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Nootropics


Nootropics Compared

Nootropics are also referred to as smart drugs. These substances can help improve areas related to thinking, if for some reason your thought process is not as sharp as what it should be, or your mental function is impaired.

Impaired thinking can be caused by things like stress, genetics, chemical imbalances, hormone issues, environmental factors, medical illnesses, psychiatric disorders, lack of sleep, exposure to hazardous chemicals, or many other reasons.

The most common benefits of nootropics:
--- More energy, mental and sometimes physical.
--- Improved thinking, focus, concentration.
--- Improved logical thinking.
--- Better learning capacity.
--- Improved productivity.
--- Improved memory.
--- Clearer perception.

Other possible benefits of nootropics include:
--- Ability to work or study for longer periods.
--- Reduction in anxiety, including social anxiety.
--- Ability to function on less sleep than usual.
--- Increased tolerance to pain.
--- Improved impulse control.
--- A more positive mood.

Rather than cloud thinking like recreational drug use can, taking a nootropic drug can clear foggy thinking. The dose size listed is the amount that a majority of people find works best, you might require more or less to achieve optimal results.

Fat soluble nootropics should be taken with food containing fat to aid with absorption. Water solubles can be taken on an empty stomach, to work faster. If practical, alcohol solubles can be mixed with a bit of alcohol and placed under the tongue.


Nootropic Racetams
Choline Sources
Nootropic Ampakines
Acetylcholinesterase
Dopamine Related
Dopamine Precursors
Serotonin Precursors
ADHD Medications
Opioid Related
GABA Related
Other Nootropics
Non-Nootropic
Conclusion
Notes
Nootropic Links



Nootropic Racetams

Racetams are a class of drugs that all have a pyrrolidone nucleus as part of their chemical structure. Although noopept does not have a pyrrolidone nucleus, it is included because the effects it produces and its chemical structure are similar to racetams.

When compared to each other the effects are similar, but there are differences in each racetam. A strong influence on the properties that each racetam has is influenced by how much affect they have on different neurotransmitters.

Two neurotransmitters that racetams most strongly affect are acetylcholine and glutamate. Different racetams will have varying degrees of effect on both the acetylcholine and glutamate neurotransmitters, contributing to their unique qualities.

The racetams that are ingested as nootropics all produce similar effects related to cognition. With some being more potent than others, in terms of how much is needed to provide satisfactory results.

If you respond well to them, they can be very effective when you're tired but have to keep going, like doing your job or school related activities. They can:
--- Improve thinking.
--- Reduce anxiety.
--- Reduce fatigue.
--- Improve mood.

The racetams may cause some people who consume them to experience headaches. By taking them with a choline source, like alpha-GPC, headaches can be reduced or eliminated. A choline source may also increase the potency of racetams.


Aniracetam
--- Medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Fat soluble.
--- Dose: 750 mg, can vary from 250-3000 mg.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Affects glutamate AMPA receptors.

Aniracetam may help, reduce pain, increase focus, reduce fatigue, reduce anxiety, increase sociability, increase motivation, improve concentration, reduce negative thinking, speaking and vocabulary. Doesn't inhibit sleep and may induce vivid dreams.

Some find it becomes more effective over time. If taken on a regular basis, improved results may be observed in several days to several weeks. Other people find they build up a tolerance if it is taken more than twice a week.

Compared to stronger racetams like phenylpiracetam, most individuals will find that aniracetam produces similar results but it is less potent. There are people who it doesn't work for at all. (more info here).


Coluracetam
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Alcohol Soluble.
--- Dose: 3-5 mg, some require more.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Affects acetylcholine via choline uptake.

One of the more recent racetams. Some people find this strong even at doses as low as 3-5 milligrams. Others require much larger doses of coluracetam and report only medium potency effects.

Coluracetam can be more expensive than other racetams and might be best saved as a racetam you try last. Similar potency racetams like noopept and phenylpiracetam might be a better choice if cost is a concern.

While other racetams may enhance vision, for some individuals coluracetam is unique in the fact that besides enhanced vision it can also make colors look more vibrant. May be of interest to artists and those engaged in similar pursuits.


Noopept
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Alcohol soluble.
--- Dose: 10-20 mg, some require larger amounts.
--- Not generally utilized to reduce pain.
--- Affects acetylcholine and glutamate.

Noopept is not technically a racetam, but its effects & chemistry are very similar. If other racetams don't work for you, this might because of the slight difference in chemical structure. It can be more physically stimulating than less potent racetams.

However, the stimulating effect can inhibit sleep. Noopept can help: increase alertness, increase creativity, enhance memory, increase motivation, improve focus, improve concentration, improve problem solving, help you study longer.

In addition, it may help reduce anxiety, wake up and getting going, reduce or eliminate panic attacks, improve ability speaking to people, help treat seasonal affective disorder. A small number of ADD/ADHD patients may find it helps them. (more info here).


Oxiracetam
--- Medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 750 mg, some require 1500+ mg.
--- Not generally utilized to reduce pain.
--- Affects glutamate AMPA receptors.

Possible benefits include: mood boost, reduced fatigue, increased motivation, increased memory recall, better ability to mentally focus, mild mental and/or physical stimulation, improved ability to read and retain what you've read.

Some people, mostly students, say it helps them recall information after it has been taken for a week or more, on a daily basis. A small number of sufferers say it helps with social anxiety.

Compared to stronger racetams like phenylpiracetam, most individuals will find that oxiracetam produces similar results but it is less potent. There are people who find it too mild (more info here).


Phenylpiracetam
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Fat soluble.
--- Dose: 100 mg, can vary from 50-500 mg.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Affects acetylcholine, dopamine, glutamate.

Phenylpiracetam is one of the most potent racetams. It may help improve things like memory, focus, vision, physical stamina, tolerance to pain, treating cognitive decline in older people.

It can also help reduce anger, treating depression, improving self-control, treating panic attacks, reducing fear and anxiety, treating borderline personality disorder, as well as other related issues.

In addition, phenylpiracetam may improve your ability to function on less sleep than you usually get and treat social anxiety and other forms of anxiety. The stimulating effect can inhibit sleep (more info here).


Piracetam
--- Medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 800 mg, can vary from 500-5000 mg.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Affects acetylcholine via mAChRs.
--- Affects glutamate AMPA receptors.

Depending on the individual, piracetam might improve concentration, increase motivation, improve creativity, improve memory, reduce anxiety, reduce stress, reduce depression. Some people find it helps improve verbal communication skills.

Piracetam is milder in relation to some other racetams. If you have never tried racetams, piracetam may be a good introduction for a first time experience to see what they are about. Piracetam might be less expensive per dose compared to other racetams.

