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L-Theanine & Caffeine: Making the Best of Both Worlds

Summary: L-Theanine & Caffeine combination is one of the safer and most popular nootropic stacks out there. Most of the time, it is what people start with when experimenting with nootropics due to its simple understanding, profound effect, and vast availability of data. The typical combination ratio is 100mg caffeine to 200mg L-theanine.

  1. Caffeine: a central nervous system stimulant. It is also the world’s most widely consumed drug. Humanity is a mass of junkies, but that’s off-topic. On the other hand;
  2. L-Theanine:  an amino acid found in certain plant species, and mostly known for being one of the compounds of green tea. You can read more about L-theanine as a nootropic here.
  3. Stack: taking more than one nootropic at a time (2 or more) because they synergize well together, increasing and complementing one another’s effects.
  4. Synergy: the creation of something that is greater than the simple sum of its parts – (nice definition, I had to throw it in there).

Caffeine

When we hear of caffeine, the first thoughts that pop in our heads (and to many, the only) are something along the lines of stimulants, energy, wakefulness. Most people tend to overlook the actual benefits of caffeine. Not necessarily the 6 pumps vanilla sugar-filled chocolate drizzle frappuccino. What I refer to here is caffeine in its pure form, the chemical, central nervous system stimulant.

Some examples of the less known health benefits of caffeine:

  1. Caffeine boosts memory and especially memory consolidation, as shown in a Japanese study at Johns Hopkins University.
  2. Caffeine stimulates hair growth (in blading men and women). [1]

It also reduces mouth and throat cancer risk by 50%, reduces the risk of stroke by as much as 22%, and even decreases the risk of type diabetes. The list goes on and on but we are more focusing on the nootropic, cognition-related benefits. Some of which are the following:

  1.  Boosts overall memory, as well as formation and especially memory consolidation. [2]
  2. It fights erectile dysfunction and increases semen volume [3] [4]
  3. Improves reaction time and logical reasoning, especially in sleep-deprived individuals. [5]
  4. Boosts energy as well as athletic performance, and weight training. [6]

That, of course, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a negative side to it though.


L-Theanine

L-theanine, on the other hand, is much less known comparing to caffeine. But it is very well known to those within the nootropic community.

Although it is existing in green tea, the concentration is too low to produce notable nootropic effects. Therefore, nootropically speaking, a higher concentration of l-theanine is required than that found in green tea for example. Which is what led to the production and widespread l-theanine supplement in capsule form.

L-theanine benefits include promoting relaxation and contributing to better sleep quality. Moreover:

  1. It boosts GABA, serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, as well as lowers excitatory chemicals. Thereby, L-theanine reduces stress and anxiety.
  2. Enhances attention, focus, and learning ability.
  3. Improves sleep quality

The Synergy Effect

Now, speaking logically, what do you think would happen if you take both caffeine and theanine together, at the same time (caffeine l-theanine stack)?

It would give you the best of both worlds:

The stimulation, alertness, and wakefulness, without the associating crash, jitters, or anxiety that often come along with or after caffeine consumption.

Due to L-theanine calming and relaxing effects, this combination is one of the most popular nootropic stacks. It is simple, and both cimound have a vast amount of studies on them. So not a lot of digging is required to pull information on them.

Combining the two together results in this, or a very similar experience. Might even be better (or worse if you’re the unlucky one):

“You can concentrate on your work more thoroughly, be more creative, and achieve more success with the absence of headaches, crashes, and anxiety. The combination gives you the power to perform better than taking either alone.” [7]


Dosage

Although newer formulations have been surfacing around, the widely known caffeine & l-theanine dosage is a 1:2 ratio. In most cases, that being 100mg caffeine & 200mg L-theanine.

Vendors such as Nootropic Depot have already come up with an “enhanced” formula for caffeine/theanine with a ratio of 1.5:2, and the addition of extended release technology that sums up to optimal use of both compounds.

I still have it on my to-do list to try the sample I got with my last order…soon……..


Personal Experience

I don’t respond very well to coffee. I love it but its the unforbidden love to me because too much caffeine intake increases my hyperactivity. But when it comes to caffeine/theanine combo, it seems to take care of that and lead me to a hyper-focus state. Especially given that I’m ADHD, I can get very engaged into something and lose track and sense and even existence of time all together.

However, although I have caffeine/theanine from ND, I don’t really find myself using it frequently. And that is mainly due to the fact that I drink a cup of bulletproof coffee first thing after waking up. Even though the caffeine concentration is lower in my morning coffee than the common 100mg, I drink my cup followed by a 200mg L-theanine. I found that this works the best for me, allowing me to reap the benefits of both, the synergy of the two compounds, as well as enjoy my bulletproof coffee and practice intermittent fasting (in my personal dictionary, this could also mean starvation and weight loss, but let’s stay on topic here).


Further Readings

If you would like to read more into the combination and synergy of the two compounds, you may enjoy the following studies and articles:

  1. The effects of l-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood‘ by the Psychology Division of Northumbria University
  2. L-Theanine and caffeine improve target-specific attention to visual stimuli by decreasing mind wandering: a human functional magnetic resonance imaging study‘ by the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Texas Tech University
  3. Effects of l-theanine on attention and reaction time response‘ by University of Shiga Prefecture, Human Culture Department, Japan
  4. Choline: All About The Essential Vitamin-Like Compound
  5. Phenibut: An In-Depth Review of a Powerful Nootropic Agent
  6. Ultimate Nootropics FAQ List

Return to Nootropics Information homepage.

Back to Nootropics Information homepage.

What is Modafinil?Benefits & EffectsMechanism of ActionDosage Side EffectsFrequently Asked Questions

Summary: Modafinil is a powerful stimulant that promotes ‘wakefulness’ and treats sleep disorders. It prevents daytime sleepiness and fatigue, as well as offering nootropical benefits such as enhancing mood, increasing mental alertness, increasing motivation, improving reaction time, reducing fatigue, and even enhancing memory.

Modafinil Video TTS

Introduction

What is Modafinil?

In use by the French army, the American Air Force, the Indian Air Force, and Canadian astronauts….. (astronauts!) [R]. Modafinil is a powerful stimulant that promotes wakefulness and treating daytime sleep disorders such as narcolepsy – excessive, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness. Besides tats, it offers nootropic benefits such as enhancing mood, increasing mental alertness, increasing motivation, improving reaction time, reducing fatigue, and even enhancing memory.

As a prescription medicine, Modafinil is available in the US, Canada, the UK, and almost every developed country today. It is also available in the UAE where I had it prescribed for a month. Aside from the original name, it also sells under brand names Provigil, Modvigil, and Alertec. It’s a eugeroic (a class of medical drugs that promotes wakefulness and alertness) used to treat conditions such as narcolepsy, a disorder that decreases the ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles, as well as the effects of shift work and similar sleep disorders. It’s used off-label by students, businesswomen, men, and shift-workers due to its nootropic effects.

Modafinil, sold under the brand name Provigil among others, is a medication to treat sleepiness due to narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, or obstructive sleep apnea. In OSA continuous positive airway pressure is the preferred treatment. Wikipedia

Benefits and Effects

What Are Modafinil Benefits?

  1. Improves Alertness
  2. Reduces Fatigue
  3. Improves Cognition
  4. Reduces Daytime Sleepiness
  5. Enhances Learning Capacity
  6. Effective Neuroprotectant
  7. Reduces Anxiety and Anger Response
  8. Reduces ADHD and Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Supporting Research:

Modafinil Improves Alertness

Although its effects are comparable to amphetamines like Adderall, which produce a temporary increase in cognition, Modafinil reports providing smoother and jitter-free energy. It also has fewer side effects and better toleration. Furthermore, it has low abuse and addiction potential. I don’t think I ever heard of any “Modafinil addict.” Definitely not Dave Asprey.

