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Piracetam, Noopept, Theanine and Caffeine: Hack your Brain for Increased Productivity

You’re going to run a marathon. You’ve already decided. Well, in your heart at least, because you still haven’t gotten off the couch to start that elaborate training routine you’ve come up with.

So what do you do in the meantime? Dream up how great it will be when you finally run. The adrenaline as you pass over the finish line, the cheers from your friend and family, the pride that you’ll feel. Dreaming big will make sure that you act big, won’t it? After all, you need concrete goals to get anywhere.

Take those big dreams, toss in some supplements for focus, maybe a few more supplements for concentration, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to succeed. Right?

Unfortunately some recent studies indicate not necessarily [1]. One study had some participants envision a happy resolution to a crisis in another country, while the rest were just asked to state the facts of the crisis. When later asked to donate $25 or more, it turns out the participants who only recited cold facts were much more likely to donate.

The results were repeated in two more trials. One used similar procedures (this time related to donating time to a charity) while the other replaced stating the facts with imagining wasting time — establishing that it wasn’t stating facts that increased will to act, but it was positive dreaming that reduced it.

The takeaway here is that, to a certain extent, positive fantasies reduce the amount of effort you’re willing to put into making that fantasy come true. The downside is that it’s not exactly easy to quit daydreaming. Every second you spend distracted from a task is very likely a second you’re going to spend imagining how great it will feel once you finish.

Fortunately with nootropics, it’s not just a matter of you trying to force yourself to focus. By adding a few crucial supplements for focus to your daily routine, you can watch your concentration skyrocket. Less time dreaming, more time doing — what more could you ask for?

Piracetam

Start off your pursuit of boosted concentration with piracetam powder, one of the oldest and most widely researched nootropics out there. Before we go any further on its concentration-boosting benefits, take a moment to consider that piracetam also shows promise for positive effects on cognition, learning, and memory [1]. If your area-of-needed focus is academic or otherwise cognitively oriented, you’re looking at added benefits from piracetam straight from the get go.

On to its benefits for focus and concentration: Piracetam has repeatedly shown itself to benefit both, allowing users to participate in tasks for longer, less interrupted stints — it makes cognitive flow easier. Piracetam, an AMPA modulator, induces this effect by increasing the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain [2]. Communication between brain hemispheres is boosted, manifesting as a feeling of focus and clarity.

Noopept

If piracetam isn’t quite cutting it or you’re just looking to up your edge even further, check out noopept. It’s actually derived from the racetam family, meaning that it has some similarities to piracetam. It’s definitely its own beast though, and you’ll find a clear cut illustration of the differences before you even start to read up on the effects. While a typical piracetam dose will run between 1 to 3 grams, noopept powder is about a thousand times stronger, working efficiently at doses as small as 10 mg [3].

This might make you think it’s simply a jacked up piracetam, but noopept has its own distinct effects. Noopept is touted for anti-anxiety benefits in addition to its cognitive gains [4]. The upshot of this is that you spend less time worrying — if you aren’t worrying, it’s a heck of a lot easier to stop working. Add in the facts that noopept has shown to be neuroprotective and that its effects actually build over time [5], and you’re looking at a very potent productivity aid.

Caffeine and Theanine

Last but not least, a knock-out combo that will see your morning coffee benefiting you in completely new ways. While both of the following are effective supplements for concentration on their own, mixing l-theanine and caffeine powder will produce a synergistic effect that goes well beyond what you’d get from taking either individually.

Theanine is actually an amino acid that you’ve probably come across before without realizing it: it’s found in green tea. Taken on its own, it affects both your GABA and glutumate receptors, and is well-documented for having calming, relaxing effects [6].

Caffeine on its own stimulates a whole slew of neurotransmitters, but leaves you feeling wired and sets you up for an eventual crash. Together? Theanine takes the edge off of caffeine, smooths out the comedown, and makes it much easier to focus. A trialed study found that participants on a combination of theanine and caffeine were much better at focusing on difficult cognitive tasks [7]. So next time you grab a coffee to give yourself energy boosts, add in some theanine – and unlock your full potential.

