T Nation

Help With Custom Nootropic Stack


First and foremost, a disclaimer: please do not suggest Spike or Power Drive. The reason is that it will cost far too much at the moment as I need to import it to South Africa, and with courier shipping it is not cost-effective. I am thus going to make a custom stack by buying in bulk.

With that out of the way, I want to try devise a nootropic stack for preworkout energy and focus. For budget and other reasons I am limiting the stack to 3-4 ingredients at most. I have read the various nootropic guides and am looking for stacking advice, bearing in mind the restriction on number of ingredients.

From what I have read and researched I have found two primary stacks, both which include Alcar and the synergistic L-Tyrosine. The two stacks then differ in the following way:

  • Stack 1: Alcar 1-2g, L-Tyrosine 500mg, Chocamine 1-2g, optionally caffeine 200mg.
  • Stack 2: Alcar 1-2g, L-Tyrosine 500mg, Piracetam 2g and Choline 1g.

Which one seems like the better stack for the goals? If there are other stacks though other than those two, which you recommend, please let me know (I have seen various stacks which include Arginine, Ornithine, ALA, Citr. Mal. etc.).

This is a "starter nootropic" stack as I haven't taken anything like it yet, to be taken 45-60 minutes preworkout. For now I want to keep it relatively simple and inexpensive. Perhaps at a later stage, in a few months or so, I will consider adding other things.

Thanks in advance,

PS. I will also look into Spike and Power Drive once USPS shipping is in effect, so no need for any more plugging :slightly_smiling:


Hello xenithon

I think the person to ask this of is either David Barr or Cy himself.

Hope you get the answers soon.



Stack one would be best for your goals. Piracetam will not do anything for you acutely (it doesn't do anything for me at all). Chocamine will be a better choice for your needs.

As an side. taking ALCAR increases mitochondrial free radicals and one needs to take e.g. R-ala, or NAC to soak up some of those free radicals (most antioxidants don't make it into the mitochondria) or you risk increasing aging (having your mitochondria age is not a good thing).

There are other advantages of picking better forms of choline e.g. lecithin, CDP choline or Alpha GPC choline but I'm not sure how relevant these are to your stated goals. Vinpo might be a good addition.


Hi there. Thanks for the great info. I have a few questions/comments below if you don't mind.

That's what I thought. I saw Piracetam used a lot in stacks purely for focus, eg. studying, night shifts etc. and Chocamine used for preworkout stacks.

Thanks for the tip. I saw recommendations for ALA/R-ALA but couldn't find them, at least not at prices which will allow. NAC I can find, but just wanted to check if you think it is mandatory. I will only be using the stack once a day, for training, and thus only 5-7x per week. I will also be using it for around 2 months at a time, after which I will take a break. I am simply limited by budget so only want to include what is mandatory.

The ones I have access to are Choline Bitartrate and Citrate. I have found Alpha GPC but it is far too expensive for me. EDIT: However I am not going to worry too much about this as I do not plan to run Piracetam anyway.

I will most likely get the stuff from BN, and need to get all things from one place (save shipping costs). If however you can recommend an alternative place I can get all the required ingredients please let me know (by PM I assume).

Thanks in advance,


I'm conservative and if it were me, I'd throw in 500-1000 mg NAC/day. Is it a big deal given the short term you're talking about, probably not.



Try some ginko, it gives some headaches, but works great for me and usually can be found pretty cheap.


Hi guys. Thanks again for the great info. I think I will be going for the following. My last query has to do with recommendations on dosages. I have seen various, varying amounts and I will play around to see how I respond.

Alcar @ 2g
L-Tyrosine @ 500mg
Chocamine @ 2g
Caffeine @ 200mg
NAC @ 500mg

I will get them separately in bulk and mix the required amounts to attain the right ratios.