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Absolute best Nootropics (Smart Drugs) for boosting Motivation, Memory, Focus and Mood

ChrisV

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This is actually from Reddit’s Nootropics board. A gentleman I know from there is a Data Scientist and did a very large study of the Nootropics users in the Nootropics Subreddit.

Note I had to add this after reading a couple replies: this post is not condoning the use of any substance or substances. Research the hell out of anything you decide to put in your body and talk to your doctor about anything prescription. Even non-prescription substances it’s a good idea to run by your doctor. That’s not just fluff talk... I literally run everything by my physicians. Some of these substances can have amazing, life changing effects for people. But some of these substances can have dipterous... life changing effects for people. Talk to a doctor. Seriously, talk to your doctor. Do your research from reputable medical websites. Than also talk to your doctor lol

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Full document:

https://darktka.github.io
 

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InspireHD

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If anyone is interested, there is a relatively newer documentary on Netflix called, "Take Your Pills." The documentary explores the use of Adderall and its effects on people and their every day lives. I've never taken it or anything similar, but a part of me wants to try it just to see how I would feel.
 

Gepi

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Woah, thanks. This could come in handy sometime...
Like how this confirms the anxiety-inducing effect of coffeine. This stuff is powerful.
One of the reasons I answer the question "May I offer you some coffee?" when meeting clients with "Thanks, but I'll take water, please."
 
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The Abundant Man

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If anyone is interested, there is a relatively newer documentary on Netflix called, "Take Your Pills." The documentary explores the use of Adderall and its effects on people and their every day lives. I've never taken it or anything similar, but a part of me wants to try it just to see how I would feel.
I remember back in college. Students would get prescriptions for ADD meds from Doctors then they would sell them to other students when it came to exam time.

This is what Adderall does:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo2u-q48iSg
 

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Just a note on the survey since most people probably won't click though: this is based a survey of the perceived effects on people who are already nootropic enthusiasts. This is hugely different than an actual test, which is what I think a lot of people imagine when seeing shiny charts hehe.

And so I'm not just trying to poke holes without adding anything, my own anecdotal experience is that phenylpiracetam and CILTEP (talking about the individual ingredients, not necessarily the branded stuff) have been the only OTC supplements that have really moved the focus needle for me. However, I also know that while these help me focus, they also make it really, really easy to focus on the wrong things. Imo, harnessing their usefulness can be tricky. If someone is already having a hard time using their time well, these could easily make the problem worse instead of better.
 
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ChrisV

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I remember back in college. Students would get prescriptions for ADD meds from Doctors then they would sell them to other students when it came to exam time.

This is what Adderall does:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo2u-q48iSg
Whoa whoa whoa... i just have to step in here. He is right. Adderall will give you energy to spare, but there are some very serious dangers to consider.

Adderall is Amphetamine, Amphetamine is speed. Adderal is literally.... literally one or two atoms away from from Methamphetamine.

Adderall is extremely addictive, and generally requires constant dosage increases. In other words, you’ll start with a 10mg dose, but soon you’ll need 20 mg just to feel normal. Adderall is a DA releasing agent so what happens is it releases all the dopamine you have, but then you’re left with a depleted source as well as a tolerance.

Adderall may be a solution for some, but talk to your doctor.

Seriously. That’s not some BS PSA. I’ve seen bad things happen when people weren’t careful with Adderall.
 
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ChrisV

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Just a note on the survey since most people probably won't click though: this is based a survey of the perceived effects on people who are already nootropic enthusiasts. This is hugely different than an actual test, which is what I think a lot of people imagine when seeing shiny charts hehe.
Yes. This is not a controlled study. But I feel like when you take a survey of many, many people, the placebo effect gets averaged out and pushed to the wayside.

In other words, we want to measure the signal, not the noise. The real effects are the signal, placebo responses are the noise.

When you collect large amounts of data the noise gets pushed into the background and the signal is apparent.
 

The Abundant Man

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Whoa whoa whoa... i just have to step in here. He is right. Adderall will give you energy to spare, but there are some very serious dangers to consider.

Adderall is Amphetamine, Amphetamine is speed. Adderal is literally.... literally one or two atoms away from from Methamphetamine.

Adderall is extremely addictive, and generally requires constant dosage increases. In other words, you’ll start with a 10mg dose, but soon you’ll need 20 mg just to feel normal. Adderall is a DA releasing agent so what happens is it releases all the dopamine you have, but then you’re left with a depleted source as well as a tolerance.

Adderall may be a solution for some, but talk to your doctor.