Focus and concentration don’t come easy, and even with nootropic supplementation require discipline and practice. With the right stack, though, it’s possible to “hack” your brain into increased productivity. Experiment with combinations and compounds, find what works best for you, and boot those endless daydreams out of your head!

Sources

  1. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201302/positive-fantasies-can-reduce-future-effort
  2. http://examine.com/supplements/Piracetam/
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12596521
  4. http://examine.com/supplements/Noopept/
  5. http://www.braintropic.com/noopept/
  6. http://examine.com/supplements/Theanine/
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681988

Mind-Body Connection Stack Critique

A reader recently wrote in asking for my input on their theoretical stack. After looking it over I realized this was a fairly extensive question that deserved a detailed response.

Many nootropic stacks are geared toward boosting one particular thing, usually memory or intelligence. But what about a stack that doesn’t stimulate a certain area per-se so much as give you an all-around platform for mental and physical health?

Keeping your brain and body healthy while building a strong mind and body connection is a sure fire way to see cognitive improvements across the board. It’s not just about enhancing your brain: it’s about giving your body the nutritional tools to keep itself in tip-top shape. Supplementation can be tricky, though, since overstimulation of one part of your brain can have negative effects on others.

If you’re looking for a more holistic stack, it’s crucial you have the right mix of supplements taken at the right time in the right combinations. With that in mind, here’s a three-part daily stack designed to maximize your brain’s own innate potential.

Morning (before meal):

Caffeine 50 mg
L-theanine 100 mg
Noopept 20 mg
Lion’s Mane Extract 1000 mg

Morning (after meal):

Pramiracetam 250 mg
Choline Bitarte 500 mg

Before work-out (or other exercise):

Rhodiola Rosea 250 mg
ALCAR 500 mg
Ashwaganda Root 950 mg
Lion’s Mane 1000 mg

Evening, before bed

L-theanine 100 mg
Valerian Root 200 mg
Magnesium 400 mg
GABA 400mg

Now it’s time for a closer examination of the how and why of this stack. Essentially, it’s targeting three crucial aspects of holistic health: focus, energy, and rest. A substance-by-substance breakdown of how you’re benefitting from this stack:

FOCUS

Caffeine/Theanine: Caffeine’s stimulatory effects aren’t exactly a secret; caffeine is the most common nootropic, even though it’s not usually perceived as such.  Here’s the thing: it’s way more than a jittery energy booster that makes you crash a few hours later.

Caffeine increases levels of numerous neurotransmitters – norepinephrine, acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, and glutamate [1]. All of these are associated with focus and mental performance. Its critical downside is its notorious “crash”. This is where a theanine supplement comes in.

Theanine, found naturally in green tea, boosts and normalizes your GABA function [2]. Broken down, this has a calming affect which is directly synergistic with caffeine. Add a spoonful of a theanine in your morning coffee and you’re basically looking at all the benefits of caffeine minus the crash and jitteriness [3]. It’s hands-down the ideal way to kick off your daily nootropic regime. Take theanine on its own in the evening to settle into a calm, relaxed state.

Noopept: An offspring of the esteemed racetam family, noopept has shown to have dramatic impacts on memory and cognition with little to no side effects [4]. Even better, noopept powder also boosts neuroprotective effects. So you’re not only improving your focus with a daily dose of a noopept powder – you’re making your brain safer and stronger.

Lion’s Mane Extract: Extract from lion’s mane mushrooms has a unique function: it stimulates nerve growth factor, or NGF [5]. NGF belongs to a family of proteins that play a part in maintaining and regenerating neurons during our adult life. Bad news is as we age, our body produces less and less.

