Got Questions About Nootropics?
If you are just in the process of learning about nootropics and cognitive enhancement than you may have many questions. Below is a list of some commonly asked questions and their answers. If you are interested in an in-depth introduction to what nootropics are and how they can help you, check out the intro to nootropics.
Questions About Smart Drugs
Nootropics are a class of drugs which safely improve mental functions such as memory, motivation, focus, cognition, intelligence, and concentration. Most nootropics improve mental performance and health over time, rather than providing a short temporary burst.
For a drug to be officially classified as a nootropic its use must improve the overall health of the mind. For this reason some drugs which provide short-term mental benefits at the expense of long term health such as amphetamines are not recognized as true nootropics.
The extent to which people feel these things differs greatly from person to person and depends on the drug they take. Some people may feel no noticeable effect while other people find that nootropics completely transform their life. Most people do experience some benefit from nootropic use, even if only a subtle one.
The best way to track your progress with nootropics is to your quantitative measurements of cognitive performance. The brain training games offered by Lumosity are one good way to do this, playing the game is another.
Another good way is to perform mentally taxing work before and after using a nootropic and to take note of if the quality improves and if you had an easier time completing it.
While all the nootropics listed on this site have been researched and work for many people, certain nootropics have been more extensively researched than others. The combination of caffeine and theanine has the greatest weight of scientific and anecdotal evidence behind it.
Inform yourself. There are a number of articles on this site on subjects ranging from how nootropics work, how to build your own regimen, to specific nootropics. I recommend you read the introduction articles, then the regimen articles, and finally read about any specific nootropics you are considering.
If you have then decided you wish to give nootropics a try visit our buyer’s guide to find reliable distributors.
When I started my quest for information about nootropics the first things I did was go on amazon and purchase a few books. The ones I purchased where:
Questions About Cognitive Enhancement
Absolutely! The concept of neuroplasticity states that the brain can create new neurons and connections between neurons throughout your entire life. This means that by increasing the number of neurons we possess and increasing the amount and quality of connections between neurons we can improve our intellect.
It is also possible to improve mental performance by improving the efficiency at which neurons communicate with one another by altering levels of various neurotransmitters. Drugs that increase levels of dopamine in the brain often improve the ability to focus, for example. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that only mental performance factors such as focus and motivation can be improved; it is also possible to improve your fluid intelligence.
Fluid intelligence is the capacity of the brain to think logically, identify patterns, and solve problems. This is different from crystallized intelligence, which is the ability to use skills, knowledge, and experience. If you were given an IQ test as a child, it was most likely attempting to measure your fluid intelligence.
Fluid intelligence is one of the main factors of cognition that many nootropics and cognitive enhancement techniques can improve, while crystallized intelligence can be increased through study and life experiences.
Absolutely not! Research shows that the brain is similar to muscles in that it changes and grows stronger with use. Performing mentally stimulating tasks is one very effective way to improve different aspects of cognition. Lumosity is an example of a website which offers a variety of different brain training games tailored to improve different areas of intelligence such as working memory and processing speed.
Nootropics will only provide slight benefits if you aren’t performing mentally stimulating tasks as well. Think of them as similar to bodybuilding supplements. All the protein powder in the world won’t get you ripped unless you also go to the gym. For a longer list of ways to get the most our of a nootropic regimen, see our article on maximizing the effectiveness of nootropics.
Your brain is the nexus of your entire identity and personality, it is you. Even if you don’t care about getting smarter or improving your mental performance, cognitive enhancement is valuable because it improves the overall health of your brain.
If you have a healthy brain you will stay sharper as you age, and your risks for developing mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease will be dramatically reduced. If you care at all about preserving your health and quality of life, ensuring your mind is healthy is just as important as ensuring your body is healthy.
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