Nootropics are becoming mainstream, but many users realize each person has different brain biochemistry. Each person has different goals, a different budget, and all of these factors require more customization when creating nootropics. This is one reason why all-in-one nootropic solutions like Alpha Brain, TruBrain, or Optimind may not be the best.
While studies show positive effects of smart enhancers like piracetam, that doesn’t stop people from wanting to customize the dosage, optimize the synergy with other enhancers, and enhance mental performance beyond a single nootropic.
You don’t need to be a diehard nootropics user to create a stack for your particular brain by yourself. It looks more complicated than it is. These best practices will help you to create your own nootropic stack at home with scales, scoops, proper research techniques and the most accurate measuring.
Nootropic Goals and Intentions
The first thing anyone interested in nootropic DIY needs to do is set out a list of goals. It is impossible to create a nootropic stack with various nootropics if you do not have an idea of what you want to achieve from the unique stack you are creating!
For example, Bob might have the goal of improving his memory and concentration. In order to do this, it may be a good idea to take a combination of piracetam, phenylpiracetam, and choline. There are other great nootropics, but this is the stack that Bob decides upon. However, Bob has experience with nootropics and he is 220 pounds (whoa, Bob!). This means he might require a higher dose of these smart enhancers than his girlfriend who ways half as much.
In this example, Bob’s goal is to improve his memory and concentration, but because of his unique characteristics, he requires higher doses than other people (namely his girlfriend). The recommended dosage range for piracetam is 1600 – 6400 mg per day and Bob starts off with 6400 mg right away.
This is an example of determining personal goals and then structuring the nootropic stack around those goals. As you can see, if Bob could not customize his stack, he might not get the same results.
Research is Key
After a goal or goals are determined, research is the next (and most important) step. It is important because you are altering your brain chemistry and you want to make sure you have the right ingredient when you dose.
One thing you want to look for, particularly for racetams, is third party testing. Such testing will hopefully show you an assay of the product as well as a heavy metal analysis so that you know there is no ingestion of toxic materials. Pure Nootropics offers third party testing as do a few other online vendors.
There is a story of one community member who purchased a nootropic only to receive a different substance. When he proceeded to take the substance at a normal dose, it turned out to be dangerously high because it was the wrong substance (this example was chronicled on Reddit). This is why you should recognize the physical properties of any nootropic powder that you purchase.
Being able to identify nootropics through physical properties is done by eyes, nose, and taste. This is referred to as organoleptic testing.
Here are a few of the most important smart enhancers you might buy online and their properties:
Appearance: Varies from flour-like to granular depending on the additive and moisture level.
50% mix of alpha-GPC and silicon dioxide: often dry and granular
50% mix of alpha-GPC and calcium phosphate: could get mashy like flour.
Taste: Neutral like grainy flour, and a slight earthy note (a-GPC + silicon dioxide). Also described as a sugar taste or similar to a sugar substitute.
Appearance: Fine white powder, slightly fluffy.
Smell: Slightly sweet odor.
Taste: Slightly to very bitter, more than piracetam but not as much as pramiracetam. Taste may take a few seconds to become apparent.
Appearance: Similar to table salt.
Taste: Sour taste similar to citric acid (Kool-aid mix). Could be slightly fishy in taste/smell, depending on age/quality.
Appearance: Granular powder that forms clumps which disintegrate easily when squeezed. Powder often sticks to the inside of the bags.
Smell: Has been described as sherbet, mushroom, socks, slightly doctors office/hospital or having no odor at all.
Taste: Bitter, but may improve with use.
Appearance: Granular to powdery white, like confectioner’s sugar. Soluble in water, but not as much as piracetam.
Smell: Ranges from no detectable smell to a very slight fish-like odor.
Taste: Very sweet with metallic notes.
Appearance: Fine, fluffy white powder.
Smell: Somewhat neutral, faint hint of a sock drawer.
Taste: Bitter. Not not as acrid as piracetam but leaves a stronger aftertaste. Very similar to Actifed decongestant tablets.
Appearance: Similar to table salt. Granular and often has a few clumps. Highly soluble in water.
