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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

Is Sublingual Administration Safe for Nootropics?

nootropics sublingual

Nootropics can boost your creativity.

Sublingual administration is one of many ways to take a supplement for maximum effect.  It is done by putting a supplement under the tongue and allowing it to diffuse into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane beneath the tongue.  Taking substances this way can lead to faster effects because they go straight into the bloodstream rather than being passed through the liver first or being degraded by stomach acid.

While this seems like an effective way to take nootropic supplements, many users may wonder if this method is safe.  While the majority of nootropics are perfect safe to take sublingually, some are better than others to ingest this way.

Which Supplements Can I Take Sublingually?

The effects of taking a nootropic sublingually depend on the composition of the substance.  Anything that is more acidic, like phenibut, may make the mouth sore, as do substances like adrafinil.  Some are just not as effective because they dissolve slowly, like sulbutiamine.

nootropics writing

Nootropics can also boost your writing ability.

These types of supplements are best taken orally with water or juice for optimal safety and efficacy.  The ideal nootropic for sublingual administration is one that dissolves quickly and is more effective when it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and skips the liver.

Racetam supplements, like aniracetam and coluracetam, as well as derivatives like noopept, are much more effective when they are absorbed into the tongue’s mucous membrane.  Nootropics like Alpha GPC also dissolve quickly, and have no associated taste. It also helps that many nootropics, coluracetam and noopept in particular, have very minute dosages which makes sublingual supplementation much easier.

Is It Better To Take Nootropics Sublingually?

sublingual nootropics

Sublingual administration involves putting the supplement under your tongue.

Sublingual administration is not necessarily better or worse than oral administration, and choosing to take nootropics this way entirely depends on the needs of the individual.  Taking nootropics beneath the tongue allows the user to take smaller doses because they are more effective, more concentrated, and work faster.

Also, users trying to avoid stress on the stomach and intestinal tract may take supplements sublingually to avoid side effects related to the digestive system.  Bypassing the stomach also means better absorption and less degradation, making the supplement more potent [1].

While sublingual administration seems better and more effective, it can be difficult to find nootropics designed to be taken this way. Generally, racetams as well as l-theanine and vitamin B6 will be widely available this way.  Otherwise, many supplements are only intended for oral administration.

The Safest Way to Take Nootropics with Sublingual Administration

The best way to remain safe when taking nootropics is to follow the instructions and dosages and only use sublingual administration when the supplement is intended for this form of absorption.  These supplements are entirely safe when taken as intended, but may irritate the mouth if used incorrectly.

As with any supplement, it’s best to pay attention to the guidelines to enjoy maximum positive effects.  However, finding nootropics designed to be taken sublingually can be a great way to enjoy quick and powerful cognitive effects without losing significant amounts of the supplement as the body breaks it down.

Sources

1. http://www.examiner.com/article/new-methods-of-nootropic-administration

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

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/

Memory, Sleep, and Concentration Stack

A reader wrote in looking for advice on creating a stack for memory, sleep, and concentration. This person suffers from low moods and problems sleeping. They also often build a tolerance to nootropics quickly. This person is looking to create a new stack as they have had success in the past with nootropics, but experienced sleep disruption and wants to avoid that.

Since the list of nootropics they gave was so extensive, I decided to dedicate an entire blog post to this topic in hopes of helping them and others suffering from similar issues.

The nootropic stacks are as follows:

Morning Stack

Caffeine Anhydrous 100 mg
L-Theanine 50 mg
Aniracetam 750 mg
Alpha GPC 200 mg
Creatine HCl 750 mg
Sulbutiamine 200 mg
Vinpocetine 5 mg  (3 days on, 1 off)
Huperzine A 1% 100 mcg  (every fourth day)
Noopept 50 mg  (cycle with pramiracetam every 2 weeks)
Pramiracetam 200 mg  (cycle with noopept every 2 weeks)
Stevia 95% Steviosides 500 mg

Afternoon Stack

Aniracetam 750 mg
Sulbutiamine 200 mg
Vinpocetine 5 mg  (3 days on, 1 off)
Huperzine A 1% 100 mcg  (every fourth day)
PEA 200 mg
Phosphatidylserine 100 mg
NALT 500 mg

Before Bed

L-theanine 100 mg (3 days on, 1 off)
Phenibut 500 mg (every 4th day)
Phosphatidylserine 100 mg

If you’re designing a stack for concentration, energy, and sleep, you want to keep a few things in mind. First off, it’s crucial that you dose up with energy-boosting supplements in the morning without overloading on anything that will cause a crash during the day. Come afternoon, you want a mild energy boost that’ll get you through your day without leaving you overstimulated for sleep. Your evening stack should be mild so it doesn’t cause dependency. The stack above should cover all the requested areas very well. Substances are paired to work as synergistically as possible, while a few are cycled for safety/dependency reasons. Here’s a brief overview of each portion of the stack.

