Nootropics for Entrepreneurs (Using Nootropics as an Entrepreneur)

Nootropics Used by Entrepreneurs & The Benefits

nootropics used by entrepreneurs

Why Do Entrepreneurs Use Nootropics?

Entrepreneurs are some of the hardest working individuals on the face of the planet. Any real entrepreneur will vouch for the extreme difficulty this career choice brings about. Working hard requires a huge number of favorable intellectual and physical attributes. Fortunately, however, most of the necessary attributes of a successful entrepreneur can be influenced by the right nootropic stacks. Nootropics have a lot of built-in benefits that help entrepreneurs get the most out of their thinking power, memory, energy and drive. Nootropics are even able to improve fluid intelligence, which can make entrepreneurs better problem solvers. The impact nootropics have on memory (crystallized intelligence) is also incredibly beneficial to entrepreneurs. Although it is never easy to be creative, persistent, or productive, nootropics can help with that too! No matter the type of entrepreneur or business, the right nootropics have been proven to be able to turn a mental road block into creative genius.1

So what is it about an entrepreneur that makes them so susceptible to the benefits of nootropics? To better understand why entrepreneurs benefit so greatly from nootropics, it is best to begin looking at what makes an entrepreneur so different in general.

What Makes An Entrepreneur’s Brain Different?

entrepreneurs have different brains

Many studies have proven that an entrepreneur naturally thinks differently than most other people.9,10 Besides the studies, it has always been clear that entrepreneurs choose less commonly walked paths. The most famous successful people and most influential creative geniuses of all time are easy models of the entrepreneur way of thinking, including but not nearly limited to: Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Nikola Tesla, and even Shakespeare. A quick look at any of their lives will show profound risk, insane dedication to work, and a drive to push the barriers farther than they have ever been pushed before! Many of them sacrificed everything they had in order to make a difference and create an impact. And many of them took their work so seriously, they would do anything to get ahead.

But why? What makes the entrepreneur’s brain so different than that of the norm to suggest these strides of creativity and risk? The answer lies within the science of the brain and an entrepreneur’s innate ability to create.10

Science Proves Entrepreneurs Think Differently

Plenty of data and a number of scientific studies have proven an entrepreneur thinks differently.9,10 In fact, there is an entire theorem called “Effectual Reasoning” which was developed in order to define the way entrepreneurs think. Basically, Effectual Reasoning is the ability and desire to solve problems and improve the state of the world by creating, innovating and enabling the creativity of firms, ideas, markets, products, and services.11 The term was created to define the successful strategies of 27 founders of companies that had attained a successful net worth of at least $200M, although it included many billion dollar companies as well.

There are many parts of effectuation which are used to describe the successful entrepreneurial mindset, including the idea to use common logic in order to find solutions to problems. Probably the most interesting part of an entrepreneurial mindset is their ability to use variables as possibilities for new outcomes. This of course comes opposed by the theory of casual thinking, or the idea that the variables limit the outcome.11

many successful entrepreneurs use nootropics and smart drugs

In plain terms: entrepreneurs see lemons as the ability to create lemonade, or also citrus extract, or a seasoning for a meal, or possibly an entirely new way to use a lemon. Entrepreneurs are so good at creating new things that they usually will pursue them even when the resources for the opportunities are uncontrolled! They also think in form of massive action (and in form of taking action at all!). This means that while casual thinkers spend a lot of time planning, entrepreneurs will spend much more time taking the right actions.12

Another really common trend in most of the interviews and articles about successful entrepreneurial traits includes the value of time. Most entrepreneurs recognize how valuable their time is and try to find ways to transform their time into greater value. They take exceptional pride in saying “no” to opportunities which will not benefit them and pursuing things of the greatest value alone.13 And finally, entrepreneurs are not afraid of hard work, spend a lot of time practicing great discipline (and working hard), are passionate about what they do, and always challenge the status quo!14

Entrepreneurs have to think harder and the choice demands maximum creativity. Fortunately, nootropics can create a better balance in the brain, and finding the most effective nootropics for entrepreneurs is as easy as understanding the biggest deficiencies entrepreneurs face.

Nootropics Used By Entrepreneurs

So many types of nootropics exist. There are nootropics which help build stamina and energy.6 There are nootropics which improve memory formation and recall.2,3 There are nootropics for improving mood and relieving stress.4 Nootropics exist for improving all types of cognitive function and physical performance.5,6,7,8 The best nootropics for entrepreneurs are those which focus on attributes most used by entrepreneurs. Nootropics used by entrepreneurs tend to improve focus and attention span, memory, thinking power and fluid intelligence, energy, and motivation. It is imperative that the nootropics all work properly together as well (some nootropics would be silly to use together). In short, entrepreneurs need nootropics that focus on providing effective cognitive boosts with absolutely no excessive junk ingredients.

What Are The Best Nootropics For Entrepreneurs?

This is a list of the nootropics most commonly selected by entrepreneurs. This list is in order of overall value and only includes nootropics which improve cognitive function over the course of use.

Huperzine A

huperzine helps produce acetylcholine in the brain

Many studies show Huperzine as an effective nootropic for improving memory.3,5 It works so well, in fact, it is commonly used for treatment of various forms of dementia.5 Huperzine has been well known for many years to improve cognition and thinking.15 It has also been used for centuries throughout various cultural medicines around the world, even being considered a part of ancient Chinese medicine. Huperzine is so effective at improving cognitive performance because of its ability to easily cross the blood-brain barrier. This ultimately allows Huperzine to influence the brain’s chemical production. Huperzine A works by limiting AChE, the primary inhibitor of acetylcholine;16 And acetylcholine is a powerful and important neurotransmitter in terms of memory and cognitive performance.17

Possessing a strong memory and impressive cognitive function are imperative in achieving an entrepreneur’s fullest thinking potential. Huperzine A can help an entrepreneur achieve their strongest, natural cognitive performance and all around sharpest memory!

Huperzine A is found in the Piratall and Pirate Blast formulae.

Siberian Ginseng

Ginseng is very commonly used as a stimulant in addition to its antioxidant properties.8 Ginseng is also a well-known actoprotector. Actoprotectors are extracts or preparations that enhances body stability against physical loads, while increasing overall mental performance. Many studies have shown that Ginseng can significantly increase physical and intellectual work capacity.18 Ginseng has also been shown to have incredible antioxidant properties and studies have proven its efficacy in combating chronic fatigue.19 Siberian ginseng (aka Eleuthero) is one of the most potent adaptogenic herbs, which means it helps the body with stress, and promotes overall health.20 Ginseng is primarily used by entrepreneurs for its potent properties as a brain function stimulant.23

Siberian Ginseng is found in the Piratall formula.


Hawthorn (Crataegus extract) has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Many recent studies have begun finding the health benefits of Hawthorn to be extremely impressive.21,22 In fact, one study showed an improvement in overall health-related quality of life.21 Another investigation into Hawthorn has revealed its phytonutrients (anthocynidins and proanthocyanidins) to be powerful antioxidants. These phytonutrients also help strengthen the walls of blood vessels and improve blood flow.22

Hawthorn is found in the Piratall formula.

