Piracetam is an old drug that has been used as a nootropic supplement for many years. It has been tried and tested and is one of the most popular nootropics around to this day. It belongs to the racetam class and has been proven to help in cognitive processes.
How does it work?
Piracetam works to enhance certain processes in the brain. It improves the function of certain receptors in the brain. In the brain, acetylcholine receptors bind to a cognitive neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. Acetylcholine has many functions including memory & learning, focus as well as muscle movement and coordination.
When piracetam is consumed by the user, the nootropic works to improve the function of these acetylcholine receptors, therefore, leading to an accurate increase in cognitive function. These types of substances known as positive allosteric modulators of the acetylcholine receptors.
What to expect?
When someone first tries piracetam, they may experience immediate benefits. One of the most common benefits seen right away is an increase in visual perception. Many people have an enhancement in colour perception. Not everyone experiences this benefits, but it is a good indication that the supplement is working.
Other cognitive benefits with piracetam may be seen later on. Learning and memory improvements may be seen in as little as a day up to two weeks. If you are using the piracetam, it is best to use continuously for at least two weeks as several studies have shown this nootropic to be more effective when use for a longer period.
Benefits of piracetam
Piracetam can be very subtle or very powerful depending on the person. Almost everyone can experience benefits from this nootropic, but it is important to be open minded and patient with the process. It is unknown why it may take longer to work in some people.
The benefits of piracetam may vary from person to person however generally they follow along the same lines. Sensory perception is the first increased benefit often realized. Other benefits may become apart such as improved working memory, learning and logical processes. Many of these improvements become more apart during mentally demanding tasks.
- Improved working memory
- Improved spatial memory
- Enhanced learning
- Increase communication skills
- Improved sensory perception
- Enhanced mental reflexes
Dosage & Use
Generally, the piracetam recommended dosage is 750-3000mg. The reason for such a difference is because some people may need more whereas others may find benefit in a much smaller number. For people needing a smaller amount, using too much may increase the chances of uncomfortable side effects.
It is not uncommon for some people to use over 3g a day and not recommended for first-time users. The recommended dosage can be repeated through several times in the day. Some people will take in the morning and then again in the evening to get the maximum benefits all day long. Piracetam is water soluble which means that it will dissolve in water. Some people will decide to mix it with other fluids to mask the disgusting taste. This nootropic also works best when taken on an empty stomach for absorption but can also be taken with food.
Some users will do something known as a piracetam “attack dose.” An attack dose is an increase over the recommended dosage to get the substance working in your system faster. An average dosage of piracetam may range from 750mg – 3000mg whereas an attack dosage may be 3000-5000mg. It is advised that only advanced users use an attack dose as this can increase the chance of side effects.
Even though piracetam is a nootropic, does not mean it cannot have unpleasant side effects. Some of these side effects only appear in some people or when the dosage has reached a certain amount. Common side effects may be avoided using certain methods.
This nootropic is a strong cholinergic which means it can put a demand on choline resources in the brain. Choline is the main precursor to acetylcholine and piracetam increases activity at the acetylcholine receptors which increases the demand for choline. This may create a shortage of acetylcholine and choline which may in turn cause headaches. It is believed that supplementing with a choline source may help to reduce these problems.
Another common piracetam side effect is irritability and depression. These side effects are believed to be a result of an off-balance of other mood neurotransmitters in the brain. When cholinergic activity is raised, other mood neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine can be lowered which may cause a range of adverse side effects on mood. These problems may be solved by supplementing with precursor mood supplements like l-tyrosine and l-tryptophan.
Here are some common side effects
- Brain fog
- Gastrointestinal distress
Creating a piracetam stack may be an excellent idea. A stack is when you combine two or more supplements to create a better overall effect. The idea is taking supplements that will complement each other or potentiate the other effects.
Piracetam is a primary nootropic supplement that will go well with other racetams and nootropics. Generally, it is stacked with cheaper racetams such as aniracetam and oxiracetam. These two work very well together. Choline sources are also very commonly stacked together. Alpha GPC and citicoline work very well however they may be outside of some people budgets. Choline, ALCAR and centrophenoxine may also be added for increased benefits.