Category | Nootropic Reviews

ALCAR & Choline Stack Review

There has been a lot of talk about the ALCAR + choline stack. This article will review why you should be supplementing ALCAR and the benefits of adding it to your stack. ALCAR taken by itself may not have noticeable effects on learning and memory but when combined with other nootropics, it may carry a synergistic nootropic effect.


What Is ALCAR?

ALCAR is simply the acetylated form of l-carnitine. It is considered to be more bioavailable and work differently in the body than l-carnitine. Both ALCAR and l-carnitine are used naturally within the body and are predominantly important in energy metabolism and production.

So what is the difference between ALCAR and l-carnitine? Both are used in the energy metabolism process. L-carnitine is essential for the transport of fatty acids into cells for breakdown into energy. ALCAR is created from l-carnitine by the body, and transported in and out of the cells during metabolic processes.

In terms of nootropic effects, l-carnitine has little to none while ALCAR is believed to have some benefits. Even though ALCAR has extensive functions in metabolic processes, it also carries other functions within the brain such as assisting in the production of acetylcholine.

ALCAR & Acetyl COA

ALCAR breaks down into acetyl COA. Acetyl COA is a molecule within the body that is also important in energy metabolism and production. The important function it has on cognitive functioning is its’ synthesis into acetylcholine. Acetyl COA combines with choline molecules to produce acetylcholine. Therefore, it is believed that combining ALCAR and choline is a synergistic combination and beneficial for acetylcholine synthesis.

ALCAR choline and L-Carnitine cycle

ALCAR + Choline Stack

Combining ALCAR and choline may be a powerful combination. Often stacking choline by itself may not yield higher levels of acetylcholine. There are multiple factors and reasons choline many not be converted. One suggestion is that having limited levels of acetyl COA available in the brain my result in choline not being converted into acetylcholine.

So if you are trying to achieve higher levels of acetylcholine in an efficient way, using the ALCAR + choline stack may be beneficial for you. Using both supplements in a stack may give your brain optimal conditions for acetylcholine production.

Certain choline sources that are great to stack with ALCAR include: choline salts like choline bitartrate and citrate. Other acetylcholine supplements may or may not be as synergetic. For instance, citicoline, works to free up choline to be synthesized. For that reason, citicoline + ALCAR may be a beneficial combination.

Alpha GPC breaks down into acetylcholine via biological process. This means that it may not involve choline directly in the process. This does not necessarily mean that stacking alpha GPC with ALCAR is a bad idea as there are still likely benefits of using them together.

For those looking for cost savings, they may not necessarily want to buy a more expensive acetylcholine supplement like citicoline or alpha GPC. While both types of acetylcholine supplements are considered very effective, some people on a budget will stack a cheap choline source like choline bitartrate with ALCAR. Doing this is much cheaper per dosage than using alpha GPC or citicoline alone.

Other ALCAR Benefits

ALCAR is not limited to acetylcholine production for its neurological benefits. It is also believed to be a powerful anti-aging supplement by preventing free radicals within the brain. Certain mechanisms of this are unknown but several positive studies have been conducted on ALCAR in this area. One thing for sure is that adding ALCAR to your nootropic stack will not hurt anything.


ALCAR may be synergetic and beneficial when stacked with choline. Stacking ALCAR with a cheap choline source or even when used alone, may stimulate higher acetylcholine production within the brain. Higher acetylcholine production when combined with cholinergic nootropics like the racetam family should produce beneficial nootropic results in most people.

Regardless of the acetylcholine or choline supplement you are taking, ALCAR should benefit your nootropic stack. It is regarded as an anti-ageing supplement for its potential uses on reducing free radicals within the brain. It is also thought to improve overall acetylcholine levels which should help produce nootropic effects when combined with racetams.

Phenibut Review – An Effective Anxiolytic to Add to Your Stack

Today we are going to review Phenibut. What is it? Is it a nootropic or an anxiety supplement? The truth is that phenibut is not a nootropic. Generally, most effective anxiolytics (anti-anxiety) drugs and supplements do not boost cognitive function because they have effects on different neurotransmitters (GABA).


So Why Take Phenibut?

The reason we sell phenibut in our store is because many people like to add it to their nootropic stacks to help reduce stress and anxiety. Most of our customers are students and professionals. These people take phenibut for the same reasons – to help take the edge off in their tasks and activities.

Many people who take nootropics are already in stressful environments due to the demanding activities of their studies and careers. Using phenibut to reduce stress not only has personal benefits, but can also add to the overall benefits of a nootropic stack by reducing corticosteroids and promoting sleep.

