Advice On Picking Your First Stack
Probably the single most frequently asked question I get is “I’m new to Nootropics, can you take a look at my stack and give me some advice?” I’m of course more than happy to help people pick their first stacks, and also more than happy to give advanced people advice on how they can tweak their stacks for optimum effectiveness. I do see a lot of people who are starting off with Nootropics asking pretty similar stacks, so I figured it may be a useful primer to help people decide on what to take.
Know What You Want To Achieve
Many people hear about Nootropics and are enamored with the possibilities and attempt to improve everything at once. People look at the different Nootropics available and pick a list of ones that sound cool. Different Nootropics have different purposes, however. Some Nootropics will give you intense focus for a short period of time. Others will improve your memory. Still others will help you to grow new neurons in your brain. The first question you really need to ask yourself is “What do I most want to improve?” and then pick Nootropics that are specifically tailored to that purpose. Don’t attempt to improve everything at once. Pick one thing and stick with it.
Keep It Simple
I’ve created a Stack Discussion area on the forums on this website, and I’m also the main moderator on reddit of /r/StackAdvice. People who are just beginning tend to get overexcited and ask me “Can you rate my stack?” while posting a list of experimental chemicals a mile long. I tell these people to cut it way down to a few key ingredients. Here are some reasons for starting off small:
- If you’re taking a dozen substances every day, how do you know which ones are working and which ones aren’t? Start with one or two, and judge the effectiveness. It’s always easier to test one supplement and compare to baseline and determine if it’s working or not, than to try to guess at which one in a large list is the correct one.
- If you develop headaches or an adverse reaction, it could be due to one single ingredient, or it could be due to multiple ingredients interacting. It’s much more difficult to pinpoint the cause of headaches, fogginess, fatigue, etc if you don’t know what specifically is causing it.
- These drugs do not have a large history of testing and acceptance. Drugs also have complex interactions that can require years of study to determine how they interact. By starting small and adding one-at-a-time, you can determine on a per-ingredient basis how things will interact. Better to start small. Some drugs work well together (Caffeine+L-Theanine), and some drugs can cause poor interactions.
- These chemicals are not particularly cheap, and it is time consuming to fill capsules with just one ingredient, let alone a mixture of a number of different ones.
A Few Words On Racetams
One of the odd things I see is that people will list multiple racetams in their stacks. Racetams are all in the same drug family and have similar modes of action. By taking multiple racetams, you’re not getting a number of unique effects, you’re just taking a whole hell of a lot more racetams. If you’ve never taken a racetam before, I’d suggest starting with Piracetam as it is the most studied, and there are a lot of people with Piracetam experience who can help you through different issues (choline headaches, etc). I’d advise you only to move on to some of the more complex or newer racetams once you’ve tried out Piracetam by itself and gotten a feel for what it does.
I’d like to leave you today by just recapping my main points.
- Choose your Nootropics based on what you want to improve
- Start with one or two Nootropics and then slowly add once you’ve become accustomed to the effects
- Don’t take a whole bunch of different racetams thinking it’s going to help unless you’re familiar with each of their effects on their own and you’ve studied them.
I hope that I haven’t scared any of you off of Nootropics, and I hope I haven’t discouraged any of you. You can get amazing effects from just one or two chemicals. Start small and grow! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to post in the forums, direct message me, or respond to this post in the comments section below.
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