Reduces Fatigue

Modafinil increases resistance to fatigue more than amphetamines, along with improving mood, motivation, and reaction time. It is also effective at reducing “impulse response,” i.e., bad decisions. A study on forty-one military subjects receiving Modafinil shows better scores in not only fatigue but also reaction time. Additionally, measurable scores are showing in performance, mood, logical thinking, and even memory. (R)

Improves Cognition

It improves cognitive function by increasing wakefulness and enhancing mental performance during a sleep-deprivation state.
A by-product of the ground-breaking stimulant Adrafinil, Modafinil acted faster and was promoted as a different drug in the 1970’s. After extensive clinical trials, Modafinil got the FDA’s approval to use as hypersomnia treatment. (R)

Reduces Daytime Sleepiness

Modafinil is useful for shift workers. It is used to help pilots staying alert throughout operations by the American military.
According to the World Health Organization, off-label users take Modafinil as a Nootropic. Moreover, with that, reports showing they get the most cognitive boost as well as most of the compelling benefits when they are not sleep-deprived. It is useful for both, still. (R)

Enhances Learning Capacity

Modafinil is powerful strengthening the ability to learn and expanding the capacity to process information. Research confirms that it reinforces mental endurance and performance, especially in cases of drug dependence and ADHD individuals. According to the clinical trials, Modafinil enhances mood, performance, response time and even memory in healthy individuals as well as those who are sleep-deprived.

Effective Neuroprotectant

Experiments further suggest Modafinil promotes brain health. In brain tissue, its inhibitors properties decrease the manifestation of damaging free radicals, thereby making it an effective neuroprotectant (R), (R), (R).

Reduces Anxiety and Anger Response

Although less of a featured trait, Modafinil seems to have the ability to reduce anxiety as well as decreasing anger. A result of the reduction it allows in the reactivity stimuli within the brain (R). There is a paradoxical study (R) for the curious cats like myself. The research shows that on the contrary, Modafinil increases aggression and anxiety in a subject taking a 100mg dose. When the treatment is doubling to 200mg, the items display a reduction in anxiety. It’s a case where less is not more and more is more.

Reduces ADHD and Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Modafinil is one of the standard stimulants for the treatment of attention hyperactivity deficit disorder (ADHD). Furthermore, research suggests that it is an effective treatment for memory impairment in cases of multiple cases of sclerosis. Current clinical trials measure modafinil as a treatment for conditions such as depression, psychosis, seasonal depression, and even drug addiction. It confirms that it strengthens mental performance, thereby becoming beneficial in ADHD and drug dependence. [R] [R]

Mechanism of Action

modafinil side effects
Modafinil Skeletal Structure

How Does Modafinil Work?

The unique mechanisms of action differentiates Modafinil effect from the traditional stimulants though they are similar. Modafinil activates neurons by focusing on the hypothalamus and amygdala, unlike amphetamine, methylphenidate, and other central nervous stimulants that only induce wakefulness by general widespread neuronal activation. The precise mechanisms of Modafinil action have not been identified regarding locating a single site of action, though it modulates the brain’s histamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, orexin, and dopamine systems. However, it is evident that Modafinil’s effect on numerous essential neurotransmitters is at the heart of its potency, both as a eugeroic and nootropic.

Orexin Neuropeptide

Orexin neurons exist in the hypothalamus but project to many different parts of the brain including several areas that regulate wakefulness. Leading cause of Narcolepsy is lack of orexin, which Modafinil addresses by acting on orexin neurons. Activation of these neurons also increases production of histamines and other important neurotransmitters that are related to wakefulness and alertness.

On Histamine

Histamine is known to allergies and local immune responses, it also plays an essential part in regulating the sleep/wake cycle. Modafinil actions elevate hypothalamic histamine, a known wakefulness mechanism.

On Dopamine

Dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter associating with stimuli/reward response, and therefore can enhance mood as well as increase motivation and focus. Modafinil works by blocking the receptors that remove dopamine from synapses, which raises levels of dopamine available for instant use in the brain. Unlike amphetamines, which stimulate the release and increase of dopamine levels in a high but rapid amplified manner. This indirect gradual action on the dopamine system is a primary feature of how Modafinil works in the brain. It decreases the “rush” type of euphoria that associates with addiction.

On Norepinephrine

Modafinil increases the availability of norepinephrine, a stimulant neurotransmitter that promotes wakefulness and increases alertness in the hypothalamus. How Modafinil increases norepinephrine levels isn’t clear.

On Glutamate

Modafinil elevates levels of glutamate, the primary neurotransmitter in the brain which is responsible for excitement, by activating the extracellular release of glutamate in the hypothalamus. Glutamate plays a crucial role in human’s psychological functions, playing a significant role in Modafinil’s enhancing effects. Such effects include increased memory, focus, and even brain modification. Not all that Modafinil has to offers is clear, but more than 40 years of extensive research reveals its powerful effects.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

Modafinil is well-absorbed with peak plasma concentration reached approximately two to four hours after administration. Food has no effect on overall modafinil bioavailability; however, absorption (tmax) may be delayed by approximately one hour if taken with food.

Distribution

Modafinil is moderately bound to plasma protein (approximately 60%), primarily to albumin, which indicates that there is a low risk of interaction with strongly bound drugs.

Biotransformation

Modafinil is metabolised by the liver. The chief metabolite (40 – 50% of the dose), modafinil acid, has no pharmacological activity.

Elimination

The excretion of modafinil and its metabolites is chiefly renal, with a small proportion being eliminated unchanged (< 10% of the dose).

Half-life

The effective elimination half-life of modafinil after multiple doses is about 15 hours.

For patients 6 to 7 years of age, the estimated half-life is approximately 7 hours and increases with increase in age until half-life values approach those in adults (approximately 15 hours). This difference in clearance is partially offset by the younger patients’ smaller size and lower weight which results in comparable exposure following administration of comparable doses. Higher concentrations of one of the circulating metabolites, modafinil sulfone, are present in children and adolescents as compared to adults. [R]

The electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC)

Effects in Comparison to Amphetamines

Modafinil vs Amphetamines: despite causing the lesser motor activity increase when comparing to methamphetamine, a 1997 study still reported that Modafinil is a better inhibitor of sleep drive and a producer of more periods of wakefulness. Although it is possible to get to addiction to Modafinil is also being proposed as a treatment for methamphetamine and cocaine addictions, restoring normal levels of learning ability and generally yielding more positive results than amphetamines. [R]

Effects on Exercise and Sports Performance

Modafinil enhances sports and exercise performance by the duration of time before exhaustion and reduces the feelings of fatigue. In 2004, it got banned by Anti-Doping Agencies. (R)

Effects on Cognitive Abilities

Several years of research explain that Modafinil improves a big range of psychological feature talents. From memory and fluid intelligence to each abstract and personal memory, government performance, pattern recognition, and performance on tasks that requires a high level of thinking. Further research also states that Modafinil’s effects may be most marked among low-performing subjects. Though Modafinil might end up in anxiety, clinical trials have examined that it improves mood in healthy subjects. (R) (R)

Dosage

How to Take Modafinil?

Modafinil is safe for continuous use at moderate doses (100-200 mg). Large-scale clinical trials show no significant indications of tolerance over periods of up to several months.

Side Effects

What are Modafinil Side Effects?

Commonly reported side effect of modafinil (although minor) can include anxiety, insomnia, headache, nausea, digestion issues, dizziness, diarrhea, dry mouth, and inflammation. Many of these side effects are temporary. If they persist, its advisable to seek professional advice.

Conclusion

Everyone responds differently to nootropics, but decades of research have shown modafinil is safe, effective, and well-tolerated. If you’re into maximizing cognitive abilities and minimizing fatigue, modafinil is a nootropic worth trying. My personal experience with it has been very interesting and positive. I mostly noticed the massive interest in learning as well as the capacity to process information. Nevertheless, I still prefer Adrafinil over Modafinil, even though they are almost identical products.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a medication that promotes wakefulness through a variety of mechanisms. Although Modafinil is structurally like central nervous system stimulants like amphetamines, its effects and mechanisms of action are notably different. Modafinil influences the activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, glutamate, GABA and serotonin. Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters that seems to be most strongly affected. Modafinil inhibits the reuptake of dopamine through specific dopamine transporter channels but is very selective as to which ones it inhibits. Serotonin activity increases in both the amygdala and frontal cortex with Modafinil use.

How Long Does Modafinil Stay In Your System?

Modafinil is a medication that promotes wakefulness. It’s prescribed to treat narcolepsy, hypersomnia, obstructive sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder. Modafinil is widely used off-label as a cognitive enhancing drug. Individuals who use Modafinil as a cognitive enhancer claim that it dramatically improves focus and concentration, especially when taken to counteract fatigue. The effects of Modafinil are long-lasting compared to other medications.
The half-life of Modafinil ranges from 12 to 15 hours, although the metabolism of Modafinil can be affected by several factors, including genetic predispositions, kidney and liver health. Allergy and hypersensitivity are the only contraindications to using Modafinil. Scientists are still trying to understand precisely how Modafinil achieves its effects. Modafinil targets several neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine.

How Long Does Modafinil Stay In Your Urine, Hair And Blood?

