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Feedback on implementation/dosing/timing/etc on cognitive performance, memory supplementation

implementation feedback beginner

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#1 Bretcoe

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 01:59 PM

I'm 39 and work at stressful job managing a service team. I am looking to improve my cognitive performance with this stack, as I work to complete my masters degree. My anxiety and stress levels are at all time highs right now and I am trying to get back in the driver's seat. It seems like my critical thinking has declined lately, and I feel it's affecting my performance at work and in my personal life.


Side note. At 39, I am trying to really regain the sense of cognitive superiority that I've grown so accustomed to throughout my life. It's not that it's not there, it's more that I'm struggling to draw on it as readily. This may have something to do with age, but surely has a lot to do with the stress of my current title, promotion, and new responsibilities, combined with my tendency to drink too much in my late 20's and early 30's.


To compound this, 3 years ago I had a horrible back issue that had me laying prone, melting ice, and overdosing on OTC pain relievers. Then, as i struggled through the medical system was prescribed tramadol and gabapentin at high levels for the duration of a 1 year period prior to finally getting this all resolved about 2 years ago following 2 back surgeries. (I highly recommend seeking out the best specialist you have access to for chronic, can acute issues!)


Recently, I've been diagnosed as having PTSD as a result of this trauma. I was skeptical, but found that I am now hypervigilant, encounter anxiety more readily, and now am far less confident socially. The social aspect, I feel, is a result of the degradation of my physical attributes, the sudden shocking loss of my physicality (something that I've always taken for granted), and a negative change to my overall body composition as a result.


Because of these things, I am currently taking the smallest dose, 37.5mg, Effexor once per day. This, combined with my current supplementation, has me in a place where I am regaining confidence, getting a hold on my stress, and has allowed me the ability to realize all the changes I am sensitive to.


Ps. Yoga has become my goto release.


I am currently taking:

  • EPA/DHA (1,000mg EPA/500mg DHA) morning, taken with morning smoothie (almond milk, Coconut oil, avocado, banana, greens, ginger)
  • Vitamin D (5,000iu) morning, taken with morning smoothie
  • creatine (5mg) morning, taken with morning smoothie

Added since 4/11/18:

  • Caffeine + L-theanine: 100mg + 200mg, morning, taken morning on an empty stomach
  • Bacopa: 320mg, morning, taken morning empty stomach
  • AlphaBrain: 2 capsules, morning (will discontinue with below additions), taken with morning smoothie

Outcome as of 4/16/18: very good! I have noticed very favorable results, especially mid-morning.


The stack I'm looking to use (without the AlphaBrain above, but with the others listed), based on some research here and online is the following: (all from Nootropics Depot)

  • Magnesium-L-Threonate: 1600mg, evening before bed - 1st week
  • Lions Mane: 500mg capsule, morning, empty stomach - 1st week
  • ALCAR: 250mg, morning, with smoothie - 2nd week
  • NAC: 500mg, morning, with smoothie - 2nd week
  • Alpha GPC: 150mg, morning and afternoon- 3rd week
  • Aniracetam: 750mg, morning and afternoon - 3rd week
  • Piracetam: 750mg, morning and afternoon - 3rd week

Do you all have any advice on my implementation/dosages/timing/cycling/with or without food/etc. My plan is to run with the staggered start times, track the results via my daily journal, and hopefully be able to adapt to the changes in a timely manner. I am resisting the urge to just dive in right now, so any feedback is appreciated as I begin my journey!

#2 Nate-2004

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 06:50 PM

If you want to save money and use what works well in the long run, you may want to consider the following recommendations:


Drop the racetams for sure, there's a lot of risk there for unwanted consequences. There are multiple posts on the board about this.


The vitamin D3 (with fatty foods) is always a plus. These days people, especially those in the far north, tend to get very little sunlight and the problem with sunlight is that it damages skin. A lot of people also have trouble converting D3 to its usable form and thus require more. There's also a lot of new evidence for vitamin D3 in the treatment of a number of issues like depression. However, it's not a nootropic. So I wouldn't consider this part of any nootropic stack.


