Art of Stacking Nootropics
Stacking brain supplements has become quite an art form over the years where in fact it’s quite rare nowadays to use just one nootropic brain booster on its own, since the benefits may significantly increase when multiple nootropics are combined.
In some cases, stacking multiple supplements can have a synergistic effect, meaning they display more potency together than if they were taken individually.
So taking two or more nootropics together as part of your brain boosting regimen may enhance the effects and benefits you are likely to reap.
Therefore it’s important to know which set of nootropics stack more harmoniously with each other and don’t trigger off negative results, although every individuals stack will require some tailoring.
But most importantly is what is the desired effect or MOA (mechanism of action) you are looking to achieve: is it to enhance mood, focus, motivation, wakefulness, memory?
If two racetams deliver the same MOA, the common nootropic school of thought is why add them both to the same stack.
This is why for example, piracetam and choline have become a popular nootropic combo. The most researched nootropic supplement which delivers a mild boost to brain function seems to match well with the essential vitamin B brain nutrient choline, one of the rare substances that can cross the blood brain barrier. Choline helps relieve any potential headaches piracetam may occasionally cause, while it enhances piracetams effects, when taken with the correct dose of choline – roughly 200-500mg/day on its own but with piracetam, it’s advised upping the dose to 800-1600 mg to take into account the additional needs on the brain when using piracetam as one nootropic blogger reports here – where the choline must always be of high quality, like alpha GPC or CDP choline.
And just to reiterate, moderation is key to success with stacking, over doing your dosage may result in developing some side effects as mentioned earlier.
So, let us now dive into more detail with regards to this objective in mind and introduce you to the most popular nootropic stacks that you can make on your own or sometimes come as a pre-made stack depending on your choice of supplier.
Quick reminder – you should properly ask yourself these questions again before deciding to move forward with nootropics.:
What exactly do I want to take a nootropic supplement for?
Do I want to increase my focus, ability, concentration, relaxation, wakefulness, memory, motivation or mood?
Am I currently on any medication or supplements – If yes – will they interfere with any of the nootropics I’m interested in?
Is it really necessary for me to take more than one nootropic at a time?
Quick Tip! Right from the start, create an excel spreadsheet and diarize your daily dosage along with your cognitive results, accompanied with any mild side effects. If side effects persist or get worse consider removing the guilty source. Remember to start off light.
Most Basic Stack: Piracetam & Choline
For cognitive enhancement & memory
What better place to start out than with the “tams” to keep things simple. Choosing a mild nootropic like piracetam – the quintessential starter nootropic – is a recommended starting block to get your feet wet.
And the most basic of nootropic stacks is to combine piracetam with choline. The main reason choline is thrown into the mix is that piracetam can take a while to kick in and choline helps kick start this campaign, allowing both nootropics to speed into action, amplifying the effects causing higher levels neurotransmitters to be released.
One additional reason choline and piracetam are a very popular together is that choline will help alleviate headaches that are can arise when piracetam is taken alone.
However, choline also (but not as often) has been attributed to causing mild headaches so it would be in your interest to start off with piracetam on its own and then move onto choline.
Make sure your choline is bought from reputable and quality source like CDP Choline (citicoline) or Alpha GPC. Alternatively, you can substitute choline with centrophenoxine.
In one trial it was found that piracetam + choline led to enhanced memory retention – excelling piracetam on its own.
Various animal studies have also concluded that the racetam family paired with a source of choline will produce optimal results.
More Interesting Stack: L-Theanine and Caffeine
For mood & energy boost
The L-theanine and caffeine stack is quite an interesting combo that has been gaining popularity of late.
Its increasing popularity seems to be twofold: one that it’s mild enough to take each day and two: that it additionally provides a boost in mood and energy.
This is why perhaps this stack is proving very popular among students looking to enhance their focus, concentration and improve their cognitive ability to study.
Argued to be exceptionally safe and while caffeine isn’t strictly a nootropic, its stimulant properties help elevate focus and energy while L-theanine should remove any of the anxiety, irritability and/or increased blood pressure that is often a result of a heightened caffeine intake.
Essentially, the L-theanine appears to neutralize the side effects of caffeine, negating the jitters while enhancing attention span.
Many experienced nootropics consider this combination a necessity, rather than a stack.
More Advanced Stack: Oxiracetam, Aniracetam & Piracetam
For memory, logical thinking & boosting mood
Triple stacking like this is more for those au-fait with their physiology, their neurological make-up, their general understanding of their previous experience with either one of these “tams”.
So for those starting out this is perhaps a stack further down the road.
Either way, this stack works as follows:
- Oxiracetam is taken to help at improve memory and logical thinking ability, however it’s not that effective at improving mood.
- Alternatively, Aniracetam is an excellent mood enhancer and reinforces Oxiracetams’ lack of mood boosting strength, but its effects are relatively short-lived, roughly 2 to 3 hours.