Depending on various factors, urinary excretion of unchanged Modafinil ranges from 0 percent to 18.7 percent. Most Modafinil is excreted as one of two major circulating metabolites: modafinil acid or modafinil sulfone. Modafinil and its metabolites may be present at testable levels in the urine for up to 30 hours following ingestion. Modafinil and modafinil acid can be tested for in plasma, serum and urine. Modafinil is not usually tested for in routine drug screenings and its use is unlikely to cause false positives for stimulants such as amphetamines.

Where to buy Modafinil?

If you’re in Abu Dhabi/Dubai, you can order Modafinil through our page here. However, if you are somewhere else, although I know a few websites that advertise it, I never have personally bought from them nor trust them enough to list or recommend them. You can try by doing a Google search, and be cautious, and learn about its legal status in your country of residence.

Further and Related Readings

  1. Adrafinil
  2. Phenylpiracetam
  3. Agmatine Sulfate

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IntroductionBenefits & Effects Mechanism of ActionDosageSide EffectsUser ExperiencesFAQs

Summary: Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a popular multi-functional nutrient, amino acid type nootropic. It benefits the body and brain. A potent antioxidant and neuroprotectant, and a powerful energizing nootropic that promotes anti-aging and longevity.

Acetyl L-Carnitine

Introduction

What is Acetyl L-Carnitine?

Acetyl-L-Carnitine, also known as ALCAR and ALC, is an amino acid naturally produced in your body to generate energy. It’s also found in animal proteins such as red meats. Many people supplement with acetyl-L-carnitine because of its potential benefits. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a more bioavailable form of amino acid l-carnitine, a derivative of amino acid lysine. The body continuously produces L-carnitine, and furthermore gets it from the foods you eat.

Although research shows actual carnitine insufficiency is uncommon in healthy people with no metabolic disorders, supplementation with addition of it is proven to be beneficial in many different ways. Ranging from improving heart health [1] to enhancing brain function. [2]

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is L-carnitine with the addition of an acetyl group, thereby making it the most bioavailable form of L-carnitine and it readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Its primary actions work towards brain functionality. Its nootropic properties seem to magnify when taken with other nootropics. The combination makes it a potentiating agent allowing nootropics to work more effectively.

Other forms of L-carnitine include L-carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT) which is typically assessing physical performance, and Glycine Propionyl L-carnitine (GPLC), which relieves blood flow issues. The only L-carnitine form that possesses nootropic properties is Acetyl L-carnitine, and it furthermore provides both L-carnitine and acetyl groups (molecule) that act towards the development of the learning neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.

From Nootropics Depot product description:

What Is Acetyl L-Carnitine?

Acetyl L-Carnitine, also commonly known as ALCAR, is an acetylated version of L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine is an amino acid naturally produced but is also taken in supplement form. It is a natural nootropic supplement that may aid in delivering fatty acids to our cells’ mitochondria to be broken down. Acetyl L-Carnitine has superior absorption in comparison to standard L-Carnitine. Acetyl L-Carnitine promotes energy.

Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL Capsules are best known for supporting brain health and cognitive function, but it has many other potential uses.


Benefits & Effects

What Are Acetyl-L-Carnitine Benefits?

  1. Enhances Brain Function and Stamina
  2. Provides Neuroprotection Against Brain Cell Death
  3. Restores Cognitive Function and Repairs Impairment
  4. Support Mitochondrial Function and Nervous System
  5. Regulates Sexual Infertility and Erectile Dysfunction

Supporting research:

Research proves ALCAR beneficial to the brain and body in many ways. From enhancing cognitive abilities [3] to increasing energy [4], reducing pain, and even preventing damage from alcohol consumption. [5]

Enhances Brain Function and Stamina

Studies show that it successfully lowers mental exhaustion and improves cognitive function as well as learning capability. In a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, 2-phase study, 66 participants with fatigue were given 2 g of L-carnitine once a day. By the end of the study, the group taking L-carnitine showed significant improvements in physical fatigue, mental fatigue, fatigue severity amongst other physical enhancements, as compared to those receiving a placebo.

Moreover, the study confirms that oral supplementation of L-carnitine reduces the total of fat mass, increases muscular mass, increases capacity for physical and cognitive activity, improves cognitive functions, all while reducing fatigue as well. [6]

Provides Neuroprotection Against Brain Cell Death

Due to its potent antioxidant attributes, ALCAR acts as a neuroprotectant, blocking and restoring damage from free radicals that injure brain cells. It also helps the brain clear itself of other toxins and decreases cell death due to excitotoxicity, a neurotic process that triggers by the over-activation of glutamate receptors. It enhances the neural network by stimulating nerves and signal receptors and additionally protects the brain against the damaging influences of drinking alcohol. [7]

Restores Cognitive Function and Repairs Impairment

One of Acetyl-L-Carnitine’ many exciting prospects is as a treatment for age-related neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. It has been confirmed to dramatically slow decline in Alzheimer’s patients and decreases age-related recall failure. Other studies showed that ALCAR supports repair ambulatory capability in the elderly and functions as a mood lifter as well as working as an anti-depressant in the elderly. [8]

Support Mitochondrial Function and Nervous System

ALCAR promotes mitochondrial function and serves to support the nervous system overall performance. Especially in the case where an individual is subject to neurodegenerative disease. It can be of significant benefit to people with physical disorders typically correlated with aging, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. It has shown to be efficient in managing nerve pain, enhancing kidney function, and improving heart health. [9] [10]

Regulates Sexual Infertility and Erectile Dysfunction

ALCAR regulates men’s infertility and improves signs of andropause and erectile dysfunction. It is also in use to fight Peyronie’s disease, an inflammatory disease that affects the penis. [11] [12]

Additionally, it is under clinical trials as a possible treatment for chronic fatigue.


Mechanism of Action

How Does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Work?

ALCAR synthesizes primarily in the liver and kidneys, after which it travels to other tissues. ALCAR has excellent bioavailability. The gastrointestinal tract quickly digests it. Its actions differ considerably from other forms of L-carnitine, which don’t cross the blood-brain barrier. The acetyl groups that make ALCAR unique, enable it to cross the blood-brain barrier readily and rapidly. Its most effective role is within the cerebellum.

alcar
Acetyl-l-carnitine skeletal structure

Another one of ALCAR’s nootropic benefits involves the acetyl groups, which produce the support for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Often referred to as “the learning neurotransmitter,” acetylcholine is accountable for learning, memory, and cognitive function. Increased levels of acetylcholine result in an improvement in cognitive function, and low levels of that essential neurotransmitter risks neurological complications similar to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine on Neurotransmitters

ALCAR resumes showing increasing levels of norepinephrine and serotonin. They are vital neurotransmitters that play an essential part in mood and brain function. The capacity to improve neurotransmitter production is one of the principal techniques that ALCAR complements nootropics attributes. Similar to those of the racetams, which enhance the action of neurotransmitter receptors in the cerebellum.

Moreover, ALCAR targets brain metabolism, promoting cellular energy and serving as a potent neuroprotectant. Its critical antioxidant qualities combat the impressions of cellular oxidation. It further decreases the number of damaged cells in an individual brain, thereby becoming a useful longevity tool.

Damaged fat cells identified as lipofuscin (age spots) also happen in the brain and are actively correlated amidst age-related neurological dysfunctions, lack of energy, and weak memory. By supporting the brain excrete those damaged cells. ALCAR increases brain function and significantly lessens the risk of neurodegenerative disorders. It has also been shown to limit brain deterioration during times of stress.


Dosage

How to Take Acetyl-L-Carnitine?

Typical ALCAR dosage is 500 mg per day once in the morning, and up to 1,500 mg split into three doses of 500 mg. From there, adjust dosage to your need without exceeding 1,500 mg. At least not during trial period. It is water-soluble, therefore it can be taken with or without food. However, taking ALCAR late in the evening can result in disruption of sleep.

Recommended ALCAR dosage, active amounts, other details:

“The standard dose for L-carnitine is between 500-2,000mg. There are various forms of carnitine supplementation available.Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is used for cognitive enhancement. L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) is typically used for physical performance and power output. Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine (GPLC) is used to alleviate intermittent claudication and blood flow issues. L-carnitine is supplemented daily. The equivalent dosage range for other forms of L-carnitine are as follows: 630-2,500mg (ALCAR), 1,000-4,000mg (LCLT) and 1,000-4,000mg (GPLC).”

Examine.com


Side Effects

What Are Acetyl-L-Carnitine Side Effects?

