Nootropics or “smart drugs”, are a unique category of substances known for improving many cognitive abilities such as memory, focus, and attention. These drugs use varying mechanisms to improve the cognitive functioning of the brain. A large number of nootropics work by balancing the neurotransmitters to enhance communication between the neurons and the brain. While others improve the metabolism of energy inside the brain.
Where Do I Start?
It is recommended that a person starts using nootropics gradually. It should be noted that some nootropics are sometimes sold in the form of a “stack”, which may include a number of different nootropic substances mixed together. Advanced nootropic users may take larger doses of these drugs, and also, have to adhere to strict schedules for taking these supplements in order to increase efficiency and reduce side effects.
A novice user who has not used nootropics before should use only one sort of supplement at a time, and in smaller quantities. As the user becomes familiar with the benefits of the nootropic and how it affects their body, the number of nootropics and their dosage can be increased gradually.
When just starting out, consuming a smaller amount of nootropics allows the user to observe how it may affect their mind and body. They then may use this information to make decisions regarding larger quantity doses. It is not recommended that a person mixes nootropics when using them initially because this makes gathering information more difficult to find out. For instance, if you were to take multiple nootropic drugs at the same time, for the first time, It would be hard to tell which specific nootropic is the one delivering the desired effect. Even experienced nootropic users only add or change one nootropic in their stack at a time, as they consume it. This way they can accurately determine after taking the supplement, the changes that take place in the mind and body, and where they came from.
For people who may want to learn more information about nootropics, and are wondering how to start using, experts recommend that they start by using the less complex of the bunch, the racetams. Racetams are also one of the original nootropic families, among the first ever developed.
When taken, racetams can effectively increase the production of neurotransmitters like acetylcholine. These neurotransmitters are essential for the transmission of information within the brain and are also closely linked to the memory, and learning capacity of a person. Oxiracetam, aniracetam, and piracetam are some of the most popular amongst the racetam class of nootropics. So it is highly recommended that beginners experiment with these nootropics first, to gauge their effectiveness in improving cognitive functions and also to test for potential side effects.
An alternative option for beginners would be to use nootropics that are found in naturally occurring plants and herbs. For example, Rhodiola and Bacopa are popular herbs, and also L-theanine which is extracted from green tea. These substances are also recommended to be used by those with no prior experience.
Pre Formulated Stacks
Another option for a supplement user would be to purchase a stack which is preformulated by the manufacturer directly. These can be a very convenient and effective way to start using nootropics. Instead of weighing the desired amount and attempting to mix the right kind of nootropics yourself, it is far simpler to consume these stacks which are tested, and already contain the right combination of substances to achieve the desired effect(s). By using nootropics stacks, the new users do not have to bother about finding the right nootropic combination containing the most potent and effective ingredients. Most importantly, the possibility of overdosing and other side effects is reduced, so long as your supplier is reputable. Raw nootropics in powder form can be dangerous if the incorrect quantity is consumed.
Creating Your Own Beginner Nootropics Stack
A nootropic stack combines two or more supplements that unite to boost the effective result. One of the main advantages of using this method of supplement combination is that the improvement of cognitive aspects become more likely compared to what a single supplement could do when consumed individually. For example, imagine a person has a job interview or is attending an important meeting, or has to study for exams (or other purposes,) and they require caffeine. The individual may decide to consume a combination of coffee, energy drinks, and caffeinated soft drinks, in order to stay alert.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant which is almost immediately effective. It makes the user less sleepy, more awake, and eliminates fatigue, drowsiness, headaches and other problems which could potentially affect productivity. One of the most effective nootropics stacks involves combining caffeine with L-theanine. L-theanine helps to improve the confidence of the user, and also the mood of that person. So the combination of L-theanine and caffeine can make the person extremely proficient at whatever task or job he or she is assigned. So in this same manner, creating a stack combining multiple nootropics effectively helps to improve the cognitive ability of a person.
Additionally, it is usually far more economical for an individual to make up his own nootropic stack. Also, the user has full control over the amount of each nootropic being used and is in charge of selecting the right combinations of nootropics in each stack. Most experienced nootropic users choose this method of formulating their own custom stacks of nootropics after doing thorough research and testing. This testing may involve becoming familiar with the effect of nootropics based on certain requirements. In this testing process each nootropic ingredient is consumed separately in order to understand its effect on the person’s body, and then it is combined with other ingredients.