Rhodiola Rosea

using rhodiola for entrepreneurial nootropic stacks

Rhodiola rosea is used to improve physical and mental stamina, and to increase energy. It is used very frequently to combat stress and provides a lot of antioxidant properties. Rhodiola is known to be a legal stimulant. It contains components which increase production of norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine. Ultimately, Rhodiola helps improve focus, concentration, memory, intellectual capacity and overall fatigue resistance.23

Rhodiola is found in the Pirate Blast formula.


L-theanine is very commonly included in stress-oriented studies, for its incredible de-stressing and relaxing properties.4 L-Theanine improves antioxidant and neuroprotective activity.24 It has been used to improve mood, reduce mental fatigue, and eliminate irritability. By relaxing the adrenals, the mind can de-stress and L-Theanine can work up natural energy levels.25 It is often used in combination with other nootropics as it helps bolster the positive benefits of the nootropic stack as a whole.

L-Theanine is found in the Pirate Chill formula.


Guarana contains more caffeine than most plants on Earth, even more than the coffea plant.23 It is very commonly used for energy and produces a natural caffeine, rather than the synthetic caffeine crammed into most energy drinks. Natural caffeine, like that from Guarana, activates the central nervous system without the same crashes brought about from caffeine anhydrous. Guarana is one of the most used nootropics by entrepreneurs for its ability to increase mental vigilance and improve fatigue resistance.23

Guarana seed has even been proven to offer additional stimulation effects aside from those caffeine has to offer!6

Guarana seed extract is found in the Piratall and Pirate Blast formulae.

Passion Flower

passion flower is a great nootropic for entrepreneur stacks

Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) is used for its powerful sedative properties. The sedative effects of Passion Flower come from its GABAergic properties. In fact, it works so well that it has been commonly used to treat neuropathic pains.26 Passiflora has been proven to possess anxiolytic effects (the ability to reduce anxiety, chiefly via drug),27 which is extremely useful for the demanding, high-stress lifestyle of an entrepreneur.

Passion Flower is found in the Pirate Chill formula.

Conclusion: Nootropics and Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs understand better than most people that accepting the bare minimum is unacceptable; and that there are always ways for people to get more out of their time and energy. Nootropics are so frequently used by entrepreneurs because they are one of the best ways to get the most out of their time. The secret to the efficacy of nootropic stacks are their abilities to increase the productivity of the brain, allowing an entrepreneur the best chance to operate at their peak cognitive performance. Traditionally, entrepreneurs seemed to seek a prescription for smart drugs or legal stimulants (adderall, modafinil, etc.), however, an increasing number of entrepreneurs every day are realizing nootropic stacks are a better alternative to prescription smart drugs. Because nootropics are so effective and available to anyone, they have become the preferred solution for many entrepreneurs (and a strongly attractive option). And many entrepreneurs are realizing much greater productivity from using nootropics than ever before!

Looking for more information as to which Pirate Botanicals Nootropic Supplement is right for you? Check out our Supplement Selector Tool or contact us for help!


1Jelic, V., Kivipelto, M., & Winblad, B. (2005). Clinical trials in mild cognitive impairment: lessons for the future. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, 77(4), 429-38.

2Aksenov, V., Long, J., Liu, J., Szechtman, H., Khanna, P., Matravadia, S., & Rollo, C. D. (2011). A complex dietary supplement augments spatial learning, brain mass, and mitochondrial electron transport chain activity in aging mice. Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 35(1), 23-33.

3Malkova, L., Kozikowski, A. P., & Gale, K. (2010). The effects of huperzine A and IDRA 21 on visual recognition memory in young macaques. Neuropharmacology, 60(7-8), 1262-8.

4White, D. J., de Klerk, S., Woods, W., Gondalia, S., Noonan, C., & Scholey, A. B. (2016). Anti-Stress, Behavioural and Magnetoencephalography Effects of an L-Theanine-Based Nutrient Drink: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Nutrients, 8(1), 53. doi:10.3390/nu8010053

5Tun, M. K., & Herzon, S. B. (2012). The pharmacology and therapeutic potential of (-)-huperzine A. Journal of experimental pharmacology, 4, 113-23. doi:10.2147/JEP.S27084

6Kotta, S., Ansari, S. H., & Ali, J. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 7(13), 1-10.

7Moustakas, D., Mezzio, M., Rodriguez, B. R., Constable, M. A., Mulligan, M. E., & Voura, E. B. (2015). Guarana provides additional stimulation over caffeine alone in the planarian model. PloS one, 10(4), e0123310. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123310

8Kotta, S., Ansari, S. H., & Ali, J. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 7(13), 1-10.

9Halko, M. L., Lahti, T., Hytönen, K., & Jääskeläinen, I. P. (2017). Entrepreneurial and parental love-are they the same?. Human brain mapping, 38(6), 2923-2938.

10Long, Michael E. and Lieberman, Daniel Z., (September 2018). Entrepreneurs’ Brains Are Wired Differently. Here’s How to Use Yours Right. ENTREPRENEUR MINDSET Retrieved from: Accessed On December 5, 2018.

11The Society for Effectual Action, (2018). Effectuation 101. Retreived from Accessed on December 8, 2018.

12Baskerville, P., (November 5, 2013). How Do Entrepreneurs Think? Retrieved from: Accessed on December 8, 2018.

13Constable, K., (January 5, 2016). 3 Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Think Differently. Entrepreneur Mindset. Retrieved from: Accessted on December 8, 2018.

14Patel, S., (September 9, 2017). 9 Ways Entrepreneurs Think Differently Than Employees. Retrieved from: Accessed on December 8, 2018.

15Zhang, Z., Wang, X., Chen, Q., Shu, L., Wang, J., and Shan, G., (July 01, 2002). Clinical efficacy and safety of huperzine Alpha in treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer disease, a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial. Europe PMC. Retrieved: Accessed on December 8, 2018.

16English, J., (August 20, 2014). Huperzine: Advanced Herbal Support for Memory and Cognitive Function. Nutrition News. Retrieved from: Accessed on December 8, 2018.

17Haam, J., & Yakel, J. L. (2017). Cholinergic modulation of the hippocampal region and memory function. Journal of neurochemistry, 142 Suppl 2(Suppl 2), 111-121.

18Oliynyk, S., & Oh, S. (2013). Actoprotective effect of ginseng: improving mental and physical performance. Journal of ginseng research, 37(2), 144-66.

19Kim, H. G., Cho, J. H., Yoo, S. R., Lee, J. S., Han, J. M., Lee, N. H., Ahn, Y. C., … Son, C. G. (2013). Antifatigue effects of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. PloS one, 8(4), e61271. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061271

20Winston, D. and Maimes, S., (2018). Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress relief. Retrieved from: Accessed on December 9, 2018.

21Holubarsch, C. J. F., Colucci, W.S., and Eha, J., (February, 2018). Benefit-Risk Assessment of Crataegus Extract WS 1442: An Evidence-Based Review. American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs. Volume 18(1). Pp 25-36. Retrieved From: Accessed on December 9, 2018.

