Focus

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OverviewBenefits and 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 Video TTS

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Overview

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.


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Benefits and 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:

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]

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]

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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]


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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.

L-Theanine dosage
L-theanine skeletal structure

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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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

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OverviewBenefitsMechanisms 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 Video TTS

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Overview

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 Aniracetam, Phenylpiracetam, Fasoracetam, Sunifiram 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


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Piracetam Benefits

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

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]

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]

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]


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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).

Piracetam review
Piracetam Skeletal Structure

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.


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Dosage

How to Take Piracetam?

Typically, the Piracetam dosage for adults is between between 1,200 to 4,800 mg per day.

The most effective and agreed upon Piracetam dose is 1,600 mg. It can be taken once per day, or up to three times per day, totaling a maximum of 4,800 mg per day.

If new to Piracetam and taking it for the first time, start with 1,600 mg and wait and observe your reaction to it. Few hours later, you can choose whether you want to take another dose, or if one is enough for your needs.

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


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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]


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User Experience

Reddit

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 review

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.


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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.


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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]

Check out the Ultimate Nootropics Information FAQ for more FAQs


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OverviewBenefits and EffectsMechanism of ActionDosageSide EffectsUser ExperienceF.A.Q

SummaryAdrafinil is the pro-drug of Modafinil, and a stimulating nootropic that fights fatigue, increases the brain's capacity of processing information, boosts energy, as well as enhances subjective well-being. It metabolizes in the body into the widely popular Modafinil (Adrafinil vs Modafinil comparison below). It's a useful supplement for pulling through long, mentally demanding tasks, learning new topics, or working in shifts as opposed to fixed schedule.

Adrafinil Video (TTS)

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Overview

What is Adrafinil?

Adrafinil is a synthetic nootropic supplement that acts as a central nervous system stimulant. Previously known as Olmifon, and often mistaken with Modafinil, it is a stimulant that does not produce amphetamine-like effects.

It is a precursor to Modafinil. That means it leads to increased concentrations of modafinil in the body.  Adrafinil combats fatigue, boosts energy, improves attention, concentration and focus. It's also known to enhance mood, motivation, and reaction time. Its potential cognitive benefits extends further to improving memory and increasing the brain's capacity of learning, digesting, and processing information.

A 1970's invention by French pharmaceutical company Lafon Laboratories, which manufactured, branded and marketed the invention in Europe under the name Olmifon. It spread throughout Europe and became widely prescribed by practitioners for narcolepsy and related sleep disorders that has symptoms of heavy and excessive daytime drowsiness. As well as widely used off-label for its nootropic and stimulating effects.

In 2011, production of Olmifon ended when the french regulating authorities reversed its legality.

Its unregulated in the US, Canada, and most other countries around the world. It's found in drugstores and online on many vendors and is widely used for combating fatigue, enhancing energy, and boosting overall cognitive function

Adrafinil is a eugeroic that was formerly used in France to promote alertness, attention, wakefulness, mood, and other parameters, particularly in the elderly.

Wikipedia

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Adrafinil vs Modafinil

Many people often compare adrafinil vs modafinil upon hearing of it. Usually because they try to get modafinil and find out its prescription medication, so they go for the non-[rescription, online-available alternative.

What popularizes it the most as a nootropic is the fact that its the closest legal, prescription-free to the “limitless” modafinil. But for those who knew and were familiar with it before this movie association know its profound effect and can differentiate between it and that of modafinil. In fact, many users actually report preferring adrafinil vs modafinil for certain, slightly different nootropic effects that each produces.

Although Adrafinil metabolizes into Modafinil after ingestion, it still requires a higher dosage to reach the level of effectiveness that one would feel from modafinil. For example, modafinil is mostly prescribed in dosages of 100 to 200 mg. Adrafinil often sells in the lowest dosage being 300mg. So in order to achieve the same concentration level of modafinil using adrafinil, one would have to be aware of this and measure the dosage following that pattern, as required.

Adrafinil vs modafinil
Adrafinil Skeletal Structure
modafinil vs adrafinil
Modafinil Skeletal Structure

Modafinil is often prescribed therapeutically in doses of 50mg being the lowest effective. For comparison, taking 300mg Adrafinil, which is the smallest manufacturing dose, would actually be more effective than the lowest effective dose of modafinil.

