Browsing the internet or my inbox, these 3 misconceptions in one form or another underlie a newbie’s questions or concerns with nootropics.
Time to clear them up.
1. “I’ll be just like Bradley Cooper in Limitless”
This seems to be every nootropic virgin’s fantasy.
Nope. Science isn’t there yet.
I’m not denying that nootropics give you an edge, but you won’t become Nikola Tesla either. Unless your parents made you do grueling memory exercises as kid (and you have the right genetics).
As with everything in life, if your expectations vastly exceed what actually happens, you’ll be disappointed. Experiment with dropping expectations and measuring the actual effects of smart drugs with tests (like Cambridge Brain Sciences for instance.)
2. They Are Completely Safe
The law of equivalent exchange comes to mind.
A) Or as Tim Ferriss likes to say, there is no biological free lunch. For example, there’s been a few cases of people not doing their due diligence, going balls to wall and bad things happen. Like here and here for instance. This guy has the right idea and I recommend checking his safety list out.
B) For instance, if you are unhealthy, nootropics may be a drain on your system. They tend to put your brain in overdrive. This tends to mean increased oxygen and nutrient consumption as well as “metabolic waste.” This is why I constantly bring up the importance of building a healthy lifestyle and habits that allow your body and mind to thrive. They allow noots to do their job better.
C) There are limited human studies and not many have studied the long-term results of consumption (Besides Bacopa monnieri and Piracetam). Smart drugs are a young field. And of course there are opportunity:risk ratios that everyone must consider for themselves.
However, nothing risked is nothing gained.
3. The Effects Will Feel Strong
Due to our semi-unique biochemistry, nootropic effects can be highly subjective. And this isn’t including other variables like environment, stress hormones, circadian rhythms, nutrient profile in the blood, etc.
Most of the effects are subtle, and that’s a good thing. Instead of geeking out over what your brain is doing, you can be more effective and efficient.
Also, there are other effects that nootropics provide other than just cognitive ones. So if you aren’t feeling anything, consider that you are getting other benefits. Don’t believe me? Then PubMed and Examine are calling your name.
P.S. If you want to try a noot stack, check out the Nootropics for Newbies Danger & Play College Crusher Stack post I wrote. Try it and get back to me on how it works out for you.