What is your Nootropic Stack?


#1

I like

  1. 200mg Pramiracetam
  2. 250mg additional Choline (choline is essential and part of the regular mix)
  3. 200mg L-Theanine
  4. 50g additional carbohydrates

I find the Theanine tastes unpleasant so often take that separately. Without the Theanine it’s a little more jittery, like having one too many cups of coffee, but still nice. Pramiracetam is quite potent so the amount is consumed throughout the day.

This seems to give me about a 30% increase in my QM scores. Interestingly, I crave slightly more carbs on nootropic days. My brain must be consuming a lot of extra glucose. I sleep a little harder after nootropic days as well.

The frustrating thing about nootropics to me is the exact mechanisms seem to be poorly understood, if at all. I would love it if someone could weigh in on this.


#2

(various)Racetam’s- 300mg one time or twice in a day.
L-Theanine
Choline 200-300mg
vinpocetine 10 mg
DMAE - 300mg
lots of fish oil.

I play with a lot of different things but I have found that ideal on the reg, anyone on here ever try the bullet proof coffee? I notice using that with my noot’s creates a state of lucidity I crave.


#3

@rob you mention nootropic “days”… Is there a reason some days you don’t take it? If taken in successive days, does it lose its effectiveness?


#4

I just got some phenylpiracetam in the mail today. Tried a 300mg dose, seems to incur a definite increase in focus. Will probably make it an occasional addition to my soylent (with choline of course).


#5

I don’t do it every day mostly because it’s a little psychologically tiring to be extremely focused for a time, and if I have work to do that isn’t very mentally stimulating, like answering a bunch of emails, I get bored.


#6

Where do you pick these up? I’ve seen the name brand ones around, but then seem grossly overpriced.


#7

My daily stack for over 9+ months now:

  • 1200mg piracetam (morning / afternoon)
  • 500mg choline bitartrate / 250mg choline bitartrate (morning / afternoon)
  • ~100mg caffeine
  • 3mg melatonin (2-4 hours before bed)

Why:

I am a nervous, anxious, constantly engaged high-metabolism individual with sleeping and digestive issues. I am certain that I am serotonin-resistant, as that’s the common denominator against all these ailments. As such…

I take piracetam primarily for anxiety and the cognitive retention effects, with a huge emphasis on the anxiolytic properties. I feel that the cognitive ‘boosts’ from the piracetam-induced ‘calm’ have improved my ability to focus more than any other nootropic I’ve tried.

Many people take a far bigger *racetam dosage than is required, as its cumulative. A common side effect of a daily dosage that’s too high is a bit of lethargy (the anxiolytic effect), which is something I noticed in myself starting to occur around the 3.2g / day dosage. My dosage is one that I’ve found to be the sweet spot for me. Most of my research online has found that (generally speaking) anything below 1.8g / day will not have much of an effect and anything higher than 4g / day is a waste.

The choline is to aid the body in its synthesis of acetlycholine, as any racetam will deplete the brain of it and give you a wicked headache (long before it becomes dangerous).

I chose piracetam over the other racetam options because I wanted a water-soluble source (so I didn’t have to plan it around any meals), had been studied in far more detail than any other, and is an order of magnitude cheaper than pramiracetam. You have to take more of it, but the price / daily usage (over my time trying it) has remained.

The caffeine just comes from a simple cup of coffee just to increase my waking productivity. I have a very low tolerance for caffeine, and even this little amount can occasionally give me jitters (I’m guessing from the cortisol secretion). I’ve been considering mixing higher dosage of caffeine with L-theanine to counteract ‘jitters’.

I must caveat that the caffeine + piracetam combo in the mornings has had a profound effect on my ability to focus, learn, and think creatively/critically - super helpful when coding.

The melatonin is to help regulate sleep (I’m lucky to get more than 4 hours of sleep a night without behavioral discipline and an aid like melatonin - the mind just won’t stop). It’s actually something I’ve been curious about with regards to soylent - I haven’t read any info on sources of L-tryptophan in the diet, which is going to be crucial in some individuals for proper serotonin / gaba synthesis… did I miss something?

Sources:
All amazon.com. Choline is cheap and plentiful (but they are huge horsepills - want to switch to powder). Piracetam is raw powder from Hard Rhino.

