In our last article we introduced the concept of building nootropic stacks for beginners, in this one we’re going to offer a few nootropic stack examples you can try on your own. As we mentioned, not every supplement or stack will be fit for each purpose. There are multiple states of mind you can draw from and depending on the task at hand, different nootropic supplement combinations may be the best choice for eliciting those states.
As many classes and compounds of cognitive enhancers as there are, the combinations result in even more potential nootropic stacks. Stacks for reducing anxiety, increasing focus, improving motivation, boosting memory and learning tasks, balancing mood, longevity and brain health and much more exist. In addition, your stack may work on a variety of these tasks. As we mentioned before, it is always best to start slow and small and only stack with ingredients you are already familiar with the mechanisms.
Nootropic Stack Examples
As we mentioned, some of the simplest nootropic stack examples such as the caffeine and theanine stack. The simplest of cholinergic stacks (a racetam and a choline donor) can be combined to create a somewhat more complex stack that may offer more functionality than the previous two simple stacks alone.
An idea among nootropic stack examples that BrainTropic offered was a stack involving 100mg caffeine, 200mg L-theanine (remember the best ratio for caffeine and theanine is 1:2) 300mg of NALT, 250mg of Alpha GPC, 500mg sulbutiamine (morning only), 750mg aniracetam (morning only), 20mg of noopepet (afternoon only). For any good stack, the basic idea is for all the ingredients to work synergistically so that the sum total is greater than that of the individual components. The stack is designed to work on multiple axes, mood, motivation, memory, focus and even sociability.
The caffeine and theanine offer relaxed energy and a calm focus. In addition, both are beneficial for brain health and theanine can reduce the jittery stimulation of other energizing ingredients. Sulbutiamine, the souped-up B-vitamin is great for motivation and focus as well as having some research to support it’s potential for boosting the mood. N acetyl L-tyrosine not only improves focus but can potentially improve stress response in certain cases. It is also a necessary precursor to dopamine, the joy and motivation neurotransmitter.
Alpha-GPC is one of the highest quality choline compounds around. It possesses some stand alone nootropic benefit as well as potentially being a mood booster. Aniracetam has been theorized to not only have the cholinergic properties of the other racetams but also potentially improve sociability and response to stress and anxiety. Noopept, like aniracetam, has some research to support it being a potential mood booster and anxiolytic in addition to being good for overall brain health.
Among nootropic stack examples, another great stack idea is one related to brain health in general. Maintaining baseline is vitally important to a biohacker. Remember that turning food into energy is one of the most important tasks of metabolism and is closely tied into our energy levels and vitality. The brain is the central processing unit for the body and uses more energy than any other physical system. Therefore, feeding the brain and taking care of its energy metabolism tasks is important.
Energy is extracted from ATP with food metabolism. This process, however, result in the production of free radicals. Free radicals are a type of toxins that can damage the cells of your body and brain and impact their overall functioning. Free radicals are also a culprit as far as the cause of tissue damage, cancer and certain types of cognitive decline including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Antioxidants should be the first line of defense against free radical damage.
Due to the intense energy demands of the brain’s metabolism it needs extra antioxidant protection. Oxidation can result in neural tissue damage after slowly accumulating over time. Antioxidants may help slow down, prevent and in some cases even reverse the damage done by these nefarious toxins. Even before supplementation, healthy diet is of the utmost importance. One excellent source of dietary antioxidants includes vegetables containing polyphenols. As far as antioxidants go, polyphenols are one of the top categories.
Polyphenols are abundant in natural sources such as fruits and vegetables. Phenolic compounds exist in every plant and phenols are actually the basic building block of plant life. Polyphenol is just a term meaning a chain of phenols. In essence, polyphenols are the plant life equivalent of proteins which are just chains of amino acids. Fruits, vegetables and even coffee and tea contain several types of polyphenolic antioxidants.
Consuming plenty of fresh produce is one way to ensure you’re getting a good amount of polyphenols in your diet. It also helps ensure you are working to gain the necessary antioxidants to stave off the oxidative damage from metabolic processes and other means. Antioxidant ingestion may also decrease inflammatory damage that is part and parcel of the natural aging process.
Certain medicinal spices from the Ayurvedic medicinal tradition are also great additions to your diet. Turmeric (which contains curcumin) is a great natural anti-inflammatory and brain antioxidant. Curcumin is one of the active medicinal constituents of turmeric but there are also other healthy compounds that are contained in whole source turmeric so it might be a good idea to use both.
Turmeric and curcumin are considered nootropic antioxidant in addition to some of the key ingredients in much of Indian food. In addition to that they may help relieve some inflammatory pain. Vitamin E is another important antioxidant that should be a regular part of your dietary intake. Vitamin E, by the way, can be found in ginkgo biloba, which is itself a flavonoid antioxidant. Flavonoids are another class of plant life compounds that, like polyphenols, tend to be antioxidant. The resveratrol found in red wine is another excellent antioxidant, so is quercetin which is found in onions and other vegetables. In addition to being a polyphenolic antioxidant, quercetin may assist concentration and energy levels as well as being a rich source for multiple polyphenolic compounds.
The Brain Antioxidant Stack
In addition to a healthy diet, the use of a formula such as Peak Nootropics’ Brain Antioxidant Stack could be a great choice. The Brain Stack was specifically formulated with a combination of naturally occuring antioxidant nootropics such as L-Theanine, Choline L-Bitartrate, Acetyl L-Carnitine, and Bacopa Monnieri extracted to 20% bacosides. As mentioned before, L-Theanine has a focusing effect, and some anxiolytic support, but is also cardioprotective and antioxidant. Bacopa, as well as being prized as a memory tonic and mood balancer is also a powerful brain antioxidant. Choline has an antioxidant effect on the neurons and stacks well with the Acetyl L-Carnitine found in the brain stack.
Fitness, Sports And Workout Stack
There are as many types of stacks as there are reasons for taking them. Many things that are good for the brain also happen to be heart health, but some nootropics are especially suited to sports and work out regimens as well as improved cognition. A stack that could be useful for strength training and athletics as well as a basic pre-workout formula might be of interest to many folks who know that exercise and fitness are one of the keys to utmost cognitive fitness.
Racetams are one of the most tried and true of all nootropics. Piracetam has some potential that could be used for working out and building muscle, but if you’re looking for something that would do double duty for fitness as well as athletics you might want to go another direction. Oxiracetam may have the potential to increase alertness and spatial learning, which as a result may improve pysical coordination as well as offering the motivation to fuel your workouts or sports sessions. Huperzine-A, a compound found in the Chinese firmoss is anotehr that has similar effects along these lines, but it’s not recommended to combine an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor like Huperzine-A. As with traditional cholinergics like the racetams due to the opposing mechanisms of action, so it might be best to choose one or the other depending on your personal preference.
Phenylpiracetam is piracetam with a phenyl chain added and has been proven effective in increasing physical endurance and cold resistance. Remember that phenylpiracetam is not competition legal so if you’re a professional athlete you might want to choose rhodiola instead. Rhodiola, or Siberian ginseng, is an arctic herb that has some of the same properties related to power output, focus and even cold resistance. A study from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, “Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance” showed that short and long term rhodiola supplementation may improve physical capacity, muscle strength, limb movement speed, attention and reaction time.
These are just a few simple examples of nootropic stacks. As you learn more about the specific compounds and their mechanisms of actions and learn what works best for you it should become easier for you to personalize and customize these formulas to best suit your needs. Remember that you should always stick with the minimum effective dose and consult with a doctor before beginning any supplementation regimen, especially if you’re currently under a doctor’s care or taking any over the counter or prescription medication.