The Complete Guide to Nootropics and Adaptogens

Nootropics and adaptogens have both become more and more popular in recent years because of the effects that they promise. However, there are many misconceptions about what each of them can and can’t do, so we figured that it was time to take an in-depth look at both of these types of supplements.

We’re going to start with a general overview of what nootropics and adaptogens are before we go into further detail about each of them and the different ways they can affect your system. We’ll also discuss the various forms of nootropics and adaptogens (natural and synthetic) and we’ll explore their safety.

Nootropics and Adaptogens

In this part of our guide, we’re going to look at exactly what nootropics and adaptogens are in the first place. We’ll explain what each of them do, how you can take them, and how long they will take to start having an effect. We’ll also go over some of the more common myths about each of them.

What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a range of supplements that are typically derived from plants and are non-toxic and edible. In many cases, these supplements are extracted from plants in the form of an oil or a powder, but that isn’t always the case. It’s possible that an adaptogen is also the plant itself, being consumed directly.

One of the main things that adaptogens are known for is being able to help the body maintain a state of homeostasis, which is the state in which our body remains balanced. They help us stay balanced in many ways, but the most common benefit of using adaptogens is that they help us adapt to factors that stress us.

An adaptogen helps ensure that we remain as healthy as possible by making our systems and our minds stronger. By making our bodies stronger and less susceptible to stress, an adaptogen can help reduce the negative effects that stress can have on our bodies, having a healthier overall effect.

What Does an Adaptogen Do?

Adaptogens are responsible for reducing stress alongside Western medications that have been known to do so. By helping reduce the effects that stress has on us, an adaptogen can help us ensure that we never reach the point where we need a more serious medical treatment in the first place.

These herbs typically work by changing the way the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA) works. This is a system that consists of hormones, glands, and receptors, and it is responsible for determining how our bodies enter homeostasis, how our energy is metabolised, and how we respond to stress.

When an adaptogen is consumed, it will work to balance our system by changing the way that the HPA works. For example, adaptogens can lower the levels of a particular hormone that is stressing us, like cortisol. On the other hand, it can help up the levels of another hormone that isn’t present.

How Can I Take Adaptogens?

There are many different kinds of adaptogens and they can be consumed in a wide variety of ways, which ensures that everyone can find their own way to take them comfortably. The most basic way to take an adaptogen is to directly consume that plant that adaptogens are made out of, though this isn’t possible with all plants.

In the cases where an adaptogen is made out of a root or an otherwise inedible part of a plant, it will typically be dried out and then ground into powder. That powder can either be ingested by the spoonful or it can be added to water and diluted so that it doesn’t have as strong of a flavour.

There are also other ways to take adaptogens. For example, some adaptogens can be brewed into teas or made into coffee (as with some mushrooms). Adaptogens can also be placed in capsules, making it easier to keep track of your dosage so that you can ensure that you’re getting enough of them each day.

How Long Do Adaptogens Take to Work?

One of the first things that you’ll need to consider is that every adaptogen is different, so it’s not easy to predict whether or not they’ll have an immediate effect. Many adaptogens have an effect that is sub-perceptible when you first start taking them, so you’ll have to be patient to see any changes.

This is because most of the studies that are conducted on adaptogens take place over an extended period of time. In many cases, study participants will be given a certain amount of a specific adaptogen over the course of 30 to 90 days, and their reactions will be monitored using different scales.

It’s likely that you’ll start to feel some effects of your adaptogen within the first month of taking it, and some adaptogens may even be felt within the first week. However, this also goes both ways, as some adaptogens can take you up to two or three months before you’ll start feeling them.

What Are Nootropics?

Nootropics are supplements that are used to boost the cognitive abilities and the brain functioning of individuals. Since there are many different ways that the brain functions, there is no way to accurately sum up what all nootropics do, as some of them will impact learning, others will impact cognition, and others may impact memory.

There are different types of nootropics, ranging from natural substances that are sold over the counter to prescription nootropics that can only be used for certain medical conditions. There are also synthetic nootropics that are synthesised in labs. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be referring to natural nootropics that require no prescription.

Natural nootropics tend to be far safer than synthetic ones because they have less of a potential for abuse and they typically don’t have negative side effects unless they’re consumed in large amounts. Nootropics research has increased dramatically in recent years because of the demand for “brain booster” supplements.

What is the Difference Between a Nootropic and an Adaptogen?

There are a few key differences between nootropics and adaptogens, and the main one is in what each of them intends to accomplish. A nootropic seeks to boost brain function like memory, cognition, concentration, alertness, creativity, and attention. On the other hand, adaptogens are designed to help us deal with stressors.

While nootropics may indirectly help us deal with stress and anxiety, they will only do so because we will perform better and won’t have to deal with external factors related to poor performance. On the other hand, an adaptogen will tackle the stress and anxiety that we feel directly.

Another thing to consider is the way that nootropics and adaptogens work on a biological level. Adaptogens interact with the HPA, but nootropics have a wide range of different mechanisms that they work through. This is due to the sheer variety of nootropics that are available compared to adaptogens.

How Do Nootropics Work?

Nootropics work in a wide range of ways depending on the supplement that you’re using. For example, some nootropics work by increasing the amount of energy that’s available to the brain. If the brain doesn’t receive enough energy, it will start to experience mental fatigue or brain fog.

Other nootropics work by encouraging the production of brain chemicals that are used in cell to cell transmission. This is when one neuron in your brain interacts with another one. These chemicals are known as neurotransmitters, and they include dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, acetylcholine, and GABA.

Yet another technique that nootropics use to ensure that our brains are functioning as effectively as possible is by encouraging blood flow to the brain. Sufficient blood flow ensures that the brain is receiving enough nutrients, but it also helps take neurotoxins out of our brain tissue.

Finally, some nootropics help protect our cerebral tissue by helping reduce the effects of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by molecules known as free radicals that build up in our tissues, and they are responsible for the progression of diseases as well as the damage that naturally occurs as we age.

Some nootropics have antioxidant effects, which means that they pick up these free radicals and render them harmless through a chemical reaction.

Myths of Nootropics

The most common myth about nootropics is that they’ll be like the pill from Limitless. For those who haven’t seen the movie, it stars Bradley Cooper as a struggling writer who takes an experimental drug that allows him to vastly improve his cognition, giving him powers like perfect recall.

