Check Out These Nootropics Tips – Guide To Using Nootropics
Here are some nootropics tips that you should remember before you start using them.
Nootropics can be really amazing. We enjoy experimenting using these smart drugs to increase our performance, but they have their place. There are a few key things you have to keep in mind before using any performance enhancing supplements, such as ensuring micro-nutrient deficiencies are corrected and understanding how to properly use each supplement.
Don’t Use Them As A Crutch
I can’t stress this enough!
One of the many things I use nootropics for is to help increase my focus and alertness on days that I am tired or not feeling well. They work great for that.
The problems come when you habitually use them for purposes like this.
Nootropics are no substitute for quality sleep, diet and exercise.
If you are using them to ease symptoms associated with the lack of any of these things, then you are making the problem even worse. You need to confront any health issues you are having before using nootropics and correct any micro-nutrient deficiencies that could also be the root cause.
Before you start using any supplement, you need to know how to make sure it’s working for you. This means getting a baseline level before you start taking them, and then tracking the effects regularly.
Everyone’s body chemistry is different. This is especially important with nootropics. You may not notice that a certain nootropic is working, even though it may be having a very strong effect on your cognitive function.
A lot of people have a hard time with nootropics because they don’t pay enough attention. Some people have a hard time knowing what works and what doesn’t. That’s why some of the stacks are really problematic. Nobody knows what exactly in the blend is causing them to have positive results.
What works well for me may not work as well for you. Things that have no effect on me may be the thing that really gets your brain humming at high speed.
One reason for this is that our brains all produce different levels of certain neurotransmitters. For example- I use a choline source with all of my stacks because it helps to tie them all together and increases the amount of acetylcholine that my brain produces. One of my good friends only supplements with a choline source a few times a week because if he uses it every day, he gets a slight headache and tension in his jaw. This is because he is acetylcholine dominant. His brain produces quite a bit of acetylcholine, so that when he supplements with it, it becomes to much for him and can have some side effects.
This is why it is so important to track your usage and the effect of the things you are trying.
Here are some things that you can use.
- Journaling is a good way to track changes in your physical, mental and emotional states. Its also great to have a reference to look back at.
- Track My Stack is a tool I use to track what I am taking on which days. I find this very effective at comparing data on certain days that I felt better or worse than normal. It also has a journal function to record how you are feeling each day. You can also see what is working well for other people.
- Cambridge Brain Sciences and Quantified Mind are two resources to track the actual cognitive effects you are experiencing.
- You can also use the Mercury App to track how you are feeling and your emotions.
Stay Away From Addictive Substances
Some nootropics are very powerful.
The most important thing that I can say here is to steer clear of Adderall and any ADHD type pharmaceuticals.
Adderal is the go to choice for a lot of students cramming for a test. The problem with this is that it only gives you a perceived effect of cognitive enhancement. You only think you are doing better, but it actually can hurt your cognitive performance. A study from the University of Pennsylvania had this to say:
The research team tested 47 subjects, all in their twenties, all without a diagnosis of ADHD, on a variety of cognitive functions, from working memory — how much information they could keep in mind and manipulate — to raw intelligence, to memories for specific events and faces. Each subject was tested both while on Adderall and on a placebo; in each condition, the subjects didn’t know which kind of pill they were receiving.
The researchers did come up with one significant finding. The last question they asked their subjects was: “How and how much did the pill influence your performance on today’s tests?” Those subjects who had been given Adderall were significantly more likely to report that the pill had caused them to do a better job on the tasks they’d been given, even though their performance did not show an improvement over that of those who had taken the placebo.
It can also be extremely addictive.
Other stimulants like caffeine can have some negative effects as well. The best way I have found to lower the chances of experiencing these are to cycle on and off. The way I do it is to drink caffeinated coffee for 2 or 3 days, then go with decaf for a day.
Some of the popular nootropics that should be cycled because of either physical and mental attachment or tolerance build up are:
- Rhodiola Rosea
Powder or Capsules?
So you’ve decided to try out the limitless possibilities of nootropics. What next?
You can mainly find nootropics in 2 different forms. Powder and capsules.
Capsules are in my opinion the best place for beginners to start. They are more expensive, but you don’t have to worry about weighing out each individual dose.
If you want to save some money, and don’t mind a little extra work, buying in bulk powder may be a good option. They are usually much cheaper than the capsules. One thing I want to point out is that it is much safer to use a scale instead of the scoops that come with the powder. The reason for this is to make sure you get the dosage exactly right. Just make sure you get one that measures down to milligrams.
This is the scale that I use. It comes with a little bowl that has a small funnel on the side that makes it perfect to make your own capsules. It also has a couple of weights to make sure it is calibrated correctly.
Powders can also have a pretty horrible taste depending on which powder it is. Some of them you can just add to coffee to mask the taste. If you want another way, making your own capsules is an option.
More Is Not Always Better
Start off with the recommended dose or lower. Some people react differently, so its best to err on the side of caution.
A prerequisite for being classified as a nootropic is that it is safe with an extremely low chance of side effects. This doesn’t mean you won’t have any negative reactions.
Many people and companies in this industry use the term nootropic very loosely. Just like some people call Adderral a nootropic.
Just be careful with any supplements that you decide to try.
Check out the rest of our nootropics series.
Racetams – A Whole Family of Nootropics
Here’s a video on a newbies perspective about nootropics with Eris Fit’s Thaddeus and Get Fit Go Figure’s Heather. If you make it to the end you might catch an interesting switch.