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Three Compounds for Managing Any Crisis

nootropics for anxietyCrisis-induced stress is something that varies in degrees. For some, this stress is brought on by having to figure out how to pay a bill on time. For others, crisis-induced stress might mean exactly that, as in the 1962 confrontation between the United States of America and the Soviet Union known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. This stand-off was made up of 13 days of tense negotiations that would decide the fates of millions, if not the entire world itself.

Even though the people negotiating the terms of their agreement knew that the threat of a thermonuclear showdown was unacceptable, their task was still a challenging one.  They would have to work together under that looming danger, and, no matter the size of the threat, people can and do make terrible decisions under pressure [1].

Fortunately for us, they managed to navigate those waters, but we’re not always so lucky under pressure, so how can we fix the odds a bit more heavily in our favor?

3 Compounds for Managing Any Crisis

Theacrine

Theacrine is an alkaloid found in the Cupuacu fruit species and a Chinese tea called kudingcha, or kucha. This compound is used for a number of reasons including reducing stress while it simultaneously increases motivation and focus. Participants in one study rated theacrine higher at increasing their attention, alertness, focus, and energy levels than caffeine did, while their lethargy and grogginess values were also notably lower [2].

Maybe the best part of theacrine is the fact that, unlike its counterpart caffeine, there is no tachyphylaxis, even after eight weeks of continuous use. This is important to note, because the tachyphylactic response is basically a decreased reaction to a compound given over a period of time, requiring larger and larger doses to achieve the same effect. So, unlike caffeine, which requires higher dosages over time, theacrine causes no tolerance and it should remain effective for as long as you need [3].

Alpha-GPC

If you’re constantly distracted — probably because you’d rather be doing anything than the work or study assignment you should be doing — Alpha-GPC is your supplement.

Alpha-GPC (Alpha-glycerophosphocholine) is a cholinergic compound and it has proven very effective at controlling impulsiveness and increasing self-control [4, 5], while displaying the ability to increase focus and motivation [6]

Alpha-GPC is also fantastic to supplement with when you would like to improve your mood and reduce stress since it releases GABA (an amino acid found in the body that has a calming effect) [7], and its supplementation increases the body’s natural levels of dopamine and serotonin – two neurotransmitters that have a big impact on improving mood [8].

Emoxypine Succinate

Emoxypine Succinate is a newer nootropic with that doesn’t behave like other nootropics — it doesn’t alter neurotransmitters to prevent neurological decline. Instead, emoxypine, also known as Mexidol and Mexifin, neutralizes free radicals that contribute to neurological decline [9]. But that’s not why it made this list. Emoxypine is a great choice for crunch time because it offers something a lot of calming compounds don’t – relief from situational anxiety [10]. Based on that finding, it seems safe to assume emoxypine will be perfectly suited to those crisis situations that trigger an anxiety all their own.

Fortunately, the Cuban Missile Crisis is over, so you won’t have to make any decisions quite that big, but, for those situations you do have to manage, this stack will help you figure it all out with a clear, stress-free head.

Sources

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK219168/
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26610558
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26766930
  4. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=175211
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20428999
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21156078
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8726961
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16739923
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12056134

A Not So Basic Preworkout

preworkout with nootropicsI’ll start this article off by stating the obvious—there are a ton of preworkouts, and plenty work very well. Unfortunately, most of them work by simply stimulating the central nervous system, failing to offer much else.

The first few times they’re great, but then tolerance sets in. This results in a workout plan that starts off productive but ultimately falters, with all of that focused and intense energy you brought to the gym taking a detour around exercise number two.

Before you know it you’re sucking at the last drops of preworkout left in your water bottle.

Exercise requires being present, and nothing ruins that more than a feeling of flatness sweeping over you as you try, and fail, to push yourself. That brings me to another very important aspect of fitness most preworkouts miss out on: improving the mind-muscle connection.

What is the Mind-Muscle Connection?

