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Featured image depicting four nootropic supplements: Dream for Sleep, Eunoia for Focus, Spark for Energy, and Zen for Calm.

What Is a Nootropic Supplement?

Nootropics – also known as “smart pills”, brain boosters, and neuroenhancers – are a diverse range of beneficial nutrients, herbs, mushrooms, and amino acids that are thought to help enhance your thinking, learning, memory, concentration, and overall brain well-being. 

In the midst of our fast-paced digital age, they’ve quickly begun to generate a considerable buzz. 

Our attention is now in more demand than ever before, with a constant influx of distractions from the internet and social media, leaving our brains fried from sensory overload. A study by Microsoft found that people now lose their concentration after around just 8 seconds — for context, that’s lower than the average 9-second attention span of a goldfish. 

It’s no wonder, then, that people have started to look for a way to shut out the noise and take back control. For many, nootropics are the answer. With public endorsements from celebrities like Travis Barker, Gillian Anderson, and Joe Jonas, more of us than ever are looking to sharpen our minds. 

But how did these nootropics come about? What benefits do they offer? And how can they help you?

The History of Nootropics

The term Nootropics was originally coined in 1972 by the Romanian psychologist and chemist Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, who created the original nootropic drug. The term is derived from Greek, a combination of the words “nous” (meaning “mind”) and “trepien” (meaning “to bend”). 

Widely regarded as the founding father of nootropics, Dr. Giurgea laid out six key properties that a substance must have to be considered a true brain-boosting nootropic: 

  • Enhancement of memory and learning 
  • Improved cognition under stress 
  • Protection of brain cells (neuroprotective) 
  • Facilitation of cell-to-cell communication 
  • Backed by human research demonstrating brain activity 
  • Absence of usual pharmacological effects of psychotropic drugs

Under this original definition, only a handful of nootropics exist. However, as time has moved on, and more has been learned about the inner workings of the brain, many more beneficial supplements have been discovered. 

The Modern Definition of Nootropics

To accommodate the advancements in our understanding of nootropics, the definition has been updated to be more comprehensive. 

Under the modern definition, any substance that helps to enhance the function of the brain can be considered a nootropic. The ways in which nootropics can help you now go far beyond giving your memory and processing power a little boost – they now possess a wide range of beneficial applications.

What Are the Benefits of Nootropic Supplements?

Because of the wide variety of nootropics on the market, all with their own unique beneficial properties, it’s tricky coming up with a definitive list of benefits. 

They have a large variety of applications, so if we were to try to list them all, we might be here for a while. 

That being said, there are a set of key benefits that are prevalent throughout the nootropic world. So what are they?

Focus

One of the most popular uses for nootropic supplements is to optimise their concentration and achieve a better attention span. 

Each supplement helps to boost focus in its own unique way: some may improve blood circulation in the brain, some might support the maintenance of healthy brain tissue, while others aim to stimulate the creation of more neural pathways. 

This means that taking nootropics could allow you to perform tasks quicker and more effectively!

Our Focus Nootropics:

Energy

Many people turn to nootropics to give themselves a much-needed energy boost, fighting feelings of mental and physical fatigue. 

They can eliminate burnout by increasing your body’s reserves of essential nutrients – which can be used to produce fuel sources like ATP – helping to power important metabolic processes. 

More fuel means more energy!

Our Energy Nootropics:

Mood

As well as potentially enhancing your cognitive function, nootropics could help to elevate your mood. 

Some adaptogenic nootropics may help lower levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for causing feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Others could help your brain produce more “happy hormones” like dopamine and serotonin, making you feel better on a day-to-day basis.

Our Mood Nootropics:

Sleep

If you’re struggling with sleep, nootropics could help you in a number of ways. 

Insomnia and poor sleep quality are often rooted in hormonal imbalances or an overstimulated nervous system. 

Many nootropics possess powerful adaptogenic properties that can regulate stress, bringing your cortisol levels back down to normal, helping you to relax into a good night’s rest.

Our Sleep Nootropics:

Memory

One of the original uses for nootropics was to help those with cognitive impairments, which caused poor memory. 

Administering certain nootropics is thought to help the brain create more neural pathways while protecting it from cognitive decline, reducing oxidative damage and inflammation.

By supporting your brain’s healthy function, nootropics could help significantly improve your ability to make long-lasting memories.

Our Memory Nootropics:

The Different Types of Nootropics

There’s a huge range of beneficial substances that can help boost your brain’s well-being and performance, so it’s only natural that they come in a few different forms. No form is necessarily better than the others, as they all help support your brain in their own unique ways. 

