The Ultimate Guide To Nootropics

Rob Miller | May 5, 2018
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Note: The information provided in this guide was thoroughly researched and referenced.

That said, we are NOT doctorsand you should not take any of this advice or anything we say in this e-book as medical advice.

It is best to consult with your physician priorto taking any supplement.

  1. Introduction To Nootropics
  1. Types of Nootropics
  1. Benefits Of Nootropics
  1. The Science Behind Nootropics
  1. Nootropics Vs Prescription Medications
  1. Potential Side Effects Of Nootropics
  1. The Art Of Stacking
  1. Common Questions About Nootropics
  1. How To Choose The Right Nootropic
  1. My Personal Recommendations

Chapter 1: Introduction to Nootropics

We’ve heard the debates, the arguments, the never-ending questioning of: what’s the most important organ in the body?

We’ve seen the mixed results: the liver, the heart, and the brain, generally topping the list.

Though we concur that all three are incredibly vital to the body’s internal functioning, we have to side with the big man: the brain.

Whether the brain is truly the most important organ in the body is indeed arguable, but according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, it’s the most complex[1].

And most of us can probably relate.

No doubt about it, the brain is one powerful organ.

brain power

Those little neurons in our brain have the monumental responsibility of sending data from the brain to the rest of our body.

In other words, the brain communicates with other organs in the body by transmitting messages through neurons, which also store information as memories.

Despite its seemingly superhuman strength, the brain can be an exasperating organ as well.

Like when you just want to concentrate on a sole idea, but it keeps bouncing schizophrenically from one thing to the next; or when all you desire is sleep, but it insists on keeping you awake.

At times like these, you might wish for a solution, something atypical to medications and their adverse effects.

At times like these, nootropics may be the answer you seek.

What are Nootropics Anyway?

We admit, the word “nootropics” does have a strangely intimidating yet enticing ring to it.

“Noo,” sounds ominous, or like a warning. “Tropics,” sounds deliciously inviting.

In reality though, nootropics is an umbrella term for a class of substances (some natural, and some synthetic) that provide the human brain with cognitive benefits.

Along with promoting cognitive functions, some nootropics have anti-stress and sleep support properties.

Sounds cool?

It gets even cooler…

The psychologist and chemist who invented the word “nootropics”, Dr. Cornelius E.

Giurgea
, attached five criteria a nootropic must have to qualify as such.

Giurgea’s requirements can be viewed as protective measures to ensure the substance is produced in a way that shields the brain, instead of harming it.

all about nootropics

True nootropics are supposed to:

  • Increase learning ability and memory
  • Safeguard the brain against physical/chemical injuries, such as barbiturates and scopolamine
  • Assist the brain in operating under unsettling conditions, such as electroconvulsive shock and hypoxia
  • Strengthen the efficiency of neuronal mechanisms in the brain
  • Be free of the typical pharmacology found in other psychotropic drugs and have very few side effects plus extremely low levels of toxicity (Giurgea C, 1972).

Clearly, Giurgea put a lot of thought into his criteria.

But when it comes to science, it’s given that other players will come up with their own observations and proposals.

Still, the general consensus is that nootropics should have a well-developed safety profile and little to zero toxicity.

Nootropic Users

Any healthy adult seeking to improve his or her mental faculties can become a nootropic user.

In fact, the online nootropics community is made up of mostly healthy individuals looking to use nootropics to attain motivation and more lucid thinking.

An online survey on nootropic usage reveals most of the respondents as males.

The survey targeted people in two of the biggest online nootropics communities: Reddit and LongeCity[2].

Participants were asked to describe their experiences with 31 different substances, and rate them on a scale of 1 – 10 in terms of effectiveness (1 being not effective at all and 10 being very effective).

Here are the results of that study:

nootropics survey results

As expected, drugs like Adderall and Modafinil (which really aren’t even classified as typical Nootropics) rated very highly, while many of the lesser known nootropics rated poorly.

However, what was interested to note was that some of the nootropics, most notably Phenibut and Phenylpiracetam, performed very well, considering they’re available over the counter.

Out of the 162 respondents, 92 percent were males and 8 percent were females.

The average age was 25.

But that’s not to say that only “youngsters” use nootropics.

Remember, the survey interviewed only a designated number of people, and only some responded.

So, somewhere out there are probably hordes of other people adding to the nootropics-user base.

But we will stick to what we can support.

Besides being used by enthusiasts for learning, studying and sharpening their mental firepower, nootropics has been shown to help the elderly and those suffering from brain trauma.

Even Russian astronauts got in on the action, taking nootropics to boost their mental capacities in space.

Debunking Common Myths

We know, it’s tempting to believe, or want to believe, that the benefits of nootropics are the cure to all of our mental problems.

From this belief stems the illusion that nootropics will transform us into geniuses or make us more intelligent.

Let’s drop-kick this appalling myth…

Nootropics are cognitive enhancers.

What Nootropics CAN Do

  • Make it easier to concentrate on tasks
  • Improve productivity
  • Make you more adept at getting things done

What Nootropics CAN’T Do

  • Make you an overnight genius
  • Produce instant results
  • Work the exact same for everyone

They do not improve intelligence or produce blinding brilliance.

They simply boost mental capabilities relating to attention, memory and recall.

For instance, nootropics make it easier to concentrate on tasks and improve productivity.

But they will not automatically turn an average thinker into the next virtuoso philosopher.

They can, however, make him more adept at getting things done.

While we’re at it, let’s slash the myth that nootropics should always produce instant results.

The effectiveness of nootropics varies from one person to the next and depends on a myriad of factors, including weight, body chemistry, sleep patterns and diet.

That said, while some nootropics may work within a few minutes, others may take a few weeks to kick in (Page, n.d.).

First-time nootropic users, especially, should be aware of this.

As we read about the impressive benefits of nootropics on various websites and forums, expectations may be exceedingly high going in.

Not experiencing an effect right away might cause frustration and the feeling that the supplement just “doesn’t work.”

But hang in there – good things come to those who wait.

Nootropics Versus Smart Drugs: Is There a Difference?

Chances are, you have already searched the Internet for the word “nootropics” and got redirected to a bevy of articles referring to them as “smart drugs.” This can get confusing, as many websites don’t explain whether there’s a difference between nootropics and smart drugs.

Yet there is a difference[3], according to an article written by Dr. Andrew Hill, lead neuroscientist at truBrain.

In the nootropics community, however, the terms are often used interchangeably.

Since it’s generally acceptable to label nootropics and smart drugs as one in the same, there’s nothing wrong with adopting this trend.

But for the sake of knowledge and accuracy, it pays to know the difference.

Let’s set the record straight.

Smart drugs are usually prescribed by doctors to treat symptoms of mental or cognitive disorders.

For instance, Ritalin and Adderall are stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Smart drugs typically contain stimulants, which boost energy and focus, but can also be detrimental in someone with heart or cardiac issues.

