PRL-8-53: Get a Mega-Memory

PRL-8-53 for memory enhancementImagine being able to remember up to 2x what you normally would after reading a book, going to class, or even a meeting. Regardless of your profession, this could likely benefit you somehow.

Since students are formally tested, the impact of increased memory retention is immediately rewarding, but most people would like to be better at remembering names, numbers, facts, or processes. An emerging nootropic, PRL-8-53 is starting to receive more attention and the study results promise significantly improved memory, especially in older groups.

PRL-8-53: What is it?

The surge in nootropic popularity over the past several years must have inspired someone to scour the archives, because while PRL-8-53 is only now gaining attention , it’s existed for some time . In fact, PRL-8-53 has existed since the 1970’s, when Dr Nikolaus Hansl first synthesized the nootropic at Creighton University . While PRL-8-53’s mechanism of action is still unknown, scientists do know is that it displays cholinergic properties, which are known to improve short-term memory. This is becauseCcholine is seen as “fuel for the brain” and thus widely used as a nootropic supplement

PRL-8-53 Research

Alternative Nootropics

While PRL 8-53’s popularity is on the rise, it is still hard to find. If you are tired of searching, try some other favored, better researched nootropics.

Piracetam: This is the prototype of the racetam family. As it is also the weakest racetam, it is a good nootropic for beginners.

Noopept: If you are an experienced nootropic user, you may want to consider noopept. It is 1000x more potent than piracetam and is an excellent cognitive enhancer.

CDP Choline: Racetams can sometimes cause headaches as they increase choline uptake. To avoid this, supplement with a quality choline source. Plus, choline has cognitive benefits as well.

To date, the first (and only) human study to be performed on PRL-8-53 was in 1978. After successful animal testing, PRL-8-53 was deemed safe for human test subjects.

Researchers began with a study of 47 healthy people. These subjects were given 5mg of PRL-8-53 or a placebo and then given a word memory test. They were then re-tested at 24 hours after the initial dose and again at one week. PRL-8-53 improved recall at the 24 hour and one week mark.

Individuals who scored very poorly on the initial test as well as subjects over the age of 30 saw the biggest improvements. The 30+ subjects experienced memory improvement of 236–252% over baseline at the one week mark.

Nearly all the published information on PRL-8-53 originated with Dr Hansl and the original patent holders, Pacific Research Labs (hence the acronym PRL). Aside from the human study, Dr Hansl looked at learning enhancement in animals as well as potential toxicity of the nootropic.

Who is PRL-8-53 for?

As mentioned above, many people would like to have a better memory, so PRL-8-53 is beneficial to nearly anyone. However, there are a couple groups which could benefit the most:

  • Older populations. It’s widely believed that memory can start to degrade as you age , which may be the case as the research shows that the age 30+ group benefited the most.
  • Individuals with a poor memory. Most individuals with a poor memory could benefit greatly from PRL-8-53. The research doesn’t specify, but it could be speculated that individuals with learning disabilities or other impairments could be included here.
  • Students. A college or post-grad student knows that every little bit of memory retention helps.

One PRL8-53 user shared their anecdotal experience:

“I’ve been taking 20 mg per day for the last 3 days. There haven’t been any notable changes, positive or negative, except for one big difference.

I am easily remembering, without effort or error, numbers that I always had to reference from written notes in the past. The first time this happened I was talking on the phone with someone and needed to give them an 8 digit number that previously I have always had to look up in my notes. I was astonished when I just spoke it to her while I was still looking for it in my notes. There have been about 6 instances of this instant recall since I started.”

The web is sprinkled with similar experiences and reports of users having improvements in remembering short strings of numbers and even experiences that happened well beyond what would be considered “short term” memory.

Other PRL-8-53 Experiences

Redditor, Bukujutsu, experienced massive cognitive, specifically working memory, gains from intranasal administration. The post details how they measured the gains using a cognitive test from

Caution is needed if one were to follow this administration. Taking this chemical intranasally burns. However, Bukujutsu mitigated this by removing chloramine via 1mg of potassium metabisulfite. And also by adding salt to make the solution similar to the less irritating nasal saline solutions found in stores. The poster also mentioned trying rectal administration, known as “plugging”, but mentioned that nasal administration delivered more cognitive gains.

The post was from over two years ago. Although the spacial self ordered search test used in the post is no longer available, there is a replacement test called the token search test.

Bukujutsu claimed their brain felt distinctly different than usual and that they experience increased blood pressure/flow around the prefrontal cortex.

Another redditor (user account deleted) reported similar improvements in their working memory. They claim to solve problems extremely fast, their working memory usually lags behind. For example, they aren’t great with directions and lose their train of thought during conversations.

Their dosage consisted of 10-20mg of PRL-8-53. After taking this amount, their working memory was improved to the point where it felt effortless to recall data during math problems, along with recalling information from publications. During a lecture, they could “replay” the last 20-30 seconds in their head.

An interesting note: In each of the above accounts, the user experience either a “massive increase” or “astounding” results to their working memory. When I searched for anecdotal effects due to the lack of human trials, I didn’t target specific effects. But due to the correlation in anecdotes, this is the closest we’re going to get to human evidence for PRL-8-53.

PRL-8-53 Dosage and Toxicity

In the published human study, subjects were given 5mg of the nootropic., This is a good starting dose to gauge effectiveness; however, as seen in the comment above, much higher doses are commonplace amongst users. Unfortunately, the lack of research around this compound makes it difficult to identify a standard recommended dose.

Fortunately for those looking to experiment, the substance appears to be relatively non-toxic. In animal subjects, very high doses had hypotensive effects and depressed motor activity, but no toxicity or side effects were reported in the human-based study. As always, it’s best to start small and gradually increase the amount while beginning use independent of other nootropics. That way you can better see where your memory enhancement improvements are coming from.

