The use of Nootropics (smart drugs) by students

Studying can be hard; even when it is studying something fun. What if there was a magic pill that made the whole process of studying that much easier? Well, there is. The use of nootropics, or so-called smart drugs by students is on the rise for those cramming for exams and wanting to become experts in their fields. But what are nootropics really? Can they help, or are they placebos at best and harmful at worst? Let’s take a look!


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What are nootropics?

Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and other substances you can take to improve your cognitive function, or, your ability to study. Some of the benefits of these supplements are said to include less mental fatigue when studying for exams, sharper focus, increased memory, and even creativity. You will note if you read more about nootropics that almost every article pushes that these supplements are for already healthy people. Nootropics are largely untested, and we don’t know the full extent of their impact on our bodies. What could taking them do to a person with pre-existing conditions?


Are nootropics prescribed or over the counter drugs?

The short answer is both! They are prescribed for the treatment of conditions such as ADHD and Alzheimer’s. These particular nootropics are stimulants, typically things like low doses of amphetamine. Products you might already have heard about are things like Axura for Alzheimer’s, and Adderall for ADHD. These drugs should not be taken without a prescription.

There is a wider range of over the counter nootropics available, though these can be a little more difficult to trust. In the U.S. for example, some producers of over the counter nootropics have been warned by the FDA that their products haven’t been legally approved, and were being illegally marketed. These types of nootropics tend to be supplemented forms of caffeine, L-theanine which is found in tea, creatine which is popular also as a bodybuilding supplement, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

There are even more strictly herbal supplements that some use as a nootropic, namely Rhodiola Rosea, Ginseng, and Gingko Biloba. You can even use smoking as an excuse, since nicotine is also said to improve alertness and attentiveness. In short, there is a wide range of nootropics both synthetic and natural.


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What about the students?

Adderall, according to PubMed, is used by up to 43 percent of students on U.S. college campuses, without a prescription. PubMed also tells us that Rhodiola Rosea has reduced mental fatigue and improved the overall well-being of those who are studying. And this isn’t just in the U.S. Up to 4.5 percent of all German students report using cognitive enhancers to help with their studying. And before we judge, and say why can’t they just drink excessive amounts of coffee instead like we did when we were studying, there are two things to consider. Firstly, caffeine is a psychoactive substance just like any other, which means while it is helpful, too much can be bad for us. And secondly, we live in an increasingly competitive world; can we blame students doing their all to get ahead?


Language learning

So what, specifically, can taking nootropics do to help us when we are learning languages? Along with all the general study benefits already mentioned, nootropics are also said to support the brain structures associated with speech and language. As part of the package of benefits of language learning with nootropics, we are told that nootropics can help with brain plasticity, memory storage and recall, and boost critical thinking. 


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Side effects?

Research into the side effects and long-lasting impact of nootropic use is in very early stages. Some expected side effects are insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety, increased heart rate, and possible addiction. This is why it is crucial to only take drugs that are prescribed specifically to you, and to not overdo your caffeine intake! No amount of studying is worth risking your health; not even those 7,000 lovely languages in the world! And what is so wrong, instead of taking all of these drugs, with starting your day with a ginger and lemon tea, or shot? We’re pretty sure these will wake you up and put you on alert just as fast!

Are you wanting some more traditional help with your language studies than using a smart drug? We can help! Our native speaking tutors can help you learn with a programme of study that is tailored entirely to your needs and circumstances. Why not drop us a quick enquiry to see how our courses work.