When shopping for health supplements, such as brain boosting nootropics, it can be tricky. The market (at least in the United States) is not regulated very much, which means all kinds of products can be released and sold. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) places the burden of safety-testing the products on the makers themselves.
This means that the company could just have an in-house “tester” test their products and vouch for their safety – even if they are not safe. This lack of regulation not only means that potentially dangerous products hit the market, though. It also means that tons of fraudulent products that do not work hit the market too.
The FDA can only step in once a sufficient amount of complaints are made about a product being unsafe. The FDA can then take those products off the market and penalize the makers. By then, the damage has been already done and those makers have made out like bandits. There is also not much the FDA can do about harmless products that just do not work. They have to pose a public safety risk for them to be taken off the market.
With all of that said, there are some tips and tricks to finding legitimate nootropic supplements and I am going to go into those tricks now.
How To Choose The Best Nootropic Cognitive Enhancing Supplement For You:
1. Go for reputable and well-known brands
This may sound like a no-brainer, but many people choose not to care about what brand makes a product when they see that it has a much lower price than its brand name competitor does.
This might not be all that bad of a practice when you are shopping for groceries, but it is a potentially dangerous one when shopping for health supplements. You definitely want to look for well-known and trusted brands that you can easily find company information and legitimate consumer testimonials for.
Another thing I should add is that you should not automatically trust a product if your local pharmacy is selling it. This is a tip I see other people make all the time. They say it is safer to buy supplements from a pharmacy. Maybe it is because we are more used to our local brick and mortar businesses and place a certain trust in them that we do not place in online sellers.
However, the past has shown that these businesses are not infallible. Well-known sellers such as Wal-Mart and GNC were found to be selling health supplements with unknown and untested ingredients and were forced to take those products off the market.
Before you buy any supplement (whether it is online or in a physical store), go on Google and look for reviews on that product and try to find the maker’s website. If anything seems fishy, do not buy it.
2. Look for certain labels
When shopping for nootropics, always look for labels on the bottle that say things like “USDA Organic”. If you see a label like this, it means that the product does contain any harmful ingredients.
Many nootropics that come from countries like China and Mexico will not have labels like this and for good reason – many nootropics made in those countries tend to have harmful ingredients in them. You know how China loves to make cheap knockoffs of American products. It works no differently in the supplement market – it just happens to be a much more dangerous practice.
Other labels you can look for are ones that say “USP Verified”, “NSF”, and “Labdoor”. These are all independent safety testing companies. If a nootropic maker goes out of their way to get their products tested by these agencies, you can rest assured knowing that the product is safe. All of these are well-known and trusted testing companies. In fact, Labdoor utilizes equipment that is approved by the FDA to safety-test supplements.
One label you should be wary of is “Consumer Lab”, however. It may seem like a good thing to have that label, and often it is. However, Consumer Lab has a shady history and it is not known if nootropic makers can just pay the company to be able to put the label on their products. Also, Consumer Lab tends to prefer pharmaceuticals as opposed to more alternative options such as nootropics.
3. How much should you take?
When considering how much of a nootropic you should take every day, it is always a good practice to look at the nootropic’s label and begin by taking the lowest recommended dose.
This allows your body to get adjusted to the nootropic and ensure that if your body reacts badly to it, it will not be as bad of a reaction as it would be if you took a higher dose. You do not want to go much lower than the lowest recommended dose, though, or else you may not feel any change at all.
4. Read the ingredients closely
Ingredients often times can make or break a health supplement, and nootropics are no different. If a product is full of fluff ingredients that do absolutely nothing besides having a fancy scientific name that you can plant on the label, that product is destined to fail in the long run.
However, it is not always the active ingredients that you have to look out for. Many times, supplement makers decide to put their fluff ingredients in the “other ingredients” section. This is where potentially harmful ingredients can almost slide under the radar, despite the fact that the FDA heavily regulates the actual ingredients.
Honestly, I would go for nootropics that have little to no “other ingredients” at all. That is how you can make sure that you are getting a quality product for your money.
5. Does the body absorb these substances?
This is always a question you should ask when looking at what substances make up a nootropic. Often times, makers just pack the nootropic with substances that are proven effective when consumed.
This sounds good, right? Generally yes, but both nootropic makers and nootropic consumers overlook the complicated scientific side of it. They just see health benefits listed and throw the substance in there and the consumer is all too happy to consume it.
However, in many cases, the maker puts substance in the wrong form in a supplement. Take L-tyrosine, for example. This substance is what is known as an amino acid and has proven effective in releasing various hormones like dopamine into your brain.
Sounds great, right? What you do not know is that your body has a hard time actually absorbing this substance into its bloodstream, which means it is not likely to make it to your brain when you consume it in this form.
A better choice for the maker is to use synthesized N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine instead of basic L-Tyrosine. In this form, the body is able to absorb more of it and make sure it gets to your brain to provide those brain boosting effects that you bought the supplement for.
6. Know the difference
When reading the ingredients list of a product, you might see various plant-based products and not know if they are just extract or part of the root of that plant. This could be important because the effect varies based on what plant it is. Sometimes, you get more benefits when the plant is in extract form and not a part of the root.
Other times, it is the opposite. You will have to do your own research on this when reading the nootropic label. Usually, a supplement maker will include the form that is more beneficial, but as this article has probably taught you, you can’t place all of your trust in a supplement maker to have your best interests in mind.
How To Choose The Best Nootropic Cognitive Enhancing Supplement For You Wrap Up
Now you know six steps you should take before purchasing a nootropic. I strongly recommend following all of these steps before you click that Buy button or throwing that nootropic in your cart.
Not only your wallet depends on it, but your health does too. All of the benefits promised by a nootropic definitely sound great, but they are not worth the risk if they do not pass the test.
Your test should be thorough and utilize the steps listed here. If you practice these steps enough, they will become second nature to you and you will probably end up using them for normal shopping as well!