Nootropics cognitive boosters

Nootropics can help increase your memory, boost learning ability, improve your mood and assist overall brain function. If you’re new to nootropics, or wonder about the difference between a nootropic and a smart drug, then this page is for you.

Here you’ll find the definition of a nootropic, how to pronounce the word “nootropic”, the origin of the word nootropic, other names or synonyms you’ll come across when referring to nootropics, a brief explanation of nootropic ‘stacks’, if they really work, how they work and what nootropics can do for you.

You’ll also find information on nootropic safety. And if they have any side effects. Use this guide as a primer to clear any confusion, and get started safely with nootropics.

In just a few minutes you’ll have a better understanding of each topic. And links through to pages in more detail when an in-depth explanation is needed.

You can even click each of the titles in the Table of Contents and go directly to that section if you’re pressed for time.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are a class of substances that improve brain function. Also referred to as neuro-enhancers, cognitive boosters, or memory enhancers. Nootropics can be natural or synthetic.

Experienced bio-hackers often make a distinction between nootropics and smart drugs. For our discussion and to help you understand what they are and how they’re used, we’ll cover the latest in nootropics research.

Nootropics are used to improve focus, motivation, memory, mood, and cognition. Each of these depend on different processes in your brain. And different substances can be used to affect each of these functions.

This idea of altering brain function is not new. Our ancestors were using herbs and alcohol to alter brain function for the last few thousand years.

Origin of the word ‘Nootropic’

The term “nootropic” is relatively new. Romanian psychologist and chemist Dr. Corneliu Giurgea synthesized Piracetam in 1963. And coined the term “nootropic” in 1972.[i] It is derived from the Greek nous (“mind”) and trepein (to bend).

Definition of Nootropic

Dr. Giurgea gave us a list of five criteria that a substance must have to be considered a ‘true’ nootropic.

A true nootropic:

  • Enhances memory and the ability to learn
  • Assists brain function under disruptive conditions such as lack of oxygen and electroconvulsive shock
  • Protects the brain from chemical and physical toxins like anticholinergic drugs and barbiturates
  • Increases natural cognitive processes
  • Must be non-toxic to humans, nor stimulate or depress the brain

Most of the time, when you hear the term ‘nootropic’ used, people loosely mean “cognitive enhancer”. A substance or compound that improves memory, increases cognitive processing speed, boosts alertness, concentration and focus, or a combination of these qualities.

At Nootropics Expert, I do my best to stick to the original definition of nootropic. And when a substance or compound strays from this strict definition, I’ll tell you the reasons why. And things to avoid when choosing a nootropic supplement.

How to Pronounce the word “Nootropic”

The formal or ‘correct’ way to pronounce the word “nootropic” according to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a few in the nootropic community is:

nō-ə-ˈtrō-pik

Which sounds a little like ‘Noah’ as in the biblical Noah. And ‘tropic’ with the ‘tro’ rhyming with ‘go’.

However, most in the nootropic community pronounce the word ‘new-tropic’. With ‘tropic’ rhyming with ‘living in the tropics’ (which I did for many years).

There is no absolute ‘correct’ way to pronounce nootropic in my opinion. And anyone who takes issue with the pronunciation of the word likely needs an extra dose of Phenylethylamine. Or 30-minutes of meditation. Just to calm down and get on with building their stack.

Nootropic Synonyms

With the rapidly growing popularity of nootropics and other cognitive enhancers, you will come across many terms generally referring to the same thing. And it can get confusing especially for someone new to nootropics.

Nootropics are commonly referred to as smart drugs, brain drugs, memory enhancers, neuro-enhancers, cognitive enhancers, intelligence enhancers, racetams, nootropic supplements, brain supplements, neuroceuticals, nutraceuticals, and cognition-enhancing supplements.

Most experienced neurohackers simply refer to them as “nootropics”.  And here at Nootropics Expert, I make the distinction between a “nootropic” and a “smart drug”.

Natural vs. Synthetic Nootropics

You can boost brain power in a variety of ways. Your end goal will often dictate if you should use a natural or synthetic nootropic. Let’s illustrate this with some examples.

First we’ll look at a synthetic nootropic, and then we’ll look at a natural nootropic. These are only two of dozens of nootropics in each category.

