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What Are Nootropics & What Do They Do?

Nootropics might sound like just another trend in health nutrition but they have a solid scientific foundation. What’s interesting is that you’re probably taking some types of nootropics every day without realizing it.

 

Let’s see what they are & how they work!

 

What are Nootropics?

 

Nootropics, also known as smart supplements and cognitive enhancers, are a collection of supplements (1) who's primary job is to improve cognitive function, although, their effects can be quite vast. 

 

For instance, Ginkgo Biloba is a popular nootropic with various effects on the body. Most notably, folks use it to enhance their memory and overall cognition (2). Research also finds Gingko Biloba beneficial for patients with epilepsy and peripheral nerve damage (3). 

 

Contrary to popular belief, the now-trendy term nootropics isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around for several decades. 

 

In the sixties and seventies, Romanian psychologist Dr. Corneliu Giurgea wanted to create an effective sleeping aid but instead found himself producing what he later called a nootropic. He later wrote what he thought should be the criteria a substance needs to meet to earn a nootropic title. Specifically, it would need to:

  • Improve your memory
  • Protect the brain from injuries
  • Improve behavior and mood
  • Show a low risk of toxicity and a high safety profile

 

Remember how we mentioned that you’re probably taking a nootropic every day? Well, if you drink coffee, tea, or energy drinks, you’re consuming caffeine - one of the best-known nootropic agents today.

 

What Are Common Nootropics?

 

1) Cacao

Cacao is rich in polyphenols - powerful antioxidants with strong effects on the body. They help counter oxidative stress from free radicals and benefit brain health and function. Specifically, these compounds help prevent neurotoxin injuries to the brain, lower neuroinflammation, and promote memory, learning, and cognition (4).

 

2) Green tea

Green tea is rich in phytochemicals - a collection of compounds with favorable effects on the body. Research suggests these compounds can induce mental clarity, alertness, relaxation, and improved cognition (5).

 

3) Lion’s mane mushroom

These are large, puffy, and white mushrooms with culinary and medicinal uses. Research shows they can improve cognitive function, relieve depression and anxiety, and prevent oxidative stress and neurotoxicity (6, 7, 8). 

 

4) L-theanine

L-theanine is a naturally-occurring amino acid found in tea & dark chocolate. Research shows that it has a calming effect without leading to drowsiness, which makes it incredibly useful to consume alongside caffeine (5, 9, 10).

 

5) Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most popular nootropic agents out there, and you’ve probably consumed it in one form or another. As a powerful stimulant, countless papers have shown it to improve mood, focus, cognition, and alertness (11, 12).

The only downside is, we gradually build up a tolerance, and its effects become less pronounced. So, it’s a good idea to cycle it to prevent that from happening. For instance, you can take a whole week off caffeine for every three weeks of regular consumption.

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Our Peak Focus Chocolate contains each of the 5 Nootropics mentioned above. We designed it to be the perfect cognitive boost to fight the 3pm slump! You can get your hands on some here.