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Do You Think Smart Pills Really Work?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

“Smart drugs” and “nootropics” are the new buzzwords that everyone is talking about recently. The nootropic market grew by an impressive 48.1% in just three years, between 2012 and 2015, according to AskWonder. According to Credence Research, this market will exceed a global market value of $6 billion by the end of 2024. As you can see, the nootropic market is huge and these statistics do not even account for the “smart drug” market, which includes certain prescription drugs that are utilized as performance enhancing* options by many people. Even though millions of people have turned toward supplements and pills to help them be smarter, there is a common concern whether do smart pills work or not.

While we relied on our natural instincts in the past, people are turning toward prescription drugs and natural supplements more and more today to help them achieve certain goals, treat* particular conditions and stay at the top of their game – not only for performance, but also for their health. Millions are getting up in the morning and taking a series of pills, and then repeat this process at night (the part where they take some pills). These pills can be taken for various reasons. In this post, we want to look at the smart drugs, including prescription medication and nootropics, that people are using to help them be (or feel) smarter. We are going to explore the different options that are available, the benefits that these pills offer a user and look at some concerns that should be considered before turning toward supplements and drugs for a smarter mind.

Is There A Drug That Can Make You Smarter?

The primary question we need to answer in this post is whether or not there is a drug that can actually make a user smarter. The answer to this question might be somewhat disappointing toward those who have started doing research about smart drugs in hope of utilizing such a drug themselves. The short answer to the question is no, there are no drugs or pills that can make you smarter. There is, however, ways in which a daily capsule can help to optimize certain chemicals in the brain and offer other advantages that may elevate mental capabilities; thus leading to the feeling of being smarter.

To expand on the answer to the question “do smart pills work?”, we would like to take a look the specific prescription drugs that are often utilized by people as a way to enhance* their mental capabilities. We will take a closer look at the natural supplements, known as nootropics, later on in this post.
According to BBC Future, the most common prescription drugs used by both teenagers and adults for a boost* in mental performance includes modafinil, methylphenidate and amphetamines. Let’s discuss each of these separately.

  • Modafinil

    This drug is often sold under the brand name “Provigil”. It is most often utilized as a drug to promote wakefulness, especially in cases where certain lifestyle factors are contributing to poor sleep. This may include working in shifts, as well as two health conditions known as narcolepsy and sleep apnea. People have started to use this drug not only to help them stay awake, but also to promote alertness and attention. Drugs.com explains that an allergic reaction may occur while using this drug, as well as some unpleasant side-effects, including kidney problems, liver problems, depression, nervousness and anxiety, heart problems, hallucinations, confusion, and more.

  • Methylphenidate

    These drugs are used to treat* a condition known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but, once again, is used by some people to enhance* their mental performance. Methylphenidate changes the concentration of chemicals and neurotransmitters found in the brain, and can cause side-effects when it is not used to treat* a disorder, but rather used for a different purpose. WebMD explains that side-effects may include nausea and vomiting, headaches, weight loss*, trouble sleeping, increased blood pressure levels, nervousness and more.

  • Amphetamines

    These drugs are classified as stimulants and they work on the central nervous system. It is utilized to treat* several diseases, but its most popular use is to treat* attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. When used for other purposes, such as for a smart drug, it may lead to addiction and abuse, as reported by Medical News Today. Side-effects may include changes in blood pressure levels, signs of erectile dysfunction, an increase* in heart rate, pain in the abdominal region, weight loss*, blurred vision, grinding teeth, nosebleeds and more.

With the side-effects of these drugs in mind, many people are rather turning toward nootropics, which only contains natural ingredients, to help them gain an advantage in their mental performance. Unfortunately, even with the use of nootropics, a person may never actually become smarter, but rather simply elevate their existing mental performance and improve* the results they achieve from performing certain mental exercises.
When opting for nootropics, it is important to know which ingredients to look for if you would like to purchase an effective product. Supplement Reviews UK explains that the following ingredients have been proven effective and mostly safe, when taken in moderate doses and when overdosing is avoided:

  • L-Tyrosine
  • Vinpocetine
  • Choline
  • L-Theanine
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Piracetam
  • Huperzine-A

Are Smart Pills The Best Way To Stay Sharp?

The previous question has answered one of the most vital questions people have to ask when they consider opting for smart drugs or nootropics. The next question is whether or not using these pills are the best ways to stay sharp, mentally alert and keep memory in good shape. When opting for prescription drugs to achieve these results, the answer to this question should always be no – utilizing these prescription drugs for purposes other than what they were developed for can result in severe side-effects and even addiction.

There are, however, smart pills that work and are safe at the same time – in most cases, these refer to certain nootropics. When you opt for a nootropic, then it might be an effective way to keep mentally sharp and to maintain your mental health.
While taking a daily nootropic might be a good way to keep your mental health in check, it is always important to know that attending to particular problem areas in your own life that might be contributing to your decline in mental performance might offer you better results – and should be a priority. For example, sleep deficiency is known to cause a significant decline in cognitive performance. Thus, if you are not sleeping enough, opting for nootropics might not be the most appropriate solution – rather reorder your schedule, go to bed earlier and try to sleep more.

Conclusion

Even though smart pills are taking the world by storm, it does not mean it is always a good idea to turn toward these items to help improve* mental performance. People should also take into account that no pill will actually make them smarter, but certain substances could provide an enhancement in their current mental health and performance. We recommend staying clear of any prescription drugs and rather to utilize natural nootropics if you are looking for smart pills that work. Additionally, it is highly recommended to attend to factors in your life that may be contributing to a mental decline, as this might be the most effective solution to the problems you are experiencing.

References:

www.askwonder.com/q/how-big-is-the-global-nootropics-market-5765368a4042c25700c918e2
www.credenceresearch.com/press/global-nootropics-market
www.bbc.com/future/story/20140729-the-truth-about-smart-drugs
www.drugs.com/cdi/modafinil.html
www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-12114-94/methylphenidate-hcl-oral/methylphenidate-oral/details#side-effects
www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/221211.php