Stress may cause negative effects on how cholinergic nootropics like the racetams work but raising counterproductive corticosteroids. In essence, for optimal racetam performance, one should be in a relaxed state of mind. Another negative effect of stress is sleep deprivation, which can really affect cognitive performance. Phenibut itself can be used as a sleep aid to help during stressful times which is another common use of the supplement.

How to Use Phenibut – Cycling to Reduce Tolerance

There are some strict rules for using phenibut properly. It is not something to be abused. It can build tolerance rather quickly when used consecutively and especially in higher dosages. It is a supplement to be respected and used in moderation. Do not rely on it to be a daily anxiolytic or sleep aid.

For the best results of phenibut, it is recommended to cycle whether or not you are using it alone or in a nootropic stack. Cycling consists of using the supplement for a few days and then taking a few days off. This will reduce tolerance and keep the supplement working long term. A rule of thumb is to not use phenibut for more than three days a week and keep proper spacing in between dosages. Others may use it consecutively for a week and then take a week or two off to lower their tolerance again

How Phenibut Works

Phenibut works as a non-selective GABA agonist but primarily affects the GABA-b receptors. A drug or supplement that activates a type of receptor is known as an agonist whereas a positive allosteric modulator amplifies the signal of a receptor. For instance, benzodiazepines work as positive allosteric modulators of GABA receptors.

gaba and phenibut

Both phenibut and benzodiazepines affect GABA receptors but the later primarily affects GABA-a receptors. Phenibut being an agonist of GABA-b rather than a positive allosteric modulator of GABA-a, makes it have a much less addictive and safer than benzodiazepines.

Dosage of Phenibut

By working as an agonist of GABA receptors, phenibut has anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic and muscle relaxant properties. The effects of each depend largely on dosage of phenibut. Lower dosages will yield anxiolytic and slight muscle relaxant properties. These dosages are around 500-750mg but may need to be lowered if you are naturally sensitive to phenibut.

Higher phenibut dosages may yield actual intoxication. Phenibut intoxication may exhibit noticeable effects slightly similar to alcohol intoxication. You should not drive or operative machinery when taking phenibut in high dosages. High dosage phenibut may also cause either a slight “afterglow“ or hangover the next day depending on the person. High dosages can be 750mg to 3000mg and going to the higher spectrum can have more side effects.

Precautions for Phenibut Use

You should never mix phenibut with a GABA/GHB agonist or GABA positive allosteric modulator. The consequences can range from non-threatening side effects, to potential life threatening problems. Mixing phenibut with alcohol will likely potentiate the effects of both leading to faster and more intense intoxication. Combining phenibut with benzodiazepines or GHB is considered dangerous and may promote respiratory depression in high dosages which can be life threatening without prompt medical aid.


Phenibut can be a great anxiety and sleep aid when used properly. It is a recommended supplement to try if you are experiencing temporary stress, anxiety or insomnia. It can be used strategically in a nootropic stack to help accommodate stress reduction and sleep. Just remember to follow our tips and use with care.

What is Centrophenoxine? – A Choline Source, Nootropic or What?

Many people including scientists are confused about the exact method of action of centrophenoxine. In several countries outside of the US it has been approved as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. As a nootropic supplement, it is essentially a more efficient and bioavailable form of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) and may have a whole other spectrum profile of cognitive effects.

Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) vs. Centrophenoxine

DMAE is a supplement occurring naturally in foods that is also produced naturally within the brain. It has been marketed for a large range of uses including: cognitive enhancement, anti-aging, anxiolytic and topical skin rejuvenation.

The structure of DMAE is closely related to choline which is the main precursor to the cognitive neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. There is a large debate as to whether or not DMAE acts as precursor to acetylcholine like its cousin, choline. The reason for this is because once DMAE crosses the blood brain barrier, it is thought for it to be impossible to convert into choline.

Close chemical structure of DMAE, choline and acetylcholine

Centrophenoxine was created from the DMAE structure to be a much more efficient and bioavailable version. Like with DMAE, there is still debate as to whether or not it actually works to increase acetylcholine. One thing for certain is that there have been many studies to show the effectiveness of centrophenoxine at increasing cognitive performance however ost of these studies have been targeted towards older and diseased (Alzheimer’s) patients.

Overall when comparing the benefits of DMAE and centrophenoxine, the latter will win both in terms of cognitive benefits, as well as bioavailability. If you are already supplementing DMAE as a nootropic, centrophenoxine may offer advanced benefits to your nootropic stack.

Centrophenoxine Benefits

Most of the studies pertaining to centrophenoxine have taken place in aging mammalian brains but it may also have benefits to the young or in those without neurological dysfunction. It is widely considered to be a powerful antioxidant, which may boost the overall goals of many nootropic users. After all, many nootropic users’ goals is not just to temporarily increase brain function, but to also reduce brain aging and increase overall cognitive health in the long run.