- Piracetam, while milder than Aniracetam at mood enhancing displays longevity and will last through the day.
Compared to the more expensive nootropics like Noopept or Pramiracetam, its popularity might be in part due to Piracetam, Aniracetam & Oxiracetam all being relatively cheap, plus doubling up with just two out of the three for example, Oxiracetam and Aniracetam, Oxiracetam and Piracetam or Aniracetam for Piracetam for solely mood boosting properties are all popular alternatives.
Aniracetam & CDP Choline (Citicoline)
For anti-anxiety and therapeutic mood
The anxiolytic effects of aniracetam and the therapeutic function of citicoline combine to inhibit anxiety like Benzodiazepines but without the prescription meds side-effects.
Piracetam & Vasodilator Drug (Cinnarizine)
For improved mental ability
Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels, therefore a vasodilator drug does just this, where cinnarizine in this case which is used to prevent motion sickness is combined with piracetam, which in studies on multiple sclerosis patients when administered piracetam paired with cinnarizine improved mental abilities even more than piracetam alone.
Patients with encephalopathy – a disease in which the functioning of the brain is affected by an outside agent – increased activity levels and mood when given piracetam and a vasodilator drug.
Racetam, Modafinil & Essential Vitamins
For cognitive health and wakefulness
It’s always essential to get your fair share of essential vits and in this case as spoken of in Chapter 2, for cognitive enhancement that’s Vitamin B, Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Piracetam or aniracetam with modafinil are quite an effective mix, promoting cognitive health and wakefulness.
Choline & Huperzine A
For concentration and maintaining memory
A quality choline source such as Alpha GPC with the standard dose of 200 to 1000mg per day combined with Huperzine A – standard dose of 100mcg, as can be found in collective stacks like NooCube and Nootrobrain, when merged seems to enhance concentration and there is evidence to suggest that choline alone may slow down age related memory loss.
Phenibut & a Stimulant
For treating anxiety and installing wakefulness
There is perhaps more caution shown to Phenibut than is needed according to a recent 2016 survey. However people react to Phenibut – what some dispute is an actual nootropic – in very different ways.
It’s said to help combat anxiety, insomnia, stress, fatigue, PTSD, alcoholism and depression, as well as boost general cognitive enhancement with the surprising side effect (for some) of boosting libido.
When combined with a stimulant like Adderall which isn’t a nootropic, studies suggest that phenibut counters the effects, where the benefits of both drugs are negated. Therefore they should only be used together under medical advice or with cautious trials, which is why modafinil would be a safer option, being a milder opioid.
Phenibut was discovered by Russian scientists nearly 30 years ago and is a central nervous system depressant and has shown in clinical studies to produce feelings of calm and euphoria.
Still, Phenibut may be completely ineffective for some, wildly off the chart with others or be just the right tempo so be careful with phenibut.
In a number of personal experiences detailed online, when phenibut is used with a stimulant, phenibut in “low” doses – 500 mg or less, spread out – appears to create an opposite effect to the stimulant in use.
It’s not a hyper, jittery feel; rather it appears more like a clean amphetamine ride, but performs in a very controlled, deliberate, smooth and calming manner.
Some say it’s a “focus and concentration gold mine”.
If you’ve ever used Adderall, some argue the euphoria, laser focus, insane concentration and overall good mood is practically replicated.
Specifically, it’s recommended you merge a quality source of Phenibut with either Phenylpiracetam, Adrafinil or Noopept to mirror these effects.
Further additional stack formula’s
Aniracetam, Vinpocetine, Alpha GPC (or CDP Choline) & Centrophenoxine
For improving memory, faster recall, increasing mental energy & boosting mood
Aniracetam, Bacopa & L-Theanine
For mild anxiety, depression and mood
Phosphatidyl Serine, Bacopa & Phenibut
For deep anxiety
L-Theanine, Phenibut, Centrophenoxine, Vitamin B6 & B1 +Pramiracetam
For hard training, intense workouts and a recovery stack + Pramiracetam for motivation
Food for thought for nootropic newbies,
You may wish however to buy an all-in-one collective-stack like Nootrobrain, Optimind or NooCube that are much more suited to the nootropic starter if you like.
Nootrobrain contains aniracetam, citicoline, bacopa leaf and vitamin B6, whereas Noocube contains alpha GPC choline, bacopa leaf, huperzine-A, L-theanine, L-tyrosine, cats claw and oat straw – both are a milder but balanced introduction into the world of nootropics.
Stacking can be a fun, experimental and a beneficial process, but it’s not for everyone.
Always monitor your progress carefully, and refrain from pushing it to excess – no matter how easy or tempting.
With nootropics being such a rich topic, you probably still have a number of unanswered questions or ones already asked with answers you need reinforcing?