Although it cannot be an exact figure due to the fact that breakdown and metabolizing varies from each individual to another, a general and easy way of understanding and remembering the math of adrafinil vs modafinil in terms of dosages, or at least how I personally measure it when taking either one, is that that 100mg of Modafinil is more or less equals to 300mg Adrafinil.

Personal Thought

From my personal, own experience: the effect of Adrafinil 300mg  is much more felt in comparison to Modafinil 100mg.

During the period I was prescribed Modafinil, I would have to take 200mg in order to achieve what I would achieve from 300mg of Adrafinil. 


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Benefits and Effects

What Are Adrafinil Benefits?

  1. Increases Mental Clarity & Heightens Focus
  2. Promotes Wakefulness & Boosts Energy
  3. Improves Learning Capacity & Memory Formation

Supporting research:

Increases Mental Clarity & Heightens Focus

Although it is initially developed for its wakefulness-promoting qualities, Adrafinil continues showing significant cognitive benefits as well. For individuals suffering daytime exhaustion due to night work or sleep difficulties, adrafinil increases the physical and mental energy required for an active life. It also improves mental clarity and heightens focus.

Promotes Wakefulness & Boosts Energy

Adrafinil is an overall beneficial stimulant, preventing daytime drowsiness and dramatically increasing energy and attentiveness without the hyperactivity and jitteriness associated with stimulants. Users report a profound sense of well-being, stress reduction, and overall enrichment experiences. Those outcomes are primarily due to Adrafinil's impact on dopamine.

Improves Learning Capacity & Memory Formation

In addition to promoting wakefulness and increasing energy, adrafinil holds many nootropic benefits such as improved learning capacity, better memory creation, as well as recollection. Reports indicate that it sharpens focus and increases the ability to maintain it, along with providing mental clarity, and easing mentally demanding work, especially that which extends over a prolonged period.


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Mechanism of Action

How Does Adrafinil Work?

Adrafinil acts on the adrenergic system, the part of the nervous system that releases adrenaline. Typically considered in charge of the “fight or flight” response, a rapid release of adrenaline boosts energy and increases alertness. While not all of adrafinil’s actions are entirely understood, it is assumed to replicate the positive effect of adrenaline release by supporting adrenergic neurotransmitters.

Adrafinil
Adrafinil Structure

The Breakdown

Adrafinil is a synthetic prodrug, which means that its an inactive compound that metabolizes into an active form inside the body. The process of metabolizing it produces the drug, modafinil, which is an FDA-approved treatment for necropsy and similar sleep disorders. The pharmacological effects of adrafinil are practically identical to those of Modafinil.

Though the exact chemical mechanisms of it are unclear, researchers hypothesize that in its metabolized form it functions as an adrenergic receptor agonist. One of its first actions is the enhanced production and release of the neurotransmitter hypocretin, which in turn triggers the increased production of dopamine, histamine, and norepinephrine; all of which are directly related to alertness and energy, which considerably explains adrafinil's stimulant qualities.

The remarkable mood and cognitive effects it produces result from different actions, such as the positive modulation of glutamate receptors, and inhibiting the breakdown of glutamate. Those actions lead to better neuronal communication, which improves memory and focus and creates better cognitive functions.

Serotonin Neurotransmitter

It also stimulates the release of serotonin, which enhances mood by reducing anxiety levels. It also inhibits the breakdown of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is mainly responsible when it comes to the brain's pleasure and reward responses.


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Dosage

How To Take Adrafinil? (Recommended Dosage)

Typically, Adrafinil is manufactured and produced at the dosage of 300 mg. However, most nootropist would say, and prefer, a dose of 600mg taken once in the morning. While the highest, yet credible, dosage is 1,200 mg per day, taken as two doses. A morning dose of 600 mg and an afternoon “boost” of another 600mg.

At 300 to 600 mg, it is a safe and very effective, mildly stimulating nootropic. Its potent, therefore it’s advised to start with lower end and allow your body the time to adapt to it. Once you familiarize yourself with it, you can then gradually increase as you desire while keeping in mind not to go over the daily recommendation of 1,200 mg.

I've taken Adrafinil frequently over the past year or two, but never more than 600 mg per day. And even the times I took 600 mg were so few, I'm almost sure it was less than 4 times in total.

Due to its potency and wakefulness-promoting properties, it is advisable to take it in the morning or early afternoon only to avoid interfering with the sleep cycle, otherwise you wouldn't be able to fall asleep easily at night. It is also advisable to take it on an empty stomach to allow for optimal absorption.

