Taking Things One Step at a Time
My Personal Experience
If you’re like me, then you love taking any nootropic you can get your hands on. I have an entire shelf of bottles filled with pills, and pouches filled with powder. People walk into my room and give me weird looks for this unorthodox hobby. Sometimes, things can get out of hand, and I learned this the hard way.
A Common Mistake and Solution
I’ve read countless forum threads of people asking why they’re getting adverse side effects from their stack of nootropics – then they proceed to list about 15 different things, which coincidentally, they started taking simultaneously.
While it may seem obvious to some, others get carried away by the idea of cognitive enhancement and look to achieve the best results instantly. Ironically enough, this is not anywhere close to the scientific method.
If you want to test the efficacy of your nootropics, then create independent/dependent variables. If you can think back to your high school science class, you need to assign variables to your self-testing.
Obviously, you don’t want to take 15 new things at once, but rather, start with just one thing. Keeping your diet/exercise/sleep the same, the only difference in your life should be adding this single nootropic. Once you’ve decided that the effect is sufficient, is when you can start adding another supplement on top of that.
Self-testing is a scary thing, and caution should be taken, but if you approach cognitive enhancement with an objective, scientific mind, then your results will be far more desirable.
The Double-Blind Test
To add another level of accuracy would be to double-blind test oneself, and record results with brain testing.
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A good way to double blind yourself is to fill some capsules of the powder you’re looking to try, and other capsules full of some sort of filler (perhaps something that would normally not change your thought-process too much, like stevia). Put the pills in separate bags (one bag is the placebo, the other bag is the nootropic) and label the bag on a folded piece of paper so you cannot tell what’s in the bag.
Take one of the pills from either bag, proceed to test yourself, and in the evening, or the next day, check to see which pill you took. There are probably better ways to do it, but the important thing is to be objective as possible, to see if you’re actually getting your money’s worth.