The idea of a mind-muscle connection finds its roots in “broscience”, but there is some evidence to back up its claim.

An informal study was performed on experienced bodybuilders with EMGs used to test whether load, cadence, and form dictate muscle activation, or whether it is possible to mentally focus neural drive towards specific, targeted muscles and away from others.

The results confirmed the idea of the connection between the brain and body. That’s why this stack of compounds is built around nootropics that can not only aid both physical and mental performance separately, but act to enhance the connection between them.

What’s Not In It

This mix will not include typical stimulants for a few reasons:

  1. Many people don’t respond well to them.
  2. To ensure you are able to work out for as long and intensely as you have to without having to worry about “burning out”.
  3. Some workouts you might not need the extra energy, but you will still need the focus and motivation this stack offers. You can always add a stimulant if you so desire.

This isn’t to say stimulants are bad, but saving them for when you truly need help can ensure you get the absolute most out of them when you need it. Plus, they may not be applicable to all situations. When I run, for example, being “stimmed” out of my mind usually results in a poor workout, but when I’m calm and focused on the task at hand I notice the miles tend to breeze by.

What’s In It?

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC Skeletal Formula

Alpha GPC Skeletal Formula

Aside from its ability to increase focus [1], Alpha GPC has demonstrated possible effectiveness at increasing strength and growth hormone output (after 48 hours of fasting) [2], and potential to increase fat oxidation [3].

What makes this valuable is this acetylcholine precursor’s ability to increase the mind-muscle connection. When acetylcholine is released at the neuromuscular junction it crosses the synapses where it binds to receptors on the surface of muscle fibers, causing muscular contractions. The more this communication can be improved, the more muscle fibers you will be able to recruit resulting in better quality contractions and results.

There are less expensive acetylcholine precursors that can be substituted, like CDP Choline, but the true magic of Alpha GPC lies in its ability to improve self control and impulsiveness [4, 5]. If you’ve ever skipped one too many workouts, or ate a dozen donuts and forgot your diet, you understand how beneficial this can be.

Aniracetam

Aniracetam powder not only prevents the overly stimulated feelings sometimes associated with Alpha GPC, but it seems to keep strength consistent throughout workouts [6]. Some users actually report increased strength output during the later part of their workouts.

Aniracetam is also incredibly effective as an anxiolytic and mood enhancer, and this can make a big difference on those days when working out sounds too cumbersome, or if you’re one of the many people that have anxiety that’s directly related to being at the gym [7].

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate is a combination of the amino acid citrulline and malic acid. It increases energy levels by removing ammonia from the body. Basically, citrulline malate adds another level of anti-fatigue, allowing you to train harder and for longer periods of time. [8]

Beta Alanine

Beta alanine is an amino acid that combines with the amino acid histidine in muscle cells to form carnosine, which is critical for muscle strength. Carnosine is an acid buffer, and it prevents the rise in hydrogen ions during high intensity exercises. It staves off the dreaded lactic acid burn and prevents muscle fatigue, increasing the amount of work you can perform at high intensities [9].

Sulbutiamine

Sulbutiamine is a stimulant, but it doesn’t come with the typical unpleasant side effects. This nootropic improves motivation, focus, and energy by improving neuronal communication and transmission [10, 11]. It also improves motor coordination and resistance to muscular fatigue [12], and it acts as a potent mood enhancer [13].

Preworkout Stack Dosages

Alpha GPC: 300-600mg (fat-soluble) Take with food 90-120 minutes before your workout.

Aniracetam: 1-1.5g (fat-soluble) Take with food 90-120 minutes before your workout.

Some people become too relaxed from aniracetam during the “first half” of its effects, but it is short lived in the body and its metabolites typically reverse the overly calm feelings aniracetam induces [14].

Citrulline Malate: 6-8g Taken around 60 minutes before training.