Morning Stack

Stacking caffeine and l-theanine in the morning should work synergistically to boost baseline cognitive function while minimizing over-stimulation [1]. Paired with Aniracetam, this will be great for verbal fluency, reduced anxiety, and increased memory [2, 6]. And the aniracetam will in turn be even more effective when stacked with alpha GPC.

Creatine is a great supplement for your mind and body so long as you keep the doses reasonable, and will help maintain energy levels throughout the day without overstimulation [2]. Look for sulbutiamine to combat fatigue, boost dopamine (pleasure neurotransmitter) and reduced inhibitions – making for easier immersion in conversation [3]. Sulbutiamine powder may taste vile, but it’s a fantastic way to boost energy without any jittery side effects.

As far as memory goes, Vinpocetine and Huperzine are both great choices; they are cycled here to disrupt your body adapting to them, and because long-term impacts of Huperzine are not very well studied [4]. They’ll pair well with pramiracetam or noopept, which are both great for boosting memory, concentration, and focus.

You should cycle them to prevent your brain from adapting; plus pramiracetam has the potential for a toxic buildup of nitric oxide [6]. Stevia is another great compound that has been shown to reduce stress levels; it is great for offsetting any overstimulation you might get for other compounds. Plus it can help to mask the bitter flavor that comes with most nootropics.

Starting your day off like this should give you a well-rounded cognitive start to your day while promoting healthy energy levels.

Afternoon Stack

The afternoon stack should work in synergy with your morning stack, which is why you will be redosing the aniracetam and sulbutiamine powders as both see improved effects when taken cumulatively. You’ll also repeat your vinpocetine/huperzine cycle here, since they’re more effective when their doses are split up throughout the day.

Beta Phenylethylamine (PEA) will give a mild energy boost and, taken in the afternoon, should set you up for more restful sleep come nighttime. Phosphatidylserine should take any edge off while priming you for sleep. And, finally, NALT is added because it will help your body produce dopamine and noradrenaline [7], crucial neurotransmitters for energy and focus (the PEA should boost dopamine stimulation even further [6]).

You’ll be primed for maximizing this production thanks to your morning stack. Overall, this part of the stack will take your morning edge and allow it to mellow out while still giving you a sufficient energy boost to stay productive throughout the day.

Before Bed

For the final part of the stack, I added phenibut. L-theanine will relax you and is beneficial to your GABA system, which helps regulate mood and stress. Take phenibut powder every fourth day; since it hits your GABA-B receptors, it works synergistically with l-theanine, and will provide you with a very deep, restful sleep [9].

Phosphatidyl Serine for Sleep

The downside is that tolerance and dependence build fast, while efficiency declines, so keep this to every fourth day to maximize efficiency.  Then you can round it off with one last dose of phosphatidylserine to boost relaxation and improve memory formation while you sleep [10].

One concern with such an elaborate stack is the actual measurement and consumption of the powders. Weighing out fifteen or so nootropics (not to mention swallowing them) is going to get a bit arduous even for the most dedicated nootropic enthusiasts.

Fortunately, you can put your powders in capsules, and there is an inexpensive machine that makes the process quick and easy. For this stack you’ll want to get a machine that works with size 00 capsules – they hold about 800 mg give or take a bit.

The entire process of capping takes about five minutes and gives you 24 capsules each go-round – almost enough for an entire month. It’s a heck of a lot easier than measuring out each substance day to day, and has the added bonus of making the worse-tasting nootropics (hello, sulbutiamine powder) much easier to take.

SOURCES

  1. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/8/1572S.long
  2. http://examine.com/supplements/Aniracetam/
  3. http://examine.com/supplements/Sulbutiamine/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3781107/
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8557218
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1767242
  7. http://examine.com/supplements/L-Tyrosine/
  8. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/phosphatidylserine/faq-20057764
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11830761
  10. http://examine.com/supplements/Phosphatidylserine/

Nootropics and Creativity: How to Safely Boost your Artistic Side

Nootropics and Creativity

Whether you’re looking to kickstart your novel, paint the next Mona Lisa, or devise a brilliant business plan for your new start-up, creativity is important. It is also no secret that creativity can be a notoriously fickle thing—completely there one day, then gone the next.