Next up:

As I mentioned, I want to experiment with the L-theanine / caffeine combination. Much safer than any other stimulants people use.

I really recommend staying away from modafinil (price alone!) - I think I read that you were interested in it, Rob? It’s a sledgehammer aimed at narcoleptics. It will make you more productive and it will keep you awake, but the overall experience I had with it was that it was too disruptive to what I considered a normal daily cycle.


#8

Rob, to speak to your frustrations:

I agree - just reading about the different nootropic options and people’s experiences with them is enough to frustrate you. Very little science behind the anecdotes. Occasionally, you find a few blog entries by a med student who’s experimenting with a little more discipline…

It’s one of the reasons I stuck to piracetam, as there’s an abundance of studies on it for the first the 1-2 years of usage. Racetams, in general, have had far more interest and studies than any of the other medications found to have nootropic qualities. Despite this, there still isn’t a consensus on their mechanism of action. And I haven’t encountered a single long-term nootropic study on any of the racetams.

Nootropic-use is only now starting to gain momentum in interest and development (outside of military use), and the lack of information is, unfortunately, going to remain a source of frustration for a while.


#9

@rob— i see you’re using it throughout the day—what form are you taking it in?

mine is powder/granular, so i’m mixing it in. tiny scale. all that. i think my roommate think i’m making meth.

i wasn’t “feeling” my code writing itself, so, i started inserting all of my into my first soylent of the day. outside of anecdotes (“more placebo, please!”) i’ve got no way of judging what it’s doing.


#10

Hi nwbb, can you explain in more detail the problems with modafinil. I was very interested in it and there was no way I could convince my doctor to prescribe it.

I am a rather anxious person and would like to find some formula to make me less anxious.

I tried with green tea which worked for sometime but I disliked the diuretic problems because I have problems passing water. I tried with magensium which worked for some time… but then it stopped. Not sure why… I suspect an overdose because I got diarrhea. Read somewhere than magnesium can lead to a contra-effect to the one intended if one takes too much. Problem is, if magnesium cannot be stored in the body, and I just keep taking 100mg a day (200mg max), how could I be overdozing?


#11

What about flavor? I’ve heard some of the nootropics are whisky-face inducing. What about on the stomach?


#12

An article about modafinil: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1885825,00.html - haven’t checked the studies on this personally,but it isn’t the first time I have heard this.

Basically, modafinil does seem to affect dopamine. Generally speaking you don’t want to be taking something (that increases dopamine) long term. Not only is it potentially addictive, but down regulation of dopamine receptors is the absolutely last thing you want if you wish to be productive and have motivation.

That said, occasional modafinil doesn’t seem to be an issue, and I have heard it really helps you get shit done. The danger probably comes if you really like the way it works and start taking it a little too often.

Imo treat modafinil with caution (and doctors won’t be wanting to prescribe it because dopamine = recreational abuse potential).

On nootropics in general, decent forum for this over at longecity: http://www.longecity.org/forum/forum/412-nootropic-stacks/ and i think there is one over at reddit too.


#13

I tried modafinil. It certainly works, I was wired for about 2 days, did not sleep, and got a lot done.

That said, I do not recommend it. Any productivity gain in the short term was outweighed by the recovery period and the inconvenience of having to crash in the middle of a work day. That said, I was not on soylent at the time so perhaps that would have helped my brain recover faster.

Still, I will probably not do it again for a long time, if ever, especially considering now that I know it affects dopamine.


#14

I use Modafinil on occasionally for both recreational (making sure I can stay awake for an entire night when I get booked for 2/3/4am DJ sets at the club) and personal use (making sure I can pull a productive all-nighter when required to catch up on business activities or on a morning when I’m really struggling). By occasionally I mean generally no more than once per week and usually more like 2-3 weeks apart. I take a single 200mg tablet and have never tried taking more than this at a time.

As mentioned already it lets you get shit done! However I have not seen the same negative effects other people are mentioning. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve never had any issues with falling asleep and am generally a deep sleeper but I have no problem sleeping on modafinil. If I’m pulling an all-nighter with modafinil generally take the modafinil with dinner and I work really productively until I get what I need to do done and then head to bed, which can be anywhere from 2am to 11pm the following night. I do find myself feeling quite drained on the second day but I’m still very much functional and I’m sure on a good diet this effect would be minimized (my pre-soylent diet is/was pretty bad, have yet to have modafinil on soylent).

