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Self-experimenting with Nootropics (AKA smart drugs)

A month ago I posted a summary of my Nootropics meta-research. Today I'll share some subjective results from my self-experimentation so far.

But first a bit more background. Every since I heard about nootropics (AKA "smart drugs") a few years ago I've been fascinated by the idea that there might be a safe way to squeeze more performance out of my brain. My friends say that makes me one greedy son-of-a-bitch and that I should be well content with the brain capacity nature gave me. They're probably right. But I've always been unsatisfied with natural limits and a bit of an experimentalist at heart. There was something about the idea of experimenting with mind enhancing substances I find irresistibly intriguing. So I had to try it.

After doing my homework and figuring out which supplements I wanted to try I started my nootropics regimen. The timing was excellent as I was just about to get into a fast and furious development cycle on a super tight deadline that would have usually challenged me to my limits:

My regimen:

  1. Piracetam + choline: 1000mg piracetam + 500mg choline 2-3 times a day
  2. Deprenyl 1mg a day
  3. Omega 3, 1000mg 4 times a day
  4. Meditation, 2-3 times a day.

If my life was a Hollywood script things would probably have turned out horribly wrong. I'd become a super-genius homicidal maniac or something.

Fortunately what actually happened was less dramatic, but interesting nonetheless.

Two-three weeks into my development cycle I noticed I was sustaining unusual high levels of stress successfully in a way that I have never experienced before. Ever.

I was regularly getting 3-4 hours of sleep. Staying awake for 24-hours at a time.

It's not that I've never done that before. I have. Usually before meatspace meetings that forced me to ignore my already screwed up circadian rhythms. But boy would I pay for it. At least a day of vastly reduced performance. Sometimes 2-3 days. Feeling shitty and being unable to bring myself to do anything useful.

But now. Oh boy... my mental stamina was without a doubt at a totally different level. I was sharp and focused. I just wanted to keep going.

I wasn't totally sure I wasn't just imagining things until I started dealing with pressure that would usually have left me hanging on the ropes. My immune system usually responds poorly to stress - but this time I wasn't getting sick. I wasn't useless the day after pulling all nighters. In fact I didn't feel like stopping at all.

When I stopped working after a long stretch of concentration it wasn't because I was too exhausted to continue. But rather because I suspected even if I felt great it might not be very healthy in the long term to just keep going and going without sane amounts of rest.

I also noticed an effect in the conversations I was having with people. I felt more socially intelligent than usual. Even when exhausted I found myself having the most fascinating in depth discussions, connecting with people I normally couldn't stomach for very long.

It was like having my brain on steroids.

Fun facts about Deprenyl (AKA Selegiline)

Hungarian Professor Joseph Knoll, the man who invented Deprenyl in the 60s was a holocaust survivor. Born in 1925. He used the stuff religiously himself and was still publishing research papers regularly as late as 2003. Not bad for a 78 year old who survived the Nazis.

Here's an interesting article I found:

Shattering the Barriers of Maximum Life Span by Dr. Joseph Knoll

According to Knoll's research, Deprenyl is an amazing substance with remarkable neuro-protective and possibly even life extending properties. For years it was all but ignored by big pharma. No research grants. Supposedly because they couldn't patent it.

Oh except after they figured out how to patent a transdermal delivery mechanism. Transdermal is a medical term which means through-the-skin.

Of course, this patented FDA-approved transdermal stuff is insanely expensive, even though there is no evidence that the delivery mechanism makes any difference. Transdermal humbug. I take my one drop of liquid Deprenyl a day under the tongue. And I like it.

With all the incestuous rotating-door shenanigans that is the FDA's relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, I don't find it the least bit surprising that Deprenyl was only approved by the FDA for use in the US, decades following its discovery, after big pharma discovered a way to patent and make a killing off of it. But I'll leave that rant for another time...


Robert Fantini's picture

regarding Piracetam + choline: in the other article you wrote: "if you can stand the taste you can buy in bulk powder and then it's dirt cheap. 1-year supply $75 with shipping"


From where ?


thanks for the article.


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