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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/

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

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!

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
Powder City 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.

Is it Possible to Make Up for Lost Sleep? Researchers Say No

melatonin and l-theanine for sleepGood sleep begets a good mood and a good life. However, sleep does not work exactly how many people assume.

A recent study from “…Penn State, the University of Crete, the University of Athens and the New York School of Medicine found that after a workweek of little sleep, sleeping in on the weekends doesn’t seem to improve the performance of your brain.”

If you are run ragged during the week, the weekend of extra rest does nothing to help your body. Therefore, it is imperative to have a good night’s sleep EVERY night of the week.

There is no such thing as catching up on sleep.

Fortunately, the supplement stack of Melatonin and L-Theanine has been shown to have a number of excellent benefits related to relaxation and sleep.

Both of these supplements actually have a distinct and specific role, such that when combined they fit together almost perfectly. Using this stack to help with relaxation and sleep is like a good one-two punch. Let’s take a closer look at how both operate.

What You Need to Know About Melatonin

Melatonin is an interesting hormone which occurs naturally in many different living things including humans, animals, and even plants. Basically, this substance is produced by your pineal gland and is used to help signal when it is time to sleep and wake. This hormone controls and regulates our sleep cycle to a very high degree.

The problem, of course, is that many times we tend to damage how Melatonin works.

For example, sleeping with the light on is very detrimental to the proper functioning of this hormone. It is also why sometimes just laying in a completely dark room (even in the middle of the day) can help to make us tired.

Oftentimes, our Melatonin levels become depressed and do not function properly. This depression is an excellent reason to consider supplementation. It does not take long to re-build the proper levels of Melatonin.

What You Need to Know About L-Theanine

This supplement is a naturally-occurring amino acid that is normally found in green tea. It is also a form of Glutamic Acid that is capable of increasing alpha waves in the brain.

These types of brain waves are thought to promote a feeling of relaxed alertness. This relaxed alertness is also thought to help benefit cognition and mental functioning, support healthy blood pressure, and even lead to immune system benefits.

Someone who also uses stimulants like caffeine will find extra benefits from L-Theanine. This supplement actually helps to reduce that jittery and over-wired feeling that results from a number of chemical and natural stimulants. At the same time, it also enhances the cognitive and mental benefits derived from many of those stimulants.

Why This Stack Will Work For You

When used in combination, these supplements work together very nicely. The L-Theanine will serve to help your body calm itself down and relax. At the same time, you will still find yourself with a lot of mental power and brain energy.

Then, after your body is winding down and becoming more and more relaxed, the Melatonin hits.

The Melatonin will then signal your body that it is time for sleep. Since you have already been pre-relaxing (take the L-Theanine about an hour or so ahead of the Melatonin for best results), you should fall asleep much quicker and even have better sleep quality; you will wake feeling more refreshed.

 

For more information on sleep and how it affects the body, check out the study mentioned above!

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.

Nootropics to Help With Sleep

nootropic supplements for sleepIt seems like more and more people are having trouble sleeping. This can be due to a number of factors like poor diet, lack of exercise, artificial stimulants, and other environmental factors. Sometimes, even after getting to sleep it can be difficult to achieve more restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Despite all of these issues, there are things which can help. Of course, supplementation can be a wonder worker in this area. There have also been a wide variety of products, devices, and inventions that claim to help. One of these is the new Smart Alarm Clock App for the iPhone.

Description of Smart Alarm Clock App:

This is fairly advanced application designed to be downloaded onto your iPhone. The idea behind it is that it will actually analyze your sleep and then wake you up at the perfect moment, during your lightest sleep phase. This way, you will wake up feeling refreshed.

There are a lot of interesting features included with this app. One of the best is the fact that it can integrate with the Instant Heart Rate app to enable heart rate and pulse measurements when you wake as well as throughout the night. It also displays a resting heart rate graph.

Of course, you can also set a wake up alarm, so that just in case your lightest sleep phase does not occur at a very convenient time, you will still be sure to wake! There are also snooze controls in case you want those few extra minutes as well.

Analysis of Sleep Patterns:

Probably the best features of this app are related to their ability to analyze your sleep. There are a number of screens which can track everything from the time you went to bed to the duration of sleep, rise times, and even the efficiency of your sleep. Take a look at some of the statistics and measurements:

  • Bed time
  • Rise time
  • Alarm time
  • Awake, light, deep+REM percentages
  • Efficiency percentage

There is also a graph that shows how your stages of sleep progressed from awake to light sleep to deep sleep and then awake again. It will be very enlightening to examine these statistics. Seeing how your body undergoes multiple stages of sleep every night can be very valuable information.

Nootropics Can Help With Sleep:

Used in combination with appropriate supplementation, this app can be an excellent tool for tracking and monitoring your sleep. There are a number of excellent Nootropic sleep aids. All of these not only help to promote an improved ability to relax, but also produce more restful and deeper sleep. These include Phenibut, GABA, Picamilon, and L-Theanine. Give them all a try today and then look at your sleep stats again!

