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Nootropics for Weight Loss: Helpful or Harmful?

Are nootropics for weight loss helpful or harmful?

In this article, we’ll explain nootropics and how they may be used safely for weight loss.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics, also known as smart drugs, are natural and synthetic substances that can boost your brain’s performance.

Their action improves human thinking, learning, and memory, especially in cases where these functions are impaired.

Nootropic is made up of two Greek words: nöos, which means thinking, and tropein, which means to guide.

Brain lifting weights

Examples of Nootropics

Most everyone has used a nootropic, whether they realize it or not. Common nootropics include caffeine and nicotine.

Many stimulant ADHD drugs, such as Adderall, are also classified as nootropics.

While these “smart drugs” are typically associated with brain function, some may also affect metabolism and weight.

Nootropics for weight loss; picture of blue and red pills with word "nootropic" written on one pill.

Nootropics for Weight Loss

The following are 3 nootropics that currently have the strongest evidence for weight loss.

It is important to note that while studies on these nootropics are promising, more research is needed to fully understand their role in weight management.

1. Caffeine

The most commonly used nootropic is caffeine found in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.

It is a natural stimulant that can increase energy and make you feel more alert.

Caffeine can also speed up metabolism, helping you to burn more calories. It may also decrease your appetite.

A 2018 meta-analysis demonstrated that caffeine intake might promote weight, BMI, and body fat reduction.

Caffeine spelled out surrounded by coffee beans

2. Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract contains caffeine, which as mentioned above, may suppress appetite and stimulate metabolism.

It also contains antioxidants which may also increase the amount of calories your body burns.

A 2016 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial reported that green tea extract reduces body weight without side effects on more than 100 women.

Green tea extract drops being added to a glass bowl.

3. L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is a nutrient derived from an amino acid. It plays a critical role in energy production.

L-Carnitine transports fatty acids into your cells to be used for energy.

A 2020 systemic review found that l-carnitine supplementation provides a modest reducing effect on body weight, BMI and fat mass, especially among adults with overweight/obesity.

How to Use Nootropics for Weight Loss

As mentioned above, research on nootropics for weight loss is emerging.

Their primary function is cognitive enhancement and may not have a direct effect on weight.

However, some nootropics may indirectly support weight loss through their impacts on metabolism and appetite suppression.

Person standing on a scale with thumbs up celebrating weight loss.

Follow the guidelines below for using nootropics for weight loss:

  • Follow the recommended dosages provided by the manufacturer or your healthcare provider.
  • Combine nootropics with a balanced diet and regular exercise routine.
  • Keep track of any change in energy levels and appetite.
  • Consider side effects and potential interactions with medications or other dietary supplements.

For more tips on weight loss check out this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – “Anti-Aging Weight Loss: Top Dietitian Tips“.

Safety Considerations for Nootropics

Road sign that says "safety first"

Nootropics have benefits, however, some individuals may experience side effects.

Common issues include increased heart rate, trouble sleeping, and upset stomach.

Nootropics may also potentially interact with medications and/or other dietary supplements.

As always, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before adding nootropics or dietary supplements to your wellness routine.

Learn more in this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – “Biohacking Your Way to Successful Weight Loss“.

Conclusion – Nootropics for Weight Loss: Harmful or Helpful?

Nootropics may have some potential benefits for weight loss, however, they are not effective on their own.

Weight loss requires a comprehensive approach including dietary changes, physical activity, and lifestyle changes.

Generally, nootropics are safe, however, they can have side effects in some individuals including increased heart rate, trouble sleeping, and upset stomach.

They may also interact with medications and other dietary supplements.

It is imperative to talk to your physician to use nootropics safely.

Nootropics for weight loss; woman showing off weight loss in larger jeans.

Hungry for More?

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