  1. Side effects are uncommon. If they occur, it is usually in in the cases of consuming high doses before allowing the body to adapt to the additional amount of Acetyl-L-Carnitine that it is receiving.
  2. Nausea is the most common side effect. It is easily preventable by taking ALCAR alongside food rather than on an empty stomach.
  3. Headaches are the second most common side effect, which may imply an excessive amounts of choline.
  4. Users report that headaches from ALCAR use decrease when they reduce the amount of choline in their stacks and diets.

User Experiences

A few shared user experiences from Reddit community users:

To be fair in sharing the Reddit community experiences, I will add the first 3 that I see whether the experience is positive or negative. Three Acetyl-L-Carnitine reddit experiences:

First reddit user experience:

As the title says, it’s been a game changer. Old stack was: Citicoline 300mg b.id with centrophenoxine 350mg one to two times daily. Switched Centro to ALCAR 500 one daily just to try and damn it’s been really good. Mornings are good, everything is really clear. Honestly this feels a lot like amphetamine. So much so that I cancelled my pdoc appt to get a refill. I was basically off the meds but wanted to have a few around but now I really don’t think I need them. Very glad people on here have posted about alcar before! – skibenz

Second user experience also from reddit:

Funny enough I get a stronger response from ALCAR then I do racetams in regards to mental performance. It seems to make me really smart. Your mileage may vary though. To OP: I get results in a day. Be careful for not overdoing it. I’ve posted before that acetylcholine overload tends to make you depressed and function worse. – eastmangobo

Third and quite an insightful one:

“I have been taking Acetyl for about 17 years. For the last 2 yrs or so it has affected me less and less (no idea why) but before that, I noticed a MASSIVE positive boost from taking it. I experienced a huge uptick in word retrieval and overall brain function. used to always say that when I took Acetyl, it was like an electric switch was turned on, as that’s what it felt like … electric..I always bought it in bulk powder and almost always used 1 gram in my morning shake (180lb Male). DO NOT use it after noon …. you will NOT sleep !!!! You should notice a difference within 3-4 days. As I did mention, I am noticing now that I am affected by Acetyl less and less. If I miss a few days, I don’t really notice it like I did years ago and I don’t really get that electric charge feeling. I don’t know why this is, as I’ve purchased a few different brands.” Gernan_Mafia

Conclusion

ALCAR is an outstanding amino acid nootropic. It offers many benefits to both the body and the brain. In addition to its potent  brain boosting effect, it is also a healthy nutrient. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is safe, affordable, very tolerable, and easily accessible in department and drug stores. It enhances cognitive function, supports ant-aging and longevity, which makes it a nootropic worth adding to any stack.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, L-Carnitine Tartrate, and Acetyl L-Carnitine?

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate and L-Carnitine Tartrate are the same thing, they just truncate the L-Tartrate for brevity. This is the form of L-Carnitine that is in supplements that some studies have linked to possibly helping recover times from work outs (specifically it was shown that people taking L-carnitine had less damage to their leg muscles after a workout versus people that weren’t taking it), there weren’t any other observations of it’s added use outside of that.
Acetylcarnitine is an alternative form of l-carnitine for supplementation that has been pushed because of it’s bioavailability. The downside is that it’s less concentrated in the bloodstream after digestion. It doesn’t appear that any studies have been performed linking acetylcarnitine to exercise performance, but it’s only proven use has been in increasing sperm mobility. A few proposals have set out to use it treat neurological conditions, but none have yet been proven.

Can I take 5-HTP and Acetyl L-Carnitine together?

To date there has been no evidence that either counteract the other or have negative effects. Both substances are great for many aspects of brain health. You can be pretty safe in the assumption that it’s worth testing out for yourself to see how you react to this combination.

Can I take acetyl-l-carnitine & taurine together with antidepressants, antipsychotics and NAC?

They don’t interact, in fact, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is used as “complementary” therapy along with Psych Meds. Taurine is as well. Taurine is also VERY much so present in Energy Drinks like Red Bull & Monster. It is responsible for much of the “kick” and focus Energy Drinks give us.

Further and Related Readings

  1. N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT), L-Theanine, N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), Agmatine Sulfate
  2. The Ultimate Nootropics FAQ

Back to Nootropics Information homepage.

IntroductionBenefits & EffectsMechanism of ActionDosageSide Effects

Summary: Effective, efficient and recommended, Oxiracetam is one of the most valuable racetam class nootropics. Its ability to boost productivity and problem-solving has made it a favorite – and a best seller.

Oxiracetam review
Oxiracetam Skeletal Structure

Oxiracetam Video TTS

Introduction

What is Oxiracetam?

Oxiracetam is a cognitive function booster that has many different benefits and uses. It heightens focus and concentration as well as enhancing memory and learning. It furthermore intensifies sensual, observational, and logical thinking. Oxiracetam stimulate the brain, thereby producing mental stamina and boosting energy. It allows for achieving better skill-use which make it a useful nootropic at any point in life.

Oxiracetam is a synthetic derivative of Piracetam, a discovery from the 1970’s. Research suggests that it is five times as effective as its racetam relatives. With properties like those of Phenylpiracetam, it has proven its effectiveness. Additionally, it doesn’t bring the adverse effects that usually come with stimulants.

It benefits memory, attention and learning. Furthermore, it is a potential treatment for amnesia. Research show that it has potential to treat dementia as well, but the FDA has yet to approve it (surprise surprise!). So it’s not in the big-pharma market. Its not regulated by the Canadian, Australian, or UK authorities. It is safe and effective, and its use for neurodegeneration is growing bigger with time. It is safe, potent and useful for many medical conditions, beside its nootropic effect.

Oxiracetam is a nootropic drug of the racetam family and very mild stimulant. Several studies suggest that the substance is safe even when high doses are consumed for a long period of time. However, the mechanism of action of the racetam drug family is still a matter of research. – Wikipedia


Benefits & Effects

What Are Oxiracetam Benefits?

  1. Improves Memory
  2. Improves Logical Thinking
  3. Improves Focus and Learning
  4. Enhances Prolonged Concentration
  5. Boosts Physical and Mental Energy

Supporting Research:

Oxiracetam Improves Memory

Oxiracetam is effective on memory and and is in use by students looking for a memory boost. Users report positive experiences about its effectiveness in that regard (R).

Improves Logical Thinking

Many anecdotal reports state that it increases and improves logical thought. Some also say that Oxiracetam improves their analytical and reasoning skills.

Improves Focus and Learning

All racetams are effective in increasing focus and learning abilities. Trails on humans and animals both show that Oxiracetam enhances focus and learning. (R)

Enhances Prolonged Concentration

Oxiracetam has a positive effect on concentration allowing a person to stick to a subject without distraction. So it is a smart option during finals – where self-discipline is very important (R).

Boosts Physical and Mental Energy

Oxiracetam is a mild stimulant that increases both physical and mental activity. But it is unique in that it doesn’t bring amphetamine-like side effects.


Mechanism of Action

How Does Oxiracetam Work?

Precise mechanism of actions are unclear, but its related to neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Which is crucial in many neurological disorders and diseases.

It alters the release of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and glutamate from these receptors. These chemicals impact memory, learning, logical and cognitive functions. Although all racetams show similar effects, Oxi can last longer than the rest.

By increasing the neuronal linking in the hippocampus, the drug has impacts on the lipid metabolism. It leads to the production of D-Aspartic acid which is crucial for neural signaling. Oxiracetam has mild central nervous system stimulant effects as it is an ampakine act at the glutamatergic AMPA receptors. However, it has no severe side effects like insomnia, weight loss, gain or any other that is often associating anxiolytics and antidepressants.

As far as chemistry is concerned, Oxiracetam is a water-soluble compound. Its absorption occurs mainly from the gastrointestinal tract. The pharmacokinetic parameters indicate that it reaches the maximum levels within 1-3 hours of intake. It can cross the blood-brain barrier and has long half-life of 8-10 hours, therefore is stable.


Dosage

How To Take Oxiracetam?

Oxiracetam average dose is 1,200-2,400mg taken in 2 or 3 even doses throughout the day.

An example would be:

  • 2x 800mg per day or
  • 3x 400mg per day

Side Effects

What Are Oxiracetam Side Effects?

At a 1,600mg dose per day, it does not have any significant side-effects when compared to placebo. As with all racetams, headache is a possibility. It is preventable by adding a choline source such as Alpha GPC.


