If Piracetam and Choline is the Godfather nootropic stack, L-theanine and Caffeine is his right hand man. This is another stack where two solid nootropics come together in one of the most synergistic ways. Chances are you are very familiar with caffeine and its unique effects on mental energy and focus.
In fact, there are few places you can go where caffeine can’t be purchased at very reasonable prices. Talk about an addicts wet dream. Every other block in a major city reveals a Starbucks, coffee shop, 7/11, and other places who sling this popular substance. Even people who “don’t do drugs” wake up and fiend for it.
I love caffeine but make no mistake – daily use of caffeine and coffee can wreak havoc on your adrenals, disrupt healthy sleeping patterns, increase cortisol, and amp your anxiety to dangerous levels. These side effects compound over time and can lead to serious health problems. Okay, so what can we do about this?
L-Theanine is a naturally occurring compound commonly found in green tea. At the low doses found in green tea it doesn’t do much. At higher doses however, L-Theanine produces profoundly calming effects on the mind. Studies have proved L-Theanine produces Alpha brain waves in the mind and calms you down.
Most interesting is when you combine L-Theanine with caffeine. In my experience this stack completely crushes all the negative effective effects of caffeine while retaining and amping up the positives. I personally transform into a complete jitter bug if I have a high dose of caffeine, especially if I’m already stressed or haven’t eaten yet.
L-Theanine has been the magic pill allowing many people to reap the benefits of caffeine while crushing all the negatives.
L-theanine is best taken at the 100 – 200 mg range. Anything lower than 100mg is hardly noticed while effects do not appear to compound or increase with higher doses. Caffeine doses can vary but a typical cup of drip coffee generally contains anywhere from 100 – 175 mg. If you want you can purchase caffeine pills to really experiment with the best dose.
Since many people are coffee drinkers L-Theanine is typically stacked with the morning cup of coffee. Nothing wrong with this. There is no exact ratio that works well for everyone, especially this stack.
Are you the type of person who gets anxious and jittery on caffeine? (btw, L-theanine is a great anti-anxiety supplement by itself.)
Kratom has recently caught my attention due to the flurry of press and public outrage over its recent ban proposition by the DEA. Up to the point of the ban I actually never heard of Kratom. From the research I did I can say Kratom has huge potential and many many uses. In this guide I’m going to lay out what Kratom is and how you can benefit from using this unique and magical supplement.
What is Kratom?
Botanically called Mitragyna Speciosa, Kratom is a tree native to the regions of Southeast Asia and directly related to the coffee tree. The leaves of the tree have historically been used by the natives both in a medicinal and recreational context. The leaves of the tree are chewed to produce a stimulatory effect or the leaves are crushed into a powder and mixed into a drink. At low doses Kratom acts as a stimulant while higher doses produce a more sedating effect on the mind and body.
What is Kratom used for?
Historically Kratom was used by the natives of Southeast Asia to make the toils of daily farm work more interesting. In present times, Kratom is used medicinally as a powerful pain reliever and recreationally as an alternative to harmful substances like alcohol. There is no shortage of examples of people finding powerful pain relief thanks to the opioid like properties of the leaves. Many users have weened themselves off of harmful pharmaceutical pain relievers with the help of Kratom.
Effects can range from a mild stimulation of the mind to a full blown euphoric experience similar to traditional pain killer medications. Many users find Kratom allows them to focus for long periods of time and makes the monotony of work life enjoyable. Self proclaimed introverts note Kratoms pro-social effects on their interactions with people and social encounters. Kratom can inhibit anxiety and put you into a rather open and empathic state. Kratom has allowed many people with depression and anxiety to move through the world in a much more interesting and engaging way.
Most notably, Kratom kills pain and has given many people the same quality of life they experienced before their injuries. Many veterans of war use Kratom for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and as a safe way to manage pain. The following video is perhaps the most powerful testament to the effectiveness of Kratom for pain and trauma.
The recent DEA ban proposition has forced many Kratom users out of the woodworks producing many testimonials for the wide variety of positive benefits. Users are outraged the DEA has the audacity to ban a plant with so many medicinal properties.
