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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

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/

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.

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!

Omega-3 Fish Oil for Boosting Mood

fish oil to boost moodNot everyone realizes that fats, more specifically fatty acids, are essential to good health. Yes, contrary to the popular opinion today that anything with fat in it is bad, you do need fatty acids in your diet in order to be in good health. Additionally, since fats are considered to be essential, the body cannot produce them on its own. These ingredients must be obtained through our food or supplementation. It is also interesting to note that evidence has been emerging showing that these oils can also help to boost our mood.

Omega-‘s and Mood:

We all know that sadness is a serious problem in our society. Those who suffer from poor mood spend lots of time seeking a way to boost mood. Omega-3 shows promise in this area. A British study used EFA, one of the best-known Omega-3s, to help deal with mood. After three months, over two-thirds of the treated group reported at least a 50 percent reduction in their sadness. This improvement was particularly true in the areas of sadness and pessimism, inability to work, sleeplessness, and low libido. If this supplement can work for them, it certainly can help an otherwise healthy person.

Important Role in Brain Health:

Most people have probably never realized but the nervous system is made up of mainly fats. All of the nerve impulses and signals that run across our bodies are sheathed in fat. And Omega-3 essential fatty acids are the basic building blocks of the brain. Neuronal cell membranes are about 20 percent fatty acids. Not only that, but they also appear to be critical at keeping the nerve signals and impulses working.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint exact mechanisms of action, it would appear that these fatty acids also help to maintain proper function of the brain and nervous system. Certainly, this maintenance can help to boost our mood, especially if we have been feeling a little “low” or “off.” Not only that, but it also may help your heart health. Plus, it has the effect of helping to reduce your “bad” cholesterol. As our bodily systems and functions become more efficient, our mood improves.

The Dangers of Using Benadryl to Fall Asleep

Benadryl and Other Anti-Histamines:

Benadryl is an actual drug that is normally used as a treatment for symptoms related to allergies, hay fever, and even the common cold. This treatment works by helping to block several naturally occurring substances within the body. The first of these is histamine which is produced during an allergic reaction. It also works to block Acetylcholine which is a powerful brain chemical known as a neurotransmitter. This is what leads to drying out watery eyes and runny nose symptoms.

Bendaryl is often used to help people fall asleep. There are several problems with this. The first is that is an actual drug. It is very possible that over use could lead to some type of dependence, whether chemical or psychological. Additionally, there are also possible drug interactions which could occur and lead to dangerous side effects. The same things could be said for a number of other anti-histamines.

Melatonin and Sleep:

Instead of Benadryl, why not consider an all-natural product or supplement like Melatonin? This is something that your body already naturally produces and is healthy and incredibly beneficial. Rather than blocking natural hormonal and neurotransmitter processes, Melatonin actually has a role in helping the body to get to sleep and stay asleep according to a regular (and regulated) schedule.

Melatonin is also known to have a number of other powerful benefits. Researchers are quite convinced that helps to strengthen the immune system. This natural substance also may play a role in slowing down cellular aging. This hormone is likely one of the main reasons why you start feeling tired when you lie down in a dark room at night. Not to mention the fact that Melatonin also provides a feeling of overall comfort and well-being.

Falling Asleep:

There is certainly a lot of temptation these days to use all types of substances for help in falling asleep. Our natural way of life includes lots of stress and pressure which can make it difficult to relax. But using something like Benadryl can actually hurt your body and overall health. Do you ultimately want to put something into your system that is designed to work against it?

Melatonin is safe and effective, not to mention natural and gentle. What is more, this is actually a pleasurable experience, unlike anti-histamines which can lead to feeling numb, like having your head in the clouds. Give Melatonin a try today.

Nootropic Herbs: Herbal Teas with Nootropic Effects

nootropic herbs and herbal teaNootropics can improve brain function. Aside from the common artificial nootropics available such as the racetams, there also exist natural remedies that have nootropic effects. For example, Asian Ginsing, Rhodiola rosea, Spanish Sage, Ginkgo Biloba and Bacopa Monnier are among the herbal supplements that can improve mood, memory, and concentration. Herbal teas also have nootropic effects and have been used for centuries in the East in calming the nerves.

 

Benefits of Herbal Tea

Herbal teas are infusions made up of dried leaves, grasses, seeds, barks, flowers, and other natural elements that provide various benefits. Here are some general benefits of herbal tea:
Cleansing the body
Providing antioxidants
Relieving stress
Promoting good night sleep
Calming the mind
Aiding in digestion
Nourishing the immune and nervous system

Common herbal tea ingredients include: chamomile, cinammon, ginsing, lemongrass, peppermint, and red clover.

 

Nootropic Herbs: How Does Herbal Tea Work?

The degree of efficacy a particular herbal tea will have in terms of its nootropic benefits will depend on the amount of ingredients included in the tea.

L-Theanine is a component of most green teas. This unique amino acid is able to modulate aspects of human brain function by increasing activity of the alpha frequency that promotes relaxation without inducing drowsiness. Research conducted on young participants showed that when taken at realistic dietary levels, green tea can significantly affect brain alertness and arousal as well as attention span.

In another study involving eight female university students who were tested with 200mg of L-theanine dissolved in 100 ml of water, results indicated that higher alpha wave emission was apparent, again proving the relaxing effects of green tea.

Ginseng is another ingredient that has been used to improve working memory, attention, calmness, mood, and even to reduce fatigue. A study conducted on thirty volunteers who received treatment for 8 days showed improved mental alertness and calmness at the end of the test.

 

Herbal Teas with Nootropic Effects

Lavender Tea. This tea is made from the flowers of lavender shrubs and is known to induce sleep and sooth the mind. It is known for its ability to lift the spirit.

Chamomile Tea. Aside from relieving indigestion, this herbal tea is known for its relaxing effects and is commonly recommended for those with sleep problems. It relaxes the mind and body thereby inducing sleep.

Ginger Tea. This tea has numerous benefits including mood improvement and giving a refreshed and calm feeling. It is among the top herbal stress relievers.

Lemon Balm Tea. This is an effective tonic that has mind calming properties. It is used in Europe as one of the most effective herbal remedies for stress.

 

These are but a few of the many herbal teas that have nootropic effects. To find the best one for you, try experimenting with a few and witness the mind altering benefits.