It kicks in around 45 minutes to an hour after ingestion.

For continuous and prolonged use, it is very advisable to use on a sequence (or cycle) of two weeks on, and one week off to detox and maintain tolerance as well as prevent potential dependency for certain people.

Adrafinil Dosage TLDR

  1. Adrafinil dosage recommendations vary greatly among different users.
  2. For beginners, start with 300 mg per day and see how your body reacts to it
  3. For a stronger dose, you may take 600 mg
  4. Maximum allowance per day is 1,200 mg taken in two doses of 600 mg

The daily dosage that is recommended is between 150 mg to 300 mg. It is a strong Nootropic, and people are usually advised to start off with a small dose and allow the body to adjust before working upwards.  It is not advisable to take this drug for long-term use. But then you should take it in cycles. For example, one week on, two weeks off and so on. This helps to prolong its effects without the bodybuilding too much of tolerance level. It is also very important to consult the doctor or qualified healthcare provider if planning to use it for an extended period of time. Without doing this, it may be disastrous for the liver as the supplement is known to elevate particular enzymes within the liver.

Nootropics City


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Side Effects

What Are Adrafinil Side Effects?

The most typical side effects of adrafinil are headaches, dizziness, nausea, and stomach discomfort. The most severe relates to liver function. Additionally, there is potential for increased risk of high blood pressure and heart problems when taking high doses.

Should you experience any side effects, stop using and seek professional medical advice.


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User Experience

Adrafinil Reviews and Reddit User Experiences

Here is three random experiences from adrafinil reddit nootropic community on their thought of adrafinil:

I love adrafinil for a once-every-couple-of-weeks ‘I need to work 11 hours today' usage. I can take 300mg at 6:30 or 7 in the morning, and still be alert and clear headed at the office when 7 or 8pm rolls by. But I try not to use it any more than once a week, because of the possible liver implications. – WhatAboutLightly

Adrafinil is very strange for me. I noticed somewhat sporadic efficacy. Additionally, for me, I was getting bad headaches. I called them “core headaches” as they seemed to originate from the very “core” of my brain. and not in the front like other areas. now I am still uncertain if this was because of adrafinil or phenylpiracetam. but once I started experiencing core headaches frequently even without taking any nootropic whatsoever, I quit adrafinil. It did go away after a while, but again I am not sure if this was just a rebalance or due to…other things I have been up to. Good write up though. I am not certain I can answer any of the questions since I haven't gone back to adrafinil yet…thinking of trying modafinil if I can manage to procure it, and see if that has a cleaner, more mildly-stimulating/focusing effect like I was looking for.

My simple protocol for Adrafinil is to only take it if I sleep poorly. and know that I still need to perform the next day. For me that means that I take it infrequently, but it's a lifesaver every time.


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Where to Buy

Where Can I Buy Adrafinil?

I can only recommend products I personally tried, and in the case of Adrafinil, I only bought and tried Nootropic Depot's 300 mg Adrafinil capsules. Although I've seen it available in a few different websites, there was always something sketchy about the website, or negative reviews about the vendors adding some unknown fillers to the products.

And surprisingly, I actually found that I prefer Adrafinil over Modafinil greatly, even though I've always (on the occasions that I took it) maintained a dose of 300mg once per day only.

If you decide to purchase from another vendor, make sure you research, find out more information about them from Reddit's nootropics forum, find reviews on google and whatnot, before making a transaction.


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Conclusion

Adrafinil's mixture of mental and physical benefits make it valuable for individuals looking for more energy, stamina, and psychological acuity. Its a powerful nootropic with potent stimulant qualities. Used responsibly, it offers a unique and profound nootropic boost that one grows to appreciate.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Adrafinil used for?

Adrafinil (INN; brand name Olmifon) is a eugeroic that was formerly used in France to promote alertness, attention, wakefulness, mood, and other parameters, particularly in the elderly. It was also used off-label by individuals who wished to avoid fatigue, such as night workers or others who needed to stay awake and alert for long periods of time. Additionally, “adrafinil is known to a larger non scientific audience, where it is considered to be a nootropic agent.”

