Nootropics are among the favourite supplements available today. There are so many nootropics available that it’d be impossible to list them in a single article – that’s why we’ve narrowed down the variety into several articles covering different kinds of nootropics.
If one thing is common among the nootropics available, it’s the fact that they all improve cognition in some way. That can mean a lot of thing. Some nootropics are effective for enhancing cognition because they help people overcome anxieties that may be standing between them and functioning at their best capacity. Others help people work through depression by allowing them to expand their perspectives and take on a new understanding of life.
Today, we’re going to be looking at the -racetam family of nootropics. There are a lot of racetams, and it’s important to decide which one you think will work best for you before you decide to purchase one. The racetams have been along for a while, and are generally considered to be the first synthetic nootropics in the sense that they were the first widespread, easily available compounds marketed specifically for the purpose of enhancing cognition.
WHAT IS THE RACETAM FAMILY?
Racetams have been around for more than half a century. The first racetam, known now as piracetam, was synthesized by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea in 1964. His work was groundbreaking, and the results were promising, and since then, many other researchers and synthesists have hopped on the racetam train and developed analogues and other compounds that are equally effective at improving cognition.
A racetam drug must have a specific chemical structure to be called a racetam. The similarity between them is the pyrrolidine nucleus, which is a basic part of the molecular structure that’s responsible for a lot of the cognition-enhancing effects. While piracetam was fascinating upon its original synthesis, many similar compounds have been developed since.
Each racetam contains the pyrrolidine nucleus, but the differences in the molecular structure allow for vast differences in the effects of each compound. Today we’re going to outline the differences between the most popular and effective racetams so you can decide for yourself which one is best for you.
If you know anything about the racetams (or if you read the last couple paragraphs) then you’ll understand why we’re choosing to list piracetam first. Piracetam is generally considered to be the granddaddy of nootropics – because, as we’ve mentioned, it was the first drug that was synthesized on a large scale for the express purpose of making people smarter.Since its original synthesis over 50 years ago, many studies and anecdotal reports have confirmed that piracetam is a highly potent cognitive enhancer.
One thing that confuses many people in regards to piracetam is the dosage range. The first thing that might be disorienting is the large dosage range that’s required to feel any effects of piracetam. Most popular nootropics today require dosage as little as 3mg, and generally require no more than 750mg. Piracetam doses start at around 3000 mg.
Another disorienting factor is the fact that the clinical studies done on piracetam show that you need as much as 10 grams to notice any significant improvements. However, clinical studies often differ from anecdotal reports – including my own. I’ve used piracetam at doses no more than 3 grams, twice a day, and noticed significant improvements to memory and cognition in general.
Aniracetam was the second racetam that entered the scene. It initially gained popularity because it was absorbed in the bloodstream faster than piracetam, which generally takes quite a while before its effects can be observed. Aniracetam hasn’t been studied as much as piracetam, but it still has a lot more clinical evidence supporting it than the more recent racetams.
Aniracetam was developed because researchers were looking for a more potent version of piracetam. They found that, and more. Not only does aniracetam enter the bloodstream faster than piracetam, but it provides a wider range of effects. Piracetam was noted for its ability to increase memory recall and thought formation. The best aniracetam benefit, at the time of release, was that it could be felt at a lower dosage, while also improving creativity and holistic thinking.
Most users of aniracetam take around 3 or 4 grams a day. This is in contrast to piracetam, which is generally taken in doses of 3 grams at a time. Most people choose to split their doses of aniracetam into several doses of 1000 or 1500 mg, split over the course of a day.
Oxiracetam is my person favourite racetam. Not only does it show the most purpose for neuroprotection (protecting your brain from damage or helping it recover from damage that has been done from injuries or drug abuse), but it promotes long-term potentiation. This means that it actually helps the brain develop new brain cells, and can help prevent the onset of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The reason that I particularly enjoy oxiracetam is because it provides more of an anxiolytic benefit than other racetams. Some of the other racetams cause anxiety, but oxiracetam actually eliminates anxiety. This is more beneficial for people who suffer from anxiety on a regular basis, such as myself – people who live an anxiety-free life may not be able to appreciate this benefit.Of course, like the other racetams, oxiracetam is known to promote memory formation and cognition in general.
