For the past three months I've tested a number of popular nootropics or "smart drugs" to determine what works and what doesn't (at least for my own biology). I attempted to control as many variables as possible. I went to bed at the same time and woke up at the same time. Every morning at the same time, I ate the same breakfast. If a particular nootropic was known to be best absorbed on an empty stomach, I took it 30 minutes before breakfast. Otherwise, I took it with breakfast. Two hours after breakfast I would go through a number of cognitive tests using I was concerned that I would become better at taking the tests over time so I limited myself to testing once every 5 - 7 days.

I understand that some nootropics are most effective when taken several days in a row but I was more interested in determining what provides an immediate effect for me.

Below are the results.


I was somewhat surprised that Modafinil performed the best, mainly because I carry the SNP that supposedly renders Modafinil worthless. I was disappointed with CILTEP, especially after all the hype for this stack from the likes of Dave Asprey and Tim Ferriss. Even combining it with Piracetam made no difference.

Dosage information:

CILTEP - 3 capsules.

Life Extension Brain Shield (Gastrodin) - 300 mg

Theanine - 200 mg

Bulletproof Coffee - ~8 oz brewed from a single Keurig cup blended with 3 tbsp of Kerry Gold butter and 2 tbsp of MCT oil.*

Piracetam - 800 mg

Alpha Brain - 2 capsules

Vinpocetine - 10 mg

Get Smart - 1 capsule

Huperzine A - 200 mcg

Sulbutiamine - 200 mg

Aniracetam - 750 mg

Modafinil - 200 mg

* My normal breakfast includes a variation of this but substitutes the coffee with Rooibos tea.