We've all heard our parents say stuff like "You only need to study till the 12th grade, after that life is smooth sailing". Then you go to college and their words change to "You just need to study and score well for 3-4 more years so that you get a high paying job, life is all set after that". Then you land a job and realize, the grind never ends!
No Matter what they say, being a student at any age is a challenge. Early mornings, homework, exams, poor nutrition because of all the junk food we eat, puberty at its peak, body image issues, the list goes on. The mind works on overdrive to cope with all this. To top it up, there's stress due to growing competition.
There are three things most students resort to when they feel they need enhanced performance to score well - Coffee, Energy Drinks and the worst of all Adderall or Modafinil. Sure, all three give you an edge and make you perform better, but are these short term boosts worth the negative after-effects?
Coffee and energy drinks work on similar lines, they both have a nervous system stimulant called Caffeine. Most energy drinks have ~100mg of caffeine. Drink more than 2 cans and you're prone to get jitters, nervousness, and loss of sleep. Yes, it gives you a decent boost but the caffeine crash makes you feel like shit. Adderall and Modafinil, on the other hand, are different beasts. These are prescription medicines for ADD and ADHD and considered as substance abuse when used as nootropics. The side effects are more severe - Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Heart Palpitations, Dry Mouth, uncontrollable cravings, loss of appetite, mood swings and so on.
Are these "Smart Drugs" worth using, considering the after-effects?
Nootropics are a special breed of supplements when taken in the right combinations and dosages can give you the benefits of the study drugs with not as many side effects*.
1. Nootropics Do Not Make You Smarter.
Let's get this out of the way, Nootropics will NOT make you more intelligent or increase your IQ. They are mere tools that you can use to unleash your maximum mental potential. These supplements do not work like stimulants, rather, they provide your brain with the right nutrition for it to function at a higher capacity.
Sure they give you an edge over someone who is not using a nootropic, but one's own capability and efforts play a key role in their performance.
2. Enhanced Attention Span and Effortless Focus
What causes you to lose attention? Boredom, Lack of Discipline, External Distraction?
Most nootropics base their formulation on a Choline donor. Choline will get processed by your brain and eventually transform into an important neurotransmitter called Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine's main job is to maintain the connectivity between your brain cells - Neurons.
If your brain is wired correctly then you'll be able to maintain your concentration. You'll be able to sit and effortlessly cram all that study material for longer spans before needing a break.
All you need to do is get started, Read about the 2-Minute Rule and other interesting ways to improve your productivity on our blog - "How to be More Productive".
3. Faster Memory Assimilation, Recall, and Learning
I've never been a great student. I usually spent the night before an exam mugging stuff up and throwing it all out the next morning. Ask me something after the exam and I had no idea. Did I learn anything? Nah! doesn't that defy the purpose of going to school? I never really studied for the subjects I was genuinely interested in. The difference was that I could recall an image of the professor, the lecture hall, faded images of what was on the whiteboard. I was interested in what was being taught and I paid attention during the class so it was all in my brain. All I had to do was, skim thought the textbook. Not so surprisingly, I scored better in these subjects.
Our brain is a magnificent beast, but not very efficient. There's a labyrinth of brain cells, missed connections and untapped potential. Every experience you've ever had, every random idea you've had in that daydream but slipped away as soon as you got distracted. It's all in there for the taking.
Here's where nootropics come into play, These supplements can help you mentally record data faster, understand it better and also enhance your recollection speed. You'll know what information to use and where. Doesn't that sound appealing for your exam preparations?
4. Stress Reduction
"I need to score well on this class test"
"I need to get a brilliant rank on this competitive exam to land a good first job"
"What if I score the lowest out of my friends"
"What if I fail?"
"I CANNOT DO THIS!"
This is what goes on in the mind of a regular student who is freaking out. Opposite to popular belief, adolescents have mental stress as well. Marks, ranks, college or job placements, relationships, and social standing make it hard to be a young adult.
Amino Acids like L-Theanine and N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine are a few scientifically-backed compounds that help the body and brain cope with stress.
Fun Fact: L-Theanine is a major active ingredient in Green Tea, which is widely used for its calming effects.
Studies show N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine triggers the "Feel Good" neurotransmitters and improves the brain's ability to think under adverse pressure and external distractions. Other adaptogens like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa, cordyceps and Lemon Balm are also great for dealing with stress.
5. Elevated Mood, Motivation, and Confidence
It isn't easy being a young adult, trying to figure out life, build a foundation for yourself. Even though parents have been through this phase themselves, most cannot understand what your individual mind is going through. The grind is real, and if there are safe supplements available to help you cope, why not try them out?
These supplements have compounds that trigger the "feel good" neurotransmitters - Dopamine, Seratonin, and GABA. In addition to the success and accomplishment that you feel because of the enhanced attention span, focus, faster memory assimilation, recall, reduced stress, the elevated mood, and motivation contribute to a sense of holistic wellbeing which will, in turn, boost your overall confidence and built a stronger personality.
Nootropics can be life-changing for most people, but keep in mind that certain individuals may not respond to certain compounds well. It is always good to know what ingredients and in what quantity are in the product you pick. Make sure it is tested and approved by FSSAI (for Indian products) or FDA (for American Products). It is always better to stick to products with natural extracts rather than highly potent compounds like Racetams or Adderall and Modafinil, especially if you are a young adult under the age of 23. Your brain is still developing and is highly elastic (from a neurodevelopmental perspective).
Kenshō ELEVATE is a botanical FSSAI approved formulation, proudly made in India, using highly refined extracts and perfectly dosed for your first Nootropic experience with no side effects. The sublingual spray makes it easy and convenient to use right before a study session or an exam.
Always ask your parents, doctor or medical professional before consuming any supplements.
*Varies from product to product and stack to stack.