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Posted by on Nov 1, 2012 in Featured, Nootropics, Superhuman Stacks | 5 comments

How To: Create a Beginner Nootropic Stack

How To: Create a Beginner Nootropic Stack

If you’ve been reading some of the articles on my site, you know the benefits of some basic nootropics, like choline and the racetam family. All of the supplements mentioned on my site have nootropic effects and can help improve memory in the brain on their own, but if you really want to benefit from nootropics and get the most of their brain boosting, cognition enhancing effects, you need to step it up and start a nootropic stack. Whether it’s for daily memory enhancement in your day to day life, studying for college or otherwise, or just for those people who want to maximize their potential in order to try to become superhuman (the reason I made this site in the first place!!!).

What is a nootropic stack?

A nootropic stack, simply put, is the combination of two or more supplements that have beneficial effects on memory, learning, focus, or motivation to create a synergistic effect in the brain greater than any increase in cognition that the supplements you “stack” could create on their own. Basically it’s a simple supplementation technique that many nootropic users take advantage of to boost the abilities of their brain further than any single supplement could do on their own. 

There are two ways you can do a stack.

One, you can simply buy a premade stack like “On It’s Alpha Brain” stack or some of the premade stacks I linked to below.

Premade Nootropic stacks have the benefit of being guaranteed to work to some degree, and you can check out reviews that are a tad less anecdotally based than most nootropic stack reviews.

They are more widely used with the same profile, whereas if you look at a review of a custom made stack, many people have so many different things in them that no one else has mixed with that certain stack that all experiences and reports end up being unique and certain effects can’t be pinpointed to certain compounds.

With a premade stack, everything is the same, and effects are usually the same or at least similar with users.

However, companies tend to throw in a lot of random crap in small dosages that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of your stack, so choose carefully. This is why Alpha Brain and Brainstack are my premade stacks of choice, they avoid that garbage.

Read my Brainstack Review and Onnit Alpha Brain Review for the top two most effective premade nootropic stacks. I prefer Brainstack simply because I like stimulating focus moreso than a calm, meditative, creative focus of Alpha Brain.

Two, you can create your own stack.

 This is the way I usually choose to go simply because I am very specific on what I want, and if something isn’t working, I like having the option to change the amount I am supplementing, or be able to take it out without changing anything else I am supplementing at that time.

The customization of making your own stack, and cheaper pricetag depending on what you want in your stack is appealing to many users in the nootropic and cognition enhancing communities.

But, a negative of creating your stack is that new users usually don’t have a clue what they want or what dosage to take. I would recommend for new users to stick to stacks in this guide or possibly my Best Nootropic Stack if they want to try something more advanced.

This can easily lead to someone taking a supplement wrong and not trying to find a Bottom Level Effective Dose (more on this below), which can make someone think the excessive side effects they experience from taking too much of a supplement, or lack of ANY effects they could experience from taking too little.

But if you do the research, and are willing to adjust the dosages of your supplementation until you get the effects you want, this is the way to go. For the lazy, irresponsible, or beginners, check out a premade stack.

NOTE: If you plan to make your own, you'll want to get an accurate scale to get the best value for your supplements. Check out my article on the best mg scale for nootropics.

How do I choose a stack?

So you’ve decided to build your own stack. Great. Now you need to establish a couple things to yourself first before you go around buying tons of supplements you don’t need.

First, you need to understand what the Bottom Level Effective Dose is.

I’ll use coffee as an example.

If you go out and drink an entire pot of coffee at once, you are probably going to feel like shit, unless you are one of those with a heroic tolerance to caffeine.

Comparably, a sip of coffee probably won’t have any noticeable effect on you. Most people need a cup or two of coffee to get a good amount of effects without a overly terrible amount of side effects.

If you are going to start your own nootropic stack, you need to apply this concept. I recommend starting with a low dose to see how a certain supplement affects you. Its much easier to increase the amount over time than take too much and have to deal with tons of crappy side effects.

That way, you can see if you have taken enough to give you the effects you want. If not, the next day just up it a slight amount.

This is an important concept for anyone who wants to know how to make a nootropic stack. I would recommend buying an accurate scale from someplace cheap with high quality like to be sure you are measuring the correct amount out if you plan on filling capsules. 

You can find more information on what type of scale and capsules are best here.

Secondly, you need to ask yourself a few things like:

  • What do I want to accomplish with this stack?
  • How much am I willing to spend?
  • When and how often am I willing to take this stack?
  • Is this a stack I need to take over time to get effects from?
  • Am I willing to deal with any negative effects from this stack?
  • Is this stack safe?

Answer these questions, and expect your answers to change as your research more and more in the nootropic world and realize what is possible with these supplements.

This leads me to my third point.