Fish Oil, especially krill oil, is a plus. Viva Naturals is a good brand. This, however, does not improve cognition except maybe as an anti-inflammatory. It does help prevent brain volume loss with age so keep taking it. Again, not a nootropic.



As for every other item on your list, while NAC has its own good qualities for other unrelated reasons, as far as cognition boosting is concerned, the supporting evidence is weak or limited due to lack of sufficient, quality human research/clinical trials. They're not a good investment in my opinion. Try them if you want, you may get a placebo effect at least for a week.


Save your money for better options.


Consider the following:


Empty Stomach:

EGCG (on an empty stomach in the morning)

Cocao (add it to your coffee, again, empty stomach)

Rhodiola (sparingly, not every day due to tolerance buildup)


All the above may help inhibit MAO-B in some form and could, though there is also limited evidence for this, inhibit COMT.


With or without food:

Lithium Orotate 5mg elemental lithium - This will upregulate tyrosine hydroxylase which will use B6 as a substrate to create L-Dopa. Take with food.

Vitamin B-6 (or just take a good, well balanced B-Complex like Doctor's Best)



Another more proven option in human clinical trials on cognition is the drug Modafinil. It has a long half-life and should also be used sparingly. I sometimes take it every 4 days, other times just once a week. It is actually the only proven nootropic smart drug, but with caveats that in these trials, the best performance improvement over baseline was in sleep deprived individuals compared to those who were not sleep deprived.


Don't forget the basics, otherwise the above is a complete waste of your money. Sometimes the free/cheap options are even better, like getting regular, consistent exercise, consistent quality sleep, and plenty of soluble fiber in your diet, pectin in particular is good.



Sorry that I did not take the time to include sources in my post but feel free to fact check what I'm saying.



Edited by Nate-2004, 17 April 2018 - 06:51 PM.

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#3 Bretcoe

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 02:53 PM

Hi Nate,


Thanks for the reply.  Your incite is valued as I begin to move down the path to regaining increased cognitive function, reduced anxiety, and improved memory.


My current supplement schedule is as follows:


Morning: empty stomach 500mg Lion's Mane 500mg NAC 200mg L-Theanine w/ 100mg caffeine 500mg ALCAR 150mg AlphaGPC   Morning: with food 37.5mg Effexor 5000mg Creatine 5000iu Vitamin D 800mg Magnesium-L-Threonate 1000mg EPA/500mg DHA (2 gelcaps)   Afternoon: without food 500mg ALCAR 500mg NAC 800mg Magnesium-L-Threonate 500mg Lion's Mane 150mg AlphaGPC   Evening: 1 scoop Green Vibrance Powder 320mg Bacopa 1000mg EPA/500mg DHA (2 gelcaps)


I have been running this for about 2 weeks (3 weeks if including slow incorporation) now and am happy with the results.  I have added in Piracetam in between the morning and afternoon for days that I have a heavy meeting schedule.  The results are impressive and seem to be continuing to improve.


I am actively weaning off the Effexor, which already a very low dose that I have been taking for about 6 weeks.  My plan is to alternate days for dosing currently, and after a matter of 2 weeks move to adding a 2nd day off in between, after 4 weeks adding a 3rd day off in between, etc.  Hopefully this helps as the internet is full of horror stories form people trying to get off even small doses.


I go to the gym 4-5 days/week, do yoga regularly, try to get as much sleep as possible, eat well, and generally have a fairly good lifestyle.


Let me know if you have anything to add or suggest.



#4 Nate-2004

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 05:11 PM

Only thing I can add here is that sleep is more about quality and regular, consistent rhythm, than quantity.

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#5 John250

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:23 PM

At your age it’s pretty common for hormones to be affected especially with PTSD I would get a full hormonal panel

Testosterone total
Testosterone free

Edited by John250, 06 July 2018 - 07:23 PM.

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