If you were like me and watched the movie Limitless, you probably became fascinated with the idea of NZT-48, the nootropic drug that's the centerpiece of the plotline - a drug that enhances human memory, intelligence and the dealer in the movie claiming it unlocks 100% of the brain.
Whilst there is no actual drug available like NZT-48, there are hundreds of nootropics available that we can use to enhance cognitive ability, learning ability, formation of new memories and improved memory recall.
Below I'll outline my current stack for what I use to achieve these things for those days busy days working where I have a full day of work, client calls, consults, programming as well as my own learning and training in the gym all in the same day where I need to be in a full flow state.
If I'm on a rest day, or just want a more chilled out weekend, then I won't take any of the stack. Why? Because I'm not needing those additional drivers and I'm not burning off all that acetylcholine without all those neural based strains I experience on a heavy work day.
Alpha-GPC and Huperzine A
Huperzine A: 20mg
This is basically just replacement therapy for the acetylcholine (ACh). I'll couple this with Huperzine A. The Huperzine A is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor - the enzyme that breaks down ACh, so inhibiting this lets us get more out of our ACh.
This acts as a methyl donor to the whole ACh synthetic process and also plays a part for the regulation ACh in the brain. ALCAR also has neuroprotective properties, in that it may help protect cholinergic neurons from oxidative stress and damage.
Stimulating Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain and neurogenesis ameliorating the repair and creation of neurons, boosting neurotransmitters and signaling to improve memory, learning, recall and mood.
Caffeine and L-Theanine
Caffeine: Strong black coffee AM
Loading up on caffeine in the morning potentiates learning and memory formation throughout the entire day. Coupled with L-Theanine drives up alpha and theta brainwaves, so retain information better, improves speaking. L-Theanine also counter acts the caffeine jitters and anxiety feeling some people may get, and smooths out the energy levels, so provides a more balanced boost of energy as opposed to that sudden rush you get with caffeine.
They're the baseline needs that I use, but on more intense days I may also add in:
Releases histamine from the lateral hypothalamus that recruits a lot of exogenic peptides, helps to keep focused and alert, especially on those really intense days.
Probably the most well known of the nootropics. Again, added in for those more intense learning days. Increases NGF and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Critical for neuroplasticity and long-term potentiation.
It may seem like a lot, but everything is in for a reason. Nootropics aren't a one size fits all, and whilst if you did copy this stack and may get a positive result from it, it may also not be exactly what you need.
Nootropics are like PEDs in that they don't do the work for you, but provide the ability to do what you need. PEDs should be used by experienced athletes who have a solid training programme in place, with their nutrition, sleep etc all dialed in and the same goes for nootropic stacks - they should be used alongside other brain training activities such as learning new skills, journaling, brain training games to get the most out of them.