Note from a Bro:
Mansal is the guy I trust with my brain. His piracetam/aniracetam cocktail (along with unprescribed Redbulls) fueled Will and I through our marathon How To Build An Importing Empire webinar. The webinar was wildly successful and we were on our game.
Mansal has provided an actionable guide to nootropics/smart drugs. He’s paired up benefits with cocktails to give us as close to “I want this mental boost and this one and this one” as we can get right now. Enjoy!
–Kyle

brain energy

When the difference in a cutthroat industry is a slight edge in motivation and memory, nootropics (smart drugs) can be your secret weapon.

Without getting too science-y, this introduction to smart drugs will show you exactly what mix of nootropics to take to get the benefits you are looking for. I’ve kept it simple because, as an entrepreneur, I know how busy you are on a daily basis. I’ve kept the technical details to a minimum and focused on only the most useful information.

Defining the Enemy

The first step for entrepreneurs is to analyze what they are battling against. For many (myself included), enhanced focus and efficiency during the working hours was my main goal. Diehard entrepreneurs working 18-hour days need help to last longer during the day and function normally while sleep deprived.

There are different classes of neuro-enhancers depending on your goals. They can be simplified into two main categories:

1.Focus and Attention Enhancers

These will help to put all of your cognitive capacity into the task at hand. It is kind of like an artificial “flow” state where you can block almost all distractions out of your mind and pay attention to your business. These are important for days when you are sleep deprived or on a deadline.

Common drugs that fall into this category are Ritalin and Adderall, which are favorites among college students. These are both amphetamines (aka: dangerous). Consider the following healthy alternatives:

• Caffeine + L-Theanine – Combine 50 – 100mg of caffeine with 100 – 200 mg of L-theanine. Maintain a 1:2 ratio.
• Bacopa monnieri – Recommended dosage is 300 – 500 mg (50% bacosides A & B). It is fat soluble so take it with a fat source
• Rhodiola rosea – High altitude herb to improve alertness from 500 mg – 1000 mg.
• CILTEP – Combine artichoke extract 900 mg with Coleus Forskohlii (root) extract 20 mg (4 mg forskolin). Add 500 mg L-phenylalanine and 750 mg Acetyl-L-Carnitine for maximum benefit

Limitless Poster

2.Enhanced Memory and Reasoning

Nootropics users are not fond of the reference, but consider something like NZT in the movie “Limitless”. Enhanced memory and reasoning can improve your ability to develop creative solutions for your business.

More importantly, these are used for enhanced short-term (working) memory. For entrepreneurs trying to multi-task and put pieces of a puzzle together, this is just what the doctor ordered. Try some of these memory and reasoning enhancing nootropics:

 Piracetam + Choline – Combine 1600 – 2400 mg piracetam per day with 300 mg CDP choline / 200 mg alpha GPC choline
• Creatine – Take the standard 5 grams of creatine per day. At this rate it will take 2 weeks to start showing effects; alternatively use a 20 gram per day loading phase for 1 week
• Optimal Choline Complex – Combination of 100 mg alpha GPC and 200 mg CDP choline
• Spanish sage – Take between 300 – 600 mg of dried sage leaf once per day or 50 – 100 µL sage oil

 

Where is the Good Stuff? – Starting with Nootropics

l-theanine-caffeine

 

Caffeine + L-Theanine

This is the easiest way for a skeptical entrepreneur to dip his or her toes into the nootropic pool. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can improve focus, alertness, and help you to accomplish goals. As an anti-fatigue agent, it can keep you motivated after long nights and stressful situations.

L-theanine is typically found in green tea and mitigates the negative side effects of caffeine (such as jitters, anxiety, and restlessness) while amplifying the positive effects.

A ratio of 1:2 (caffeine:L-theanine) promotes the synergy between these two compounds. For most coffee-drinking entrepreneurs, a good starting place is 100 mg caffeine to 200 mg L-theanine. The most convenient (and cheaper) way of doing this is just drink one 8 ounce cup of coffee and take a L-theanine supplement.

[Note: the L-theanine extraction process is patented, so buy the Sun Theanine brand if you want to get 100% L-theanine. Otherwise, you can find options that are 99.9%, but buying from China might yield as low as 50%.]

passiveavoid123

Piracetam / Aniracetam and Choline

Ever heard of the “4-Hour Work Week”? The piracetam / aniracetam and choline combination is one of Tim Ferriss’ go-to smart drugs.

