The Ultimate Stacking Guide for 2021

December 7, 2020

Nootropic stacking is a fast-growing trend among professionals and academics looking for that much needed mental boost to keep their competitive edge. Let’s look at what nootropic stacking means, the benefits, how to combine nootropics, and the best nootropic stacks of 2021.

What is a Nootropics Stack?

A nootropics stack refers to a combination of two or more nootropics. These can be supplements of the same class or nootropics from different classes. Nootropic stacking refers to the act of combining nootropic supplements to maximize their benefits. 

Why Do People Combine Nootropics?

Combining nootropics has several well-known benefits and is more effective than taking only a single nootropic. Here are some common reasons why people combine nootropics.

  • Complementing the actions of different classes: One of the most obvious advantages of combining nootropics is that it allows you to combine the beneficial effects of different nootropic classes. This is the basic price of nootropics stacking.
  • Creating synergy among the benefits of a single class: Using two nootropics of the same class can help improve their benefits profile without increasing their side effect profile. This helps you avoid inconvenient side effects that come with taking higher doses of certain nootropics.
  • Negating the side effects of certain nootropics: Combining a certain nootropic with another may help prevent particular side effects that may occur from taking it alone. For example, concomitant choline intake prevents headaches associated with high-dose aniracetam.

Recommendations For The Perfect Stack

Piracetam and Choline

Piracetam and choline are probably one of the most well-known and popularly used nootropics stack on the list. Piracetam was first developed in the 60s and has since gone on to be one of the industry’s most popular nootropics.

This particular stack is great for sharpening focus and improving memory. Piracetam is well-known for being a neurotransmitter potentiator, especially in the glutamine pathway of the brain. It also has another important function. It stimulates the synthesis of acetylcholine, which is important for maintaining optimal memory and focus.

However, using piracetam may cause headaches, especially at high doses. This is because the drug uses up choline within the brain, a precursor of acetylcholine. Therefore these choline-deficiency-induced headaches can be avoided by including a choline supplement into your stack.

Caffeine and L-Theanine

The relationship between caffeine and L-theanine also strongly supports the benefits of combining nootropics to negate each other’s negative effects. Coffee on its own is a well-known nootropic known for its ability to stimulate alertness and focus.

However, coffee can also have some unwanted side effects like anxiety and irritability, especially when taken in high doses. That’s where L-theanine comes in. L-theanine has a soothing effect but with the advantage of not causing drowsiness.

Combining both caffeine and L-theanine allows you to enjoy caffeine’s stimulant effects without having to worry about the side effects. Studies have shown that combining the two nootropics significantly boosts your performance in cognitively demanding tasks like problem-solving.

PAO Stack

PAO stands for piracetam, aniracetam, and oxiracetam. These are three well-known members of the racetam family, and a great example of how combining nootropics creates synergy among a particular class.

Members of the racetam family have similar structures and similar benefit profiles, but they are certainly not identical. Each member has particular areas where it outperforms the others.

By combining these nootropics, you can create a synergy among their shared benefits and increase their potency. You also get a wider benefit profile, as each drug covers the deficiencies of the other. 

Citicoline and Bacopa Monnieri

Citicoline is a 2-in-1 nootropic. It breaks down within the body to give two very important nootropics:

  • Choline, one of the main precursors of acetylcholine, is a neurotransmitter important for learning and memory.
  • Cytidine, a precursor of uridine. Uridine is vital for synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis.


Bacopa Monnieri is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Acetylcholinesterase is responsible for breaking down acetylcholine within the body. By preventing its action, Bacopa Monnieri increases the level of acetylcholine available within the brain.

These two nootropics complement each other nicely and are great memory boosters. By increasing the level of available acetylcholine and uridine, they enhance learning and synaptic plasticity. 

N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine and the B Vitamins

This is known as the ultimate “motivation stack.” When associating motivation with the brain, the most important neurotransmitter is dopamine. Reduced levels of dopamine can quickly lead to burnout or a serious lack of drive.

“Dopamine burnout” is usually due to high levels of stress. L-tyrosine is a dopamine precursor and supplements natural sources. This allows your dopamine stores to replenish more quickly.

Another smart way to get the most out of your L-tyrosine is to combine it with the B vitamins. The B vitamins are important cofactors in the conversion of L-tyrosine to dopamine. Therefore the two nootropics complement each other nicely.

Best Nootropics Stacks of 2021



Nootropic stacking is an effective way to get the most out of your nootropics. It allows you to safely combine the best qualities of different nootropics and eliminate any unwanted side effects. Just follow the basic principles of nootropics stacking and try out well-known stacks for optimal results.



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