13 Popular Nootropics Used For Optimal Cognitive Function

Nootropics are supplements that can enhance cognitive function, memory, creativity, motivation, and even physical performance. The term "nootropic" was created in 1972 by Romanian chemist Corneliu E. Giurgea, who defined it as a substance that can improve memory and learning, without causing any harm or adverse effects. 

Nootropics have been used for decades in the fields of medicine and neuroscience to treat various cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, ADHD, and Parkinson's disease. Nootropics are also popular among students, professionals, and athletes, who use them to boost their mental and physical abilities, improve productivity, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Some of the most popular nootropics include:

1. Caffeine: Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. It is found in coffee, tea, and various other beverages. Caffeine can enhance mental alertness, concentration, and energy levels.

3. Piracetam: Piracetam is a nootropic that has been used since the 1960s to improve memory and learning. It works by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, which help to improve cognitive function.

4. L-Theanine: L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves. It can help to reduce anxiety and stress, while improving mental clarity and focus. It is commonly used in combination with caffeine.

5. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that play a crucial role in brain function and development. They are found in fish oil supplements, and can help to improve mood, memory, and cognitive function.

6. Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha has been shown to promote mental focus. Some suggest that the herb can help to support memory formation and may potentially be used as an alternative to support healthy brain function. Ashwagandha may promote healthy cellular function and is known to reduce stress levels. 

7. 5-HTP:  5-HTP is derived from the seed pods of Griffonia simplicifolia. Nutritional intake of 5-HTP can provide a theoretical means for restoring serotonin to optimal levels giving it its euphoric reputation. 

 8. Cordyceps Mushroom: Cordyceps have a neuro-protective function, helping to prevent damage to the brain. The benefit of Cordyceps to brain health can help to minimize the impact of ageing and so reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline, including the onset of conditions such as Dementia & Alzheimer's disease.

9. Lions Mane Mushroom: Lion's mane mushroom may reduce inflammation and biological markers of Alzheimer's, improve cognition function and increase the release of nerve growth factor. 

10. Chaga Mushroom: Chaga mushroom has been shown to be protective against Alzheimer's disease and neurodegeneration and inflammation by acting as an antioxidant and upregulating the Nrf2 pathway–one of the key anti inflammatory pathways in the body.

11. Maitake Mushroom:  The Beta glucan in Maitake Mushrooms can help reduce cholesterol, potentially improving artery function and overall cardiovascular health to lower risk of heart disease. The polysaccharides in maitake can reduce LDL (poor cholesterol levels) without affecting your triglyceride or HDL (good cholesterol levels).

12. Shiitake Mushroom: Shiitake Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides like lentinans and other beta-glucans. These compounds have the ability to protect against cell damage, boost your immune system, and encourage white blood cell production for fighting off microbes. Polysaccharides also have anti-inflammatory properties.

13. Reishi Mushroom:  Reishi mushroom is long revered for it's power to support mental clarity, focus and wellbeing. It is said to be one of the most calming nootropics to date. 


“The best way to find happiness is not to search for it but to create it” - Ancient Proverb

Personally, I enjoy powdered nootropics in my morning coffee. I will take them in isolated capsules, gummies or pour a leveled scoop into a drink to be mixed and sipped. Supplementing earlier in the day is ideal as typically the product will give you energy.

While supplementing with herbal medicine can have many physiological and psychological benefits It is important to note that not all nootropics are safe or effective. Some nootropics can have side effects, interact with other medications, or even be addictive. Therefore, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any nootropics.

In conclusion, nootropics can be a useful tool for improving cognitive function, memory, creativity, and motivation. However, it is important to choose and use them carefully and responsibly. Always consult a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or supplement regimen.

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