Nootropics, also referred to as smart drugs, memory enhancers, neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers, are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, and functional foods that improve one or more aspects of mental function, such as working memory, motivation, and attention.
I have been experimenting with nootropics for about 2 years and have had reasonably good success with them. Please keep in mind that almost all nootropics are either loosely associated with cognitive improvement or are being used off label from their intended purpose and as such no studies confirming their cognitive benefit have been completed.
Having said that many people gain a noticeable benefit when using combinations of nootropics and this has been my experience also.
Please note that the legality and availability of some nootropics vary from country and region to region. None of the drugs in my stack are illegal or controlled in my country. Please check your local laws and regulations for use.
Also note that the long term safety of some of these drugs has not been confirmed especially when stacked in the ways that nootropics often are to gain maximum benefit. Please take this into account when starting any course of nootropics, and as always, nothing written here is intended as actual medical advice or should be interpreted as any kind of an expert opinion. I am simply documenting my particular stack and experience with nootropics for other to read.
In the realm of nootropics a “stack” refers to a combination of nootropic drugs that when taken together has been anecdotally found to produce a stronger and more lasting effect than any individual drug. The below nootropics are my current stack with concentrations and frequency. Below I will go into each drug individually with links to where I buy and further info:
- Noopept: 2 x 10mg tablets, 1 in morning stack, one afternoon. (bulk nutrients)
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine Arginate: 1 x 600mg tablet in the morning (life extension)
- Alpha-GPC: 1 x 300mg cap in the morning. (bulk)
- Coenzyme q10: 1 x 100 mg capsule in the morning
- Concentrated fish oil: 2 x 600mg tablets
- Vitamin D : 1 x 5,000 IU capsule in the morning.
- St John Wort: 2 x standard tablets in the evening
- Zinc: 1 x 220mg tablet in the morning
- Melatonin: 1 x 5mg capsule just before bed.
- Aspirin: 1 x 80mg “cardio” dose in the evening.
Noopept: Noopept is a member of the racetam family of drugs which have long been used for their nootropic properties. Noopept is the latest in this family and has been claimed to have the same effect as some of the older racetams but at much smaller doses. Originally developed in Russia as a treatment for stroke and brain injury. It has been found in animal studies to be a neuroprotectant and increase scores on memory tests. I have found good results with this nootropic and noticeable increases in awareness and focus. I get mine from Bulk Nutrients.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine: ALCAR has been shown to also have neuroprotective properties, and is recommended for the treatment of some neurological diseases. However I do not take it for this purpose in my stack. One of the effects of noopept is that is causes your brain to burn acetylcholine at a higher rate. As such if I take noopept without loading up on acetylcholine first, I get bad headaches. ALCAR is a precursor to acetylcholine and gives your brain plenty to burn when you take your Noopept. I highly recommend beginners take ALCAR for 1-2 days before beginning their Noopept. I get mine from the Life Extension Foundation.
Alpha-GPC: Alpha-GPC is another acetylcholine precursor and can be swapped out for ALCAR. I take it in conjunction with it because I seem to have a very acetylcholine hungry brain. But be aware! For someone people too much choline = really bad headaches. If you find this cut back to just one of the two or neither if you find you don’t need it. I get mine from Bulk Nutrients.
Coenzyme q10: The science is in an out on this one. It’s believed that it MIGHT help in mitochondrial health but most of the larger studies have found minimal effect on many of the claimed health benefits. Also note “How CoQ10 is manufactured is not regulated and different batches and brands may vary significantly” so always grab from a reputable source. There is no current evidence that it’s harmful in any way so I still take it as part of my stack in case some of the claims end up pulling some weight. I get mine from Life Extension Foundation.
Concentrated fish oil: Omega-3’s are one of the items on the list that actually has quite a bit of good evidence that it’s really good for us attached to it. It seems to have measurable effect in treating depression and cognitive decline. Showing real effect in preventing dementia. Also, no shown downsides from ingesting large amounts. I highly recommend finding the highest concentration formula you can stand and take it. I get mine from any local pharmacy. Look for a reputable brand and High concentrations. If you can stomach it, you can get the really concentrated cold pressed liquids and drink it. Expect fish burps though.
Vitamin D : This is one that most people might like to skip. It’s generated in the skin in response to sunlight naturally. However I’m a bit of a sun avoider and as such my Vitamin D levels are probably a bit low. It’s been shown to have an effect in immune response and ageing. However, be careful It’s one of the ones were too much is a bad thing and can depress the immune system, resulting in a higher risk of viral infections. Use responsibly and only if you really don’t get much sunlight. I get mine from any reputable brand at my local pharmacy.
St John Wort: While sounding a bit like a hippy “herb” solution St Johns Wort has long been found to have anti-depressive and mood elevating properties. I use it to keep mood elevated. However, this is another one you have to be careful for. It has anti-oxidant properties, but at high concentrations the opposite effect. It interacts with a lot of other drugs and should not be taken by women on the contraceptive pill. Again, this supplement is easily purchased at any local pharmacy.
Zinc: Zinc has many beneficial properties including aiding healing , anti- ageing, Skin quality, and sexual fitness in males. It’s a good thing to make sure you’re not deficient of, but again, be aware, overloading Zinc can have adverse effects. Zinc can be purchased at your local pharmacy.
Melatonin: Melatonin is one of those supplements that if you’re not taking it. You just should be. It has many beneficial effects including: circadian rhythm disorders, learning disorders, immune response, mood disorders, obesity, and even radiation exposure!. It’s cheap as chips and widely available. Get some! NOTE!: Many pharmacies will have “Melatonin” on their shelves. Read the label carefully, most of these are “homeopathic” preparations, meaning they have zero actual melatonin in them and are useless! I get mine from the Life Extension Foundation
Aspirin: This is another drug that if you’re over 30, unless you have an ulcer or bleeding disorder, you really should take it. It has multiple beneficial effects from protecting against stroke and heart attack, treating low grade inflammation to cancer prevention. It’s just a win all over. You can get them from your local pharmacy. Make sure you get the low dose “cardio” version. Less chance of stomach issues and still very protective.
On top of all the above I also recommend regular exercise. I know it’s not something that many “enhancers” want to hear but the well known cognitive and physical benefits of regular exercise are very well documented. It’s good for your body, it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your immune system and it’s good for your brain. Exercise doesn’t have to be a miserable miserable run around your local park every morning. You can find a lot of really fun and social exercise options out there from Trampoline fitness to regular dance classes. Socialising is also good for you. Trust me.
That’s basically my regime. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments and share your experiences!