Nootropic Sampler For Beginners
Piracetam is among one of the most widely recommended nootropics in the world. It was also the first nootropic to be chemically synthesized in a laboratory, and its properties led to the invention of the term “nootropic” by the famous Romanian chemist, Dr. Corneliu Giurgea.
Piracetam provides many benefits to the users including:
- Improved recollection of vocabulary – Piracetam will help in remembering certain words for practical use.
- Reduced mind fogging – The user will feel alert and sharp, and may require less effort to complete various tasks and activities.
- Both long term and short term memory will be enhanced – The user can retain more information, such as new words, and their meanings.
- Articulate thoughts faster – Often people stammer and forget the words which they intend to utter, consuming this supplement, may help the person to articulate what is on their mind at a faster rate.
- Reduced social anxiety – Users may feel more outgoing and more confident when speaking to friends and even strangers.
- Increased motivation – Some users may be able to complete tasks more quickly, and avoid delays since they feel more motivated.
How to Take Piracetam
The recommended dosage of Piracetam is 2.5-5 grams, taken in multiple doses throughout each day. The most popular dosage pattern for piracetam is to take doses of 1.5 g, three times a day. The half-life of Piracetam is limited to 2-3 hours, so users have to take multiple doses as the effect of the supplement reduces over a period of time. Dividing the recommended dosage of the drug into smaller quantities ensures that its effects will last throughout the day, rather than experiencing the positive effects for a certain hours only.
The user can swallow the Piracetam capsule directly or consume it with a drink or beverage. For example, if the flavor is unpleasant or strong, it can be combined with a beverage like tea, coffee or a drink.
Aniracetam is the second most popular nootropic amongst beginners who have not used nootropics in the past. Since Aniracetam is also a member of the racetam family of nootropics, it has many properties similar to piracetam and is one of the most widely used nootropics worldwide.
The benefits of aniracetam include:
- Mild improvement in memory – User findings report that some people can remember important information slightly better while on aniracetam.
- Higher motivation levels – Motivation levels will improve, the user may feel inspired and is likely to think more creatively.
- Improved articulation – Aniracetam helps creative professionals like poets and musicians process, and express their ideas more fluidly.
- Clear thinking – This drug is recommended for those who work on creative projects, as they have a more vivid imagination, and tend to get distracted easily, aniracetam can help them to stay focused.
How to Take Aniracetam
Experts recommend that users consume 1-1.5 g of Aniracetam daily. Like Piracetam, the daily dosage of Aniracetam should be split into smaller doses, which are to be consumed periodically so that it remains effective throughout the day.
Another popular nootropic supplement for beginners is Noopept. The use of noopept has increased in popularity though it is a newly formulated nootropic. Noopept is not considered to be part of the Racetam family technically, but it has a very similar chemical structure, and so users tend to experience similar benefits after consuming the supplement.
However, users should be aware, that Noopept is considered to be 1000 times more potent than the more common supplement Piracetam. Noopept helps to increase mental stamina and allows users to concentrate better, and remain focused.
How to Take Noopept
Due to its increased potency, the recommended dosage for Noopept is far lower than that of aniracetam or piracetam. The recommended daily dosage varies between 10 to 40 mg, depending on a number of factors.
The dosage should be divided into three different doses, and each dose should be consumed at regular intervals. As the recommended quantity of the nootropic is in mg, a highly accurate weighing scale should be used for measuring each dose.
The tea plant. Latin name: Camellia sinensis, contains the amino acid L-theanine. This nootropic is known for helping its users relax, as it reduces the effect of the neurotransmitters in the brain which cause anxiety and stimulate the mind. Additionally, consuming L-theanine increases the flow of blood to the brain, boosting the number of nutrients and oxygen. L-theanine also helps in the elimination of metabolic waste and other similar byproducts in a safe manner.
L-theanine is extremely effective when combined with caffeine.
The benefits of L-Theanine Include:
- Better Sleep – The amino acid helps the user to get undisturbed sleep, and fall asleep faster.
- Decreased Anxiety – It helps the muscles relax, reducing heart palpitations and anxiety.
- Eliminates Jitters – Many people who consume caffeine feel jittery and L-theanine reduces these jitters.
How to Take the L-Theanine
Those who consume caffeine regularly can add 200mg of L-Theanine to their first cup of tea, or coffee in the morning. Those who use this drug initially should ensure that 80 g of caffeine, be combined with (at least) 160 mg of L-theanine, in order to neutralize the negative effects of the caffeine. This, in turn, helps the user become more familiar with the nootropic over time, and the amount their body will tolerate will gradually increase.
