Nootropics That Are Sustainable: The Delicate Balance
And burning out on a nootropic is totally possible. The web is filled with reports of people feeling foggy, tired, or burnt out after taking nootropics. Some of the bigger boys, like Modafinil, tend to make people need more sleep after they’ve taken them. Others leave you in a debilitated state, unable to function, lacking energy.
To me, that’s exactly how you know a nootropic is not sustainable. Let’s elaborate.
To me, in the arena of sustainability, subtle nootropics work the best. The reason is: if you have a subtle onset of effects from the nootropic, and subtle effects throughout the time the nootropic is effecting you, chances are (completely theoretical) you are not burning through neurotransmitters in a way that’s non replenish-able in the timeframe you need in order to continue feeling optimal, or good.
I’ve taken some nootropic stacks before that virtually burnt me out to the point where there was some type of depletion of a neurotransmitter (I suspect) happening in my brain, and I actually started to lose focus.Â
This is how you know you’re burning something you’re not repleting. Maybe it’s Acetylcholine, or maybe it’s something less known that you’re using in high quantities. Generally, you want to stay away from these types of nootropic blends. Sustainable is better. Nootropics that work for a few + hours at a time, and do not effect your ability to work/function later on in the day, are ultimately optimal, and that’s how I built Cortex Gen 1.
Cortex Trials Burnt Me Out
Crazy right? The reality of sampling numerous nootropic stacks, with various nutrients in combinations of quantities, is an inevitable run in with negative effects. I remember taking a very specific blend, in the process of building Cortex nootropic,Â that was entirely too much depletion of Acetylcholine, and not enough replenishment of it (I theorize). I felt extremely fast processing speed for most of the day, but somewhere around 8 or 9PM, I started to, while continuing to have fast processing speed, have a rapid deterioration of my working memory.
I’d go to do things and forget what I was doing. I’d forget what I was just thinking about, 5 minutes ago. It was quite the disastrous situation, and definitely not sustainable.Â Sometimes it would last until the next morning, and while running my iPad repair company, I’d have these lapses in memory that really freaked me out.
And in all cases thereafter, when taking nootropics that seemed to work TOO good to start with, I always ended up in a place where I was burnt out, lacking a major mental faculty, or losing focus at a great capacity as a result. That taught me the critical lesson: The more subtle the nootropic onset, the more sustainable the effects.
You Need SustainabilityÂ
You need sustainability anyway. The goal in taking nootropics (for me and hopefully for you) is to have sustainable brain function in targeted ways throughout the day, and sometimes bleeding over into the next day. It’s to have an effect that you notice, WHILE engaging in cerebral work, not that you necessarily notice when you’re idle. Those stacks tend to be the best stacks. With nootropics, in most cases, less really is more.
A great example of that is the dosage dynamic of Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), an extremely interesting nootropic that is said to boost levels of acetylcholine. Though that mechanism is poorly understood, and I have a theory that it actually depletes ACh (short name for Acetylcholine), it’s still quite the interesting nootropic.. if you’re taking it with phosphatidylcholine, CDP Choline, or another ACh precursor (to replete the theoretical ACh burned from it).
This nootropic taken in larger doses than necessary, is a great example of a non sustainable nootropic. I’ve taken it in 145 MG doses before and though I had some great effects from it early in the day, somewhere around 3-4PM (from an 11AM administration), I’d be debilitatingly tired. Like, something in my body was completely depleted. It made me feel totally wiped out. It was very obviously a problem, and told me that this was a non sustainable nootropic, in the dose I was administering.
What happened? I lowered the dosage significantly, and boom, sustainable, good brain function from it all day. No crashes or negative effects from it. Quite the interesting situation. For those interested, I do well at no more than 50MG of DMAE.
Note: I still make sure I have a choline source when I take DMAE. I do not believe it solely creates ACh in the brain. I’m quite sure it utilizes it quite quickly, thus the need to take it with a choline precursor, to replete what I think you’re depleting.
Second note: The reason for my theory here, is in those instances where I was beat down and tired from DMAE, 250MG of CDP Choline literally fixed it in 20 minutes. I mean.. night and day difference. Though it’s anecdotal, to me, it’s strikingly obvious. The CDP Choline gave me more ACh, and I started to feel normal and optimal again.
When taking nootropics, look for subtle effects that pronounce your ability to function in the areas of speed, working memory, long term memory, creativity, and focus. Don’t shoot for nootropics that give you a “high” within a short amount of time of taking them, that eventually taper off leaving you down, burnt, or not able to function properly. A nootropic should not leave you tired, worn out, in need of extra sleep, or anything similar.
A good nootropic should be sustainable. Something you can take, feel a great benefit from it, and NOT have serious side effects the same day, or in the subsequent days. Something that is sustainable.