To begin with, let’s look at the meaning of these two terms; Nootropics and Cognitive enhancers. They are normally used interchangeably but “Nootropics” normally has a more restrictive definition. It is important to note that all Nootropics are cognitive enhancers but not all cognitive enhancers are Nootropics. Here is the difference; cognitive enhancers are any substances that enhance cognitive functioning such as increasing one’s concentration levels, learning and memory.
However, Nootropics apart from doing the above should be neuroprotective and non-toxic
Other scholars put it this way; cognitive enhancers are a little known class of supplements and drugs that increase the brain’s performance on vital intellectual measurements. They are also known smart drugs and often referred to as Nootropics by scientists.
Examples of True Nootropics
A myriad of natural supplements qualify to be Nootropics, some of these are natural vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Some include Taurine supplements which were largely used by traditional herbalists to improve memory. Others such as Geniux is made up of ingredients 100% natural. Geniux has an advanced brain formula that will boost your brain performance by enhancing your ability to focus, thus ensuring a smarter and sharper mind. Green is also said to contain Nootropic compound I-theanine which is known to impart a state of relaxed concentration. So, how do these Nootropics and cognitive enhancers work? Are they both effective and safe?
How Nootropics Enhance the Brain
Nootropics have different ways in which they keep your brain healthy and functioning; these ways largely depend on the type of the Nootropic
– They improve the blood flow to the brain thus increasing the amount of energy, oxygen and other nutrients reaching the brain cells. This is common with Ginkgo rich supplements
– They help build healthy brain cell membranes to facilitate in keeping off invaders like toxins and pathogens; this is best done by Citicoline rich supplements. Others like Huperzine A stimulate the formation of healthy brand new brain cells. It is a compound that is usually extracted from Chinese club moss.
– Herbal Nootropics like curcumin are potent antioxidants that protect sensitive brain cells from free radical damages.
– Other Nootropics like Bacopa monnieri balance brain chemicals and reduce cortisol which is the stress hormone
– We have omega 3 fatty acids which are very important in building blocks of brain cells.
Are Nootropics and Cognitive Enhancers Harmful?
It goes without saying that before taking in new substance it is crucial that you know the probable side effects or other health complications that may come with it. As said earlier in this article, in order for any cognitive enhancer to be termed a Nootropics, it should be non-toxic and safe to use. Side effects are not very common with Nootropics and when they occur, they tend to be mild in nature. Most common side effects include fatigue, insomnia and headache which can be combated easily.
With that said, you should, however, purchase these supplements with utmost caution. This is because brain and memory supplements of late have become a very big business and there is little or no regulation of the term “Nootropic” anymore.
So do not take everything you read on the label as the gospel truth. Know all the facts about a particular cognitive enhancer or Nootropic before using it. Remember it’s your brain at stake, your most valuable asset.