Piracetam is the grand-daddy of nootropics and was first synthesized over four decades ago. The piracetam and choline combination vastly improves memory retention and neuro protection in humans and animals. Piracetam is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA and is effective in improving cognition. The exponential memory advantages come when you add choline.

Even though piracetam and choline are great for memory, the addition of aniracetam makes it perfect for entrepreneurs. Aniracetam is potent, fast-acting and stimulating so you improve memory and you are more motivated / focused. Combining piracetam, aniracetam, and choline into a stack is probably the best “all-in-one” solution that you can find.

There are four different types of choline you can purchase, but the best are alpha GPC and CDP choline. I prefer CDP choline because humans create uridine from this type, which also improves cognitive abilities.

When you buy piracetam or aniracetam, definitely look for independent third party testing (in the form of a “certificate of analysis” PDF or image) so you are sure of the contents. For convenience sake, utilize the capsules as well. If you are brave (or just want to save money), the bulk powder of racetams considerably cheaper. Doses vary depending on the person, but use the Reddit FAQ for some general guidelines.

Creatine

Creatine has gotten a stereotype for being the domain of athletic jocks but it has another side – as an incredibly effective nootropic compound. Numerous studies prove enhanced working memory, but the real advantages are with anti-fatigue and reasoning.

Everyone has creatine in their body, but supplementation improves the formation of energy, which is used by the brain to be more creative with problem solving and prevent burnout on long nights of work. In the same way an athlete uses creatine to prevent their muscles from burning out, you can use it to prevent your brain from burning out.

Unless you have a history of kidney problems, creatine is also safe in the dosages required for cognitive enhancement. Take 5 grams per day and you will see benefits in a few weeks or you can have a 1 week loading phase with 20 grams per day and see the cognitive advantages quicker.

CILTeP

This is a safe alternative to Modafinil, Ritalin, and Adderall. CILTeP stands for “chemically-induced long term potentiation.” We can read that as “memory enhancer that can improve focus, alertness, and motivation.”

The discovery was made in a Longecity forum thread and countless people have verified the efficacy. Combining adequate amounts of artichoke extract, forskolin, acetyl-L-carnitine, and L-phenylalanine (recommendations below), it packs a real punch without some of the side effects (not to mention legalities) of using the other drugs.

Combine:

Artichoke extract – 900 mg
Coleus Forskohlii – 20 mg (standardized 20% forskolin – 4 mg)
L-phenylalanine – 500 mg
Acetyl-L-Carnitine – 750 mg
Vitamin B-6 – 5 mg

Time Allocation and Smart Drugs

Allocating your time for research and tracking is fundamental for smart drugs to help you properly. Even if you have to spend some time researching compounds and find the right quality, consider this an investment in your wellbeing and business if you can enhance performance and efficiency.

Research

There are plenty of online resources available for researching different compounds, but you can stay away from the PubMed studies and scientific garble. Read some of the summarized evidence on Examine.com and look at their scale of evidence for particular claims. They offer a graded scale (aka: Human Effects Matrix) you will be familiar with from your days in school:

Nettles-21

Even though I have provided safe and effective combinations above, it is best to have the resources to research for yourself. This can help prevent side effects and prevent interactions with other compounds.

Self-tracking

I’m a self-tracking nut, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. You can track mental performance with a few simple apps and programs. Test both the subjectivity (how are you feeling?) with the Mercury App and objective data with one of many cognitive tests:
⁃ Quantied Mind
⁃ Cambridge Brain Sciences
⁃ Dual-N-Back

It seems like a lot, but it should only take 10-15 minutes per day to track results. The purpose for the self-tracking is to see whether the drug is working for you; if it isn’t, there is no reason to continue using it. Consider the self-tracking like A/B split testing for your business. The first advertisement or landing page might convert, but that doesn’t mean you should stop there.

Ready to Take it to the Next Level?

To be elite at anything, the difference is small. Professional athletes win by fractions of a second and any small edge is helpful. In an entrepreneurial setting, using smart drugs to take you to the next level can make the difference in the success of your business. When healthy lifestyle are not always an option due to work responsibilities, nootropics can be an integral tool to improve your cognitive abilities.

5-levels

Author

Mans Denton

Mans Denton is obsessed with optimizing physical and mental capabilities. He explores various biohacking techniques on his blog and podcast The Hacked Mind and is co-founder and manager of Pure Nootropics, which distributes safe, high quality cognitive enhancers.