Oxiracetam dosages are quite similar to aniracetam dosage. Most people choose to split their dosages up over the day into several doses of 1000 or 1500mg. This is still large when compared to some of the newer racetams, but it’s not too much so as to make it inconvenient.
Phenylpiracetam is a simple analogue of piracetam, the only difference being the addition of a phenyl molecule to the chemical structure. However, this simple addition causes a huge improvement to the efficacy of the drug.
Phenylpiracetam is highly stimulating compared to other racetam drugs. It’s so potent that it can cause jittery effects akin to drinking too much coffee, as well as insomnia. These effects typically only manifest if you’re taking much more than the recommended dose. However, phenylpiracetam is generally considered to be the most stimulating racetam – it’s the only one banned from the olympic games.
Phenylpiracetam lacks the studies associated with some of the older racetams, but nootropic communities are filled with people who swear by the efficacy of the drug. It’s used religiously for enhancing focus, concentration, and comprehension.
Phenylpiracetam is much more potent than a lot of the other racetams, and thus you only need about 100mg to feel the effects. Unfortunately, phenylpiracetam is known for increasing tolerance quite quickly, so you should only use it a couple times a week to prevent yourself from becoming immune to its positive benefits.
Coluracetam is another unique racetam that doesn’t exclusively function as an AMPA modulator. Coluracetam is considered a high affinity choline uptake (HACU) drug. This means that it helps the brain use and retain choline, which is the chief neurotransmitter responsible for most things related to learning and memory.Most of the studies done on coluracetam just prove that it’s effective at reducing cognitive decline that results from aging. Some suggest it’s the best racetam for memory. However, nootropic users regularly report that it stimulates creativity and boosts focus.
Coluracetam is great because it can be taken sublingually, which greatly decreases the amount that you have to take. This isn’t practical with some of the other racetams – piracetam requires such large doses that this wouldn’t work, and some racetams like pramiracetam or phenylpiracetam will burn when left in contact with exposed skin for a long period of time.Since you only need to take a fraction of the dose that you’d take orally, coluracetam can be highly effective in doses as little as 5mg. It’s generally not recommended to take more than 30mg, especially if you’re using the drug sublingually.
Pramiracetam is my favourite racetam and, indeed, one of my favourite nootropics in general. It’s also the most foul tasting substance that will ever come into contact with your taste buds, and this is coming from someone with a long history of taking all sorts of exotic and strange compounds sublingually to fully experience their flavour.
Pramiracetam is also a HACU, like coluracetam. It’s highly effective at boosting creativity and focus. I find this to be the best racetam for writing. I also find that it enhances verbal fluidity and a desire to socialize. This makes it ideal for people who have low social energy, though be careful, because taking too much of it can lead to anxiety that’s counterproductive for socializing. It can also cause the jitters if you take too much so it’s important to find the dose that works for you.
Doses of pramiracetam range from about 400-500mg, which can be taken two or three times a day. I find that I never need to take it more than twice a day, and if I take it too late in the evening I’ll have trouble sleeping. A nice 500mg dose in the morning is enough to stimulate my creativity and social skills until the afternoon, and if I need another dose then, I’ll take it no later than 4 PM.
Fasoracetam is one of the newest racetams and has shown a lot of promise. It’s very unique and offers different effects when compared to a lot of the other racetams. This is because it provides significant improvement to focus and concentration without actually being stimulatory like most of the other racetams. This means that fasoracetam is a lot less likely to cause anxiety.
It’s also highly effective at promoting the formation of new memories and enhancing comprehension, which makes it a huge help in understanding complicated topics. This means it’s the best racetam for studying – students can use it without getting nervous in class, and people who work jobs that involve a lot of mathematics or complicated processing will find it a great help.
Fasoracetam is quite potent and you probably won’t need to take more than 50mg a day. Some people report taking two doses of 50mg a day, but these are the high-end users. Most people are comfortable and notice significant benefits from taking as little as 10 mg twice a day. This is another racetam that should be used carefully. Find your sweet spot and you’ll reap the best benefits – but remember, this is the most powerful racetam out there.