What Is Piracetam?
Piracetam will always hold a special place in nootropic history. It was the world’s first nootropic to be synthesized. Developed in the 1960s as a cure for cognitive problems, Piracetam remains popular today as a mild yet effective way to enjoy a range of cognitive benefits.
Piracetam has the chemical name 2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide. It’s a cyclic derivative of GABA, which is a powerful neurotransmitter responsible for reducing neuron excitability.
If all that chemistry sounds confusing, then here’s a more straightforward explanation: Piracetam improves the efficiency of neurotransmitters in your brain. These neurotransmitters are responsible for everything from memory formation to cognitive ability to focus and attention.
Today, Piracetam is widely considered to be the safest nootropic. It’s mild and has a limited number of side effects. The mildness makes it popular among beginner racetam users, although more advanced users may want to try Oxiracetam, Phenylpiracetam, Noopept, and other stronger compounds.
History of Piracetam
Piracetam was first synthetized in 1964 by a Romanian chemist named Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea. Giurgea would later coin the term nootropic. By the early 1970s, Piracetam was available to consumers at pharmacies around the world, sold as an easy way to increase cognitive function without any dangerous side effects.
Today, Piracetam is popular around the world – especially in Europe, where doctors actually prescribe Piracetam for certain cognitive conditions. Although Piracetam cannot be sold within the United States or Canada, it can be imported for personal use. As a result, Piracetam remains popular throughout North America, South America, and Asia.
How Does Piracetam Work?
Piracetam works much like every other racetam: it targets the Acetylcholine system (“Cholinergic system”) in your brain. Acetylcholine (ACh) neurotransmitters play a critical role in cognition, memory focus, and attention. Piracetam enhances this system to unlock powerful neural benefits.
The precise mechanisms behind Piracetam aren’t totally clear. However, here’s what we do know about Piracetam:
— Its primary function is to improve the efficiency of acetylcholine receptors, which are used heavily in the memory formation process
— Piracetam also has an effect on NMDA glutamate receptors, which further enhance learning, cognition, and memory
— Piracetam may also increase membrane permeability, making it easier for oxygen, nutrients, and vitamins to cross the blood-brain barrier to enhance the overall health of the brain
Interestingly enough, Piracetam unlocks all of these benefits without acting as a sedative or a stimulant. That’s a big reason why Piracetam has hardly any side effects.
Benefits of Piracetam
Since Piracetam has been around since the 1960s, it may be the most-studied nootropic on the planet today. With years of research and dozens of clinical studies, Piracetam has shown considerable cognitive benefits. Those benefits include:
Improve Cognitive Performance: Acetylcholine has a powerful effect on your memory. The most noticeable benefit of Piracetam is the enhanced learning and memory.
Improve Overall Brain Health: Piracetam acts as an antioxidant, targeting dangerous free radicals within the brain. This increases nerve growth and improves overall brain health. Your brain is more easily able to create new synapses and connections, enhancing communication all across your brain. This has also been shown to facilitate communication across the corpus callosum, which connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
Increased Neuroprotection: One of the most exciting benefits of Piracetam is its ability to act as a neuroprotectant. That means Piracetam reduces the breakdown of neurotransmitters. Piracetam can be taken as a preventative measure to reduce one’s risk of having a stroke. Or, when taken after a stroke, Piracetam can reduce the damage from that stroke and expedite the healing process. Interestingly enough, this enhanced neuroprotection can also reduce the effects of alcohol abuse. Some studies have also tested Piracetam’s ability to treat Alzheimer’s and other degenerative neural conditions.
How to Use Piracetam
Piracetam can be purchased in the form of tablets or powders. Powders tend to be cheaper. They’re also ideal for more advanced users, since you can simply mix your desired amount and dosage into a glass of water. Capsules, however, are convenient.
If you are mixing powder, I recommend buying your own electronic scale or microscoop. That way, you can easily measure how much Piracetam you’re ingesting. Taking too much of anything is a bad idea, and it’s important to control your dosages when taking any nootropic supplements.
In any case, Piracetam is water-soluble. That means you can mix the powder with a glass of water or simply take the capsule with a glass of water. However, you’ll find that Piracetam tastes very bitter. Some people mix it with a water-based beverage. Orange juice works particularly well and masks the Piracetam flavor.
If you’re taking Piracetam for the first time, consider taking an “attack dose”. An attack dose isn’t as scary as it sounds: you simply take 3 grams of Piracetam, three times per day, for two days in a row. This is a higher than normal dose, but it lets your body build up the supplement in your system right away. This isn’t recommended for nootropic beginners, but it’s a great way to maximize the benefits in more advanced nootropic users.
Otherwise, you should take approximately 800mg to 1500mg of Piracetam three times per day. I also recommend stacking Piracetam with a choline supplement like Alpha GPC or Citicoline. This mitigates the side effects of Piracetam (like headaches) while maximizing the benefits.
Piracetam Side Effects
Piracetam has very few side effects. In fact, headaches are the only real side effect of Piracetam usage. Some users report experiencing headaches when they take a large dose of Piracetam.
These headaches are likely caused by the acetylcholine system in your brain. Acetylcholine is produced from a nutrient called choline. Eggs and other common foods contain small amounts of choline, but most of us are choline-deficient. So when Piracetam tries to boost acetylcholine systems in the brain, it may not be able to find the choline it needs, which leads to a headache.
Other than headaches, Piracetam users report few real side effects. In clinical studies, Piracetam has been very well-tolerated by participants. Its mild nature and lack of stimulating compounds combine to make Piracetam a popular entry-level nootropic.
Buy Piracetam Supplements Online
Ready to buy Piracetam supplements online? In North America, you won’t find Piracetam on store shelves because it’s not currently approved for sale as a dietary supplement or as a pharmaceutical. However, you can important Piracetam online for individual use in both the United States and Canada.
In other parts of the world – like Europe – Piracetam is easier to purchase and is available for personal use with and without prescriptions. Ultimately, ordering online is the safest, cheapest, and most convenient way to buy Piracetam.