Smell: Barely detectable odor. Sometimes has a slightly musky smell that may get stronger over time when stored in less than ideal conditions.
Taste: Slightly bitter and slightly “cool” tasting. The cool, caustic flavor dissolves in seconds, leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Appearance: Slightly grayish-white to white crystalline powder. Crystals are usually larger than piracetam but not always. Yellow coloration may indicate low purity or slight contamination. Pramiracetam has a very low melting point (47-48 °C), and large clumps consisting of melted and resolidified crystals may form if stored in a hot location such as above an oven or in direct sunlight.
Smell: Slightly sour, described as being a combination of rotten eggs, bitter vinegar. Very subtle.
Taste: “Electric” or caustic. Descriptions include “battery acid” and “old rancid fish cooked over an electrical fire”.
As you can see from terms like “battery acid”, “old rancid fish”, and bitter, some powders do not taste great. This might be part of the reason you decide to get capsules instead of powder so make sure you research beforehand.
Creating Your Own Nootropics Stack
Whether you have 2 ingredients or 10 in your nootropic stack, the methods are the same. Now you have goals set, research completed, and bulk powders are en route to your home.
Measuring – Finding a measuring scale is the most important aspect of creating your own stack. Without understanding the weight of what you are taking it is irrelevant how much research you have done! For the more potent nootropics, not having a scale can actually be detrimental or risky for your health.
There are many affordable scale options including the American Weigh GEMINI-20 portable milligram scale. It is a great beginner method for accurate measuring. Other American Weigh models (such as the 100 g x 0.01g Digital Scale) are cheaper, but don’t provide the same milligram weight support that you need with nootropics.
Scoops – With some nootropic providers, you will have the scoop included in the product. Pure Nootropics offers scoops with your order, but you can purchase some on Amazon very cheaply. You might find it is useful to get both a small mg scooper (10 mg or so) as well as a larger 1 – 2 gram option.
Encapsulation – For a lot of people, the “taste” factor we mentioned above makes it too difficult to add nootropics to water. Using a capsule machine along with a few other “hacks” can make this possible. The first step is to research how big your stack might be in order to find out the size of capsule you need. There are “00” and “0”, which are the two most common for nootropics. You can purchase up to 1000 of them very affordably on Amazon.
There are a couple different options to help you encapsulate your own nootropics. The capsule machine is a good option for DIY nootropic users that you can purchase for whatever size capsule you get. Once you have the machine, you can create your capsules by making a large mixture of your “stack” and putting the resultant mixture into the machine.
Finish encapsulating with the machine and, voila! You have your own self-made nootropic stack with the dosage that is right for you!
A Note on Tweaking
We recommend that you do small batches until you find the right stack. If you make 240 capsules for a particular stack and find that it gives you a headache or it isn’t potent enough, you can’t really go back and “edit” them. You have to start all over. So you might as well perfect it for your personal brain chemistry first and then create your large batches.
Costs and Conclusion
The costs associated with creating your own nootropics are hard to compare with the purchase of preexisting stacks and smart enhancers. Really the difference comes down into how you value your time, as capping the nootropics yourself will certainly take a fair amount of time depending on the complexity of the stack. Buying only powder is usually cheaper, but you must also buy capsules, a scale, and encapsulation machine. None of these items are very expensive (especially when viewed as an investment), but the biggest cost comes in the form of time.
As a high performance individual who wants to improve brain function, do you really have the time to spend testing and tasting each powder along with measuring and creating capsules? If you are already engaged in a high level of stress through school or work, why spend more time on creating nootropics than you need to?
Try to calculate how long it takes you to make nootropics. You might find that creating 240 capsules (which might only be a 4 month supply) requires 6 hours of your time. For a professional the cost savings may not be worth the hassle!
Sometimes it is better to just purchase capsules for the convenience and to save you time, which is inevitably money. We offer pure encapsulated powder so that you can buy each version of encapsulated powder and essentially make your own stack without all the hassle of encapsulating the powder itself. Per customer request we started offering the Racetam + Choline bundle, which contains a variety of different racetams and our extremely popular Optimal Choline Complex.