Everyone likes something shiny, right?
I mean ladies and gentlemen alike really are drawn to shiny new things like the proverbial magpie. So it is with Nootroo, a shiny-glittery-packaged nootropic which has a formula based on ‘racetams’.
Touted as “The Gold Standard” in nootropics, these tablets are supposed to help aid the processes of cognition, memory and other brain functions, and, as I only recently read about these racetams and piracetams I’m excited to learn more.
This is my personal opinion and Nootroo review as to whether it’s a nootropic supplement for me in 2020.
As I mention above Nootroo as a brand is glittery, shiny and smart. It comes in gold and silver variants. If you are looking to improve cognition, mental performance or just get more clarity in your mental output, this could be the nootropic for you. Nootroo (the product) not only looks great, its manufacturers have provided a huge amount of information on their website.
On the Nootroo website there is even a section called ‘Protocol’ which goes as far as laying out the ideal lifestyle for a Nootroo customer, split into distinct areas of Exercise, Diet, Sleep, Nootropics and Meditation. This is recommended because, according to Nootroo, in order to derive the best results from body and mind you need to ensure that all the variables are aligned (this appeals to my need to have a good baseline of evidence for the science behind a product!).
Furthermore, there is actual research! Nootroo’s makers have made sure they have really gone into detail with the ingredients and the research behind the inclusion in the formula.
If you haven’t heard of them before, the formulation is based on Piracetams, a form of nootropic which are supposedly effective in the following ways: enhancing learning, increasing memory formation, improving verbal recall, leads to greater interconnectivity. Nootroo have trademarked a form of piracetam called Noopept, a di-peptide variant, which is supposed to be “more powerful and absorbable through oral administration”.
There is a HUGE amount of information on the Nootroo website about the history of brain science and brain systems. We learn that Piracetams were discovered by scientists looking for a new formulation for a sleep aid. I won’t go into the details as there is more below when I discuss whether the formula will work.
Background on Nootroo LLC
Nootroo was founded in 2014 in San Francisco. The founder of Nootroo is Eric Matzner, a ‘biohacker, futurist, nootropic historian and budding geoengineer’. Matzner’s aim is to ‘end ageing or die trying’ and he believes that smart drugs can significantly improve your brain’s capacity. This is a high aim indeed and I’m interested in how he thinks they can do this.
Jumping straight into biohacking with the belief that a real-life Limitless pill formula is out there somewhere to be found, Matzner, at 27, takes somewhere around 60 pills a day (telling journalists it is more like 30 – so ‘I sound less crazy’), crediting this regimen with ‘not having a cold in years’ and ‘smoothing over the ravages of ageing, sleep deprivation and hangovers’
As a self-styled entrepreneur, Matzner is his own guinea pig, having studied and experimented on himself enough to be able to really get behind his own brand and formula. He believes this is the most truthful and honest way to market his product.
The Nootroo formulations of Silver and Gold are designed to be cycled, meaning that taking one of each formula on alternate days derives the best results from the two blends. It is suggested that the ingredients (based on the Piracetam molecule combined with choline) have ‘profound effects when combined’.
The original formulation used gold and silver flakes to distinguish between the two pills and this was supposedly so that they didn’t need to use any artificial colorants. It also set Nootroo apart from the competition so that they could use the phrase “The Gold Standard in Nootropics”.
But what is actually inside these shiny bottles and what evidence is there that they have any effect? Let’s look at the Nootroo ingredients in more detail.
The Gold variety contains Noopept. The Silver contains Phenylpiracetam. The other ingredients – which are in both – are Cognizin (Citicoline), Suntheanine (L-Theanine), PURENERGY (caffeine Pterostilbene).
Annoyingly for a 645mg dose we don’t know how much of each ingredient is included. The only amount disclosed is Choline (500mg) which is sort of buried (it is stated in a part of the FAQs on ingredients on their website, but importantly this is not stated on the bottle).
This is frustrating because Nootroo choosing to use a proprietary blend of ingredients in each formula, therefore, means I can only make assumptions about any effects based on a broad generalisation around scientific findings on those ingredients.
This, despite the huge amount of science, history and fact-finding literature on the website, is a little disappointing.
How to Take Nootroo?
Taken in capsule form, Nootroo Gold and Silver Formulas are alternated between daily. Nootropics can be consumed on an empty or full stomach. For reason for taking them in this way is because they have differing effects and mechanisms of action from each other.
