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  1. #1
    Senior Member CanadianBiker32's Avatar
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    Supplements to Help Improve Mental Focus

    Are there any supplements out there. that are legal of course. That would help one give a better mental focus in cycling. To get better performance.
    I know its an odd question. As I am still having problems doing full focus on my TT's.
    I know from other posts. Its something one just has to do on own. But i figure i ask anyways. Just in case there be something that give a bit of an edge.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Food helps.



    I tend to lose focus when I'm hungry.

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    Caffeine.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Try Roctane.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

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    Smelly fish...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid#Fish

    Lack of focus is a symptom of a cluttered mind...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation

    If these fail, ask your doctor to prescribe Adderall.

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    To be clear, we're talking about drugs here--if marijuana was legal, THC would be a "dietary supplement". FDA lets you get away with murder on "supplements"--if it's a chemical naturally present in your metabolism by biosynthesis (dopamine) or ingestion (food), or present in some kind of plant (even non-food, like Huperzine-A), it's a "dietary supplement" unless scheduled (then it's a controlled substance and called a "drug"). if it's completely synthetic or legally controlled, it's a "drug". Supplements you can make any claims you want on, as long as you use the words "may" or "believed to" and note that the FDA doesn't have a stance; unapproved drugs you can't say anything about, but you can sell and use them.

    I will say first that the drugs are effective; but that certain ailments completely dwarf the effectiveness of drugs, with a few exceptions. The ailments you'll want to avoid are:

    • Sleep deprivation - Treat with Modafinil or Adrifinil, or occasional use of Phenylpiracetam (phenotropil). Modafinil/Adrifinil are effective drugs to bypass the need for sleep for up to 56 hours wake/8 hours sleep cycle; Phenylpiracetam is very effective, not as much as modifinil though, and will create immediate tolerance--use it once every couple weeks (i.e. emergency). Phenylpiracetam is illegal under anti-doping rules for competitive sports, but legal in the US and much of Europe (Russia probably not--it's prescription). Phenylpiracetam is safe; Modafinil is less safe if you consider overdose (racetams are VERY well tolerated) but safe at normal use (100mg-200mg/day) forever, continuously, nonstop; adrifinil is stressful on the liver and thus less safe overall. My advice on sleep: Skip the drugs, get enough sleep; if you have sleep issues, take 1mg (not more unless 1mg is ineffective--the U curve shows more than your effective dose of melatonin is LESS effective) melatonin 1 hour before you want to sleep. Modafinil is friggin' awesome, but save it for if you can't get real sleep.
    • Hunger - Replace with more food. You're going to need a lot of this in your life. There's no other cure for hunger.


    So, in summary, you want enough sleep and enough food. You can take drugs to get around the need for sleep; unless you have a reason to shape out your sleep schedule, you should aim for getting the correct amount of sleep, possibly with the aid of (time-released if you can) melatonin.

    If you've got that, then... on to the drugs!


    Choline -- Alpha-GPC, Centrophenoxine, CDP-Choline

    Alpha-GPC is cheap and is the best choline supplement. Just take this, don't question it. (That's bad advice--question everything)

    Choline is important and people don't get enough of it. To frame this correctly and concisely: when you get a headache from studying too much math, that's a real thing. It happens because you depleted your choline levels. You need choline.

    Research says between 500mg-3200mg per day is the correct dosage--the low end is what you should have, the high end is fine but is what you should not exceed. The best source of choline is highly concentrated soy lecithin (however that's spelled), and of course that relies on bioavailability--you might not absorb all of it. A serving of actual food--the best being soy, eggs, whatnot--doesn't contain much, but there's enough for you to get by. Clif bars contain a lot of soy and lecithin--they are a decent choline source. Not like dosing with Alpha-GPC, but they're not exactly trivial. Remember you need choline, it's definitely available from food.

    A lot of good sources are available in capsule form. The best is theoretically Alpha-GPC. Alpha-GPC is highly bioavailable and crosses the blood-brain barrier (the others don't, not so much; but the three listed here are considered very high quality, and AGPC is just the top of the stack). This is desirable. 300mg-600mg doses per day is safe and effective. Realize: 300mg doses are effective for killing that "too much math homework" headache, and you need about 500mg/day usually; you're really getting just about the bare minimum from food.

    May cause insomnia, take in the morning. If you're throwing 600mg or such down, take less. I take 600mg, but I have insomnia anyway (always have) and find that three nights on 1mg Melatonin set my sleep cycle semi-permanently and dismiss the insomnia for weeks or months if I don't stay up late ever.

