Knowledge Base

Welcome to the Pure Nootropics Knowledge Base!

The purpose of this section is to help you better understand nootropic compounds in general and the specifics of some of the nootropics we carry. For someone new to nootropics, we suggest you start here:

Before getting too far we want to mention that nootropics are a very subjective experience and while a particular compound works for one individual it may not work for another, this is why we put together a tutorial for tracking mental improvements with nootropics that you can use to track the efficacy of a particular compound.

For anyone seeking general overall cognitive enhancement, optimum nutrition, diet, and lifestyle are the best starting points. This includes simple things like getting a proper amount of sleep (check out our sleep guide for tips on falling asleep and staying asleep) and getting enough micro-nutrients (see our posts on the importance of Choline, getting your omega 3’s, and why you should be supplementing Vitamin D for more information, as a large number of individuals are deficient in one of these).

For more specific information about particular nootropics, each section below covers:

  • Different decisions when buying nootropics
  • Interactions with other compounds
  • Side effects / benefits
  • Studies

There are a wide variety of nootropics as it is a broad category that encompasses many synthetic and natural compounds. The term was derived in the early 1970s and some of the most popular nootropics are part of the “racetam” family. Note that we provide more information about each item on its respective product page under the “full analysis” tab.



This is the second most common racetam and it was discovered not long after piracetam. Aniracetam is a very fast acting nootropic that improves memory formation and learning, but also increases stimulation. Because it has a high bioavailability (meaning it absorbs quickly), it is fast acting and more potent than piracetam, but it requires more doses throughout the day.

For most people who are trying to improve mental energy, get some stimulation, and improve learning, aniracetam is a great choice. It is often used in addition to piracetam as part of a nootropic stack that is focused on racetams.



Often considered one of the most potent racetams, oxiracetam has a long history of neuro protection. Many studies show that oxiracetam can not only halt, but also reverse neurological decline. Sometimes this can translate into reversing damage from trauma (whether chemical or physical) that people suffer earlier in life.

This cognitive enhancer has been studied for a variety of different cognitive functions. It is also useful for younger individuals who are seeking enhanced memory and learning. For most people, this is an advanced, but very safe nootropic addition.



Considered 60 times more potent than piracetam, this nootropic is a great boost of mental energy with the same memory enhancement benefits of the entire racetam family. Phenylpiracetam is so stimulating, the olympic organizations have banned the substance for athletes, but that doesn’t mean you cannot use it to your advantage!

As a highly potent nootropic, phenylpiracetam is also very bioavailable which means taking smaller doses more frequently is a good idea.


Alpha GPC
Alpha GPC

Finding a choline source for your racetams is imperative because this supplement is a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This brain chemical is often responsible for creating memories and it is how piracetam and other nootropics are most effective in helping you to learn. Without adequate choline, it is possible to suffer from headaches and other jaw pains that are side effects of low acetylcholine.

It is best to use two types of choline called CDP choline (citicholine) and alpha GPC, which are higher in their bioavailability and will provide more raw choline for you to improve your memory and prevent side effects.



Another great nootropic is noopept, which is extremely potent. It is considered 1000 times more potent than piracetam, which means the doses are lower and it is important to be precise! Noopept will also help to improve memory formation and learning ability, but it does so through the glutamate receptors as opposed to the mechanisms of racetams.

This is a great cognitive enhancer to use if you want a potent stimulant that will also help to improve your memory. Some people even consider noopept a great way of reducing anxiety and improving general mood, but it will depend on your biochemistry how you react.



This is an all-natural amino acid found in green tea. L-theanine is associated with more alpha brain waves, which are correlated with relaxation. For most people, relaxed brain waves are different from the common high stimulation environment we all live in!

Combining L-theanine with a morning cup of coffee is considered one of the best nootropics for beginners who are interested in focus and attention. Numerous studies show the combined positive effects of caffeine and L-theanine, which are more profound than either of the two alone!


Derived from the nutrient thiamine (vitamin B1), sulbutiamine is a well-absorbed supplement that more easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Japanese scientists in the early 20th century tried to develop synthetic options to consume more thiamine because deficiency was so common. Finally, in 1936 sulbutiamine was discovered and has been used due to its ability to pass the blood brain barrier.