Beta alanine: 2-5g Beta alanine can be taken all at once with citrulline malate before your workout, but large doses can result in an uncomfortable tingling feeling called paresthesia, and this can be avoided by taking smaller doses of 800mg-1g throughout the day.

Sulbutiamine: 300mg (fat-soluble) Taken with food around 60 minutes before training.

Sources

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21156078
  2. http://www.jissn.com/content/5/S1/P15
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22673596
  4. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=175211
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20428999
  6. http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/7/921.full.pdf
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11597608
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386132
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11911459
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10996447
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4059305
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10573727
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10858919
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9572910

 

A Review of Nootropics Use in Sports

nootropics athletics

Nootropics can help your athletic performance.

Most individuals take nootropic supplements to boost cognition, to improve their focus, to help them study for a test, and so on.  However, many athletes may be surprised to find that nootropics can help them to perform better physically.

It would make logical sense that a supplement that can improve focus and clarity would have a positive effect on the body’s response to physical activity. The better you can focus on the task at hand, the better you will perform. Certain nootropics even directly improve muscle contraction and growth.

Some nootropics like phenylpiracetam are so effective at improving athletic performance that they are banned from competitive sports; others are equally as effective and entirely fine to use for any sport. So how do nootropics work with your body to improve your athleticism?

How Nootropics Help Athletic Performance

nootropics soccer

Nootropics can help boost cognition, which can help you think on your feet.

Taking nootropics affects the brain’s levels of neurotransmitters, which helps the brain to connect with muscle tissue and send out signals.  Raising neurotransmitter levels can help the brain to communicate more efficiently with the rest of the body, and can improve reaction times by promoting a higher level of cognition.

Specifically, most nootropics increase acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter commonly known to improve memory and learning. However, acetylcholine also improves muscle control as well as balance. Mental and physical fitness are linked, and so a quicker and healthier brain produces faster reflexes and greater endurance.  The effects of individual nootropics on physical activity vary, however, so you will need to choose wisely.

Benefits of Different Nootropics in Sports

 

nootropics hockey

Nootropics can also help build muscle (so that you win a fight or two in hockey).

Alpha GPC has been linked to increased levels of growth hormone as well as quicker fat oxidation, meaning that it promotes muscle gains and helps to burn fat leading to improved physical performance and body composition [1].  Aniracetam, in addition to being more potent than other racetam supplements like piracetam, can help to reduce anxiety as well as increase focus [2]. 

Oxiracetam increases spatial learning, which helps your brain to improve physical coordination. Huperzine A prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine to improve memory and muscle control; it also increase alertness.

All of these nootropics will improve neuronal communication between the brain and body, but also have specialized individual effects.  With all of these options to choose from, it is a simple matter of picking a nootropic and seeing which is best for your sports performance.

Which Nootropics Are Right For You?

You may be curious about trying nootropics to improve physical performance, and there are many excellent choices out there.  Be careful of taking supplements that may be banned from a particular sport, but otherwise experiment and find what works best for you.

Weightlifters find Alpha GPC and Huperzine A 1% helpful in doses of 300mg and 10mg respectively, usually stacked together.  Other athletes may find aniracetam and oxiracetam useful in doses around 750mg two times per day.  Find the stack or single supplement that works best for you, and enjoy greater athletic success!

Sources

  1. http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(12)00089-5/
  2. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299901010056

A Six-Part Neuroprotective Stack for Longevity and Cognition

Priceless memories are often a computer crash away from being lost forever. Those crashes seem to come out of nowhere too, but that’s normally not the case.

First, you push your hard drive, not giving it any mind until the clicking starts. The clicking that lets you know things are going south, but that gets ignored, and before you know it, bad sectors (the parts that hold information) have filled up every inch of space until the drive no longer works and you have an oversized paperweight that used to house your cherished data.

Like your computer, your brain can accumulate damage over time that leads to failure, and no matter how quickly damage comes on, it’s usually a long time in the making and at a much higher cost.

