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Nootropics FAQ - All Your Brain-Booster Questions Answered in One Place

By Dave Wright | |
Nootropics: have you heard of them? Most people have a lot of questions when they first hear about these seemingly magical brain-boosting supplements. Are nootropics safe to take continuously? Do they really work? How do they work? Are there side effects? What's in them? When should you take them? There's a lot of information to figure out here. But don't worry, that's exactly why we're here. Below we've created a detailed outline of FAQs on nootropics. Our mission? Answer every single question you might have in relation to nootropic brain supplements. Let's get to it.

Nootropics FAQ

If we somehow fail to answer every single question you might possibly have about nootropics, don't worry. Just leave us a reply in the comments and we'll respond as soon as possible. And if you have more questions about the Mind Lab Pro® Universal Nootropic™ specifically, check out the Mind Lab Pro® FAQ page.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are dietary supplements built to safely optimize cognition by manipulating cognitive functions in the brain. They help the brain operate more efficiently by filling in the gaps in our cognitive functions. However, some nootropics contain stimulants that can cause adverse side effects. Not to mention, some nootropics contain less effective, low-quality ingredients compared to others. As such, you should be careful to read the label and check the research on any nootropics you plan to consume. Check out our guide on nootropics for more information.

Are Nootropics Good for you?

Nootropics can be good for various aspects of human cognition depending on the ingredients, ingredient dosage, ingredient quality and your unique cognitive functions. For example, if you have a history of mental issues or substance abuse, you should consult your doctor before using nootropics. You can even show them this printout of supplement information. However, overall, nootropics are good for healthy individuals who are careful about ingredients, dosage and taking them as directed. They may even end up helping with things like sports-performance and performance anxiety.

Are Nootropics Legit?

Nootropics are legit depending on the ingredients, dosages and quality. Numerous studies confirm the positive effects of various nootropics on the brain and body. However, this does not go for all supplements labeled as nootropics. Thus, when you buy them, make sure to read the label carefully and do your research. Also, make sure the label is transparent about every ingredient the supplement contains. You can even check out our post on the best nootropic supplements for more information. It outlines which supplements are the most legit and cites legitimate studies to explain why.

Are Nootropics Natural?

Not all nootropics are natural, which is why you should pick your nootropic brand carefully. The type of ingredients you choose and the quality of ingredients are the most important things to pay attention to when looking for a natural nootropic supplement. For example, Mind Lab Pro® provides a Universal Nootropic™ containing all-natural, stim-free ingredients stacked in vegan NutriCaps® for better bioavailability and easier digestion than most nootropics. It even uses advanced Biogenesis™ vitamins made in a natural environment with standardized dosages and branded ingredients for better potency.

Are Nootropics a Placebo?

No. Nootropics have proven their effects against placebos time and time again. But as with most answers, this doesn't include all nootropics. In reality, the effects you experience will depend on the ingredients in your chosen supplement and the quality of these ingredients. If you're careful about the ingredients in your nootropic of choice, you can avoid placebo effects altogether. For example, various placebo-controlled studies show nootropics like L-Theanine and Phosphatidylserine have shown to elicit beneficial effects on memory, focus and stress-induced cognitive deficits.

Are Nootropics Real?

No question: nootropics are real and so are their effects. They are made of very real ingredients backed by very real scientific research and reviews. However, the legitimacy of each nootropic and its effectiveness depends on the ingredient, the quality of ingredients and the ingredient dosage. Overall, real natural nootropics help optimize cognitive functions. This means nootropics may help you complete certain tasks easier. But they won't magically raise your IQ or ace your test for you.

Do Nootropics Have Side Effects?

Certain nootropics have side effects, another reason you have to be careful about your ingredient stack. If you're looking to avoid side effects, you should avoid synthetic, low-quality nootropics, high dosages and any supplement containing stimulants or caffeine. Side effects can range from jitters, headache and energy crash to digestive issues like heartburn or GERD and diarrhea when you ingest low-quality and/or unnecessary ingredients. Check out our guide on the side effects linked to nootropics if you have more questions.