Although piracetam is milder, when it is compared with other nootropic racetam drugs like noopept and phenylpiracetam, for some individuals it produces the desired medical effect without the need for anything stronger (more info here).



Choline Sources

In the body, choline is converted to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. If you are not getting enough choline in your diet, it could result in mental problems that involve thinking, or physical problems that affect movement.

Choline supplements are generally mild nootropics when taken by themselves, but they can be effective for those with low choline levels. A choline supplement is recommended when taking racetams to reduce headaches, and increase racetam potency.

If you are taking a choline supplement for its own sake, rather than as a secondary supplement (like with racetams):
--- Alpha-GPC is absorbed best.
--- CDP choline is not absorbed as well.
--- Choline bitartrate is absorbed less than CDP choline.
--- For use with racetams, choline bitartrate will probably work.


Alpha-GPC
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 500 mg, with 50% alpha-GPC.
--- Dose: 250 mg, with 100% alpha-GPC.
--- Can increase acetylcholine levels.


CDP Choline (Citicoline)
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 250-500 mg (maximum 2000 mg per day).
--- Can increase acetylcholine levels.


Choline Bitartrate
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 500 mg.
--- Can increase acetylcholine levels.


DMAE (Dimethylethanolamine)
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 250 mg (1-3 times daily).
--- Can lead to increased acetylcholine levels.

DMAE is a precursor to choline, it is not a choline source in itself, but can be converted to choline in the body. The body utilizes it to produce choline, which is then converted to acetylcholine.

DMAE is sometimes taken, by itself or in addition to other supplements, to improve cognitive abilities and can aid in producing vivid dreams. When applied as a skin lotion, it is used topically to smooth wrinkles and make the skin more firm.

Some people take DMAE as a choline source when ingesting racetams, to make them more potent and eliminate headaches. This may work but if it doesn't, try alpha-GPC, CDP choline, or choline bitartrate instead.



Nootropic Ampakines

Ampakines bind to and activate glutamate AMPA receptors in the human body. Because of this they produce effects that are comparable to raising levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate.

Nootropic ampakines have some properties that are similar to nootropic racetams like piracetam (and another nootropic with similar effects called noopept), which both also affect glutamate AMPA receptors.

They can:
--- Increase attention.
--- Improve concentration and memory.
--- Improve reasoning and understanding.


Ampalex (CX-516)
--- Medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Unknown solubility.
--- Activates glutamate AMPA receptors.


Sunifiram
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Activates glutamate AMPA receptors.


Unifiram
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Activates glutamate AMPA receptors.



Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are substances that slow the breakdown of acetylcholine in the human body. This results is higher levels of acetylcholine with an extended period of action.

Besides being nootropics, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are employed to treat several medical conditions including
--- Alzheimer's Disease (brain disease that causes dementia).
--- Myasthenia Gravis (causes fatigue and muscle weakness).

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors can lengthen REM sleep periods. This might increase the possibility of lucid dreaming. They may cause bronchoconstriction, diarrhea, increased urination, low blood pressure, slow heart rate.


Galantamine
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Increases acetylcholine levels.


Huperzine A
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Increases acetylcholine levels.



Dopamine Related

Dopamine has multiple functions, including acting as a neurotransmitter that affects mental processes including those related to mood, emotions, attention, memory, motivation. It also affects movement and plays a part in the perception of pain.

A dopamine imbalance can contribute to problems that include:
--- Pain.
--- Fatigue.
--- Depression.
--- Impaired Concentration.
--- Reduced Social Interaction.

If you experience chronic pain caused by unknown factors, chronic fatigue, depression, or other factors related to this neurotransmitter, substances that increase dopamine levels might be a good choice. For more info about dopamine, see this.


Adrafinil
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 300 milligrams.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Adrafinil is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

If adrafinil works for you, it can improve thinking and concentration, increase mental and physical energy, reduce pain, improve depression, or have other positive benefits. It can also be very effective at treating ADHD.

Adrafinil is known to be a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, it slows the breakdown of dopamine. This results in increased levels of dopamine available to the body. It probably affects other neurotransmitters, but this has not been proven scientifically yet.

Adrafinil is the prodrug of modafinil, which means it is converted to modafinil in the body. When compared to modafinil, it produces similar results but it takes longer to work, requires larger doses, may produce more side effects (more info here).


Armodafinil
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 75-250 milligrams.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Armodafinil is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

Armodafinil is very similar to adrafinil (listed above). It can improve areas associated with thinking while also increasing physical energy and reducing depression. For some it may be an effective treatment for ADHD.

Armodafinil is the enantiopure of modafinil (listed below), it consists of just the (-)-(R)-enantiomer. It produces effects that are similar to modafinil, but armodafinil can take longer to work.

Armodafinil is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. After taking a dose, the amount of dopamine available to the human body increases. Armodafinil is marketed under brand names that include Nuvigil.


Phenethylamine
--- Medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 250 mg (maximum 1000 mg per day).
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Dopamine releasing agent.
--- Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) releasing agent.
--- Might induce the release of acetylcholine.

Phenethylamine can improve thinking, improve mood, increase energy. It does this by, among other processes, increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) available to the body.

Besides influencing other neurotransmitters, phenethylamine acts as a neurotransmitter itself. It has a function in the effect of what is called a runner's high, the euphoria produced by exerting oneself in tasks such as exercise.

When taking phenethylamine, combining small doses with small doses of hordenine can increase potency. Taken by itself, amounts available to the body may be limited (more info here).


Theanine
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 100-250 mg (maximum 1200 mg per day).
--- Increases dopamine, GABA, glycine, serotonin levels.
--- Glutamate NMDA receptor agonist.
--- Glutamate AMPA and kainate receptor antagonist.
--- Glutamate and glutamine reuptake inhibitor.

Theanine is a mild but effective nootropic that has anti-anxiety properties. Taking it an hour or so before bedtime can aid in falling asleep. Theanine may especially improve sleep quality for people with ADHD.

When taken in combination with caffeine, the caffeine can increase energy while theanine can promote relaxation. It can also reduce jitteriness when combined with other more powerful stimulants.

If you are new to nootropics in this class, theanine might be a good introduction because it is relatively mild. When taken by itself, people accustomed to stronger substances might find it is too mild in comparison (more info here).


Tianeptine
--- Strong potency.
--- Can be addictive.
--- Solubility varies according to type.
--- Dose: 15 mg or slightly higher (1-3 times daily).
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Some affinity for opioid receptors.
--- Enhances the mesolimbic release of dopamine.
--- Potentiates dopamine D2 and D3 receptors in the cns.
--- Glutamate NMDA and AMPA receptor agonist.

Tianeptine is a potent nootropic that also serves as an effective antidepressant for some individuals. It can also work as a treatment for ADHD, anxiety, asthma, pain, erectile dysfunction, panic disorder, irritable bowel syndrome.