Piracetam

Dr. Giurgea’s piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA. GABA is naturally produced by your body. (But because it is not “natural”, piracetam cannot be sold in the USA as a “dietary supplement”. And since piracetam is not approved by the FDA for medical use, it also cannot be sold as a drug.)

Piracetam has been shown to support memory[ii], learning capacity, reduce mental fatigue, and improve concentration. It is sold as the prescription drug “Nootropil” in many European countries.

Clinical trials with piracetam have shown it may help your brain in several ways. Including increasing the effectiveness of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.[iii]

Acetylcholine is a chemical messenger that allows neurons to communicate with each other. It is vital for memory, focus, concentration and mental alertness. But piracetam is not the only way to boost acetylcholine function in your brain.

Your body naturally makes acetylcholine from healthy fats in your diet. Good sources of choline – the precursor to acetylcholine – include:

Milk Cheese Eggs Soy Lecithin
Fatty fish Beef (esp. liver) Almonds Cauliflower
Pistachios Spinach Wheat germ spirulina

Natural Nootropics: Milk Cheese EggsYou can also use supplements like Alpha GPC, CDP Choline, and choline citrate to boost choline.

So there is no best source for nootropics. Natural and synthetics work. Some work better than others. And everybody’s body really is different. It often depends what you’re trying to achieve.

Do Nootropics Really Work?

There is no question nootropics work. But opinions vary across the board how well they work. Decades of clinical studies and nootropic user comments and reviews show improvement in many areas. It depends on the person and the specific nootropic.

Personally, I was able to get off of ADHD meds (Ritalin) for a year. And manage my condition just as well with nootropics.

Nootropic Stack

Many university students will tell you their high grades are directly related to a stack like aniracetam, Pramiracetam, ALCAR, L-Theanine and caffeine.

Users report the ability to:

  • Interpret and retain complex information
  • Learning is faster and more efficient
  • Signal to noise ratio gets better
  • Emotions are affected generally in a positive way
  • Anxiety levels drop
  • Sociability can be affected either way.

In the Nootropic community the big proviso is always “your mileage may vary”. Dosage can influence the desired (and undesired) effects of many nootropics. With some of the newer nootropics (smart drugs in particular) the jury is still out on how well, or even if they work.

This includes stacks put out by companies who either don’t disclose individual dosage of each ingredient. Or companies who have poor quality control over, and amount of the ingredients used in a capsule.

The underlying lesson is research and experimentation. Read what others say and research clinical trials. But always remember more is definitely not better.

For an in-depth dive into how nootropics work including influencing brain energy, signaling, cell health & repair, cerebral blood flow, brain waves and fatigue, see my post on:

How do Nootropics Work

What is the Best Nootropic?

It depends on what you mean by “best”. And maybe not the answer you’re looking for. But we have a lot of variables in play here. And especially for someone new to nootropics, this is what you need to consider…

If you are a university student, an entrepreneur, a business executive, a stay-at-home mom or dad or a senior – what are you trying to improve?

By using nootropics, you can benefit from improved memory, focus, learning, mood or motivation. Some even have anti-aging benefits. You have several options for each benefit you’re trying to boost or correct.

Here are the…

Best Nootropics for Learning & Memory

Best Nootropics for Depression

Best Nootropics for Anxiety

Hacking Motivation with Nootropics

Hack Your Flow State with Nootropics

But to be perfectly honest with you, from my personal experience, one nootropic to boost memory may work better for you and not as well for me.

As a general rule, we’re all the same. And generally one nootropic will work better for focus for most people. But I have found each nootropic can have a different effect at different doses on different people.

Each one of us has variations in cognitive “wiring”. Our chemical and genetic makeup is different. We’re influenced by the foods we eat, where we live, the air we breathe and the genes we inherited from our parents.

Science hasn’t yet developed the “magic pill” to solve all cognitive issues. It’s why we experiment, read reviews, and listen to other neurohackers. There is no one-pill solution!

It’s why I created and continue to develop Nootropics Expert®. To help you in your journey in creating the perfect nootropic stack for you at this time in your life.

Learn How to Create the Best Nootropic Stack for You here.