There is no nootropic that is known to us that will be able to give you perfect recall and to turn you into a genius overnight. If you’re expecting that from nootropics, then you’ll sadly find yourself disappointed. Real nootropics tend to work on a more sub-perceptual level and take a lot of time to affect us.

Another myth about nootropics is that they do nothing, and this is also linked to how long they take to affect us. Many people try nootropics for a day and when they don’t get the magical powers they were expecting, they end up giving up and calling all nootropics a hoax.

Based on the wide body of scientific evidence about nootropics, they are anything but a hoax, though they won’t be able to single-handedly transform your life. Much like everything else in life, changing how your mind works requires a lot of time and effort on your part in addition to the supplements that you’re taking.

Myths of Adaptogens

There are also several myths that surround adaptogens and their use, including the fact that they will instantly cure your stress and anxiety. As with nootropics, adaptogens will take a while to kick in, and you’ll need to be both patient and consistent when it comes to their dosage schedule.

By sticking with adaptogens, you may be able to mitigate your stress, but they are by no means a replacement for medication for individuals who are struggling with advanced stress disorders. While adaptogens may be able to help, think of them as a supporting tool rather than a replacement.

If you’re suffering from a more moderate degree of stress and anxiety, adaptogens may be able to help you manage it, but if you feel like it’s getting overwhelming, it’s crucial to discuss your condition with a medical professional or a therapist.


We’ve already explained that nootropics are essentially supplements that can boost the level that your brain is operating at. However, this section will be dedicated to taking a closer look at what effects you can expect from specific nootropics. We’ll go over the best ones for focus, memory, creativity, and productivity.

What Nootropic Ingredients Are Good for Focus?

L-theanine can be found in nootropics, and it can help improve your focus. This ingredient can also be consumed in tea form, as most people can have L-theanine benefits by drinking over 20mg-50mg of L-theanine or drinking green tea or black tea. 

Based on a  2012 study, it was reported that people tend to consume black tea during the morning. This was because the L-theanine positively impacted their ability to focus and become more attentive at work. 

During this study, they found that people who consumed 20-30 (stat find) L-theanine was able to reduce the number of mistakes made on heavy attention tasks. Comparatively, the L-theanine test subjects performed better than the placebo subjects, meaning that L-theanine is great for enhancing one’s focus throughout the day. 

Citicoline is another ingredient that’s good for mental focus. It is consumed to help the memory focus that people tend to lose after they age. Plus, it can be used to help vision, Alzheimers, and glaucoma, so both nootropics are helpful if you need a boost in your focus and mental cognition. 

What Nootropic Ingredients Are Good for Memory?

Ginseng is a herbal remedy that is good for memory. It comes in from the “Panax Ginseng” root that can be used in two ways. First, it is used for root preparation, where they are dried and later used for consumption. This method provides the most of this nutrient, so it is a popular and effective way to get the most out of your ginseng roots plants. 

Additionally, you can steam the Ginseng roots in high temperatures. This study containing 69 women and 21 men found that ginseng can be used to prevent mental fatigue. The test subjects had over 200mg of Panax ginseng within eight weeks. After a period of 4 weeks, it was proven that the test subjects who received ginseng were better at retaining information than their placebo counterparts. 

Omega-3 is another ingredient that’s good for memory. Its usually consumed in capsule form, and it contains DHA that interacts with the nerve cells and amplifies their production rate and quality. Doing so can help sharpen one’s mental capacity and endurance. 

What Nootropic Ingredients Are Good for Creativity?

Creativity is accessed when the mind is able to make new solutions or outcomes. This is when your mind produces the least cortisol, which makes you become stressed. By using ingredients such as Bacopa Monnieri and Lion’s Mane, one can unlock new areas of creativity. 

Bacopa Monnieri is used to help get into the “creative flow state.” This 12-week study had over 46 healthy adults take over 300 mg of Bacopa Monnieri a day. By the end of the study, those who took the ingredient had a faster visual processing speed than the placebo group, showing that it does aid in boosting your creative function. 

Lion's Mane ingredient helps with creativity and can be consumed in mushroom powder form. When consumed, it helps lower depression and anxiety levels, which helps keep a positive and happy mood. People who have a low mood have had difficulty with creativity, so using both Bacopa Monnieri and Lion’s Mane can help with increasing intuition and creative skills.

What Nootropic Ingredients Are Good for Productivity?

Caffeine is a nootropic ingredient that’s usually found in tea. Its main benefit is that it can block receptors adenosine and prevent the user from getting into a state of drowsiness. Since it helps the nervous system and brain function, it will help you become more productive and engaged during lengthy tasks.

Coffee contains over 102-200 mg of caffeine per cup. A study proved that caffeinated products and beverages enhance working memory and sustained attention, making them a good nootropic for busy people or need an extra kick to their productive juices. 

You can also use Rhodiola Rosea to become more productive and regulate your depression levels. This six-week study showed that two groups that received 680 mg of Rhodiola helped improve their depression levels than the placebo group. 

Rhodiola Rosea works with the neurotransmitters of your brain. The study mentioned above showed that it could aid in fixing your depression levels, insomnia, and emotional stability. That’s why Rhodiola and Caffeine are great tools if you want a more productive workflow. 

Are Nootropics Legal?

In the UK, it's legal to consume and buy nootropic supplements. For example, prescribed nootropic drugs can help with medical purposes to help with Alzheimer's disease and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Nootropics such as creatine, caffeine, etc are used in consumable products (protein powders, tea). 

Use nootropics at your own risk. While they do have physical and mental benefits, everyone's body is different and will react to them differently. Because of that, always check the legality of your area, and then decide if you should get nootropics. That way, you can use them safely and legally at the same time. 


Adaptogens are substances that allow your brain to adapt to adverse situations, and we’ll be exploring exactly how adaptogens can help you with a range of factors. For example, we’ll go over how adaptogens can help mitigate stress and anxiety, and we’ll also look at what adaptogens can improve.

Adaptogens and Stress

Many adaptogens are touted as being able to help you manage your stress, and one of the most popular options is ashwagandha, which is a ground root that has been used in ayurvedic medicine for centuries. This study shows that ashwagandha is able to help its users reduce their cortisol levels when taking 300 mg of the supplement per day.

