Noopept Review: Tolerance, Dosage, and Effects

Noopept Review

Some of the most effective nootropics are members of the racetams family. While every racetam is different, they’re generally known to be very effective in their function and safe for use. Perhaps the most popular racetam, or at least the one new supplement users are most likely to hear about first, is piracetam. Tested time and time again, piracetam has been found to be harmless and enjoyable. [1]

More potent than piracetam, noopept powder is quickly becoming a more popular alternative among western nootropic culture. Along with being more potent, this supplement also metabolizes much faster than other racetams.

Used in Russia for memory enhancement and the treatment of learning disorders (they even have commercials for this stuff!), Noopept powder is another supplement from the racetam family and might actually have advantages that other nootropics do not have. [2]

Noopept is actually neuroprotective. Neuroprotection is exactly what it sounds like: it protects the neurons in your brain from things that could be damaging it such as stress and aging (and a process called oxidation if you want to get technical). Also, Noopept seems to have some great long-term effects on your memory, while other Racetams generally only affect short-term memory. [3]

There are also a few studies showing that noopept may have anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects, something only a few other racetams can claim. [3]

These unique properties might want to make you start taking noopept powder every day, but there are some concerns as well.

The Downside

Let me start by saying that even with its newfound popularity, it’s still difficult to find solid research on Noopept. As noopept is the most popular Russian nootropic, there is research, but most of the studies regarding it are Russian studies – both in origin and language.

However, even the Russian literature on Noopept warn users not to exceed daily use for three months. According to most scientific opinion, one should cycle noopept powder and take a month off before resuming another three-month “on” period if using noopept as a daily supplement. While the reason for this is a little unclear, it is generally a good idea to cycle what you put into your body anyway (to prevent tolerance, and in some cases to prevent your body from making detrimental permanent changes). [3]

How to take Noopept

I’ve posted this video before as it is an excellent and thorough review. Watch to learn about this person’s experience with noopept.

In the last few months, Noopept has become widely available in the U.S. and other countries and because of this, the price tag might seem a little intimidating, but keep in mind that a recommended dose is only 10-20mg.

After figuring in the dose amounts, Noopept is actually very cheap. In the short time that I’ve been using noopept, I already love it and definitely keep it close by for my nootropic stack.

You can also try higher doses and see how they affect you. I have personally tried up to 120mg in a single dose and did not notice any adverse side effects, however I have somewhat of a noopept tolerance so be careful while dosing above the recommended dose.

Again, if you’re interested in trying noopept out, you can buy noopept here.

Noopept Dosage

As stated above, noopept can be effective with a very small dose of just 10mg. However, there are a variety of ways to take noopept. A popular method is taking noopept sublingually. All this means is an individual puts noopept under their tongue to absorb the powder rather than swallowing it. The primary benefit of this method is the noopept will take effect much faster as it bypasses the digestion process. Anecdotal evidence indicates sublingual administration provides more powerful benefits as well. Because of this, individuals should start with an even smaller noopept dosage of 5mg until they can determine the effects.

Another popular method is to take a megadose of noopept powder. This calls for taking 100-300mg of noopept at a time. The main purpose of this method is to rapidly achieve greater and more powerful benefits. Megadosing is best reserved for individuals who are familiar with how noopept affects them, and even then they should start on the lower end of the dosage range. Megadoses are not meant to be taken regularly or for long periods of time. If you are unsure if a megadose is right for you, stick with traditionally accepted oral doses of 10mg one to three times per day.

Sources

  1. http://examine.com/supplements/Pramiracetam/
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noopept
  3. http://examine.com/supplements/Noopept/

Shilajit: The Super Supplement

An Unknown Super-Supplement

I came across a product the other day that automatically filled me with curiosity. Come to find out, the product in question was relatively unknown in the supplement world, Shilajit powder.

Although Nootropic research on the supplement is relatively fresh, it is nonetheless incredibly impressive. There are so few supplements in the field that can display not only Nootropic effects, but all around health benefits, and Shilajit powder is certainly one.