Are Nootropics Effective?

Not all nootropics are effective, but many are. Here's the deal. If you want an effective nootropic, you have to pay attention to the ingredients, the quality of ingredients and the ingredient dosage. For instance, Mind Lab Pro® has put together a Universal Nootropic™ containing 11 natural, effective ingredients in standardized dosages backed by science. Some ingredients are even branded, meaning they come in forms that are trademarked and patented. Ultimately, branded ingredients tend to be more potent. Check here for research on each ingredient and to find out how they work.

Are Nootropics a Waste of Money?

If you don't pay enough attention, nootropics can be a waste of money just like anything else. But if you choose a quality, natural, science-backed nootropic with adequate dosages, it can be more than worth it. That's why it's vital not to get sidetracked by cheap, low-quality supplements with harmful additives and a lack of label transparency. Quality manufacturers might sell products that are slightly more expensive. But you get what you pay for when it comes to nootropics.

How do Nootropics Work?

Nootropics work by manipulating brain functions to optimize cognitive output. For example, some nootropics manipulate dopamine to enhance motivation. And some nootropics buffer excitatory or stressful chemicals like cortisol to reduce stress in arousing situations. This may be especially helpful for introverts who require less external stimulation for energy-loss. Check out our post on how nootropics work for more information on how nootropics do their job.

What are Nootropics Used for?

Nootropics are used to optimize human cognitive processes. Ultimately, they may help us improve productivity, creativity, sleep, anxiety and learning by boosting our focus, memory, motivation and more. Click on the links to read about how nootropics help with each cognitive function.

Are Nootropics Legal?

Yes, nootropics are legal, especially natural nootropics. But the rules may differ depending on where you live and which nootropics you want to take. In countries like Australia and certain European countries, synthetic, stimulant nootropics like racetam are heavily regulated and require a prescription. Others, like the United States, classify most nootropics as legal dietary supplements. This means they get regulated the same way food does: they're considered safe until they're proven to be unsafe. However, many countries don't regulate nootropics at all, making them 100% legal. Check out our guide on illegal and legal nootropics for more information on which nootropics are legal in different parts of the world.

Are Nootropics Safe?

Yes, nootropics are built to be safe. But some contain harsh, low-quality ingredient stacks and unstandardized dosages that may alter the safety of these supplements. That's why it's important to seek out clean, natural nootropics in advanced forms with no excess ingredients or stimulants. And you may want to avoid synthetic and stimulant nootropics altogether to avoid adverse side effects. Luckily, Mind Lab Pro® supplies a nootropic with 11 natural, stimulant-free and science-backed ingredients in advanced forms. They even come in vegan NutriCaps® for optimum absorption and digestion. Check out our guide on nootropic safety for information about what makes a safe nootropic.

Are Nootropics Addictive?

When they're made with quality, natural, stimulant-free ingredients in standardized dosages, nootropics are not addictive. Basically, nootropics may only be addictive if they contain addictive, synthetic ingredients like caffeine and stimulants (racetam). Keep in mind, smart drugs are different from nootropics. They are made synthetically and contain different ingredients that can have harsh effects on the brain. True natural nootropics are created to be safe, cognitive enhancement tools. But you never know about synthetics. In the end, if you go with an all-natural, high-quality nootropic like the Universal Nootropic™ Mind Lab Pro® provides, you'll get advanced ingredients with zero stimulants or additives and no risk of chemical addiction. Actually, such a quality nootropic may even help you overcome an addiction like smoking cigarettes.

Are Nootropics Considered Drugs?

It depends on what kind of "nootropic" you're talking about. Some marketers disguise synthetically made smart drugs or pills containing stimulants as nootropics, which gives them a bad rep. These smart drugs require a prescription and are otherwise illegal to use. Smart drugs may also cause adverse side effects including addiction. However, true nootropics are not drugs. They are built to simply support the brain and its functions using legal ingredients from natural sources, so they won't cause addiction. Check out our article on whether nootropics are addictive for more information on the difference between smart drugs and nootropics.