The stimulants in these drugs increase dopamine and norepinephrine levels, which can cause tolerance and dependence, negatively affecting stress levels, appetite, mood and cardiac function.

Smart drugs operate like amphetamines in that they stimulate the brain’s neurotransmitters to promote focus and alertness, similar to how caffeine operates.

On the flip side, a nootropic is a non-prescribed natural or synthetic compound made from herbs, vitamins and other supplements.

It’s designed to increase or safeguard cognition, and when taken properly by a generally healthy individual, typically does not produce side effects.

As Giurgea stated, the objectives of nootropics should always be to promote cognitive abilities and flow, while avoiding the side effects of harsh substances such as stimulants.

Hopefully, this introduction has given you sound insight into the fundamentals of nootropics.

Now it’s time to dig deeper and discover the different types of nootropics.

Chapter 2: Types of Nootropics

types of nootropics

What makes nootropics so beautifully unique is that they are largely derived from natural ingredients and come in an extensive array of types.

You might need a checklist to keep track of them all, but here’s a tip: tracking them gets easier if you think of them in terms of “families.”

Once you understand the general purpose of the family, what the individual compound does becomes clearer.

Let’s begin with the “mother” of all nootropics…

The Racetam Family

(piracetam, aniracetam, nefiracetam, levetiracetam, pramiracetam, oxiracetam, phenylpiracetam, noopept, and more)

fasoracetam, an example of a nootropic racetamThat’s a whole lot of “tams,” but each has earned the right to be a member of the family.

As the first nootropic ever, piracetam is special.

Had it not been for Giurgea discovering piracetam, the word “nootropics” would probably not exist – he coined the term only after discovering piracetam (Giurgea 1972).

After the development of piracetam, many other racetams emerged, including aniracetam, nefiracetam, levetiracetam, pramiracetam, oxiracetam, phenylpiracetam and noopept.

All racetams have the same basic chemical structure that promotes cognitive enhancement.

They all share a 2-pyrrolidone nucleus, and as derivatives of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are not naturally occurring, but rather chemically synthesized.

Being the first of its kind, piracetam remains the most widely known and researched racetam.

Next on the popularity scale are aniracetam, oxiracetam and pramiracetam.

Despite being the most popular, piracetam is neither the strongest nor the fastest-acting racetam.

For instance, oxiracetam is more potent and quicker-acting than piracetam and aniracetam (Landon, 2014).

Things get even more serious with pramiracetam, which is said to be up to 30 times stronger than piracetam – not to mention having all the letters needed to spell piracetam in its name.

The Russian-developed and approved noopept is similar in potency to pramiracetam.

It is so powerful that the recommended dosage is as little as 10-20 milligrams, up to three times per day.

Racetams are used for medical purposes in different countries.

For instance, in Europe, piracetam has a long history as a cognition-enhancing agent used to treat impaired intellectual function.

Most racetams are not approved in the United States for medical use.

The only one that has received the honor is levetiracetam (brand name Keppra) – an anticonvulsant used to control epileptic seizures.

A 2004 publication by the National Institute of Health reveals that levetiracetam has proven to be well tolerated and safe[4].

The most common side effects are dizziness, asthenia and sleepiness, which typically appear at the onset of levetiracetam treatment and usually disappear without medication withdrawal[5].

Eugeroic Stimulants

(modafinil, adrafinil, armodafinil, etc.)

modafinilEugeroic stimulants – such as modafinil and adrafinil – operate like smart drugs, but they generally don’t produce significant spikes in heart rate or blood pressure nor do they produce euphoria or the propensity for abuse.

This is in contrast to conventional stimulant medications such as Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate, a compound structurally related to amphetamine).

Eugeroic stems from Greek word meaning “good arousal.” It is a wakefulness-promoting agent that makes it easier to stay up longer and temporarily helps to avoid sleep deprivation.

Eugeroics are not a replacement for sleep.

Instead, they enable wakefulness to facilitate productivity.

They can be especially useful when you’re forced to sit through a boring class or perform monotonous sleep-inducing work.

You will probably never see someone on the street selling their parents’ TV for their next hit of modafinil.

But that doesn’t mean side effects aren’t possible.

Modafinil and adrafinil’s effect on mental functioning (beyond wakefulness) have not been confirmed, and although side effects are uncommon, they can be life threatening[6].

While some eugeroic stimulants require a prescription (e.g. modafinil), others don’t (e.g. adrafinil).

You can buy Adrafinil relatively cheap on the following website (my preferred vendor): https://www.absorbyourhealth.com/product/adrafinil-300-mg-30-70-100-150-capsules-nootropic/?ref=4349

Cholinergics

(lecithin, choline, DMAE, alpha-GPC, CDP choline, galantamine, donepezil and huperzine A)

There are several ways to define cholinergic substances.

For brevity’s sake, we will examine two angles:

First perspective

A cholinergic is a precursor to acetylcholine, one of the most important

neurotransmitters for memory function.

The body naturally produces acetylcholine, but it’s often not enough, and this is where supplements such as choline, alpha-GPC, CDP choline and DMAE come in.

These supplements serve as choline boosters, allowing the brain to make acetycholine.

In simple terms, cholinergic precursors increase the levels of acetylcholine in the brain.

Although lecithin doesn’t technically qualify as a cholinergic precursor, it contains phosphatidylcholine – a cholinergic precursor.

Second perspective

Cholinergics block acetylcholinesterase –which is the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine and decreases the level and duration of action of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter.

Specific types of cholinergics – such as galantamine, huperzine A and donepezil – inhibit acetylcholinesterase while replenishing acetycholine levels.

Vitamins and Supplements

(B and D vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids)

“Make sure you take your vitamins.

They’re good for you.” We might hear these words incessantly from someone we know, and dismiss this person as patronizing or nagging.

But they’re right!

While there’s a great deal of quackery in the alternative health field, there’s also solid evidence on the benefits of vitamins and supplements, with regards to mood, motivation, alertness, etc.

Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are often overlooked as possible pathways to personal enhancement, but they have a positive effect on mild psychiatric symptoms, perceived stress and the mood of people who are generally healthy[7].

Supplements with high doses of B vitamin, especially, may be more effective for improving mood.

We cannot ignore, though, individuals who assume that because many supplements are “all natural,” the substances contained in them are harmless.

This line of thinking is both erroneous and extremely dangerous.

Some of these supplements, including members of the B vitamin family as well as vitamin D, can cause physiological toxicity (including, but not limited to, neurotoxicity).

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to human health, but the body cannot produce them; we have to obtain them through food or supplements.

Fish, certain plants and nut oils all have Omega-3 fatty acids – which some scientists believe can protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia plus help lower the risk of heart disease and cancer[8].

A word of caution: if you’re consuming fish or extracted fish oil regularly as a source of Omega-3 fatty acids, be sure to verify that it’s not contaminated with mercury.

