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Nootropics: Sharpening Brain Cognition

Nootropics are supplements to improve brain cognition.
The problem with the topic of nooptropics is that it is hard to discern marketing from actual science.
Has anyone experimented with these nootropics supplements?

I am personally interested in trying out MindLab Pro.
One reason is that they are very transparent about the ingredients involved.
And I have read positive reviews on MindLab Pro about each ingredient online without any adverse, long-term effects.

Here's a video about the effects of MindLab Pro:

How I Stumbled Upon This Topic Recently?

I have experimented with Modafinil a few years back when I was studying some challenging topics.
It put me in a weird state of focus but strangely didn't found myself to absorb or understand the concepts further.
It felt like I was focusing, but things didn't stick well.
So I ended up practising meditation and found its effects much better for concentration and mindfulness.

Fast forward, I have been drinking Gyokuro Green Tea.
It is rich in L-theanine.
L-theanine gives you a calm-like focus and balances out the caffeine found in Gyokuro green tea.
The first time I drank the tea, the relaxed focus felt amazing but became normalised after I continued drinking the tea regularly for a while.
Coffee gives focus, but the caffeine alone gives jitters. The focus is not calm-like.
Apparently, samurais used to incorporate brewing Gyokuro tea leafs with a meditation ritual to achieve the best mental state.

I started researching on L-theanine, and this opened up the world of nootropics.
I began reading about the best nootropics around and found MindLab Pro.
It seems that the reviews are quite good online, and I would like to give it a go.
From the reviews, the ingredients are natural and does not cause long-term efffects.

Breakdown of Ingredients in MindLab Pro

The ingredients in MindLab Pro are

  1. 250 mg Citicoline as Cognizin®
    -  enhance our memory, support cognitive function, and help with brain injury   
  2. 100 mg Phosphatidylserine (PS) as Sharp PS® Green
    -   improve our working memory, reduce stress, and stimulates attention
  3. 150 mg Bacopa Monnieri (Standardized to 45% bacosides)
    -  increase attention and working memory
  4. 500 mg Lion’s Mane Mushroom
    -  prevent cognitive dysfunction
  5. 175 mg N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine
    -  improve cognitive performance in stressful situations
  6. 100 mg L-Theanine as Suntheanine®
    -  instill a state of calm, relaxed tranquility while sharpening focus, attention, and alertness.
    -  increases the activity of brain waves.
  7. 50 mg Rhodiola Rosea (3% rosavins and 1% salidroside)
    -  supports the brain and helps with clear thinking
    -  used to help against brain fog
  8. 2.5 mg Vitamin B6
  9. 100 mcg Vitamin B9
  10. 7.5 mcg Vitamin B12
  11. 75 mg Maritime Pine Bark Extract
    -  increase blood flow, improve blood glucose control, and provide antioxidant benefits

The vitamin Bs are apparently good for preventing cognitive decline associated with ageing as well.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Thank you so much for this, Matthew!

Also curios about what others have to say.

So far I've never experienced with any brain-sharpening drug, and the reason is the same reason why I've never tried steroids so far: what I've got is more than enough to carry out my tasks.
Focusing on getting "more" takes time away from using and leveraging the more than adequate supply of what I already have. The "overkill" leads to limited or no upside, but the time and resources spending on acquiring that "more" does have downsides.

This reminds a bit of when I increased server capacity very early during this website's life: I was so focused on speed and technical specs that I lost sight of what really mattered, and wasted time and money and something that had little benefits.

That being said, this is more about my current situation, which might change soon, and which might be different for other folks whose job or goals take them more at the edge of their abilities.
Also, "full focus on command", like "deep work" is something I could improve (a lot) on, so very interested in anything in that direction.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Yea, I've heard some great things about kratom.

This article is where I was first introduced to nootropics and where I've gotten some of my knowledge around the topic.

Personally, I prefer to stick to my daily mindset routine and level up without external influences. But, I can see myself testing out kratom for more productivity for longer periods of time (fully immersing myself in my work without feeling overwhelm) in the future.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

Also, "full focus on command", like "deep work" is something I could improve (a lot) on, so very interested in anything in that direction.

I am still experimenting with how to do this.
Maybe this should be on another broader thread about deep work.

Personally, in order of importance for me,

  1. Meditation
    - there's a school of thought that you should not share about your meditation ritual.
    - because then every time you do meditation, your mind gets attached to people or discussions.
    - your meditation sessions should be in a way, a world of its own.
  2. Prioritisation and planning
  3. Distraction blocker - Freedom
  4. Green tea

But, I can see myself testing out kratom for more productivity for longer periods of time (fully immersing myself in my work without feeling overwhelm) in the future.