Besides increasing dopamine release and making dopamine more potent, it acts as a mild µ-opioid and delta opioid receptor agonist. This is at least partially responsible for some of the pain relieving and antidepressant properties it possesses.

The most often encountered forms are tianeptine sodium, tianeptine free acid, tianeptine sulfate. Tianeptine sodium is the most water soluble and absorbed more quickly by the human body when ingested orally. (more info here).



Dopamine Precursors

Dopamine precursors can increase dopamine production and are a valid option for individuals who experience problems related to low dopamine levels (depression, fatigue, chronic pain, etcetera). Those with no deficiency may see little to no benefit.

In the body:
L-phenylalanine is converted to L-tyrosine.
L-tyrosine is converted to L-dopa.
L-dopa is converted to the neurotransmitter Dopamine.

Because of this L-phenylalanine, L-tyrosine, L-dopa are classified as dopamine precursors. Chemicals identified as dopamine precursors are also needed by the body to produce chemicals including some hormones and other neurotransmitters.

Putting powder in capsules and washing them down with water or other liquids works well. Most of them are semi-soluble in water and don't fully dissolve. Taken on an empty stomach, they can work faster and help the body with absorption.

If you plan on taking a dopamine precursor supplement, before doing so check out this information about the relationship between dopamine and serotonin precursor supplements.

Getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals can help the body utilize the supplement more efficiently. If you take a multivitamin, do not take it with L-dopa. Coadministering vitamin B6 can reduce the effectiveness of L-dopa.


L-dopa (Levodopa)
--- Medium to strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Semi-soluble in water.
--- Dose: 150-500 milligrams.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Can increase dopamine levels.

Most will find L-dopa the strongest of the dopamine precursors. Some will find it produces mental calmness and physical sedation, while others find it mentally calming but physical stimulating. Taking it on a daily basis is not recommended.

If there is the need for a daily dopamine precursor, wait 3-4 days between L-dopa doses. Take phenylalanine and/or tyrosine on days you don't take the L-dopa. Taking L-dopa too often can lead to tolerance (needing larger doses).

Also, if your body gets used to daily intake of L-dopa long term (rather than biosynthesizing it) and you stop taking it, it can take days or possibly weeks until L-dopa and dopamine production gets back to normal (more info here).


Mucuna pruriens
--- Medium to strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Semi-soluble in water.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Can increase dopamine levels.

Mucuna pruriens is the botanical name of a plant more commonly known by various names including velvet bean, cowage, cowitch. It contains L-dopa which is a dopamine precursor (see L-dopa above).

Mucuna pruriens supplements with high concentrations (90% or more) of L-dope have properties that are essentially the same as L-dopa. Observe the same cautions and warnings as you would with L-dopa.

Dose size depends on the concentration of L-dopa. Mucuna pruriens that contains 90% L-dopa or more should be consumed in dose sizes equal to that of L-dopa. Less potent concentrations will require larger dose sizes to produce the same results.


NALT (N-acetyl L-tyrosine)
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 250-1000 milligrams.
--- Can result in increased dopamine levels.

NALT is not a dopamine precursor. In the body it can be converted to the dopamine precursor L-tyrosine. After it is converted to tyrosine, it performs the same function. For increasing dopamine levels, L-tyrosine is a better choice unless it is too strong.

Most find NALT is less potent, because of loss in the conversion process. However, NALT has properties that L-tyrosine does not. Some individuals find it more effective than L-tyrosine. They experience better results from NALT than they do from L-tyrosine.

N-acetyl L-tyrosine can be a good addition when it is taken with other nootropic substances. It is subtle but can induce a calming effect when taken in combination with substances that may make you feel on edge.


Phenylalanine
--- Mild to strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Semi-soluble in water.
--- Dose: 350-1500 mg (depending on type).
--- D-phenylalanine can reduce pain for some people.
--- L-phenylalanine can increase dopamine levels.
--- Take on an empty stomach for optimal results.

There are three types of phenylalanine available:
L-phenylalanine (LPA).
D-phenylalanine (DPA).
DL-phenylalanine (DLPA).

L-phenylalanine, usually referred to as phenylalanine, is an essential amino acid and the mildest of the dopamine precursors. Many people find it too mild, but when taken in combo with other dopamine precursors, it can increase their effects.

D-phenylalanine is not a dopamine precursor but can reduce the breakdown enkephalins. Enkephalins have pain reducing and antidepressant qualities similar to endorphins. DL-phenylalanine is a mix of D-phenylalanine and L-phenylalanine (more info here).


Tyrosine (L-tyrosine)
--- Medium to strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Semi-soluble in water.
--- Dose: 150-2000 milligrams.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Can increase dopamine levels.
--- Non-essential amino acid.

L-tyrosine is a usually referred to as simply tyrosine. Many people find it most stimulating of the dopamine precursors. It can improve cognition, increase energy, reduce anxiety, reduce depression, reduce levels of pain.

A majority of people find a dose somewhere in the range of 150-2000 milligrams, 1-3 times daily, produces satisfactory results. The first time you try, a starting dose of about 100-500 milligrams is recommended just to see how you respond to it.

Take tyrosine on an empty stomach. To be safe, hyperthyroidism sufferers should avoid tyrosine. There is a chance it could raise thyroid levels even higher. For people with hypothyroidism, if tyrosine raises thyroid levels, it's a good thing (more info here).



Serotonin Precursors

Serotonin has different functions in the body, one of them is serving as a neurotransmitter. If the body has low levels of serotonin precursors, it may not be able to produce adequate levels of serotonin. This can result in problems like depression.

5-HTP and tryptophan both act as serotonin precursors. They are utilized by the body to synthesize serotonin.
--- Tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP.
--- 5-HTP is then converted to Serotonin.

Including a multivitamin with minerals may help the body utilize these supplement more efficiently. Before taking a serotonin precursor supplement, check out this info about the relationship between dopamine and serotonin precursor supplements.


5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)
--- Medium to strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Fat soluble.
--- Dose: 20-500 milligrams.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Can increase serotonin levels.

5-HTP is a serotonin precursor. If you have low levels of 5-HTP your body might not be able to produce enough serotonin, which can contribute to problems including impaired thinking, depression, gastrointestinal disorders.

A majority of individuals find 5-HTP sedating and relaxing. It is often taken to reduce anxiety and treat depression. Those who find it sedating sometimes employ it as a sleep aid. However, there are a minority who find it slightly stimulating.

Start with doses around 20 milligrams and if necessary, raise the dose size slowly on subsequent attempts. Most people find doses around 50-400 mg optimal, but there are those who require more or less to produce satisfactory results (more info here).