Best Nootropic Stack for Beginners

If you are new to nootropics, and don’t know where to start, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Each nootropic supplement has a unique mechanism of action in your brain. As soon as you add just one more nootropic, it may have some impact on how the first nootropic works in your brain.

Sometimes this combination of two or more nootropics is intentional. For example, Piracetam boosts the sensitivity of acetylcholine receptors in your brain. Which causes your brain to demand more acetylcholine to satisfy this demand.

Experienced neurohackers have learned that ‘stackingPiracetam with a choline supplement like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline boosts the effectiveness of Piracetam. With even more focus, learning and memory improvements.

But sometimes the interaction between two or more nootropics taken together is unintentional. And could cause adverse side effects like depression, irritability or insomnia.

Huperzine-A is a classic example because it acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which means it boosts levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in your brain.

So if you add Huperzine-A to your stack, you may want to reduce your dose of a choline supplement like Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline. Or you could experience the side effects of too much acetylcholine.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that some nootropics have a cumulative effect in your brain. They ‘build-up’ over time. Especially if you take them everyday. Take Huperzine-A for example which has a half-life of 10 – 12 hours. If you took Hup-A every day, your body wouldn’t have the chance to flush the old Huperzine-A out of our system before you took your next dose.

Some nootropics are water-soluble while some are fat-soluble. What does this mean?

To help you if you’re just getting started in nootropics and building your first stack, check out this article on:

Beginners Guide to Nootropic Stacks

The guide will take you through building a nootropic stack step-by-step. And show you how to avoid the many pitfalls and mistakes many new neurohackers make when first getting started with nootropics.

How do Nootropics Work?

Nootropics can affect your brain by influencing brain waves, cerebral blood flow, cellular energy, hormones, neurotransmitters, neuroplasticity or growth factors.

Dozens of natural and synthetic substances have nootropic properties. Each can affect one or more of several categories affecting your brain. Nootropics work by affecting:

  • Brain energy
  • Brain cell signaling
  • Brain cell health & longevity
  • Brain blood supply
  • Brain Waves
  • Brain fatigue
  • Brain repair

For a detailed overview of each of these categories, go to my post called:

How do Nootropics Work 

You’ll find how each affects your brain, what can go wrong, and examples of nootropics that can address each issue.

You can also get detailed explanations of dozens of nootropics here on Nootropics Expert. Each article explains what the nootropic is and where it came from, mechanisms of action on how it works in your brain, why you may want to add it to your nootropic stack, dosage recommendations, forms each nootropic comes in, references to dozens of clinical studies, and where to buy the supplement.

Visit the “List of Nootropics” page and scroll through the Table of Contents. Each nootropic summary on that page links to a detailed article on that nootropic and how it works.

What Can Nootropics Do for Me?

What can nootropics do for me?Referring to a section near the beginning of this article, the right nootropics can help you:

  • Interpret and retain complex information
  • Learning is faster and more efficient
  • Signal to noise ratio gets better
  • Emotions are affected generally in a positive way
  • Anxiety levels drop
  • Sociability can be affected either way

Nootropics may also help to repair years of damage to your brain, and possibly find a healthier alternative to ADHD meds.

For more on ADHD and ADD, check out my post on:

Best Nootropics for ADHD & ADD

For athletes or anyone maintaining a serious exercise regimen some nootropics can help up your game. And give your body and brain the fuel it needs to operate at your peak.

Hack Motivation with Nootropics

Hack Your Flow State with Nootropics

Best Nootropics for Learning & Memory

Best Nootropics for Anxiety

Best Nootropics for Depression

Need more energy to power through your day? Mitochondria are where your body’s energy is produced. Allowing you to hear, feel and see. Mitochondria beat your heart, stimulate your sex drive and allow you to think.

Your brain has a higher concentration of these little cellular powerplants than most other cells in your body. You can have several thousand mitochondria in each brain cell. They even have their own DNA.

You can hack your mitochondria with nootropics. Learn how here:

Hack Your Mitochondria with Nootropics

If you are dealing with anxiety or depression and conventional prescription anti-anxiety meds, or antidepressants just aren’t helping…

Check this… are you also battling with abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea? Your brain fog, anxiety or depression could be a gut problem. Recent research has established a strong gut-brain connection

And when you address gastrointestinal issues, you’ll often find that depression, anxiety and brain fog are gone too. Learn how here…

Psychobiotics: The Gut-Brain Connection

Are Nootropics Addictive?

