Nootropics and Creativity: How to Safely Boost your Artistic Side

Nootropics and Creativity

Whether you’re looking to kickstart your novel, paint the next Mona Lisa, or devise a brilliant business plan for your new start-up, creativity is important. It is also no secret that creativity can be a notoriously fickle thing—completely there one day, then gone the next.

It seems like sometimes no matter how devoted you are, no matter how hard you try, there’s just nothing there and everything you try to think up comes out feeling flat. Here’s where nootropics can offer you a quick edge.

Since nootropics are a class of smart drugs designed to benignly tweak your brain performance, there’s a good chance that there’s one out there that will pluck your creativity strings just the right way. Take a look at some of the best compounds for giving you an artistic boost when your muse just refuses to show up.


Aniracetam is the next step up from Piracetam on the ladder of nootropics. It also produces very distinct effects. It’s cited as the best anti-anxiety nootropic, and as a nootropic that enhances creativity. How exactly does it accomplish this?

First off, Aniracetam is an AMPA modulator. This fact means that in one way or another it enhances the functioning of your AMPA receptors, which are excitatory receptors linked to mood and memory [1]. Secondly, it increases blood flow in the association context—the payoff being that holistic thinking becomes easier [1]. It’s also somewhat anxiolytic; reduced anxiety is something any stumped creative type could use [2].

There are also a few secondary effects that help creativity. Aniracetam can also make vision sharper and more vivid, boost literary fluidity (easier reading!), and make it easier to grasp abstract concepts [2]. Chalk it up to improved communication between brain hemispheres, which is one more way that Aniracetam enhances cognition [3].

The trade off? Naturally creative types may find their thinking taking on a more logical edge thanks to boosted right brain activity, while more literal-minded users will see their logical thought processes become a bit more abstract. It’s a great tool whether you’re looking to enhance your creative project, or just tackle it from a slightly shifted neurological perspective.


Phenibut doesn’t “cause” creativity, but it certainly primes you for it! One of the most important aspects of creativity is flow—the ability to shut everything out and focus entirely on the task at hand. Easier said than done. Your worst enemy? Outside thoughts, stress, worries, doubts…all the small grievances that you’re probably trying to get away from with creativity in the first place.

Phenibut benefits the aspiring artist in two ways. First, it hits your GABA-B receptors, which affect stress and calmness [4]. The overall effect is a soothed, tranquil, present feeling, the sort you might get from exercise or meditation. Studies have also shown that it decreases your inability to act in a negative emotional situation. Like, say, feeling stuck because you can’t generate a new creative idea [5].

Secondly, phenibut has been shown to stimulate dopamine [6]. Tweaked dopamine means a heightened sense of pleasure and meaning from all your sensory input. This is important to creativity in its own right, but dopamine has also been specifically proven to have a strong correlation to creativity. Evidence-based reports even cite phenibut as having mild benefits for memory recall: important if you’re working on an elaborate creative project [7].

Making sure you’re taking a safe amount of phenibut will ensure you aren’t left with a disrupted dopamine system the next day. Dose responsibly and cycle your phenibut often, and you’ll be on your way to having a sure-fire nootropic shortcut to a creative headspace. Dosing irresponsibly can result in many side effects.


Sulbutiamine is a thiamine derived compound created in Japan to combat asthenia, a chronic fatigue that is mentally, not physically, based [8]. Since thiamine is B-vitamin based, that’s exactly what sulbutiamine will reverse! After a safe dose, look for boosted levels of energy that’ll help you complete all your unfinished tasks, creative or otherwise. In other words, it’s been proven to be effective at reducing mental fatigue [9].

It’s important to consider more factors than just “feeling creative” when looking to enhance creativity — focus and energy are crucial even to the most creative mind. Thanks to sulbutiamine, you can make sure you aren’t too worn down to dream.

However, the list of creativity-specific benefits you get from this nootropic don’t stop there. It’s been shown to reduce psycho-behavioral inhibitions — in other words, it eases your conditioned fears [10]. If there’s something you avoid or get stressed by, sulbutiamine makes it easier to approach. So long writer’s block!