22Weil, A., M.D., (February 12, 2014). Hawthorn. Retrieved from: Accessed on December 9, 2018.

23Sellami, M., Slimeni, O., Pokrywka, A., Kuvačić, G., D Hayes, L., Milic, M., & Padulo, J. (2018). Herbal medicine for sports: a review. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15, 14. doi:10.1186/s12970-018-0218-y

24Li, C., Yan, Q., Tang, S., Xiao, W., & Tan, Z. (2018). L-Theanine Protects H9C2 Cells from Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Apoptosis by Enhancing Antioxidant Capability. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research, 24, 2109-2118. doi:10.12659/MSM.907660 (December 4, 2018). Fatigue and Adrenals. World Health. Retrieved from: Accesssed on December 10, 2018.

26Aman, U., Subhan, F., Shahid, M., Akbar, S., Ahmad, N., Ali, G., Fawad, K., … Sewell, R. D. (2016). Passiflora incarnata attenuation of neuropathic allodynia and vulvodynia apropos GABA-ergic and opioidergic antinociceptive and behavioural mechanisms. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 16, 77. doi:10.1186/s12906-016-1048-6

27Dantas, L. P., de Oliveira-Ribeiro, A., de Almeida-Souza, L. M., & Groppo, F. C. (2016). Effects of passiflora incarnata and midazolam for control of anxiety in patients undergoing dental extraction. Medicina oral, patologia oral y cirugia bucal, 22(1), e95-e101. doi:10.4317/medoral.21140

improving memory with nootropic supplements

Can Nootropics Improve Memory

Are There Real Nootropics That Can Improve Memory?

The term “Nootropics” can be used for many things, but in general is used to describe a substance that provides a cognitive boost of some kind with no negative side effects.1 Finding nootropics that are particular to giving memory-capabilities a cognitive boost is not so complicated, as many of them can contribute to improved memory. It is true though that some nootropics are more popularly used to improve memory for a reason: they are more effective.5 In fact, some nootropics are so good at improving memory, they have been prescribed to patients with mental dementia (Alzheimer’s, etc.) and related disorders.2,3 Some nootropics work best when used in combination with other nootropics.8,18 This is often why nootropic stacks and nootropic-inspired supplements are created to give users the optimum balance of the right nootropics to generate optimum performance.

Many nootropics undoubtedly have the ability to improve long-term memory formation (Gc), or a generalized foundation for knowledge. But with that said, nootropics are not made equal and some nootropics are better than others for various applications, such as memory enhancement. Some nootropics only provide improvements to certain attributes of memory. While there are others which provide insanely strong benefits to nearly all memory formation and recall functions. In fact, some of the best nootropics for improving Crystallized Intelligence, or better memory retention, can start helping in as early as their first dose!6 And in terms of memory, there are some front runners which simply cannot be ignored!

List of Nootropics That Improve Memory and Crystallized Intelligence

Here are some of the most popular and effective nootropics for improving memory.

Huperzine A

Despite many other nootropics which have come and gone in terms of “buzz words,” Huperzine still regularly outperforms most of them. In fact, when it comes to memory, Huperzine A has one of the oldest histories of use and most substantial tract records available in research! Huperzine A helps people who have deficient levels in ACh by inhibiting AChE. AChE stands for ACh enzymes. Allowing the ACh to build back up is critical in the formation of new memory and for proper overall cognitive function.2,10,11 Studies on Huperzine continue to prove that it is an impressive nootropic in terms of having some of the greatest positive potential impacts on spatial memory, memory impairments, and overall recall.22

Huperzine is such a powerful nootropic in terms of cognitive benefit, that it has been regularly used throughout the centuries to treat all types of Dementia (including Alzheimer’s).2 Not only has this herb been prescribed by doctors of all types for those already suffering these diseases, it has also been suggested to help prevent general mental regression and that further research is absolutely worthwhile.2,9

Siberian Ginseng

siberian ginseng has been used for centuries to improve memory

Ginseng is very widely used as a cognitive enhancing nootropic. It is frequently used for memory. In fact, some studies have revealed that the power ginseng can have on cognitive function and memory to be comparable to that of Modafinil.5 Ginseng possesses awesome ability as an adaptogen as well,16 which can help the brain maintain a calmed, balance state. Studies exist which have shown certain strains of Ginseng significantly increase intellectual work capacity.16

Ginseng has been recorded as having acute positive effects on secondary memory and even heavier cognitive memory-related tasks.5,15 Siberian Ginseng is one of the most revered strains of Ginseng. It contains powerful nanoparticles that are considered super-efficient antioxidants (among other profound applications).19


Stress can have a significant impact on one’s ability to perform at their peak cognitive function. Stress is absolutely able to negative impact memory functions.13 It has been proven that stress can impact the ability to properly store new memory (memory formation), as well as the ability to accurately recount details of past events. This is evident in numerous student-based studies.14

To combat mental fatigue, many people turn to adaptogens such as Hawthorn (and the previously mentioned Ginseng). This is because adaptogens can improve mental performance, including memory.16 Hawthorn is one of the most effectively-employed adaptogens and has been proven throughout studies to reduce oxidative stresses and improve memory functions.17


Piracetam is commonly honored in many articles and reviews for its memory and learning-improving abilities, however, it has far less effectiveness than many of the other nootropics available for memory in specific. Most notably, trials that compare Huperzine A with Piracetam have shown Huperzine A to have far higher scores.2 Still, Piracetam is used for its cognitive enhancements that improve memory formation and recall with no negative effect to motor function.6


Vinpocetine has been used in many countries around the world to enhance memory and cognitive performance.4 Many studies have been done on Vinpocetine’s effects on cognitive performance, particularly memory. It turns out that it has had a significant impact on many memory-oriented functions and has even been useful for those with mental impairments.21

Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa deserves an honorable mention. Bacopa is more so used for its relaxing nootropic properties. Still, it has absolutely been hailed in many studies as effective for cognitive enhancement, learning improvements and memory improvements.5 Bacopa’s brain-destressing properties can also be helpful in memory recall.14

Nootropics Really Can Improve Memory and Crystallized Intelligence

nootropic supplements for memory improvement

So much of the formation of Crystallized Intelligence (and therefore, memory) has to do with maintaining good brain balance (especially great ACh levels11). Therefore, it is no surprise that Huperzine is one of the better nootropics to consider for a memory-improvement regimen. Although, many other nootropics exist which can help contribute to improving memory and memory recall. Some of these nootropics worth mentioning include: Ginkgo Biloba, L-Theanine, Guarana, and Lion’s Mane Mushroom.7,8,12 L-Theanine, for example, works great for relaxing the mind so it can achieve a greater functioning potential (including improvements to memory functions). This is especially true when used in combination with caffeine, both in their appropriate dosages.8 Therefore, using a supplement that provides a natural source of caffeine, such as Green Coffee Bean Extract and/or Guarana, along with a supplement that provides L-Theanine, can have awesomely stimulating effects on the mind’s ability to process thought and record memory.