Rhodiola rosea is yet another herb that is typically used to reduce stress in its users, and this is also backed up by science. For example, this study showed that rhodiola rosea was able to reduce the stress that its users experienced immediately and that it lasted for a period of about five hours.

Schisandra chinensis has also been shown to help combat stress, and this one is interesting because it can be used in tandem with rhodiola rosea to also help reduce mental fatigue. This study shows that s. chinensis can help reduce the amount of stress-related depression that a study participant experiences.

Adaptogens and Your Nervous System

Some studies have been conducted to see the exact effects that adaptogens have on the central nervous system. This is due to the range of effects that adaptogens have, including antidepressant, anti-fatigue, and neuroprotective qualities that have tangentially been linked to the nervous system.

Adaptogens work on the central nervous system by increasing the non-specific resistance to stress that we have and they also decrease how sensitive we are to stressors. This results in a higher level of homeostasis in which our stressors are less likely to make our stress response swing like a pendulum.

This means that we won’t have to deal with as long of an alarm phase when we’re stressed and it also levels out the resistance and exhaustion phases that we experience after we experience stress. Studies have shown these results in both animals and humans, though a larger number of studies have been conducted on animals.

Adaptogens and Sleep

There are many adaptogens that are able to help us sleep, but once again, ashwagandha is a popular choice because of the large body of research on it compared to other adaptogens. For example, this study determined that ashwagandha can notably improve the duration and quality of an individual’s sleep.

While studies have yet to be conducted on humans, studies on mice have shown that reishi mushrooms are another adaptogen that is able to help promote quality sleep. This occurs due to a reaction in the gut bacteria of mice that promotes serotonin production, which is a key neurotransmitter in regulating sleep cycles.

Throughout history, valerian root has been considered one of the best traditional medicines for helping individuals get to sleep and deal with insomnia. This review has shown that valerian root has a significant impact on an individual’s ability to get to sleep with relative ease and have quality rest.

Adaptogens and Anxiety

Adaptogens are plants that help regulate your hormone responses. Anxiety is caused due to an imbalance within your hormones, making it harder for you to think clearly or become happy. 

Research shows that Adaptogens can reduce levels of mild to severe anxiety. And it can be used for stress management. Ashwagandha is an ingredient used to combat damage in your body caused by stress, allowing you to have a better mood overall and making you more responsive to daily issues in life. 

One study proved that Ashwagandha had been used to reduce mental and physical damage induced by stress. Test subjects that were taken over 300 mg of Ashwagandha two times a day felt less anxious than the placebo group. 

Cortisol is released when your brain is processing stress. This study showed that Ashwagandha would help lower cortisol levels, blocking the hormone from making feelings of anxiety worse. Through adaptogens such as Ashwagandha, you can balance your anxiety and protect your body from stress. 

Can You Take Adaptogens When Pregnant?

Women can take adaptogens during their pregnancy cycle. Adaptogens work with the body's HPA levels to increase your hormone levels when they’re too low. And it helps restrict the hormone creation if it's too high, which helps you stay in a state of homeostasis. 

When the pregnancy cycle has started, you still have to be careful when using adaptogens. Even though taking adaptogens can help with lowering your stress levels, it could result in negative results for your baby’s foetus. 

Adaptogens have been used to ease pregnancy pain for thousands of years. Based on the Botanical Safety Handbook, using adaptogens won’t interfere with breastfeeding or pregnancy. You can use adaptogens such as Maca and Reishi and still receive mental benefits from doing so. 

If you are pregnant, you have to speak to your physician before taking adaptogens. Remember, everyone’s body and DNA are different. By consulting them beforehand, you’ll get a thorough diagnosis of what adaptogens will work well for your body, allowing you to stay calm and mentally stimulated during the pregnancy process.

Adaptogens and the Brain

As we age, our basic function for the brain becomes weaker. Fortunately, adaptogens can help with that. For instance, taking Cordyceps can help you adjust to stress, which can damage your brain quality over time. 

Adaptogens help your brain release healthy chemicals such as BDNF and the nerve growth factor. This allows your brain to remain fresh and modulate the brain waves that can be negatively affected due to mental trauma exposure to tense situations.

You can use rhaponticum and holy basil to help control the brain fog in your mind. Holy Basil can protect your brain and tissues from chemical stress in this study. Try to take around 2-30mg of it to keep your brain sharp and more equipped for daily stressors of life. 

Why should you use adaptogens? Because consistent use of them can help your brain grow at a steady rate over time. They can keep your brain in good condition by reducing exhaustion and fatigue, which can make the brain think unclearly in severe cases. 

Adaptogens and Improving Neuroplasticity

As we age, our basic function for the brain becomes weaker. Fortunately, adaptogens can help with that. For instance, taking Cordyceps can help you adjust to stress, which can damage your brain quality over time. 

Adaptogens help your brain release healthy chemicals such as BDNF and the nerve growth factor. This allows your brain to remain fresh and modulate the brain waves that can be negatively affected due to mental trauma exposure to tense situations.

You can use rhaponticum and holy basil to help control the brain fog in your mind. Holy Basil can protect your brain and tissues from chemical stress in this study. Try to take around 2-30mg of it to keep your brain sharp and more equipped for daily stressors of life. 

Why should you use adaptogens? Because consistent use of them can help your brain grow at a steady rate over time. They can keep your brain in good condition by reducing exhaustion and fatigue, which can make the brain think unclearly in severe cases. 

Can Adaptogens Improve Blood Flow?

Your blood flow is important in your everyday life. Adaptogens can help your blood flow and the heartbeat. And adaptogens such as Schisandra and Panax Ginseng are great at doing so. 

For example, Schisandra increases the production of eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase). It is then converted to NO2 (Nitric Oxide), allowing more flood to go through your body. The N02 helps by relaxing into your blood vessels and delivering more nutrients throughout your system. 

With Adaptogens, you can strengthen the quality of your blood vessels and blood transmission. Based on this study, Schisandra can increase blood flow by up to 9%. Adaptogens need to be taken considerably as too much could cause minor health issues. 

Since stress can affect your blood flow negatively, adaptogens help your mind relieve them within steady usage. When used correctly, it can help your heart from a cardiovascular perspective, as it keeps it pumping at a reasonable rate. 