Kratom Side Effects
Kratom is a powerful medicine and can cause negative side effects if taken the wrong the way. Too much Kratom can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and constipation. Kratom is very self limiting. It works well at low to moderate doses while becoming too sedating and unpleasant at higher doses.
How to take Kratom
Kratom is generally purchased in a powdered form and mixed into a favorite beverage of choice. The taste is rather unpleasant and it’s a good idea to use a beverage that can make the powder drinkable. Orange juice is a good option while chocolate milk is said to completely mask the taste.
Alternatively, another popular option is the toss and wash method. It’s a 3 step process.
Measure out your dose with a digital scale
Toss the powder into your mouth
Take a gulp of your favorite beverage, swish around with the powder, swallow
Making Kratom tea – A tea can be brewed as an another way to take the Kratom. This method is favored by some and the process is relatively simple.
Measure out 5 – 10 grams of Kratom powder or leaves per serving
If using leaves, crush and grind them into a coarsely ground powder
Place powder into a medium sauce pan or pot and add 1 cup of water
Gently boil this mixture for 15 minutes
Strain off the brew into your favorite cup using a coffee filter
Squeeze as much liquid out of the powder as you can
Place powder back into pot and repeat steps 3 – 6
Add your favorite sweetener like honey or some lemon and enjoy
Kratom Vein Types
Kratom grows in an interesting way. Across the different strain types Kratom has different color veins – red, white, and green. The differences in vein color produce varying effects.
Red veins – Red vein strains are considered the most powerful of the vein colors and produce strong sedative and pain killing effects. Red vein types are the strains most favored by those looking to manage their pain and relax. At small doses red vein types can still be stimulating but are generally considered sedative and relaxing by nature.
White veins – white vein strains are the most stimulating of the Kratom types. These strains are great for the morning to give you that sweet boost of cognitive performance and mental energy. White strains are good for on the job performance and making it through the day with energy and clarity. While not as potent, white strain types still have pain killing properties.
Green veins – Green vein types are middle of the road strains. They’re generally well balanced and offer the potency of the red vein types while also being stimulating like the whites. Green vein strains are great for anxiety and socializing. They have a somewhat euphoric and sedating effect while also being fairly stimulating.
Kratom dosage varies depending on how strong your Kratom is. Kratom powder typically comes in 3 different potent varieties – Premium, ultra-potent, and extract.
Premium Kratom refers to the standard practice of using the leaves to create a fine powder. Ultra-potent Kratom uses only the broad faced leaves. The largest leaves of the Kratom tree contain the most potent properties of the plant. Kratom extract is the strongest of the 3 and is made using a special boiling process. This process produces a resin-like rock which is extremely powerful and not recommended for daily use.
Use the table below to find the correct dose depending on your Kratom:
Premium Kratom Dosage (powder)
2 - 4 Grams
3 - 5 Grams
4 - 10 Grams
8 - 25 Grams
12 - 25 Grams
Ultra Potent Kratom Dosage (powder)
1 - 3 Grams
2 - 4 Grams
3 - 7 Grams
6 - 10 Grams
8 - 16 Grams
1 - 2 Grams
2 - 4 Grams
3 - 6 Grams
5 - 8 Grams
Kratom addiction and tolerance
Kratom is habit forming and potentially addictive under certain circumstances. If you have an addictive personality consider steering clear of Kratom. Withdrawals and rebound anxiety have been reported by many users who used Kratom over a long period of time and then stopped. Daily use of Kratom will also increase your tolerance to the psychoactive benefits of the supplement, requiring a higher dosage to achieve the same level of effect.
To ensure a powerful experience each time you use Kratom, be sure to cycle your dosing schedule. There are many ways to cycle but each method implements a period of time where you don’t take any Kratom. For example, taking Kratom one day and then waiting 3 days to take it again.
