What’s In the Best Nootropics Stack?
- Written by Melanie Smith
- May 30, 2020
5 Strategies For Creating The Best Nootropic Stack
Nootropic stacks are the latest form of biohacking – but how do you know you’re getting the best?
First… What is a nootropic stack?
This is the term used to describe a combination of two or more nootropic ingredients or supplements taken together or as a sequence to enhance brain function.
Next… How do we make a good nootropic stack?
All nootropics have different properties and won’t all do the same job, so we ‘stack’ them. To address multiple areas of brain health, we want to look at ingredients that can be put together to:
–> grow neurons by stimulating BDNF – brain derived nootropic factor
–> directly improve cognition – focus, concentration, learning, memory
–> help regulate mood, i.e. to feel good about your day, and stay positive and motivated
–> increase cerebral blood flow and oxygen delivery, i.e. to get all of these above processes happening
–> achieve balance, in other words, to stimulate function adequately without overstimulating the nervous system
These are the first 5 strategies we look at to decide what constitutes a good nootropic stack:
#1 Ingredients should be premium quality
With so many products marketed as nootropics you need to be discerning – a premium brand values high quality ingredients that contain biologically active compounds, supported by clinical evidence. You don’t want bottom of the barrel, cheap and possibly adulterated or contaminated ingredients .
Premium brands use higher quality ingredients from reliable sources, they contain higher amounts of active ingredients, are purity tested, and contain minimal additives and fillers. This makes for a better product that is more likely to give you the amazing nootropic benefits you’re looking for, without compromising other areas of your health.
#2 Majority should cross the blood brain barrier
The blood brain barrier (BBB) is the brain’s ‘security system’ that controls what goes in and out – in simplistic terms, letting nutrients and other beneficial compounds in and keeping toxins out .
It’s a good idea for the majority of the actives in the ingredients in your nootropic stack to be able to cross the blood brain barrier. Why? Because they literally need to do their work up there in the brain, nourishing and tonifying, growing neurons, strengthening synapses [3,4,5]. Some won’t be crossing the BBB, but they will have a supportive role in regulating the nervous system as a whole and can still be useful, but they are generally not the main feature.
#3 Each ingredient should be within therapeutic range
It’s not ideal to have a multitude of different ingredients in one formula if there’s not enough of each to be within a therapeutic range. There’s only so much that can fit in a capsule – too many ingredients in one product can mean the whole product is diluted and may not give you the benefit you are looking for.
True, that some people will be able to achieve benefit taking less than the recommended dose. But for the average person, clinical data identifies how much of an ingredient (particularly with reference to its active compounds) that should be in there to confer benefit .
#4 Ingredients should support overall health
Ideally, we want to get maximum impact from our brain supplement – and we can support whole body health at the same time.
‘Brain-fog’, mental fatigue and reduced cognition can be a symptom of low-grade inflammation coming from elsewhere in the body . We are an interconnected machine that is the sum of all its parts, so we can extend benefits to the rest of the body and help the whole system function more efficiently .
Also, as mentioned in point #1, we reiterate that with so many brands on the market, poor quality supplements intended as nootropics indeed may not support whole body health.
#5 Ingredients should have synergy and complement each other
Nootropics are all about up-regulating and modulating processes in the brain for benefit, and this requires a delicate balance. Natural nootropics have varying and cross-over actions that we can use to advantage (and some have multiple actions on their own), whether it’s direct cognitive enhancement, stress adaptation or reducing mental fatigue. By combining several ingredients into a stack, through one or more actual supplements, we gain access to a wider scope of brain benefits.
Some formulas are not balanced – for example, did you know that taking vitamin B6 without the other B’s can put your total B vitamin ratio out of balance, as we actually need all of the B vitamins for brain health [9, 10]?
Here you have it: the best nootropic stacks are those that are created with these five factors at the forefront – quality, BBB transportation, dosing, whole-body-health, and synergy.
From here… you are well equipped and on your way to a better, healthier, and happier brain. ?
Check out the science behind E2B Vital Mind to learn how we ensure our supplement offers the best quality and most potent nootropic stack on the market today!
- Quality Assurance Issues in the Use of Dietary Supplements, with Special Reference to Protein Supplements. J Nutrition; 2013. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/143/11/1843S/4571739
- The blood-brain and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers: function and dysfunction. J Semin Immunopathol.; 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19779720
- Molecular and Functional Characterization of Bacopa monniera: A Retrospective Review Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; 2015. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/945217/
- Ginsenosides: A Potential Neuroprotective Agent. J BioMed Research International; 2018. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2018/8174345/
- The metabolism of anthocyanins. Current Drug Metabolism; 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24329109
- The Molecular Links of Re-Emerging Therapy: A Review of Evidence of Brahmi (Bacopa monniera) Frontiers in Pharamcology; 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4778428/
- Selective effects of acute low-grade inflammation on human visual attention. NeuroImage, 2019 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116098
- The Effects of Flavonoids on Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Human Intervention Trials and Implications for Cerebrovascular Function. J Nutrition; 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315948/
- B6. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-b6/
- B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review. J Nutrients; 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/