Conclusion

Oxiracetam passes all the obstacles that come in the way of a drug to be in the market for the public. It is safe and has no adverse effect reported. Furthermore, its a potential treatment for neurological disorders. It has been a useful (and life-saving) nootropic for people suffering mental illness. Although still pending FDA approval, it confirmed its effectiveness in many studies and clinical trials.

Due to increasing focus and concentration, Oxiracetam became a popular choice for students. And one that is often recommended by those using it.

Further and Related Readings

  1. Sunifiram, Fasoracetam, Coluracetam
  2. Choline, Alpha-GPC, CDP-choline
  3. Ultimate Nootropics FAQ

Back to Nootropics Information homepage.

IntroductionBenefits & EffectsMechanism of ActionDosageSide EffectsFAQ

Summary: L-theanine is a natural amino acid, often called the “natural xanax”. It almost only exists in green tea leaves. It works brilliantly in unwinding and relaxing the body and brain without causing drowsiness, while reducing stress and increasing cognitive function. Due to not causing drowsiness, it is the perfect choice to combine with stimulants of any sort to take the edge off.

L-Theanine dosage
L-theanine skeletal structure
L-theanine Video TTS

Introduction

What is L-Theanine?

L-theanine is a relaxing, non-sedating amino acid that is synergistic with stimulants to ‘take the edge off.’ Especially with coffee, it synergizes so well resulting in clean energy, furthermore preventing the nasty caffeine crash that many people experience after caffeine intake. It is also useful on its own, promoting relaxation and minimizing stress without causing drowsiness. A combination of L-theanine with caffeine at a 2:1 ratio is increasing in popularity as a remarkably synergetic combination that boosts cognition and attention.

It is an amino acid that naturally exists in green tea leaves as its main active ingredient, and that is the only source that provides it. It is famous for its fantastic nootropic features such as improving memory, expanding learning capacity, as well as providing a calming, zen-like effect.

L-Theanine, for the most part, is a relaxing but not sedating amino acid that is synergistic with stimulants such as caffeine as it can ‘take the edge off’. It is effective by itself in the standard supplemental dosages as well, and although it can be attained via a diet high in green tea ingestion that is the only dietary source of L-Theanine.

Examine.com

L-Theanine has also been in the list of 6 best natural nootropics as second to caffeine.

Benefits & Effects

What Are L-Theanine Benefits?

  1. Reduces Anxiety & Stress
  2. Improves Memory, Attention, and Cognition
  3. Enhances Sleep Quality
  4. Promotes Longevity and Increases Lifespan
  5. Reduces Symptoms of Depression
  6. Promotes Relaxation without causing Drowsiness
  7. Significantly Reduces Symptoms of Schizophrenia
  8. Enhances Blood Flow and Stimulates Nitric Oxide Production
  9. Reduces Negative Effects of Caffeine & Improves Cognitive Boosting Effects
  10. Additional Benefits

Supporting Research:

L-Theanine Reduces Anxiety & Stress

A review by researchers of a small set of trials concluded that there are benefits of L-theanine in reducing acute stress and anxiety in people with stressful conditions. [R]

Oral intake of L-theanine in rats at feasible dosages reduces circulating biomarkers of stress with or without an actual stressor being present. Therefore, it reduces the adverse effects of stress such as memory impairment. Reductions of perceived stress reported in human subjects given oral theanine at the standard dosages. [R] [R] [R]

L-Theanine Improves Memory, Attention, and Cognition

In a 16-week long study on individuals with mild cognitive impairment, supplementing with l-theanine shows an improved delayed recognition as well as immediate recall comparing to those receiving a placebo during a mental exercise. Furthermore, attention span and alertness levels increased during the memory test. [R]

L-Theanine Enhances Sleep Quality

Theanine enhances sleep quality. In a study measuring sleep time with individuals supplementing with L-theanine, sleep time increases by 11 and up to 21%, therefore making it a valuable compound for achieving better nighttime sleep. (R)

L-Theanine Promotes Longevity and Increases Lifespan

In a study using the model organism C. elegans, L-theanine shows to promote longevity and promote healthy and increased lifespan. Due to those findings, the study suggests that the compound might have similar effects on mammals and humans (R)

L-Theanine Reduces Symptoms of Depression

L-Theanine intake for a period of eight weeks during an open-label study helped easing depressive symptoms, anxiety, sleep disturbance, as well as cognitive impairments in subject suffering major depressive disorder. (R)

L-Theanine Promotes Relaxation without causing Drowsiness

Theanine is proving to be a great agent in promoting relaxation without the accompanying effect of drowsiness. The company developing ‘suntheanine’, l-theanine supplement, won the 1998’s Food Ingredient Research Award for the outstanding research and findings. (R)

L-Theanine Significantly Reduces Symptoms of Schizophrenia

In persons diagnosed schizophrenia receiving 400mg L-theanine in addition to antipsychotic medication for eight weeks were able to reduce anxiety as well as psychopathology symptoms significantly. (R)

L-Theanine Enhances Blood Flow and Stimulates Nitric Oxide Production

Theanine appears to promote nitric oxide formation at relatively low concentrations and is likely practically relevant following oral ingestion. (R)

L-Theanine Reduces Negative Effects of Caffeine & Improves Cognitive Boosting Effects

Theanine and caffeine are typically found together in tea. A combination of caffeine and theanine together significantly improves alertness, reduce fatigue, and improves task-switching accuracy.

High dose caffeine (250 mg, equivalent to 2.5 cups of coffee) has some negative effects, such as jitters and increased blood pressure. Theanine was able to mitigate the increase in blood pressure.

“L-Theanine decreases the negative and jittery effects of caffeine in rats.

However, human studies found that L-Theanine helps reduce caffeine jitters, although the changes were not significant.

L-Theanine changes the pharmacological profile of caffeine in humans, as the combination of caffeine and L-Theanine have somewhat different cognitive enhancement effects. “- Selfhacked

Additional L-Theanine Benefits

Large studies in humans have not been undertaken; however, several smaller-scale studies (fewer than 100 participants) have shown increased alpha wave generation and lowered anxiety, along with benefits to sleep quality in people with ADHD. [R]

Mechanism of Action

How Does L-Theanine Work?

L-theanine has a comparable chemical composition to glutamate, an amino acid that assists in the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain. Thereby, providing a host of benefits for the mind. It has a remarkable ability of crossing the blood-brain barrier, which means that it reaches the brain directly. Furthermore, it has positive effects on stress levels proving to increase both dopamine and serotonin levels in brain; which are two of the brain’s feel-good chemicals. Green tea is known to be effective at helping people relax due to the positive impact on those neurotransmitters.

Theanine is an antagonist of the NMDA receptors (albeit with fairly weak efficacy) and can inhibit synaptic release of glutamate via blocking the transporter competitively. Theanine may also reduce glutamate levels, but this is also a fairly weak mechanism requiring a high concentration of theanine – Examine

Dosage

How to Take L-Theanine?

The effective l-theanine dose is 200mg. For optimal nootropic results, take l-theanine with caffeine (coffee or supplement, whatever suits you) at a 2:1 ratio. As a stack, it would be:

  1. L-Theanine 200mg
  2. Caffeine 100mg

For those interested, you can actually purchase a supplement pre-made that has 200 mg Theanine & 100 mg Caffeine pressed into one capsule. I’ve personally used and still use Nootropic Depot’s.

Note: if you have anxiety or hypertension, you may want to skip caffeine entirely as it aggravates the symptoms.

Experimenting is the best way to find out how you react to it.

Side Effects

What Are L-Theanine Side Effects?

L-theanine is very safe as very high doses have failed to cause toxicity. However, that doesn’t mean you should go for such high dosage. (R)

L-theanine is exceptionally reliable. Furthermore, it is classified Generally Recognized as Safe by the Fraud and Deception FDA in the US.

Conclusion

L-Theanine is a natural safe amino acid offering many benefits. It’s a popular choice for individuals wanting a simple and effective way to boost their mental performance. Alone, with caffeine, or even with an advanced nootropic stack; L-theanine is worth trying.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is L-Theanine and how does it work?

