Nootropics: what are they and how do they drink your intelligence?

Psychology has long been upset in its approaches.

After having mainly dealt with psychological disorders and harmful alterations in the functioning of mental processes, he proposed avenues of research and intervention which lead to the improvement of human potential. Drugs and supplements known as nootropics they represent a similar paradigm shift in the field of neuroscience and psychopharmacology.

The idea that makes nootropics so promising is simple: could give us the opportunity to improve our cognitive abilities by taking a dose, without experiencing significant side effects.

What are nootropics?

The definition of the concept of “nootropics” is as open as its nature and possible potential. In fact, since Romanian chemist and psychologist Corneliu E. Giurgea first coined the term in 1972, what is meant by nootropic has evolved and gained fuzzy conceptual boundaries.

Define the concept


Just because the concept of a nootropic is confusing and broad doesn’t mean there isn’t a rough definition. In summary, nootropics are a heterogeneous set of synthetic preparations and supplements which, when provided in certain doses, have shown promising results in improving the functioning of certain brain functions related to cognition, i.e. tell the processes related to memory, intelligence, attention management and creativity.

Nootropics could therefore be useful in improving performance and mental agility. which are necessary to solve complex and difficult tasks, but can also play a role in the prevention of cognitive impairment.

Nootropic is not synonymous with psychostimulant

Note that nootropics are not just psychostimulantsAs they are also characterized because they produce virtually no unwanted side effects or chemical dependence, and taking an appropriate dose does not become an immediate threat to the health of those who take them. This differentiates them from stimulants like amphetamines.

This is why, although nootropics are also known as “cognitive drugs”, if we stick to the definition established by consensus, they could be differentiated from substances which harm health and leave clear wounds and irreversible in the body, or that are toxic. While all substances that affect the functioning of neurons have side effects unrelated to the purpose for which the dose is taken, these can be so small or of such a low intensity that they are not considered. as harmful.

Not all nootropics are drugs

It should also be noted that there are nootropic drugs and nootropic substances that are not considered drugs. The difference between the two is that the drugs are medically indicated and sold in pharmacies, while the rest can be obtained in a wide variety of stores, herbalists, etc.

The great attraction of cognitive stimulants

The idea of ​​nootropics fits perfectly into an increasingly competitive society in which optimizing work performance is increasingly becoming a struggle to train the body in the art of working under constant pressure.

These substances offer two types of promises that are much appreciated in Western countries in the 21st century: the possibility of optimizing one’s own cognitive abilities to adapt to the demands of the labor market, And the immediacy in the results sought. After all, it’s easier and simpler to trade money for a compound that elevates brain function to another level as you choose a skill to train and put in hours, days, or days. years in this task.

It is precisely for this reason that workers in certain sectors related to creativity and new technologies, as well as students who aspire to find a place in elite universities, have long been doing something very common in consumption. of nootropics. For these social groups, the difference between performing well and not achieving the objectives set can be a turning point in their professional expectations and their life projects, therefore using these products becomes one of the many steps required to aspire to success.

The sale of nootropics on the Internet

The fact that the consumer profile of nootropics is familiar with the use of new technologies and that in general there are no strong legal restrictions that block their marketing makes the sale and purchase of nootropics online has become popular in many countries.

One of the best-selling supplements in Spain is Increases calm concentration. It is a nootropic developed by the firm Queal. as he comments Anthony ripa, From your communications team:

At Queal Boost, we’ve focused on building a ‘stack’ based on solid, repeatable research. This is what sets Queal Booster nootropics apart from others on the market. Each component of Queal Boost quanta with a background of multiple controlled and independent trials with compared to the placebo effect. These surveys show results and evidence of an improvement in certain cognitive abilities. “

To this we must add that web portals and forums have been created in which consumers talk about their experiences with these preparationsThey research and give advice on what to take, why and how to take it. The result is the existence of online communities that keep the popularity of nootropics alive and at the same time give them visibility, which also happens with the supplements used to improve performance in physical activities.

The three main brands of nootropics, Absorbs health, Energy focus e Incite the elite, They market their jars through platforms like Amazon. By clicking on the image you can view the products, if you fancy trying a nootropic and assess its effect on your intelligence and memory.

The effectiveness of cognitive enhancers

Now that we know what the concept of a nootropic itself is, we have to ask ourselves what these substances are, in practice. That is, how the definition matches reality.

The effectiveness of nootropics has been questioned as many of the results obtained after years of research are inconclusive. Results have been obtained confirming the expected effects from the use of these preparations, but there are also investigations which have given opposite results. In addition, since nootropics do not have to resemble each other in terms of components, preparation or proposed utility, to speak of its all-encompassing effectiveness or ineffectiveness is an oversimplification.

However, what can be said about virtually all nootropics is that while some show promise, it is not yet known to what extent they are effective and useful to introduce into the daily life of people in good health or showing symptoms of dementia. It will take years of research and joint effort to scientifically prove their usefulness.

The most popular types of nootropics

It is clear that the fact that there is no guarantee of effectiveness in the use of nootropics has not prevented some preparations of this type which enjoy special popularity. Here are a few.

1. Pujol

The potential of this substance it could be related to better motor coordination and tasks that require memory usage.

2. Piracetam

Synthesized by Corneliu E. Giurgea himself, it could slow the deterioration of cognitive abilities in the elderly. It has also been credited with some effectiveness in improving memory and verbal fluency in larger age groups.

3. Aniracetam

Like piracetam, it is part of a group of substances called racetams. It is credited with the effect of improving the ability to concentrate and thinking fluently under pressure, as well as slowing progress. mental disorders in the elderly.

4. Galamantine

Galamantine is popular among some of those interested in onironáutica, As it is credited with the power to increase the chances of remembering dreams well and having lucid dreams.

The consumption of nootropics without medical indication

The fact that the group of nootropics is so large and heterogeneous means that many of the preparations it contains are consumed without medical indication, in the same way that dietary supplements are consumed. This has sparked a debate around whether people without adequate medical training can consume certain substances on their own and determine the doses they need.

However, this is a debate that goes far beyond science and involves the moral criteria and values ​​that guide the creation of laws in different countries. This does not mean that there is no need to investigate much more into how nootropics work and their long term effects, the latter being a relatively unknown topic, as not so long ago they started. to market these compounds. We will keep an eye on the evolution of cognitive activators, both in terms of their social implantation and their effects..

Bibliographical references:

  • Potter, B. and Orfali, S. (1993). Brain boosters. Foods and Medicines that Make You Smarter. Ronin Editorial.

  • Ruiz Franco, J. (2005). Smart drugs. Editorial Paidotribo.

  • Nootrient: supplement reviews and healthy ideas. (2014). Guide to the Different Types of Nootropics. Available at:

Leave a Comment