There are many studies that provide irrefutable evidence that some nootropics (such as those mentioned above) have overwhelmingly positive effects on neurocognitive functions. This includes many cognitive functions from thinking and decision making to actual memory formation and recall.5,6,8

A lot of the nootropics which improve memory (Crystallized Intelligence, knowledge, or Gc) also improve Gf. And conveniently a higher Gf has been proven to lead to attaining a higher Gc.20 Basically, the two types of intelligence work together to create the most effective memory in the short-term and throughout the long-term. Selecting nootropics which improve fluid intelligence can be extremely helpful in developing better long term memory. Check out our other blog post Can Nootropics Improve Fluid Intelligence (Gf) to learn more.

Nootropic Supplements For Memory

Pirate Botanicals offers natural formulae nootropic supplements that help improve memory and the cognitive functions associated with memory. Improving Gf can improve Gc, and a lot of the supplements also provide a boost to Gf. Pirate Botanicals focuses on developing supplements that offer the best cognitive advantages in the short-term and long-term, including memory.

Check out the Pirate Botanicals Supplement Selector Tool to find a 100 percent natural supplement that is right for you. Pirate Botanicals offers premium nootropic supplements formulated using some of the most powerful nootropics for improving memory!

Disclaimer: These statements have not been approved by the FDA. None of this information is meant to substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a physician. Pirate Botanicals products are not meant to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease, illness, or condition.


1Giurgea C (1972). Vers une pharmacologie de l’active integrative du cerveau: Tentative du concept nootrope en psychopharmacologie. Actual Pharmacol (Paris-released journal). Issue 25: 115–56

2Yang, G., Wang, Y., Tian, J., & Liu, J.-P. (2013). Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. PLoS ONE, 8(9), e74916.

3Malkova, L., Kozikowski, A. P., & Gale, K. (2011). The effects of huperzine A and IDRA 21 on visual recognition memory in young macaques. Neuropharmacology, 60(7-8), 1262–1268.

4French, J. M. T., King, M. D., & McDougal, O. M. (2016). Quantitative determination of vinpocetine in dietary supplements. Natural Product Communications, 11(5), 607–609

5Neale, C., Camfield, D., Reay, J., Stough, C., & Scholey, A. (2013). Cognitive effects of two nutraceuticals Ginseng and Bacopa benchmarked against modafinil: a review and comparison of effect sizes. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 728–737.

6File, S. E., & Hyde, J. R. (1977). The effects of piracetam on acquisition and retention of habituation [proceedings]. British Journal of Pharmacology, 61(3), 475P.

7Amieva, H., Meillon, C., Helmer, C., Barberger-Gateau, P., & Dartigues, J. F. (2013). Ginkgo Biloba Extract and Long-Term Cognitive Decline: A 20-Year Follow-Up Population-Based Study. PLoS ONE, 8(1), e52755.

8Dodd, F. L., Kennedy, D. O., Riby, L. M., & Haskell-Ramsay, C. F. (2015). A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology, 232(14), 2563–2576.

9Gorelick, P. B., Scuteri, A., Black, S. E., DeCarli, C., Greenberg, S. M., Iadecola, C., … on behalf of the American Heart Association Stroke Council, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Council on Cardiovascular Nursing, Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia. (2011). Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation, 42(9), 2672–2713.

10Nade, V. S., Kawale, L. A., Valte, K. D., & Shendye, N. V. (2015). Cognitive enhancing effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers on learning and memory. Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 47(3), 263–269.

11Haam, J., & Yakel, J. L. (2017). Cholinergic modulation of the hippocampal region and memory function. Journal of Neurochemistry, 142(Suppl 2), 111–121.

12Xirui, H., Xiaoxiao, W., Jiacheng, F., Yu, C., Ning, N., Hao, G., Linhong, H., Xiaoqiang, H., and Zefeng, Z., (April 2017). Structures, biological activities, and industrial applications of the polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom: A review. International Journal of Biological Macromodules. Vol 97. Pp 228-236

13Ness, D., & Calabrese, P. (2016). Stress Effects on Multiple Memory System Interactions. Neural Plasticity, 2016, 4932128.

14Shields, G. S., Sazma, M. A., McCullough, A. M., & Yonelinas, A. P. (2017). The Effects of Acute Stress on Episodic Memory: A Meta-Analysis and Integrative Review. Psychological Bulletin, 143(6), 636–675.

15Kim, Y.-S., Woo, J.-Y., Han, C.-K., & Chang, I.-M. (2015). Safety Analysis of Panax Ginseng in Randomized Clinical Trials: A Systematic Review. Medicines, 2(2), 106–126.

16Oliynyk, S., & Oh, S. (2013). Actoprotective effect of ginseng: improving mental and physical performance. Journal of Ginseng Research, 37(2), 144–166.

17Cuevas-Durán, R. E., Medrano-Rodríguez, J. C., Sánchez-Aguilar, M., Soria-Castro, E., Rubio-Ruíz, M. E., Del Valle-Mondragón, L., … Ibarra-Lara, L. (2017). Extracts of Crataegus oxyacantha and Rosmarinus officinalis Attenuate Ischemic Myocardial Damage by Decreasing Oxidative Stress and Regulating the Production of Cardiac Vasoactive Agents. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(11), 2412.

18Egashira N, Ishigami N, Pu FL, et al. Theanine prevents memory impairment induced by repeated cerebral ischemia in rats. Phytother Res. 2008;22:65–68

19Abbai, R., Mathiyalagan, R., Markus, J., Kim, Y.-J., Wang, C., Singh, P., … Yang, D. C. (2016). Green synthesis of multifunctional silver and gold nanoparticles from the oriental herbal adaptogen: Siberian ginseng. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 11, 3131–3143.

20Brown, R. E. (2016). Hebb and Cattell: The Genesis of the Theory of Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 606.

21Ogunrin, A. (2014). Effect of Vinpocetine (CognitolTM) on Cognitive Performances of a Nigerian Population. Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, 4(4), 654–661.

22Malkova, L., Kozikowski, A. P., & Gale, K. (2011). The effects of huperzine A and IDRA 21 on visual recognition memory in young macaques. Neuropharmacology, 60(7-8), 1262–1268.

Selecting the Right Nootropic Supplement for an Individual

How to Pick the Right Nootropic Supplement for You

Nootropics, sometimes referred to as “smart drugs,” are available in so many forms and varieties that it can be hard to determine the appropriate concoction for any one person’s needs. There are companies (like ours, Pirate Botanicals) which specialize in providing awesome pre-packaged formulae that have become popular for their efficacy. But even with pre-made supplements, how can an individual be sure they are selecting the right nootropics that will work best for them? What makes certain nootropics so much more valuable to some people than others? And most importantly: what is the best nootropics combination to complement a daily routine and lifestyle?

Fear not fellow pirate! Pirate Botanicals can help you determine the right nootropics formula for your your lifestyle!

