What Are the Powerful Brain-Boosting Compounds Known as Nootropics?

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Nootropics, also known as “smart drugs” or “cognitive enhancers,” are a class of drugs or supplements that are used to improve cognitive function, such as memory, creativity, motivation, and attention. These substances have been gaining popularity in recent years, as they are thought to be able to enhance cognitive abilities, leading to improved performance in academics, business, and other areas of life. You likely have been using nootropics even without knowing as your morning cup of coffee can even be considered a nootropic. In this article, I want to provide a very basic intro to the huge world of nootropics.

Table of Contents

Types of Nootropics

Nootropics can be divided into two main categories: natural and synthetic. Natural nootropics include substances found in nature, such as caffeine, L-theanine, and omega-3 fatty acids. Synthetic nootropics are man-made compounds, such as piracetam and modafinil.  Just because a nootropic may be natural or just because one may be synthetic does not mean it is better or worse.  Nootropics can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  Some are going to boost energy and brain power in the short term, some are going to be more subtle in the short term but boost memory and cognition in the long term.  For example, a compound like modafinil is going to give your brain same-day long-lasting energy, focus, and increased motivation.  Whereas things like a choline supplement can be helpful in the long term for increasing memory and mental acuity, but might be more subtle in the short term. 

When discussing the types it is also important to discuss all the different situations that nootropics can be used for. They go past simply making you smarter or giving you energy.  They also can be highly beneficial for things like reducing social anxiety, helping you perform better in athletic competitions, and increasing performance during interviews or business presentations.  Nootropics can be used in situations all across the board, and should never be limited to just making you smarter.

The Various Pathways and Mechanisms of Action

The mechanism of action of nootropics is not fully understood, but it is believed that they work by increasing blood flow to the brain, altering the levels of neurotransmitters, or protecting the brain from damage.  Depending on the nootropic the pathway it works through varies.  There are so many different pathways through which we can build our brain that it can be a bit overwhelming, but I will list a few.  A few great pathways are reducing inflammation, raising dopamine, raising serotonin, increasing choline levels, increasing BDNF, and manipulating certain bioidentical hormones like growth hormone and insulin can be great nootropics as well.  Of course, not every pathway is going to be optimal for everyone, but with so many, you are sure to find one that works well for you.  It is important to do your proper research on things before beginning or finding a knowledgeable coach who can help you.  There are also many different possible pathways to fix one issue.  For example, anxiety can be fixed by using compounds that reduce inflammation, compounds that increase neuroplasticity, or compounds that increase certain transmitters like serotonin.  So it is important to understand all of your options before starting a certain protocol.


Locking in Lifestyle First

It is also important to note that while nootropics may be able to enhance cognitive abilities, they are not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, which includes proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep. If you do not have these fundamentals locked in, you cannot expect the nootropics to work as well as they should.  For example, if you are feeling tired throughout the day, but your sleep is not optimal then you cannot expect something like Semax to help give you energy and mental sharpness throughout the day.  Sleep in itself is a powerful nootropic and nearly all the research agrees that if you are not sleeping you are putting your brain at a serious disadvantage. 

If you are not eating properly, being active, and sleeping right you cannot get optimal results from nootropics.  Everything we do in our day can and will affect how well our brain functions.  With that though, finding the right nootropics like ones that help to boost our sleep can be helpful in optimizing our brains.


In conclusion, nootropics are a class of drugs or supplements that are used to improve cognitive function. They can be divided into natural and synthetic categories, and their mechanism of action is not fully understood. However, it is important to note that the long-term effects of these substances are not fully researched, and it is important to consult with a medical professional before starting any nootropic regimen. They should not be used as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Nootropics work through tons and tons of different and unique pathways which allow them to be used across all sorts of situations.  The situations they can be used for are essentially endless.  Everything from anxiety to creativity, to increasing athletic performance, can be done with nootropics.  In the complex world of nootropics, finding proper guidance for using these compounds is essential.



The information provided above is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek your physician’s advice or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have seen or read. We bear no responsibility or liability