  • Alexander says:

    Well written and interesting post. It can be quite a hassle to navigate through the nootropics jungle. I’ve recently started taking creatine, L-Theanine + caffeine and Bacopa monnieri. When I take Bacopa at dinner I find that my periods of deep sleep get extended, sometimes by 1-2 hours. I still need to do more “testing” to see if it is really the Bacopa though.

    From L-Theanine and Caffeine I have noticed a slight increase in focus.

    It’s kind of funny, I just started a website which will focus on “optimizing physical and mental capabilities”, just like you call it, Mans. I’m planning on writing a post on nootropics when I have experimented more with it! 🙂

    P.S. To Will and Kyle: The webinar was awesome! Thank you for all the free information.

    • Hi Alexander! Glad you liked the webinar. Are you going to start importing?

      Just checked out your site… and I’m going to start intermittent fasting again to get those insulin levels where they should be to get rid of that food coma brain. Thanks!

      • Alexander says:

        Kyle,

        Actually, I might! Me, my brother and a friend of his are planning to start importing stuff from China to sell here in Sweden when summer break comes. We’re thinking of buying caffeine and L-Theanine powder to combine, package and sell to health food stores and individuals. I don’t know about the legality of the whole thing though, so that might not work. Otherwise we might import teas and make some interesting combinations to sell. Or just buy random shit and sell it through Amazon >:D

        Thank you for checking out the site! Intermittent fasting really is amazing. I started it about a year ago and never turned back.

        StartUpBros is an inspiration. I’m amazed at the amount value you provide, so thank YOU!

    • Mans Denton says:

      Hey Alexander,

      So glad that you have started with caffeine + L-theanine. It is such a great combination (and well researched). For a lot of people interested in nootropics it doesn’t sound “sexy” enough, though; that’s a real shame as it can be one of the most effective.

      Bacopa is another great one. Considering it has been used in India for thousands of years and continues to be used by children even in small villages of the rural countryside, it’s a solid pick. Glad to see sleep is improving, but definitely test.

      Also, make sure when you take bacopa that you have a fat source! It is fat soluble (like aniracetam) so it needs fat to work properly.

      I’ll have to check out your site and write some content for you too!

      • Jerry says:

        Which combo do you recommend the most?

        • Mans Denton says:

          Depends on the individual. For someone who has adrenal problems and already has a caffeine addiction, the caffeine / L-theanine combo isn’t as helpful. For this individual, I’d suggest piracetam and choline.

          For vegetarians, I would suggest creatine. For someone who does not have a lot of experience with any substance whatsoever, caffeine and L-theanine is great.

          • Jerry says:

            Why do you recommend Piracetam/Aniracetam together? Can you take either along with chloine?

          • Jerry says:

            Would it be a bad idea to start off with Aniracetam/Choline combo w/ little to no experience using Piracetam?

            • Mans Denton says:

              Hey Jerry, I don’t necessarily recommend using them together, but they do work synergistically. Piracetam lasts a bit longer in the body while aniracetam has short-term effects.

              Starting off with aniracetam and choline is perfectly fine without piracetam experience. I suggest you take a smaller dose (as it is more potent), but otherwise you should be fine. In fact, many people prefer aniracetam over piracetam. Just make sure you take fat source as it is fat soluble!

              • Jerry says:

                What ratio do you recommend for Aniracetam/CDP choline? If I get the powder is it ok to mix it with juice + also take the additional fat source?

                • Mans Denton says:

                  I’d start with the following:

                  Aniracetam – ~750 mg x 2 per day
                  CDP choline – 250 – 300 mg per day

                  Tweak as your needs require. Everyone is different! You may not even need choline for genetic reasons.

                  • Jerry says:

                    How do you know if you need the choline or not? I’ve actually never tried CDP choline.

                    • Mans Denton says:

                      It is not essential, actually. Because racetams function by increasing utilization / uptake of acetylcholine, it makes sense that many people would need it.

                      However, not everyone really does. It’s definitely a good idea to get some. You can tinker with the best amount for you (even if it turns out to be none!)

                  • Jerry says:

                    I’ll give this a try and see if I notice anything. Usually with these herbs/smart drugs you barely notice anything. The best I’ve tried that provided a noticeable difference in focus was soy PS. Hopefully I can notice a difference at least. Thanks for the replies and post.

