Also known as"smart drugs" are natural (meaning from natural sources - i.e. plants) or synthetic compounds/supplements that enhance cognitive performance.
There are an array of natural, synthetic and prescription medicine types of nootropics out there, so I'll speak specifically to natural nootropics, which are the kind I take.
“crank up the brainpower!”
How to do it
Personally, I've only used natural nootropics, so I can only speak to those from experience. But I want to mention that synthetic nootropic drugs can have faster and more profound results, so depending on your needs, (like if recovering from brain injury) you may want to look into prescription drugs like modafinil or others.
I use natural nootropics to boost my cognitive function and focus for work. As a busy health scientist, full time doctoral student, and entrepreneur, I need a bit more than coffee sometimes to function at a consistently high level.
The one that I've recently been trying is Nadovim which combines NAD+ (a coenzyme for mitochondrial energy) with high quality cognitive enhancing minerals and botanicals. It helps me fight brain fog, have more energy, and have better concentration without any side affects!
How it works
Natural nootropics work to enhance brain functions like memory, concentration, and attention, but they also make the brain healthier. These supplements work through mechanisms like the dopaminergic or cholinergic pathways. They stimulate release of dopamine, uptake of choline, cholinergic transmission, function of AMPA receptor , turnover of phosphatidylinositol, and activity of phosphataseA2
In simpler terms, they help increase blood flow to the brain; prevent brain cell damage from chemicals, stress, and toxins; reduce the inflammation occurrence in the brain; and stimulate new neuron cells, increasing neuroplasticity.