5 Common Misunderstandings About Supplementing with Nootropics
- Written by Michelle Dixon
- July 25, 2020
There are quite a few misunderstandings out there about nootropics, or even more generally, about taking natural supplements to improve brain health and alleviate symptoms like brain fog, memory loss, or stress.
Many people feel unsure or even outright dismayed because they have tried everything and they are not necessarily getting the clarity or the help they need.
Nootropics supplementation is a viable complementary approach for improving mental focus, concentration and memory, but it’s also a fairly recent trend, so understandably, public awareness remains low.
Here are 5 common misunderstandings about nootropic supplements and some facts that might surprise you.
Misunderstanding #1: Nootropics don’t work.
Fact: Thousands of studies are conclusive in showing that there are herbs which have positive, quantifiable benefits for brain health and cognition. Therefore, a quality natural nootropic containing those herbs will benefit the mind’s cognitive abilities.
When there are claims made that ‘there is no conclusive evidence that nootropics work,’ it means that there have been few to no studies of specific pharmacological brands, or else the reference is general, about the entire category of nootropics rather than individual herbs which are in a specific supplement.
Language is important, and ‘nootropics’ is often used as a category of brain-enhancing substances, including everything from smart drugs to low quality herbal remedies.
The natural herbal constituents of natural brain health supplements (one category of nootropics) have literally thousands of studies behind them which prove that they each have very specific and quantifiable effects on varied aspects of brain health and cognition.
As mentioned in our blog on 6 Little Known Facts About Nootropics for Brain Health, there have been nearly 4,000 published studies on panax ginseng alone since 1959!
The truth is, not ALL nootropics work for everyone or for every symptom or goal. And, there is no definitive claim that a specific nootropic can ‘cure’ any disease or set of symptoms. The same is true of most pharmacological drugs, incidentally.
The nature of supplementation is to support, ease, relieve, and improve – and on that score, nootropics are effective, provided you find the one with the ingredients that are most likely to support you individual needs and symptoms – or if you find a broad-spectrum nootropic that is well-tolerated by most everyone and addresses a range of symptoms that trouble you. Our E2B Vital Mind for example, is both widely tolerated by most people, and contains herbs which are research-backed and work together synergistically.
Misunderstanding #2:They might have unpleasant side effects.
Fact: High quality natural herbal nootropics rarely have any side effects, and certainly no more so than any other kind of supplementation.
Please see our FAQs for clarity regarding our Earth 2 Brain range, which for most people will have no side effects, and for some will require ingestion with food so that the stomach is not irritated if taken before a meal.
Naturally, ANY substance you ingest runs the risk of side effects, and the specific side effects vary with the product. However, when a herbal supplement is taken in the recommended dosage, it will be without side effects in the vast majority of cases.
If in doubt, or if you are taking any other medication, before starting to supplement with anything, plase seek the advice of a doctor beforehand.
Misunderstanding #3: I’ll get trapped in a monthly investment that doesn’t end.
Fact: Some people use nootropics to relieve symptoms and choose to only use them for a period of time. Should you choose to continue for longer, it’s vital to do a costs-benefits analysis, and consider if the supplement is supporting long-term brain health and if it’s saving you medical costs, emotional pain, and cognitive confusion in the long run.
First of all, plenty of people take supplementation on rotation, with breaks, and some stop altogether when symptoms have improved.
Sometimes, when the goal is enhanced mental focus for the long run, or to prevent cognitive decline with age, people commit to supplementation indefinitely. This is a choice that must depend on the costs and benefits for each individual.
In the case of E2B products, we recommend 12 weeks (3 months) of continuous usage followed by a break before starting again. The reason is that after 12 weeks of use, the brain adjusts to the supplementation and positive benefits start to drop off, so the brain needs different formulas (or a full rest).
[Please note, the Earth 2 Brain range is expanding, and we will recommend that our customers rotate between different products, which is one way of maximising the brain’s response to herbal nootropics. Therefore, even we do not recommend indefinite usage, month after month!]
The cost of taking supplements every month does vary significantly across different products. Some products, normally those sold through network marketing, can run over $100 a month, and others remain in the $40-$70 range, and still others can be cheaper. So first of all, it’s really important to weigh the benefits versus the costs up front, depending on your goals and symptoms. Also check the quality, as you tend to pay for what you get! See our blog on 6 Little Known Facts About Nootropics for Brain Health for more information about quality control.
Misunderstanding #4: Other methods are just as effective for supporting brain health and reducing brain fog, such as meditation.
Fact: Each strategy to improve brain health and cognition has its benefits and its limitations. Natural nootropic supplementation offers very specific benefits that other methods do not offer.
Meditation, mindfulness – these are fantastic practices for brain health. There are many studies which show the positive benefits of using these practices daily, including things like improved focus and concentration.
Meditation can greatly reduce stress and improve focus and concentration, and it also causes the brain to grow in thickness of the cortex, creating more connections and enhancing blood flow.
But there is no evidence that this alone will protect neurons from chemicals or oxidative stress, nor that mindfulness or meditation will stimulate neuronal growth – all of which bioactive herbal substances (which are in natural nootropics, including ours) CAN do.
See our ingredients for more on what the individual herbs in E2B Vital Mind do in the brain.
Misunderstanding #5: Taking nootropics supplements might affect sleep because of how they ‘stimulate’ the mind.
Fact: Natural nootropics promote mental clarity and focus and this does NOT mean that they keep you awake.
Understandably, people confuse alertness and mental focus with awakeness and high energy.
It’s vital to check the ingredients of any supplement you take, as caffeine is a common ingredient in conventional brain supplements, and it does of course stimulate the mind and can interfere with sleep.
Our E2B range does NOT contain caffeine, and its ingredients promote alertness rather than overstimulation of the nervous system (because it contains adaptogens – please see our ingredients for more info.)
The evidence speaks for itself.
Understandably, consumers have reservations about the relatively new concept of nootropic supplementation. However, there is compelling evidence to show that if chosen wisely, for premium quality and synergistic whole-body support, natural herbal nootropics have very few if no side effects. Not to mention, the science shows that many herbal constituents have quantifiable positive benefits for the brain and mind.
Our vision at Brain Health Products is to help create a world in which an outstanding quality of life is achievable by looking after our brain health.
Check out E2B Vital Mind to learn how.