The list of various Nootropics classes

If you have already started searching for a nootropic to suit your demands, you have probably noticed that there exist multiple types of these products. Either way, all of them are characterized by their ability of promoting cognitive functions and assisting in your working, learning and focusing abilities.

First of all, it is important that you decide on the effects you want the drug to help you achieve, thus outlining the way to the appropriate one. People often stack the nootropic supplements, belonging to different classes, to get the desired effects.

To help you figure, what type of brain booster seems appropriate for you, we have compiled a list with what you may find.

Smart Drugs

Very often, people think that the drugs, referred to as the “Smart Drugs”, are the nootropics. However, there is a variety of products that in fact don’t belong to the class of nootropics.  To help you understand, how this goes, let’s take Adderall, which is a Smart Drug, based on amphetamine. It is a stimulant drug, so it is not considered to be a nootropic product.  Though, we should note the existence of eugeroics that transit the border, like Modafinil. People use it for the treatment of abnormal tiredness and sleepiness.

Modafinil belongs to Rx drugs in the United States, and is considered to induce higher motivation and raise the neurotransmitters level. Since it is not available in free sale, people prefer stacking Adrafinil with their nootropic supplements. In fact, when Adrafinil gets to the liver, it transforms into Modafinil, but you should be very careful, when using it. You may threat your health condition, if you use it with other Rx medications or have any heart problems. Please note that discussing the possibility of using this drug with your doctor is a mandatory condition.

Adrafinil is often taken for acquiring assistance in the studying process, since it improves alertness, and has even been proven to boost focusing abilities of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Herbal Nootropics

Herbal Nootropics, or natural, as they are alternatively named, differ from other classes by their origin. These are produced namely from herbal components and are quite safe and cheap.

Since they belong to nootropics, they are capable of exerting beneficial effects to your brain. Though, of course, these are milder than the synthetic ones. However, their safety and low price allows stacking several supplements, which enhances their potency.

To name a few of the most beneficial natural nootropic products, these are Huperzine-A, Vinpocetine, Ginkgo Biloba, and Bacopi Monneri. You may find these and others in Onnit’s Alpha Brain.

Derivatives of B Vitamin

There are nootropics, which have been created synthetically from the B Vitamins class. Arcalion, which is the brand name of Sulbutiamine, is a Thiamine (Vitamin B1) derivative. Investigations have proven Sulbutiamine to potentiate glutamate, dopamine and choline transmission, which improves memory level. Aside from this, Sulbutiamine is successful in boosting attention and energy, as well as in diminishing tiredness.

The results of multiple tests with Sulbutiamine, performed in mice and in patients with schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, show that it enhances cognitive functions, although their use in humans has yet not been tested enough.


It is important to note that Choline is available in various sources, starting from your nutrition to different supplements, which can be both highly and less effective. Cheaper Choline bitartrate may be named among the latter ones, while as the first ones include Citicholine, Alpha GPC, and Centrophenoxine. When you take these in compliance with a normal doing regimen, the risk of adverse events is really small, while as their effects are really advantageous.

They can be administered as nootropics, as well as in stacks with racetam family nootropics for enhancing their results and avoiding headaches. The action of Racetams promotes due to receptors stimulation, responsible for Acetylcholine production. So, if you provide a proper amount of choline, the level of Acetylcholine will be high enough at the moment of the receptors activation. This will result in cognition and comprehension enhancement.


If you have ever wondered, where the story with the nootropics started, you will get your answer now. The first created nootropic drugs were Racetams. Even now, they keep being the most commonly requested and used. Racetam family counts for about 20 types, the most widely administered still remaining Oxiracetam, Aniracetam, Piracetam, and Pramiracetam. Though they are different in potency, they still share common features, like their chemical structure and stimulating ability of Acetylcholine-releasing brain receptors.

To get a better understanding of the process, we should remember that our brain represents an entwinement of neurons that are connected through synapses. Nerve signals and impulses are passed across synapses, which is the result of Acetylcholine action. When the level of your neurochemicals grows, your cognition enhances. Thus your alertness, motivation, focusing, studying skills and memory boost altogether.

Another benefit that racetams offer you, results from their neuroprotective ability. Basically, they are capable of increasing the regrowth rate of brain cells, at the same time lowering the speed of their deterioration and death. Several racetams influence Glutamate receptors to the extent that these become hybrids, belonging to such nootropic class as the Ampakines.


Some of the most potent available nootropics are the Ampakines, which can be called the newcomers at the nootropic stage.  They are said to exert extremely beneficial effects on attentiveness and attention.

If we talk about such brain abilities, as memory and learning, we should remember that the essential plastic feature of synapses is Glutamate-dependant. Ampakine supplements are strong agonists of NDMA and AMPA Glutamate receptors. So, they are capable of increasing glutamate blood levels. However, their action doesn’t result in agitation and sleeplessness, in contrast to many stimulants.

You may also hear that some racetams are called Ampakines due to their mild AMPA receptors stimulating effect.

At the same time, it is noteworthy that Unifiram and Sunifiram produce better glutamate receptors stimulation, being a lot stronger than Piracetam. For now, the prolonged use of Unifiram and Sunifiram hasn’t been sufficiently tested. So, no matter how tempting these might sound for the researching reasons, if you opt for stimulation of Glutamate receptor, Aniracetam and Piracetam should better be the choice of yours.


Noopept is referred to as one of the most potent cognitive enhancers that exert beneficial effects on incitement, interpretation, memory, attentiveness, energy and studying skills. This peptide nootropic, which was created in Russia in 1990 for the Army, is similar to two nootropic classes: ampakines and racetams, due to its ability of stimulating Acetylcholine-controlling receptors, as well as the ones, responsible for Glutamate release.

In addition to the abovementioned effects, Noopept also enhances the release of the NGF protein, which positively affects the neuroprotection and neural repair. An article, published in the academic periodicals “Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology” (incl. in PubMed and Scopus), stated that Noopept is one thousand times stronger than Piracetam. Due to its high factor of blood-brain barrier penetration and bioavailability, even small doses of the drug may promote meaningful beneficial effects.

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