Also worth noting: I’ve experienced no sort of craving, longing or want to consume more modafinil.


#15

As a narcoleptic, I require modafinil to function. Unfortunately it’s currently controlled by a rapacious and vile collection of too-rich sociopaths who collectively conspire to harm people by charging a ridiculous price for a necessary medication. In other words, a pharmaceutical corporation. (Note: price of provigil/modafinil, $9.75/200mg wholesale, price of armodafinil, $9.25/200mg wholesale, from TEVA, who bought Cephalon and then raised their ‘generic’ price to Cephalon’s prices.)

I have an alternative and a non-useful alternative. The alternative is the drug armodafinil, which is the (I think this is the term) etiantomer of modafinil, and which has to be converted in the liver to modafinil to have its therapeutic effect.

The non-useful alternative is ritalin; I cannot take that addictive substance exclusively to treat the excessive daytime sleepiness that is my primary symptom, without a consequent physiological acclimation and a tendency to addiction. It also damages my short-term memory, and may have had permanent effect - I went off it when I found out that side effect. I can still safely use it in very small doses, to keep me functioning for driving.

The problem is this: For me, an effective dosage is more than the “allowed” maximum for most health plans; for armodafinil I need half again as much as modafinil, and for modafinil, I find that 300mg/day is not quite enough to keep me from having Issues around mid-afternoon, and where I work, the obvious and effective solution of a 10 minute nap is not permitted, nor even possible.

I very strongly recommend that you NOT use this drug recreationally because it has been classified as Schedule C, and the legal penalties for using it without prescription can be ridiculously punitive. If you find you NEED the stuff, then get evaluated; you may have either apnea or hypopnea (if you snore, you are not breathing and your oxygen is dropping.) When I was evaluated I was able to get a simple mouthpiece that holds my lower jaw out and open, keeping me breathing most of the night; that plus sleeping on my side has greatly improved things, and even six hours of sleep is enough to function, though I like eight when I can manage, and I also like the five-and-three plan with an hour of low-energy wakeful functioning in the middle. This is a more natural sleep pattern for some people.

I’m planning to try a DIY Soylent stack to deal with my “stuck metabolism” but I’ll be getting regular medical care from my doctor, including blood work before I start, and showing him the spreadsheets. I’m going to get most of the components from truenutrition.com as a pre-mix and adding other components myself. I take a diabetic support vitamin (type2 yay) and will have to figure out how that works into the mix.


#17

600mg aniracetam
25mg modafinil (I’m very sensitive)
Lots of fish oil

Any time I drink caffeine - 400mg L-theanine

And hello from Georgia Tech :smile:


#18

Does anyone have any experience with noopept? It is supposed to be all the rage in nootropics these days, alleged to be hundreds of times stronger than 'racetams in general. Not a 'racetam itself, but considered the same class because the effects are said to be the same.


#20

You said your mind wont stop so you are taking melatonin. Did this start after you had started taking nootropics or was it present before you started them?


#21

5 years ago I took an IQ test and scored 129, I took the same test this August and got a 144, which is a pretty massive increase, and I felt it very specifically change in a certain period of time.

I started taking nootropics last December, and when i once found an 18 credit hour semester nearly impossible, I found it easy this spring, and I even added other activities on top of it that I never could have done before, and the gains were most certainly cumulative. Here is a rough description of my stack, and keep in mind I’m a big guy:

Piracetam 3-4g a day when I take it (been thinking about dropping to 2g) (I don’t always include, after 6 months straight of it I started to feel a bit negative when taking it, likely due to one of a few possible minor effects over time (such as encouraging growth of red blood cells)).

Aniracetam 1g - I like the racetams. i’d try the others but these two are really all I could afford, I’m expecially interested in oxiracetam.

Sulbutiamine 250mg-650mg - more than 500mg and I don’t get tired to sleep. It is a neural-specific vit B1 which prevents brain fatigue. Works wonderfully to that end and helps focus

Picamilon - B6+GABA in a neurospecific form. Helps with energy, focus, and prevents fatigue, and also relaxes the muscles and brain a bit so I don’t feel too wound up from the stack.

