How nootropics work depend on its type. There’s no one answer to this question. However, in general, nootropics work by altering the production of hormones, neurotransmitters, and enzymes in the brain. They also affect brain waves, blood flow to the brain, and brain plasticity.
The Human Brain
The brain is one of the most complex organs in the human body. The adult human brain represents only about 2% of the entire body weight and yet it consumes the most energy.
On average, the human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons or nerve cells. These nerve cells communicate with each other through the help of chemical signals or neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, glutamate, and serotonin.
If this process is working smoothly, this means the brain is also working effectively.
Depending on the message they receive, neurotransmitters attach to a particular receptor system. Neurotransmitters and receptors then form a system.
One type of system is the cholinergic system. Here, acetylcholine serves as the primary neurotransmitter. This type of neurotransmitter impacts a person’s focus, memory, and ability to learn and make decisions.
Acetylcholine can be derived from the food we eat, such as eggs and some species of fish. It is difficult, though, to depend on diet alone to ensure adequate choline supply. Taking supplements that are rich in choline can help.
Another type of system involves dopamine and serotonin. These two neurotransmitters impact a person’s well-being. Dopamine regulates the pleasure and reward centers in the brains. It also controls the flow of movement and emotional responses. Lack of dopamine is linked to ADHD and Parkinson’s disease.
Serotonin, meanwhile, is linked to a human’s mood, social behavior, appetite, sleep, and memory, among others. Low serotonin levels are linked to negative mood and depression. Taking nootropics can help increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain.
Glutamate also forms a system called the glutamatergic system. Glutamate improves the flow of energy between brain cells. Issues in glutamate production or function are associated with health conditions, such as autism and depression.
Nootropics can increase or control the supply of various neurotransmitters.
The Flow of Blood and Oxygen to the Brain
When blood and oxygen flow to the brain works properly, brain energy is also optimized. However, human’s supply of energy depletes naturally. Some nootropics can help improve the flow of blood and oxygen, which in turn helps enhance brain energy. You’ll feel more alert and focused. You’ll also feel less fatigued.
Brain Cell Health
Brain cells play a vital role in enhancing a person’s ability to recall information. Generation of new brain cells is hence crucial. Certain nootropics, such as piracetam, aid in the neuron multiplication process.
When nerve cells transmit signals, they also produce electrical activity. These electrical activities are referred to as brain waves. Brain waves are classified according to their frequency.
The five main types are beta, alpha, theta, delta, and gamma. Each brain wave classification is linked to certain mental states.
For instance, humans emit alpha waves when they’re physically and mentally relaxed. Beta waves, meanwhile, are responsible for the flight or fight response. When people are afraid or agitated, they emit beta waves.
Nootropics can help intensify specific brain waves in the brain. The nootropic L-Theanine, for example, can help enhance alpha waves.
Brain plasticity influences a person’s ability to learn. It refers to the ability of the synapses to communicate effectively with one another. Some types of nootropics can impact brain plasticity. They help you recall information and memories better.
Choosing the Right Type of Nootropic
Choose a nootropic according to your health needs. If one type isn’t enough, you can try a combination. But, be sure you’re accessing the pill, the legal way, especially if it’s controlled or not sold over-the-counter.
Choosing the right nootropic and using it the proper way will help your brain to function more effectively. And in turn, you’ll feel more productive and happier overall.