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How To Increase Brain Power and Concentration

Increase Brain Power

Increase Your Brain Power & Improve Cognition Dramatically

Disclaimer: This is a post by Ash Sharman (A nootropic enthusiast, and thus are not the views of Track My Stack.)

When we talk about innovation and advancement, we cannot leave aside the cognitive enhancement advancements being made almost weekly. There has been a lot of research done on natural herbs for brain enhancement to increase focus, memory and concentration. The researchers are calling these wonderful cognitive enhancers nootropics.

A quick recap for those that don’t know. The word nootropics was coined in 1964 by Dr. Corneliu  E. Giurgea. He coined this term to refer to compounds that enhanced memory without negatively affecting the brain. Nootropics are supplements and functional foods made especially for improving  mental and cognitive abilities. They are believed to work by altering availability of the brain’s supply of neurotransmitters, hormones, enzymes and or oxygen among other things.

The Main Purpose of Nootropics

Nootropics help with many things such as cognition, motivation, focus, concentration and brain energy. Different brain functions are enhanced/improved based on which cognitive enhancer is taken. They kindle the growth of nerves and improve oxygen supply.

Increasing Brain Power with Nootropics

Nootropics is a great brainpower booster for many. Whether you are a student studying for a test or a business professional, these smart drug supplements will provide you the energy you want for charging your mental energy. They help improve sharpness of brain and equip you with the quality to think quicker and deeper. There have been many clinical trials done and are referenced on the supplement pages. Athletes, speakers, performers and executives of all kind rely on brain foods to enhance their mental energy, cognitive behaviour and IQ.

The most common  type of nootropics is known as racetams.  People who have consumed have reported of enhanced mental  energy and clarity in ability to think more clearly. Reading, writing and linguistic skills were upgraded.

The most frequently used racetams include to improve Intelligence:

  • Aniracetam –  Stronger than Piracetam and good for Input/Output (I/O) meaning it helps you remember and grasp ideas and concepts easily and recall things better while being an anxiolytic.
  • Oxiracetam – Used generally for memory improvements with a stimulating effect (I did not notice this…) but it’s suppose to be kick-in quickly for instant mind power support.
  • Noopept – Russian developed aid, claimed to be 1000x stronger then Piracetam. Helps with focus.
  • Piracetam – It’s water soluable supplement that helps in increasing motivation and focus. The most well researched and personally recommended. You can take up to 10g of this stuff without any worries, however we advise going up to 4.8g every other day or as needed, broken down into 2 settings.

You can look for Nootropics in foods like chocolate and green tea. It has been observed that phenethylamine and L-Theanine which are the natural chemicals in these food products are great brain foods. There is another article that was published here about foods that increase brain power. Keep in mind buying from reputable and trustworthy sources is key and as such I recommend visiting the Shop section of this site.

There are many other stacks that can help you increase your brain power, feel free to search our nootropic stack database for specific keywords to see what others are taking.

Supplement Products (Pre-Compiled Stacks)

Caffeine + Brain Octane Oil – The butter is usually added to this coffee to stave off hunger and loose weight, which is not the case here. However, one thing you can keep in mind is that — Your body uses a lot of energy to digest food, that blood flow, could be going towards your work, so it may make sense to add that butter (Grass fed ofcourse) to your morning Concentration Stack.

Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse – These are prescription drugs and are for people diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. These are ‘Medicinal’ amphetamines and provide a stimulant type feeling and are not generally considered ‘healthy’ and could be thought of as a bandaid fix to a bigger problem.

Alphabrain by Onnit – One formulation that is popular in market nowadays is Alpha Brain. It is a supplement whose ingredients are extracted naturally, and are not prepared synthetically. People who have used this formulation report  that these work very fast. If you want to become mentally sharp and increase awareness, you can use Alpha Brain. It also helps a user wake up early with more vitality and power.  It contains AC-11, a rainforest superb herb, Huperzia Serrata, Bacopa Monniera and Alpha GPC. These ingredients make Alpha Brain, a superb Nootropics for boosting brainpower and enhancing creativity, focus and concentration. However, you can construct your own Ingredient Matrix (or stack) based on your own needs (biology). Start with Alpha GPC.