Lion’s mane, however, ensures high levels. Absence of NGF has been linked to age related memory loss [6], so if you’re looking for long-term upkeep of your cognitive health, lion’s mane is crucial. You’ll want to take it again later, since cumulative dosing is more effective.

Pramiracetam/Choline: Pramiracetam, usually found in the form of pramiracetam powder, is a bit different from other substances on this list in that it’s fat-soluble. In other words, pramiracetam powder won’t get metabolized correctly if it isn’t broken down by some fat or oil. This makes it an ideal substance to follow up with after a meal. Taking pramiracetam with a choline source boosts pramiracetam powder’s efficacy while simultaneously keeping your acetylcholine levels from dropping too low.

ENERGY/PRE-WORKOUT

Rhodiola Rosea: Rhodiola Rosea is derived from a flower that has been used for centuries to prevent fatigue. As an adaptogen, it both stabilizes your physiological processes and reduces stress on cells. It gives you energy, boosts focus, and allows your body to work harder and longer with less fatigue [7]. It’s an ideal supplement to any physical activity – which is itself crucial to a healthy mind-body connection.

ALCAR: ALCAR, or acetylcarnitine, is an essential nutrient, which means your body needs it but doesn’t naturally produce it. ALCAR will give your physiological processes an all-around boost. Cells rebuild faster (great for exercise,) immune functions are boosted (maintains health,) and mental and physical energy increase [8]. It does all this by getting fatty acids to your mitochondria (cellular power houses) faster.

Ashwaganda Root: Like the other two energy-boosting compounds, Ashwagandha root extract reduces cellular stress, allowing you to do more at least cost. It’ll also boost your immune functions, grant some neuroprotective benefits, and increase physical energy [9]. Crucially, it also indirectly promotes testosterone production: important for sexual health, overall energy, and muscle building [10].

REST

Valerian Root: While its mechanisms aren’t completely understood, valerian root functions by affecting your GABA system. This is the neurotransmitter responsible in large part for mood and calmness. At low doses, valerian has a calming effect, while at higher doses it’s been hailed as a sedative [11]. Either way, it’s a great way to transition into restful part of your day and prepare for sleep. You’ll want to take this and the rest of this part of the stack no more than an hour before bed.

Magnesium: Magnesium isn’t naturally produced in the body, but has a whole slew of benefits when you sufficiently supplement with it. It allows your muscles to relax (they tense up if you’re low on magnesium) and helps your body produce protein [12]. In other words, it’s a great way to follow up a strenuous day and make sure your body fully maximizes its recovery phase.

GABA: As you may have guessed from the name, GABA directly affects your GABA transmitters, meaning it will work synergistically with your valerian and theanine supplements. On its own, it’s a powerful amino acid that helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing nerve signaling. Cap off your stack with this to make sure your sleeping body is doing everything it can to recover and prepare for the next day.

Remember, as with any stack, it’s important to cycle your nootropics to maintain maximum efficiency. Look to take a day or two off every few weeks, or to cycle your nootropics individually.

SOURCES:

  1.  http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1182710-overview
  2.  http://www.drhoffman.com/page.cfm/417
  3. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/8/1572S.long
  4.  http://examine.com/supplements/Noopept/
  5.  http://examine.com/supplements/Yamabushitake/
  6. http://curezone.org/forums/am.asp?i=587180
  7. http://examine.com/supplements/Rhodiola+Rosea/
  8. http://examine.com/supplements/L-Carnitine/
  9. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/jun2006_report_ashwa_01.htm
  10.  http://nutrientjournal.com/ashwagandha-extrac-may-suppress-cortisol-increased-testosterone/
  11. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Valerian-HealthProfessional/
  12. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional

Part 2: Top 5 Nootropic Supplements for Day of Test

It’s the day of the big test. You’ve kept up with your work all semester, spent the last week studying your heart out…and still aren’t completely confident. You want to perform the best you possibly can.b

This is where nootropics come in. A “smart drug” class of cognitive enhancers, there are a broad range of selections depending what brain functions you’re looking to improve. So if you’re a student, here are the five best nootropics to supplement with on the day of the test.

