The Big Guide to Stacking Nootropics

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When selecting advice on stacking nootropics, it’s important to consider the source. Taking advice from experienced users who use carefully weighed bulk powders may be more trustworthy than those who experiment excessively without proper guidance.

To start, hearing from people who have already created their own stacks can provide useful information on the best options. However, the quickest way to broaden your knowledge is by researching clinical trials for each individual nootropic ingredient of interest. Ready-made nootropic stacks, using ingredients backed by research, are also a viable option.

This guide includes information on creating nootropics at home, as well as reviewing popular stacks and stacking methods, for those ready to take the leap.

Table of Contents

Two scoops with powders for stacking nootropics

nootropic stack guide

A nootropic stack is a combination of one or more nootropics (brain-enhancing supplements) taken to improve cognitive function. Nootropic stacks can be standalone nootropics or a combination of substacks.

The regimen of taking nootropics can involve a single daily stack, a morning and evening stack, or substacks for specific goals like memory, energy, and mood. To achieve the best results, consider the synergy, complementarity, and multiplication of different nootropics, as well as their dosing, interaction, and format.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the potential risks and side effects of taking nootropics, and to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

A nootropic stack may consist of:

  • Standalone nootropics – many nootropics have multiple effects on their own and can act as a mini-stack.

  • Nootropic substacks – the main stack can be further subdivided into more nootropics substacks.

The regimen of taking nootropics may include:

  • The single stack – involves every nootropic you consume within a day.

  • The morning stack and evening stacks – each containing their own corresponding nootropics.

  • The substacks – may consist of your memory stack, your energy stack, your mood stack, etc.

Refining the nootropic stacks according to your goals:

  • Dosing nootropics – complementary nootropics for memory and focus or opposite nootropics for energy and relaxation can be taken together. But the right ratio of ingredients is an important factor in ensuring that one ingredient outweighs or reverses the effects of another.

  • Interaction – some pairs of ingredients simply do not mix well, regardless of dosage, and should be avoided to reduce the risk of side effects or no effect at all.

  • Format – powders, pills, capsules, tablets, liquids. Depending on the content and quantity of your nootropics, the format may have a significant impact on the absorption of ingredients and outcome.

To achieve the best comprehensive nootropic stack, pay attention to the following criteria:

  • Synergy – is achieved when nootropics mutually amplify and enhance each other’s brain-boosting bio-effects. Arguably, synergy is the ultimate goal of a well-rounded stack.

  • Complementation – is achieved by finding nootropic pairs consisting of complementary bio-effects. The best complementary pairs work by polishing the “rough edges” of each of the nootropic ingredients involved while retaining their cognitive benefits.

  • Multiplication – when different biological pathways are targeted, the brain health benefits are multiplied. For example, you can improve motivation with a stack that uses nootropics to synthesize and replenish dopamine, as well as by boosting dopamine receptors, which boosts the overall outcome.

Requirements for making stacks

milligram scale
Nootropics Depot’s miligram scale

Follow these steps for the best result.

For example, if you desire to reduce sensations of stress, but do not necessarily want to improve your cognitive performance, you may prefer to stick to a single nootropic that impacts dopamine. There are recommended dopamine nootropics and products designed for motivation and mood.

Or you could include Bacopa Monnieri in either of these if you also wanted to improve your memory. It is one of the most common natural ingredients that are proven memory boosters.

Stack refining process

At that point, for longer-term intellectual functionality that lasts the whole day, you could add Piracetam, the king of nootropics. If you begin experiencing headaches taking Piracetam, which is normal and usually due to choline deficiency in the course of making use of racetams, you could add Alpha-GPC to this stack. This is the most bioavailable form of choline you can supplement long-term, providing a building block of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter and optimizing the effectiveness of the ACh system.

As you can see, the possibilities are ‘limitless’, and you can choose based upon your requirements how you are most likely to stack a natural or synthetic combo or both.

pros and cons of Homemade nootropics

You can simply buy in bulk synthetic, natural, and herbal nootropics online. The powder format will certainly save you cash, yet it can be harder to work with because each dosage will definitely require to become considered out and carefully weighted.

The nootropic stacks mixed into one capsule can be built by carefully adding each ingredient. This will definitely give you much more control over how much of each portion you take, than any product you will ever buy in pre-formulated form.

However, it will certainly be a much more technical and lengthy process.

