Drinking a nutritional supplement to support your brain function sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but it's not just found on the silver screen. There is a wide range of cognitive enhancers, including natural ingredients, intended to boost your brainpower.
These substances are called nootropics, meaning “to bend or shape the mind” in Greek. What benefits can nootropics offer and how can they improve your executive functions like memory, creativity, and motivation?
What are the Different Categories of Nootropics?
There are two different categories of nootropics: prescription, or chemical, and over the counter, or natural. Prescription nootropics are medications that produce stimulant effects, such as those used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Like all prescription medications, prescription nootropics have some side effects and should not be taken without a valid prescription and under a doctor's supervision.
"Over-the-counter" nootropics include herbs, brain support supplements, and other more natural substances, such as:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Ginkgo biloba
- Panax ginseng
- Pyrroloquinoline quinone, or PQQ
Many people prefer "over-the-counter" nootropics due to the convenience of getting them without a prescription, as well as them being more natural. Even though these smart supplements are available in supplement form, it’s always wise to discuss any changes with your doctor.
The Benefits of Nootropics
There are countless potential benefits to taking nootropics, including:
- Improved memory
- Strengthened focus
- Enhanced cognitive function
- Increased alertness
- Protection against brain aging
- Better reasoning skills
- Less mental fatigue and brain fog
- Faster reaction time
Because of these benefits, nootropics are ideal for people who want to increase their productivity, think clearly, manage stress more effectively, or improve their ability to focus on one task at a time.
How Do Nootropics Work?
These brain-boosting benefits sound like a dream come true, but how exactly do nootropics work? The answer to this question varies depending on the type of nootropic you’re using.
For example, caffeine is one of the most common nootropics. This substance prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep, from binding to receptors on neurons in your brain. Adenosine will not make you feel drowsy if it can’t bind to these receptors. This is why you feel more awake and alert after consuming a caffeinated beverage.
Many nootropics, including PQQ, support cognitive function by increasing circulation to certain parts of the brain, such as the cerebral cortex. NeuroFactor®, on the other hand, works by increasing the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. This protein promotes the growth and maintenance of healthy nerve cells and plays an important role in learning and memory.
Establishing a daily routine is key to seeing results regardless of which nootropic you choose. This is because most natural nootropics work cumulatively, which means they produce the best results when taken daily.
Did you know you can get the benefits of nootropics without taking a single pill? Help boost your brainpower with a MANTRA Labs RISE wellness drink. This nootropic drink powder contains NeuroFactor® and PQQ to improve your focus and overall cognitive function. Unlike other nootropics, RISE won’t cause the jitters or the dreaded midafternoon crash. Mix it into a smoothie or 12 to 24 ounces of water for a delicious and energizing start to your morning!