Wellness Blog

The Types of Nootropics

Posted by Kathy Maraz

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December 2, 2014 at 4:49 PM


Many supplements can help with brain health. Now, more than ever, people are seeking out ways to improve their brain function. Doctor Corneliu E. Giurgea coined the word, Nootropics, to describe nutrients that enhance brain function. Nootropics are often referred to as “smart drugs,” and can help with:

  • Boosting memory
  • Enhancing learning ability
  • Protecting the brain from injuries
  • Strengthening learned behaviour

Moreover, Dr. Giurgea defined a Nootropic as a combination of nutrients that:

  • Have no sedative or stimulate effects
  • Have no detectably/toxicity
  • Work temporarily

Due to the wide appeal that Nootropics have, you will find that many people, from all walks of life, choose to use these supplements. From those of us with demanding jobs, to students who face a challenging exam period, and even for people who are concerned with their mental health – many people choose to take Nootropics.

Types of Nootropics

If you’re new to Nootropics – they may sound overwhelming. But, they really aren’t. Nootropics consist of many singular supplements that you have likely already heard of. These include:

  • Choline
  • Gingko Biloba
  • Caffeine
  • Creatine
  • Magnesium

Of course, these are just a few of many Nootropics. Let’s go over a few of the different types of Nootropic categories:

  1. Natural Nootropics

Natural Nootropics are less effective than some of the synthetic ones, but you can stack several of these compounds together to improve your results. Natural Nootropics are plant based or plant derived. They help improve brain health and ability.

Examples: Bacopi Monneri, Valorcine, Gingko Biloba, and Huperzine-A. 

  1. Choline

Acetylcholine belongs to a family of proteins called neurotransmitters, which serve as signaling hormones and allow for communication between nerve cells. Acetylcholine plays a role in the formation and storage of memories. Accordingly, the depletion of acetylcholine in the brain has been linked to Alzheimer's.

Supplementing with a Choline supplement can help generate new acetylcholine in your nerve cells

  1. Racetams  

Racetams were the very first Nootropics invented. They stimulate receptors in the brain responsible for releasing Acetylcholine, an important neurochemical neurotransmitters in the brain. It serves to transmit nerve impulses and other signals across synapses. With higher levels of neurotransmitters, your cognitive function speeds up which improves:

  • Motivation
  • Learning, memory
  • Concentration
  • Awareness

Racetams are also neuro-protective, which can speed up the rate at which brain cells are regrown and slow down the rate at which they deteriorate and die.

Examples: Piracetam, Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, Pramiracetam

  1. Ampakines

Ampakines increase levels of glutamate in the blood. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that has an important role in making it critical to the processes of learning and memory by having a positive effect on attention span and alertness.

Unlike stimulants such as caffeine, Ampakines do not cause unpleasant side effects like:

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  1. Vitamin B Derivatives

 Sulbutiamine (also known by the trade name Arcalion) is a derivative of Thiamine or Vitamin B1. It is used as a treatment for:

  • Fatigue
  • Increasing energy
  • Improving alertness.

Nootropics can provide a boost to your brain power.  Studies have also shown that they can act as anti-oxidants for your neurons and other brain cells: they are able to remove toxins that tend to accumulate within the brain. Continuing research shows that the use of Nootropics are useful in  treating a number of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, ADHD, some are even shown to help with the prevention of strokes, and decrease cognitive decline with aging.


Topics: Nutrition, Wellness, Nootropics

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