Caffeine is the most widely-used nootropic in the world. More than half of all adult Americans consume it on a daily basis.
In this post, we’re going to look at some of the best nootropics to stack with caffeine. They’re all common nootropics and have plenty of research to support their safety and effectiveness. But first, let’s take a quick look at what caffeine is.
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and the world’s most widely-used drug. It can be found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and a variety of other foods and beverages.
People consume caffeine mainly for its ability to promote wakefulness. It can also increase energy and improve aerobic performance, reaction time, concentration, and motor coordination.
But, unfortunately, caffeine can also have a number of negative effects. These can include insomnia (trouble sleeping), anxiety, over-stimulation (jitters), and increased blood pressure, to name a few.
Caffeine works by affecting several parts of the brain. It is an antagonist at all four adenosine receptor subtypes and this is thought to be responsible for many of its effects. Caffeine does not have a direct effect on dopamine, but it does change the way it works in some parts of the brain.
To increase caffeine’s desirable effects and reduce its negative effects, a lot of people have started stacking it with different nootropics. Let’s take a look at some of those nootropics now.
Nootropics That Stack Well With Caffeine
L-theanine is a non-essential amino acid found naturally in green tea. Unfortunately, you’d have to drink unreasonable amounts of tea every day to get enough L-theanine to notice any benefits. But when taken in supplement form, L-theanine can have several desirable effects.
Taken on its own, L-theanine can have a calming, anti-anxiety effect. Users often report a reduction in anxiety and a feeling of calmness. When taken with caffeine, L-theanine seems to amplify some of its desirable effects while reducing or eliminating its negative effects.
Taking L-theanine and caffeine together often results in a state of calm, focused energy. The L-theanine cancels out the jitteriness, anxiety, and over-stimulation that caffeine can cause. That just leaves the positive effects of caffeine: wakefulness, increased energy, and improved performance.
Caffeine and L-theanine together make a simple yet highly effective nootropic stack. It’s probably the most widely-used nootropic stack in the world. With plenty of research to support its safety and effectiveness, caffeine and L-theanine is the perfect starter stack for anyone new to the wonderful world of nootropics.
This is a nootropic in the racetam family of drugs like piracetam, the first nootropic ever created. Fasoracetam is used for its ability to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and improve focus.
When taken with caffeine, fasoracetam can reduce its negative effects while increasing its desirable effects. Fasoracetam is a potent anxiety reducer and users often report that it eliminates the anxiety that caffeine can sometimes cause. It also can increase focus and works well with caffeine to create a state of calm focus.
While the exact mechanism of fasoracetam’s benefits hasn’t yet been established, it’s thought to be due to fasoracetam’s ability to influence the neurotransmitters GABA and acetylcholine. These neurotransmitters are known to be involved in anxiety, memory, and learning.
Fasoracetam seems to be very safe when taken for short periods of time. More studies are needed to determine if it’s safe to take for extended periods of time (several months). However, there are a number of case reports of people taking fasoracetam for long periods of time without any negative effects.
This is another nootropic in the racetam family of drugs. Like fasoracetam, aniracetam can increase focus while also reducing anxiety.
One key difference between aniracetam and fasoracetam is the amount of research that has been done on each. Aniracetam is a prescription drug in some European countries and has had a lot of research done to support its safety and effectiveness.
Aniracetam has been shown to positively modulate AMPA receptors. It has also been shown to influence the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, and GABA. This explains, at least in part, how aniracetam is able to reduce anxiety and increase focus.
When taken with caffeine, aniracetam creates a state of focused energy for most users. Aniracetam’s ability to reduce anxiety takes away some of the jitters and restlessness that caffeine can cause.
This is an adaptogenic plant that has been used for centuries for its ability to decrease anxiety and improve mood – among other things. Ashwagandha has a long history of safe use in traditional medicine and just as long a list of ailments it’s been used to treat.
When taken with caffeine, ashwagandha often reduces or eliminates its negative effects like jitteriness and insomnia. Ashwagandha is great for reducing anxiety, improving mood, and promoting a state of calm focus.
Ashwagandha is known to impact the neurotransmitters serotonin, GABA, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine, amongst others. It has a wide array of effects throughout the body and is considered to be an adaptogen. Aside from ashwagandha’s nootropic effects, it can also lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and strengthen the immune system.
A lot of research has been done to support ashwagandha’s safety and effectiveness. It’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is currently used around the world for its many benefits. In recent years, ashwagandha has found its way into a variety of different supplements due to its safety and effectiveness.
This is an edible mushroom that grows naturally in several parts of the world. Users report a number of nootropic benefits including improved mood, reduced anxiety, and an overall increase in cognitive performance.
When taken with caffeine, users report that lion’s mane cancels out some of its negative effects. It’s able to reduce the jitteriness that often comes with caffeine use without causing sedation.
There haven’t been many studies done to assess lion’s mane’s effectiveness. However, there are tons of case reports around the internet of people who have used lion’s mane for its ability to improve mood and reduce anxiety. And lion mane’s use continues to increase year after year.
Caffeine is the most widely-used drug in the world. It’s great for promoting wakefulness and increasing energy levels but can also come with a number of negative effects.
The nootropics mentioned in this post can be stacked with caffeine to improve the way it works. These nootropics can not only increase the positive, focus-enhancing effects of caffeine – they can also decrease many of the negative, anxiety-producing effects as well.
If you want to experience a smoother, calmer level of focus, try stacking one or more of the above nootropics with your daily dose of caffeine. I’ve personally tried all of them and found that they all enhance the effectiveness of caffeine to some degree.
Have you stacked one or more of the above nootropics with caffeine? How about something else? Feel free to share your experience stacking various nootropics with caffeine in the comments section at the bottom.