11 Best Nootropics And Smart Drugs To Boost Brain Function

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Improve your brain function and boost your mental strength with the best nootropics and smart drugs.

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11 Best Mental Enhancing Smart Drugs

Nootropics Definition: Substances in the form of medication or supplements that enhance cognition and memory.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine is considered a smart drug because it enhances the functions of the central nervous system.

It causes most people to have increased mental alertness, short energy boosts, and improved mood. Caffeine blocks the brain’s adenosine receptors, preventing adenosine, a chemical that makes us feel tired, from getting in our system.

It can be found naturally in plants and seeds and is also artificially produced and added to certain foods. The most common sources of caffeine are coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and some medications.

2. Nicotine

Nicotine is a common substance found in tobacco and cigarettes but it can be a useful nootropic if taken carefully and in very small dosages. But it is not recommended to get your nicotine from smoking as cigarettes tend to have high doses of it.

Its psychoactive properties include improved memory, better focus, and reduction of mood swings and anxiety. Taken regularly and high doses, nicotine can cause tolerance.

Nicotine is available in gums, inhalers, and patches.

3. Amphetamines (Adderall)

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Amphetamine is a type of drug that stimulates the central nervous system. As a nootropic, it can be used to improve attention, short-term memory and motivation to work.

The amphetamines contained in Adderall increase the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for reward-motivated responses, in the brain.

Though having a positive effect as a nootropic, usage of Adderall for recreational abuse could lead to damaging side-effects such as headache, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. Long time usage or high doses could also lead to withdrawal, including sleep problems, depression, and tiredness.

The use of Adderall has always included risks, so taking it should always be done as prescribed by a doctor.

4. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba extracts contain properties that may help in improving thinking and memory.

Though further research is still needed to prove that Ginkgo Biloba is an effective nootropic, there is existing evidence that shows it can be a safe alternative and brain supplement for adults suffering from dementia.

5. Fish Oil

Fish oil is full of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which are used by the central nervous system for overall brain development.

It has also been shown that using fish oil as a smart drug delays cognitive impairment during aging.

Fish oil can be acquired from eating fish such as tuna, salmon or herring but it can also be taken in supplements. The recommended amount of fish oil is 1 gram per day.

6. L-Theanine

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It is found that L-theanine may affect chemical levels in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals are known to affect sleep quality, emotion and can help the body deal with stress.

A study suggests, drinking black tea and green tea may help in enhancing mental focus. The subjects showed a significant decrease in errors while doing their tasks.

It is important to speak to a doctor when planning to take supplements as L-theanine may interact with other drugs and supplements.

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7. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is a plant that is typically used for medication in India. It is commonly used for people with Alzheimer’s disease for its memory enhancing properties.

A study suggests that it can enhance memory and mood for elderly people. It just takes a long time for you to notice its effects, so try to be patient if you intend to use it.

The dosage depends on factors such as age, current medication intake, and overall health. It is also recommended to take at least 750mg per day.

8. Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid abundantly found in the brain. It acts as a neurotransmitter that delivers messages from the brain to the body.

As a nootropic, it could improve memory and help in the creation of new neurons. It also helps against the decline of mental abilities.

Taurine prevents mitochondrial failure in brain cells. It may also alleviate depression and anxiety.

Healthy sources of taurine include meat, fish, and dairy.

9. Ginseng (Panax Ginseng)

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Ginseng or Panax Ginseng is a plant found in Korea, China, and Siberia. The roots are mainly used for medicine.

As a nootropic, it may help in improved thinking, concentration, and memory. Panax ginseng is also an “adaptogen,” which means it can help in coping with stress.

The anti-inflammatory properties of Panax ginseng may help relieve oxidative stress in the brain and, in turn, enhance brain performance.

10. Noopept

Noopept is a smart drug supplement that boasts that its effects are felt minutes after one takes it, and could last longer compared to other nootropics. It does not appear in blood samples so it is safe to use in proper doses.

It is used for boosting cognition, memory, and learning. Noopept increases Nerve Growth Factor which aids with long-term memory.

Nerve Growth Factor Definition: Small protein molecules involved in the regulation of growth, maintenance, proliferation, and survival of certain target neurons.

The recommended dosage is 10-30mg per day. Going over the recommended dosage could result in upset stomach, headache, fatigue, or insomnia.

11. Methylphenidate or Ritalin

Ritalin is known as a treatment for ADHD symptoms and narcolepsy. It is a stimulant drug that works by changing levels of chemicals in the brain.

Since it is a stimulant, it is capable of increasing alertness and improving focus. And, like other stimulants, it may improve short-term memory and attention.

Recommended dosages should always be consulted with doctors to avoid impaired thinking.

Ritalin should not be taken by people with Tourette’s syndrome, extreme anxiety, tics or agitation. Increased dosages may result in heart attack, high blood pressure and may cause a stroke.


Learn more about nootropics and smart drugs in this video from ABC News:

Aside from potentially improving mental performance in students and professionals, nootropics may also help in improving the conditions of patients with memory or cognitive impairments. Whichever case you are taking a smart drug for, it is best to consult a doctor first to know the appropriate dosage for you.

Do you have other smart drug suggestions? Let us know in the comments section below!

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