L-theanine is one of the main psychoactive constituents of green tea (camellia sinensis) generally used as a dietary supplement to promote relaxation, lift mood, and reduce anxiety without sedation. Beyond that, it’s been shown to generate creativity and higher learning via the ability to ignore distracting information during complex tasks. Now the science: L-theanine induces a calm state of mind by promoting alpha waves in the brain, and has been shown to increase dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in various areas of the brain, as well as modulate BDNF (Brain derived neurotrophic factor) and NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) levels. In fact, in one recent animal study l-theanine consumption was associated with about a 25% increase in BDNF and about a 100% increase in NGF in the hippocampus. L-Theanine has structural similarities to glutamine and both neurotransmitters that are produced from it (GABA and glutamate) help balance and maintain stress levels while maintaining a state of wakeful relaxation. Lately, L-theanine has been growing in popularity due to its synergistic effects with caffeine to help boost focus. Systematic reviews show that L-theanine significantly mitigates the anxiety inducing side-effects of caffeine to create a balanced focus.

Should I take L-Theanine every time I drink coffee? Are there any adverse effects from long-term L-Theanine usage?

Yes, and no. Let me explain. L-Theanine is a phenomenal compound when mixed with coffee, due to the stacking of effect, as well as the reduction in some of the negative effects of caffeine itself. For example, in my biohacking course The Alchemist’s Guide To Biohacking, I talk about how I stack coffee blended with grass-fed butter, coconut oil, MCT, L-Theanine, macadamia or almond butter, and sometimes raw honey almost every single morning. It’s a part of my daily routine, and probably my most favourite (and definitely tastiest) part of it, if I have to choose one. However, like all compounds I take on a regular basis, I try to observe a 6/1 or 6/2 cycle with them, meaning six weeks on, then one or two weeks off, depending on the compound. This is to reduce dependency, as well as ensure my body isn’t getting used to the effects, resulting in me possibly having to take more. I’m currently in an off phase now with pine pollen, one of my go-to herbal supplements to boost my testosterone levels. With L-Theanine, I tend to take a week off at the same time I give myself a week off from coffee/caffeine, as it helps to do both at the same time for me.

Has anyone used L-Theanine as a meditation aid?

When you take L-theanine your thinking will seemingly slow down considerably, but you are not fully conscious when L-Theanine is in your bloodstream. It shuts off certain areas of the brain and limits the bandwidth of brain waves to predominantly alpha waves (1). Full meditative consciousness requires great brain wave bandwidth from delta – to high gamma waves and full activity of the neurotransmitter systems. It is best to meditate completely sober, then your brain will adapt properly to fully receive consciousness. Theanine is beneficial though, after it has metabolized by the body. It acts like an adaptogen and increases strength of brain. Your alertness increases 24 h after consumption and meditation is easier for 48 h. This is because brain have adapted to the presence of L-theanine, and once it has been metabolized, the brain neurons will fire with greater intensity, until brain is again adapted to absence of L-Theanine. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state.

Further and Related Readings

  1. L-Theanine & Caffeine Stack: Making the Best of Both Worlds
  2. Acetyl-L-Carnitine aka ALCAR
  3. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine aka NALT
  4. The Ultimate Nootropics FAQ List

Back to Nootropics Information homepage.

IntroductionBenefits & EffectsMechanisms of ActionDosageUser ExperiencesFAQs

Summary: N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, often abbreviated to NALT, is a more bioavailable form of L-Tyrosine, an amino acid that also has nootropic benefits. It improves mood, memory, and enhances cognitive abilities in many ways. It has great effects of reducing stress and maintaining mental performance during sleep deprivation.

tyrosine
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine Skeletal Structure
NALT Youtube Video

Introduction

What is N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine? (NALT)

Tyrosine is an amino acid the body produces from various dietary sources. Some of its primary functions are maintaining brain chemistry. A result of providing the necessities for the formation of dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine; which are vital neurotransmitters that profoundly affect energy levels, moods motivation, and brain function. It works as the buffer delivering the necessary materials for the brain to produces them. Particularly under conditions where stress has depleted them. Another feature is its protein synthesis and the regulation of hormones required in the creation of melanin; supporting skin, hair, and eyes.
Moreover, Tyrosine is related to the thyroid hormones.

It also supports weight maintenance and loss by suppressing appetite and helping the body’s ability to burn fats. Although the body produces sufficient amounts of L-Tyrosine on its own, studies suggest that additional supplementation provide physical and mental benefits especially under the circumstances of environmental stress.


Benefits & Effects

What Are the N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) Benefits?

  1. Enhances Cognition Under Stress
  2. Improves Memory Under Pressure and Challenges
  3. Increases Dopamine in the Brain and Boosts Cognitive Flexibility
  4. Increases Focus and Supports ADHD Treatment

Supporting Research:

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine Enhances Cognition Under Stress

A recent study found that Tyrosine effectively impacts memory and information processing decline under stressors such as extreme weather or extreme cognitive demand. The study hypothesizes that this effect is because tyrosine grants substance from which the brain can produce neurotransmitters. Thereby neutralizing the depletes caused by stress. The report concludes that individuals are facing demanding requirements, whether mountain climbing or meeting job deadline, can benefit from L-Tyrosine. (R), (R)

Improves Memory Under Pressure and Challenges

A study investigating L-Tyrosine’s impact on individuals doing challenging mental tasks shows that those receiving L-Tyrosine perform better at the more difficult levels of the job. The study confirms L-Tyrosine to provide most benefits at higher levels of demand. (R)

Additionally, NALT is able to attenuate a decrease in memory formation associated with acute stressors

Increases Dopamine in the Brain and Boosts Cognitive Flexibility

A study of 22 individuals shows L-Tyrosine supplementation enhances cognitive flexibility as well as the ability to switch between tasks and thoughts. This result is attributed to L-Tyrosine’s capability to increase dopamine in the brain, which further enhances mental versatility.

Increases Focus and Supports ADHD Treatment

A study on ADHD patients shows 77% of participants receiving L-Tyrosine alone showed significant improvement over a period of 10 weeks. Further studies indicate that the simultaneous use of L-Tyrosine especially boosted the effect of ADHD medication such as Ritalin and Adderall. Non-ADHD nootropic users report that tyrosine improves focus. Therefore it is commonly added in nootropic stacks for that purpose. (R)


Mechanism of Action

How Does N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine Work?

L-Tyrosine forms in the body from a range of high dietary sources such as meats, fish, seeds, milk, yogurt, and cheese. It develops as a result of the precursor aminoalkanoic acid, known as essential amino acid, metabolizing within the liver. After metabolizing into L-Tyrosine, it further metabolizes by an associate protein known as hydroxylase, which prepares L-Tyrosine to be in use for the creation of different neurotransmitters. Once the protein hydrolyzes it, L-Tyrosine is carried in plasma and may metabolize into catecholamines in various membranes.

The discharge is activated by stimulation of adrenergic neurons within the brain, creating a restrictive interior system that maintains adequate internal secretion levels when the body is experiencing stress. Once there’s a high demand on the body’s stores of the vasoconstrictor, the brain responds with the release of adrenergic transmitters. The release, therefore, increases the quantity of the modifying protein discharged. A lot of L-Tyrosine transforms into catecholamines, thereby preventing deficits. This process is associating evidence in favor of L-Tyrosine supplement.

Once the discharge multiplies over a sustained amount, internal secretion synthesis is assumed to be addicted to concentrations of amino acid. Moreover, supplementation could increase internal secretion synthesis and unleash by making a certain sufficiency of amino acid throughout prolonged periods of stimulation.


Dosage

How To Take N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT)?

The NALT dosage, however, is lower due to its higher bioavailability. With NALT, the typical daily dosage is 300 mg.

How To Take L-Tyrosine?

The standard L-Tyrosine dosage is 500-1000 mg daily, divided into 2 to 3 doses, half-hour before meals.

“Studies in humans showing most anti-stress promise for acute supplemental L-Tyrosine use a dosage range of 100-150mg/kg bodyweight which can be taken 60 minutes before exercise; this is a dosage range of 9-13.5g for a 200lb person and 7-10g for a 150lb person.

If using higher doses and finding digestive issues, this may be split into two doses separated by half an hour (30 and 60 minutes prior to acute stress).” as mentioned on Examine.com


Conclusion

L-Tyrosine is highly effective at improving cognition in situations involving intense stress. A robust body of research indicates that L-Tyrosine prevents cognitive decline in these situations. Furthermore, studies show that it enhances memory, increases cognitive flexibility, and improves mental performance under stress and cognitive demand.

The clinical studies, as well as anecdotal data from the nootropic community, indicate that L-Tyrosine is useful to everyone; not necessarily limited to those experiencing military-grade stress.

Working or studying long hours, struggling with anxiety, and even intense exercise are all stressors that impact cognition. Because L-Tyrosine is available through familiar dietary sources, supplementation is a choice rather than a health necessity. In situations that involve acute environmental stressors, it is a wise choice that will boost cognition. Therefore, tyrosine is worthy of consideration as a day to day supplement.


