Nootropics: The Supplements That Make You Smarter

Smart Drugs Uncaged


Drugged Out On Nootropics

Back in college I got into drugs. No, not weed and coke, but a group of substances called "smart drugs" or nootropics.

Back then, there wasn't much of a US market for them, and some were technically illegal to buy over the counter. But you could order them from other countries. I did that. As a good "neurohacker" I even had an encapsulating machine as part of my smart-drug paraphernalia. The results were so-so, but I graduated, so maybe they helped.

Today things have changed. There's some really good stuff out there. The nootropic market has boomed as people are looking for new ways to manage stress, think better, and get an edge on the competition. And luckily, most of these "drugs" are now classified as supplements, as they should've been in the first place.

There are several nootropics on the market, but here's one with a proven record: NALT or N-Acetyl-L-tyrosine.

N-Acetyl-L-tyrosine is a more bioavailable form of the amino acid L-tyrosine, which is used by the brain to make dopamine. Dopamine plays a big part in memory, focus, and sense of well-being. Some of NALT'S effects include:

  • Improved focus, concentration, memory, and learning capacity
  • Better cognitive flexibility and improved analytical skills
  • Improved decision making, mental "flow" state, and creativity
  • Improved mood and increased positive outlook
  • Increased energy
  • Reduction of stress and social anxiety

The cool part about NALT is that it appears to do all this when the user is under stress. That could be college stress, work stress, relationship stress, stress caused by intense exercise, and even stressors like cold and heat. And when stress is abated other things affected by it improve, like libido.


Most studies have shown that N-Acetyl-L-tyrosine works better as part of a "stack" – when you take a few complementary compounds together. Here are several to try out, no encapsulating machine required:

Chris Shugart is T Nation's Chief Content Officer and the creator of the Velocity Diet. As part of his investigative journalism for T Nation, Chris was featured on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumble." Follow on Instagram