PRL 8 53 Sources

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Learn how to make your own picamilon capsules

2017 UPDATE Summary on Picamilon:
In late 2015, the FDA took action on dietary supplements containing picamilon and is no longer considering this ingredient a supplement. Several warning letters were sent to vendors selling products with this ingredient.


Finding a solution to manage the persistent stress and anxiety brought on by life’s ever increasing list of duties and challenges can be difficult. Some individuals who suffer under the weight of these feelings want help but don’t know where to turn.

Luckily, there is a healthy, natural approach to combating an increased sense of anxiety and high levels of stress, a supplement combination called Picamilon.

Picamilon: What is it?

Picamilon is a dietary supplement formed by the combination of Niacin and GABA.

GABA, a scientifically classified amino acid that plays the part of an essential neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, helps to decrease heightened levels of neurotransmitter activity.

Niacin, an organic compound necessary to the function of the human body, helps to protect the body’s neurons against the loss of blood flow. This compound also makes it possible for GABA to easily cross the blood-brain barrier, something it cannot normally do.

Since Picamilon easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, the user feels the effects of the supplement faster and in a much more efficient manner that with some other supplements. It also works much more effectively at increasing cerebral blood flow than either Niacin or GABA do on their own. [2]

Picamilon’s FDA Crackdown in 2015

In late 2015, the FDA banned Picamilon from being sold as a dietary supplement. Many speculate that this was done by the FDA to set a precedent. This would then make it easier to ban future synthetic compounds or NDI (new dietary ingredients) from being sold as dietary supplements.

This theory is built on the foundation that picamilon wasn’t proven to be harmful, yet the government chose to target it.

In late 2016, the FDA then targeted vinpocetine, which is usually found in its synthetic form. Unlike picamilon, vinpocetine can be derived from a natural source: vincamine, which is an extract from a periwinkle plant. However, most sources are synthetic since it’s far cheaper to synthesize this product.

What’s troublesome about the FDA’s vinpocetine proposal is that they do not target the product’s potentially synthetic sources, but instead, claim that vincpoetine is marketed as a drug.

The FDA claims vinpocetine is “reportedly” marketed as preventing motion sickness, seizure disorders, hearing and eye disorders, and other medical conditions.

However, this isn’t the case if you browse stores in the top Google search results. For example, Swanson and PipingRock both market vinpocetine for its memory and concentration benefits.

Where to buy Picamilon in 2018?

There are only a few online stores left that sell this product. You may find several, but the only one I found that was trustworthy is NewMind. They third party test their products and will send you the lab results upon request.

LiftMode, the sister company of NewMind, is forced to sell picamilon as a research product due to the ingredient’s expulsion from the definition of a dietary supplement.

Another option, although pricier, is CosmicNootropic. I’m unsure if they conduct third-party testing, but they receive plenty of praise on reddit. This branded source of picamilon is from Russia and seems to be sold as a drug.

Picamilon Benefits

Picamilon works by crossing the blood-brain barrier so that it can be broken down into its base components of Niacin and GABA. Many researchers believe that GABA deficiency plays a large role in the development of depression and panic disorders.

However, since GABA cannot cross the blood-brain barrier alone, the addition of the supplement Picamilon can solve such deficiencies.

Picamilon for Anxiety

Once this supplement hydrolyzes, the compounds promptly begin performing their different beneficial functions. The activation of the human body’s GABA receptors which provide the calming effects desired when dealing with anxiety, is one such example.

There are many positive picamillon side effects including anxiety reliefPicamilon also helps to increase blood flow to and within the brain, which subsequently provides another tranquilizing effect. This effect counteracts different physiological symptoms and is especially effective in individuals suffering from varying states of anxiety.

Unlike other methods of dealing with anxiety, Picamilon avoids the commonly associated sedative effects such as drowsiness and lethargy. [3]

The compound Niacin works to vasodilate, or to widen, the blood vessels for easier circulation which also decreases blood pressure, associated pains, and the chronic migraines many anxiety sufferers experience.

Additionally the supplement works to decrease other symptoms associated with high stress levels such as poor concentration, fatigue, restlessness, and irritability.

Other benefits of Picamilon include [1,2,3]:

  • Improves muscle strength retention and proper function
  • Promotes eye health
  • Lowers “bad cholesterol” or LDL levels
  • Can assist in improving ability to sleep

Picamilon Side Effects

Surprisingly, Picamilon has very few, if any negative effects on humans. Studies have shown that it produces no allergenic, teratogenic, embryotoxic or carcinogenic effects on subjects given the subject over those given placebo supplements. [2]

Unlike some other anxiolytic supplements, Picamilon is also shown to be less likely to present problems related to tolerance buildup, withdrawal, and addiction. [3]

See our list of top 6 stress relief supplements.

Also noted in similar studies, ” The use of Picamilon in depression, along with moderate doses of tricyclic antidepressants, enabled the doses of the latter to be reduced. In patients with alcoholism, Picamilon abolished many withdrawal symptoms, especially apathy, weariness and lethargy. The patients later become more tranquil, less fussy and anxious, and their working capacity improved.” [2]

Picamilon Dosage

As mentioned above, Picamilon is considered a very safe supplement, with a low chance of increasing liver toxicity. The standard dosage range tends to fall between 50-300 mg per day, which can be split throughout the day. Picamilon tends to work best when taken on an empty stomach and its effects will usually last from 2 to 4 hours. [4]

Like with many supplement, the best way to determine your ideal dosage is to start at the smallest recommended amount and increase from there. Often this will mean taking a single capsule, usually around 150 mg, but this supplement can also be purchased in bulk powder form if you would like to customize your dosage.

Picamilon can be found online, if you decide that you would like to experience the benefits of this supplement firsthand.

Picamilon Sources


L-Theanine and Caffeine: Benefits and Effects

L-Theanine and Caffeine for Energy and Focus

Ever been so involved in a project you lost track of time and thoroughly enjoyed yourself? You weren’t tired, you didn’t feel forced, you weren’t watching the clock, and you had an intense amount of focus on whatever it was you were doing?