What is Shilajit?

Shilajit is a natural compound with immense beneficial properties.

This is a naturally happening substance that seeps from the rocks of Himalayan Mountain regions during hot weather. It is actually a mixture of organic plant materials and humus and contains many beneficial organic. It is these components that give this wonderful natural product most of its therapeutic properties.

Shilajit Powder as an Aphrodisiac

Shilajit is best known for its aphrodisiac properties. This amazing natural mineral compound has been used for thousands of years to enhance libido and sexual health in both men and women.

It has been shown to have immense effects on the stress associated with negative sexual deficiencies, alleviating the pressure situation some who are bothered by deficiencies face when in the bedroom.

Shilajit as a Nootropic

Although Shilajit powder is best known for its effects sexually, the effect of Shilajit has also been investigated for nootropic and anti-anxiety activity. Not surprisingly, Shilajit did display an impressive trend of Nootropic activity when I attempted its use personally.

Shilajit’s Nootropic effects are described by a positive increase in passive avoidance learning along with learning acquisition and retention increases. However what was most impressive was Shilajit’s anxiolytic activity that I experienced.

My use of Shilajit displayed impressive decreases in depressive feelings and an increase in euphoric sensations, less feelings of anxiety, greater focus and attention, and feelings of non-stressful relaxation.

Let Shilajit Work for You

On top of all of these great health benefits, Shilajit use has also been attached to a number of other uses, ranging from greater gastrointestinal efficiency, increases in iron and calcium, and weight loss assistance.

All of this being said, add Shilajit to any Nootropic stack, and be sure to achieve elevated results and satisfaction from this relatively unknown, but still very impressive supplement.

Tracking Progress with Brain Testing

Determining Progress from Placebo

Some of you may swear by certain products and find your productivity and brainpower has skyrocketed ever since you started experimenting with nootropic supplements (and maybe even just a healthier diet/exercise). While this is great, it can be hard to distinguish actual progress from placebo.

The Test!

It can be hard to double-blind test yourself with anecdotal evidence (i.e. “I felt so awake all day!”) so a good way to see if you’re actually seeing results is to play memory and logic games. One website that I’ve found is www.CambridgeBrainSciences.com.

They have four categories and multiple games per category to test your newly acquired brain powers. The categories include: memory, reasoning, concentration, and planning.

Now, before you go and start scoring high in these games, you should see how you would normally test while off all nootropics. I would probably take at least a week off from brain drugs to let them mostly clear from your body.

I also recommend playing each game multiple times as each game has different rules that can take time getting accustomed to. Once you feel like you’ve got the hang of the game, you can start recording your scores officially.

Even though the website tracks your scores, I would recommend keeping track on your own piece of paper or spreadsheet. Play each game multiple times and average out the score. This eliminates a lot of experimental error and is generally a good rule to follow for most testing.

After you’ve achieved an average for each game in the four categories, you can start taking all your nootropics again. Then play the same games multiple times and average out your scores and see if you’re actually seeing progress!

Determining Factors

Unfortunately even this is only so accurate. There are many other determining factors that may impact your scores to be wary of:

  1. Time of day – some people perform better in the mornings, and some at night. Experiment with both!
  2. Diet – As cliché as this sounds, you are what you eat. I tend to perform better on a healthier diet than a fast-food diet.
  3. Game – You might have the best memory in the world, but have difficulty playing one of the games. It’s for this reason that Cambridge Brain Sciences has multiple games per category; there’s no perfect game to test your memory, so experiment with multiple games.
  4. Exercise/rest – I find that I perform better when I exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.

The best thing you can do is keep experimenting until you find what works for you, and try to be as accurate/objective as possible! If you’re ready to give nootropics a shot, you can find some at this great site.

The Nootropic Properties of Creatine Products

Creatine

If you know a lot about fitness and exercise, then chances are you’ve heard the term “creatine” come up. With limited knowledge on the subject, creatine can appear intimidating and it is highly advised to cycle creatine, as over-supplementation can stop natural production.

