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Our Favorite Nootropic Stacks for Gamers to Improve Reaction Time, Energy and Focus

  • November 18, 2021
15 minute read

Gamers need to function at 100% in order to win. A nootropics stack can help you focus, stay calm under pressure and perform at your best by giving your brain what it needs to be able to cope with the demands of high performance arenas. There are stacks for concentration, stacks for energy, stacks for motivation, stacks for recovery and stacks for focus - and, of course, stacks for them all. The list goes on and it is up to you, as a gamer, to choose which nootropics stack is best suited to your needs at the time.

What Is A Nootropics Stack?

A nootropics stack is a combination of different supplements. Typically, the ingredients are synergistic, meaning they work better together than alone. The main goal of stacking nootropics is to achieve maximum results for each individual supplement.

For example, a person might already be taking one or more supplements, but they can choose to combine those with other supplements in order to receive additional benefits. For example, stacking caffeine & L-theanine may enhance focus and concentration, while choline & aniracetam may increase recall and memory.

There are a number of nootropics available, but not all supplements work well together. A nootropics stack is only effective when ingredients work synergistically to produce the desired result. In some cases, a person might make their own custom stack or follow one from a list on the Internet. A doctor may also provide suggestions for a nootropic stack and an online nootropics vendor could guide a person through the process of choosing supplements that work well together.

The Two Main Nootropics Stacking Categories

There are two main ways to go about stacking nootropics:

  • Custom stacking: Creating your own stack can be a wonderful exercise on its own. However, it requires that you to know a lot of nootropics and know even more about how to combine them safely and effectively. Ideally, it should only be done by people with years of experience in taking and studying nootropics. However, that hasn’t stopped many people from trying. The chief reason people create their own custom stack is that it might be cheaper than buying a pre-formulated version. If you’re also looking for specific effects, you can combine specific nootropics in certain ratios to get them.
  • Preformulated stacking: A preformulated stack, as the name suggests, is already mixed by the manufacturer. Typically, these nootropics are sold in capsules and can be bought off the shelf. They are typically quite effective and offer better safety and convenience than having to mix your own nootropics by yourself. Weigh this benefit, however, with the potential downside of not being able to experiment and personalize your stack. If, on the other hand, you do decide to buy a preformulated nootropic stack, it makes more sense to buy an established market leader like Mind Lab Pro. It contains over 11 nootropic agents, so it’s pretty effective. It is also quite safe, as it doesn't contain any GMO, caffeine, or common allergens. 

With all this in mind, let's look at some of the most effective nootropics that gamers might consider stacking.

What Nootropics Should Gamers Stack?

Gamers typically benefit from stacks that enhance memory, motivation, focus, creativity, and reaction time. The following is a detailed description of which nootropics go well together.

L-Theanine + Caffeine

This is an incredibly popular nootropic stack for gamers. The two ingredients are the most popular in all of the nootropics, so it’s not that big of a surprise they’re often stacked together. While both L-theanine and caffeine can improve concentration and focus on their own, they enhance each other’s effects when combined.

The effects include:

  • Enhanced memory formation (L-theanine)
  • Reduces anxiety (caffeine)
  • Improved focus and attention (both L-theanine and caffeine)
  • Less jitteriness (caffeine)

Caffeine is fast-acting, so if you take it on its own, it can give you an immediate boost when you need to get through a tough task. L-theanine is relatively slow-acting but has long lasting effects, so taking it along with caffeine ensures the energy boost won’t wear off too fast.

Lion's Mane +  Caffeine

Lion's Mane is an adaptogenic herb often used for cognitive enhancement. It balances neurotransmitters in the brain by inhibiting excess amounts of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate without suppressing it completely, like many other nootropics would do.

It can enhance memory formation, mood, mental endurance, and reduce stress.

Caffeine enhances the effects of Lion’s Mane, so it’s a good idea to stack them together. However, caffeine can be overstimulating on its own, so the Lion’s Mane ensures you don't get too jittery or feel uncomfortable with too much energy.

