I received a reader e-mail last week asking me how to measure nootropics and other substances that come in the form of bulk powders, so I’m going to go over a couple of techniques in detail.
If you’ve never taken supplements in powdered form before, I only need to say that learning to use and measure bulk supplements saves money for the most part, and is easy to get the hang of.
There are two general methods for measuring nootropics and other supplements which come in a powdered form you can buy in bulk: one where you mete out your dosage with a measuring scoop, and another where you use a scale of some sort.
The scoop method (for convenience)
Almost everyone has used a measuring scoop in their lifetime.
Any supplement seller worth their salt will include a measuring scoop with their product, and they will also include how much the scoop measures on the label or at least somewhere on their website. Scoops are quick, dirty and get the job done.
Health Supplement Wholesalers (one of my favorite nootropics sites that I affiliate with here) typically include micro-scoops (10 mg or 5-7 mg sizes) and/or 1/8 tsp scoops with your order. Other brands will vary, in my experience.
- The advantage of using a scoop to measure your dosage is in sheer convenience. It’s so easy to toss a scoop of your supplement in a glass of water, gulp it down, and be on your way.
- The disadvantage of using scoops to measure your supplements is the loss of accuracy, and the inability to measure out exactly what you need.
For bulk supplements with 0.5 gram doses like ALCAR and Choline Bitartrate, precision to the milligram is not really necessary, but for supplements like Noopept where single doses are just 10 milligrams and you have to use tiny antennae-looking scoops, precision is important. I’ve seen micro-scoop doses of Noopept vary slightly, and it’s not easy to notice this without a scale to refer to.
For supplements like Citrulline Malate, measuring out 6 scoops to get 5+ grams gets a lot of powder on your hand, so I just resort to getting a baker’s teaspoon measurer out and tossing a scoop of that in my glass.
The 1/8 tsp scoop included in most of Health Supplement Wholesalers’ products tends to be about 200-500 mg for most supplements, but again, the true volume of the bulk powder for supplements will vary.
For example, a level 1/8 tsp scoop of Pramiracetam is equivalent to ~250 mg probably due to its larger granule form, as opposed to the ~500 mg heaping scoop of supplements that come in a finer-grain powder like ALCAR.
Therefore, if accuracy is important to you, the scale method is what you need. There’s no other way if you have no other reference.
The scale method (for accuracy)
For those supplements like Noopept where consistency and accuracy may be very important to you, or you simply want to be a nerd and account for your dosage data, you should invest in a digital scale.
- The advantage of using a digital scale is that it takes the guesswork out of whether you’re taking too much or too little of something, and is always more precise than scoops. It’s perfect for nootropics like Noopept with doses as small as 10 milligrams, and is also great for measuring out supplements to mix together into a custom stack.
- The disadvantage is that it takes a few more seconds to take your scale out and measure with precision, and requires a little maintenance and setup to ensure accuracy. Scoops are always faster.
If you’ve never used a digital scale, these scales simply use a pressure-sensitive platform to tell how much stuff you’ve got on them. To ensure precision, they need to be calibrated once in a while.
If you don’t have a proper weight for calibration, it can be performed with nickels1 or other coins, and calibration is always recommended before you first use your scale.
Typically, scales include a “tare weight” mode, meaning the weight of the container you use to keep your scale clean is subtracted from the total output to your digital scale’s display. I would highly suggest not putting your powder directly onto the platform since it’s always messy.
As for which scale you should buy? The one that you can afford and doesn’t look like it will get destroyed easily.
As of this post, Health Supplement Wholesalers offers two scales:
- GM-20 Digital Pocket Scale (0.001 gram/1 milligram accuracy)
- AS-18 Digital Milligram Scale (0.01 gram/10 milligram accuracy)
Both models are going on sale this Friday, so if you’re in need of some, be sure to grab one then.
Scoops are cheap, easy and practical. Scales are precise and let you see exactly how much of a substance you’re taking. Which one you use depends on your supplements and your needs.
Have any other questions? Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail.
Test Digital Scale Calibration With Coins | The Fresh Loaf ↩