A class of Nootropics, known as Racetams, have taken the market by storm, and their users have been sharing stories from around the world. They describe how this amazing group of supplements can increase cognitive abilities, such as; focus, motivation, creativity and memory. Today, we’re going to break down the Racetam family, and introduce you to a few of the most popular ones on the market.
Table of Contents
What is a Racetam?
Racetams are manufactured Nootropics, and they contain many of the effective properties found in natural ones. Within the family of Nootropics, Racetams are identified by the similarities in their chemical structures, and they all have a wide array of therapeutic effects on the body. Many of them operate by increasing the flow of blood, oxygen, glucose, or other nutrients throughout the body. The more your brain is supplied with these elements, the better your brain will function. This means heightened concentration and focus, increased brain stamina, and a reduction in the degeneration of brain cells.
How Racetams Work
For the most part, Racetams trigger the glutamate receptors that are contained within the same cells as the cholinergic receptors. Glutamate and acetylcholine, two important neurotransmitters, play a vital role in cognitive function and human action, and are on the receiving end of these receptors.
Glutamate exists in various parts of the body, but its highest concentration is in the nervous system, and the brain. It is responsible for making sure signals between nerve cells send correctly, and it plays an extremely important role in learning and memory.
Acetylcholine, on the other hand, is the most widely used neurotransmitter in the body, and is responsible for activating cholinergic receptors. At the center of the parasympathetic nervous system, Acetylcholine works to restore the feeling of normalcy after a stressful incident, and works to restore calmness. It’s also the neurotransmitter that signals muscles to contract and/or flex, making it incredibly important for athletes. Most importantly though, the brain uses Acetylcholine for cognition, which gives us the ability to learn, retain and connect memories and information.
Given the importance of these two neurotransmitters, it’s easy to see why the Racetam family of Nootropics can be such an important, and often overlooked, way to improve your well-being.
Racetams also boost the communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. By increasing the communication between the two hemispheres, you may enhance the speed of idea formation, which may result in being able to recall memories faster. The strengthened communication between the left and right side of the brain will also lead to a greater level of cognitive function.
Which Racetam Should You Take?
There are a variety of Racetam Nootropics available today, and it’s difficult to decide which one might be right for you. Anyone who is considering enhancing their overall mental output must consider the varying experiences Nootropics can offer, in order to create the right plan for their individual biochemistry.
Listed below are a few of the best, and most widely-used Racetams, as well as their recorded benefits, side effects, and stacking recommendations.
Considered to be one of the safest, and mildest Nootropics available, due to its low acute toxicity levels. Piracetam is a good choice to introduce yourself to the use of Racetams, and Nootropics as a whole.
Piracetam is widely considered to improve the blood flow to the brain, and signals essential neurotransmitters to aid in cognitive functions, such as; mental energy, information and memory retention, motivation and increased sensory awareness. Research has shown that taking Piracetam may boost the absorption of neurons in the brain, which makes it more accessible for vital nutrients to enter, and for waste to be easier disposed of. It should be noted, that in order for benefits of Piracetam to show, one must research for the correct usage, and dosage. It may take a couple of weeks of taking the amount needed, in order for a person to begin to notice improvements in memory, creativity and mood. Some benefits of Piracetam include the following:
Treatment for Neurological Disorders
Research has indicated that taking Piracetam has shown benefits in the treatment of some mental, and physical ailments, such as cognitive decline due to age, alcoholism and schizophrenia.
Binge eating disorder, or BED, is a stress-related disease that has also been studied in regards to Piracetam. BED is described as an intake of large quantities of food during an acute period of time. Because the acetylcholine levels are compromised during an episode of BED, it leads to deficits in cognition and a sharp increase in anxiety. A study performed on animals in 2018 indicated that Piracetam regulates levels of acetylcholine, which decreased BED related cognitive deficiencies, essentially limiting the binge eating behavior and body weight.
Treatment for Depression
Studies of Piracetam have shown that it is also efficient in alleviating symptoms related to stress, anxiety, limited coordination and depression. In fact, in patients who experience drug-resistant depression symptoms, Piracetam may provide an additional therapy that shows compelling, rapid clinical improvement.
