The key difference between adaptogens and nootropics is that adaptogens are substances that help the human body adjust to physical, chemical, or biological stress, while nootropics are drugs, supplements, or other substances that can enhance brain performance.
Substances that can calm the body and enhance cognitive performance are rapidly gaining attention in today’s medical environment. Adaptogens and nootropics are two substances used to reduce stress and enhance memory function. One of the most interesting areas of research is their synergistic pairing in food items in order to give more rounded effects profiles. A great example is caffeine and L-theanine amino acid. Multiple studies have shown that in the above combination, caffeine can significantly improve attention and alertness while L-theanine amino acid can calm the body.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Adaptogens
3. What are Nootropics
4. Similarities – Adaptogens and Nootropics
5. Adaptogens vs Nootropics in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Adaptogens vs Nootropics
What are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are substances that help the human body to adjust to physical, chemical, or biological stress. These compounds (most often herbs) help the human body to regulate stress and restore normal physiological functioning. Moreover, they are nontoxic to the body. Many adaptogens have been used for years in traditional Chinese medicine and Indian ayurvedic practices. For example, cordyceps and reishi mushrooms used in Chinese medicine are the subjects of much research due to their effects on human cognition.
Normally, adaptogens are sold as teas, tinctures, powders that can be added to teas or used as capsules. The theory behind adaptogens explains these compounds can stimulate the body’s stress protection response and help the system to return to a balanced state called “homeostasis.” At least 70 types of herbal plants are currently considered adaptogens. Few adaptogens that are linked to stress relief include ashwagandha, tulsi (holy basil), ginseng (panax ginseng), Rhodiola rosea L., astragalus, goji berry, licorice root, schisandra berry, turmeric, lion’s mane, and Bacopa monnieri. The side effects of adaptogen usage may include diarrhoea, upset stomach, and nausea.
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and other substances that can enhance brain performance. In the 1970s, research work first started to identify compounds that have the potential to enhance cognition. Some of the early studies were focused on B vitamins, and later researchers found many other countless compounds. Nootropics particularly enhance executive functions such as attention, memory, creativity, and motivation in healthy individuals.
The use of nootropics spans numerous controversial issues, including ethics, fairness of usage, and adverse effects. Furthermore, nootropics are frequently advertised with unproven claims of effectiveness in improving cognition. Some nootropics drugs include amphetamine, methylphenidate, eugeroics, caffeine, nicotine, and racetams, while some nootropics substances include citicoline, choline bitartrate, and alpha-GPC. Miscellaneous nootropics compounds include tolcapone, levodopa, atomoxetine, desipramine, nicergoline, and ISRIB. In addition to that, nootropics herbs include ginkgo biloba, Salvia officinalis and lavandulaefolia (sage), and Centella asiatica. The side effects of using nootropics include insomnia, blurry vision, high blood pressure, a fast heart rate, circulation problems, and addiction.
What are the Similarities Between Adaptogens and Nootropics?
- Adaptogens and nootropics are two substances used to reduce stress and enhance memory function.
- Herbs are included in both groups.
- Both substances can be synergistically paired in food items in order to give more effects.
- Both substances are generally safe to use.
- Occasionally, they have side effects.
What is the Difference Between Adaptogens and Nootropics?
Adaptogens are substances helping the human body adjust to physical, chemical, or biological stress, while nootropics are drugs, supplements, and other substances that can enhance brain performance. Thus, this is the key difference between adaptogens and nootropics. Furthermore, adaptogens are mainly herbs and certain mushrooms, while nootropics are mainly drugs, chemical substances, miscellaneous compounds, and herbs.
The below infographic presents the differences between adaptogens and nootropics in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Adaptogens vs Nootropics
Adaptogens and nootropics are two types of substances used to reduce stress and enhance memory function. They can be synergistically paired in food items in order to give more rounded effect profiles. Adaptogens are substances that help the human body to adjust to physical, chemical, or biological stress. Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and other substances that enhance brain performance. So, this is the key difference between adaptogens and nootropics.