In my perspective, the advantage and also a useful aspect of taking a single-ingredient supplement or even pre-made stack generally surpasses the potential benefits of establishing and encapsulating a stack. Nevertheless, if you are devoted to creating your very own stack, it most likely makes the most sense to get each component tailored to your own specific needs. It’s a process, but it’s also ultimately the most rewarding.

How safe are nootropics stacks?

Be aware that even all-natural, herbal products can trigger some side effects. Most of the problems that are experienced with natural nootropics are mild in nature and not very common.

Synthetic nootropic supplements usually have more noticeable adverse effects, however, a lot of these side effects can be minimized by putting the appropriate stacks with each other. This is, for example, the main reason that people add choline to a racetam stack.

Bear in mind that some nootropics lessen the effect of several other supplements that they are actually stacked with. An example is that L-Theanine may clear away the unfavorable elements of caffeine. However, it may also offer you a reduction in the total expected energy boost.

This is yet another engaging reason to analyze the impacts that each component has on the human body, and also try out multiple supplements to find your perfect nootropic stack.

nootropic stacks goals

The first thing anybody interested in nootropic DIY needs to do is set out a list of goals. It is difficult to develop a nootropic stack with various nootropics if you do not have an idea of what you want to achieve from the unique stack you are creating!

For example, If you have the goal of improving your memory and concentration, to do this, it may be a good idea to take a combination of piracetam, phenylpiracetam, and choline

However, it also depends on your body weight. This will indicate the dosage of these ingredients so that you can have optimal effects.

structuring the nootropic stack

Because of your unique characteristics, that require maybe higher doses compared to other people. The suggested dosage range for piracetam is 1600 – 6400 mg per day. With piracetam, you can start with a smaller dose and increase until you find a sweet spot. Experienced biohackers say that you push the dosage up to the point that you either start to get a headache or the Piracetam starts to lose its effect.

This is an example of figuring out personal goals and then structuring the nootropic stack around those objectives. As you can see, if you could not customize the stack, you might not get the same outcomes.

What nootropics should not be mixed?

Stimulants work on energy levels and may have negative side effects if stacked together. For example, pills like Modafinil, Adderall, or Armodafinil paired with yohimbine HCl produces a dangerous interaction. That’s why it is better to start with natural strategies first. But even then Rhodiola Rosea mixed with stimulating compounds like Caffeine, Noopept, and Schizandrol produce overstimulation.  

Racetams are effective lab-made nootropics well tolerated by most people and have a high toxicity threshold. Mixing it carefully and in cycles should not be a concern. Still, specific individuals will negatively react to these compounds as can happen with natural formulas too. Because the long-term effects of nootropics need to be more studied, we can’t tell how safe is to experiment with racetams excessively. Read more about these impressive compounds in our guide to the 9 best racetam nootropics.

Serotonergic Nootropics affect your serotonin brain pathway. While mixing is not usually a concern, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, if you take an SSRI antidepressant, and you add nootropics that increase serotonin on top of that. You increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. It’s never smart to mix any supplement with medication before talking to a doctor. Avoid taking too much tryptophan and 5-HTP, as well as St. John’s Wort with these supplements.

Top-tier nootropic formulas

three bags with numbers (1,2,3) and text - 'the best one-two-three nootropic stacks'

PAO stack

For example, one of the most popular stacks of synthetic nootropics is a blend of Piracetam, Aniracetam as well as Oxiracetam, all of which you can buy in bulk powder. This is also known as the “PAO” stack, and the approximate ratios for suggested doses are a 2:1:1 ratio of 1500 mg Piracetam with 750 mg Aniracetam and Oxiracetam. Piracetam is used for working memory, Aniracetam for encoding (also as mood enhancer), and Oxiracetam for focus and motivation.

These synthesized substances are well-known to assist improve several cognitive functions, and by taking them together, you could enhance cognition compared to taking just one.

However, if you want to stay away from lab-derived compounds, you can take the same approach with natural nootropic instead of synthetic by simply stacking them with herbal supplements as opposed to chemicals. In fact, one of the most popular ‘beginner’s stacks’ makes use of two all-natural nootropics: Caffeine and L-Theanine.

Let’s take a closer look at this stack that can offer a nice blend of cognitive benefits.

We recommend: best PAO Racetams online from

L-Theanine & Caffeine Stack

A unique synergy is formed when caffeine and l-theanine interact. L-Theanine further boosts the benefits of caffeine but also nullifies its negative effects.

