Finding The Right Niche For A Stack

This inquiry is for the more experienced/knowledgeable in the world of nootropics. I would like to know which direction I should take to find the right customized stack.


 


I am fairly new at this point in taking nootropics, specifically CILTEP. However, I have done some research but am still a little stuck as I don't want to buy each and every nootropic out there just to experiment and see if it's right for me, which consumes a lot of time and money. I'll try to provide enough specific information to help me out in getting anyone's best opinion, and if you want to tell your experience with different mixes, go ahead!


 


-Read Tim Ferriss' books. Heard him on Joe Rogan's podcast. Mentions CILTEP.


-Do research on CILTEP. See Dave endorsing/selling product. Little more research. Bought one bottle of CILTEP.


-Tried CILTEP 1st time about 2 months ago before big homework. Focused. Efficient. Motivated. Smiled randomly. Mood boosted. I liked CILTEP.


-CILTEP helps in crashing through social barriers. I am now social! I can also recall things much better than before.


-CILTEP tolerance being built after daily use. After 1 or 2 day cycles, better results.


-BP forum user (name "pizzabagel"?) shows how to make CILTEP stack. Buy ingredients. Much cheaper.


-More research on Dave. Buy his coffee. Buy his book.


-Tried bp coffee 30 min after CILTEP. Results greater than first day on CILTEP.


-CILTEP proves to fatigue more if taking more ritually (less cycling). Tolerance built. Plan on doing 2 days of cycling.


-This week started bp intermittent fasting. Feel better.


-More research for better stacks with less crash, same results, maybe daily. See alpha brain mixed with CILTEP works (via upgraded site and forum user zero333)


 


I go to school, play sports, work out, and want to be socially active. What I really want from a stack is to have no crash or fatigue and a mood/focus/performance/memory booster. That would be ideal, although I understand it's hard to make it right for yourself. I understand that people say Piracetam and CILTEP works, as well as Alpha Brain too. But I also noticed people saying AB has low doses. There's so many other options it's kind of overwhelming. I just need the right direction.


 


I've also noticed it helps to see what levels you are deficien/dominant in. I took the Braverman test and got these results:


 










Part 1 -

Dominant Nature

1A Dopamine 21

2A Acetylcholine 16

3A GABA 17

4A Serotonin 24

 

Part 2 -

Deficiencies

1B Dopamine 17

2B Acetylcholine 18

3B GABA 25

4B Serotonin 18




 

Any help is much appreciated.







Comments

  • Thanks for the well organized and thoughtful post... 


     


    I'm beginning to think that there should be a protocol for cleaning up ones diet first before diving hardcore in Nootropics. Indeed I think you could probably cover up a bunch of symptoms of diet/lifestyle problems by shoving Nootropics into your system.


     


    Where did the Braverman test results come from?


     


    In regards to stacks like AlphaBrain


    I've been a pretty hard core consumer of Nootropics for going on 4 years now and I'm increasingly becoming less and less of a believer in the majority of Stacks. You can't fit 3 grams of Piracetam and 1 gram of choline in a single pill, so manufacturers trying to add 5-10 different ingredients to a single pill will need to decrease the quantities to truly insignificant amounts. I believe in taking Nootropics in the dosages recommended by the human studies that demonstrated a cognition enhancing effect from them in the first place, and most Stacks just don't offer this.

    Also Stack distributors are less likely to have stringent quality standards for individual ingredients, most Stack distributors are really just white labeling ingredients. Which is a business model prone to low quality, let's say their source of Pharmaceutical grade B vitamins (which comprises say 40% of the ingredients in their Stack) runs out, are they going to stop selling their Stack while they look for a another source of equal quality? Not likely. What they will typically do is switch to another vendor who can get the raw materials to them as soon as possible, irregardless of quality. Where as a company that sells a single ingredient product is much more liable for the quality of that ingredient.

     

    When it comes to Nootropics; the recommendation I make to my friends, family or people who email me through my website is to start with the Racetams that have quality human studies behind them (a couple of infographics I thought you might find useful).
  • Thanks for the reply.


     


    I'm curious--how does diet come into play before going hardcore into nootropics? Could you give details?


     


    I took the Braverman test provided through a link by someone on this forum. I believe the user's name was zero333.