Tryptophan (L-tryptophan)
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Semi-soluble in water.
--- Dose: 100-1000 milligrams.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Can increase serotonin levels.
--- Essential amino acid.

Tryptophan is another serotonin precursor. Low levels of tryptophan may result in reduced levels of serotonin, which can contribute to problems including impaired thinking, depression, gastrointestinal disorders.

It has similar properties to 5-HTP but is milder. It can help reduce anxiety, reduce depression, act as a sleep aid. If you are trying a serotonin precursor for the first time, tryptophan is a good choice. If a stronger effect is required try 5-HTP.

Tryptophan will probably be absorbed best if taken with a bit of food that contains carbohydrates, while avoiding foods with protein. Start with doses around 100 mg and if necessary increase the dose size by 100 mg on future attempts.



ADHD Medications

ADHD medications are drugs that are frequently prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD), also known as attention deficit disorder ( ADD).

The main method of action of the medications listed below, and many other ADHD meds, is increasing dopamine levels, and sometimes other neurotransmitter levels, in the bodies of individuals who ingest them.

ADHD medications that have nootropic properties help improve focus and concentration. Those listed below are more effective than most other medications at increasing energy levels for people experiencing mental and/or physical fatigue.


Amphetamines (Adderall, Dexedrine...)
--- Very strong potency.
--- Can be very addictive.
--- Fatal overdose possible.
--- Water soluble.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Dopamine releasing agent.
--- Dopamine reuptake inhibitor.
--- Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) releasing agent.
--- Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) reuptake inhibitor.
--- Serotonin releasing agent.
--- Serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

The amphetamine family includes levoamphetamine, dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine. They have a strong impact on dopamine and norepinephrine transmitters and neuroreceptors. They can improve thinking, increase energy, reduce depression.

However, when the effects wear off they can temporarily produce the opposite results. As a treatment for ADHD amphetamines are marketed under brand names that include Adderall, Desoxyn, Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Vyvanse.

For most people amphetamines are more potent, for nootropic purposes, than other substances listed on this page. They can be very addictive if taken regularly in large doses. Limit intake to minimum size doses, with at least 3-4 days between doses.


Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive to most people.
--- Water soluble.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Dopamine reuptake inhibitor.
--- Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) reuptake inhibitor.

Methylphenidate is primarily employed as a treatment for ADHD and narcolepsy. It is more commonly known by one of the brand names it is marketed under, Ritalin.

Besides ADHD and narcolepsy, doctors sometime prescribe it to treat depression and bipolar disorder. The most common effects of methylphenidate include improving attention, increasing alertness, reducing fatigue.

Like amphetamines, methylphenidate is popular with students as an aid for helping them concentrate on their studies, and stay awake, for extended periods of time.


Modafinil
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 100-200 milligrams.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Modafinil is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

Modafinil is a generic name for a drug that is sold under brand names like provigil, modavigil, alertec. It is classified as a wakefulness promoting agent and prescribed to treat various sleep related maladies like narcolepsy.

Modafinil increases levels of dopamine available to the body. Various government agencies in an assortment of countries employ modafinil for use in aerospace, military, other departments where prolonged periods of wakefulness are required.

Fatal overdoses are unknown but may be possible. Adverse reactions can include aggression, agitation, anxiety, diarrhea, insomnia, impaired thinking, irritability, nausea, palpitations, tremor.



Opioid Related

Opioids can cause drowsiness and might interfere with thinking, but for some individuals they can be stimulating and improve thinking, including focus and concentration.

Although not all opioids are stimulating, those that are reported to be some of the better nootropics include hydrocodone, oxycodone, tramadol. Although all three have antidepressant properties, tramadol has the strongest antidepressant effect.

--- Hydrocodone: is effective at treating mild to moderate pain.
--- Oxycodone: is effective at treating moderate to severe pain.
--- Tramadol: is the mildest pain reliever of the 3.


Cannabis Products
Cannabis products like marijuana, hashish, hash oil can act as nootropics for a limited number of individuals, but for many others they can interfere with thinking. When eaten they indirectly activate opioid receptors, and offer pain relief.


Muira Puama
Muira Puama, listed elsewhere on this page, is a nootropic with pain relieving properties, that are most likely from activating opioid receptors. It does not produce a high like most opioids do, but offers some degree of pain relief (more info here).


Phenibut
Phenibut is listed on this page, below in the GABA related section. In addition to increasing GABA levels, it can be a fairly effective pain reliever. It can also reduce anxiety, relax muscles, can ease symptoms of opioid withdrawal (more info here).


Tianeptine
Tianeptine is listed on this page, above in the dopamine related section. In addition to increasing dopamine levels, it does have mild affinity for opioid receptors. It does not produce a high like most opioids do, but offers some pain relief (more info here).



GABA Related

GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) is a neurotransmitter that affects mental and physical excitability. When GABA levels get too low people are prone to agitation, anxiety, depression, impaired thinking, other related disorders. Raising GABA to acceptable levels can reduce or eliminate these problems.

Substances other than those listed below that increase GABA or make it more potent include alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines. After extended periods of daily intake, abrupt discontinuation of substances that increase GABA or make it more potent may result in convulsions and seizures.

Most medications that increase GABA or make it more potent have addictive potential. If you ingest any such substance, for whatever purpose, limit intake to a maximum of 1-2 times per week with at least 3-4 days between doses. For more info about GABA, see this.


GABA
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Dose: 250-5000 mg.
--- Can increase GABA levels.

GABA itself is available as a supplement. It is fairly mild because only a limited amount of GABA is absorbed by the body when it is ingested orally. Effective dosage varies widely, depending upon the individual. Start low and increase the dose slowly, if necessary.

For those who experience positive results, it can reduce anxiety, reduce pain levels, work as a sleep aid, calm the thinking process. Oral ingestion of GABA in large doses can increase the level of growth hormone.

Since it is one of the milder substances in this category, it may be a good first choice for someone with no history of taking supplements that increase GABA or make it more potent. It may also be a good choice if other substances are too strong.


Phenibut
--- Strong potency.
--- Can be addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Dose: 100-750 mg (maximum 1500 mg daily).
--- GABA-A agonist.
--- GABA-B agonist at higher dose levels.

Phenibut can aid in areas related to thinking by reducing stress without negatively affecting mental or physical performance. It can be an effective at treating symptoms of agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, PTSD, social phobia.

Phenibut is fairly sedating and can cause drowsiness, but can be more stimulating at larger dose sizes. Doses under 500 mg are more likely induce sleep. For some it always affects them like a depressant, others like a stimulant, regardless of dose size.

It has pain relieving properties and might be a valuable sleep aid. Recommended initial dose size is 100-150 milligrams. Tolerance and addiction are possible. Limit intake to 1-2 times a week (3-4 days between doses) or less often (more info here).


