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ALCAR Benefits

Choline is an essential nutrient that serves as both a nootropic supplement and an athletic performance enhancer. Choline supplements cause the release of acetylcholine, which improves memory and mood as well as allowing better communication between nerve cells and muscle cells.

Since choline has multiple benefits, it makes sense to use as a dietary supplement.  However, using choline on a regular basis or several times a day can cause some people to experience the “choline blues.”

This refers to a slight depressive state that can be stopped by discontinuing use of the supplement for a period of time.  Rather than dealing with the blues, individuals can take an alternative supplement, ALCAR, to experience the same effects.

ALCAR versus Choline

ALCAR, also known as Acetyl-L-carnitine, is a modified amino acid that has a variety of health benefits.  Like Choline, it causes increased production of acetylcholine, as well as dopamine, the feel-good hormone.

Its main function is helping the body to break down fatty acids and produce energy, but it also works as a neuroprotectant, removing damaged fats from the brain and strengthening neural connections.

While Choline can delay fatigue for athletes, ALCAR can actually help with muscle recovery [1].  ALCAR helps to regulate carnitine levels, which are essential for the conversion of fat to energy, while supplemental choline mostly gives an extra boost at the end of a workout or athletic event.

Though they both increase acetylcholine, ALCAR has a few more benefits and doesn’t result in any negative mood reactions.

ALCAR Benefits Continued

A very important benefit of ALCAR is its ability to break down fats, both for energy production and to rid the brain of harmful fatty acids.

It can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, which is why is has such powerful mental effects.  While the supplement can increase alertness and elevate mood, it also protects to brain against deterioration and keeps the nervous system healthy.

Additionally, this supplement can lower blood pressure to improve heart health, reduce anxiety and feelings of stress, and even increase fertility in men.  Most significantly, ALCAR doesn’t produce anything similar to “choline blues” since it boosts dopamine.

ALCAR Benefits Vs Choline

ALCAR is entirely safe in dosages between 300 and 500 milligrams, and shouldn’t produce any noticeable side effects if taken correctly.  It’s natural, has a wide array of benefits, and is perfect for both athletes and nootropic users.

Anyone experiencing the blues while taking choline supplementsshould consider trying ALCAR as an easy way to feel better both physically and mentally.

Sources

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1864226

Custom Acetylcholine Enhancing Stack

This is a post sent in to us by Eric Balaster of Pure Nootropics. I thank him for taking the time to write this. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Most beginners to nootropics typically start with one of two combinations. The first is caffeine and L-theanine, which has a variety of studies that can prove the synergy between the two. The other includes piracetam and choline, which was one of the first nootropic stacks developed in the 1970s. Since then, thousands of people have found piracetam useful for preventing neurological decline and improving memory.

The supplementation of choline with piracetam strongly improves the effects in both animal and human trials. However, utilizing the right choline source can make the effects even more pronounced. The objective of the choline supplementation is to provide a precursor to acetylcholine, but this custom stack can prove more beneficial.

All Angles of Acetylcholine

My custom acetylcholine enhancing stack for use with racetams is particularly useful because it attacks all angles of the neurotransmitter. Rather than simply providing raw materials for acetylcholine synthesis, it is useful to consider enzyme blockers and synergistic compounds that can increase cognitive function.

CDP Choline

CDP choline is not the most efficient choline source by weight, but there are a number of advantages. Alternatives like soy lecithin and choline bitartrate are poorly absorbed and utilized for acetylcholine synthesis in the brain. CDP choline has the added benefit of creating cytidine, which is quickly converted into uridine [1]. Many studies point towards uridine for providing positive neuro protective capabilities as well, which makes it nearly as useful as choline.

Dosage: 200 – 525 mg / day

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Although CDP choline provides some raw materials for choline and uridine production, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is also a useful agent. It is a basic amino acid that provides a number of physiological benefits (especially for vegetarians), but is particularly useful for acetylcholine synthesis [2] to aid CDP choline.

Dosage: 500 – 750 mg / day

Spanish Sage

To compound the supplemented choline, Spanish sage is an excellent inhibitor of cholinesterase, which is the enzyme responsible for preventing full acetylcholine usage. Only small doses are required to have the desired effect [3], but young and healthy adults [4] respond well to this natural herb.

Dosage: 200 – 300 mg dried sage leaf / day

Diet and Tracking Your Stack

Depending on the types of foods that you eat, getting enough choline might not be a huge problem. There is a lot of choline in eggs, dairy products, and even some vegetables, so your supplementation will vary largely depending on your dietary intake. Furthermore, it is useful to track your cognitive abilities throughout the experimentation phase. You may find through subjective testing that your doses of these ingredients are too high (and thus causing a headache).

The only way to really know whether the piracetam and choline stack is working to improve your memory is through significant cognitive testing. Using enzyme inhibitors and the right types of choline for synergistic interaction can vastly improve the efficacy of nootropics.

Sources

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10974208
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6790669
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20937617

About the Author

Eric Balaster is a self-described biohacker and nootropic lover. He has turned his interest of biology and physiology into a business called Pure Nootropics that offers independent third-party smart drugs for safe and convenient consumption.