Do Nootropics Work as Vitamins for the Brain
Are Nootropics Like Brain Vitamins?
Nootropics do all types of things for the mind and body. Technically, they are substances that provide a mental boost of some kind, while offering no negative effects. While this may sound like a godsend, ultimately, there are thousands of nootropics in the world. The truth is, only a few of them are worth mentioning in terms of providing dramatic benefits to the mind. There are definitely nootropics which function like brain vitamins, and they can contribute to significant positive impacts in one’s life. Additionally like vitamins, many nootropics are used daily. The mind and body become used to the nootropics and the benefits become permanent. Many nootropic enthusiasts tend to look at this process as a way of training or teaching the brain to function more efficiently. Still, it greatly benefits all nootropics users to understand how they are working, and how they are broken down in the mind and body.
How Do Nootropics Affect the Brain?
Nootropics work by encouraging the brain to function in an improved manner, either by manipulating the production of, or the reduction of, certain neurotransmitters (or brain chemicals). They are typically neuroprotective substances, that help the brain identify with better thinking and resting practices.1 This is a list of some of the most effective nootropics that function like brain vitamins, and their affects on the brain:
- Huperzine A: Regularly revered for its outstanding memory-enhancing, and thinking-enhancing properties. It is often considered a super nootropic in terms of brain boosters.2
- Hawthorn: A powerful adaptogen, giving the mind a chance to relax and attain a state of clarity and reduced stress. Adaptogens are important, natural ways to calm the mind and promote more focused thinking.
- Ginseng: Well-known for its ability to promote stimulated thinking, as well as more mental and physical energy.
- Green Coffee Bean: This is a wildly under-rated nootropic capable of providing amazing anti-oxidant and energizing properties. It is one of the strongest natural caffeine sources available.
- Rhodiola: An excellent natural source for energy, of which can be applied in the mind in terms of thinking power.3
- Yohimbe: Great for energy and promoting blood flow. More blood flow can lead to overall better functioning of the brain.
- Vinpocetine: Often selected for its energizing properties.
- Bacopa Monnieri: Used for its relaxing and calming properties. Although it is a less-potent nootropic, it is often included in many stacks.4
- Ashwagandha: Used in many calming formulas. Has a long history throughout many cultures of being used for its relaxation properties.
- Gotu Kola: Gotu Kola is a source of natural caffeine and promotes an awakened, energized state, and able to improve cognitive function.5
- GABA: Often selected for its relaxation and calming properties.
- L-Theanine: A very strong calming and relaxation nootropic. Sometimes used in combination with caffeine, as well as other nootropics, to create a focused boost in the mind.
- Passion Flower: Frequently chosen for its calming effects on the mind. It is used in some of the most powerful relaxation formulas in the world.6
Many nootropics work better when used in combination with other nootropics.1 This is why many nootropic stacks and proprietary blends include a combination of ingredients to achieve the desired effects on the mind. Simply put, there are many nootropics which work best together. Still, there are some nootropics which you would never want to combine together. And even moreso, there are certain nootropics which will function better when taking alone altogether.
Long Term Effects of Nootropics on the Brain
Many substances have a “use in moderation” rule, including even innocuous substances like coffee, sugar, and salt. Similarly, most nootropics only require a small daily serving size in order to achieve the desired benefits. Very rarely are there benefits from overusing nootropics. With that said, however, most nootropics still work best as they are built up in the system. Using the same nootropics on a residual basis over a long time helps the body and brain understand their effects better. In fact, most studies provide evidence that long term nootropic use provides positive effects on the brain and in the body.1
Regardless, some of the most important nootropics have proven to improve overall function, as well as many specific functions in the brain over time.1,4 Some of the most successful “brain nootropics” include: Huperzine A, Hawthorn, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Yohimbe, Vinpocetine, Bacopa Monnieri, Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola, GABA, L-Theanine, and Passion Flower.
Tips for Using Nootropics Long-Term
Remember, nootropics work best as a part of a daily regimen. Many nootropics and proprietary blends, like Pirate Botanicals products, work best as they build up in the system. For example, Piratall is a brain nootropic supplement that provides more benefits as it is used over the course of time. This is why the product comes in a 30 days supply bottle, because it is meant to be taken every day. Piratall is a great example of a brain vitamin, containing natural caffeines (from Green Coffee Bean extract and Guarana extract), as well as long-term adaptogens, anti-oxidant properties, and mind-boosting properties (from things like Huperzine A). Pirate Botanicals created Piratall as a way to maximize the benefits of nootropics in the brain as quickly as possible, as well as in a compounding fashion over time.
Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before adding new supplements to your diet, or making any major changes to your diet.
1Frati, P., Kyriakou, C., Del Rio, A., Marinelli, E., Vergallo, G. M., Zaami, S., and Busardo, F. P.. (2015). Smart Drugs and Synthetic Androgens for Cognitive and Physical Enhancement: Revolving Doors of Cosmetic Neurology. Current Neuropharmacology. Vol. 13(1) pp 5-11, 7.
2Tun, M. K., & Herzon, S. B. (2012). The pharmacology and therapeutic potential of (-)-huperzine A. Journal of experimental pharmacology, 4, 113–123. doi:10.2147/JEP.S27084
3Ross, S.. (April 2014). Rhodiola rosea. Holistic Nursing Practice. Vol. 28(2). pp. 149-154.
4Aguiar, S., & Borowski, T. (2013). Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation research, 16(4), 313–326. doi:10.1089/rej.2013.1431
5Farhana, K. M., Malueka, R. G., Wibowo, S., & Gofir, A. (2016). Effectiveness of Gotu Kola Extract 750 mg and 1000 mg Compared with Folic Acid 3 mg in Improving Vascular Cognitive Impairment after Stroke. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2016, 2795915. doi:10.1155/2016/2795915
6Meier, S., Haschke, M., Zahner, C., Kruttschnitt, E., Drewe, J., Liakoni, E., Hammann, F., and Gaab, J.. (January 15, 2018). Effects of a fixed herbal drug combination to an experimental acute stress setting in healthy men. Phytomedicine. Vol. 39. Pp. 85-92