Cycling nootropics is perhaps one of the most challenging yet rewarding practices for brain optimizers and biohackers. Because the body and brain crave homeostatic equilibrium (reverting back to baseline state), cycling nootropics can be an effective means of avoiding tolerance, side effects, and burnout. Nootroo is one of the few pre-made nootropic stacks that seems to take that into consideration.
While Nootroo is certainly not without criticisms and flaws, the founder Eric Matzner and the product do stand out above dozens of other pre-made stacks that are currently on the market.
Below we will break down the ingredients of Nootroo, the reasoning why they may be helpful and the cost effectiveness of the combination. We will also describe some of the science, possible effects and whether it is a worthwhile stack to buy for yourself.
Nootroo Review: Are the Ingredients Safe?
At first glance, Nootroo loses some points because of the proprietary blend concealing the quantities of 675 mg of various ingredients. This is problematic for two reasons:
- There is no way to know what dosage of each ingredient is in the product
- The dose for either noopept or phenylpiracetam must be too low (since they have different recommended doses)
The first problem is true of any proprietary blend. Because Nootroo cycles nootropics, it is particularly alarming because noopept has a recommended oral dose of 20 mg and phenylpiracetam a recommended oral dose of anywhere from 1 – 200 mg (or more).
While this is a major flaw, a closer look at the ingredient suggests a stack that is filled with relatively safe and well studied ingredients.
The combination of caffeine and L-theanine is perhaps the most well-studied. The caffeine provides the focus and concentration most people appreciate, but L-theanine negates the side effects (like heart rate and blood pressure) . By creating this “calm focus”, it’s possible to increase the efficacy versus caffeine alone .
But Nootroo doesn’t use just any caffeine or L-theanine. Their caffeine blend is bound with pterostilbene crystals and while some people consider the antioxidant value of the crystals, in reality it prevents caffeine from being released into the bloodstream too quickly (making caffeine last longer and hopefully avoiding the crash).
The focus on “quality” ingredients continues with Suntheanine brand L-theanine. This is said to have a higher (though just barely) ratio of purity than other forms. Whether this is true anymore is up for debate.
Finally, Nootroo has chosen to provide a choline donor in the form of citicoline and specifically Cognizin (another branded product). In theory, the combination of a choline donor (especially an efficient source like citicoline) and noopept or phenylpiracetam is an effective one for memory formation and learning.
For me, phenylpiracetam is one of my favorite and most effective nootropics. According to EEG testing I performed at the Peak Brain Institute, it helped me get into flow states, concentrate more effectively, and essentially eliminated my ADD (though I’ve never been diagnosed).
Noopept is equally loved by many in the nootropics community as a way to generate neuron growth by improving BDNF and NGF .
The major advantage for Nootroo is that the ingredient list isn’t overcomplicated. Unlike many brands trying to fairy dust ingredients into the product, Nootroo created some of the most basic combinations of well-studied nootropics that currently exists.
What makes Nootroo unique is the ability to cycle between various nootropic compounds. Our bodies and brains are always seeking equilibrium (balance), which means taking the same compounds over and over again can often lead to less effects on our neurochemistry.
This is not always true (and there are plenty of nootropics we desire to use regularly), but it is a general rule especially when considering stimulants and smart drugs that improve focus or concentration in some way.
My recommendation is to use Nootroo even more sparingly, however. Even though the noopept and phenylpiracetam are cycled day to day, there is the caffeine + L-theanine combination and the citicoline that you must be aware of taking consistently.
It doesn’t matter which premade stack it is (Qualia, Alpha Brain, Nootrobox), I would not consider taking it on a daily basis. Try to vary your regimen more. You may only use Nootroo 1 or 2 times per week, but that will make it more impactful when you do take it (not to mention less expensive).
Nootroo Cost Breakdown
Much like the other premade stacks, Nootroo comes with a bit of a markup. Unlike some of the other stacks, this markup doesn’t seem exorbitant.
For $65 you can purchase a 1 month supply of Nootroo, which equates to $2.17 per day. Assuming you purchased some of the cheapest ingredients possible, this is what it might look like if you bought each item individually:
- Caffeine + L-theanine (Link) = $15 (for 60 caps)
- CDP Choline (Link) = $20 (for 60 caps)
- Phenylpiracetam (Link) = $18 (for 30 caps)
- Noopept (Link) = $20 (for 90 caps)
Altogether you would pay $63 and each serving (to replicate Nootroo exactly) would cost around $0.35 or so per day. The markup is hefty, but considering Nootroo does third party testing and obviously spends on higher quality bottles etc., it is probably less than that analysis.
For the consumer, the real question is whether it is worth it to try to put all the pieces together yourself and consume extra pills to save $1.50 per day.
If it is, you have all the links you need above to make a similar version (though the exact version is impossible to replicate without the formula).
Trust and Safety
Nootroo seems to be on the higher end of the trustworthiness scale. Eric Matzner, the founder and (it seems) sole employee, is well-known and respected within the nootropics Reddit community . He created an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) when he launched Nootroo, which helped to allay certain fears within the community and sparked controversy for others .
He has done a great job of attracting media attention including a feature on ABC Nightline  and an NPR feature , but oftentimes it is as much for his personal life as the Nootroo blend itself.
What strikes me most is the bigger mission and purpose, which resonates deeply with my own. Eric Matzner and I met at the screening of my documentary film A Head Above in San Francisco. We had an opportunity to connect, but also explore some of the bigger picture ideas that we share.
He’s a believer that technology can help us to solve our greatest challenges. This major theme of my documentary is one of the reasons I’m so interested in nootropics and cognitive enhancement in the first place. Sharing a love for the Oxford researcher, Nick Bostrom, he considers what an optimistic future might look like… and how to create it for himself.
While this doesn’t speak directly to the product itself, it does speak to the brand, and the care with which a product was made. For those who simply don’t care about this, the above information might be enough to put you off from Nootroo altogether. Those who see a greater vision and want to avoid the headache of buying all the separate components can pick up the product here.
- References (Click to Expand)