What are Nootropics? And how do they work?

Nootropics, from the Greek “noos,” for “mind,” are congnitive enhancing compounds to improve concentration and boost memory.

With use of these “smart drugs,” you can juice up for your mental work, the same way a body builder might for the bench press. To be clear, though, nootropics are not steroids for the mind. In fact, true nootropic fanatics (who call themselves “noots”) claim that nootropics grease the cognitive wheels, enabling the brain to operate at its “cleanest” and for longer periods of time.

The ingredients aren’t unpronounceable, either. They either occur in nature or are already produced by the human body.  We consume most in our daily diet: caffeine, L-theanine and B vitamins—to name a few.

Nootropics are making headlines as:

  • Nootopics companies are sponsoring professional eSports teams
  • Nootrobox accepted $2 million in venture capital investment led by Andreessen Horowitz

We only have 24 hours in the day, and we’re all trying to figure out how to make better use of that time. It’s the unifying theme that connects Google with Uber and Nootropics with P90X.

What’s the legal status of nootropics?

Nootropic vendors use compounds that are generally regarded as safe (GRAS) by the FDA or approved for use as a dietary supplement. Simply, the term nootropic is a descriptor, and this descriptor spans across all legal classifications of compounds.

How do Nootropic Compounds Work to Modulate Cognition?

Below is the ‘in progress work’ by the team at Nootrobox, detailing the mechanisms, effects and history of various nootropic compounds.

 Amino Acids and Derivatives

Natural and Botanical Compounds

Synthetic Compounds

Vitamins and Minerals



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