Are Nootropics Dangerous?

Nootropics are not typically dangerous. But anything can become dangerous when you misuse it. Brain supplements should always be used as directed and never more than directed for this reason. And if you have other health issues or if you're on other medications, make sure to check with your doctor before adding a nootropic to your daily routine. Specifically, young adults with a history of mental illness or substance abuse may want to consult a doctor before using nootropics. This population may be more prone to adverse side effects from certain nootropic ingredients.

Are Nootropics Bad for you?

If you want to avoid negative effects linked to nootropics, you just have to be smart about which ones you take and how much you consume. Experts say that if it's not safe, it's not a nootropic. But you can head over to our post on long-term nootropic use for more info. on which nootropics are bad. Basically, taking clean, natural nootropics with advanced ingredients in standardized dosages is the best way to stay safe. Just avoid synthetics, stimulants and low-quality ingredients. For example, the Mind Lab Pro® formula contains 11 science-backed ingredients created in natural environments with zero stimulants or unnecessary additives.

Are Nootropics Banned by the NCAA?

Natural nootropics are not banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. But the NCAA has banned certain stimulants and synthetic smart pills that marketers like to disguise as nootropics. Basically, the NCAA website articulates that dietary supplements are a slippery slope because they can end up containing banned ingredients without listing them. So, if you're going to take any type of nootropic while competing in college athletics under the NCAA, transparent labels with high-quality, natural ingredients and standardized dosages are undoubtedly important. Actually, Mind Lab Pro® products have been dubbed free of banned substances by the World Doping Association (WDA). So any athlete-amateur, collegiate or professional-can take them safely and legally.

Are Nootropics Cognitive Enhancers?

Yes, they are. Nootropics are made to enhance natural cognitive processes. Actually, they may especially help men and women improve cognitive processes like memory, focus, motivation and mood balance as they age. But really, nootropics can help all kinds of people improve their daily lives by supporting our unique cognitive functions. For example, natural brain boosters can help us slip into a focused flow state more easily when we're working on a tedious task.

Do Nootropics Cause Weight Loss?

Nootropics are not made to help you lose weight. They're made to help optimize cognition. However, sometimes, improving cognitive functions can help us lose weight faster. Check out our guide on nootropics for weight-loss to find out more about how it works. If you are interested on how nootropics help with keto, read our guide on nootropics for the ketogenic diet.

Do Nootropics Cause Depression?

Nootropics are built to help with cognition. As such, they should really help improve cognition during a depressive state, not cause more problems. However, nootropics don't fix depression. So they should never be taken in place of or alongside other medications unless advised by your doctor. In any case, there is no evidence that nootropics cause depression. But to be safe, avoid stimulants and make sure to only take natural, science-backed nootropics in advanced, standardized dosages. In addition, make sure to only take nootropics as directed. Taking them in excess may cause issues. Here's a guide on nootropic safety is you're interested.

Do Nootropics Cause Anxiety?

Similar to depression, natural nootropics should help improve cognitive symptoms linked to anxiety, not cause them. However, taking low-quality ingredients with unstandardized dosages and/or stimulants may cause adverse effects. And mixing medications is never a good idea without advice from your doctor. On the contrary, advanced, stimulant-free nootropics like the MindLab Pro® Universal Nootropic™ can initiate 100% Brainpower™ without the anxiety-inducing side effects caused by stimulants, caffeine and low-quality manufacturing. Check out our article on Nootropics vs. Coffee to read about the differences between the effects of both.

Are Nootropics Vegan?

Most nootropics are not vegan because their manufacturers pack them into animal-based capsules. However, some are vegan. For example, the Mind Lab Pro® Universal Nootropic™ comes with 11 research-backed ingredients packed into advanced, natural vegan NutriCaps™. These plant capsules are Pullulan, a naturally fermented tapioca. Many other manufactures use synthetic-based capsules. So if you're looking for a cognitive supplement that optimizes the brain without forcing you to ingest animal products, a natural vegan nootropic like Mind Lab Pro® is your best bet.

