Which websites are your best bets for learning about nootropics?
A simple internet search for just about anything related to nootropics, smart boosters, or cognitive enhancement will return hundreds of thousands of results, but it’s hard to know which ones you can trust.
Here are some of the best websites you can count on for the information you need.
PubMed is the grand-daddy of biomedical internet research. A project of the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, PubMed is a free search engine that accesses a vast and comprehensive repository of biomedical information.
The core component of PubMed is the MEDLINE database, a bibliographic database of life sciences and biomedical information including academic journals on medicine, nursing, pharmacy, health care, and more. The database, which is maintained by the National Libraries of Medicine, contains over 26 million records from more than 5,600 selected health and biomedicine publications, dating from 1950 to the present.
The PubMed system made the MEDLINE database searchable by the public in 1997. About 500,000 new records are added to PubMed each year; approximately 13 million PubMed records are listed with their abstracts, and just over 14 million articles have links to full-text. In some cases, a fee is required to access the full article, but 3.8 million full-text articles are available free to any user.
PubMed can be searched in a number of ways, including standard searches and searches using parameters such as publication type, secondary identifiers, language, publication history, and more. PubMed’s interactive search tutorial video will quickly get you up to speed on how to find the information you need.
PubMed is an excellent place to find out about research that has been done on nootropics. If you’re comfortable with technical language and willing to sift through studies, it’s an incomparable resource.
Reddit is a vast collection of user-moderated forums or “subreddits.” The following nootropics-related subreddits are not only excellent sources of information, they’re also an opportunity to connect with other nootropics users, hear about their experiences, ask questions, and compare notes.
The r/Nootropics subreddit is a large (153,000 subscribers) and active community for anyone who wants to learn about nootropics. There are typically a thousand or more users online at any time, and the post list is growing and changing constantly.
Posts cover the gamut of nootropics topics, from questions about brands, dosage, and effects to personal experience stories, news articles, experiments, scientific studies, discussion starters, and more. The content is entirely user-generated, and the moderators do an excellent job of maintaining order and the rules prohibiting advertisement, self-promotion, and compensated posts are thoroughly enforced. The general vibe is friendly, interested, and helpful; few posts go uncommented, and even fewer questions go unanswered.
If you’re even somewhat familiar with nootropics, this subreddit can go a long way toward expanding your knowledge. However, if you’re new to cognitive enhancement, diving directly into the daily posts could be both confusing and overwhelming. While the community is open to everyone and the members are generally very willing to help new users, most posts are focused on specific questions or issues that could be baffling to someone unfamiliar with nootropics.
Reddit’s best starting point for learning about nootropics is r/Nootropics’ Beginner’s Guide to Nootropics, the subreddit’s outstanding wiki of cognitive enhancement topics. This guide, which starts with the absolute basics, covers everything from what nootropics are and how they work to detailed descriptions of various natural and synthetic nootropic substances, important considerations and potential hazards, and supplier information.
If you’re looking for more advanced information on making the most of nootropics by combining or “stacking” them, check out r/StackAdvice. This subreddit focuses on how to combine cognitive enhancers to maximize positive effects while minimizing adverse or adverse reactions and side effects. A typical day’s posts include everything related to stacking, from asking for stack suggestions to questions about what nootropics might work well with the user’s medical prescriptions. The general vibe is both friendly and helpful, most questions are answered fairly quickly, and rules against advertisement and promotion are enforced.
Examine.com is an absolute gold mine of incredibly detailed, well-researched, and highly technical information on supplements of all kinds, including nootropics. In addition to hundreds of articles on health and nutrition, Examine.com features more than 500 supplement profiles, all of which are thoroughly documented.
Each profile starts with a brief summary of the primary information about the supplement, including benefits, effects, dosage information, and important facts. The summary is followed by an extensive Scientific Research section, which includes the supplement’s structure and properties, pharmacology, neurology, and more.
A unique feature of Examine.com’s supplement profiles is the Human Effect Matrix, which uses an easy-to-read chart to display the findings of scientific human studies, excluding animal and in vitro research. The Human Effect Matrix shows potential outcomes, the magnitude of effect the supplement has been shown to have on humans, the consistency of research results, and a detailed listing of all studies on humans, with links to the studies or abstracts thereof.
The site is clean, fast, and has an excellent search function. The Scientific Research sections of the supplement profiles are both complex and highly technical, but the information is clearly presented. When you’re looking for in-depth scientific analysis, Examine.com is an excellent resource.
Braintropic is a unique and outstanding resource for anyone who wants to learn more about nootropics. In addition to a broad range of related articles and reviews, the site features scores of in-depth nootropic profiles that combine well-documented primary research with anecdotal evidence. The result is an engaging and accessible format that delivers a wealth of information and makes Braintropic equally valuable to new and experienced nootropic users alike.
Braintropic’s nootropic profiles include a brief summary of each compound’s history and uses, a full exploration of benefits and effects, information on standard dosages and potential side effects, and a “How It Works” section that explains what the substance does in the brain and body and how it affects cognition. Each nootropic profile includes a stacking section that gives solid advice on how to best combine nootropics, and even suggests stack combos tailored to achieving specific effects, such as immediate cognitive boost, long-term cognitive enhancement, etc.
But nootropic profiles are only part of what Braintropic offers. An excellent resources section features reviews of commercial nootropic formulas, along with a series of guides (including a buyer’s guide, a stacking guide, and a thorough beginner’s guide), a well-categorized list of nootropics, and more.
In addition, Braintropic’s stacks section details the creation of custom stacks to meet a variety of needs; there are stacks for students, stacks for beginners, and even stacks for photographic memory.
Whether you’re new to cognitive enhancement or an experienced nootropics user interested in learning more, Braintropic is a resource you can count on.
It’s All About Research
The field of cognitive enhancement is exciting, but it’s also technical and complex. Nootropics are powerful compounds that can have a significant impact on your brain and body, and the only way to make the most of their potential is to learn as much about them as possible. Each of the sites listed above can help you build your nootropic knowledge base.