Best Nootropics For Creativity | A-Z Guide

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It took us a while to figure out, but we eventually decided upon the best nootropics for creativity and imagination. Surprisingly… They’re not named Modafinil. Trust us. If you want to increase creativity and imagination, Modafinil is not the smart drug you want to use. Nootropics for creativity should let your imagination flow freely and help you engage different senses. You should feel relaxed. Ideas and thoughts should mesh together in your mind. We’re huge fans of Modafinil. It’s perfect if you want to focus on one topic and stay highly focused for 12+ hours straight while getting more work done than ever before. But when you’re looking for creativity, Modafinil simply isn’t the best smart drug. Fortunately, there are many nootropics that you can use to increase creativity and lead your imagination down the road it must go. If you’re looking for inspiration, want to boost your creativity levels, and create new things…then keep on reading.

This is not legal or medical advice. This article was strictly created for your entertainment. Please consult with your primary care physician or a medical professional with close working knowledge of your health -- before consuming pharmaceutical drugs or nootropics, like Modafinil. Please read my disclaimer.

What are Nootropics?

First off, though, what even are nootropics?

Nootropics are a group of substances that can improve one or more cognitive functions while protecting and optimizing the brain. Since there are so many different cognitive functions – such as memory, processing speed, and verbal fluency, to name but a few – nootropics can have many different effects. They can improve alertness, memory, focus, motivation, and more.

For example, caffeine is the most commonly consumed nootropic in the world. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can improve cognitive performance and logical reasoning [1].

Many substances can provide improvements to cognitive function. For example, microdoses of certain hallucinogens have been found to increase creativity substantially [2, 3], even though we don’t typically consider hallucinogens to be nootropic substances.

Other common nootropics that you might overlook include nicotine [4], amphetamine (brand name: Evekeo) [5], and Methylphenidate (Ritalin) [5].

There’s a ton of research on these, and it shows that there are a ton of nootropics that actually work to improve your cognitive function and work better.

Common nootropic benefits include:

  • Enhanced focus and concentration
  • Better memory retention
  • Improved memory recall
  • Increased motivation
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Higher productivity

However, the creative benefits of nootropics can be hard to identify and quantify. Nootropics often help you think faster and recall information more readily. This helps you crush your workload without feeling fatigued.

But this doesn’t always translate to more creativity as you may not be thinking of new or original ideas. This is especially true when taking something like Modafinil. Luckily, you’ll find the best nootropics for creativity below.

Modafinil

Best Nootropics For Creativity | 2020 Guide

Enough with the background, let’s dive in and check out the best nootropics for creativity.

While this list is far from exhaustive, the smart and regular drugs below should help you bring out your inner artist.

Here are the best creative nootropics that our team has tested:

  • Phenibut

Phenibut is well-recognized as the absolute best nootropic for social situations if you’re not drinking. The smart drug offers offer numerous benefits [8], such as alleviating social anxiety and lowering inhibitions.

You can take Phenibut with a cup of black coffee and go out clubbing without drinking any alcohol at all. You’ll have just as much fun and you’ll be so engaged in social situations that you won’t even remember you’re sober.

But more than simply enhancing your mood and reducing your anxiety, Phenibut also offers numerous benefits for creatives.

Phenibut has a way of reducing inhibitions and opening up the creative side of your mind.

If you’re looking for a smart drug that’ll enhance creativity, this is where we’d start. You may even become less productive when taking Phenibut, but your creativity will shoot up and you’ll be able to think about things in new ways.

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  • Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is one of the best nootropic “formulas” we’ve ever tested in terms of boosting creativity and getting new things done. After testing this nootropic for more than a month, we’re confident you’ll find impressive creative benefits from this supplement.

Here’s why…

Mind Lab Pro contains optimum doses of:

  • L-Theanine
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS)

These supplements have been shown to promote GABA, reduce stress, and more. When combined, they allow you to stay highly focus and productive, while still tapping into your creative side.

Which is rare among cognitive nootropics!

Mind Lab Pro has the unique ability to optimize the entire brain — which includes all aspects of mental performance like creativity, visual-spatial ability, and non-verbal fluency.

Click here to learn more about Mind Lab Pro.