User Experiences

From Reddit user experience:

I have been taking l-tyrosine with some other amino acids and supplements every day 3 times a day for a while now. I take it bc I am on Adderall and Wellbutrin, so I like to give support to those systems they affect. I’ve had no side effects. I think they are doing great for my mood, but that could be the dl-phenylalanine, too.

Another Reddit user, taking L-Tyrosine for ADHD:

I have been taking L-Tyrosine for 15 years or so as part of my ADHD stack. I do 500mg once a day 3-5 days a week. It can elevate anxiety levels and I find it seems to elevate norepinephrine more than dopamine based on my experience with other nootropics and meds. I notice if I go more than three or four days without it I start to feel foggy and don’t have the same level of mental clarity. But I take it with Taurine to take the edge off. If I take it for a couple of days without Taurine I also notice that it makes me a little edgy. It’s definitely a balance with this one.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does L Tyrosine help with fatigue?

The amino acid tyrosine (500 – 1000 mg each morning) is the raw material your body uses to make the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. These both stimulate energy. There can be some immediate boost, but it takes six weeks to see the full steady-state effect

Does taking L-tyrosine supplements actually increase dopamine production in the brain?

A study of 22 individuals shows L-Tyrosine supplementation enhances cognitive flexibility as well as the ability to switch between tasks and thoughts. This result is attributed to L-Tyrosine’s capability to increase dopamine in the brain, which further enhances mental versatility.

Can L-Tyrosine ease depressive symptoms in a patient being treated for ADHD with stimulant medication?

Yes, it is helpful in relieving stress, building adrenaline stores, improving mood and in improving mental acuity. … Some studies show that children suffering from ADHD usually have low levels of Tyrosine. Both my sons take L-Tyrosine with their Adderall and Concerta respectively. I tried a lot of things before I finally let them try medication. Bingo! That was the magic bullet for them.

Further and Related Readings

Tyrosine – Wikipedia

L-Theanine – Nootropics Information

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) – Nootropics Information


Back to Nootropics Information homepage.

IntroductionBenefits & EffectsMechanisms of ActionDosageSide EffectsUser ExperiencesFAQs

Summary: Piracetam is a designer nootropic made to enhance brain function. It’s the primary and original racetam out of all the ones out there today. Up to date, there has been 20 different derivatives of Piracetam, and counting. It’s a revolutionizing nootropic that improves memory and remarkably boosts cognitive function.

Piracetam review
Piracetam Skeletal Structure

Piracetam Video TTS

Introduction

What is Piracetam?

Piracetam is a nootropic that enhances memory and brain function. It’s been around for a surprisingly long period, thus becoming a “classic” amongst the rest on the list. It allows creative and logical thoughts to run together into a stream of higher-level reasoning. It is the father of all nootropics and often the first choice for individuals looking to improve cognitive abilities.

Nootropics such as Phenylpiracetam, Fasoracetam, and Pramiracetam are all derivatives of this compound.

“Synthetic molecule designed to enhance brain function. Piracetam is the basic ‘racetam’ molecule of a family of related compounds”

Examine

Furthermore, it increases the amount of knowledge the brain can process, as well as preserve, for future reference. Piracetam is an invention by Romanian psychologist and chemist Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea dating over 50 years ago, to create a supplement to enhance memory and learning capacity. It is in medical use in Europe, Russia, and South America, amongst other countries, as a treatment for a type of muscle spasm called molycous. However, due to its nootropic effects, it became one of the most prominent cognitive enhancers. Confined studies show that Piracetam reverses the effects of Alzheimer’s disease as well as dementia in elderly individuals. There is also sufficient evidence proposing that it prevents brain damage caused by excessive alcohol intake.

“Piracetam is a medication in the racetams group, with chemical name 2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide. It is approved in the United Kingdom but is not approved in the United States. In the UK, piracetam is prescribed mainly for myoclonus, but is used off-label for other conditions.”

Wikipedia

Benefits & Effects

What Are Piracetam Benefits?

  1. Improves Memory
  2. Enhances Cognitive Function
  3. Neuroprotective and Prevents Neurodegeneration
  4. Increases Self-Awareness and Promotes Clarity of Thought
  5. Reduces Anxiety, Stress, and Eases Depression
  6. Improves Verbal Learning and Fluency in Dyslexics
  7. Helps with Schizophrenia

Supporting Research

Piracetam Improves Memory

Piracetam is popular first and foremost because of its positive, profound impact on improving memory. In a meta-analysis of 19 different double-blind studies, Piracetam shows an exceptional improvement relating to memory. However, it is important noting that memory improvement effects build up gradually. The studies show minor improvement after a 7-day administration and a significant increase after a 14-day administration. Today, most individuals benefiting from Piracetam do so entirely for its memory-enhancing result. [1] [2]

Piracetam Enhances Cognitive Function

There is a healthy amount of studies administering the effects of piracetam on cognition enhancement. Piracetam improves cognitive performance especially in individuals with neurodegenerative conditions. While most studies are governing elderly individuals with chronic disease, there is nevertheless sufficient evidence proving it to be beneficial for healthy, young adults. Piracetam is especially helpful for individuals suffering from chronic conditions. Healthy individuals tend to embrace it for the nootropic traits. [3] [4] [5]

Neuroprotective and Prevents Neurodegeneration

Piracetam supports neuroprotection as well as encouraging healthy brain growth and protects as well as prevents it from neurodegeneration related to aging. In this particular area, it serves greater as a preventative rather than a treatment. Prevention is of often the best medicine there is. [6] [7]

Increases Self-Awareness and Promotes Clarity of Thought

There is evidence indicating that piracetam improves sensory perception by increasing acetylcholine activity in the hippocampus. In this particular example, it suggests an increase in self-awareness, zen-like state as well as an increased feeling of overall well-being. Many report colors are appearing brighter and more vivid. Furthermore, many report a heightened sense of perception and a higher level of vibration, along with a feeling of connectedness to nature and other beings. [8]

Reduces Anxiety, Stress, and Eases Depression

In a study by the Department of Pharmacology in India examining the antianxiety effects of Piracetam taken orally over the period of 7 and 14 days, it confirms that; although a single dose does not seem to induce immediate anxiolytic effect, a delayed anti anxiety impact was rather apparent. It is especially evident in individuals with anxiety due to alcohol withdrawal. Anecdotal reports imply piracetam is a useful tool for managing stress and anxiety levels, and to a certain extent, easing depression symptoms. However, clinical research is limited relating to depression. Therefore, piracetam should not be a source to rely on should you be clinically diagnosed with depression. Use with caution. With that said, it is nevertheless useful and worth experimenting if your anxiety is somewhat generalized or social [9] [10] – (high-five btw, makes two of us!)

Improves Verbal Learning and Fluency in Dyslexics

Over a 21 day study, piracetam shows an increase in verbal learning by 8.6% compared to placebo in healthy volunteering individuals. In patients with dyslexia, however, verbal learning shows a significant 15% increase. Piracetam, therefore, proves to be beneficial to individuals with dyslexia. Moreover, children tests in letter analyzing while receiving 3.3mg per day over 36 weeks showed an increase in letter-matching as well as reaction time. [11] [12]

Piracetam Helps with Schizophrenia

Piracetam shows to reduce symptoms of uncontrolled movement in individuals with schizophrenia. Furthermore, Piracetam may have a protective effect upon glutamatergic receptors within the hippocampus. [13] [14]

Mechanism of Action

How Does Piracetam Work?

Interestingly, piracetam doesn’t seem to show any effect on the GABAergic system even though it is a cyclic derivative of GABA. Piracetam’ mechanism of action relates to how it increases the activity of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory function. It works to improve memory by making the transfer of acetylcholine more effective. It also affects NMDA glutamate receptors which also play a role in the memory formation and learning processes. Scientists believe piracetam works through these possible mechanisms in the brain: compromised neuronal cells experience a loss of fluidity which prevents signaling molecules from crossing the lipid bilayer membrane of the corpus callosum, the part of the brain separating the left and the right hemispheres. Piracetam can restore or even increase the membrane fluidity of these neuronal cells, making neurotransmission a more effective and effortless process.

“Overall, Piracetam increases glucose and oxygen consumption in brains which precedes cognitive improvement (as these benefits are global (not favoring certain brain regions) and more significant in cognitively impaired persons, both of which are in accordance with interventions in humans).

The exact mechanisms underlying the enhancement of glucose and oxygen consumption are currently not established.