    By the way, if you take too much choline you might smell or smell like fish. Just reduce your dosage. Unless you're female and nursing--then you should definitely be taking more of a choline supplement, preferably a water-soluble one; ask your doctor, though you'll get different answers on who thinks which is best. Doctors are funny... they give answers based on experience, so they give different answers faced with the same patient and situation; and they don't know your body as well as you do, in the case of things you can measure (like response to a drug meant to treat, say, depression). Medicine is really freaking hard and I wish idiots would stop suing doctors for not getting it absolutely perfect :\


    Caffeine and L-Theanine

    I hate caffeine.

    Caffeine has so many negative side effects: hypertension, a loss of thinking ability (it's a stimulant, it creates some stress), dependence, insomnia. I hate caffeine.

    You can completely erase the negative effects of caffeine by taking it in 2:1 ratio with the L enantiomer of Theanine. An 8oz cup of coffee is usually 95mg, but this isn't standardized; standardized L-Theanine tablets are often 200mg, and there are 100mg tablets and chewables. L-Theanine powder is readily available. L-Theanine is an amino acid and highly bioavailable orally (with food, especially), but also readily absorbed directly into the blood sublingually (under the tongue)--good strategy with powder and chewables. L-Theanine transports across the blood-brain barrier and acts directly on the brain.

    Combining L-Theanine with Caffeine improves mental accuracy, focus, and memory (storage and recall). The recommended maximums by the US FDA are 600mg/6hr and 1200mg/24hr; the dangerous dosage levels are hypothesized to be 1000 times that level. Drugs have a U curve, and so--beyond the 2:1 synergy, which is a good guide when intentionally leveraging drug interactions--you should be mindful of how L-Theanine affects you and try to keep from overdosing past what works best on you.

    L-Theanine is considered a "Supplement" because it's derived from tea. It's one hell of an awesome drug. Basically no negative side effects, no real toxicity, safe for long-term use, no druggy effects like hallucination or other stupidity. Anxiolitic (counters stress effectively).


    Piracetam

    Piracetam is a synthetic drug. It's the original nootropic.

    Piracetam improves focus and memory directly by improving communication between neural hemispheres. It's neuroprotective--even against concussions, which is more than we can say for helmets (helmets protect against death from breaking your brain case open, not concussion from accelerating the brain into the skull)--and cardioprotective.

    Piracetam particularly will cure cardiac arrhythmia. Yes, that's a real thing. Known side-effects of piracetam (it's specifically a nootropic) include not only headaches (take more Alpha-GPC), insomnia, and other minor crap; but also a reduction of athlerosclerosis, improvements in blood cholesterol levels (less "bad" more "good", moving toward the optimum levels of each type), lowered susceptibility to heart disease, and a regular heart beat in people prone to cardiac arrhythmia.

    In experiments it's been found that about 4.6 grams of Piracetam is more effective than either 1.4 grams or 9.2 grams--again, U curve. Piracetam is well-tolerated (low toxicity) and not very strong; typical doses are 1600-2400mg 2-3 times per day (so, about 4.8g/day).

    Piracetam is available online, and is not illegal; it is unapproved by the FDA. You can get it from a company in Chicago or from companies in Germany or wherever else, pick one. I favor Smart Drugs For Thought as my supplier.

    Water-soluble (take with water, not necessarily with food).


    Other racetams

    Aniracetam synergizes (this means drug interaction) great with Piracetam. I usually take half the Piracetam dose (800mg) twice a day, but I've been on full doses recently. Notably, Piracetam is around 4.8g/day while Oxiracetam is more like 1.2g twice--similar sized dose (1600mg vs 1200mg), but only twice (2.4g instead of 4.8g). The synergistic effect is that it makes you significantly more socially aware and gives a lot better verbal recall--your speech flows more and you recognize and adjust to social undertones quickly. This means more social success--people enjoy being around you more. The effect translates poorly outside of face-to-face interaction (could you tell?).

    Aniracetam is similar to Piracetam, stronger, fat soluble (take with food). Similar effects, different distribution--bolsters some cognitive functions more than Piracetam, others less.

    Oxiracetam, Pramiracetam, Phenylpiracetam, have their own effects and are all similar. I get my Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, and Pramiracetam as Brain Octane from Superior Nutraceuticals. Phenylpiracetam isn't interesting to me because of rapid tolerance.

