Different Types of Nootropics
The nootropics industry has exploded with growth over the past few years. Today, there are more types of nootropics available than there have ever been before.
Different nootropics affect your brain in different ways. Some nootropics can be stacked together, while others are specifically designed to improve your focus.
7 Categories Of Nootropics
Typically, nootropics are separated into seven different categories, including Racetams, Choline, Vitamin B Derivatives, Peptides, Ampakines, Smart Drugs, and Natural Nootropics. There are some overlap between those categories. However, each category tends to offer its own unique benefits and, in some cases, side-effects.
Which type of nootropic is best? Which type is the right choice for you? Today, I’m going to outline the basic types of nootropics available today and explain the pros and cons of each nootropic.
Racetams are the most common type of nootropic available today. They’re also arguably the most popular. All racetams share a similar chemical structure and offer similar benefits.
The entire nootropic industry started in the 1960s with the development of one racetam. That racetam was called Piracetam and it’s still available today. It may be the most clinically-tried and tested racetam on the market, and it’s sold under brand names like Nootropil and Lucetam.
In clinical testing, these racetams have been shown to provide some amazing cognitive benefits, including improved memory, focus, mood, learning abilities, and energy. Although we don’t know everything about racetams, we do know that they directly affect the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is constantly being used by the brain. Acetylcholine, like all neurotransmitters, helps the brain communicate. But acetylcholine has the unique benefit of optimizing signal transfer across synapses in the brain.
Some racetams also have the added benefit of affecting an amino acid called glutamate, which facilitates communication between neurons. Additionally, racetams are considered to be “neuroprotective”. That means they facilitate cell regrowth and reduce cell deterioration.
Once you skip past all the psychology and biological talk, you get this: racetams make the signals in your brain process more quickly than ever before. That’s why they’re the most popular nootropic in the world today and are commonly found in virtually all nootropic stacks.
2) Vitamin B Derivatives
Vitamin B Derivatives are one of the smaller groups of nootropics available today. However, they’re still an important category to discuss. Vitamin B Derivatives, as you may have guessed from the name, are derived from B Vitamins in order to extract the best possible benefits.
If you’re shopping for Vitamin B Derivatives online, then you’re most likely to encounter Sulbutiamine, which is a derivative of Thiamine. Thiamine is also known as Vitamin B1.
Thiamine-based nootropics have an interesting history: they were first synthetized in Japan in order to solve a health crisis. After the World Wars, the majority of the country consumed rice every day. Rice lacks many important nutrients – including Thiamine, and many Japanese people experienced constant fatigue and low energy levels. When Japanese scientists synthetized Thiamine in the form of Sulbutiamine, it made users more alert. It singlehandedly cured physical and mental fatigue across the country.
Now that the history lesson is over, let’s talk about the specific benefits of Sulbutiamine. Its most popular benefit is improving memory. Thiamine and other B Vitamins affect choline, glutamate, and dopamine levels in the brain, which makes them powerful tools for treating degenerative cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Ultimately, Vitamin B Derivative nootropics are commonly used to treat mental and physical fatigue or to improve memory retention.
3) Choline Nootropics
Choline is another powerful nootropic category. Although choline is naturally found in our bodies and in the foods we eat, most of us are choline-deficient. This leads to poor cognitive abilities and reduced overall brain health.
Now here’s the good news: choline is a water-soluble nutrient that can be found in many popular nootropic supplements. It directly affects your brain’s production of acetylcholine neurotransmitters. If you’ve been paying attention, then you know that acetylcholine neurotransmitters are targeted by many different nootropics.
On their own, choline supplements have a noticeably positive effect on memory and learning. However, these effects aren’t as noticeable as some other popular nootropics.
That’s why choline nootropics are typically stacked with racetams. When stacking choline nootropics with racetams, the effects build off each other, creating a positive feedback loop that encourages healthy acetylcholine transmission in the brain.
Ultimately, that provides a number of powerful benefits. Two of the most powerful benefits are increased memory and learning, which occurs due to the optimized supply of acetylcholine. Another major benefit is improved overall mood, which occurs due to the elevated dopamine levels. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s pleasure and reward centers.
Popular choline nootropics you can order online today include Citicoline, Centrophenoxine, and Alpha GPC. Out of all those supplements, Alpha GPC tends to be the most potent, although all of them work best when paired with a good racetam.
Peptides are naturally-occurring biological molecules. As you may remember from chemistry class, peptides are simply short chains of amino acids linked by covalent chemical bonds. The bond itself is called a peptide bond.
Peptide nootropics are relatively uncommon with one major exception: Noopept. Noopept is popular around the world. In Russia and other countries, doctors will even prescribe Noopept for certain psychological conditions, like poor memory or focus. In the United States, it’s a popular dietary supplement.
What does Noopept actually do? Well, Noopept and other peptides directly affect both glutamate and acetylcholine – just like racetams.
