My job and just about everything I do is reliant on having a well-oiled machine of a brain, so among the most important things that I do like eating healthy, exercising, and meditation, I also consume legal nootropics or "smart drugs" to give me the final edge I need to keep up with the work I demand of myself.
My modus operandi with performance-enhancing substances is to drop everything I'm on for a week when I first start taking a new substance. This is so that I can focus on the new substance and understand how it works on my body in isolation. Through this process I've weeded out a powerful synergistic mix that works very well for me. Keep in mind, a few of these chemicals are research chemicals, and PRL-8-53 in specific is very untested. You might find experimentation like this reckless, and I'd agree with you, but by carefully adding new substances to my "stack" one at a time, I've been able to so far safely avoid any perceivable negative side-effects.
One thing I've experimented with and found to just not work for me is phenyl-piracetam. Regular piracetam is awesome, but the additional phenyl group is just too much stimulation for me. I always crash at the end of the day and get really moody, to put it lightly.
Another rule of thumb I follow is to never touch anything that messes too much with my dopamine system. My will-power and reward system is something I try to delicately craft to do precisely what I want. I won't take amphetamines, coke, or anything with addictive properties... or anything dopaminergic whatsoever. The only exception of which is caffeine, which only acts on dopamine as a side effect of working on blocking the adenosine receptors. I also only get my caffeine from green tea in low doses. Dopaminergics usually aren't nootropics anyways, so that's a subject all its own.
What I usually do is cap my low-dose compounds in a pill so that I don't have to spend 10 minutes every morning mixing powders. You can get a huge bag of empty pills on Amazon for really cheap:
Spend 20 minutes a week capping your pills and it saves you a lot of time and money in the future. Believe me, you don't want to buy your nootropics in pill form (except for a few exceptions like Bacopa)
So without further ado, here's my current stack:
For a long time, Bacopa Monnieri was my favorite nootropic. I've been overcoming the leftover symptoms of a longtime massive depression, so my long term memory has been shot. Bacopa did a lot to cure that problem. What I love about Bacopa is that it builds over time. It's not just a shot of "smart" that you take every day; it gets better with time and by the end of the first month you'll look back and realize how much better your memory is. It's also cheap and unregulated. You can get it at any grocery store or Amazon for cheap. The brand I HIGHLY recommend is Bacognize. A lot of the other brands have a lot of heavy metals in them, and you really don't want that crap coursing through your system. Tests have been run on Bacognize by the boys over on the Reddit nootropic board, and it's come out clean.
Bacognize is a really good entry-level noot. It's super-subtle, but noticeable over time, and will give you an edge without having to dive too deep into the noot community.
Dosage: 250mg twice a day
Piracetam is great for upping your verbal fluency. It builds a bit like Bacopa, but not to the same extent. It's also subtle like Bacopa, but a little less so. When I start taking it I don't notice much of a difference right away, but when I go without it for a week I realize how much better I was with words when I had it. If you have to do a lot of debate or explaining ideas to other people at work, I highly recommend Piracetam. Words just flow.
Dosage: 5 grams
Noopept feels a lot like Piracetam, except it's way more convenient. Just like piracetam, it also seems to make conversations a lot easier.
Instead of having to mix an entire teaspoon of this stuff into my water every morning like I have to with Piracetam, I can just pop a teensy little pebble in my mouth, or in my case I can pill it. I usually take Noopept on days when I'm too lazy to take a whole teaspoon of piracetam. Sometimes I mix noopept and piracetam and have noticed definite synergistic effects. They're similar substances, and noopept is ALMOST a racetam like piracetam is, but ultimately they operate differently.
This stuff is new for me. I've only dosed it twice. It feels a bit like caffeine, but smoother. I feel energetic and stimulated, but it's not something I'd want to be taking every day. It reminds me of phenylpiracetam, except less frantic and I don't have a crash at the end of the day. Liftmode is selling it on Amazon right now, and it's definitely worth a try. I felt very enthusiastic about things that matter to me, and was able to easily explain the concepts to friends.
The dosage is 5mg, so two grams will go a long way.
This one is a little iffy. The drug came out in the 70s and never got proper funding, but the original tests showed an increase in memory retention rate by.. get this.. 250%
Anecdotal testing by the Nootropic community using websites like Cambridge Brain Sciences to gauge their mental development has nearly always shown that this is not the case, but regardless, retention rate definitely increases, and I've noticed the effect myself. It feels a lot like bacopa, but more obvious.
It's hardly approved by any regulatory agency right now, and the only way I know how to get any is at New Star Nootropics, where they actually have a deal going right now for $35 a gram! Again, it's a 5mg dose, so that'll last you a long time.
I've saved the best for last, and this is the best, bar none ....Okay, maybe not for you, but it has been for me. I was able to get some from a manufacturer in China, but they've closed down and I'm not sure how to get any more right now. It's in very high demand.
It's a very new compound that is going through(And passing) FDA trials with flying colors. It's planned to be targeted towards people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Massive Depressive Disorder. It's new in that instead of just changing the level of neurotransmitters in the brain like every other anti-depressant ever, NSI-189 takes a radically new approach and actually REGROWS your atrophied hippocampus. In perfectly healthy mice the compound was shown to increase their hippocampal volume by 20%. So far It's been working very well on humans too, and even after stopping the drug, effects both mental and emotional persisted for as long as they were measured. Theoretically, in a way NSI-189 is supposed to keep working after you've stopped taking it.
Ever since reading the best book on stress physiology ever, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, I've suspected that my past depression left me with an over-reactive amygdilla, and an atrophied hippocampus. Recovery from my depression has been nut-bustingly slow, but no more. It's been an almost over-night recovery, whereas I think otherwise it would've been a lifelong recovery. I can almost feel my hippocampus being regenerated on the fly.
I've read reports that this substance isn't that amazing for users that aren't recovering from stressful times, but if you've got stress issues, it really works. If that sounds like you, ask your Doc about it when it comes out in a few years. I think that SSRIs and other neurotransmitter-based anti-depressants will soon be a thing of the past, and a bright future of reparative brain medicine will take over.
Well that's really it for my daily noot stack. Some days I'll also use modafinil and L-Theanine, but I find that they're best used as tools rather than an every-day thing. Besides, I get all the L-Theanine I need from my green tea.