    Again, FDA unapproved, legal, unregulated.


    Noopept

    Noopept is 1000 times as strong as Piracetam. It also releases a lot of BDNF and BNF, which causes neurogenesis--your brain develops more neurons and you become semi-permanently smarter. As with all the racetams, Noopept is neuroprotective and thus keeps your brain cells alive longer. Funny enough, physical activity--bicycling--also releases BDNF and BNF, and in experiments has shown that both rats and humans will learn twice as fast with better retention when exercised before and after activities such as repeated maze navigation or studying math or other pattern recognition things. That means Noopept is an awesome drug--but so is bicycling. Noopept has immediate benefits bicycling does not (i.e. a short-term mental ability boost); bicycling has long-term benefits Noopept does not (i.e. you'll be less fat).

    A normal Noopept dose is 10mg-25mg; the daily dose is 30mg, although some people are up around 100mg. I would not exceed 50mg, but this particular drug has a lot of YMMV attached. Some people really do need 20mg sublingual 3 times a day; for others, pushing 50mg creates suicidal thoughts with no impulse to execute. Under 50mg is apparently universally safe. Rat and mouse models estimate that Noopept can't cause any kind of permanent damage or toxicity unless you exceed something like 7800mg in one dose--probably a lot more, because the primary mechanism of toxicity is NOS poisoning (brain activity produces oxidizers like NOS) and the human body has a damned good anti-oxidant delivery system which rats don't have. Experiments with rats and mice at 100mg/kg doses--which for a 170lb person means 7800mg doses--found no long-term toxicity.

    Summary: 30mg/day is a good bet. Don't break 50mg/day.

    That's not to say noopept is dangerous; it's just very, very strong. Popping an extra gram of Piracetam won't hurt you; popping an entire bottle of 120 800mg pills is a bad idea. Throwing a heaping teaspoon of Noopept down your gullet is going to be a bad idea; it's standard practice with Piracetam.

    I favor Noopept from Superior Nutra or from Peak Nootropics, in powder form, at 0.3-0.5 cents per mg; you can get it from Smart Drugs For Thought in pill form for oral dosing at 5 cents per mg. Sublingual dosing is a better route, but I'd trust a mg scale (and learn to use it--they're very fickle) more than a scoop to measure powder.


    Stimulants -- Adderall, Methylphenedate

    Not the best thing for you, and not the best way to treat stuff like ADHD--but they're the best we have for some diseases. ADHD can be treated effectively in a subset of individuals with a lot of the stuff above--plus SAM-e (+B9 +B12, which SAM-e will deplete) and a number of other things. You'll notice Noopept is patented, profitable, yet hasn't been brought over here to treat ADHD--it's not going to work as a general treatment (or maybe it will and I'm just not willing to accept anecdote).

    Adderall will provide focus, but not clarity of thought. Stims in general are bad for you. They're illegal without a prescription. With a prescription, they still have nasty side effects. If you can't function without Adderall, get a prescription; if your life isn't terrible and you're getting along fine without it (not "people tolerate me", but it's actually decent and you're not terribly troubled by the issues you have that would get you a prescription), avoid it. Same with Methylphenedate and all the other stims.

    Modafinil is less dangerous, but--as noted earlier--it's better for you to just get enough sleep. Melatonin if you have insomnia; if that won't work, get with your doctor, maybe Melatonin + L-Tryptophan or something, or maybe hard-core sleep aids. Hard sleep aids are nasty--even Valerian (all-natural) may have ... unpleasant side effects. Side effects such as simply not registering what's in front of you--I drove through a railroad crossing barrier once while a train was coming 7 hours after a dose of Valerian, and I've seen someone do exactly the same 10 hours after a dose of Ambien (his metabolism didn't clear it in under 8 hours) except he hit a car that was waiting at a traffic signal. This is not a mental state you'll recognize--it's not something you keep alert for and go, "Oh, wait, I'm having this issue, I shouldn't drive." Unless somebody tosses something to you and you have a delayed mental reaction, you simply won't realize it's there. You'll just stare straight ahead, see things, nod, and fail to realize you should react somehow. "Oh, a stopped car at a red light" without "...I should stop too."

