What are "Nootropics"? – Smart Drug Smarts

Nootropics is an umbrella term for a class of chemicals some naturally-occurring, some manmade that give cognitive benefits to the human brain.

To get really technical, in order to be a nootropic, a substance must meet five criteria set by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, the man who coined the term nootropic. The substance must

This is a pretty hefty list of requirements for any chemical. In fact, anything that meets this full definition, could equally well be called a miracle drug, not just a nootropic.

However, normally when you hear the term nootropickicked around, people really mean a cognitive enhancer something thatdoesbenefit thinking in some way (improved memory, faster speed-of-processing, increased concentration, or a combination of these, etc.), but might not meet the more rigorous definition above. Smart drugs is another largely-interchangeable term.

With this looser definition, discussions about nootropics can range from innocuous everyday substances like caffeine and Omega-3 fatty acids to regulated (and deservedly so) substances like Adderall.

For a more visual definition of nootropics, check out our infographic What Are Nootropics?

Category: General

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What are "Nootropics"? - Smart Drug Smarts

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