Updated: Mar 27, 2021
Nootropics don’t treat dumb
“When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche,
COREY BOUTWELL 27/03/2021
Nootropic Simple Definition = Forward Mind
To find the right nootropics for you it is first most important to understand how your own brain chemicals work and knowing your personality and lifestyle enough so you can choose the correct nootropics for you.
Nootropics can essentially be drugs so this is of most importance.
Number One: complete the Braverman test here: https://www.bravermantest.com/. This test will help you realise what chemicals your brain runs off your can find more about it by listening to the podcast here: https://www.muscleintelligence.com/18-2/
Number Two: Complete this personality test: https://www.16personalities.com/
Number Three: DO YOUR RESEARCH! You can do your in-depth research on these two links:
Nootropics AKA Smart Drugs definition:
Nootropic Simple Definition = Forward Mind
Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and other substances that are claimed to improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals. While many substances are purported to improve cognition, research is at a preliminary stage as of 2021, and the effects of the majority of these agents are not fully determined.
Nootropics are also commonly known as cognitive enhancers meaning a greater ability to acquire knowledge and understanding thought through mental actions, experiences or experiences through the senses.
Why Use Nootropics
It’s important to know that nootropics may be a relatively new term however natural ones have been used for 1000’s of years.
It is also important to know that nootropics are not just supps, pills, and liquid blends.
Nootropics have been used since ancient times as rituals and ceremonies and were often a way of life simply through eating food, diet, and drinks.
Alot of the time nootropics and blends of nootropics were added to daily diet and routine.
They have also been used by ancient herbalists, traditional Chinese medicine masters, etc in order for different users from healing to optimisation and learning (coffee, green tea and matcha, Chinese herbs and ayurvedic medicine are good examples of this).
WHAT DO THEY DO
The term "nootropics" first referred to chemicals that met very specific criteria. But now it's used to refer to any natural or synthetic substance that may have a positive impact on mental skills. In general, nootropics fall into three general categories:
The research is still inconclusive on exactly how the drugs work to stimulate the mind, but early research indicates they may act on a variety of different systems within the body simultaneously. One explanation is that they may increase blood flow to the brain, which allows the brain to use more oxygen. (You can use a NOS booster like beetroot extract for this instead).
Some nootropics may raise the body’s adrenaline levels and produce effects similar to drinking large amounts of caffeine, which means people can stay awake for extended periods of time.
Some drugs increase the number of certain chemicals (neurotransmitters) such as dopamine, which are released in the part of the brain associated with dependence.
IMPORTANT: Nootropics work simultaneously using different brain and body chemical pathways.
It is important to know which nootropic you want to use and when.
It is also important to know that when using a Type 1 nootropic that you are borrowing from tomorrow's energy if you do not facilitate the experience effectively or carefully.
As you may be aware your neurotransmitters, stomach bacteria, and genetics are completely different from everyone else.
Therefore, different nootropics and blends will affect you differently than everyone else.
Hence, it is so important to use a single nootropic to find out what works best for you and then slowly add in other single nootropics together in blends that work best for you in order to get optimal results.
Overall: find the best single nootropics that work best for you prior to using or combining blends.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR
Like sugar, coffee gives you a temporary energy boost, but it can deplete dopamine in the long run. Minimize coffee consumption or switch to decaf to counter dopamine deficiency.
Magnesium deficiency can lower dopamine levels, and experts estimate over half of Americans don’t get enough magnesium from their diet.
Common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:
salt or carbohydrate cravings
high blood pressure
The antioxidants contained in vitamins like C and E protect brain neurons that use dopamine. Eating or supplementing with the right vitamin nutrients for you can help protect neurons from free-radical damage and ensure an ample supply of key nutrients needed for healthy cognitive function. Omega 3's are also essential for this too.
Peak mental performance begins with good nutrition.
The brain requires an extensive amount of a wide range of micronutrients for proper cognitive functioning.
Without the right amount of these essential nootropic vitamins and minerals, our cognitive power can fade, while overall brain health weakens.
Poor self-regulation can destroy you
Poor self-regulation can result in weakness of will and the classic negative reinforcement of giving in to feel good.
Self-regulation is essential. Reflecting, journaling, knowing about yourself mentally, knowing how your body and brain works, knowing how your emotions work, your moods, your brain chemistry, your impulses & urges, and your personality can influence your life.
If you do not partake in any self-regulation exercises or activities then experimenting with nootropics that can influence your neurotransmitters is quite frankly…..dangerous.
High performers and those who partake in self-development and self-regulation who are willing to track and be responsible for their own biology are the best people to take advantage of this.
Self-regulation failure may manifest as:
In hindsight, get your shit together then crush it.
Be Aware of the Overall Neuroexcitatory Effect. This effect relates to the feeling of pure mental stimulus. The best nootropics for high performance are not the ones that make you feel awake, they are the ones that allow you to get into your high memory, learning, and decision-making brain for long periods of time.
These nootropics are a good blend of being healthy, using fasting, eating quality fats, using NOS boosters, and then mindfully adding in some healthy nootropics staying away from the too excitatory type ones.
The following study quotes: “This review explains how the main classes of cognitive-enhancing drugs affect the learning and memory circuits and highlights the potential risks and concerns in healthy individuals, particularly juveniles and adolescents. We emphasize the performance enhancement at the potential cost of brain plasticity that is associated with the neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain.”
Sometimes nootropics can simply be too much especially for the development and neuroplasticity of the brain. These largely relate to synthetic nootropics like modafinil and Ritalin, not the natural herbal ones.
