During your research into nootropics, you'll face some common challenges. I know because I faced them myself. Friends have told me they've faced the same challenges, over the years. And I regularly talk to customers who are facing them now. You'll face these challenges too. It's one of those not-if-but-when things.
Maybe you're the kind of person who likes to learn the hard way, through your own experience. If so, stop reading. Excitement (maybe not the good kind) surely awaits! But if you prefer some help and less risk of the bad kind of excitement, you've come to the right place. Here are six things to look for when researching nootropics, and six reasons to switch to better nootropics.
1) Lacking Evidence
Some products contain ingredients for which there's little or ambiguous research. Or research suggests more effective alternatives are available. Do a search for "nootropic" on Amazon, click on any of the top results, and take a look at the ingredients. You'll probably see Choline, DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), Glutamine, or Vinpocetine. They are common nootropic ingredients, but it appears that few studies support nootropic benefit from them, particularly in comparison to alternatives. Don't just take my word for it. Click on the links for reviews from an independent third party. And then look for products that contain ingredients with the greatest potential to help you, as supported by scientific evidence.
2) Overused Ingredients
Some products contain ingredients to which you're likely to develop a tolerance, or which require cycling for various reasons. For example, Caffeine may be a valuable ingredient when used in a targeted manner, but its effectiveness will probably decrease if used daily. And some ingredients, such as Huperzine-A, have long half-lives that pose risks for daily use. You'll find these ingredients and others like them in many of the most popular nootropic products. So take care to investigate proper usage of each ingredient, and don't overuse ingredients that are best used only occasionally.
3) Secret Formulas
Some products hide the quality and quantity of their ingredients behind a secret formula. Vendors may call it a "proprietary blend." It may include effective ingredients, like Rhodiola or Theanine, but there's no way to know whether it provides an effective dosage. The concentrations of ingredients may be too low, or their amounts may be insufficient compared to those used in supporting studies. On top of that, most vendors don't share certificates of analysis for their product ingredients. So you can't know whether and how they tested the quality of their products. Maybe their supplier provided a mislabeled ingredient that they didn't verify. Maybe they use an ingredient with a suboptimal level of bioactives to cut costs. You just can't know these things for some products. Look for vendors with open formulas and that share their certificates of analysis.
4) Ineffective Dosages
Some products with open formulas and effective ingredients have weak or ineffective dosages. For example, take a look at products that include Bacopa, which may be the most effective ingredient for improving memory. You may see a dosage around 100 mg for an extract standardized to something like 20% bacoside, which would provide 20 mg of bacoside. But studies supporting notable improvement to memory have used much higher dosages or more concentrated extracts, providing at least 120 mg bacoside. Don't expect results that match clinical studies if you don't use a dosage that matches those clinical studies.
5) Expensive Products
Most products with open formulas and effective ingredients at effective dosages are far more expensive than buying their ingredients individually. It's shocking actually, to look at the prices people are paying for some of these products. For example, Avanse Lumonol, Nootroo, and Opti-Nutra Mind Lab Pro sell for at least twice the amount you'd probably pay to buy their ingredients on Amazon. Unless money is no object for you, look for better value.
6) Inconvenient Stacks
Finally, buying all the ingredients individually can be a time consuming hassle. First you have to find and order a reputable product for each ingredient. Then you have to swallow separate capsules for each ingredient. Or maybe you even have to measure out quantities of powder. The hassle may be worth a substantial savings in money. But what if you didn't have to choose between the two? What if you could have both convenience and competitive prices?
In early 2016, Thrivous began developing new nootropic products to address all six challenges described above. Our products combine well-researched and effective ingredients at effective dosages into open formulas with shared certificates of analysis, so you can be confident that you are using quality products. And our products have prices that rival purchasing their ingredients individually, so you can feel good about their value. I believe they are the most valuable nootropics in the world.