The reason creatine is so popular in the fitness world is because it increases water retention in the muscles providing a greater size and strength, but it is important to keep in mind that creatine is a natural substance that exists in humans and nature.

Creatine as a Nootropic

I didn’t find out until later that creatine has various nootropic properties. I had read before on various forums that it has been shown to increase ones IQ but I didn’t pay much attention to these claims.

It turns out that creatine does a lot more than that this. It is shown to increase cognition, overall well-being, and might even have the potential to be anti-depressive. These nootropic effects are quite subtle for the average meat-eating individual (due to the amount of creatine naturally occurring in meat), but are increasingly more noticeable for vegetarians and vegans.

Creatine as a Brainguard

One great benefit of creatine is its neuroprotective properties; meaning it protects the brain from anything that might damage it. Creatine can be a source of energy for our cells, which means ATP depletion is slowed down (as creatine can substitute as ATP) so in effect, our brain cells (and other cells) can survive longer.

Creatine is a great nootropic, and while subtle, has great effects on the body. Creatine is also a safe and inexpensive compound. Creatine is actually used often as a staple ingredient in pre and post-workout mixes, such as DS Craze.

It’s unlike many nootropics because you may not notice an immediate effect, but the science exists and you’ll secretly know you’re aiding your body.

Alpha GPC Powder : The Superior Choline Source

Supplementing with Choline

For those of you who experiment with racetams, you may have heard that it is often advised to stack with some sort of choline source. This is because racetams use cholinergic receptors in your brain, leading to lowered levels of choline and resulting in the infamous “choline headache”.

It is therefore a good idea to supplement with choline if taking racetams – not only to regulate choline levels in the brain, but also to give the racetams increased potency.

Alpha GPC Powder vs. Choline Bitartrate

When I first started studying the effects of racetams paired with a choline source, I noticed that a product called Alpha GPC is considered one of the higher quality sources of choline, yet is unfortunately much more expensive.

After further research, I found that Alpha GPC powder is highly regarded because the body absorbs it more efficiently than any other source, and there is even a little evidence that Alpha-GPC will increase strength!  These benefits alone make GPC worth the added costs.

After I ran out of my first package of Alpha GPC powder, I decided to save a little, and buy a more basic form of choline, choline bitartrate. Although the bitartrate did its job of preventing the dreaded headaches, I never noticed heightened effects of my racetam products, which is ultimately the main goal of choline supplementation. I’ve finally switched back to Alpha-GPC powder and found the desired effects to come along with the switch.

Alpha GPC Powder and Racetams

People will often say that if they do not experience a choline headache, they tend to not need to supplement with a choline source. My suggestion however is that if you want to see the most out of your racetams, to definitely provide your brain that extra fuel associated with choline use.

Although it is correct to state that GPC is a more expensive choline source, the effects of this great supplement speak for themselves. It is definitely worth the extra price!

The Nootropic Lullaby

Oh the Options…

I had just finished up my Alpha GPC and was awaiting shipment of my CDP Choline from Powder City. It would be three days before I would see it and I wanted to continue my racetam use without negative side effects.

So I did what any self-respecting nootropic user would do, I bought some dirt cheap choline bitartrate at the local supplement store for a price that made me shiver.

Bitartrate’s Ill Effects

I took it home and consumed a 1200 mg dosage with my piracetam and went about my day.

Weirdly, that day turned out to be a groggy, sleepy, dopey kind of day.

Needless to say, this caught me off guard, and while there could have been many reasons for the lackluster persona, my suspicion was that the bitartrate was the culprit.

While the Alpha GPC and piracetam combo had been the exact opposite; a very energizing affair; after poking around on the internet I found that I was not the only person who had felt this hazy effect from the pairing of piracetam and choline bitartrate.