Oxiracetam is another popular drug part of the racetam group. This nootropic is recommended for those who want a supplement for boosting their mental energy. Oxiracetam is effective for a longer period of time compared to other racetams like aniracetam, or piracetam.
The benefits of oxiracetam include:
- Improved long-term and short-term memory.
- Enhancing the positive mood of its users.
- Especially helpful for those who exercise, go for workouts, and like to remain physically motivated.
- The supplement is also popular with students who are studying for advanced degrees such as the Ph.D., as they have to complete tedious and lengthy projects, where they need to express themselves lucidly and think clearly.
How to Take Oxiracetam
Most users of this supplement consume the recommended dosage, which is 800 to 1200 mg daily. Though some advanced users may increase their daily dosage to 2400 mg, this is not recommended by experts.
Adrafinil is considered to be the strongest among all nootropics currently available to beginners. Adrafinil is recommended for those who commonly experience mental burnouts, as it is able to reduce fatigue.
Business owners and students often use this nootropic to help complete challenging and difficult projects. This drug is also very popular for those who work at night, as it helps their bodies adjust to the altered circadian rhythm.
However, women that consume any form of birth control should avoid taking Adrafinil, as it can potentially make the contraceptives less effective.
How to Take Adrafinil
Users consuming Adrafinil daily should be careful and take the necessary precautions. A person using this nootropic for the first time should limit their daily dose to 200mg. Over a period of time, as the body and mind of the user become more familiarized with the drug, they may increase the dosage.
Take a look at the table recapping the nootropics we mentioned and their benefits.
Other Nootropics For Beginners
- Lion’s Mane Coffee for improving alertness.
- Yerba Mate Tea for greater creativity and energy for the mind.
- Green Tea helps improve the mood.
- Pramiracetam for helping the person remain focused and paying attention.
- Melatonin used for improving sleep quality.
- Rhodiola Rosea for reducing stress and increases physical performance while exercising.
Can I Take Several Nootropics Together?
Yes, in reality, a majority of nootropics are often combined and consumed together. This combination as mentioned earlier is termed a nootropic stack, as several different nootropic substances are stacked together to form one. It is important that analysis and research be done beforehand, so that the active ingredients combine together, to result in a significant improvement in the cognitive ability of the user.
Some of the most common combinations of nootropics include:
- Caffeine and L-Theanine
- Alpha GPC and piracetam or aniracetam
- Noopept with CDP Choline
- Noopept and L-Theanine
- Bacopa Monnieri, Lion’s mane coffee, and Rhodiola Rosea
What If I Can’t Focus Due to Stress and Anxiety?
Studies indicate that anxiety and stress are some of the most likely causes of lack of focus and reduced concentration. When a person is under stress or is anxious, a number of neurotransmitters are activated in the brain, in a cascading manner, which adversely affects memory and learning ability, and thus, drains energy from the nerve cells. This results in the person feeling mentally exhausted, and both concentration and overall focus may be reduced.
Luckily a large number of nootropics have been formulated for handling stress and anxiety so that the concentration, as well as focus, are not affected. Alpha GPC, Inositol, Noopept, Lion’s mane, Extract of Green tea, L-theanine are some examples of nootropics which are used for reducing anxiety levels and other adverse effects due to high stress. In addition to improving concentration, endurance and the energy levels in the brain are also boosted by taking these substances.
A person who is searching for nootropics to deal with anxiety and stress should try to find stacks of preformulated nootropics which claim to help users relax, instead of stimulating their minds. Nootropics which contain caffeine should be avoided in this case.
How Do I Find a Stack Based on Certain Needs?
The requirements of each individual vary, so it is recommended that each person searches for nootropic stacks based on their specific needs. At present, a very large range of supplement stacks are available, so it is comparatively easy to find the right stack.
The main needs people tend to have when searching for nootropics are:
- Improving their mood
- Help while studying
- Improving their brainpower to counteract the decline in cognitive ability that naturally occurs due to aging.
- Better quality and more restful sleep at night
- Greater mental stamina and energy
- Lowered stress level and less anxiety
Though some amount of research is required to find the most appropriate nootropic for the specific problem faced, some guidelines for selecting the right nootropic are as follows:
- Nootropics which claim to increase energy levels should be used for increasing mental stamina, for better studying, improving the mood of the person
- The supplements which help a person relax and remain calm are recommended for reducing stress, anxiety, the cognitive decline caused by aging, and better sleep
A new user is likely to find a large number of premade nootropic stacks formulated for treating the above problems. It is advisable to check the formula of these stacks, and their descriptions before a making a purchase.
