What Exactly Are Nootropics And Are They Safe?

You ever catch yourself googling something for work and then next thing you know you’ve spent 20 minutes watching YouTube? Or how about struggling to stay calm when your Zoom meeting doesn’t work. And what about the nights where you try to get to bed early but can’t fall asleep because all the thoughts are running a marathon in your head. 

As humans, these moments are common. A lack of focus and sleep, stress, and low energy—Four feelings that can make for a crappy day. 

The good news is that there are a lot of resources to help us cope with these. And one option that has gained a lot of popularity is taking natural supplements. In a recent survey, 77% of Americans say they consume dietary supplements—With adults between the ages of 35-54 using dietary supplements the most at 81%. 

But, with so many holistic dietary supplements on the market, it can be a struggle to figure out what ingredients are safe and what really works.

The last thing you want to do is start taking medication or a natural supplement that isn't safe or effective. So how do you know what really works?

Let's start with nootropics. 

Nootropics are widely known and marketed as brain-boosting supplements to help with a variety of conditions and health issues. Some ingredients often found in nootropics have been used for thousands of years.

You have probably used one before, without even realizing it. 

What are nootropic supplements?

The word nootropic was first used by a Romanian psychologist and chemist, Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, in 1964. Nootropic stems from two Greek words: Noos, which means mind, and Tropos, meaning to bend or turn.

In short, nootropics are a substance (often found in supplements or prescribed medication) that are cognitive enhancers and may improve brain function. Dr. Giurgea discovered nootropics when he tried to create a new sleeping pill. Instead of producing the pill, he accidentally developed a brain-boosting supplement.

According to Dr. Giuregea, for a substance to be classified as a nootropic, it must do one of 5 things:

  1. Improve your memory
  2. Improve your behavior, specifically in adverse situations
  3. Protect the brain from injury by chemical or physical means
  4. Improve tonic cortical/subcortical control mechanisms
  5. Have minimal side effects and demonstrate low toxicity 

So, nootropics are commonly found ingredients that enhance brain function, improve focus, improve mood, decrease brain fog, boost performance levels, and more. Although there are prescription nootropics available, such as Adderall or Ritalin, we focus on natural ingredients found in nootropics.

What natural nootropics actually work?

A popular nootropic that you may take every day without even realizing it is caffeine. 

 Caffeine is considered a nootropic because it stimulates the brain, which helps you feel alert and focused, and boosts energy levels. If you wake up feeling unmotivated and groggy, you likely have a coffee (or two) to start your day. It's also one of the central ingredients in our Better Energy formulation.

Some examples of popular and effective nootropics include:

  1.  L-Theanine: This amino acid is found in a variety of dietary supplements to help relieve stress and anxiety. L-Theanine boosts GABA levels in the brain, which promotes relaxation. This aids in staying calm in stressful situations, lowering anxiety levels, and falling asleep quickly. L-Theanine also helps to reduce the side effects of caffeine.
  2. Ginseng: Ginseng is an ancient herbal plant that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. As a nootropic, ginseng improves brain function, including memory, mood, and behavior. When added to our Better Focus formulation, ginseng promotes feelings of calmness as well.
  3. Holy Basil: Holy Basil is another plant that has been used for centuries because of its excellent health benefits. We've added this herb to the Better Calm supplement, as it improves brain function, reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, enhances memory, promotes relaxation, and more.
  4. Mucuna Proteins: This nootropic is also known as velvet beans, and it is found in many natural energy supplements. It is a topical legume that contains high levels of L-Dopa, which is the precursor to dopamine (the happiness hormone.) Mucuna has been essential in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. As a nootropic, it reduces feelings of anxiety and stress, improves focus, balances mood, and promotes productivity levels.
  5. Magnesium: Magnesium is an excellent nootropic. It has many incredible health benefits that include: promoting relaxation in the body, helping to alleviate stress, and supporting and enhancing brain function. It may even help protect against mental illness and neurological disorders.

Why take nootropics?

There are many reasons why people choose to take nootropics. They're safe, effective, and the best part is that you don't need to take nootropic supplements every day for them to work.

Think about it. If you have a big project for school or a last-minute deadline for work, you need to focus quickly! Try a nootropic such as our Better Focus supplement that contains caffeine, ginseng, and L-Theanine. Feel that brain fog fade away as you become more alert and motivated to get things done.

 Or, try Better Energy for mornings when you need that extra boost of energy. With caffeine and carefully formulated amino acids, you will have mental clarity and feel your physical energy levels rise.

Are nootropics safe?

Yes! They are not mind-altering substances that make you do impossible things (like the movie Limitless). Nootropic supplements are safe when used in regulated formulas. There are typically very few adverse side effects from nootropics, and it depends on what you take.  For example, side effects from coffee as a nootropic may include jitteriness after drinking, and a slight comedown of energy after the caffeine has worn off.

If you are wondering which nootropics to take, always do your research first. Make sure that you are taking nootropics from a trusted, reputable brand. Read through the ingredients of any supplement before taking it and start with small doses to see how your body reacts. 

At Synergic, we know the struggle of finding a simple, but effective, natural supplement that really works.

That's why we use a unique blend of amino acids and vitamins, with only the best ingredients, to improve mental and physical health.

Whether you need help focusing, staying calm, maintaining energy levels, or getting a good night's rest, we have a supplement for you.

Learn more about holistic supplements on our blog.