Why Nootropics Work Differently for Different People

There are many types of people in the world. People are unique in many ways. Biologically-speaking, everyone’s body is unique. Some people’s digestive tracts work more quickly than others (which makes sense as digestion involves many organs working together).1 A faster digestive tract usually means meals, medications and supplements move faster through the body. This means digestive tracts vary in terms of nutrient and substance absorption.2 There are people who have higher biological tolerances to certain substances. Diet and general health play a huge role in the way the body absorbs and is able to use the resources it consumes.3 A healthy diet can improve the digestive tract, keep the body well-hydrated, and ensure the brain has all the nutrients it needs to put a nootropics formula to use. In contrast, an unhealthy individual may have trouble seeing the full benefit of a nootropic formula.4

Routines and schedules all play a major part in the varying effects nootropics may have on any individual. Some people sleep longer than others which has been proven to have different effects on the way the body and brain recuperate and prepare for the following day. Sporadic schedules can throw the body off, impact cognitive function or even aging.13 Maintaining a balanced routine with regular exercise can improve the body’s overall function and health; and thus give nootropics a better chance to peak in contribution.

Atop all of the biological variance from person to person, nearly all people think differently as well.14 In fact, there are even historical (and modern) attempts to measure thinking. One of the most common ways to “measure thinking power” is the Intelligence Quotient. The Intelligence Quotient is often referred to as IQ. Its most commonly accepted definition is a score derived from standardized tests to measure human intelligence.15

Varying IQs, body types, metabolisms, bodily and cognitive functions, diets, schedules, and routines, makes the variance in nootropics efficacy from person to person completely understandable. This only means that selecting the right nootropic formula becomes more important in an individual’s quest to target the attributes in themselves they wish to improve upon.

Can Nootropics Make Me Better At Something?

As previously mentioned, there are all types of people in the world. Some people specialize in physical activities. Other people consider their fortes to be mental or cognitive in nature. The idea of becoming better at something typically involves accepting that a large part of one’s life will be devoted to that particular activity. Life is short. And natural solutions such as nootropics are available to help one improve skill in their desired profession, hobby or other forte.

What Is the Best Nootropic Supplement for Me?

selecting working nootropics for each individual

Depending upon the type of activities you enjoy or practice, and/or the goals you may have for your nootropic regiment, some nootropics will be better suited for you than others. Although there are hundreds of nootropics, these are considered the more effective and well-researched nootropics. This is a list of some of the better-known, most-employed, and well-researched nootropics used in many reputable nootropics formulae:

  • 5-HTP
  • Aniracetam
  • Ashwagandha
  • Bacopa monnieri
  • GABA
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Gotu Kola
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract
  • Guarana
  • Hawthorn
  • Huperzine A
  • L-Theanine
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  • Noopept
  • Passion Flower (Passiflora)
  • Phenibut
  • Piracetam
  • Rhodiola rosea
  • Siberian Ginseng
  • St John’s Wort
  • Vinpocetine

Many of these nootropics have shown up in countless journals, studies and texts, each attesting to various efficacies and applications.6,7,8,9,10,11 They are also sometimes included in nootropic formulae simply for their ability to help other nootropics better function. This is especially true with adaptogen-nootropics.12

Oftentimes there is a high level of research and a very toilsome trial and error routine associated with picking nootropics that guarantee success in terms of personal desired efficacy and application.5 For this reason, many people choose to select a pre-formulated product, like the Pirate Botanicals nootropics supplements. Pirate Botanicals proudly boasts only natural, pharmacist-approved formulae.*

Picking the Right Nootropic Supplement: Get More Out of Life

Nootropics are real and their ability to impact day-to-day living is incredible! Finding the right nootropic supplement for you means finding a formula that complements your particular lifestyle, preferred activities, and body. Pirate Botanicals understand that everyone is a unique individual and that different types of “pirates” may desire different nootropic supplements. The Pirate Botanicals supplement line contains three different products. Each Pirate Botanicals supplement formula was derived to highlight distinct qualities from some of the best nootropics known to man. Some people prefer to use just one Pirate Botanicals supplement, while others decide upon more than one formula. In the end many biohackers, nootropics enthusiasts and pirates will agree that getting more out of life with a natural product is a “no brainer!”

Try the Pirate Botanicals Supplement Selector Tool to find the perfect complement for YOUR daily routine!

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Pirate Botanicals supplements are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease, illness, ailment or condition of any kind. This information is not meant to substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a licensed, practicing healthcare professional.

*Pirate Botanicals supplements use 100 percent natural formulae which have been approved as safe for any normal, healthy adult to consume as described in daily recommended dose.


1NIH, (December 2017). Your Digestive System and How It Works. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved from [] on October 10, 2018.

2Picco, M. F., (September 17, 2018). Digestion: How Long Does It Take? The Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from [] on October 10, 2018.

3Gorin, A., (July 9, 2018). 7 Food Pairings That Will Increase Nutrient Absorption. NBC News. Retrieved from [] on October 10, 2018.

4Tai, M. M., Castillo, P., and Pi-Sunyer, F. X., (November 1, 1991). Meal Size and Frequency: Effect on the Thermic Effect of Food. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 54(5). Pp 783-786.

5Jellen, L. C., Aliper, A., Buzdin, A., & Zhavoronkov, A. (2015). Screening and personalizing nootropic drugs and cognitive modulator regimens in silico. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9, 4.

6Yang, G., Wang, Y., Tian, J., & Liu, J.-P. (2013). Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. PLoS ONE, 8(9), e74916.

7Ahmed, M., Henson, D. A., Sanderson, M. C., Nieman, D. C., Zubeldia, J. M., & Shanely, R. A. (2015). Rhodiola rosea Exerts Antiviral Activity in Athletes Following a Competitive Marathon Race. Frontiers in Nutrition, 2, 24.

8Naftalin, R. J., Cunningham, P., & Afzal-Ahmed, I. (2004). Piracetam and TRH analogues antagonise inhibition by barbiturates, diazepam, melatonin and galanin of human erythrocyte D-glucose transport. British Journal of Pharmacology, 142(3), 594–608.

9Aguiar, S., & Borowski, T. (2013). Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation Research, 16(4), 313–326.

10Ogunrin, A. (2014). Effect of Vinpocetine (Cognitol™) on Cognitive Performances of a Nigerian Population. Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, 4(4), 654–661.

11Jia, L., & Zhao, Y. (2009). Current Evaluation of the Millennium Phytomedicine- Ginseng (I): Etymology, Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Market and Regulations. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 16(19), 2475–2484.

12Panossian, A., Wikman, G., Kaur, P., & Asea, A. (2012). Adaptogens Stimulate Neuropeptide Y and Hsp72 Expression and Release in Neuroglia Cells. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 6, 6.

13Ferrie, J. E., Shipley, M. J., Akbaraly, T. N., Marmot, M. G., Kivimäki, M., & Singh-Manoux, A. (2011). Change in Sleep Duration and Cognitive Function: Findings from the Whitehall II Study. Sleep, 34(5), 565–573.

14Plomin, R., & Deary, I. J. (2015). Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings. Molecular Psychiatry, 20(1), 98–108.

15Stern, W. (1914) The Psychological Methods of Testing Intelligence. Educational psychology monographs. Vol. 13. Guy Montrose Whipple [English version]. Baltimore: Warwick & York. LCCN-14010447. OCLC-4521857. Retrieved October 10, 2018.