Many of the studies involving centrophenoxine have involved aging or diseased mammal brains. A large amount of the studies have shown the nootropic to reduce or slow down the progress of aging and decrease damages to the cholinergic system. Other studies have also shown both centrophenoxine and DMAE to be beneficial in those with certain brain injuries/trauma.

Although the method of action may not be entirely clear, it may be possible that centrophenoxine increases acetylcholine and/or cholinergic activity through alternate methods. One study did show that the nootropic increased choline levels in rat brains. Increasing the rate of choline or acetylcholine synthesis by increasing or freeing up phospholipids may be entirely possible. One thing for certain is that centrophenoxine may have benefits as an antioxidant and supporting nootropic in both young and old users.

Centrophenoxine Stacking – Can (Should) It Be Used With Choline?

The main question many people have is whether or not centrophenoxine should be used with choline or an acetylcholine supplement like alpha GPC or citicoline. Centrophenoxine and DMAE may be related to choline but the two substances are NOT the same. Centrophenoxine can be stacked with choline and should not replace a normal choline or acetylcholine supplement regimen.

Centrophenoxine or DMAE may even help to increase choline and acetylcholine synthesis in some way. This of course has not been proven in humans however in rat brains centrophenoxine increased the overall amount of choline. Adding this nootropic may improve the efficacy of an already established choline or acetylcholine supplement stack.

Several choline-related supplements such as acetyl L-carnitine may compliment acetylcholine synthesis. ALCAR and choline is thought to be a great combination. The ALCAR acts not as a precursor to choline itself, but as a synthesis aid to acetylcholine (helps choline convert into acetylcholine). Centrophenoxine may have benefits similar to ALCAR when used in conjunction with a choline or a choline related supplement.

So centrophenoxine may be used in a nootropic stack with choline or acetylcholine supplements. Like ALCAR, it is not considered to be a choline supplement itself however it may have cholinergic effects. There are also other things to consider in your stack. Centrophenoxine has anti-oxidant effects and adding it to your already robust stack may not be a bad idea for alternative health benefits.

Centrophenoxine is a great nootropic and anti-oxidant that is widely misunderstood. It has actually grown in popularity as a nootropic over the years and may people are using it as a more advanced form of DMAE. Its’ potent anti-oxidant activity make it an attractive supplement to add into a stack.

Centrophenoxine may be used in a cholinergic stack and is not meant to replace a choline source. This is not to say it may not increase cholinergic-related side effects by any means. Having this supplement added to your regimen may help to add benefits and its popularity has steadily been increasing over the years.

Pyritinol Review – A Highly Under-Rated Smart Drug

pyritinol review chart

Pyritinol is one of the less mentioned nootropics. This semi-natural vitamin nootropic has been used in Europe for decades to treat a variety of conditions including Alzheimer’s. Even though it is not yet popular as a nootropic, it can add some depth and value to an already successful nootropic stack. Some people even consider pyritinol to be highly under-rated and one of their most favorite nootropics.

There are multiple mechanisms of pyritinol. It helps to improve glucose metabolism and blood flow in certain parts of the brain. These benefits may help it to prevent or reduce nerve damages in certain instances of hypoxia or loss of blood flow. It may also help protect the brain under circumstances of disturbed glucose metabolism which may contribute benefits to Alzheimer’s sufferers as well as people suffering from alcohol withdrawal.

Pyritinol is not currently registered as a drug within the United States but is used within Europe under the trade name, Encephabol. In countries where it is prescribed (mostly in Europe), it may be used for a host of conditions including: Alzheimer’s, senile dementia, brain development disorders, alcohol withdrawal and brain injury.


As a Nootropic

It is accepted that pyritinol improves cholinergic neurotransmission. Exactly how this is done is not fully understood. One study showed that high affinity choline uptake was improved in rat brains. This is the same primary nootropic mechanism observed with both pramiracetam and coluracetam.

There may be multiple nootropic mechanisms as a result of pyritinol use. Another study showed that several weeks of pyritinol use in rats showed an increase in acetylcholine release in certain parts of the brain. The nootropic does not act as a precursor to acetylcholine and thus it may be that the metabolites of the substance influence the release of acetylcholine but this is not fully understood.

What to Expect?

Some sources have stated pyritinol as a central nervous system stimulant. This is entirely incorrect as it does not work to stimulate the central nervous system. Pyritinol is a cholinergic nootropic that may help to speed up cognitive processing.

Most of the nootropic benefits reported are similar to pramiracetam and others in the racetam class. You may experience enhanced learning and memory and focus. What areas you experience the most benefit in will depend largely on personal experience. Some state that pyritinol primarily speeds up logical processes and learning however you may experience a whole spectrum of improvements in cognitive functioning. This may include: improved learning, memory, focus and logical processing.