Vitamins and Minerals 

You get certain vitamins and minerals – like vitamin D and iron – from your diet on a daily basis. They’re essential to the healthy function of your entire body, meaning deficiencies can lead to issues. 

Trying to ensure you get everything from your diet alone can be a near-impossible task, and if you get low on the compounds you need for healthy brain function, you put yourself at risk of fatigue, low mood, and poor concentration. 

A good example of these important brain-health compounds is vitamin B6, which you can find included in our Spark for Energy nootropic blend. This vitamin is used by your body to form the protective layer around nerve cells, helping fight cognitive decline. 

Herbs 

Herbal remedies have been used in traditional medicines across the world for centuries, but only with the advent of modern science have we really started to understand their beneficial nootropic effects. 

These plants, shrubs, and flowers could help to combat low mood, increase energy, aid relaxation, and improve cognitive function. 

One of the most popular herbal nootropic supplements on the market is ashwagandha. This powerful herb has potent adaptogenic properties, meaning it can effectively regulate hormonal imbalances in the brain. A report collating the results of 7 independent clinical trials found that ashwagandha supplementation helped significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue, promoting better well-being.

Another famous example is CBD – widely available in the form of gummies, tinctures, and e-liquids, this plant extract is renowned for a host of different reasons. Research has shown this nootropic to help ease anxiety, improve focus, and support sleep.

Mushrooms 

Mushroom powder nootropic supplements are so popular that many people mistakenly believe that all nootropic supplements are fungi. Just like herbs, these super shrooms have been a staple of traditional medicine for millennia, and for good reason. 

Thought to provide a whole host of benefits, these mushrooms could help you to improve your cognitive focus, memory, and mood, all while helping combat the effects of ageing. 

Perhaps the most well-known and powerful nootropic in this category is the shaggy lion’s mane mushroom. With research suggesting it could help double the rate of neuron growth, lion’s mane mushroom is widely believed to optimise the brain’s processing speed and performance

Amino Acids 

Amino acids play a key role in many of the brain’s functions, like hormone production and neurotransmitter synthesis, so it’s no surprise that they have potent nootropic properties. 

Your body can produce some amino acids it needs for proper brain function on its own, but not all of them. These are known as essential amino acids, and they must be consumed through external sources. 

L-theanine is one of these nootropic compounds, found in our Spark for Energy supplement. This non-protein essential amino acid passes the blood-brain barrier to interact with your brain’s receptors, exerting a calming effect. Research has shown that L-theanine can help to induce relaxation without making you feel drowsy, helping you to stay calm and alert. 

Unique Blends 

Unlike other nootropic supplements, which contain one beneficial compound, our scientifically-backed unique blends contain a carefully crafted mix of nootropic ingredients, specially formulated to produce a certain effect.

If you need to improve your focus, induce feelings of calm, get better sleep, or kick-start your energy levels, these designer nootropics are solid potential remedies.

Eunoia for Focus

Eunoia for Focus is our premium brain booster, designed to improve your cognitive performance, memory, and processing speed. It contains powerful ingredients like Bacopa Monnieri, a herb which is thought to support better learning and memory consolidation, and lion’s mane mushrooms, which should stimulate the creation of more neural pathways.

Our soothing Zen for Calm blend is designed to induce calm by alleviating negative emotions. It features ashwagandha, an adaptogen which helps to relieve stress and anxiety, and passiflora extract, which helps improve stress resistance and emotional well-being.

Designed to help promote better rest, our Dream for Sleep nootropic could help to improve your mood, enrich sleep quality, and tackle insomnia. It contains calming ingredients like L-theanine and Valerian Root, which interact with your brain’s GABA receptors, thought to soothe the nervous system and improve sleep.

Our Spark for Energy blend is designed to help you feel revitalised throughout the day with a host of research-backed energising ingredients. Among its invigorating components is acetyl L-carnitine, an amino acid which has been observed to relieve physical and mental fatigue, and vitamin B6, used by your cells to metabolise energy.

Will Nootropics Work for Me?

The only way to find out if a brain booster will work for you is to try it out for yourself, as different users experience different levels of results.

You’re most likely to notice the benefits when you can identify an area where you could do with a bit of a boost. 

For example, if you’re constantly feeling worn out and deflated, chances are you will have much more noticeable results taking an energy-boosting nootropic than someone who already has plenty of vigour. 

So, ask yourself: Do you need better sleep? Enhanced focus? Relieve stress and anxiety? 

Whatever the answer, our scientifically-backed brain enhancers are sure to have a solution designed to help you out. 

If you think you need a boost but you’re not sure where to begin, take our handy quiz to find the best supplement for you!