You will find nootropics in  the market in various formulations. They come with only one ingredient or with a combination of many ingredients. Every  brain supplement will enhance brain activity and will work for improving one, two or many functions. When considering nootropics, you should refer to what others are taking, and build your stack 1 by 1 after careful testing. When in doubt, it is safer to go without a specific mineral you are unsure about.

Coming Up…You need to focus on Brain Exercises and Games that increase Brain Powder

Stay tuned for my follow up articles on increasing brain power via video games, such as Dual-N back, Exercises/Yoga that can slow down or possibly reverse any brain fog you may have and lastly Apps and software that can help manage and keep track of your progress or even accelerate your progress towards improving your concentration. If you are looking for a simple and basic way to track vitamin intake, sign up for a account on our site. Happy Quantifying!

Guide to Provigil Abuse, Addiction and Withdrawal

Modafinil Provigil

Disclaimer: The below article is a guestpost by Ash Sharman (A nootropic enthusiast, who has submitted a few more articles to be posted on the topics of nootropics to us) and thus are not the views of Track My Stack.

Provigil, popularly known by its generic name Modafinil, is a smart drug used for enhancing mental performance, reasoning and learning. It is used for improving wakefulness in adults. Many adults experience excessive sleepiness because of sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder or narcolepsy.

Researchers are not sure how Modafinil promotes wakefulness. One hypothesis is that it may increase dopamine levels in the brain by obstructing the reuptake of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates the chemical signals from one nerve cell to another. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this drug for the cure of narcolepsy in 1998. It also approved its use for shift work sleep disorder and obstructive sleep apnea in 2003.

Top Reasons for taking Provigil/Modafinil as a smart drug:

Provigil has been portrayed as a magic pill. When consumed, it makes a person feel more eloquent and better equipped to perform complex and demanding mental tasks. It is popularly used in college campuses and high-stress profession that requires focus and attention to details. This is why it is common to find it on Wallstreet (in Finance) or in a developer’s (Programmers) medicine cabinet. You will enjoy hours of unshakable concentration for up to 15 hours after taking a single dose of up to 200mg. However, it is no adderall, it will keep you from feeling tired/sleepy/groggy which will allow you to keep focused. As the “fame and excitement” of this smart wonder drug is on the rise, fears about its abuse, addiction and withdraw dangers also takes the central stage.

Some call Provigil a “Super Drug” as sometimes it is used for performance enhancement by military fighter pilots and soldiers during combat situations. It also enhances short-term memory allowing the users to remain awake for longer periods.

What are the key things you need to know about Provigil?

Provigil is a federally controlled drug and should be used as per the direction of a GP. You should store it in a safe place to prevent abuse or misuse. It is against the law to sell this drug to another person. The drug is not approved for use in children for any medical condition. And, it is still unknown whether it’s safe or works for children under the age of 17 or not. Individuals that show signs of sleep apnea use this drug in combination with other medical treatments.

Provigil can lead to grave side effects including a serious rash or an allergic reaction affecting your liver and blood cells. The side effects are life-threatening and require medical treatment. You must stop taking the drug immediately and seek medical help if you develop a skin rash, blisters, rashes, yellowing of the skin, dark urine or have trouble swallowing or breathing.

Basic dosages for Provigil

Provigil comes in two strengths, 100 mg and 200mg. It is generally taken during morning hours to prevent daytime sleepiness or one hour before the start of a work shift. If you consume too much Provigil, you will experience nausea, diarrhea, confusion and (obviously) have trouble sleeping.

Consequences of Provigil withdrawal

People who have used Provigil for the long term and stopped did not show any physical withdrawal issues.  It is assumed Provigil gets its effect by releasing CNS histamines in the brain. These agents create targeted stimulation of neurotransmitters which causes Provigil’s effects of wakefulness and alertness. You may experience a headache with Provigil/Modafinil use which may require you to consume a lot more fluid/or food as your appetite may get suppressed without you noticing it. It could also be because your dose may be too high to start and other users have said choline/uridine MAY help. Everyone’s biology is different, stop use if the headaches don’t subside.