Seriously. That’s not some BS PSA. I’ve seen bad things happen when people weren’t careful with Adderall.
Yes, Adderall is a very strong stimulant. It does have side effects. Major weight loss and strong dependency for the rest of your life. If you do need adderall it is best to consult a doctor.

What I've noticed is that a lot of times students who get prescriptions for it. Will sell it to other kids during exams. These students do not want to fail the classes so they buy from these other students.

It's like steroids in sports.

I'm not supporting it at all.

It shames me to know that a lot of these college kids know that it's okay. I'm just saying what some people do in college.

I used to be on it during high school. Never worked for me in terms of grades.
 
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ChrisV

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Yea, I’m glad there are safer alternatives these days that are basically just as effective (Modafinil, Armodafinil) but even those.. talk to a doctor.

But at the same time it’s hard to talk to a doctor about some of this stuff because if you tell they ‘i just need something for motivation’ it’s doubtful they’ll go for it.

Unless you’re particularly unmotivated. Then you can say it’s depression.
 

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If anyone is interested, there is a relatively newer documentary on Netflix called, "Take Your Pills." The documentary explores the use of Adderall and its effects on people and their every day lives. I've never taken it or anything similar, but a part of me wants to try it just to see how I would feel.
If you don't have ADHD it's like a large dose of caffeine. I don't enjoy it.
 

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ChrisV

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Just a note on the survey since most people probably won't click though: this is based a survey of the perceived effects on people who are already nootropic enthusiasts.
But yes, people should read the full document if they’re interested in this stuff. I also died at this:

Sample Description
Age. The mean participant age was 26.86 years (standard deviation = 9.68, range = 12–88).

Gender. From the total sample of 380 participants, 325 (91.07%) male and 29 (9.89%) female participants completed the survey. 19 did not answer and 7 chose the “other” option for gender. From those seven participants, three gave a valid response, while four answered “attack helicopter”. Those three participants were either non-binary, trans-male or trans woman. The male-to-female ratio can be considered rather extreme even for Reddit standards, which was roughly 70/30 in an analysis a couple of years ago and can be compared to extremely male-dominated subreddits like /r/baseball or /r/Libertarian.​
 

Gepi

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, while four answered “attack helicopter”.
:rofl:
But it makes sense, I guess, since it was about a topic some people might not want to be associated with and therefore wouldn't like to give details. Your warning in the first post is also definitely required.
Be careful what you put into your body.
 
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Rabby

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Just a small PSA here. When you start "stacking" nootropics daily and the next thing you know you've joined/started a cult and are performing midnight magical rituals, and you're sure there's a camera watching you from the house across the street, that is the classic sign that it's time to does down ;)
 

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Adderal is literally.... literally one or two atoms away from from Methamphetamine.
And water is one atom away from being the explosive gas hydrogen. Table salt is one atom away from either being the explosive mineral sodium or the poisonous gas chlorine.

In chemistry you can't just say say something is "one atom away" from something when trying to make something sound more or less harmful than it is.

Adderall is a DA releasing agent so what happens is it releases all the dopamine you have, but then you’re left with a depleted source as well as a tolerance.
Again - not really correct. Adderall INCREASES dopamine activity in the brain. It doesn't dump it like a dump truck leaving you empty.

More accurately (but still oversimplified) it is a reuptake inhibitor (RI) that prevents the brain from re-absorbing the neurotransmitter dopamine. This means that instead of your brain releasing some dopamine and quickly getting rid of it, the RI effect causes the dopamine to "hang around" longer, producing a prolonged and increase effect.

I don't know why everyone tries to act all doom and gloom with every drug thread on this forum. If you don't like drugs - don't take drugs. It's really that simple. No need to try to scare people off with sensationalism.

For what it's worth, my son is on Methylphenidate for his (rather serious) ADHD. Methylphenidate, while a different substance from amphetamine (Adderall), has very similar effects on the brain. It has been life changing for my son but as a responsible parent I've done (and continue to do) lots of research on the topic.

Hearing folks shout "don't, it's speed!" is absolutely absurd. There's a huge difference between a healthy functioning brain and one that has a deficiency in some important way. Adderall or Concerta (methylphenidate) is going to have wildly different effects on those with ADHD and those without. Similarly it can often have different effects simply person to person - that's why you work with a doctor. When something doesn't work or has unacceptably negative side effects - you get off it and maybe try something else.
 

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Are you speaking from experience here...?
We meet on the full moon behind the rusty shack by the old sawmill... bring your own noopept, oxiracetam, phenylpiracetam, and choline. And robes, can't forget those. I'll see ye there, Soror.
 