This stack of six compounds is designed to prevent that damage from happening by protecting neurons, the basic building blocks of the Central Nervous System that transmit information throughout the body. When neurons die all sorts of cognitive complications arise [1].

Ashwagandha Extract – Intelligence and Protection

Ashwagandha extract is an Ayurvedic supplement revered for its use as an anxiolytic, cognition enhancer, and for its neuroprotective qualities, and for good reason since it protects neurons from oxidative stress. It does this by suppressing cortisol release while simultaneously activating choline acetyltransferase (an enzyme necessary in the production of the neurotransmitter choline), in turn causing enhanced serotonergic signaling and protection from neuronal death [2].

In other words, it protects brain cells and helps prevent health complications associated with neuronal death [1] by increasing the amount of chemicals related to a positive mood (serotonin) and decreasing those that promote stress and its related neurodegenerative chemicals (cortisol).

The most amazing benefit of Ashwagandha extract is the fact that it increases the growth of axons and dendrites [3]!

Axons and dendrites are the parts of neurons that transmit information between one another and the better their ability to do this, the more intelligence you have.

Already off to an impressive start, right?

Alpha GPC Powder – Free Radical Protection Plus Self Control

A choline supplement usually taken for nootropic purposes, Alpha GPC acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Low supplies of acetylcholine have been associated with age related memory loss. Acetylcholine protects from free radicals and increases antioxidant production [4].

Alpha GPC powder can also help those that have trouble with self control and being overly impulsive. This impressive effect happens due to Alpha GPC’s ability to increase dopamine, serotonin, and GABA in the frontal cortex of the brain – the part of the brain responsible for emotional responses and decision making. The disruption of this area of the brain is the reason for impulsive behaviors [5], and increased dopamine has been linked to self control [6].

Not only is Alpha GPC powder much more than an “add on” to your nootropic stack, it has the ability to potentiate the next compound in this stack, piracetam.

Piracetam – Mental Clarity

Perhaps the most popular nootropic, piracetam offers benefits like increased communication between the two hemispheres of the brain by enhancing acetylcholine usage, improving long term memory, attention, and creativity [7].

Piracetam also improves mental functioning and clarity by restoring membrane fluidity while reducing oxidative stress [8].

Lithium orotate – Mood and Mental Protection

Lithium orotate is a mineral used to for a variety of conditions including attention disorders and it has shown effectiveness at lesser doses than lithium carbonate (its drug form requiring prescription) due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier [9].

Lithium appears to encourage GABA in the body while protecting against glutamate-induced toxicity and cell death, related to a number of diseases [10].

People that supplement with lithium orotate report having more self-control and improved mood.

Theanine Supplement – Promotes Health and Calm Focus

Theanine is another component of this stack that causes significant reversal of glutamate-induced toxicity [11].

It has been observed to demonstrate protective effects against oxidative damage while reversing and prohibiting cognitive impairments [12], and to reduce obsessive behavior [13] by increasing glycine [14]. In other studies, it has increased serotonin, dopamine, and GABA without increasing sleepiness [15] while inducing alpha waves in the mind (brainwaves associated with relaxed alertness) [16], promoting the perfect state of calm and mental focus.

Rhodiola Supplement – Adaptation and Longevity

Rhodiola rosea is another adaptogen in this stack, and Rhodiola’s upregulation of Neuropeptide Y is a big reason why [17]. This neuropeptide is a molecule in the brain that restores calm after stressful events, the stimulation of which both relaxes you and increases your ability to handle stress (like exercise for your stress-response)  [18], and this is believed to be a reason for its ability to increase mental and physical capacity [19].

Like many of this stack’s other supplements, Rhodiola has demonstrated antioxidant effects, but what’s really amazing are the results of a study that demonstrated Rhodiola has life-extending abilities [20].

The benefits of this stack compound upon one another and make for powerful neuroprotection while improving mental health.