Or if you’re looking to test out one of the best all-around nootropic supplements and improve your creativity, just…

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That is our top recommendation.
  • Kava

Kava is a plant that’s native to the Pacific islands and is commonly consumed in places like Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia, and Micronesia. The root of the Kava plant is traditionally brewed in tea and drunk.

Research has found that Kava has a ton of interesting effects. One team of researchers found that it has an anxiolytic effect, helping to reduce anxiety and stress [9]. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also found that it’s safe to use and consume in moderation [10]

But why is it one of the best nootropics for creativity?

Because it reduces the volume of that inner voice in your head that says, “Are you sure? Is that any good?”, whenever we are doing creative work. We become our own worst enemy. We second guess ourselves. Kava helps you tune that part out and just enjoy the creative process.

Just make sure you don’t take too much, or you might get too sleepy!

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  • THC

Surprisingly, many individuals find themselves crushing creative work after smoking marijuana.

Now, we’re no expert on this topic, but weed may be one of the best ways to increase creativity and enhance the imagination, especially for those doing film, video, and writing.

While we’re not encouraging drug usage here, many of the world’s greatest creatives have been known to smoke on the regular. There’s a reason nearly everyone in Hollywood and the music industry is open about their marijuana use.

Drugs work. Weed will enhance creativity, especially something like Sativa Hybrid.

However, we’re NOT recommending anything here. This isn’t advice.

  • Aniracetam

Aniracetam is another ideal smart drug for creativity. It’s a drug that’s available as a prescription in Europe for everything from depression and sleep disorders to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), motion sickness, and even Alzheimer’s disease. It also seems to improve cognitive impairment in some cases [11]. But more than that, in healthy people it seems to have several great cognitive benefits. And creativity is right up there. This is, again, partly because of its anxiety-reducing properties. We’re most creative when we’re relaxed. Aniracetam helps us get to that mentally calm place where we’re not worried about the outcome but just focused on the process. Get your hands on some Aniracetam to see how it can get your creative juices flowing.
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  • Piracetam

Piracetam is fascinating. It was the first synthetic nootropic ever discovered, and its inventor, Dr. Corneliu Giurgea, was the person who coined the term ‘nootropics’ in 1972. Piracetam is superb for improving memory and is widely prescribed as a prescription medicine in Europe and several South American countries. It is so safe that it’s sold as a dietary supplement in many other places. Just like some of the nootropics for creativity listed above, Piracetam works by activating receptors that are usually activated by the neurotransmitter GABA [12, 13]. GABA pathways are responsible for inhibiting the excitability of neurons, which means that it helps your brain calm down and reduces excitability. Again, it’s this relaxed feeling that helps Piracetam to have such potent effects on creativity. This is an especially good one for writers and lyricists since it’s been found to be really great for improving verbal fluency as well as general creativity. If you’re learning a second language, this is also the one you want to be studying with. Piracetam is also really great if you want to boost your memory and learning. Students love it. It’ll help you both focus and read, but then also come up with that great idea for your paper. Just make sure you give us props when you get your A. Piracetam is extremely safe and generally found to be well-tolerated [14].
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  • Booze

When you began reading this article, you probably thought we were going to recommend you pop a bunch of pills. Well, we are. But we also believe the best “nootropics” to help creativity are substances that many of us ingest on a weekly basis like caffeine.

Every writer worth their salt has heard…

Write drunk, edit sober.

Well, we can tell you from personal experience that this works.

If you’re looking to add an air of personality to your work and increase your creative abilities, grab some booze and fire up your laptop.

Or take the bottle out to your balcony overlooking the ocean and get rip-roaring drunk before meandering back to your computer and bestowing straight fire upon your keyboard for hours on end.

Whatever works. Just be yourself.

Almost every member of our team remembers the first time they wrote drunk. Beer, wine, spirits – it’s all good. Words flowed like water. It works.

Just don’t forget to edit sober, y’all!

Booze can be a phenomenal “nootropic” for individuals looking to tap into their creative side. You just have to use it properly, responsibly, and in moderation.