Gepi

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Thanks, for now I'll stay with my favourite killer stuff, DAR-jeeling. But appreciate the invitation.
 

splok

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I also died at this:
The great part was that the only 4 'invalid' responses out of 300+ all picked the same response :)

Yes. This is not a controlled study. But I feel like when you take a survey of many, many people, the placebo effect gets averaged out and pushed to the wayside.
Right, I wasn't complaining, just pointing it out. You'd never get an actual, well-structured, study like this, so this is probably some of the best info that we could hope for. People just need to realize what the charts are really saying (which can be much harder than it sounds). It's a bit like coming to an entrepreneur forum and asking which business model is best at generating sales. You might get some great info, but you'd also need to consider the assumptions that are baked into that info, from both the answers and the question (are you sure it's really sales that you want? etc.).

Similarly it can often have different effects simply person to person
I think that's waaay too often missed in nootropic (and probably lots of other) discussions. Some of these things that have great effects on others have basically no effect on me. Some things that are neutral to great for me turn the wife into a jittery mess or give her a migraine. The potential range of differences in our brain chemistries are highly underrated, and probably understudied or at least under-understood.
 
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ChrisV

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Again - not really correct. Adderall INCREASES dopamine activity in the brain. It doesn't dump it like a dump truck leaving you empty.

More accurately (but still oversimplified) it is a reuptake inhibitor (RI) that prevents the brain from re-absorbing the neurotransmitter dopamine. This means that instead of your brain releasing some dopamine and quickly getting rid of it, the RI effect causes the dopamine to "hang around" longer, producing a prolonged and increase effect."
Adderall is not not not a reuptake inhibitor. Methylphenidate (ritalin) is a reuptake inhibitor. Modafinil likely acts as a reuptake inhibitor. Welbutrin is a reuptake inhibitor. Adderal is not of that class. It is a releasing agent and if it has any reuptake inhibiting properties, they’re certainly not the primary mechanism of action. Adderall works by sneaking through the Dopamine Transporter pretending to be a dopamine and then into the vesicle pretending to be a trace amine [1][2]

TAAR1_Dopamine.svg.png

See the red dotted line? That’s the path Adderall takes.

TAAR1_Dopamine.png

Again guys, I’m not here to debate Pharmacology or Pharmcodynamics. Just do your due diligence in researching any substance you’re interested in. That's all.

In chemistry you can't just say say something is "one atom away" from something when trying to make something sound more or less harmful than it is.
The behavioral effects of Dexamphatamine are nearly identical to those of Methamphatamine. [1]

"Differences between dextroamphetamine and methamphetamine: behavioral changes and oxidative damage in brain of Wistar rats. The results of this study show that d-AMPH and m-AMPH have similar behavioral effects, which previous studies had already reported."​

It’s not making it sound more dangerous at it is. The addictive potential for Amphetamines is not controversial. It’s chemical structure is relevant when that same chemical structure is responsible for it’s effects. In fact, in some cases actual Methamphetamine is prescribed for ADHD or Narcolepsy. It’s brand name is Desoxyn:

Desoxyn (Methamphetamine Hydrochloride): Side Effects, Interactions, Warning, Dosage & Uses


I don't know why everyone tries to act all doom and gloom with every drug thread on this forum. If you don't like drugs - don't take drugs. It's really that simple. No need to try to scare people off with sensationalism.
For what it's worth, my son is on Methylphenidate for his (rather serious) ADHD. Methylphenidate, while a different substance from amphetamine (Adderall), has very similar effects on the brain. It has been life changing for my son but as a responsible parent I've done (and continue to do) lots of research on the topic.

Why would it be doom and gloom? Because I don’t want to post a thread where someone wants to improve their life, doesn’t do their research, buys some Adderall off the dark-net and all of a sudden is addicted to Amphatamine. I said exactly that. "Some of these substances can have amazing, life changing effects for people. But some of these substances can have disastrous... life changing effects for people. Talk to a doctor.” Yes, while used responsibly they can be extremely helpful... but there are risks that need to be pointed out.

Great. You saw positive results in your son. But have you seen someone frantically trying to make phone calls to drug dealers at 3 in the morning because they’re out of Adderall since they’ve been taking 150mg/day and can’t even function without it? Because I have. Even most doctors are extremely hesitant to prescribe these things. The dangers are barely worth it these days when there are safer, just as effective alternatives like Armodafinil and Modafinil. That’s what I take.

But regardless, this is why I said “talk to a doctor.”

Guy’s, I’m not trying to argue. I’m not sure why the recommendation to ‘do your research and talk to a professional’ is even creating any type of controversy.
 