Photo Credits:

Woman Enjoying Life [ID 60318 © Galina Barskaya |]

Nootropics 3d Model [ID 84009760 © ibreakstock |]

nootropics and fluid intelligence

Can Nootropics Improve Fluid Intelligence

Nootropics and Fluid Intelligence: The Complete Guide

What Is Fluid Intelligence?

Fluid Intelligence represents one’s ability to problem solve and reason without having previously acquired knowledge.1 The term was first coined in the early 1940s by Raymond Cattell.3 Cattell is the first to identify that Fluid Intelligence, which he also referred to as “fluid general ability,” is most easily measurable in tests which require adaptation to new situations. He also notes that crystallized intelligence is of little-to-no value in ‘new situation adaptation’-style testing.11 In the world of science and research, Fluid Intelligence is represented by the symbol Gf.2 And ultimately, the theory of Gf only transpired as an effort to justify human cognitive ability.5

One recent book entitled Aging and Decision Making defines Fluid Intelligence as reasoning ability, and more specifically explains Gf as the ability to create, alter, and manipulate various novel information in real time.17 Real time is a great phrase as it helps explain Gf as a major influence on micro activities within day-to-day life. The evolution of any novel problem obviously requires the ability to solve the problem. Therefore, it is very easy to understand how important Gf can be in achieving success in any selective area of life, or in life as a whole.

Drawing a comparative line that relates one’s Gf ability to one’s success in performance-based activities is nearly common sense. In the simplest of terms: it would make perfect sense for people possessing higher Gf ability to achieve greater success in situations that require performance, competition, or problem solving. These situations include: school and test taking, research and studying, career and job activities, athletic activity, reflex-oriented tasks, and any other performance-based activity. A more fluid problem solver (someone with a high Gf) would be more likely to calculate or simulate their way out of a problem than someone with a low Gf.

The Gf-Gc model of intelligence is the most basic, primitive scale of intelligence, but still the most studied, iron-clad, and the seminal idea that spawned so many other models and scales. Today, there are many more in-depth scales of models of intelligence that all work off the origin of the two-toned Horn-Cattell model of Fluid Intelligence and Crystallized Intelligence.21 The model clearly represents fluid ability as processing ability, flexible thinking and abstract reasoning; while depicting crystallized thinking as a result of accumulating simulations of flexible thinking.

What Is the Difference Between Fluid Intelligence and Crystallized Intelligence?

Crystallized Intelligence has been defined as many things, but probably one of the best ways would be as “the extent to which a person has absorbed the content of culture.”9 It is important to note that ‘culture’ can mean many things, including but not limited to: the culture of a society, the culture of a learning establishment, the culture of a sport or performance environment, or even the culture of a household. Crystallized intelligence is represented by the symbol Gc. Raymond Cattell deserves credit for first identifying both Gf and Gc, although both were also further investigated and researched by Cattell’s protégé John L. Horn.2 Cattell’s initial research, although rather simple, effectively defines both phrases (Fluid Intelligence and Crystallized Intelligence), as well as how they differ.

Cattell explains that mental capacity can be broken down into two kinds of primary characteristics which he labels “Fluid” and “Crystallized” (hence the birth of the phrases).

  • Fluid Intelligence is explained as the ability to discriminate and understand relations between data or any fundamentals. Cattell does associate fluid ability with the entire cortex.3
  • Crystallized Intelligence is explained as long developed discriminatory habits associated with a particular area or field. Cattell attributes any Crystallized Intelligence that forms originally to fluid ability, but also indicates it can only form from fluid ability-requiring tasks which do not require “insightful perception for successful operation.”3

David Geary (of the University of Missouri) takes Cattell’s research much further. Geary relates Gf to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. This also associates Gf with attention span, short term memory, and the ability to problem solve and cope in novel situations.10

Comparatively, Gc is associated with regions of the brain that store long term memory, namely the hippocampus.10 It is very commonly defined as the ability to retrieve and use information acquired throughout a lifetime.18 In some research and studies, Crystallized Intelligence is called crystallized knowledge, which should be considered a synonym.

To summarize, Crystallized Intelligence (Gc) has a lot more to do with long-term memory, whereas Fluid Intelligence (Gf) has a lot to do with attention span, short term memory and new problem solving. It is also worth noting that a higher Gc is obtained more quickly from possessing a higher Gf.2 In other words, those who have high Fluid Intelligence are able to learn more permanent knowledge with value of a broader perspective (wisdom) faster.

Can Fluid Intelligence Be Improved?

David Geary also explains that fluid ability has evolved throughout the course of human history to match the novelty and change presented along the way.10 In other words, as the various stages of humanity evolved, so did the fluid ability to predict social situations and problem solve. Basic human evolution is evidence that Fluid Intelligence can be improved within the species. Aside from actual evolutionary changes in the human species itself, there are other ways to improve Gf in each individual, living human being as well.

Recent research is revealing that people are born with different Gf ability, and that Gf can be predicted via biological data (biomarkers, brain metrics, etc.).19 Developments like this help neuroscientists, doctors, and pharmacists better understand Gf, its neurobiological foundations, and its impact on the many outcomes of a life. In fact, some Gf performance tests have been developed which have the ability to predict many aspects of life (most notably career achievement, educational success, and social happiness).19 The idea of improving Gf is not new and has been long-sought by many specialists and professionals, and with varying degrees of success. Learning potential in itself has been defined by many sources as [basically] ‘one’s ability to improve cognitive function.’20 Despite its obvious effect on crystallized knowledge as well, learning potential was essentially created as a way to explain the ability to improve decision making and fluid thinking.

The brain’s use of neurotransmitters highlights one of the most practical ways to “hack the brain” into a greater Gf. Neurotransmitters are chemical substances released in the brain in response to various stimuli. Neurotransmitters are manipulated not only by situation-based stimuli, but also by the metabolization of various substances.12,13,14 Nootropics are substances usually classified as supplements which improve cognitive function to some extent in healthy people.15

What Nootropics Improve Fluid Intelligence?

nootropics that improve fluid iq

Nootropics have a long history of being used by many cultures throughout the world for their cognitive-related enhancements. This is no surprise either, as very real advantages can be created from many nootropics. The actual term “Nootropics” was first coined in 1972 by Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian chemist.16 Regardless of when they were named, Giurgea outlined some basic classification principles for substances to qualify as a nootropic including:

  • The substance must enhance learning and memory to some extent.
  • The substance must enhance the resistance of learned behavior and memory to disruptive conditions.
  • The substance must protect the brain from a variety of chemical and physical injuries.
  • The substance must improve the function/efficacy of the cortical and subcortical control mechanisms.
  • The substance must be free of psychotropic-like pharmacological effects, free of major side effects, and possess low toxicity.16

That said, all nootropics technically qualify as “Nootropics that Improve Fluid Intelligence,” as all nootropics enhance cognitive function, memory, or learning. And some nootropics have been shown to achieve pretty influential impacts on Fluid Intelligence. One recent study even revealed an expectation of prolonged life of those subjects on some nootropic treatments (studied treatment of dementia patients given various nootropics regimens and other anti-dementia treatment).7

There have been many studies on Fluid Intelligence throughout the years, but one in particular proved rather early that Gf absolutely impacts one’s ability to succeed in school subjects. Specifically, the study found that Gf continued to influence Gc in their participants throughout the course of the study. The study lasted between 1972 and 1988, following more than nine thousand children throughout compulsory school.4 The reasons people use nootropics today can vary from person to person, but the most common reasons are for benefits to cognitive enhancements, memory, and Gf.

