Best Kept Secret Of The 1%… Smart Drugs

Nootropics have been the “best kept secret” of many of the top-performing, top-earning 1% for decades, Wall Street bankers and analysts, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, TV personalities, actors, and executives all using them to keep an “edge” as they push the limits of human potential in their fields.

This post marks the beginning of the “Smart Drug Series” here on NoGym.net, a series of educational posts that will walk you through the field of nootropics from start-to-finish.

At the end of the series we will release an entire ebook on Nootropics for you on Amazon.com.

You’ve probably heard the buzz about this safe, exciting, (relatively) new class of “drugs” that possess both cognitive and performance-enhancing properties.

I myself use nootropics regularly to power through the daily grind of running several businesses, training hard, and writing books.

And to make things better, I’ve teamed up with my buddy Garrett Ruhland, a neurochemist (also from Duke) at the exciting new cutting-edge nootropics startup truBrain here in Los Angeles to not only write this series of posts/PDFs, but so we can also hop onto weekly videos together and give you the low down on each different topic.

Garrett’s been using nootropics to study hard and outperform his competitors whether in testing situations, when studying for the MCAT or in the brutal neuroscience curriculum while in school, or while battling it out in ocean swims with truBrain’s CEO Chris Thompson on their lunch breaks.

We will be releasing one post per week, so over the coming months we’ll quickly have amassed quite the resource for you, so be sure and click here to subscribe to the Smart Drug Series Newsletter or bookmark this page so you can quickly find the info you’re looking for when you need it.

In this post we are going to introduce you to nootropics (smart drugs) with some basic definitions (so no matter where you are on the spectrum of familiarity, you’ll be able to begin your education at square one) and talk about some of pop culture’s most infamous references to smart drugs.

Let’s get started!

Nootropics: The Introduction

So what is a nootropic?

Great question, and we’ll answer it shortly, but…

First we need to define the term “cognitive enhancer”… because while nootropics are considered cognitive enhancers, not all cognitive enhancers are in fact nootropics, a subtle but important distinguishing factor.

As defined in the Journal Of Science and Engineering Ethics, the term “cognitive enhancement” means the amplification or extension of core capacities of the mind through improvement or augmentation of internal or external information processing systems.

Therefore, a cognitive enhancer would be any substance that directly affects the amplification of the mind’s core capacities.

In laymen’s terms, it will take what you have, and make it better.

Cognitive enhancers can come in many shapes and forms, from certain foods to supplements, herbs, and strict pharmaceuticals.

On the other hand, in order for a cognitive enhancer to fall under the umbrella of being a true “nootropic” it must adhere to a rigid set of criteria.

These criteria were initially defined in the 1970’s by two scientists, first Dr. Corneliu Giurgea then later – in much more detail – by Dr. V. Skondia in 1979. (Scroll down for the tl;dr, quick-and-dirty definition)…

(1972) Dr. Corneliu Giurgea’s Criteria:

Enhances learning and memory.

Enhances learned behaviors under conditions which are known to disrupt them (e.g. hypoxia (oxygen deficiency)).

Protects the brain from physical or chemical injury.

Enhances the tonic cortical/subcortical control mechanisms

Exhibits few side effects and extremely low toxicity, while lacking the pharmacology of typical psychotropic drugs (motor stimulation, sedation, etc.). [Ref]

(1979) Dr. V. Skondia’s Criteria:
I. No direct vasoactivity

> A. No vasodilation

> B. No vasoconstriction

II. EEG activity: No change in basic rhythm

> A. Quantitative EEG: Increased power spectrum (beta 2 and alpha)

> B. Qualitative EEG: Decreased delta waves and cerebral suffering

III. Must pass blood-brain barrier

> A. Under normal conditions

> B. Under pathological conditions

IV. Must show metabolic activity in:

> A. Animal brain metabolism

1. Molecular

2. Physiopathological

> B. Human brain metabolism (clinical evaluation)

1. A-V differences

a. Increased extraction quotients of O2

b. Increased extraction quotients of glucose

c. Reduced lactate pyruvate ratio

2. Regional cerebral metabolic rates (rCMR)

a. Increased ICMR of O2

b. Increased rCMR of glucose

3. Regional cerebral blood flow: Normalization

V. Minimal side effects

VI. Clinical trials must be conducted with several rating scales designed to objectify metabolic cerebral improvement.

Quick-and-dirty Definition

Nootropics are cognitive enhancers that are characterized by being extremely nontoxic and neuroprotective, with minimal side effects. So safe?

Yes.

Smart Drugs In Pop Culture

Nootropics have been the “best kept secret” of many of the top-performing, top-earning 1% for decades, Wall Street bankers and analysts, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, TV personalities, actors, and executives all using them to keep an “edge” as they push the limits of human potential in their fields.

But now nootropics are beginning to crawl out from the depths of the internet forums [Reddit nootropics sub] and burst into the mainstream thanks to popular movies like “Limitless” and “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” getting coverage in huge media outlets like Details, The Atlantic, Fox News, The Kernel, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, and NY Magazine.

And now that Limitless is being adapted for television (still starring Bradley Cooper) [source: Variety], we’re going to see a huge boom in the desire for nootropics in the general public. So while the 1%’s “best kept secret” may have just been let out of the box, that doesn’t mean you can’t capitalize on it now.

That’s what this education series is for: to help you understand something that is about to become a household term (and to hopefully save you some money too, as we unveil what is effective and what’s a load of snake oil).

If you’re pumped for additional information on Smart Drugs as the series unfolds, be sure and click here to subscribe to the Smart Drug Series Newsletter

And if you’re interested in checking out truBrain, a very innovative new nootropics startup founded by some of my college friends, definitely go take a look as well.