L-Theanine and caffeine have been shown during clinical testing to increase concentration and energy, while also reducing stress symptoms. Caffeine can be extremely potent in high amounts, but it also usually leads to headaches and jitteriness. Many people find that adding L-Theanine to a caffeine mix reduces or eliminates these unfavorable side effects.

For these purposes, a good ratio is 4 parts L-Theanine to one part caffeine. For example, one of the most common dosage amounts is 400 mg of L-Theanine stacked with 100 mg of caffeine. However, you might want to start with a lower dose to examine things out, such as 50 mg of caffeine and 200 mg of L-Theanine, and then work your way up from there.

An excellent done-for-you option in this category is from the company Natural Stacks that makes a stack of caffeine and L-Theanine in a good ratio and calls it “Smart Caffeine”.

You can also opt in to buy quality powders from companies like Peak Nootropics or Nootropics Depot and make your very own ”one-two-three” stack.

We recommend: Caffeine + L-Theanine capsules from

Bacopa Monnieri, Lion's Mane, and Ginkgo Stack

If you are actually looking for a natural stack that is mentioned raising focus, memory, and understanding, then you look to the combination of Lion’s Mane mushroom, Bacopa Monnieri as well as Ginkgo Biloba to aid you to accomplish the preferred outcomes.

The research point that these nootropic supplements offer a fantastic blend of nootropic benefits, including far better overall cognitive enhancement.

Testimonials regarding this stack suggest that it can easily enhance performance for approximately six hours at once!

Only be aware of the truth that individuals have reported a delay of up to 12 weeks before stack reaches its total ability.

This is not an all-natural nootropic stack that is likely to give you ‘quick outcomes’. With Bacopa Monnieri’s full potential, you need to be especially patient.

Similar to any other, you need to have to be aware of your stacking options.  For example, placing together the same dosage of each ingredient that you would take independently is not typically a smart option due to how each supplement blends.

For this stack, most folks use the following daily combination.

  • Lion’s Mane– 500 mg, once per day

  • Gingko Biloba– 240 mg, once per day

  • Bacopa Monnieri– 100 mg, twice per day

After 12 weeks, if you are not experiencing favorable results, you may have to change the doses in your stack. Start with small additions, such as raising each dose of the Bacopa Monnieri to 150 mg. This is a game of patience, as these boosts could take an additional 12 weeks to achieve optimal results.

We recommend: Lion’s Mane + Gingko + Bacopa capsules from

Pramiracetam and Aniracetam stack

This is one of the most popular nootropic stacks among students. It’s relatively cheap and very efficient, so you know forever broke students already have a reason to love it. This stack greatly improves a person’s ability to focus and concentrate for longer, making it an awesome study helper.

As Pramiracetam is fat-soluble racetam you should definitely take it with fat like fish oil or coconut oil as well as meals. It pairs synergistically with Aniracetam, another racetam that is also fat-soluble.

Many who take it get excellent results, just don’t overdo the dosage as well as increase your choline precursors when using it with Aniracetam. Some people tell that you may feel sleepy with adding Aniracetam into this stack unless you took extra choline sources. 

That why stacking it with 200-400 mg Alpha-GPC will do the thing right.  If you want a mildly stimulating boost, you can replace alpha-GPC with ALCAR, a precursor to ACh and promotes neurogenesis.

Considering the doses, Pramiracetam powder usually has a pretty large grain size and is heavier per volume. You will find most people take from 300-600 mg.

  • 1 / 4 tsp = 596 mg

  • 1 / 8 tsp = 298 mg, I guess

As a result of compressibility, Aniracetam is a challenging powder to properly determine volumetrically.

If you use a bunch of power when scooping up the powder you’ll find yourself along with something around 750 mg in your fourth teaspoon.

If you gather it lightly it is, in reality, closer to 500-600 mg

We recommend: best Alpha-GPC and Racetams online from

Noopept and Phenylpiracetam stack

Noopept is something like 1,000 times as strong as Piracetam, and because of this, it’s more expensive when buying. But the dosages are much smaller for the same results, which is enhanced production of acetylcholine and cognitive improvement.

Many people report better verbal fluency as well as finding the right words much quicker with Noopept. 

The CDP-choline or Citicoline helps moderate a possible side effect of Noopept – headaches. Besides being known as a great choline source, once it gets to your brain, it helps repair the cell membranes for better neuron integrity. That’s a double benefit from one supplement. 

The combination of Noopept and Citicoline works like a powerful combo. This is probably the strongest one-two nootropic stacks among others.

If you prefer to use Citicoline as your choline source, you will want to bump the ratio to 1:30, which has a basic starting point of 10 mg of Noopept and 200 mg of Citicoline.