Picamilon

Picamilon is produced by combining GABA with vitamin B3. In the body it crosses the blood-brain barrier where GABA splits from the vitamin B3, and becomes available in greater quantities than if GABA itself had been ingested.

Picamilon is an effective GABA related compound for the treatment of maladies related to anxiety, while at the same time it can improve cognition and increase energy levels. Side effects are minimal.

In the US, the FDA made a ruling in 2015 that led to picamilon being removed from the product line of supplement retailers in the US. In november of that year, 5 companies were forced to remove their picamilon products from the market.


Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis)
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water/Alcohol soluble.
--- Can reduce abdominal pain from menstruation.
--- Dose: Varies.
--- Affects GABA and/or GABA receptors.
--- May affect metabotropic glutamate receptors.

Valeriana officinalis is the botanical name of a plant known by the common name valerian. Active chemicals are usually extracted from the root. It is fairly mild but some people find it works for improving cognition, reducing anxiety, use as a sleep aid.

Dose size will vary depending on what form you purchase. For example, it is available as a raw herb, as an extract, as a tincture. Follow the directions regarding dose size provided by the seller.

Taking it with food can reduce the sedative properties when it is needed to reduce anxiety, or for other purposes, during waking hours. Taking it on an empty stomach might be best when utilizing it as a sleep aid.


GABA Associated

Theanine provides a mild increase in levels of GABA and other neurotransmitters like dopamine, glycine, serotonin. Effects are subtle, but can be satisfactory if other substances that increase or potentiate GABA are too potent (more info here).

Ginkgo biloba acts as GABA antagonist, unlike the substances listed above, it reduces the effect of GABA. It can be effective in helping people with excess levels of GABA. Most people will find Ginkgo biloba is somewhat sedating (more info here).

Muira Puama acts as GABA antagonist, unlike the substances listed above, it reduces the effect of GABA. It can be effective in helping people with excess levels of GABA. At small dose sizes Muira Puama can be fairly stimulating (more info here).



Other Nootropics

ALCAR (Acetyl-L-carnitine)
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 250-500 mg (1-2 times per day).
--- Can reduce pain for some people.

Acetyl-L-carnitine, also referred to as acetylcarnitine and ALCAR, is a form of carnitine that can help increase mental focus slightly. For some it might help reduce tiredness and allow them to function for longer periods.

ALCAR can help reduce nerve pain and it may also contribute to repairing nerve damage. Combining it with lipoic acid may further reduce nerve pain, speed nerve damage repair, treat problems related to peripheral neuropathy.

It is fairly mild, if it works for you it may work best if taken once a week or less often, others obtain best results when taken daily. ALCAR can lower thyroid hormone levels and treat hyperthyroidism, people with hypothyroidism should avoid it.


CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Fat soluble.
--- Dose: 50-500 mg (maximum 1500 mg daily).
--- Can reduce pain for some people.

CoQ10 is utilized by the human body to produce energy. It is not a stimulant in itself, but for those that have reduced levels, a CoQ10 supplement can increase blood flow and energy levels. It is sometimes combined with NADH to further increase energy.

Reduced CoQ10 levels are associated with depression, fibromyalgia, hypertension, cardiovascular issues, chronic fatigue syndrome. Those with these problems may obtain the most benefit. CoQ10 should be taken with a bit of fatty food.

A 50-100 milligram dose taken 1-3 times a day (at regular intervals) is a good starting point. Dividing up the dose into 2-3 smaller amounts, instead of 1 large dose, can help keep levels steady and reduce side effects. Dose can be adjusted as needed.


Ginkgo biloba
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Fat/Water soluble.
--- Dose: 50-300 mg (maximum 600 mg daily).
--- Mild GABA antagonist.

Ginkgo biloba is the botanical name of a tree that is indigenous to China. The medicinal substance obtained from Ginkgo biloba trees is also referred to as Ginkgo biloba. A majority of those who it works for find it improves cognition and is sedating.

But, there are a minority who find Ginkgo biloba produces a slightly stimulating effect. When combined with a stimulant (like caffeine) it can impart a calming effect, while not reducing the stimulating properties of the substance it is combined with.

A dose size between 50-300 mg is what most people find works best. Some of the chemicals in Ginkgo biloba are fat soluble, others are water soluble. It can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. (more info here).


Glutamic Acid (L-glutamic acid)
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 500-1500 milligrams per day.
--- Can increase glutamate levels.
--- Non-essential amino acid.

Glutamic acid is an amino acid. When ingested by humans glutamic acid can drop a hydrogen atom and become glutamate, which (among other functions) acts as a neurotransmitter associated with learning, memory, language, speech.

There is usually no need to take supplements. It can be synthesized by the body naturally or obtained by eating soybean products, spirulina, cabbage, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, dairy products, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish.

If your doctor advises you to increase your intake of glutamic acid, you can eat more foods that contain glutamic acid or take supplements. Glutamic acid supplements are sold as glutamic acid or L-glutamic acid.


Glycine (L-glycine)
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 100-3000 milligrams.
--- Non-essential amino acid.

The main role of glycine in the body is in the production of proteins and other compounds, for instance collagen which is used by the body to make items like bone, cartilage, tendon. In addition glycine acts as a neurotransmitter.

Glycine acts as a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Many individuals ingest glycine as a sleep aid that helps them fall asleep, and also improves sleep quality. Large doses may reduce some symptoms of schizophrenia.

Take on an empty stomach for best results. Some people find doses of about 100-500 mg can be calming and improve cognition, allowing them to function better. While larger doses in the range of 500-3000 milligrams will usually induce sleep.


Green Tea Extract (GTE)
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water/Alcohol soluble.
--- Dose: 200-350 mg (maximum 400 mg daily).
--- Can reduce pain for some people.

Most people find green tea extract is physically energizing and mentally calming. When compared to other nootropics, it is mild to medium potency. It has anti-inflammatory properties that for some individuals may reduce pain associated with inflammation.

The main active chemicals in green tea are catechins, flavonoids, caffeine. Catechins include epicatechin (EC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Flavonoids include kaempferol, myricetin, quercetin.

You can take GTE on an empty stomach, with optional fish oil and quercetin supplements, to aid with absorption. Putting GTE powder in capsules rather than adding directly to liquids might be the best because of the bad taste (more info here).


Histidine (L-histidine)
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Somewhat water soluble.
--- Dose: 100-600 mg (1-3 times per day).
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Essential amino acid.

Histidine is an essential amino acid that, among other functions, is a precursor to histamine. It can improve cognition and increase wakefulness, especially for those with anemia related to kidney problems. It can also reduce or eliminate symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

For some individuals, histidine can help treat symptoms associated with allergies and reduce pain from rheumatoid arthritis. It can increase the amount of gastric acid in the stomach and aid with digestion for those with low gastric acid levels.