Congratulations, you were in the zone.

The “zone” or “flow” is a fantastic, coveted place to be when you’re working or trying to focus on any particular task. Two components of that state are focus and energy. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get into a state of flow.

You may be focused for a bit, but start drifting because you’re tired. Or the opposite may be true – you may have energy, but can’t get your mind to settle on one task. There is a way to bring the two together more easily.

How L-Theanine Contributes to Flow

If you experience too little stimulation or stress, you may be disengaged, or bored, with your work. This is often the result of menial or repetitive tasks which you do not find challenging.

However, you can artificially increase stimulation through stimulatory supplements like caffeine or medications like ADHD medicine. This is why you hear about students or workers taking Adderall or other stimulants to study and complete work. It’s often not because the course or job is too mentally taxing. It’s that the coursework or tasks are too boring without artificial stimulation.

Before we get into how stimulation increases are chances of achieving flow, let’s examine the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Below is the original curve which illustrates this law:

The Yerkes-Dodson law states that performance increases with mental arousal (stimulation). But this is only true up to a point. If there is too much stimulation or stress, then performance decreases.

We can view the “peak” areas of the Yerkes-Dodson as the “flow” area. We want to stay within this peak area for optimal work efficiency and enjoyment.
If you’re feeling sluggish or unmotivated, caffeine pushes you toward this peak. However, if you keep taking caffeine or take a dosage that’s too high, you will overshoot the peak and become overstimulated. You can tell this is happening when you feel jittery and have trouble staying focused.

In this hyper stimulated state, you may also feel a state of mania and your mind starts to wander or daydream. A common state of overestimation is checking emails, browsing the web or social sites. This keeps your mind unfocused and wandering from subject to subject.

This is where L-Theanine helps. Theanine reduces the negative stimulatory effects of caffeine and other stimulants. This will bring you back to the center of the Yerkes-Dodson curve and closer to achieving flow. Once a state of flow is achieved, be mindful not to keep taking more stimulants or you will find yourself pushed to the right of the “peak” once more.

This article at further explains the concept of flow, applies it to the workplace, and describes how different mental states affect employees.

Energy Benefits of Caffeine Supplements

Finding energy isn’t difficult. Drink some coffee, pop a caffeine pill. Problem solved, right? Not necessarily. Caffeine supplements alone can definitively give you an edge on your energy levels, but the type of energy may not be what you want. Having a jittery, jumpy mental state can leave you with the temporary energy for running laps around a building and subsequently crashing – hard.

Focus with Theanine Supplements

L-Theanine is an amino acid . While occurring naturally in tea, L-Theanine extract is most effective. L-Theanine is processed very efficiently by the body and crosses the blood brain barrier easily [1].

L-Theanine Benefits [2] [3]:

  • Mental relaxation
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved memory
  • Enhanced learning
  • Increased alpha-wave activity (waves produced in a relaxed awake state)

So, supplementary L-Theanine alone can improve your relaxed awake state. You will be able to think clearly and  easily sort through life.

L-Theanine and Caffeine

For thousands of years, monks have used L-Theanine and caffeine in tea to help with meditation. It’s unlikely they were aware of the individual components, but the combination has stood the test of time. Energy and motivation gained with coffee is harnessed by a smoothed over mental state with L-Theanine and creates an ideal environment for intense focus[4]. You get all the alertness and focus of caffeine supplements and none of the stressful anxiety.

Caffeine and L-Theanine Dosage

A highly recommended dosage of Theanine to caffeine is a ratio of 2:1 (2 parts L-Theanine for 1 part caffeine). If that sounds complicated at all, don’t worry; it’s not.
Base the caffeine dosage on your normal caffeine intake and tolerance. For example, if you’re used to drinking a cup of coffee each morning and it has 100mg caffeine, combine 200mg L-Theanine. If you want to start small, you can use a small amount of caffeine, 50mg, and then 100mg of L-theanine.
If taken on an empty stomach, the effects can be felt within 15-20 minutes and will add a few hours of blissful flow to your day. Since the combination has more of a focused energy effect than the sheer rush of caffeine alone, the effects, while noticeable, are much more subtle and provide a perfect background for any activity.

L-Theanine and Caffeine Online

Prices for caffeine and L-Theanine are fairly standard across the board. You can find green tea or coffee in any number of stores and on any number of websites.

The trick is in finding quality supplements.

Many sites do not use third-party testing and so you cannot be sure if what you are purchasing is high quality or not. Many of the major online retailers do not disclose whether or not they use third-party testing, which poses an issues.

Examples of vendors which sell L-Theanine that have confirmed US lab testing are,, and Unlike some of the bigger brands, they will provide lab testing results upon request.

Be careful if you purchase from Amazon or eBay from small brand vendors or from unknown websites. Many of these small vendors only rely on the manufacturer’s (usually from China) certificate of analysis, or COA, since US lab testing is a significant cost. US lab testing can double the materials cost for a small vendor since they purchase raw materials in smaller quantities and lack the economies of scale of bigger companies.

If you’re not sure about a vendor, send them a message and ask for US lab testing or third-party lab testing results. Some quality vendors like have their own lab. Although this technically isn’t third-party testing, they can still validate their quality claims with in-house, US lab testing results.

Theanine and Caffeine Sources

[1] L-Theanine Wiki




Phenylethylamine Effects & Benefits

Beta-Phenylethamine (PEA) will make your brain feel like its on the beachAlmost everyone wants to feel better. This includes feeling happier, more alive, and even having a better mood and attitude.

While no supplement is able to guarantee and promise ALL of these effects, there is one that does come close.

Many people have been using Beta-Phenylethylamine as a way to enhance their overall mood.

What is B-Phenylethylamine (PEA)?

What is Phenylethylamine? B-Phenylethylamine, often shortened to PEA, is a substance found naturally in chocolate. In fact, there is a lot of science behind this being the main reason as to why we receive such a natural “boost” or feel good effect after eating chocolate. It is a derivative of the amino acid Phenylalanine.