Adrafinil is a prodrug; it is primarily metabolized in vivo to modafinil, resulting in very similar pharmacological effects. Unlike modafinil, however, it takes time for the metabolite to accumulate to active levels in the bloodstream. Effects usually are apparent within 45–60 minutes when taken orally on an empty stomach.

Can adding Adrafinil to a daily Adderall regimen for ADHD help?

Speaking from experience, J. Robert says: I had been taking a moderate level dose of adderall and experiencing the typical side effects associated with it. I researched Modafinil and took trail doses after discussing with my psych. I have since lessened my dose of adderall to a minimum 15 mg prn and am primarily on Armodafinil(the adrafinil/modafinil successor) now hoping to remove the adderall component in the near future. My experience has been overall positive. I am more focused cognitively without the overall body stimulant side effects I was getting from the adda. The one negative for me is sleep difficulty if the dose is taken later than upon getting up in the AM. Trying a test dose while decreasing or eliminating the adderall might provide a better result for you cognitively. make sure you discuss with your psych

Which is better – Adrafinil or Modafinil?

Adrafanil is a “prodrug” – in other words, it must be metabolized in the liver to its active form, which is modafanil (the same drug that people can take directly by prescription). Unfortunately, this causes some problems. For one, it takes longer to start acting, given it is dependent on this transformation, and it may stay in the system longer, as well – may keep you awake. Two, there are frequent reports of liver enzyme elevation with this form of the drug (not seen with modafanil). Probably best not to use the adrafanil, and stick with the criminally expensive prescription form.

Can adding Adrafinil to a daily Adderall regimen for ADHD help?

No! Aside from the fact that they are both pretty potent stimulants, Adrafinil impacts the liver and is not for daily use. I am ADHD myself and I take Ritalin XR, and often I would take Adrafinil 300mg as well because I appreciate the effect and boost it gives me – but I would never take it on daily basis. You can use it on and off, play around with the dosage and timing, but not on daily basis especially when already on other stims. For continuous and prolonged use, it is very advisable to use on a sequence (or cycle) of two weeks on, and one week off to detox and maintain tolerance as well as prevent potential dependency for certain people. “The daily dosage that is recommended is between 150 mg to 300 mg. It is a strong Nootropic, and people are usually advised to start off with a small dose and allow the body to adjust before working upwards. It is not advisable to take this drug for long-term use. But then you should take it in cycles. For example, one week on, two weeks off and so on. This helps to prolong its effects without the bodybuilding too much of tolerance level. It is also very important to consult the doctor or qualified healthcare provider if planning to use it for an extended period of time. Without doing this, it may be disastrous for the liver as the supplement is known to elevate particular enzymes within the liver.”


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Further and Related Readings

  1. Modafinil, Phenylpiracetam, Oxiracetam
  2. The Ultimate Nootropics FAQ

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Back to Nootropics Information homepage.

OverviewBenefits and EffectsMechanism of ActionDosageSide EffectsUser ExperienceF.A.Q

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 Video TTS

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Overview

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:

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.

ALCAR vs L-Carnitine vs Carnitine

  • ALCAR: supplies acetyl group and carnetine, and crosses the blood brain barrier easier. The acetyl group detaches from the amino acid and helps to recycle acetylcholine.
  • L-Carnetine: the same as carnitine. The ‘l-‘ prefix is just a part of the chemical notation and is often omitted because cells only make ‘l-‘ form (as only those forms are used in proteins) and it's implied that it's the ‘l-‘ form if it's not specified (if you imagine a molecule as a 2D picture of structure, then ‘l' and ‘d' prefix specifies whether the molecule is flipped or not; flipped version can have totally different properties; the ‘l-‘ version of amino acids is the one you supplement and your cells use).
  • Carnitine: Refrence the above. It is also involved in energy metabolism.

Taking Acetyl-L-Carnitine or ALCAR, therefore, supplements both and gets both the effects.

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Benefits and 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:

Enhances Brain Function and Stamina

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]

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 Mitochondria 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.

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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 benefits
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.

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.

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Dosage

How to Take Acetyl-L-Carnitine?

Typical Acetyl-L-Canritine 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

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Side Effects

What Are the Side Effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine?

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

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User Experience

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:

Reddit 1

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!

