Which are the best nootropics is the most frequently asked question by those who decide to try nootropics as well as by those who have already tried them and are now looking for something stronger. Unfortunately determining which are the best nootropics is not as easy as determining which car is the fastest. This is because the effect of nootropics highly depends on the individuals organism as well as his requirements and expectations.
The truly best nootropics however have very predictable effects on the majority of users – if not all of them. These are usually pharmaceutical formulas which are carefully monitored and tested before being released into public. Such nootropics really are the best of what current science has to offer but they can be difficult to track down in the sea of nootropic products, varying user opinions and marketing hype.
Properties of the best nootropics
What makes a good nootropic is a very subjective question as it depends on what you expect and what you are willing to risk. For some low level natural nootropics are the only acceptable choice because they do not want to risk absolutely any side effects but for others strong synthetic nootropics are the only thing they consider using because they value their performance above anything else.
Fortunately not everything is completely subjective and thanks to science and extensive statistics you can determine which are the best nootropics for you. You can determine that by inspecting certain features of nootropics:
- Side effects
- Stable quality
- Withdrawal symptoms and length
What is it that you want from a nootropic? To be smarter, right?
But what does that really mean?
With the term ‘smart’ we encompass many cognitive features such as good memory recollection, fast memorizing, whityness (low cognitive response time), attention to detail, good problem solving skills and many more. With nootropics you can target any of the specific ‘’features’’ which the term ‘smart’ entails, but at the moment you cannot just take a smart pill and have your IQ boosted to 200. Nevertheless boosting your problem solving skills and self discipline at the same time can yield an incredible boost in your productivity.
Our productivity is exactly why we take nootropics – from caffeine to modafinil – as we need it to be as high as possible throughout the day. This is not just our caprice, it is a must if we are to live the life we want, if we are to better ourselves as much as possible.
First ask yourself how you can be more productive.
Do you need to be more disciplined? If so you can look at nootropics which boost inhibitory control.
Do you need to physically work (this can include visual recognition) faster and more accurately? Then you need to look at nootropics which increase hand-eye coordination and visual acuity.
Nootropics which increase attention to detail would also be helpful here as they are with just about any profession.
If you deal with many different information or large numbers you will see improvement with nootropics which can improve your working memory. On the other hand if you are a student you will see better results if you go for enhanced memorization and memory recollection.
Remember to choose the right nootropic for your needs and you cannot go wrong.
Nootropics’ side effects
Side effects are a major turnoff for the majority of the 40 000 people who look into nootropics every month. Considering that worst case scenarios like seizures and aneurysms are often stated under nootropics’ side effects we can hardly blame them. But have you ever checked the side effects of medications (like antibiotics) which doctors prescribe? Gastrointestinal bleeding, fainting and even liver or kidney failure are regularly on the list.
This is because any well regulated drug must go through careful testing and account for compounding adverse effects. Even if trials and studies showed no occurrence of a particular side effect it must be (or at least it should be) stated as long as there is any theoretical chance of it occurring. Even more, some companies may choose to list additional side effects just to stay safe from lawsuits in case their trials missed something.
Nevertheless side effects of nootropics should always be your concern because some can be very nasty. Hence when choosing which is the best nootropic for you, you should check all the listed side effects and even look at what side effects the individual components of that nootropic have.
Make yourself a list of acceptable side effects and unacceptable side effects. Or just go through the nootropics side effects and tick them off as acceptable and unacceptable. This will depend a lot on whether you have any known medical conditions as you do not want to aggravate them.
For example i have no heart conditions, ok blood pressure and no hardening of the arteries, hence in my opinion i can afford to go with nootropics which can increase risk for things like:
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
- Low blood pressure, etc.
On the other hand my blood sugar levels are not the most stable at the moment so i will avoid like plague nootropics which can increase risk for things like:
- Low blood sugar levels
- High blood sugar levels
- Blurry vision, etc.
It might just happen that you fancy a nootropic which has listed some of the side effects which are on your ‘unacceptable list’. In this case consider how high (or rather how low) are the chances of that side effect happening and weigh it in relation to how high you think your performance boost will be on that nootropic, If the potential reward outweighs the potential risks you might have just found yourself the best nootropic.
Many of the often called best nootropics have so unstable effects that you end up feeling no effect or completely different effects from what was advertised. It is even worse if you pay $300 for your 3 month supply just to find out you got a placebo. But as if that is not bad enough instead of placebo the supplier could have sent you pixie dust containing toxic elements – yes, it can happen.
Of course these issues are associated with buying anything from the internet, however with nootropics additional caution is required because the market is poorly regulated. One hit wonders regularly enter the market with big claims, low prices and untold side effects. If you are not a doctor or a chemist it is usually worth staying clear of newcomers until thorough testing has been done.
To avoid issues these the following guidelines:
- Buy nootropics from a reputable source with a good track record
- Buy nootropics from reputable brands with a good track record
- Buy nootropics which have already been on the market for at least 1 year
- Check if there are many negative reviews associated with that particular nootropic
- Check if there were any health warnings issued by authorities for that particular nootropic
Nootropics withdrawal symptoms and length
Many nootropic supplement manufacturers and (re)sellers promise you no withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking their product. But if you consider that you get withdrawal symptoms even after taking B vitamin supplements for a long time can you seriously expect that nootropics do not cause any withdrawal symptoms?
Caffeine is a mild nootropic and we all know the decaff day headaches, correct? Do not be fooled, any nootropic will cause some withdrawal, the trick is in choosing the one which causes the least. Fortunately users are often happy to share their experience online which means you can get a good feeling for the severity and length of withdrawal a particular nootropic brings.
Again choosing the best nootropics for you comes down to weighing between how high you think your performance boost will be on that nootropic and which withdrawal symptoms you are willing to endure. First determine which withdrawal symptoms are acceptable for you. Typically you will encounter the following:
- Decreased vision acuity
- Decreased reflexes
- Brain fog
- Muscle pain
Sleepiness might not seem bad but it might be so strong that you will simply need to get a 2 hour sleep in mid-afternoon. So check the severity not just the type of symptoms. And consider their length as well because even the mildest symptoms can be extremely annoying if they persist for 2 months.
Think of caffeine; withdrawal effects are not too bad but because they can last up to a month most people never go through with it. As a consequence they drink coffee for most of their life not to boost their productivity but just to keep it at a normal level. To avoid this some nootropics are designed for a very short withdrawal and ‘’detox’’ period.
Personally i am not worried about the severity of nootropics’ withdrawal symptoms as long as the withdrawal period is brief (a few days). A short ‘’detox’’ period is highly important as well because it means you can start your routine again sooner and hence reduce the time of your decreased productivity.