Nootropics for Traders – 4 Steps to Getting Started

Can Nootropics help my trading?

Nootropics is a highly personalized affair and there is no one size fits all.  Unlike the fictional drug NZT-48 in the movie Limitless, at this time there is no magic pill that will be all things for everybody.  Rather the application of nootropics needs to be tailored to your personal biochemistry.

Based upon the clinical evidence of nootropics there are 6 areas in which nootropics can enhance performance.

  1. Memory
  2. Attention
  3. Mood enhancer
  4. Anti-fatigue
  5. Creativity
  6. Reasoning

Selecting and improving any ones of these areas can have a profound improvement on your trading.  Alternatively if you prefer to be more prescriptive then some self evaluation is in order to determine how one can best positively tease out the best results.  Here is a quick start plan to get you on your way –


4 Step Plan for Nootropic Beginners

1. Address the low-hanging fruit.  If you’re living a highly stressful lifestyle and putting miles on your mind and body, then adding nootropics to the mix is like putting lipstick on a pig.  Step 1 is to make sure you prioritize and focus on a healthy, nutrient dense diet, coupled with bouts of exercise several times a week, and stress reduction program – all with the intent focus on reducing stress and inflammation. This will form a good foundation for proper and enhanced body and brain processes.

2. Evaluate yourself.  Understanding what’s going on under the hood by understanding your neurotransmitter balance will help you better understand your potential strengths and weaknesses.  From there you can work on either maintaining balances or addressing imbalances.  There is a whole array of expensive neurotransmitter lab tests which can be purchased but for beginners and nootropics lay-mans, I recommend a simple 5-10 min. self survey that will help introduce you to your key neurotransmitters and the importance of keeping those neurotransmitters in balance.

Take the Braverman Assessment here and read the book The Edge Effect: Achieve Total Health and Longevity with the Balanced Brain Advantage by Eric Braverman.

3.  Boost me.  Now that you better understand your neurotransmitter balance, and have determined what mental functions and states you want enhanced, it’s time to dip your toes.  When it comes to trading most traders want to improve focus and attention, reduce anxiety, increase motivation, and/or boost memory.  But rather than starting this journey by building a complex nootropic stack  I always recommend first trying a reputable pre-formulated nootropics stack like Onnit’s Alpha Brain (Onnit Labs: Alpha Brain, 90 vcaps) or MindNutrition’s Neurostim (Neurostim).

Or if you a coffee drinker or enjoy caffeine?

Then start with BULLETPROOFING your coffee for the incredible sustained energy and focus and then supplement the Bulletproof receipe with 200 mg of L-theanine (Now Foods, L-Theanine 200 Mg, Veg-Capsules, 60-CountL-theanine) in order to reduce the unwanted effects of coffee, such as the come down, jitters, and anxiety.  

Or you can get the same effect in pill form with Natural Stack’s Smart Caffeine (Smart Caffeine Nootropic with L-theanine).

4.  Track, track, track.  Lastly there are no free rides when it comes to human biology.  The human body is incredibly adaptive.  What works now may not work 2-3 months down the road.  Be a student of yourself by tracking and keeping an avid journal.    A simple spreadsheet works or I recommend using a service like ohlife (Free) to journal your experiences which can you later drill into to find patterns and reflect on the effectiveness of your nootropic experiences and how they affect your trading.

For self-quantification geeks there are tools like Quantified Mind or Cambridge Brain Sciences that can help you quantify and measure changes to things like memory, concentration, and attention.