    Really, stick to stuff that's safe in ridiculous dosages you should never take. Sleep is pretty safe. Noopept is safe. Piracetam is unbelievably safe. L-Theanine is safe to a degree that should be physically impossible. You need choline. I'm pretty sure you need food. Bicycling might not be safe, but if you're going to die from being outside it's probably not because you're on a bike; drunk drivers hit a lot of pedestrians. On that note, you might do well to avoid extremely high amounts of alcohol, and time your alcohol consumption to coincide with periods where you don't need to be entirely focused.


    In conclusion

    My only concluding thoughts are that maybe I'll stop using the "seminar-style rambling" style entirely. While this is all written exactly the way I wanted, it doesn't seem a very effective essay. The other mode is more dry and clinical. Will have to think on that. Sometimes I think people like less text more than dramatic prose.
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    Phenylpiracetam is safe; Modafinil is less safe if you consider overdose (racetams are VERY well tolerated) but safe at normal use (100mg-200mg/day) forever, continuously, nonstop;
    It's probably easier to overdose on caffeine pills or on espresso than on modafinil. It helps with mental focus as well even if you're well rested and had adequate sleep. It is similar to adderall in this aspect (though it does not stimulate as indiscriminately, you don't get elevated heart rate, etc.) However, it has a very long half life and it can mess up your sleep patterns. More importantly, it is considered a doping and therefore prohibited in competitions (as far as I know, for no good reason - it has not been shown to improve your performance), and it is a controlled substance in the U.S.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    It's probably easier to overdose on caffeine pills or on espresso than on modafinil. It helps with mental focus as well even if you're well rested and had adequate sleep. It is similar to adderall in this aspect (though it does not stimulate as indiscriminately, you don't get elevated heart rate, etc.) However, it has a very long half life and it can mess up your sleep patterns. More importantly, it is considered a doping and therefore prohibited in competitions (as far as I know, for no good reason - it has not been shown to improve your performance), and it is a controlled substance in the U.S.
    Yeah, I tried to not overstate the dangers of Modafinil--but realize that 250mg-500mg is normal for i.e. Pramiracetam, and 18,000mg (that's 80 times a regular dose) has, anecdotally, caused permanent mild decreases in social awareness coupled with permanent increases in mental calculation ability (that's brain damage, in some form). Now, consider Extra Strength Tylenol, 1000mg normal dose, 2000mg maximum daily dose. What happens if you take 80 times the regular dose (80,000mg)? What would happen if you took, say... 8000mg of Modafinil instead of 200mg?

    I told you I hate caffeine. Caffeine is probably the most toxic substance I listed, next to Adderall and Methylphenedate. Caffeine is immediately toxic, causes heart disease (diet pills raise the long term risk of heart attack--they're doses of caffeine), is addictive (caffeine withdraw sucks), causes hypertension (immediate toxicity)... it's a dangerous stimulant. That's not to say it's like adderall or Methylphenedate or something, of course not; it's safe enough for exactly what it's used for. But it is a dangerous stimulant.

    Hence, L-Theanine with Caffeine. It's proven to help with the hypertension, mental stress, jitters, and withdraw. (Is it withdraw or withdrawal in this case? I've seen both...?) I don't like caffeine but I can acknowledge the benefits of use in conjunction with L-Theanine, and the safety margin afforded by the combination.

    A lot of stuff is considered doping. Fortunately I don't care: I cheat at life, and leave competitive sports to everyone else.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    A lot of stuff is considered doping. Fortunately I don't care: I cheat at life, and leave competitive sports to everyone else.
    Yeah, I suppose once a cheat, always a cheat.

    I was thinking as I read through your material that you read just like an "advisor" to certain of our football clubs must have sounded several years ago. Now those clubs are being heavily investigated by the national WADA reps, and long-term bans and incredible turmoil in the clubs are likely to follow.

    Caffeine is legal. Overdose consequences aren't pleasant. But in the right amounts and the right forms, might be useful for the OP in the context he was discussing.

    A lot of the other stuff in your posts, as you rightly point out is not legal in the doping sense. This is not a forum for promoting the cheat's way of doing things.

    I would suggest that anyone thinking of going down this route should consult with a doctor... a real one, not a quack who promotes in these forums methods of cheating (the OP seems to have aspirations of competing officially).
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Caffeine has so many negative side effects: hypertension, a loss of thinking ability (it's a stimulant, it creates some stress), dependence, insomnia. I hate caffeine.
    I'm a recent convert to the benefits of caffeine for cycling, and my Intergoogling has lead me to conclude that the problems you describe are not relevant if you use it sparingly. By sparingly, I mean, for example, three cups per week.

