Best Nootropics for Crypto Trading: 4 Smart Drugs to Get a Mental Edge

Best Nootropics for Crypto Trading: 4 Smart Drugs to Get a Mental Edge

The crypto markets have fluctuated from their highest highs, but that does not mean people are not using blockchain technology and the initial coin offerings (ICOs) to make a lot of money. In fact, for many of the crypto millionaires, it is hard to comprehend just how radically their financial situation has changed.

But that isn’t the case for every crypto trader…

For every crypto millionaire, there are hundreds of eager traders trying to get an edge, fill their pockets, and get involved in the greatest gold rush of all time.

Day or swing trading is focused less on the fundamentals of the market or a token and more on the fluctuations that occur in a shorter time frame. This can be nerve wracking and a special subset of skills can be helpful for doing well.

This article will focus primarily on the best nootropics and smart drugs that you can utilize to get the best results for crypto trading.

NOTE: if you have used nootropics before, you will probably have seen many of these, but read the excerpts so you can understand the customizations and reasoning!

Your Brain on Crypto

All markets are impacted by uncertainty, but crypto is arguably one of the worst. Between China cracking down on crypto exchanges, European and American governments talking regulations, and the Bitconnect ponzi collapse, there is a lot of uncertainty to wrap your brain around.

With chaos comes huge potential and volatility, but it also comes with a heightened fight or flight response. This added stress must be managed.

This is where the fear of missing out (FOMO), fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), and numerous other stressors can cost millions like this guy who went from $3,000 to $4 million back to $0.

The people who are most successful with crypto trading are the people who can manage the chaos, fight or flight response, and maintain a level head. For some people this is genetic and natural, but for most people it is a learned skill and one where nootropics can help.

Calmness under pressure is a major cognitive skill and there are others that can create a successful crypto trader:

  • Calmness
  • Pattern recognition
  • Creativity
  • Endurance
  • Communication

Before jumping into each of these five skills and the nootropics you can test to enhance them, we would be remiss without mentioning a key element to it all:

The fundamentals of health matter… a lot.

There is no alternate universe where crypto traders can eat poorly, sleep infrequently, and not exercise and maintain these habits over the long term.

Before diving into these nootropics it is imperative to eat a diet that is healthy (whatever that means for you) because food provides the raw materials for the brain chemicals that you need to be successful. The same holds true for sleep and exercise.

Reducing Risk: Which Nootropics Work For You?

The major key in crypto trading for most people is mitigating risk. If you are involved in crypto trading, you probably have a higher propensity for risk or a high risk tolerance.

That self-selecting bias means you should use tools that make you less risky. It’s not helpful to try and hit home runs every time. These nootropics will help reduce risky behavior.

Caffeine + L-Theanine
Crypto Rating: Very good
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Most crypto traders are already drinking caffeine. This is by far the most ubiquitous substance for improving mental performance, but taking too much caffeine by itself can be a problem for trading.

Firstly, most energy drinks have too much caffeine and exacerbate the stress response inherent with crypto trading. Not good. Second, even multiple cups of coffee will create an environment for further stress and adrenal fatigue.

Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant, which is why L-theanine is such a powerful ingredient to add alongside it. The studies are pretty clear that theanine can mitigate anxiety and increased blood pressure associated with caffeine.

Typically the combination of L-theanine and caffeine is consumed in a 1:2 ratio of caffeine to L-theanine, but for crypto traders I would recommend 1:2.5 or 1:3. I would also recommend bringing down the dosage of caffeine from 100 mg to 80 – 90 mg.

Test what works for you, but this customization for the stresses of crypto trading may be important especially for first time users.

caffeine-curve

Rhodiola Rosea
Crypto Rating: Very good
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This adaptogenic herb is used specifically for overcoming stress. In traditional Viking cultures, rhodiola rosea was used as a popular tool for virility. One meta-analysis (a study looking at all the studies) showed that rhodiola could increase mental performance under periods of stress.

Rhodiola can be stimulating, but most of the effects are not perceptual and simply equip you with the ability to handle stress that comes with crypto trading.

CBD Oil
Crypto Rating: Good
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The largest part of the cannabis plant is cannabidiol and unlike the psychoactive THC, it is legal to use CBD oil for recreational use. The studies are pretty clear on CBD as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) tool and a neuroprotective.