Reddit 2

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

Reddit 3

“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

Tim Ferris

Measuring the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on various aspects of cognitive performance. Alas, after multiple consecutive nights of vivid nightmares (which I rarely have), I wondered if ALC might play a role. I only experienced this when taking ALC in the later afternoon or evening, and daily total consumption never exceeded 1,500mg. After finding a few reports like this, I decided to call it quits with my protocol. Thus far, I have found ALC to produce unpleasantly vivid dreams to a much greater extent than, say, galantamine or huperzine-A, which enhance vividness but don’t seem to create the same degree of negative tone. Of course, this is an N of 1 (single subject) amateur hour, but the contrast has been both remarkable and remarkably consistent. I’d be curious to hear if anyone else has experienced something similar. And be careful with those cholinergic neurons…

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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.

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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.

Is ALCAR effective?

Yes. ALCAR has nootropic and neuro-protective benefits. This compound works great alone if you want a substance to help protect your brain from oxidative stress. Better cognitive results often happen when ALCAR is stacked with other nootropics.

The main nootropic benefits of ALCAR will be consistent with higher acetylcholine levels. Low acetylcholine is linked to cognitive deficient and low energy levels. Although ALCAR helps in the production of Acetylcholine, nootropic benefits may not be apparent when taken alone. For this reason, ALCAR is highly recommended to stack with other nootropics. Below is a list of typical benefits seen in an ALCAR + racetam/ampakine combination.

Better memory
Faster learning
Higher concentration
Heightened perception

ALCAR is often stacked with a cheap choline salt like choline bitartrate or citrate because it acts synergistically to produce Acetylcholine. Some people will use this stack as a cheaper alternative to more expensive acetylcholine intermediates such as alpha GPC or citicoline.

ALCAR by itself or in a choline stack will also work great with the racetams and ampakines. Boosting the level of Acetylcholine will allow for a synergistic combination with racetams which act as Acetylcholine receptor agonists. ALCAR is suggested to help protect from excitotoxic situations resulting from excess glutamate that may be a result of taking certain ampakines. For this reason, ALCAR may be beneficial when stacked with certain glutamate agonists like sunifram and unifram.

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Further and Related Readings

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

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Back to Nootropics Information homepage.

Pending review. Contribute to this article.

OverviewBenefitsMechanisms of ActionDosageStackSide Effects

Summary: Picamilon is a nootropic that enhances cognitive function and increases mental energy while reducing stress and anxiety. Its unique blend of energizing and relaxing impacts makes picamilon an outstanding supplement for learners during examination periods or anyone in stressful circumstances who could benefit from faster, clearer thinking.

Overview

What is Picamilon?

Picamilon is a distinctive nootropic that enhances cognitive function and increases mental energy while reducing stress and anxiety emotions. Its unique blend of energizing and relaxing impacts makes picamilon an outstanding supplement for learners facing examinations or for anyone in stressful circumstances who wants to think rapidly and clearly.

Picamilon's unique traits make it a truly distinctive supplement. It boosts brain function like all nootropics, enhancing memory, concentration, motivation, the span of attention, and overall productivity. However, its energizing impacts are only half the image; it also calms, relaxes, and generates a tranquilizing effect that decreases stress and anxiety emotions considerably.

This combination of energizing and calming effects, along with its low price, prepared accessibility, and absence of severe side effects, makes picamilon an increasingly common option for anyone who wishes to handle stress and anxiety while maximizing their cognitive skills.

Picamilon was first created in Russia somewhere between the years 1969 and 1971 as part of the Institute's studies into possibly performance-enhancing substances.

Today, picamilon is a prescription drug in Russia and is used to treat a range of conditions and disorders ranging from depression to migraine, neuroinfections, senile psychosis, certain kinds of glaucoma, and even acute intoxication with alcohol.

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Benefits and Effects

  1. Improves Learning and Memory
  2. Supports Concentration, Focus, and Mental Stamina
  3. Mood Stabilization
  4. Relaxes Without Causing Drowsiness
  5. Reduces Blood Pressure
  6. Improves Sleep Quality

Supporting research:

Improves Learning and Memory

The wide variety of impacts of Picamilon includes both cognitive enhancement and mood management. It has been shown to promote faster and more comfortable learning pace as well as enhancing both memory retention and recall speed.

Supports Concentration, Focus, and Mental Stamina

By stimulating better blood flow and circulation in the brain, picamilon has critical beneficial impacts on a broad range of cognitive functions, including improving the capacity to concentrate on thinking and improving general mental energy or endurance.