Kratom can also be used on an as needed basis. For example, some people only use Kratom on especially difficult, stressful, or painful days. Recreationally, Kratom is used only on the weekends when people generally go out to bars or clubs. In this way, Kratom is used on occasion and tolerance never develops. Use Kratom in moderation.
Using Kratom everyday
If you must use Kratom everyday its a good idea to alternate strains. Have about 3 – 4 of your favorite strains stocked and alternate between all of them. In this way, your body never grows tolerant to a single strain.
Where to buy Kratom
Kratom vendors come and go and many vendors have sub-quality product. I have found it easiest to follow the Kratom Subreddit and monitor the daily vendor postings. The Reddit community is on the ball when it comes to good vendors and won’t let you down.
And that will do it for my Kratom guide. I hope you learned a bit about this powerful tree. Until next time!
These days it’s rare to meet a person without some form of anxiety. Everybody walks around with a low level cortisol drip feed. We’re anxious about what people think about us, we’re anxious about bills, we’re anxious about social interactions, and even small things produce disproportionate amounts of anxiety in us. we just live in very anxious times. This isn’t how I wanted to live my life. In fact, anxiety is the reason I stumbled across nootropics in the first place.
After a year of experimentation I can confidently make a recommendation to you. The following list contains a handful of nootropics to tone down your anxiety and put you in a state of calm relaxation.
L-Theanine is perhaps the most accessible nootropic on the market. It’s fairly benign and well studied. It’s a compound found in green tea and proven to put the brain into a relaxed state. L-Theanine modulates Alpha brain waves. Alpha waves in the brain are associated with heightened states of calmness. This means L-Theanine induces a state of calmness within the mind but does not make you drowsy. This is a rather unique aspect of this nootropic. Many drugs prescribed for anxiety aren’t without side effects like drowsiness and impaired motor function. L-Theanine is completely safe and a formidable opponent to tackle your anxiety.
The study above uses a dose of 50mg but I recommend taking at least 100mg. On extra stressful days 200mg is a nice dose.
Another heavy hitter in the anti-anxiety department. I’ve discussed Aniracetam in length in other posts and it’s one of my favorite anxiolytic nootropics. It puts me in a very calm state of mind I can only describe as spacey. It shuts down my logical thought processes and puts me in the moment. Anxiety for me and many people is caused by the non stop chatter in our brains. Anxious people tend to be worst-case-scenario type thinkers. They dwell on the future and anticipate failure, embarrassment, or other plunders. If you can shut these thoughts off the anxiety goes away.
Aniracetam calms the chatter in my head and allows me to move through the world without over thinking every little detail. It’s also a very visual nootropic. The world becomes much brighter. Almost as if someone behind the scenes was adjusting the brightness levels of the world around you. Music is amazing and the right music can really put you into a state of complete relaxation.
Aniracetam also has studies proving its effectiveness for anxiety and even for depression as well. Double whammy! Anxiety and depression can often times be very synergistic with each other. It’s not uncommon to experience both these neuro disorders especially in todays strange culture.
5-HTP is can be very effective for some while ineffective for others. For me, 5-HTP knocks me out and I sleep deep. Truly powerful stuff. I reserve this stuff for the nights where I can’t fall asleep. Sleep is crucial not for the moment but for the next day. The plants of tomorrow are planted with the seeds of today. A restorative nights sleep will do wonders for your cortisol levels and level you out for a great next day. Pick up a bottle and see if it helps.
When you’re stressed the body rapidly blows through any extra stores of magnesium available. The thing is, there isn’t a whole lot of magnesium to go around these days especially if you have a poor diet. And even if your diet is on point (fruits, veggies etc) foods of today lack the quality of foods from the past. We’ve depleted our soils to the point where foods contain very little of this crucial mineral. Low magnesium levels are responsible for a host of problems including, you guessed it, anxiety. Magnesium oil is preferred over pills because it’s easily absorbed through the skin. Pills must be digested through the intestines and they lose a lot of strength along the way. Magnesium oil ensures you get a heroic dose of what your body has probably been craving for a long time.
