Nootropics 2010: Starting the year off smartly

I’m in the mood to look at nootropics (smart drugs) again. Here are some things I think are good and that should be harmless at the recommended levels on the package. I’m not a physician, so don’t take my word for it.

Non-synthetic: I have tried these and found a subtle effect.

Fish oil (inexpensive suplement)
A good Multivitamin and Multimineral that includes:
Vitamin C
Vitamin B12
Emergen-C contains the above plus pantothenic acid, minerals, alpha lipoic acid, and quercetin

Add a good placebo like Nature’s Bounty Ginkgo Biloba, Flavay flavanoids, or any other such thing.

Lifestyle: Keeping healthy habits is a big deal, and I found that lifestyle effects were at least as potent as the above.

adequate, natural sleep (for me 8 hours works well)
exercise (30-45 minutes, weights and a short run, 3-4 times per week)
sunlight (a 20 minute walk outside when I am low on gumption)

From the Bowels of the Internet: Here are a bunch of things that random people on the internet recommend. I don’t recommend them, and I have not tried them. If you have, send me an email.

Supposedly, these promote a restful sleep:
Phenibut (“Relax-All Capsules”)
Melatonin (natural sleep aid)
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP, another supplement)

Supposedly, these promote alertness and mental acuity:
Deprenyl (Zelapar, oral lozenge, prescription)
DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA, marketed as a nutritional supplement)
Galantamine (“GalantaMind”, also a supplement)
Vinpocetine (“cerebral metabolism” supplement)
Dimethyaminoethanol (DMAE, another supplement)
Piracetam (another supplement)