Some nootropics work great when taken by themselves. Modafinil is a popular example of this. People all over the world use it to increase focus, wakefulness, and productivity.
However, many nootropics work best when taken or stacked with other nootropics. In this post, we’re going to look at 5 of the most common nootropic stacks being used today.
5 Common Nootropic Stacks
Stacking nootropics is a common practice among experienced users. While there are plenty of nootropics that work well by themselves, many worked best when taken as part of a stack. Below are some common nootropic stacks that are popular all over the world.
1. Caffeine & L-Theanine
Without question, this is one of the most popular nootropic stacks being used around the world today. There’s a good reason for that: it’s safe and effective for most people.
It’s no secret that caffeine can improve focus, wakefulness, and productivity. But it often comes with a number of side effects. Anxiety, insomnia, and the dreaded crash several hours after consumption are all common caffeine side effects. That’s where l-theanine comes in.
L-theanine is a substance that is found in green tea. It’s known to be relaxing but not sedating. And there is tons of science to support both its safety and effectiveness.
When taken with caffeine, l-theanine reduces or even eliminates all of caffeine’s side effects. Instead of feeling jittery and anxious, users get all of the positive effects of caffeine with none of the negatives. This stack creates a state of relaxed focus that lasts for hours and has little-to-no crash.
Personally, this is one of my go-to stacks and easily one of my favorites. It’s simple and effective. The l-theanine definitely increases the effectiveness of the caffeine. When I want to be relaxed but productive, stacking caffeine and l-theanine is usually the direction I go in.
2. Piracetam & Alpha-GPC
This is another simple and effective nootropic stack. It’s also one of the most commonly used. In fact, this might’ve been the first nootropic stack I heard about nearly a decade ago. It’s made up of two nootropics: piracetam and alpha-GPC.
Piracetam is the substance that inspired the creation of the word nootropic over 50 years ago. Its creator noticed that it improved focus and overall cognitive performance without causing any side effects. He needed a word to describe these effects and coined the term nootropic.
Alpha-GPC is a common choline-boosting substance. Choline is an essential nutrient that our bodies use to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter plays a crucial role in memory, learning, and muscle control.
When stacked together, piracetam and alpha-GPC can pack a powerful focus-enhancing punch. They both work on acetylcholine and the alpha-GPC ensures that the piracetam has enough of this important neurotransmitter to work with.
3. The Happy Stack (aka The Mr. Happy Stack)
This stack consists of three substances: uridine monophosphate, CDP-choline, and fish oil. It’s called The Happy Stack not because it will make you happy (though it can certainly have mood-boosting effects), but because the person who first came up with it goes by the name Mr. Happy.
This stack can be great for increasing focus and improving mood. Uridine is a nucleotide that is naturally present in the human body. When taken in supplement form as uridine monophosphate, it can improve focus, mood, and memory.
CDP-choline is a popular choline source. Like alpha-GPC mentioned in the stack above, CDP-choline increases acetylcholine levels. When taken with uridine monophosphate, these two substances work synergistically to improve overall cognition.
The last substance in The Happy Stack is fish oil. Fish oil has been aggressively studied over the past 15-20 years for its cognition-boosting properties. It may have a subtle effect on focus and mood by itself. But when taken with uridine and a choline source, these three substances work together to have a powerful effect on focus and mood.
4. Modafinil & Ashwagandha
Modafinil is one of the most popular nootropics being used around the world today and has been for several years. Most users take it by itself and find it works great. However, some users find that modafinil can increase anxiety and interfere with sleep. That’s where stacking it with ashwagandha can help.
Ashwagandha is a plant that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It has been extensively studied and is known to have a variety of health benefits. Ashwagandha is also popular in the nootropics community for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep.
Modafinil is a powerful wakefulness-promoting agent. In some countries, it’s a prescription medication used to treat narcolepsy, excessive sleepiness, and other disorders. Nootropic users love modafinil for its ability to improve focus and reduce tiredness.
When stacked together, modafinil and ashwagandha can create a sense of relaxed focus. The calming effects of the ashwagandha help the user to stay relaxed without being overly sedated.
Some users also like to stack l-theanine and other nootropics with modafinil for this same reason.
5. Piracetam, Oxiracetam, Aniracetam, & CDP-Choline
The last item on our list of 5 common nootropic stacks includes four substances: 3 racetams and a choline source. Their effects are often mild when taken by themselves. But when taken together, these four nootropics can seriously increase focus, motivation, memory, and learning.
As mentioned in stack #2, piracetam was the first nootropic – or it at least inspired the creation of the word. Piracetam was also the first racetam to be created. The racetams are a family of chemically similar substances, many of which have nootropic properties. Aside from piracetam, oxiracetam and aniracetam are two other racetams with cognition-enhancing benefits.
Oxiracetam is known to increase focus without affecting mood or anxiety levels. Aniracetam, on the other hand, has been shown to decrease anxiety while also improving focus. When these to racetams are taken with piracetam, the three of them can work together to significantly improve cognition.
By adding a choline source like CDP-choline to this stack, it ensures that the three racetams have the necessary building blocks to be effective. All three of them affect acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that CDP-choline boosts. When these four nootropics are stacked together, they can create an intense state of relaxed focus.
Some users like to take alpha-GPC as part of this stack instead of CDP-choline. It really comes down to personal preference. Any choline-boosting nootropic should do the trick. You can learn about the different choline boosters here: What Is The Best Choline Source?