A true nootropic as defined here (a natural method of boosting brain performance), are safe and generally non-addictive. Some nootropics can give you long-term benefits even after you stop using them.

Smart drugs which are typically pharmaceuticals can be addictive. Particularly those acting as stimulants.

Nootropics generally have very few side effects, are non-toxic when taken at recommended doses, and do not cause withdrawal symptoms once you stop using them.

To learn more about nootropics vs smart drugs, tolerance, psychological addiction, nootropics and withdrawal, and non-addictive alternatives to smart drugs, see my extended article on:

Are Nootropics Addictive?

Nootropics vs. Smart Drugs — What’s the Difference?

Smart Drugs are not the same as nootropics even though some may have similar benefits.

A smart drug is typically a prescription pharmaceutical used to treat the symptoms of ADHD or narcolepsy.  They are central nervous system stimulant drugs. And the most commonly prescribed are Adderall (dextroamphetamine) or Ritalin (methylphenidate).

These stimulants help with focus and energy in someone who is truly clinically ADHD. They produce spikes in dopamine and norepinephrine.

Adderall, Ritalin and other stimulants are very powerful drugs. And can include side effects such as decreased appetite, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, sleep problems, and cardiac issues. Dependency and addiction is a growing problem with their use.

Two other smart drugs of note are Modafinil and Adrafinil. These are wake-promoting agents that have a different chemical make-up from stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall. But exhibit similar side effects in many people.[xii]

Nootropics are described as having the characteristics of enhancing learning and memory. It should protect the brain while increasing natural cognitive processes. And should not be toxic, nor stimulate or depress the brain.

You could think of a nootropic as food for the brain, while a smart drug is exactly that — a drug for the brain.

Let’s be clear.

Smart drugs can kill you. And
nootropics can heal your brain.

For more on the “dark side” of smart drugs including more detail on methylphenidate (Ritalin), Adderall, modafinil, and prescription ampakines, see my post on:

Smart Drugs – The Bad and the Ugly

Nootropic Safety & Side Effects

One of the qualifications to be called a nootropic is they must be extremely safe, and non-toxic to humans. This from the original definition by Dr. Giurgea who invented piracetam.

For this reason, “smart drugs” like Ritalin and Adderall do not qualify as a nootropic.

Most nootropics have few, if any, drug interactions. And should not complicate existing health conditions. 

But a strong word of caution here… carefully read the dosage recommendations and side effects for each nootropic you’re considering adding to your stack. Every article for each nootropic listed here on Nootropics Expert® goes into detail on what to look out for. Including possible drug interactions.

So care must be taken with anything that alters dopamine or serotonin in your brain. Particularly if you are on any kind of SSRI, MAOI, or other anti-depressant medication.

Nootropics are generally made from plants, or made up of ingredients from plants. Or are purified components or extracts of plants.

The racetam-family of nootropics are derivatives of chemicals naturally produced by your body. For example, piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA which is naturally produced throughout your body, including your brain.

Nootropics are generally safe if you use them as recommended. You don’t want to go overboard with Vitamin D, melatonin or zinc because it could cause problems. Likewise, follow directions on the label and get advice from experienced nootropic users.

Many clinical studies have been done on nootropics over the last 40 – 50 years establishing their safety. And no one who has used a nootropic at recommended doses has ever OD’d to my knowledge.

Some nootropics like the racetams can work as a precursor to, or increase the efficacy of acetylcholine in your brain. In other words, they boost the uptake of choline.

So, for example the most commonly reported “side effect” of using racetams are headaches. And they usually occur in a specific part of your brain.

The best way to counteract a “racetam-headache” is to use a good source of supplemental choline such as Alpha GPC, CDP-Choline, or Cognizin®.

Read more about:

Nootropics Safety & Side Effects

Are Nootropics Legal?

In the USA, nootropics are generally classified as “dietary supplements” or “research compounds“. And can be purchased and used legally for personal consumption.

Smart drugs like Ritalin, Adderall, and Modafinil are prescription “drugs” and require a prescription from a licensed medical professional.

