Nootropics offer a range of cognitive benefits, including faster reaction time, increased alertness, improved memory, and decreased mental fatigue and fog. Some nootropics are also adaptogenic, meaning they help your body manage stress.
What Are Nootropics?
Belgian scientist Corneliu Giurgea coined the term nootropic in the 1970s. Noos, from the Greek meaning mind, and tropos, meaning turn.
Giurgea saw nootropics as drugs that:
- Enhance memory and learning abilities,
- Improve muscle control, and
- Protect the brain from physical or chemical injury.
In essence, a nootropic is a substance that improves mental functioning, like increased information processing, concentration, memory, or some combination of cognitive benefits.
The original intended use for nootropics was to treat cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease. However, healthy individuals now use nootropic supplements and drugs to increase their focus and productivity. As such, nootropics are commonly referred to as “smart drugs” and “cognitive enhancers.”