Caffeine

Caffeine should be familiar to just about anybody. There’s nothing quite like that morning cup of coffee to give you a crucial energy boost. Caffeine mostly works by antagonizing adenosine production: a neurotransmitter that causes sedation and drowsiness. By blocking it, caffeine gives you that alert, stimulated edge.

Caffeine does more than just make you feel more alert though, and are in fact a viable nootropic. In one study, caffeine-dosed mice performed significantly better than a control group at recognizing objects. A caffeine supplement is great all-around foundation to any test-acing nootropic stack.

Piracetam

Nootropics can help when cramming for tests

Nootropics can help when cramming for tests

Piracetam is one of the most widely researched nootropics, and the original ‘racetam nootropic. Piracetam boosts membrane fluidity, and has been found to increase communication between the brain’s hemispheres. This pays off on the academic end by boosting focus and alertness. It also increases blood flow in the brain, which translates into boosted efficiency. Best of all, it’s synergistic with caffeine: take them together for a boosted, enhanced effect on both ends.

Choline

Choline is a nutrient which functions as a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is crucial to learning and cognition, and performance in both areas is limited by low choline levels. Not only does choline pair well with piracetam, it can give you same-day boosts in acetylcholine activity.

Studies have shown that healthy amounts of CDP choline significantly boost verbal recall and visual memory. Since acetylcholine underpins everything your brain is going to be doing while taking a test, you can’t really go wrong with a nice dose of a choline supplement.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 shows up in a typical diet, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting enough of it. Recent studies have found that B-12 deficiency are fairly common, and can have pretty bad consequences. Included among them is impaired cognition.

Odds are you could be heading into your test with low B-12 — and there’s no need for that, since it’s a safe, inexpensive supplement. It also pairs well with piracetam, caffeine supplements, and choline supplements.

Trials have found that boosting deficient B-12 levels can improve memory and cognition, and even alleviate depression. Use it to make sure your brain is in peak performance mode for your test.

Bacopa Monnieri

You can round off the above supplements by dosing with bacopa the night before the test. Bacopa is an herb native to India long known to aid memory, concentration, and learning. Bacopa monnieri benefits cognition in several ways, most notably improving memory and recollection.

Studies have not only suggested that it improves memory retention (increased ability to remember new information), but significantly improved working memory. This means the brain gets better at recalling stored information.

To get ideal bacopa benefits, it’s best to take it the night before the test. It’s non-toxic and interacts well with other nootropics, but it can make you sleepy! Not exactly what you’re looking for on test day. Also, before bed bacopa will help you better retain all the information you’ve been cramming.

Any of the five supplements listed above will give you that crucial extra edge to let you do as well as possible on that big important test. You’ve worked hard all semester – why do any less than your best? With that nootropic boost, you’re primed to maximize your ability to get a killer grade.

The Poor Man’s Nootropic Stack

If you’re a college student or fresh graduate, you’re probably on a limited budget and don’t have a lot of money to spend on nootropics. However, your mental performance shouldn’t suffer just because you’re tight on cash.

In fact, with long nights studying and stressful exams, you could probably use a boost more than most people. Make no mistake, nootropics can get expensive, but like anything else, there’s a smart way to make your money work. You can build your own nootropic stacks that rival expensive blends for pennies on the dollar if you play your cards right.

Introducing: The Poor Man’s Nootropic Stack!

This stack is made up of essential nootropics that should serve as a baseline for anyone looking to save money on nootropics. In addition to being inexpensive, these are also very effective.

This stack includes nootropics that:

Limited funds? Don't sacrifice your brain power, try out the Poor Man's Nootropic stack!

Limited funds? Don’t sacrifice your brain power, try out the Poor Man’s Nootropic stack!

