When people first learn about smart drugs and nootropics, often one of the first categories of compounds that are mentioned are the racetams and other related cholinergic enhancers. Cholinergics work primarily by up-modulating the production of acetylcholine which is the learning and memory neurotransmitter. Memory is a vital part of success. Regardless of what jobs or tasks you’re attempting improved memory is likely to aid you in it’s achievement. Memory is just one facet of cognition though. When it comes to optimal performance, motivation is as key an ingredient as memory. In this article we’ll be discussing some of the top nootropics for improving your motivation.
Motivation and Focus
Motivation, energy and focus often go hand in hand. Without motivation to fuel you in your endeavours, any amount of potential will remain just that, nothing more than potential. B-vitamins, caffeine and energy drinks are a popular choice for improving levels of motivation, energy and focus but there are certain supplements that could be more likely to improve your get up and go.
In previous articles we have gone into certain supplements that are suited towards mood, memory and motivation. Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Serotonin are catecholamines, also known as the mono-aminergic neurotransmitters. Catecholaminergics and MAO inhibitors are two classes of nootropics that are especially suited to the task of firing off your will. Catecholamines are the class of neurotransmitters that are especially related to mood, stress relief and motivation.
If you’re looking for a nootropic that works double duty improving acetylcholine production as well as improving levels of motivation, Phenylpiracetam, also known as Phenotropil in Russia where it was initially developed, may be a good one to try out. Phenylpiracetam is a racetam so, with ample choline in your diet or via supplementation, it may stimulate your learning and memory. In addition to the cholinergic properties it is also somewhat dopaminergic and is known as one of the “speediest” racetams, but is also highly motivating. Dopamine is responsible for focus, motivation and reward-feedback cycles.
Phenylpiracetam is basically a piracetam molecule with an added phenyl group. The phenyl group not only adds an energizing and motivating aspect but also makes it far more bio-available. It is estimated to be some 60 times more potent than piracetam by volume. Instead of taking grams of the supplement, as is the case with piracetam, a couple hundred milligrams should be enough for most people’s use. Be advised, however, phenylpiracetam is more likely to build up tolerance than piracetam, so it is best for occasional use.
A typical phenylpiracetam dosage runs from 100 to 200mg. A dose of this size can be taken 2 to 3 times per day. Daily dosage, however, should not exceed 200 to 600mg.
Technically adrafinil is not a nootropic. It is, however, a cognitive enhancer and a smart drug. Adrafinil metabolizes into modafinil after being processed in your body. Modafinil is marketed as a narcolepsy drug, on-label. Unlike caffeine, ADHD drugs or other classic energizers or “uppers” it is not a CNS stimulant. As a result, it and related compounds in the -finil family bare considered “eugeroics” meaning “good energizers.” Adrafinil may be a mood booster, like other motivating nootropics.
In addition to that it is a potent motivating compound that may inspire laser-pointed focus for up to 16 hours. Be advised, if you are prone to insomnia adrafinil may not be a good choice. It takes some time to fully metabolize before it has an effect so it may last even longer than prescription modafinil which lasts from 12-16 hours itself . Another warning about adrafinil, due to the fact that it metabolizes in the liver, do not drink alcohol when you’re on an adrafinil regimen and regular use may put some strain on the liver. If you do use it, it is best to do so sparingly and getting blood work and enzymes checked may also be helpful. Adrafinil is technically primarily histaminergic as far as mechanism of action, but also has some dopaminergic effects. Scientists are still discovering how the -finil family works.
Adrafinil should be taken only once a day and as early as possible. If taken under an empty stomach it may metabolize more quickly which could decrease the potential to cause insomnia. A single dosage of around 150-300mg is recommended but in case you are sensitive to the compound it may be a good idea to start around 100mg just in case. If 100mg doesn’t offer the desired effects, rather than redosing wait until at least the next day before trying with 50mg or more on top of your original dose. Remember it can take 3-4 hours before you experience the full effects of adrafinil.
Technically, sulbutiamine is more of a “souped-up” B-vitamin. It is a form of thiamine that has been altered so it more easily passes through the blood-brain barrier so that it can reach the brain. Once again, sulbutiamine happens to be a dopaminergic. Sulbutiamine works in part to enhance the density of certain dopaminergic receptors. Sulbutiamine may improve mood, energy and fight fatigue and especially so for those who have B-vitamin deficiencies or methylation issues. Sulbutiamine and other nootropics that inspire motivation, focus and energy can be especially helpful for study sessions.
Sulbutiamine may boost mood as mentioned before. B-vitamin deficiencies can result in mood related issues and issues with mood can have a deleterious effect on focus, concentration, alertness. Once again, often this is all tied to catecholamines and specifically dopamine.
Though currently there is technically no optimal dosage has been determined a good dose for many is around 200 to 600mg in a day. This can be taken in divided doses a couple times a day. More than 800mg in 24 hours is definitely not encouraged. As with any other supplement, start low and work your way up to find your sweet spot. Minimal effective dosing is always a good tactic with any sort of supplementation. Sulbutiamine has a notoriously bitter and caustic taste so capsules may be a good workaround.
Noopept is technically a peptide. It is often classed along with the racetams, but unlike the racetams it does not share the pyrollidinone backbone. Like phenylpiracetam it originates in Russia. Noopept is known in Russia as Nootropil. Like the traditional racetams, noopept is a cholinergic but like phenylpiracetam, it also has some dopaminergic effect. It also has a mild AMPAkine activity. AMPA is a subreceptor set of glutamate which is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter. Excitatory neurotransmitters cause neurons to fire off (as opposed to inhibitory neurotrasnmitters which inhibit neuronal transmission).
Another mechanism of noopept involves it’s increase of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Noopept is even more potent than phenylpiracetam and is estimated to be 1,000 times as potent as piracetam by volume. The NGF and BDNF are responsible for neuro-generative and neuro-protective effects of noopept. Noopept may be more effective after being taken for at least a few days, similar to piracetam. The dopaminergic and AMPAkine activity of noopept may offer an increased focus and motivation in addition to the cholinergic activity.
Noopept is one of the most potent cholinergics. Around 10mg per day can be sufficient and if you do take more than one dose in a day, no more than 35mg should be needed. Noopept can even be dosed sublingually. This could make it more effective due to the fact that it is a peptide which makes it easily broken down in the gut.
Hordenine is a chemical that is predominantly found in plants and is a derivative of the amino acid “Tyramine.” Often referred to as a MAO inhibitor, it is a nootropic that is used to enhance cognitive behavior and increase physical strength. Cognition refers to learning capacity, and the drug is used to increase a person’s information intake. MAO is responsible for controlling hormone levels in the body and elevated levels can cause issues with the central nervous system.
This motivational supplement has a primary purpose of improving mental clarity and fight away brain fog, but is also used to improve mood and stave off anxiety. The supplement is popular amongst athletes and bodybuilders because of its ability to increase lean muscles. These muscles do not easily burn away and are therefore considered to be imperative to maintain a healthy body.
It is best to consume 30 mg of Hordenine two or three times a day. Taking it 30 minutes prior to a workout will allow the body to process it and it can also be taken 30 minutes after a workout to assist with recovery.
Supplements affect everyone differently, so it’s always best to start small and always try one compound at a time before stacking. That said, choline supplementation with products such as Alpha GPC, Citcoline (CDP Choline), or Cholilne L-Bitartrate is a good idea regardless of what compounds you are taking.
Always check with your doctor first before undergoing any health regimen, especially if you are currently under a doctor’s care or taking prescription medication.