We could consider mercury as an anti-nootropic because of its hazardous impact on cognitive functioning that results from mercury poisoning.

Stay with us, folks.

Coming up next we will prove the beneficial effects of nootropics.

Chapter 3: Benefits of Nootropics

We’ve explained some of the advantages of taking nootropics, particularly in regards to focus, learning and memory.

But your inner skeptic might be wondering… Where’s the proof?

That’s fine…skepticism is normal.

Sometimes, to be persuaded, you need quantified results – which we will deliver.

Impact on Memory, Attention and Learning

Nootropics enhance normal mental functioning.

In 1976, two researchers at University College in Cardiff, Wales performed a small study on the effects of piracetam in normal subjects.

The study consisted of 16 healthy 2nd and 3rd year students (12 males, 4 females).

  • The subjects were given 4.8 grams a day of either piracetam or placebo for 14 days.
  • The students were told to learn a series of words presented as stimuli on a memory drum.
  • No effects were observed after 7 days, but verbal learning increased after 14 days.

The researchers found clear evidence for improvement in verbal learning due to piracetam administration.

The majority of students had intellectually demanding jobs, and had claimed a slight decrease in their ability to recall or retain data.

After receiving 4.8 grams of piracetam per day, the students were given placebo for 4 weeks.

Results of the paper and pencil tests and the computerized tests to measure perceptual motor reactions indicated that piracetam has greater effects on performance than placebo.

The results of this study were summarized in the influential and provocatively titled paper “Increase in the Power of Human Memory in Normal Man through the Use of Drugs.”

As well as in the November 18, 1976 issue of New Scientist.

university college in Cardiff, Wales piracetam study 1976

Low Toxicity

On a toxicological level, nootropics are among the safest substances ever developed.

Toxicity studies on nootropics have been performed on humans and a wide range of animals, including mice, goldfish, rats, rabbits, cats, dogs, guinea pigs and monkeys.

In acute toxicity trials – where rats received 8g of intravenous doses of piracetam and rats, dogs and mice got the same amount orally – there was no toxicity[9].

Note that this is the equivalent to 560-700g for a human weighing 154 pounds.

For 6 months, rats were given 100-1000mg orally; and for one year, dogs received 10,000mg orally.

No toxicity and no teratogenic (which causes birth defects) were found.

Effects on Stroke, Dementia and Brain Trauma

Nootropics have shown positive effects in patients suffering from stroke, dementia and brain injury.

Aphasic Stroke

Aphasia – a condition that affects the ability to communicate – usually happens after a stroke or head injury.

The condition negatively impacts speech and the ability to understand verbal and written communication.

In some cases, aphasia can occur gradually due to a degenerative disease or slow-growing brain tumor.

Language and speech therapy are the primary treatments for aphasia; however, piracetam has been found to have a beneficial effect on the recovery of aphasic stroke.

In one study, 24 aphasic patients were given 4.8g daily doses of piracetam, while 26 patients received placebo.

  • Both the piracetam and placebo groups had similar symptoms in terms of type and severity.
  • The study did not include people suffering from mild aphasia, and all of the patients had been healthy prior to experiencing a stroke or brain trauma.
  • The subjects underwent 10 intensive 60-minute language therapy sessions.

The result? Piracetam had a significantly favorable effect on the written language subtest.

On the communicative ability scale, the piracetam group’s scores in spontaneous speech improved.

Also, no adverse effects were reported in the piracetam group.

While this was only one trial and can hardly be considered definitive, another study on these same subjects confirmed that piracetam can boost written language skills plus reduce the severity of the subjects’ aphasia (Poeck, 1998).

Dementia

Dementia is the loss of intellectual abilities, resulting in a serious inability to perform everyday tasks.

It’s not a disease in itself, but rather the term used to describe an extensive range of symptoms linked to a decline in memory and other thinking skills.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent form of dementia.

Elderly individuals with Alzheimer’s frequently display a lower “hydrocarbon core” (which is associated with the cell membranes) fluidity than elderly people who don’t have the disease.

In a study involving in vitro administration of piracetam, the dementia patients’ hydrocarbon core fluidity went up to the same level as the non-demented elderly.

On top of that, piracetam enhanced the fluidity of those who did not have the disease.

For both groups, piracetam was shown to decrease age-related alterations of membrane fluidity (Eckert et al., 1999).

An analysis of this research revealed that individuals treated with piracetam showed a 60.9 percent improvement, compared to a 32.5 percent improvement in those treated with placebo.

Like its sister compound piracetam, aniracetam has proven to be effective in selective areas.

In three different animal studies, researchers found aniracetam to have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.

We will, however, spare you the dreary details by providing just one example. And we will keep things interesting by engaging in a bit of sibling rivalry...

In one of the studies, aniracetam was found to be superior to piracetam, which has been monopolizing the nootropics research spotlight for decades.

It’s time for aniracetam to shine.

The purpose of the study, which was conducted throughout Western Europe, was to determine whether aniracetam could benefit people ages 68 to 80 who had mild to moderate cognitive impairment and met the criteria for likely having dementia stemming from Alzheimer’s.

  • One group received 1500mg of aniracetam, another group got 2400mg of piracetam, and the last group was given placebo.
  • Each group took their doses daily for a 6-month period.
  • Throughout the trial, the placebo group’s mental health continued to deteriorate.

The result? The aniracetam group experienced few side effects, and the ones that were present were so mild and transitory that no subject had to stop treatment as a result. On top of that, aniracetam proved to be even more effective than piracetam in this trial, and has shown to have anxiolytic effects in animal studies.

Brain Trauma

A traumatic brain injury happens when an external force causes the brain to dysfunction, such as a violent blow to the head or body.

It can also occur when an object, such as a bullet, pierces the skull.

Phenylpiracetam has been approved in Russia for correcting cerebrovascular deficiency, focusing attention, ameliorating apathy, and slowing memory decline.

Phenylpiracetam is even prescribed to astronauts in Russia who use it to sharpen their physical and mental abilities while in space (Malykh & Sadaie, 2010).

Phenylpiracetam is especially noteworthy because it’s fast-acting and absorbs well orally.

The compound has enhanced the cognition scores of people with cognitive impairment or depression following encephalopathy, and brain injuries such as acute lesions, gliomas surgery and brain traumas.

In one study, phenylpiracetam performed even better than piracetam because it worked substantially faster to mend cognitive injury, along with ridding the patients of headaches. Piracetam, defeated again!

And not for the last time either…

Pramiracetam has been reported to improve cognitive deficits resulting from brain trauma.

Ukrainian studies found that pramiracetam is superior to piracetam at restoring memory loss in patients suffering from mild craniocerebral trauma (Malykh & Sadaie, 2010).

In addition, Italian researchers found that pramiracetam was 50 percent more effective than placebo in reducing amnesia-related effects caused by scopolamine intoxication.