  • Noopept – 10 mg to 30 mg, orally three times a day; put it under your tongue for fast results

  • Citicoline – 200 to 600 milligrams

If you go with Alpha GPC, which is actually expensive, yet smaller doses will be actually needed to have effective results.

To create your own Noopept and Alpha GPC stack, you should utilize a 1:20 ratio. A good starting point is 20 mg of Noopept and 400 mg of Alpha GPC.

  • Alpha GPC – 200 to 400 milligrams

Because there is no contest between these two choline donors, you could create a great stack if you pair them with proper dosages. Taken together, Alpha-GPC and Citicoline will provide your brain function with the type of choline it requires for the fuel at the cellular level.

Some users report taking the Phenylpiracetam Noopept stack with Alpha-GPC is an incredible bio-hack. 

Phenylpiracetam is normally taken in 25-200 mg doses, with the normal/high dose range being 75-150 mg.

They both have similar qualities, yet also have many differences.


  • Helps consolidate memory

  • Facilitates learning processes

  • Enhances Alertness & Focus

  • Improves Physical Performance

  • Improves Mood

  • lessens brain fog


  • Better Overall Cognitive Performance

  • Increased Learning Ability

  • Enhanced Memory

  • Improved Reflexes & Perception

  • Advanced Logical Thinking

  • Improved Mood 

  • Can cause brain fog

The issue with Phenylpiracetam though is you can take it 2-3 times per week max to avoid tolerance. People typically take weekends off from racetams, and with this one, you need to be a little more careful. Other than that, it is one of the amazing nootropics to stack.

We recommend: the best Choline sources and Racetams online from

Choline, Acetyl L-Carnitine, and Alpha Lipoic Acid stack

Although this stack is most commonly taken on its own, a lot of people like to take it in combination with various racetams.

Acetyl L-Carnitine or mitochondrial health, aids in the process of synthesizing acetylcholine using the choline naturally available in a person’s brain. Carnitine is taken in three forms: L-Carnitine (for heart and other conditions), Propionyl-L-Carnitine (for heart conditions), and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (neuroprotective properties). The dosage is the same for all three forms.

  • 200 or 250 mg to 1000 mg 2-3 times daily

  • Some reports that just at 500 mg it gave enormous energy

Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a unique free radical scavenger produced in small amounts in your body, as well as boosts acetylcholine neurotransmitters associated with memory and overall mind and body function. Alpha-Lipoic Acid helps with nerve pain, memory, recall, and mental performance.

You won’t actually feel ALA because it has subtle effects, but take it on an empty stomach (1 hour before a meal) because its bioavailability decreases with meals.

  • 2 – 600 mg per day for cognitive benefits

  • 50 – 100 mg per day for protection from oxidative stress

  • 800 mg per day divided into two doses for diabetic neuropathy

The addition of a choline supplement such as Alpha-GPC, Citicoline, or Centrophenoxine helps make the results much more abundant and effective.

If you are looking for a natural alternative to add, you should definitely include herb extracts and foods with strong nootropic effects that can be combined into a powerful combo.

We recommend: Choline + Acetyl L-Carnine + Alpha-Lipoic Acid from

Best nootropics for memory and learning

Get more nootropic stacks examples!

Learn More

Stacking nootropics conclusion

While research studies expose the positive effects of lots of smart drugs like piracetam or Noopept, it inspires people to wish to change the dose, enhance synergies with other medications, and boost psychological efficiency beyond individual nootropic.

Balance is crucial. You don’t want to overload yourself on one particular sort of
compound. The goal is to identify where you are lacking most and which neuro-
transmitter is causing the most symptoms.

Start by identifying the number of the symptoms that are most troublesome to your daily life and function, and go from there.

  • Memory

  • Verbal fluency

  • Learning ability

  • Attention-deficit

  • Mood disorders

  • Mental fatigue

  • Motivation and energy

  • Social and mood issues

  • Creativity purpose

Since you are particularly interested in cognitive enhancement and increasing
your brain’s power, supplementing with substances to sustain dopamine, acetyl-
choline, and serotonin can all be valuable.

We have given you examples of some of the more researched DIY nootropic stacks, which have been found to bring benefits to human cognitive performance. You now have the basic tactics to get your choice and according to your own unique goals.

Now it’s your turn to take action if you want to get multiple benefits these familiar nootropic stacks have to offer. 

Pick up nootropics that best reflect your goal

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