Health Supplement Guides

Explaining Nootropics & Smart Drugs

Nootropics and smart drugs (1)

Every now and again, we could probably do with a brain a pick-me-up. Maybe we haven’t had a full night’s sleep or it’s just one of those days where our brains are a little bit tired. It always seems that this happens when we need our brains to work at maximum capacity, so what can we do?

One answer to this is by taking nootropics. These help our cognitive functions when we need it most and elevate brain waves and help us wake up, remember things, concentrate and power through the day.

Nootropic

What Are Nootropics?

Whilst you may not know what a nootropic is, we’re certain you’ve tried at least one of them in your lifetime (who doesn’t love a nice morning tea or coffee?). According to WebMD, they are described as ‘smart drugs’ or ‘cognitive enhancers. But are generally thought of as anything that has the ability to stimulate the mind.

Many Nootropics contain naturally occurring compounds and herbs, from amino acids such as L-Theanine to Chinese medicine staples like Ashwagandha are said to help stimulate your brain to help with various tasks or feelings.

There are many different products out there that can naturally boost your cognitive ability and we’ll go through them below

What Are The Best Nootropics?

Here, we’re going to be listing several of the best nootropics you can buy. Each has their own unique benefits which help your brain adapt to different situations. 

Caffeine

Caffeine

According to a study, caffeine is the worlds most consumed psychoactive substance worldwide. It is most commonly found in coffee, tea and guarana – but also supplements as well. The way coffee works is by blocking adenosine receptors in your body, which in turn makes you feel less tired and increase your alertness and attention. 

Natrol High Caffeine Energy Support 200mg 100 tablets

£6.29
  • 200mg of Caffeine to Combat Fatigue & Tiredness
  • Take Pre-Workout for an Extra Boost
  • May also Aid Weight-Loss as it Helps Speed up Your Metabolism

Creatine

Whilst creatine is most widely known for being a bodybuilding supplement, it can also do wonders for your brain as well. The amino acid quickly enters your brain once consumed and binds with phosphate. This in turn creates molecules that your brain uses to fuel its cells. 

Creatine has been linked to improving short-term memory and reasoning skills as well as giving more energy to your brain. 

BSN Creatine (216g)

£6.99
  • 3g creatine
  • DNA series
  • Enhances performance

Bacopa Monnieri

Originally an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, it has impressive qualities that make it a nootropic. Studies have shown that supplementing the ancient herb can improve your memory and speed up the speed at which information is transmitted in the brain. 

Bacopa Monnieri has compounds called bacosides, these compounds help your brain reduce stress and improve signalling where memories are processed. 

Healthline notes that when supplementing this herb, it must be taken for several months before achieving maximum results.

Swanson Bacopa Monnieri 250mg 90 caps

£10.95
  • Supports memory and mental focus
  • Supports a normal response to daily stress

Ginkgo Biloba

The Ginkgo Biloba tree might have what you need. Supplements from the leaves of this tree have been shown to improve your memory and processing – especially in healthy, older adults. 

Ginkgo Biloba also may increase blood flow through the brain, which would explain the positive benefits. Studies show that taking this supplement before a high-stress activity reduces stress-related blood pressure and reduces the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body. 

Swanson Ginkgo Biloba 60mg 30 Caps

£3.49
  • Great herbal support for the brain at an affordable price
  • Standardized to 24% glycosides and 6% terpene lactones
  • Helps support your memory and mental alertness

5-HTP

5-HTP is one of the most versatile nootropics out there. Not only does it improve memory and cognitive functions – but it also improves mental health as well. 

According to Nootropics Expert, 5-HTP positively affects the balance of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Both of which are needed for a highly optimised brain. When these neurotransmitters are out of sync it can affect your mood, memory and decision making.

Swanson 5-HTP Extra Strength 100mg 60 caps

£5.99
  • Supports restful, restorative sleep
  • Promotes mental and emotional well-being

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha

Another nootropic that not only increases your alertness as well as mental health. Ashwagandha helps reduce stress by reducing the hormone cortisol and lowering blood sugar levels. It also helps regenerate brain nerve cells and reconstruct the junctions where nerves communicate with each other, 

This herb also improves how your neurotransmitters interact with each other as well. This in turn boosts memory, learning and cognitive function.

L-Theanine

L-Theanine is one of the few nootropics that actually boosts brain waves. Once the amino acid crosses the blood and brain barrier, it can lower blood pressure as well as relax you. Your thinking ability, focus and mood will improve too. 

It does this by boosting the brain waves in your body. As well as increasing serotonin and dopamine levels. This helps produce a relaxing and calming effect on your body which improves memory and cognitive functions. L-Theanine also helps you by helping your brain to not over-stimulate and get possible glutamate toxicity.

Solgar L-Theanine 150 mg – 30 Vegetable Capsules

£12.00
  • L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea
  • Natural phytochemical
  • Able to cross the blood brain barrier
  • One of Solgar’s premium-quality amino acid range
  • Vegan, Vegetarian, Kosher

L-Tyrosine

This amino acid can do wonders for your brain. When you’re stressed out or need to power through something which requires your full attention – L-Tyrosine will help you push through the wall and get stuff done. 

This is because L-Tyrosine is a precursor to some of the most important neurotransmitters in your body according to bulletproof. When you don’t get enough L-Tyrosine (in your diet or supplements), your body cannot make dopamine, norepinephrine and adrenaline.

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