Piracetam and Choline
Piracetam is a class of nootropics(supplement which improves brain performance) called racetams. The exact mechanism of action of racetams is not currently understood, but they are thought to:
- Increa ATP synthesis
- Increa acetylcholine utilization
- Increa membrane fluidity
- Increa microcirculation
- Modulate AMPA receptors
Anecdotally people taking racetams report having more mental clarity and alertness. The most popular and common racetam supplement is Piracetam. It is very economical(a 500 day supply costs less than $40). Piracetam is best taken with choline because racetams are thought to improve acetylcholine utilization in the brain. Acetylcholine is a vital neurotransmitter and decreased levels of acetylcholine have been linked to Alzheimers disease.
People taking a combination of piracetam and choline report better mental and cognitive performance increases than taking either supplements individually. Personally I find that 400mg of piracetam with 250mg of choline gives me a similar level of mental clarity and energy as caffeine without all of the negative side effects of withdrawal, jitters, or racing thoughts.
Piracetam and choline are hands down my two favorite supplements because they provide me with clear mental energy without any noticeable withdrawal or tolerance symptoms. Thus they can be taken safely everyday without diminished results unlike caffeine.
Dosage: 400mg piracetam with 250mg CDP choline in the morning and afternoon. Should not be taken within 6 hours of bed.
Caffeine and L-Theanine
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with caffeine for all of my life. On the one hand I love the energy, focus, and mental clarity it gives me. On the other hand I hate being dependent upon caffeine and hate the withdrawal symptoms when you go even 24 hours without caffeine. Consistent use of high doses of caffeine has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome. One of the main symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome is feeling tired and not rested even when you get 10+ hours of sleep.
I discovered two nootropics this year that have allowed me to consume caffeine on a daily basis and avoid all of the negative side effects of withdrawl, tolerance buildup, and racing thoughts. These nootropics are L-Theaning and Phenibut.
L-theanine increases a host of neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and GABA levels and has affinities for AMPA, kainate and NMDA receptors. It also antagonistic effects on group 1 metabotrophic glutamate receptors. – Source
It’s hard to find good science on the exact mechanisms of action with L-Theanine and Phenibut, but it is thought that they work along the same pathways as beta blockers, namely causing a feeling of calmness and reducing overactive brain activity. Thus they help you experience the positive benefits of caffeine while dampening the negative side-effects.
Dosage: Take L-Theane at a ratio of .5 to 1. So 100mg of caffeine would be paired with 50mg of L-Theanine. I get about 100mg of caffeine in the morning and afternoon with black tea and take 50mg of L-Theanine at the same time.
Phenibut is a much more powerful nootropic and should be taken at most twice a week. Tolerance buildup is pronounced and fast with phenibut. People use it for a number of recreational uses – to induce alcohol like euphoric states. I think this is a waste of phenibut’s potential. I take 600mg of phenibut Sunday and Wednesday nights. Phenibut will give you the deepest and most restful sleep you’ve ever had an I have found that it “resets” my caffeine tolerance. Again the scientific studies are really sparse on the subject, but anecdotally phenibut seems to exhibit a very calming effect on the body and thus helps it recuperate from stimulants like caffeine.
Phenibut takes 2-3 hours to kick in. I take 300mg three hours before bed, and then another dose of 300mg as I am going to bed. It is very very important that you find your own levels of tolerance for phenibut, as higher doses can cause extreme hangover effects(I took 2g my first time using phenibut and had a hangover worse than any I’ve had from alcohol). And again I really warn against taking phenibut more than twice a week. Do not exceed more than 1.5g per week. And it is adviseable to take 1-2 weeks completely off of phenibut every 4-6 weeks.
It is very important that you absolutely do not mix phenibut with alcohol.
5-HTP and L-Tryptophan
5-HTP and L-Tryptophan are both precursors to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for our feelings of well-being and happiness. Supplementing with 5-HTP and L-Tryptophan at night helps improve your quality of sleep as well as facilitating optimal levels of serotonin production.
Since supplementing with 5-HTP and L-Tryptophan I’ve noticed that I wake up feeling more refreshed and with more energy. If you can find the time it is also advisable to supplement with 5-HTP in the afternoon along with a 30 to 90 minute nap. This will help replenish your neurotransmitters and allow you to be more focused and productive through the rest of your day.
Dosage: 100-500mg 5-HTP and 1-3g L-Tryptophan at night before bed.