  • Sulbutiamine

Our team started experimenting with Sulbutiamine as a Modafinil alternative around a year ago. This smart drug offers impressive productivity benefits, as it was originally created to battle chronic fatigue. You’ll feel energized and engaged when taking Sulbutiamine. But we were surprised to find the smart drug also offers solid creative benefits, too. After a few days of taking Sulbutiamine, we noticed our writing had a little more personality in it, especially when compared to the content we created on Modafinil. We were astonished. It seemed that Sulbutiamine was a solid nootropic for creativity. Nowadays, most of our team takes Sulbutiamine once every month or so when we have a plethora of creative work to do. Too much work to do on an “unenhanced” mind, but work requiring a little imagination. If you find yourself in a similar situation, we highly recommend Sulbutiamine.
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  • Armodafinil

Sometimes you want to be creative, but have way too much busywork to get done, too.

On these days, a potent smart drug like Modafinil can be beneficial. Or Armodafinil.

We’ve found that Armodafinil offers a little less “laser-like” focus compared with Modafinil.

You’ll still find massive cognitive benefits, but you won’t be so focused that you producing creative work becomes difficult.

If we’re looking to work 8-10+ hours with insane focus, but we have a little creative work mixed in there, too — then we’ll often pop 150 mg of Armodafinil.

While it’s not just a smart drug for creatives, we’ve been pleased with the “personality” of our content when taking Armodafinil and we’re confident you will be, too.

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Study Drugs Side Effects and Safety

In this guide, we’ve introduced you to the best nootropics for creativity; Phenibut, Mind Lab Pro, Kava, THC, Aniracetam, Piracetam, alcohol, Sulbutiamine, and Armodafinil. That’s quite a diverse group and each substance has its own set of side effects and safety concerns, so what should you know before you take them?

Let’s start by discussing the safest nootropic on our list – Mind Lab Pro. This is a dietary supplement – not a pharmaceutical – and contains only natural ingredients. As it is non-toxic and certified drug-free, it produces virtually zero side effects when taken at the recommended dosage.

Mind Lab Pro’s ingredients are all safe and non-addictive. They include things like:

  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom, which protects against cognitive impairment [15]
  • Citicoline, which has strong neuroprotective properties [16]
  • And Bacopa monnieri, which improves overall cognition [17]

You can safely take Mind Lab Pro year-round without any issues.  

Next up, let’s look at Kava. This is a herbal supplement that’s quite safe to use. However, you should know that it can interact adversely with several drugs, such as benzodiazepines, which are used to treat anxiety. Also, you shouldn’t use alcohol or acetaminophen (Tylenol) with kava as it may damage your liver [18].

We can place Sulbutiamine in the same category as Kava – it’s a dietary supplement that is generally considered safe. However, unlike Kava, this nootropic was recently added to the U.S. FDA’s Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List, so it may not be legal where you live.

Next on our list are Piracetam and Aniracetam. Studies have shown that these nootropics possess extremely low toxicity and typically cause zero serious side effects [19]. They are extremely safe when taken at the recommended doses, making them ideal choices for anyone looking to boost memory and creativity without running into any side effects.

We also discussed THC and alcohol, however since we’re not advising or suggesting that you take these substances, there’s little specific information we can give. Needless to say, THC produces numerous side effects when consumed in high doses [20], as does alcohol [21], so moderation is key.

Next, Armodafinil. This nootropic is a gentler, milder, version of Modafinil, but still has the potential to cause a range of side effects such as dry mouth, headaches, nausea, and anxiety, depending on the dose [22].

That just leaves Phenibut – arguably one of the riskiest substances on our list. While Phenibut isn’t a prescription drug and is sold as a dietary supplement in almost every country except Australia, it does come with some quite serious side effects, such as fatigue, stomach cramps, nausea, and dizziness.

There are also reports of some people becoming dependent on and addicted to Phenibut, and evidence that it causes severe withdrawal symptoms when people stop taking it [23].

For these reasons, we strongly advise against taking more than 500mg per dose, and not more than 4,000mg total over a two-week period.

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Nootropics For Creativity and Imagination | Verdict

If you’re looking for a creative and cognitive boost, then the best nootropics for creativity ideas above should aid your quest to enhance the mind.

The creative process is never easy, but with a little supplementation, we can make life a little easier.

Here’s to the grind!

