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What are nootropics?


This is the simplest definition: a substance that enhances cognition and memory and facilitates learning. But here's the technical definition created by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, the man who coined the term “nootropic”. In order for a substance to be classified as a nootropic it must meet the following criteria:

  1. It must enhance memory and ability to learn.

  2. It must help the brain function under disruptive conditions, such as hypoxia (low oxygen) and electroconvulsive shock.

  3. It must protect the brain from chemical and physical assaults, such as anti-cholinergic drugs and barbiturates.

  4. It must increase the efficacy of neuronal firing control mechanisms in cortical and sub-cortical regions of the brain.

  5. It must possess few or no side effects and be virtually non-toxic.

The key takeaway is that a substance must enhance memory and/or the ability to learn while possessing little or no side effects. Today if a substance enhances any particular function in the brain (not limited to memory or learning ability only) it could be called a nootropic.

A diagram of an active receptor in the brain.
A collection of Chinese herbs.


Our flagship product, gBoost®, is comprised of seven all-natural “nootropics”. There’s Lion’s Mane (a mushroom), Ginkgo Biloba (a tree native to China), or CDP Choline (a molecule found naturally in human and animal tissue) to name a few. Many substances classified as nootropics have been in use for centuries (even millenia). Ginkgo Biloba has been used since the very beginnings of Traditional Chinese Medicine. With the first recorded uses in medicine dating back the the Yuan Dynasty around 1280-1368 A.D.[1] Another ancient nootropic is Bacopa Monnieri. It's a commonly used ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, a holistic healing system that was first developed in India more than 3,000 years ago.[2] Many of today’s nootropics are nothing new. Some have been in use long before even our great-great-great-great grandparents were born.

What should you expect from them?  

If you’re thinking right now that this idea of substances that can improve your memory or learning ability sounds too good to be true, we don’t blame you. The ways nootropics are often portrayed in the media, and by the companies selling them makes them sound like some super smart drugs that you can take and 1 hour later you’ll be composing symphonies or proposing a new quantum physics theory. Nootropics won't make you an overnight genius. We don’t want you to believe that these are magic pills.

Nootropics are supplements. Like any supplement, they’re meant to complete or enhance your body’s ability to function. No supplement is a miracle drug. One of the most widely used supplements, fish oil, has been shown to improve working memory.[3] Now when’s the last time you used a fish oil supplement and noticed that your memory is improved? Probably never. Yet it has been shown to do just that. The point being that while many people do feel the immediate effects of nootropics, it’s entirely possible that you won’t feel an improvement in memory, or maybe you won’t notice a difference in attention, or mood. But just because you don’t feel a difference doesn’t mean that the nootropics aren’t working. One of the greatest benefits of using a nootropic like Lion’s Mane is the resulting increase in nerve growth factor (NGF).[4] Whether or not you feel it, an increase in nerve growth factor increases the growth, maintenance, and proliferation of neurons. Something which is extremely beneficial to not only the health of one’s brain, but one’s body and life. The benefits of a sharper brain translate into everything we use our brain for.

In a study where participants completed N-back tasks (where you’re shown a sequence of stimuli one at a time and must decide if the current stimuli is the same as the one presented to you N stimuli’s ago, meaning it gets harder to remember the higher N goes), participants performed better after supplementing with Fish Oil.[3]

So how do they work?

Nootropics enhance the cognitive abilities of the brain. Affecting different brain functions such as concentration, memory, mood, or stress. Most of the time nootropics provide the brain with precursors (building blocks) with which it can create more neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Increased dopamine levels can lead to more focus and mental energy. Uridine is one such ingredient that increases dopamine output in the brain.[5]

Other nootropics, such as phosphatidylserine, work by increasing glucose metabolization which can lead to improved memory and concentration. Phosphatidylserine easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it binds to neurotransmitters enabling the brain to metabolize glucose more efficiently.[6]

Another nootropic, Ginkgo Biloba, has been shown to increase cerebral blood flow by up to 13-15%.[7] More brain circulation means your brain is getting more oxygen and glucose, the two things needed to keep the neurons in your brain metabolically active. Better brain circulation also allows other nootropics to reach more of the brain and thus work more effectively.

The research exists to effectively support these claims. Research has also shown that some nootropics may be just as effective or more effective than prescription ADHD and Antidepressant medications.[8][9][10]

Who takes them?

Nootropics are used by a wide range of people. High level executives, working professionals, busy university students, and even professional athletes use nootropics to help them accomplish their goals. Athletes use them to train at a higher intensity with more focus and energy. University students to learn and study better. CEOs to keep their brains wired throughout high intensity workdays.

The people that take nootropics are passionate and driven. They’re always asking more of themselves. Nootropics can give you that extra focus and energy you need to go after what you want. They can help you take things to the next level.

Older people can use nootropics to help slow down or reverse age-related cognitive decline and memory loss.

Athletes can use nootropics to enhance their mental focus and improve recovery after training.  

Students can use nootropics to concentrate in class and study to get more work done faster.

Business professionals can use nootropics to be more motivated and productive at work.

The gBoost® Advantage

We set out to create the best brain health supplement available on the market and we feel we've accomplished that with our flagship product gBoost®. We made it with seven carefully selected ingredients which you can read more about by clicking the button below.

Or buy gBoost® now.


[1] DeFeudis, F. V. (2003). A Brief History of EGb 761® and its Therapeutic Uses. Pharmacopsychiatry, 36, 2-7. doi:10.1055/s-2003-40450
[2] History Of Ayurveda. (n.d.). Retrieved December 30, 2018, from
[3] Narendran R, Frankle WG, Mason NS, Muldoon MF, Moghaddam B (2012) Improved Working Memory but No Effect on Striatal Vesicular Monoamine Transporter Type 2 after Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation. PLOS ONE 7(10): e46832.
[4] Mori, K., Obara, Y., Hirota, M., Azumi, Y., Kinugasa, S., Inatomi, S., & Nakahata, N. (2008). Nerve Growth Factor-Inducing Activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 Human Astrocytoma Cells. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 31(9), 1727-1732. doi:10.1248/bpb.31.1727
[5] Wang, Lei, et al. “Dietary Uridine-5-Monophosphate Supplementation Increases Potassium-Evoked Dopamine Release and Promotes Neurite Outgrowth in Aged Rats.” Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, vol. 27, no. 1, 2005, pp. 137–146., doi:10.1385/jmn:27:1:137.
[6] Klinkhammer, P., et al. “Effect of Phosphatidylserine on Cerebral Glucose Metabolism in Alzheimers Disease.” Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, vol. 1, no. 4, 1990, pp. 197–201., doi:10.1159/000107142.
[7] Mashayekh, A., Pham, D. L., Yousem, D. M., Dizon, M., Barker, P. B., & Lin, D. D. (2010). Effects of Ginkgo biloba on cerebral blood flow assessed by quantitative MR perfusion imaging: A pilot study. Neuroradiology, 53(3), 185-191. doi:10.1007/s00234-010-0790-6
[8] Mcglade, Erin, et al. “Improved Attentional Performance Following Citicoline Administration in Healthy Adult Women.” Food and Nutrition Sciences, vol. 03, no. 06, 2012, pp. 769–773., doi:10.4236/fns.2012.36103.
[9] Hirayama, S., et al. “The Effect of Phosphatidylserine Administration on Memory and Symptoms of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 27, 2013, pp. 284–291., doi:10.1111/jhn.12090.
[10] Kondo, Douglas G., et al. “Open-Label Uridine for Treatment of Depressed Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder.” Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, vol. 21, no. 2, 2011, pp. 171–175., doi:10.1089/cap.2010.0054.