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Nootropics for studying +40 hours a week?

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#1 kelesis

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 06:56 AM

Ive done quite a bit of reading online and in this forums for a few days now. Ive become interested in starting on some nootropics. Im new and would like some advice on which ones to choose for my needs and goals.

I am going to be studying for a series of very tough exams in the next 5-6 weeks and so I will be spending a lot of time studying. I am planning to do a little over 40 hours per week of solid, quality studying. Im looking for a way to increase mental clarity/cognition, extend my endurance for studying long sessions, retain more of what I learn, and reduce my overall mental fatigue. Basically, I want to understand things easier and stay focused for longer periods of time. Ive done a bit of introductory reading in these forums but there are so many options and I really need help!

I read in a few threads that Piracetam, Alpha GPCholine, Huperzine A, Pyritinol, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine are a good start for what I need. What are some of your recommendations on what to take? Thank you very much for any advice or help you can give!

Edited by kelesis, 17 April 2006 - 08:01 AM.


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Posted 18 April 2006 - 01:03 AM

No, offense, but 5-6 weeks might be a bit difficult to toss together an efficient and comfortable regimen.

My advice, take pyritinol(200mg, 2-5x/day), galantamine(2-4mg, 2-4x/day), theanine(200-600mg/day...may couple well with caffeine in which case you could dose it accordingly to your coffee consumption), and aniracetam(350-500mg, 2-3x/day) and nicotine gum, 1-3 eggs a day, no sugars, high nutritional value foods with a multi and B-complex, regular sleep, and a handful of walking-breaks during the study process to keep your circulation up (regular exercise couldn't hurt, even 15-20min/day). That's really not that hard to pull off. Aside from theanine, too much of the other three supps can make you too jacked up to st still so it's a sweetsweet balance you're looking for.
Piracetam may give you fogginess as it does for many people, myself included. ALC can tire you out with all that sitting, simply put. These last two may be difficult to find the proper doses in 5-6 weeks as some people just don't take to them right away. HuperzineA could be a replacement for galantamine (rotate them?) but galantamine has nicotinic activity that mediates study, focus, and retention. AlphaGPC is great but you can save a bit of money by getting your choline from eggs.
Centrophenoxine would be an excellent addition to your list.

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#3 sloane

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 01:35 AM

40 hours in a week isn't that much, you can structure it so you will not have to do long sessions which are usually counterproductive.


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Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:57 AM

That's if kelesis has no other major responsibilities.
Two(3hr) and one(2hr) sessions a days is an ideal format. Allows for breaks, movement, food prep, proper sleep, and gittin' it on.

#5 Shepard

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 04:24 AM

Jesus, that's a lot of studying. That could be why I'm still in college.

#6 kelesis

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 04:34 AM

WOW. Lilplex, thank you so very much for the suggestions. You've given me even more things to read on and do research about. So far I am sure I am going to get some aniracetam, pyritinol, and alphaGPC. Centrophenoxine sounds very potent and interesting but I will have to read more about it before deciding to give it a go.

So basically it is down between Galantamine or Huperzine A? Hmmm... Im not sure which one to go for. Btw, what is the point of taking theanine and the nicotine gum? I read that theanine is usually extracted from green tea and it regulates mood. Im not sure what the point of it is and would be grateful if you could explain why.

It would also be awesome if one or two more people could throw in their two cents. I plan to order in 2 days. Thanks guys.


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Posted 18 April 2006 - 07:05 AM

I have no personal experience on nootropics aside from caffeine and selengine (deprenyl). But the rest of the recommendations Liplex made sound sensible. You will also find it beneficial if you can make recordings in point form of dense material and listen to it whilst relaxing with your eyes closed.

I certainly would not be experimenting with noos prior to exams. That should have been done earlier.


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Posted 18 April 2006 - 10:07 AM

...and nicotine gum...

Are you suggesting consistent use of nicotine gum over a 5-6 week period? Does Galantamine serve to reduce the risk of addiction?

#9 morbius

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:33 PM

Some good suggestions in there, I've been averaging 60-90 hrs/wk for the past 8 months, I had a week off for xmas. Caffeine is probably the number one thing you can take but it is not good for me, I have IBS and for me it's like drinking lock-tite. Also you have to consider state-dependent memory aspects if you're loaded up on anything and how long you will have to remember what you're learning ie mcat. It is also a good point about this being a risky time to experiment with changing chemical balances. That said I recommend eating well (no sugar/wheat/processed) getting a little exercise and sticking to caffeine until you can afford (time-wise) to experiment.