Are Nootropics FDA Approved?

Dietary supplements do not require FDA approval to be sold in the U.S. Since the FDA considers most nootropics dietary supplements, they are treated as safe until proven otherwise. However, the U.S. FDA says certain nootropics like piracetam are not to be sold as medicine or as dietary supplements.

Are Nootropics Safe During Pregnancy?

We never recommend taking nootropics during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant. Nootropics containing stimulants and unnecessary additives may be especially harmful during pregnancy.

Can Nootropics Make you Smarter?

Nootropics can optimize cognitive functions, ultimately improving various aspects of our lives. Whether or not that means we'll get smarter, though, depends on what we use them for. It also depends on how we define "smarter." If you consider smarter to mean improved fluid intelligence, productivity, problem-solving, multitasking, learning and memory, then we'd say yes, nootropics can make you smarter. For example, nootropics can be really helpful for college students and entrepreneurs. However, nootropic effects also depend on the quality of ingredients in your nootropic supplement, the ingredient dosage and whether the ingredients are standardized.

Are Nootropics Expensive?

Some nootropics are more expensive than others. However, the price usually reflects the quality of the product you're buying. The typical prices for nootropics range from around $30-$75 per one-month supply. But if you're lucky, you may be able to get a better deal by buying your quality nootropic of choice in bulk. For example, if you pay $195 for a three-month supply of the Mind Lab Pro® Universal Nootropic™, you'll get a whole month's supply free. And, since Mind Lab Pro® is an 11-in-1 nootropic supplement, it presents an even better deal -- buying each of its ingredients individually would be a far more expensive proposition.

Are Mushrooms Considered Nootropics?

Certain mushrooms are considered nootropics, but we're not talking about psychedelic mushrooms. Psychedelic mushrooms initiate hallucinogenic effects, not natural cognitive enhancement. However, Lion's Mane Mushroom is a research-backed nootropic known for helping with the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Ultimately, this may help optimize memory, learning and mood balance. Click the links for more info.

Where are Nootropics Manufactured?

Nootropics are manufactured in different labs of varying qualities across the globe depending on the product. For example, the Mind Lab Pro® Universal Nootropic™ is manufactured in FDA-approved, GMO-certified, "state-of-the-art facilities" in New Jersey, U.S.A. after all ingredients are quarantined and tested to confirm purity. Then when they're finished, they're tested again by third-party sources.

What are Nootropics Made of?

Natural nootropic supplements contain one or more natural nootropic ingredients. However, some manufacturers sell fully synthetic products disguised as quality nootropics. And others sell nootropics containing stimulants and/or unnecessary additives and preservatives. So you have to be careful. For instance, many brain boosters contain meat-based gelatins and other additives in the capsule used to pack the nootropics. But some nootropics are made with natural, vegan capsules to avoid additives (like MindLab Pro®).

Are Nootropics Natural?

Some are and some aren't. But of course, truly natural nootropics contain advanced forms of naturally made ingredients in standardized dosages that are always better for the brain and body than synthetic nootropics and stimulants. So you have to be careful and do your research. It's best to look for clean, natural supplements. And when we say clean and natural, we mean products like the Mind Lab Pro® advanced formula that contain no artificial flavors, no preservatives, no allergens, no soy, no GMOs, no gluten and no stimulants or caffeine.

Are Nootropics Over the Counter?

Yes. Nootropics manufacturers don't typically require you to have a prescription to buy nootropics. However, we're talking about natural nootropics here. Synthetic and stimulants are a different story depending on where you live. Check out our article on illegal vs. legal nootropics for more information.

Are Nootropics Psychoactive?

