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Are Nootropics Safe?

The supplement market is on the rise, and with it comes a new class of compounds called nootropics. These compounds are often referred to as “cognitive enhancers” or even “smart drugs.”

They are substances that can be natural or synthetic, comprising various other compounds like vitamins, amino acids, herbs, and minerals. Their use? To potentially improve memory, creativity, cognitive function, and mental clarity*.

The exploding popularity of nootropics also brings to mind the question: are nootropics safe? In this blog post, we’ll look more closely at this category of dietary supplements, including potential beneficial effects and potential side effects.

Understanding Nootropics

The name “nootropic” is derived from two ancient Greek words: nóos for ‘mind’ and tropḗ for ‘turning.’ Nootropics are a group of substances that may have the potential to improve energy levels and cognitive performance. They might also be called smart drugs, brain boosters, or cognitive enhancers*.

The first recorded use of nootropics was by Corneliu E. Giurgea in the 1970s, which makes this class of substances relatively new in the market. According to Giurgea, nootropics should have a few key characteristics.

  • Enhancement of Memory and Learning: Nootropics may improve mental performance and the ability to acquire and retain information.*
  • Enhanced Cognitive Function: Nootropics may improve overall brain function, including attention, concentration, and problem-solving skills.*
  • Lack of Sedative or Stimulant Effects: They should not cause sedation or stimulation that hampers normal cognitive function.
  • Low Toxicity: Nootropics should have a low risk of side effects and toxicity**.

Common examples of nootropics include omega-3 fatty acids, caffeine, ginkgo biloba, and several medicinal mushrooms like Shiitake, Cordyceps, and Lions Mane. Natural nootropics are derived from plants, mushrooms, and herbs, while synthetic nootropics are prescription drugs created in a laboratory.

Piracetam and modafinil are two common examples of synthetic nootropic drugs.

You’ll easily find nootropic supplements, nutraceuticals, and energy drinks over-the-counter in health stores and pharmacies, or you can talk to your healthcare provider about getting prescription medications.

The General Safety of Nootropics

Because there is a wide range of nootropics available in the market, each type can affect each individual differently. However, a 2022 study found that any side effects of nootropics are relatively uncommon and rarely serious.

You’ll need to stick to the recommended dosages, as excessive amounts of nootropics may lead to adverse effects. In addition, your age, genetics, weight, and body composition all play a part in determining how you react to any supplements.

Nootropics can also interact with certain medications or affect pre-existing health conditions, so always consult with your healthcare provider if you are starting a new regimen. Start with a low dose and gradually work your way up to your ideal intake.

As always, be sure to take care of your overall health, like eating a balanced diet, regularly exercising, and getting enough sleep, as all these factors also contribute to cognitive function and overall well-being.

Potential Side Effects and Risks

Nootropics are generally well-tolerated. However, some common side effects include nausea, lack of appetite, headaches, dizziness, and dry mouth.

The side effects will vary according to the specific substance, the dosage, and your body’s response. In addition, there might be some interactions with certain medications or health conditions.

Here are some common types of nootropics and their potential side effects.

  • Caffeine – Shakes, anxiety, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, insomnia, and dependency with regular use.
  • L-Theanine: Excessive doses can cause dizziness, headaches, or tummy troubles.
  • Piracetam (and other Racetams) – Headaches, irritability, insomnia, or gastrointestinal problems.
  • Modafinil – This prescription nootropic has been known to cause nausea, anxiety, and insomnia.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Can cause digestive problems and increased bleeding.
  • Ginkgo Biloba – Can cause headaches, allergic reactions, and digestive problems.
  • Nootropic Mushrooms – Nootropic mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and Chaga are natural compounds that may cause side effects such as an allergic reaction or digestive problems.

Despite the growing awareness of nootropics and their uses, their safety is still uncertain because of the lack of extensive research done on its long-term use.

In addition, synthetic nootropics that are made by questionable manufacturers in non-certified facilities can result in cross-contamination or inferior products.

Potential Benefits of Nootropics

Nootropics could potentially to enhance memory, retention, and recall*. Some nootropics like caffeine are used for their ability to increase alertness and focus. Others, like modafinil, are usually used to recover after physical activity and increase energy levels.

Nootropics like Omega-3 fatty acids and some herbal extracts are thought to have neuroprotective properties that can function as antioxidants to balance free radicals in our bodies.

At Blessed Wellness, we have nootropic supplements specifically formulated for men’s wellness, women’s wellness, brain wellness, and lasting well-being.

How to Use Nootropics Safely

If you’re thinking of incorporating nootropics into your diet, good for you! However, to avoid any potential side effects, you might want to start with a small dose and increase that gradually.

If you are on any existing medications, check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet. Listen to your body closely for any adverse effects and cease intake immediately if you experience any symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Nootropics, a relatively new class of substances, are showing potential in improving cognitive function and brain health*. While they are generally well-tolerated with minimal side effects, always be sure to check with your healthcare professional before starting a regimen.

Also, be sure to buy only top-quality products from certified facilities to prevent any contamination. A product made without any safety standards or certification might just do you more harm than good!

If you’re looking to integrate nootropics into your lifestyle, check out our nootropic mushroom supplements at Blessed Wellness. They are all made under the strictest quality controls, and we’ve dedicated ourselves to curating and sharing the purest of nature’s gifts.


Is it safe to take nootropics daily?

Natural nootropics like mushrooms are generally safe for daily use. However, synthetic nootropics can carry more risks depending on the type and dosage. When in doubt, always get medical advice before embarking on a nootropic regimen.

Are nootropics addictive?

Natural nootropics aren’t considered addictive, but some synthetic nootropics can stimulate the reward system of the brain, which, in turn, can lead to a risk of dependence.

Are natural nootropics safer than synthetic ones?

Natural supplements are always safer than synthetic ones. Natural nootropics such as mushrooms and herbs are known to have fewer adverse effects than synthetic drugs.

Can I use nootropics if I have a medical condition?

Although side effects from nootropics are relatively uncommon, they still exist. If you have an existing health condition or are currently on medications, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before making any dietary changes.

What are the best practices for minimizing risks while using nootropics?

First, consult with your healthcare provider before starting on any supplement. Then, start with a lower dose to let your body adjust, gradually increasing it to the recommended dose. Monitor your body closely for any changes or side effects, and cease the nootropics immediately if you experience adverse effects.

*This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

*While these products may not be toxic, the potential for a poor reaction with some individuals may exist.

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