Below is a guest post by Melissa DellaBartolomea of NutraScience Labs.
Historically speaking, human efforts to find new ways to leverage and the tools we’ve been given – particularly our bodies and our minds – are nothing new.
That said, many experts and enthusiasts will agree that nootropics (as we’ve come to recognize and understand them) first came onto the scene in the early 1970s – even if it took nearly 35 years for knowledge and interest in those nootropics to reach the levels that we’re experiencing today.
According to Google Trends, interest in nootropics (among US-based users) has seen a particularly significant increase over the last 10 years.
Especially within the last five years, industry insiders, scientific researchers, and health enthusiasts have witnessed “nootropics” transition from conversation topics that had been relegated to the deepest internet message boards to some of the trendiest and most highly-sought dietary and nutritional supplement products available today.
Nootropics remain one of the only supplement category shrouded by a heavy veil of myths and misconceptions.
Nootropic Myths That Aren’t Worth Falling For
Let’s pull back the veil and examine four of the most prevalent (and outdated) myths about nootropics plaguing the web and the “well of common knowledge” today.
1. Nootropics can give me a super-human brain boost, like in the movies.
For better or for worse, none of legal or well-researched nootropic herbs, compounds, or supplement available on the market today can give you super powers – despite what any Hollywood blockbusters may suggest (we’re looking at you Limitless).
Keeping that in mind, research has found that certain nootropic ingredients, compounds, stacks, and supplements may be capable of supporting factors like focus, energy, mood, and overall productivity.
2. The right nootropic can help me find a shortcut to success/achieving my goals.
Not exactly. Just like every other type of nutritional supplement on the market today, nootropic supplements are never designed or intended to replace key aspects of an individual’s routine or lifestyle – this includes everything from good sleeping habits and a healthy diet to hard-work and dedication.
That said, there’s a healthy body of scientific research suggesting that the benefits that may come with nootropic supplementation can have the potential to aid an individual trying to achieve certain tasks and goals.
3. All nootropics provide the same benefits.
While there’s no denying that almost all of the researched and recognized benefits of nootropics are linked to cognitive health in one way or another, nootropics may offer supplement takers an impressive variety of benefits.
Acknowledging that it’s not uncommon for the effects and experience with a given nootropic to vary slightly from individual to individual, studies and research have linked a “family” of potential benefits and effects to ingredients and supplement that have been categorized as nootropic in nature.
Some of the most researched and common benefits (and potential benefits) of nootropic supplements have come to include the support of:
- Energy Levels & Mood
Different ingredients, ingredient variations, and ingredient combinations are poised to provide different results. Finding the right nootropic for a given need can be as simple as doing some research. That said, when considering the addition of a new supplement to a routine – nootropic or otherwise – individuals are always advised to seek professional medical or nutritional guidance.
4. All nootropics are relatively new, under researched, and synthetic.
This last myth couldn’t be further from the truth. While it is true that a number of popular nootropic ingredients require a degree of processing and distillation in order to be viable and that there are others that only came into being during the 20th century, there are just as many (if not more) ingredients with “natural” origins and long standing histories of human use.
Certain plant-based nootropics, like ginseng and Bacopa monnieri, have centuries’ worth of anecdotal evidence supporting their viability as well as impressive collections of modern scientific research supporting their potential benefits and efficacy.