Foods that contain histidine include tofu, spirulina, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, cheese, eggs, pork, turkey, lamb, chicken, fish, beef. Take histidine supplements on an empty stomach. Vitamin B6 helps convert histidine to histamine in the body.


Lipoic Acid
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 250-500 milligrams.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.

Lipoic acid, also called alpha lipoic acid or thioctic acid, can increase cognition, energy, blood flow, and it can suppress appetite. Lipoic acid may also protect the body from developing diabetes, heart diseases, liver diseases.

It can help reduce inflammation pain and nerve pain. Lipoic acid may contribute to repairing nerve damage. Combining it with ALCAR may further reduce nerve pain, speed nerve damage repair, treat problems related to peripheral neuropathy.

Lipoic acid is a fatty acid, but water soluble in the stomach. Take it on an empty stomach, rather than with fatty food, to help the body with absorption. Monocarboxylic acids (preservatives, milk products, coconut & palm kernel oil) can prevent absorption.


Lithium (Aspartate & Orotate)
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Semi-soluble in water.
--- Dose: 1-20 mg (maximum 45 mg daily).
--- Decreases the release of norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
--- Increases serotonin synthesis.
--- Modulates glutamate levels.

Lithium is often prescribed in large doses to treat bipolar disorder. Large doses can impair cognitive function, but small doses have a sedating effect that can improve cognition for people that experience anxiety related to elevated norepinephrine.

Limit intake to 1-5 milligrams of either lithium aspartate or lithium orotate, 1-3 times daily, the first time you try. The dose size can be increased by 5 milligrams on subsequent attempts. Limit intake to a maximum of 30-45 milligrams a day.

Taking lithium in small doses with food can lessen chances of side effects like diarrhea, nausea, or other stomach related problems. Vitamin B complex supplements may help lithium work more effectively (more info here).


Muira Puama
--- Medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water/Alcohol soluble.
--- Dose: 250-6000 mg.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.
--- Reduces the breakdown of acetylcholine.
--- Mild GABA antagonist.
--- May be a mild opioid agonist.
--- May affect dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin.

Muira Puama can improve matters related to cognition, reduce anxiety, reduce depression. In small doses around, 250-1500 milligrams, it can help keep you awake and more alert. As the dose size increases it tends to have a more sedating effect.

It has mild pain relieving properties that are most likely from activating opioid receptors. It would be best to avoid combining Muira Puama with any opioid agonist (hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, etcetera) because of cross tolerance issues.

Muira Puama slows the breakdown of acetylcholine and is a mild GABA antagonist (reduces the influence of GABA). In addition, it may increase dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, or have properties that produce similar results (more info here).


Myo-inositol
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 100-15000 mg.

Myo-inositol can increase alertness, improve cognition, help reduce anxiety. In addition, myo-inositol can aid in the treatment of Polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that results in enlarged ovaries.

It has antidepressant properties that women may benefit from most, it may not be as effective as an anti-depressant for men. Other conditions that may respond to myo-inositol include insulin resistance, and it may help increase female fertility.

Take on an empty stomach, a minority find doses as low as 100 mg offer some benefits, but a majority will find larger doses are required. For anxiety 1000-3000 mg, 1-3 times daily, for depression doses of 5000-15000 mg may be necessary.


NAC (N-acetylcysteine)
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 500-2500 milligrams.

N-acetylcysteine is a form of cysteine, a non-essential amino acid, that may modulate the neurotransmission of glutamate and dopamine. It is utilized as an antidote to acetaminophen overdose and can treat some symptoms of COPD.

It may treat symptoms of autism, Alzheimer's, bipolar disorder, depression, OCD, schizophrenia. For some, it can aid with cannabis withdrawal. Doses of about 2500 mg, taken daily for 2 weeks, may produce a voluntary reduction in cigarette consumption.

Most find it very sour, if you are working with powder it may be best suited to putting in capsules rather than mixing directly into water and drinking. When taken orally, side effects may include rash, nausea, fever.


NADH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide)
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 5-20 milligrams.
--- Can reduce pain for some people.

NADH is a reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide that can increase energy and improve cognition. It is sometimes combined with coenzyme q10 to increase energy and other positive effects of both substances.

Some individuals find it effective as a treatment for chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome. It may be most effective when dissolved under the tongue. If that is not practical taking it in pills or capsules, on an empty stomach, will work.

Like other nootropics, it can work best for some people if it is taken daily. For others it works well when they start taking it, then becomes less effective when taken daily. If you have this reaction, take it once every 3-4 days, or less often.


Panax ginseng
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water/Alcohol soluble.
--- Dose: 200-1000 mg (1-3 times per day).
--- Can reduce pain for some people.

Panax ginseng is the botanical name of a plant known by the common name true ginseng. Chemicals called ginsenosides play a role in the medicinal properties of ginseng. Most of those who try it find Panax ginseng stimulating.

It can improve cognition and increase feelings of well being. It can reduce fatigue, pain, blood glucose levels. Panax ginseng is sometimes employed to treat type 2 diabetes and upper respiratory infections.

A starting dose of 200 milligrams or less, taken on an empty stomach, is recommended. If necessary the dose can be increased on future attempts. Effects can be subtle but may increase over time, when taken daily rather than occasionally.


Propranolol
--- Mild potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Fat soluble.
--- Dose: varies.
--- Local anesthetic (not used as such by physicians).
--- Reduces the effect of epinephrine (adrenaline).
--- Reduces the effect of norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
--- Might mildly stimulate norepinephrine release.
--- Might mildly inhibit the norepinephrine transporter.

Propranolol can be an effective nootropic for individuals that experience anxiety issues, especially those experienced under stressful situations. It is taken by actors, musicians, public speakers to reduce performance anxiety (stage fright).

Propranolol is a non-selective beta blocker. It blocks the action of epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) at beta-1 adrenergic receptors and beta-2 adrenergic receptors.

It does not affect the brain like many other types of anti-anxiety medications, which often affect GABA and serotonin. Instead it reduces the physical responses associated with anxiety like reducing heart rate and blood flow (more info here).


Rhodiola rosea
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water/Alcohol soluble.
--- Dose: 250-750 mg.

Rhodiola rosea is the botanical name of a plant with common names that include arctic root, golden root, rose root. Most people find it is physically stimulating and at the same time it has anti-anxiety properties. Both of which contribute to nootropic benefits.

Rhodiola rosea can reduce depression and elevate mood but because of the stimulant effect it might be best to take early in the day, rather than before bed because it might interfere with sleep. Can be taken on an empty stomach or with a bit of food.

Dose size for dry plant material usually ranges from about 250 to 750 mg. With Rhodiola rosea extract, dose size is based on the strength of the extract. Follow manufacturers recommended dose size. Take water soluble extract on an empty stomach.


