Nootropic use is most definitely on the rise. There’s no doubt about that. The popularity of nootropics now arguably rivals that of omega 3 supplements and multivitamins, with a rapidly growing number of people taking cognitive enhancers every single day.
The short-term effects of nootropics are well known. These typically include sharper focus, increased attention span, faster mental processing speeds, and better working memory. Some of the best nootropics can even help increase energy levels, while other nootropics can reduce stress and anxiety.
But what about the long-term effects of nootropics?
This is a very good question to ask. Many nootropics affect the brain in a real, fundamental way. Some natural nootropics work by increasing the output of certain neurotransmitters. Other smart drugs can boost neuropeptide levels. It stands to reason that some of these substances might have lasting effects on how the brain works!
In this article, we’re going to look at the known and potential long term effects of nootropic use. We will discuss both the positive and negative long-term effects of nootropic use. We will talk about both natural and synthetic nootropics, the mechanisms by which brain supplements can have lasting effects, and which nootropics have the biggest positive long-term effect.
What are nootropics?
If you’re looking to improve your brainpower, you’ve probably heard of nootropics. But did you know there are actually prescription nootropics? Prescription nootropics, such as Donepezil and Ritalin (methylphenidate), are only given to people with cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If you’re wondering what these products are and how they work, read on.
Nootropics work by altering the neurotransmitters in your brain, influencing the signaling pathways responsible for attention, concentration, and memory. These compounds are safe to take every day and have few side effects. Some do develop a tolerance, while others can lose their effectiveness over time. So which nootropics should you take? Read on to learn more about nootropics and how they can benefit you.
There are several different nootropic supplements. Try to find one that suits your needs and your budget. Try to find those with positive reviews and user experiences. Nootropics may also boost your mood, improve your creativity, and improve your memory. If you don’t feel any of these effects, you can try healthy lifestyle changes to improve your brain function and energy. If you’re not sure, try nootropics with your healthcare provider. If you have chronic health problems, it’s better to consult your doctor.
How do nootropics work?
Nootropics work in the brain by supporting neurotransmission and enhancing cognitive processes. The brain is a complex system that consumes approximately 20 per cent of the body’s energy, making it susceptible to low energy levels. Nootropic supplements may improve brain function by enhancing nutrient and oxygen delivery to the brain and increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary source of energy for the body. Some nootropics promote neuroregeneration and provide the brain with the building blocks it needs to regenerate. For example, the amino acid L-theanine found in green tea is thought to have specific medicinal properties.
Neurotransmitters are molecules that send messages between neurons. During the process, a neuron sends a chemical messenger across a synapse, which then binds with receptors on the dendrites of the receiving neuron. The process repeats itself. The brain needs neurotransmitters to properly function, as these are the primary components of mental performance. When the neurotransmitters are properly functioning, the brain has an optimal level of mental sharpness.
How long do the effects of nootropics last?
How long do the effects of nootropics last? The effects of nootropics may vary from person to person, but generally, they last from one to two hours. The duration of their effects varies, depending on the type of nootropic and the amount of time you’re taking it. Some nootropics, like Adrafinil, need a long buildup period to be effective. Others may have a cumulative effect, meaning their effects become apparent only after a large period of use.
Several nootropics work by altering neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting various pathways that govern memory, concentration, and attention. Some nootropics are safe to take everyday and won’t develop a tolerance or lose their effectiveness after several days. Others take longer to take effect, but the effects are generally permanent. The best way to test out the effectiveness of nootropics is by using them as part of a routine.
Do nootropics have lasting effects?
Although nootropics are technically legal, they should always be used under the supervision of a physician. While some nootropics are effective for short-term cognitive problems, others may enhance brain function over time. To avoid any adverse side effects, you should start at a low dose and gradually increase your dosage. Ensure you get sufficient sleep, drink plenty of water, and avoid overdosing.
Some nootropics may have adverse effects, especially in young adults. Young people who have a history of substance use or mental illness may be more susceptible. Parents of young children should educate them about the negative effects of nootropics to prevent misuse. However, these effects should be considered temporary and not serious. Therefore, you should always consult with your pediatrician or doctor if you suspect someone is taking nootropics.
Some nootropics can reduce work productivity. Caffeine is a common example. It can boost mental performance for short-term issues, such as studying, but can also decrease long-term cognitive function. The same is true for N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. Nootropics may increase your cognitive performance when used in conjunction with a diet rich in magnesium or calcium.
