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What are Nootropics?

Coming from the Greeks meaning 'to bend or shape the mind' also known as smart drugs -- these compounds help to enhance brain function in a natural, clean and safe way, as opposed to other not-so-safe brain stimulants like Adderall and LSD, who's side effects can include insomnia, hallucinations, seizures, and heart problems.


Nootropics have been shown to increase productivity, are ideal for high pressure brain work like studying and taking exams, can boost someone's social abilities by increasing your confidence, extroversion and conversational skills.

In order to be labeled as a nootropic, the substance must fit this criteria:

  • Enhance memory and learning ability.

  • Assist brain function and protect the brain from chemical and physical toxins like anticholinergic drugs and barbiturates.

  • Increases natural cognitive processes.

  • Must be non-toxic to humans.

Nootropics act on:

  • serotonin to increase your mood, acts on dopamine to help with the influx of information your brain is receiving

  • glutamate to enhance your natural energy, memory and learning capabilities

  • norepinephrine to help control your stress levels and decrease your fight or flight response AKA your sympathetic nervous system.

In the short term, you may notice improvements in your ability to:

  • focus attention

  • organize scatter thoughts

  • recall and retain information

  • form clear sentences


Nootropics do carry risks because they do act on certain hormones and the brain chemistry directly. People can become addicted to them due to their enhanced neurological effects;

people can have a placebo reaction vs. a true clinical neurological benefit; they can use a negative reaction or no reaction depending on individual neurology responses to the supplement; they can cause social issues again, depending on individual neurology responses; and sometimes, we are just unsure what someone's reaction/response to the supplement can be.

Click the photo to see more about the possible risks with nootropics.

If you're interested in trying these for yourself, Thesis is a nootropic brand that has benefits for long-term brain health. Though you may not be able to feel their effects right away, it does not mean they are not working. In the long term, nootropics:

  • protect against oxidative stress by acting as an antioxidant, which aids in the structural integrity and function of neurons throughout the life

  • increase cerebral blood flow to ensure proper cell metabolism

  • maintains neurotransmitter activity to prevent neuronal atrophy

You can get the benefits of nootropics in many adaptogenic products like lions mane, cordyceps, rhodiola, and ginseng. Two brands that I fully endorse and take regularly that contain these are @curednutrition (code SARAHLIZ) and @foursigmatics .


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