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Two Red Flags of BAD Nootropic Stacks

alphabrain onnit joe rogan nootropic stacks dmae huperzine

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#1 jroseland

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:00 AM

There’s two very popular Nootropic ingredients that make me raise a skeptical eyebrow when I see them in a product.

Huperzine, which we’ll discuss first, is an effective energizing Nootropic but less is really more. You really wouldn’t want to dose more than 100 micrograms daily of Huperzine-A and ideally less, like 50 micrograms daily.

What many users of popular Nootropic stacks don’t know is that large doses of it maybe toxic. You really want to be taking miniscule amounts of the stuff. At doses over 50 micrograms you run into side effects like insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, slowed heart rate, restlessness, sweating, loss of appetite, contraction of muscle fibers, constipation, and twitching.

Huperzine stays in your system for at least 24 hours. When you consume 400 mcg of huperzine (which is a common dosage in many stacks) the next day after you think that the Nootropic’s effects have worn off there’s actually still 200 mcg in your system. The Huperzine in your system really accumulates when you then take another 400 mcg, or maybe more if you mega-dose a Nootropic stack containing it. The extremely popular podcaster Joe Rogan often talks about taking 6–8 capsules of Alpha BRAIN which is WAY too much Huperzine. Huperzine really doesn’t belong in your daily stack.

The final really important thing to understand about Huperzine is that it is cheap — really cheap at .0006 cents per dose or 2 cents for a month’s supply! If you want to make a killing, get into the Huperzine business!

The second “Nootropic” that you should be very wary of is DMAEDMAE is an awful pseudo-Nootropic with some concerning (and often undiscussed) side effects. The consensus of the Biohacker community seems to be that DMAE isn’t worth it. Scientific literature suggests that…

  • DMAE causes birth defects.
  • DMAE is not metabolized into choline in the brain.
  • DMAE inhibits choline kinase.
  • DMAE inhibits choline transport.

A not insignificant amount of self experimenters report unpleasant effects from it…

  • Hyperactivity is a frequent complaint
  • Loss of focus
  • Loss of motivation
  • Depression
  • Steep tolerance curve of diminishing positive effects

Finally, it tastes downright demonic! In powder form it’s one of the nastiest supplements you can ingest.

If you’re going to take Nootropics you really don’t want to waste your time (or your money) and you certainly don’t want to take something that may actually do you harm. Check out this playlist of critiques of Nootropics and products that I see as problematic.

In my view the cardinal sin that Alpha Brain commits is not proving that it contains the advertised ingredients. And Alpha Brain is not unique in this — this is actually a huge problem with the supplement industry in general. Nobody is verifying that supplements actually contain the vitamins, nutrients and Nootropic ingredients on the label or listed on their website. Somebody who just wants to make money can build an ecommerce store, create some graphics of a bottle or label and list a bunch of ingredients that empower our health but actually just fill the capsules with sawdust (or whatever) and make a killing. It’s an often undiscussed ethical hazard of being in the supplement game. If you don’t see a certificate of analysis (COA) for the ingredients of the product you’re really making a faith based decision to consume it. Onnit’s is probably not doing this because they are a big company with a lot money, the value of their multi-million dollar brand is probably not worth the risk of betraying their customers to maximize profits a little more but as industry leaders they really should take that ethical step and just make their COAs public.

I’m sure there’s a good reason why they don’t do this — It’s probably because some of the individual ingredients are of questionable quality. Not all Bacopa (or any other ingredient for that matter) is created equal, there’s really good stuff that is produced by organic farms that is stringently tested and then there’s cheap stuff from China which is probably not pure and may contain problematic toxins and heavy metals — you really don’t know if you don’t see a COA. In the case of Alpha Brain they just list the ingredients…


For many of the ingredients they don’t give us any additional information about the sourcing of the ingredients or specific derivatives used. Without more information, it’s fair to assume that they are just using what’s most cost effective.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: alphabrain, onnit, joe rogan, nootropic stacks, dmae, huperzine

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