What is a Natural Nootropic - Are They Better Than Smart Drugs?
This article will examine what a natural nootropic is, starting with a definition of nootropics and giving some examples of prominent natural nootropics.
It will also cover some of the benefits associated with natural nootropics, including the advantages that natural nootropics have over pharmaceutical ‘smart drugs’, and the beneficial effects natural nootropics can have.
If you're interested in this topic, you should also check out our Natural Nootropics vs Pharmaceutical Study Drugs? What Tim Ferris Says article.
What is a natural nootropic?
To understand what a ‘natural nootropic’ is, you must first understand what a ‘nootropic’ is.
The term nootropic was coined in the 1970s by Romanian psychologist Corneliu Giurgea and refers to substances that can improve cognitive function or other aspects of mental performance, such as concentration and motivation.
Nootropics might also be referred to as ‘smart pills’, ‘smart drugs’, ‘cognitive enhancers’, ‘brain supplements’, and many other names.
‘Natural nootropics’, also known as natural nootropic foods, are, as the name suggests, nootropics which contain only natural substances, such as superfoods, herbal ingredients, vitamins and minerals.
This is in contrast with pharmaceutical ‘smart drugs’, which use drugs or medication like Modafinil to produce nootropic effects.
The term ‘natural nootropic’ refers to cognitive enhancers like BrainZyme, Nootrobox’s Kado 3, or Optimind (these are known as natural nootropic stacks), or their component ingredients such as Panax ginseng or Ginkgo Biloba.
‘Natural nootropics’ are very diverse and may use many different ingredients which form a nootropic ‘stack’ when combined. (‘Stack’ is just a word for a mix of ingredients, natural or pharmaceutical, intended to work together to produce a stronger nootropic effect.)
Benefits of natural nootropics: pills to help you concentrate?
The primary benefit associated with ‘natural nootropics’ is that they can provide strong nootropic effects, without the need to use pharmaceuticals. Natural nootropic pills can help concentration, motivation and many other important aspects of cognition.
Pharmaceutical nootropics are frequently unsafe, illegal or under-researched, so it’s important to be very careful with their use.
Natural nootropics help concentration and mental performance without the same kinds of risks while remaining very effective. This is thanks to their reliance on more natural substances, which means they work synergistically with your body.
In addition, many ‘natural nootropics’, or ingredients they contain, have been used for hundreds of years. For example, caffeine is used in some natural nootropic pills to help concentration and has been used to enhance cognition since the 15th century.
‘Natural nootropics’ are thus 'tried and tested' for human consumption over long periods, and are generally less likely to cause severe or unforeseen side effects - we wouldn't have eaten or drunk those substances otherwise
Another benefit of 'natural nootropic' ingredients being comparatively old is that they tend to be well researched by modern science.
A Google search for “theanine + cognition” or “choline + cognition” will return dozens of scientific and medical resources and research papers detailing the positive effects these substances can have, which is only enhanced when they are included alongside other ingredients in natural pills to help concentration.
This scientific validity indicates that ‘natural nootropics’ are not ‘weaker’ than synthetic nootropics at all. In many instances, ‘natural nootropics’ provide strong nootropic effects, with increases to productivity and focus on par with a pharmaceutical ‘smart drug’ like Modafinil*.
‘Natural nootropics’ generally have fewer perceptible negative effects in comparison with 'smart drugs', in that they generally do not cause restlessness or over-activity as can happen often with synthetic nootropics.
'Natural nootropics' are thus more useful as long-term pills to help concentration, as they can increase overall productivity, motivation and focus without the drawbacks commonly associated with pharmaceutical ‘smart drugs’.
Another important benefit is the fact that many natural nootropics formulas are legal for sale in Britain, which contrasts with most pharmaceutical ‘smart drugs’.
This is because natural-sourced ingredients are not controlled under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, which made most pharmaceutical ‘smart drugs’ illegal to sell, and illegal to possess in some cases.
As a result, ‘natural nootropics’ are more well-regulated, as they can be sold openly and from within the UK. This, in general, makes ‘natural nootropics’ safer than pharmaceutical nootropics, as you lower your risk of purchasing an adulterated product.
However, use caution as some ‘natural nootropics’ aren’t cleared for sale in the UK. For example, products containing bacopa monnieri should be avoided, as this herb is prohibited by the MHRA.
In addition, as there is a growing awareness of pharmaceutical ‘smart drugs’, there may be an increased incidence of drug testing in workplaces, academic institutions or sporting events to try and control their use.
‘Natural nootropics’ will not run afoul of these tests, as they do not use drugs to produce their effects, making them a far better option for a sportsperson, student or worker who wants to use a nootropic but is conscious of the risks inherent in using an unprescribed drug.
And, on a very practical level, many ‘natural nootropics’ are more affordable than their pharmaceutical counterparts. Some highly effective ‘natural nootropics’ can be priced as low as £9.95 for 30 capsules, while the same number of Modafinil tablets can cost around £39.99 - almost four times the price.
This is an important concern, particularly for a student or working professional, especially when you add up the cost over months of consumption.
What can natural nootropics do?
As mentioned earlier, ‘natural nootropics’ can help you concentrate, give you motivation, and help your alertness. They can help you work at your best, for much longer than would otherwise be possible.
As a result, ‘natural nootropics’ can help you get more done; they might make you feel good doing it too, as many ‘natural nootropics’ encourage the release of dopamine.
In addition, it’s quite possible that a ‘natural nootropic’ could help you deal with pressure. Many people use ‘natural nootropics’ that help with high-pressure situations when going into job interviews, prior to exams, or another stressful time and find that they’re able to think more clearly.
As a result, they are able to process the experience more effectively and respond in a better way, which leads to a more satisfactory outcome for them.
‘Natural nootropics’ are also able to improve your mood. In some instances, the extensive nutrients that a ‘natural nootropic’ provides can improve your mood.
This can often be useful if you’re working intensely for a long time - as you may not be eating so well, a ‘natural nootropic’ in this instance can cover some of your brain’s nutritional requirements and simultaneously make you happier while working.
Natural nootropic memory boosters
In addition to their aforementioned benefits, you might be surprised to learn that natural nootropics are also able to help with memory. Some natural nootropics, such as BrainZyme Professional, are able to support memory. They can help you keep important information in your mind while supporting your brain health with nootropic foods.
Other ways to support or improve your memory include aerobic exercise, adequate sleep (7.5 - 9 hours), keeping time to de-stress, and taking up new hobbies that stimulate the brain such as playing an instrument or learning a foreign language. All of these will help you keep your memory healthy!
‘Natural nootropics’ are a very effective way to get a boost to your brain, without the risks associated with a pharmaceutical ‘smart drug’. ‘Natural nootropics’ are often as effective, or more effective, than a pharmaceutical ‘smart drug’, as ‘natural nootropics’ can enhance cognition while avoiding side-effects like restlessness or jitters.
In addition to this, ‘natural nootropics’ are much safer and more likely to be legal than a pharmaceutical ‘smart drug’ and can have highly useful effects such as improving performance under pressure.
If you'd like to learn more about BrainZyme, our recommended natural nootropic, please click here.
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