Phenibut: Nootropic or Not?

Phenibut nootropic supplements help with brain health.One of the beautiful things about supplements is they usually have more than one beneficial purpose. It is especially nice when the benefits of a supplement cross into the nootropic category and provide cognitive enhancement. Occasionally, there is a bit of debate as to whether or not a supplement can be considered a nootropic. A current example is Phenibut, a supplement discovered in the 1960’s with anti-anxiety and calming properties.

Phenibut is a crystallized, powdery GABA derivative that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and, when it enters the brain, acts as a GABA receptor agonist. By acting in a similar fashion as GABA, phenibut helps carry the burden of brain chemicals that can cause stress and tension resulting in an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect. Since it works on the same receptor sites as certain prescription drugs, phenibut is often compared to barbiturates and other substances used for anxiety. The main difference between phenibut and these substances, is that phenibut doesn’t cause drowsiness like most popular anti-anxiety medications can. It’s included in the cosmonaut medical kit as a treatment for stress and anxiety for this exact reason. Phenibut also enhances dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is critical to daily function and helps control movement, emotions, response to rewards, and the brain’s pleasure center.

Phenibut is primarily used for the following:

  • Stress – The overall effect of phenibut on the GABA receptors help blunt the impact of stress.
  • Social Anxiety – Helps reduce tension felt around large or unfamiliar groups
  • Sleeplessness – Phenibut can have a relaxing effect and help bring on sleep in the evening
  • Mood Enhancer – Phenibut is used to enhance mood or help reduce trauma related stress

Without a doubt, phenibut has some properties that could be beneficial to most people. But does it act as a nootropic? Can it help boost cognition? Yes, evidence points to the effects of phenibut enhancing cognition:

  • Improved cross-hemisphere brain communication. Phenibut was used in an animal study to increase the amplitude of response from one side of the brain to other. A single dose of phenibut was effective in improving the response and confirmed the efficacy of phenibut as a supplement used for learning and memory.
  • More relaxed thinking. As a basis for cognitive enhancement, the reduction of stress is key. A state of stress and anxiety puts the body in position where it essentially feels unsafe. Even without adding any additional properties, reducing the amount of stress a person is under and relaxing the mind takes the brain and body out of survival mode and allows other thoughts to flow more freely.
  • Improving sleep quality. Improving sleep also has downstream cognitive benefits. Sleep gives the brain and the body enough time to rest, recover and reset, thus providing an optimal environment for focus, memory, learning and thinking.

If you’re looking to help increase calmness and also boost brain power as well, phenibut is a great supplement to test out.

Sources

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19334513
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenibut

Racetam Review and Comparison: Best Racetam for Studying?

For students at any level, be it high school, college, or even professionals looking to continue learning in their field, study plays a big part in the learning process.

The objective of studying material is essentially to first understand the topic, be able to remember it on a factual level and then be able to apply it to the real world.  This entire process of taking in and synthesizing information takes a lot of brainpower, focus, concentration and motivation.

This can be particularly difficult in today’s busy society, demanding more and more of your time. Many students work multiple jobs to cover exorbitant college tuitions.

Finding time to studying and then actually buckling down to properly absorb the information isn’t always easy, but it can be made simpler and more effective with the right study techniques and help from some cost-effectvive nootropic supplements.

Best Racetam for Studying

Racetams, a widely-used family of nootropics, are ideal for studying. There are different racetams though, so one question that often comes up is which is the best racetam for studying?

When it comes to studying, racetams as a whole provide a host of effects that can help you when you’ve got your nose in a book:

  • Improved memory and recall (short and long)
  • Increased focus and concentration
  • Improved intellectual clarity
  • Alertness
  • General feelings well-being

There are four racetams commonly used today: Piracetam, aniracetam, oxiracetam, and pramiracetam. Each one of them follows the same basic mechanism of action, but vary in strength and exact benefits. I find some racetams reviews can be misleading so I’ve outlined my own thoughts on each of these four racetams below.

Racetams Defined

Piracetam

Piracetam is the original and most popular racetam. It’s often seen as a starter for racetam users as it’s less potent than the others. Make no mistake though, piracetam is a great nootropic and its efficacy is backed by tons of clinical and anecdotal evidence. For studying, it can help retention and focus.

Aniracetam

Aniracetam has also been used for quite some time. Not only is Aniracetam is stronger than piracetam, one of the most noted differences is the anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect it provides. In addition to helping with memory retention and focus, it helps you feel more calm and relaxed.

Students and professionals alike both have high-stress lives and easing the stress is an added bonus that can help mental performance and the negative byproduct of stress. Anecdotal feedback is that aniracetam can be a good study aid for subjects that require creative thinking.

Oxiracetam

Oxiracetam VS Aniracetam is a common battle between nootropic fanatics. Oxiracetam is an alternative to aniracetam that’s been described as having more of a stimulating and motivating effect than aniracetam. In contrast to aniracetam, oxiracetam is described as being helpful when studying logical, linear subjects like math.

Pramiracetam

Pramiracetam is the strongest of the racetams, being 10-30x more potent than piracetam. Like oxiracetam, it has a stimulatory effect, but is amplified further. This can provide even more motivation and study. It is also a very effective supplement for memory enhancement and recall.

So Which is the Best Racetam?

Since all of the racetams are proven to be effective, it can be difficult to choose only one as the best racetam. If you’re new to racetams, piracetam is a great start. Beyond that, user feedback seems to indicate that it’s a bit subjective and open to personal preference and goals. For example, a math student may find oxiracetam more beneficial while a literature student may enjoy aniracetam more. Ultimately, it comes down to trying one out and finding the best for you.