Nootropics, also known as “smart drugs,” are in the zeitgeist, according to TechCrunch contributors Geoffrey Woo and Michael Brandt. “Hollywood productions like Limitless and Lucy to a CNN profile of a quirky tech millionaire spending $300,000 to hack his own body with research chemicals have certainly raised the profile of nootropics in the mainstream.”
Substances with the potential to enhance cognitive function are less well-represented in scientific literature, and this includes the relatively newly-established field of nootropics, defined as “drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, and functional foods that are purported to improve mental functions such as cognition, memory, intelligence, motivation, attention, and concentration,” according to a Dartmouth study by Andrew Foley.
An Inside Look at ‘Smart Drugs’
Evidence has shown, however, that in healthy people they (i.e., cognitive enhancers, neuroenhancers, or nootropics) seem to enhance elements of executive function, an umbrella term for high-level cognitive processes including working memory, planning, attention, problem solving, and multitasking (Medscape).
In the world of nutritional supplementation and performance enhancement stacking is common practice. This practice has carried over into the world of cognitive enhancement when supplements are used together, resulting in nootropic stacks.
Nootropics have become a popular option for high achievers looking for a cognitive boost. On their own, each nootropic offers a natural or synthetic composition that may help people meet at least a couple of their cognitive goals. However, if you are new to nootropics, you may want to start out with some of the most common entry-level stacks.
Stacks for Nootropic Newcomers
1. Alpha GPC and Piracetam
Piracetam was the world’s first synthesized nootropic, and studies suggest it can help increase the user’s memory capacity and recall. Alpha GPC has also been found to boost memory, and it may help people with their learning capacity as well. Another perk associated with Alpha GPC is the natural ability of choline supplements to help reduce the risk of headaches, which is Piracetam’s most commonly reported side effect.
2. L-Theanine and Caffeine
This is by far the single most basic, entry-level nootropic stack available, and both supplements are based around naturally occurring compounds. L-Theanine (a natural compound often extracted from green tea) is derived from the amino acid analogue known as Theanine. When mixed with caffeine, the combination is believed to provide increased focus and mental energy. As an added bonus, it has been stated that L-Theanine removes the jitteriness that can occur after ingesting caffeine.
3. Ginkgo Biloba and Ginseng
If you want to take a more natural approach to nootropics, you can mix Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba together to create a relatively inexpensive stack. The impact of this mixture may vary, but this combination is attributed to a better attention span, memory improvements and reduced levels of anxiety. Additionally, there are published medical studies that support these reports.
4. Bacopa and Aniracetam
Anyone who wants to take a racetam that is more potent than Piracetam should consider turning to Aniracetam. It has been clinically shown to dramatically reduce social anxiety and increase multiple cognitive functions. Bacopa monnieri is a nice addition to this stack due to its potential to boost cognitive functionality and decrease the amount of cortisol in the user’s body.
5. Aniracetam, Oxiracetam and Alpha GPC
Aniracetam is a popular addition to several stacks, including this entry-level favorite. Putting two racetams together may boost each of their properties, and Alpha GPC (mentioned above) is an important factor because no one wants to deal with the headaches that can be caused by a choline deficiency. Oxiracetam ( used for Nootropic purposes such as enhancing learning in students or preventing against cognitive decline) lacks human studies but has been suggested to advance learning skills, improve memory and increase focus.
Every member of the racetam family has been found to have synergistic qualities with each other. Therefore, stacking Aniracetam and Oxiracetam together with a choline source may be the best way to experience the benefits that medical studies and user reviews have attributed to these nootropics supplements.
Now that you have a better understanding of nootropics and the stacks that are most appropriate for entry-level nootropic newcomers, keep in mind that each person is different. Do your research, start with a low dosage of the desired stack and track your results.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Peak Nootropics is a professional nootropic supplement company that aims to provide high quality memory products to enhance mental performance.
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