The most useful research on CBD is in the realm of anxiety. A 2015 study showed CBD could be an effective treatment for multiple anxiety disorders. Another in Neuropsychopharmacology showed CBD could reduce anxiety in public speaking for those who suffer social phobia. No small feat.

Ashwagandha
Crypto Rating: Good
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For pure relaxation and calm, ashwagandha is one of the oldest and most well-researched nootropic compounds. Part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine, there are numerous studies showing ashwagandha can reduce anxiety by 56.5% compared to 30.5% for the placebo. Very subtle and basic, but effective for crypto trading purposes. Get the dosage right so it does not affect you in a negative way (being too calm), though.

Phenylpiracetam
Crypto Rating: Poor
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One of my favorite nootropics is phenylpiracetam because it is highly stimulating, but also has benefits for creativity and flow states. In fact, I visited the Peak Brain Institute in Los Angeles, California and did QEEG brain mapping with a neuroscientist and found the results amazing.

The problem is, this highly stimulating nootropic can increase my sense of aggression and assertiveness in a way that does not work as well with crypto trading. While the feeling is great and exhilaration strong, phenylpiracetam is so powerful it turns my trading into something more like gambling where I throw caution to the wind and make poor decisions.

Unless you are experienced and do not have this problem, I would suggest not utilizing phenylpiracetam specifically even though other drugs in the racetam family are fine for other reasons.

Pattern Recognition and Nootropics

Trading cryptocurrency is currently less about the fundamentals of any token and more about noticing trends and patterns across the market. Being able to notice patterns more effectively is useful to stay ahead of the curve and properly hedge bets.

What do the high probability trades look like? How will you be able to spot them? Getting an extra edge with nootropics can make a difference.

But again, here is a good opportunity to remind you: make sure to have the basics first.

A 2017 study in Nutritional Neuroscience concluded that junk food diets create deficits in pattern recognition (i.e: reduce pattern recognition skills). Don’t move on to nootropics if you can’t handle the basics.

Magnesium L-Threonate
Crypto Rating: Very good
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Of all the nootropics, some of the most effective are micronutrients that we regularly miss. Magnesium is used in over 300 enzymatic actions in the body, which makes it one of the most important micronutrients for overall performance and yet is one where most people (48% or more) are deficient.

Magnesium L-threonate is the first version that can cross the blood brain barrier and a 2013 Behavioral Pharmacology study found that supplementation could increase pattern separation and recognition. The bonus was that magnesium L-threonate also helped prevent overgeneralization of fear (something crypto traders know all so well).

Modafinil
Crypto Rating: Good
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There is ample evidence modafinil can improve pattern recognition skills. The drug is highly popular in Silicon Valley and other high-performance hubs because of the increased pattern recognition, better endurance (resistance to fatigue), and general concentration.

Just keep in mind, if you are going to use modafinil, try to do so in a smaller dosage. The 200 mg per day recommended dose will probably crank up the stress and fight or flight response (as modafinil is stimulatory). No need to add to your anxiety concoction so try and limit the dosage to 50 – 75 as a way to improve pattern recognition if you so desire.

Nicotine
Crypto Rating: Good

Nicotine gets a bad reputation and for good reason: smoking is extremely unhealthy especially in modern cigarettes… but it is also a performance enhancer. Specifically, nicotine can help with pattern recognition and memory consolidation in perceptual learning.

If you are going to use nicotine while crypto trading, the recommendation is to find a nicotine gum that you like and use it. Note that it is probably better to do so on a once or twice per week basis (cycling) rather than daily.

Creativity and Crypto Trading

Seeing patterns before peers while trading cryptocurrency is of a huge advantage, but creativity within trading is often neglected. Having creativity often means being able to hold various disparate ideas and put them together in some coherent way that is novel or insightful.

Noticing creative approaches to crypto trading offers the opportunity to fill a niche. Maybe this is a niche within a specific type of token, maybe this is a strategy you are pioneering nobody has tried, but whatever the case may be, creativity can be effective and microdosing psychedelics is often the best way to get an outside / different perspective on things.

