Nootropics are all the rage these days. More and more pre-workouts are including nootropic ingredients and claiming to increase your focus at the gym, as well as promote higher levels of thinking. In my opinion, and at this date, November 2013, the best nootropic product on the market is Noopept from CTD labs. All other nootropics should be compared to noopept, and the clarity of thought that is given by this supplement.
On this scale, the nootropic stack by Natural Stacks falls short. This is not to say that the quality is not top notch, or that it is useless as a nootropic product. It just doesn’t compare to the results that you get from noopept.
The Nootropic Stack consists of 2 products:
CILTEP which is their actual “Nootropic” product
Smart Caffeine, which includes just Caffeine & L-Theanine
CILTEP’s ingredient profile, includes Artichoke Extract, Forskolin, L-Phenylalanine, Vitamin B-6 & Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR). Out of these ingredients, ALCAR is the only compound that I have experience with, outside of vitamin B-6. Forskolin has become a newer ingredient that I’ve seen more recently in more and more products. I was interested to see how it worked, as it’s supposed to increase cAMP in neurons. This should, theoretically, increase the efficiency of brain cells, and help to protect against damage that occurs through oxidization of the cells.
As an overall ingredient profile, I found the total a bit lacking. While these compounds show some promise in the effects on neurotransmitters & the effectiveness of protecting brain cell break down, that’s not the only issue effecting brain capacity and the ability of the brain to function properly.
Where racetams have vastly out shown other compounds, is in the ability to effect communication of the cells across the brain hemisphere barrier. By increasing the ability of communication between cells, racetams like noopept, allow for much clearer and precise thought.
With the Noopept stack, I didn’t find an effect that even rivaled that of noopept when it came to clarity of thought. In fact, the best part of the stack, was the least advertised. The Smart Caffeine was actually much more effective at creating clear concise thoughts on it’s own, rather than the combo of both CILTEP and Smart Caffeine. Because the dosing for CILTEP meant that there were only 20 days worth of product in the bottle, I had the ability to continue to take the Smart Caffeine after the CILTEP finished, because it comes with a 30 day supply.
During the 10 days after the CILTEP ran out, the effects of the Smart Caffeine were still continuing, even without the CILTEP. I did feel more awake, and alert, while not jittery or over stimulated. The inclusion of L-Theanine, was pretty ingenious, in that it’s been shown to extend and “smooth out” the initial shock of caffeine intake, and can improve uptake of the caffeine in the neurosystem.
I’m actually more impressed with the Smart Caffeine as a whole, than I have been in a lot of supplements these days. The uptake from the caffeine was truly “nice” feeling, and didn’t allow you to crash over time. I’ve found it to be so good, I’ve been considering purchasing L-Theanine supplements, and taking them with my coffee in the morning, and any pre-workout that I’m taking in the afternoon. Included with this, has been a suggestion that has just come up, of adding coconut oil to the mix, to include Medium Chain Tryglicerydes, which would work synergistically with the caffeine and the L-Theanine to increase the overall effects of stimulants on your system. This is something I’ll be trying in the very near future.
Overall on the Stack, I was not completely underwhelmed by the experience, it just didn’t live up the high bar that Noopept has set on the market. There’s nothing better than the clarity of thought and mind that you receive on Noopept, and especially for the price point. 2 months worth of Noopept will run you about $100, where as 2 months of the Nootropic Stack would run you closer to $150.
I did very much enjoy the Smart Caffeine, but at $20 per bottle, I’m going to work out creating the same effects by adding L-Theanine to my stack. This might end up at a net/net of the same cost, so overall, the Smart Caffeine. So the value is still there, if you want to give this a try.