Mood Stabilization

It has been shown that Picamilon has substantial anti-anxiety impacts, significantly decreasing stress effect. It can also assist relieve depression.

Relaxes Without Causing Drowsiness

Users report that taking picamilon outcomes in a pleasant sensation of relaxation without mental fog or grogginess that is usually associated with sedatives or tranquilizers. Most individuals say it provides them a feeling of “calm energy.”

Reduces Blood Pressure

While not positive in all instances, the capacity of picamilon to decrease blood pressure can be a significant advantage to those with hypertension that is enhanced by stress and anxiety.

Improves Sleep Quality

While a single supplement seems contradictory to increase energy and create rest better, many picamilon consumers claim it does just that. Since it is not a tranquilizer, sedative, or muscle relaxer, this impact could be due to the stress reduction and anti-anxiety characteristics of picamilon insignificant portion.

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Mechanisms of Action

Picamilon is a mixture of niacin and GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid, two prevalent but essential nutrients. Separately each plays a critical role in brain health but linked to produce unique advantages in a compound that they respond synergistically.

Picamilon’s real strength is the capacity of the niacin element to cross the blood-brain barrier, a semi-permeable capillary filter intended to safeguard the brain and to bring with it the connected GABA element. As a result, GABA, a powerful neurotransmitter that can not cross the blood-brain barrier alone, is transferred into the central nervous system for use across the brain and body.

The real mechanism of action picamilon operates through is both fast and direct. It is a water-soluble compound that is easily absorbed and within an hour of ingestion reaches peak bioavailability.

Picamilon is hydrolyzed or chemically divided back into distinct parts of niacin or nicotinic acid and GABA after crossing the blood-brain barrier. The role of niacin acts as a vasodilator, increasing blood flow in the brain and enhancing oxygen and other nutrients absorption. At the same moment, this vital inhibitory neurotransmitter, which operates by decreasing neuronal excitability, raises the brain concentrations of the GABA element.

The cognitive enhancement impacts of Picamilon can be primarily ascribed to the enhanced effectiveness created by the improved circulation of the brain blood and oxygen absorption. The enhanced blood flow in the brain also enhances the delivery and uptake of glucose and other nutrients, which can boost alertness, concentrate, motivation, and brain energy as a whole. It is also thought to have an essential antioxidant impact that helps break down and remove toxins in the brain.

Picamilon's relaxing and calming impacts are produced by the enhanced concentrations of GABA, a powerful neurotransmitter that operates by inhibiting neuronal firing, decreasing stress and anxiety emotions by generating a slightly sedative impact.

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Dosage

How To Take Picamilon?

Although picamilon is usually deemed well tolerated and has no severe side effects, it is a potent complement and should be used responsibly. It is wise, as with all supplements, to begin with, the smallest effective dosage possible and gradually boost as required.

Recommendations for daily dosage differ significantly, depending on the special effects you hope to experience in no small measure. Typical is a cumulative dosage of 50 to 400 mg per day, with most customers finding efficacy between 100 and 200 mg divided over two to three doses. However, it may be best for those mainly interested in cognitive enhancements of picamilon and lower dosages of overall mood stabilization, while those looking for significant rises in energy levels may want to create up to higher dosages.

Picamilon operates comparatively fast and is relatively durable. Users say that impacts are usually visible within one hour of intake and last for 4 to 6 hours. It is water-soluble and can be taken on an empty stomach in either capsule or powder form.

While some users prefer cycling picamilon with other nootropics with an anti-anxiety element, there is no negative impact of proof taking it daily.

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Stack

Picamilon can be taken alone daily, cycled with other supplements or combined with other nootropics in many ways.

The behavioral improvement characteristics of picamilon will be potentiated in a pile with racetam-class nootropics such as piracetam or pramiracetam. However, depending on which racetam supplement you are combining with picamilon, you may also experience, or both, increased energy or relaxation effects.

Combined with ampakine racetam supplements like aniracetam and oxiracetam, both of which have stimulant characteristics, the energy-boosting and mood-modulating impacts of picamilon will be increased.

Some users claim that combining picamilon with other supplements such as kava can boost their energy-producing characteristics while using it in conjunction with relaxing supplements such as valerian will strengthen their calming aspects.

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Side Effects

Picamilon is usually regarded as safe and well tolerated, but there have been reports of some side effects. The most severe prospective side effect is low blood pressure, so if you understand that you are susceptible to hypotension or have reason to worry about low blood pressure, you should consult a medical practitioner before taking picamilon.  