  • Latasia says:

    Awesome article, guys! I take creatine for my muscle building and I’ve taken rhodiola before and loved it! But I’ve never even heard of the word Nootropics before this article. Any blog that teaches me something new and interesting like this, is fucking priceless! I appreciate it greatly. I’m one step closer to becoming the successful entrepreneur I’m meant to be.

    Keep doing what you’re doing!

    Latasia

    • Mans Denton says:

      So glad that I could help! Rhodiola is a great herb and definitely effective for entrepreneurs. Creatine is fabulous as well! Keep up the good work and you’ll be successful for sure.

  • Cool article, Mans.

    I checked out your site as well. Interesting topic. I gotta say I’m curious about the antiracetam/piracetam/choline stack. I’ll try that out some time during 2014.

    Thanks for the post.

  • Mani Canaday says:

    Hi Mans,
    Thank you for this intelligent and thoroughly researched information. In my former life I was a midwife, and I have used some of the combinations you recommended to deal with the intensity of the long hours of that profession, but a few were new to me. As I’m in the midst of throwing myself into my new business full-force, your timing was perfect!

  • George says:

    Well written post. I really like the attention to details. I especially like the focus enhancers section.
    Thank you.

  • Tim Shaw says:

    Regarding the CILTeP stack, I noticed that the recommended dosage:

    Coleus Forskohlii – 20 mg (standardized 20% forskolin – 4 mg)

    However, doing a quick Amazon search, it seems that Coleus Forskohlii capsules only come in quantities of 125mg or greater @ 20%… Are you simply opening the capsules and eyeballing the amounts so that its roughly 20mg?

  • Alex Swanson says:

    One nootropic stack I would like to add is L-dopa + green tea extract. This works well for focus and energy enhancement.

    I also use noopept and alpha gpc + centrophenoxine with great results. Excellent article and information. Keep on rocking!

  • Sylvia Platto says:

    FYI, Bacopa is NOT fat soluble. It is definitely water soluble and it is this solubility that makes it wildly important to ensure your bacopa is sourced from a clean water supply. Many supplies are prone to arsenic, mercury, and other toxic heavy metals and since the plant gladly drinks up whatever it’s exposed to, you run the risk of heavy metal contaminated bacopa.

    Please update your article. Other than that, it was a great read.

  • Lucile says:

    Pretty! This was ann extremely wonderful article. Thanks
    for supplyibg this information.

  • Jason Ross says:

    Great article! Can you post links to the websites that you trust and buy each of these supplements?

  • Gerald Savage says:

    Great article and very informative regarding nootropics. I don’t know why our culture make us push so much for extended days. Sure smart drugs are going to help you push hard and work a lot, but should we? It can’t be good in the long run. I’m a big fan of aniracetam but not long hours.

  • Kevin says:

    Greetings from France !

    I really like your post, it’s very informative. I will give them a try.

    I was considering Modafinil but it sounds dangerous.

  • Adam says:

    “The most convenient (and cheaper) way of doing this is just drink one 8 ounce cup of coffee and take a L-theanine supplement.”

    You what now? Unless you get the cheapest, nastiest coffee ever, a bottle of caffeine pills will be way cheaper than coffee in terms of milligrams of caffeine per dollar. And I would say that popping a caffeine pill is way more convenient than brewing and then drinking a cup of coffee.

    But to each their own 😉

  • Great post guys and highly informative!

    Nootropics are definitely game changing. Anyone new to this, in my personal opinion, should avoid things like modafinil. While they do have short terms effects, it is not worth it in the long term for your mental health.

    Up on my list is Alpha GPC, Phosphatidylserine, phenylpiracetam and L-Theanine for sure!

  • Dan says:

    Great article! Wondering what the app is that you had mentioned?

  • Petter son says:

    Optimize your brain Focus, Memory and Clarity. Premium Nootropics made to optimize emphasis as well as memory.

  • Clint Hanks says:

    Excellent brief on Nootropics! Recently I have purchased NeuroGum’s nootropics stack, which helped a lot to make concentration in work.

  • Lukas says:

    Caffeine and l-theanine combo does a lot for me. Im taking 200 mg of caffeine which is a bit high dose, and 400 mg theanine. Sometimes i got sleppy effects, but my mood is good and felling very energised.

  • […] Modafinil to improve your memory and assistance you focus. These medicines, named collectively as Nootropics, are utilised by a lot of various types of people today, together with navy pilots and […]

  • Cris says:

    Very interesting. As long as there are no long term side effects and it can give you the advantage in business, then let’s give Nootropics a try.