Why We Need Choline, Vitamins and Supplements

Choline deficiency can increase the risk of DNA damage.

Choline and its derivatives are not vitamins per se, but in 1998 they were recognized by the Institute of Medicine as being necessary to maintaining human health.

Basically, choline is the precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is involved in muscle control and memory.

To reinforce the importance of choline, the Linus Pauling Institute issued a warning about choline deficiency, which can cause DNA damage and fatty liver.

In a study involving 57 people who were on a choline-deficient diet, 80 percent of the postmenopausal women, 44 percent of the premenopausal women, and 77 percent of the men had liver damage, fatty liver, or muscle damage of some sort.

Estrogen levels might have been the issue with the premenopausal women; however, adding choline to the subjects’ diets fixed the problem rather quickly.

Huperzia serrata is a plant that contains the alkaloid huperzine A, another treatment that, for whatever reason, all too often gets swept under the rug and isn’t given the attention it deserves.

WebMd has a great section on huperzine A’s function in the treatment of age-related memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease.

This supplement shows promise in improving memory, learning and energy levels.

As previously discussed, huperzine A belongs to a group of cholinergics known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.

By blocking the activity of the enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine, huperzine A increases the amount of acetylcholine present in the brain and lengthens the duration.

Vitamins and Supplements

Taking B-complex vitamin supplements is especially important because many of us don’t get enough of them in our diets.

Whole processed foods have the highest amounts of B vitamins, but it’s often difficult to find them in local grocery stores.

B vitamins include: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. That’s a lot of siblings, and deficiency in any of them will result in complications.

For instance, severe, persistent thiamine (B1) deficiency can cause limb pain, irregular heartbeat, edema and even death.

Thiamine deficiency can also cause all sorts of neurological dysfunctions that affect memory, coordination and vision.

Smokers, alcoholics, coffee drinkers and people who eat large amounts of certain kinds of fish are all at risk for developing thiamine deficiency.

You will find that each B vitamin has its own benefits.

Folic acid (B9) deficiency in pregnant women can cause birth defects and impaired mental functioning in other people.

However, studies indicate that folic acid supplementation may reduce symptoms of depression.

Pyridoxine (B6) relieves depression, memory problems and peripheral neuropathies caused by dietary deficiencies.

It can also reduce women’s chances of developing macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss.

Biotin (B7) plays a crucial role in metabolism, and is necessary for glucose and amino acids production.

Biotin deficiency can cause vomiting, anorexia, dermatitis and neurological symptoms, including lethargy, hallucinations and peripheral neuropathy.

Liver, egg yolks, kidney and nuts are all good sources of biotin.

If you cannot access these foods, try cereal or biotin supplements (Schnepp, 2002).

Bacopa monierri (brahmi) is a plant native to India that has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for a host of problems, especially those dealing with anxiety and intellect. In rat studies, brahmi improved memory retention and reduced amnesia caused by electroconvulsive shock, scopolamine intoxication and/or immobilization.

In a study involving humans, brahmi did not have a significant effect on subjects’ short term memory.

But it improved their scores on recalling unrelated word pairs (Roodenrys et al., 2002).

We definitely cannot end this chapter without extending a shout-out to sulbutiamine, a nootropic related to thiamine (B1), but has a greater ability to cross the blood-brain barrier than its parent compound.

Sulbutiamine has shown promise in the treatment of asthenia and memory impairment.

Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look at how nootropics work.

Chapter 4: The Science Behind Nootropics

We’ve established that nootropics can boost normal mental functioning and help to alleviate certain medical conditions.

But often when we take supplements we don’t stop to think about how they really work.

We might say “It’s all about the effects!

Who cares about the science?” But we should gain some understanding of how they work before consuming them.

In this section, we will focus on none other than the “celebrities” of nootropics: the racetam family.

Note, however, that although piracetam is the most extensively studied racetam, we still don’t have a complete understanding of how it works.

We will therefore share what we do know about piracetam and its derivatives – which are said to affect the functioning and density of multiple neurotransmitter receptor types and subtypes.

Glutamate Receptors

L-Glutamate is the main neurotransmitter that causes excitement in the central nervous system.

It operates through two classes of receptors: ligand gated ion receptors (ionotropic) and G-protein coupled receptors (metabotopic).

These two receptors provide a pathway for glutamate to control cell excitability.

NMDA and AMPA receptors are two major types of receptors that are activated by glutamate.

Where are we going with all this?

Well, both piracetam and aniracetam have been shown to activate AMPA receptors.

It was, however, aniracetam that led to this discovery, which has since resulted in the development of a new series of smart drugs called “ampakines.”

Several racetams are known to deliver ampakine effects, such as enhanced attention span and alertness.

While this has been indicated in studies on aniracetam and piracetam, it’s not clear if all racetams operate in this manner – since racetams seem to have multiple mechanisms of action.

Notably, in at least two rodent studies, chronic piracetam administration significantly increased the solidity of NMDA receptors in aged rats[10].

A similar result has been reported for phenylpiracetam.

Cholinergic Receptors

There are several decades of collected data indicating that piracetam and its derivatives are significantly involved with cholinergic functioning in the CNS.

Cholinergic receptors are cells containing a molecular structure that responds to the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.

These receptors – which are linked to the activity of acetylcholine – fall into two sub-types: nicotinic and muscarinic receptors.

Nicotinic receptors are characterized via their interaction with nicotine, while muscarinic receptors are characterized through their interaction with muscarine – an alkaloid that can be found in certain toxic mushrooms.

Acetylcholine is responsible for all sorts of processes, including our ability to focus and the encoding of memories.

The cells, or sites, that respond to acetylcholine are called “cholinergic.”

Where do racetams fit into all this?

It’s long been established that piracetam and other racetams provide considerable protection against the detrimental mental effects of scopolamine[11], an anticholinergic drug – meaning, a drug that wreaks havoc on the action of acetylcholine, in this case at muscarinic receptors.

Research suggests that the use of cholinergic agents (such as choline and DMAE) with piracetam may have a profoundly positive impact on cholinergic function and memory enhancement[12].

As we can see, despite hoarding the research limelight, piracetam is an effective nootropic.

One study involving piracetam administration in aged rats showed growth in muscarinic cholinergic receptor density in the hippocampi, striata and frontal cortices of the treated animals[13].

Additionally, in vitro data for pramiracetam indicates that it increases the rate of sodium-sensitive choline uptake in rat synaptosomes (Malykh & Sadaie, 2010).

A Note about Aniracetam

As mentioned, aniracetam facilitates activity at AMPA receptors.

But it would be a mistake to think that the AMPA activity neatly explains aniracetam’s efficacy.

Studies on rodents reveal that dopaminergic, cholinergic and sertonergic neuronal mechanisms all play a role in aniracetam’s anxiolytic or anxiety-relieving effects[14].

Coupled with its nootropic activity and greater potency than piracetam, aniracetam is said to be an effective anxiolytic in both humans and animals.