    I usually drink decaf, but an hour before a 60 mile ride, I'll have a strong cup (10 oz) of caffeinated, and supplement with another halfway through. For a shorter HIIT ride, I'll have one cup before I start.

    That regimen should avoid dependence, insomnia, and probably hypertension, while making me less tired.

    This article says:

    Caffeine may increase the speed with which you work, may decrease attentional lapses, and may even benefit recall – but is less likely to benefit more complex cognitive functions,..


    So "Loss of thinking ability" might be overstating it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    To be clear, we're talking about drugs here--if marijuana was legal, THC would be a "dietary supplement"...
    Holy pharmaceutical engineering Batman! To be clear, I was joking about the adderall. I think the dangers of caffeine are a bit overstated (full disclosure: I drink 40 ounces of coffee every day). And if you are deficient in omega-3's you are malnourished, correct your diet (stinky fish, nuts, seeds, bugs if you have to). But the meditation is something you should consider. Having 100% mental focus is impossible if you are distracted, and the ability to think of nothing is a complimentary skill to thinking of only one thing for an extended period of time. And like anything else, it just takes practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Now those clubs are being heavily investigated by the national WADA reps, and long-term bans and incredible turmoil in the clubs are likely to follow.
    Yeah well, competitive sports belong on level ground. Life isn't fair and I don't treat it like it is; I take every advantage I can get and steer around the fair-play zones. If you want to play with those folks, keep your **** on straight; if not, then don't worry about it.

    For what it's worth, I'm also a greatest-abuse-of-the-rules guy: I'm not into sports, but I hold the highest respect for the man who invented the forward pass in football--when he came up with it there was no such thing, no rule against it, and the game simply wasn't designed to function with any such thing ever occurring; he destroyed the game of football, until they adjusted the rules to compensate. This has happened to baseball, too--there are illegal plays in baseball that are illegal simply because they create no-win situations (particularly there's a pop-fly rule where you can catch or intentionally drop the ball, depending on how you want the game to go, without it costing you anything; this is illegal precisely because the game specifies that catching the ball is the goal, yet one day somebody figured out that not catching the ball was both legal and advantageous).

    Look, it's not my fault you didn't make it illegal. That's fair play--if you were better than me you would've done it first.

    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    That regimen should avoid dependence, insomnia, and probably hypertension, while making me less tired.

    This article says:

    Caffeine may increase the speed with which you work, may decrease attentional lapses, and may even benefit recall – but is less likely to benefit more complex cognitive functions,..


    So "Loss of thinking ability" might be overstating it.
    You'd benefit from L-Theanine most likely in either case--though when it comes to your own body, you're the top authority. I mean think about it: if the doctors put you on MAOIs and they do bad things, you go back to the doctor and tell them these are bad and ask for a new professional opinion. If something you read online says certain things are good for you and you take them and it does things you don't like, why would you keep taking them?

    "more complex cognitive functions" would probably include, I don't know, multi-variable differential equations in seven dimensions? I'm usually thinking of complex tasks (programming, etc.) or "under pressure" things (making decisions between 14 different options with approaching deadlines) that require strong analysis of alternatives. "Put sugar in my tea" is not complex thought (it's almost automatic recall, if you make a lot of tea--including exactly measuring the same heaping teaspoon of tea by tilting the spoon a certain way to pour off some of the sugar to get the measure just right).

    My point was caffeine increases alertness, but places you in the situation of thinking under stress--caffeine is stress in a waxy, white powder form.

    By the by, 8oz cup of coffee is like 95mg caffeine, so you're talking about some 250mg with your two 10oz cups. People go quite high with the caffeine--large cups, several cups a day, strong coffee (Starbucks is 14 times stronger, or used to be), and so on. Chronic use of caffeine does quickly build tolerance. It's not fair to discuss caffeine in the same context as phenotropyl (which simply isn't effective if you try to pull the same let's-use-a-lot-of-this-all-the-time crap), because people can, will, and do use caffeine chronically.

    That said, I haven't looked into low, carefully controlled, spaced doses--something that's routinely done with Huperzine-A because you build tolerance too fast (and because it's viciously poisonous--you can get some at GNC or Vitamin Shoppe if you like, it's 0.1mg of a substance that does EXACTLY what sarin nerve gas does, so piling on large doses is not recommended)--so you may be right about acute benefits. You'd know more than me.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    The ailments you'll want to avoid are:

    • Sleep deprivation - My advice on sleep: Skip the drugs, get enough sleep
    • Hunger - Replace with more food. You're going to need a lot of this in your life. There's no other cure for hunger.