It wasn’t until recently when the brain enhancing effects of sulbutiamine became more apparent. It is a treatment for fatigue (both mental and physical) and there is evidence it supports brain function through neuroprotection, improves memory retention, and has a positive effect on mental energy.


Researchers during the Soviet Union were hard at work developing treatments to improve brain function and one of their results was phenibut. This derivative of GABA (a chemical in your brain) easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and may be beneficial for stress-relief and improving mood.

According to a study in 2013, it is a powerful stress-reducing substance, but needs to be cycled in order to prevent dependence.


One of the most popular cognitive enhancers on the market is within the family called “Modafinil”. Many people avoid buying Modafinil because it is a scheduled substance in the United States, but one alternative is Adrafinil. Adrafinil is metabolized in the liver into Modafinil and improves wakefulness and concentration in order to complete certain tasks. Users of Adrafinil fin that it has slightly different cognitive effects than Modafinil even though it is supposed to be converted into Modafinil in the body.

In addition to being a wakefulness agent, Adrafinil has been noted as a tool for improving concentration, focus, and alertness beyond that of caffeine. Best of all, it is unscheduled in the United States so no shady online buys from a pharmacy you might not be able to trust!

Bacopa Monnieri

Ancient Ayurvedic wisdom is on heavy display with bacopa monnieri. This plant-based nootropic has been used by Indians to develop improved memory and cognitive function for over 3000 years. Some claim this Ayurvedic remedy has been around for nearly 5000. Because of the popularity in Indian culture and cognitive medicine, it has garnered much attention in the western research laboratory as well.

Unlike some of the Ayurvedic options on the market, bacopa monnieri has had spectacular scientific trials that prove efficacy with a number of different indicators. Some of the most successful nootropic blends, such as Alpha Brain, are using this as a core ingredient to improve cognitive function.


This traditional Indian remedy for anxiety has received much attention due to its popularity in Asia. Since modern research in nootropic products began, ashwagandha has consistently proven itself as one of the more popular methods of improving mental performance by reducing the anxiety and stress being caused to an individual.

There is preliminary evidence that ashwagandha can also improve certain aspects of attention and focus, but they are less well-studied as the anti-anxiety effects. Not only can ashwagandha help you to improve focus and reduce anxiety, but promising research shows ashwagandha can be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent as well.


The amino acid, L-Tyrosine, is a non-essential amino acid that acts as a precursor for certain brain neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Evidence thus far shows that L-Tyrosine is an effective way to improve working memory while under stressful conditions. There is also some evidence to suggest that it is able to enhance creative thought!

Modern humans often get far less sleep than they should and L-Tyrosine can be a useful answer. It will ameliorate the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation to help you stay fresh, alert, and productive throughout the day.

61 thoughts on “Knowledge Base

  1. Kris says:

    Hi Eric,

    After looking at all of the nootropics on the website, I narrowed down to the ones I want to try being Phenylpiracetam and Noopept. I’m juggling college classes, a job, and a possible startup, so needless to say, I spend most of my days working/studying. I’ve taken adderall a few times but I know not to abuse it because of the side affects. However, I do find it difficult to concentrate and have motivation to complete my tasks when I don’t take it. I know nootropics are not as powerful as adderall but they are a healthier alternative and better for long-term use. In your opinion, would Noopept or Phenylpiracetam be better for my situation? I’m moreso looking for the one that would give me the stimulant feeling of being focused but that I can also take in some circumstances where I have to an all-nighter. Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Eric Balaster says:

      Hey Kris! Given what you’ve stated above I think Phenylpiracetam would be a better fit, Adrafinil may also be a good one to explore. Please let me know if we can provide any further info!

      • Kris says:

        Thank you for the quick response! I have actually researched into Adrafinil and gave it a try also but unfortunately it made my mouth/tongue numb every time I used it. While it wasn’t painful to deal with, it was still uncomfortable and lasted for a few hours. But I will gladly take your advice and I will let you know if I have any more questions!

        • Eric Balaster says:

          Hi Michelle, there’s not really a “best way”, some people will dissolve the powder in some kind of liquid such as water or orange juice. You can also place the powder under your tongue or directly into your mouth and wash it down with a liquid. It generally depends on personal preference. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Thanks!