It seems like sometimes no matter how devoted you are, no matter how hard you try, there’s just nothing there and everything you try to think up comes out feeling flat. Here’s where nootropics can offer you a quick edge.

Since nootropics are a class of smart drugs designed to benignly tweak your brain performance, there’s a good chance that there’s one out there that will pluck your creativity strings just the right way. Take a look at some of the best compounds for giving you an artistic boost when your muse just refuses to show up.

Aniracetam

Aniracetam is the next step up from Piracetam on the ladder of nootropics. It also produces very distinct effects. It’s cited as the best anti-anxiety nootropic, and as a nootropic that enhances creativity. How exactly does it accomplish this?

First off, Aniracetam is an AMPA modulator. This fact means that in one way or another it enhances the functioning of your AMPA receptors, which are excitatory receptors linked to mood and memory [1]. Secondly, it increases blood flow in the association context—the payoff being that holistic thinking becomes easier [1]. It’s also somewhat anxiolytic; reduced anxiety is something any stumped creative type could use [2].

There are also a few secondary effects that help creativity. Aniracetam can also make vision sharper and more vivid, boost literary fluidity (easier reading!), and make it easier to grasp abstract concepts [2]. Chalk it up to improved communication between brain hemispheres, which is one more way that Aniracetam enhances cognition [3].

The trade off? Naturally creative types may find their thinking taking on a more logical edge thanks to boosted right brain activity, while more literal-minded users will see their logical thought processes become a bit more abstract. It’s a great tool whether you’re looking to enhance your creative project, or just tackle it from a slightly shifted neurological perspective.

Phenibut

Phenibut doesn’t “cause” creativity, but it certainly primes you for it! One of the most important aspects of creativity is flow—the ability to shut everything out and focus entirely on the task at hand. Easier said than done. Your worst enemy? Outside thoughts, stress, worries, doubts…all the small grievances that you’re probably trying to get away from with creativity in the first place.

Phenibut benefits the aspiring artist in two ways. First, it hits your GABA-B receptors, which affect stress and calmness [4]. The overall effect is a soothed, tranquil, present feeling, the sort you might get from exercise or meditation. Studies have also shown that it decreases your inability to act in a negative emotional situation. Like, say, feeling stuck because you can’t generate a new creative idea [5].

Secondly, phenibut has been shown to stimulate dopamine [6]. Tweaked dopamine means a heightened sense of pleasure and meaning from all your sensory input. This is important to creativity in its own right, but dopamine has also been specifically proven to have a strong correlation to creativity. Evidence-based reports even cite phenibut as having mild benefits for memory recall: important if you’re working on an elaborate creative project [7].

Making sure you’re taking a safe amount of phenibut will ensure you aren’t left with a disrupted dopamine system the next day. Dose responsibly and cycle your phenibut often, and you’ll be on your way to having a sure-fire nootropic shortcut to a creative headspace. Dosing irresponsibly can result in many side effects.

Sulbutiamine

Sulbutiamine is a thiamine derived compound created in Japan to combat asthenia, a chronic fatigue that is mentally, not physically, based [8]. Since thiamine is B-vitamin based, that’s exactly what sulbutiamine will reverse! After a safe dose, look for boosted levels of energy that’ll help you complete all your unfinished tasks, creative or otherwise. In other words, it’s been proven to be effective at reducing mental fatigue [9].

It’s important to consider more factors than just “feeling creative” when looking to enhance creativity — focus and energy are crucial even to the most creative mind. Thanks to sulbutiamine, you can make sure you aren’t too worn down to dream.

However, the list of creativity-specific benefits you get from this nootropic don’t stop there. It’s been shown to reduce psycho-behavioral inhibitions — in other words, it eases your conditioned fears [10]. If there’s something you avoid or get stressed by, sulbutiamine makes it easier to approach. So long writer’s block!

Coluracetam

Coluracetam is one of the newest compounds to hit the market, and is the latest iteration in the veritable racetam family. How does it help with creativity? It’s all in the name. Coluracetam is alleged to have ‘’sensory enhancing properties”—colors, for instance look richer.

It’s also alleged to enhance sounds, brighten vision, and thrust the user into an anxiety-dampened, creativity-free headspace. It achieves all this by being the first choline uptake enhancer; it makes the brain turn choline into learning-and-information neurotransmitter acetylcholine faster and more fully [11]. That means you are able to take in more sensory information at once, while simultaneously having more “raw data” to commit to memory.