However, you're most likely determined. Personally, Piracetam (most researched, safest racetam) and AGPC were working pretty well for me, though 2-3 weeks of your study time could be very foggy. When I started l-dep that was not good for about 8 days but I really had to reduce the dosage before then. In the beginning I completely lost the desire and ability to study well. AlCAR seems to work better now than piracetam on a lose dose of dep. I have some pyritinol and l-phen on the way. I'm less sure about the other things I'm taking. It took several months to get noticeable effects if I can call them that. It is hard to know if it's placebo but I have to think I am understanding concepts better even though I could just be learning knew ways to study through exam feedback. When I was an undergrad it was simple enough to memorize tons of info, these days that is a given and then I need to apply that to a perpetual stream of word problems. If you have ever seen The Paper Chase, there is a guy who has a photographic memory but he can't apply the concepts. You can learn a lot more if you try to understand concepts, the rest is just boring numbers. Aside from just the stimulant effects of caffeine, amphetamine or possibly modafinil, there really are no flowers for algernon.


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Posted 18 April 2006 - 04:28 PM

It was barely weighted as heavily as intended, but the idea that 5 weeks to tinker is not enough should be further emphasized. FURTHER.


You'll have to reserach nicotine(gum) and Galantamine as I have only a working experience with them. The issue *morbius* mentioned "state-dependent memory"...that's key here with nicotine, and I would venture to say, from experience, that this is true also for aniracetam.

At this point, I would try ONE thing...and at the first sign it causes any queer feelings just drop it. It will be essential that you keep yourself chemically balanced with the foundation elements (sleep, food, exercise). Perhaps after the testing you can dabble when there's not so much on the line.

Ditto on the pre-sleep lesson-tape. I'm a big fan of listening to audio at this time. Here's some more: learn the yoga pose Shoulder Stand. Do that for 3-5 minutes before bed and then get in bed for sleep after the retraction...that being with no pillow and headphones on.

#11 salesman

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 05:10 PM

I would also recommend the Neuro Programmer 2.0 i used its trial version and I was able to maintain alot better concentration levels

#12 kelesis

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 06:52 PM

Thank you everyone for the advice. You are right I believe. This isnt the time for me to mess around when time is tight and messing with my mental balance can really screw me over. However, I still want to take a small risk and experiment with one or two. I will have to figure which one or two to take later tonight. Thanks again!

#13 xanadu

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:57 PM

I would not mess with nicotine in any shape or form. It has harmful effects including causing blood vessles to shrink. It's also been implicated as a carcinogen. There are much better things out there than that. Try things one at a time or in pairs. Piracetam plus a choline source is good to try together. Then see how you do with Alcar and then try pyritinol. If you take them all at once and it seems wrong for you, you don't know which ones work and which ones are the problem. Get comfortable with your stack before you add anything to it.

#14 orangish

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 10:55 PM

I don't have anything definitive and helpful to add, but a question that might help bring some potential reactions to light. Morbius, you mentioned that piracetam didn't kick in for two weeks, or at least I interpreted that you said there was a "fuzzy period."...Have other people had a similar experience with piracetam? the old threads, not that i've noticed, haven't mentioned anything about the shift from haze to clarity...

And something else to throw on the table for consideration (excuse the carelessness and inability to fully regard the usefulness of fully digesting information before i put it out there), and note the indefinitiveness of these statements: I tried gurana, pill form, awhile back--guarana's similar to caffeine, how similar i can't say... It helped me in the short stint with concentration, but had no effect on motivation, and over the long term the effects dissolved....but I had awhile back been very impressed with initial results.

#15 ~ prometheus ~

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 11:23 PM

i also recommend you understand a little about memory retention and how to optimise it.

for instance, morbius mentions state-dependent memory. just make sure that the drugs you're on when studying are the same as those you're on when you sit your exams.
learning context is also important. clearly, your exam room won't have music blaring in the background, so don't have it playing in your study area. the better your study environment matches the exam environment, the better your recall will be (all other things being equal). the same is true of your mood.

there's also a rationale behind not cramming, because it's not as effective as studying over several days. you could think of it as buying lottery tickets. if you have just 1 ticket (cramming) then the chances of you getting the right numbers isn't as good in comparison to having bought many tickets (studying over a few days, creating several memories of the same concept).

i'll stop there but you get the picture. also make use of mnemonics.

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#16 the big b

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 11:49 PM

I study 27 hours and 30 minutes a week at home alone, and I find that avoiding stimulants helps me more than taking them does. You may find that long hours of study coupled with stims makes you homicidal, or atleast a little irritated.

But on the topic of Noots, they really won't give you an edge in the way you are thinking they will, standardized tests ask for you to know the answers, nothing else, and increased brain function isn't likely to help you with that, its more creativity affecting, know what I mean?

Hmm, I get the feeling I screwed this post all up, but hopefully you get what I'm saying.

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