Microdosing psychedelics has a long history and some compelling scientific literature. In 1966 Dr. James Fadiman conducted an experiment on 27 intellectual male subjects (16 engineers, 2 mathematicians, 2 architects, 1 engineer-physicist) and were told to bring a problem they hadn’t been able to solve in 3 months of effort.

By microdosing mescaline (a type of psychedelic used by indigenous peoples), they found that 44.4% of the group (12 individuals) were able to develop a breakthrough solution. When applied to finding trading patterns or strategies that are different from your peers, microdosing psychedelics can make a difference.

LSD
Crypto Rating: Good

Despite what anti-drug campaigns may have said, LSD is not more dangerous than anything else you can find. It isn’t for everyone, but in a microdose it can be effective for problem solving. Most research of LSD has focused on anxiety and depression, but in the video below Dr. Carhart-Harris explains how LSD looks in the brain (using fMRI brain scans).

In short, it allows different regions of the brain to communicate with one another when they usually do not (skip to 4:40 in the video)

Psilocybin
Crypto Rating: Good

Slightly different than LSD, but with a similar effect, psilocybin is the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms. The best way to get a consistent dose that will not hurt your stomach is to do the following:

  • Use a coffee grinder to grind the mushrooms into a powder
  • Add lemon juice directly to the mushrooms
  • Finish off with water

The lemon helps to mask the taste, but also improves digestion. Small doses should be sub-perceptual (or barely perceptual) and will provide a host of benefits once you start.

Endurance Building for Extended Trading

It may sound odd, but endurance is a big part of trading. Being able to look at charts and keep tabs on markets (especially when crypto markets never sleep) is a huge challenge and one that most normal stock exchange traders don’t have to worry about.

The best way to increase mental endurance is to usually improve mitochondrial health. This is the small part of the cell that produces energy (ATP) so we’ll focus on a couple “easy wins” in that department.

Creatine monohydrate
Crypto rating: Very good
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This isn’t just for bodybuilders. Creatine enhances production of energy in our cells, which is why bodybuilders increase their strength. The same is true for our brain cells. When we take creatine, we increase the ability for our brain cells to do work.

CoQ10
Crypto rating: Good
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Besides aiding in mitochondrial health (thus giving us more mental energy), coenzyme Q10 can help increase blood flow to the brain and is yet another “easy win” for endurance.

Don’t expect either this or creatine to have much of a “feeling” associated with it. These are working behind the scenes.

Communication – Why Verbal Fluency Changes Everything

The tales of traders sitting in Telegram and Slack chat rooms waiting for a golden nugget of information are legendary. A single tip or rumor can change the markets quickly and being able to scan lots of nonsensical comments to find the ones that matter is a valuable skill.

The best drugs to do this are typically from the racetam family. Without going into too much detail, piracetam was the first and is often considered the best starting point for beginners.

Piracetam
Crypto rating: Very good
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Many people experience more subtle sensations associated with piracetam, but plenty of research shows it does work well for verbal fluency. One study showed an 8.6% boost with piracetam alone.

Aniracetam
Crypto rating: Good
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Aniracetam is another well-studied drug from this family, but the half-life is short and the effects do not last long. This is something you will want to dose throughout the day if you are trading consistently. The effects are more pronounced, however. Note that this is fat soluble so eat with some kind of fat source.

Oxiracetam
Crypto rating: Good
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The final racetam we recommend is oxiracetam simply because of the safety profile and lack of stimulation. It can help some people tremendously with verbal fluency (and general cognition), but it is not overwhelming like some of the other racetam drugs.

Wrapping Up and Getting Started

This basic understanding of how to use nootropics for crypto trading can help tremendously, but only if you have all of your basics in place already.

Below I’ve created a nootropic stack that you may use as a good place to start. Typically, it is best to cycle nootropics to avoid becoming tolerant to certain drugs. Below is a list of all the nootropics you can take regularly while trading.

  • Caffeine + L-Theanine (80 mg + 180 mg)
  • Rhodiola Rosea (100 mg)
  • CBD Oil (10 mg)
  • Magnesium L-Threonate (200 mg elemental magnesium)
  • Piracetam (1600 mg x 2 per day)
  • Creatine Monohydrate (5 grams daily)
  • CoQ10 (75 mg)

Author

Nootropedia provides research-driven and accessible nootropics information. Don’t be in the dark about nootropics.