Can Adaptogens Improve Brain Cell Growth?

Your brain cells can grow based on how well they can make new neurons. The brain cells begin to grow once its embryo starts to develop. Then it grows into adulthood, and this is where your brain can reach its peak. The use of adaptogens will keep the brain cells in good shape. 

Adaptogens help your brain's central nervous system. You can use Turmeric and Omega-3 fatty acids. Turmeric is scientifically able to prevent ageing and improve your heart health. It used as an antioxidant and inflammatory. 

Using omega-3 fatty acids can play an important role in your brain cell growth and cognitive function. Diseases such as Alzheimer's are a common form of dementia that impairs your brains cell creation, slowing down your brain's speed and growth. 

 With another study that lasted for 24 weeks, Adaptopens such as omega-3 can perform better on learning tests. It will help your brain prevent brain decline, which can occur more often in older adults. So using adaptogens is a great tool in getting your brain cells growing and stopping memory loss. 

Can Adaptogens Improve Your Learning Ability?

Adaptogens can improve your learning ability. Your learning ability is affected by your brain's mental retention. Through regular and distributed practice, your brain can get better at learning unfamiliar material. Adaptogens such as Reishi, Rhodiola Rosea, and Ginseng can aid in helping your mind learn complex concepts and keep the brain sharp when learning new things. 

The Reishi adaptogen works by protecting your mind from oxidative damage. They help promote better cognitive function and neurogenesis inside the brain. In this mice experiment, the Reishi mushroom helped them have a better IQ and learn faster than mice in the placebo group. 

Seek out mushroom-related adaptogens for better ways to boost your mind's learning capacity. In addition, the Reishi adaptogen can prevent infection in your body and give you better sleep. Your mind can learn based on how much sleep you get at night. 

Since adaptogens operate bi-directionally, they help your mind have more stamina and promote more relaxing sleep. This gives your body and mind a higher chance to respond to external stimuli. 

Physical Health Benefits

Along with improving your mental health and brain performance, nootropics are also capable of improving your physical health through both direct and indirect ways. This section will be dedicated to how nootropics can help you sleep, how they can help you work out, whether they’ll affect your energy levels, and much more.

Nootropics for Sleep

Some nootropics are capable of helping us sleep, either through the production of hormones and neurotransmitters that help facilitate sleep or through affecting external factors that may make it difficult to get to sleep. Here are a couple of nootropics that have been scientifically proven to help users sleep.

Lion’s mane is a fungus with the scientific name Hericium erinaceus, and this study found that it could improve sleep disorders. It did so by reducing the effect that underlying mood disorders had on study participants, but further research is required to see if this was the reason for improved sleep quality or if there is another mechanism at work.

Turmeric is a yellow spice that is used in cooking curry, but it has also been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Its main ingredient, curcumin, has been shown by this study to increase non-REM sleep in mice because it blocks the Histamine H1 receptor.

Nootropics for Digestion (& Do They Affect Digestion?)

Most nootropics won’t affect digestion, but there are a select few that may have adverse effects on the digestive system if you have too much of them. Some nootropics have the side effect of causing nausea and diarrhoea if you go over their recommended dosage, but that rarely ever happens if you take the amount that you should.

Allergic reactions can also result in digestive difficulties if you’re still taking the recommended dosage of a nootropic. Most people aren’t allergic to common nootropics, but it’s always a good idea to start off with a smaller dose so that you can determine whether or not you’ll have a bad reaction to a nootropic.

Aside from the reactions that your body can have to nootropics, there is no solid evidence that any nootropics can help improve digestion. While some can create gut bacteria that have other mental effects (such as the reishi mushrooms), most of the time, the created gut bacteria will not affect digestion.

Nootropics for Motivation

One of the main and most commonly touted benefits of nootropics is that they are able to help increase your motivation. However, since motivation doesn’t come from a single place in the brain, the way that nootropics can increase motivation is still being studied. Regardless, some nootropics have been noted for their effects on motivation.

L-theanine is one of the more popular choices for people who are looking to improve their motivation, and this is due to the link that the supplement has with caffeine. When combined with caffeine, L-theanine has been shown to stop the caffeine jitters and other negative effects.

B vitamins have also been noted for their ability to help maintain motivation in the people who take them. Vitamin B6 and B12 have been particularly noted for the boost in motivation that they give their users. This may be due to the impact that B vitamins have been shown to have on cognitive function.

Nootropics for Post Workout

Many of the benefits of nootropics make them suitable for post workout use. For example, they will help you maintain your mindset that will keep you working out, even when you’re feeling like your muscles are too sore after you worked out intensely for an extended period of time.

However, you’ll also have to consider that nootropics won’t necessarily help with any of the physical effects of working out. For example, nootropics’ effects are mainly focused on the mind, so you won’t be able to relieve any of the soreness in your muscles by using nootropics.

Being able to focus on other things with the use of nootropics will allow you to ignore the pain that you’re experiencing and to focus on your goals so that you can keep working out to the best of your abilities, however.

Nootropics for Pre Workout

Nootropics as a pre workout supplement may end up helping you out if you’re performing in an activity that requires additional focus. While most workouts require you to focus so that you can have the proper form and that you get the most out of the activity, there are some sports where you’ll benefit more from nootropics.

For example, if you’re playing a team sport where you need to be able to enter “the zone” and focus intensely, nootropics may be able to help you out before a workout. Keep in mind that it’s essential to ensure that the nootropic you’re using is allowed if you’re going to be competing.

Nootropics that are designed for use by athletes are typically tested to ensure their purity and that they contain no potential supplements that can end up getting you banned from competition. However, if you’re working out for your own needs, you likely won’t have any trouble using nootropics as a pre workout supplement.

Nootropics for Energy

Nootropics are commonly used to improve the amount of energy that users have available, and the most common one is caffeine. While it’s used very commonly and not associated with most other nootropics, caffeine is indeed a nootropic because of how it impacts our mind and our perceived energy levels.

As we mentioned earlier, L-theanine is another great nootropic if you’re looking to increase your energy levels. Studies have shown that combining L-theanine with caffeine will allow you to improve the amount of energy that you have available while also improving your mood and cognitive abilities.

Citicoline is yet another nootropic that has been shown to improve energy levels, making it a great choice for a long work day or an extended study session. This study was conducted using phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and it found that the substance is able to enhance bioenergetics in the frontal lobe.

