When to Use Nootropics, My Stack for TEDx
Nootropics are making their way to an office near you. So says Harvard Business Review.
Most people don’t even know what they are, don’t know they exist and likely have no idea that some of the most successful people in their office are likely taking nootropics.
It’s true, nootropics are here to stay, and if you haven’t heard of them, it’s time. In a world where professional work largely rewards the most creative people who can solve big problems, we can all use a little cognitive boost.
Sometimes though, I wonder if the people taking nootropics would be successful without them, and all this nootropic taking is just making people busier. Sometimes, we stay busy so we can avoid ourselves.
Some people use nootropics all the time, I’m talking to you Dave Asprey. Dave uses Aniracetam, Active PQQ and Upgraded Aging/Keto Prime (his own nootropics), every single day. I’m not sure I would recommend this path for everyone, but it’s certainly working for Dave. His Bulletproof company has skyrocketed past 100 million dollars in revenue. He also looks younger and healthier than ever and checks his bloodwork regularly to ensure he’s in optimal health. So something is working for him and using nootropics for everyday use appears to be doing him good.
Some (many) entrepreneurs use the hard stuff daily. We call Provigil (Modafinil) and vyvanse the hard stuff because they require prescriptions and can have serious side-effects like anxiety, sleeplessness and more. We don’t advocate for the use of these “smart drugs”.
Some people, like us, only use nootropics as needed. Nootropics are usually more natural compounds, but not always, and usually have little to no side-effects.
How do you know it’s time to use them?
You’re over 25 and your brain is done developing.
Don’t use nootropics before you brain is done developing. Many of these are fairly new substances and best left alone until you are older. Besides, you probably have more brain cells when younger and likely don’t need nootropics yet.
You are adventurous and want to see what they are like.
Nootropics can be fun. It can be interesting to experiment with what each substance or stack of substances can yield. Sometimes nothing. Sometimes profound euphoria, a feeling of flow and effortless creativity. That’s been my experience a few times when using the right stack and being in the right mindset.
You have cognitively demanding tasks.
When you have to learn something quickly or use a lot of brain power, it can be nice to give yourself a little boost.
You need to be creative.
Creativity is hard to quantify, but if you could use a few key supplements that help increase the right neurotransmitters and support the brain power needed for creativity, why not?
Why am I Using Nootropics?
This HBR article claims that Smart Drugs are making their way to the mainstream and argues that companies might actually want employees using them. Who wouldn’t want a pilot using a nootropic that reduces risk of accidents and a surgeon using a nootropic that helps him perform better during surgery.
Are There Smart Drug Users in Your Office? Almost Certainly!
I’m a user of nootropics and most people don’t even know it.
While readers of this site know I use nootropics, by day I’m a mid level corporate manager for an office furniture company. I work on a team that keeps our products compliant to global regulations and stop toxic chemicals from showing up in our furniture. Most people don’t know I use any sort of smart supplement, and often when I talk to people, no one has ever heard of nootropics.
I find nootropics extremely useful. When I need to learn something really quickly, when I need to be creative and when I need to sit down and write, I use nootropics. I have noticed increased creativity, increased focus and decreased time to complete tasks.
What Did I Use for TEDx and How Did it Work?
I was invited to speak at TEDx and immediately regretted it.
It started innocently enough. I wanted to bring biohacking to the TEDx mainstage!
But then, out of hundreds of entries, mine was selected. Yay!
WTF! Now I’m really on the hook to do this!
I was nervous. I knew this was going to be a lot of work, and frankly I wasn’t expecting to be chosen. While I’m comfortable on stage in general, I still get nervous and sweat a bit. To be on camera, at a TEDx and have a scripted speech that I have to follow, this was something new, and provoked a lot of anxiety in me.
I spent months preparing my talk and then 3 weeks rehearsing it twice a day. 2 weeks before the conference I completely re-wrote my entire talk. So I had just 2 weeks to prepare. Every morning and each evening I did a run through.
The day before the talk, I prepared my mind and body with the following routine that supercharged my mind and body and led to a TEDx talk that I was proud of:
- Neuroptimal Session the day before
- Rehearsal on Stage
- Cold Plunge into a freezing cold lake the evening before
- Qigong, sun and grounding
- Bulletproof Coaching from Rob 2 hours before
- CBD oil Capsule
- Adrenergize Capsule
- Free base L-Arginine
- Sulbutamine, aniracetam, picamilon
- Power Poses and Excitement
I drove to the venue. On the way, I sat in the passenger seat for 35 minutes while my friend drove, and I did a session of Neuroptimal.
Neuroptimal is like personal training for your brain. It uses neurofeedback to help you brain train itself to be in a more relaxed and coherent state. Those are 4 electrodes hooked up to my head, fed into a laptop and earbuds in my ears. The program helps my brain recognize when it’s in a brain wave pattern that is not useful to me, skips the music and helps train my to remain in a more useful state of mind.
I got to the venue at 11am, checked into our cabin and did my rehearsal at 1pm.
I literally had sweat dripping down my face. This was the rehearsal and only 4 people were in the front row and 4 people in the back. I was freaking out about whether I would sweat on camera the next day. My mind filled with images of a TEDx talk on YouTube with people making fun of the sweaty guy at TEDx.
I took a requisite photo and headed back to the resort where they put us up for the night.
It was 59 degrees and the lake was only 40F. Since we were staying on the lakefront..
We figured we should take a cold plunge. Any biohacker can clearly list the many benefits of cold thermogenesis, but sometimes just doing something fear provoking like dunking yourself into freezing cold water in Northern Minnesota in the Spring, when the ice has only just melted off the lake is helpful to attain the right mindset before a big event.
I had dinner with the other speakers and then immediately when home and went to bed. Sleep is key. Nootropics don’t work well without sleep. I wanted my memory sharp and my body in top shape, so I got 7.5 hours a of sleep and woke up to get outdoors at sunrise.
I have a morning routine that I didn’t want to go without. Part of the routine is being outdoors at sunrise, grounded and performing Qigong for 10-15 minutes.
My buddy Rob is a certified Bulletproof Coach and came to TEDx with me. He took me through 15 minutes of coaching in the morning to drop me down in my heart and get out of my head.
Next it was into the kitchen to drop a stack of nootropics.
CBD oil to release anxiety.
Andrenergize to support my adrenals in this time of very high stress.
Free Base l-Arginine to increase nitric oxide and keep my blood pressure low.
Sulbutamine, Aniracetam and Picamilon to increase motivation, decrease anxiety and massively boost mood. These nootropics combined with the above were game changers and I’ll be using this stack for anything that is high stakes.
I pulled off the superwoman pose, yup. Backstage at TEDx I totally powerposed as Wonderwoman as I was mic’d up. Luckily a few of the camera crew joined me and so did the next speaker in line.
I clearly focused on turning all the anxiety in my head to excitement in my heart. It worked!
I had a great presentation, I didn’t sweat!! And I did the best job I felt I could have done.
The crew even commissioned a cool art piece of all the presenters that I didn’t even notice till the end of the day.
Here’s the final result