  1. Have a broad base of effects and lasting impact. These are considered the basics and a good foundation for any stack.
  2. Synergize with other nootropics included in the stack. These all work well together and, in some cases, will provide an added benefit over taking them individually.
  3. Are inexpensive. Since they’re the essentials, most are available in bulk powders or in other inexpensive forms that will allow you to stock up without breaking the bank.

Piracetam – Because it’s one of the oldest and most widely studied nootropics, piracetam is the superstar of the budget stack. Piracetam offers benefits for memory, learning, focus, concentration and mental performance in general. Bulk orders of piracetam can make it an extremely cost-effective supplement.

Caffeine – Caffeine has been used for ages by anyone trying to burn some midnight oil. What most people don’t know is that when used strategically, caffeine offers fantastic nootropic benefits. By consuming measured doses over time, caffeine can keep your mental energy levels steady and improve your focus. It’s also inexpensive. Bulk powder is available online, but if you want to go really cheap, you can consume coffee or other caffeinated beverages throughout the day in measured doses.

L-theanine – Providing anti-anxiety effects, l-theanine can be effective at helping you relax and focus. However, where it benefits you the most is when l-theanine is paired with caffeine. The two

Tea is a common source of theanine

Tea is a common source of theanine

have fantastic synergy that provides you with a calm, focused energy without caffeine jitters. This combination is already present at low levels in many teas; you’re just taking it up a notch to get the full effect.

CDP Choline – Choline is considered brain fuel. It keeps the furnace burning throughout the day and keeps you thinking sharp. Choline is another nootropic that offers synergistic benefits. Since piracetam increases choline uptake, adding a choline supplement can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your piracetam.

Noopept – Similar to piracetam, noopept is in the “racetam” family of nootropics. It offers the same benefits of improvements in memory, learning and mental performance. However, noopept powder is 1000x more potent than piracetam, so a much lower dose is required. Because of this, noopept makes a great addition to the Poor Man’s Nootropic stack with doses around $0.02 when purchased in bulk sizes.

Fish Oil – While not technically considered a nootropic, fish oil contains EPA and DHA which offer many neuroprotective benefits. In some cases fish oil has even been used to effectively deal with mood disorders.

That’s it! These are all you need to get smarter on a budget. Sure, it’s called the Poor Man’s Stack, but this could also be considered the “Smart Man’s Stack”. Why spend the money if you don’t have to? The nootropics listed here are enough to benefit anyone looking for a mental edge, no matter the budget!

Caffeine Extraction 101

Say you are looking to add a little caffeine into a drink or even into a cake or anything else for that matter. Sounds awesome, right? With a little know-how, it is easy.

Here we look at two caffeine extraction methods. Both these articles have excellent information on two completely different methods of extracting caffeine – Extracting (almost pure) Caffeine from Caffeine Pills and Extraction of caffeine from tea leaves.

Caffeine is a stimulant and is found within nature in both the tea bush and the coffee plant. Kola nuts and guarana berries also are a rich source of caffeine.

Caffeine is excellent for keeping you mentally alert and for warding off drowsiness. Most cultures the world over ingest some form of caffeine-related beverage or food every day.

Method One – Extraction from Pills

Crushing a caffeine pill may seem like the easiest option; however, it will not taste good. By extracting the pure caffeine from within the pill, it will be far more palatable. Here’s how –

What you need

A clean sheet of glass to work on
A mortar and pestle or a wooden rolling pin
Caffeine pills (any generic kind)
100% alcohol solvent
A pipette
A razor
An angled desk lamp

Instructions

  1. Begin in a well ventilated area
  2. Crush up the pills until they resemble a fine powder
  3. Dissolve the powder in alcohol
  4. Let the mixture settle until it forms two layers
  5. When the alcohol layer is clear, use the pipette to lift and drop the solution onto the glass
  6. This solution will evaporate, leaving caffeine crystals on the glass
  7. Continue this process until there is no alcohol layer left
  8. Next add more alcohol and keep repeating the process until the caffeine crystals run out
  9. At the end, you’re left with your pure caffeine!

