I often get asked where is a good starting point with nootropics, especially as it pertains to creating your own stacks. If you haven’t done so already, let me first kindly refer you to post titled the Nootropics for Traders – 4 Step Plan. Now in this post I will give you a good all-round beginner stack for trading that addresses some of the common issues that nootropics can often help traders cope with.
Do you experience the following when trading?
- Lack of focus
- Difficulty recalling events
- Difficulty learning new patterns
- Or are you looking for an extra edge?
What To Expect From This Stack
- Increased motivation
- Deeper concentration and focus
- Improved memory
- Increased tolerance to stress
- Reduced Angst/Anxiety
The Beginner’s Best Nootropic Stack
Dose 2x a day.
2400 mg Piracetam (Buy on Powder City)
100 mg Smart Caffeine (Buy on Amazon.com)
200 mg L-Theanine (Buy on Amazon.com)
300 mg Alpha GPC (Buy on Amazon.com)
500 mg Rhodiola (Buy on Amazon.com)
Summary of Recommended Sources:
The majority of these nootropic supplements can be purchased online pre-capped for convenience at Amazon.com.
However at the time of this article Piracetam is no longer available on Amazon which is why I recommend Powder City.
Please note: Although you can probably source suppliers who sell Piracetam in capsules/pills, if you plan on continuing your nootropics journey then I highly I recommend you buy an accurate scale and gel caps. In the long run you will save a significant amount of money by capping your own supplements and it gives you the flexibility of experimenting and seeing what works best for your biochemistry.
Take a look at this scale or similar scales in the Recommended Products page. I would recommend something like the GM-20.
Together, these ingredients all potentiate and create a fantastic effect, ideal for the traders who wants to maximize attention, motivation, focus, and memory.
Who wouldn’t want that?
The way I would describe the effects of this stack is laser-like focus with improved mental fluidity.
- It will improve your feelings of well being and give you the potential and motivation you might lack.
- It will reduce anxiety to buffer you from the market ups and downs.
- And finally – memory and improved learning can also be expected.
Essentially, this nootropic stack will help create a natural drive in your brain in the morning to focus in on market action and help you get into the natural flow state. And the subsequent dosing post-lunch will give you that renewed energy for the afternoon trading session.
Piracetam For Mental Enhancement
Piracetam is the granddaddy of nootropics and probably has the most literature and studies behind it so it’s a no-brainer (pun intended) for a beginner’s stack.
Study after study show numerous benefits with little side effects. Benefits include –
- increased alertness
improved attention span in normal, healthy humans and age-impaired persons
enhanced creativity (by improving the Interhemispheric flow of Information within the Corpus Callosum of the Brain
improved learning ability in normal, healthy humans and age-impaired persons (by influencing both the Hippocampus and Cerebral Cortex of the Brain). Dimond, S. J. Drugs to improve learning in man in the neuropsychology of learning disorders. Knight, R., Bakker, D. (editors). University Park, Baltimore, USA, 1976, pages 367-379.
increased number of cholinergic receptors (i.e. receptors for acetylcholine) in the brain by up to 40%
improved Short Term Memory (including Spatial Memory Christoffersen, G. R. Effects of piracetam on the performance of rats in a delayed match-to-position task. Prog Nueropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 22(1):211-228, 1998., an aspect of Short Term Memory that involves remembering one’s position in space).
Overall: Piracetam is a solid racetam for any nootropic stack and will make you feel like you have a mental edge.
Caffeine and L-Theanine for Focus and Motivation
Caffeine is included, because, as most of you know, it is very effective at increasing one’s focus.
Not really much needs to be added to the body of knowledge around Caffeine, other than the observation that the inclusion of Caffeine will positively antagonize the effects of all the other ingredients in this stack up a notch.
Overall: Caffeine will give you energy, focus, and alertness.
Now Caffeine or L-Theanine taken individually has beneficial properties but taken together is magical.
The combination Caffeine and L-Theanine gives you the increased alertness from the caffeine but without any of the downside usually associated such as jitteriness, anxiety, irritability, withdrawal, etc. Instead the addition of L-Theanine to Caffeine prolongs the alertness effects and mellows out anxiety related effects to create a smooth burning flow.
L-Theanine is a non-essential amino acid and glutamic acid analog commonly found in various types of tea. L-Theanine crosses the blood brain barrier readily giving it its psychoactive properties.