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ChrisV

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You'd never get an actual, well-structured, study like this, so this is probably some of the best info that we could hope for.
Yea dude.. totally agree. I actually think this survey was really clever because dealing with this stuff the first thing we think of is ‘controlled studies,’ since that’s the gold standard for evidence. So if someone where to ask me to analyze these substances? My first thought would be ‘that’s going to be impossible.. you’re going to have to do controlled studies on each one of these drugs, which would likely costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.” This survey was really clever in that the shear amount of people interviewed most likely ironed out the placebo effect. I honestly messaged the author of the study because I was so inspired by his simple and elegant methodology.

I think that's waaay too often missed in nootropic (and probably lots of other) discussions. Some of these things that have great effects on others have basically no effect on me. Some things that are neutral to great for me turn the wife into a jittery mess or give her a migraine. The potential range of differences in our brain chemistries are highly underrated, and probably understudied or at least under-understood.
And a big thing is that people have different brain chemistries depending on their genes and lifestyle factors. For example, ADHD is likely caused by a deficiency of dopamine in key brain regions (mostly prefrontal cortex.) Someone who has that deficiency is going to react completely different than someone who doesn’t.

As we see here:

If you don't have ADHD it's like a large dose of caffeine. I don't enjoy it.
While someone with ADHD will likely feel like it’s a miracle.

I honestly think that medicine (in the big scheme of things) is in it’s infancy. Imagine if we fixed cars that way. A car made a noise, and we changed the clutch. Then posted studies “we gathered 1000 cars making the same noise, changed the clutch and in 49.7% of cases it was the right solution. This provides evidence for the pressure-plate analysis theory” We don’t do that. We know what the issue is and correct it. I think one day we’ll be able to just use nano-technology to see exactly what the person’s problem is and take exact steps to fix it, the same we do with cars, but now we can’t.
 

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Gepi

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@ChrisV, I really appreciate the time you put into explaining the differences between the substances and also that you included the schematic of activity in the neuron and the synaptic cleft. I think this really is a very interesting topic, and I like this discussion! Thanks!
 

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Adderall is not not not a reuptake inhibitor. Methylphenidate (ritalin) is a reuptake inhibitor.
Most of my research does certainly focus around methylphenidate, so I may have gotten my lines crossed, but a very quick wikipedia search does claim adderall uses reuptake inhibition:

"Amphetamine improves endurance and reaction time primarily through reuptake inhibition and effluxion of dopamine in the central nervous system."

The behavioral effects of Dexamphatamine are nearly identical to those of Methamphatamine.
I was mostly attacking the idea of "one atom off" because it's not a valid argument when trying to show how similar one compound is to another. One atom off can be the difference between an explosive and water. It's interesting that in this case they are similar, but being "one atom off" is a terrible way of trying to explain that.

I honestly think that medicine (in the big scheme of things) is in it’s infancy.
While I would agree with this - I certainly wouldn't try to dismiss our best efforts based on the best available research and evidence we have today.

In your clutch example - changing the clutch on noisy cars would make total sense based on that evidence if no other diagnoses or evidence existed. Changing the clutch WOULD be the best course of action even if it turned out to be wrong in the future because it's the best available solution in that moment.

Look, I'm not trying to start an argument either. I totally agree that all these drugs have side effects and talking to your doctor and doing your own research is always prudent before taking anything. If anything I think we're just nitpicking each other. I'm genuinely not trying to downplay the negatives any more than you're likely trying to downplay the positives.
 

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Crazy how Adderall has the highest effect on most of the positive measures. I've only taken it once, but my experience completely supports the research here...

I'd made some poor choices and was doing terribly in my Operating Systems class. Even worse I needed OS to graduate and it was my last semester of senior year.

Just before midnight on Monday, my teammates and I were still working on a project for that class. And one of my partners offered to give me a tab of Adderall to help study all Tuesday for our Wednesday exam. I accept.

The next day, at 9 AM, I make my way to one of the computer science study rooms to get the pill from my teammate. I open up my 1000+ page operating systems textbook, get my headphones ready with some rainymood, take out my notebook and pen, and take the tiny circular tablet.

Initially my reading was pretty normal. I was very focused already because if I didn't get a decent grade on the exam. I would fail the class. And at this point, I knew almost nothing about Operating Systems. The most complicated system humans have ever created, and my goal was to learn enough in a day to save my semester.

About 15-20 minutes into my reading, I start to notice that the topic is more interesting. My brain wants to know all the details and soak them in. It wants to dive down the rabbit holes and understand every little thing. This curiosity is combined with an intense focus. Often with a topic as dense as OS, my brain will wonder off and I'll have to reread a page to cover the concepts I'd missed. But that was not the case this time. I was so dialed in on OS that I didn't care about anything else. I just wanted to learn.

