nootropics – Can a pill really make you smarter?

What are nootropics?

Technically, a nootropic is any supplement that can improve mental alertness, clarity, focus, and concentration. Natural supplements such as fish oil are included in this spectrum, but we will be focused on drugs from the “racetam” group. These are scientifically created drugs that were developed specifically for the purpose of being a “smart-drug”.

The first racetam, Piracetam, was developed in 1963 and is still used today. Much research has been done and this compound has been scientifically proven to have brain boosting effects.

How do nootropics work?

Nootropics don’t give you more brain matter, they simply improve the function of the brain you already have.  Nootropics work by improving the ability of certain receptors in the brain. When these receptors are working overtime the brain is more efficient. Racetams are also said to improve the ability of the two hemispheres of your brain to interact with each other.

Scientific Research

There is much scientific research to suggest that racetams have a cognitive effect on people with learning disabilities or memory disabilities. Studies have been conducted on the elderly and racetams have been found to have significant impact.

There is little scientific research that supports the idea that racetams have a positive effect in healthy individuals, however there are many individuals that report an impact on their memory, concentration, and perception. The website has countless documented experiences of users reporting mostly good but also bad effects.

Most well known Racetams and common dosages

Piracetam – Usual Dose: 800-2400mg, 1-2 times per day. 5 hour half life.

Aniracetam – Usual Dose: 750mg, 1-3 times per day, with food. 1-2 hour half life

Oxiracetam – Usual Dose: 750mg, 1-2 times per day with food. 8 hour half life

Pramiracetam – Usual Dose: 300-500mg. 1-2 times per day, with food. 5-6 hour half life

Noopept – Usual Dose: 10-20mg, 1-2 times per day, with food. 30min to 3 hour half life

Brainwave Entrainment via Mind Machines and Binaural Beats

Brainwave Entrainment is the act of synchronizing brain waives to an external frequency in order to enter a particular state of mind. This is usually done by using what is know as a mind machine or listening to music/ sounds within a certain frequency.

Why would you want to induce a certain state of mind? 

Have you ever had a sleepless night, or wanted to enter a state of meditation? Brainwave entrainment can assist you in achieving the state of mind that will produce your desired outcome. Imagine being able to enter a heightened level of consciousness by simply listening to something that would allow you to enter this state of mind.

What are our different brainwaves? 

Delta is the state of consciousnesses in which you experience deep dreamless sleep. It is the most healing state of mind and is required for adequate rejuvenation and healing. Delta state is also the state in which you would enter deep meditation without sleeping. This is where your mind is completely empty of thoughts, ideas, and feeling.

Beta is the awake and reasoning mindset. This is the state of mind in which most of us normally operate in for the entire time we are awake. Beta is necessary for processing data, reading and functioning as a normal person. The problem is that most of us never leave beta during our waking ours. This can lead to anxiety and stress.

Alpha is the frequency in which we are in light meditation. This is when the mind is letting loose and and starts to wander or daydream. Alpha is healing and relaxing. You may achieve this state when taking a cat nap or simply deeply relaxed in a bubble bath.

Theta is the state in which we dream. Theta can also be achieved while awake through meditation. This is the state in which we experience terrific insight and a understanding. Theta is difficult to achieve through meditation but with practice can be. It is highly restorative and insightful.

Gamma is the state in which we achieve extreme concentration, memory and focus. Gamma waves are associated with intelligence and it is reported that people with high levels of gamma frequency often have higher a higher IQ. Gamma is also associated with feelings of happiness or bliss. According to a study done on on monks, Gamma can be achieved by entering a state of deep meditation and then focusing on feelings of love and compassion.

How do Mind Machines work? 

Mind machines produce lights and sounds that help to tune the mind into a particular frequency. For example, the speed of Alpha is 9-12Hz, so listening to music/ sounds at this frequency can induce this state of mind.

Binaural Beats

Listening to certain frequencies. It is suggested that simply listening to a certain frequency can induce the said frequency in your mind. As I type this I am listening to a Gamma frequency and it seems to be heightening my focus. You can find many of these tracks on Youtube, though Red Ice takes no responsibility for any results you may achieve with these tracks.