No. Nootropics have absolutely no psychoactive effects because they are not psychoactive drugs. Instead, they are herbal brain supplements that support natural cognitive functions. So instead of causing hallucinations and paranoia like psychoactive drugs can, nootropics can help with memory, motivation, mood balance, concentration and other natural brain processes.

Are Nootropics Pseudoscience?

Some nootropics are pseudoscience. However, all 11 nootropics in Mind Lab Pro® are backed up by numerous, legitimate scientific studies. While their effects are always dependent on the circumstance, type of nootropic and quality of the product, customers report and studies confirm the positive effects of nootropics.

Are Nootropics Stimulants?

Nootropics are not stimulants. However, certain natural nootropics can mimic the positive effects of stimulants without the negative side effects. On the contrary, some nootropics manufacturers sell products that do contain stimulants like caffeine or racetam, which can cause adverse side effects. Racetam or Piracetam are two versions of a common synthetic, stimulant nootropic that has not been approved by the U.S. FDA. However, it's not regulated in many other countries and is still legal to buy in the U.S. It just isn't allowed to be sold as a dietary supplement. Racetam can cause side effects like dizziness, fatigue, memory loss, headache and diarrhea. Hence why you should be extra careful, do your research and choose high-quality, stimulant-free, natural nootropics.

Where are Nootropics Sold?

Most nootropics are sold online on sites like Amazon. You may even be able to find some nootropics at your local GNC or vitamin shop. These days, you can even find nootropics at drug stores like CVS or Walgreens; as well as big box stores like Walmart and Target. However, oftentimes, high-quality nootropics like Mind Lab Pro® are only sold on their own website to avoid being associated with other low-quality products.

Do Nootropics Break a Fast?

No, nootropics will not break your fast if you've been intermittent fasting. On the contrary, they may help enhance the effects of your fast. Here's how it works. Intermittent fasting enhances the brain, similar to what nootropics do. They both help support stress reduction, antioxidants and energy. You can check out our post on how to sculpt your brain with nootropics and intermittent fasting to learn more about these processes.

Do Nootropics Improve Brain Function?

Nootropics have the potential to improve brain functions, yes. However, natural ingredients in advanced, branded forms and adequate dosages are likely to have better effects than others. Moreover, nootropic supplements affect different brain functions depending on their ingredient type, quantity and quality. However, a Universal Nootropic™ like Mind Lab Pro® can reduce stress and improve motivation while optimizing mood, memory, concentration and more all at once.

Do Nootropics Show up on Drug Tests?

Common drug screenings test for cocaine, PCP, amphetamines, opiates and THC. So, no, natural nootropics should never show up on a common drug screening. But oddly enough, there's always the possibility for a false positive. Why? Well, drug tests aren't perfect. They test for substances by testing for certain metabolites that are typically affected by drug use. Rarely, a different substance will break down into metabolites that resemble those normally broken down by banned substances. This can create a false positive. And while nootropics aren't known to cause false positives, it's always a possibility. Learn more about nootropics and drug screening.

Do Doctors Prescribe Nootropics?

Doctors can prescribe certain harsher, synthetic nootropics. But you usually won't need a prescription for natural nootropics. However, it all really depends on the country. Check out our guide on illegal and legal nootropics for more information on which nootropics can be prescribed and where.

Do Nootropics Expire?

Yes, nootropics do expire. But it takes a while and depends on the product. The Mind Lab Pro® Universal Nootropic™ expires in 2-3 years, for example. Make sure to check the bottle for the unique expiration date.

Do Nootropics Give you Energy?

Yes, nootropics can give you energy depending on the ingredients, quality and dosage. However, if you want to avoid negative side effects, you should avoid nootropics containing stimulants or caffeine. Stimulants and caffeine can give you energy and cognitive enhancement in the short-term while ensuring you have to continue re-upping so you don't crash. They also tend to cause negative side effects like anxiety, jitters and headaches, unlike natural nootropics. Check out our guide on nootropics vs. coffee for more on the difference between the effects of caffeine and nootropics.

What do Nootropics Feel Like?

