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!
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
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
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%.]
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.