Choline Bitartrate - I prefered the stronger forms, but since this is what I can afford its what I use. I vary the amount based on need, and how often I’ve eaten eggs recently.

Lion’s Mane Extract - 450mg/day. Causes the body to release Neural Growth factor, has been proven to improve plasticity. Take on days you are going to be productive, as plasticity can be a bad thing if you are being lazy

Bacopa - 750-850mg/day. Has a mild anxiolytic effect and and has been proven to improve short term memory over time.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) - 600 mg/day - helps prevent runny nose, coughs, protects liver, helps avoid toxicity in the body, is a great general thing to take with some mild brain benefits

Omega 3 supplement - a solid generic that doesn’t have a rancidity problem, in a common dosage. Good for the brain and the body.

Methylcobalamin - neurospecific vitamin b12

Green Tea Extract with high ECGCs - 400mg - energy and weight control

L-theanine - 250-300mg - help relax, calm down the body and modulate the effects of the caffeine in the Green Tea Extract

Vitamin C, D, E supplements - good for mood, anti-oxidant effects, brain growth/function

I played around a lot with dosages before settling roughly where I am, and if I had the money I would be trying new things and mixing it up to see what works and what doesn’t. I didn’t have any negative effects when on this stack daily for months on end, with the exception of the piracetam after 6 months, but now that I’ve graduated and looking for work I’m not doing much so I only take the stack on days I have interviews or important/interesting things to do.

I’ve noticed my working memory get a lot better, I can remember things I learned in class far better with less studying, problems just seem to solve themselves more quickly and easily in my head than they did before. Before I started nootropics I had to do all the problems to practice for a test, really get them down. This spring I didn’t do anything to prepare and just went in, and somehow did all the problem solving and learning I normally do in 8-10 hours of studying right there in under an hour. It was amazing. If I heard something once, I remembered it with ease henceforth.

I also felt a lot better when I took a complete B-complex vitamin along with that stack, as the neurospecific B-vitamins don’t overlap much and only cover a narrow part of the B-Spectrum that is so important for energy and brainpower, but I ran out of those a while ago.

I took PQQ for a two months, just enough to help, because I found too much thinking seemed to rapidly deplete my brain energy. I didn’t notice a big effect, but I didn’t get the waves of exhaustion from thinking to hard anymore, so I’d count it a success. Unfortunately it is quite expensive and should be paired with the also expensive CoQ10 to be truly effective to any meaningful level.

I tried Adrafinil, because it was legal and affordable, but it was hard on my liver. I only had 15 day supply and spaced it out, but when I used it man was it amazing. If you use a low enough dose early in the morning it doesn’t affect sleep, it kept amazing focus throughout the day and motivation to do work and get the things done I’d been putting off. It makes me wish there was something like it that was safer and legal and cheap, like a low dose of modafinil if the FDA got out of people’s business and generics weren’t suppressed so strongly.

I take 10mg melatonin at night, partially to help with sleep and partly as a prophylactic against cluster headaches, which it helps keep at bay.

Bottom line, people are complicated. My approach with nootropics was to find a way to provide my body/brain with what it needs to function at very high levels (the brain-B vitamins, anti-oxidants to prevent stress from high workloads, mitochondria helpers like PQQ, CoQ10, basic vitamins, Omega-3s, etc), and then find substances that are as safe as possible that have nootropic effects that I value and add them on top. The result is a complex stack, unique to the individual, but it was deeply worth it. I’ve never been smarter in my life, and I hope that once I find work in my field I can afford to buckle down on my efforts once again in self improvement. It is a worthy pursuit, but no 1 substance or even 2-3 is going to produce massive changes in intelligence. It takes a stack which encourages long term neuro-plasticity towards improved function, short term improved function, and supplementation with the vital needs of the brain and body to get things working and keep them that way.


#22

Fresh mountain air & casual meditation. I’m the smartest person I’ve ever met. Other people have claimed that they’re smarter than me, but those people simply aren’t intelligent enough to realize that they are, in fact, what I like to call “wrong”.

:wink: