Nootropics Frequently Asked Questions

Fact Checked On: 10-6-2018 By: Rob Miller

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Nootropics are a very new breed of supplements, and you probably have a ton of questions about them.  Check out some of the most common questions we get about Nootropic supplements below:

What Are Nootropics?

Also known as “smart drugs,” these substances are claimed to improve attention, motivation, intelligence, memory, and mood. Equally importantly, these substances are reportedly very safe. Within the community of nootropics researchers and enthusiasts, there is considerable debate over just which drugs, supplements, and nutraceuticals fall into this coveted category.

What Are The Different Types of Nootropics?

Nootropics can be broken down into 4 categories:

  • The Racetam Family – This family can be broken down into “sub-familys” that include piracetam, aniracetam, nefiracetam, levetiracetam, pramiracetam, oxiracetam, phenylpiracetam, and noopept.These compounds have found a variety of medical uses in different countries.In Europe, for instance, piracetam has a long history of use as a cognition-enhancing agent in the treatment of impaired intellectual function due to a variety of causes.The only -racetam that is approved for medical use in the United States is levetiracetam (trade name Keppra), which is an anticonvulsant used in the control of epileptic seizures.In contrast to the majority of other -racetams, levetiracetam has some serious safety issues (Malykh & Sadaie 2010).
  • “Eugeroic” stimulants (Modafinil, Adrafinil, and Armodafinil) – In contrast to traditional/conventional stimulant medications such as Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate, a compound structurally related to amphetamine), eugeroic (from Greek roots for “good arousal”) agents such as modafinil (trade name Provigil) do not tend to produce significant elevations in heart rate or blood pressure, do not tend to produce euphoria, and do not seem to display a high abuse liability.It is extremely unlikely that people will end up on street corners selling their parents’ TVs for their next hit of modafinil. Adrafinil (trade name Olmifon) is the parent compound of the group, and was discovered/developed in France in the 1970s.

    Related Article:  Afinil Express Review – Legit Modafinil w/o A Prescription

  • Vitamins And Supplements – There is solid evidence for the beneficial psychological effects (in terms of mood, motivation, alertness, and etc.) of some vitamins and supplements. Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are often overlooked as possible pathways to personal enhancement, but the debilitating effects of bad diet should not be underestimated.We highly recommend the use of Vitamins and supplements when it comes to nootropic supplementation, as it seems to have the most effective and safe outcome.
  • Cholinergics -Cholinergic substances can be defined in multiple ways. In one sense, a cholinergic is a precursor to acetylcholine, one of the most important neurotransmitters for, among other things, memory function.Choline, Alpha-GPC, and CDP choline (also known as citicoline) are cholinergics in this sense. Lecithin is not technically a cholinergic precursor itself, but instead contains phosphatidylcholine, a cholinergic precursor. DMAE’s role as a choline precursor is debatable, and is consequently debated.

How Do They Work?

This all depends on the type of nootropic substance you are consuming, which is too detailed to discuss at length here.  Click Here to sign up for our free “Complete Guide To Nootropic Supplements” ebook and skip to Chapter IV for a detailed discussion on this.

How Do They Compare To Prescription Medications?

Most of the nootropic substances we talk about on this site do NOT require a prescription to obtain, and are readily available online.  Although many of them work similarly to prescription type medications, they often do not produce a range of side effects that you will likely see with those very same prescription meds.

Are Nootropics Safe?

Generally speaking, yes.  However, as with any substance you put into your body, there is always the potential for side effects.  You can be assured that all of the Nootropic supplements we recommend are safe, AND have been personally tested by myself or a member of our staff.

Is It Wise To “Stack” Nootropics?

Generally speaking, yes.  Taking just one substance will have it’s own effect, but I’ve noticed through personal testing that combining nootropics seems to produce the most profound effects.

However, if you’re new to the world of nootropics, don’t be in a rush to take multiple types at once. You’ll want to find out how each affects you when used on its own before you mix it with any other substances. Makes sense, right?

Can I Take Nootropics and Prescription Medication At The Same Time?

Most of the time, yes, although you will want to check with your doctor to be certain. If you have a serious condition, do not cease treatment with your prescribed medication without talking to your doctor first.

If I Stop Taking Nootropics Will I Feel Stupid?

If you decide to quit supplementing with nootropics, you may notice your cognitive abilities returning to baseline. This does not mean that you will suddenly forget everything you studied while on nootropics, just that different aspects of your memory may be affected. For example, you could experience enhanced memory recall while taking aniracetam and then notice it’s returning back to normal once you stop.

Choosing The “Right” Nootropic

Finding the right Nootropic stack or supplement takes alot of personal testing to help achieve your desired result.  However, to help lead you in the right direction then here’s a few questions you should be asking yourself:

  • Are you having difficulty staying awake even during your favorite activities, but especially during school or work?Ask your doctor about Modafinil if you live in the United States. This medication is actually sold for the specific purpose of treating narcolepsy.
  • Do you need something that can help you achieve laser like focus and concentration quickly?Try a combination of DMAE, Caffeine, Green Tea Extract, and Huperzine (all of which are found in a recently tested Nootropic supplement called Optimind).
  • Are you looking to enhance your cognitive abilities, particularly those of memory and concentration over an extended period of time?  Try a combo of Bacopa, Ginkgo Biloba, and Rhodiola Rosea (all of which are found in Mind Boost Day and Night Formula).
  • Have you experienced brain trauma of some sort and want to improve learning scores as you recover?Piracetam and aniracetam in particular are beneficial in this area, especially when it comes to encephalopathy and brain surgeries.

Is There Such A Thing As A “Limitless” Pill

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Limitless” starring Bradley Cooper, you were probably intrigued at the thought of a pill that would give you limitless focus / concentration / cognition.  Their are TONS of supplement companies use this intrigue to their advantage, and call their supplement the “Real Limitless Pill”.

A few that come to mind are Alpha ZXT, Addium, Neuroflexyn, and Brainstorm Elite…all of which I have personally tested and found that they were complete BS.

The ONLY limitless pill that I’ve ever tried were Adderall and Modafinil, both of which require a prescription from a licensed psychologist.  However, I HAVE tested a few combos of ingredients that help to “mimic” the effects of these prescription drugs, all of which are available cheaply and over the counter.

They’re basically the closest thing to legal adderall that you’ll find in stores. 

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L-Theanine & Caffeine

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The combo of L-Theanine and Caffeine is a well known nootropic stack that really works.

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Want To See What SupplementsWork Like Adderall? Click Here To Find Out!

Ask A Question

User Questions and Answers

Which will be the most effective of the ones you can by over the counter? -Guillermo

My top pick is Optimind.  Here's my full review:  You should also check out my article about the best nootropic stack that most closely resembles Adderall: Rob

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2 out of 2 people found this question helpful.

Each & every ad for "brain boosters", all begin with the same photo of a brain (cut in half?) and with the same hyperbolic text. WHY? Is this legal marketing? Walgreen's has one that my son tried for weeks and then gave the rest to me to see if they helped me. Some very tiny improvement (perhaps; placebo effect?). Is there REALLY an effective one? Which one? -Darlene

A lot of the different supplements are the same companies recycling their products and changing names and labels.  Try Optimind. It's by far the best I've used.- Rob

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2 out of 3 people found this question helpful.

Would use of this product be helpful with someone who has cerebral palsy, major developmental disabilities, including the brain (at a chronological age of 5-7 months of age) among other issues be of help? Would it help the brain to start functioning more normally in any way? What pros are there in the use for this exact application? -KENDRA

As supplements, they don't really cure diseases or medical conditions, but truthfully, what you're asking about is beyond my area of expertise. I'm sorry but I'll have to refer you to your physician to discuss this.- Rob

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what color is the medicine in cogniflex. seemed to noticeably make a difference first few days, now puts me to sleep. have reason to believe may have been tampered with so appearance of med inside would help me grestly. thanks -Ruth

Here's an image of what it looks like: - Rob

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Hi, I was wondering if you know anything about Le-vel Thrive? -Brenda

Yes, check out my full review here: Rob

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0 out of 1 people found this question helpful.

Author: Rob Miller

Supplement Critique

Rob Miller founded over 7 years ago, and has been the chief editor ever since. He has a diploma in Advanced Dietary Supplements Advisor, and worked at GNC for 3 years. He KNOWS supplements, both inside and out. Rob currently resides in Jupiter, FL, with his wife of 4 years.  Learn more about him in his Bio here. Follow him on Twitter , Facebook, LinkedIn, or find him on Google +.

19 comments on “Nootropics Frequently Asked Questions”

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  1. 25yr old now, @20yr brain surgery for glioma tumor, 5 yrs no return. Need cognitive, focus, mood stabilizer, short & long term memory help.

    Sensitive to caffine. Lite drinker (wine).

    Actress, need to be able to memorize quickly & long term. No chemo, radiation, no prescritions.

    Aderall great but too much & dont want side effects. Any suggestions?

    1. Hey Joe,

      Prices vary. Let me know which supplement you’re thinking about, and I’ll let you know what I know about its pricing.