    So, in summary, you want enough sleep and enough food.

    IMO, this is the only good advice you've provided.


    Stay off the drugs ... get enough sleep ... eat healthy food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Yeah well, competitive sports belong on level ground. Life isn't fair and I don't treat it like it is; I take every advantage I can get and steer around the fair-play zones. If you want to play with those folks, keep your **** on straight; if not, then don't worry about it.

    For what it's worth, I'm also a greatest-abuse-of-the-rules guy: I'm not into sports, but I hold the highest respect for the man who invented the forward pass in football--when he came up with it there was no such thing, no rule against it, and the game simply wasn't designed to function with any such thing ever occurring; he destroyed the game of football, until they adjusted the rules to compensate. This has happened to baseball, too--there are illegal plays in baseball that are illegal simply because they create no-win situations (particularly there's a pop-fly rule where you can catch or intentionally drop the ball, depending on how you want the game to go, without it costing you anything; this is illegal precisely because the game specifies that catching the ball is the goal, yet one day somebody figured out that not catching the ball was both legal and advantageous).

    Look, it's not my fault you didn't make it illegal. That's fair play--if you were better than me you would've done it first.



    You'd benefit from L-Theanine most likely in either case--though when it comes to your own body, you're the top authority. I mean think about it: if the doctors put you on MAOIs and they do bad things, you go back to the doctor and tell them these are bad and ask for a new professional opinion. If something you read online says certain things are good for you and you take them and it does things you don't like, why would you keep taking them?

    "more complex cognitive functions" would probably include, I don't know, multi-variable differential equations in seven dimensions? I'm usually thinking of complex tasks (programming, etc.) or "under pressure" things (making decisions between 14 different options with approaching deadlines) that require strong analysis of alternatives. "Put sugar in my tea" is not complex thought (it's almost automatic recall, if you make a lot of tea--including exactly measuring the same heaping teaspoon of tea by tilting the spoon a certain way to pour off some of the sugar to get the measure just right).

    My point was caffeine increases alertness, but places you in the situation of thinking under stress--caffeine is stress in a waxy, white powder form.

    By the by, 8oz cup of coffee is like 95mg caffeine, so you're talking about some 250mg with your two 10oz cups. People go quite high with the caffeine--large cups, several cups a day, strong coffee (Starbucks is 14 times stronger, or used to be), and so on. Chronic use of caffeine does quickly build tolerance. It's not fair to discuss caffeine in the same context as phenotropyl (which simply isn't effective if you try to pull the same let's-use-a-lot-of-this-all-the-time crap), because people can, will, and do use caffeine chronically.

    That said, I haven't looked into low, carefully controlled, spaced doses--something that's routinely done with Huperzine-A because you build tolerance too fast (and because it's viciously poisonous--you can get some at GNC or Vitamin Shoppe if you like, it's 0.1mg of a substance that does EXACTLY what sarin nerve gas does, so piling on large doses is not recommended)--so you may be right about acute benefits. You'd know more than me.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Fortunately, the Canadian government has fairly tight restrictions on certain drugs which are allowed in the US. I don't know if any of the ones bluefoxicy mentions are restricted, but they may very well be.


    But also fortunately, sleep and a healthy, well-balanced diet are not restricted. Nor is a cup of coffee or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Fortunately, the Canadian government has fairly tight restrictions on certain drugs which are allowed in the US. I don't know if any of the ones bluefoxicy mentions are restricted, but they may very well be.
    How would that be fortunate?

    Much of what goes on out there is Calvanism and simple interfering with other peoples' rights and freedoms. I prefer the regulation of things that are actually dangerous and of the way people advertise things; unfortunately there's a lot of slack in both:

    • The FDA regulates safe things as controlled, and fails to regulate some unsafe things (no I don't mean caffeine--I mean things that are dangerous like Methemphetamine or Heroine, but legal anyway and not scheduled for medical use)
    • While it's not legal to make claims about drugs, it's totally legal to make fantastic and unbacked claims about anything else--like Vitamin C (which doesn't prevent colds) or orange juice (which is claimed on some boxed juice to prevent heart disease, but doesn't). I've even seen pesticides derived from plants that are sold as nootropics, when they're really just poisons--this is legal in the US because they're "supplements".


