How can I hack my brain / concentration?

How can I hack my brain / concentration?
I tried modafanil (or some equivalent bought from a shady India-based online retailer), downing cans of Redbull, tried lion's mane mushrooms, aand now trying gingko biloba. Whats' worked for you? Caffeine pills are illegal where I am, but I still consume a ton of green tea to energize my brain. My concentration is going to sh*t and my energy level is so low.


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Comments (44)

Nov 5, 2019 - 1:07am

Interested to know too. Modafinil helped me the first few times I took it. Upped my dose and it ended up enhancing my anxiety so I stopped there and then

Nov 5, 2019 - 2:49am

Personally, I took a liking to Piracetam, the first and foremost nootropic. Very subtle effects and you have to take in on a "regular" day, i.e. wake up early, have something to do, think about complex stuff, or else it won´t do jack. But if you do that, it´s like your motor seamlessly shifts into a higher gear. Very good feeling, increases both concentration and motivation but it´s not a "booster" drug at all.
Besides that, I get Ritalin for free but I very seldomly use it, coz fuck those jitters. And for the extra boost in creativity, well, I hopped on that certain Silicon Valley train...

Nov 6, 2019 - 1:17pm

Microdosing bro, don´t you read Wired or Medium? Shit´s absolutely tight and even legal in my shithole country.

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Nov 6, 2019 - 4:18pm

@Matchwood" wasn't kidding

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Nov 6, 2019 - 5:30pm

And if the answer is just generally microdosing stuff . . nootropics and all that shit . . well that's disappointing because it's about 5 years past the point where someone would describe that as a Silicon Valley train to hop aboard. I hear the bitcoin is cool too.

Anyways, curious what people are actually doing so if there's something more specific would love to hear it.

Nov 7, 2019 - 3:42am

You want clear words? How about you google "new ergoline derivatives", idiot. Try to listen to what I´m saying, microdosing always meant psychotropic substances.

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Nov 7, 2019 - 3:40am

No, a person close to me has legit, diagnosed ADHD, but they hate theit pills and say they make them aggressive and unhinged (which is true) so I get them instead.

Nov 5, 2019 - 9:07am

Exercise regularly, meditate, make sure you are getting consistent + high-quality sleep, eat good food + drink lots of water, keep your phone out of reach when working on whatever it is you want to concentrate on

Most Helpful
Nov 5, 2019 - 10:42am

Sleep, exercise, tons of water, good diet, and caffeine are really all you need.

Anything else is a bandaid

Commercial Real Estate Developer

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Nov 5, 2019 - 11:32am

This. Although I subtract caffeine personally. Could be the cause of some of my weirder posts but who knows?

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Nov 5, 2019 - 11:45am

There are a number of scientifically proven performance benefits associated with caffeine - both physical and mental.

Also, I'm an addict, but you know...

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Nov 5, 2019 - 11:49am

I went to the hospital for stomach ulcers caused by too much coffee. I think I lack the personal regulator. I went from one cup a day to (I'm not kidding) 12 shots of espresso, two cold brews, and maybe and iced coffee per day. It's easier to not have any than to fluctuate up and down haha

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Nov 5, 2019 - 11:52am

Hah, I take back what I said about being an addict. I never got to this level.

dave chappel

Commercial Real Estate Developer

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Nov 6, 2019 - 12:59pm

My dad had a coffee ulcer too when he was younger, and I've had some mild-medium stomach problems when I drink a few cups a day consistently for a couple weeks.

If you can force yourself to have the occasional day (1 day a week works for me) with no coffee at all it can kill that problem. Any time I see a day that's full of stupid ass calls and meetings, I basically decide it's a lost day already so might as well be my off day from coffee.

Nov 6, 2019 - 12:52pm

I feel like you're trying everything but the most obvious things.

On the natural side, the most obvious thing is legit amounts of caffeine (i.e. coffee) and instead you're drinking green tea which has much lower amounts.

On the drug side, the most obvious thing is ADD meds like adderall and straterra, but instead you're trying modafinil, a narcolepsy drug not typically prescribed for concentration. And yes I'm familiar with the "biohacker" circles who like to talk about modafinil as a concentration aid but no fucking way is it as powerful as ADD drugs for that purpose.