Underneath these effects was a more subtle effect. I was happy to be doing this. It felt pleasant to obsess over a complicated topic and dive into all the details. To meticulously take notes on every major topic. To absorb all this information. I was not only super focused and curious, I was happy too.

These effects lasted for at least a few hours, but eventually they slowly faded away until I was back to normal. But I'd studied for 4 hours intensely, and it was natural to continue with the same intensity.

When I finally decided to call it quits and go to my apartment to sleep, it was 2 am. I had read and taken notes on over 400 pages and I had done tons of practice problems to prepare for this exam.

On the first exam, I'd scored 20 points below the class average, and felt like I didn't know anything. By the time I took the second exam, I felt like I had a firm grasp on the fundamentals of the topic. And I beat the class average by 10 points. On the final exam I got one of the best grades in the class. (The final exam grade was the result of a ton of drug-free studying)

Adderall is definitely a powerful stimulant, and the effects are subtle but impactful. With all of that said, I definitely wouldn't take it regularly and don't recommend that any of you do so without extensive research.
 
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Initially my reading was pretty normal. I was very focused already because if I didn't get a decent grade on the exam. I would fail the class. And at this point, I knew almost nothing about Operating Systems. The most complicated system humans have ever created, and my goal was to learn enough in a day to save my semester.

About 15-20 minutes into my reading, I start to notice that the topic is more interesting. My brain wants to know all the details and soak them in. It wants to dive down the rabbit holes and understand every little thing. This curiosity is combined with an intense focus. Often with a topic as dense as OS, my brain will wonder off and I'll have to reread a page to cover the concepts I'd missed. But that was not the case this time. I was so dialed in on OS that I didn't care about anything else. I just wanted to learn.

Underneath these effects was a more subtle effect. I was happy to be doing this. It felt pleasant to obsess over a complicated topic and dive into all the details. To meticulously take notes on every major topic. To absorb all this information. I was not only super focused and curious, I was happy too.

These effects lasted for at least a few hours, but eventually they slowly faded away until I was back to normal. But I'd studied for 4 hours intensely, and it was natural to continue with the same intensity.

When I finally decided to call it quits and go to my apartment to sleep, it was 2 am. I had read and taken notes on over 400 pages and I had done tons of practice problems to prepare for this exam.

On the first exam, I'd scored 20 points below the class average, and felt like I didn't know anything. By the time I took the second exam, I felt like I had a firm grasp on the fundamentals of the topic. And I beat the class average by 10 points. On the final exam I got one of the best grades in the class. (The final exam grade was the result of a ton of drug-free studying)

Adderall is definitely a powerful stimulant, and the effects are subtle but impactful. With all of that said, I definitely wouldn't take it regularly and don't recommend that any of you do so without extensive research.
Yea, that’s generally what happens the first few times you take Adderall. That effect goes away as time goes on though, unfortunately.
 

Dominik_M

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Am I the only one who doesn't want to take drugs to become more efficient?
I'm sure taking nootropics do result in this desired effect, but drugs have side effects, even coffee.
And as long as I don't exactly know what those are I'm not taking them - and right now I have better things to do than reading about drugs side-effects to be honest. :)
 

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A warning on taking Ashwagandha (if you don't actually need it) -

Started taking 1 capsule a day as I heard they can reduce stress/anxiety and lower cortisol. I don't suffer with any of those especially, but I thought "Hey, i can be even less stressed and more relaxed, result!"

After a week I noticed that my motivaton was zero; I couldn't eat, went home after ten minutes at the gym, and didn't see the point in working.

Basically, I quickly learnt that some stress is actually a GOOD thing.
 

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Personally, I have been using tianeptine and phenibut semi-regularly for a few months now. I never used more than about 500 mg of tianeptine in a day, averaged I'd say 150 - 200 mg each day I used it. I have also never used it more than 7 days in a row.

I think the most phenibut I've taken in a day is 2g. But I did the math and I over the past three months, I have used on average about 625mg of phenibut a day.

I have decided to quit both. Found some information online that should help me quit faster. Will keep you posted on how it goes.
 
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D.Navi

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Guys, start with the lower hanging fruit first: Sleep, exercise, clean diet, hydration.

If necessary, one or two 20-minute naps sprinkled throughout the day.

Once those are in place just L-Theanine + Caffeine will suffice for 80% of people. Dirt cheap and very easy to get, too.

There’s your Limitless pill.
 

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