Can Nootropics Cause Anxiety?

Nootropics are routinely used to counter anxiety and promote calm, clear focus. That is actually the main reason why 90% of people use nootropic supplements – they have stressful jobs or intense sporting hobbies, and they need to suppress anxiety to stay focused on the task at hand.

But one of the most common questions we see being asked is, can nootropics cause anxiety?

This is definitely a fair question; many substances which initially reduce stress can eventually cause chronic stress further down the line (here’s looking at you alcohol).


Nootropics and anxiety


So can nootropics cause anxiety?

Which nootropics are prone to causing anxiety?

Are there any nootropic supplements that don’t cause any anxiety at all?

How can you counter the anxiety caused by certain substances?

Let’s dive into this a little deeper!

Nootropics that cause anxiety

There are a number of nootropics which can definitely cause anxiety.

These substances have positive effects too, but they all cause anxiety as a side effect in the short to medium term.

The nootropics which cause acute anxiety as an immediate side effect are:

  • Caffeine
  • Modafinil

The nootropics which are known to cause generalized anxiety over longer periods include:

  • Caffeine
  • Modafinil
  • Piracetam
  • Aniracetam
  • Noopept

This list might surprise some people because nootropics like noopept and piracetam are often sold as anxiolytics, meaning they counter anxiety. But if you use them on a regular basis for a prolonged period (maybe a few weeks), they will almost always cause at least some anxiety problems.

Whether this is from the stimulant-like effects they have, the “comedown” they leave you with, or something else, synthetic nootropics like Modafinil and Aniracetam are all known to cause anxiety.

But the nootropic most of you will be more likely to use, and familiar with, is caffeine.

Consuming too much caffeine is probably the easiest way to give yourself a chronic anxiety problem.

Even moderate caffeine consumption is known to cause mild to severe anxiety which can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 hours depending on your tolerance and the amount of caffeine consumed.

If you’re looking to reduce anxiety, then we strongly recommend avoiding caffeine altogether.

Reducing anxiety with nootropics

If you do have anxiety, or you have no choice but to consume large amounts of caffeine-causing nootropics, then there are substances you can use to help keep a lid on your anxiety levels.

Here are some of the most effective natural anxiolytics:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Tyrosine
  • Theanine
  • Rhodiola rosea

We especially recommend theanine if you are consuming a lot of caffeine – theanine helps take the edge off caffeine’s worst effects while amplifying its beneficial effects.

Certain nootropic stacks like Mind Lab Pro have been specifically designed to combat stress and anxiety while improving cognitive performance. If you struggle with anxiety it might be worth checking some premium nootropic stacks out!

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