Nootropics – Review

It’s far to say that I’ve taken a number of nootropics over the past 12 months.

Being a bit of ‘a worrier’ at baseline, getting made redundant had a bit of a negative effect on me for a while.
Worrying is a bit of a pain in the arse, as it impacts your concentration. Meaning you don’t get things done, and then you worry more and feel like a useless bellend.

If you’re stuck in that cycle I would recommend meditating, and focusing on diet primarily.  Giving up dairy and eating better took my energy levels from literally 1/10 years ago, to around 6/10 now.

Form that base of a healthy, and ‘mindful’ lifestyle; things should very slowly, but effectively get better.  Nootropics can help in the short term, and hopefully won’t be required in the longer term.  Opt for natural nootropics where possible and do your research on the likes of Google Scholar and Examine before taking anything.

Reddit is a good resource too, there are facebook groups, but people on there tend to be idiots/ a bit irresponsible with dosing etc.


My Reviews

This is one of the more effective nootropics that I have taken.  Taking 1,000mg with a choline source gave me massive amounts of energy and enthusiasm. However, after about a month of continuous use, I did seem to build a tolerance. I haven’t read about anyone else experiencing this, but it certainly doesn’t make me ‘chatty’ like it did the first few times I took it.

Aching muscles stop aching
Positive effect on cardio

Bit of indigestion
One study states that Acetyl-l-carnitine might be bad for your heart. Others state it is good for you heart.

Take with
Phosphatidylserine – this still gives me massive amounts of energy, but horrendous gas and wind and acid reflux.  Terrible, I think I did a continuous fart for over 20 seconds at one point.

Kratom Powder
I get really bad headaches, which I think originate from my sinuses and also my neck which is knackered from wrestling and rugby.   I used to take ibuprofen pretty regularly, until I read how that stuff really knackers up your kidneys.  Kratom is effective for relaxation and pain-relief, but I wouldn’t go over 5g, more than 3 times a week.

Here is a cool article on kratom from Forbes. Forbes – so you know it’s legit.

Maeng da kratom / green kratom appears to have a relaxing effect
White Kratom appeats to stimulate, and red kratom does a bit of both.

In the UK you can buy from –  it’s completely legal and safe if used correctly.  There is likely to be a bit of stigma attached to it however, as loads of juvenile delinquents use it to get high. Unfortunately.  From the extensive research I’ve done, it is safer than ibuprofen and codeine, which is apparently addictive after 12 days of continuous use.

I use 1g of white, green and red kratom 3 times a week at the moment.  This provides a relaxing effect and a moderate pain killing effect.

Depends on strain.

If I use just white strain kratom, I seem to develop a headache several hours later. I think this is because it is stimulating and stiffens up my neck even more.


Adrafinil is basically a poor man’s version of Modafinil. I wouldn’t recommend either. I wouldn’t recommend either. I said that twice for emphasis.
It feels like a cheap stimulant. I also read somewhere that Modafinil can cause some weird side effect were your skin burns off.  Honest!

More energy and focus

Really bad headaches, feeling knackered but unable to shift the wired, wide-eyed feeling.
Here’s a full list of side effects


Never felt any real benefit from phenibut. It is the strongest nootropic for preventing and alleviating anxiety, and has lots of research behind it, but it did nothing for me. I took 1g a couple of times, I think it had a mild effect about 3-4 hours later, but I’m not 100% sure if I was just in a good mood anyway.
Phenibut needs to be used with caution. It is completely legal and above board (like all nootropics I mention) but it’s still pretty strong stuff.  Do NOT take continuously or you will have a horrible come down with more anxiety than ever.

Info on how to take etc here
I’ve just started taking DLPA today. So far, my focus and energy levels seem to have improved. Vision seems a bit more acute too.
I’ll be following the protocol here
Up to 2,000mg for the first 2 weeks



Main effect I noticed was improved vision – colours and details seem more pronounce.  Taken with fish oil, choline and l-theanine appeared to reduce anxiety too.

Improved vision
Enhanced focus
Reduced anxiety

Headaches – I didn’t have any though, and I always get them!

Take with
Fish oil
Choline source
L-theanine for extra anxiety-relief

Rhodiola Rosea
A herb popular in Russia.  Depending on where you buy it from, this can be fantastic or do very little

Reduced anxiety
Enhanced focus

none that I’m aware of

Again, this is great if you get ‘high quality’. I’ve purchased some versions that did nothing.  This is a herb, like rhodiola that is completely natural and actually supposed to be very good for you.

Increased energy
Enhanced focus

None that I know of
Gingko Biloba
This is also a strong natural anti-inflammatory, and is supposedly very good for you.  However, it thins the blood and can lead to bleeding on the brain (in theory, if you are susceptible).   This sounds bad, but it’s more likely to save your life by thinning blood, than to end it.

Increased energy
Increased focus
Enhanced sports/physical performance
Can actually help with IBS

This herb actually made me feel stressed out


My recommendations based on experience so far:
Rhodiola Rosea
Gingko Biloba

With the exception of Acetyl-l-carnitine (depending on what study you read); these are all generally good for you. Although I wouldn’t take them all at the same time.

They come under a group of herbs called adaptogens – which reduce the effects of stress.

Here’s some more reading on Gingko, Rhodiola and Ashwagandha

Disclaimer – check with your doctor before taking any supplements or herbs. Just because a herb is natural, doesn’t necessarily make it good for you

About Drew

MMA, Fitness & Marketing enthusiast from North Wales, UK. A Stoic Hippy with no hair. Not to boast but - 1st Class Degree in Sports Science from Loughborough, MSc in Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. 20 years experience of weight & fitness training.
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