This article has been published for reference purposes (originally published in 2016) and does not represent beliefs or ethos of the current Peak Nootropics editorial team.
So you are overcome with a wealth of information and are deciding which of the many nootropic stacks to use. Some people find it overwhelming between looking through all of the nootropics with little direction on how to formulate a stack suited to their needs. If you have trouble understanding which nootropics to choose or how to stack, this update of a past article on stacks may be able to shed some light for you.
Not everyone is looking for pure cognitive enhancement. There may be other benefits of using nootopics and your stack can change depending on what area you want to improve. You can enhance these stacks and subtract or add what you need. This article is only meant to show some of the nootropics that perform best in certain areas.
NOOTROPIC STACKS EXAMPLES
1. BRAIN ANTIOXIDANT STACK
- L Theanine
- Choline L-Bitartrate
- Bacopa Monnieri
If you are looking for a great brain-protecting stack, you should implement some of the suggested supplements in this antioxidant stack. Antioxidants reduce free-radicals that may cause damage in the brain. Reducing free-radicals is one observed property of antioxidants.
L-Theanine is a non-dietary amino acid that may have positive effects on cognitive function and anxiety through modulation of neurotransmitters. One study suggested that L-Theanine may reduce stress-related free radicals within the brain. That is why this nootropic has been implemented with the antioxidant stack.
ALCAR and choline l-bitartrate are two other nootropics that have shown to have potential antioxidant activity. Choline L-Bitartrate is an excellent source of choline when stacked with other products. ALCAR may also have neuroprotective effects and has been suggested to have an effect against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity.
The last component of this stack is Bacopa Monnieri. Bacopa Monnieri is an Ayurvedic memory enhancer and well-being agent that may also have some neuroprotection benefits as well.
2. MOOD & MEMORY STACK
- L-DOPA (mucuna pruriens)
- L Theanine
- Phenylethylamine (PEA)
- Bacopa Monnieri
If you are looking for nootrpic stacks to promote both mood and memory, you should take a look at this stack. Utilizing all natural supplements, this stack provides ingredients to calm and uplift your mood while simultaneously working to improve memory.
Levodopa (L-Dopa) from the Mucuna plant works to increase dopamine levels and to a lesser extent, serotonin. Increasing both of these monoamine neurotransmitters may improve cognitive function. The dopamine neurotransmitter is related to focus, learning and motivation whilst, serotonin can help to improve mood, memory and promote calmness in some people.
Caffeine is legendary for its ability to increase both altertness and concentration. L-Theanine is a non-dietary amino acid that may have positive effects on cognitive function and anxiety through modulation of neurotransmitters. It has been shown to be especially effective when combined with caffeine, and reduces the negative effects of caffeine.
The last two components of this stack are Phenylethylamine (PEA) and Bacopa Monnieri. PEA is a chemical that naturally occurs within the body and is used to increase focus and attention while reducing stress. Bacopa Monnieri is an Ayurvedic memory enhancer and well-being agent that may also have some neuroprotection benefits as well.
3. STUDY STACK
- Alpha GPC
- Rhodiola Rosea
- L-DOPA (Mucuna Pruriens)
- Caffeine + L Theanine
Among nootropic stacks, study is often a major goal, and this stack is best suited for times of heavy work load. The study stack is formulated with this in mind. Pramiracetam is selected because it is one of the most powerful racetams and works in improve high-affinity choline uptake, which has a great effect on both learning and memory in many people. Alpha GPC is stacked with Pramiracetam for a strong synergetic effect on the cholinergic system.
Adrafinil is added for focus and motivation. This nootropic works to stimulate the mind whilst not reducing that jittery effect that many students hate. Most people get a clean, clear-headed feeling whilst taking Adrafinil. Others find it to be rather ineffective. Many people choose to remove the Adrafinil from this stack due to the fact that it can put a burden on the liver.
Mucuna Pruriens and Rhodiola Rosea are the two herbal constituents of this stack. Mucuna works to increase dopamine levels and to a lesser extent, serotonin. Increasing both of these monoamine neurotransmitters may improve cognitive function. The dopamine neurotransmitter is related to focus, learning and motivation whilst, serotonin can help to improve mood, memory and promote calmness in some people. Rhodiola Rosea may work as a stimulant and could have other health benefits.
The caffeine and L-Theanine combination is thought to have synergistic effects. Low doses of caffeine works best in those that are sensitive. The L-theanine is a natural anti-stress nootropic with potential effects on memory. It is believed to have anti-anxiety effects and may interact with multiple neurotransmitters. Theanine is thought to interact with glutamate receptors which may explain its potential memory-enhancing effects.
4. ENERGY STACK
- L Theanine + Caffeine
- Rhodiola Rosea
The nootropic energy stack is also very popular amongst many users of nootropic stacks. This stack consists of the most stimulating racetams; Phenylpiracetam and Oxiracetam. Phenylpiracetam is well known for being banned from International sports leagues such as the Olympics. Oxiracetam has also been reported to have a very mild stimulant effect. These racetams do not affect the central nervous system in the same was as typical stimulants do and the stimulation is considered mostly “mental”.
Sulbutiamine, L Theanine, Caffeine and Citicoline have all been added to the energy stack. Sulbutiamine is believed to have dopaminergic effects that some people find really helps with focus and motivation. L Theanine is a neurotransmitter that is actually calming and its effects are paired with caffeine to help reduce the “jitteriness”. Citicoline is famous for being a very small part of the popular “5 Hour Energy Drink” and its effects may be synergetic with the racetams.
The last component of this stack is the adaptogenic herb Rhodiola Rosea. Don’t be fooled by this herbal component. This spectacular herb may boost energy levels and reduce stress hormones. Just be careful not to take it too close to bedtime as it may cause insomnia in some people.
5. ANXIOLYTIC STACK
- L Theanine
Many people suffer from anxiety and people who claim they never have had anxiety are simply lying. Anxiety and stress are often correlated and helping to reduce anxiety may improve overall performance of cognitive ability. Noopept and Aniracetam are two memory boosting nootropics that are suggested to have anxiolytic mechanisms. They don’t work as an anxiolytic or mood-booster in all people however many swear by their effects.
L Theanine and Magnesium are two natural nootropics that are often overlooked as anti-anxiety agents in the industry. Theanine may help with anxiety by modulation of certain neurotransmitters such as GABA and serotonin. Many people in western culture are deficient in Magnesium and it is often overlooked as a stress and sleep-aid. Magnesium also becomes depleted during times of stress and heavy workload.
Phenibut is perhaps the strongest anxiolytic in this stack but with this comes warnings. It can create tolerance addiction. Phenibut is not a nootropic but can work a number on anxiety. It works by modulating inhibitory GABA receptors within the brain. Using low dosages in this stack is best. Also, it should be cycled and used 1-2 times a week maximum to avoid tolerance. You should not drive or operate machinery on Phenibut and sedation will increase with larger dosages.
6. PAO STACK
- Alpha GPC