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.
This guide will answer all the newbie questions associated to our products and many other nootropics out there. Please read through carefully as this guide is a great resource for those looking to try nootropics but not knowing where they should begin.
CHOOSING A NOOTROPIC(S)
What nootropics should a beginner use? This is a question that gets asked a lot. Generally, we recommend to start with the basic racetam nootropics. Usually this involves either piracetam or noopept. Try taking piracetam or noopept alone first. Which of the two you choose will depend entirely on your own preference. Once you are happy and comfortable with the effects, you can come back and add more products into a stack. Please see the next section for nootropic stacking.
Usually we recommend to also include a choline source in a racetam stack. This is not necessarily needed when you first try nootropics but is still highly recommended. Adding in a choline source may help to reduce side effects and potentiatie the effects of racetams. Two of the best choline sources are alpha gpc and citicoline. Please see this article on the types of choline sources.
BUILDING A NOOTROPIC STACK FOR BEGINNERS
Many beginners want to build a stack right away. We recommend NOT to build a stack right away unless it is racetam + choline stack. The reason for this is that a beginner should become tuned to the effects before moving onto more powerful supplements. This can also help to avoid negative side effects.
Also, if you decide nootropics don’t work for you, you won’t be throwing your money away. See the below nootropics list and what stacks best below. There by no means is a comprehensive list however these are the best and most popular.
1.) RACETAMS (ACETYLCHOLINE POSITIVE ALLOSTERIC MODULATORS)
g) Nefiracetam – not recommended due to safety
h) Coluracetam – not recommended due to safety
2.) CHOLINE (ACETYLCHOLINE PRECURSORS)
b) Choline Bitartrate + Citrate
c) Alpha GPC
e) ALCAR (not a precursor to choline but helps in conversion)
f) Centrophenoxine (indirectly increases cholinergic activity)
3.) ACETYLCHOLINESTERASE INHIBITORS (OVER-THE-COUNTER)
a) Huperzine A
b) Galantamine (Snowdrop)
b.) Sunifiram – not recommended due to lack of research
c.) Unifiram – not recommended due to lack of research
a.) Huperzine A
b.) Bacopa Monneri
e.) Rhodiola rosea
f.) Mucuna pruriens – precursor to dopamine
g.) Gotu Kola
h.) Lion’s Main Mushroom
i.) CILTEP Stack
IV) OTHER NOOTROPICS
f.) Phenylethylamine (PEA)
Racetams and cholinergic compounds all stack well together. They can offer a complete synergy when used in the right ratios and situations. These stack well together and make the most common stacks and best value for the money.
Racetams + Choline
a) Piracetam + Choline
b) Piracetam + Aniracetam + Choline
c) Piracetam + Aniracetam + Oxiracetam + Choline
d) Noopept + Choline
e) Pramiracetam + Choline
Racetams + ACHe Inhibitor + Choline
Racetams + Ampakines
Racetams + Ampakines + Choline
Racetams + Herbals + Others + Ampakines
HOW TO TAKE NOOTROPICS
Taking nootropic powder is fairly easy. Please read this article on how to take nootropics. It is recommended to get a scale to properly measure nootropics however items like piracetam and aniracetam can be eyeballed because their dosage is above 500mg. These products are very safe and one rarely has to worry about taking too much as the dosage threshold is much higher.
FAT SOLUBLE & WATER SOLUBLE
Nootropics are divided into fat soluble and water soluble. Water soluble products like piracetam can be easily mixed in water whereas ones like aniracetam and pramiracetam will clump and not mix well. Water soluble racetams are best taken before food whereas fat soluble ones work best after a meal.
Fat soluble nootropics can be much more of a pain to take in powder form. Some people will just scoop the fat soluble products into their mouths and wash it down with water. Mixing the fat soluble products in water will be harder as the product will clump. It can be done but it is a nuisance. We recommend to get a product like the capsule machine. The capsule machine is very cheap and easy to use. It will be worth it for the long term nootropic user.
Picking the dosage will depend largely on the user. It is best to start with a small dosage before increasing. An experienced racetam user may sometimes do something called an attack dosage which is often 3 times the recommended dosage. We recommend not to do this unless you absolutely know what you are doing. See below for some of the recommended dosages for beginners.
Piracetam Dosage: 800mg-3000mg – water soluble
Aniracetam Dosage: 1000mg-2000mg – fat soluble
Oxiracetam Dosage: 800mg-1500mg – water soluble
Pramiracetam Dosage: 200mg-400mg – fat soluble
Noopept Dosage: 20mg-40mg – semi water soluble
Phenylpiracetam Dosage: 100mg-250mg water soluble
Citicoline Dosage: 100mg-500mg – water soluble
Alpha GPC: 100mg-500mg – water soluble
Centrophenoxine Dosage: 250mg-500mg water soluble
ALCAR dosage: 500mg-100mg water soluble
NOOTROPICS AREN’T WORKING
If you have tried nootropics and they have not been working, there are several things you can do. Please see this post for reasons why they may not be working. It is important to remember there are several things that effect nootropics and how they function. Stress hormones like cortisol seem to reduce the effects of cholinergics.
Also remember that these types of nootropic take time. Wait at least 2 weeks before giving up on a certain product. You can also try increasing the dosage. Many people miss the initial effects of nootropics because they are expecting a smiliar result to stimulants. Nootropics generally do not affect the central nervous system in a way that stimulants do. This may cause them to be used undetected.
ARE NOOTROPICS SAFE FOR ME?
Your own safety should be discussed with your doctor but nootropics and racetams are generally pretty safe. They have limited interactions and can be combined together quite easily. Most of the side effects will be related to neurotransmitters and the changes within the brain.
Side effects and drug interactions with the racetams and cholinergics are very minimal. They have limited effects of the central nervous system and therefore are not considered to be very addictive. Addiction, tolerance and withdrawl are all very limited things. Nootropics are suited for long term use and their effects may have neuroprotective qualities to help reduce damage to the brain caused by oxidative stress (brain aging)
Stay away from anything that is a stimulant. These types of compounds are generally not considered nootropics. These products may help with focus and alertness but overtime will become more addicting and lose effectiveness.