List of Nootropics Used to Improve Fluid Intelligence (Gf):

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a special nootropic that has been used for many cognitive advantages, but most notably for increasing acetylcholine.

How Huperzine A Affects Gf

Recent studies have indicated that coordinated acetylcholine release between the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus supports learned behavior acquisition during cognitive-related tasks, mental performance and memory formation.22,23 It is more clear now than ever that acetylcholine has a direct physiological impact on the brain’s ability to form memories, recall memories, and perform certain cognitive functions, especially those related to the hippocampus.23 This explains why Huperzine A has been so notoriously used for Dementia (Alzheimer’s and similar thinking or memory impairment diseases). In fact, many studies have shown that Huperzine A will only continue to work better the older a subject gets and in parallel has provided the most drastic effects for systems which are deficient in acetylcholine.6 Huperzine A is in such great demand because it offers natural, memory-improving properties.8

The Pirate Botanicals Piratall and Pirate Blast formulae uses Huperzine A.


Hawthorn is a fruit-bearing nootropic plant also known as Crataegus. Hawthorn is known for its high content of flavonoids, which are typically used to support the circulatory system.

Hawthorn is also a strong adaptogen. Adaptogens help stabilize physiological processes and to help increase resistance to stress.24 It is typically found in nootropics formulae due to its ability to promote the efficacy of other nootropics. Basically, a number of active constituents in Hawthorn are able to stimulate neuroendocrine and immune systems during metabolization, enhancing a number of brain functions.26 The following antioxidant influences are acquired from Hawthorn:

  • Scavenging of reactive oxygen species
  • Improved superoxide dismutase
  • Enhanced catalase activity
  • Inhibiting tyrosinase activity
  • Inhibiting lipoxygenase activity
  • Alpha tocopherol protective function
  • Improved intracellular communication
  • Cell Viability increased
  • and more25

Hawthorn has been used for a long time in many cardiovascular or nerve-related tonics. And Hawthorn continues to be a valuable nootropic-adaptogen today.

The Pirate Botanicals Piratall formula uses Hawthorn.

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian Ginseng also goes by its scientific name, Eleutherococcus senticosus. It is a different type of ginseng than the more widely-available Panax Ginseng. People have been using Siberian Ginseng to improve focus, energy, and athletic performance. In fact, it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years.27

A recent study of the multifunctional silver and gold nanoparticles of Siberian Ginseng revealed a great deal of benefits, also describing the herb as “simple, efficient, and ecofriendly.”28 The study investigated the adaptogen benefits of two important Siberian Ginseng components:

  • Siberian Ginseng Silver Nanoparticles (Sg-AgNPs)
  • Siberian Ginseng Gold Nanoparticles (Sg-AuNPs)

Research suggests Siberian Ginseng could be useful for things like breast cancer or even for its inhibitory effects of S. aureus, B. anthracis, V. parahaemolyticus, and E.coli. The silver and gold nanoparticles are particularly effective antioxidants, and can even be used in combination with other ingredients in anti-aging formulae.28

Siberian Ginseng is another great adaptogen nootropic. The Chinese and many other cultures since have understood the natural de-stressing properties of this powerful adaptogen. In depth phytochemical content analysis and reputable pharma-nutrition studies show that there is great value in E. senticosus; and it is more than reasonable to have found it used in traditional medicine.27,28 Strong adaptogens like Siberian Ginseng can help the brain achieve its optimum balance and lead to better performance.

The Pirate Botanicals Piratall formula uses Siberian Ginseng.


Guarana, also known by its scientific name Paullinia cupana, is an awesome source of energy and has been used by many cultures for weight control.29 The guarana plant is most sought after (and inherits its stimulating, energizing properties) from the caffeine content found in the seeds. In fact, the seeds are known to contain about 4 times the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans.30

Many people turn to energy drinks for their boost to attention-span and focus, alertness, cognitive function, memory and physical output.30 And many energy drink companies have recently chosen to eliminate synthetic caffeine anhydrous in exchange for higher quantities of Guarana. Synthetic caffeine has received some bad reputation in recent years due to how hazardous it can be to health in high quantities. Many people die from accidentally ingesting too much synthetic caffeine at once.31,32 Not only is it dangerously easy to overdose on synthetic caffeine, but it is also synthesized using many harsh chemicals. Natural caffeine metabolizes in the body straight from the plant extract and produces energy without the crash.

Guarana is known as an extremely effective stimulant, and even provides some antioxidant properties, making it an awesome nootropic to combat fatigue.30

The Pirate Botanicals Piratall and Pirate Blast formulae uses Guarana.


Yohimbe is very commonly employed for its stimulating properties and to counteract exhaustion. Yohimbine is the primary active constituent of the Yohimbe tree bark, and it is also an indole alkaloid.33 It has been a part of West African traditional medicine for a long time as a versatile herbal tonic.36 Yohimbe has since spread around the world, becoming a popular ingredient in many supplements and nootropic stacks.

Yohimbine blocks the pre-synamptic α2 receptors which ultimately facilitates release of many neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine.34 Norepinephrine is a powerful neuromodulator that aides in “rapid modulation cortical circuits and cellular energy metabolism.” Studies have revealed norepinephrine has an enormous effect on cognition.35 Cognition benefits like those offered by norepinephrine are great for formulae that combat fatigue and exhaustion. Many formulae are designed to enhance athletic performance.37

Yohimbe is often thought of as an energizing, stimulating, peppy herb. These traits make it an effective inclusion in any energy-based nootropic formula.

The Pirate Botanicals Pirate Blast formula uses Yohimbe.


Maca, also known by its scientific name as Lepidium meyenii, originates in Peru. The plant has also been cultivated in the area for more than 2,000 years. Even more amazing is that the plant is found exclusively in the Andes mountains above 4000 meters in altitude.38

maca nootropics and fluid iq

Maca is well-sought, worldwide for many purposes, but its very well known for its potency as an adaptogen. There are many experiments and studies which show Maca as providing a lot of energy and a huge boost to memory function and learning.38,39,40 The flavonoids have been suggested to improve mood,41 which can create a more balanced way of thinking and better cognitive focus. Many experimental models have shown that Maca not only possesses vast potential as a potent adaptogen, but that it can have a significant impact on better memory function.42 While many of the memory-enhancement trials have been performed only in animal models, Maca itself has been used in a traditional sense for these purposes in Peru by a number of cultures for a long time. Even the Incas used the herb for its nutritional and medicinal values.43

Maca’s incredible cognitive benefits and awesome adaptogen properties make it a strongly valuable nootropic.

The Pirate Botanicals Pirate Blast formula uses Maca.


