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Wellness One-oh-Ones: Nootropics

by Hannah Smith

Welcome to the Wellness One-oh-Ones, a digital encyclopedia for all your wellness needs. This series is geared to tackle those everyday questions you secretly ask yourself in wonderment when you hear about a new trend. Instead of pretending to know what people are talking about, come hang with us as we uncover the latest and greatest in the wellness industry. Check back every other Wednesday to pick up your refill — no doctor’s signature required.

There’s nothing worse than a midday crash – out of nowhere you’re struggling to keep your eyes open, scrambling for any dose of caffeine, and longing for the day to be over. But what if there was something out there to prevent that from happening, while maintaining a healthy source of energy and focus throughout the day? Enter: nootropics, a class of compounds that all benefit cognitive function and overall. To get to the bottom of what exactly nootropics are and how they have such a well-rounded effect on our brains, we sat down with wellness brand, The Nue Co., who specialize in creating clean, well rounded dietary supplements – nootropics included. Keep reading to learn more about how to implement these super supplements into your routine.

What Are Nootropics? 

“Dubbed as ‘smart drugs,’ a nootropic is defined as something that can increase or aid cognitive function. The word nootropic was coined in 1972 by Romanian psychologist and chemist, Corneliu E. Giurgea, from the Greek ‘nous’ meaning mind, and ‘tropein’, meaning to bend or turn.” Turns out, there are tons of naturally occurring nootropics that we already know, as nootropics is really a word to describe any substance that can enhance cognitive function. Essential B vitamins such as B12 and B9, herbs such as Lion’s Mane mushroom, and common adaptogens such as Rhodelia Rosea are all naturally occurring nootropics that a handful of people already use on a regular basis, namely for their energetic benefits.

How Do Nootropics Work?

“When looking at cognitive health supplements, they fall into two distinct groups – they’re either instant effect, i.e. make you sharp, then leave you crashing down with no lasting effects. Or they’re a long-term commitment (read: years), with little indication of whether or not they’re working.” Individual nootropic ingredients can lend to individual reactions, so nootropics actually work best when stacked, meaning when a handful of nootropics are used together to try and create a cohesive experience. These blends are often referred to as “smart pills,” and are the most common way of consuming nootropics.

What Are the Benefits of Nootropics? 

Nootropics are known best for their cognitive benefits. Internally, nootropics can help increase brain frequencies, brain chemicals, and generally improve brain pathways and communication. In doing this, there are a few name benefits that consumers notice and for that reason, keep going back to nootropics.

Nootropics and Memory 

One of the primary reasons people can’t get enough of this category of supplements is because of the effect it has on memory. Nootropics increase brain health so that information you are consuming is stored in such a way that makes it easy to recall and much easier to retain information. Simply

Nootropics and Learning

Nootropics’ effects on learning is quite similar with that of memory – because information learned on a job or in class is stored better and is easier to recall and retain, the overall learning experience is easier and less tasking. 

Nootropics and Stress

Anything that reduces stress is something we love here at TCT, and nootropics definitely fall under that category. We might sound redundant at this point, but healthier brain function can lend to overall decreased stress and anxiety. Of course, some nootropics are better for this than others, so we suggest looking for blends that include rhodiola rosea, as “rhodiola is a powerful adaptogen which aids your body’s reaction to stress, whilst also reducing anxiety. A combined total of fifteen studies have concluded that rhodiola can positively impact both mental and physical performance, as well as increase attention to detail-oriented tasks by improving concentration”, like this one from The Nue Co.

Nootropics and Physical Activity

While most users dapple with nootropics for their brain, some use them to increase physical performance. Creatine is actually a naturally occurring nootropic, as well as a common pre-workout, so are we surprised that nootropics benefit the body? Nootropics can improve motivation, as well as focus, and users noticed that this increased motivation and focus made them beasts in the gym. If you’re looking for a gentle way to get your a** to the gym, this is it. 

Are There Any Known Side-Effects? 

“Nootropics have been in the shadows of the supplement world for a long time: home-blends, poor quality ingredients, and little regulation has led to a market sector full of mistrust and unsafe claims.” As this is becoming more regularly regulated, there are no current side effects to be aware of. The FDA does require a consumer to be 18 or older when purchasing nootropics, though.

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