Do Nootropics Raise Blood Pressure?
November 9, 2023
Like any other supplement, nootropics are manufactured with a wide array of ingredients, dosages, strengths, and formats. Nootropics that help with anxiety are often thought to prevent or alleviate a racing heart rate and promote a sense of calm wellbeing.
However, there are other products that potentially contribute to elevated blood pressure and are not recommended for individuals with hypertension and other contraindications. Anybody taking a prescribed medication for high blood pressure is advised to speak to their physician to ensure they understand which nootropics may or may not be compatible.
Can You Take Nootropics if You Have High Blood Pressure?
The general guidance is that you should opt for natural nootropics rather than synthetic ingredients if you have any underlying health conditions that could mean some nootropics are unsuitable.
What are natural nootropics? These supplements are created with naturally occurring ingredients, just as a multivitamin replaces certain minerals or vitamins that we normally produce but that you may be deficient in.
Ingredients such as ginkgo biloba, ginseng, and green tea are commonly used in nootropic manufacture. They are plant-derived substances that the vast majority of people can safely consume either in their original form or as a supplementary ingredient.
That said, even natural nootropics should be taken responsibly. Ginseng, for instance, widely used in Asian cuisine, may potentially be linked with hypertension and increased symptoms of asthma. In some cases, it may also be connected with side effects such as headaches and higher blood pressure.
Reading the ingredients carefully, checking in with your doctor or medical consultant, and reviewing all the contraindications listed on the product page are essential to making informed choices about which nootropics are most appropriate.
Can a Nootropic Cause Elevated Blood Pressure?
Nootropics are intended to enhance and augment our cognitive abilities and are believed to improve memory, focus, attention spans, and sleep and reduce stress and anxiety.
Taking too many nootropics or disregarding the safe usage instructions can have similar effects to drinking too much caffeine or eating excessive sugar daily–leaving you overstimulated with a fast heart rate, insomnia, and sometimes even blurred vision in the more extreme scenarios (1).
Do nootropics keep you awake if you take over the maximum dosage? Yes, they can–some nootropics are powerful supplements. Taking too many tablets or not leaving sufficient time between doses could cause a reaction where it takes time for the ingredients to pass through your system, leaving you feeling overly alert when you’d like to be sleeping.
Some synthetic ingredients are also under research. While they don’t necessarily cause high blood pressure, the consensus is that people who already have high blood pressure or are at risk of hypertension should consult a healthcare provider before selecting a nootropic.
How to Make Sure You Take Nootropics Safely
As we’ve advised, speaking with your doctor is the first step–they will know what prescription medications you are already taking and can provide professional guidance about the nootropics and other dietary supplements that will be most beneficial.
It is also important to read the potential side effects carefully and to avoid using any nootropics if you are pregnant, have hypersensitivities or allergies to any possible ingredients, or are breastfeeding.
People under treatment for other conditions, such as depression, should also exercise caution since some nootropics designed to relieve stress can react with prescribed drugs or lead to an excess of serotonin, which can have negative side effects.
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