Racetams are special types of nootropics that have a pyrrolidone nucleus and their primary purpose is to enhance different cognitive and mental functions. By using racetam supplements, one can enhance his/her focus, attention span, concentration and mood. One of the most well-known and commonly used racetams is piracetam, which is used in several countries to fight symptoms of different mental conditions ranging from Senile dementia to Schizophrenia.
What seems to be common among most racetam drugs is that they allosterically modulate acetylcholine receptors to enhance their activity and thus speed up the process of signal transfer in the nervous system and increase memory capacity. They also may stimulate the production of different neurotransmitters.
Surveys have shown that the consumption of racetam supplements is highest among college students. But that doesn’t imply that students are the only ones that can benefit from these drugs. Business executives, professors, basically anyone who works in a fast-paced but a stressful environment and needs a higher amount of mental focus can use the supplements to their advantage. Customers of nootropics range from all different ages and may use them for different purposes.
If racetam nootropics are stacked with choline or acetylcholine precursors, it may boost their effectiveness and potentiate their positive effects on cognitive abilities. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter among living organisms, which aids in transmitting electric signals throughout the nervous system via synapses. It is a very important neurotransmitter responsible for cognitive functioning, like memory formation and retention.
Choline is a natural precursor molecule for acetylcholine, which is formed when choline forms an ester bond with an acetic acid molecule. Hence, racetam nootropics with acetylcholine precursors may have far better effects in comparison to just consuming racetam supplements alone. Whether or not one will benefit from stacking racetams with choline is completely dependent on the individuals’ physiology.
There are a number of effective acetylcholine or choline precursors that can be stacked with racetam supplements. The best ones are listed and discussed below:
Phosphatidylcholine is a class of phospholipids (lipids with a phosphate group) that is turned into choline. Our natural sources of Phosphatidylcholine are foods like egg yolk and soy beans. The process of conversion to choline happens inside our bodies. Phosphatidylcholine as a dietary supplement is usually purified from lecithin (a brownish yellow fatty substance in plants and animals). Once inside our bodies, ten to twelve percent of the amount is converted into choline.
Choline Bitartrate is a salt from which choline can be obtained by the body, after the salt has been consumed. Choline Bitartrate has a high absorption rate which means it is readily absorbed by our digestive system. With the help of this supplement, high levels of choline and consequently acetylcholine can be achieved. Another choline salt that is commonly used as a supplement is Choline Citrate.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine or ALCAR
ALCAR is a precursor for acetylcholine. Inside the body, it is broken down into a chemical called acetyl-COA, which can form acetylcholine by simply combining with a choline molecule. Hence, it helps in making the biological process of converting choline to acetylcholine even more efficient. ALCAR is often used with choline salts like Choline Bitartrate to achieve maximum effects.
Citicoline (CDP choline)
CDP choline is one of the most effective choline supplements for increasing acetylcholine levels. It is so effective and potent, that it doesn’t require any other choline supplements with its use and also may have fewer side effects. CDP choline can pass through the blood brain barrier releases and releases choline in the brain during its metabolism. Thus, it makes more choline molecules available for conversion to acetylcholine.
Alpha GPC is a naturally occurring choline compound found in milk and brain. It is also a precursor molecule for acetylcholine. It is synthesized from soy lecithin to be used as a nootropics supplement to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Like CDP choline, its high effectiveness makes it possible to use it without other choline sources.
Apart from these precursors, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors can also be combined with racetam nootropics. Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme which breaks down acetylcholine. The inhibitor’s job is to stop the working of this enzyme and thus leads to higher levels of acetylcholine inside the brain.
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors may be used in combination with racetams and choline. Usually, using acetylcholinesterase inhibitors may be effective without choline. Stacking them with choline may increase negative side effects depending on the person. Two of the most popular acetylcholinesterase inhibitors used are huperzine A and galantamine. Many nootropic formulations make use of the ACh inhibitor + choline combination as less choline per capsule is needed to get a positive effect on acetylcholine levels in the brain.