Aniracetam is powerful in at least two different ways: first, via a direct nootropic effect promoting more efficient data processing; and second, by reducing anxiety.

Depending on what you’re seeking in a nootropic, you might find that even the mighty aniracetam has its shortcomings.

The supplement has a fairly short half-life (~2 hours), which can be a detriment or a benefit depending on your purposes.

If you’re seeking a long-acting nootropic, aniracetam will disappoint you.

But if you want to enhance your intellectual performance over shorter spans of time, aniracetam will live up to your expectations.

In summary: Piracetam and its derivatives have many other possible modes of action.

While researchers are still getting to the bottom of just how racetams work in the brain and body, what we do know at this point can help us form solid nootropic regimens.

Up next is the ultimate battle: nootropics versus medications?

You don’t want to miss it.

Chapter 5: Nootropics Versus Prescription Medications

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net/YaiSirichai & stockimages

We’ve discussed the benefits of nootropics when compared to placebo and against one another.

But how do nootropics fare when compared to prescription medications?

Let’s see.

Racetams versus Anti-depressants (MAOIs, SSRIs)

In Russia, phenylpiracetam is a medication, prescribed to treat depression and apathy (Malaykh & Sadaie, 2010).

Further, piracetam has shown promise in treating depression stemming from chronic cerebrovascular disorders.

Unlike MAOIs and SSRIs – which are prescribed for depression – racetam usage can be stopped without unpleasant withdrawal effects.

Many users of SSRIs have reported feeling “zombified” while under the influence of these substances, which only slightly out-perform placebo.

While on MAOIs, users must adhere to a strict diet as foods high in tyramine (such as cured/dried meats, aged cheese, spoiled foods, soy sauce, and more) cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure (Hall-Flavin, Daniel, 2013).

These dietary restrictions are not necessary with racetams.

The winner? Racetams

Aniracetam vs. Benzodiazepines (alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam, clonazepam)

In a study of mice in which one group received aniracetam and another diazepam, the former showed anxiolytic effects in four different anxiety models compared to the latter’s two (Nakamura & Kurasawa, 2001).

Benzodiazepines are great as quick treatments for panic attacks, but frequent and extended use of them is not necessarily a good idea.

People who are dependent on benzodiazepines may experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation; if serious enough, it can lead to seizures and even death.

Aniracetam has no such withdrawal symptoms.

The winner? Aniracetam

Modafinil vs. Amphetamine Salts

Modafinil is a “smart drug” that allows you to study for hours and easily recall the data you memorized.

While many people regard Modafinil as a nootropic, and a few consider amphetamine as one as well, both are prescription medications in the US.

Adderall users with severe ADD and ADHD sometimes have difficulty using modafinil in place of their usual medication, but they report positive results from lowering Adderall’s dosage and adding modafinil to their regimen.

While modafinil is a prescription drug in the US, it’s worth mentioning because it falls under the term “nootropic.” As information currently stands, modafinil does not produce euphoria comparable to traditional stimulants.

This data, along with trials conducted, have led scientists to conclude that modafinil may have abuse potential, but that it’s much lower when compared to amphetamine or methamphetamine.

Modafinil is promoted as a “wakefulness agent,” at first being used to treat narcolepsy in patients.

It has since soared in popularity as a nootropic because of its effectiveness in boosting memory and focus.

Peter Borden, a fan of acupuncture and alternative health in general, said this about modafinil: “My senses sort of shifted to the visual, and my auditory sense went down. Sounds didn’t even register.

It was like walking around on a winter day when it just snowed.

It was very easy to stay visually focused” (Kolker 2013).

However, if you’re an insomniac, neither of these medications are recommended.

The winner?

Marginally modafinil.

The victor has been decided.

Still, triumph doesn’t necessarily mean perfection, as we will see in the next chapter which addresses potential downsides of taking nootropics.

Chapter 6: Potential Side Effects of Nootropics

potential side effects of nootropics

Though research shows that nootropics carry an almost nonexistent degree of toxicity and are generally safe, that doesn’t mean side effects can’t happen.

Many nootropics have not been studied over a long-term period, especially in humans.

In general, the biggest concerns with respect to side effects are the development of the user’s brain, dosage being consumed, the nootropic’s mechanism of action, how long the user has been taking the substance, and how often they use it.

As noted in the book, Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology, there are some critical implications in the use of cognitive enhancers, especially in children and adolescents whose brain aren’t fully developed (Stolerman, 2010).

Evolving science indicates that most people don’t reach full brain development until they get to age 25, though most laws in the US recognize individuals age 18 and older as adults[15].

There are mixed reviews on how nootropics might affect the developing brain.

Some believe that nootropics likely don’t pose a threat and can actually improve brain development.

Others speculate that the brain might be susceptible to dependence.

Regardless of which team you’re on, the issue of brain development deserves consideration.

From a dosage perspective, consuming high amounts of certain nootropics/ smart drugs (such as modafinil), may result in dependence, as they are involved in the areas of the brain which are linked to substance abuse.

Because nootropics can be so effective, many people end up taking them for the long term.

To complicate matters, we don’t know the specific side effects that may materialize in healthy people who are long-term users (Stolerman, 2010).

However, some argue that tolerance can be developed.

There are numerous types of nootropics, in drug and supplement forms. Each one has a mode of action, which may not fully mirror the others’.

Whether long-term usage proves detrimental also depends on the specific nootropic.

And this is where piracetam glows.

Because piracetam has been exhaustively studied – plus it’s not as potent as some of the newer nootropics – many agree that it’s the best for long-term usage.

It’s also regarded as the quintessential “starter nootropic” for first-time users.

Reported side effects for piracetam include agitation, nervousness, anxiety, irritability and sleep interruptions[16].During clinical trials, the incidence of these effects were 5 percent or less and were generally spotted in older individuals taking more than 2.4g per day.

In most cases, reducing the dosage made the symptoms go away.

Pardon the “hammering into your head” approach here, but we must stress that nootropics do not affect everyone equally.

While one person may not have any side effects with long-term use, someone else might.

We should therefore avoid assuming that nootropics will not carry side effects.

Reviews from nootropic users on website forums can hardly be seen as facts.

Still, it bears noting that many of the users on these forums reported no side effects, while some claimed to have mild effects – the most common being headache, anxiety, confusion and gastrointestinal upset.

In most racetam trials of humans, patients who experienced these effects were able to adjust without leaving the trial.

In a study of 84 healthy subjects who received Bacopa administration, only one patient withdrew due to gastrointestinal problems.

Though side effects are possible, all is not lost.

By taking the following steps, you can lower the risk of adverse reactions:

  • Wait for your brain to fully develop (age 25 or later)
  • Research the nootropic thoroughly before consuming it
  • Have a good reason for taking nootropics
  • Keep your dosage at the lowest effective level
  • Use nootropics only when necessary
  • Give nootropics a break periodically (also called “cycling”)
  • Take choline when consuming racetams to avoid headaches
  • Stop taking the nootropic if you encounter side effects

The bottom line is that although nootropics are generally safe, exercise caution when using them.

