the spice turmeric. With consistent long-term supplementation, curcumin can help improve working memory.
Curcumin can also increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), inhibit inflammatory cytokines, and reduce oxidative stress.
Ginkgo biloba is an adaptogen. The nootropic, which comes from leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree, is a potent brain booster.
Ginkgo biloba improves memory and relieves stress by decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.
L-theanine is an amino acid that boosts the benefits of caffeine. L-theanine and caffeine both naturally occur in tea, especially green tea.
Drink green tea if you want to improve your reaction time and relieve mental fatigue.
Panax ginseng or Asian ginseng is a popular adaptogen that improves memory by minimizing oxidative stress to promote brain-protecting nitric oxide.
Studies suggest that P. ginseng’s brain-boosting power also prevents age-related memory loss and improves long-term memory.
Although natural smart drugs are considered generally safe, it is best to consult your physician for any possible side effects before taking any nootropics.
You may also be more sensitive to certain nootropics, like caffeine or L-theanine. Other individuals may have specific gene mutations that make metabolizing caffeine more difficult.
Like other natural remedies, using nootropics in moderation can boost your brain function and overall health. Most herbs and compounds are available in supplement form from natural food or vitamin stores.
Alternatively, you can purchase adaptogens and turmeric in powder form, which you can add to recipes or smoothies.