How Do Nootropics Work?

You may have heard all the buzz about nootropics – all-natural drugs that promote brain health help control a number of brain-related ailments. There are many types of nootropics, each with their own properties and actions. Reading our Nootropics for Beginners guide will give you a better idea of the type of nootropics and their actions. This guide will answer the question of how nootropics work.

Nootropics work with your brain chemistry

Our brain is full of lots of good stuff – neurotransmitters and receptors make up the many different systems in the brain that control our biological and cognitive function. A neurotransmitter is a chemical that gets released and communicates information throughout our brain and body. Relaying signals between our nerve cells, they affect pretty much every part of our body from our heart, to our lungs to our weight to our mood. When neurotransmitters are depleted due to a number of various factors, our brain won’t work optimally to control things like our anxiety levels, our sleep, our concentration and so much more.

Nootropics work by optimizing the levels of the neurotransmitters for optimal brain function. All depending on what ailment you are trying to fix, certain nootropics target the neurotransmitters to increase their efficiency, either increasing or decreasing neurotransmitter messages and improving communication between the synapses, to make you feel better. Most nootropics have a positive effective on the brain and type you use will dictate your brain’s response. Talking to a health professional will give you a better idea of exactly what type of nootropic is right for you and the needs you have.

Nootropics improve brain functioning

Basically, nootropics work with your own brain chemistry to affect either hormones or neurotransmitters and essentially make your brain run more smoothly, giving you the good effects. These effects include:

  • Increased memory function
  • Increased focus
  • Better ability to retain information
  • Increased mood
  • Decreased anxiety or panic
  • Increased energy
  • A general feeling of well-being

{*copy* Nootropics work with your brain chemistry to improve functioning. Find out how!}

There are several systems that make up brain function. These include:

  • Cholinergic system
  • Glutamatergic system
  • Dopaminergic system
  • Serotonergic system

The Cholinergic System

Within the Cholinergic system, Acetylcholine plays the largest part. This neurotransmitter is important in regulating cognitive functions like learning, memory, focus, decision-making and sensory perception. Choline found in a healthy diet can have a good impact on optimizing the levels in the Cholinergic system, but sometimes this alone is not enough, as many people are Choline deficient. You can increase your levels of Choline through foods like eggs, animal organs, fish and whey, but nootropics add that boost that you might need if diet alone is not enough. Nootropic supplements like Acetylcholine can help, but precursors like Racetams are also needed. Acetylcholine agonists activate synapses in this system and then Racetams increase the synapse activity. Increasing the levels on their own won’t encourage receptor activity, so nootropic stacking (using Acetylcholine with Racetams together) is needed to get the desired result. In this case, the desired result is being better able to retain information (increased memory function), while your focus and decision-making abilities will also be optimized.

The Glutamatergic System

Also noted for its important role in learning and memory, the Glutamatergic System also plays a role in mood. Proper levels of Glutamate in the brain is important and both too much and too little is not seen as optimal. Excess levels of this excitatory neurotransmitter can be harmful to the brain. Glutamate outside of the cells has be implicated in the development of neurological diseases, which can include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ADHD and Autism. This is a malfunction of the Glutamatergic system. Generally, you want to balance your levels by stimulating the receptor sites and increase uptake. Racetams and Ampakines are nootropics that stimulate the glutamate receptors and in the end help to improve memory, learning, focus and give you more energy.

The Dopaminergic & Serotonergic Systems

While two completely different systems, these systems are very important for function of the central nervous system. This includes control of your mood, motivation and reward centre and your memory and focus. Basically you can say that these systems are what tell you if you are happy and/or pleasured! While you can’t control either of these systems with nootropics, you can increase their effectiveness by targeting the neurotransmitters within the systems and optimizing their levels within the brain. Mood-enhancing nootropics will have some affect on the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems.

Other Effects of Nootropics

Nootropics are typically used to target the systems we discussed above, but they can also provide other much-needed and wanted effects. When you take nootropic supplements, blood flow and oxygen flow to the brain increases. This is naturally good for the brain, regardless of what type of nootropic supplement you use. With increased blood flow and oxygen, you’ll get an increase in brain energy, which gives you a feeling of being alert, focused and positive.

Brain plasticity effects are also noted when using nootropics, which means that communication between the synapses is improved. When this happens, you’ll recall memories and information more clearly and easily. So, even if you are taking a nootropic for your anxiety, you’ll get some pleasant side effects of having more energy and a clearer mind, naturally along with your decreased anxiety.

In general, nootropics work by altering your brain chemistry in a way that is beneficial to you, improving any underlying issues with your brain systems or neurotransmitters.