Smart Drugs, Bad Decision: Are Nootropics Safe?
Nootropics, also known as smart drugs, have become very popular over the past few years. If you have seen the movie Limitless, then you understand what nootropics do; of course, they don’t work to the extent the movie shows.
They do, though, help cognitive functions like memory, concentration, and alertness. Although there hasn’t been a lot of scientific research done into nootropics and their effects, many people swear by them. So, are nootropics safe?
Below we will explain what nootropics are, how they affect your daily brain functions, and if they are safe to use.
What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics are a class of drug that is available either through prescription or over the counter (depending on the type). They are most commonly taken to improve cognitive functions. However, some people take them for attention disorders. Unfortunately, these supplements don’t make you smarter, and the effects only last as long as the drug is still active in your body.
Through research, we have seen that nootropics do work. However, the more complicated question is how they work. This is because of the complexity of the brain and the different pathways in the body that can influence brain function. Nootropics usually come in two forms: powder, like this product, or capsule.
Below, we look at two different ways it’s suggested that nootropics help the brain’s cognition.
One of the primary reasons to take nootropics is to help with concentration and memory and to be more alert and less tired. When the body cannot send enough energy to the brain, we become tired. Having consistently low brain energy can lead to cognitive deficiencies and brain degeneration.
They have shown that nootropics can help support brain energy. It is thought they do this by helping to transport fatty acids to brain cells. They can also increase oxygen uptake in the cerebral system, which gives the brain more fuel. Last, they can help enhance the metabolic activity of the mitochondria, which are the key parts of brain cells.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that occur in our brains to carry information from one neuron to another neuron. Neurotransmitters give information to the brain on how we should act and what emotions we should feel. Some neurotransmitters include Serotonin and Dopamine, which relate to mood, Norepinephrine, and Epinephrine, which relate to energy and focus. And Acetylcholine which relates to our memory and learning.
We see in studies that nootropics can optimize neurotransmitters and engage with them directly. This means that some neurotransmitters can cross the blood-brain barrier. This means that nootropics can enhance our neurotransmitter receptors, so our brain gains more of those important neurotransmitters.
As well, nootropics can promote the creation of more neurotransmitters and supply the brain with chemical precursors.
Are Nootropics Safe?
So, now that we know all about what nootropics are and what they do inside our body, how safe are nootropics really? Like any substance or drug, safety has a lot to do with how you take it. However, when you look at the research, nootropics are usually safe to use if you take them properly.
Like any other product, you need to shop a little before finding the right nootropic for yourself. Some brilliant advice to know before you buy a nootropic:
- Start with a low dose, then increase if you feel no effects
- Choose the type of nootropic that will help with what you need (memory, tiredness)
- Keep up with a healthy diet and exercise
If you follow the directions on the product label and use the nootropic properly, not going over the recommended highest dose, then they will be safe for you.
Nootropics: The Smart Drug
We hope this article has been illuminating for you and has answered your question, “are nootropics safe?” Now that you know exactly what nootropics are and how they work within our bodies, you can decide if you want to try them. Now you know, though, that they are safe to use if you are not abusing them.
If you liked this article, check out the rest of our health and lifestyle posts for topics like this that may interest you!