Remember, it’s never too early to start taking care of your mind, but it can be too late.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/ninds_neuron.htm#death
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19444606
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12395110
  4. http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/4/336.full
  5. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=175211&resultClick=1
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20428999
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1794001
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1615864/
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2248201/
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3167234/
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097345
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23395732
  13. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2009/768398
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16493792
  15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17182482
  16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328
  17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22347152
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23272529
  19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20378318
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3660385/

Top Nootropics: Discover the Top 10 Nootropics

Top Nootropics Reviewed

Nootropics. Weird name, right? Believe it or not, you may have used a nootropic before without even knowing it!

If you work in a competitive business or are in college, chances are you’ve taken caffeine either in coffee, energy drinks, or supplement form. Caffeine is the world’s most widely-used and recognized nootropic.

Of course that does not mean it is the most effective. Many individuals are just simply unaware that there are better ways to focus while working or studying. What’s more, nootropics are able to unlock your cognitive potential!

So What Are Nootropics?

This unlocking does not mean you will suddenly find yourself in the premise of the movie Limitless, which brought nootropics to the attention of moviegoers everywhere. These aren’t magic powders to make you a genius. However, you may find you make connections more quickly, words flow more easily, and your motivation to get work done more readily available and longer lasting.

The word nootropic means “acting on the mind,” and that’s what these supplements are designed to do. They can enhance memory, cognitive function, and learning ability if taken correctly and at the right dosage.

There is a lot of information and misinformation available via the internet today concerning nootropics, especially when it comes to what is the best.

Top Nootropics

Below are the 10 top nootropics. This list is based on the effectiveness of the nootropic as a whole, the efficiency of the nootropic’s performance, and its accessibility to consumers:

  1. Noopept – Noopept is a quasi-member of the racetam family of nootropics and one of the most potent nootropics of its kind. It’s available in capsules as well as bulk powder. It improves cognition and enhances all the senses as well as imparts a great sense of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
  2. Aniracetam – Another member of the racetam family, aniracetam helps creativity, memory, and intelligence; it also has anti-stress properties. For many beginners looking for a first nootropic to buy, aniracetam comes highly recommended.
  3. Pramiracetam – Pramiracetam can brighten up the brain and is great for those who suffer from poor concentration. Pramiracetam works in synergy with various other cognitive-enhancing products, such as choline, and as such has a very potent effect.
  4. Sulbutiamine – This is a synthesized version of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) that helps elevate mood. It passes the blood-brain barrier with relative ease and helps elevate mood.
  5. L-theanine  – Interestingly, this is a non-essential amino acid which is most commonly found in tea. It is particularly good to take before an exam or presentation as it lowers stress levels. In combination with caffeine, l-theanine can give a calm, focused energy.
  6. NALT – N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine or NALT is an excellent mood elevator which enhances well-being and combats mental fatigue.
  7. CDP Choline  – This supplement is excellent for brain and neural function. Many users opt to stack choline with racetams as racetams often use up acetylcholine within the brain which can sometimes cause headaches.
  8. Alpha GPC – Another form of choline, this is found naturally both in milk and in the brain and has a positive effect on cognition.
  9. Beta Phenylethylamine (PEA) – PEA or phenylethlamine is primarily used for mood and has an effect which you are very likely to recognize. You know those feel good vibes you get from eating chocolate? Well this works in the same way, just way more concentrated and enhanced! It also stacks well with aniracetam to boost cognition.
  10. Phosphatidylserine – This is found naturally within cell membranes. As a nootropic, it’s a brain booster and memory enhancer.

So there you have it, the top nootropics supplements on the market. This article should be enough to equip you with the information to research and to ascertain which one(s) are best and most suitable for you, your lifestyle, and, of course, your budget.

DIY AlphaBrain Stack

Alphabrain DIYThere’s been a lot of hype about Onnit’s AlphaBrain recently, but the price along with some of the ingredients have left many balking.

While some of the ingredients are solid additions, others have nootropic fans wondering why they’re included at all.