However, those who use peptide nootropics claim that Noopept is “1000 times” more potent than Piracetam. This potency is attributed to two major qualities:
- 1) It has a relatively high bioavailability, which makes it extremely effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier
- 2) It affects both glutamate and acetylcholine in the brain, while most racetams only affect acetylcholine
Is Noopept really 1000 times more effective than rivals like Piracetam? We’ll leave that up to you to decide. But peptides have been clinically shown to improve memory, motivation, mental energy, alertness, and learning capabilities.
Ampakines are one of the newest categories of nootropics. They’re also considered to be some of the strongest.
Ampakines directly affect glutamate receptors in the brain, increasing our levels of glutamate and optimizing our “glutamatergic” systems.
These nootropics have shown considerable success when targeting learning and memory. They play a critical role in synaptic plasticity. That means our brain can more easily absorb new information and “change” its pathways to retain that information.
Many people see Ampakines as a cross between caffeine supplements and racetams. Like caffeine, Ampakines facilitate brain plasticity. And like racetams, they stimulate glutamate receptors. However, Ampakines are thought to be more powerful than both racetams and caffeine. They affect glutamate receptors more strongly than racetams do, and they don’t have the dangerous side-effects associated with caffeine.
If you’re comparing Ampakine nootropics online, you’re most likely to come across products like Sunifiram, which is much more potent than Piracetam.
6) Smart Drugs
Many people believe the terms “Smart Drugs” and “Nootropics” are interchangeable. That’s not totally true.
The problem comes from the fact that many smart drugs contain stimulants. Nootropics, by nature, cannot be stimulants. So while all nootropics are smart drugs, not all smart drugs are nootropics.
Does that make sense?
Smart drugs often combine stimulants with other nootropic compounds to create a sort-of super powered cognitive enhancer. Popular supplements include Modafinil, which is used to treat chronic fatigue and thought to increase the neurotransmitter hypocretin. Hypocretin directly impacts our energy and motivation, and many people have been able to treat chronic fatigue-like conditions using Modafinil and other smart drug stimulants.
One of the problems with Modafinil is that it’s tightly regulated, which is why many people choose to take Adrafinil instead. Adrafinil isn’t usually taken on its own: it’s usually taken as part of a nootropic stack.
Whether you’re taking Adrafinil as a stack or on its own, you should notice increased focus, better concentration, and improved overall alertness. This is why Adrafinil and Modafinil are commonly prescribed to individuals with ADHD.
There’s one major downside to stimulant-containing smart drugs: they contain stimulants! As such, they’re not recommended for those with existing heart problems. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.
7) Natural Nootropics
All nootropics which are natural, organic, or herbal can be classified as “natural nootropics”. Natural nootropics are often plant-based and yield natural benefits. They’re typically shown to improve cognitive functionality while kick starting the brain’s natural healing powers and providing other nootropic-style benefits.
The one major benefit of natural nootropics is that they’re typically safe to use, since they’re found in nature and avoid the use of artificial chemicals and compounds.
The one major downside of natural nootropics is that they’re typically less effective than synthetic nootropics. Synthetic nootropics take ingredients from nature and synthetize those ingredients into their purified, extracted forms. That reduces filler while leaving pure benefits behind.
Natural nootropics leave these ingredients in their natural state, which can make them more difficult for the body to absorb. You need larger doses to give your brain the same effects. For example, instead of taking one choline supplement, you could eat 10 eggs.
Ultimately, that shouldn’t scare you away from natural nootropics: they’re great for beginner and intermediate users. Popular natural supplements include Ginkgo Biloba and Bacopi Monnieri.
Ginkgo Biloba – a plant-based product which grows naturally throughout China – has shown some promising results in the early stages of research. It’s been used to treat degenerative brain conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s, for example. It’s also one of the few natural nootropics which has a history dating back thousands of years.
Ultimately, “natural nootropics” is a broad term which covers a wide range of products. Some people consider Omega-3 and coffee to be natural nootropics, for example, while others claim that the choline found in eggs makes them natural nootropics.
Stacking Different Types of Nootropics
After reading through all of the types of nootropics listed above, you’ll probably notice something: most nootropics have a few unique benefits which affect specific areas of your brain.
Racetams affect your acetylcholine, for example, while ampakines affect your glutamate system and stimulants affect your energy levels.
Some of the best nootropic benefits are experienced when you combine multiple nootropics together. When you stack them together, the benefits complement one another, creating a positive feedback loop that vastly improves your overall cognition and brain health.
Stacking nootropics is about more than just maximizing benefits: it’s also about reducing side effects. Taken on their own, racetams give some people painful headaches. However, stacking racetams with vitamin B derivatives like Thiamine can reduce those headaches while also reducing cell deterioration in the brain.
Buy Different Types of Nootropics Online
Ultimately, we encourage you to pick the nootropic that solves the problem you’re experiencing. Whether you’re having trouble focusing, losing energy throughout the day, or simply can’t remember someone’s name anymore, the nootropics listed above can solve all of these problems and more.
Today, it’s easier than ever to buy nootropics online. You can discretely order nootropics and enjoy incentives like free shipping. Best of all – prices are cheaper than what you would find at your local pharmacy or retailer.