Long-term benefits of nootropics
Nootropics help increase your brain’s energy levels, which are both short-term and long-term benefits. The brain needs energy to repair itself, so nootropics that increase energy levels indirectly boost neuroregeneration. Maritime Pine Bark Extract, for example, may boost the activity of the brain’s BDNF. These compounds can improve short-term and long-term memory. But, there are other, longer-term benefits of nootropics, which are not readily apparent from short-term effects.
Although the benefits of nootropics are not yet fully understood, some studies have shown them to improve memory and performance. Nootropics have also been shown to support healthy brain function as one ages, helping to protect the brain against age-related cognitive decline and improve mood and clarity. Several of them boost the brain’s energy metabolism, including vitamin B12.
Brain cells are responsible for managing the electrical activity in the brain. However, when the brain is tired, its cognitive ability becomes reduced. Fortunately, there are nootropics that help improve brain health without causing a hangover. L-Theanine promotes brain waves, which increase concentration and alertness. The human brain requires 20% of its energy, so these supplements help increase brain energy levels. Taking nootropics may even help reverse the effects of aging in some cases.
What is Neurogenesis?
Simply put, neurogenesis is the growth or development of nervous tissue. When we speak about neurogenesis, we are almost always talking about the growth or development of brain tissue (which is itself nervous tissue).
It comes as a surprise to some people, but there are several nootropic compounds known to promote neurogenesis in humans. Promoting the growth, maintenance and development of brain tissues such as neurons, dendrites and myelin sheaths
There are a few different ways that nootropics can promote neurogenesis.
Some brain supplements, such as Lion’s Mane Mushroom and Noopept, work by increasing the expression of neurotrophic factors like nerve growth factor (NGF) and Brain derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).
Others promote neurogenesis by directly stimulating the proliferation of cells in the brain. Bacopa monnieri is a good example of this. A herbal nooropic used for centuries in Indian traditional medicine, Bacopa monnieri has been found by clinical trials to stimulate the growth of dendrites between neurons. This increases the number of communication points between neurons, enhancing overall cognitive performance.
Nootropics which have long term benefits typically produce some kind of neurogenesis in one way or another.
What is Neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity is often spoken about in relation to nootropics which have long-term benefits.
In simple terms, neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or after injury.
You may sometimes see nootropic stacks which claim to trigger “neuroplasticity”, but neuroplasticity is not something that can be “triggered”. Rather, it is a property the brain has, and different peoples’ brains will have more or less ability to grow tissue as a response to injury, learning or experiences.
Which Nootropics Boost BDNF?
So which nootropics boost BDNF?
Some of the nootropics which have been found to boost BDNF levels are:
- Rhodiola rosea
- Bacopa monnieri
If you’re interested in naturally raising BDNF levels, you should check out our guide to the best nootropics for boosting BDNF.
Long-term side effects of nootropics
Nootropics can change levels of neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones in the brain. These chemicals can increase energy and alertness, and some are also known to affect the brain’s response to oxidative stress. While they are popular for improving mental performance, there are some risks associated with nootropic use. Here are some factors to consider before trying nootropics. Although long-term effects of nootropics are rare, there are side effects.
Here are some of the more prevalent long-term side effects of even the best nootropics and smart drugs:
- Brain fog
- Loss of focus
- Loss of motivation
- Mental fatigue
- Stomach cramps
Of course, different nootropics carry different side effect risk profiles.
For example, you are more likely to experience the cognitive side effects listed above when using nootropics that augment neurotransmitter production or reuptake in the brain. A prime example of this is Huperzine A. Long-term, chronic Huperzine A use invariably causes headaches and brain fog as acetylcholine starts to pile up between your neurons, inhibiting efficient communication.
The gastrointestinal side effects of perpetual nootropic use are much more likely to occur if you’re taking large doses of herbal nootropics on a daily basis. While Bacopa monnieri, Ginkgo biloba and Ashwagandha are broadly safe for daily use over long periods, they can cause stomach issues in some people.
Nootropics are often marketed as smart drugs and memory enhancers. They are often used as supplements to improve cognitive performance and combat the effects of aging, including dementia and ADHD. Some are prescription-only while others can be purchased over the counter. Although there are a variety of nootropics, they all have a different mechanism of action. In general, the benefits of nootropics are far outweigh the risk of long-term side effects.
The most obvious risk is the potential for addiction. While nootropics are effective in improving memory and cognition, there are also risks to long-term use. Some nootropics may cause a crash, leading to headaches, fatigue, or brain fog. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking the nootropics immediately and talk to your doctor. Long-term side effects of nootropics are generally minimal, but more research is needed.
