Students face many academic challenges, including studying for an important exam, writing a long research paper, preparing for a presentation and generally trying to understand difficult concepts. The academic pressure and social demands are the main reasons why many of them start using caffeine and/or other stimulants.
Although caffeine is the most popular stimulant, it has been shown to have a list of unwanted side effects. For example, in high amounts caffeine can cause dizziness, anxiety, and even cardiac arrest. In recent years the use of prescription medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, has gained popularity among students.
However, these medications are commonly prescribed for individuals who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). After taking Adderall and Ritalin most users experience many short- and long-term side effects like insomnia, an increase in blood pressure, seizures, depression, and headaches.
In addition, there is a danger of not only developing tolerance to these substances, which will not result in any enhancement in cognitive abilities, as well as becoming addicted to them. In recent times America has seen a rising number of college students receiving these substances via illegal means in search for that extra little boost to increase their academic performance.
Unfortunately, this led to a number of reported deaths. Therefore, taking substances like these without prescriptions and consulting with doctors can lead to very adverse side effects.
What Are Nootropics?
Considering all these side effects, Nootropics supplements are a very good alternative. Nootropics are cognitive enhancers that have been proven to enhance a number of cognitive abilities with almost no side effects.
Nootropics, in general, are a wide range of natural supplements that are used for memory and learning enhancement, improved alertness and/or better sleep. In some cases they are also used to improve one’s physical performance and prevent cognitive diseases.
Currently, there are over a hundred different types of Nootropic supplements that provide different benefits. Some Nootropics work by improving the supply of oxygen and nutrients (e.g. glucose) to the brain thereby making it function more efficiently. Other Nootropics increase the levels of many neurotransmitters or neuromodulators.
Depending on the specific neurotransmitters that are targeted, these actions results in mood, learning, memory, or even sleep changes. Interestingly, Nootropics are even known for being able to remove waste products, such as lipofucscin (the ‘age related pigment’).
“More recently, very effective Nootropic formulas, such as Learning Accelerators, have been developed to help students achieve their goals and save money by not having to buy stacks of different Nootropics.”
Due to a wide number of benefits, Nootropics have become very popular in individuals ranging from regular gym goers to CEOs. Nootropics are mainly known as cognitive enhancers, thus they are most often used for academic purposes by students and academics alike.
How can Nootropics benefit me as a Student?
There may be a lot of reasons why you are not achieving the highest possible grades. These include a lack of motivation, tight deadlines, struggle with difficult concepts, work and family commitments or simply feeling overwhelmed.
That is why even high achievers and individuals who are at their peak take Nootropics as they get benefits, such as an increase in mental energy, improved memory, faster cognition and/or creativity. But what specific aspects of your studies can Nootropics help you with? Below is a detailed list of them.
Nootropics are well known for their ability to improve performance in all aspects related to memory.
“This benefit is of much value to any student trying to memorize various formulas, theorems, and concepts.”
Before we move onto the mechanisms of action it is important to understand the basic principles of how memory is actually created.
Memories are first created in a process called encoding during which different types of stimuli (e.g, visual, auditory or a combination) go through multiple receptors in the body and are transported to the brain. In the brain they are then formed into one experience. For example, you are listening to a speaker/lecturer and are fully aware of what he/she is saying.
This is the first step in successfully remembering information but unfortunately not all items we want to remember are always encoded. However, Nootropics have been proven to enhance the amount of information that is encoded by increasing blood circulation, which leads to an increase in the efficiency of the neurons.
After the process of encoding, memories must be stored so we can have the ability to access and retain the information. Memories are stored as a series of synaptic connections between neurons. This information first begins in sensory memory, then forming into short-term memory which has the ability to contain information for a limited period of time.
Obviously this is not of much use if your desire is to do well in an exam, so information must be formed into long-term memory through continuous rehearsal. For example, you repeat a phrase many times so that the connections between neurons can be made stronger.
In neurological terms, the consolidation of memory from short-term to long-term goes through a process known as long-term potentiation. This is basically the process by which connections between two simultaneously firing neurons are strengthened. The effectiveness of this process can therefore be improved by taking Nootropics.
Information stored in both long- or short-term memory must be done in such a way so that it is not lost. We do know that the brain of a healthy individual essentially has unlimited capacity for storing information over an indefinite period. In practical terms this means that if one forgets something it is mainly due to a failure of recall information or improper encoding.
The final process in memory is recall, which refers to the action of searching and retrieving specific information. Usually we forget things but then remember them later, this suggests that the memory exists but there are problems in retrieving it.
Nootropics, such as Oxiracetam has recall enhancing effects that can considerably improve the recall ability. Such effects can therefore make a big difference in your coursework grades.