Some nootropics, particularly synthetics are classified as a prescription drug in some countries. For example, Citicoline, which is a supplement in the USA, qualifies as a prescription drug in much of Europe.

Piracetam and other racetam-class nootropics are only available by prescription in Russia, the United Kingdom and Australia. SAM-e is a prescription drug throughout Europe. And Vinpocetine, derived from the periwinkle plant is prescribed as a dementia drug in Japan and parts of Europe.

Dietary supplements are available in the USA without a prescription. And in many other countries. However, please check the status of any particular nootropic and their classification in your country.

See the page on the legal status of nootropics in your country here:

Are Nootropics Legal in My Country?

That page is updated as new information comes in from readers and neurohackers like you. So if you have information about your country that’s not yet listed, please leave a comment at the bottom of the Are Nootropics Legal in My Country page. That page is checked by hundreds of visitors every day. Your input is greatly appreciated.

[i] Giurgea C. “Pharmacology of integrative activity of the brain. Attempt at nootropic concept in psychopharmacology” Actualités Pharmacologiques (Paris). 1972;25:115-56.

[ii] Dimond SJ, Brouwers EM. “Increase in the power of human memory in normal man through the use of drugs.” Psychopharmacology (Berlin) 1976 Sep 29;49(3):307-9. (source)

[iii] Bartus R.T., Dean R.L. 3rd, Sherman K.A., Friedman E., Beer B. “Profound effects of combining choline and piracetam on memory enhancement and cholinergic function in aged rats.” Neurobiology of Aging 1981 Summer;2(2):105-11. (source)

[iv] Magistretti P., Pellerin L., Martin J.L. “Brain Energy Metabolism”Neuropsychopharmacology: The Fifth Generation of Progress acnp.org  Retrieved February 3, 2016

[v] Swaminathan N. “Why Does the Brain Need So Much Power?”Scientific American scientificamerican.com April 29, 2008 Retrieved on February 3, 2016 (source)

[vi] Balon T.W., Jasman A.P., Zhu J.S. “A fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis increases whole-body insulin sensitivity in rats.”Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2002 Jun;8(3):315-23. (source)

[vii] Azevedo F.A, Carvalho L.R., Grinberg L.T., Farfel J.M., Ferretti R.E., Leite R.E., Jacob Filho W., Lent R., Herculano-Houzel S. “Equal numbers of neuronal and nonneuronal cells make the human brain an isometrically scaled-up primate brain.” The Journal of Comparative Neurology 2009 Apr 10;513(5):532-41. (source)

[viii] Kobayashi K., Nagato Y., Aoi N., Juneja L.R., Kim M., Yamamoto T., Sugimoto S. “Effects of L-theanine on the release of α-brain waves in human volunteers” Nippon Nōgei Kagakukaishi 1998, vol. 72, no2, pp. 153-157 (24 ref.) (source)

[ix] Pelsman A. et. Al. “GVS-111 prevents oxidative damage and apoptosis in normal and Down’s syndrome human cortical neurons”International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience Volume 21, Issue 3, May 2003, Pages 117–124 (source)

[x] Erickson K. et. Al. “Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2011 Feb 15;108(7):3017-22.

[xi] Mattson M.P. “Energy intake, meal frequency, and health: a neurobiological perspective.” Annual Review of Nutrition 2005;25:237-60.

[xii] Kumar R. “Approved and investigational uses of modafinil: an evidence-based review.” Drugs 2008;68(13):1803-39. (source)

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Join The Discussion - 210 comments

Matthias
April 21, 2019

Hello,

I’d say one of the main reasons of “serious” nootropics/supplements use on the internet is to try to do something against lasting anti-sexual side-effects of anti-depressants/SSRIs or anti-psychotics (Risperidone, Abilify).

Could you try to make a guide to do something against this, or at least about what one could try to start with, or more generally what areas one might want to focus on, or to explain some possible mechanisms behind it?
I think that would be really something.

That aside, could you give here some recommendations? What would you maybe try against such common phenomena like anhedonia/lack of sensitivity and anorgasmia? Libido is extensively covered everywhere (however still not always reliably), but the side-effects usually run deeper than that. And would probably require longterm treatment and multi-step prospective theory (receptor adaption or epigenetic factors and such). Presumably. Which is why I’d understand if this is just not realistic request of you to deal with the whole issue.