Never tried kratom before.
I could explore this area more to understand the effects of nootropics more deeply.

 

Quote from Ali Scarlett on December 19, 2020, 4:14 am

Personally, I prefer to stick to my daily mindset routine and level up without external influences. But, I can see myself testing out kratom for more productivity for longer periods of time (fully immersing myself in my work without feeling overwhelm) in the future.

Same here.

Something I wanted to add on this topic, is that there might also be a bit of pride getting on the way.
As if to say "I got all that I need, no external help here".

It's not a necessarily bad mindset though, since seeking external help too quickly or too easily can lead you to a "crutch-seeking mindset", and to discard your own resourcefulness.
Yet, one can also go on the opposite extreme, and you'd lose access to a big leverage that could have helped you a lot.

As it's often the case, it's a case by case situation, and the extremes are rarely the correct answers.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Matthew: I am still experimenting with how to do this.
Maybe this should be on another broader thread about deep work.

Personally, in order of importance for me,

Meditation
- there's a school of thought that you should not share about your meditation ritual.
- because then every time you do meditation, your mind gets attached to people or discussions.
- your meditation sessions should be in a way, a world of its own.

Prioritisation and planning

Distraction blocker - Freedom

Green tea

Thank you for sharing this, Matthew, let's keep each other updated on the topic.

One thing I've noticed that has helped me with deep work:

  1. Working to finish a project before I can feel free to enjoy a treat: it's as if I don't finish on time I can't enjoy my "treat", so I give 100% focus. And often end up postponing or being late for the "treat", but still very productive time
  2. Waking up early: there is something about the early morning hours
  3. Not sleeping well, starting to work: it's as if the mind goes "can't recharge my batteries with full night sleep?, alright, I'm gonna make this up with total productivity". And then catching up on sleep after a good session of deep work
  4. Working at nights: this might just have to do with circadian rhythms
Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Always a pleasure, thank you for sharing these points as well!
Definitely, we can also spin out more threads from here.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on December 19, 2020, 8:47 am

It's not a necessarily bad mindset though, since seeking external help too quickly or too easily can lead you to a "crutch-seeking mindset", and to discard your own resourcefulness.
Yet, one can also go on the opposite extreme, and you'd lose access to a big leverage that could have helped you a lot.

I took a leap of faith and ordered MindLab Pro.
Shipping is quite long though. Estimated for 2 weeks.
Supposedly, the process won't take much time.
Pop 2 pills in your mouth a day, and you're done.

I'm going to do 5 days out of a week to avoid tolerance and dependency issues.
I am treating this as an experiment to see how my brain reacts.

The person in the video on the top of this post says
"Purpose, meaning, discipline & organisation trump nootropics all the time.
At the same time, those can be challenging for a person in a rut to develop.
A jolt of motivation can be what the person needs to get himself to a better situation."

I'm thinking to have backup plans to kickstart productivity.
Never know when something puts us in a bad mood.
Nootropics shouldn't be a clutch as you say.
From what I heard, it does not cause physical dependency, but I would need to test that out for my own body and mind.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on December 19, 2020, 8:57 am

Working to finish a project before I can feel free to enjoy a treat: it's as if I don't finish on time I can't enjoy my "treat", so I give 100% focus. And often end up postponing or being late for the "treat", but still very productive time

I'm listening to The Selfish Gene audiobook at the moment. (Truly one of the best books)
Maybe we need to give our selfish genes a treat from time to time to get a boost in productivity.
But the anticipation of sexual pleasure can get too enticing and distracting.

What works for me is a treat that doesn't occupy my mind too much.
Like a cup of tea or a bar of chocolate.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on December 19, 2020, 8:47 am

Waking up early: there is something about the early morning hours

The peace and serenity work wonders.
Maybe the brain links this period to a no distraction mode since no one calls, emails, or messages you during early morning hours.
Probably less true since ThePowerMoves operates globally.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on December 19, 2020, 8:57 am

Not sleeping well, starting to work: it's as if the mind goes "can't recharge my batteries with full night sleep?, alright, I'm gonna make this up with total productivity". And then catching up on sleep after a good session of deep work

This is really true. I wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep.
So I listen to an audiobook or work on a task with deep focus.
And I go back to sleep like a king.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on December 19, 2020, 8:47 am

Working at nights: this might just have to do with circadian rhythms

I should be more aware of this.
I am focused on some nights.
Other nights I feel completely drained.
Food for thought for me to explore and experiment.

**OFF TOPIC**

Weird formatting for the quotes, I can't figure out why.