    The reason the FDA has made no regulatory comment on racetams is they're simply not dangerous in much the same way salt or MSG is not dangerous; if they had their way, they'd ban them. They would ban them because they're not fair--they've released several papers to that effect, claiming that it's unethical for people to take any kind of drug that gives them an intellectual advantage. The usual argument is that some people are born mentally defective (autism, ADHD, plain stupid) and normal people taking a drug that elevates them above normal people are not being fair to these other people who already aren't on level ground. That's basically it: if you want to learn 5 foreign languages, you should have to struggle as hard as the next guy, even if there's a magic pill to make it easy.

    It's entirely understandable and supportable that doping for competitive sports is illegal. Even in motorsports, the rules now demand that cars are roughly equivalent--you're not allowed to cut off too much weight or add too much engine power. It's now up to pure engineering and, more importantly, driver skill. Athletic sports aren't so lucky--they're naturally exclusive to people with the right genetics (which is huge), but most people aren't really trained to their peak and so their skill and dedication shows through. Even competitive sports are routinely abused when you consider the actual demands they place on athletes, though: if I was competing, I'd have expensive equipment to make good measure of my performance, as well as a personal trainer and a physician specialist that could help me work out where my plateaus are. I'd use thousands of dollars of equipment and medical advice to precision-tune my training to give me, personally, the most benefit. Poor kids trying to compete wouldn't have just their own genetics to worry about, but also the fact that all they can do is jog a lot and hope for the best. They'll never find the best way to prepare themselves.

    Given that, perhaps organizations for official competition should give anyone they've accepted into the competition free access to facilities that supply all these wonderful tools so they can get on some form of level ground. We can't fix bad genetics, but we can fix poor kids not having enough money for $2000 power meters in their bikes and $150/hr personal trainers to help them prepare for that Olympic Gold Medal.

    Beyond that, they can stay out of my personal life. I'm not Lance; I'm biking to work. Tell Lance he can't have phenotropil.



    As for specifics on substance restrictions, Adderall and Modafinil are definitely restricted. Canada is smart and has restricted Adrifinil--the US FDA has failed to do this and it needs to. The others aren't restricted, mostly. Choline supplements in particular aren't restricted anywhere because they're both not dangerous and supplements for an extremely essential neurotransmitter--in fact it's FDA regulation that baby formula must contain elevated levels of choline supplements, and even then it's been shown that the levels mandated are too low and babies who are breast fed or given more choline supplements develop better and perform better in school and on complex mental tasks.

    It is illegal to sell Noopept in Canada, but legal to import up to a three month's supply at a time. Whatever "three months' supply" means given a standard dose is most commonly called 30mg/day, I guess that's about 3 grams. That's an excellent deterrent, since it's 10 times more expensive as pills, yet powder comes as 5g or 10g. This is understandable--toxicity aside and of course no risk of abuse, Noopept is powerful and a lot of idiots like to take high doses of a good thing. High doses are bad. Personally I don't support these kinds of restrictions, but I do understand the logic. I also recommend not running afoul of the law for obvious reasons; however I'm in the US and don't particularly agree with the US view that we are the world police, so I don't care to apply Canadian legal considerations to general conversation.


    But also fortunately, sleep and a healthy, well-balanced diet are not restricted. Nor is a cup of coffee or two.
    Forget "well-balanced" if you're getting enough exercise; get "enough of everything you need" in there and otherwise just shovel food down your throat You'd be surprised what a healthy metabolism does, versus sitting around watching TV all day.

    But yes, sleep and food are your starting point. If you're not there, you should get there first. Re-evaluate if you really need anything else from that point. Everybody wants to take Adderall for some reason--it's an epidemic here in America, college students are gulping down Adderall and Ritalin (acquired illegally) in an attempt to get better grades. They also booze out and party all night, which is why their grades suck--get more sleep.

    I only offer up information; it's up to the individual to decide what they want to do with it--although I strongly advise against anything either dangerous or illegal (legal status does affect the risk of using a substance--a benign substance that isn't legal but should be is risky to obtain, possess, and use because of the legal consequences). I also agree that substances which are abusable and dangerous at abuse levels need to be regulated strongly. Anything both benign and useful should be out there for consumption; anything just plain benign is ... not a real issue. Somebody asked for this information; I supplied. I tried to give a balanced answer, not a politicized one. That's fair, it's how I operate. If you don't want to hear about it, don't ask about drugs and don't join threads about drugs.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    and don't join threads about drugs.
    I didn't join a thread about drugs ... I joined a thread about focus.