This is the most important part of any designing any successful nootropic stack.

Despite the many users of nootropics and anecdotal reports, they are still very new supplements, and as such I think it should be an essential part of anyone making a stack to do the time and research what the are putting in their body, especially given to the fact that everyone has different brain chemistry and only YOU know how your body reacts to things best.

Make sure you know how the nootropics you pick work and what the mechanism of action is. Knowing how one nootropic works could be a deciding point in picking another, picking two that work on the exact same pathways in the point is just a waste on money and probably effects, whereas you could pick two with different effects and get a synergistic effect that will increase memory in the brain to a greater degree.

Another important part of researching is looking at studies and experience reports by other nootropic users. This is the best way to find out if something is effective or not. I recommend Pubmed for studies and the Longecity forums for experience reports. This is also a great way to find out the mechanism of action, Bottom Level Effective Dose, and what stacks are most effective together.

If you combine all these aspects, you can easily create a nootropic stack that will greatly increase memory in the brain.

You can be smarter, study harder, and be more motivated if you choose the right stack, and there is always room to change and modify stacks as time goes on to modify your needs.

The possibilities really are endless to enhance your cognition if you create a nootropic stack.

Click here to buy Nootropic Stacks from


Evolution of a Nootropic Stack: Examples and Advice to Forming Your Own Stack

Braintropic's Advice: Start Simple with your Beginner Nootropic Stack

If you are a beginner to the nootropic world, you need to start simple with just one of two nootropics for your stack. Nootropil and simple choline supplementation is one of the best nootropic stacks for beginners.

Benefits of starting with piracetam and a choline supplement:

  • Easy, just 2 nootropic supplements
  • Cheap, both are pretty cheap compared to more advanced nootropics
  • Safe, both have a high safety threshold
  • Very synergistic, they complement each other well
  • Room  to grow, if you like these, you can change them out or add something more advanced

What the most basic nootropic stack should look like:

4.8g Piracetam via
300mg Alpha GPC Choline via
Fish Oil and Multivitamin (In my opinion, these should be taken regardless of a nootropic stack, they will increase the effects of any stack and are just plain outstanding for improving anyone’s health)

4.8g Piracetam via
300 mg Alpha GPC Choline via

Feel free to play around with the dosages, if you experience headaches, you might need to increase the amount of choline you are taking, but you don’t need too much as this could cause other unwanted side effects such as a fishy smell(ew?), nausea  and other unwanted, unnootropic-like effects.

For me, a 10:1 ratio of piracetam to choline is the best, but I’ve seen people recommending as much as a 3:1 ratio to as little as a 50:1 ratio. Some people don’t even need to take choline, however I wouldn’t recommend this since choline and piracetam have a very synergistic effect in addition to their own strong nootropic effects. The type of choline is up to you, read our article comparing several of the best types of choline so you can decide which one meets your needs. 

Although a beginner could start with another racetam than piracetam, I'd reccomend it because it has a low side effect profile and give a good baseline to compare the rest to, because most people like the results and do decide to progress to a stronger type of racetam.

Some people decide the racetam family are just not for them because of they don't like piracetam and move on to other types of nootropics. Basically, its just a good taste of what the racetam family has to offer, and I think everyone should have a taste of the nootropic taste before they decide to eat the whole brain enhancement cake.

Braintropic’s Advice: Be Flexible

Everyone’s brain chemistry is different. Because of this, what works for one might not work for another. Therefore don’t be afraid to change up your stack. If something isn’t working, change something up! You might need to change your dosage, number of times you take your supplements per day, or even add or drop a supplement into the mix. Of course, don’t make changes every day; you’ll never know what change you made is the one that is making the difference in your nootropic stack. 

If you feel like you need to amp up your stack a bit, I would recommend you try one of three options. These are more advanced options, so be sure to try out some of the prior advice before making these changes, as the average beginner might not know enough to take these effectively. You can:

  1.  Change Piracetam out for another racetam, such as Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, or Pramiracetam (you can see a comparison of these three to decide which is best for you here)
  2.  Change your choline source. Alpha-GPC or Centrophoxenine are a bit pricier but boast more powerful nootropic effects and other brain improving benefits over other choline sources (check out a comparison of several popular choline sources here)
  3.  Add another nootropic supplement to the mix. A Nerve Growth Factor promoting supplement such as Lion’s Mane Mushroom or Neural Vasodilator would be a good choice. I would recommend the Lion’s Mane Mushroom as it gives a lot of long term benefits if you plan on taking the stack for awhile.


