Inspired by a recent comment, I decided I would lend some insight into which substances should NOT be combined, at least not without some prior consideration of their properties.
Today’s post will be about cholinergics. When you’re new to nootropic supplementation it’s easy to overdo it.
Always remember: More is not necessarily better!
What are cholinergics?
A cholinergic is any substance that has an effect on acetylcholine or acts like acetylcholine.
From simple supplements like choline which form the building blocks of acetylcholine to drugs like nicotine which mimic and inhibit the action of acetylcholine, cholinergics simply interact with the elements of the mind that are responsible for attention and memory. They are also responsible for muscle contraction.
Cholinergics are important to people interested in nootropics because effects on the acetylcholine system are vital to the action of many nootropic drugs, especially the racetams.
Bad combo #1: Multiple choline sources
Since choline is often only supplemented for the sake of nootropics, it’s foolish to include redundant sources of choline if you already have a solid one.
When choosing some choline source for your nootropic stack, choose only one from this list:
- Choline Bitartrate (Learn why choline bitartrate is not optimal for nootropic purposes)
- CDP Choline (Citicoline)
- Alpha GPC
If you already have more than one of these, you can substitute one for the other when you run out of one. Just be sure to account for differences in dosage.
Food Sources of Choline do count!
One more thing worth mentioning is that foods like eggs are extremely rich in choline. If you consume enough choline-rich foods in a day it may not be necessary for you to supplement choline. A typical adult only needs 100-500 mg choline in a day.
Typically you can combine ALCAR with a choline source as the acetyl element of ALCAR becomes part of the acetylcholine molecule.
Bad combo #2: Huperzine and choline
Huperzia serrata is the source of an alkaloid called Huperzine A 1 which inhibits an enzyme 2 that breaks down acetylcholine. Taken in small amounts (~100 micrograms or so) and cycled often, it can be a very valuable addition to nearly any nootropic stack.
However, combined with excessive choline, it can become a nightmare, figuratively and literally speaking if you take it before bed. When your body builds up excessive acetylcholine and cannot remove it because the AChE enzyme is prevented from breaking it down, you may begin to suffer some side effects.
Therefore, when choosing to supplement huperzine A and a choline source, take your choline supplementation down a notch. Take half your usual dosage of choline or less and see how it feels.
Side effects of excessive acetylcholine
Acetylcholine tends to act antagonistically toward other neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Essentially this means that if you increase one, you decrease the others. This can be good if you keep it in balance, and bad if you go more in one direction over the other.
Here are some side effects of excessive acetylcholine:
- Brain fog
- Depression, anxiety and negative thought
- Digestive distress
- Muscle weakness and pain
If you notice these symptoms, it may be beneficial for you to lower your acetylcholine intake or reduce cholinergics.
Have any other suggestions or observations about cholinergics? Leave a comment below.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Learn more about huperzine here|
|2.||↑||Acetylcholinesterase or AChE|