What comes to your mind when you hear the word nootropics? A desperate student popping a pill to pass tomorrow’s test? Or Bradley Cooper gaining superhuman capabilities thanks to a smart drug in the movie Limitless? Are nootropics healthy or unsafe drugs?
Let’s face it. There is a lot of misconception about what a nootropic is.
Are nootropics healthy?
According to Dr Corneliu E. Giurgea, aka the father of nootropics, a nootropic is any substance that improves cognition, enhances memory, learning, facilitates communication between neurons and is neuroprotective. Without any pharmacological side effects.
Here at Motion Nutrition, we are making nootropics healthy. That’s why our leading neuro-scientists have carefully picked amino acids, herbs, vitamins and minerals that will improve your mental performance on a daily basis while improving your long-term brain health.
5 ways we’ve made nootropics healthy.
Okay, that’s all great, but how do nootropics actually make your brain work better? There are 5 main ways in which nootropics can boost both your daily performance and long-term brain health.
Increase feel-good hormones
Nootropics influence communication between brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Either by increasing their production, making brain receptors more sensitive or inhibiting neurotransmitter breakdown. A great example is L-Tyrosine, which you can find in our Power Up. It is an amino acid which replenishes stores of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter!
Improve brain blood flow
The brain is the powerhouse of the human body. No surprise it is crucial that constant electricity supply is provided for it to work properly. For our brain, electricity is blood filled with oxygen and nutrients that make it thrive. Blood also keeps the brain hydrated (your brain is over 70% water!).
Without healthy blood flow, neurons can start dying off. This actually happens in the case of an ischaemic stroke. No wonder the brain needs unconstrained blood flow 24/7. Some nootropics, such as Gotu Kola actually improve brain circulation and help deliver precious nutrients to our powerhouse.
Adjust your brain waves
Brainwaves are key to all that is going on in our head. Thoughts, emotions and even behaviours. They are produced by electrical impulses of neurons which communicate with one another. They range from lowest to highest: delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma, and all correspond to different mental states!
Nootropics can actually aid in achieving a desired brainwave. Either a higher one to stimulate your mood, or a lower one, to make you feel more relaxed just before falling asleep. L-theanine promotes the production of alpha waves and boosts a state of alert relaxation. By improving relaxation, healthy nootropics can aid overall health by promoting deep restorative sleep.
Protect and adapt
The brain is our neediest organ. It consumes about 20% of our daily energy intake. Since so much is going on inside of the brain, there are some side products produced. One of them being free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Too much of these bad guys causes oxidative stress: an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules which stop the formation of free radicals.
Healthy nootropics are often rich in antioxidants. For example, Acetyl-L-carnitine is a well-known brain booster which prolongs the activity of antioxidant enzymes, protecting our precious brain. On top of that, it also increases alertness and alleviates the side effects of ageing.
Another wonder herb is Bacopa Monnieri, which assists in the brain’s natural protection mechanism. On top of this, Bacopa reduces the feeling of anxiety and improves cognition.
Talking about stress and anxiety, it happens to all of us in some form or another. Particularly in today’s social media driven world. Nootropic herbs like Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, which you can find in Unplug, help protect your nervous system from the nastiness of our daily struggles. Ashwagandha reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, making you feel more at ease. Ashwagandha also helps natural regeneration, with its ability to reorganize neurons’ neuroplasticity. Rhodiola helps you adapt to the stressful lifestyle we all face nowadays by reducing fatigue and exhaustion in prolonged situations. Like a long day at work.
Until recently, scientists thought that the ability to regrow brain cells – a so-called neurogenesis, was not possible in your adult life. It has been proven otherwise! And neurogenesis can be induced with neuron-building nootropics. Lion’s Mane Mushroom boosts growth factors such as Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and induces development of new neurons. Vitamin B12 is essential for energy metabolism, and since neurogenesis requires a lot of energy, vitamin B12 helps power the brain’s rebuilding process. Choline will provide additional pre-cursors for acetylcholine production which can support memory function.
So now you know: nootropics can be healthy.
Next time you hear the word nootropics you will hopefully understand that true nootropics not only boost brain power temporarily but also nourish the brain long term. Healthy nootropics should be a win-win when it comes to mental performance and brain health.
This is what we are about here at Motion Nutrition.