Everyone feels mentally sluggish from time to time. Perhaps you’re getting more forgetful as you get older. Maybe your brain is fried from studying too much. It could be that you want to enhance your creativity and concentration.
Nootropics are supplements that boost the production of certain neurotransmitters. By increasing the levels of chemicals that are responsible for brain communication, you can improve your cognitive abilities. Below, we discuss the specific ways that nootropics can enhance your brain power.
Nootropics Improve Focus
Technology has made it easier to do more in less time. BBC News explains that technology has also made it harder for people to concentrate on one task.
Concentration involves the ability to direct your focus even when you’re getting distracting sensory input. Although you might believe that this is an abstract, mind-over-matter concept, concentration is largely driven by neurotransmitters.
Increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain has been shown to improve attention span. Although stimulants increase your adrenaline levels and boost concentration, most of them shouldn’t be taken over long periods of time. If you have a scattered mind, you may want to take a nootropic in the racetam family.
Aniracetam is known for improving short-term focus. Piracetam can be beneficial for enhancing long-term memory. Stacking the two can help you stick to one task without redirecting your attention.
Nootropics Create New Pathways In Your Brain
Every time you go through an experience, your brain creates a pathway to process the information. Most people can enhance their performance by doing the same task over and over again. That’s because the channel becomes more solidified the more it’s used.
When you do something for the first time, your brain has to create a new pathway for the novel data. New brain cells are formed during this process, which is called neuroplasticity.
Doing something different can seem challenging initially. That’s because you haven’t solidified the pathway that’s necessary to process the information. As you repeat the experience, however, it becomes easier to do. This is how learning occurs.
During childhood and adolescence, your brain is continually rewiring itself and generating new gray matter. However, cognitive development plateaus around middle age. Research shows that if you continue to take part in experiences that help create new pathways in the brain, you can stave off the cognitive decline that comes with aging.
Nootropics can also help rewire your brain. Supplements that contain magnesium can regulate the transmission of neuronal electrical signals. Experts have found that magnesium increases synaptic plasticity, helping you learn new things. Other nootropics that play a large role in neuroplasticity are racetams, Huperzine-A, Noopept and theanine.
Nootropics Help You Remember Information
By helping rewire the brain, nootropics can aid in the creation of new memories. It’s important to maintain these connections in order to retain the information that you’ve learned. Some supplements can also help you retrieve information that’s stored in your brain.
Raising levels of glutamate and acetylcholine in the brain can help improve your memory. Increasing the flow of oxygen to brain cells also positively impacts memory function.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that improves communication between neurons and synapses. Nootropics that increase acetylcholine production and prevent its breakdown can help you remember what you learn. Piracetam, Oxiracetam and Pramiracetam are known for boosting the manufacture of acetylcholine. Supplementing with choline can enhance the effects of the other nootropics.
Glutamate is one of the most abundant neurotransmitters in the brain. It helps you create new connections and recall memories. Ampakines like Aniracetam and Piracetam stimulate certain receptors that increase glutamate levels.
When your body is pumping enough oxygen to your brain, you have the energy required for cognitive tasks. Racetams can improve blood flow to the brain. Vinpocetine has been shown to increase tissue oxygenation in parts of the brain. It also protects brain cells from damage.
This can help you retain information that you learn, especially as you get older. Taking nootropics for memory can also help you recall data when you take a test.
Nootropics Can Make You More Alert
When you’re alert, you notice more about what’s going on around you. This can help you create new pathways for learning.
Caffeine is a nootropic that’s known for helping you stay awake. It’s a stimulant that activates the central nervous system. Taking caffeine can come with negative side effects, like jitteriness and headaches. Stimulants can stress the body, especially when they’re taken for long periods of time.
Other nootropics can give you energy and motivation without the stressful side effects. Phenylpiracetam stimulates the central nervous system, resulting in a clean boost of energy without the crash that can occur after taking caffeine. Some athletes use Phenylpiracetam to improve their stamina and endurance.
Modafinil and Adrafinil were created to treat people with sleep disorders and fatigue. They can keep you awake and make you feel less pressure when you’re exerting your brain for long periods of time.
Nootropics May Reduce Anxiety
You might not associate an improved mood with enhanced brain power. However, when you’re more confident, you tend to be more productive and motivated. You can’t enhance your cognitive performance if you’re worried and stressed out. Eliminating apprehension allows your brain to function optimally and lets you accomplish more.
Nootropics that augment GABA production and utilization can help you feel more relaxed. Others moderate the way that your brain uses dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters have strong soothing effects.
Many lifestyle changes can help you modulate nervousness. For example, meditation has been shown to reduce stress. Doing a guided meditation, like this one, regularly can alleviate anxiety.
However, meditation can take time to deliver regular stress-busting effects. Nootropics can provide relief from nervousness in a shorter amount of time. L-theanine, lemon balm, kava root and Aniracetam are nootropics that are used for their stress-reduction benefits.
If you want to boost your brain power, consider stacking some of these supplements. Certain combinations can enhance specific properties of the nootropics.