     


    All of your thoughts relating to AB make sense--the quality and dosage can vary in contrast to a company focusing on one supplement.



    Thanks for the links, I'll keep them handy. I just finished one of Dave's podcasts with Steve Fowkes; very informative. Steve, who seems to know more about smart drugs than Dave, personally takes Piracetam. It seems like Piracetam is a good place to start.


  • Regarding diet... Nootropics could be used as a band-aid for bad habits... Just a few examples:


    • Let's say I want to eat a big fat cheeseburger for lunch everyday (which normally makes you feel lethargic in the afternoons), so I'll just drop a couple of grams of Piracetam or a Modi and I'll feel great and stay productive all afternoon despite the garbage I'm eating.
    • I have trouble sleeping because I watch Netflix 2 hours every night before bed on my glowing iPad, so I just get in the habit of dropping 2 melatonin tablets before bed.
    • Or I have a porn addiction. Instead of no-fabbing and dealing with the porn addiction I just take horny goat weed and 2 grams of Phenibut every night I socialize.

    You get the idea... This is why I cycle off all Nootropics every couple of months. If I feel terrible, lacking in energy, productivity, etc when I cycle off I know I'm doing something wrong in the lifestyle department.


     


    I will look into Braverman tests... Was there a cost for the test?


  • I see your point, and it does seem that a certain awareness towards lifestyle comes with the consumption of smart drugs.


     


    As for the Braverman test, it was free. Here's the forum link to it: http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/8678-zero33s-alpha-brain-experience/?hl=braverman#entry82978


     


    Quick update: I just took green tea extract right after bp coffee and I feel that the L-Theanine, which I heard is in Alpha Brain, enhanced things a little better. I might look into buying the ingredients contained in AB, more importantly the Alpha-GPC and L-Theanine. I might buy different racetams too and cycle through/mix them in order to find the righ stack. Hopefully there isn't one I don't like, but I'm not committing to anything yet until a little more research and opinions.




  • I have done some research but am still a little stuck as I don't want to buy each and every nootropic out there just to experiment and see if it's right for me, which consumes a lot of time and money. 




     


    To be honest, I don't think that one can sustainably benefit from smart drugs unless you are willing to spend the time and money necessary to see what works for you over time.  It is just too personal and nobody really knows anything about what will work for you.


     


    Between CILTEP and Alpha Brain, I don't think either are healthy for long-term everyday use.  With Alpha Brain, vinpocetine is sketchy and the HupA dose is too high.  With CILTEP, ymmv but for me it wrecked my HRV.  These can both be useful stacks on rare occasions but that's about it.


     


    I'd strongly recommend that you try and get the most out of the Bulletproof diet and BPC and work on other lifestyle factors like stress management and movement before getting into smart drugs if you aren't going to spend the time doing your homework.  It isn't worth it.



  • To be honest, I don't think that one can sustainably benefit from smart drugs unless you are willing to spend the time and money necessary to see what works for you over time.  It is just too personal and nobody really knows anything about what will work for you.





    I understand what you are saying, and I should've known someone would give that response. Where did you start when you began to use smart drugs? Are there any helpful links aside from JRoseland's?


     


    You say CILTEP and Alpha Brain are useful on rare occasions; how often do you use either, if at all? Out of curiosity, what is your current stack, and do you use it daily?



  • I understand what you are saying, and I should've known someone would give that response. Where did you start when you began to use smart drugs? Are there any helpful links aside from JRoseland's?


     


    You say CILTEP and Alpha Brain are useful on rare occasions; how often do you use either, if at all? Out of curiosity, what is your current stack, and do you use it daily?




     


    I don't use anything daily except for BPC and my supps (i.e Mag, D3, K2, C, Bcomplex, Zinc, etc.) but the closest thing to a stack that I like is 1.6g Piracetam + 650mg Aniracetam + 300mg Alpha GPC with coffee.  Situationally, I'll use phenylpiracetam, oxiracetam, phenibut, andrafinil, and others but these are on the rarer side.  I haven't used CILTEP in a long time - maybe 9 months or so. I haven't used Alpha Brain since they sent me a free sample.  I'd use HupA a few times a year but only 50mcg - not the 200mcg in AB.