There is also much evidence to suggest that part of the reason for its effects have to do with this supplement being able to increase dopamine levels within the brain. This is important because dopamine acts as a neurotransmitter (this is how nerve cells “talk” to each other).

While dopamine plays many roles within the brain, one of the key functions is triggering reward-motivated behavior. Every time you receive a reward (any kind whether it is a complement on a job well done or a trophy for a sport) your dopamine levels spike.

In addition to this, it is also thought that Beta-Phenylethylamine helps to block the action of dopamine transmitters, so it really works on both ends of the spectrum. What this means is beta phenylethylamine not only increases dopamine production, but it also blocks it from getting absorbed too quickly.

Experts also think that the supplement helps promote the release of acetylcholine, another powerful brain chemical which helps to support memory and cognition.

So not only will Beta Phenylethylamine improve your mood, it can also boost your brain power!

Beta Phenylethylamine (PEA) Supplement Online

There are numerous online suppliers of PEA. However, here are a few I found in my brief search:

Supplement Direct 100g for $19.99 No alternate variant
Pure Bulk 100g for $5.60 500g for $21.87

Pure Bulk offers multiple options (even more than I listed above if you are looking to buy in bulk) while Supplement Direct only gives you one.

They also offer a third party lab tests upon request, so you know for certain you are getting what you ordered. Their website was also much easier for me to navigate, but that is merely an aesthetic.

As far as appearance goes, this supplement is normally found in a crystallized salt format. It is water soluble and has a bitter taste. In powder form, it is advised to mix with juice.

PEA (Phenylethylamine) Supplement Benefits

The major benefits related to this supplement are mood enhancement and an overall feeling of well being. Due to the release of circulating levels of dopamine and acetylcholine it is even possible that some users may experience a feeling akin to a natural “high.”

In addition to this enhanced feeling of well being, users may notice a slight elevation of their blood pressure. Many people report that this is a similar experience to feeling like they are in love.

As your mood becomes enhanced, this leads to a number of additional effects. For example, users have reported a much greater amount of mental energy, clarity and focus.

It has also been noted that supplementation with Beta Phenylethylamine may help to reduce stress and even help reduce symptoms associated with ADD and ADHD (those who suffer with these conditions typically have low levels of B-Phenylethylamine in their systems).

Beta-Phenylethylamine (PEA) Dosage

As is normally the case, it is recommended to start with a lower dose of around 100 mg and work your way up to between 500-1,000 mg. This can be split into one or two daily administrations.

What to Stack with Phenylethylamine

The efficacy of PEA and and the length of time that you feel the effects can be considerably increased by stacking it with other supplements.

The Hordenine and PEA stack

PEA is quickly metabolized by MAO-B, which causes it’s short term of effects at around fifteen minutes. This is where hordenine comes into play.
Since hordenine is a temporary MAO-B inhibitor, it decreases the metabolism of phenylethylamine and increases PEAs effects for up to 30 to 60 minutes.

Phenylethylamine with Quercetin

Quercetin is another MAO-B inhibitor, so it acts in the same way as hordenine when stacked with PEA. However, quercetin isn’t as effective at inhibiting MAO-B with PEA and the effects won’t last as long as the hordenine stack.

Caffeine with PEA

Caffeine supplements or coffee pair well with PEA. These two stimulants work together to enhance the euphoric effects. Be sure to keep your caffeine dosage to 100mg or less (or about one cup of coffee) in this stack so that you don’t risk overstimulation. Too much stimulation will hinder concentration and focus.

Theanine Serene with Relora: Side Effects, Benefits, and Reviews

theanine serene with relora reviews for relaxationHow can we achieve relaxation without inducing sleep? How can we be active and productive while maintaining a state of relaxation? The combination of two supplements may be the answer you are looking for as Theanine Serene and Relora work together to produce a calm, relaxed, non-drowsy state of mind.

Make your own Theanine with Relora

If you find the branded version of Theanine Serene and Relora to be too expensive (usually around $0.25 per capsule), then you can make your own for less than half by using L-theanine powder and magnolia bark extract powder:
L-Theanine is around $15.93 or $0.13 per capsule (120 capsules for $14.75)
Magnolia Bark Extract with Honokiol and Magnolol – You can find this for around $10 per 25 grams on eBay or other online sources
Dosage and servings:
L-Theanine – 200mg
Magnolia bark extract (generic Relora) – 100mg
The above ingredients will provide 250 doses of magnolia bark extract (generic Relora) and 500 doses of L-theanine. So for less than the cost of the branded version, you get over double the ingredients if you decide to buy powders.

Theanine Serene with Relora and Stress

Today’s world features more high-stress and high-demand work environments than previously encountered.  This style of work leaves you feeling drained and robotic, and these feelings can lead to significant mood and health issues.

Say you are a college student who is paying his way through college via a part-time job.  Not only do you have to go to class during the day, but you also have to work at night and find some time to do homework.  You are left with minimal time to relax, and during the little time that you find, you have a difficult time reaching a relaxed state.

That’s where Theanine Serene can help.  This supplement allows you the flexibility to lead a busy student life and still find time to relax and unwind.  Leave your worries and fears behind.

Theanine Serene with Relora Ingredients

Theanine Serene is a supplement that is meant to calm brain activity, reduce tension, and relieve stress. Theanine Serene’s ingredients include magnesium, GABA, L-theanine, taurine, holy basil leaf extract, modified cellulose gum, colloidal silicon oxide, sorbitol, and stearic acid.

Though there is no direct research on Theanine Serene, the major active ingredients listed have extensive research validating their effectiveness to induce calmness or a state of relaxation. The combination of these ingredients is what makes Theanine Serene such a powerful supplement in the sleep/relaxation world.

If you are looking to promote sleep instead of just relaxation, then see our posts on stacking melatonin with L-theanine or L-theanine and GABA.