There have been clinical studies to suggest L-Theanine can improve memory, focus, and reduce stress levels. This is accomplished through increasing the activity of various neuroreceptors and transmitters of the brain.
Here are some of the purported benefits. L-Theanine was shown:
- to be an effective treatment for not only mental stress, but physical stress as well. Many studies have shown L-Theanine to be an anxiolytic, potentially due to increasing the dopamine levels.
- to improve scores on tests of learning and memory, it also affects many other variables.
- in a double-blind placebo controlled study to enhance the memory and attentiveness in patients suffering from mild cognitive inability. The study showed that brain theta waves, which are implicated in cognitive attentiveness, were increased in the temporal, frontal, parietal, and occipital areas of the brain. The conclusion of the 16 week long study showed L-Theanine as a plausible treatment for improving cognition and memory. Sang-Ki Park, In-Chul Jung, Won Kyung Lee, Young Sun Lee, Hyoung Kook Park, Hyo Jin Go, Kiseong Kim, Nam Kyoo Lim, Jin Tae Hong, Sun Yung Ly, and Seok Seon Rho. Journal of Medicinal Food. April 2011, 14(4): 334-343. doi:10.1089/jmf.2009.1374.
- to reduce the amount of psychological and physiological stress in a double blind study on 12 participants.
- When administered L-Theanine the subjects heart rates were reduced as well as salivary immunoglobulin. The study was conducted through 4 different scenarios, and its conclusion was that L-Theanine could cause anti-stress effects through suppressing cortical neuron excitation. Biol Psychol. 2007 Jan;74(1):39-45. Epub 2006 Aug 22. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses.
Overall: L-Theanine will reduce mental and physical stress amounts of dopamine and is extremely complimentary to the effects of Caffeine.
Note: As aforementioned we want to stack Caffeine and L-Theanine. The exact ratio we want is 1:2 to get the desired effect. That is 100 mg Caffeine and 200 mg L-Theanine. You could buy and take each supplement separately or if you’re looking for convenience there’s a supplement called Smart Caffeine which is pre-formulated in the correct ratio that we are looking for.
Rhodiola to Reduce Anxiety
Rhodiola rosea is a herb which has traditional usage as an anti-fatigue agent and Adaptogen compound. Interestingly rhodiola is likely the second most popular adaptogen after Ginseng.
As for the benefits, Rhodiola appears:
- to be able to significantly reduce the effects of prolonged and minor physical exhaustion that results in fatigue. This is more related to stress and the ‘burnout’ effect, or prolonged but low intensity physical exercise.
- to be highly reliable in reducing fatigue symptoms and improving symptoms of stress (and secondary to that, well-being) in persons fatigued from non-exercise related stressors.
- to improve cognitive functioning in persons who experience a reduction in fatigue, but there is insufficient evidence to support an outright increase in cognition (which should occur in non-fatigued persons) and not enough studies have assessed cognitive decline for conclusions to be made.
Overall: Rhodiola improves well being so you’ll feel great trading while reducing stress and will improve symptoms of fatigue from the overstressed trader.
Caution: If you are on SSRI antidepressants, please leave this out of your stack, it could cause dangerous complications.
Alpha-GPC for Memory and Potentiation
A naturally occurring phospholipid precursor and metabolite, Alpha-GPC causes an increase in Acetylcholine, which is its chief mechanism of action in the stimulation of thought and memory functionality.
Alpha-GPC is also commonly stack with racetams because it is extremely helpful in potentiating the memory and learning increases gained by nootropics, and reducing any possible sides from the racetams.
It is essentially a acetylcholine precursor and works well to maximize the effects of nootropics.
Alpha-GPC has also been reported to be able to spike and enhance Human Growth Hormone production so that’s another bonus.
Overall: Alpha-GPC helps increase memory and possibly potentiates the effects of Piracetam.
So there you have it. A solid beginner stack for traders who want to dip their toes into the nootropics waters to find out what the hype is all about.
Let us know if you find this article interesting or if you have any other questions around nootropics, leave us a comment. And if you’re already supplementing with nootropics, we’d love to hear your stack!
Finally some link(s) in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you buy after clicking on the link I make a few cents; this costs you nothing and you help keep the blog running.