Ways to avoid Provigil abuse, addiction and withdrawal dangers

If you fear of any Provigil abuse, or have any history of substance abuse, it is good to take some other natural nootropics that present less issues. Keep in mind, Modafinil isn’t necessarily addictive per say. If you do start taking Modafinil consider using our platform as a medication tracker tool to make sure you have no negative interactions, your dosing correctly and to get general feedback from our users.

It is important to be little careful while using Provigil as some of its side effects can be very serious (even though they affect a very very small percentage of the population). It should not be used without prior consultation of doctor in any case if possible. Feel free to also browse around our site and explore stacks for nootropics to see what others are taking.

Top 10 Brains Foods That Help Improve Memory

improve-brain

I have been researching brain foods that can help improve memory. There is no such thing as a miracle food (oh wait, what about Kale??!) that can make you smarter but the following items can help, you may not need to know the science behind each and every healthy food item, but they are listed below in no particular order. Without further ado, the top foods for your brain:

  1. Beef Liver – It’s high in vitamin b12, provides energy for the brain. B12 deficiency causes nerve and brain damage. This meat rather than lamb, pork tips, contains the highest b12 content.
  2. Asparagus – Protects your brain from dementia and stroke because of its vitamin and mineral content, it also shields it against MCI, stroke and Alzheimer’s dementia.
  3. Fish (and Omega 3 Fatty Acids) – 50% of your brain is made up of fat and the vast majority is fatty acid called DHA, which is a major component of fish or Krill Oil, you should be consuming this for your general health anyway.
  4. Berries and Flavonoids –  Greater intakes of blueberries and strawberries were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline, greater intakes of anthocyanidins and total flavonoids were associated with this trend. Reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22535616
  5. Coffee – Caffeine improves attention span, psychomotor performance and cognitive function, as well as and feelings of well-being, is readily available. Tip: Stack with L-Theanine for a calm attentive focus.
  6. Avocado (Omega 3/Omega 6) – High in fat content and the oleic acid helps with myelin which helps information travel faster in your brain. Oleic acid makes up 1/3rd of the fat in myelin and related foods like almonds and pecans are helpful in speeding up the messaging in our brains.
  7. Coconut oil (medium chain triglycerides or MCT) – Ketones are a fuel to a starved brain, MCT oil provides instant energy to the brain without requiring glucose or sugars or carbs.
  8. Broccoli (calcium/vitamin C) – Broccoli is a good source for lignans, a compound that has proven to improve thinking, reasoning, remembering and learning. Additionally it is also high in glucosinolates which halt the decline of neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Brussel sprouts can do the trick here as well.
  9. Dark chocolate/cacao (flavonols) – Not only will it provide you with endorphins, but they reduce the effects of stress. It is a source of anadamine and it contains phenylethylamine to make you happy. For us, it also increases blood flow to the brain boosting memory, reaction time and helps with attention span. Working memory speed can be improved for up to 2 hours by 30% by drinking 2 cups of hot chocolate. Reference: http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2013/08/07/WNL.0b013e3182a351aa.short
  10. Spinach (folate and vitamin E) – Spinach is packed with antioxidants that block free radicals. The accumulation of free radicals in the brain is linked to mental decline. Tests on rats showed, rats performed better on a memory and learning test that were fed spinach. Blueberries could be a good alternative as well.
  11. Bonus: Tomatoes (lycopene) – Tomatoes help your brain! Lycopene too is a powerful anti oxidant found in tomatoes, which helps protect against damage that can lead to things like Alzheimer’s.

Let us know if there is any other top foods we have missed, also if you enjoyed this tip and want to see more in the form of pictures, follow us on instagram by clicking here.

PPS. Check out our entire list of supplements and vitamins here to improve cognition as well.