Want to improve your concentration during the day? Boost your mood? Improve your sleep? Along with a healthy lifestyle, consider taking combinations of supplements that work together to provide these effects. Such combinations are known as supplement "stacks".
There are some well-known stacks that, from experience, seem to benefit many who try them. Below I reveal three of the most popular supplement stacks on my website, TrackMyStack.com.
My site tracks the effectiveness of a number of different supplements stacks as reported by site members. Here I'm going to share popular stacks with you that can boost focus, improve mood, and lead to better sleep.
Sure, you know the basics of good brain health, such as restful sleep, eating healthy whole-foods, moderate exercise, and keeping your brain engaged. But you may be able to enhance your brain's performance even further with a simple, carefully thought-out supplementation program.
It's tough to always eat the right foods and stick to a healthy diet. The occasional lack of key minerals and vitamins may inhibit optimum brain performance or encourage cognitive decline.
Supplements might provide that last bit of help we need to remain mentally vigilant regardless of age.
However, blindly taking one supplement or another is not an effective way to go to reach your health goals. What if I told you that if you "stacked" supplements together you could benefit exponentially from your existing supplements.
Stacking means choosing supplements that work together to enhance mental performance. Not every combination of supplements has this effect. For example, some compounds may conflict with one another, while others may leave gaps.
Randomly combining supplements is not stacking. You need guidance!
On TrackMyStack.com, there are 5,000 users who actively take and track their supplementation and even medication for different health goals such as cognitive enhancement, ADHD, and even chronic illnesses. Based on this data as found on my site, I am bringing you these 3 stacks you may benefit from and may not have been aware of.
Each of the following three supplement combinations targets one valuable cognitive ability:
Stack #1: Boost Concentration
Stack #2: Improve Mood
Stack #3: Sleep Better
These stacks only include supplements that are natural, potentially "nootropic", and include compounds you may already keep in your medicine cabinet. (Nootropic means substances thought to enhance memory or other cognitive functions.)
The stacks provide a way to save money, save time, and help you achieve your goals faster with supplemental benefits. All components of these stacks are legal in the US and available over-the-counter.
This stack combines caffeine and L-theanine. It is useful when you want to get a lot of work done. Coffee is in fact considered one of the most used nootropics.
Coffee gives you mental and physical energy right when you need it, and it’s legal and widely sold. The active ingredient that gives you the rush of energy is caffeine. Unfortunately, caffeine is also responsible for the anxiety and jitteriness that follows.
Tea, on the other hand, helps you relax, balance your sleep/wake cycle, and provides a steadier flow of energy. Tea also contains caffeine, but in minute amounts. It doesn’t give you that energy spike that coffee does or the crash that ensues a short while later. This is due to naturally occurring L-theanine in tea.
L-theanine helps the brain "balance out" the jittery feeling you get when you consume coffee. That's the power of this stack: the tea essentially turns coffee into a smooth burning power source, making it more useful.
The perfect ratio when preparing this stack is 1:1 equal parts of caffeine and L-theanine in mg.
Without doubt, this is the most popular nootropic supplement stack. When combined, coffee and tea help you increase mental focus, improve your mood, and minimize the jitteriness effects.
This stack, which has been found to improve mood, is a combination of uridine, fish oil, and choline. It is used to maintain neuronal (brain) health and provide an uplifting mood. It's also informally referred to as "Mr. Happy Stack" after the users who shared it first online.
Uridine monophosphate is critical in the creation of ribonucleic acid (RNA), which in turn is crucial in repairing and protecting neurons used for concentrating and memory. 
An Omega-3 source such as krill oil,or fish oil (anything with DHA, which makes up 8% of the brain and is considered the building block for the 100 billion neurons in our brain) helps protect neurons from oxidative damage and inflammation.
The last ingredient is a choline source such as Alpha-GPC or CDP Choline, which helps the formation of synaptic connections between neurons.
The stack can have other elements added to it like Vitamin E and Vitamin B as well, the full Mr. Happy stack can be seen here: Nootropic-Uridine-Stack-116.
Not all supplements shown in this stack are needed for the primary benefits. The dosage when starting can be the standard dosage as stated on the supplement label.
This stack may improve sleep. It is a combination of magnesium L-threonate, and glycine.
Magnesium is responsible for over 1,000 chemical reactions in your body. It is lacking in the modern diet, and it is great to take at night as it helps you fall asleep.
Generally any magnesium ending in "ate" can be considered good to supplement as generally it passes the blood brain barrier. L-threonate specifically has been studied extensively and plays a critical role in the activation of nerve channels that help with synaptic plasticity.
Plasticity is how the brain forms new connections between neurons. It's what helps you learn new things. An MIT Nobel Prize winning scientists has developed a patented version called Magtein which has shown to restore aging neurons to youthful conditions.
Glycine, on the other hand, has inhibitory properties like that of a neurotransmitter. It also improves sleep-related fatigue which can work well with magnesium.
Additionally, if you supplement with magnesium glycinate, you will get the benefits of magnesium and glycine in one (although the strong cognitive effects of L-threonate won't be present.)
If you think about it, L-theanine may work well here with magnesium as well. With magnesium, your brain and your body are getting the support they need with the added benefit of helping you sleep, which hopefully is on top of your list now to replace over-used supplements like melatonin.
The most common dose of magnesium is 200mg to 300mg a day based on our data.
All supplements mentioned in these stacks are generally regarded as safe in the United States. They all play a role in prohibiting cognitive decline, and when combined with the other supplements mentioned in the right dose, can amplify your success and provide additional benefits.
It is important to remember that supplements do not work like prescription drugs, where the results may be noticeable right away. Some supplements may take a few hours and others a few weeks to take effect and build up in your system.
If you are generally healthy and are supplementing as a preventative measure, don't be disappointed if the benefits are not apparent right away. It's a gradual process, and it is important to track your adherence levels, along with how you feel and other measurements to really see if these stacks are benefiting you or not.
To track the effectiveness of the stacks you are trying, you can use a platform like TrackMyStack.com, which lists thousands of stacks submitted by actual users for various health goals. The data from these users is aggregated and is used to run reports so others interested in particular stacks can see what is working and what isn’t.
As always, make sure to do additional research and consult with your doctor in advance as necessary to confirm the stack you want to try would be safe and beneficial in your situation.
Asher Khanna spends most of his time writing and working on TrackMyStack.com, a collaborative platform to improve health treatments and outcomes through patient-reported data.
He was previously VP, Digital at a Canadian Digital Media company that owned and operated over 300+ digital media properties. He enjoys travelling, weight lifting, and enjoys high-doses of premium coffee.
1. Uridine - http://www.fasebj.org/content/22/11/3938.abstract
2. Omega 3 - http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/8/omega-3-fatty-acids-increase-brain-volume/page-01
Last Updated: 06/11/2020
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