Method Two – Extraction from Tea Leaves

Let’s say you’re trapped in your grandma’s kitchen and you don’t have any actual caffeine pills, only tea bags. And you’re not thirsty. Fear not! There’s still hope, especially if your grandma has chemistry equipment. This method is more for scientists and science students than lay people. However, it still works.

This video demonstrates the procedure below.

What you need

Filter paper
A Separatory funnel
An Erlenmeyer flask
A Hirsch funnel
Tea leaves
Cotton wool
Magnesium sulphate anhydrous
Calcium carbonate
Petroleum ether
Sodium chloride
Dichloromethane

Instructions

  1. Boil tea bags, water, and calcium carbonate while swirling the mixture gently
  2. Introduce suction filtration
  3. Cool mixture in an ice bath
  4. Add sodium chloride and twice extract the solution with dichloromethane
  5. Collect the organic layer and dry with magnesium sulphate anhydrous
  6. Filter and evaporate the solvent with rota-vapor
  7. Weigh and purify your caffeine

So here you have two distinct and different methods for extracting caffeine for your own use. Whichever way you choose to do so, do remember that pure caffeine is extremely potent and it is important to read up on the effects in order to know exactly how much to use in your drinks, baking, and so on.

Benefits of Sulbutiamine and Caffeine Nootropic Combo

Sulbutiamine and caffeine is a fairly new nootropic combination but seems promising. Sulbutiamine is a nootropic that is designed to improve your mood, boost your memory and give you an increase in energy. What makes this combination unique is that sulbutiamine has energy boosting properties similar to that of caffeine, but of course it is taken with caffeine which can give you even more energy and possibly reduce the effects of a caffeine crash. Sulbutiamine raises the levels of thiamine and thiamine phosphate esters in the brain, which results in increased focus and endurance.

Sulbutiamine Benefits

Scientific studies have also been done to learn more about sulbutiamine benefits. Research has shown that sulbutiamine effects people who suffer from asthenia, which is a medical condition where people experience severe fatigue and muscle weakness. This is because sulbutiamine helps aid in boosting energy and athletic performance. Sulbutiamine is also often added to energy drinks and studies have been done that shows significant increases in mental focus and reaction time performance. The sulbutiamine dosage that is recommended is between 200mg and 500mg up to two times daily with food. Anyone taking sulbutiamine powder or capsules should never exceed that amount within a 24 hour time period.

Another study done for mice was said to have improved memory by increasing retention, which resulted in increased performance. It has also been tested on patients with chronic post infectious fatigue (CPIF) with doses of 400mg daily, which noted that the group had significantly less fatigue than the group with the placebo. Improvement was reportedly noted in 91.37% of the people tested with multiple sclerosis, with 74.13% of them reporting that the improvement was substantial. In addition to improved mental focus and increased fatigue, there are also reported effects on the eyes and sexual performance.

Thiamine is known to be lower in glaucoma patients, with studies that show that thiamine injections increase visual acuity, and sulbutiamine is a molecule in which two thiamin (B1) molecules are bound together. The study showed that sulbutiamine was able to reduce cell death when cells were deprived of serum. Sulbutiamine benefits for psychogenic erectile dysfunction have also been noted, which was said to have increased performance. Sulbutiamine seems to have a lot of benefits and positive effects, so what happens when sulbutiamine is tied in with the benefits of caffeine in a nootropic combo?

Caffeine Benefits

Caffeine is also highly stimulatory and improves physical performance when it comes to both endurance and strength. It is also classified as a nootropic due to its mentally stimulatory actions and sensitization of neurons. When caffeine supplements are combined with sulbtiamine powder or capsules, the affects become apparent. It is reported that this nootropic combo will give you a high boost in energy, with significant increases in endurance. It has been reported that the crash that comes as caffeine wears off is greatly reduced, which is more than likely due to the sulbutiamine supplement that is added. This nootropic stack is highly effective and a great choice if you want to see improved mental performance and increased physical endurance.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4059305
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15951087
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10573727

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, 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.

