What Are Racetams?
Racetams are a class of nootropics which use synthetic compounds to enhance cognitive functionality. Racetams share a common chemical structure and affect the brain in different but similar ways. The world’s first synthetic nootropic was called Piracetam, and all modern Racetams are derived from Piracetam.
Racetams vary widely in terms of strength, potency, and dosage. Piracetam is generally thought to be one of the mildest nootropics on the market today, while Pramiracetam is extremely potent – possibly even 30 times stronger than Piracetam.
Racetams are considered cognitive enhancers because they boost memory, attention, concentration, and learning ability. They are not, however, considered stimulants because they don’t target “stimulating” neurotransmitters like xanthines and amphetamines. That means you get all of the cognitive benefits of smart drugs with few of the annoying side effects – you typically don’t feel jittery, for example, or develop insomnia.
How Do Racetams Work?
Racetams primarily target acetylcholine transmission in your brain. Acetylcholine is a powerful neurotransmitter. It’s responsible for everything from logical thinking to memory formation. Racetams typically target one of the following:
- Acetylcholine Receptors
- Acetylcholine Production
- Acetylcholine Degradation
Some racetams inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine neurotransmitters, others improve the functioning of acetylcholine receptors, and some boost the production of acetylcholine. Targeting one or more of these functions will vastly improve the overall efficiency of the body’s acetylcholine system – sometimes called the “cholinergic system.”
Modern science doesn’t fully understand acetylcholine. What we do know, however, is that this unique neurotransmitter plays a key role in learning, focus, memory, decision-making, and many other cognitive activities. Your brain takes choline, turns it into acetylcholine, and then uses that acetylcholine for everything from memory formation to neurocommunication.
After you take a racetam, the compounds within the racetam quickly enter the bloodstream and cross the blood-brain barrier. After crossing the barrier, they bind to acetylcholine receptors and other parts of the cholinergic system.
But racetams do more than just affect the cholinergic system: they also boost glucose metabolism. That means more oxygen, nutrients, and glucose can travel through your blood to your brain. Your brain requires a lot of oxygen and nutrients to stay focused and productive. Increasing glucose metabolism leads to increased focus, concentration, and mental energy.
What Are The Best Racetams Available Today?
Racetams all use a similar chemical structure, but affect the brain in different ways. Here are the most popular racetams available on the market today:
Piracetam was the original nootropic and the world’s first racetam. It was developed in 1964 and in early clinical studies, exhibited powerful effects on the memories of college students.
Today, Piracetam is mild compared to more popular racetams and nootropics. However, it’s still a popular “entry level” nootropic for beginners and intermediate users. If your body isn’t used to the effects of nootropics, then Piracetam may easily be powerful enough to unlock the cognitive benefits you’re looking for.
Piracetam is typically taken in 800mg doses three times per day. As your body gets more accustomed to the effects of Piracetam, some people increase their dosage to 1 to 3 grams three times per day. Piracetam is taken in larger dosages because its effects are mild compared to other racetams.
The primary benefits of Piracetam are improved memory, focus, learning, and alertness.
Aniracetam was developed in the 1970s, just a few years after Piracetam launched the nootropic industry. It’s approximately 5 times more potent than Piracetam, making it a good “step up” racetam for those who think Piracetam is too mild.
Aniracetam has a particularly powerful effect on your brain’s memory. It also boosts motivation and heightens your focus – two things that make it a popular study drug and one of the best racetams to use while studying.
One of the unique traits of Aniracetam is that it’s fat-soluble. Many other nootropics are water-soluble, which means you can easily mix them with water. Aniracetam should be taken with milk or fish oil in order to maximize bioavailability.
The recommended Aniracetam dosage is between 600mg and 3000mg daily.
We’re moving through this list in chronological order: Oxiracetam was developed in 1977. It’s one of the few racetams that acts as a stimulant (although it’s very different from caffeine and other stimulants). These stimulating properties combined with powerful cognitive benefits make Oxiracetam a powerful way to boost cognitive function.