Nootropics for Hormones

Nootropics are able to manage hormone levels, much like adaptogens, and many nootropics are actually adaptogens. As we mentioned earlier, adaptogens are often used to help manage hormone levels, whether they will correct the levels of a hormone that is too low or lower the levels of a hormone that is excessive.

Diindolylmethane (AKA DIM) is the metabolised form of indole-3 carbinol, and this is a molecule that is often found in broccoli and other plants in its family. DIM can help regulate the levels of oestrogen that we have in our bodies, allowing both men and women to manage the amount of oestrogen that’s present in their systems.

Berberine is another nootropic that is usually used to control hormones in the human system, and it can be found in plants like Oregon grape and Goldenseal. By balancing the level of glucose in our blood through the regulation of insulin levels, berberine can reduce the negative effects of high blood glucose levels.

Nootropics for Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue can affect the quality of life of its sufferers and it can also decrease their efficiency when it comes to crucial aspects of their lives such as work and school. Nootropics can help boost energy levels, but some have also been shown to help with chronic fatigue.

One of the more effective nootropics for people who are dealing with chronic fatigue has been found to be Rhodiola rosea. Studies have shown that R. rosea can help people deal with both physical and mental fatigue, though the scientists noted that additional study is required due to the methodology of the studies.

Creatine is typically known for its use as a pre and post workout supplement, but it can also affect cerebral haemoglobin oxygenation, as was outlined in this study. By helping ensure that the brain’s blood is oxygenated, creatine can help cut down on chronic mental fatigue.

Can Nootropics Improve Your Metabolism?

Nootropics differ from weight loss supplements in that most of the effects they have on the people who take them are mental. A nootropic won’t necessarily boost your metabolism like a fat burning supplement will, and it won’t even start lipolysis to help break down the fat in your body.

These supplements also won’t manage your appetite. While some nootropics may have the side effect of reducing your appetite, this is relatively uncommon, and you can’t expect nootropics to do this consistently. However, nootropics can still help you lose weight in relatively indirect ways, such as how nootropics can effectively be used as pre and post workout supplements.

Since nootropics can help improve your motivation, they can help you lose weight because you’ll be able to stick to your workout regimen and your diet. When you feel more hopeful about your goals, you’re more likely to end up achieving them, and the same is true if your goal is weight loss.

Can Nootropics Improve Your Reflexes?

Nootropics can help improve your focus, but they’re also effective at enhancing your reflexes and your reaction times. A wide range of nootropics are popular amongst athletes who are looking to perform better in sports like football, hockey, and cricket, which require better reaction times.

Bacopa monnieri is a common nootropic for people looking to counter the effects of ageing when it comes to cognitive decline. However, studies have also shown that bacopa monnieri is able to help improve reaction times in people over the age of 65. Studies are still ongoing to determine if this is the case with younger populations.

Panax ginseng is yet another natural supplement that has been noted for its nootropic properties, and it has been shown to improve mental and physical performance in this study. The study goes on to mention that test subjects who used ginseng showed faster reaction times than the control group.

Mental Health Benefits

Of course, nootropics can also offer a range of mental health benefits, as they are designed to improve your mental performance in many ways. We’ll take a look at how nootropics can impact certain conditions, such as ADD, ADHD and Social Anxiety Disorder, though we’ll also explore more general questions, such as whether they can improve your mood.

Are Nootropics Good for ADD?

ADD is a mental condition in which the inflicted user has distractibility, poor working memory, and inattention symptoms. People can obtain ADD due to exposure to toxins or genetics within the family. With the help of Nootropics, it will help treat ADD and act as a form of mental therapy. 

 Nootropics such as ALCAR and L-Tyrosine can help people suffering from ADD. You can take 500mg of ALCAR at least 3 times a day. With L-Tyrosine, you can take up to 750 mg of it at least 3-times a day. Both can help the mind remain focused, which is crucial for those that are struggling with ADD. 

Nootropics are good for ADD because they help positively affect the mind. Users who take nootropics are more likely to have high-quality neurotransmitters, which help them stay mentally active, organise thoughts, and concentrate. As a result, nootropics are beneficial for people with ADD if they are taken within the right dosage. 

The Benefits of Nootropics for ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder is when the mind is unable to think correctly or stay attentive for long periods of time. Statistically, over 6.1 million children between the ages of 2-17 are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. This 2016 statistic shows that ADD is prevalent, but it can be managed with Nootropics. 

For example, you can use nootropics that act as memory enhances to help with ADD. For example, Alpha Brain and the seeds of 5-HTP. For example, 5-HTP helps your mind stay attentive during attention deficit disorder, premenstrual syndromes, and tension-type headaches. When in use, it keeps your mind active by being an amino acid, and it helps produce more serotonin to the brain. 

When experiencing ADD, there are symptoms such as forgetfulness, low attention span, or having a difficult time with directions. With Nootropics, you’ll have better focus, clarity, and attentiveness, so it can help with treating ADD. Use it at a reasonable pace (talk to your doctor beforehand!), and you’ll find that it keeps your mental health intact and equipped to cope with the effects of ADD.  

The Benefits of Nootropics for ADHD

ADHD can be difficult because it can affect your ability for self-control and attention. The main benefit of nootropics is that it helps people with ADHD stay focused and make less impulsive decisions. 

Nootropics such a B-vitamin Complex can aid with people that have ADHD. One of their main benefits is the ability to help with neuroprotection, synthesis and release, and brain signalling. A person who has ADHD will be more attentive and engaged with these benefits. 

The easiest way to consume nootropics for ADHD is in capsule or powder form. For example, using stimulant drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin to help ones with ADHD remain focused and correct other behavioural issues. 

For example using Piracetam is a great nootropic for ADHD as it was made to boost your memory and increase your reasoning capacity. With the help of that and Citicoline, your mind will have better memory which helps with learning and keeping people with ADHD’s hyperactivity under control. 

Nootropics for Improving Attention

The mind's ability to pay attention is based on the quality of focus and how well someone can maintain that focus. One of the biggest ailments in ADHD is the lack of an attention span, as they are less likely to stay attentive when learning or through social interaction. 