The following study quotes “Our objective is to raise awareness among physicians in general and psychiatrists and addiction specialists in particular of the potentially dangerous phenomenon of unsupervised nootropic use among young adults who may be especially vulnerable to nootropics’ negative effects.”
NOOTROPICS DON’T DO ANYTHING
Before even using nootropics, it is of MOST importance to get your brain and body at peak performance and neuroplasticity first.
Give your mind and body the best chance possible to get after it and feel amazing, then add natural nootropics on top.
Otherwise, nootropics are like putting a soggy bandaid over a wound and potentially infecting it and making it worse. But you think the wound is okay because you put a shitty soggy bandaid on it… analogy/10.
This is what happens when people feel like they NEED coffee or drugs etc.
When you know you do not NEED any of these things, you feel great, you can get into high-performance flows at least once a day. If you eat, sleep, drink, move and hydrate well then now it is time to start experimenting with these bad boys.
Possible Stimulant Drawbacks
The true benefits of stimulants for attention are often short-lived, followed by a reliable, fast-acting crash. Some stimulant benefits may even degenerate into harsh, long-term side effects when engaged too frequently.
BRAIN NEUROCHEMICALS & PATHWAYS
The 5 Main Pathways Are:
The neurotransmitter Acetylcholine (ACh) plays a leading role in alertness, focus, memory, and mood. ACh also contributes to neuroplasticity that supports the long-term potentiation needed to form long-term memory. And for a healthy, optimized brain.
Acetylcholine cannot be taken as a supplement. You can only provide the fuel for it from food, liquid, or a supp which is known as choline to your body and brain so that your brain can convert it to Acetylcholine.
Choline is found naturally in eggs, liver, beef, salmon, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and breast milk. Eggs are often considered “brain food” because they supply high amounts of choline.
Choline is needed by your body for liver function, normal brain function, and development, nerve function, muscle movement, cellular energy, and metabolism.
Choline assists in methylation involved in genetic expression and the repair of DNA, nerve signaling, and detoxification.
Choline benefits cognition by supporting memory and learning, attention and focus, brain energy, brain regeneration, and muscular performance.
Choline is one the best supporters for brain enhancement for cognition and is best acquired through food, however, there are some supps that provide an extra boost for this.
Nicotine receptors are also linked to acetylcholine receptors and the majority of other nootropics also activate these pathways, mostly, natural nootropics.
Adenosine is essentially your sleepy time chemicals and pathways. Caffeine’s primary role is to block adenosine as adenosine essentially reduces the activity of Type 1 dopamine allowing your brain to feel tired.
However, the body adenosine helps make up ATP and ADP
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the source of energy for use and storage at the cellular level meaning, it allows you to spend energy like performing a bench press, ADP is the molecule left after energy excursion that essentially needs some recharging.
In the brain adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This means adenosine can act as a central nervous system depressant. In normal conditions, it promotes sleep and suppresses arousal. When awake the levels of adenosine in the brain rise each hour.
Protecting your adenosine or using supplements to increase adenosine after using stimulating nootropics can be beneficial.
As caffeine blocks adenosine it can prevent you from needing an afternoon nap but it can also prevent you and your brain from getting the necessary sleep you use.
Please read my article on COFFEE & CAFFEINE HERE which shows you how to use caffeine effectively.
THE MAIN PATHWAY - Dopamine
There are essentially two types of dopamine pathways nootropics influence:
Type 1: Stimulating > increase energy, feeling of awake and alertness usually when substances convert and breakdown into or up-regulate glutamic acid or dopamine (like caffeine, nicotine, and cytidine).
Type 2: Zen Focus > increase brain activity, memory, attention, impulse control, high performance, learning, and flow states (L-theanine - GABA -CDP-choline (citicoline) )
Here is a real quick snapshot of an in-depth look at dopamine pathways:
There are 5 dopamine pathways however, D1 and D5 receptors group together, and D2, D3, D4 are together in a separate subgrouping.
D1: memory, attention, impulse control, regulation of kidneys and adrenal glands, locomotion
D2: locomotion, attention, sleep, memory, learning
D3: cognition, impulse control, attention, sleep
D4: cognition, impulse control, attention, sleep
D5: decision making, cognition, attention, renin secretion
From here on out we will refer to D1 and D5 and Type 1 dopamine pathways and D2-D4 Type 2 dopamine pathways.
What I’d like you to understand here is that dopamine can affect you in multiple different ways, a calm, memory-focused state and also a hyper awake and alert state.
Dopamine is the precursor for noradrenaline in the sympathetic nervous system. This means when dopamine pathways are activated, especially the Type 1 dopamine pathways it is more likely the body will start to use noradrenaline which can give you a feeling of a rush as it is essentially your body using adrenaline.
Adrenaline is pumped from the adrenal glands on the kidneys.
Adrenaline, in a very simple way = cortisol, and your stress hormone gets released. Adrenaline is used in the sympathetic nervous system this is when your body is stressed and is using cortisol. It's like a cycle that just keeps running until you cut it off.
Hence, when you first wake up using foods, fasting or natural nootropics or a good combination of both to get you a really good sufficient stimulation and use of dopamine which means you are supporting your body naturally, which is the goal.
As a population we are all slightly or chronically sleep deprived or addicted to dopamine, a coffee first thing in the morning (activates dopamine pathway Type 1) and it feels almost impossible to give it up.
The graph below shows you need just the right amount of dopamine to perform at optimal levels.
Norepinephrine Definition - Or noradrenaline, the "attention" chemical; associated with sleep-wake cycle regulation, peaking during states of stress or activity.
Epinephrine - Or adrenaline, the "fight or flight" chemical; increases blood flow to muscles, heart rate, and blood sugar levels.
Type 1 Dopamine Pathway Activators: