Are You Using Caffeine the Wrong Way?
10 December 2019
What if your job requires you to speak and interact with a lot of people, whether that’s talking onstage to a big crowd, networking at events, discussing cutting-edge research or managing hundreds of employees, having social anxiety under these circumstances really suck! When I’d meet people, insecurities would overwhelm me, and anxious thoughts would crowd my mind: “People don’t like me” or “Should I shake their hand?” or “That was a dumb thing to say.”
So if you get nervous in social situations, know this — I’ve been there and it sucks. I feel your pain.
The problem with social anxiety is that it’s likely getting in the way of your performance. Networking takes a lot of energy. It requires you to pay attention, remember details, focus, hold your body in a certain way and monitor your talking.
Become aware of yourself, ask yourself, am I talking too much? Or am I talking to little? Ask the right questions, listen, and the list goes on. You’re dealing with a lot of variables. It’s inherently stressful, being anxious is not going to help you manage that stress very well.
That’s why I recommend certain nootropics to calm your nerves and bring out your natural charisma. Nootropics are compounds that can improve brain function — increasing your mental energy and sharpening your mind. Read on to discover the best nootropics for social anxiety — giving you the stamina to deal with any stressful social situation.
“Racetams” are some of the most widely used nootropics. Aniracetam is the only one of the racetam family that has potent anti-anxiety effects and increases memory I/O (gets things in and out of your brain) making it one of the best nootropics for social anxiety. A strong memory is key to being a good networker — you remember what a person has told you, either in the past or the present, and you can draw on that knowledge to add value to the conversation. When you’re able to meaningfully contribute to a discussion, you automatically feel more confident, and you leave a positive lasting impression. I’ve used aniracetam for years with great results.
There’s a reason why you feel calm yet alert after a cup of green tea. That’s thanks to l-theanine, a natural component of tea leaves that relaxes you and improves focus. L-theanine works synergistically with caffeine, and together the two increase your reaction time (how quickly you recognize words, for instance), memory, and reduce mental fatigue. That’s a recipe for success when you’re talking to people — you’re chill but mentally with it.
Talking to people, especially at a work function or an all-day conference, can be stressful — l-tyrosine helps your brain stay the course without getting burned out. Here’s how it works: Stress depletes your neurotransmitter stores (neurotransmitters are your brain’s chemical messengers), particularly norepinephrine. Low levels of norepinephrine can leave you feeling mentally exhausted and scattered, and emotionally down — not a great combo when you’re looking to make an impression. L-tyrosine is an amino acid that helps your brain create neurotransmitters, easing stress and improving focus during taxing mental tasks.
Theacrine is an alkaloid (aka a plant chemical) found in a Chinese tea plant that wakes up your brain and gives you mental clarity, much like coffee. It has a similar chemical structure to caffeine, and studies show it may impact the brain in the same way — by binding to adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a chemical that makes you feel sleepy. Like caffeine, theacrine fools your nerve cells into thinking it’s adenosine, but instead of making you feel drowsy, it causes your nerve cells to fire up more quickly, increasing your alertness. Note that’s at high levels (48mg/kg in rats). Low levels (3mg/kg) of theacrine have shown the opposite effect, increasing the amount of adenosine in the brain.
So why not just drink coffee instead? While I’m a big proponent of drinking a Bulletproof Coffee in the morning, too much caffeine can leave you jittery. You can also build up a tolerance to caffeine over time, which means you need more coffee to get the same jolt of energy. Theacrine may not lead to the same tolerance build-up. In one study, 60 men who took 300 mg of theacrine a day for 8 weeks showed no signs of tolerance, measured by their energy levels, focus, and concentration.
If Aniracetam doesn’t do it for you, consider supplementing Noopept. Compared to piracetam and aniracetam, Noopept is way more potent, some users even describing a “psychostimulatory” experience with the drug.
Because of the psycho stimulation, Noopept deserves the most caution when supplementing. Many cases of Noopept usage report anxiolytic effects following supplementing, however there have also been reported incidents of increased anxiety at higher dosages.