1500 mg Aniracetam (Buy on
300 mg Alpha GPC Choline (Buy on
2g Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Buy on
Fish Oil and Multivitamin (In my opinion, these should be taken regardless of a nootropic stack, they will increase the effects of any stack and are just plain outstanding for improving anyone’s health)

750 mg Aniracetam
300 mg Alpha GPC Choline
2 g Lions Mane Mushroom

Braintropic’s Advice: Create activity based nootropic stacks, ie: Study nootropic stack, sleep nootropic stack.

In your busy, daily life, I would bet you do not do the same thing all day long, every single day of the week. Most likely you set aside time to study, go to class, exercise, go to work possibly, and every now and then maybe find time to sleep. 

All these different activities have different mental requirements and engagements, some of them are well suited to an increase in brain power from nootropics and other don’t really require a boost. Sometimes you need to REALLY get in the zone before your final exam for a class, or you are way overhyped on caffeine or something and need to get to sleep so you don’t ruin your sleep cycle for the important lectures you have the next day.

Maybe you just need an extra push for your morning or evening studies.

Or perhaps need an extra night of sleep after partying and studying for 3 days straight.

 It wouldn't make sense to take something to give you that extra boost all the time, not only would you be overdoing it, but you wouldn't have the same strength of effects because the nootropics you would use for a task specific mini-stack are usually very fast acting and not suitable for long term use for one reason or another. Usually, a good candidate for a mini-stack nootropic is that it has one of these qualities:

  • Fast acting and potent. Not something that takes weeks to build up to have even slight effects.
  • Not something you could take all the time. For instance, Huperzine A can cause acetylcholine tolerance if you take it for an extended amount of time, which would decrease the effects of your overall stack.
  • Strongly attributed to a certain effect. This could be a strong focuser or something to help you sleep.
  • Synergistic. Usually something with a different mechanism of action than your main nootropic stack makes a great specialized stack ingredient because it will increase the effects of everything.


Beginner Nootropic Stack with Specialized Mini-Stacks

Normal Days
1500 mg Aniracetam
750 mg Oxiracetam
300 mg Alpha GPC Choline
2g Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Fish Oil and Multivitamin (In my opinion, these should be taken regardless of a nootropic stack, they will increase the effects of any stack and are just plain outstanding for improving anyone’s health)

750 mg Aniracetam
750 mg Oxiracetam
300 mg Alpha GPC Choline
2 g Lions Mane Mushroom

Intense Study and Focus Days:
All of the above.
Ginkgo Extended Release 120mg, every 6 hours, up to 2 times. (Buy on
L-Theanine, 100mg as needed if feeling jittery/stimulated. (Buy on

Exam Days:
All the Above

Immediately before Exam:
Vinpocetine 10 mg (Buy on
Huperzine A 100 mcg (Buy on

Sleep Stack:
Before bed, preferably at a time “natural” to your sleep cycle.

5-HTP 100 mg (Buy on
Valarian Root 20mg (Buy on
0.25 mg Melatonin
1500 mg Phenibut (Buy on

Remember, you should only try a stack this complicated if you are an advanced nootropic user and have done a decent amount of research and also have a large amount of experience with nootropic stacks.

But there you go, that is an example of the basic evolution of a beginner's nootropic stack. There are 1000’s of different variations of this you could do, this is merely just an example of how you can get more out of your stack and progress from a novice to a more advanced user. Check out our stacks section for new updates, I will be posting tons of unique, specialized stacks for your needs weekly.

More Nootropic Stack Ideas

Here are two of my favorite stack reccomendations that I've come up with lately.

My ALL TIME favorite stack that increases motivation, memory, and creates Adderall like focus is here:
The Entrepreneur's Best Nootropic Stack 

And a second stack that will increase the vividity of your mind and dreams to unfounded levels, that has been described as giving one "near photographic memory", is here:
Eidetic Memory Stack 

If you are interested in making your own nootropic stack, or looking for new ideas, I regularly will add new ones, so subscribe to get the latest updates on nootropic stacks!

Click here to buy Nootropic Stacks from


  1. Hi. Can you come up a nootropic stack for college students? Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the thorough article. Just a heads up — the links to piracetam “Via Amazon” are broken.

  3. I’m trying to make a stack I like aniracetam for the right brain qualities and anxiety aspects but like the idea of having the left brain logic qualities is there a stack that can boost both sides creative and logic fix mood or anxiety? Or is that too much to ask for hahahah is there a stack already? I also read l-theanine should not be consumed with too much caffiene if you are not sensitive to caffiene would it be a problem?

    • Check out this stack:

      It’s pretty balanced. Generally though, nootropics enhance both sides of your brain pretty evenly. Some are just more oriented towards one type of thinking. Stacking a “left side” and a “right side” nootropic actually is very effective at creating a balanced stack, ie. Aniracetam and Oxiracetam.

      And the reason the l-theanine should not be consumed with too much caffiene is they have a synergistic effect, and could increase the effects.

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