Now that you’ve seen the woeful effects of nootropics, it’s time to learn the art of stacking. Sounds exciting?

It is!

Chapter 7: The Art of Stacking

the art of stacking nootropics

Stacking refers to taking more than one nootropic to get the effect you want. Sounds dangerous?

If nootropics were built like prescription drugs, then we would say “yes.”

But many nootropics actually work better when taken with another nootropic – either the effects improve or side effects decrease.

In such cases, the nootropic work in tandem, complimenting and enhancing each other.

One thing to keep in mind is that the best nootropics stacks contain properties that are different from each other, typically in their mechanism of action (Simola, 2015).

If two racetams operate in the same manner, there’s no point in taking them as a stack.

You would be better off taking, say piracetam and choline, which have two different modes of action.

Now before you rush out and go buy heaps of nootropics, remember the golden rule: moderation is the key to success. Taking too many stacks could result in some of the side effects we mentioned in the previous chapter.

When you’re just starting out, keep things simple.

Choose a mild nootropic, such as piracetam, rather than one that has not undergone many studies in humans.

If the effects are positive, you can gradually add more nootropics to your regimen.

Monitoring your results while testing new nootropics is instrumental to your success (Simola, 2015).

If you start getting side effects after integrating a certain nootropic into your stack, consider removing it.

If you’re new to stacking, you can buy a pre-made stack.

Though this gives you no control over the dosage, it may be the best place to start since the intake amount is already determined for you.

Once you have a solid understanding of nootropics, you can create your own stack.

But before you start stacking away, ask yourself:

  • What exactly do I want to take a supplement for?

    Do I want to increase my focus or ability to concentrate for extended periods of time?

    Or do I simply want to relax?
  • What medications or supplements am I currently on?

    Are any of them contraindicated to (as in, should not be used with) the nootropics I’m interested in?
  • Is it necessary for me to take more than one nootropic at a time?

Since newbies are advised to start out with one nootropic, the rest of this chapter is for those who have been taking nootropics for a while and would like to find the right combinations.

Caffeine + L-Theanine

Although caffeine doesn’t technically qualify as a nootropic, its stimulant properties are said to elevate focus and energy.

L-Theanine is used for treating anxiety, preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and potentiating cancer drugs (making them more effective).

It may seem pointless to take a stimulant with a supplement that relaxes you; but according to users on the Smarter Nootropics website, the two are a good synergistic blend.

L-theanine counters the side effects of caffeine, such as anxiety and jitteriness, resulting in alertness and lucidity without nervousness.

Racetam + Choline

Many nootropics enthusiasts consider this combination a necessity, rather than a “stack.” Various animal studies conclude that the racetam family paired with a source of choline produces optimal results.

One trial found that piracetam + choline led to enhanced memory retention more than piracetam alone (Bartus et al., 1981).

Choline is said to help piracetam work faster, and can eliminate headaches caused by taking racetams alone.

The cholinergic huperzine A functions similarly when combined with piracetam.

Aniracetam + CDP choline (citicoline)

Due to aniracetam’s anxiolytic effects and citicoline’s efficacy, this is a favored combination, according to the Best Nootropic review website.

One collective stack currently on the market is Nootrobrain, which contains aniracetam, citicoline, Bacopa leaf and vitamin B6.

Piracetam + Vasodilator Drug (in this case, cinnarizine)

Vasodilators are drugs that work to prevent the muscles in the walls of the arteries from narrowing.

In a study of multiple sclerosis patients, piracetam paired with cinnarizine (which acts as a vasodilator) improved mental abilities even more than piracetam alone.

Activity levels and mood increased in these patients who were assumed to still be suffering from encephalopathy (Malykh & Sadaie, 2010).

Racetam (and/or Modafinil and similar drugs) + Essential Vitamins

If you notice that your diet lacks essential vitamins, try adding them in addition to piracetam, aniracetam, etc. and/or modafinil, adrafinil, etc. Earlier we discussed the signs of certain B vitamin deficiencies.

To determine how healthy your diet is, have your doctor run some tests and follow his or her recommendations.

Since nootropics are rarely toxic, as long as you take the right amount of vitamins and refrain from over-stacking, this combination will be beneficial.

Nootrobrain, for example, fuses vitamin B6 with aniracetam (plus citicoline and Bacopa leaf).

Choline + Huperzine A

In this merger, the choline (or choline derivative) boosts the effects of huperzine A, further enhancing concentration.

Choline itself shows evidence of helping to slow down age-related memory loss.

Optimind (www.GetOptimind.com) is a nootropic on the market that blends huperzine A and choline, along with DMAE, caffeine, Vitamins B6 and B12, and green tea leaf extract for the purpose of promoting learning while increasing energy.

Phenibut + a Stimulant

On a personal note, I first learned about Phenibut when a company that sells the substance asked me to test and review it.

If you’ve never heard of Phenibut, it’s actually a substance that was discovered by Russian scientists nearly 30 years ago, and is a central nervous system depressant and derivative of y-aminobutyric-acid.

Phenibut – which has been shown in clinical studies to produce feelings of calm and euphoria – works GREAT as an anti-anxiety supplement.

Notice we said that Phenibut is a CNS depressant.

You might wonder…“How could this work like Adderall if it’s a depressant?”

In my personal experience, Phenibut in LOW doses (500 mg or less, spread out) COMBINED with a stimulant seems to have the OPPOSITE effect.

It’s not a hyper, jittery, I feel like I’m on an amphetamine effect, but a very controlled, deliberate, calming and smooth FOCUS and CONCENTRATION gold mine...

Remember the first time you used Adderall? Remember that feeling of euphoria, laser focus, insane concentration, and overall good mood you got?

It’s literally the same effect the first time you use this combo.

Specifically, I recommend you merge a QUALITY source of Phenibut with Optimind.

I speak about my experiment with this combo extensively in my review here.

Stacking can be a fun and beneficial process, but it may not be for everyone.

Monitor your progress carefully, and refrain from excess – no matter how tempting.

With nootropics being such an intriguing topic, you probably have several questions or need reinforcement on some things.

Next, we will answers some of the most frequently asked questions about nootropics.

Chapter 8: Common Questions About Nootropics

“Is it safe to use nootropics with prescription drugs?”

Usually, yes, though you should check with your physician to be certain.

In a study to test piracetam’s effects on chronic schizophrenia patients, piracetam was safely given to the subjects while they kept taking their psychotropic medications (Dimond et al., 1979).

Also, levetiracetam is approved in the US as an additional treatment to antiepileptic drugs (Malykh & Sadaie, 2010).

However, there is evidence that alcohol should be avoided when taking piracetam, as piracetam is said to increase blow flow to the brain, which would intensify injury and intoxication[17].