S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e)
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Dose: 200-2400 mg (1-3 times daily).

S-adenosylmethionine, more commonly called SAM-e (which is pronounced sammy or sam ee), is produced naturally in the liver. It is utilized for cell growth/repair and the biosynthesis of various chemicals, including some hormones and neurotransmitters.

SAM-e supplements may improve cognition and increase energy. Chemicals related to SAM-e play a role in depression and perception of pain, as well as liver disease and other conditions. Supplements should be taken with food at regular intervals.

ADHD: 400-800 mg taken 3 times per day.
Depression: 800-1600 mg per day.
Fibromyalgia: 400 mg taken 2 times per day.
Liver disease: 400-1200 mg daily.
Osteoarthritis pain: 200-400 mg taken 3 times per day.


Schisandra chinensis
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water/Alcohol soluble.
--- Dose: 500-1000 mg (some require 3000 mg or more).
--- May reduce cortisol.
--- May affect acetylcholine.

Schisandra chinensis is the botanical name of a plant classified as a woody vine. A vast majority of the medicinal properties of the plant are contributed by schisandrins (schizandrins), a group of bioactive chemical compounds. These compounds include schisandrin A, schisandrin B, schisandrin C.

The effects of Schisandra chinensis are stimulating, yet at the same time relaxing. Most people feel physically energetic and alert, but mentally calm and tranquil at the same time. Schisandra chinensis has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

It can contribute to improved cognition and increased stress resistance, physical endurance, blood circulation, blood flow. Some people report Schisandra chinensis works best when taken with food, others on an empty stomach (more info here).


Schizandrol A (Shizandrol A)
Schizandrol A is an extract that contains active chemicals (called schisandrins) from the plant with the botanical name Schisandra chinensis (listed above). It is available standardized to a certain level, for instance 3% schisandrin.

Since it is an extract, it can be more potent than dried Schisandra chinensis plant material of the same weight. So the dose size of schizandrol A will probably have to be adjusted, when compared to the dose size of dried plant material.

Follow the dose size recommended by the person or company that you purchase the product from, the first time you try it. If necessary the dose amount can be raised or lowered, to suit your preference, the next time you ingest it.


Taurine
--- Mild to medium potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 250-2000 mg (maximum 3000-4000 mg daily).

Taurine has many benefits besides the ability to improve cognition. It may reduce anxiety, reduce depression, improve cardiovascular health, help in recovery from heavy exertion, as well as maintaining the health of the cns, retina, skeletal muscle.

For some it acts as a sleep aid, others find it increases energy. It has antioxidant properties, helps regulate water and mineral blood levels, can reduce toxicity of chemicals like lead and cadmium, can increase effectiveness and force of heart-muscle contractions.

As a daily supplement, 250-500 mg (1-2 times daily) is what many people find optimal. Prior to (or after) heavy physical exertion or as a sleep aid, doses around 1000-2000 mg might be best. It is water soluble and best to take it on an empty stomach.


Yohimbine
--- Strong potency.
--- Not addictive.
--- Yohimbine hydrochloride (hcl) is fairly water soluble.
--- Dose: 1-25 milligrams.
--- Can reduce or cause pain depending on the individual.
--- Can reduce appetite.
--- Increases epinephrine (adrenaline) levels.
--- Increases norepinephrine (noradrenaline) levels.

Yohimbine is a substance extracted from the bark of Pausinystalia johimbe, more commonly called the yohimbe tree. Effects of yohimbine are somewhat relaxing in small doses, but very mentally and physically energizing as the dose size increases.

Start at doses of 1-2 mg, on an empty stomach, increase by 1-2 mg on future attempts if necessary. Large doses can cause headaches, insomnia, diarrhea, nausea, seizures, blood pressure changes, heart & liver & kidney problems, that can be dangerous or fatal.

Yohimbine can increase the potency of drugs that increase norepinephrine levels. If you experience anxiety, mania, panic, or related nervous disorders including PTSD, you might be better off avoiding yohimbine because it may trigger these conditions.



Non-Nootropic Supplements

These supplements have properties that may be helpful to those experiencing various illnesses or disabilities. While not being perfect for everyone with a certain condition, enough people have found them effective to be worthy of mention.

Rather than aiding in issues related to cognition like nootropic supplements do, they have primary value for other purposes. Nootropics, also referred to as smart drugs, can help improve areas related to thinking.

Non-nootropics have limited nootropic value when taken by themselves. However, some may increase the potency of, or in some other way be beneficial when combined with, nootropics.


DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 10-25 mg (maximum 50 mg daily).

DHEA is a hormone produced naturally in the body. For those with low levels, a DHEA supplement can help contribute to increased libido, increased energy, increased testosterone levels.

DHEA is water soluble and should be taken on an empty stomach for better absorption. Dividing up the dose into 2 smaller doses, instead of a single large dose, can help keep levels steady and reduce side effects.

There is some debate about DHEA and cancer. DHEA may raise PSA levels in some men. If possible, have your PSA levels checked before taking DHEA. Keep the dose size to 25 mg or less per day, in a few months have your levels checked again.


Glutamine (L-glutamine)
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 500-1500 milligrams per day.
--- Non-essential amino acid.

Glutamine is an amino acid utilized in conjunction with other chemicals to perform several important bodily functions including: biosynthesis of proteins, biosynthesis of lipids, transporting and eliminating ammonia from the body, maintaining acid-base balance of bodily fluids.

The body normally synthesizes enough naturally, but when under stress you may benefit from food or supplements that contain glutamine. Some athletes like supplements for help maintaining the immune system and after periods of strenuous exertion, to speed recovery.

Glutamine is found in a different foods that contain protein. Eating items that contain protein is a way to increase glutamine intake. Consume cabbage, beets, parsley, spinach, dairy products, eggs, chicken, fish, pork, beef.


Hordenine
--- Not addictive.
--- Alcohol soluble.
--- Dose: 25-100 mg.
--- Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) reuptake inhibitor.

For most people who try it, hordenine produces subtle results when taken by itself. Some notice a slight to moderate increase in energy and/or a reduction in appetite. Others notice very little to nothing at all. Take it on an empty stomach for best results.

It can increase the potency of other substances, especially stimulants that increase norepinephrine levels, like phenethylamine and yohimbine. When combined with other substances, try doses around 25 mg (30-60 minutes prior to taking the other substance) until you know the results.

The pharmacology of hordenine is still not very well understood because of the limited testing that has been done on it. It is probably a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and might be a mild norepinephrine agonist or releasing agent.


Melatonin
--- Not addictive.
--- Alcohol soluble.
--- Dose: 0.5 to 5.0 milligrams.

