Do Brain Supplements Have Side Effects?

Ever since the rise of supplements for weight lifting and bodybuilding were introduced, there has been a surge in all kinds of supplements. One reason for this is that natural supplements are affordable alternatives to prescription medications, and they are less regulated. The question guiding this article is whether or not brain supplements have side effects. The thing about side effects is that they differ for each person. So, while one individual may not experience any side effects from a particular supplement, another person may experience many. This is why it’s best to speak to a medical professional whenever you are considering taking a herbal supplement.

What Is A Brain Supplement?

Brain supplements basically claim to increase brain function. They are called nootropics often and are meant to boost memory, focus, and brain function. Whether people feel like their minds are foggy, or slow, or not reaching its potential, brain supplements are alternatives to prescription stimulants which are meant to do the same thing. Research is varied in this area and the evidence is equivocal. Overall, nootropics are supposed to give added energy to help you think faster, better, and more efficiently. Some supplement ingredients, like Choline, are supposed to produce more acetylcholine in the brain for the purpose of enhancing memory. Other supplement ingredients, like Pyritinol, are antioxidant-rich to improve brain health and functioning. Brain supplements vary in purpose, so it’s important to always check the label to see what ingredients are meant to do.

Possible Side Effects of Brain Supplements:


It’s no surprise that supplements meant to target your brain sometimes lead to headaches. This is actually the most reported side effect of brain supplements. Some of suggested that the reason for the headaches is that your brain is demanding more acetylcholine than it is actually able to produce. This is basically an overexcitement or overload in the brain, which leads to headaches of varying degrees.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Another side effect that is reported quite often is gastrointestinal pain or discomfort. This is really only common when an individual takes more than the recommended dosage. This can be hard on the digestive system. Normally this can be eliminated by taking the recommended dose. If this side effect never leaves, however, it is best to speak with a medical professional.

Nootropic Insomnia

As is expected, nootropics are meant to increase your energy to boost your brain function and alertness. There is a downside to this as well, however. Think of your daily coffee. It boosts your energy and focus, but it can also hurt your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep if not consumed at an appropriate time. Nootropics are basically types of stimulants, so if it is taken too close to bedtime, it is likely to cause insomnia, and therefore fatigue the following day. It is advised, then, that you keep away from nootropics during the late afternoon or evening to avoid this problem. To avoid the stimulant “burn-out,” make sure you are taking the recommended dose and make sure you exercise and eat well.