  2. Eric Balaster says:

    Hi Paul,

    Our primary supplier is Nammex (though they are not our only supplier). Most of the mushrooms we sell are grown in China. Nammex does a great job of sourcing high quality mushrooms even when those mushrooms originate from China. China is a global leader in mushroom production.

  3. Jeff Grenier says:

    do you only take credit carts no paypal?
    so are you un USA or where? you delevry in Montreal QC Canada?

  4. etkallagh says:

    Hi, wondering if i can make a payment using a prepaid visa, not a gift card, but an actuall prepaid,reloadable visa or mastercard that is linked to an actuall address.. i dont have an official bank account for moral and ethical reasons so a prepaid card is the best i can do right now. . I hope you guys can work with me on this because it’s been real difficult just trying to nail down a supplier for this product, let alone one that comes with high reviews.

    Look forward to your response!


    • Eric Balaster says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Yes you can certainly use a pre-paid credit card. You would just enter it on our website as you would if it were a credit card. Please let us know if you need any further info.


  5. shawkra4 says:

    Hi Eric,
    I have a similar situation as Kris who posted on April 4th and was contemplating on trying Noopept. I’m wondering why you recommended and alternative (Adrafinil) to the 2 choices he gave (Noopept or Phenylpiracetam)? I’m particularly wondering why not Noopept since I’ve tried the other 2?

    • Eric Balaster says:

      Hello there…Thanks for your interest! Noopept isn’t generally regarded as something that would provide stimulation and wakefulness. It does provide some mental clarity and overall cognitive support, but as far as stimulants go Adrafinil and Phenylpiracetam are what we’d generally recommend. Please let us know if you have any further questions!

  6. Lili says:

    I’m not sure why, but I have been unable to find instructions on taking the powdered Nootropics, specifically Adrafinil. I have taken it before as a powder, but wasn’t sure whether it was effective, perhaps because my dosage wasn’t high enough or the manner of intake was incorrect. I would rather take the powder but are either the capsules or powder more effective/absorbed? I also have a large bag of Alpha-GPC. Last time I took it, my brain felt a bit cloudy. How should I take it in conjunction with Adrafinil, or should I take a different choline supplement? THANKS and apologies for all of these questions. If I do it right, it’s more likely to be effective and I can start using it again and do so long term for its many benefits! (My doctor even suggested it!)

    • Eric Balaster says:

      Hey there, Adrafinil is generally taken in 300-600 mg doses, as needed. It should be taken in the morning as it can effect sleep cycles. It is not generally a supplement we’d recommend taking daily but rather cycled up to 3 days per week. If the Alpha GPC is producing brain fog or cloudiness you may want to discontinue taking this product.

  7. Kenneth Harris says:

    I’m 62 and in excellent shape. I eat healthier than most Americans and exercise regularly. I’ve been promoted to a new position at work which I’ll be required to correct years of mismanagement. I’ll need cognitive skills, focus and courage. Below is my thoughts on a nootropic stack. Any advice is welcome.
    Nootropic stack
    Day 1 caffeine l-Theanine Theobromine
    Day2 Phenylpiracetam_200mg
    Day 3 alpha GPC 600mg phosphatidylserine 100mg
    Every day Creatine 5mg magnesium L threonate
    Repeat Day 4,5,6
    Day 7 off

    • Eric Balaster says:

      According to– Cycling of huperzine-A tends to be used since it can remain in the body for quite some time (half-life of 10-14 hours), and although a ‘cycle’ of huperzine-A tends to last 2-4 weeks followed by a break the optimal cycle length is not yet known.

      Unfortunately there isn’t a precise answer to this. Some anecdotal information suggests not taking for longer than a week or so at a time without cycling off for 48 hours or so.

  8. Kimberly Lawson says:

    Hi Eric, I’m checking in to make sure I’m still using the right product for me. I’m a 52 yo working in a high stress multitasking profession, plus I have two teenagers at home and always have had trouble with my memory. I keep a work journal just to make sure I remember discussions and action items. I have been taking Oxiracetam / Choline for a couple years. No anxiety issues, just need the maximum memory and focus booster. Thank you.

  9. rajenkjen says:

    Good Morning,
    I put the cart before the horse when purchasing and just received my first order. My primary intent was Aniracetam and I got the Alpha GPC to go with it – will this be enough Choline? I also got Krill oil and Ashwagandha, will these in combination have any adverse affects if taken together? As much information about them combined is welcomed.

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