This lack of attention comes from a lower amount of dopamine in the body. Fortunately, you can use nootropics such as Phosphatidylserine (PS). In a clinical review, the ingredient has been reported to maintain the fluidity of the brain cell. It does this by establishing good neural connectivity and making myelin which aids in neurotransmissions. 

With nootropics, your mind will be more likely to retain information. Once the attention is lost, you'll have to regrow brain cells in order to keep that previous level of attention. Try out nootropics that have such as Maritime Pine Bark because it aids the brain's plasticity, which gives you more time to focus and promotes long-term longevity in your brain health.  

The Benefits of Nootropics for Social Anxiety

As we age, our basic function for the brain becomes weaker. Fortunately, adaptogens can help with that. For instance, taking Cordyceps can help you adjust to stress, which can damage your brain quality over time. 

Adaptogens help your brain release healthy chemicals such as BDNF and the nerve growth factor. This allows your brain to remain fresh and modulate the brain waves that can be negatively affected due to mental trauma exposure to tense situations.

You can use rhaponticum and holy basil to help control the brain fog in your mind. Holy Basil can protect your brain and tissues from chemical stress in this study. Try to take around 2-30mg of it to keep your brain sharp and more equipped for daily stressors of life. 

Why should you use adaptogens? Because consistent use of them can help your brain grow at a steady rate over time. They can keep your brain in good condition by reducing exhaustion and fatigue, which can make the brain think unclearly in severe cases. 

The Benefits of Nootropics for Stress

Stress is an ongoing emotional feeling that is caused due to internal and external triggers. However, it can become a severe issue if one doesn't know how to manage it. Through the help of nootropics, stress management levels are maintained, making you more equipped to deal with tough and intense situations. 

Nootropics' primary benefit is its ability to keep your mind at ease. For instance, you can use nootropics such as Piracetam and Ashwagandha to help suppress your immune cells. They work by removing free radicals that cause oxidative stress, leading to a better mood and mental resistance. 

Stress negatively affects your brain's ability to function. This study showed that piracetam helps make the cell membrane easier to give and receive signals. This helps you communicate better even during stressful situations. 

You'll also realise that stress affects your capability of learning tasks. Taking over 1,200 mg of piracetam will increase the chance to manage stress and verbal tasks than the placebo group. After 14 days, nootropics work with stress recovery and coping with life's daily issues. 

The Benefits of Nootropics on Psychological Function

Your psychological cognition is based on your mental clarity and the ability to learn. Nootropics is a brain booster and can enhance your performance. It can be used in multiple ways to bolster your brainpower and psychological awareness. 

In the short term, nootropics are good for stress resistance, focus, and short term memory. With consistent use of nootropics, it can help you during exams, competitions, deadlines, and productivity. So it does give you the psychological advantage for extensive and long periods. 

You can see that the Nootropics have long-term benefits as well. It creates support for the mind and protects it from age-related decline. For senior users, taking nootropics a few times a week will help with mood and age-related cognitive decline. So you’ll have a better mental state once you become older. 

Studies have proven that Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, and Lion’s Mane Mushroom can manage your psychological function. The Bacopa Monnieri helps with sharpening mental performance and easing anxiety. With these nootropics, your psychological function will become better after repeated use. 

The Benefits of Nootropics for Concentration

Concentration is a state of mind when you’re able to focus your mental effort or attention. Based on cognitive research, having concentration is necessary to become successful in the area of skilled performance. With the help of nootropics, it will keep your brain active and precise during your area of expertise. 

Consistent use of nootropics will make you better at keeping your mind focused and attentive. For example, Ginkgo Extract is a plant that’s been used as a form of traditional Chinese medicine. The leaves of this plant are dried or converted to pill form to help enhance cognitive functioning which helps the user focus for extended periods of time. 

Within this study, Ginkgo extract has improved the brain’s mechanical and neurological function. This nootropic is consumed orally, which is found in tablets, teas, capsules, but it can also be used as a tea extract. Due to this versatility, it's easy for one to take nootropics if they need better focus and concentration. 

Do Nootropics Affect or Improve Alpha Brain Waves?

Nootropics are able to help regulate your mind's emotions and make you less anxious. For example, using LYMA pills can be used to help one get more balance in their life. This nootropic is designed to help users think, breathe, and look their absolute best. 

In addition, nootropic helps with improving the everyday stressors of your life. When consumed, it gives the user the ability to relax and breathe. 

Plus, using nootropics can help you in social interactions. Social anxiety occurs when one is overwhelmed, and this nootropics such as L-theanine can prevent increased blood pressure. This allows your body to remain relaxed, keeping you more composed in social interactions and keeping your anxiety at a reasonable level. 

As a result, L-theanine, LYMA pills, and other nootropics are good for improving your reaction to social cues. This study shows that L-theanine improves relaxation, which is necessary when trying to reduce your social anxiety and comfort in social conversation. 

Do Nootropics Help Older People?

When getting older, the mind is less effective at performing properly. This is because it's difficult for the brain to create new cells and neurons, making it difficult for one to remain focused. Through nootropics, older people are able to think clearly and keep their brains in good shape. 

In fact, over 75% of adults that are 74 and older take vitamins or supplements to maintain their brain's sharpness and function. The older you are, the more likely you'll become exposed to dementia, Alzheimer's, and other mental cognition diseases. The most popular nootropics for older people are turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids. 

With those two nootropic ingredients, your mind is able to be more effective at retaining its memory and focus on complex topics. A AARP survey shows that 70% of adults tend to take nootropics because they believe it can reverse the symptoms of dementia and mental stress. For readers that are 50+, taking a few nootropics daily will do wonders for your cognitive ability and mental endurance. 

Can Nootropics Help with Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is a mental disorder when your mind is unable to carry out simple tasks. People who suffer from Alzheimer's have limited thinking skills and memory. Since it affects older adults, you’ll experience symptoms of Alzheimer’s once you become in your mid-60s. 

Prescription nootropics have stimulant effects that can boost your mental functions. You can use Phosphatidylserine to help with your short and long-term memory. It is both a nootropic and an antioxidant as it is capable of removing the free radicals in your body. 

Not only does this mean it's good at preventing Alzheimer’s and helpful at stopping the body from getting conditions such as cancer and diabetes. This study showed that people who have taken phosphatidylserine were able to treat mild to severe cases of Alzheimer's. 

