Focus can be one of the most precarious virtues when it comes to working and studying. Writers call it writer’s block, scientists call it a mental block, but we all agree on the one thing it leads to: procrastination. Supplements such as Piracetam are designed to combat this mental hindrance by boosting your memory and cognitive functions, allowing your brain to start absorbing and processing information again. Did you ever see that film Limitless, with Bradley Cooper? It kind of does the same thing, only in a far less glorified manner.
What is Piracetam?
Piracetam was first synthesised in the 19060s and is a type of Nootropic drug, which refers to any class of drug that boosts cognitive functions. Piracetam is popular because it’s proven to be effective and comes with a very low risk of side effects. This is partly because the actual enhancing effects in has on the brain are mild, but also because it is synthesised without the use of toxic or detrimental chemicals.
When is it used?
While it won’t instantly make you a best-selling writer and a whiz in the stock markets like Bradley Cooper, it does subtly improve your brain’s cognitive functioning. For those stricken with low productivity, Piracetam will increase membrane fluidity in the brain, which helps to boost moods and concentration and make it easier to absorb information. It proves to be particularly popular amongst students who have a great volume of information to absorb daily, particularly when studying for exams, as it helps to just clear the mind a little bit and make room for concentration.
That being said, studies so far have shown that supplements such as Piracetam are most effective in the elderly. It tends to be more efficient at increasing endurance and slowing the decline of an aging mind which is naturally losing cognitive abilities than infiltrating and boosting a young, healthy brain looking for a pick-me-up.
How does it actually work?
Without going into too much scientific detail about it, our brains are incredibly complex machines which fire around millions of neurons every single second in order to move the body and process information. While they are undoubtedly fast and astonishingly clever, they also tire and run out of steam quite easily during long sessions of continued focus. Nootropics work by a process of dilating blood vessels and thus increasing blood flow to the brain, which essentially provides it with the fuel (like oxygen) it requires to function effectively.
This natural process is ultimately the reason the effects are fairly mild but the side effects are virtually non-existent.
Should you be using it?
While it doesn’t have detrimental effects, taking cognitive-enhancing supplements just for the sake of it is a fruitless and always potentially dangerous exercise. It can, on the other hand, bea natural combative for age-related cognitive decline, and a very useful but temporary antidote to mental blockage (especially if the body has built up an immunity to the effects of caffeine). In other words, Piracetam should only be considered if the needs really merit doing so.