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Nootropics: Everything you need to know

Nootropics: Everything you need to know

By: Shona Wilkinson

In today's fast-paced world, many people seek mental agility and focus support. The quest for ways to improve brain function has led to the rise of nootropics. Nootropics, often called 'smart drugs' or cognitive enhancers, may improve cognitive abilities, enhance memory and support overall brain health. They can be especially valuable for students who are studying for exams and professionals with highly demanding workloads. We explore how nootropics work and whether you should harness the power of nootropics within your daily routine for peak mental performance.

What are nootropics?

Nootropics include various natural compounds that enhance cognitive function, including herbs, nutrients and adaptogens. They often stimulate chemical pathways in the brain or increase the number of certain neurotransmitters that can potentially enhance brain function.

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How do nootropics work?

Nootropics work through various mechanisms that support brain health and cognitive performance.

  • Increasing neurotransmitters: They often aim to enhance neurotransmitter production, including acetylcholine, serotonin or GABA.
  • Increases blood flow to the brain: Some nootropics improve blood flow to the brain, which increases nutrients and oxygen to the brain cells, therefore supporting their function.
  • Protecting brain cells from oxidative stress: Protecting the brain cells from oxidative stress decreases the damage caused by free radicals. An excess of free radicals may impair the function of brain cells and therefore cognition.
  • Modulate brain waves: Some nootropics also modulate brain waves and promote neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to adapt and form new connections.

What are the benefits of nootropics?

Enhanced memory

Many nootropics are associated with improved memory retention and recall, making them popular among students and professionals seeking an edge in their academic and work pursuits.

Increased cognitive performance

Nootropics can boost cognitive functions including attention, focus and problem-solving skills, enhancing overall mental performance. You may be interested in reading how to clear brain fog.

Mood enhancement

Some nootropics have been shown to influence neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, promoting a more positive mood and potentially alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Mental energy

Nootropics may provide a natural way to enhance mental energy without the jitters and crashes associated with caffeine and other stimulants.

You may also be interested in reading 'Best alternatives to caffeine'.

Brain health

Regular consumption of certain nootropics supports long-term brain health by protecting neurons from damage and promoting cellular repair. Discover the '10 Foods & Supplements to Boost Brain Health'.

Why consider taking nootropics?

Individuals often turn to nootropics to address challenges related to their mental health and cognitive abilities. Nootropics can be particularly beneficial for students dealing with academic pressure, professionals seeking to excel in their careers and older adults looking to maintain cognitive function as they age.

Not sure if your body needs a nootropic supplement? Create your free Diet Profile and find out in 3 minutes.

Are nootropics safe?

The safety of nootropics varies depending on the specific compounds used. Natural nootropics derived from herbs and adaptogens have a better safety profile than synthetic options. However, it's important to note that not all nootropic supplements are compatible with all medicines, so it's important to ask a professional before mixing them.

Common nootropics


Found in tea leaves, L-Theanine promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness. It's often paired with caffeine to provide a focused yet calm mind. You can find L-Theanine in Vegan Nights®, an advanced nootropic to help your mind and body relax for better sleep. 80% of people who take Vegan Nights® find it effective in improving their sleep.

Ginkgo Biloba

This ancient herb is believed to enhance blood flow to the brain. Ginkgo benefits also include potentially improving memory and cognitive functions.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa is a herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance cognitive function. It's believed to improve memory and learning by supporting the growth of nerve endings and promoting synaptic communication in the brain. In clinical studies, BacoMind® has been found to improve delayed memory recall by 78%.

Learn about 'Foods and vitamins to improve your brain'.

Panax Ginseng

Ginseng has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its potential cognitive-enhancing effects. It's believed to support memory, focus and overall mental clarity.


Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb known for its stress-reducing properties. It may also enhance cognitive function by reducing anxiety and improving attention and memory. If you're looking for a formula that includes Ashwagandha KSM-66®, try Stay Calm™. Not only does Stay Calm™ have Ashwagandha and L-Theanine in it, but it also includes adaptogens Rhodiola, Schisandra, Cordyceps, and a blend of botanicals and minerals. Helping to balance your mood as well as support your mind and body to help overcome stress, pressure and anxiety81% of people who take Stay Calm™ find it effective

Discover 'How your diet can improve your mental health' and 'Foods and vitamins to help relieve anxiety'.

Lion's Mane Mushroom

This mushroom contains compounds called hericenones and erinacines that have been linked to increased production of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is essential for the growth and maintenance of nerve cells, potentially leading to improved cognitive function and memory.

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also supports brain health by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. You may also enjoy reading '5 benefits of Turmeric'.


This naturally occurring phospholipid is found in high concentrations in brain cell membranes. It supports cognitive function, memory and attention by improving communication between brain cells.

Gotu Kola

This herb has been used in traditional medicine for its potential cognitive benefits. It's believed to improve memory, concentration and overall brain function.

Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol)

Pine bark extract contains antioxidants called proanthocyanidins, which are thought to support blood flow to the brain, potentially enhancing cognitive function and memory.

The best nootropic supplement

Nootropics offer a promising avenue for individuals seeking to enhance their cognitive abilities, memory and overall brain health. As we continue to uncover the mysteries of the human brain, nootropics may become an increasingly valuable tool in our quest for mental excellence. 

Brain Fuel® is the best nootropic formula to improve your memory, focus and cognitive performance. Brain Fuel® includes four nootropics: Ginkgo Biloba, BacoMind® (Bacopa Monnieri), Turmeric and Phosphatidylserine, as well as Zinc and B Vitamins, to help your brain perform at its best every day. A study of customers taking Brain Fuel® daily for 3 months showed they enjoyed:

*based on a user rating from month 0 to month 3, across 40 individuals.

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