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Caffeine is a cognitive enhancer that is frequently taken with Nootropic stacks. Caffeine itself is a stimulant so it does not technically qualify under the definition of a nootropic, but it has been extensively documented to improve mental performance and brain functioning. Aside from being the most popular legal psychoactive drug in the world, Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound. Its effect is to stimulate the central nervous system and temporarily increase alertness.
The main mechanism of action for caffeine is by acting as a replacement to a chemical called adenosine. The role of adenosine is to basically make sure that your nervous system does not become over-excited or run out of control. Caffeine is actually thought to mimic the actions of this chemical, but only in reverse. The important thing to remember is that when caffeine and adenosine both attempt to target the same chemical receptor sites, caffeine wins every time. As caffeine targets these same receptors, this serves to enhance the stimulating effects upon the brain and central nervous system. This can increase the release of key neurotransmitters especially Dopamine.
The most well-known benefit of caffeine is an increase in mental and possibly physical alertness. Of course, this is not a very long-lasting benefit, and the effects do seem to decrease in this respect for that second cup or drink. Recent studies (there are something like 22,000 different caffeine studies in the books) indicate a number of additional benefits. For example, regular coffee drinkers were 80 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, indicating that caffeine may have the effect of protecting brain neurons.
Caffeine use equal to two cups of coffee per day has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 20 percent, the odds of developing cirrhosis by 80 percent, and the risk of developing gallstones by 50 percent. Other studies indicate beneficial effects in treating asthma, headaches, and boosting mood. As a Nootropic, there are also a number of beneficial effects upon mood, memory, and cognition. There can be no denying the fact that most people feel much more alive and mentally alert after their morning jolt of caffeine or the afternoon energy drink. Memory is improved, focus and concentration are enhanced. There is even evidence to suggest that caffeine consumption can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Research into this is ongoing.
Caffeine combined with Modafinil greatly potentiate each other.
It's difficult to say what dosage the average dose of Caffeine is, as it varies greatly. According to the FDA each person is likely have a different ability to tolerate Caffeine. Most people would be well advised to limit consumption to under 300 mg. However, those with high tolerance can do 600 mg, or higher, without problem.
This should equal to around 3 or 4 cups of Coffee.
The dosages present in other ‘supplements’ like energy drinks may vary considerably, so be sure to read the labels. You should also be aware that you can build up a tolerance to the effects of Caffeine which is why you might want to cycle it in your Nootropic stack.