This also reduces the chance of building up any long-term tolerance, according to the website.
There is a potential side effect from the caffeine, especially if Nootroo is taken alongside any other sources of caffeine, which of course has a stimulatory effect. However with no disclosure of the amounts of caffeine in the formula we are left to guess how much is inside.
Generally speaking, piracetam is considered safe and without side effects, however there is insufficient evidence on the derivative form used in Nootroo.
Does Nootroo Actually Work?
We’ve already researched nootropic stacks enough to learn that the most commonly-used combination of ingredients is caffeine and L-Theanine. This is because of the caffeine-given focus and the L-Theanine-supported anxiolytic which, when combined, result in the nootropic effect of focus-without-buzz. There is evidence to suggest that
Piracetam was the original nootropic, first marketed in 1971, acting on cognitive function but without causing stimulation (or sedation).
The science behind it is that;
It’s a popular synthetic derivative of the neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger that helps slow down activity in your nervous system.
Commonly used for treating vertigo, improved brain function, symptoms of dyslexia and seizures, piracetam is thought to improve the messaging between brain cells.
In my research I have discovered that suggested doses of piracetam (for memory and cognition effects) are between 1.2-4.8g daily. As we are not sure of the exact dose of any piracetam-derivative within Nootroo we have to assume that in the formula there is a reasonable amount to derive an effect.
Choline is the only ingredient they reveal the amount of in the formula, in that the literature on their website discloses that there is 500mg Choline per serving. If this is true then Choline is most of the formula (the dose is 645mg so that only leaves 145mg in each gold and silver capsule to be made up of the remaining ingredients).
As I already mention, there is a huge amount of information in the Research section (mostly on broad subjects (such as Meditation, Ageing, Brain Health, Nootropics, and even on specific ingredients such as Piracetam).
But there is no clinical trial evidence on the blend in Nootroo itself and what the outcomes / effects would be.
As I keep reiterating in my reviews, manufacturers who don’t state amounts, are steering away from evidence that would point towards the effectiveness of their product.
Nootroo Customer Reviews
There aren’t any customer reviews on the Nootroo website and as you can’t buy Nootroo on Amazon I can’t find independent customer reviews there either.
Money-Back Guarantee / Returns Policy
I also couldn’t find any returns policy on the FAQs.
Where to Buy Nootroo?
You can buy Nootroo online from the official store. There are currently no Nootroo sellers on Amazon.
Is It Worth the Price?
Nootroo Gold and Silver is currently out of stock, however it retails at $59.95 for a 30-day supply. The Gold and Silver subscription is $49.95 per month (saving you $10, quite a saving, but you still have to pay out almost fifty dollars every month!).
If you want to take a nootropic product that makes big claims (because, actually, these are important – you don’t want a product that doesn’t shout about its effects, do you?!) then this is possibly for you. It’s not a small cost per month, but neither is it the most expensive on the market (for a product that says it is the Gold Standard, you aren’t paying out gold bullion amounts!).
The negatives are the proprietary blend, the lack of evidence on the blend, the lack of customer reviews or testimonials (yes, I actually like these!!).
For me, the general take-away from looking into Nootroo for the purposes of this Nootroo review is that there isn’t evidence on the product itself. The makers have been really careful to include a LOT of information, research, basic science, complex science, nootropics history and marketing speak, but there is no evidence that the effects of the blend itself has been studied and found to have nootropic effects. That’s not to say that there aren’t any nootropic effects, rather that we can’t say that Nootroo is really any different to any other product.
What I Think about Nootroo
Whilst not surprising that there isn’t any clinical evidence on the Nootroo formula itself (there are few manufacturers that are prepared to stump up the funds for a full clinical trial after all) I am surprised that the formula is a proprietary blend. If they were so sure of themselves, why not disclose the amounts of these powerful compounds that we are taking in each dose.
I just want to know what I’m taking, and I don’t think that’s unreasonable.
If they have a clear hook (the ‘Gold Standard’ idea is pretty powerful) then why not be transparent about what goes into each pill.
The ‘general’ formula isn’t enough for me, I need to look at how much I’m taking daily. I find it frustrating that I can’t get any independently-verified reviews as neither Amazon nor GNC (or other online stores that check customer reviews for authenticity) carry the product.
This is where, for my mind, Nootroo falls slightly off its Gold Standard. I’d like to see disclosure and honesty in a product that says it is so sure of itself and backed with evidence.