What are nootropics, and how do they work? Known as smart drugs, nootropics (derived from the Greek word meaning "Towards the Mind") are cognitive enhancers that increase focus varying from caffeine to amphetamines.
How can everyday people use nootropics, and what benefits might this have? The benefits of nootropics are primarily mental acuity and focus and they provide sustained energy and clarity when focusing on a set task. These are advantages that everyone can benefit from. Whether it be to focus on your studies as a student, meeting deadlines at work or being able to walk into the gym without foggy thoughts that could distract you from your workout!
How can people who train/exercise regularly use nootropics, and what benefits would this have? People who train regularly could benefit from the focus that nootropics offer. Having just a stimulant may very well give you a burst of energy, however staying focussed on the task at hand may prove to be even more challenging if you're "buzzing" and cannot concentrate on the task. This is a problem when trying to establish a mind-muscle connection which is proven to affect muscle hypertrophy. Add nootropics and you have a potent hit of energy with the mental capacity to focus on your efforts in the gym, the contest you're about to start or the marathon you're about to run.
What is the correct/safe dosage? There are too many variables that influence the correct or safe dosage of a nootropic as they vary so much. How strong is the particular nootropic, it's bioavailability, whether you are stacking it with any other compounds, and your sensitivity. Generally speaking, the dosage you use depends on the half-life of the supplement you intend to take. If the supplement in has a long half-life, you would take two larger dosages spread out through the day to get full effects. If you are using a nootropic with a short half-life (fat-soluble nootropics in particular), the effects may wear off after approximately two hours so you would aim to take smaller dosages three or four times a day.
How much is too much, and does it have negative effects? There have been multiple research studies establishing their safety and very low risk of negative side effects. The most common side effect, which also happens to be uncommon, is headaches. No risk of long-term addiction or withdrawal symptoms have been recorded. Keep in mind these studies are conducted on the nootropic alone, not combined as a stack.