     


    I work a corporate job but I spend my off time studying math & science so I'm motivated to find what works for many situations.  Unfortunately, it is a moving target, which is why so much personal research is needed.  It isn't just n=1 but (n=1, t=0)

  • edited December 2014

    Step 1: Get clear on the results you want in detail


    Step 2: Get clear on your primary sticking points/obstacles in achieving that


    Step 3: Research a long list of possibilities


    Step 4: Sequence the list by Estimated impact (e.g. impact towards removing a given obstacle or achieving the desired result) ... and likelihood of success (e.g. balancing nutrients, vitamins and minerals is almost guaranteed to pay off, assorted nootropics lesser so)


    Step 5: Test things one at a time starting at the top of the list


    Step 6: Keep testing more things


    Step 7: Realize most information is crap about nootropics and performance


    Step 8: Ignore all of it and start reading studies yourself and working out your own experiments and things to test


    Step 9: ??


    Step 10: Profit


    Biggest takeaway after several years as a hardcore biohacker: think long-term. Focus on health first before adding in boosters. It works a lot better.
  • It took me a long time to understand the different nootropics and what the dosage were best for me. To this day I'm still trying to figure things out. It's a on going testing and see how that goes with your body. 


     


    For me every week i up my dosage to see how that makes me feel. Right now i'm on a big stack 4 different ones. So far it's been okay i guess. I have notice some improvement in some parts but what I'm really looking for memory improvement and recall. Taking a big exam in 3 weeks so any kind of help is awesome. 


  • zero33zero33 Thinks plants have feelings.

    buddy - your deficiency scores on the Braverman test are concerning. In The Edge Effect, Dr. Braverman recommends getting your doctor involved if any of your scores are over 15. Before doing that try re-testing, but this time pay extra attention to the questions you are marking as "true" to make sure you really feel that way most of the time.


     


    If your deficiency scores continue to be high, you should consider reading the book before playing around with your brain chemistry any further.


    Coder/Shaper who thinks this is his blog: alienvir.us

  • edited December 2014


    buddy - your deficiency scores on the Braverman test are concerning. In The Edge Effect, Dr. Braverman recommends getting your doctor involved if any of your scores are over 15. Before doing that try re-testing, but this time pay extra attention to the questions you are marking as "true" to make sure you really feel that way most of the time.


     


    If your deficiency scores continue to be high, you should consider reading the book before playing around with your brain chemistry any further.




     


    I may have blown by the first time without looking into each question and thinking. I did re-take the the test a few days ago, and my results were much different. Those results I left at my work, but I remember the deficiencies being much lower, only one of them with a score of 12. I just finished taking the test again, and here are my results:


     


    Part 1 - Dominant Nature


    1A Dopamine 23


    2A Acetylcholine 26


    3A GABA 27


    4A Serotonin 24


     


    Part 2 - Deficiencies


    1B Dopamine 7


    2B Acetylcholine 6


    3B GABA 9


    4B Serotonin 6


  • zero33zero33 Thinks plants have feelings.

    those numbers are much less disturbing - between 6 and 15 is considered only a "moderate" deficiency, easily treated with food and/or supplementation.


     


    the next step would be to read the book to learn about your dominant nature (GABA) and begin treating your deficiencies. it will teach you to develop and maintain a stack optimized to your ever-changing brain chemistry rather than stabbing in the dark with different substances.


    Coder/Shaper who thinks this is his blog: alienvir.us

  • Concerning diet, think about it this way.  You could put the most expensive highest octane gasoline available in your car, but if the air filter is clogged, the fuel injectors are dirty, and the spark plugs are fouled, and the oil has not been changed; it is still going to run like a piece of junk.


     


    Relate this to your body.  If your body is healthy, the supplements will have a more pronounced effect.  I started my whole journey down this path by reading Dave's Bulletproof diet book.  I got rid of the sugars, breads, bad oils, toxin, etc; and now eat clean protein, vegetables, and good carbs like California rice and sweet potatoes.  No processed foods, no sodas, no flipping cake.  I noticed a huge difference in all points of focus and energy.  Then, when I started adding the supplements the effects were not only noticeable but also super clean and smooth.


     


    First change your oil, filters, plugs, and clean your fuel system; then start putting the high octane fuel in.


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