    David Tomen
    April 22, 2019

    Matthias, you are correct in that this is an extremely complex issue. And just one of the problems with using prescription antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.

    The unfortunate reality is there is little that can be done to offset the side effects of these extremely powerful drugs. And to make matters worse, it is often extremely dangerous to combine some nootropics supplements with these drugs. Anything that boosts norepinephrine or serotonin can be life threatening.

Garry
April 11, 2019

I was wondering if nootropics are as strong as Adderall. I am a college student looking for an alternative to Adderall. Cheers!

    David Tomen
    April 12, 2019

    Garry, I used the nootropic stack on this page: https://nootropicsexpert.com/best-nootropics-for-adhd-add/ for an entire year without the use of Ritalin or Adderall. Not saying this will work for everyone but it does for thousands who can’t get stimulant meds, or don’t want to use them.

    I suggest researching the mechanism of action of Adderall and understand how it works in your brain. Wikipedia is a good source for this research.

    Then choose nootropics that have a similar mechanism of action or a stack that works together to achieve the same purpose.

Douglas Milano
March 21, 2019

Watched video on nootropics. Niacin and Vit C My daughter is now pregnant and my Grand-kids are constantly getting sick. Sore throats, fevers, etc. I was also on a search for a great prenatal Muliti for my daughter. I found Garden of Life Raw prenatal. Shortly after, I came across all your info, and I researched more prenatal vitamins and noticed, they all only put 20 mg of Niacin. Garden of Life uses Niacinamide. It has become apparent that 20 mg is way low. I for one will start taking it, since I found out it will help with reducing high cholesterol, and I have high PSA # with BPH. So I was wondering if its safe for my daughter to take more during her pregnancy? Do you reference any recommendations as guide lines, for any of the comments above? Thank you, concerned Dad,& GrandDad, Doug

    David Tomen
    March 23, 2019

    Douglas, we all need niacin either from our diet or a supplement or both. And clinical trials are using up to 3 grams of niacin.

    The problem is anything above 50 mg of regular niacin causing flushing. But Inositol hexanicotinate does not cause flushing so you can use much higher doses even long term.

    Garden of Life makes a really good multi. But I’ve since found one better and that’s the Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi. And the dosages in this multi are ideal. Please compare the ingredients list for Garden of Life and the Performance Lab Multi and see if it would work for your daughter: https://nootropicsexpert.com/performance-lab-whole-food-multi-review/

E.M.
March 7, 2019

Hi David,

Which nootropics would you recommend for dealing with the effects of solar geoengineering & artificial atmospheric aerosols for the nationwide cloud seeding program that the USAF & NASA are engaged in the past 2 or so years? Dispersing nano-sized metallic particles an other chemical compounds to dim the sun, reduce global warming. Aluminum, Barium, Cadmium, Strontium. Yes I know its a controversial subject, many deny, that’s okay. I included a few links here for more info.

If you don’t believe in the geoengineering mess that’s going on, can at least suggest nootropics IF you did? I and many others are experiencing cognitive decline and health issues due to this (with corroborating lab results showing these metals in our system). Thank you in advance.

E.M.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4717532/

https://geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu/publications/quantifying-impact-sulfate-geoengineering-mortality-air-quality-and-uv-b-exposure

https://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/

    David Tomen
    March 7, 2019

    E.M. use the search function top right for “chelator” and see what turns up. First ones that come to mind are Mucuna Pruriens and L-Carnosine. I’m sure there are others.

    And thanks for the reminder because I intend to write a post on surviving EMF radiation and 4 & 5G.

    Lots of stuff out there trying to damage our health. Nootropics are one great way of fighting back.

frankie
March 3, 2019

started sam e today 200 mg once a dayfor anxiety and depression took on empty stomach with b12 and folate for 2 days I getting little anxiety after taking it what can I do for that thank you

    David Tomen
    March 4, 2019

    Frankie, one of the side effects of “too much” SAM-e is anxiety. Is there some way for you to cut your SAM-e dosage in half?

Mikey
February 17, 2019

Hello David,

I’d like to start off by saying thank you so much for this website. It is an exceptional resource and it is very helpful and enlightening.