Piracetam is primarily known as a cognitive enhancer, and clinical trials indicate that it is extremely effective in boosting brainpower, notably with concentration, and memory. Although the effects of Piracetam in cognition are significant in individuals of all ages, it is most compelling in older adults who are experiencing a decline in cognition due to age.
Piracetam increases synaptic plasticity by improving blood flow in the brain, and raising the function and production of vital brain chemicals, or by creating new connections between neurons, which are important to learning.
Piracetam users have self-reported improved focus, increased energy levels, and a boost in creativity, especially when taken as a stack with choline. Studies have bolstered the self-reports by showing that Piracetam enhances verbal learning in healthy students, in addition to those who have dyslexia.
Piracetam’s benefits are associated with increased blood flow to the brain, and increased cellular membrane fluidity, which when taken with choline, enhances memory in older adults.
In many studies like this, Piracetam has shown to provide strong neuroprotective characteristics, that guard the brain against age-related cognitive decline. It can also help in protecting your brain against the body’s own natural response to fighting disease, commonly known as inflammation. Piracetam’s powerful antioxidant properties fight free radicals, which are tiny unpaired electrons that can be very damaging to your cells, thus helping to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Negative Effects of Piracetam
Piracetam has minimal side effects, and they are typically described as minor, or fleeting. However, people who have used Piracetam, and have had negative side effects, experienced headaches, muscle spasms, weight gain, anxiety, depression, unrest, diarrhea, tiredness, insomnia, and nausea.
Although Piracetam may be used as an individual Nootropic, it is most effective by stacking with other supplements.
Compared to Piracetam, Pramiracetam is up to 30 times more potent, and it has shown to improve overall cognition, learning, long-term memory, recall and concentration.
Pramiracetam works by releasing neurotransmitters, which are the brain chemicals that send signals from one neuron to another, as well as to gland or muscle cells.
Unlike other Racetams, Pramiracetam works in an indirect manner to affect the brain. While other Racetams act by stimulating precise neurotransmitter receptor locations to boost the creation and release of neurotransmitters, Pramiracetam does not directly affect changes in neurochemical levels. Rather, the main process of Pramiracetam, is that it increases the rate of choline binding in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain related to learning, emotions and the creation of new memories. Some benefits of Pramiracetam include the following:
May Help with Focus and Learning
By increasing choline uptake in the hippocampus, Pramiracetam indirectly fuels the production of acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter that is strongly associated with cognition and learning.
Animal studies have demonstrated that Pramiracetam supports the mechanisms that improve fundamental memory and learning, by boosting neuronal type NOS (nitric oxide synthase) activity in the hippocampus. Crucial to all cognitive facets, NOS activity correlates to brain plasticity, and neural development.
May Help with Memory
An effective treatment in young adults, who have cognitive issues related to brain injuries, and older adults suffering memory loss, Pramiracetam has shown to be an effective treatment.
By both stimulating the hippocampus, and by reducing forgetfulness by acting as an anti-amnesic, research has shown Pramiracetam helps to improve memory. Many users report better memory recall resulting from the dual action created by Pramiracetam.
May Help with ADHD
Pramiracetam may help ADHD patients feel more perceptive and responsive when faced with an undertaking that involves intense brain power, instead of feeling depleted.
Unlike amphetamines that are commonly prescribed for ADHD, Pramiracetam should not create any noticeable stimulant effects, which means that users should be able to concentrate, without feeling too anxious.
Most people prefer to take Pramiracetam in capsule or pill form. Due to its strong taste, and the fact that it is not water soluble, most people do not take it in powder form. It is recommended to take Pramiracetam with a quality fat, such as an unrefined, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil, MCT oil, or coconut oil.
Initially developed as a stronger version of Piracetam, Aniracetam is actually quite similar to its predecessor. Aniracetam is tailored toward improving focus and concentration while working, or studying. It may also help to promote a better mood with its stress reducing properties.
