For most of you, the best way to enhance your cognitive function will be to use a pre-made natural nootropic stack. Supplements like Mind Lab Pro or Performance Lab Mind will almost always represent the best choice for people who are new to biohacking but who want a high-spec nootropic to boost focus, memory and learning capacity.
However, for more experienced biohackers, or for people who have been using pre-made nootropics for a while, building a custom nootropic stack might be the next logical step.
After several months of using a product like Mind Lab Pro, you will have a good understanding of the benefits obtainable from nootropic supplements, as well as the areas of your cognitive performance you still need to improve.
With that knowledge in mind, you can begin to think about incorporating new substances into your stack, and potentially taking away others which you feel are no longer necessary. Maybe your stress levels have been significantly reduced by changes at work so you no longer need an anxiolytic. Or maybe you’ve decided that you need to add in some caffeine to clear morning brain fog as deadlines approach.
Whatever the reason, you might have reached the point when pre-made nootropic stacks no longer cut it; you want to build your own brain stack tailored to your needs and your mind.
But how do you go about building your own nootropic stack?
In this article, we’ll explain how to approach nootropic stack customization. We will take you through our step-by-step approach for building unique stacks tailored to your goals. We’ll also tell you how to avoid the major mistakes people make when creating their own nootropics.
How to build your own nootropic stack
It is important for you to understand that creating your own nootropic stack is not as easy as it seems. Simple yes, but not at all easy to get right.
There is a reason why the best pre-made nootropics are so popular; finding the right balance of nootropic substances to achieve total brain optimization is difficult. Most people ignore cognitive functions altogether. Many get too hung up on one thing like energy or raw processing power, leaving things like brain cell health or neuron excitability completely neglected.
By following the 10 steps – or tips – below, you will find it far easier to build a nootropic stack which works for you without making the same mistakes as everyone else!
10 tips for making the best nootropic supplement
Many of you will want to try to put together a great nootropic stack of your own.
If you have done your research properly, and you have enough experience with nootropics, this is a great idea!
Here are some tips on putting together the best nootropic stack from scratch:
- Define your goals
- Do your research
- Decide if you want to add synthetic nootropics or stick to natural
- Start with low doses and work your way up
- Start simple and increase complexity from there
- Choose an “anchor ingredient”
- Don’t rely on one substance
- Try different forms of the same ingredient
- Use sleep aids to maximize memory gains
- Don’t forget the basics – FOCUS ON OVERALL HEALTH
Define your goals
Don’t just rush into things; think about what it is that you want to achieve, which aspects of cognition you want to focus on, and how you’ll measure success.
Do your research
Be sure to do your own reading before buying any nootropic substances. Take the time to read the major studies done on a substance you’re interested in. It might turn out to be over-hyped or not what you thought it was.
Decide if you want to add synthetic nootropics or stick to natural
Most people limit themselves to natural nootropic substances. But a sizable minority of neurohackers use synthetic brain drugs too; piracetam, aniracetam, modafinil, and noopept being the most popular choices. We don’t recommend using synthetic brain drugs, which is why we don’t review them on this site. But you might want to experiment with them; just be sure to do your homework first – they can be risky.
Start with low doses
If you’ve never drank alcohol before, should you start by finishing a bottle of whiskey? Of course not. The same goes for nootropics. If you’re a nootropics beginner, start with the smallest doses you can and slowly work your way up. That way you’ll find out how little you need to see benefits, and you’ll cut your chances of side effects down dramatically.
Start simple and build up from there
If you’ve never experimented with cognitive enhancement before, then start simple. Most people see significant improvements in focus, memory, and mental energy from a B Vitamin complex and some DHA. Adding in some caffeine and Ginkgo biloba on that is usually enough to bring about measurable improvements in cognitive performance. Don’t jump in at the deep end – you’ll get there eventually!
Choose an “anchor ingredient”
Try to build your stack around a single “anchor ingredient”; a substance which forms the basis of your stack and which targets your primary goal. In most cases, the best anchor ingredient is going to be a potent cholinergic like CDP-Choline or Alpha-GPC. These substances enhance most aspects of executive cognitive function, including focus, working memory, information processing, and reaction speeds.
Don’t rely on one substance
Many people believe themselves to be experienced neurohackers because they’ve been using Piracetam for a decade. But relying on one substance leads to various problems. For one thing, you don’t actually know how well that nootropic works compared to other substances. Another issue arises when supply dries up; if you can’t get your hands on any more Piracetam, your cognitive performance will suffer. It’s best to take a broad approach to cognitive enhancement.
Try different forms of the same ingredient
Different forms of the same nootropic can have wildly different effects. We’ve already mentioned Citicoline (or CDP-Choline), which is far more effective at raising brain choline levels than plain choline powder. Some forms of minerals are more readily absorbed and bio-available than others (e.g magnesium bisglycinate vs straight magnesium). Utilize different forms of different ingredients to maximize results.
Use sleep aids
Many people focus exclusively on enhancing focus and learning capacity. They take all manner of focus enhancing substances like Citicoline or Pramiracetam. But they completely ignore one of the biggest determinants of cognitive performance – sleep! How much sleep you get each night has a bigger impact on your cognitive function than almost anything else. Using sleep aids rather than more nootropics is perhaps a better way to optimize brain function.
Don’t forget the basics
If you’re trying to find the best nootropics out there, then you should really try to get the basics right. Drink enough water, get regular exercise, read, spend time outdoors, socialize, and cut back on alcohol. If you aren’t making the effort to do these things, then even the best nootropics are going to produce substandard results.
Custom supplement stacks
If you are looking to take your cognitive enhancement a step further than single pre-made nootropics, but you do not want to invest the time and money into purchasing individual nootropic substances from wholesalers and doing the measurements yourself, a good compromise might be to stack different pre-made nootropic supplements together.
The classic example of this is the pairing of an energy supplement with a nootropic.
Mind delivers complete cognitive enhancement and brain health optimization while Stim delivers a significant but not overwhelming energy kick. Together, these two products offer the user a more substantial performance kick without the need for investing in bulk nootropics purchases or time-consuming dose measurements.