  2. Hello, I’m not sure if it is appropriate to write in asking for advice like this, but I am feeling somewhat desperate and thought I’d give it a try. I am a fairly experienced nootropics user, experimenting with a number of different racetams, adaptogens, and more obscure substances.

    I reserve many of these for specific situations, but my daily stack has been refined to: Lion’s Mane, Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa, Caffeine, (Sometimes Ashwaganda) and NALT (and usually Magnesium at night). The other day I had a particularly strenuous event which required long term energy and focus (and I had not been sleeping much), so along with that daily stack I added Modafinil and Phenylpiracetam, both of which I have used before.

    I felt great and was able to move throughout the day with energy and clarity. At the end of the event, without even thinking about it, I had a few drinks of alcohol to celebrate.

    Almost immediately after these drinks, I could tell this probably wasn’t a great idea. I felt much more drunk than I should have on the amount of alcohol I consumed, and my brain started to get particularly foggy.

    That night I also took some GABA to help me get to sleep. Now, 3 days after this occurrence, my head still feels very ‘full’ and under pressure, not quite painful but not normal.

    I am having terrible brain fog, cannot focus well, especially on written text, and my memory seems really disrupted. I am processing everything much slower and with greater difficulty than ever before and have caught myself spacing out frequently.

    I know that mixing racetams with alcohol is highly cautioned against because of increased blood flow to the brain and more potential for damage, but I was so relieved at the completion of this event that I didn’t think twice about celebrating with drinks. I am wondering if you have any advice on what I can do to repair some of the damage I may have done.

    It’s been 3 days now and I still feel VERY foggy. Will this slowly dissipate, or could I have done something permanent?

    Thank you so much for reading and any advice you can share would be greatly appreciated.
    1. Hey Tyler,
      You’ll be fine. It’s highly unlikely that you caused any permanent damage, you’re just feeling the after effects and come down.

      Modafinil and Phenylpiracetam have a pretty long half life, so that’s not helping your cause either. Just give it another week or two, and if you’re still not feeling right hit me up and we’ll try to figure it out.

  3. Trial size $4.95but yall charged my debit $11.80 then another $38.90 svscammed. I had to cancel my debit card or yall would be debiting !80

    1. Hey charlotte Burns,
  is a review website. We don’t have any affiliation with this product, so you’ll have to contact the company you made your purchase from to cancel your order or billing.


  4. Good day ,

    I`ve been using BrainPlusI.Q for a few months now….I`ts perfect for its purpose….I`d like to find out though if this can cause insomnia…
    Your prompt response will be much appreciated ,
    Regards .
  5. Hi rob, I have been taking lumunol for 3 months and just about to get off the cycle for 30 days, I am concerned I will not function as well during this period, do you know of anyone who has gone through the off cycle process and whether they felt the impact?
    1. Hey Anita,

      I don’t know anyone actually, and I didn’t use it long enough to be considered a cycle. I wouldn’t think there’d be a problem.

      A supplement like this doesn’t general lead to dependence or tolerance issues. Let me know how you make out.

  6. Hey Rob,

    Thanks for sharing information on Nootropics. Much appreciated that you have covered almost everything essential regarding Nootropics.

    It is considered as a smart drug but yes, at the same time it should be taken correctly and remain stick to the regimen can trigger in achieving your goal. I have enjoyed reading your blog and it helped me in gaining my knowledge in many areas where I was left out with.

    Take Care.

  7. I’ve tried ALOT of now nootropics as well and NONE of them worked. I’ve even combined adrafinil, noopept, and piracetam and nothing.

    And I took I’d say about 60-80 grams at 1 time between the 3 and nothing. Is the whole nootropics thing a scam or what?

    I’d love to find something that works. I’d go to a doctor to get adderal but I don’t have the insurance to.

    1. Hey Jay,
      Sometimes the source is the problem, who were you getting them from? It also depends a lot on your goals…what is it youre looking for?

      Increased focus and motivation, or increased energy / decrease anxiety?
      Fill me in on your specific goals and I’ll try to recommend the best stack for you.

      1. Thanks Rob. I was getting them from powder city and some ebay seller.

        As for my goals, I’m basically looking for everything you mentioned. I’m open to suggestions.

        1. Not surprised on the Powder City, I (and so do some people over at Reddit) suspect they use fake reviews to fluff up the effectiveness of their noots.

          I think you’re best bet would be to combine a supplement called Optimind along with a nootropic called Phenibut. The Optimind will give you the energy / focus / concentration you’re looking for, and the Phenibut will quell any anxiety and improve your mood.

          I write about this stack pretty extensively in the following post, check it out:

          Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.


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