Laurence Lee

February 11, 2022 in Uncategorized

We have every instinct to look for advantages in life. Whether it’s in the workplace, at the gym, or even playing video games, our behaviors are largely dictated by the competitive urge.

In the evolutionary sense this has always been a good thing. By competing with each other we’ve always found ways to improve ourselves. When large portions of society’s population are doing it, it moves us forward.

More and more people are looking for a mental edge, a cognitive advantage, and that’s a good thing. Some people have turned to supplements like nootropics, while others have recognized a need for prescription help, like Adderall. We’ve compared the two, and come up with some easy to understand explanations. If you’re wondering which route to go, read on. And definitely check out the FAQs at the end.

What are Nootropics and Adderall

First we should note right away that nootropics and Adderall differ in one very important respect: nootropics are over the counter; Adderall is prescription only.

If you’re looking for general wellness and better cognitive function, you may not need to go the prescription avenue. If you have a serious condition, however, you should absolutely consult your doctor or other medical professional.

How Nootropics Work

Nootropics used to be a classification of prescription medicines, but as our knowledge of how they worked grew they have become available over the counter. They are safe and by and large they are effective.

Generally speaking, nootropics have some combination of caffeine, L-Theanine, Choline, and herbs. The caffeine stimulates your brain, which most of us already knew. But in nootropics, when combined with herbs, choline, and the amino acid Theanine, it has more neurotransmitter effects and less of the jittery jolt many of us are used to.

Choline is an activator that helps your synapses fire faster and better, and again, its effects are heightened when taken with caffeine. 

Nootropics also help open blood vessels in the brain and increase oxygen in the blood, which together means more oxygen in your brain for vital functions. Quality Nootropics are safe and effective, and can be used by anyone, of any age, to improve mental function, memory, focus, and drive.


  • Totally legal and safe.
  • Many effective and reputable options
  • Available without a prescription
  • No risk of forming a habit


  • Some products are definitely better than others, so do your research
  • Not everyone experiences the same results

How Adderall Works

Adderall is a trademarked name for a combination of four different forms of amphetamine. When taken in low doses, this combination is the most effective treatment for the condition known as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). 

How a stimulant can help people with hyperactivity comes down to how the amphetamines trigger functions in the brain. It’s believed that people with ADHD have neurotransmitters that don’t function normally, firing at low intervals, and not regulating hormones like norepinephrine. 

Adderall and other amphetamines stimulate the brain’s neurotransmitters to fire at higher levels, which in people with ADHD has the effect of bringing them all up to a normal level.

In people without ADHD, Adderall functions much like any other amphetamine—it causes side effects, can be habit forming, and leaves people at risk of overdose.

If you believe you have ADHD, you should speak with a doctor or licensed health care worker. If you do not have ADHD, however, you should probably steer clear of it.


  • Most effective treatment for ADHD
  • Safe at low doses most often prescribed


  • Only available with a prescription
  • A controlled substance
  • Can be habit forming, and carries risks of overdose


Nootropics represent an exciting new field of supplements, with many of them studied and proven effective at improving memory (long term and short term), helping with cognitive functions, and boosting focus and drive.

Adderall, on the other hand, is also very effective, but for very different reasons. It is a controlled substance, and has been the most important tool in treating ADHD. For any of us without ADHD, however, it can be very dangerous to take recreationally, not to mention illegal.

Bottom line, if you’re looking for an edge in mental performance, nootropics may be the way to go. If you feel you may have a diagnosable disorder, though, you should consult your doctor or health care provider.


Are Nootropics Legal?

Yes. They are legal and available over the counter or from several online retailers.

Is Adderall Legal?

Only with a prescription, and only at the doses prescribed by your doctor. Even possessing Adderall can get you into legal trouble if you’re not the prescribed person.

Do Nootropics Work?

Yes, the quality supplements do work. You should do your research, and make sure any supplement you try is transparent about their ingredients and research.

About the author 

Laurence Lee

Lee is a neuroscientist who has dedicated his career to understanding the inner workings of the brain. He has seen firsthand the power of these supplements in improving cognitive function and believes that more people should be aware of their benefits. In his articles, Lee shares his extensive knowledge on the subject and provides unbiased reviews of different products.

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