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References

  1. Kamimori, G. H., McLellan, T. M., Tate, C. M., Voss, D. M., Niro, P., & Lieberman, H. R. (2015). Caffeine improves reaction time, vigilance and logical reasoning during extended periods with restricted opportunities for sleep. Psychopharmacology, 232(12), 2031-2042.
  2. Sessa, B. (2008). Is it time to revisit the role of psychedelic drugs in enhancing human creativity?. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 22(8), 821-827.
  3. Anderson, T., Petranker, R., Rosenbaum, D., Weissman, C. R., Dinh-Williams, L. A., Hui, K., … & Farb, N. A. (2019). Microdosing psychedelics: personality, mental health, and creativity differences in microdosers. Psychopharmacology, 236(2), 731-740.
  4. Heishman, S. J., Kleykamp, B. A., & Singleton, E. G. (2010). Meta-analysis of the acute effects of nicotine and smoking on human performance. Psychopharmacology, 210(4), 453-469.
  5. Ilieva, I. P., Hook, C. J., & Farah, M. J. (2015). Prescription stimulants’ effects on healthy inhibitory control, working memory, and episodic memory: a meta-analysis. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 27(6), 1069-1089.
  6. Nawrot, P., Jordan, S., Eastwood, J., Rotstein, J., Hugenholtz, A., & Feeley, M. (2003). Effects of caffeine on human health. Food Additives & Contaminants, 20(1), 1-30.
  7. Malik, R., Sangwan, A., Saihgal, R., Paul Jindal, D., & Piplani, P. (2007). Towards better brain management: nootropics. Current medicinal chemistry, 14(2), 123-131.
  8. Lapin, I. (2001). Phenibut (β‐phenyl‐GABA): A tranquilizer and nootropic drug. CNS drug reviews, 7(4), 471-481.
  9. Pittler, M. H., & Ernst, E. (2003). Kava extract versus placebo for treating anxiety. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1).
  10. World Health Organization. (2016). Kava: A review of the safety of traditional and recreational beverage consumption [PDF]. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization.
  11. Koliaki, C. C., Messini, C., & Tsolaki, M. (2012). Clinical efficacy of aniracetam, either as monotherapy or combined with cholinesterase inhibitors, in patients with cognitive impairment: a comparative open study. CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, 18(4), 302-312.
  12. Malykh, A. G., & Sadaie, M. R. (2010). Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs. Drugs, 70(3), 287-312.
  13. Gouliaev, A. H., & Senning, A. (1994). Piracetam and other structurally related nootropics. Brain research reviews, 19(2), 180-222.
  14. Winblad, B. (2005). Piracetam: a review of pharmacological properties and clinical uses. CNS drug reviews, 11(2), 169-182.
  15. Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, Tuchida T. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2009;23(3):367-372. doi:10.1002/ptr.2634
  16. Grieb P. Neuroprotective properties of citicoline: facts, doubts and unresolved issues. CNS Drugs. 2014;28(3):185-193. doi:10.1007/s40263-014-0144-8
  17. Kongkeaw C, Dilokthornsakul P, Thanarangsarit P, Limpeanchob N, Norman Scholfield C. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on cognitive effects of Bacopa monnieri extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;151(1):528-535. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.008
  18. Mental Health America. 2020. Kava. [online] Available at: <https://www.mhanational.org/kava> [Accessed 16 October 2020].
  19. Gouliaev AH, Senning A. Piracetam and other structurally related nootropics. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 1994;19(2):180-222. doi:10.1016/0165-0173(94)90011-6
  20. Grotenhermen F. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2003;42(4):327-60. doi: 10.2165/00003088-200342040-00003. PMID: 12648025.
  21. Rocco A, Compare D, Angrisani D, Sanduzzi Zamparelli M, Nardone G. Alcoholic disease: liver and beyond. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Oct 28;20(40):14652-9. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i40.14652. PMID: 25356028; PMCID: PMC4209531.
  22. 2020. Armodafinil: Side Effects, Dosages, Treatment, Interactions, Warnings. [online] Available at: <https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_armodafinil_nuvigil/drugs-condition.htm> [Accessed 16 October 2020].
  23. Ahuja T, Mgbako O, Katzman C, Grossman A. Phenibut (β-Phenyl-γ-aminobutyric Acid) Dependence and Management of Withdrawal: Emerging Nootropics of Abuse. Case Rep Psychiatry. 2018;2018:9864285. Published 2018 Apr 30. doi:10.1155/2018/9864285

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