Ingredient Breakdown:

Theanine Benefits

L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes GABA production. Taking a supplement containing l-theanine induces relaxation, provides relief from anxiety, and promotes healthy sleeping patterns. Theanine is also a great supplement to pair with caffeine since this supplement counteracts the negative side effects experienced when taking stimulants. However, do not take caffeine within eight hours of bedtime.
If you’re looking for just L-theanine by itself, you can get the powder or encapsulated version from several online vendors.

Relora Supplement Benefits

Relora is a blend of two tree bark extracts. Relora supplementation has been used for centuries as a Chinese herbal remedy to alleviate stress. Relora decreases cortisol allowing the body and mind to function better in stressful situations. Relora supplementation also improves sleep, which prevents fatigue from sleep deprivation.
This is a patented version of magnolia bark extract. You can achieve similar effects with a generic magnolia bark extract, but this patented version also contains phellodendron, which is synergistic with magnolia bark. It also contains standardardized extracts so that the magnolia bark is gauranteed to have at least 1.5% Honokiol.
If you decide to take magnolia bark extract by itself, then take around 160 to 300mg if you’re under 150lbs, 200mg to 450mg if you’re 200lbs, and 250mg to 600mg if you’re over 250lbs.

GABA Benefits

GABA is an amino acid which is produced in the brain. GABA prevents over excitability, meaning it counteracts panic, stress, jitteriness, irritability, and insomnia.
The amount of GABA required for an effective dose is reduced when taken with magnolia bark extract since the extract increases GABAergic neurotransmission. Honokiol reduces the amount of a ligand required to activate GABA receptors.
Why is the above important? Oral supplementation of GABA by itself yields little benefit since your body is able to efficiently balance GABA levels in the body. However, taking GABA with a supplement containing honokiol will, in theory, increase its efficacy.

GABA, Theanine, and Relora Reviewed

As stated, these supplements combined are great for anxiety and stress relief. This supplement stack also provides many cognitive benefits including improved focus and memory retention. Supplementing with GABA, theanine, and Relora can also improve body composition by developing muscle tone, fighting off cortisol, and managing stress related weight gain.

Theanine Serene with Relora Benefits and Side Effects

Relora benefits mitigation against the effects of cortisol, thus reducing stress and stress induced eating. The two main relora ingredients are magnolia officinalis and phellodendron amurense bark; in addition, Relora is a kosher supplement. Both ingredients are natural and come from different trees.

As with Theanine Serene there is little research behind the product as a whole but the ingredients have shown promising results in stand-alone research.

By combining Theanine Serene and Relora you will be well on your way to attaining this elusive state of mind. Theanine Serene alone can be a very powerful stress reliever, but with the addition of Relora supplement, the stress reducing effects are not only boosted but the drowsiness that might come from the Theanine Serene is counteracted.

Theanine Serene and Relora supplement can be bought separately or you can purchase them as a pre-mixed formula. The addition of Theanine Serene and Relora to your program should be a gradual and carefully measured process. Although you are going for complete relaxation without the onset of drowsiness, these supplements are a great way to get a good night sleep and avoid stress induced eating.

Give Theanine Serene with Relora a try today and find your balance between alert relaxing calmness and uncontrollable drowsiness. As always, follow the instruction label on your supplement’s packaging and exercise caution when needed.

Buy Theanine Serene Online

If you are like me then you’re probably looking for a store that provides the best quality supplement and the best price for your needs. One site I come across frequently in my research, iherb sells Theanine Serene with Relora and has plenty of customer reviews for anecdotal evidence.

Looking at their theanine serene with relora reviews, they clearly have a heavy focus on customer service as well. Additionally, their prices are very competetive, making their product a clear winner in my estimation. Based on that, I plan on buying my Theanine Serene with Relora from them.


Where to Buy Phenibut Powder (with a 2017 update)

From time to time, will stop carrying supplement products. Sometimes they claim to be submitting the supplements for additional testing, other times these problems are caused by an issue in the supply chain. Unfortunately with such a large company, it’s often more cost effective to just drop a product if they are still selling other supplements that they deem similar enough.

However, as of 2016, it seems to be a clear case of an Amazon restriction. I found Amazon’s page for restricted supplements, and phenibut is on the list.

phenibut structure
Phenibut structure

This happened in late 2012 with the nootropic piracetam and most recently with phenibut, a popular nootropic for reducing anxiety and promoting calmness. Will they bring either of these supplements back? At this point the answer is still unclear.

Rumors tend to swirl when this kind of thing happens, for instance when piracetam was pulled, questions exploded across the internet about the future of the product as a whole; was this a precursor to a shutdown of all the racetams?

Fortunately, that was not the case and it doesn’t appear to be the case with Phenibut either. Both of these supplements are still available from many reputable sites for comparable (and sometimes even lower) prices. If you have previously bought your phenibut from Amazon, there are two things you need to keep in mind.

First, it’s not the end of phenibut! There are still plenty of places to find it. Which of course means that, secondly, there are other phenibut sources out there. Some of which can be an even better value than those purchased on Amazon.

Where To Buy Phenibut Online (2017 Update)

Where to Buy Phenibut Since Amazon Stopped Carrying IT
Amazon may have stopped carrying Phenibut, but you can buy Phenibut from these trusted retailers.

What follows is a list of two sources for phenibut following the Amazon ban, and the mass exodus of phenibut from multiple vendor inventories in 2016 and 2017. They’re both quality sources, but one is slightly cheaper than the other.

2017 Phenibut Market Update

As of 2017, Hard Rhino and Liftmode no longer carry phenibut. It may have been 2016 when they stopped carrying it, but I haven’t purchased any in some time. Powder City used to sell phenibut at an even better prices, but they sadly discontinued business.

Phenibut Powder from Nootropics Depot

First of all we have, which carries phenibut in a variety of sizes. The standard 25g in a bulk shipment bag will only cost you $8.99. From a price per gram perspective,’s 250g is the best price for (quality tested) phenibut on the market at just under $0.22 per gram. There’s a helpful little site called which compares these phenibut prices.

