How Do Nootropics Work?

October 01, 2020 5 min read

How Do Nootropics Work?

Nootropics - what are they and how do they work? 

You may have heard of nootropics, otherwise commonly referred to as neuro enhancers, intelligence enhancers, and/or “smart” drugs. They have been on the rise over the past few years to help improve mood and cognition by supporting mental speed and alertness, improve memory, reduce brain fog, and enhance concentration without the stimulation of caffeine.

How do nootropics work? They stimulate the nervous system, but given that this system itself is quite complex, compounded with the fact that there are various nootropics that all work differently, this can be a tricky question to answer. In a nutshell, nootropics work by improving the efficiency of neurotransmitters in the brain and increasing the functionality of aspects of the nervous system that impact cognitive function. (source)

No matter if you’re a student, a busy professional or just someone who wants to improve productivity and performance, you may be interested in incorporating our MIND supplement to help boost memory, cognition function, attention and improve brain power. 

One important thing to note is that nootropics aresupplemental to a healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep, eating a diet rich in nutrients, getting enough sunshine, socializing and managing stress in order to help improve cognitive function. Chris D'Adamo, PhD, director of research and education at the University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Medicine says that,“once those things are in place, the right nootropics might serve as a bonus, helping you think more clearly and sharply, or reduce your chances of cognitive decline as you age.” (source)

The most research-backed of these nootropic benefits generally fall under :

  1. Short-term benefits: Performance-driven thinking like focus, short-term memory, stress resistance and others that help to give a more immediate edge to productivity, intensity, competition, deadline, exams, etc.
  2. Long-term benefits: Promotes healthy brain structure and function during the aging process, including support for memory, age-related cognitive decline, mood, and mental clarity well into senior years. (source)

Let's dive into the benefits of nootropics and important ingredients to ensure the right things are covered in your supplement of choice.

Nootropics may support cerebral circulation by:

  • Promoting nitric oxide activation and relaxation of blood vessels
  • Inhibiting homocysteine and oxidative damage on blood vessels
  • Making blood cells less "sticky" and thus less likely to clump
Nootropics may optimize neurotransmitters by:
  • Supplying brain chemical precursors
  • Promoting neurotransmitter synthesis
  • Enhancing receptor sensitivity
  • Inhibiting neurotransmitter breakdown
  • Certain nootropics, such asL-Tyrosine, naturally and directly engage neurotransmitter pathways by means that essentially qualify them as nootropic neurotransmitter nutrition.

There are a lot of research studies that have been done on various herbal supplements included in nootropics that have shown to be beneficial for depression, anxiety, mood, sleep, stress, aging, brain energy and regeneration as well as neuroprotection. These are just a few good reasons to consider adding in our MIND supplement if you’re looking for a way to optimize your overall health and improve cognition. 

Our MIND includes ingredients with research-backed benefits which include:

  • Top Notch B Complex- Age-related deficiency in B vitamin levels often contributes to impaired cerebral circulation. Supplementing B vitamins may protect cerebral blood vessels against homocysteine damage, resulting in improved circulation and cognitive health. This is why we have formulated our Top Notch B Complex to include B6 and B12. B6 has been shown to significantly improve storage of information in older adults and B12 is a key cofactor in brain cell energy metabolism.
  • Alpha-GPC (Alpha-glycerophosphocholine or glycerophosphocholine) is acholine-containing supplement that, although found in a variety of food products that are also rich in choline, appears to be pharmacologically active at higher doses.

    Choline is an essential nutrient that is produced in the liver in small amounts, but most of our choline comes from our diet. It impacts liver function, healthy brain development, muscle movement, your nervous system and metabolism. Foods that contain choline naturally are organ meats (beef and chicken liver), eggs, fish (cod and salmon), vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli) as well as soybean oil. (source)  

    Oral supplementation of alpha-GPC has been included in nootropic supplements as it appears to have cognitive-enhancing properties and slow down cognitive decline in elderly individuals. (source)

  • Bacopa Monnieri - Bacopa monnieri is a traditional Indian (ayurvedic) herb, also known as brahmi, has been suggested by some to help the brain process information faster. It has been shown to be a memory-booster for students because it helps slow down the rate at which the brain forgets newly learned knowledge.

    Bacopa Monnieri works as an anti-stress adaptogen, suggested to prime the brain for active thinking under stress and has been shown to ease anxiety while sharpening mental performance without sedating side effects. (source)
  • L-Theanine - L-Theanine is a “super power supplement'' as it has many benefits that have shown to help with stress, sleep (not by acting as a sedative but more for helping ease anxiety), increase attention, as well as increasing creativity and cognitive exploration.

    L-theanine modulates Alpha brainwaves to encourage a relaxed, anxiety-free state; L-Theanine has been linked to a calmer heart rate and reduced stress markers. (source)

    L-Theanine also seems to enhance the mental effects of caffeine and counteract caffeine-induced jitteriness. Research has shown that combining caffeine and L-theanine may help you multitask better. One of the easiest ways to get this combo is by drinking pure green tea, which contains both caffeine and L-theanine, but it's also OK to combine your usual coffee or tea with an L-theanine supplement.

  • Citicoline - Shown to help enhance memory performance in elderly people,  possibly due to brain-energizing and regenerative nootropic properties. Citicoline has been shown in animal research to have a neuroprotective effect by accelerating brain regeneration; may protect the brain against degeneration by optimizing brain cell structure. Additionally, it has been clinically shown to boost brain energy metabolism by 13.6%. (source)

  • AstraGin - AstraGin which is included in many of Top Notch products is an all-natural, plant-derived nutraceutical compound, composed of a combination of astragalus and ginseng. AstraGin increases the absorption of nutrients and promotes a healthy gut, both of which are essential for optimal health. (source)

  • Huperzine A - Huperzine A is a dietary supplement derived from the Chinese club moss Huperzia serrata. It acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor — a type of medication that works by improving the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Small early studies suggest that huperzine A might improve memory and protect nerve cells, which could slow the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's. (source)

When choosing a nootropic, just going with any off-the-shelf, unknown brain supplement doesn't cut it. You want the highest quality ingredients without artificial ingredients...especially when it comes to ‘brain food.’ If you’re looking to optimize your memory, cognition and focus we suggest giving our MIND supplement a try and see how it can help you!

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