Allergies and rashes of the skin have been recorded as side effects, but are not prevalent. Such side effects typically include headaches, lightheadedness or dizziness, and nausea. Red skin flushing is also sometimes revealed as a standard and harmless side effect of niacin.

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Conclusion

Picamilon is a natural nootropic, and with excellent reason: it can both energize and relax, it is secure and well-tolerated, it has very few reported side effects, it combines well with other supplements, and it is inexpensive and easily accessible. Picamilon provides advantages that are difficult to beat for anyone who wishes or needs to handle their moods and retain ideal cognitive function under pressure.

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Further and Related Readings

Picamilon in Dietary Supplements (FDA Post on Picamilon):

Picamilon is a substance that does not meet the statutory definition of a dietary ingredient.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) defines a dietary ingredient as a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of the preceding substances. In contrast, picamilon is a unique chemical entity synthesized from the dietary ingredients niacin and gamma-aminobutyric acid. Picamilon is absorbed into the body, crosses the blood-brain barrier and accumulates in the brain as a separate chemical entity. Because picamilon does not fit any of the categories of dietary ingredients under the Act, any products marketed as dietary supplements that declare picamilon as a dietary ingredient are misbranded.

The FDA has provided expert testimony to the Oregon Attorney General’s office stating that picamilon is not a dietary ingredient.

Picamilon is used as a prescription drug in Russia for a variety of neurological conditions. It is not approved as a drug in the U.S.

Picamilon is also known as:

  • pikatropin
  • pikamilon
  • nicotinyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid
  • nicotinyl-GAB
  • Recent FDA Action on Dietary Supplements Labeled as Containing Picamilon
  • December 2015

On November 30, 2015, the FDA issued warning letters to five companies whose products marketed as dietary supplements claim to contain picamilon. These products are misbranded because picamilon does not meet the statutory definition of a dietary ingredient.

Under existing law, including the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act passed by Congress in 1994, the FDA can take action to remove products from the market, but the agency must first establish that such products are adulterated (e.g., that the product is unsafe) or misbranded (e.g., that the labeling is false or misleading).

The companies have 15 business days from the date of receipt of the letter to communicate to the agency the specific steps they will take to bring their products into compliance with the law.

The agency will continue to update this page in the event additional actions are taken related to picamilon.

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What is Oxiracetam?Benefits & 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

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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


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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.


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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.


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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

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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.


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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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does one need to take oxiracetam to start feeling effects?

Personally, I’d feel it right on the time I take it. I mean after a while of course, but effects are notaiceable about 45 mins later. Nothing like “2 weeks until effects start taking actions” whatsoever.

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.

Further and Related Readings

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

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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

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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.

L-Tyrosine and Depression

L-tyrosine is a precursor to L-dopa, which is a precursor to dopamine. L-dopa competes with 5-HTP at AAAD enzyme (Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase) to be converted to dopamine. You can view that enzyme as a dumb robot that simply converts whatever it sees to a neurotransmitter. If you have more 5-HTP then you will make more serotonin, if you have more L-dopa, then you make more dopamine. You can imagine the process as trying to let an infinite crowd of people through a small door. If the crowd has an equal distribution of red hats and half blue hats, then the room inside will have an equal proportion of both colors. If you increase people wearing red hats, then less people with blue hats will squeeze in.

If you were to supplement L-dopa directly, then there would be no doubt that you could be decreasing your serotonin and causing your symptoms (increased energy from increased dopamine, feeling depressed from decreased serotonin). But supplementing l-tyrosine is not guaranteed to increase l-dopa. The rate limiting step is converting l-tyrosine to L-dopa. In other words, that's the point in the reaction where the brain decides whether it wants more dopamine / norepinephrine. If it wants more dopamine, then it increases activity of tyrosine hydroxylase, which is the enzyme that converts l-tyrosine to l-dopa, and then l-dopa will be converted by AAAD to dopamine possibly at the expense of serotonin because less 5-HTP will be catalyzed.

So you have to think whether you're doing something to your brain that also that increases dopamine, and if so then you could be throwing gasoline into the fire with tyrosine supplementation and depleting serotonin.


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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)


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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


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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

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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


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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]


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Mechanism of Action

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.

modafinil side effects
Modafinil Skeletal Structure

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)


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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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

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