Piracetam shows affinity for two subsets of AMPA (glutamate) receptors, Glu2 and Glu3, and may attenuate the rate of action potentials. It does not appear to directly act upon the other two glutamate receptors (Kainate and NMDA) although the ability of piracetam to possibly increase receptors in general in aged mice may influence these two receptor classes.” – Examine

Protein synthesis is an essential part of memory-storage in the brain. Piracetam can cause an increase in learning and memory when various steroids transport them in the brain. When steroids in the brain are blocked, the effects of nootropics are blocked as well. Recruitment of AMPA receptors that are generally not part of synaptic transmissions, essentially making more receptors available, when would undoubtedly cause an increase in learning. Moreover, of course, acetylcholine increases and increased transmission of this critical neurotransmitter which is one of the most important in memory storage and learning processes.

Dosage

How To Take Piracetam?

The typical Piracetam dosage for adults is between 1,200 to 4,800 mg a day.The most effective dose is 1,600 mg, taken three times a day, making a total of 4,800 mg per day.

For optimal results pair it with 300mg of Alpha GPC, CDP-choline, or your choline source of choice.

Side Effects

What Are Piracetam Side Effects?

Piracetam is considered very safe and side effects rarely occur. [15]

Headaches are often reported. It is due to lowered acetylcholine levels in the brain due to racetams utilizing them. Therefore, it is very important to pair racetams with a choline source like Citicoline or Alpha-Gpc, especially if you notice a headache after supplementing with Piracetam, or if you do so on regular basis.

Not only will choline prevent or eliminate the headache, it will even work synergistically together with Piracetam (or any other racetam) and potentiate both of their cognition benefits. [16]

User Experiences

A user on reddit shared his following piracetam experience which helped him getting off hard drugs:

So a bit of background. I have ADHD and aspergers and piracetam has been a godsend. Honestly i’ve never felt better. When I was diagnosed with ADHD and aspergers my life basically turned crappy and I started experimenting with drugs to “alleviate” my conditions. I’ve lost friends, lied, cheated and made a fool of myself. Now with piracetam i’ts another story. I always had a fascination with psychotropic substances, and went and abused ritalin for a long while. This lead me to have even worse depression and anxiety. With piracetam thought, it made me stable and understand that my drug abuse was not amusing, specially for those around me. Now I focus on what is important and I don’t care to get high, drunk or abuse anything. I’ve started dedicating more time to my hobbies and passions. I’ve also noted i’m more honest and don’t feel the need to judge others to make me feel better or have to justify myself. I take it when I need and take breaks. Also noted less apathy and dissociative/ antisocial behaviour. I was actually nice to my neighbours for once(Bc honestly i’ve been an asshole my whole life) Even so I’m still waiting to see if this change is permanent(I hope it is) If you have ADHD or some ASD I recommend this! But… Research your stuff and stay responsible. Meds are not the solution, they’re only one of many tools in your arsenal to improve yourself. Exercise, healthy diet are essential to getting better as well. ]Sorry if I seem overly exited, I just wanted to share my story to a community that showed me that I don’t have to take possibly addictive substances to be a better person. Nootropics worked for me. – an experience and condition very similar to my own.

Another reddit user experience, in which he says:

So I was using Piracetam sporadically for past 2-3 weeks, at the beginning I thought it is just a hyped up nootropic or maybe not potent at 800mg-1200mg dose or ineffective in comparison to other racetams (I have never tried any other racetam.) But today I can feel the effects, I took CDP choline for the first time this morning with 1 Piracetam 800 mg tab in the morning and and 1 at night sometime earlier. I am able to think quick, able to respond to what my friends say quickly and the music sounds so so good especially the percussions and I am only wanting to listen to fast paced songs, I did not expect a stimulating effect from piracetam, even I am typing this at a great pace, believe me I did not take caffeine. No benefit in terms of focus, I also didn’t expect it, in fact I feel a little distracted.

Conclusion

Overall, Piracetam (alongside Noopept, if I may add) is one of the most fundamental brain boosting nootropics out there. It has very noticeable effects on increasing memory and learning capability, and certainly has the potential to enhance cerebral performance.

Student looking to get the edge on academics, or merely wanting to think smarter and faster in their day to day life, this is a great nootropic to start with to introduce you to the world of nootropics. As well as safer than many other alternatives – especially stimulants, that most college students seem to favor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Piracetam Legal in the US?

It’s legal to buy, but might not be legal to sell. FDA regulations affecting “dietary supplements” may not apply to piracetam. But regardless, those regulations only control the sale of substances and not the purchase of substances. So buying is OK.

What’s the difference between Piracetam and Noopept?

Noopept seems to be effective – and longer lasting than Piracetam, due to its effect on the NMDA receptors. It works in a similar way and has similar mechanisms as Piracetam, but at a much lower dosage – when it comes to whole brain function. The research available along with the anecdotal reports seem to strongly support this claim. “Oral ingestion of Noopept results in a very rapid absorption and metabolism of Noopept, although the kinetics of metabolites (which are thought to be bioactive) is not yet known. A true bioavailability study has not been conducted, although it appears that an oral dose is about the equivalent of one tenth an injected dose (10% bioavailability).”

Whereas Piracetam shows affinity for two subsets of AMPA (glutamate) receptors, Glu2 and Glu3, and may attenuate the rate of action potentials. It does not appear to directly act upon the other two glutamate receptors (Kainate and NMDA) although the ability of piracetam to possibly increase receptors in general in aged mice may influence these two receptor classes.”

What are the long-term possible risks of using piracetam?

Although there is no hard evidence on the matter, some users would say Piracetam as well as many other cholinergic nootropics (with notable exceptions like coluracetam), can subdue mood. It can make you have trouble turning off automatic memory associations, and being ‘locked’ in a particular state of consciousness for many hours.

What is the correct way to take Piracetam?

“The correct way to take piracetam is whatever way works for you. If you cannot abide the bitter taste, taking piracetam in pills or capsules is the better way to go. I found that the bitter taste grew on me, so paying extra for capsules (or pharmaceutical tablets with excipients and dyes) is not worth it. For some, it’s taking it constantly, like 600–1000 mg three times a day. For me, I often take the entire daily dose in the morning, which greatly helps my circadian rhythm sync to the day when it is drifting into my old pattern of night-owl-ism. I know people who only take piracetam in certain circumstances, like before a public talk or interview, or flying on an airplane, or traveling to a high-altitude location for business or vacation. I take it when I’m going to be putting demands on my verbal, editing and writing skills. For people with high cholinergic tone (like me), taking piracetam with minimal cholinergic support is best. For a more cholinergically recessive person, taking piracetam with B5, choline, phosphatidylcholine, etc. is best. So I think there is no one correct answer to your question.”

Why does piracetam take so long to act?

Piracetam does not efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier, so it takes a while to build up enough to modify neurological activity. The time depends on the dose, which is why it is common practice to use a loading dose for the first day or three. When I used an aggressive 6400 mg loading dose (2.6 times the standard daily dose), I got conspicuous effects the first day. The “conservative” escalating loading dose that I suggest is wise for children with Down’s syndrome takes roughly a week to get the level of piracetam into the therapeutic range. The delay with piracetam also depends on the integrity of your blood-brain barrier, which if low facilitates piracetam acting quickly.

Why is piracetam considered a nootropic?

The research done on piracetam actually led to the coining of the term “Nootropic” and is the first member of the “Racetam” class of cognitive enhancers. There are several definitions of Nootropic. Corneliu E. Giurgea, the lead scientist that termed Nootropics, has his own list of qualifiers. More anecdotally, Nootropics must meet two identifying criteria:

1. Enhance some form of cognition.
2. Have either neuroprotective or regenerative effects, or at the very least possess very few side effects and extremely low toxicity.

For the first Qualifier:

Chemically, piracetam is a synthetic derivative of our major inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA, Piracetam is understood to act primarily on the glutamate system within brain areas specific to memory and learning.

Research suggests that, as a primary mode of action, Piracetam increases neural activity in the hippocampus and cortex by upregulating AMPA and NMDA receptor densities, thereby enhancing glutamate transmission. Piracetam has also been reported to increase cerebral blood flow and the acetylcholine efficacy in the brain, both of which have been suggested to positively influence focus, memory, and learning.

Second Qualifier:

Piracetam is one of the most research nootropics, probably the most researched synthetic one. Piracetam demonstrates relatively low toxicity and shows promise in studies that examine its potential in cognitive decline. [R]

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