Natural vs. Synthetic Nootropics: Which Is Best For You?
Since the beginning of nootropics and wellness supplements, there has always been a question of what it means to be “natural” or “synthetic,” and does it really make a difference?
The argument stands that while synthetic nootropics may provide a more noticeable immediate impact - sometimes feeling like you just drank 5 espressos at once - there are also questions about their sustainability for long-term usage and overall health.
Enter natural nootropics.
This is a new level of focus that is simultaneously charging you with energy while actually making your body a healthier, stronger being. When done properly, natural supplements provide instantaneous benefits, while also boosting long-term health. Plus, there is no mental crash, no depressed state, no longing to re-up throughout the day.
The internet seems to be ridden with false claims of powerful nootropics that basically give you superpowers. They’re clearly fake, but it leaves you weary of what the truth actually is about these supplements.
We want to make it easy for you to obtain the right kind of supplement to keep your head and your health aligned and moving forward. So, we compiled a list of all the major natural and synthetic nootropics.
Reference this next time you stumble across some crazy claim about a pill stronger than NZT-48 from the movie Limitless that gives you the superpowers to literally fix the world.
Here are some of the most popular and commonly used synthetic nootropics. While the supplements do provide significant results, they are manmade and science has yet to validate their long-term safety.
Known as the “original nootropic” founded in the 1960s, piracetam was thought to enhance cognitive function by improving ability to sleep and relieving anxiety driven stress. Potential benefits of piracetam are increased memory and focus in order to complete tasks. Piracetam is part of the racetam family and is the original nootropic discovered by Dr. Guirgea. Initially used to help induce sleep, piracetam still is used in many people’s daily routine although it is widely known to be one of the weaker nootropics in comparison to new and improved supplements that have built on the original idea and need of piracetam for increased cognitive function.
Used primarily as a cognition and memory boost, aniracetam also is known to boost overall mood. There is a unique anxiolytic effect that contributes to higher feelings of confidence and a decrease in anxiety. Aniracetam has a generally short lifespan, only lasting in the body for 4-5 hours and usually ending in an intense crash from lack of synthetic confidence.
Oxiracetam’s biggest claim to fame is its higher levels of effectiveness. As an improvement to the original piracetam formula, oxiracetam is about five times more potent than piracetam. It hits all of the major nootropic points - cognitive enhancement, improved memory and attention span, higher levels of concentration, and even increased logic. It is considered the best all-around synthetic nootropic and even increases energy, a less common trait of most synthetics.
Most closely associated with ADHD medication like Ritalin, pramiracetam is praised for its ultimate enhancement of memory and total focus. The potency surpases oxiracetam to an almost intoxicating level (much like high doses of attention deficit medication). It has a quick implementation period, going into effect in less than an hour after consuming, but also has a fairly short lifespan of only 4-5 hours. Like most synthetic nootropics, the short half life leads to more necessary doses to get through a single day.
Stacking WITH CILTEP and other NS products
For people who want to stack the racetams with CILTEP, we have THIS GUIDE to making the most of this synergistic stack.
As a schedule 2 drug, doctors prescribe Modafinil for sleeping disorders to increase energy levels and focus in those suffering from narcolepsy and feelings of excessive sleepiness. As an alternative to supplements like caffeine, this synthetic drug keeps you awake, but is also known to cause feelings of nausea, anxiety and high blood pressure. There are no solid studies to prove that Modafinil works to keep your body functioning properly.
As one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in modern America, Adderall is used to combat attention disorders like ADD and ADHD. As a combination of amphetamines and dextroamphetamines, Adderall directly affects the central nervous system to directly impact the chemicals related to hyperactivity. The most common side effects include loss of appetite, inability to function in social events, and intense ability to focus for long periods of time.
Below is a list of a few of the most popular natural nootropics available. Unlike synthetic supplements, there is no fear of long-term health issues. Using all-natural ingredients and extracts means that in the long-term you will actually be benefiting your body.
There are several more high functioning nootropics that enhance cognitive function without the unfortunate side effects of synthetic drug use. Think of this list as a “starting point” on your journey with natural nootropics as a life boost. For a complete list, click here.
CILTEP is an all natural cognitive enhancer built to increase motivation, focus, memory and overall wellness. Using artichoke extract and forskolin, long term potentiation is maximized to reach higher levels of concentration. CILTEP is used to combat the urge to walk away from a long term project or workout. Going that extra mile to get the job completed can seem impossible, but CILTEP gives you the extra boost you need to finish on top.
If you’ve ever taken a psychology or biology class, you’re probably aware of the term “dopamine” as a neurotransmitter essential to the central nervous system. It controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers which directly correlates to your motivation, or lack thereof. Dopamine Brain Food controls your dopamine levels to have the most consistent moods, which motivates you to work at your optimal performance levels.
Serotonin is they key to “finding your happy place.” Like Dopamine Brain Food, Serotonin Brain Food maintains optimal levels of the serotonin neurotransmitters in your brain. Serotonin is present to improve mood which in turn relieves stress and anxiety. Having elevated moods increases your ability to reach new levels of success without inhibitions. On a physical level, serotonin directly impacts your digestive system, helping to regulate your appetite.
The presence of magnesium has multiple benefits to both your physical health and mental capacities. When Magnesium L-Threonate crosses the brain-blood barrier, it creates an increase in synapse density which leads to lowering the “brain age” by almost nine years, especially in the elderly. The more synapses we have the better chance we get of hitting optimal levels of performance on a regular basis.
Krill Oil comes from krill, a crustacean found in cold waters similar to shrimp. Although it is similar to the ever popular fish oil supplement, krill oil has much higher absorbency rates and significantly improves the cardiovascular system by moderating heart rate and cholesterol. Krill oil has the ability to maximize your levels of DHA, the primary structural component of the brain, to increase synapse density and create the highest levels of cognitive performance.
As one of the most well-known nootropics, caffeine can be found in both synthetic and natural forms. What’s most important is the effectiveness, longevity and purity of the supplement. Most synthetic caffeine pills or caffeinated drinks can cause extreme side effects like shaking, inability to sleep, and heart palpitations. Smart caffeine uses a mix of natural caffeine and L-Theanine to create the ultimate feeling of energy and focus without the jitters or added anxiety. L-Theanine is an amino-acid from green tea that induces a feeling of being calm and collected. When you need a boost of energy but need to stay in control, smart caffeine is the ultimate solution.
You are now armed with the knowledge of both sides of this debate so that you make an informed choice as how you wish to optimize your mind for both the short and long term.
For optimal performance levels, check out the Natural Stacks complete collection of natural nootropics and stacks here to fuel yourself with the natural nutrients and support you need to be the most successful in your daily life.
World Memory Champion
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World Series of Poker 2014 Champion
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"CILTEP has earned a place alongside world-class smart drugs. It works synergistically with them to help you do - and be - more."