The Lullaby

It reminded me of another nootropic I had previously taken, Bacopa. Bacopa knocks me out, so I take it about two hours before bedtime and I’ve never struggled to get to sleep since.  That night I took 1500 mg of choline bitartrate with my Bacopa and was out like a light.

When I awoke the next day, I found myself fairly alert and in a good mood. I dosed my piracetam individually and found it to be back to the energizing effect I was used to.

This is, perhaps, the nootropic lullaby: Bacopa and choline bitartrate. The great part about this combination is that while other nootropics make some individuals sleepy, they don’t do this with any long-term benefit.

The different racetams can make different people sleepy, but once a racetam wears off it has little long lasting nootropic effect. L-Theanine can relax people, but again, if you go to sleep you lose any nootropic effects it might have for you.

Bacopa, however, improves memory all day if you’ve been taking it 4-12 weeks or longer, and choline bitartrate can increase your choline stores to reduce depletion from the following day’s racetam dosing.

Many people already have a nightly nootropic stack, and this might serve as either a good start, or a good addition, to yours.

The Tea Grenade Caffeine Maintenance Method

My Relationship With Coffee

Whether we know it or not, most of our first experiences with nootropics are through natural caffeine.

Before I even knew what the word nootropic meant, I was sucking down pots of coffee daily. While I loved it at first, the inevitable effects of physical dependence and tolerance were soon to follow.

Ever since then I have had an on-again-off-again relationship with the stimulant. I’ll have a couple of years of unabated consumption punctuated with three month periods of steadfast abstinence before plunging right back in with complete abandon.

Gaining Control Over Caffeine Intake

I have come to find however, that this emotional roller-coaster technique of dealing with caffeine is not the best way.

After some deep reflection, I decided to moderate my caffeine consumption without total abstinence, and I think I have since discovered a helpful way to keep the effects of caffeine reasonably high.

I was at three mugs of joe a day when I began. If random internet sites are correct (the internet is always right ;)) then a typical mug of coffee is somewhere around 200 mg of caffeine. That’s 600 mg as my daily total.

The Tea Grenade Substitute

I decided to change out my last mug of coffee for a cup of black tea for caffeine. Sources say that’s about 50-60 mg. It wasn’t so bad because this was in the afternoon, and by then I was pretty awake. After a week to readjust, I continued.

Here is where the “Tea Grenade” method comes in. By replacing a mug of coffee with three cups of tea (or an explosion of teas, get the pun?) I keep caffeine coming in at a steady rate. This eliminates the negative side effects of withdrawal, while overall decreasing caffeine intake.

I then split my second cup of coffee into three tea servings. Two black teas (60+60=120 mg) and one green tea (25 mg). After my previous reduction of 140 mg of caffeine, I was now cutting out a further 55 mg. This totaled 195 mg of caffeine out of my day, or, essentially, an entire mug of coffee. In addition to getting all my caffeine from tea, tea also contains l-theanine which helped to reduce the anxiety typically associated with caffeine.

A week of this to get everything up-regulating in my brain and it was back to reducing. I cut out my last black tea and the second black tea. I was now at 1 morning mug of coffee (200 mg), 1 black tea at noon (60 mg), and 1 green tea in the afternoon (25 mg). That’s 285 mg of caffeine. That is a significant difference for two basically pain-free weeks of caffeine reduction.

The Aftermath

I must note that as my daily intake of caffeine goes down, caffeine becomes much more enjoyable and stimulating due to a decreased tolerance.

Let me tell you: no regrets. In the morning, I can actually climb out of bed and feel somewhat clear headed before fueling up on java, and if I miss my last tea (only 25 mg of caffeine) I don’t drag.

See? Handling caffeine addiction can be not only beneficial, but also enjoyable!

Sulbutiamine Dosage, Description, and Experiences

Find the correct sulbutiamine dosage for increased focus and mental energyBeing a bit of a sleepy person, my first goal in finding a nootropic was something that would give me energy all day long. That’s when I heard about sulbutiamine.

In Comes Sulbutiamine!