Is it Safe?

Pyrintol has had decades of safe use in humans but there are some things to take note of. When used in the right ways and within recommended dosages, this supplement can be considered to be fairly safe to use. People with Rheumatoid arthritis should not use pyritinol as this is contraindicated by the Encephabol manufacturer. Pregnant or breastfeeding woman should also not use.

The nootropic may have some common minor side effects. This may include: headaches, skin irritation, insomnia and emotional irritability to name a few. If you experience any of these side effects stop use and consult a doctors’ advice.

There have been reported some extremely rare serious side effects of pyritinol. One case of pancreatitis was reported but this was ruled to be an extremely rare auto-immune based response. Several cases of hepatotoxicity have also been reported as a result of certain genetic predisposition. It is important to note that these cases are extremely rare as hundreds of thousands of people have used pyritinol without serious side effects. Also note that one popular nootropic retailer was selling another product other than pyritinol. Our pyritinol is 100% genuine.

A Primer on Sulbutiamine

Sulbutiamine is in a class of supplements known as nootropics. Nootropics are known as “smart drugs” because of their cognitive enhancing abilities. Sulbutiamine comes from thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. Because it can cross the blood-brain barrier much easier than thiamine, it is used in a variety of ways.

Once it crosses the blood-brain barrier, the body metabolizes it as thiamine, which the brain then uses to produce the neurotransmitters Acetylcholine (ACh) and GABA.

In addition, it helps facilitate glutamatergic transmissions. Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter in the central nervous system for excitement. Because of this, it plays a critical role in learning and memory function.

Because sulbutiamine also helps reduce the amount of dopamine released in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the density of D1 dopamine receptors increases to help boost your overall mood.


Features/ Medical Uses

Initially developed as a treatment for Beriberi, a condition known to cause severe fatigue and lethargy, there are now many medical uses where sulbutiamine could be an effective treatment.

Studies show it is an effective treatment for psychogenic erectile dysfunction. This means men who experience erectile dysfunction because of psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, or stress can get relief. While this may not sound like a big deal, compared to drugs prescribed to treat this condition, sulbutiamine is not only cheaper, but a much safer option.

Sulbutiamine is also commonly prescribed to treat a condition known as asthenia. This disease causes chronic fatigue, but is cerebral in nature.

Due to its memory enhancing abilities, sulbutiamine is also useful in helping patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.


Sulbutiamine has a number of benefits, including:

  • Improved memory
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved focus
  • Improved overall mood

Common Side Effects

No supplement, even safe ones, is free from side effects. Even though this nootropic is highly regarded as safe, and is definitely much safer than stimulant supplements on the market, taking more than the recommended dose could lead to side effects.

At the standard therapeutic dose of 850 mg per day, only mild skin allergies have been reported.

One patient suffering from a lack of energy due to his bipolar disorder, found the supplement so helpful, he ceased using all other medication, and doubled the does of sulbutiamine. This resulted in more severe bipolar disorder symptoms, but no serious health issues have been reported as a result

How to Take Sulbutiamine

This is a nootropic you do not need to take every day. Though it is not really dangerous to take it every day, you can quickly build a tolerance and it could lose its effectiveness within a few fays of regular use. It is best to use this supplement sparingly, to keep the stimulating effect working for you. This nootropic is a much safer alternative to the stimulant supplements on the market today, though you will only see subtle effects.

Sulbutiamine is available in both bulk powder and capsule form. The bulk form is cheaper to buy, but the taste is incredibly foul. If you stick to the powder form, dissolve it in a drink, or buy your own capping machine and produce the capsules yourself. Even with the expense of a capping machine, bulk powder will save you more in the long run.

Dosage Recommendations

The standard recommended dose of sulbutiamine for therapeutic purposes is 850 mg per day, for a person who weighs 150 pounds. If you weigh more, you make need to adjust upward, and if you weigh less, you may need to adjust downward.

Some say you should not exceed 600 mg per day, but even at the 850 mg per day dose, only mild skin reactions have been reported.  To be safe, unless you are using it to treat a specific condition, do not exceed 600 mg per day.

It is best to take this dose once per day, rather than breaking it up into small doses throughout the day. You should feel the effects within an hour after you take it, and the effects will last about five hours before you start to feel the effects diminish.

This supplement is an excellent choice for when you need an extra mental boost—such as when you are studying for a test, or will be giving a presentation and wants to make sure you are sharp. Though not as effective as amphetamine based alternatives, it is much safer and much less likely to cause insomnia.

This information does not come from a medical doctor. It is for educational purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. Always talk to a doctor before starting this or any other supplement.