For many people, nootropics are a true miracle supplement. They help them boost their memory, enhance their brainpower, and even fight conditions like ADHD and Alzheimer’s.
Are there side effects that come with nootropic pills, and if so, how common are they?
Keep reading for a full guide to nootropics side effects.
Do Nootropics Have Side Effects?
True nootropics usually do not come with any known side effects.
In fact, the definition of nootropics – as defined by the man who created nootropics, Dr. Corneliu Giurgea – states that a nootropic cannot have any side effects to be considered a true nootropic. That’s reassuring, however, it doesn’t mean there isn’t the threat of side effects present with nootropics.
The truth is, you don’t quite know what goes into the nootropics you’re taking, especially if you buy them from unreliable sources. Some “nootropics” may use ingredients that lead to side effects. That’s why it’s always important to get your nootropics from a trustable source that lists their ingredients explicitly.
Natural nootropics are also much less likely to cause side effects than synthetic nootropics. Some natural nootropics include Ginkgo biloba, omega-3 fatty acids, and even caffeine.
There’s also the question of medically prescribed nootropics. Medicines that control ADHD are often considered nootropics as they stimulate the brain in certain ways that help your focus and memory retention. These prescription “nootropics” often do come with side effects, and they can be quite serious at that.
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How Common Are Nootropic Side Effects?
Considering all that, nootropic side effects are uncommon at best.
As long as you but from a reliable source, know the ingredients, and don’t take anything too synthetic, you should be safe. You can always do a Google search of the specific nootropic you’re considering to see if anyone has reported side effects. You can also ask your doctor before taking it.
Possible Nootropics Side Effects
When it comes to prescription nootropics, like those taken for ADHD, there are a few common side effects you need to look out for. These include:
- A rise in heart rate
- Blurry vision
- High blood pressure
- Issues with circulation
You may also experience things like mood swings and depression with certain types of these medications. If you notice any of these side effects, and they adversely affect your life, speak to your doctor.
Natural nootropics, as stated previously, don’t cause any known serious side effects. These nootropics are made up of natural products. Unless you’re allergic to any of the ingredients in a given nootropic, you’re probably going to be okay.
However, some people report the following side effects when taking unnatural nootropics, megadosing on nootropics, or using unreliable supplements. Side effects may also happen due to a person’s lifestyle or body chemistry. These include:
- Brain fog
- Stomach aches
- Mood swings
- Intense, lucid dreams
If a given nootropic includes caffeine, you can expect side effects of jitteriness and alertness. If it includes L-theanine, certain people experience headaches and irritability, but this is uncommon. If it includes Bacopa monnieri, some people experience dry mouth, stomach cramps, and fatigue.
If you feel any side effects, stop taking the nootropic at fault.
Nootropic Stacking & Side Effects
There is the possibility of adverse side effects when it comes to stacking nootropics.
Nootropic stacking refers to taking different types of nootropics all at once. The ingredients in some nootropics may not mesh well with other nootropics. This can create adverse reactions both physically and in the brain.
To avoid this, dodge buying pre-made stacks from nootropic websites. Avoid creating your own DIY stacks, and avoid “experimental” nootropic stacks.
Avoiding Nootropics Side Effects
As stated before, the best way to avoid nootropics side effects is to buy reliably, read the ingredients, and avoid mixing and overdosing on nootropics.
Taking too much of a given nootropic is called megadosing, and it’s one of the most common causes of side effects. It may overstimulate the mind, cause jitteriness, and other possible side effects listed above. You should always take the recommended dosage to avoid side effects.
Don’t go over the daily recommended dose, even if you feel like a nootropic isn’t working. Nootropics often take weeks of use to show any actual effects. Be patient and you’ll notice the effects in no time.
Many nootropics manufacturers pack their nootropic blends with additives. These can cause side effects in certain people. Additives to look out for include:
- Carrageenan, which can cause inflammation
- Artificial colors
- Artificial preservatives, which can cause gut issues
- Gluten, which is especially important if you’re gluten-free or celiac
- Soy, which may adversely affect your hormones
- Common allergens such as dairy
Always read the supplement facts and ingredients before starting on any nootropic. Look out for these common additives and avoid any nootropic that includes them.
Only Use the Best Nootropics
Are nootropics safe? The answer is: usually.
Nootropics side effects are variable and depend on factors like your body chemistry, the ingredients, the dosage, and where you’re buying the nootropics for. You shouldn’t avoid nootropics for fear of side effects, but you should stop using them if you do experience side effects. Always get the best nootropics from trusted sources and you may find them very beneficial to your life.
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