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10 Common Nootropic Use Mistakes to Avoid

These common mistakes lead to more side effects and reduced benefits


Nootropic mistakes can lead to an absence of benefits and the presence of unwanted side effects. Avoid these common nootropic use mistakes to get the most out of your nootropic use. 


1. Using stimulating nootropics in the evening


Using stimulating nootropics, for example Caffeine, Theacrine, or Modafinil in the evening will disrupt sleeping patterns and impair your cognitive performance in the long term.


2. Using relaxing nootropics in the morning


Nootropics that can enhance sleep, such as Melatonin or Valerian, are often not good to take anytime else than in the evening.


Acute and transient lack of motivation and energy are side effects you will want to look out for if you experiment with relaxing or anxiolytic nootropics in the morning.


3. Buying a nootropic product without checking the 3rd-party certificate of analysis


A 3rd party CoA is a document that is produced by some external body— a laboratory that is not the producer of the nootropic. The documents are created to give nootropic retailers and consumers a feeling of certainty concerning the safety and contents of the product.


Because a 3rd party CoA regards a specific batch (one round of manufactured products), companies often decide to encourage their customers to email them to ask for a 3rd party CoA instead of displaying them directly on their websites. If you cannot find a 3rd party CoA on a company’s website, ask them for one via email. Don’t buy a product that doesn’t have a 3rd party CoA or else you risk getting no active ingredients and in some instances even dangerous ones.


Many nootropic products are not quality-checked by official authorities. This leads to a high risk for unwanted ingredients such as heavy metals.


All you have to do when reading a 3rd party CoA is usually to see that the amounts of the ingredients examined meet safety standards, that they “conform” to the criterion doses — which are often defined by government bodies.


4. Experimenting with new nootropics in high-stakes situations


If you’re about to do something very important to you, for instance going on a third date with someone you like, you want to play it safe on the nootropics front. A nootropic that is great for helping you perform when coding may not work well for you on a date where you want to connect with someone. 


Stay with tried and context-tested nootropics to avoid unwanted side effects or benefits that don’t fit well into the context.


5. Using nootropics without a purpose


Using CBD oil because you heard its good for your health may not be a bad thing, but timing the use of it to 20 minutes prior to your public speech may help you reduce public speaking anxiety [2].


Knowing why you’re using a nootropic can help you figure out how to use it in the most efficient manner. It is the first step in figuring out when, how, and what to use.


6. Using too much of a nootropic


Using too much of a nootropic can lead to side effects and diminishing benefits.


When you start using a nootropic, use it in small doses, and work your way up to larger amounts until you’re at the level that has evidence backing its efficacy for the effects you want.


7. Using too little of a nootropic


Starting with small doses to assess the perceived safety of a nootropic can be a good strategy to avoid side effects, buy never upping the dose to adequate levels will probably lead to a lack of benefits.


There is usually a dose-range that has been studied and proven effective for any specific nootropic. Use nootropics in the studied doses and reduce or increase the dose depending on how you respond.


8. Unintentionally breaking the law with your nootropic activities