More about Nootropics
Nootropics, as I discussed earlier, are not miracle drugs.
Despite their coverage among biohackers and fraudsters, there’s not much on this planet that you can take that will turn you into a MENSA member in as little as 6-short weeks.
And, as I discussed, some of the best things you can do for your brain health center on lifestyle improvements (like changing your diet or sleeping more).
Yet, all that being said, there is a role for nootropics in our lives.
They can help augment brain function to a degree that may be slightly perceptible, and give you a boost when you need it.
In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the natural nootropics that you can find (some of which we carry, and others which we don’t).
Plus, I’ll talk about stacking them, too.
If you’re a student, or active business professional, or if you would like your memory and cognitive processes a little sharper, a little more dependable, then I believe there’s evidence enough to show taking these could help your brain run at its peak.
Natural Nootropics You Can Take For A Brain Boost
As I said, I don’t want to make promises about nootropics and their ability to increase your IQ or help your student get an A on a test.
But, there’s no reason not to take them when you consider they elicit a positive effect on both your brain as well as your body.
I’ll start by naming one of my favorites:
While berberine is great for blood sugar (and having normal blood sugar is great for brain health), it can also help to keep the brain healthy by preventing the accumulation of toxic proteins in your brain. One such set of proteins is beta-amyloids. By keeping beta-amyloids out it helps the brain function at optimum levels.
There’s also evidence to show berberine may help to soothe inflammation, including in the brain, which can help to stave off the development of future brain issues.
Now, as far as being a nootropic, berberine can improve working memory and executive function, which are essential for tasks such as decision-making, problem-solving, and planning.
There are also some claims around berberine enhancing blood flow to the brain, which can enhance cognitive function.
I’ve written about bacopa before and I believe this is one of the better nootropics you could take.
With a history of use extending back 1000s of years, this Ayurvedic has new research to show that it really can help you with memory, attention, and overall brain function.
One study found that taking 300 mg of Bacopa extract daily for 12 weeks resulted in significant improvements in cognitive processing speed, memory, and attention compared to a placebo group.
Another study found that taking 320 mg of Bacopa extract daily for 12 weeks improved memory recall and reduced anxiety in healthy adults.
For you, this may mean that incorporating it into your supplement regimen could help benefit and even expand the capacity of your brain to function in certain stressful situations.
Interestingly I’ve not dedicated an article to huperzine A before, even though we use it in our Brain Save formulation.
Extracted from a plant called the Chinese Club Moss plant. The Chinese used the plant for centuries completely unaware that a molecule inside was giving them the brain-altering effects they were looking for.
The main way huperzine A works is to increase your naturally occurring levels of acetylcholine in the brain.
Acetylcholine is a primary neurotransmitter and is critical for helping you develop and recall memories while also affecting attention, and learning.
Studies have shown taking huperzine A may benefit your cognitive function in several ways.
The way it’s believed to affect cognition is by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
This process then may result in the increase of acetylcholine in the brain, which as you read above, may lead to improved memory, learning, and overall cognitive function.
Another thing huperzine A does is helps guard your brain from damage.
If it just boosted acetylcholine that’d be one thing, but being a neuroprotective means it could also give your brain more chances to perform well as you progress in age.
One of the first things it can do is protect against glutamate-induced neurotoxicity, which is a common cause of brain damage.
There’s also evidence to show it may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, which can damage brain cells and contribute to neurodegenerative maladies.
Creatine naturally occurs in red meat in copious amounts and is also one of the safest supplements on the planet.
Turns out, it’s a great nootropic as well.
Though it is often associated with bodybuilding it can also have positive effects on brain health.
According to a study published in the journal Neuropsychology Review, creatine improves cognitive processing and reduces mental fatigue.
Another study found that creatine supplementation can improve memory and intelligence in healthy adults.
Since it’s affordable, tasteless, and easily dissolves in water it’s a great one to take daily.
When it comes to synthetics, I’m not going to advise the use of any (you can consult with your doctor directly), but as I mentioned in the first article, some are shown to be safe and effective.
One of the oldest and most well-researched nootropics and has been shown to improve memory, learning, and concentration. It’s also been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in humans, even at high doses.
Another one I covered, noopept is a synthetic nootropic that is a derivative of Piracetam. It is known for its ability to improve memory and cognitive function. As a derivative of piracetam, it too has a good safety profile.
I won’t spend much more time talking about synthetics, but there are quality journals and resources that report more on them and how they perform.
To get the maximum effect from nootropics you can “stack” them.
This is just a phrase for taking several nootropics at once and getting the synergistic effects of all the nootropics working together at one time to boost brain power.
In theory, you can take all the natural ones I listed above together in varying doses to achieve noticeable results.
The benefit of taking the natural nootropics I listed is they will also positively augment other health factors (like cardiovascular health, blood sugar levels, inflammation, and more).
But, like with many things, stacking nootropics does not have a one-size-fits-all approach.
The effects of nootropics can vary depending on the individual's body chemistry and the combination of supplements used. So I’d recommend starting with low dosages and gradually increasing as necessary.