Over at Reddit, many users questioned the inclusion of Oat Straw, declaring it useless and with good reason: there is very little clinical or scientific evidence to support its supposed nootropic abilities.

AC-11 is another inclusion that has raised many eyebrows. In a different Reddit post, users  denounced AC-11 as a gimmick. One individual, /u/ZombieChalmers,  went so far as to call it “a superfluous ingredient used to differentiate alpha-brain from other products”.

Then there is the issue of cost.

If you’re used to buying powders in bulk and capping them yourself, $34.95 for a 15 day supply or $79.95 for a 45 day supply may strike you as outrageously overpriced.

In this case, the convenience does not outweigh the cost.  Thankfully, there is a way to create a similar stack for way less and without the pointless supplements.

Alphabrain Ingredients

Supplement Amount per serving (2 caps)
Alpha GPC 100mg
Huperzine A .5% 40mg
Vinpocetine 5mg
AC-11® 350mg
Phosphatidylserine (From Soy) 50mg
Bacopa (50% bacosides) 100mg
Pterostilbene 750mcg
L-Tyrosine 300mg
L-Theanine 200mg
Oat Straw (20:1) 100mg
Vitamin B-6 10mg
All supplement and pricing info for AlphaBrain was obtained from Onnit’s site

Getting More For Less

From my preferred supplement source, you can find replacements for the following:

Supplement Serving Size Cost per 100 Servings
Alpha GCP 50% 500mg 50g for $23.99
Huperzine 1% 20mg 2g for $19.98
Vinpocetine 10mg 1g for $2.99
Resveratrol (chemically related to Pterostilbene) 250mg 25g for $15.95
Phosphatidylserine 20% (From Soy) 100mg 10g for $7.95
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) 400mg 50g for $5.49**
L-Theanine 200mg 20g for $5.33

**125 servings

Cost Breakdown

That’s $81.68 for a 100 day supply of a very similar stack (thus breaking down to $36.76 for a 45 day supply and $12.25 for a 15 day supply). As you can see, this 100 day supply costs only slightly more than Onnit’s 45 day supply. That is awesome savings.

Supply 100 Days 45 Days 15 Days
HSW Cost $81.68 $36.76 $12.25
Onnit Cost $79.95 $34.95

Many prefer to buy supplements in bulk so as to avoid having to reorder stacks every month or so. Additionally, these supplements are available in smaller and larger sizes for those who want to go smaller or bigger. Bear in mind, the larger the size, the more you save!

While capping your own supplements may seem like a lot of work, it can save you big bucks at the end of the day, not to mention you can customize your stack to avoid publicity stunts and useless “nootropics” like Oat Straw.

What Do These Supplements Do?

Alpha GPC: This is a choline source that is great for improving memory and learning. There are multiple choline sources on the market; however, Alpha GPC has a higher absorption rate. Find it here.

Huperzine A: This supplement helps with memory retention by increasing acetylcholine levels. Those looking to improve their memory and focus will benefit from an increase in acetylcholine.

Vinpocetine: Vinpocetine enhances memory function and increases blood flow to the brain.

Resveratrol: This antioxidant is perhaps most famously found in red wine and is known for it’s ability to boost cellular health, cardiovascular health, blood flow to the brain, and more.

Phosphatidylserine: This supplement supports a strong memory as well as numerous neurotransmitter system such as acetylcholine, dopamine, seratonine, and more.

NALT: NALT is believed to be easier to absorb/more bioavailable than L-Tyrosine. NALT transforms into L-DOPA, which is a precursor for many neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and more. All of this can result in a boost in mood and cognitive function.

L-Theanine: This is an excellent supplement to reduce anxiety as its stress fighting abilities promote a sense of calm and wellbeing. Additionally, theanine can support a healthy immune system.

