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May 04, 2019 4 min read

What are nootropics?

The word  nootropic was first muttered in 1972 by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea. Now regarded as The Father of Nootropics, Dr. Giurgea had been conducting research on compounds that could promote sleep, increase cognitive health, memory, learning, and creativity. During his work, he developed these characteristics to define anootropic:

  1. Enhance learning acquisition
  2. Resistance to impairing agents
  3. Facilitation of interhemispheric transfer of information
  4. Enhanced resistance to to brain "aggressions"
  5. Increased tonic, cortico-subcortical "control" 
  6. Absence of usual pharmacological effects of neuro psychotropic drugs  

Anootropic then, is essentially a substance that enhances cognition and memory and facilitates learning. The wordnootropiccomes from the Greek wordsnous (or nous) andtropein,meaning “mind or intelligence” and “to bend or turn” respectively.Nootropics are commonly used by entrepreneurs and business professionals, students, athletes, to compliment a high-stress environment allowing an individual to use parts of their brain they couldn’t otherwise.

What are nootropic stacks?

Nootropic stacking is ingesting two or more nootropics to see multiplied effects. Stacking is meant to synergize and multiply effects of single nootropics while still being complementary to one another. Caffeine and L-Theanine do exactly that. Often called the Natural Focus Stack, these two nootropics produce a balanced yin-yang effect in the body.

Reduce Fatigue, Boost Mood

Caffeine

Caffeine is considered a nootropic because of its ability to:

  • Reduce Fatigue
  • Act as a Neuroprotectant
  • Boost Mood
  • Improve Reaction Time
  • Enhance Physical Performance

The body does not process synthetic caffeine in the same way it does organic caffeine. Caffeine is widely consumed by people across the world and Caffeine Anhydrous is one of the most widely used forms of caffeine, often added to supplements, soda and energy drinks, and over-the-counter medication. Its appeal comes in its low cost and little available research. There is an organic option available, but many companies opt to use the cheaper synthetic alternative because there is little research available to distinguish the differences they have on the body.  Unlike synthetically produced caffeine or caffeine generated from the waste stream of the decaffeination process, Organic Coffeeberry (found in Ascent) and Coffee Arabica Fruit Extract (found in Aliment) provides naturally occurring coffee polyphenols including chlorogenic acids, organic acids, and trigonelline. Caffeine is very beneficial if the source is natural because our bodies can properly process it.

L-Theanine

L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea leaves. It works by preventing the binding of L-glutamic acid to glutamate receptors in the brain. L-Theanine has been considered to cause anti-stress effects by inhibiting cortical neuron excitation. The primary benefits we experience from this nootropic is:

  • Reduced Stress
  • Heightened Focus
  • Improved Memory
  • Slow Cognitive Decline

The human body does not naturally produce L-theanine. To test its effects, a study conducted at the University of Shiga Prefecture in Japan gathered 18 normal healthy University student volunteers. They were specifically measuring for attention and reaction time. In a double blind repeated measurement design protocol, one group received L-theanine and water, and the other group received a placebo and water.

Assessments were performed for 15–60 min after consumption under a relaxed condition upon exerting an experimentally induced visual attentional task as well as audio response tests… Alpha bands electroencephalographic activity and heart rate were recorded throughout the trial. The results demonstrate the significant enhanced activity of alpha bands, descending heart rate, elevated visual attentional performance, and improved reaction time response among high anxiety propensity subjects compared to a placebo. However, no significant differences were noticed among subjects with a minimal anxiety propensity. Results evidently demonstrated that l-theanine clearly has a pronounced effect on attention performance and reaction time response in normal healthy subjects prone to have high anxiety.”

These results speak to the essence of a nootropic. Noticeable, measurable positive effects occurred for individuals that reported higher levels of anxiety andno significant differenceswere seen in individuals with minimal levels of anxiety. These elements make it highly compatible with caffeine.

Caffeine + L-Theanine: The Stack for Focused Energy

Caffeine + L-Theanine: The Stack for Focused Energy

Astudy investigated the “acute cognitive and mood effects of L-theanine (250 mg), and caffeine (150 mg), in isolation and in combination.” In addition to “improving Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) accuracy and 'mental fatigue' ratings, the combination also led to faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy.” 

L-Theanine works with caffeine so well in a stack because it reduces anxiety and jitters without compromising the stimulation of the caffeine. These effects are experienced because it is a naturalanxiolytic,meaning that it reduces anxiety. These effects can be experienced as reduced heart rate, a drop in cortisol levels (stress hormones), and reduced blood pressure.L-theanine also significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which shows that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. Because of the stacking, taking Caffeine and L-Theanine can:

  • Reduce Fatigue and Stress
  • Act as a Neuroprotectant to Prevent Cognitive Decline
  • Enhance Physical Performance
  • Boost Mood and Improve Memory
  • Improve Reaction Time and Heighten Focus

It is also important to be aware of the amount of caffeine and L-theanine you are taking. Ascent contains 100 mg of L-theanine and 50 mg of caffeine from Organic Coffeeberry Energy. Aliment contains 100 mg of L-theanine and 30 mg of caffeine from Coffee Arabica Fruit Extract. Being aware of the amount that you’re consuming can help you evaluate the effects your body is experiencing. 

 

 


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