The term “nootropics” is a catch-all term for smart drugs, nutrients, and plant extracts which can provide various health benefits. The key difference between nootropics and pharmaceutical drugs is that nootropics are characterized by being non-addictive and less prone to side effects. Additionally, nootropic drugs tend to have subtle benefits that build over time, rather than the harsh and immediate effects that you might expect from something like Adderall.
When you start taking nootropics, the mind-body connection may start to become increasingly apparent to you. Nootropics are used by weightlifters and academics alike and many people realize that physical fitness and mental health are inseparable in many ways. A prime example of this connection is yoga – a discipline which directly tests your concentration, stamina, and willpower. If you are lacking in focus you may find it difficult to hold the correct form, even if you have plenty of endurance.
Many people separate the mind from the body as if they were a separate process, but the reality is that these are one and the same. This can be summed up by the statement that the mind is not merely a reflection of brain health but also the totality of physical health. After all, the nervous system extends throughout the entire body. Emotions can arise in specific areas such as the chest, gut, or forehead. When you can stabilize the body, the mind performs better, and vice versa.
Many physical activities require concentration, fine motor control, and planning. It comes as no surprise that enhancing cognition through the use of nootropics can improve performance in this regard. Even something as simple as deadlifting weights requires more than just physical strength – it requires the cooperation of nearly every muscle group, which can take a lot of cognitive effort to achieve.
How Nootropics Can Benefit You
In order to truly benefit from nootropics, it helps to recognize what you want to gain from them. Do you want to enhance focus and memory? Improve your creativity? Raise energy levels and motivation?
There are a lot of different nootropics and many of them have more than one use. It takes a bit of patience to experiment and determine what works best for you and your own unique circumstances. Fortunately, many nootropics serve a general-purpose and can benefit you in almost any situation.
The smart drug phenylpiracetam, for instance, is typically used as a general-purpose performance enhancer. It has the unique ability to improve psychomotor ability, increase energy levels, and improve cognition and mental activity. In my own experiences, I have used it for writing projects, brainstorming, weightlifting, and socializing all with equal efficacy. Interestingly, phenylpiracetam illustrates the connection between mental and physical activity quite well, as it tends to improve performance in both physical and mental domains in a very real way.
There are also herbal nootropics which tend to have a wide range of properties that affect everyone differently. Ashwagandha, an herb native to India, has been used to reduce stress, and for improving energy and motivation. Depending on the individual physiology of the individual, they may experience different benefits at different times. This is one of the key properties of many herbal nootropics – they tend to have somewhat nonspecific effects that don’t tweak your physiology in an aggressive and unsustainable manner.
Another popular nootropic is alpha-gpc. Alpha-gpc is a naturally-occurring nutrient that has some very interesting properties. At first, it was commonly only sought after college students for its ability to greatly improve various aspects of memory, however recent research has demonstrated it to be much more than that. It has been shown to increase power output during physical exercise, and can even modestly increase levels of human growth hormone. This is just the latest cutting-edge research and more effects may be discovered as more human studies are conducted.
Some Caveats on Nootropics Use
Nootropics are not a replacement for high-quality sleep, healthy eating, and regular exercise. They are best used to give you an extra 10% when you are already operating at maximum performance. It’s best to manage expectations and not think that nootropics will completely change your life. It’s important to be patient and experiment over time so that you can figure out which nootropics may help you the most.
Once you figure out the best nootropics for you, it’s very likely that you’ll begin to see the mind-body connection that I’ve been describing. It’s simply inaccurate to think that nootropics are only for intellectual tasks such as studying or researching. On the contrary, almost every physical activity we do originates from conscious mental activity, and so it’s very useful to improve your cognitive ability in just about every situation.
Written by: Jacob Streeter
My name is Jacob and I’m passionate about personal growth and development. I’ve been experimenting and researching nootropics for over 5 years and have found great benefit from them. If you’d like to learn more about nootropics, please visit my nootropics website.