As a newbie, you’re bound to make all kinds of mistakes when you start getting into nootropics.
I call these “dumb” mistakes not because the people who make them are necessarily dumb, but because they were uninformed about these mistakes and their consequences.
After you learn about these and you make these mistakes, they become dumb mistakes. Try not to make them and your nootropic experience will be fantastic.
Mistake #1 – Not doing your research
Research is the most important thing to do here, and not doing research is probably one of the biggest and most frequent nootropic mistakes. If you’re taking nootropics, you’re going to be doing a lot of reading and researching for yourself.
Yes, research can be boring, but at the very least you should learn what you’re putting into your body.
Here’s what you’re going to research for yourself:
- Which vendor is best for you
- Which form of a substance is best for you
- What dosage is best for you and your goals
- Whether or not you should be taking a substance in the first place
- Whether there is any evidence or anecdote to suggest the substance is useful
People who don’t do all of the above steps will often end up disappointed with the results or the product they receive.
You should also try to find reputable sources. I try to fact-check my information where possible, but you should always check for yourself as well.
Mistake #2 – Not testing before taking a new drug or supplement
I highly, highly recommend taking a tiny test or sample dose of a product you acquire before taking a full dose.
Though the chances that you received something harmful or incorrectly labeled are rare, it’s not unheard of for a manufacturer to make a mistake and mislabel a substance.
For the sake of precaution, always err on the safe side when taking a new substance.
Powder City (the last time I saw) checks their batches with third-party lab testing for contaminants, and always check the properties of their product to ensure it’s the actual labeled product and not something else.
Mistake #3 – Not Double-checking Dosage
Besides not testing, you wouldn’t believe how often people don’t double check exactly how much of a dose they are taking.
With a substance like caffeine, effective doses are in the range of 50-100 mg (up to 200mg, depending on your constitution), and making an erroneous measurement can harm or kill you.
Now this isn’t to scare you — Using supplements or drugs responsibly can do more good than harm.
As they say, “measure twice, cut once.” I would rather waste some of my supplements or nootropics pouring them down the drain if I make a measuring mistake than to risk taking an incorrect dosage. When in doubt, pour it out.
- Measure your bulk powder with a digital scale first before relying on the scooper
- Double-check your measurements
- Always read the label and start with the recommended dosage
When you get a feel for about how much of a dose you’re getting with your bulk powders, you can rely on the scoop. But at first you will want to measure with a scale, and always follow the recommended starting dosage.
Author tip: When I take supplements that are part of a stack, like the energy stack or the Preworkout stack, I take all of the pouches out of the big cellophane bag they come in. I measure one supplement, then return it to the big bag. I measure another one, then return it to the big bag. Repeat until done.
This helps prevent me from accidentally dosing the same supplement twice.
Mistake #4 – Megadosing
Megadosing is deliberately taking a dosage above and beyond the typical dosage.
This one’s a little less of an issue and more of something that curious newbies need to be wary of.
Some people like to deliberately “megadose” even though there may be little research explaining what will happen or whether there are any benefits beyond the typical dosage.
Best case scenario, nothing will happen. You’ll just have wasted a lot of your supplement or nootropic drug for a little experiment.
Worst case scenario, you might experience some undesirable side effects.
Your author personally does not advocate megadosing of any nootropic drug especially when there is no apparent benefit. When I first started taking nootropics and learned about megadosing, I read all that I could. I only found that curious people were doing it and reaping very little benefit if at all. Frankly, I think it’s reckless and unnecessary, and if you are new to nootropics you should not be megadosing.
An ounce of prevention
If you do your best to avoid making these dumb mistakes, you should have a wonderful experience doing your own research and experiments in nootropics.
- Test a tiny bit before taking a full dose
- Measure, measure and measure
- Don’t megadose