Star Nootropics Phenibut Powder

A second possible source is Star Nootropics (formerly New Star Nootropics). Their phenibut is only $0.02 more per gram than Nootropics Depot.

Why would you buy one over the other? Well, sometimes Nootropic Depot exceeds their credit card processing quota and New Star would be the cheapest quality vendor that processes cards. Although if you’re fine with paying via check until their card processing quota renews, then it doesn’t matter.

Here’s a screenshot from’s comparison of other phenibut prices for 2017:

Quality Tested Phenibut

Although you may find similar or even cheaper prices for phenibut online, the phenibut vendors listed above test their product. I asked a few other vendors that appeared on the first or second page of google search results for ‘phenibut’ and they could not provide a US lab test to prove the purity of the phenibut. I’m not listing the vendors who only provided manufacturer COAs due to the inevitable vendor backlash.

Is the market too restricted now for phenibut and you want to try an alternative? See my posts on phenibut’s alternatives:
Phenibut versus GABA
Phenibut versus Picamilon

How Work-Related Stress May Be Affecting Your Health

Gone are the days of the 40-hour work week, businesses shutting down on Sundays to allow time with family, and the sought-after 9-5 work day. Jobs today are mentally or physically demanding to the extreme. Work weeks are becoming longer and longer and time off is unheard of.

Managers are expecting more work to be completed without adequate staffing so most working individuals are doing several jobs at once. Also, most are required to work from home, respond to emails and phone calls late at night or during days off, and are required to meet strict unrealistic deadlines. Without proper time to de-stress, the body tends to become easily fatigued and broken down. This breakdown causes immune dysfunctions, cognitive issues, low sleep quality, and hinders quality of life.

How Stress Causes Health Decline

There are many negative physical and psychological consequences associated with overworking. These issues may be physical, psychological, or both.

Stress Chart


High amounts of stress cause increased cortisol which is known as the stress hormone. Too much cortisol in the body breaks down the immune system and causes cellular damage. This damage attacks the cells that are responsible for fending off infection. [1]

Another side effect of heightened cortisol levels is fatigue. The amount of fatigue experienced after heavy cell breakdown makes even the smallest tasks difficult to perform. [2] High cortisol levels often cause disruptions in sleep cycles. Most individuals under a lot of stress take longer to fall asleep and experience more sleep disturbances. Lack of sleep alone causes physical and cognitive damage. [3]

Overworking can also cause cardiovascular damage. This is because the adrenal glands increase cortisol release. This damage can cause severe health problems including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and many other heart abnormalities. [4]

An article published on referred to a study that showed stressful work conditions and excessive work hours increase the likelihood of early death. This study centered on individuals in Japan that worked an average of 47 hours of overtime per month which caused approximately 1,456 to work themselves to death. The majority of these deaths occurred due to heart attack and stroke. [5]


Most individuals who are suffering from work-related stress often experience heightened anxiety. These anxiety symptoms include excessive worrying, negative anticipations, emotional tension, and even loss of control. One study showed that supplementing with DHEA may counteract these negative side effects. [6]

Stress also causes cognitive impairment because it blocks receptors crucial for basic brain function. Some of the deficits many face when highly stressed include memory loss, decreased motor skills, and inability to make decisions. [7]


Many individuals are facing dangerous stress levels in their working lives. If you find yourself in this type of situation, evaluate the true worth of your current job title. Consider working for a different company or taking a step down. Be sure to take time to yourself and with your loved ones to maintain quality of life. You should spend this time without your cell phones, laptops, and other work-related technology. You can find some advice on natural supplements to assist with stress relief here.


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Counteracting the Side Effects of SSRIs

It seems like every day a new SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) or mood stabilizer joins the world of pharmaceuticals. For some, these drugs are necessary since going down the natural path and participating in therapies have not been successful. Though these medications are helpful for reducing the depression and anxiety, they happen to come with many negative side effects. Here is a breakdown of the most common side effects associated with SSRI treatment and natural ways to counteract them.

Note: Before trying natural supplementation in tandem with medication be sure to speak with a physician. Some additional side effects may occur or the medication may lose its efficacy when adding additional supplements.

Drowsiness and Sleep Issues

Drowsiness is one of the most common side effects associated with SSRI intake. This occurs because these medications act as sedatives to alleviate anxiousness. Even though drowsiness is occurring it is a different experience than the drowsiness felt when falling asleep.

In fact, those taking SSRIs find it more difficult to fall asleep and experience poor sleep quality due to sleep disturbances. This starts a vicious cycle because lack of sleep causes daytime drowsiness on top of the drowsiness already experienced as a side effect of the medication. [1]

How to Improve Sleep Quality and Counteract Daytime Drowsiness with Lifestyle Improvements

One of the best things one can do when experiencing these side effects is to incorporate proper diet and exercise into their lifestyle. Exercise releases endorphins that improve well-being and natural energy. Research shows those who exercise daily are far less fatigued on a daily basis. [2] Nutrient-dense foods also play a key role in energy production. The body depends on proper nutrition for basic functionality.

The most common mistake made when fatigued is to reach for the nearest caffeinated soft drink for a quick boost. A short burst of energy turns into a sugar crash which leaves the individual feeling worse than before. Caffeinated soft drinks often contain extreme amounts of caffeine. Heavy use causes caffeine dependency as well as an increase in anxiety. Most individuals who are taking SSRIs are anxious to begin with so this would make those symptoms worse.

High caffeine intake will also further reduce sleep quality. Eating small, nutrient-dense meals throughout the day is the best way to eat for energy production. [3] Individuals should drink more water as dehydration can cause fatigue. [4] Some individuals become dehydrated without even knowing it.

Natural Supplements to Improve Energy and Sleep Quality

There are several natural remedies on the market that may counteract these negative side effects.