Can I Use Nootropics Pre Workout?
Nootropics are highly recommended as a pre-workout supplement, especially the ones known to be stimulants like piracetam and caffeine. In addition, the nootropics also contain essential vitamins which are required by the human body to repair muscle tissue and activate nerve fibers which control the contractions of the muscles.
A person looking for a nootropic to consume as a pre-workout supplement should look for formulations that contain vitamin B variants (especially B12, B6, and B5), and other chemicals like phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylserine, caffeine, alpha-GPC, piracetam, aniracetam, or Noopept.
Herbal nootropics are found to be useful as s pre-workout supplements as they help to improve the brain’s reaction to stress. By consuming these supplements prior to a workout, the human body can endure more exertion during the workout before eventually becoming fatigued, so more exercises can be completed, improving your workout. A few examples of the many widely used herbal nootropics include; Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa Monnieri, Ginkgo Biloba, and ginseng.
How Do I Know Nootropics are Working?
One of the simplest methods to test if a particular nootropic is effective is by trying some games that test the brain. First, before consuming any supplement the user should check their scores for a few games, then they should check his scores again after consuming the drugs. Testing the human brain this way with games is widely considered to be the most effective way to gauge the body’s cognitive response to nootropics. It is advisable for a person to monitor their performance during the pre-nootropic period and the post-nootropic period for whichever specific reason they took nootropics. For example, workplace performance, improving academic grades, sports activities, etc. Keeping track of the fitness levels, workplace productivity, happiness, and overall mood of a user are some other great methods used to discover how effective these substances are.
Non-Supplemental Ways to Improve Cognition
Aside from drug supplementation, there are also many other methods for improving brain power or cognition. These methods may include; modifying diet and changing one’s lifestyle to promote cognitive functioning at optimal levels. Although there are numerous factors that affect brain power, one of the most important considerations is ensuring proper nutrition (with all necessary nutrients) for the body, as well as cultivating habits that ensure the person remains healthy, sleeps well, and is physically healthy.
Studies indicate that exercise releases endorphins, which promote nerve repair and growth, therefore any well-balanced lifestyle should include some amount of exercise daily. However, physical exercise is just one of the requirements for improving the body and mind. Exercising the mind through mindfulness and meditation is equally relevant as it exercises the nervous system. So spending even a small amount of time doing mental exercises, can help improve your body’s balance, resulting in optimal nervous system functioning. Mental exercises also eliminate imbalances in the brain’s neurotransmitters, enhancing sleep quality, and boosting overall cognitive ability.
Where Can I Buy Nootropics?
Suppliers of nootropics offer a wide range of nootropic capsules and powders. Some also provide samples of nootropics for new users who require assistance in selecting the right supplement or wish to experiment for the first time.
There are a number of considerations when selecting the right supplier for nootropics, with quality being vital. Since no one wishes to gamble on their safety and health, it is important to find a supplier who is trusted and reliable.
Price is another important factor when choosing a nootropics supplier. The price of various nootropics differ, and many suppliers also charge competing prices. To save some money, it is advisable to research and find a vendor who has the best prices for a particular supplement or offers some type of discount.
It is highly recommended that a person using nootropics for the first time takes the time and effort to find out how each specific nootropic actually may affect their mind and body. Having some idea of the different kinds of nootropics which are listed for sale and how they affect the body, will make it easier to find out which nootropics should be purchased. This will also help to prevent wasting of money, as the user will purchase the right nootropics according to his requirement. However, it is vital to understand that nootropics affect the body in complex ways and won’t always have exactly the same effects for each user. The body of each person responds in a different manner to different nootropic compounds due to factors like differences in brain chemistry. It is also important to have realistic goals and not expect nootropics to drastically change the body and mind immediately.
Using nootropics may initially appear to be a daunting task for beginners. However, by further researching the nootropics listed in this article further, a new user can easily become familiar with some of these popular brain-boosting substances.
The simplest way to start using nootropics is by purchasing them in capsule form, or some other basic formulation. These can be used to understand how the active ingredients interact with the user’s body. After using them for some time, the effect of these supplements can be carefully adjusted to produce the best results. Eventually, after experimenting and researching the various nootropics for a while, users can consider formulating their own custom-made nootropic stacks.