Top 4 Nootropics: Nootropic Stack for Studying

Finals can be stressful, a nootropic stack for studying can helpIf you are returning to college then you know tough work is ahead. Sure, there will be old friends to hang out with and new friends to meet, but also a lot of studying and work and going to classes.The demands placed upon your time and mental and physical energy can be intense.

In many cases, these demands can cause diet and even sleep schedules to suffer. Fortunately, a category of supplements known as Nootropics can help to improve your memory and mental function. The following is a great, perhaps the best, nootropic stack for studying.

Alpha GPC:

The first brain boosting supplement is Alpha GPC. The purpose of this supplement is to boost levels of Acetylcholine within the brain. Acetylcholine is a powerful neurotransmitter that is believed to play a vital role in memory formation, learning capacity, and a number of other mental and cognitive processes. Not only that, but it also helps to make the other components of this stack even more effective. Take up to 600mg daily.

L-Theanine:

L-Theanine is a great supplement to improve focus and leads to a relaxed and almost meditative state. If you are a coffee or other caffeine drinker, this one will help to relieve all of the jitters normally felt from those types of products and replace it with a clean and simple type of focus. Basically, this supplement helps to smooth out brain waves and allows you to relax much easier. Take up to 200mg daily.

Pramiracetam:

One of the premier members of the Racetam family of Nootropic supplements, Pramiracetam is an incredibly powerful memory booster. Using this supplement will also help with studying and can even be used up to twice a day. Take 300 to 600mg daily (one or two doses). A little experimentation can determine which type of dosing schedule works best for your body chemistry.

Optional:

The last member of this stack can vary, depending on what you are studying or if you were looking for a certain type of help.

Oxiracetam:

Oxiracetam is known as a logic booster. It is incredibly helpful when studying or learning literal or logical based subjects like economics, math, and number based concepts. Facts and figures seem to come much more easily as well. Take 750 to 1500mg on days when it is needed.

Aniracetam:

Aniracetam is used more to help with figurative and creative types of thinking. This supplement is good for subjects like English and writing. You will find new ideas and thoughts just flowing more or less freely.

Freedom from Constraints: How to Boost Creativity

We are probably all aware of the fact that creativity can come in a number of different forms. Not only this, but there are all types of things and methods that lead to inspiration and the feeling of improved creativity. In many cases, people just simply wake up and the morning and have a sense of whether or not the new day will bring a sense of creative excitement. Other days, it might feel that there is nothing left in the proverbial creativity gas tank.

There is some interesting new research regarding creativity. A number of new studies have come out regarding the ways in which creativity can be enhanced. These studies reveal a number of interesting factors which should be given more consideration. The theme of this new data is darkness and freedom from constraints. Of course, there are also specific nutritional supplements that may improve or enhance natural levels of creativity.

Lighting and Creativity:

These studies did indeed show that lighting is one of the most significant factors in terms of influencing creativity. Bright lights tend to actually make people tired and are somewhat distracting. Obviously, this has huge implications for workplace settings. Interestingly, this also explains the fact why many bars and restaurants like to use dim lighting. Not that they are trying to enhance creativity, of course, but simply as a way of making people feel more comfortable and at home.

Lighting can actually create specific moods in people. There is evidence to show that different colored and different intensity lights can lead to effects ranging from a relaxing mood to one of anger and irritation. This certainly is in line with these recent findings.

Darkness and Freedom from Constraints:

While it may be a bit surprising to some, the studies actually showed that darkness was much more conducive to creativity than light. A good possible explanation for this might be that the dark induces a state or feeling of being freed from constraints and limitations. Even simply dimming the lights can lead to improved creativity.

The most interesting aspects of this study for me were the implications of this upon workplace productivity and effectiveness. One idea is to simply turn down the lights; even just a little bit can help. Another interesting idea would be to have a so-called ‘dark room’ (and not for photography) where employees could go for creativity sessions. These could even be scheduled times.