Every nootropic product feels different depending on the ingredients, the quality and the dosage of ingredients it contains. For example, some products contain just one nootropic ingredient meant to target one aspect of cognition. Additionally, some products contain two or more nootropics meant to target related aspects of cognition. You can even stack individual ingredients if you want. And then there is the Universal Nootropic™ like the one Mind Lab Pro® provides. It comes with 11 natural nootropic ingredients combined to initiate adaptive, whole-brain cognitive enhancement. This means it can maximize your cognitive output for 100% Brainpower™ no matter what you use it for.

Do Nootropics get you High?

No, nootropics do not get you high. They are not psychoactive and thus will not produce hallucinations or paranoid delusions. Nootropics can, however, maximize your brain's natural output to enhance your daily life, no matter what your regular routine involves. So whether you're a writer, a gym rat, a musician or a student, nootropics can be extremely helpful. Click the links to see how.

Do Nootropics Help With ADHD?

Yes. Natural nootropics like L-Theanine, have shown to help with concentration. Hence why they do tend to help with ADHD as well. However, you need to be perfectly clear about which kind of nootropics you're looking for when it comes to ADHD. Many doctors prescribe synthetic stimulant nootropics and other medications to soothe symptoms of ADHD. But these can have intense side effects. Natural nootropics, on the other hand, have shown potential for helping soothe cognitive symptoms linked to ADHD (without the risk of intense side effects). **However, you should never mix or substitute other medications with nootropics before consulting your doctor.

Do Nootropics Help With Dementia?

Some nootropics support brain chemicals and functions that can help optimize memory. Some have even shown to improve cognition in those experiencing dementia. While nootropics won't eradicate dementia altogether, they can help to maintain some aspects of brain health. Check out our article on nootropics for memory for more on how they can work. Keep in mind, though, if you're on other supplements or medications, you should ask your doctor before mixing them. Clean, natural products with standardized dosages like Mind Lab Pro® rarely interact with other drugs. But it's best to be safe.

Do Nootropics Increase IQ?

No. Nootropics are not magic IQ boosters like the movies show. Instead, they work behind the scenes, optimizing cognitive processes that may or may not boost your IQ. The truth is, nootropic effects differ based on their ingredients, quality, dosage and what you want to do with them. So if you're looking to boost your IQ, maybe you would do so by optimizing cognition to practice studying areas that pertain to an IQ test. In this case, sure, nootropics may help you boost your IQ by boosting cognitive functions that help you achieve that goal. But they're not a magic fix.

Can Nootropics Make you Tired?

The best thing about natural nootropics is they don't leave you with a crash. Unlike stimulants including coffee and caffeine products, nootropics leave you with a sustained sense of wholesome cognition and energy. However, if you've been having trouble sleeping, nootropics might be able to help by optimizing your natural cognitive processes. Confusing, right? Think of it this way: nootropics meet your needs. So if stress and lack of focus during the day are affecting your sleep cycle, a nootropic to fix your cognitive issues may help your sleep issues. Got it?

Do Nootropics Work Right Away? When Should you Take Nootropics?

Nootropics can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to kick in depending on the ingredient makeup, quality, dosages and your metabolic state. For example, the Mind Lab Pro® Universal™ Nootropic can take an hour or two to kick into full force depending on the person. That's why we recommend taking it at least about an hour before you have to use your brain a lot. Make sense? Head over to our guide on when to take nootropics for more information on how long nootropics stay in your system.

How do you Stack Nootropics?

Stacking nootropics is somewhat of an art form. In any case, you should know which ingredients do what and why. You should also know what you need in terms of cognitive support. Once you have this information, you can combine nootropic ingredients to support your unique cognitive deficits. For more information on how to stack nootropics, take a look at our guide on the best nootropic stacking strategies.

How do you Store Nootropics?

Storing nootropic supplements is easy. Just keep them in a cool, dry place.

These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article is an opinion and explanation of current research given by the author. It is not an expression of a medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on as such.

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