Sulbutiamine is a synthetic version of the B-vitamin thiamine (B1). It was one of the first nootropics I tried and turned out to be a very successful experiment indeed. Even just reading about sulbutiamine before actually trying it was incredibly interesting to me.

Maybe it was because of how bizarre and multi-faceted its mechanisms seemed and how they affect the brain. A stimulant that causes an increase in the regulation of dopamine, how did that even make sense? [1]

What is Sulbutiamine?

Basically, sulbutiamine is a version of B1 that can cross the blood-brain barrier much more efficiently than actual B1. It then raises the levels of thiamine and thiamine phosphate esters in the brain, increasing focus and endurance. [2]

It is also a brain supplement that promotes increased cognitive energy and cognitive function. In some studies it has been shown to increase patient’s memories and help with the retention of knowledge. [2]

There is also some evidence to suggest that sulbutiamine may be helpful with neurotransmission. Sulbutiamine has been shown to protect neurons within the brain from the effects of oxygen and glucose deprivation and can help treat symptoms of type II diabetes and diabetic neuropathy. [2]

Sulbutiamine Dosage

An important aspect to keep in mind is the correct dosage of sulbutiamine to take. I tried small ones at first to get a feel for the experience, but these did not seem to produce any noticeable effect. It was only once I got into the 800 mg and above zone that anything close to “stimulation” occurred. Even then, it was a far different effect than I was expecting.

Personal Experience with Sulbutiamine

While the brain chemistry was interesting, I found once I got my sulbutiamine dose high enough, the subjective effects were different than anything I expected. The energy felt “deeper” than a caffeine or even an amphetamine boost. Rather than feeling stimulated, I just felt awake. Completely awake. I had moments where I would feel drowsy, but, again, it all seemed to be “on top” of a deeper energy that I could tap into and move on.

Wow This Stuff Works.

My language became more fluid and complex than usual, and there were undeniable empathogenic qualities that stimulants typically give me. I was talking to coworkers about their families, offering advice, and complimenting people genuinely whenever I could. It was here that I saw how effective Sulbutiamine powder could be as an anxiolytic product for people with social anxieties.

I have read in a few forums that some people build a tolerance rather quickly. Wanting to avoid a new tolerance or dependence was not in my plans so I never took Sulbutiamine powder three days in a row. This is probably a good rule of thumb, at least. I wouldn’t recommend non-stop usage, just a few days a week with breaks inbetween. [2]

Even though I never experienced any adverse effects, I need to mention that using high doses for weeks in a row can cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop cold turkey. Make sure you consult a doctor beforehand if you’re on heavy prescription as well since a case study does exist that shows a patient on antipsychotics growing addicted to this supplement. [2]

What I found was a very pleasant and powerful energy and anxiety aid. I look forward to my next shipment and hope it will be as good as the first.

Sources

Pramiracetam Review: Pramiracetam Powder vs Other Stimulants

When I first started reading about nootropics, I was almost certain that I would be a racetam non-responder. Don’t ask me why, it was just this feeling I had deep down, like I would take a dose and expect to feel something significant and just wouldn’t.

Ultimately, I didn’t want to waste my money; so my first nootropic ended up being Noopept and sulbutiamine since they are billed as some of the most powerful and effective nootropics. These weren’t bad choices by any stretch and were actually quite effective, but eventually I couldn’t help but notice racetams were a staple in the nootropic world, and there had to be a good reason for it.

Pramiracetam Review

When I finally decided to purchase some pramiracetam from these guys and try a dose, I felt its effects rather quickly. I will admit that even though it seemed like a fluke at the time (I was still paranoid that I would be a non-responder), it has proven to be incredibly helpful to me.

I have to admit one negative that hit me immediately as I took my first dose though. The taste of pramiracetam powder is really terrible, almost unbearable when just mixed with water (don’t even try it without mixing it with something). You’re probably going to want to mix it with something equally strong tasting to fight fire with fire, so to speak. Or, a better solution (and the one I prefer) would be to pick up some empty capsules or pre-measured pramiracetam caplets.