Supplements for Creativity:

Rather than relying entirely on darkened rooms for improving creativity this state can be helped by the creative (pun intended) use of nutritional supplements. For example, there are some Nootropics which can be effective, like Choline (CDP Choline, Alpha GPC, Centrophenoxine) and Piracetam. Others like L-Theanine and Green Tea (extract) can also be helpful.

Alpha GPC Dosage and Benefits

Proper Alpha GPC dosage is part of the nootropics puzzleAlpha GPC powder is one of the newcomers to the field of mind boosting supplements. It is certainly something which bears consideration since there are claims that it acts as a cognitive enhancer.  There has been some promising research already and the potential of Alpha GPC may be to help anyone suffering from some type of cognitive decline.

What is L-Alphaglycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha GPC)?

Alpha GPC is a phospholipid metabolite that is found concentrated in neuronal membranes. This supplement is able to deliver choline to the brain. The actual supplement itself is made from lecithin and is a nutrient derived from other soy phospholipids as well. The substance itself is well-absorbed and capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain it helps to support a number of learning processes and general functioning.

Alpha GPC Benefits

The main benefits of this supplement seem to be primarily related to mental functioning and cognition. This includes increased memory, focus and concentration, and even neuron protection. It helps to directly increase the synthesis and secretion of acetylcholine and improves signal transmission throughout the brain.

It is also believed that this supplement helps to increase the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH). This should be a huge benefit to body builders and other weight training athletes since increased circulating HGH should enhance the ability to build muscle, engage in more intense training, and improve recovery ability from such training sessions.

Liver function and protection is another benefit of Alpha GPC. This supplement raises the lipotrophic functions of the liver through the increased release of choline. It also helps to protect against a fatty liver and the resulting diseases such as obesity and diabetes. It may even help to protect against damage done by heavy alcohol consumption.

Alpha GPC Side Effects

Anyone who might be interested in having their mental abilities increased naturally and without any side effects should definitely consider this supplement.

Alpha GPC Dosage

A recommended alpha GPC dosage has not yet been established for Alpha GPC. Many experts suggest taking around 300 mg per day. This can be in a single dose or divided administrations. In order to guard against tolerance it is also recommended to limit yourself to three or four days per week. You can buy Alpha GPC in bulk and control your own dose.

Trying My Hand at a Pre-Workout Mix

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with different preworkout mixes and have found a great combination. The reason I decided to try making my own is because it’s a good idea to have something to cycle onto after taking something like Craze or Jack3d for too long (to allow tolerance to reset, so they’re effective again).

Pre Workout Ingredients

My first ingredient is 6 grams of L-Citrulline. I was fortunate enough to have Powder City send me a free sample of this. I know it’s a good compound to have, because it is thought to increase Nitric Oxide in the body (therefore acting as a vasodilator – increasing the size of blood vessels). The reason I want a vasodilator is that Caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor.

My second ingredient is Caffeine (200mg). For the obvious reasons, this is for the energy and focus that I like to have in my workouts. Even if tolerance is an issue, caffeine has several benefits even while not being cycled. It is shown to still have the same effect on exercise (not wakefulness, but by increasing the time to exhaustion). Unfortunately, as stated above Caffeine constricts the blood vessels, but I included L-Citrulline for this very reason, and additionally, exercise acts as a vasodilator, so I don’t have to worry about this too much.

The third ingredient is Beta-Alanine powder (roughly 500mg). I’m still new to this stuff (again, Powder City was nice enough to send me some), and haven’t had much experience with it, but in theory could be great for my workouts. When the body starts to feel a burn on longer exercises (a higher repetition range), the burn is actually due to lactic acid in the body being released. One great Beta-Alanine side effect is it actually reduces the pain of lactic acid, and therefore the “burn” sensation in the muscles isn’t as pronounced, and the body can work longer before failing.

Finally, I put my trusty Alpha-GPC in. Though there isn’t much research on how it affects the body in exercise, there are a few studies showing that it does increase strength output. Plus it’s a choline source for my racetams which is a good thing to have.