It can be overwhelming to enter the world of nootropics. Simply the sheer number of supplements available online with a lot of unfamiliar names can make it difficult for beginners to buy the right nootropic(s). This, of course, may stop a new user from having the best possible experience.
Not only there are many nootropic names to learn, each nootropic provides different cognitive effects by affecting the brain in a specific way. And then there is stacking – combining several substances into a “stack” for the enhanced effects. All of this can be confusing and even discouraging for a new user. So what do you have to know if you are a complete beginner in nootropics? Below are some of the most popular nootropics and stacks used by the beginners.
Piracetam and its stacks:
Piracetam is the original nootropic from the racetam family. Up until recently it has been the most popular choice among beginner users as it is not too strong compared to more recent nootropics. Several areas of cognitive performance are noticeably affected by this racetam.
“It improves memory, learning functions, reasoning, perception, concentration and motivation.”
Piracetam combined with a good choline supplement is definitely a good stack for someone new to nootropics. Some most popular choline sources are: Alpha GPC, Citicoline and Centrophenoxine. They are known to work synergistically with racetam compounds and will help you get the most out of Piracetam.
Even though advanced users tend to choose various other nootropics for their specific cognitive goals, Piracetam remains the finest choice for general cognition improvements. It helps your brain create, store, recall and connect pieces of information. Piracetam has earned a few nicknames, namely “IQ Booster” and “Brain Booster”. It is easy to see why the “father” of all nootropics is the best choice for a basic stack.
Piracetam works by stimulating two types of receptors in the brain. First type of receptors helps to release acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter controls the ability of neurons in the brain to communicate with each other. When acetylcholine levels are increased, mental strain is diminished, which means that ideas can be formed more easily and the user tends to become more sociable. Creativity is also enhanced, with acetylcholine helping the two brain hemispheres interact more efficiently.
Second neurotransmitter, activated by Piracetam, is glutamate. It functions in a similar fashion, keeping your neurons and synapses healthy. Additionally, glutamate is known to affect the memory and synaptic plasticity. In real life this will help you to remember information from the past and learning new concepts with less effort.
Piracetam is a safe racetam to take. If you are just about to take it for the first time, begin with 1.6 grams/day, taken 2-3 equal dosages. You can increase this dosage, but only when you know that you are not getting any side effects. However, it is best to use Piracetam on a “on and off” basis. For example, take Piracetam during the most demanding periods when you need to perform under time pressure. During a less important time consider other alternatives (see below) to be used in a stack.
- Improved creativity
- Enhanced memory
- Neuroprotective effect
As briefly mentioned previously, choline supplements are often combined with racetams. They help your brain produce acetylcholine, which essentially fuels Piracetam (and other racetams) to produce even more remarkable benefits.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter synthesized in the brain from acetate (acetic acid) and choline. Most people’s diet is deficient in choline. As a result of this deficiency, you might not be able to fully optimize the acetylcholine levels.
So, a choline supplement has become an accepted addition to any stack with racetams, including Piracetam. This helps to fuel the brain to work on higher revs, as demanded by racetams. It also stops headaches that commonly result from the usage of racetams and consequently choline deficiency.
However, not all choline supplements are effective at changing the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. For example, Choline Bitartrate is not effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier, which means that it cannot be converted to acetylcholine effectively.
Therefore, only choline supplements that are precursors to acetylcholine should be used. The best known products of this type are Alpha GPC, Centrophenoxine and CDP Choline (Citicoline). There is no major difference as to which one you should choose, as all of them are safe and effective substances that operate in similar ways.
- Greater focus
- Neuroprotective properties
- Increased learning abilities
Additional natural nootropics:
The final, albeit optional, part of the stack for beginners is natural and herbal nootropic supplements, such as Huperzine A and/or Vinpocetine. Add these for some extra boost in cognitive effects and diversify your experience. Other popular herbal nootropics are Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa Monnieri, L-theanine, caffeine and various fish oils.
- Improves effectiveness of nootropics
- Increases activity of Acetylcholine
- Enhances memory and focus
- Improves mood and memory
- Increased brain oxygen and glucose
- Reduces mental fatigue and tiredness
- Stress relief and mood enhancer
- Elevated concentration and mental alertness
- Immune system and memory support
The best nootropic stacks for beginners:
So, the Piracetam and Choline stack is one of the most popular and effective choices by nootropic users, particularly beginner ones. Many of them simply do not feel the need to add or change anything in their stack at all. But what if you do?
Well, remember that Piracetam is only the first step and you can upgrade your stack in so many different ways. Firstly, consider swapping it for another racetam nootropic, such as Aniracetam, Oxiracetam or Pramiracetam. They all have similar molecular structure and provide similar, but not always the same, cognitive effects. Other possible compounds include Adrafinil, Picamilon, Inositol, Phenibut or Sulbutiamine. All of them have a remarkable effect on memory, energy, perception and social skills. These supplements work well on their own but can also be effectively combined into a good stack.
As you can see, there are a lot of possible options when it comes to creating stacks. This guide has only scratched the surface of what is possible. The real answers will come from your own experience and self-experimentation.