What makes humans different from animals?
Most people would point to higher cognitive function as a distinguishing feature. But another thing that sets humans apart is their relentless desire for improvement.
Nootropics (colloquially called "smart drugs") are closely aligned with self-improvement. They're the icing on the cake of exercise/diet, but they're important icing.
Even if your goal is to get in shape, your success depends on your motivation and the consistency of your workout routine. It doesn't actually matter whether you're earning a PhD or trying to improve your one-mile run time; improvement is mental.
Motivation and concentration are mental factors that can be enhanced with nootropics. For example, dopamine is a major determinant of how sensitive your reward circuitry is (e.g., the mesolimbic pathway)
In fact, it's much easier to modulate attention and motivation with nootropcs than boost IQ. Motivation and attention are "simple" dimensions compared with IQ.
My experience has been that phenylpiracetam is one of the best racetams for motivation and attention. This is likely related to phenylpiracetam's psychostimulant-esque effects.
Phenylpiracetam belongs to a class of substances called racetam nootropics.
The original racetam - piracetam - was synthesized in 1964 by Corneliu E. Giurgea at UCB, a Belgian pharmaceutical company. Since piracetam's discovery, a number of derivatives have been synthesized, including:
Phenylpiracetam is a relatively new member of the racetam family.
It was developed in the early 1980s in Russia and has recently become more readily available in the West. So, what is phenylpiracetam and what benefits does it lay claim to?
All racetams seem to either affect glutamate, acetylcholine, or their receptors.
The original racetam – piracetam – increases the activity of AMPA-type glutamate receptors. Piracetam is about 1/60th the potency of phenylpiracetam.
The chart below compares phenylpiracetam verses the other racetams. It's clear that phenylpiracetam is one of the most potent and bioavailable racetams. After phenylpiracetam, my next favorite nootropic is coluracetam.
|Piracetam||Low: 50-300 mg/kg||~100%||4-5 h|
|Oxiracetam||Medium: 25-40 mg/kg||~75%||3-6 h|
|Pramiracetam||Medium: 10-20 mg/kg||~100%||2-8 h|
|Aniracetam||Medium: 12-25 mg/kg||~11%||1-2.5 h|
|Phenylpiracetam||High: 2.5-5 mg/kg||100%||3-5 h|
Nootropics users consistently report that phenylpiracetam is among the most effective nootropics. If you take a look at the figure to the right phenylpiracetam and coluracetam are both ranked 7. Only modafinil and its prodrug armodafinil are more highly rated.
Structurally, there is only one major difference between phenylpiracetam and piracetam. Phenylpiracetam has an
aromatic phenyl group.
The phenyl functional group is hydrophobic; it doesn't dissolve in water. This increases the bioavailability and blood brain barrier permeability of the molecule.
The phenyl group in phenylpiracetam gives the compound a blend of psychostimulatory and nootropic effects. This psychostimlation is reminiscent of drugs like amphetamine, only it is safer and subdued in comparison.
As one of the most prescribed drugs, Adderall has enjoyed tremendous success in the US. According to Google Trends, search volume for Adderall^4 rivals highly generic search terms like "antibiotics."
Although Adderall is damn effective, it also has many troubling side effects. Psychosis and addiction are among the most serious possible outcomes of Adderall use.
Subjectively, phenylpiracetam feels like a cleaner, less toxic version of Adderall. It has subtle psychostimulatory effects that increase motivation and attention.
Currently, phenylpiracetam is sold in the US over-the-counter as a nutraceutical or dietary supplement. Given the fact that its a mild psychostimulant, I would not be surprised if becomes regulated in the future.
Tolerance to the cognitive-enhancing effects of phenylpiracetam can develop in as few as three days of consecutive dosing.
On the flip side, tolerance also resets relatively quickly.
I haven't heard any convincing explanation as to why tolerance develops so rapidly with phenylpiracetam vs other nootropics or drugs.
If you take phenylpiracetam 2 times per week or less, you're unlikely to develop tolerance. It would be interesting to find out what mechanism underlies the brain's adaption to the effects of phenylpiracetam.
This phenomena is called tachyphylaxis.
Here are what some Redditors have to say about the development of tolerance with phenylpiracetam:
So what are the benefits of taking Phenylpiracetam? All in all, they are much the same as their parent supplement Piracetam, particularly the cognitive enhancements. This is because of how closely they resemble each other (remember, Phenylpiracetam is simply Piracetam with an added Phenyl molecule group).
The exact benefits of Phenylpiracetam include increased memory capacity (as well as, occasionally increased memory recall), increased learning capacity, concentration/focus and mental energy. It is an effective supplement to help you think clearer and remove unwanted "brain fog".
As well as the benefits listed above, Phenylpiracetam has a positive effect on mood and movement – with various studies having been carried out on these effects. Evidence suggests that Phenylpiracetam modulates several different neurotransmitters and receptor sites in the brain, notably Acetylcholine, gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and Dopamine. Of the different neurotransmitters and receptor sites affected, Dopamine is the most critical with regards to movement and mood. As a result of this, Phenylpiracetam has been positively implicated in motion sickness symptoms.
Further test (carried out on lab animals) have also shown signs of Phenylpiracetam's ability to reduce anxiety and fear response, as well as increase locomotor activity.
Phenylpiracetam has a number of other benefits as well, including an increase in the ability to problem solve and to attention-switch in people who suffer from asthenia (a condition that causes lack of muscular strength, fatigue and dizziness) and a reduction in the effects of sleep deprivation. Perhaps the most interesting effect of Phenylpiracetam is its ability to increase the user's tolerance to cold.
You stand to benefit the most from phenylpiracetam if you're an athlete or a busy professional.
Phenylpiracetam helps you stay alert, motivated, and engaged. I have mild ADHD, and phenylpiracetam seems to help control my tendency to become distracted.
Unlike more stimulating substances like Adderall, modafinil, and even caffeine, phenylpiracetam doesn't keep me up at night. So it's safe to take later in the afternoon without any negative effects on your sleep cycle.
I've also benefited from phenylpiracetam right before an exam, a job interview, and other scenarios where I need to be at my best. Phenylpiracetam helps me think more clearly in class, increases my motivation and improves my mood when it comes to study (normally it's very hard for me to focus on coursework).
It is also a very effective supplement for athletes. This is mostly as a result of the fatigue reducing effects and the increased stamina, recovery and endurance that the supplement provides.
Because of these benefits, Phenylpiracetam is now a popular drug amongst bodybuilders, who tend to include it as part of their pre-workout supplement regime. However, as a result of the benefits Phenylpiracetam provides during sporting activity, it has been banned for use by professional athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
For those interested in intense physical activity or anything else that will generate a lot of extra energy, Phenylpiracetam should be considered. As previously mentioned, it is essentially a safe supplement in that it provides similar benefits to other stimulants without the crash!
It does not give its users nervousness or jitters (similar to those who have had too much caffeine) and has a next to no come down period when it wears off, making it safer to use long term.
When initially using Phenylpiracetam, it is recommended that you start with as low an effective dosage as possible. This is typically around about 100mg per day. It is also not recommended that Phenylpiracetam is taken every day, as your body will build up a fast tolerance, as with many drugs or supplements.
The best way to take Phenylpiracetam so that you do not build this tolerance is to make a cycle – a few days one week, then a week off, for example.
It can be stacked with other supplements such as Sulbutiamine or other Nootropics. Phenylpiracetam is most effective on an as-needed basis, however. This could be before an exam or before a workout that you know is going to be particularly intense – not before every lesson or before every set of push-ups!