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Caffeine is by far the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world, with approximately 90% of the population (including children) in the United States regularly consuming caffeine-containing drinks. Common natural sources of caffeine include coffee, tea, cacao, kola, guarana, and yerba mate. Two other molecules with similar effects to caffeine are Theophylline (found in tea) and Theobromine (found in cacao). Caffeine is a powerful stimulant drug that increases wakefulness and alertness and increases your heart rate and blood pressure.
Caffeine is structurally similar to adenosine, a neurotransmitter that is the “A” in ATP (the energy currency that powers your body). Caffeine is so similar to adenosine that it is able to bind to adenosine receptors, but caffeine is dissimilar enough that it does not trigger the adenosine receptors, it just prevents adenosine from binding and triggering the receptors. Adenosine operates as an inhibitory neurotransmitter that slows your heart rate, dilates your blood vessels, and decreases neuronal excitability in your brain. By blocking these effects, Caffeine has the opposite effects on your brain and body.
By blocking adenosine receptors, caffeine makes dopamine more effective in activating certain dopamine receptors. Over time this can wear down and damage those dopamine receptors. Caffeine also triggers an increase in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (the brain’s reward center), which is the reason caffeine is pleasurable to ingest and addictive.
From a nutritional perspective, it is advisable for caffeine drinkers to help replenish their dopamine levels by supplementing with N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and to help repair damage to dopamine receptors by supplementing with Uridine 5’-Monophosphate.
Adderall is a mixture of four different salt forms of amphetamine. Adderall cannot activate receptors in your brain directly, but instead functions by stimulating the release of Dopamine and Norepinephrine in your brain. At low doses, Adderall produces modest yet noticeable improvements in cognition, working/short-term memory, long-term memory, focus and attention, wakefulness, drive and motivation. At low doses, Adderall’s effects are very similar to those of cocaine (though cocaine’s effects are of much shorter duration).
Adderall is generally safe when used in correct oral dosage regimes, but can also have a number of serious and less serious side effects. Adderall, and amphetamines generally, trigger a release of Norepinephrine in the peripheral nervous system, which leads to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This is not generally an issue for young, healthy individuals (unless they are engaged in strenuous exercise or sports activities), but can create serious cardiovascular issues in older and less healthy individuals. Psychologically, Adderall can cause compulsive behaviors, nervous behaviors, anxiety, irritability, psychosis, loss of appetite, and insomnia.
The Adderall amphetamine molecules are structurally very similar to Phenylethylamine, which occurs naturally in your body and is found in foods like cacao (where it is better known as the “love molecule”). Phenylethylamine, especially when potentiated by Caffeine, has many of the same positive effects as Adderall, but without the negative side effects.
From a nutritional perspective, it is advisable for Adderall users to help replenish their Dopamine and Norepinephrine levels by supplementing with N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and to help repair damage to Dopamine receptors by supplementing with Uridine 5’-Monophosphate. There is some evidence that Zinc supplementation may reduce the minimum effective dose of Adderall.
Whether you’re just starting to discover nootropics, or you’ve experienced other nootropic brands and are considering new options, we invite you to explore our daytime nootropic Awaken Gold and our nighttime nootropic Mind:Restore. We designed these to be the cleanest and most effective nootropics available.
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