Melatonin is produced naturally in the bodies of humans, and many other living beings. In humans it functions as a hormone that influences the regulation of night and day cycles.

The pineal gland increases melatonin production during periods when the environment is dark and reduces melatonin levels during light hours. For most people, an increase in melatonin levels promotes relaxation and sleepiness.

As a sleep aid, start with a dose of 0.5 milligram to 1.0 milligram taken 30-90 minutes before bedtime. If this is not effective, the amount of melatonin can be increased by 0.5 milligram to 1.0 milligram on subsequent attempts.


Omega-3 Fish Oil
--- Not addictive.
--- Fat soluble.
--- Dose: varies.

Fish oil contains large concentrations of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both lower triglyceride levels and DHA can raise HDL-C (good cholesterol) levels.

For lowering triglyceride levels 1000-2000 mg of fish oil taken twice daily, at regular intervals, is recommended. As a daily supplement, 350-1000 mg EPA and 250-600 mg DHA, divided into 2 doses taken at regular intervals daily, is recommended.

Fish oil is absorbed better when taken with food that contains fat. When taken with medications that are fat soluble, fish oil can aid in helping the body absorb them, especially when those medications are not taken with fatty food.


Quercetin
--- Not addictive.
--- Alcohol soluble.
--- Dose: 400-1000 mg (1-3 times per day).

Quercetin is a chemical found in many types of food. Larger concentrations occur in fruits, grains, vegetables. Although it has been hyped as having miraculous powers, including being a cure for cancer, the actual beneficial effects are mild.

It does have anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, anti-oxidant properties, and can raise HDL-C (good cholesterol) levels. If you are interested in trying it, quercetin dihydrate is most likely absorbed by the body better than other forms of quercetin.

When consumed in combination with green tea extract, some people find it increases the amount of active ingredient in green tea extract the body is able to absorb, making the effects of green tea extract more potent.


Vitamin B6
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 20-100 milligrams.

Low levels of vitamin B6 are associated with impaired thinking as well as ADHD, depression, lack of energy, confusion, neuropathy. Vitamin B6 is important to many bodily functions including maintaining a healthy immune system.

These functions include the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, GABA. Low levels of B6 might interfere with the synthesis of these important chemicals.

Recommended starting dose is about 20-50 mg (1-3 times daily). The maximum recommended daily intake is 100 mg. The P-5-P form of B6 is absorbed by the body more easily than pyridoxine, but may lead to excessive production in large dose sizes.


Vitamin B9
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 400-1000 µg.

Vitamin B9 is required for red blood cell production, as well as regulating oxygen and nutrient levels in the blood. B9 is important in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

B9 deficiency is strongly associated with depression and may also result in impaired thinking, anemia, heart palpitations, tiredness. Folic acid is synthetic vitamin B9. Folate is a word used to refer to naturally occuring forms of vitamin B9.

The recommended minimum daily intake is 400µg (micrograms). The recommended maximum daily intake of B9 is 1000 µg. Larger quantities of B9 may increase the risk of cancer and mask symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.


Vitamin B12
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 100-1000 µg.

Low levels of vitamin B12 may result in impaired thinking, depression, irritability, psychosis, lack of energy, memory loss, personality changes, ADHD symptoms. B12 is also important for blood production, cell division, DNA synthesis, a healthy cns.

A vitamin B12 deficiency is fairly common and may be the result of genetics or poor absorption by the body, even if you are obtaining otherwise adequate amounts through diet. Those over 50 have a greater chance of vitamin B12 deficiency.

The recommended dose size for supplementation is 100-1000 µg (micrograms). Start with smaller amounts and raise the dose size on subsequent attempts if necessary. Most people prefer B12 methylcobalamin over B12 cyanocobalamin.


Vitamin C
--- Not addictive.
--- Water soluble.
--- Dose: 100-1000 milligrams.

Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid) is a water soluble vitamin human beings must obtain from external sources, because it isn't biosynthesized. Vitamin C is important to a healthy immune system and many other bodily processes.

One very important function of vitamin C, related to the brain, is that it is required by the body so it can synthesize some neurotransmitters. Among the other important roles it serves, it may retard or prevent some kinds of cancer.

The recommended maximum daily intake of vitamin C for adults is about 1000-2000 mg. Some doctors recommend no more than about 200 mg per day, because the body can't absorb more.



Conclusion

If you find any of these substances effective, consider contacting an elected government representative and asking them to oppose any laws making nootropics or dietary supplements more difficult for the public to obtain.

Pharmaceutical companies would like to have a monopoly on all medications so they can charge outrageous prices. They make billions ($1,000,000,000s) of dollars increasing the price of inexpensive chemicals to levels that many patients can not afford.

They would be only too happy to have supplements and vitamins made available by prescription only, which is a real possibility. Some nootropics have already been forced off the market by agencies like the FDA.



Notes

Adequate intake of vitamins and minerals can improve how these substances are utilized by the body. For some, a substance may work best taken 1 or more times daily, everyday. For other individuals, it might become less effective if it is taken everyday.

If you find something produced a strong effect the first time you tried it, became less effective over time, try waiting 3-14 days between doses and see if you experience positive results by taking it less frequently.

Personally, there are several medications listed on this page, like adrafinil, that work amazingly well if they are ingested with at least 2 weeks between doses. If they are taken more often, there is limited benefit.

By alternating medications that have similar properties, you might be able to use a different nootropic everyday and function better, while minimizing or eliminating problems like tolerance. Keep this in mind when you first start.

Side effects of most nootropics are minimal when taken within normal dose ranges, but may include things like headaches, insomnia, nausea, upset stomach. Overdosing is rare unless a person intentionally does so. Allergic reactions are possible.

Get a milligram scale when working with powders. You will have to experiment with the doses of various medications to find what is optimal for your needs. Too much and there is more probability of experience negative side effects, start small and work up.

Many of the substances listed on this page can be combined with one another. But the first few times you try one, it is better to do so without combing it with anything else. That way you know what effects that particular nootropic produces.

If your body has low levels of natural dopamine, different supplements that increase, or produce results similar to increasing, dopamine will probably be beneficial.

If your body has normal or high levels of natural dopamine, a supplement that increases dopamine, or produces results similar to increasing, dopamine will do little or might make you feel worse.

When a particular supplement provides positive results, others that have similar properties have a better chance of producing positive results, when compared to those that do not.

For instance, a person who responds well to a particular substance that increases acetylcholine levels will have more of a chance of positive results with other substances that increase acetylcholine.

Treated with respect, nootropics can improve the lives of people that experience positive results. Those with a need will obtain the most benefit. If you are already functioning normally, nootropics may have no effect at all.


Links
Nootropics page at wikipedia.
Nootriment nootropic list.
Reddit nootropics.





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