I simply had a question regarding the necessity of cycling certain nootropics, or I would like to know if it is in fact necessary at all. So I ask, are there any potential disadvantages such as down-regulation/loss of effectiveness following prolonged daily use? I’m primarily inquiring about nootropics such as ALCAR, NALT, L-Phenylalanine, PS, Magnesium L-Threonate, L-Theanine, Tryptophan or GABA.

I look forward to your response and insight.

Thank you!

    David Tomen
    February 18, 2019

    Mikey, no need to cycle any of the nootropics you mentioned as long as you are using recommended dosages. The half-life of each of these means that what is not used leaves your system in a few hours.

Poki
January 20, 2019

Hello David,

All your stuff is very informative and helpful, really appreciated.

I have recently started with a nootropic stack and now I am starting a ketogenic diet.

Do you think it’s appropriate to mix them both, because I have been hearing opinions that some nootropics must be combined with carbohydrates.

Do ketogenic diet(low carbohydrates) affect the brain performance overall and nootropics effects as well?

My stack currently is: 5-HTP(i know its not recommended, but I am fighting with depression), L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, ALCAR, NAC, CoQ10, Alpha-Lipoic acid, Curcumin, Bioperine, DHEA, Alpha-GPC, Piracetam, SAM-e, Omega-3 DHA enriched, Magnesium, Vitamin B-complex, Iron and I am soon including L-Carnosine, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea.

Looking forward for your opinion.

    David Tomen
    January 20, 2019

    Poki, a ketogenic diet should not negatively affect brain function. Your brain and the nootropic stack you’re taking require glucose which is made from carbohydrates. But through gluconeogenesis your brain will still get the glucose it requires to function.

      Poki
      January 20, 2019

      Yes, but gluconeogenesis uses some of the glucogenic amino acids, like Tyrosine, Tryptophan, Cysteine, Glutamine, Alanine, Histidine.

      And some of the ketogenic amino acids are used in the process of ketogenesis – Tyrosine, Tryptophan, Phenylalanine, Lysine

      That mean that some of the amino acids will be converted to glucose or ketone bodies, instead of being used on “purpose” – like creating a neurotransmitter.

      On the other hand, the ketone bodies produced by ketogenesis, are pretty good substitute to glucose, especially in the brain.

      Wikipedia says that after 4 days in ketosis, ketone bodies provide about 70% of the energy in the brain.

      Some researches claim that fueling the brain cells with ketone bodies(ketosis) is even better and more effective than using glucose(glycolysis), what is your opinion?

      Should I increase the dosage of the proteinogenic amino acids in order to accommodate the increased usage of them in cell energy production?

      I hope I didn’t go too deep in the subject, but I think those things are very important to note.

      Best regards.

        David Tomen
        January 21, 2019

        Poki, increase the dosage of amino acids just to be on the safe side. The human body has an amazing ability to adapt to whatever we do to it so don’t over-think this. Do what you feel best and listen to what your body is telling you.

Kevin
October 17, 2018

Hello David,

Great website, super informative. I feel very lucky to have found your website and thank you for your knowledge contribution towards us who are still figuring out. I recently stumbled upon your Youtube channel which brought me here. My biggest obstacle right now would be speech fluency and articulation; Most of the time, I have issues putting my thoughts into words, I talk too fast, stuttering, mumbling words, mixing pronunciation that I could not communicate freely to another individual. I have trained myself over the years to fix this issue but it is still there. I personally feel like there is a block in my brain that is preventing me from freely expressing my thoughts through my mouth. I have ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, and currently takes 60mg of Vyvanse and 30mg of Cymbalta daily. I found out that while on Vyvanse, my speech is much better like 60 % but my personality goes away and have difficulty socializing or making new friends. Do you have any recommendation on which nootropics would be the most suitable for my situation or personal advice on seeing a specialist doctor? Thank you once again for your time.

    David Tomen
    October 19, 2018

    Kevin, since you are currently being treated for ADHD I suggest starting with the ADHD nootropics stack described on this page > https://nootropicsexpert.com/best-nootropics-for-adhd-add/

    That stack will provide more of the dopamine Vyvanse needs to work properly. And will help with brain signaling.

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