If you’re a student studying for an exam, a professional running a business or someone who has trouble remembering passwords (like me), you might be interested in nootropics — substances that are known to improve cognitive function.
Nootropics, also called “smart drugs”, are substances (drugs, supplements or functional foods) that “turn” your mind to boost your cognitive abilities. The word nootropics comes from the Greek word nous, meaning mind, and trepein meaning to turn. They are not vitamins or minerals; they can be plant derived or synthetically produced in a laboratory. 1
How do nootropics work?
The mechanism of action of each nootropic varies, but they can enhance learning and memory with very few side effects. There are a variety of them and they each work differently. Depending on what nootropic you consume, you could go from being able to give 100% when not taking them, to being able to give 105% or 110% when you are.1
Here we’ll focus on natural nootropics which include, but are not limited to, the following. These are naturally-occurring elements from plants that provide mild cognitive-enhancing effects.
- GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid)
- PEA (phenethylamine HCL)
Nootropics are categorized into three groups: racetams, stimulants and nutraceuticals. Each group has a specific set of functions. 1
- Racetams – These affect memory, mood, mental agility and focus. Their benefits include increased memory capacity, enhanced mental clarity, greater concentration, increased calmness, better recall of ideas and quicker recognition of patterns. Racetams allow both analytical and creative work to be performed simultaneously.
- Stimulants – These increase attention and alertness which make concentration easier. Stimulants also make the brain adapt to stress by increasing energy levels, blood pressure, and heart and respiration rates.
- Nutraceuticals – These are food products that combine the effects of racetams and stimulants to a limited extent.
Products by PURE
There are many products by PURE that contain nootropics. PURE Perk contains a proprietary blend of nootropics designed to assist with mental clarity, memory and energy. The ingredients PEA, methylliberine, citrus aurantium extract, L-theanine, caffeine and phosphatidylcholine in PURE Perk are all nootropics.
ENERGY, GPS Hydrate and GPS Energize contain taurine, a nootropic. The following products contain caffeine, a nootropic. Be sure to monitor your caffeine consumption and limit it to no more than 400mg a day.
- PURE Café 150 mg caffeine
- GPS Energize 110 mg caffeine
- ENERGY 120 mg caffeine
- 360 Complete Shake 35 mg caffeine
- Metabolic ONE 88 mg caffeine
- Green Coffee Bean <16 mg caffeine
- Matcha Vegan Shake 45-50 mg caffeine
Nootropics are certainly worth the attention, and beneficial to our attention! However there’s no substitute for getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, keeping mentally active, eating a balanced diet and avoiding alcohol to optimize brain health.