Unlike other racetams, Oxiracetam has actually been shown to boost analytical thinking and logic. At the same time, it improves your alertness and perception and boosts your brain’s ability to absorb information and recall that information at a future point in time.
The main downside of Oxiracetam is its price: Oxiracetam can be difficult to find online and, if you do find it, it’s expensive. It can also be extremely potent if you’re not used to the effects, which is why you should start with small dosages.
If you’re taking Oxiracetam for the first time, you should start with small dosages like 750mg per day. Oxiracetam is water-soluble and can easily be mixed with a glass of water. As your body grows more accustomed to Oxiracetam, you can increase your dosage to 1600mg per day.
Pramiracetam is advertised as being “30 times” more potent than Piracetam. It’s one of the strongest racetams on the market today (second only to Phenylpiracetam). It also lasts longer than most other racetams – typically around 8 to 10 hours on a normal dosage.
The main benefits of Pramiracetam include intense focus, increased intellect, and a sharpened memory. Just like most other racetams, Pramiracetam improves multiple aspects of cognitive functionality. However, it typically improves those aspects on a much higher level than other racetams.
If you’re ready to try Pramiracetam, start with a low dosage. The recommended starting dosage is 100mg to 1000mg within a 24 hour period. It’s also important to note that Pramiracetam is fat soluble. So like Aniracetam, you should take it with milk or fish oil to boost bioavailability.
Phenylpiracetam is arguably the most modified racetam on the market today. Its chemical structure is similar to Piracetam – but the major difference is the addition of a phenyl group molecule. That phenyl molecule is responsible for many of the unique benefits of Phenylpiracetam.
The main benefit of the phenyl group addition is increased bioavailability. The phenyl group lets Phenylpiracetam more easily cross the blood-brain barrier, which means you can enjoy the same powerful effects from a much smaller dosage.
Ultimately, that means Phenylpiracetam goes to work more quickly and lasts longer than almost any other racetam. It provides a clean, stimulating boost without a crash or jitters. The powerful cognitive benefits have to be felt to be believed.
In fact, some people claim Phenylpiracetam is similar to Adderall because it boosts productivity and enhances memory all while providing extremely powerful boosts to energy and focus.
For all of these reasons, Phenylpiracetam may be the most powerful racetam on the market today. It’s particularly popular among college kids and anyone who works in a competitive business environment and wants to gain an edge.
If you want to take Phenylpiracetam, you should start with the lowest possible dose: like 100mg per day. Your body will grow tolerant of the compound over time, so you can gradually increase your dosage to enjoy the same effects.
Who Should Take Racetams?
Racetams are commonly used by people of all different backgrounds and professions. They’re popular among students, for example, as well as anyone who works in a highly competitive office.
A lot of people appreciate the memory and cognition-boosting benefits provided by popular racetams. Combine those benefits with the improved focus and mood, and you get a powerful nootropic compound that can change the way you approach problems every day of your life.
Side Effects of Racetams
Racetams are typically safe to use. They don’t act as a sedative or stimulant, which helps them avoid many of the side effects of other nootropics – like sleeplessness or jitteriness.
In fact, headaches are the only notable side effect of taking racetams. Some users report headaches – especially when taking racetams in larger dosages.
However, that shouldn’t turn you away from racetams: many people can avoid racetam headaches by taking a choline supplement like Alpha GPC or Citicoline. In fact, the reason you get headaches while taking racetams is because your brain is trying to produce more acetylcholine, but it can’t access the choline it needs to produce that acetylcholine. Taking a choline supplement gives your brain more than enough choline it needs to boost acetylcholine production.
Buying Racetams Online
The best way to get racetams is to buy them online. Today, racetams are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for medical use, which means they cannot be prescribed by doctors. However, doctors in the UK often prescribe Piracetam for certain conditions, including myoclonus. In any case, buying racetams online is the best way to save money and enjoy convenience.
Depending on where you live, your package of racetams may appear at your doorstep within as little as 24 hours. And, since online stores avoid the high overhead costs of retail space, they can pass considerable savings onto consumers – which means even expensive racetams like Phenylpiracetam may be cheap when purchased online.