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

CoQ10 is present in all cells throughout the body; it is responsible for generating cellular energy. [5] Taking a CoQ10 supplement will increase the amount present in the cells thus increasing natural energy. CoQ10 supplements do not contain caffeine and are non-stimulating so these will not affect sleep patterns or cause anxiousness.


Due to the amount of processed foods available on the market and the high expenses of eating organic, it is almost impossible to obtain all vital nutrients the body needs for proper functioning. Taking a multivitamin will fill these nutritional gaps resulting in improved physical and mental function.

Acetyl L-Carnitine

Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is an amino acid responsible for transporting fats to the cells for energy production. [7] ALCAR not only improves physical energy, it also reduces mental fatigue and improves cognition. [8]



Glycine is an amino acid responsible for neurotransmission. This amino acid shortens the amount of time taken to fall asleep as well as improves sleep quality. [9] Using a glycine supplement may also decrease the amount of drowsiness experienced the day after supplementation. [10]


Theanine is another amino acid that has sedative effects. Taken before sleep, this supplement improves sleep efficiency. [11]

Loss of Sex Drive and other Sex Related Issues

There have been many negative sexual related side effects experienced in those taking SSRIs. These side effects consist of erectile dysfunction, low libido, and difficulty reaching orgasm. This could be due to the serotoninergic effects of this medication. Serotonin terminals target dopamine and norepinephrine pathways. These two neurotransmitters are responsible for arousal and desire. [1,12]

How to Improve Sexual Health

Sometimes this side effect only occurs during the first few weeks of taking the medication. The best thing to do if these side effects persist is to explain these side effects to the prescribing pharmacist. In most cases, there may be an alternative medication that better fits the individual. There are several SSRIs out there that claim to not have as many negative sexual side effects. In the meantime, there are a few supplements that may help.


L-Arginine is an amino acid that plays a role in nitric oxide production by acting as a vasodilator. Nitric oxide assists in increased blood flow throughout the body. Erectile dysfunction can improve by using vasodilators because they increase blood flow to the penis. This results in improved ability to achieve and maintain an erection. [13]

This supplement is also beneficial for improving sexual health in women. The increased blood flow enhances clitoral sensitivity and sexual satisfaction resulting in an increased ability to reach an orgasm. [14]

Tongkat Ali (Long Jack)

Tongkat ali has many benefits when it comes to sexual health. This supplement boosts testosterone which is crucial for increased sexual desire. This supplement also enhances erections, improves sperm motility, and improves overall well-being. [15]

Weight Gain

Weight gain seems to be one of the largest complaints from SSRI users. Some SSRIs actually affect metabolic function resulting in a decrease in the number of calories burned. These medications also increase appetite in most individuals resulting in insatiable cravings. [1,16]

How to Improve Metabolic Function

Proper diet and exercise are crucial for overall health, wellness, and weight management. Exercise and increased muscle mass result in more calories burned throughout the day leading to an increase in fat loss. Calculating calories consumed and TDEE is a great way to come up with a sensible diet plan.

In order to feel fuller longer, consume a diet high in protein and fiber. Another way to improve metabolic function is to eat smaller, more frequent meals and never skip breakfast. There are several supplements to assist with satiety and metabolic function without causing overstimulation.

Green Tea

Green tea is one of the best supplements to take for overall health due to its many benefits. This supplement improves endurance and speeds up metabolism. Green tea is also high in polyphenols which are potent antioxidants that protect the body from free radical damage. [17]

Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry ketones increase metabolic rate. This supplement also increases lipolysis which is the body’s ability to burn fat. [18]


SSRIs can cause extreme hunger pains due to the appetite increase making it difficult to stick to a sensible diet and calorie restriction. Glucomannan is a type of fiber that absorbs water in the stomach resulting in appetite suppression. [19]


In some cases, the best way to attack depression and anxiety is to try natural supplementation, therapy, meditation, and making some lifestyle adjustments. However, some individuals may have major cases and need to seek medical treatment.

If you are considering beginning an SSRI treatment, ask a doctor about all the possible benefits and side effects of each to determine the best fit. If any negative side effects occur from these medications, consult a physician before discontinuing these treatments.



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Insomnia and Natural Supplement Remedies

insomniaSleep is one of the body’s basic requirements. At some point in their lives, most people have gotten too little sleep and felt the effects the following day. But what happens when you miss sleep on a daily basis? If you’re someone that can never seem to get to sleep at night or can’t stay asleep for the requisite 7-9 hours, you may have insomnia. Insomnia and the resulting sleep deprivation are growing conditions in our modern society. The tricky thing about insomnia, however, is that it’s not a single problem. Each case of insomnia can have its own unique set of causes.

What Can Cause Insomnia?

Even though it can be caused by a number of factors, there are some common causes. They can be grouped into 3 general categories.

Psychological Causes: Stress, anxiety, depression or recent trauma can all keep your mind in a space that’s not conducive to sleep. These are often the most common causes. The mind can start racing at night when all the lights are off and there’s no stimuli fighting for our attention. 

Medical Causes: Many medical conditions can cause insomnia. These can include, but aren’t limited to respiratory problems like allergies and asthma, neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, or chronic pain from an injury. 

Environmental Causes: These are often the most preventable and include inconsistent sleep habits, late night computer or TV viewing or working “graveyard” shifts. Something as simple as having a poorly designed sleep environment can cause insomnia too. A room that’s too bright, noisy or uncomfortable can prevent you from fully settling. 

The Dangers of Sleep Drugs

sleep drug dangersBig pharmaceutical companies are constantly pushing ads for drugs like Ambien and Lunesta to help treat insomnia. Of couse, there are drawbacks to using drugs this strong. The nightmares people report from Ambien, the number one sleep aid, are very real. On the FDA’s Ambien medication guide the warning states: 

“After taking AMBIEN, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night. Reported activities include: driving a car (“sleep-driving”), making and eating food, talking on the phone, having sex, sleep-walking”  

Clearly there’s a case to avoid strong sleep-inducing drugs. 