For instance, people who have taken it earned higher scores on concentration, mood, short-term, and memory tests. They were better at recalling objects and names, which can become more difficult when we age. So using nootropics is a powerful way to regulate your mind’s quality and prevent mental decline. 

Can Nootropics Help the Brain Process Information?

Your brain is like a computer. It needs to process information so you can make accurate and well-informed decisions. As we age, that mental computer becomes slower and will need more stimulation in order for it to run effectively. That's what nootropics are for. 

Nootropics such as Fish Oils and Acetyl can enhance your mental functionality and brainpower. Fish oil has omega-3 that builds cell membranes which tend to get lost over time as you age. This helps strengthen the neurons that give your brain the nutrients needed to maintain structure. 

DHA is an important ingredient in helping your brain function and structure. It takes up about 90% of your omega-3 fat and 25% fat that's stored in your body. Taking nootropics will help with improving your thinking, reaction times, and memory. In this study, using fish oil consistently can help regulate the EPA and DHA fats and prevent the brain from experiencing decline while ageing. 

Are Nootropics Really Memory Enhancing?

Your mood can vary based on both internal and external factors. Your brain will be affected by internal factors due to stress and sleep quality. Through the use of nootropics, you'll keep your memory refreshed and sustainable through long attentive periods.

The most common memory phases are episode memory and semantic memory. Episodic memory can help with sensory feeling and memorising detail. With semantic memory, it helps with personal experience and common knowledge. 

Both of these can drop after one age. That's why the use of nootropics is so popular amongst older people. Nootropics help with motivation and can enhance your sensory memory as well. So use it correctly, and you'll start to notice better memory, focus, and the ability to retain information longer. 

Try using nootropics such as Adafinil, B-16, or Ginseng if you need help with memory retention. Plus, Citicoline can help improve the memory of people that have memory loss even after the free recall stage. 

Do Nootropics Improve Your Intelligence?

Did you know that you can use nootropics to improve your intelligence? Taking nootropics such as creatine can help with improving your IQ. Studies show that people who take creatine are more likely to increase their IQ within a range of 5-15. After 6 weeks of usage, it was reported that creatine was more effective at improving the brain power of the people that used it in comparison to the placebo group. 

Within 30 days or more, you’ll be able to get the best increase to your intelligence through nootropic such as L-theanine (consumed through green tea), Choline, and Rhodiola Rosea are great for intelligence and improving your focus and memory. 

Do Nootropics Improve Your Mood?

Nootropics can help with improving your mood. For example, nootropics such as Alpha GPC is able to boost your mental energy and improve your mood. It contains chemicals such as choline that can power your brain optimization by boosting the effectiveness of repairing lost brain cells. 

When in use, the nootropic increases the growth hormone for people in all age group. But make sure you take only the recommended dosage, (10-mg-20mg) to get the best effects of this ingredient. 

When using Nootropics, you want to be moderate at it. Too much can have certain side effects on your mood if used at an excessive rate (5-7 times a week). This study shows there were four cases of adverse reactions to nootropics. Using too much Ampakines and Piracetam can result in a negative mood and memory loss. 

To combat that, just take only as recommended on the product’s label or through a professional nootropics expert. That way, you can enjoy the benefits of Nootropics while having a better mood in the long-term. 

Can Nootropics Help With Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is described as the ability to stay present. People who have more mindfulness can focus better on one thing and clear their mind. Nootropics aid in boosting this effectiveness, as it has been proven to improve focus and calmness. 

For example, this study shows that Panax Ginseng can improve your mindfulness when consumed regularly. It has a small positive effect on it, as it can help reduce nervousness while still improving your focus. 

It is safe to use nootropics such as Panax Ginseng for mindfulness, but you’ll have to take the correct dosage. You can take about 4500 mg of the non extract powder dosage for every two weeks. 

But for first-time nootropic users, you’ll have to take around 200 mg extract dosages a day for 1 week to get the mindfulness benefits from nootropics. Since Panax Ginseng comes in liquid capsule form, you can even infuse it with tea to help with consuming it daily. 

Women’s Health Benefits

Nootropics have a range of benefits for both men and women, but they can also help women deal with issues that are specific to them. We’ll go over whether nootropics can help women who are experiencing period pain, and we’ll explore how they’ll impact hormonal balance, pregnancy, menopause, perimenopause, and cramps.

Nootropics for Hormonal Balance

When pregnant, the hormones can change at various rates. These hormones are needed to feed the baby, who is either in the embryo or foetus stage, within the first 4 months of pregnancy. Through the use of nootropics, women can regain their hormonal balance and maintain their health post-pregnancy. 

First, it is important for pregnant women to always speak to a professional nootropics expert when taking nootropics. You'll want to get the right dosage that's beneficial for both you and your offspring. 

For example, this study showed that Bacopa Monnieri would act as an antidepressant, which can be good to handle the stress that is increased when pregnant. This double-blind study lasted for six weeks and 12 weeks post-treatment. 

 Also, taking Revseratol and Fish Oil can aid in the hormonal stage of the pregnancy cycle. Experts state that taking 1 gram (1000 mg) of Fish oil will help with enhancing brain function. That way, you can regulate your hormones and stay mentally calm during pregnancy. 


Can You Take Nootropics When Pregnant?

Yes, you can take nootropics during pregnancy, but you should only use them at a reasonable rate. Do it with caution. Too much dependence on nootropics will lead to adverse effects on your pregnancy and make it difficult for your baby as well.  

You can take Phenibut when you’re pregnant. It's best to speak with a healthcare provider before attempting to use it. Too much use of nootropics can lead to withdrawal symptoms and physical dependence. 

For instance, if a woman uses a small amount of Phenibut to lower anxiety, other options have been safe for pregnancy. Withdrawal effects from Phenibut can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage, 

You can use GABA supplements for pregnancy, but it is 100% safe for women that are breastfeeding their baby or pregnant. Use nootropics like a grain of salt and only use it if you are having difficulty through the pregnancy process. 

Nootropics for Menopause

Menopause is described as the last year of a woman’s ovarian cycle where she reaches her final period. During this point, women will experience hot flashes and monthly cycle changes. 

