I get this question a lot: Is nootropic biohacking right for me? I run a top nootropics page, so in some ways, I feel my answer could be biased. I want to make sure that does not happen. So I want to give approach this question from a more personal standpoint regarding how and when I think nootropics are good additions to a lifestyle.
First and foremost, I don’t really think that nootropics are for everyone. The fact is, you truly could be wasting your money by purchasing them. They aren’t cheap. And furthermore, they aren’t magic no matter how much Silicon Valley touts them as such. They are truly a “supplement,” which means they plug into a lifestyle that should be built around the ultimate goal of improved clarity. Without that, the prospect is rather failed. So below, I want to go over a few scenarios, via my personal experiences, where I believe that nootropics are either failures or successes. I’m not a doctor, I’m just a guy with years of experience in taking nootropics. So don’t confuse this matter, I’m speaking anecdotally and subjectively rather than scientifically. We have plenty of nootropic science, you can go to my nootropic guide for that (and should if you aren’t well-versed in them yet).
First, allow me to answer what I use nootropics for and then move into popular questions and answers.
Nootropics, for me, are something I take to help me focus on work. Or even, to help me focus on creativity. I take them in more sedentary situations, like sitting and typing on my laptop. I find that they help me produce more work in a shorter period of time. I’m not one to take a nootropic on a day off and go to the mall. I don’t feel that’s the best use of them, at least in the case of me. It doesn’t mean, however, that such a situation wouldn’t work for you. This is a subjective perspective, after all. While there is a lot of science regarding nootropics, it isn’t as if there are hardline notions that are readily accepted.
Are Nootropics Good For Anxiety?
The short answer is yes, they mostly are. I find that improved focus and clarity certainly helps me. That being said, if you encounter a stressor and attempt to take a nootropic to “help you out,” you might be disappointed. I’ve taken nootropics after something stressed me and it didn’t feel as though it made a difference. Therefore, I stopped using them in this way. I have amazing results taking them before something stressful occurs.
Conclusion: Kind of.
Are Nootropics Good For Hangovers?
This is one of the top questions I get over nootropics. Many people automatically are inclined to think of nootropics and hangovers in the same light. These days, it is ultra-popular to find ways to manage hangovers. The fact is, we love the booze, until the next day. If a “true” hangover solution were to happen, it would sell at insane levels. There are some supplements which help, no doubt, but I’ve never found any that straight up wipe away a hangover.
That said, I have taken nootropics for a hangover. To be honest, the decision to do so was more embedded in desperation than any science I’d ever found. I can’t say that they helped much past any placebo effects. In some ways, I felt that taking nootropics while under the wrath of a serious hangover to be wasteful. Nootropics cost a pretty penny and they get wasted on hangovers.
Hangovers blow your focus, clarity, and concentration in ways that hardly any supplemental infusion could make up for. There are some people who claim the likes of L-Theanine help, but I’m not so sure. I certainly would not buy a nootropic with that being the primary reasoning. Try drinking a lot of water in between drinks and taking some activated charcoal. That will truly help your cause more than a nootropic will.
Are Nootropics Good For My Workouts?
Everyone wants an edge when it comes to exercise. I mean, who doesn’t want to get more done in less time with less effort? That’s the American way, honestly. Many people drink coffee to improve their workouts and that’s been scientifically proven to serve your efforts positively. But can brain supplements like nootropics help fuel the efforts of your workout labors?
The answer is, kind of. Nootropics are a vast landscape. There are many different types. In the end, it depends if you take a nootropic that has more “pop” than the other. In this case, most nootropic stacks will indeed help fuel your efforts. Most stacks have ginseng, gingko biloba, and even caffeine in them. And all three of those can be helpful. I love L-Theanine before I work out. I can’t say why it helps me, but I do feel better. Mental clarity most certainly can help you beyond just working at a computer.
Are Nootropics Good For Controlling My Appetite?
This comes down to which nootropic stack you choose. If you take an individual nootropic, it may or may not work. Read your nootropic stack’s ingredients for the following appetite suppressants: Ginseng, Caffeine, Rhodiola Rosea, Gingko Biloba. Again, this is my anecdotal input here, not science, but I find that when a nootropic stack contains any of those, it helps control my appetite. It won’t be super dramatic, no more than coffee is. If coffee makes you feel less hungry, that’s what you should expect. That said, you could just drink coffee with your nootropic.
Conclusion: Legit, but makes more sense to just drink coffee with it.
Will Nootropics Help Me Lose Weight?
I think every supplement ever made somehow gets attached to weight loss. Weight loss supplements are the most popular and sought after, after all.
Only eating right and moving your body will help you lose weight. A nootropic can sometimes contribute to appetite suppression. Additionally, a nootropic can cause you to experience a clarity which helps you make better decisions. But nootropics don’t burn fat outright.
Conclusion: Mostly myth.
Can Nootropics Make Up For A Bad Diet?
Not at all. Again, although some ingredients are thermogenic, the overall competency of a nootropic stack exist in causing you to feel more focused. If you eat terribly, you will actually subvert the effects of the nootropic stack in general. If you eat donuts in the morning, don’t even take the stack.
Can Nootropics Help Me Quit Smoking Or Drinking Alcohol?
Oh boy, we are into some murky territory now, aren’t we? The truth is, many people have cited that nootropics have helped them quit smoking and drinking. And for good reason. Depending on your nootropic stack, the ingredients, such as L-Theanine and Rhodiola Rosea, are well known to help people with both addictions. It isn’t my place to say for certain that this would work for you. But I can tell you this: I smoked and Rhodiola Rosea seriously helped reduce my cravings. I can hardly explain why, but there is some legit science linking Rhodiola Rosea to smoking cessation.
I often wonder why more people don’t turn to nootropics to help them out. This isn’t to say you should quit a program and just roll with nootropics. However, any opportunity you can try out to help with withdrawal could serve you well. In the end, see your doctor if you need help quitting any substance. I’m not a doctor and it isn’t my place to suggest any regimen whatsoever.
In The End
Nootropics have a primary purpose of increasing your focus. Any time you deviate from that intended purpose, the results become less reliable. But that doesn’t mean nootropics won’t serve other purposes for you, you will just have to figure that out as time passes and you gain more experience in using them. Nootropics are not magic pills. If you plan to spend the money on them, also plan to at least make some responsible lifestyle changes alongside.