Although not proven in studies, some users have reported that Aniracetam helps to heighten sensory stimulus, which amplifies your senses, and creates more visceral sensory experiences.
It is quickly absorbed and metabolized in the liver, due to it being fat-soluble, it is immediately carried throughout the body. Its effects can be felt in as little as 30 minutes, due to its ability to quickly cross the blood brain barrier. All of the crucial neurotransmitters associated with cognition, memory and mood have an increased response to Aniracetam.
Some benefits of Aniracetam include the following:
Relief from Anxiety
Although stress is part of our everyday life, it can sometimes lead to a variety of mental issues. Aniracetam works to offset these by activating the AMPA receptors, which are essential in combating depression, and improving mood.
Like its predecessor Piracetam, Aniracetam may help offset the effects of damaging neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. Some clinical studies indicate that Aniracetam may be efficient in boosting a functional mind afflicted with cognitive impairment of cerebrovascular origin.
Aniracetam presents very few reported side effects when recommended dosages are taken. Those who have experienced side effects report mild nausea and headaches, which may be offset when taken with choline. Taking higher doses of Aniracetam may lead to digestive discomfort, and feelings of intense nervousness. If either, or both, of these symptoms occur, reduce the dosage immediately.
Aniracetam may be taken on its own, like with most Racetams, or it can be combined with others. A popular Racetam stack known as the PAO stack includes Aniracetam, Piracetam, and Oxiracetam.
Has been shown to boost an extensive range of cognitive mechanisms, such as; concentration, memory, verbal expression, and learning capacity. Oxiracetam is described as being a logic booster. It is one of the more popular, and stronger, of the Racetam Nootropics. It has also been found to be a gentle stimulant that may enhance mental alertness and energy, as well as motivation.
Studied as a possible treatment for memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s, and other neurological conditions, some research suggests that Oxiracetam may be effective and safe for long-term therapy, and may even bolster and conserve brain health.
So that the maximum effects of Oxiracetam can be felt while performing any learning activity, it is recommended to be taken at least an hour beforehand. To establish peak performance, Oxiracetam should be taken regularly, for at least 5 days. It can be taken in capsule or powder form, with or without food, and it is water soluble… meaning that it mixes easily. Some benefits of Oxiracetam include the following:
Increased Focus and Concentration
With its mild stimulant characteristics, Oxiracetam is appealing to users who are seeking a combination of an energy boost, and focus. Oxiracetam may increase overall focus and concentration, making it less difficult to learn, for lengthy periods of time, without losing attentiveness or interest.
When taking Oxiracetam, choline is released, and acts as a mild psychostimulant. It has also been shown to promote wakefulness, and suppresses the need for sleep. Studies also indicate that by improving energy to your metabolism, Oxiracetam may promote wakeful attentiveness, by improving blood flow to, and within the brain.
No serious side effects have been reported when taking Oxiracetam, and it is typically tolerated well. Like many Racetam effects, the most common side effect that has been reported are mild headaches, as a result of the choline depletion, or from too high a dosage. To avoid these effects, it is recommended to take Choline with Oxiracetam. While rare, other side effects that have been reported include nervousness, and insomnia. If taken too late in the day, it may interfere with regular sleep cycles, due to its mild stimulant properties.
The Racetam family of Nootropics share a common chemical structure, but among them there is a wide, and varied array of therapeutic effects. The question that most people ask, of course, is which Racetam is the best? And of course, there is no clear answer. Each Racetam has its own nuanced effects, and each can be beneficial in their own way.
If you are new to taking any kind of Nootropic, and want to try something that is relatively safe and straightforward, Piracetam may be for you. To enhance mood, some users like to take Aniracetam. Meanwhile, for those who require a boost in energy and logic, Oxiracetam may be the one to take. Lastly, Pramiracetam is considered one of the more potent Nootropics, especially for focus and learning.
The effects of each Racetam may be different for you, since we all have a unique biochemistry. The best way to find the Racetam that works for you is to explore each individually, before jumping into stacks. Experiment with dosages over the span of a week or two, to find which Racetam works best for you. And, as always, consult your doctor before starting any new supplements.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.