Here are the 3 stages of menopause. First, is perimenopause which is the time that leads to the menopause stage. At menopause, the body stops creating the hormones that start the menstrual period. With the help of nootropics, it can protect the mind from the cognitive and mental challenges of menopause. Then it's the post-menopause phase, which can happen around 4-5 years after going through the menopause phase. 

Experts report that it’s normal to experience brain fog and anxiety when undergoing menopause—using nootropics such as Panax Ginseng and or L-theanine to aid in menopause. It can help because the L-theanine can be consumed in tea form, and it will lower your stress levels when undergoing menopause.

Nootropics for Perimenopause

As we stated in the previous section, Perimenopause is the transition period to menopause. On average, this can last for up to 2-10 years. At this time, it will lead to mental and physical symptoms such as:

  • Vaginal dryness, 
  • Urinary urgency  
  • Hot flashes
  • Irregular periods 

However, you can use nootropics to give your body the correct nutrients needed to survive through the menopause stage. Women approximately 40-44 tend to enter this stage, so it's best to start using it to offset the negative effects you might experience throughout this stage. 

One nootropic you can use is a nootropic mushroom such as Lion’s Mane. A study used to simulate menopause, mice received Lion’s mane ingredient and experienced reduced leptin, total cholesterol and fat tissue. This can help the body retain its shape during the menopause phases. With the help of this supplement, it gives you a complete reduction of mood-related symptoms that come from Perimenopause and menopause altogether. 

Nootropics for Cramps

Cramps are very painful and can feel worse during the pregnancy cycle. To explain, cramps are spasmodic muscle conditions where the muscles may feel too tight in one area. Nootropics like Piracetam can keep the muscles relaxed and can reduce the pain of vaginal convulsions during pregnancy. 

Always take the safe route when taking nootropics for cramps. If you’re in your first 1-4 months, you can get away with using it for a brief period. While it will help keep your cramps at a reasonable pain level, too much of it could lead to adverse reactions to women’s bodies. 

Adrafinil can also be used to regulate cramps. Not only do they can improve your memory, but studies show that it aids in treating depression and motor organisation. That means that your body will stay durable during intense cramping phases that can be harmful to pregnant women. Use it 1-3 times and see if you should discontinue based on whether the cramping pain increases or decreases after use. 

Nootropics for Period Pain

Period pain is an uncomfortable occurrence. To make matters worse, it can increase tenfold during pregnancy. Here are some nootropics and supplements that can be used to help you reduce the mental and physical ailments of period pain. 

First, you should try to use nootropics such as Omega-3s, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium. These nootropics help with bodily functions and keep the period pain from becoming too painful to bear. 

For instance, research shows that taking Vitamin B6 can help with relieving PMS symptoms. Since having a B6 deficiency isn’t common, patients need to speak to their healthcare provider before using these nootropics. 

Magnesium can be used to regulate the emotional issues that occur during pregnancy. You can find magnesium in leafy green vegetables and in peanuts. These foods are light to eat, making it a lot easier to eat once you start your period cycle.

What Are Natural Nootropics?

Natural nootropics are substances that have existed in the wild or have been cultivated by humans throughout history and don’t need to be scientifically changed so that they can have an effect. Keep in mind that they can still be processed for ease of consumption without changing the fact that they’re natural.

For example, certain fungi are natural nootropics but they may not be edible because of their hard flesh. In these cases, the fungi are often dried and then ground up into a powder so that they can be turned into a supplement coffee or simply mixed with water and consumed, and this isn’t limited to fungi.

For example, even ashwagandha needs to be ground up so that it can be consumed. We highly recommend natural nootropics because they have been shown to be consistently less harmful than synthetic ones, which are often unproven and may even have addictive qualities.

What Are Synthetic Nootropics?

Synthetic nootropics are sometimes formulated from natural substances or start off as them, but they are then chemically altered in laboratories. These nootropics are often used as prescription medicines for people who suffer from mental conditions, and they often have some drawbacks that natural nootropics don’t have.

Some synthetic nootropics aren’t even based on supplements that exist in the wild or that have been cultivated by people throughout history. These nootropics are even riskier because we have less information on which to base our long-term predictions of their performance and potential risk profile.

In the vast majority of cases, it’s not a good idea to use synthetic nootropics unless they have been prescribed to you by a doctor. While films like Limitless have led some to believe that synthetic nootropics are more effective than natural ones, there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case.

Natural Nootropics vs Synthetic Nootropics

As we’ve already mentioned, natural nootropics have a much longer history than synthetic ones and some of them have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine. While this is not equivalent to scientific evidence, it means that natural nootropics at least have a body of anecdotal evidence suggesting their effectiveness.

Synthetic nootropics, on the other hand, are all relatively new substances that many people have no idea what to expect from. This means that they can potentially be duds or they may even lead to addiction and dependency, especially if they haven’t been tested sufficiently on human subjects.

Safety of Nootropics

The safety of natural nootropics hasn’t been researched extensively in the long term, but many nootropics are as simple as spices like turmeric. Of course, consuming a large amount of even a natural nootropic may not be good for your long-term health, but it’s a good idea to keep your dosage reasonable.

Synthetic nootropics, as we’ve already mentioned, tend to be a mixed bag when it comes to their safety because they lack sufficient research to show whether or not they will affect the subject in the long run. Further research is required to determine whether or not they can be safely used throughout a patient’s lifespan.

Side Effects of Nootropics

Most natural nootropics don’t have any noticeable side effects unless the user is allergic to them, in which case they may result in itching, redness, and other common symptoms of allergies. Nootropics can also have side effects if the user ends up consuming too much of a particular supplement.

The most common side effects of overconsumption of nootropics include nausea, diarrhoea, and sometimes vomiting. Prescription nootropics often have more serious side effects, such as insomnia, high blood pressure, blurry vision, circulation problems, a faster heart rate, and potentially addiction.

Side Effects of Adaptogens

Most adaptogens have the same side effects as nootropics, especially when too many of them are consumed at once. For example, nausea and digestive distress are relatively common when a user consumes too much ashwagandha. It may also take the digestive system some time to get used to an adaptogen, so it’s good to start with a lower dose.

One study shows that adaptogens can also cause other side effects, such as headaches, a dry mouth, dizziness, and issues with urination. The scientists who conducted the study went on to mention that these side effects were relatively uncommon and not severe enough to warrant medical attention.

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