Doctors, students, tutors, software programmers even stock market analysists are nowadays frequenting in ‘smart drugs’ outlets. The one thing that this group of individuals has in common is that alertness and generally enhanced cognitive ability is required of them. But how real is the idea of drugs that can help boost cognitive abilities? For a start, users should not expect a miraculous transformation into some kind of genius. Smart drugs are only meant to boost cognitive abilities and not create intelligence.

What is the difference between cognitive enhancers and nootropics?

There is a difference between cognitive enhancing drugs and drugs known as nootropics. Here is a quick comparison: All cognitive enhancers do at least enhance one of the many brain’s cognitive abilities. These range from memory enhancement, alertness, attention, evaluation, judgement, computation and comprehension. This is also true for nootropics. Side effects and toxicity issues are common with most cognitive enhancers. For nootropics, toxicity issues must be largely eradicated or done with where possible. In fact, even when a drug has met all other qualifications but is associated with a list of side effects, it can no more be referred to as a nootropic. Cognitive enhancers produce short term effects. It is even worse sometimes when damage to the brain follows after the drugs have wearied off. Nootropics are more strategic. They promote natural betterment of the brain and in the process produce long-term cognitive enhancement. Cognitive enhancers include; caffeine, Adderall, Adrafinil, Modafinil and such. In fact, even alcohol can be considered a cognitive enhancer due to its ability to produce relaxation effects. Nootropics have more complex and specified brand as well as chemical names. They include Huperzine, Choline citrate and Choline Bitartrate.

Which is the better option; cognitive enhancers or nootropics?

Cognitive enhancers are relatively affordable and easily available. This however comes at a cost; the fact that side effects like toxicity and fatigue may be experienced after using them. All the same, the rightly chosen one can produce desirable effects. Nootropics are a better choice but are more expensive. Additionally, unless you are familiar with nootropics you may not be in a position to choose a particular one that will work best for you. This is because hundreds of them are available online today. All the same, nootropics are a better choice in that they produce short and long term effects and without serious side effects.

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