How I Fixed Modafinil: Modafinil and Caffeine Stack

Modafinil and Caffeine

I’ve tried time and time again to use my modafinil as an as-needed supplement, but I find myself needing a pick-me-up more than once a week.

As much as I love caffeine, the effects are too short-lived to be effective for 16+ hours of productivity, so I turn to modafinil for a longer, cleaner feeling of wakefulness.

Plus, like everyone, I build a tolerance to caffeine pretty quickly. This means I need to take more and more caffeine to get the same effects as I did in early use stages. Since I use it for my pre workout supplement, I don’t want to rely on it to wake me up as well. This would just dilute its effectiveness. Thus, I turn to modafinil (to which I had no tolerance); however, it comes with similar drawbacks as well.

As many of you already know, modafinil and caffeine (as well as everything else) has a tolerance effect in the body, and I’ve almost reached a point of ineffectiveness. This happened to me once over the summer as well (I got to the point of taking modafinil every day) and it was an unfortunate waste of money.

Using Yohimbine to Counteract Modafinil Tolerance

I recently heard of a potential synergy between modafinil and yohimbine. I hadn’t done much research on yohimbine in the past, but it’s primarily marketed as a weight-loss supplement with stimulatory effects. I came across an article that mentioned that modafinil-induced wakefulness and focus was significantly increased with a small dose of yohimbine.

What are Yohimbine and Modafinil?

Here is a brief background of both supplements for those who are unfamiliar with them:

Modafinil is a drug that requires a prescription in the United States and is used to promote wakefulness. It is primarily used by individuals with narcolepsy or sleep apnea, but is also used for attention disorders, mood disorders, fatigue, and as a nootropic for cognitive enhancing purposes.

Yohimbine is available for purchase online and in many brick and mortar stores. It is primarily used for fat loss; however, it also has stimulant and aphrodisiac properties. As it is highly versatile, yohimbine is a very popular supplement among men and women. However, as I said before, I was interested in its potential synergy with modafinil.

Powder City was nice enough to send me a sample of yohimbine, and I was amazed with what I found.

It’s generally advised that these drugs should not mix (because yohimbine has inhibitor properties making modafinil slightly more toxic), but in low doses of each, this wasn’t a concern of mine.

I had made it through the entire week without the assistance of any supplements, but Friday came around and the entire week suddenly caught up with me. I finished class and had an hour or so before going to work, but sitting in my chair, I was having an insanely difficult time keeping my eyes open.

I didn’t want to take anything with caffeine in it, because I like to save my caffeine ingestion for the gym. I was about to take a quick powernap, but remembered that I had some yohimbine and modafinil on my shelf.

I cut the modafinil tablet in half (100mg), and took one capsule of yohimbine (2.5mg). Alone, these would not have done much for me, but together, I was awake and ready to go within half an hour.

After a shift at work, I went to the gym with one of my buddies who practices MMA (Mixed Martial Art) fighting all over the country, and with the help of a little caffeine powder, I was able to power through a 2-hour workout.

Individuals considering this combination should proceed with caution; yohimbine is highly stimulatory in some, but for me, it was just what I needed.

The Adrafinil Stack

Adrafinil is equally as effective as modafinil. This is because adrafinil is a prodrug of modafinil meaning it metabolizes into modafinil within the body. As a result, you reap the same benefits. Plus, you can stack adrafinil with other supplements as well. Also, unlike modafinil, you do not have to have a prescription to buy adrafinil.

