What can I take to boost brain performance ?

Cognitive enhancers come in many shapes and sizes.

Nootropic medicine cabinet

Nutraceuticals and functional foods or bioactives

Some are “readily” available at the pharmacy, supermarket shelf or health store such as caffeine, nicotine, omega-3 and beetroot juice.

Illicit drugs

Others you need to know which corner to stand on to get the “goods”.  This list includes cocaine and amphetamines.

Prescription drugs

The most interesting are those you can get from the doctor.

Of course, it is highly unlikely that he will be writing out a script for a nootropic since their use is a little controversial.   The prescription meds include those used to treat Alzheimer’s, ADHD, narcolepsy  eg. modafenil, piracetam.

A growing list of nootropics can be purchased  over the internet minus the doc’s prescription.

NOTE:  Must just warn you purchasing drugs over the internet is often risky because you don’t know too much about the seller.  Many are a bit dodgy, so you could end up purchasing sugar,  counterfeit or fake drugs.  Consequences could be mild i.e. don’t work but could also be deadly.

The ultimate cognitive enhancer is a healthy body and a positive mindset

So before you exploring pharmacological interventions, get the basics right i.e. eat right, exercise,  get enough sleep,  lay off the booze etc.   And think happy, positive thoughts.

Watch  for Hidden hunger

To satisfy your genes and lifestyle you need to get specific nutrients.  You may need a bit more or a bit less of something than someone else.  You need to adjust your diet to ensure you’re getting the right amount of many critical nutrients.

The list of nutrients which have been shown to impact on cognitive function is pretty long.  Examples include creatine, folic acid, iron, omega 3, vitamin D etc.

Watch for  dis-ease

Diabetes, hypertension, depression , insomnia ………..

Disease is  essentially arising because your body is no long at ease i.e. dis  “ease”.

Pretty much any illness is going to take its toll on your cognitive function, so manage your dis-ease.  Many of these dis-eases have their roots in lifestyle so adjustments here can “control” the problem or you can take one of the long list of prescription medications and “control” it that way.

The point, get it under control as far as possible to improve your cognitive functioning.

Think yourself smarter

The focus here is on cognitive enhancement using chemical intervention but I would be remiss not to mention that thinking and mindsets impact cognition big time.   Brain function is ruled not only by the chemicals transmission but by the connections and what you do and how you do it impacts those connections.

But I am a pharmacologist by training……..

If you go to a surgeon he will want to cut you up to fix you, if you go to a dietician she will want to fix you by changing your diet, a psychologist will want to talk about it.  A pharmacologist wants to shove a chemical in you.

I am a slightly evolved pharmacologist so I’m happy for the chemical to be produced by big pharma, a plant, the sun,  a genetically modified  bacteria  or your own body.  But chemicals rule !

This is the second part of a 3 part series introducing Nootropics – “drugs” used to enhance cognitive performance. 
Part 1 – How to win a medal for brain performance
Part 2 – What can I take to  boost brain performance ?
Part 3 – All cognitive enhancers are not created equal

Further reading

bees addicted to caffeine
beetroot increasing oxygen levels
puffing brain
Caffeine increases bee productivity Popeye turns to beetroot for his muscle fix Nicotine helps keep your body thin but it’s thinning out your brain

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