Do Nootropics Really Work?
Anyone new to the world of nootropics is probably skeptical, and rightfully should be. After all, if a drug could boost cognitive function, why isn’t everyone using it? Wouldn’t there be TV commercials?
Despite nootropics’ limited popularity, I can promise you, they are not a scam. At least the United States Military doesn’t think so. In fact, the United States Military has been exploring the possibility of using nootropics to improve the performance of their soldiers. 1
The bottom line is, nootropics aren’t a scam. But the answer to the question “Do Nootropics Really Work”, depends upon your definition of the word “Work”.
Do you define “Work” as skyrocketing your IQ?
If so, then nootropics don’t work. Studies have shown nootropics improve “learning”, they don’t strictly improve intelligence. Of course nootropics may also improve memory, focus, and other cognitive abilities, they just don’t increase IQ.
Each one of our brain’s has on average 100 billion brain cells, and each one of those brain cells may form 10,000 synaptic connections to other brain cells. When we think about a problem, these neurons and connections are activated like the ripple a stone creates when it is dropped in a pond. Different areas are activated depending on what type of problem you are thinking about.
Your intelligence greatly depends on the number of neurons, synaptic connections, and how your neuron web is structured in different areas.
Nootropics Can HELP You Build Your Neuron Web
Nootropics can improve the rate at which you build new neurons, new synaptic connections, and your brain’s susceptibility to changing its connections. But what your brain uses those neurons for, where the new synaptic connections go, and how your brain rearranges them depends on the mental activities you perform throughout your daily life.
Taking nootropics with a well structured mental exercise regimen can certainly improve your intelligence. As I said earlier, they also have other benefits.
Do you define “Work” as improving on or more areas of cognitive ability?
If so, then nootropics certainly work. Certain nootropics enhance your brain’s synaptic plasticity (its ability to change connections), this improves memory and learning. In order to learn something new or create a new memory you need a new synaptic connection.
Nootropics let you create synaptic connections more easily, thus improving learning and memory. Different nootropics also affect various neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are electrochemical signals your brain uses to communicate through synaptic connections.
Different neurotransmitters play different roles in your brain. Different neurotransmitters regulate memory, learning, focus, motivation, appetite, mood, energy. By improving the release and functionality of a neurotransmitter responsible for focus, a drug can improve your focus.
Of course, different nootropics affect different neurotransmitters, you need to read their mechanisms of action to determine which one’s they affect.
There Are Many Reasons Nootropics Aren’t Mainstream
The term nootropic didn’t even exist until Piracetam was first synthesized in 1964. Nootropics haven’t had time to become extremely popular.
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does everything in their power to shut down nootropic suppliers and manufacturers. The FDA wants to control nootropics and keep them from cutting into their profit margins.
Many people expect more out of nootropics. Nootropics are nothing like one would believe after watching the movie limitless. They provide small boosts, they don’t create geniuses.
Finally, many people arrogantly dismiss the idea of a “smart drug” as silly and impossible. They never get online and do research. Someone tells them about nootropics and they never give the idea a chance.
We have the technology to travel in space, transplant a heart, and clone a living creature. It would be naive to think we don’t have drugs which provide a slight boost to our cognitive abilities.
You are already in the perfect place to learn about nootropics, read our introduction article here.
1. Cognition Enhancing Drugs and Their Appropriateness for Aviation and Ground Troops: A Meta-Analysis