Crazy to think that you’re one mineral away from feeling normal again. Here is an interesting read on a couple scientists using magnesium oil to treat anxiety and major depression with positive results.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid crucial for the production of dopamine. Low dopamine has been linked to both depression and anxiety. Low dopamine is caused by genetic deficiencies as well as psychological disorders. Your thoughts effect your emotions which feed into the systems that produce dopamine. Low dopamine then causes more cycles of negative thoughts and depression. Boosting dopamine through the use of supplements like L-Tyrosine can reverse this negative loop and calm you down.
Last recommendation is a B complex vitamin supplement. The B Vitamin group of nutrients are so crucial to brain function. A deficit in just one of them is setting you up for all kinds of problems including anxiety. This is the bottle I use and it also includes a healthy dose of vitamin C. B vitamins are a staple for mental health and can’t be overlooked.
Used as part of a holistic healing process, nootropics and supplements can help you along your journey to calmness. No matter what makes you anxious you have a lot of options available to you. Good luck to you my friend and happy dosing!
When people ask me what nootropic to start with I always say Piracetam. Piracetam is the original gangster of the nootropics world and is the most widely studied and documented. In my opinion, it remains the most effective nootropic for increasing memory and enhancing verbal acuity. In this post I’m going to share my experience using Piracetam over the course of a year.
I remember the day I received my bulk powder Piracetam from Peak Nootropics. I tore into the box excited to get dosing. I read online about doing what is called an “attack dose.” An attack dose is taking more than the standard dose for your first dosing. This supposedly shocks your body into receiving the benefits of the nootropic faster than normal. I did not do an attack dose and chose to take the standard recommended dose at the time (1G)
I mixed it straight into a glass of water and chugged it down. That was the first and last time I ever did that. The stuff was extremely bitter and uniquely distasteful. Nowadays I’ll mix it in with fruit juice and slug it down.
I was naturally excited to see how things went from there. The first day I felt a slight buzzing sensation but this could have been placebo. Other than that it was hard to gauge whether or not anything was happening.
The thing is, a lot of people take nootropics thinking they will have some crazy drug like experience. Many take nootropics thinking they’re a legal way to get high. The effects are not drug like at all and very subtle. We’re talking about mental performance here, not YOLO.
Nothing much happened for the first week but I continued to take my dose of 1G a day.
Weeks 2 – 4
Weeks 2 – 4 were very interesting. By this time I had actually almost forgotten I had been taking the Piracetam. It was something I did everyday almost on auto-pilot. Because I hadn’t experienced any immediate results, I stopped looking for anything special to happen. Then one day I had a crazy experience.
While walking I suddenly had a memory flashback. When I was about 6 years old my dad had buried a treasure in the backyard and made a vintage map that lead to the loot. He burned holes in it and made it look very real. I just “happened” to stumble across the map and I spent the whole day searching the property for the booty. I dug up the treasure to reveal an old mason jar filled with gold coins, jewels, and other items.
For some reason this memory had been locked away in a vault. This was a memory I had completely forgotten about. It was literally like a flash and I saw the entire experience in my mind. All the details came flooding back. Like a flotation device held under water and then released, this memory rapidly surfaced to full blown consciousness.
It was an interesting experience. I mean, that has never happened before. It made me wonder what other memories I had either suppressed or completely forgotten about.
This was the moment I realized Piracetam was effecting me in a very real way.
Months 1 – 6
Month 1 was when I noticed positive changes to my verbal acuity. I’ve always struggled with taking ideas and processing them into language. I’ve always had an immense amount of ideas but very little skill in articulating them. In conversations I would often times find myself unable to keep up with people, in particular extroverts.
I would drift off into the background never speaking up. The change was subtle but I noticed I was engaging people in conversation, sometimes completely dominating the conversation. This was a first for me and certainly a welcome change from my typical response to social interaction.
Month 1 is when I decided to start cycling my dose as well. This is a good idea. You never want to grow tolerant to nootropics because they lose their effect.