While the anecdotal feedback on the substance has been very positive so far, it’s worth considering that coluracetam is a very young nootropic, and the clinical research on it is slim at best. While there are no indications that it will deviate from the racetam trend by being anything other than safe and non-toxic, it’s worth using some caution if you’re considering picking some up.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re too tired to focus, out of imaginative ideas, or just not quite as fired up about creativity as you used to be, nootropics offer something to benefit you. Read up on your substance of choice, take the recommended dose, and see for yourself how quickly you can get that brush back in your hand!

Sources

Aniracetam:

[1] – http://examine.com/supplements/Aniracetam/

[2] – http://www.braintropic.com/racetam-comparison/

[3] – http://www.smartdrugsforthought.com/what-is-aniracetam/

Phenibut:

[4] – http://www.raysahelian.com/phenibut.html

[5] – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17944107

[6] – http://www.phenibutforanxiety.com/thescienceofphenibut.php

[7] – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11830761

Sulbutiamine:

[8] – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10996447

[9] – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12973384

[10] – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10996447

Coluracetam:

[11] – http://examine.com/supplements/Coluracetam/

Part 1: Top 4 Nootropic Supplements for Studying

There’s nothing quite like that feeling when you realize it’s only a week before exams and you haven’t done nearly enough studying. That’s where cram sessions come in — or, if you really want an edge, nootropics.

Nootropics are a class of legal “smart drugs” that enhance cognition in various ways. They’re an ideal choice for students looking for that extra boost. There are dozens of nootropics to choose from, with benefits ranging from increased focus to improved memory.

But with so many options, which are the most helpful, and which is the right one for you? After all, what’s a choline supplement? How is melatonin powder going to help you remember information? Here’s a look at the four top nootropics for studying.

Piracetam

Piracetam, which often comes in the form of piracetam powder, is one of the oldest and most widely-studied nootropics. It’s been clinically cited as a useful compound to slow or reverse cognitive decline, and anecdotal reports claim that it boosts focus, memory, and even mood. Before using piracetam, make sure to learn how to take piracetam powder.

The exact mechanisms of piracetam’s actions aren’t completely understood. What is known is that by antagonizing uptake of particular glucose, piracetam increases membrane fluidity. This increase pays off with improved long-term memory and improved communication between the brain’s hemispheres.

Piracetam’s effects on focus and memory can be subtle, and tend to become more obvious after extended use. Trials with patients found few recall-ability differences from the control group after 7 days, but notable enhancements after 14. So if you’re looking cram info with piracetam so you can ace that final, it’s best to start taking it early.

One thing to watch out for: piracetam use burns through choline, a nutrient important for the brain. This use manifests as headaches, so if you want to beef up your studying ability with minimum side effects, it’s recommended you take piracetam with a choline source.

Choline

Choline can be a useful nootropic in its own right, and even without piracetam is a viable option to enhance your academic performance. Choline supplements can be ingested in various forms, including CDP Choline and Alpha-GPC, each of with affect the brain slightly differently. They all have one thing in common, though: they’re processed into acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter crucial to learning and memory.

Even though choline can be found in a healthy diet, 90% of the US population is at least somewhat deficient in choline. This can lead to headaches, fatigue, and memory problems. Supplement with a good choline source, and you’re back in business: a healthy brain primed to take in information and actually retain it.

The main downside to choline is that too much of it can affect you similarly to the ways too little can. Balance here is the key — if you can maintain that, it’s an excellent all-around supplement to keep your brain working at tip-top learning levels.

Galantamine

Galamintine supplements are yet another option for the ambitious student looking to optimize. Extract the active ingredient from organic or synthetic flowers (galanthus caucasicus), and you’ve got a galamantine supplement. Galamantine inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine – and by doing so, notably improves your REM sleep.

The scholastic payoff? Those are the phases of sleep where memories are formed and retained. Are you a rough sleeper? Missing sleep to study?

Toss a galamantine supplement into the mix, and you’re looking at deep, restful sleep that lets you form memories better than ever. A galamantime supplement before bed is the perfect way to conclude and get the most out of heavy study session.

Melatonin

Last up is melatonin powder. You might have heard of melatonin power for its most common use — to regulate sleep cycles. Melatonin is a neurohormone naturally released by the body to regulate sleep cycles. When your brain thinks it’s time for you to go to sleep, it releases melatonin. Melatonin powder let’s you take control of this cycle. Take a healthy dose before bed, and you can severely cut down on sleep latency, or the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

This lets you more or less have control over your sleep cycle. Melatonin powder is the perfect supplement to pair with any or all of the above. By taking it you can ensure you get the most possible sleep each night, which not only lets you retain that days studying better, but leaves you more refreshed for the next day.

