As a follow up to my last post on sleep strategies I mentioned L Theanine as nootropic, that is to say a supplement that improves cognitive abilities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootropic
This post is a quick guide to more specifically the nootropics that I take and a few that I have used in the past. I will also provide the links to some of the places I purchase the supplements as well as some research and info on the supplements. As usual I do not receive any money, or any kind of compensation from the links I list or anything I recommend. Everything I list is something I either take or have taken and have kept a log of how it affected me. And as always I try to keep my supplements as cost effective as possible so I will provide links and why I use the specific vendors I use and the supplements I use.
I am a big fan of a local company called Onnit that made their bones originally as a Supplement Company selling a nootropic called Alpha Brain, https://www.onnit.com/alphabrain/ I have used Alpha Brain and it is undoubtedly a great product. For me it is not as cost effective as I would like at $34.95 for 30 caps, with the recommended dose of 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening, however at this dose which I found produced the most efficacy, the cost is simply too high for me. I researched the ingredients in Alpha Brain and did a bit of trial and error and found that using the following produced the desired results I was looking for, meaning increased cognition, greatly increased focus, high propensity for recall, and increased attention span, among a few other interesting side effects I really like.
The first supplement is Huperzine A, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huperzine_A and I purchase this one nearly exclusively on line to keep costs low. Huperzine is one of th moreeexpensive nootropics I take, http://www.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-Huperzine-100mcg-Tablets/dp/B0045MLCJ2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407615803&sr=8-2&keywords=huperzine-a at around $7 a bottle for 100mcg, at 30 count per bottle I take 1 tab in the morning, 1 in the evening. Huperzine is reported to •Supports both short term “brain boost” needs as well as long-term healthy cognitive function, reducing mild memory loss associated with normal aging.
•Effectively supports cognition, concentration, and memory.
•Protects the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a messenger molecule in the central and peripheral nervous system, and protects the number, size and function of cholinergic neurons. Huperzine is one of the supplements that have an interesting side effect of helping produce lucid dreaming. I can say personally I have had an upswing in very vivid dreams and have on occasion had lucid dreams. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_dream Also as a side note I have bouts of actually thinking while sleeping, that is being in REM sleep and having a cognitive thought process. I used the Up Band by Jawbone, http://www.amazon.com/UP-Jawbone-Medium-Retail-Packaging/dp/B00A17IAO0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407616300&sr=8-1&keywords=jawbone+up which tracks movement and sleep, and shows specifically when you are in deep sleep as opposed to light sleep. I will review activity trackers in a future post.
The next supplement is Vinpocetine, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinpocetine I usually purchase this one on line as well, however its very reasonable in stores. http://www.amazon.com/Jarrow-Formulas-Vinpocetine-100-Capsules/dp/B0007A2E0W/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1407616706&sr=8-5&keywords=vinpocetine+10mg I take these 10mg tabs, 1 in the morning, 1 in the evening. These don’t affect your sleep in that they are not a stimulant of any kind. Vinpocetine is reported to, Promote ATP synthesis in the Brain, Increase Brain Blood Flow & Oxygen Utilization, and Modulates Neurotransmitter Release.
The third supplement I take exclusively for cognition is Choline. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choline I have purchased this supplement either on line or in stores, and it’s pretty readily available. http://www.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-Inositol-Choline-Tablets/dp/B000I4C4OS/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1407617713&sr=8-5&keywords=choline As with the previous supplements, I take 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening. Inositol and choline are B vitamin-like compounds which have similar functions. Both are important components of phospholipids, which make up cellular and other biological membranes and both play a role in healthy nerve function. Choline is an essential ingredient for the production of acetylcholine, a principal neurotransmitter, while phosphorus-containing compounds of inositol in nerve cells help regulate nerve impulses.
I also take 200mg of caffeine with this stack to facilitate the uptake in to my blood stream. There are several other stacks and a good deal more nootropics than you might imagine. A good place to start if you’re interested in learning more and really exploring this field, http://mindhacks.com/ is an amazing web site and has a huge amount of information on the subject.
I can say for me using these supplements over the last 2 years, I have found my cognition as a whole is much better than any time in my past. My diet plan utilizing a high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbs diet has also increased my brains ability to function at a higher level by increasing mitochondrial production. As an added supplement of information I’ve included a link to some more information. https://www.bulletproofexec.com/bulletproof-mind/ Using these supplements and techniques I can quantify my ability to learn faster, remember more and quicker, and my focus, as well as attention span has been greatly increased.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact me and I will give you my best guess, and, or research it and try to give you an answer. Hope this helps in some way. I value and appreciate any feedback. Walt