Can Nootropics Enhance Your Sense of Taste?

Also referred to as memory supplements, neuro enhancers, or cognitive enhancers, nootropics have become the center of attention in the supplement community in the past few years. There are various classifications of nootropics that use different mechanisms of action, one of the most popular being those from the racetam family.

Nootropics have a variety of effects, such as sensory enhancement. Before we go into that, let’s have a brief overview of nootropics can boost the sensesthe most common nootropics and their uses.

Common Nootropics and Their Uses

Piracetam– a derivative of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), this nootropic belongs to the racetam family and is usually used as a brain booster. Piracetam also has neuroprotective and anticonvulsant properties and also improves neuroplasticity. Dosage is 2-6 grams per day.
Uses:
• Slows deterioration of the brain
• Improves alertness, socialization and I.Q
• Increases memory and verbal learning

Aniracetam– a fat-soluble racetam (thereby fast acting) memory supplement that impacts IQ and creativity. Aniracetam is also known to have a period of effectiveness between 6-7 hours. It also is said to have stress-relieving properties.
Uses:
• Potentially benefits memory formation
• Improves judgement and mood qualities

Oxiracetam– another member of the racetam family that appears to improve brain function.

Vinpocetine– a nootropic that is known to enhance blood flow to the brain, eyes and ears. Vinpocetine is a derivative from Vincamine.
Uses:
• Stimulates information processing, attention, cortical/behavioral arousal, learning, and memory
• Reduces abnormal blood clots
• Boosts mental energy and blood circulation

L-theanine– an amino acid that is involved in inhibiting stress, anxiety, worry, and nervousness.

Choline– a common supplement among nootropic stacks because of its ability to increase the levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is usually depleted with the intake of some racetams.

Nootropics and Sensory Enhancement

Now back to the question of whether nootropics can have sensory enhancement abilities especially in the area of taste. The bottom line is that there is no conclusive evidence as to the ability of nootropics to enhance taste in particular. However, nootropics in the racetam family have benefits including increased sensory perception. Users of nootropics report effects such as enhanced vision (colors and objects become more vivid), enhanced hearing, and enhanced touch. Aniracetam is also among the nootropics that users claim to have sensory enhancement benefits. Other nootropics with this effect include Piracetam and Noopept.

Nootropic Showdown: 5-HTP vs L-Theanine

So you’re on a budget.  You want to keep up with your nootropic regimen but you also want to pay your rent.  What’s a person to do?  Simple – figure out which supplement to keep and which supplement to kick until you have some surplus cash.  For this article, we’ll take a look at two of the most commonly used nootropics, 5-HTP and L-Theanine, and give you a point by point breakdown of the pros and cons.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to establish a definitive victor so that you don’t have to play the guessing game when it comes to purchase time.

So What Are the Benefits of 5-HTP?

5-HTP is an over-the-counter health supplement touted as a way to boost mood and anxiety, and to promote an overall feeling of wellness.  5-HTP works by directly affecting the central nervous system – it crosses the blood-brain barrier – thus stimulating the production of Serotonin.  Serotonin is released at times of relaxation and happiness, so when additional serotonin is released, feelings of sadness and anxiety are reduced.

5-HTP has been extensively studied in double-blind placebo-controlled experiments.  These experiments consistently show 5-HTP’s effectiveness at improving mood and reducing and anxiety.  However, no major studies have been done, and thus additional research would be beneficial.

There are no known major side-effects, though some users report feelings of nausea at higher doses, and some studies indicate that there could be rare cases of serious side-effects, though this is presently inconclusive.  Generally, dosing is at around 50mg-200mg per day, depending on user sensitivity.

What Are the Benefits of L-Theanine?

L-Theanine is an amino acid commonly found in green tea.  For years, scientists have hypothesized that L-Theanine is beneficial to the body in numerous ways, and recently several studies were done that support this hypothesis.  L-Theanine works by crossing the blood-brain barrier and affecting GABA receptors, as well as spiking the production of dopamine.  Both of these effects have been shown to reduce anxiety, reduce physical stress, brighten moods, and increase cognition.  Can’t get much better than that, right?

Even more impressive than the previous effects is that L-Theanine strengthens the illness-fighting ability of T-cells, and overall boosts the body’s immune system.  So not only will you be more relaxed and a faster thinker, you’ll also be healthier.

There are no side-effects at all – a study done on lab rats showed that even at excessively high doses of L-Theanine, there are no adverse effects.  Dosing ranges from 20mg to 300mg per day, once again depending on a person’s sensitivity.

5-HTP and L-Theanine Review

Now that you know the facts, which should you pick?  Both 5-HTP and L-Theanine reduce anxiety and boost mood.  However, L-Theanine also boosts the immune system, and shows no indications of having any side-effects at all.  The lack of immune-boosting capabilities for 5-HTP, as well as the slim chance of an adverse reaction from 5-HTP gives L-Theanine the slight edge in this competition.  So if your budget is tight but you still want that boost to your brain, go with L-Theanine and save 5-HTP for another day.