What are nootropics?
....and why should you try them?
Our ability to succeed in life is heavily influenced by how efficiently our brains can navigate the day ahead.
As a result of relatively recent advancements in science, we are becoming increasingly aware that certain natural compounds, sometimes referred to as nootropics, contain specific nutrients and micronutrients that benefit cognition by acting on the systems and cellular processes, vital for maintaining brain health and function.
The term “nootropic” is still relatively new and not yet a description that many are familiar with, so in this blog we will investigate, nootropics and explain how they can be part of a daily wellness routine.
Table Of Contents
- What are nootropics?
- The history of nootropics
- What are natural nootropics?
- What are the benefits of natural nootropics?
- Examples of natural nootropics
- Which nootropics should I take?
What are nootropics?
Nootropics are sometimes described as cognitive enhancers. The term nootropic is essentially an umbrella term which describes any compound that improves cognitive function and brain health.
The benefits of nootropics can be significant and often include improvements in mood, memory, creativity, and motivation. There are 2 broad categories to be aware of, natural nootropics, and synthetic nootropics.
The history of nootropics
The word "nootropic" was first coined in 1972 by Dr Corneliu E. Giurgea, a Romanian psychologist and chemist, who combined the Greek words for 'mind' (noos) and 'turning' (trope).
He created a compound called Piracetam, which is widely considered to be the first synthetic nootropic.
However, humanities interest in improving brain health and function, extend further back than the 1970’s. Records dating from ancient Greece, China and India demonstrate that the early civilisations were well aware of the importance of maintaining brain health using natural nootropics, however it is only recently that science has advanced to a point which allows us to quantify nootropic benefits.
What are natural nootropics?
Natural nootropics are often derived from plants, fruits, and vegetables. While they exist naturally, the specific compounds that provide the nootropic benefits often only exist in very small quantities and must be concentrated or gently extracted in order to make them accessible for human consumption.
To give some examples, one natural nootropic that is gaining a lot of attention from the scientific community for its ability to reduce stress is ashwagandha (a herb grown in India).
While Ashwagandha is considered a nootropic it is actually a specific compound within ashwagandha known as “Withanolides” that appear to produce this beneficial effect. So, while it is accurate to call Ashwagandha a nootropic it is always worth checking to see if the % percentage of Withanolides is specified when choosing Ashwagandha products.
Similarly, blueberries are a nootropic, however a compound within blueberries known as anthocyanin is what provides the nootropic benefits of the fruit.
Finally, the Lion’s Mane mushroom is becoming increasingly well-known and accruing a lot of positive scientific data, however when choosing Lions Mane mushroom products, always look to see if the percentage of Beta Glucans is specified, because it is this specific compound that appears to give Lion’s Mane its nootropic ability.
What are the benefits of natural nootropics?
Nootropics benefit the brain in various ways including increasing blood flow, balancing neurotransmitter levels, reducing hormones associated with stress and providing essential nutrients that can cross the “blood-brain barrier” (a system that shields the brain from toxic substances).
The resulting benefits include:
Enhanced memory and recall
Improved focus and attention span
Increased mental clarity
Reduced mental fatigue and “brain fog”
Elevated mood and reduced anxiety
Boosted creativity and problem-solving skills
Popular natural nootropics
Blueberry (30% Anthocyanins)
It is no secret that blueberries are considered a super food with clinical studies repeatedly demonstrating their wide-ranging health benefits. Blueberries have the ability to strengthen the connections between neurons, making communication between brain cells more efficient while benefiting brain function and memory in healthy adults.
Lion's Mane (30% Beta-Glucan)
This unique-looking mushroom has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. Recent studies have shown that it can stimulate the production of nerve growth factor, which may protect against neurodegenerative diseases and enhance cognitive function.
Rhodiola Rosea (3% Rosavins, 1% Salidrosides)
A herb native to the Arctic regions of Europe and Asia, Rhodiola Rosea is known as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to stress. It can improve mood, reduce fatigue, and enhance cognitive abilities, particularly in stressful situations.
Green Tea (40% L-Theanine)
Found primarily in tea leaves, L-Theanine is an amino acid known for promoting relaxation without drowsiness, while improving attention, focus, and cognitive performance.
Which nootropics should I try?
There are a wide variety of nootropics to choose from and as a result, it is important to do some background research and assess the quality of each option.
The Natural Cognitive Fuels Collection are premium, plant based, nootropic supplements.
They exist to support, nourish and optimise the brain, the body’s most delicate, complex and influential organ.
A combination of nootropics and adaptogens that enhance mental and physical performance, improve sleep quality and work to improve overall brain health and function.
We are confident in saying that they are the highest quality natural, nootropic products available.