What are nootropics? Adaptogen and Nootropics Explained

by | Jun 14, 2022

What are nootropics?

Nootropics may seem like a revolutionary new idea, but they’ve been around for generations. People have been taking substances to boost brain performance for as long as anyone can remember. These substances have been referred to as ‘smart drugs’ because of how they interact with your brain and boost various aspects of your cognitive ability. As time has gone on, more and more substances have been classified as nootropics.

But what are nootropics? And how do they work?

What are nootropics?

You may see nootropics called smart drugs, cognitive enhancers or anything else similar. Effectively, this term was first coined to classify a variety of chemical substances that met particular criteria. Now, we use it to refer to anything you take that can give your mental and cognitive ability a boost.

Put simply, if you take something that improves your focus, helps your memory, or enhances any cognitive ability, it is a nootropic.

What are nootropics? – What are the main types of nootropics?

Generally, we can fit nootropics into one of two categories:

  • Natural substances
  • Synthetic substances

Natural substances refer to things that have been used for generations, such as Ashwagandha. Ancient Chinese medicine has called upon various natural things that help brain performance, such as Gingko and Ginseng. Natural nootropics are substances that come from different elements of our surroundings. For example, caffeine is classified as a natural nootropic because we find it in coffee beans and cocoa. It’s naturally occurring and has an impact on our mental ability – it typically makes you more focused and alert.

There are even a whole host of natural nootropic mushrooms like Lion’s Mane and Chaga, to name the two best known.

Synthetic substances are any nootropics that have been synthetically manufactured. In a more simple sense, this refers to prescription medication. We have medication for things like ADHD that help you stay focused and avoid feeling distracted.

Generally, natural nootropics are the best option. Synthetic ones do work very well, but they come with a range of side effects, and it’s unwise to take them regularly. Plus, you have to be prescribed them, while most people can take natural nootropics and benefit from them.

What are nootropics? – How do nootropics work?

Depending on what nootropics you take, they can help with the following:

  • Improve your memory
  • Increase mental awareness
  • Boost concentration
  • Enhance energy levels
  • Increase your sense of wakefulness


The big question is, how does all of this happen? How do nootropics lead to these benefits in your brain?

Firstly, you need to understand the human brain – which is easier said than done. The brain is our supercomputer that runs everything in our body. It controls chemical signals (hormones), which impact different elements of how we feel. For example, when we feel tired, it’s because our brain sends signals that increase the production of hormones in our body that make us feel tired.

Effectively, nootropics work by stimulating our brain and helping to balance the chemicals within it. Primarily, when you take natural nootropics, they help to increase blood flow to your brain. This is super important as our blood contains all the essential nutrients that the brain needs to function correctly. Alongside this, an increase in blood flow sends more oxygen to the brain.

An easy way to think of it is like charging your mobile phone. When your phone is on low battery, it can be a bit slow and you’re unable to do certain things. But, charging it will quickly provide a boost to enable it to reach optimal performance. This is basically what nootropics are doing to your brain. They’re recharging it with nutrients, ensuring it operates at peak efficiency.

Consequently, you feel more alert and focused, you don’t feel so tired, and you’re more energised and able to remember things.

How do you take natural nootropics?

Natural nootropics can be taken in a variety of ways. You can find food substances that contain these nootropics – like coffee – which you can just eat or drink as part of your day. Alternatively, there are natural nootropics supplements that you can take to give your brain a little boost. A great way to get this boost is by taking The London Dispensary’s nootropic Gummy Bears; you only need 1-2 per serving.

When should you take natural nootropics?

In truth, it is entirely up to you when you take these supplements. Some people like to take a nootropic every day to keep their brain healthy and alert, while others take nootropics when they feel they need an extra boost. For example, students may benefit from nootropics during exam season to help improve memory retention and focus.

I’ve heard about adaptogens. Are they the same as nootropics?

Adaptogens refer to natural substances that have an effect on stress. Ashwagandha is an example of a natural adaptogen; it supports the body in relieving stress and anxiety symptoms. Nootropics, as you will know by now, affect cognitive performance. The London Dispensary use both natural nootropics and natural adaptogens in their blends, which are infused with CBD, which actually falls into both categories. Early studies are showing a cognitive benefit as well as the more known properties of aiding anxiety and stress.

What are nootropics? – Summing up

What are nootropics? To conclude, ultimately, nootropics are excellent if you want to give your brain an extra boost. They can help you feel more focused and alert while also improving other aspects of your mental capacity. Synthetic nootropics do exist, but natural ones are the best to focus on.

A great place to start is with a blend from The London Dispensary that has been perfectly formulated to support your wellness throughout the day.


What are nootropics? Frequently asked questions:


What are examples of nootropics?

Some examples of nootropics are easy to think of and find as they are part of our every day lives already. Such as coffee. But there are also wonderful nootropics that are picking up pace in terms of their popularity an example of a nootropic in this category is Lion's Mane Mushroom or Ginseng.

Are nootropics safe?

To answer are nootropics safe or not, its first good to think about are they natural or synthetic versions? If natural complications are likely to only lead to some stomach and gut problems for a day or two. But if worried like with everything you are adding into your routine consult a doctor prior to starting.

Do nootropics actually work?

Absolutely, nootropics actually work. There are a whole host of studies and research papers now proving how nootropics actually work.

Can nootropics help with ADHD?

Nootropics helping with ADHD have been well published and seen. The main treatment for ADHD is in the form of synthetic nootropics.

Do nootropics work for studying?

Much like the above there are now huge amounts of resources regarding the subject of nootropics working for studying. Some synthetic forms are even being called a smart pill. But remember it is not legal to take prescribed medication that hasn't been prescribed to you. So best to start with the natural nootropics!


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