Nootropics are substances that improve memory and cognitive abilities (learning, attention), increase motivation and concentration, or reduce fatigue (in which case they are referred to as stimulants). Developed and researched in particular for the treatment of diseases that are associated with cognitive impairment such as, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or various types of dementia.
At present, however, they are more and more often searched for by people who do not suffer such harm in order to increase performance and accelerate learning. Favorite are primarily students and professions that require constant mental performance and mental effort.
The brain is a highly complex and complicated organ. With so many connections, there’s messages being sent and received through various chemicals. These messages are responsible for anything from forming memories, to balancing one’s mood.
Smart drugs enhance the processes associated with cognitive brain activity, allowing the user to experience positive benefits. They work with these brain chemicals to produce a desired effect. There are pills that target mental performance, memory, and overall brain energy and health.
Performance-enhancing drugs are a touchy subject (just ask Lance Armstrong). Many people consider them cheating, and the most infamous varieties can be seriously dangerous – steroids come to mind.
The last ten years have given rise to an exciting new class of performance-enhancing drug. It’s a collection of compounds called selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs). The limited research on SARMs looks promising so far. They appear to build muscle and burn fat at a level comparable to steroids, but without the ball-shrinking, liver-destroying, unsightly body hair-growing effects. They act on your hormones, but in a very targeted way, and they show potential if you want to rapidly build muscle and shed fat.
That said, many SARMs studies are in rats, and there haven’t been any long-term human experiments looking at the safety of SARMs. There could be side effects we don’t know about yet. Playing with your hormones is risky. At the very least, though, SARMs are interesting compounds that merit discussion.
SARMs fall firmly into the realm of experimental biohacking. These are riskier than most of the hacks I talk about. This article presents both the good and bad sides of SARMs. I hope it helps you make an informed decision about whether or not to try them.
Disclaimer: SARMs are on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances for athletic competition. If you’re a competitive athlete, you shouldn’t take these. If you’re a curious self-experimenter looking to upgrade your physical performance, though, SARMs may be worth considering.
How SARMs work (and why they may be better than steroids)
Using steroids to boost your hormones is like trying to tweak a microchip with a sledgehammer. Steroids help you build muscle by increasing testosterone, which then increases protein synthesis in your cells, building muscle and burning fat. That’s considered the anabolic side of steroids, and it’s great.
But steroids also interact with your liver, your prostate, your heart, your sex organs (which leads to ball shrinkage in men and clitoral enlargement in women), and your secondary sex characteristics (voice depth, body hair growth, man boobs, acne, etc.). All these side effects are the androgenic part of steroids.
The issue with steroids is that they have an anabolic-to-androgenic ratio of 1:1. That means they are just as likely to, say, shrink your balls or enlarge your clitoris as they are to build muscle – unless you’re taking bioidentical testosterone to maintain optimal hormone levels, with a doctor’s careful supervision (I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve never had side effects. You can read about hacking testosterone here).
This is where SARMs innovate. They’re far more selective than steroids, boasting anabolic-to-androgenic ratios starting at 3:1 and going as high as 90:1. That means you can still get muscle growth and fat loss, but SARMs won’t give you man boobs or turn you into the bearded lady. You can also take SARMs orally. No need for injections.
SARMs are also legal, as long as you buy them “for research purposes only.” You’ll notice SARMs retailers include disclaimers like “for lab research purposes only” and “not for human consumption.” They do this in case laws change, so they don’t get in trouble with the government.
There are about a dozen SARMs in either clinical (human) trials or pre-clinical (animal) trials. This article will cover pros and cons of the most popular ones. Again, this is a little more out there than most of the biohacking I discuss. Proceed at your own risk.
Essential phospholipids. For the treatment and prevention of all forms of acute and chronic liver diseases, in cases of hepatic gestosis, for the prevention of bile stones, psoriasis and radiation syndrome.
What are Prohormones ?
For starters, prohormones are not hormones that you put into your body, unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe. They are type of chemical compounds that have been developed to trigger specific effects when they get in contact with androgen receptors. These effects include a significant increase in lean muscle mass, boost in strength and endurance levels, enhanced vascularity and even accelerated fat loss.
How do Prohormones Work ?
At its simplest, prohormones are taken orally and will convert into active anabolic compounds with the help of natural enzymes when they get in contact with androgen receptors. After this conversion takes place, messages are sent to the cell nuclei in the body to stimulate them to set off the positive effects that prohormones have become quite famous for.
Are Prohormones Anabolic Steroids ?
Although the popular belief is that prohormones are “a more natural version of androgenic anabolic steroids or AAS”, Prohormones are simply weaker counterparts of anabolic steroids. Instead of introducing raw testosterone into your body, which is in the case with anabolic steroids, you are just orally ingesting precursors of testosterone to help the system jumpstart its production of this hormone and to set off androgenic effects when you’re using prohormones.
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