The effects include:

  • Reduces stress (Lion's Mane)
  • Enhanced memory formation (both Lion's Mane and caffeine)
  • Improved focus & attention (caffeine)
  • Creativity-boosting power of Lion’s Mane

Bacopa Monnieri + Panax Ginseng

Some of the ingredients in energy drinks and preformulated stacks can cause side effects like headaches, jitters or reduced performance. They might even make you feel uncomfortable. This is where stacking a nootropic agent with soothing properties comes to play. These two herbal supplements are popular choices for anxiety, nervousness, stress and emotional imbalance.

Bacopa Monnieri has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years. It is included in preformulated nootropic stacks, but it’s not uncommon for people to stack it with other natural anxiety remedies.

Panax Ginseng is a common ingredient in energy drinks because of the “calming jitter-reducing effect” that it has on the body. It boosts energy and fights fatigue simultaneously without boosting stress hormone levels.

The effects include:

  • Reduces anxiety (Bacopa Monnieri)
  • Lessened jitteriness (Panax Ginseng)
  • Enhanced memory formation (both Bacopa Monnieri & Panax Ginseng)
  • Improved focus & attention (Panax Ginseng)

Ashwagandha + Lion’s Mane

Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogenic herb that has been shown to improve attention span and reduce stress and anxiety while improving mood, reduce blood sugar levels, boost testosterone and fertility in men, increase muscle mass, improve memory and reduce inflammation. among others. 

Lion’s Mane is an adaptogenic herb often used for cognitive enhancement. It balances neurotransmitters in the brain by inhibiting excess amounts of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate without suppressing it completely, like many other nootropics would do.

They can both enhance memory formation, mood, mental endurance and reduce stress. As a bonus, ashwagandha is a mild sedative while Lion's Mane is a mild stimulant, so they have balanced each other out in this stack to create a nootropic that provides the best of both worlds -- enhancing cognitive function while also reducing anxiety and improving focus.

The effects include:

  • Reduces stress (Ashwagandha)
  • Enhanced memory formation (both Ashwagandha & Lion's Mane)
  • Improved focus & attention (Lions mane)
  • Less jitteriness (Lions Mane)
  • Improved mood (Lions Mane, Ashwagandha and the synergistic effect of taking them together)

Chamomile + L-theanine

Chamomile is a great natural sleep aid or a non-drowsy relaxing tea. It’s also known for its pain relieving properties and can help improve mood. Chamomile contains 1.2% Apigenin, which is one of the most effective bioactive agents. Apigenin is an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia, or the chronic inability to sleep

L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that boosts cognition, reduces stress and relaxes the body.

Chamomile has the same relaxing effects of L-theanine but can also help you get to sleep. A good preformulated nootropic stack will already have these two ingredients combined for your convenience, but it's not uncommon to see people stacking them together on their own.

The effects include:

  • Relaxing (Chamomile)
  • Reduces anxiety (L-theanine)
  • Enhances memory formation (Chamomile & L-theanine)
  • Improved focus & attention (L-theanine)
  • Improved mood (L theanine as it's known as a great natural anti-depressant and psychoactive that reduces stress)

Maitake +  Lion's Mane

Maitake mushroom extract contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can modulate the immune system. It has been shown to improve the “good” bacteria in the gut with positive effects on mood and cognition. Lion’s Mane is yet another adaptogenic hero that has been shown to improve cognitive function, reduce anxiety and improve mood.

The effects include:

  • Enhanced memory formation (Maitake & Lion’s Mane)
  • Improved focus & attention (Lion's Mane)
  • Reduces stress (Lion's Mane)
  • Improved mood (Maitake as it increases the body's production of serotonin, which improves mood and can also balance blood sugar)

Magnolia Bark Extract + L-theanine

Magnolia bark extract contains honokiol, a compound that has been shown to reduce anxiety. It’s often combined with L-theanine for an excellent nootropic stack for gamers because it reduces mental fatigue while improving focus and attention.

The effects include:

  • Reduces stress (Magnolia Bark Extract)
  • Enhances memory formation (Magnolia bark & L-theanine)
  • Improved focus & attention (L-Theanine as it is a mild stimulant that reduces mental fatigue and enhances memory formation)
  • Improved mood (Maitake)

Korean Red Ginseng + Rhodiola Rosea

Studies have shown that Korean red ginseng can improve mood, prevent mental fatigue and increase cognitive function. Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb known to reduce stress and improve memory formation, while also increasing energy levels.