Treat Insomnia Naturally

So, how can you combat insomnia without worrying about waking up in a McDonald’s drive-thru? The process starts by analyzing your environment. Is your room dark and quiet? Is your bed comfortable? Make sure you’re not watching TV or using the computer too close to bed time. After you’ve addressed these issues, the next step is to look into some supplements to help you fall asleep faster and get natural, sustained, restful sleep.

Supplements to Treat Insomnia

  • L-theanine: This supplement has fantastic benefits for both day and night users. The same effects that help improve a calm state while awake and combat stress can also help ease the mind and body before bed. A placebo-controlled Japanese study showed a 70% improvement in a number of sleep quality factors after using l-theanine.  
  • Choline: Choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that has significantly higher production during REM cycles. Inadequate levels of acetylcholine have been linked to sleep deprivation in multiple studies. Taking choline before bed can help ensure you’re getting the right amount of acetylcholine production during the night.

  • GABA: GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has been directly linked to insomnia. In general, it works by slowing down certain parts of the brain at the right time so when levels are low, the brain will keep working just as it was during the waking state and it’s harder to fall asleep and get the right amount of deep sleep required to fully recover.

  • Melatonin: Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced in the body, is nature’s sleep regulator. At night, undisturbed by outside light sources like TV, Computers, Phones, Lamps, etc the body raises melatonin production and you get sleepy. Obviously, this can become problematic in the modern world where people are glued to a screen all the time. Without natural light signals, the body doesn’t fully know when to “shut down” and technically thinks it’s still daytime.  Melatonin supplements before bed can help offset this and kickstart the sleep process.

Each of these supplements can be an effective weapon against insomnia. What’s even more important is that they can each be used safely and won’t leave you feeling hungover or groggy the next day. If a proper supplementation regime is combined with proper sleep habits, stress management, and nutrition and exercise, most common insomnia cases would likely be eliminated.


Caffeine and L-Theanine: Coffee, Tea, or Supplements?

caffeine from starbucksImagine having the focus of a Zen master with the energy of a cheetah. Combining caffeine and L-theanine can help make that a reality.

Most people are familiar with the idea of caffeine based energy, otherwise there wouldn’t be a Starbucks on every corner, but the focus part is what’s most important.

Running around in circles will get you nowhere, but caffeine AND L-theanine gives you the ability to think in a clear, strategic way while your energy levels are high.


The first component is the caffeine. Even through it’s a nervous system stimulant, caffeine can be beneficial if taken in the right frequency and doses. When used appropriately, it can improve focus, energy, cognition and even mood. However, if you get too much caffeine it can have a nasty jittery effect and leave you feeling burned out very quickly. Also, caffeine needs to be cycled in order to stay effective and avoid tolerance buildup.

Coffee vs Caffeine Supplements

Not all coffee is created equal when it comes to caffeine
Not all coffee is created equal when it comes to caffeine

Most people get their daily caffeine through drinks like coffee. Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. It’s used by students and executives alike to get their day started. If you’re going to consider using it for nootropic purposes, however, there are some things to consider.

First, you need to be scientific with it. One cup of coffee doesn’t always have the same amount of caffeine as the next, especially if you’re getting mixed coffee drinks or coffee from different sources each day. The actual caffeine content can vary drastically if you don’t have strict control over how strong or big the cup of coffee is.

Bulk Caffeine Supplements

The alternative is to go with bulk caffeine supplements. This can be accurately measured and taken in consistent doses so you know what you’re actually getting each and every time. You can also use bulk caffeine in custom pre-made stacks or capsules. Plus, it is less expensive than coffee in the long run if you’re drinking high quality coffee or daily lattes.

L-theanine Powder

green tea contains l-theanine, which sooths and relaxesThe other half of the combination is l-theanine powder. This supplement is a naturally occurring amino acid that was originally discovered in green tea. On its own, l-theanine works within the central nervous system to provide anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) or calming effects.

L-theanine promotes alpha wave activity in the brain. Alpha waves are the brain waves produced in a relaxed, awakened state, so it’s easy to see how this supplement can help calm you.  Like caffeine, l-theanine is available in bulk which gives you the ability to mix it into custom stacks and accurately measure each dose.

L-Theanine Powder and Caffeine

Despite the two supplements having what seem like drastically different effects on the body, the net effect of the caffeine l-theanine combo is a synergy that gives you the energy of caffeine but with a calm focus.

This combination is one that, whether they knew it or not, monks have used for thousands of years. Teas, which contain small amounts of caffeine and l-theanine, were staples of their mediation practices, giving them the energy to stay awake and the focused calmness to stay in their state for hours at a time.

L-Theanine Powder and Caffeine Dosage

L-Theanine Powder can be weighed with a milligram scale for accurate dosing
Use a digital milligram scale to accurately weight your supplements.

L-theanine and caffeine dosages are measured in ratios as opposed to total mg. The recommended ratio of l-theanine to caffeine is 2:1, meaning you should take two parts theanine for one part caffeine.

Again, this is where bulk caffeine is more beneficial since you can get a clean measurement. Starting doses can vary depending on your own caffeine intake and tolerance. If you’re not a caffeine drinker at all, then 50mg caffeine and 100mg l-theanine may be ideal. And if you’re a heavy caffeine user already, you’ll need to adjust the ratios to your current intake.

Don’t like using milligram scales? Then check out these caffeine L-theanine capsules. You will get all the same benefits without the extra work.

What to Expect with Caffeine and L Theanine Powder

When you are able to dial in your ideal dosage, you will notice a few things. First, you will be alert. This wont be news for any coffee drinkers or caffeine users. Second, you wont have a jittery edge to your caffeine buzz. And finally, you’ll find it easier to focus. The effects may seem more or less subtle depending on your current supplement usage, but in general you’ll have a calm, focused energy to get you through your day with no jittery anxiety.

Caffeine and Theanine Sources