Posted on March 30, 2016
For a number of years I have been interested in improving cognitive function. I have a family history of Alzheimer’s, and I suffered a traumatic head injury on a motorcycle (wear your helmet). For these primary reasons I have looked into ways to increase my neurological health. If you consume Alcohol (as I had been until a few years ago) you are already behind the curve. Below you will find a list of what I am currently evaluating as my daily go-to for optimal cognitive well being. Not listed is Fish oil which I feel has been covered thoroughly as a supplement that has broad benefits; some of which could be included in a list of things you would look for in a nootropic. The suppliment links below will take you to a brand that I use as a control because I trust that it will be what is on the label. I’m sure you can find it cheaper, and for ultimate in penny pinching goodness you could find bulk powders to encapsulate yourself. Do your research. Consult your physician. These are just my personal experiences as a layperson.
Trial and error has me arriving at 2 caps in the morning with coffee and then supplementing an additional cap in the afternoon if needed. Seems to provide a clamping effect, reducing caffeine jitters and any “overwhelming effects” from the other supplements. Known to be synergistic with caffeine, the L-Theanine seems to make me sleepy when taken alone, but with the coffee and rest of the stack, it brings the increase in energy back into focus; removes “stimulant induced ADHD” leaving me with a zen like calm alertness. This with caffeine provides excellent value per cost if you are on a tight budget and want measurable (subjective) results.
One cap per day seems to be the sweet spot. May try increasing to a second in the afternoon (or 1/2 cap twice per day if that proves to be too much) after I have acclimated somewhat but for now it seems to be providing the desired effect. I tried re-dosing after one hour and that got to be a little overwhelming. Hard to describe but it definitely stokes the fires. Neuro-function seems to be heightened. For those that believe in this sort of thing, Energy sensitivity seems heightened, strengthens connection between the heart up to the crown chakra. Not to sound hokey, but I feel more connected (to source; yes that) when supplementing with this herb. Goes well with other herbal supplements and has quelled anxiety. Let’s me get things done and feel good doing it.
I first started experimenting with this one a few years ago and it works well on its own to boost usable energy without feeling scattered or jittery. My sweet spot is two in the morning with a third in the afternoon if needed. Kind of feels like you have been “tightened up” and awake; ready to move forward. My understanding is that this increases mitochondrial activity, and with it oxidative damage. To offset this, it is formulated with Alpha Lipoic Acid, a strong antioxidant. This is another good choice if you want to start with a single supplement with good results. I have begun seeing this on the shelves of the blue big box retail chain and their version seems to work similarly (if not a little less effective) to the brand linked to above.
So I have heard a lot about “Magnesium deficiency” and if you are getting enough magnesium or don’t have any of the exacerbating factors for magnesium depletion then this may not add any benefit. Magnesium supplements come in various formulations but I recommend either the Theonate version (linked to above) or the Glycinate as they seem to be more absorb-able; The oxide version did not seem to confer any benefit when I tried it. I can’t say this increased energy. This is not a “limitless pill” and won’t make you a genius. However, I can say that this feels like it improves the signal quality between brain and body. Thinking seems to happen quicker. Motor function feels cleaner; Helps me flow. Just a educated theory, but I believe magnesium helps relax smooth muscle fibers (probably also striated) following contraction. I have been supplementing with one cap per day in the morning, Magnesium has been touted as a sleep aide so I may be doing this backwards and should switch to a single cap at night.
Quercetin (which I would categorize with Magnesium and Alpha Lipoic Acid in the Support category) is an antioxidant found in kale, dark pigmented berries, and green tea (also wine). I add this to the stack to add a little insurance from oxidative damage as a neuro-protectant (and there is evidence that it can help regenerate damaged nerve tissue). An added bonus is it apparently can reduce inflammation and histamine response (things that just help you “feel better” overall). Between this and the magnesium my heart rate is lower and softer. My heart feels calmer for any given activity. Current dosage is one cap per day.
Stay tuned for further updates to this page to include but not limited to: Turmeric, The racetam family of compounds, “Biotest Power Drive”, and PQQ