Poor Man’s Nootropics: Four Stacks for Brain Enhancement on the Cheap

Poor Man’s Nootropics: Four Stacks for Brain Enhancement on the Cheap

Smart drugs, or nootropics, are becoming more popular than ever. But they tend get a bit pricey, and sometimes you really don’t know what you’re ordering. Many smart drugs require other smart drugs to work properly, and before you know it, you’ve ordered 20 different bottles and spent a bunch of money.

I’ve written about these drugs before, and if you want a really complete guide to smart drugs, you can check out that article HERE. That’s where you’ll find all the goodies on provigil and micro dosing psychedelics.

Today, I want to write about inexpensive, easier to find, products that you can use as nootropics to create some serious brain power.

As always, remember that I’m not a doctor. I’m seriously just a guy with a beard that sits around all day and researches things like this and experiments on on himself. If you want medical advice, go talk to someone with an MD after their last name. Also, some of the links you click on may be affiliate links that I get a small commission on. This helps me to fund this site and the Warrior Soul Podcast. Regardless of the commission, I use these products and believe in them.

So if you’re not afraid to learn from an avid self-experimenter and drop a few pennies into his hat, then read on.

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Stack 1: L-Theanine and Caffeine

I’m starting with one of my absolute favorite nootropic stacks: l-theanine and caffeine.

If you’re looking for all the amazing focusing benefits of caffeine without the jittery rhesus monkey on crack feeling that you get, this stack is for you.

L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. It induces calmness and tranquility. It works by blocking stimulus of the glutamate receptors (which get you excited) while also stimulating production of GABA which helps you to become more calm.

Taking L-theanine in conjunction with caffeine creates a kind of synergy where you’ll get all the energy caffeine provides along with a focused calm. It also helps to extend the caffeine high without a crash.

As I said, L-theanine is found in green tea, but just drinking green tea will not give you enough theanine to create this synergy. You want a ration of 2:1 theanine to caffeine. So if your caffeine delivery of choice is coffee, which contains about 100mg of caffeine per cup, you want to take around 200mg of caffeine with a cup of coffee.

Also note that if you want the full benefit of coffee, don’t use a paper filter. That strains all the beneficial tocopherols and oils, which also help with cognitive enhancement, out of the coffee. Check the video below for a really awesome way to make coffee with a french press that preserves these oils and all that delicious coffee flavor.

Price of L-theanine on Amazon: $17.05 for a 2 month supply.

Stack 2: Fish Oil or Algae with other Nootropics

Fish oil isn’t really a nootropic, but it plays a hugely supportive role in brain enhancement. Fish oil contains both EPA and DHA, which are Omega 3 fatty acids that protect your brain (1), improve blood flow to the brain (2), enhance memory (3), and reduce inflammation (4).

Dr. Michael Lewis, a past guest on the Warrior Soul Podcast, has even used fish oil to treat severe brain injuries. I regularly take 5000mg or more of fish oil per day.

One important note here: the source matters. You want a triglyceride form fish oil for maximum absorption ability, and you want to make sure that it’s never been heated so that the fatty acids aren’t oxidized.

Price of triglyceride form fish oil on amazon: $59.46 for a 1 month supply.

Stack 3: Lion’s Mane + Caffiene + Alpha GPC + Ashwaghanda

Ok, this is going to be the most complicated, and potentially most expensive stack here, but I will show you how to build it for the least amount of cost possible.

Lion’s Mane is a kind of mushroom. It helps increase production of nerve growth factor, which can help to actually build new brain cells (5). You’ll want at least 700mg.

Lion's Mane Coffee Mushroom coffee nootropic

We’ve talked about caffeine and it’s stimulant effects. For this stack you’ll want 50mg

Alpha GPC is a type of choline that helps to improve memory and cognition while also protecting the brain (6). For this stack you’ll want at least 300mg.

Ashwaghanda is an adaptogen that helps to calm the body and protect it from the effects of stress. This is a great protectant for your central nervous system to guard against adrenal burnout (7).  You’ll want 300-500mg for this stack.

All of these compounds work in synergy with each other to produce a nice smooth stream of energy throughout the day. It may seem a bit expensive, but you can do this stack in a really affordable way.

You can get 1500mg of Lion’s Mane and 50mg of caffeine from Four Sigmatic’s Lion’s Mane Mushroom coffee which runs about $12.33 for a 10 count.

Alpha GPC comes at $19.95 for a 2 month supply of 300mg capsules.

You can get a four month supply of ashwagandha for around $15.65.

Stack 4: THC + CBD + Your Own Endorphins + a hot and cold shower + a cup of coffee or tea

This is known as the “hippy” stack, but I like to call it a fantastic afternoon. I like to use it when I’ve got a bout of afternoon writing ahead of me.

I’ve been medically prescribed cannabis to help with my ulcerative colitis. Lucky for me, I also get all the other benefits of cannabis, including it’s ability to help me to relax and create.

Nevertheless, I don’t like the feeling of being too high – so large doses of THC are not for me unless I want to lay on my couch and overthink my reasons for being here on this Earth.

Cannabis Nootropic

For this stack, I try to keep the THC intake to around 2.5-3 mg. This normally comes from a vapor pen. I do also ingest THC but it tends to take longer to take effect (anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour).

I’ll also add a small dose of around 2-3 mg of CBD or cannabidiol. CBD works synergistically with THC by enhancing it’s pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects while alleviating it’s potential anxiety causing effects.

After taking these, I’ll go on a 3-4 mile run to build up those endorphins. Generally, I’ll listen to a podcast while I’m running.

When I get back, I jump into the shower, and I run it 2 minutes on hot followed by 1 minute on ice cold. This helps to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow.

I get out and then make a hot cup of coffee or green tea to get the stimulant effect.

This stack feels absolutely awesome and it’s led to some of my best writing sessions.

I have to say this though: as we all know cannabis is a controlled substance and though many states tolerate its use, it is currently against federal law. It really shouldn’t be illegal and I believe that it’s completely stupid to deny people use of a beneficial plant, but I am not encouraging you to break the law. If you do choose to go this route, it is at your own risk and of your own free will. I also strongly recommend abiding by the cannabis laws in your state.


So there you have it. Four different affordable nootropic stacks that you can use to be more productive and creative. If you want to know more about how you can get even more lasting energy from your own fat stores, check out my FREE Starting Keto course at www.startketoright.com, and if you have any questions at all, feel free message me any time on the Start Keto Right Facebook page.