If you saw the movie Limitless, you probably did a little Googling for a “Limitless pill” right after the movie was over.
I'll admit it…I did too.
Even a little cognitive boost would be great…right?
This is what led me to experimenting with “smart drugs” or nootropics. I started testing them out back in 2011 and have continued to try different things over the years.
I finally have enough information to share and I'll give you my complete results in this post. These aren't all of the products that I tried, but the others aren't worth mentioning because they didn't work and aren't widely available.
Before I get into the reviews, remember that I'm not a doctor. So consult a medical doctor if you have any doubts about using nootropics. These substances could have a negative effect on your body. While I did a lot of research and chose the “safest” ones, I'm not an expert on these substances.
Also, everyone's body chemistry is different. What works for me may not work for you. So you probably have to do a little experimenting. But if you are interested in supplementing your diet, I hope that this nootropic review gets you started on the right path.
Alright, let's get into it…
Let's start at the bottom. To be frank, Neuro-Peak was pretty rough.
I tried it because it's a best seller on Amazon and it has a ton of great reviews, as you can see above.
The recommended serving size is one capsule per day. When I took one capsule, I didn't feel anything.
I did this for about a week.
So I tried taking two per day. That gave me a headache.
Then I downshifted back to one per day.
Once the bottle was finished, I decided to move on.
It simply didn't work for me.
I bought a big bag of this stuff on Amazon (back when they still had it available for sale). So in all fairness, maybe it wasn't the highest quality product out there.
That said, I wanted to give piracetam a try because it's probably the most-used, over-the-counter “smart drug” out there.
Many people swear by the benefits of the family of similar substances called the racetams, of which piracetam is the most well-known member.
I experimented with different dosages over a period of two months. People also recommend pairing it with choline, so I tried that too.
The end result was that I felt slightly more alert when using piracetam. But it wasn't enough of a benefit to continue taking it.
Adding choline gave me a headache at times and higher doses of piracetam alone also gave me headaches.
I rarely get headaches. So whenever something gives me a headache, I get a little freaked out and reduce the dose immediately.
You can read about some of the downsides of piracetam here. The most common negative effect seems to be brain fog, which goes away when people stop taking it.
I suspect that quite a few of these people are in the “more is better” camp, so they probably took too high of a dose.
Anyway, the bottom line is that piracetam didn't work for me.
On to the next mind enhancing supplement…
This is another cognitive enhancer that came highly recommended, so I decided to give it a try. I took Alpha Brain for 60 days, but it didn't improve my focus or concentration.
However, there was an interesting side-effect…
My dreams during this time were very vivid. I also slept very deeply while I was taking Alpha Brain.
The label mentions that lucid dreaming is commonly experienced by customers, so I was not surprised.
Although Alpha Brain did not help with my focus, I believe that it can be very useful when doing dream analysis to help improve your trading.
My friend Walter Peters talks about dream analysis here. With his help, I have used this method to uncover some hidden roadblocks that were hindering my trading. Denise Shull also talks about dream analysis in her book Market Mind Games.
So while Alpha Brain didn't work for my intended purpose, I believe that it can be very useful for dream analysis. If you are doing dream analysis and are having a hard time having dreams on a regular basis, this product might help.
I heard about this product while reading Laird Hamilton's book, Force of Nature. He mentioned that he has a glass of this stuff daily.
So if it helps him do things like this, then I'm all ears.
This is a powder that you mix in water. After my first sip, I really wanted Neuro1 to work for me.
Because it tastes really freaking good. If you are going to test this one out, I suggest going with the watermelon flavor.
That aside, I did feel a little more focused than usual.
I used Neuro1 for a month and I felt like it does help with long-term brain health and daily focus. But it didn't have enough of an effect on me, for me to keep taking it.
If this was the first product that I tried, then I might have stuck with it.
But I already had something better…
The bottom line is that CILTEP is the best cognitive enhancer that I have used…by far.
If there is a downside to CILTEP, it's that I can get a little too focused. I'll find myself powering through my work without getting up.
By the time I know it, the work day is over.
That's fantastic, but don't don't want to be that focused all the time. It's actually a major bummer at a party.
I also get really tired after all that concentrating.
So I don't take CILTEP every day.
I find that two pills, every other day, is the perfect dose for me.
If I feel that I've been pushing too hard, I'll take just one pill. That means the bottle lasts about 2 months, which also makes it a great value.
It also helps with my meditation.
I take it first thing in the morning with a cup of water, before my meditation. The combination of CILTEP and the meditation session gives me an insane level of clarity during the day.
Of course, this isn't always the case. There are certain days that I won't feel 100%, for various reasons.
But on the whole, this is the best nootropic supplement that I have used.
It's all natural, and is even vegan friendly and soy free. If you want to get into brain supplements, I would suggest starting with CILTEP.
Get more information here.
Final Thoughts on the Best Nootropics for Traders
Let's get real…
These products are not a replacement for a healthy diet, exercise, regular meditation and a good night's rest. In fact, I would argue that a regular meditation practice is all you really need to get into the right mindspace for trading.
However, if you have ADD tendencies like I do, then these cognitive enhancers can be a good way to help you sit still long enough to actually get something done.
They won't make you an instant trading genius like Bradley Cooper's character in Limitless.
But the cumulative effect of being able to focus on a regular basis, can certainly help you reach your trading goals.
Based on my experience, if you are interested in getting started with the best nootropics, I would suggest trying Neuro1 and/or CILTEP first. However, before you try anything, be sure to do a lot of research and be aware of the most commonly reported downsides.
Manufacturers of these products can hide their complete ingredients list behind the blanket “proprietary blend” listing. So be sure that you are reasonably sure that a company is using safe, high-quality ingredients.
What have you tried and how well did it work? Leave a comment below and share your experience…
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