Wait until your brain is fully developed
Among the most obvious things you can do is wait until your brain is fully developed before you start using nootropics. Although it isn’t known how a particular drug will affect the developing brain, there’s always potential for risk. Certain nootropics may pose more risk than others in the degree to which they’ll influence your brain development. To avoid this risk, wait until you are at least in your mid-20s (or later) before you start using them.
Know why you’re using them
If you’re going to use nootropics, have a clear reason as to why you plan on using them and/or need to use them. Many people simply take them blindly without doing much research regarding the dosage, the drug’s mechanism of action, and how it’s affecting brain activity.
Minimize the dosage
Although there are therapeutic ranges of doses based on the substance, it is important to realize that not everyone reacts the same way to doses. When you start taking a nootropic, it is recommended to slowly titrate up to the lowest possible dose that gives you a cognitive enhancing effect. Immediately hopping on a high dose could result in detrimental brain changes.
Use on an “as-needed” basis
To avoid any consistent damage caused by nootropics, consider using them on an “as-needed” basis. Avoid using them unless you need to actually accomplish a cognitively demanding task. Those that use stimulating nootropics too frequently may find that they impair sleep quality and/or the ability to relax.
Take a minimalist approach when using nootropics to avoid over-medicating yourself. Taking stacks upon stacks of these nootropics could be harmful and may result in overwhelmingly negative side effects. Keep things simple and take low doses of one supplement or drug at a time.
Humans didn’t evolve to take supplements, let alone medications or nootropics. They can be helpful, but may also take a cumulative toll on the body’s natural functioning. Therefore it is recommended to give your body and brain a break from them by cycling off every once in awhile. Cycling off is especially beneficial if you suspect that you’re becoming “tolerant” to their effects and/or dependent on them for functioning.
Beware of interactions
Many nootropics have synergistic effects on cognitive function, but it is still important to be aware of any interactions that may occur while using multiple substances simultaneously. The interactions could lead to significant physical side effects and may even be dangerous. Research the potential reactions before blindly shoveling a “stack” down your throat.
Don’t take them
When in doubt about a substance, don’t take it. You avoid any risk altogether by forgoing usage of nootropics. If you have a bad feeling about a certain substance or don’t want to risk your health, play it safe and do something else to improve your cognition.