The effects include:

  • Reduces stress (Rhodiola Rosea)
  • Enhanced memory formation (Rhodiola Rosea & Korean Red Ginseng)
  • Improved focus & attention (Korean Red Ginseng, as it decreases mental fatigue and enhances cognitive function)
  • Improved mood (Korean Red Ginseng)

Aniracetam + Choline

Aniracetam is a fat soluble racetam that’s slightly more potent than the original racetam, piracetam. It is known to improve mood and increase sociability – which is important in aiding on-stage behavior for gamers at live tournaments.

Choline keeps acetylcholine levels high in the brain which can enhance memory formation and learning capacity. Some studies found that people who were supplemented with choline saw an increase in verbal and nonverbal memory.

The effects include:

  • Enhanced mood (Aniracetam)
  • Increased focus and concentration (Aniracetam & Choline)
  • Improved short term memory formation (Choline)
  • More motivation (Aniracetam)
  • Neuroplasticity (Aniracetam & Choline)

The “racetam family” of nootropics is quite popular. Many people stack them together with a milder choline source such as CDP-Choline or Alpha GPC to get their effects synergized.

Phenylpiracetam + Choline

Phenylpiracetam is a potent racetam similar to aniracetam and piracetam. It boosts concentration, motivation and memory formation – which are essential to high-performance gaming. Choline sources such as alpha GPC and citicoline also improve the effects of phenylpiracetam by keeping acetylcholine levels high in the brain.

The effects include:

  • Enhanced memory and learning capacity (Phenylpiracetam)
  • Enhanced motivation and focus (Phenylpiracetam & Choline)
  • Neuroplasticity (Choline)

Phenylpiracetam also has a potent stimulating effect, so if you take it on its own without adequate choline, you’ll feel jittery and uncomfortable until the effects kick in.

GABA + L-Theanine

GABA has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects which can help gamers deal with the stress of long intense gaming sessions. L-theanine is a relaxing amino acid that can counteract the stimulating effects of caffeine and improve sleep quality. Given that esports players practice nearly day and night, this combination is the perfect stack to promote restfulness and alertness. 

The effects include:

  • Reduces anxiety (phenibut)
  • Enhanced mood (theanine)
  • Improved sleep quality (theanine)

Choline + Bacopa Monnieri

This is a very potent nootropic stack for gamers who need to play long hours without breaks. Choline keeps acetylcholine levels high. A rise in acetylcholine levels, has been associated with benefits, such as improved memory and brain function. Bacopa monnieri is a natural nootropic that enhances memory formation and boosts mood. 

The effects include:

  • Enhanced cognitive performance (Phenylpiracetam)
  • Boosts motivation (Phenylpiracetam)
  • Improved short term memory formation (Bacopa Monnieri)
  • Reduced anxiety (Bacopa Monnieri)
  • Enhanced mood (Bacopa Monnieri)

Stimulants + Nootropics Stacks

The stimulatory effect of nootropics is often too weak to be useful. While racetams are great for improving memory capacity, they’re not very stimulating even in high dosages. To counter this problem, people stack stimulants with nootropics to get a synergistic effect that’ll boost their energy and motivation levels.

The primary ingredient in most stim-nootropic stacks is caffeine. Caffeine boosts focus and concentration making it easier to perform complex tasks under pressure (such as gaming).

Some popular nootropics that go well with caffeine are L-theanine, bacopa monnieri and ALCAR (acetyl-l-carnitine). These compounds enhance the effects of caffeine while also giving it more staying power.

They make great companions for users who need to work long hours on very little sleep.

The effects include:

  • Enhanced focus and concentration (Caffeine)
  • Improved motivation (Phenylpiracetam)
  • Improves memory formation (Bacopa Monnieri)
  • Regulates mood (Bacopa Monnieri, ALCAR)

There are many nootropic stacks in the market that can give esports players cognition-enhancing benefits. The best nootropics stack will vary from one gamer to another depending on their needs and goals. With this article, we hope that we have informed you about the various available options to help you make the right decision. 

At Stoned Ape, we’ve done extensive research on the best nootropics stacks to enhance your health, performance and overall well being. Learn more about our special stacks for focus/energy, mood/stress, and rest/recovery here. 

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