Being a fan of stimulant supplements, I’ve always wanted to ask for a prescription of methylphenidate, dextro-amphetamine, or levoamphetamine for some occasional, productive use in the gym or at work. However, I never quite pushed myself to go to the doctor, though, because there was a nagging worry about addiction and brain damage.

This is probably the biggest reason I got into nootropics: I was looking for an amphetamine like boost without the negative amphetamine like lifestyle. We can all use some extra energy and focus from time to time, but amphetamines can have some very nasty side effects and are known to be extremely habit forming.

Where I am Now

Pramiracetam powder (I’m now in week three of my routine) has proven to not only be an amphetamine alternative, but superior to them as well. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far:

  1. There is no crash and no compulsive element to its use.
  2. Pramiracetam has low toxicity and evidence shows it might even be an overall good supplement for your brain. [1]
  3. Rather than developing a tolerance like with many nootropics, I’ve found myself growing more sensitive to pramiracetam. Especially during the second week, 1600 mg felt stronger every morning, noon, and afternoon that I took it.

I used to take Adderall in my college days to help with papers and studying for tests, but I never felt good using it. Whereas a day of Adderall fueled productivity left me feeling a day behind all week, pramiracetam pushes my concentration and focus without ever missing a beat. When I skip a dose I’m fine, and when I take a dose its better than I expected it would be. This is the complete reverse of the narcotic side of amphetamine use and the best part is that I’ve never experienced any negative side effects.

Pramiracetam Powder Reviewed

If you have been curious and unsure about buying pramiracetam powder, let me tell you, it’s worth a shot. If you have been thinking about talking to someone to get a hold of an amphetamine prescription, I think the racetam family is worth looking into first. There are less (if any) side effects, it’s available over the counter, and best of all studies show that it’s safer for you than amphetamines.

Sources

CDP Choline vs Alpha GPC and Choline Bitartrate

Synergy in Common Choline and Racetam Stacks

One of the difficulties most nootropic enthusiasts have upon building their latest stack is picking a choline source. There are good arguments for many choline forms, but I think that, ultimately, it comes down to a matter of priority and stack synergy. I’ve picked what I consider the big three (choline bitartrate, CDP choline, and Alpha GPC) and have shown what the benefits are for each.

Choline Bitartrate:

This should be an appealing choice for anyone who does not have the extra cash to pick up CDP-choline or Alpha GPC. That really appears to be its “synergistic” function. Going with bitartrate might allow you to afford another ingredient for your stack or even just afford your basic racetam/choline supplement combination if money is tight.

CDP Choline:

CDP choline can be considered a nootropic on its own given the evidence that it increases dopamine and acetylcholine receptor density, improves memory, and provides mental energy. Also, CDP choline breaks down in the body into choline and uridine. [1] If you are taking DHA as part of your stack, this will help create phosphotidylcholine. [1] Since CDP choline readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, there is little concern for waste. You can pick up some of this supplement here.

Alpha GPC:

Alpha GPC is another choline source with its own nootropic effects with or without a racetam through its ability to improve memory, focus, and concentration. [2] Alpha GPC is shown to also use DHA to help promote nerve growth. [2] Alpha GPC powder is usually the most expensive of the three forms shown.

Notes on stacks:

If your stack has Lion’s Mane or noopept (both increase nerve growth factor), Alpha GPC powder might not be the way to go. Through a simple racetam/CDP choline/DHA/noopept stack, it seems that the synergistic functions of the four compounds would benefit each other the most. Maybe add some creatine and sulbutiamine, and you’ve got yourself a perfect brain booster and wallet lightener.

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2578826/
  2. Kidd, Parris M. “Neurodegeneration From Mitochondrial Insufficiency: Nutrients, Stem Cells, Growth Factors, And Prospects For Brain Rebuilding Using Integrative Management.” Alternative Medicine Review10.4 (2005): 268-293. Academic Search Elite. Web. 8 Sept. 2012.