Nootropic Stack Beginners Guide
What do we mean by a nootropic stack beginners guide? If you’ve been using or studying nootropics for a while then you’re surely familiar with the term nootropic stacking and probably have a basic idea of what nootropic stacks are. When dabbling in cognitive enhancement, it is best to move at a slow and steady pace as far as trying new compounds out. We always recommend trying one compound at a time to test it at minimum effective dosage before even attempting to stack apart from adding things generally recognized as safe and essential nutrients like the B vitamins and choline.
Nootropic stacks, in case you are new to nootropics, is like a formula that generally considers of multiple compounds that are designed to work with each other creating a sort of synergy. With a nootropic stack you’re applying the principle that the whole, sometimes, is greater than than the sum of its parts. The simplest type of stack is just two ingredients that work well together. This could be called Nootropic Stack Beginners Guide 101.
One of the first beginner’s stacks recommended is caffeine and theanine. Caffeine is one of the most widely used psychoactive compounds in the entire world and theanine is a compound found in green tea and guayusa. Multiple studies seem to suggest that combining caffeine and theanine in the proper ratio make the combination more effective than either on their own.
Types Of Stacks
The easiest way to take advantage of stacking is to begin either with tried and true stacks like the caffeine and theanine combo or trying a science backed pre-formulated stack. The synergy to a stack and the proper ratio of the ingredients are at the base of how to build effective nootropic stacks. Building a stack isn’t as simple as just putting two nootropics or cognitive enhancers together though. If you want to start simple you might want to go with some tried and true combinations and the proven ratios but still it’s always a good idea to start small and work up. With the caffeine and theanine stack for instance the formula is about 2:1 theanine to caffeine so you might want to start with 200 mg of theanine and half that amount of caffeine which would be about 100mg.
One shortcut is to try some tried and true pre-formulated stacks as well. An advantage here is not having to buy all the individual components themselves. If the stack is already encapsulated this can make things more convenient as well, for easy storage and dosing not to mention administration considering many nootropics have a notoriously bad taste.
When trying out a pre-formulated stack you want to always make sure you order from a reliable vendor who has supplements that are guaranteed quality chemicals. Not all supplements are created equal and some smart drugs and nootropic supplements are even sold “as is” to protect the vendor from potential liability in the case of impurities or other issues like lead or microorganisms that can occur with sub-standard synthesis.
Then there is the choice to build your stack yourself. From “off the shelf” ingredients. For beginners, the idea of starting with tried and true formulas or pre-mixed stacks might be a good idea, but once you get used to the science behind the mechanisms of action and learn about the synergy between compounds and what works best for you, the ability to customize as you see fit may be worth the loss of convenience. For instance you might have a stack that contains 3 or 4 compounds with the caffeine and theanine stack as its base and some days you might want to go heavier on the theanine than the caffeine or vice versa. You may find that depending on the day and the specific state you’re seeking for that day’s needs.
Oxiracetam – Certificate of Analysis
When creating your own stack, if you’ve already committed to buying in bulk you could save some money, but you might end up taking more time preparing your daily doses. In addition, taking your supplements “on the go” won’t be as easy unless you invest in a capping machine and capsules. At this point though, you’re once again committing to a formula, but if you make a small amount of one iteration of the ratio you can always tweak it later.
If you’re going to try and build your own stack though, you’re going to want to be fully familiar with all the ingredients and their mechanisms of action as well as the synergy between the compounds. If you’ve had some pre-formulated stacks, you might want to use them as a basis or “cheat sheet” to build on from. Make sure you have accurate scales if you’re planning on blending your own stacks though, some of these compounds are denser than others so using scoops to approximate amounts might not always work.
Keep in mind the compounds recommended dosages, but remember that when you’re stacking you’re adding synergy so less can be more. Some things to keep in mind when building your own stack are the compounds mechanisms of actions, interactions, potential; synergy and antagonism and agonism (if a compound makes another stronger or weaker in combination). Also remember the importance of ratio and minimum effective dosage.
When designing stacks remember that there are many potential states of mind you might want to elicit. Think of a toolbox, if you’ve got 5 types of hammers but it’s a screwdriver you need then no amount of switching behind hammers will do. Different tasks and situations require different mind sets which may be elicited by different means. This is where experimenting one by one with each compound is a good idea before blending.
Another important thing to take into effect is the cycle. How many times per day and/or week and for how long. Think of the different compounds and whatever compounds should be used least often would be your “limiting factor.” Some compounds work near instantaneously while others take time to build up effect. Some have a steady effect, others build up tolerance. Some even build up metabolites and grow in strength over time as you continue to supplement. These are all things to consider during your stack design.
It’s always best to stick with the tried and true ingredients from reliable sources. The racetams, for instance, are some of the most studied compounds. A cholinergic and choline compound is a great start, along with the caffeine theanine stack. Another tried and true bet are adaptogen blends. Remember though, as you add more compounds there are more potentials for unexpected results and everybody is different because every body is different. Make sure you’re not using compounds that work in opposite ways. For instance, not all cholinergics are created equal, there are choline donors, acetylcholine agonists and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Choline donors like choline bitartate,. Citicoline or Alpha GPC are a great addition to about any stack, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to take acetylcholine agonists (which upmodulate acetylcholine production) at the same time as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (which cause acetylcholine to degrade more slowly in the synapse).
Don’t be afraid to read study excerpts, Google Scholar and Pub Med are a great place for the raw data, but Examine.com is also a great resource to draw information from several studies together. Forums like Longecity are also a great place to gain anecdotal information but remember that these are subjective and, as a result, far from scientific fact. A subjective opinion about a compound could be skewed for a number of reasons.
One of the most important things to remember is checking with your primary care practitioner. This is esecially vital if you’re taking any over the counter or prescription drugs for any pre-existing conditions.
If you are a beginner to the nootropic world, you should start by keeping things simple. Hence this nootropic stack beginners guide.
The most basic type of stack is two ingredients like the theanine-caffeine stack, or a cholinergic racetam with choline bitartate or Alpha GPC or citicoline if you want some added kick to the combo. With piracetam for instance, around 4.8g maximum per day taken in three divided doses is a recommended maximum. You might want to take 8:1 approach if you’re using choline bitartate, but with Alpha GPC or citicoline you wouldn’t need more than 200-300mg per day at that rate.
Once you’ve found some basic stacks that work well, you might try combining them. Caffeine and theanine along with your cholinergic stack, then maybe some sulbutiamine to round it out for added focus and energy. The trick is to start slow and be familiar with the ingredients so if you find a combo that doesn’t work you’ll know what went wrong. Don’t forget Peak Nootropics has a few simple and complex stacks form our Noopept and choline combo to the more complex Mood and Memory Stack and the Brain Antioxidant stack.
As always key for a nootropic stack beginners guide. Remember taking more compounds means you can take less of each individual substance especially if you’re taking any MAO-I’s or other ingredients that would enhance the effectiveness of the others. Always check with your doctor before beginning any supplementation regimen.