In addition, piracetam is contraindicated (harmful) in patients with severe renal impairment, cerebral hemorrhage, or hypersensitivity to piracetam[18].

If you have a medical condition, consult with your doctor before taking nootropics.

“I’m healthy and happy.

Do I really need nootropics?”

The answer to this question is up to you.

We can say, though, that racetams have demonstrated positive effects in different groups of people, young and old alike.

This, along with their generally low toxicity, make for great supplements especially when compared to many prescription medications.

But to avoid the potential side effects we mentioned earlier, you might want to consider taking nootropics on an as-needed basis.

“If I stop taking nootropics, will I feel stupid?”

If you decide to quit nootropics, you might notice your cognitive abilities returning to baseline.

This doesn’t mean you will suddenly forget everything you studied while on nootropics, just that different aspects of your memory may be affected.

You might, for instance, experience enhanced memory recall while taking aniracetam and then notice your memory returning back to normal once you stop.

“How long should I take racetams for?”

Most of the human trials involving piracetam noted significant effects at 12 or more weeks in.

You can try taking piracetam at regular dosing for three to four months and then evaluate your results.

Taking choline (or a choline derivative) can accelerate the speed at which you see effects.

Remember, racetams are drugs that build up in your system; typically, the more you take them, the better they work.

But as we also stated, there’s insufficient evidence as to their effects on long-term usage.

With the matter of tolerance being unproven, it’s best to take them in moderation, as needed.

“How much should I start with?”

Nootropics often come in different weights and strengths.

The general recommendation is that you start at the suggested minimum level.

With capsule-based nootropics, you immediately know how much you’re taking.

For powder-based nootropics, however, dosage must be weighed to ensure the correct amount.

You can purchase an inexpensive digital scale and a special measuring spoon online to weigh the dosage, which is definitely better than guessing the correct dosage.

Before you take nootropics, peruse the Internet for studies relevant to you – are you healthy, young, old, suffering from brain trauma, etc.?

The Internet is particularly helpful because it’s incredibly easy to read reviews by people experimenting with nootropics.

Remember that while the minimum dosage may work for some people, depending on your body chemistry, you might need more or less than that amount.

“I suffer from narcolepsy.

Would Modafinil be helpful?”

Modafinil is prescribed for exactly this purpose in the US and has been approved by the FDA for it, along with sleep apnea.

If you’re having these problems, you can speak with your doctor about getting a prescription.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society warns users not to take Modafinil if they’re experiencing insomnia frequently.

Modafinil has a long half-life (15 hours), so you should probably take it early in the morning.

“Are Nootropics Legal?”

The legality of nootropics varies by country.

In the US, modafinil and leviracetam are FDA-approved prescription drugs.

However, most nootropics – such as piracetam, aniracetam and oxiracetam – have not been approved by the FDA, though it is not illegal to possess them.

According to the Eurowid website, in the US, it is legal to use, possess, and import piracetam for the purpose of “personal use.” In Mexico, however, piracetam is a prescription drug[19].

To figure the legal status of nootropics, check the laws in your country.

Hopefully we have provided you with at least some of the answers to your most pressing concerns.

If you still have questions, search the Internet, or consult with your physician (or an attorney, in the case of nootropics’ legal status).

Racetam, ampakine, choline, B vitamin, natural nootropic, smart drug, not to mention their countless siblings… With so many nootropics available, confusion is a natural state of mind when it comes to picking one.

But we’ve got it all figured out for you – just scroll to the next chapter

Chapter 9: How to Choose the Right Nootropic?

By now, you’re probably experiencing “data overload” from the sheer volume of information in this guide. That’s understandable.

The nootropics world is vast and continually expanding, and it’s difficult to keep up with all the latest supplements, let alone pick one.

Selectivity is one of life’s key lessons.

Imagine enrolling in a course only to realize that it’s not the field you want to study.

Or, after choosing between potential mates you discover that you picked the wrong person. Ouch!

The same logic can be applied to choosing the right nootropic.

Sometimes we must experiment in order to arrive at our true destination.

But when it comes to nootropics, engaging in self-analysis and research can help you make the right choice from the get-go.

As promised, we’ve simplified things for you.

Below are some questions to ask yourself (and our suggestions) to ensure you’re heading in the right direction.

Do you find it hard to stay awake and/or focused even when performing your favorite activities, but especially during school or work?

If you live in the US, ask your doctor about Modafinil, which is sold for the specific purpose of treating narcolepsy.

There are a few shady online retailers that sell Modafinil, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a few reasons:

  • You don’t always know if you’re getting the REAL Modafinil
  • It’s illegal to buy without a valid prescription.
  • Since most of these retailers are outside of the US, your order has to pass through customs.

    Many times it won’t make it through and you’ll be out the $.

Instead…

I would recommend you try the Nootropics All Star Pack from AbsorbYourHealth.com.

It consists of 4 powerful supplements, including Adrafinil, Noopept, Sulbutiamine, and Alpha GPC, and I’ve personally used it with great results.

This combo basically provides a step-by-step approach to giving you extreme focus, improved concentration, and enhanced mood.

Step 1: Adrafinil

adrafinil reviewThe first time I took Adrafinil I was actually pleasantly surprised.

Unlike stimulants such as caffeine, DMAA (more on this below), and yohimbe, Adrafinil doesn’t make you hyperactive and jittery. Instead, it basically wakes you up.

It does this because it’s essentially the precursor to Modafinil (sometimes referred to as Provigil).

As I mentioned earlier, Modafinil is only available via a prescription.

Adrafinil is NOT.

In fact, Adrafinil is BASICALLY the same thing as Modafinil, because it’s the precursor to it. What does that mean?

Well, essentially when you consume adrafinil, as it passes through the liver it is metabolized into Modafinil.

So, it “turns into” Modafinil.

That’s step 1, getting you to wake up.

Step 2: Noopept

noopeptThough technically not a “racetam”, noopept is a nootropic that provides similar effects to Piracetam.

However, it’s actually 1000 X more potent, and has been shown to help increase attention span by providing a subtle psychostimulatory effect.

It’s also been shown in several studies to improve memory, learning capacity, focus, and concentration, and on its own works very well.

But it’s most effective as a neuroprotective agent, which essentially means it protects your brain from stress.

That’s step 2, calming you down and increasing attention.

Step3: Alpha GPC

alpha gpcAlpha GPC is a choline containing supplement that helps with new memory formation and learning, and has been widely accepted as an effective nootropic.

Choline is often found in many of the foods we eat, however, most people are deficient in it. Alpha GPC fixes all that.

Its primary purpose is to reduce cognitive decline, which is inevitable as we age.

Some studies have also shown that it can help DRAMATICALLY with attention span and focus, which is why I’ve included it in this stack.

That’s step 3, getting you dialed in and focused.