Conclusion

All of the nootropics discussed here are very much on the safe side, and the best way to determine how they work for you in particular is to carefully trial them. They’re also safe to take together, so once you’ve figured out which work best for you, you can create your own ideal study-boosting nootropic stack. Time to ace those finals.

How to Increase Focus and Memory: Pramiracetam

Television. Internet. Radio. Magazines. Newspapers.

In today’s world, we are constantly barraged with media. So much media, in fact, that it can be difficult to focus at all.

If you’ve ever struggled to focus or to remember information, read on to learn more about Pramiracetam, a nootropic that shows promise in supporting focus and memory.

What is Pramiracetam?

Pramiracetam is a derivative of the nootropic substance piracetam, and is considered to be more potent in its effect than its source material.

Pramiracetam is, as the name suggests, a member of the racetam family. Racetams are generally accepted to function by interacting with glutamate receptors in the brain, though there is no hard and fast rule for their mechanisms as they vary between substances.

Many of them, such as piracetam and its derivative pramiracetam, possess nootropic effects. Others, such as oxiracetam, can act as stimulants. Racetams are used around the world for their brain altering effects, and are generally well tolerated with few adverse side effects.

What are the health benefits associated with taking Pramiracetam?

Pramiracetam, like any nootropic, is widely used by people for its ability to benefit concentration and memory. Mental benefits that are associated with taking pramiracetam have been reported to include:

  • Enhanced sensitivity to sound
  • Enhanced vision
  • Improved speed of learning and information uptake
  • Improved cognition
  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Improved long term memory recollection
  • Improved durability of short term memory
  • Improved confidence in social situations
  • Improved mood
  • Heightened motivation

Pramiracetam is often used by students and workers for the above benefits. In addition to these benefits, pramiracetam has also shown promise as a neuroprotective substance. These benefits are what aid its users in taking in and retaining information.

Pramiracetam in Capsules and Powder

Pramiractam is available in capsules as well as a bulk powder. Many users prefer to buy bulk powder as opposed to the capsules, but this is largely a matter of personal preference. Both variations can be found here.

Many prefer the powder as it is cheaper and allows them to specifically alter their dose more easily than a capsule or tablet would. Anyone looking to buy pramiracetam, especially looking to buy bulk powder of the substance, will find it available around the world online.

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.

Where to Buy Pramiracetam at the Best Price

buy pramiracetam for brain health
Pramiracetam is one of the heavy weights in the world of nootropic supplements. Developed during the 1970’s, it has now become a very effective alternative to the original racetam supplement, piracetam.

It is much more potent than piracetam which means that the pramiracetam dosage is much smaller and it seems to have even more beneficial effects.

Of course, the real question becomes which brand of pramiracetam to buy, since it seems like there are many options today.

What You Need to Know Before Buying Pramiracetam

The first thing you will realize is that pramiracetam powder comes in a number of different sizes and prices. Let’s take a look at a few options, Nootropics Depot (ND), Health Supplement Wholesalers (HSW), and Bulk Nutrients.

Let’s say you want to start small in terms of where to buy pramiracetam. You can find 5 gram packs at both HSW and ND. However, Health Supplement Wholesalers offers a 5 gram packet for just $7.99 whereas nootropics Depot comes in at $12.99 for 5 gram.

Of course, a 5 gram packet might not last that long. Perhaps you would be more interested in pramiracetam bulk. Taking a look at Health Supplement Wholesalers, we see that there is a 25 gram packet for $25.49.

Incidentally, Nootropics Depot does not offer a 25 gram size, but Bulk Nutrients does. However, theirs is also significantly more expensive at $39.00.

Buying pramiracetam in bulk is an excellent idea because you normally will receive an even greater value on a per gram and per serving basis. Plus, it means less re-ordering and less shipping costs.

Nootropics in Tubs

A major problem with buying your supplement powders in packets is that can get pretty messy, which is not terribly convenient.

Consider moving up to buying your pramiracetam in a tub container. This style makes it not only much more convenient to scoop out and mix, but less messy and easier to handle.

Best of all, you can obtain your pramiracetam from HSW in a convenient tub container for just an extra dollar. This price is still way below that of Bulk Nutrients and other nootropic supplement distributors.