If it were possible, we’d all like to be a bit smarter. How smart you are is determined by a number of factors. There’s of course important implications regarding neuroscience, but there’s also factors that are associated with your actions.
Researchers have been investigating intelligence for years, slowly unlocking bits and pieces. There is still a lot of controversy regarding nature vs nurture in terms of intelligence. Either way, you can sharpen your intelligence through nootropics.
Can Nootropics Actually Make Me Smarter?
Although taking a pill will not instantly make you smarter, it can enhance cognitive functions that occur within your brain each and every day. When various areas of your cognition are enhanced, then you see a substantial improvement in your mental performance.
Whether you’d like to improve your memory, enhance mental focus, or understand concepts easier, there are nootropics that will provide that desired effect.
Types of Intelligence
When trying to improve intelligence, you need to first focus on two types. There’s a distinct difference between fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. For a supplement to improve your intelligence, it needs to affect both types.
Fluid intelligence: This is your ability to perform cognitive functions. This is how well you can learn, solve problems, and reason. It’s our ability to think logically. Fluid intelligence is essential when problem solving or reasoning. This would be your ability to look at a mathematical question and grasp it.
Crystallized Intelligence: This is what we know; using our experience, knowledge and skills. This typically improves over the course of your life, as you add to your body of knowledge. Although this is not the same concept as memory, you do need to take information from your long-term memory. If you focus on nootropics that boost memory formation and recall, you could enhance this type of intelligence.
How Can I Improve Intelligence with Nootropics
The nootropics you take can affect both types of intelligence. If you take nootropics on their own, it’s pretty clear that you will not automatically increase knowledge (crystallized intelligence). However, nootropics improve your long-term memory storage.
For example, think about supplementing with protein in order to increase muscle mass. If you take protein each morning, you need to exercise in order to achieve increase the size of your muscles. The protein itself allows you to build muscles easier, as long as you’re working-out to achieve that muscle mass. The same is true for nootropics and crystallized intelligence. You can increase this intelligence if you put in the work. You need to experience new things, read more content, and improve your body of knowledge.
Fluid intelligence is easier to improve on its own. When we are learning new information or performing calculations, this is due to our brain’s synaptic plasticity. Our billions of neurons communicate with one another throughout the brain. Some connections are being formed, while others are eliminated. This is because our brain connections are always changing.
The easier these new connections are formed, the more ‘plastic’ your brain is. This plasticity tends to decline as we age, which is why we see some cognitive decline in the later stages of life. When you take certain nootropics, you can actually increase your plasticity. This is generally achieved through various neurotransmitters.
Two of these crucial neurotransmitters are glutamate and acetylcholine. These neurotransmitters play a direct role in memory, reasoning, and learning. For the most part, higher levels of neurotransmitters, mean more brain activity. In order to increase these neurotransmitters, you have plenty of nootropic options.
There are many options when focusing on intelligence. When it comes to glutamate and acetylcholine, the racetams class of nootropics is highly beneficial. Your options include; Piracetam, Aniracetam, Pramiracetam, Oxiracetam, and Phenylpiracetam.
Although they are all in the same family, they all work differently and have different potencies. Make sure you are aware of which nootropic does what and which is most effective for you. When racetams stimulate acetylcholine synapses, memory and cognition are enhanced.
Noopept is also closely related to the racetam class and is known to be one of the best brain boosters. Not only does it improve memory and alertness, but it also creates new connections and maintains neuron health.
In order for more acetylcholine to be made, you need a supply of choline. You can obtain choline from your diet, but it’s beneficial to take a choline supplement in a stack with racetams. Not only does this increase benefits, but it counteracts potential headaches created from racetam use. You can take Citicoline, Centrophenoxine, or Alpha GPC for this.
You should also focus on energy levels when enhancing intelligence. Yes, energy is not directly related to fluid intelligence, but it does allow you to perform better. When you take supplements like Adrafinil and Modafinil, you effectively improve clarity and alertness.
Improving Intelligence Through a Balanced Mental State
You can improve intelligence easier when you feel calm and emotionally stable. Unfortunately, we are exposed to a lot of stress throughout the day. We work long hours, go to school, and take care of every other aspect of life. This increased stress can actually decrease your ability to think clearly.
The neurotransmitter GABA, is essential for dealing with stress. GABA actually reduces your perception of stress and stops nerve cells from firing. This allows you to feel more calm and relaxed.
In order to continue feeling relaxed, you need to get enough sleep. GABA is also responsible for healthy sleep. Some GABA supplements include Phenibut and L-Theanine. When you are more relaxed and sleeping well, intelligence can improve through mental clarity and focus.
So, help your brain improve both fluid and crystallized intelligence. There are a wide variety of nootropics that offer benefits to make you smarter. Once you begin experimenting, try creating your own nootropic stack. This will allow you to achieve more effective and faster results.