    Sleeping well provides focus
    Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet provides focus
    Caffeine might provide some focus in limited quantities (too much and the focus becomes scattered)

    And one other that helps me focus is an empty bladder. If I've got to pee, I have trouble focussing. So go before the race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post

    And one other that helps me focus is an empty bladder. If I've got to pee, I have trouble focussing. So go before the race.
    I think you just won the Internet with this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    I only offer up information
    No, you're offering up opinions, and politicized ones at that.

    You are taking the OP's request out of context, and in fact urging him to follow a course that will put him in conflict with rules that prohibit in sport the use of certain substances.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    That's fair, it's how I operate. If you don't want to hear about it, don't ask about drugs and don't join threads about drugs.
    It's a huge leap from admitting you're a cheat to saying you operate fairly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    What would happen if you took, say... 8000mg of Modafinil instead of 200mg?
    Most likely, someone will publish a paper about you. Last I checked there were no documented cases of fatal modafinil overdose. Since it does not build up tolerance and it does not give you a high, this kind of thing just does not happen very often - only if someone tries to commit suicide or if a child comes across a bottle of pills.

    This number is called "therapeutic ratio": toxic dose divided by minimum effective dose. It's about 100 for caffeine or modafinil, 10 for ethanol or tylenol/acetaminophen (normal dose 15 mg/kg, toxic dose 150 mg/kg). Anything significantly greater than 10 is considered generally safe.

    Whenever a therapeutic ratio of greater than 1000 is claimed (e.g. piracetam) and it's not a micro/macronutrient (e.g. vitamin C), I start thinking about the placebo effect.
    Last edited by hamster; 06-15-13 at 10:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    No, you're offering up opinions, and politicized ones at that.

    You are taking the OP's request out of context, and in fact urging him to follow a course that will put him in conflict with rules that prohibit in sport the use of certain substances.
    He didn't mention competition. If he's competing, he shouldn't be doping. "What pills can I take--plants, you know, that are legal--to get an edge" is looking for doping. The edge in this case is focus.

    It's a huge leap from admitting you're a cheat to saying you operate fairly.
    Hey, I'm not competing with other people. I'm not even competing with myself. I want to get as far as I can in life--I want to find out what it's like to speak another language, to be 9 dan in Go, to learn Calculus inside and out. There is a wall in front of me and I have to get over it and if I can do it faster with a rope or a spring board or a friggin' jet pack I'm going over it. I'm not trying to climb the wall; I just want to see what's on the other side.

    If it was between me and another guy trying to see who can climb the wall the fastest, well... time to roll up my sleeves and get busy. But I have no friends and no interest in any of that; I'll go my own way and you go yours. My way has a couple short cuts.



    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Most likely, someone will publish a paper about you. Last I checked there were no documented cases of fatal modafinil overdose. Since it does not build up tolerance and it does not give you a high, this kind of thing just does not happen very often - only if someone tries to commit suicide or if a child comes across a bottle of pills.

    This number is called "therapeutic ratio": toxic dose divided by minimum effective dose. It's about 100 for caffeine or modafinil, 10 for ethanol or tylenol/acetaminophen (normal dose 15 mg/kg, toxic dose 150 mg/kg). Anything significantly greater than 10 is considered generally safe.
    While that's all interesting, my point was that racetams are well-tolerated. I guess modafinil is also well-tolerated. The "therapeutic ratio" of these things is pretty high I guess.

    Look I need one sleep cycle per solar cycle somewhere between when the sun goes down and when it comes back up. Modafinil just isn't useful or interesting to me, and sleep is very effective. Unless you're trying to stay up 3 days at a time why bother? If I see the sunrise I go insane, so I sleep. It's better that way.

    Besides. It's scheduled, you need to convince a doctor you need it. Either leave that crap alone or petition the FDA to un-schedule it. If it's really that safe then maybe it shouldn't be scheduled.
    Last edited by bluefoxicy; 06-15-13 at 10:17 PM.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    He didn't mention competition. If he's competing, he shouldn't be doping.
    He is competing in time trials, as he said in the very first post in this thread.

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    Well i guess you do not really need to go for a supplement for this thing i mean for mental wellness all you need to do is take care of your diet because that will help you.
    Having food which rich nutritionally rather than having something like pill or powders its better to take fruits,meat,fish,nuts all these things will surely help you.


    EMRNEWS
    Last edited by Bentonjoe; 11-16-13 at 06:07 AM.

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