Can nootropics cause brain damage?
Among the many benefits of nootropics, some are considered dangerous. In addition to the possibility of brain damage, nootropics may have a negative impact on the brain if they are abused. These include those with a history of mental abuse and substances. Nevertheless, nootropics themselves do not have any ill effects on the brain when used properly. In fact, they may even reduce the effects of brain injury, especially when taken properly.
Some nootropics may cause damage to the brain, but they are generally safe when taken in moderate amounts. The most effective supplements are those that contain a combination of several nootropics. They work best in a nootropic stack, so you can combine nootropics to boost your cognitive abilities. For example, one of the most effective nootropic stacks is Mind Lab Pro, which contains many nootropics and enhances several brain pathways.
However, many nootropics have potential negative effects on the body. They can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, and other health problems, and they can cause addiction. Moreover, improper use can lead to harmful reactions in the body, such as hepatotoxicity or liver damage. However, nootropics can enhance brain health and prevent the symptoms of aging. That is why it is crucial to know exactly what nootropics are and how they work.
Examples of Nootropics With Long-Term Effects
Which nootropics have long-term effects?
Below is a list of nootropics – including both herbal cognitive enhancers and synthetic prescription smart drugs – which are known to have lasting effects. We have included nootropics on this list that have effects after you stop taking the substance. How lasting their effects are vary compound to compound, brain supplement to brain supplement. You are encouraged to do more reading on our site to learn about the lasting effects of each nootropic.
Examples of nootropics with lasting benefits:
- Lion’s mane mushroom
- Korean red ginseng
- Bacopa monnieri
- Rhodiola rosea
- N-acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)
- Huperzine A
All of these nootropics have different effects when used over long periods of time. Some have very long lasting effects, providing major cognitive enhancements even months after you have stopped taking it daily. Others provide enhanced cognitive performance for several days, assuming you have been taking the nootropic daily.
While the above nootropic substances are all known to have long-term benefits, there are other commonly used nootropics which are known to cause long-term negative side effects. Here is a list of substances found to cause lasting adverse effects:
All of these substances are used by people on a daily basis to enhance cognitive performance. Some are even associated with improvements in brain health, and in most cases side effects are actually rare. But clinical evidence shows that these substances have the ability to cause serious and – occassionally – lasting, prolonged side effects.
Are nootropics safe for prolonged use?
Nootropics are a group of supplements that each have their own unique actions and risks. While lots of research has been conducted, most studies on individual nootropic supplements are small and involve impaired subjects. Natural nootropics are those that come from plants and are thus much safer than synthetic or chemical nootropics. Before using any type of nootropic supplement, you should consult a healthcare practitioner about its safety.
Nootropics are substances that amplify the way our brain processes information. This boosts our creativity, productivity, and motivation. Nootropics are not new, though. In 1972, Romanian psychologist Corneliu E. Giurgea coined the term “nootropic.” Currently, there are several nootropic drugs on the market, including Piracetam, modafinil, and methylphenidate. Some of these drugs are marketed as “untested and nonmedicinal,” but this is not the case.
Smart drugs like Adderall have been around for a while now. The FDA has approved it for the treatment of ADHD. But, unlike Adderall, most nootropics are not FDA-regulated. The FDA regulates prescription drugs to ensure their safety and efficacy. Without FDA-regulated nootropics, there is no way to know what doses and frequency are safe for use in humans.
Conclusion: Can you take nootropics long-term?
The siple answer to this question is yes, depending on which nootropics you are talking about. Some nootropics can and indeed should be taken long-term, while others should only be used infrequently when you need a quick cognitive boost.
In general, nootropic stimulants will need to be used infrequently and sporadically, while natural nootropics can generally be used more regularly for prolonged periods of time.
What you need to do is evaluate the suitability of an individual nootropic for long-term use and take them accordingly.
We think when constructing a nootropic stack, you are always going to see better results when taking a long-term approach.
The most effective cognitive enhancers on the market today combine nootropic ingredients which can be taken every day for months on end. This is how the biggest improvements in memory, focus, clarity and mental energy can be obtained.
Brian Johnson is current Editor of Vagarights.com and a long-time writer for VAGA. A former psychologist, Brian is passionate about improving mental health and finding ways to stave off cognitive decline. He is an expert on nootropics, cognitive enhancement and biohacking more broadly. You can see his work on Google scholar.