One of the “hidden” benefits of nootropics is that they can also improve your mood. They do this by targeting specific neurotransmitters in your brain, promoting “happy” neurotransmitter cycles while reducing “sad” neurotransmitter cycles.
But some nootropics are better than others in regards to mood enhancement. Today, I’m going to explain the pros and cons of mood enhancing nootropics and help you decide if they’re the right choice for you.
Why Take Nootropics to Improve Your Mood?
Most people take nootropics to stimulate cognition to add improve focus. However, many people take nootropics simply to improve their mood. Nootropics have been used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mood- related disorders.
Today, it’s estimated that one out of every 10 people suffers from some mood disorder. The actual figure may be even higher than that. In any case, taking nootropics to improve your mood can result in some powerful effects on your brain.
It’s important to recognize that nootropics are not the cure for mood disorders. If you’re chronically depressed, nootropics won’t instantly cure you. Instead, you may need to seek professional help. With that being said, nootropics can help individuals regain control of their mood and regulate their emotions. Individuals with mild mood disorder symptoms often benefit the most.
One of the best benefits of nootropics is that they are easy to incorporate into your everyday routine without changing your lifestyle. The same cannot be said for eating healthier and exercising – two of the most highly recommended “cures” for depression. When our brains experience depression or anxiety, our cognitive ability is often the first thing to suffer. We also tend to be less motivated.
Stress, anxiety and lack of motivation put your brain in a weakened state. Our brains can’t think or process information in this state, which is why many people turn to nootropics for support.
How Do Nootropics Enhance Mood?
Nootropics enhance mood by working with your brain’s natural chemistry. They encourage natural feelings of wellbeing while Energy reducing negative feelings. It might sound like hippy BS – but Focus it’s not! It’s based on real chemical science.
You see, nootropics have a direct impact on some neurotransmission systems in our brain. Neurotransmitters tell our brain to feel happy, feel sad, feel motivated, and feel a billion other things. Nootropics target neurotransmitters like serotonin, acetylcholine, and dopamine. They optimize these systems in one of two ways:
A) By Increasing The Brain’s Natural Production Of Neurotransmitters
B) By Increasing The Ability Of Receptors To Receive Certain Neurotransmitters
Together, these two functions build off each other to enhance our mood. By stacking nootropics together, you can improve your mood and increase cognitive functionality with just two or three nootropics.
How Do the Chemicals in Our Brain Affect Mood?
Science has learned a lot about the brain over the past few decades. Today, we know that our brains use chemicals to communicate and send signals. These chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, have a powerful impact on our mood. Here are the most important chemicals in our brain which affect your mood every single day:
Dopamine is the brain’s “feel good” neurotransmitter. It’s responsible for processing pleasure and reward signals. Dopamine also plays a critical role in motor movement and emotional responses, which means we not only experience reward signals, but we also want to take action to move towards those rewards.
Our bodies release dopamine when we’re exercising. The telltale “runner’s high” you get after running for long periods of time is widely attributed to the mood boosting powers of dopamine.
Serotonin is a unique chemical compound produced in your brain and intestines. Serotonin, however, cannot cross the blood- brain barrier, which means that all the serotonin used by your brain must be produced within it. Approximately 80% to 90% of your body’s serotonin is found outside the brain, in the gastrointestinal tract.
Serotonin plays a critical role in our appetite, digestion, sleep, memory, social behavior, and sexual desire. It’s responsible for much of the activity within our central nervous system. Most nootropics don’t increase the brain’s production of serotonin.
Instead, they take a more creative approach: they inhibit the -re-absorption of serotonin after they transmit the neural impulse. This maximizes the existing number of serotonin neurotransmitters, which ultimately improves your mood. Many anti-depressive medications work by inhibiting the re-absorption of serotonin.
Some people consider both dopamine and serotonin to be hormones, although nobody is sure how to classify those chemicals. Acetylcholine, on the other hand, is typically not considered to be a hormone. Acetylcholine (Ach) has the unique distinction of being the first neurotransmitter ever discovered.
It’s directly responsible for attention and arousal and plays a critical role in the peripheral nervous system. Overall, it’s involved in a wide range of processes and functions within the brain. Acetylcholine facilitates communication between neurotransmitters and receptors, which improves attention, reward, and arousal.