Staying Awake with Modafinil

Maintaining enough energy is often a problem for many people who have busy schedules. By the time two o’clock rolls around, they feel like it’s time to call it a day. Many turn to caffeine for a boost of energy but, as countless know, caffeine’s major downfall is tolerance. After a couple weeks of an afternoon cup of Joe, it’s time to increase to two cups, and then three cups. Then pretty soon you realize you’re ingesting 1200mg of caffeine a day (one cup is around 100mg). As a result you decide to cut off your caffeine supply and as it turns out, like many drugs, withdrawal is a huge problem. You’ll be sleeping 13 hours a day, feeling exhausted and irritable all the time.

Having an ample source of energy to cycle with is one of the best ways to combat this tolerance issue. Cycling is a simple and effective concept. Essentially, after a couple weeks of caffeine, you switch to an alternative energy source for a couple weeks. Thus, when you come back to coffee (or caffeine supplements), it feels like your first cup in years. Mmm, energy!

Benefits of Modafinil

This is where modafinil come into play. Some people say it’s a study aid, but for some it is useful for everything, some people even take modafinil and caffeine. Users reported taking one tablet (200mg) in the morning made them feel well-rested and awake the rest of the day with no crash. The military tested modafinil on pilots and found that pilots could be out for longer flights without fearing fatigue. It feels cleaner than caffeine supplements – no anxiety, jitters, or stimulation – just feeling really awake and well-rested.

Avoiding Modafinil Withdrawal

Like caffeine, however, tolerance will become an issue. Some users find they become dependent on modafinil as they did with coffee, taking up to one to two tablets a day. This is why cycling is so useful. Alternating between the two will allow for energy boosts, but avoid tolerance.

Because modafinil requires a prescription, some may not be able to obtain it. Users can obtain similar results through other means. Since the goal is to achieve a wakefulness feeling without caffeine, you might find that ALCAR (Acetyl-L-Carnitine) and DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) achieve comparable effects.

Chasing the PEA Dragon: An Uncomfortable Euphoria

DMAA Powder Stack

I was looking for quality DMAA powder (a stimulant in Jack3d that gives you great energy) and I came across a mix consisting of Caffeine, DMAA, Hordenine, and Phenylethylamine. Usually when I come across something like this, I quickly disregard it because it has all the “extras” while I’m trying to find an isolated solution. I had never even heard of Hordenine or PEA (Phenylethylamine) but when I read some of the reviews, people were continually blown away by the combination and that it was the best energy they’ve ever had. So now I was curious and decided to do a little research.

I learned about MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors) and how there are enzymes in the brain that destroy certain neurotransmitters. Hordenine acts as a temporary MAOI to allow PEA (and even Caffeine and DMAA supplement to an extent) to pass through the brain blood barrier without being metabolized. To put it simply, Hordenine makes the other three ingredients significantly more potent.

So I ordered the energy stack from Powder City and when I got it, I decided to take it all at the maximum recommended dose. What followed was what I can best describe as an uncomfortable euphoria. Fortunately, that night I decided to log how the day went:

“After 25 minutes I started feeling really happy. I ran out to my roommate’s car as he was leaving for work and explained that my new stack was working. But then it all went downhill once I got back inside. I had to lie in bed, and I was essentially staring at the ceiling needing to consciously breathe, and I was noting my heartbeat. For the most part I didn’t move. Maybe 20 minutes later of staring up at the ceiling, I got myself up and went to take an ice cold shower. I was freaking out pretty bad and the thoughts of ODing and needing to call 911 were always on my mind.

About 30 minutes later, I went climbing (at an indoor bouldering gym) with my friend: “…I started climbing. I got way into it and it turned out to be my best climbing session ever. I got routes that I had never been able to do before. If I had to guess, the short ‘High’ that PEA gave finally wore off and the caffeine and DMAA were finally able to help me climb.”

PEA, Hordenine, Caffeine and DMAA Powder Stack Reviewed

So while I did experience the energy boost others reported, the uncomfortable euphoria is certainly worth noting. Users should start low with this stack and work their way up to suitable levels.