Coluracetam is one of the newest compounds to hit the market, and is the latest iteration in the veritable racetam family. How does it help with creativity? It’s all in the name. Coluracetam is alleged to have ‘’sensory enhancing properties”—colors, for instance look richer.

It’s also alleged to enhance sounds, brighten vision, and thrust the user into an anxiety-dampened, creativity-free headspace. It achieves all this by being the first choline uptake enhancer; it makes the brain turn choline into learning-and-information neurotransmitter acetylcholine faster and more fully [11]. That means you are able to take in more sensory information at once, while simultaneously having more “raw data” to commit to memory.

While the anecdotal feedback on the substance has been very positive so far, it’s worth considering that coluracetam is a very young nootropic, and the clinical research on it is slim at best. While there are no indications that it will deviate from the racetam trend by being anything other than safe and non-toxic, it’s worth using some caution if you’re considering picking some up.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re too tired to focus, out of imaginative ideas, or just not quite as fired up about creativity as you used to be, nootropics offer something to benefit you. Read up on your substance of choice, take the recommended dose, and see for yourself how quickly you can get that brush back in your hand!



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Part 2: Top 5 Nootropic Supplements for Day of Test

It’s the day of the big test. You’ve kept up with your work all semester, spent the last week studying your heart out…and still aren’t completely confident. You want to perform the best you possibly can.b

This is where nootropics come in. A “smart drug” class of cognitive enhancers, there are a broad range of selections depending what brain functions you’re looking to improve. So if you’re a student, here are the five best nootropics to supplement with on the day of the test.


Caffeine should be familiar to just about anybody. There’s nothing quite like that morning cup of coffee to give you a crucial energy boost. Caffeine mostly works by antagonizing adenosine production: a neurotransmitter that causes sedation and drowsiness. By blocking it, caffeine gives you that alert, stimulated edge.

Caffeine does more than just make you feel more alert though, and are in fact a viable nootropic. In one study, caffeine-dosed mice performed significantly better than a control group at recognizing objects. A caffeine supplement is great all-around foundation to any test-acing nootropic stack.


Nootropics can help when cramming for tests

Nootropics can help when cramming for tests

Piracetam is one of the most widely researched nootropics, and the original ‘racetam nootropic. Piracetam boosts membrane fluidity, and has been found to increase communication between the brain’s hemispheres. This pays off on the academic end by boosting focus and alertness. It also increases blood flow in the brain, which translates into boosted efficiency. Best of all, it’s synergistic with caffeine: take them together for a boosted, enhanced effect on both ends.


Choline is a nutrient which functions as a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is crucial to learning and cognition, and performance in both areas is limited by low choline levels. Not only does choline pair well with piracetam, it can give you same-day boosts in acetylcholine activity.

Studies have shown that healthy amounts of CDP choline significantly boost verbal recall and visual memory. Since acetylcholine underpins everything your brain is going to be doing while taking a test, you can’t really go wrong with a nice dose of a choline supplement.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 shows up in a typical diet, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting enough of it. Recent studies have found that B-12 deficiency are fairly common, and can have pretty bad consequences. Included among them is impaired cognition.

Odds are you could be heading into your test with low B-12 — and there’s no need for that, since it’s a safe, inexpensive supplement. It also pairs well with piracetam, caffeine supplements, and choline supplements.

Trials have found that boosting deficient B-12 levels can improve memory and cognition, and even alleviate depression. Use it to make sure your brain is in peak performance mode for your test.

Bacopa Monnieri

You can round off the above supplements by dosing with bacopa the night before the test. Bacopa is an herb native to India long known to aid memory, concentration, and learning. Bacopa monnieri benefits cognition in several ways, most notably improving memory and recollection.

Studies have not only suggested that it improves memory retention (increased ability to remember new information), but significantly improved working memory. This means the brain gets better at recalling stored information.

To get ideal bacopa benefits, it’s best to take it the night before the test. It’s non-toxic and interacts well with other nootropics, but it can make you sleepy! Not exactly what you’re looking for on test day. Also, before bed bacopa will help you better retain all the information you’ve been cramming.

Any of the five supplements listed above will give you that crucial extra edge to let you do as well as possible on that big important test. You’ve worked hard all semester – why do any less than your best? With that nootropic boost, you’re primed to maximize your ability to get a killer grade.