In regards to mood enhancement, some people believe that depression is caused by low levels of Acetylcholine within the brain. By optimizing your acetylcholine system, you can enjoy powerful cognitive benefits as well as an overall improved mood.
Are Mood Enhancers Safe to Use?
Mood enhancing nootropics vary widely regarding quality and chemical compounds. However, nootropics, by definition, are non-toxic, which means they’re not typically harmful to the body. In fact, many nootropics eliminate toxins from the body. With that being said, I always recommend following the posted directions on your chosen nootropic. You should also talk to a doctor before taking any nootropic or supplement.
Today’s top nootropics are not only safe to use, but they also improve the overall health of your brain. They reduce oxidative stress within the brain and target free radicals. That promotes stronger brain activity while also helping you look and feel younger.
Of course, nootropics do have some side-effects. Some users report feeling headaches when using the more intense nootropics – like high-powered racetams. Others may experience nausea. You should avoid taking nootropics if you have existing heart conditions or are taking certain medications – like blood thinners. You should also avoid using mood enhancing nootropics if you’re pregnant.
Which Nootropics Are the Best Mood Enhancers?
Different nootropics affect your mood in different ways. Some nootropics don’t enhance your mood at all. Below, you’ll find my recommended mood enhancing nootropics:
Aniracetam is one of the few racetams which can boost your mood. Other popular racetams – including Piracetam and Oxiracetam – provide powerful cognitive benefits, but don’t enhance your mood. Aniracetam is different. It boosts your mental energy and focuses while also enhancing oxygen and blood flow to the brain. You feel more lively and alert, which tends to cause better cognitive performance while also improving your mood.
That’s not the only way Aniracetam improves your mood: it also increases the activity of something called the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), allowing your brain to more easily communicate with neurons and form new synapses.
If you’re interested in Aniracetam, I suggest stacking it with a choline supplement. Choline supplements vastly reduce your likelihood of experiencing headaches, which are typically the only major Aniracetam side effect.
Sulbutiamine is simply a derivative of thiamine – although it has some unique properties which make it one of the best mood enhancing nootropics available today.
Sulbutiamine is widely known for its mood boosting effects. It also has a legendary origin story: after the World Wars in Japan, the Japanese diet consisted mainly of rice. Rice isn’t very nutritious on its own, and the Japanese were facing nationwide lethargy and fatigue. Their diets were extremely deficient in Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine. Then, Japanese scientists synthesized Sulbutiamine, creating an extremely efficient version of thiamine.
This singlehandedly cured fatigue across most of Japan. Ultimately, Sulbutiamine mimics the effects of thiamine while purifying its benefits. It’s higher bioavailability means it can more easily cross the blood- brain barrier. This leads to some powerful benefits, including stress reduction, increased energy, and heightened mental alertness. Together, these three benefits are often enough to counteract any stress or anxiety you may be feeling.
Noopept is one of the most powerful nootropic supplements on the market today. It’s hundreds of times more powerful than the average racetam – largely because of its high bioavailability, which helps it cross the blood-brain barrier in a very short amount of time.
Noopept goes to work fast and lasts long. It provides powerful cognitive benefits, including increased memory retention, alertness, and focus. But one of the lesser-known benefits of Noopept is its use as a mood enhancer. Noopept is a powerful mood enhancing supplement because it directly affects serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. As you learned above, dopamine and serotonin promote a healthy, balanced mood within your brain.
That’s why Noopept is often recommended for individuals with anxiety or depression. In fact, it’s often prescribed by doctors in Russia – which is where Noopept was first developed way back in the 1960s. In the United States and other parts of the world, you can buy Noopept as a supplement with no prescription required.
L-Theanine one of the least powerful nootropics on this list, which is why it’s most commonly used as part of a stack. L- theanine is naturally found in tea and increases your GABA neurotransmitter levels. This tends to reduce restlessness and inspire a feeling of calmness
Many people stack L-Theanine with caffeine, in which case you get the focus and mood-boosting power of L-Theanine and the energy and memory-boosting power of caffeine. L-Theanine has the added benefit of increasing dopamine and serotonin levels – just like Noopept, although not quite as powerful.