After month 1 I started cycling in a 3 days off and 2 days on pattern. I also upped the dose from 1G to 4G. At this point I started to get headaches so I dialed things back to 2G and added Alpha GPC to the mix. The Alpha GPC cured the headaches and put an interesting spin on the Piracetam. I felt my ability to sit down and focus was even more enhanced.
I could hold many pieces of information in my head and multi-task on many different parts of my job.
Has Piracetam Re-wired my brain?
Flash forward to today and I’m still using Piracetam although much less frequently. Even though I’m taking it less frequently I feel the effects are still here.
It got me thinking that Piracetam has actually rewired my brain. Because it allowed me to process the world in a certain way for a long period of time, I feel my synaptic pathways have actually rewired to support this new enhanced memory and focus structure. Piracetam allowed me to build habits of work ethic that have carried into the present the day.
I can’t recommend Piracetam enough for anybody looking to boost their memory, enhance conversational skills, or increase work ethic and focus. It’s a powerhouse nootropic and a great first choice when you decide to take the dive.
If anything, you might be surprised at what forgotten memories reveal themselves to you.
Phenibut is a Russian synthesized nootropic touted as the most dangerous nootropic available. You have no doubt heard the horror stories of people having bad experiences with Phenibut. But is Phenibut really all that dangerous?
People typically turn to Phenibut as an anti-anxiety agent. As far as nootropics go, Phenibut is the best nootropic for crushing anxiety in all forms. I personally love taking Phenibut when I’m going out for a night on the town or any time I’m in an anxious environment. In fact, many people have safely used Phenibut in this way for a very long time.
So what’s all this fuss about Phenibut being dangerous? While many have safely used Phenibut, there is a risk for addiction and negative side effects. The horror stories you hear online are no doubt coming from people who took Phenibut in too large of a dose or too often.
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Phenibuts anti-anxety effects come from the substances effect on your brains GABA receptors. GABA is a neurotransmitter responsible for feeling calm and relaxed. Popular drugs like alcohol and Xanax (benzodiazepines) work by increasing the levels of GABA in your brain. As a result, these drugs make you feel very relaxed.
In much the same way, Phenibut interacts with the GABA system. However, this interaction between drugs and neurotransmitters is not without consequences. If you abuse these types of drugs over the long term, your body shuts down its own natural production of GABA resulting in withdrawal, anxiety, and a host of other problems.
The negative Phenibut stories you read online are from people who abused the nootropic. They took Phenibut in too high of a dose or for too long. They then get online and vomit this negative experience all over the internet. Many of them were unaware how drugs interacted with their body and the results and consequences of abusing drugs. Anybody who has experimented with drugs can tell you this.
If used correctly, Phenibut is a great nootropic to relieve anxiety in the short term and holds very little side effects. You don’t see people confused about hangovers after a hard night of drinking. By comparison, Phenibut is much safer, cheaper, and less riskier.
How to use Phenibut safely
Look at Phenibut as a band aid solution to temporary waves of anxiety. For instance, Phenibut is great for that once a month TPS report you have to give at the office.
It’s great for that once in a while outing with friends at a dinner party.
It’s great for the occasional family get together (I know I’m not the only one who gets anxiety around family.)
It’s not great to treat daily anxiety. Using Phenibut everyday will lead to tolerance and you’ll need more of the nootropic to get the same high. I’ve always said nootropics are not the solution to your problems, they are the stepping stone. Use Phenibut as a stepping stone and as part of a holistic solution to get from point A to point B.
Keep your dosage within the safe and recommended levels. 250mg is a dose at the low level while 500mg is a moderate dose. Anything above 500mg is considered a high dose and you run the risk of negative side effects. As a general rule, always start with a low dose so you can get a feel for the effects of the nootropic. This is especially important for nootropics like Phenibut.
So, is Phenibut dangerous?
It can be. But if you stick to occasional and infrequent use and keep your dose at reasonable levels Phenibut can be used quite safely. If you have an addictive personality I would avoid Phenibut because it’s easy to abuse. However, if you have anxiety and looking for a safer alternative to prescription medication, Phenibut is a good choice if you follow what I have outlined in this post.