Nootropics supplements have been gaining more popularity in recent years. Especially with the increased interest in the brain and biohacking. Since they’ve become so popular, there are now a lot of brands out there, but they’re not all created equal.
Natural Stacks is one nootropics brand that I wanted to try out. I tried a few of their products and wanted to share some honest thoughts about how they affected me. But first, let’s cover the basics of nootropics.
What Are Nootropics and Why Use Them?
Nootropics (also known as cognitive enhancers) are substances that affect the brain in some way. They may protect the brain or enhance cognitive performance. Nootropics can also increase the efficiency of neurotransmitter production and how they act on brain cells.
What Is Natural Stacks?
Natural Stacks is a quality supplement company that focuses on better brain health. The idea is to “stack” your supplements so that you have something customized to your needs. Instead of trying to get everything we need all in one supplement (which isn’t going to happen).
You can get their pre-bundled stacks for specific health needs, like mood, brain food, and mental performance, or create your own bundle of supplements. They offer products individually, but stacking them gets you the best discount. More on that at the end of this review, but for now let me tell you how Natural Stacks worked for me.
NEUROFUEL™ by Natural Stacks
NEUROFUEL™ is Natural Stacks’ original supplement. It was originally called CILTEP, an acronym for “Chemically-Induced Long Term Potentiation.” Don’t let the name fool you though! Natural Stacks is made with all-natural ingredients.
The “chemically-induced” part refers to how it increases biochemical functions in the brain. Neurofuel does this through a few different actions:
- Inhibiting PDE enzymes
- Increasing cAMP levels
#1 Inhibiting Phosphodiesterase (PDE) Enzymes
PDE enzymes would otherwise break down something called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Blocking PDEs has a positive effect on memory. It can also increase wakefulness and focus. Some natural PDE4 inhibitors include Artichoke extract, luteolin, and an herb called Kanna.
#2 Increasing cAMP Levels (Cyclic adenosine monophosphate)
cAMP naturally amps up the actions of hormones and neurotransmitters. These include epinephrine (adrenalin) and acetylcholine. While blocking PDE helps increase cAMP levels, Neurostack’s ingredients also directly increase them. This is thanks to the herb, Coleus forskohlii, with its active compound, forskolin. Neurofuel uses artichoke extract to also help block PDE.
By blocking PDE and increasing cAMP, it has a powerful effect on a process known as Long Term Potentiation. Scientists believe this process is the key to learning and retaining new information.
Neurofuel also contains an amino acid, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR). This amino acid crosses the blood-brain barrier to help mitochondria and boost energy. ALCAR also helps fight brain fog and fatigue.
The L-phenylalanine in the formula helps build dopamine for focus and motivation. And the active form of vitamin B6 lowers feelings of stress and helps create calm, focused energy. You can see why Neurofuel is so effective for clarity, focus, memory, and motivation!
My Experience With NEUROFUEL™
I got to try both their capsule and their lemonade drink packets. I could feel both products within half an hour. Despite a few short nights of sleep, after taking Neurofuel, I felt focused, clear-headed, and ready to be productive. It was an amazing way to start the day.
I especially liked the lemonade packets because it’s a great way to make sure I start the day with a glass of water on an empty stomach. They mix easily without settling to the bottom of the glass and they taste great!
The flavor comes from crystallized lemon extract, with some stevia and organic monk fruit for sweetness. No funny business here.
SEROTONIN BRAIN FOOD™ by Natural Stacks
Serotonin (aka the “happy molecule”) is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel calm, focused, and optimistic. Scientists have found that 95% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. When we feed our body the right nutrients, we can increase serotonin production in the gut.
Natural Stacks’ Serotonin Brain Food has the nutrients needed for optimal serotonin production.
- Rhodiola Rosea – Supports stress relief, combats fatigue and burnout, uplifts mood, and boosts energy and performance.
- L-Tryptophan – An essential amino acid that boosts mood, improves cognitive abilities, and promotes positive behaviors. The gut converts tryptophan to serotonin.
- Vitamin B3 – Increases blood flow in the brain, helps produce energy, and protects the body against free radical damage.
- Magnesium Glycinate – Helps relieve stress, improves attention, upgrades sleep quality, and sharpens memory.
- Zinc Glycinate – Supports a healthy immune system, and helps increase serotonin in the brain.
Healthy serotonin levels are linked with:
- Positive social behavior
- Resilience in the face of stress
- Cognitive flexibility
- Better psychological health in general
My Experience With Natural Stacks’ Serotonin Brain Food™ Supplement
I took the serotonin supplement mostly in the evening, but also during the day on some overcast days. I could definitely feel an effect; generally, a sense of balanced calm and a better outlook. I think it helped me sleep a little better when I took it in the evening.
SMART CAFFEINE® by Natural Stacks
Sometimes you just need a little extra hit of caffeine… but without the jitters. Natural Stacks’ Smart Caffeine combines caffeine with the calming amino acid, L-theanine for a balanced energy boost. L-theanine is the balancing amino acid found that comes from green tea.
The two work together to improve attention and alertness, memory, and cognitive functioning. It even helps us have the ability to ignore distractions. What mama doesn’t need that!
A 2008 study found L-theanine and caffeine worked synergistically to improve speed and accuracy when multitasking. The combination also reduced study participants’ susceptibility to distraction during a memory task. Together they help improve performance when we need to really use our brainpower.
My Experience With Natural Stacks’ Caffeine Supplement
I could definitely feel the caffeine, and it didn’t take long for it to kick in. I took it about mid-morning when I was sitting at my laptop, typing an article, and was beginning to feel a bit sleepy. It helped bring back my focus quickly and I felt much more productive for the rest of the day. So far, I’ve just taken it as needed.
Natural Stacks as a Whole: My Opinion
Overall, I felt that Natural Stacks supplements worked very effectively and pretty quickly. They’re a great nootropics hack to have on hand when I need to focus and be productive. Especially after a night of less-than-optimal sleep. The Neurofuel and Smart Caffeine pair well to help make the most of the day.
The Serotonin Brain Food is also a great supplement to have on the shelf for days when you’re just “not feelin’ it.”
I love that their ingredients are all-natural and backed by science. While I tried these three products, they have others you can add to your stack or experiment with. They have a few other neurotransmitter-enhancing supplements, including:
- Acetylcholine Brain Food – For better attention to detail, faster thinking, and mental clarity.
- GABA Brain Food – For a calm mind, clear thoughts, relaxed body, and deeper, more restorative sleep.
- Dopamine Brain Food – For laser focus, unbeatable drive to get things done, better athletic balance, and better mental clarity.
They also have magnesium, curcumin, krill oil, probiotics, and Vitamin D3 supplements. There’s even a drink mix to support sleep and gut health all at once. If you’re not sure what to try first, you can order one of their stacks, which combine two to four supplements in a kit.
They even allow you to build your own stack. Just choose a product from each of three categories: Neurotransmitter Support, Mental Performance, and Daily Essentials. That will automatically get you 15% off of the collection.
I’m looking forward to trying more of their products! If you’d like to give Natural Stacks a try at a 15% discount, add add add click here to go to their website and then put in wellnessmama15 at checkout.
Have you tried nootropics products before? What was your experience with them? Share with us below!