Step 4: Sulbutiamine

sulbutiamineSulbutiamine is a natural compound that is actually a derivative of Vitamin B1, commonly known as Thiamine.

You’ll notice that a lot of the nootropic supplements on the market often contain pretty high doses of Vitamin B1.

That’s great and all, but there’s one major problem.

It does NOT cross the blood brain barrier in effective doses.

That basically means you’re not getting its full effects.

However, with Sulbutiamine, the effects are WAY more pronounced.

The reason behind this is it DOES cross the blood brain barrier in much more concentrated doses.

Its primary purpose is to enhance energy and mood, 2 things that are absolutely CRUCIAL when you’re trying to get stuff done.

That’s step 4, improving your mood AND giving you a big boost in energy.

So, just to recap.

Step 1: Adrafinil – will WAKE you up.

Step 2: Noopept – will CALM you down.

Step 3: Alpha GPC – will get you DIALED in and focused.

Step 4: Sulbutiamine – will IMPROVE your mood and give you energy.

How Should I Take It?

If you’re just starting off with nootropics, I would recommend that you take each one of these by themselves first to assess your reaction.

The suggested dose for each is as follows:

First Time Use

Adrafinil: 250 – 300 mg

Noopept: 10 mg

Alpha GPC: 250 mg

Sulbutiamine: 500 mg

Once you’ve taken all 2 at these low doses, then you can start to move up.

Intermediate Dose Range

Adrafinil: 600 mg

Noopept: 20 mg

Alpha GPC: 500 mg

Sulbutiamine: 500 mg

And if you’re a pro at taking this stuff, you can move on to even heavier doses:

Adrafinil: 900 mg

Noopept: 30 mg

Alpha GPC: 750 mg

Sulbutiamine: 500 mg

It’s VERY important to note that you should take all of these on a completely empty stomach, just like with the Optimind and Phenibut combo.

I would also highly recommend that you take them first thing in the morning.

If you take them later in the day you risk insomnia, especially from the Adrafinil.

Where Can I Buy It?

nootropics all star pack

Visit the official Absorb Your Health site here: https://www.absorbyourhealth.com/product/brain-booster-power-pack/?ref=4349

Are you looking for an Adderall alternative?

optimind reviewTry Huperzine A, green tea leaf extract, and/or caffeine (as found in the product Optimind), and stack with Phenibut to keep the edge off.

Optimind works great for helping to promote laser-like focus, increased memory cognition and energy, and overall drive / motivation.

In fact, it works so well that I use it practically every day.

Optimind contains 4 absolutely ESSENTIAL ingredients for anyone looking for that mental edge, including Huperzine-A, DMAE, Caffeine, and GABA.

Stacking it with Phenibut is HIGHLY recommended, as the Phenibut will essentially ELIMINATE any over-stimulation you would otherwise get from the Optimind.

Click Here to read my detailed review of Optimind.

Are you looking to enhance your cognitive abilities, particularly in regards to memory and concentration over an extended period of time?

Try a racetam or Bacopa (check out chapters 2 and 3 for the differences between them all). Use choline or a choline derivative with the racetam to get significant effects more rapidly.

mind lab pro reviewAlternatively, you can check out a supplement called Mind Lab Pro.It takes a bit of time to kick in, but the effects on short / long term memory, cognitive balance, and focus are ENORMOUS.

Mind Lab Pro (www.mindlabpro.com) contains 4 key ingredients that help with functional memory, including Citicholine, Phosphatidylserine, L-Theanine, and Lions Mane Mushroom.

The main thing that differs between Mind Lab Pro and so many of the other nootropic supplements that I’ve tested is that it does NOT contain any harsh stimulants like DMAA or yohimbe.

It just gives you a clean, non-jittery approach to helping improve your memory and focus.

Click Here to read my official review of Mind Lab Pro.

Have you experienced brain trauma of some sort and want to improve your learning scores as you recover?

Piracetam and aniracetam are especially beneficial in this area, especially when it comes to encephalopathy and brain surgeries.

Is your diet rich in vitamins and minerals?

Have you seen your doctor recently about your overall health?

If you’re deficient in certain vitamins, supplementing with them can easily fix the problem.

Be sure to verify whether the vitamins are fat or water soluble[20].

Fat soluble vitamins dissolve in fat and are stored in the tissues of your body.

Absorbing too much fat from this type of vitamin can cause the vitamin to be too prevalent in your body.

Water soluble vitamins dissolve in water, and your body needs a steady intake of them.

Although most water soluble vitamins are not stored in your body, don’t assume that it’s OK to take them in excess.

Vitamin deficiencies can cause all sorts of horrid problems, such as nausea, weakness, lethargy and dermatitis.

When in doubt, see your doctor to ensure that your diet is healthy.

Now that you’ve got a head start, you’re probably wondering… How can I get a hold of this stuff? No problem, we’ve got your back.

The next chapter includes places where you can buy nootropics.

Chapter 10: My Personal Recommendations

Not all online nootropics stores are created equal.

Before you buy from a store, conduct a thorough research on the store’s reputation.

This information is easy to find, as nootropic users are generally quite vocal about sharing their online shopping experiences.

It’s vital that you buy from a store with a reputation for selling high quality products, along with offering great value for your money and superb customer service.

Based on our research and from personal testing, we have compiled a short list of online stores we recommend, as well as some of the best supplements I’ve personally tested.

Nootropics

nootropics all star packAbsorb Your Health sells a wide array of nootropics, including adrafinil, noopept, aniracetam, pramiracetam, and more.

They offer free shipping for orders over $75, and are one of the most reputable vendors I have ever ordered from.

Here’s their website – https://www.absorbyourhealth.com/

References

[1] http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/power-science/section-i/2-brain-most-complex-organ-in-body

[2] http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/02/16/nootropics-survey-results-and-analysis/

[3] http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/11/smart-drugs-vs-nootropics/

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15335297

[5] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1517/14740338.6.3.241

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662139/

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23362497

[8] http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids

[9] http://www.anti-aging-today.org/medicine/anti-aging/nootropics.htm

[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8234409

[11] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3137602

[12] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7301036

[13] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10338103

[14] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11412837

[15] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708

[16] https://www.pharmaoffshore.com/index.php?cPath=207

[17] https://www.erowid.org/smarts/piracetam/piracetam_faq.shtml#4.2

[18] https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/27470#CONTRAINDICATIONS

[19] https://www.erowid.org/smarts/piracetam/piracetam_faq.shtml#4.2

[20] http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrition-vitamins-11/fat-water-nutrient?page=2

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Author: Rob Miller

Rob Miller founded SupplementCritique.com over 7 years ago, and has been the chief editor ever since. He has a diploma in Advanced Dietary Supplements Advisor, and worked at GNC for 3 years. He KNOWS supplements, both inside and out. Rob currently resides in Jupiter, FL, with his wife of 4 years.  Learn more about him in his Bio here. Follow him on Twitter or find him on Google +.