I take modafinil occasionally, like 2-3 times a month, for daytime sleepiness when I didn't sleep at all the night before. Have a prescription bc of mild sleep apnea. It picks me up a bit but for pure focus/concentration, its not better than coffee plus there's a comedown later in the day where you just feel lethargic. Its nothing too terrible but coffee offers equal or better focus without the comedown.

For really boring work, straterra works best. Took it to get me through the bar exam. Makes boring shit more tolerable but I wouldnt say it gives you that energized focus

I suggest you try a few cups of coffee a day and if that doesn't help you, see a doc. The ADD drugs get a bad rap bc of "side effects" but I don't think that's very valid or well understood. What matters is the ratio of benefit to harm. If the drug is helping you and also causing side effects, you can try a lower dose where you might still get the same benefit (because you only needed a certain amount to get going and the extra amount is unhelpful) but the side effects are much smaller.

So I think dosing is overlooked. Also overlooked is taking days off. People will just blindly take a drug every day because the label says so, well common sense and basic science says that for most things you'll be better off if you skip days when you don't need the benefits of the drug. Lets your body reset and prevents tolerance buildup. Risk/benefit analysis needs to be the final arbiter of all of these decisions.

Nov 7, 2019 - 8:07pm

mostly I think the problem is that I can't sleep through the night. I wake up after 3 hrs, can't go back to sleep for hours, then fall asleep again. So then during daytime I'm not able to function. Yes, I know fixing the sleep is the key, but barring that, I still need to wake myself up during the day somehow. Green tea helps only a little. The other stuff... not really helpful. Not sure what to do. I tried melatonin to help in sleeping but it's not really worked either.

  • Prospect in S&T - Other
Jan 10, 2020 - 1:22pm

im ADHD but im also bipolar, so I can't taken adderral/retalin. doc prescribes Zyban (buproprion). works great altho have always been v curious re the extent of placebol.

Jan 10, 2020 - 2:41pm

1) Exercise regularly. Not just weights; Cardio at least 1x a week.

2) Try and get laid regularly. If you have a gf fuck her every morning before heading in, it helps a lot imo. Before you go to bed too.

3) Gotta hit the booze at least 3 times a week to calm down the mind.

4) Quit sugar altogether. It's worse than cigarettes.

But most imporantly

5) Always have a plan of what you're gonna do that day when you get out of bed. Force yourself to be productive and stay on schedule when you feel you're gonna start slacking. It's clear your problem is not physical, you tried virtually every legal stimulant and no result. You gotta change the mindset. Very hard at first but works better than any x amount of redbulls you'll drink.


Jan 12, 2020 - 12:48am

How's lion's mane? Got a friend that swears by it but I never know with him

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Jan 13, 2020 - 11:54am

Agree with all of the natural remedies above (enjoyable exercise, healthy food, sleep, etc.)

With regards to all the others, ADHD/microdosing/mushrooms (lions mane, reishi, etc. not psychedelic), vitamins, racetams, it is entirely on you to decide the risk/benefit of the situation. What are the goals you are shooting for in the short-term/long-term and does X/Y/Z help you achieve them?

Human life is full of hills, valleys, and plateaus. Knowing your body and how to best adapt it towards your goals (usually insane success in some fashion) is the key to maximizing yourself through these periods.

Tl;dr: Lots of philosophers and really smart people have 'found' 1000s of ways to find the same answer - you, yourself, are the only person who can solve your problems in the road to self-reliance. If the solution was simple, everyone would be following the same path, and LIFE WOULD SUCK.

  • Intern in PropTrad
Jun 20, 2020 - 8:49am
  • Bulletproof coffee (coffee with coconut oil and butter). Sounds yuck but is delicious if you blend it and sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  • No white flour or white sugar 2 hours before any task that requires intense concentration and focus. Snack on fruit with nut butters or nuts or cold meats and dips such as hoummus, guacamole, baba ganoush etc when working.No dried fruit. No honey.
  • Solar mimicking light bulb. You can get them on Amazon.
  • No breaks! Get in the zone and stay there till you are done !
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