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  • The Buzz on Nootropics and Cognitive Brain Health

  • WTF are Nootropics? As told by Ariel Acevedo, Complementary Medicine Expert

    Often referred to as “smart drugs”, nootropics are both synthetic and natural substances used to increase creativity, refine cognitive function, and sparking motivation in your mornings. We often have days where we feel misaligned with our work or studies, needing to enhance our memory for the day. We have been using these smart drugs in the forms of “green tea” and “coffee” for hundreds and thousands of years, more recently in the form of synthesized supplements and pharmaceutical drugs like “Adderall”.

    Roughly 80% of Americans ingest a nootropic every morning the form of caffeine, making it the most recognizable psychoactive drug to date. But does it stop there? There is an intense list of these supplements that occur naturally and can be synthesized to our leisure. Buddy’s Nootropic blend is concoction of safe supplements to enhance cognitive skills, brightening our memory on the mornings where we need that extra “oomph” to our step.

    What defines a Nootropic?

    Coined by Romanian psychologist and chemist Corneliu E. Giurgea, the name itself derives from the Greek roots “mind bender.” Although nootropics have been around for thousands of years as we consumed tea, coffee and ashwagandha, the medical industry has evolved to synthesize chemical compounds creating their own forms. Based on Giurgea’s studies, there is 5 criteria markers that defines a nootropic.

    The first marker that defines a nootropic is it needs to strengthen memory and ability to process new information. Let’s face it, you and I, are not perfect human beings. When we’re cramming for an exam precious time is ticking away, it can be frustrating remembering a plethora of information in one sitting. Luckily, Buddy’s Vitamin D3 Boost is a perfect example of what we need to help us absorb information easily. Vitamin D3 not only an immunity booster but it clears your brain fog and allows you to learn information easier after consumption. Respectfully, people with dyslexia and attention deficit disorders can greatly benefit from Vitamin D3, I would know as I struggled greatly growing up subjected to these impairments.  As an adult, I’m able to recognize when I need supplements to keep my brain pushing on the days where I am having trouble retaining information.

    The second criteria for a nootropic is to enhance brain functions under disruptive conditions. Hypoxia, is when there is an insufficient amount of oxygen reaching the brain, causing a slew of issues. Altitude sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning, anemia, and ischemia are prime examples of hypoxia. Some of these conditions are unpreventable, and naturally occurring supplements can aid to those enduring these conditions. I don’t know about you, but when I go from below sea level to a mile high within hours (from Florida to Colorado) it leaves me in a brain fog for days. I have constant headaches, a shortness of breath, and the need to sleep for a good 36 hours until I am adjusted. Why wait those 36 hours when you can pick up Buddy’s Nootropic blend and save yourself the altitude sickness?! Could be a life saver when you have a short trip and need the right headspace to hang out with family and friends! If you have a depletion of oxygen cells traveling to the brain, it would be in your best interest to grade a supplement. Don’t let yourself suffer through brain fog if you don’t have too!

    The brain often needs protection, from physical injuries or chemical assaults. Our third criteria focus on keeping the brain safe while subjected to these circumstances. Barbiturates and anti-cholinergic drugs have risk to the brain, as any pharmaceutical drugs do. Barbiturates can often disrupt our memory process during long term use, and anti-cholinergic drugs blocks the acetylcholine neurotransmitter in the nervous system. The acetylcholine neurotransmitter is an organic compound that allows us to remember memories (x). Long term use of prescription drugs anti-cholinergic drugs have been linked to a decrease in memory in an aging brain (x). Nootropics like omega-3 amino acids and Vitamin V12 that Buddy boosts supplies can be beneficial to those subjected these chemical assaults. Along with chemical assaults, they also protect the brain from physical injuries as it gives time. After we receive a blow to the head (or for sport players, multiple blows) it can impair our critical thinking skills and functioning memory. Rightfully so, as the brain is a fragile organ. Although unsupported by the Food and drug administration, an increase in nootropics have aided to individuals who have suffered from brain injuries (x). My advice? Obviously, see a doctor when needed. Ensure your brain is working properly. But with injuries you can’t cure right away, that only need time to properly heal, it’s good to have a pick me up when the brain fog comes in after a physical or chemical injury.

    Giurgea’s fourth criteria is that it needs to increases the efficacy of neuronal firing control mechanisms in cortical and sub-cortical regions of the brain. Let’s break this science down, shall we?  A neuron is defined as cell transmitting nerve pulses (otherwise known as a nerve cell). Our brains are filled with these little guys, and certain parts of our brain (like the limbic system belonging to the sub-cortical region) require more of these little guys to keep our memory sharp. Our cerebral cortex is what keeps is mentally going EVERY DAY! When we are not sharp and focused, we often become sluggish, behind in work and for lack of better words: lazy. They say as toddlers our neurons function and are more connected than they will ever be for the rest of our lives. Doesn’t it make sense, that after a cup o’ joe (our good friend caffeine)we often are more hyperaware and attentive? Maybe not to a child-like standard, but as a mother, I keep up with my little one after I’ve had a dose of caffeine. If you would rather not have the hyper attentive affect and want to just remain aligned and awake with your thoughts, L-theanine found in green tea has the same effect without the hyper attentiveness to your thoughts. This amino acid is a perfect form of cognitive enhancer that doesn’t leave you feeling depleted or “strung out” that Adderall may have you feeling.

    Finally. Our fifth and most important criteria that identifies a nootropic. It absolutely must be non-toxic, posing no threat to our bodies during the recommended consumption. Nootropics have a daily limit depending on which supplement you are using. But what is essential is that it doesn’t deplete you of other nutrients and keeps your brain safe during consumption. But this is where it can get controversial. With natural supplements, they’re more difficult to abuse because we virtually feel no side effects. If I we’re to increase my intake on lion’s mane mushroom or American ginseng, the probability of giving me long term, life altering effects would be slim to none. Adderall however, is wildly abused amongst college students and business owners alike x. Adderall addiction has become prevalent in our society, turning healthy adults into dependents to survive through the day’s tasks. Which comes to another conclusion-- nootropics prescribed from the pharmaceutical industry with long term use can do the exact opposite of what the criteria is needed to even be considered a nootropic. Long term abuse of Adderall can create distress on our brains, increase memory loss, keeping us overworked and emotional unavailable. To what extent is our health worth the risk that we inevitable are trying to heal?

    In my opinion *sips green tea* I would prefer the organic source. As I said before, we are not perfect humans. Most of us are parents, students, run entire business alike. It would seem impossible some days without our coffee’s, tea’s, and supplements. Not all of us are dependent on them either. But if we are going to take these supplements they should be within the dietary recommended dosage, and more so organic. Although they’re healthy ways of consuming these, many people risk their health turning to pharmaceuticals to help through their days. No shame here, I understand everyone physiology is unique. Some people don’t abuse these drugs. But to me it’s not worth it, especially when I can grab a Buddy Shot with a Nootropic boost and call it a day—without the side effects, withdrawals and mood swings that usually come with other pharmaceuticals that aren’t meant for me.

    Written by Ariel Acevedo - Complementary Medicine Expert