Rhodiola rosea contains phenols, alkaloids, flavonoids, and other chemical constituents. It has been used for hundreds of years as a potent adaptogen and to increase physical endurance.

Rhodiola has even been recently considered a supplement to be provided in military rations. The suggestion insinuates it may help provide troops with more energy and enhanced athletic ability, even mentioning the need for troops to be able to operate in harder environments (such as high altitudes).44 Other military manuscripts indicate Rhodiola may help troops improve short-term cognitive ability and work as an adaptogen to help with brain stresses. Several studies have found Rhodiola effective in being used as a stimulant, to reduce fatigue, to increase focus and attention span, as well as to increase work productivity.46 It has even been used to improve memory formation, memory recall, and learning.45

Not only have studies revealed an overall benefit/risk balance as being positive, but some studies have specifically mentioned that Rhodiola is effective in temporarily relieving symptoms of fatigue and weakness. It has been additionally indicated that Rhodiola helps with a number of cognitive cerebral functions including: associative thinking, concentration, perception and cognitive reflex improvements, problem solving and short-term memory.46 This makes Rhodiola a highly-influential adaptogen-nootropic for energy-improving supplements and formulae. It also suggests Rhodiola as being especially helpful in keeping the brain clear of extra daily stresses and improving Gf.

The Pirate Botanicals Pirate Blast formula uses Rhodiola.


5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is naturally occurring, an amino acid, and a supplement. 5-HTP comes from the seeds of the Griffonia Simplicfolia plant and have been well-known in traditional African medicine. It is the immediate precursor for serotonin, and has been used in combination with other nootropics and herbs to promote peace and relaxation.47

5-HTP is one of the more serotonergic nootropics and has been studied numerous times in a large number of trials for its potent, relaxing properties. However, is typically considered most useful when combined with other nootropics or substances.48 One recent study suggests 5-HTP could have a significant impact on attention-span and memory formation.49

The power of being relaxed can go a long way, having real-world impacts in everyday life. For example, a student who is cognitively fatigued will exhibit poorer performance on a standardized test than a well-rested, relaxed student.51 Having a balanced brain is desirable, which means a healthy production of the appropriate neurotransmitters. 5-HTP has such a strong impact on the brain’s production of serotonin, making it a traditionally employed mood enhancer. Being a clinically effective serotonin precursor is likely its greatest value and also the reason it is used for brain-relaxation formulae.50 And it is easy to speculate that a relaxed decision making process can improve Gf.

The Pirate Botanicals Pirate Chill formula uses 5-HTP.


L-Theanine (aka γ-glutamylethylamide) is well-known for its neuroprotective properties in the brain.

L-Theanine is both a green tea component and a non-protein amino acid, which means it helps build proteins. It is typically used as a calming remedy and for strengthening the effects of other nootropics and herbs. This is because of Theanine’s power to increase GABA, serotonin and dopamine in the brain.52,53 GABA is well-understood to be a critical part of healthy neuronal function, the leaning process and memory. GABA is also important in the regulation of general cognition and neural development.54

L-theanine has also been used around the world in some of the most successful supplement and nootropics formulae for improving mood and promoting feelings of relaxation.53 In fact, the amazing calming effects of L-Theanine and its successful use around the world for adaptogenic and neuroprotective properties well justify its efficacy in many focus oriented-formulae. After all and as mentioned before, Fluid Intelligence potential is much higher when the brain is healthiest.

The Pirate Botanicals Pirate Chill formula uses L-Theanine.

Passion Flower

Passion Flower is often one of the most widely underestimated nootropic herbs. It is also known as Passiflora and has a rather extensive history of being cultivated and used around the world.55 Passion Flower has been traditionally used for thousands of years for its incredibly potent MAO inhibitor activity in the form of beta-carboline harmala alkaloids.56 MAOIs, or Monoamine oxidase inhibitors like Passion Flower, have been sought after for their anti-depressant properties and efficacy as therapeutic agents for various stress-inducing phobias (panic disorders, social phobias, etc.).57 In fact, many studies have revealed dramatic calming benefits from Passiflora extract trials in particular, and for a number of applications.56,58

how passion flower can help with fluid iq

Lower stress levels are notoriously associated with better testing scores, more efficient learning, and greater output at work. Passion Flower has become one of the more potent herbs found in nootropics stacks that focus on improving cognitive advantages due to its traditional use for reducing stress, fostering balanced thinking, improving spatial memory and favorably impacting neurotransmission.59

Additionally, GABA is a prominent ingredient in Passion Flower extract, which has been suggested to help boost cognitive function and the formation of memories.60,61 Basically, Passion Flower extract is a great nootropic for maintaining a balanced brain.

The Pirate Botanicals Pirate Chill formula uses Passion Flower.

Summary + Conclusion

Nootropics have been around as long as mankind, if not longer. There are many nootropics which have been used by cultures around the world for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years for their ability to provide the brain a boost of some kind. The research and studies on nootropics are constantly expanding. It is very common to use numerous nootropics together to achieve greater effects, although achieving a safe formula is still important too!

Pirate Botanicals nootropics supplements are 100 percent natural and use pharmacist-approved formulae. Piratall, Pirate Blast, and Pirate Chill are each designed to offer their own version of brain optimization. The above ingredients (and in which products they can be found) may help narrow down the most appropriate nootropics supplement choice for anyone. Remember, all Pirate Botanicals nootropics are considered a daily supplement and work best when used daily.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been approved by the FDA. None of this information is meant to substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a physician. Pirate Botanicals products are not meant to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease, illness, or condition.


1Jaeggi, S. M., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., & Perrig, W. J. (2008). Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(19), 6829–6833.

2Cattell, R. B. (1971). Abilities: Their structure, growth, and action. New York: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-04275-5

3Brown, R. E. (2016). Hebb and Cattell: The Genesis of the Theory of Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 606.

4Br J Educ Psychol. 2014 Dec;84(Pt 4):556-70. doi: 10.1111/bjep.12041. Epub 2014 Jun 9

5Cattell, R. B. (1963). Theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence: A critical experiment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 54, 1-22

6Malkova, L., Kozikowski, A. P., & Gale, K. (2011). The effects of huperzine A and IDRA 21 on visual recognition memory in young macaques. Neuropharmacology, 60(7-8), 1262–1268.

7Wu, C.-Y., Hu, H.-Y., Chow, L.-H., Chou, Y.-J., Huang, N., Wang, P.-N., & Li, C.-P. (2015). The Effects of Anti-Dementia and Nootropic Treatments on the Mortality of Patients with Dementia: A Population-Based Cohort Study in Taiwan. PLoS ONE, 10(6), e0130993.

8Allain, H., Akwa, Y., Lacomblez, L., Lieury, A., & Bentué-Ferrer, D. (2007). Impaired cognition and attention in adults: pharmacological management strategies. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 3(1), 103–116

9Belsky, Janet K. (1990). The Psychology of Aging Theory, Research, and Interventions. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company

10Geary, David. (2009). The evolution of general fluid intelligence. Foundations in Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience. 22-56. 10.1017/CBO9780511626586.002

11Cattell, R. B. (1963). Theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence: A critical experiment. Journal of

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