Nootropics, also known as cognitive enhancers are a supplement class widely recognized for enhancing focus, brain power and memory. Not too many people know of all the qualifications for a drug to be called Nootropic. One such lesser known qualification is that a drug should be considered very safe to use and should be non-toxic for human brain to be deemed as a Nootropic. Without knowing this many people worry about using cognitive enhancers.
Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea’s original standards for nootropics states that Nootropics must actually promote and guard brain health. Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea is the founder of founder of a family of Nootropics. For the reason mentioned above, numerous smart drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin failed to reach the standards and wouldn’t qualify.
Supplements such as: Piracetam, Noopept, Aniracetam, CDP Choline and many more qualify as Nootropic drugs, many studies have been conducted (perhaps some only in Europe and the former Soviet Union) to make sure they are relatively safe for consumption and have a low adverse side effects in humans.
While there are many nutritional supplements available in market today, nootropics have proven as the safest of all–perhaps by definition. The Neuroprotective properties in Nootropics might delay the symptoms of aging on brain and stop cognitive decline among senior citizens. Many of Nootropics offer anti-oxidant effects while they also help preserve the structures that are in the brain cells.
It is observed that some Nootropics may help increase NGF and boost Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor levels and support the growth of the new neurons and connections between them. Nootropics are currently being used for clinical researches for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s along with many other medical conditions. It is also observed that most of these Nootropics don’t have any known complications or drug interactions with the current health conditions of the patients.
The signs of rising tolerance among the patients who were using Nootropics are not observed and also getting addicted to Nootropics in the long term does not seem too risky, unless if you are considering things like Picamilon a healthy nootropic to take daily. Although using Nootropics is considered to be safe, it is advised to consult a medical professional before using them. Make sure you go in with a detailed stats report (printed from our site) especially if you want to supplement nootropics like Piracetam and other’s that are not actively prescribed especially in North America. In Europe you be okay as you can request the branded version of these “supplements” which are considered drugs, e.g. Piracetam is sold under the trademark “Nootropil”.
Nootropics are widely used for their ability in improving cognition and for its promise to a very small risk of the side effects; the popularity of Nootropics is expected to rise in the next ten years (don’t believe us? just check Google Trends). If you have decided to use Nootropics, it is an advisable idea to get yourself familiarize with few of the mild side effects and possible experiences. The side effects of Nootropics are rare and generally occur when the doses you are consuming are higher than normal or when you’re initially adjusting to the supplement. In such cases, few of the probable adverse side effects include Fatigue, Insomnia, Anxiety, Headaches and GI tract issues. Sign up to TrackMyStack to monitor the effects of each individual supplement you decide to add to your stack to monitor changes, for better or for worse.
Nootropics & Headaches
Headaches are a generally reported side effects in the patients who consuming Nootropics (Mainly Racetams, such as Piracetam). When using Nootropics, your brain processes information faster than usual and demands extra Acetylcholine than usual, thus giving you a headache.
This causes Acetylcholine receptor sites to start “burning” out. It’s observed that this kind of synaptic overdrive could lead to headaches. Luckily enough, the headaches caused by this situation can be easily acted upon. Adding a quality dose of Choline (Alpha GPC is the best choice among many) to your stack will counteract the headaches. Choline acts like precursor to acetylcholine and helps to safely raise its supply. Choline helps satisfy brain’s need for Acetylcholine and gives relief from the headaches.
Nootropics & Fatigue/Insomnia
Most Nootropics are generally capable of boosting energy levels along with increasing alertness but sometimes this may lead to two conflicting side effects: Insomnia and Fatigue. Awake, yet tired.
In situations like these where Nootropics are taken near bedtime, Insomnia is observed as the mind is active and thus fails to fall asleep. Once you sleep, you may end up waking up looking tired as you may sense that you aren’t sleeping well. So, it is important to watch the time when the dose is being taken. It is the same reason we don’t advise anyone take things like coffee or Adrafinil past 2PM. Based on anecdotal evidence, you may get sleep but it may feel like the equivalent of “passing out”, additionally, you may sleep for a few hours less, thus you may not get the restful sleep you may need to recover completely. Sleep by far- outperforms any nootropic in terms of improving cognition.
Some Nootropics however may work better in promoting sleep, such as: melatonin (1g cycled weekly, it is a helpful hormone for the body as well, and is not just for sleep, go for a slow and fast release version), L-Theanine and Inositol are some of the supplements that promote healthy restful sleep. If you need to “come down” from your stimulating nootropic high, consider tea such as Chamomile and Magnesium (not necessarily nootropic–though it can be if L-Threonate is used, but promotes relaxation and is lacking in most diets and thus useful for your whole body as well).
Fatigue occurs when one takes an excessive dose of alertness prompting Nootropics and then starts to burn out. The best solution to this may be to reduce the dose or spreading it out over a few administrations in a day. If Fatigue persists, you should consider pausing the use of your supplement for a week or consider moving to another Nootropic altogether. You need to be always managing your risk vs reward, when it comes to any supplement or drug.
Nootropics & GI Tract Issues
Generally, when an excessive dosage is consumed, your intestinal system can experience difficulty. In such situations, the body might perceive it as risk and simply remove the unnecessary material. This removal may lead to irritation and may lead to diarrhea, nausea or pain and uneasiness in the GI tract and stomach.
Decreasing the dose you’ve been consuming can be a simple cure for side effect involving GI tract. Using the recommended level of the dose is always suggested. When the remedy for GI tract side effect doesn’t work then it is recommended not to use the supplements for a while until the side effect resolve — or if it’s urgent, consult a physician. Another solution to GI tract related side effects is to take an extra concentrated Nootropic such as Noopept which only requires small dose and therefore your gastro intestinal system will not require much processing.
Other Possible Nootropic Side Effects:
Every Nootropic supplement contains its own unique way of functioning and hence may cause it’s distinctive side effect. Whichever the supplement you use, take a look at the safety profile and learn about the risk of side effects it may cause. Apart from the major side effects discussed above, additional side effects you may observe from the Nootropic supplements are restlessness, anxiety, depression, mood disorders and nervousness.
Although side effects are listed, the possibility of occurrence of these side effects could be rare. Additionally some nootropics may also cause skin irritation, rashes, lightheadedness and high blood pressure. These side effects are usually associated with consuming Nootropics in excessively high dosages.
Side effects usually occur in a very small percentage of the total users while the majority users might never experience anything, everyone’s biology and body works differently. If you feel like something is not right, stop consumption and seek a health professional. When recommended guidelines are not followed or combining different supplements it may lead to the additional side effects aforementioned. If you follow the guidelines and recommended dose, Nootropics offer plenty of advantages with a very low threat of side effects.