My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

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My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

This is a separate feature article in conjunction to my prior “What I acually eat CKD Winter Edition” article. Throughout these (short) two and half months of use and scrutinising so far inbetween these supplements pretty much summarises why I’m writing this article.

No, not “terminally” nor chronically ill.

Just nearing, or convincingly enough as I reconcile and edge increasingly closer ; into realising that as of recent months I need to somehow manage, address and hopefully improve –  my own cognitive wellbeing. Having recently finished over a combined 700 hours+ worth of work on both the update of my manuscript (Version 1.4), the updated motion graphic promo developments, as well as my Nutritional Humility™ extended Behance artwork piece; I am still somewhat remains silenced. Unvalidated. Unrecognised. For what I have done.

Whilst looking at all these “feel-good” “look-at-me” awards, news notifications – within LinkedIN® connection updates. All those  “I’m so proud to be the recipient of <so and so award nights, drinks, cupcakes, free iPads, free iPhones, etc>….“…. I cannot help but wonder if we truly are living in an entirely new and evolved age – of Discreet Bullying.

Who or what are we truly congratulating or appeasing? Nobody but digital avatars, or pixels relying on “likes”, “followers” and/or “subscribers” to fuel their existence. We’ve been communicating not via face-to-face, or firm sincere handshakes but rather – these thing/s called “Type-o-graphy”, “Icons” and “Emoticons”.

Perhaps I already sound as though I’m demonising the very industry I myself have been a part of both as a career and means of living.

The more I look beyond the smiles of these visual metaphors for “happiness”; the more I cannot ignore – that we are leading ourselves a fabricated life full of frivolous obligations; increasingly eroding our times to not ever stop and think whether all this carry some sort of meaningful response back to our physiology. Is our biological meaning of a “smile” – is meant to look as grossly simplified the same as these emoticon/s from one social media app, network, circle, whatever – to another? 

They’re curiously and simplistically similar. Too similar.

I am beginning to question whether everything in our sociological relations between one to another; is nothing but for a frivolous, homogenous simulation of interest/s all for eluding and evading – Reality. 

…I refer to such concerns as the growing debates over the rise of “useless, meaningless jobs” .

I remembered far too often; back as a white collar worker. All those Excel® spreadsheet’s “over-time” hourly endeavours from tending that flooding inboxes. Those $150 per fortnight chiropractic / physiotherapist consultations over bad-backs. The one hour+ (or more) traffic jams (or perhaps not knowing how to merge properly). Bureaucracies and Managers keep demanding and putting out fake milestones and unnecessary crunch times.

All these led me to believe that so many; are blind to have contributed to the side effects of our new and evolved age – of Bullying and thus segregated disposals and means of Utility. That is alienating or simply being dismissive; of other people’s sense of authenticity, worth and of “being” whenever in times of judgments. I thus have learned (thank goodness for I’m not the only one) – THERE IS NO SUCH THING as “constructive” criticism.

I have my own way of interpreting them after all; it whether they, – outside force of thoughts and opinions – align conducively (or frivolously) to my own self authenticity for understanding what enough means; at both physiological and nutritional – compartmentalisation. This, I argue as I have written an entire book – the more authentic definition – of what Humility truly is. 

For far too long time having being deemed (repetitively) as a statistical, contributory insignificance to social progress….Am I then – rightfully the “one” to blame, for not contributing to the social “progress”? Is “progress” all about Utility?

More than ever  my conviction, helpless observation and growing evidences all around me, the answer is likely more yes. The profanities in carparks. The long faces I see in Saturday afternoons. 200+ failure of job applications. Youth suicides. Male sexual dysfunctions. “Inequalities” this, inequality that. Irrespective of all these “problems”, metabolic syndromes and civil unrests – The System just keep saying “Yes”, presumably all to continue. No matter what the “cost” required all in the name for advancing “Gross Domestic Product”.

I beg to differ.

Robots should fulfil that very purpose to chase numbers. They are the most serving and lenient – of all beings.

Ben Sullivan /
Ben Sullivan /

…Where was I? My apologies.

Questions above ringed in my head day in and out. I apologise.

Originally, this article was previously written with so much more content; if however reading them over and over again days later in and out – are likely subject to some extreme discomfort overtime.

Even despite my insistence to share them. These however unfortunately might be at times misinterpreted as hostility to some readers. I have thus calmly decided to omit these content to the public and able to focus once again – on what is required to the topic at hand.  

Everything thus far has brought me to a need for revisiting an area of supplementation I thought I’d no longer need from years ago (as far back as a decade even). I have thus recently convinced to re-invest in an area of (my long-forgotten) supplementation regiment surrounding various adaptogens; that is – four (4) NO-Tropic supplementations as below. 

  • Gingko Biloba
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine
  • Mucuna Pruriens and;
  • 98% L-DOPA extract).

My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

Gingko Biloba

My thoughts on Gingko so far more or less mirrors to that of’s thoughts; in that its ergogenic effects upon mental acuity / sharpness remains dubiously recurrent in all of contexts and circumstances.

However disappointingly, having experimented various dosages; I have failed to significantly nor convincingly felt any mood lifting benefits, as I was hoping as per to the rat-study suggesting its’ dopaminogernic qualities ONLY upon high dosages. Perhaps my dosages (as high as 300mg of the actual Flavoside strength itself equating between 15 to 20 ACTUAL GRAMS of the leaf) still could not match as heavily as per within that study’s parameters. I would therefore think – that going beyond the marked dosages than these (even if I’m perhaps desperate) – would not seem that beneficial in a practical sense.

“Memory recalls” also; to me after weeks heavy dosing in and out, during weekend 48 hour carb re-feeds and during SKD days made me convinced that it is somewhat unreliable nor is it always consistent. The only one thing I find consistent however; in that it does bring out body temperature; SO SORELY needed during the very cold (and brittle dry) winter months. So far, I would say this at the very least; remains a keeper and conditionally (I should say Seasonally) essential.

I have tried small dosages first before moving onto the larger ones and assess my tolerance from there. One factor in contributing one’s tolerance I believe – is how prone you feel you are – to external bleeding events. I believe this to be plausible because Ginkgko at least was found to have a noticeable blood thinning effect.

Vitamin K; be it from eating copious amount of kale or enjoying extra heapings of ground parsley with cheese or butter/oliveoil/sourcream – would led me to believe as a tip to offset any of these excess thinning effect.

Alongside that I’d also take Coenzyme CoQ10 to double as anti-oxidant insurance and as coagulant. Of course perhaps not every single day but maybe once or twice in occasion; even as preworkout or before any prolonged stressful episodes are soon to unfold.

Here’s a scenario I believe anyone can follow to practically self-asses your tolerance levels. Take a megadose at night when you at most (or at least reasonably) relaxed. Loose clothing. Never small.

Tune to chillhop essentials. Catch up on cryptocurrency news & blogs. Get those side quests done in Witcher 3. Now – once you’ve noticed your hands (and/or your head) are glowing red – try flossing your teeth. Yes, I’m serious – as in physically walk up to a mirror and floss.

If you have any feeling in the extremities (from your head to tips of your fingers) – as though you feel your fingers are about to bleed as you wrap the stringed floss in and out – then that would be a sign to ease back on the dosage. Reduce by about 10 to 20% of your usual Gingko dosages and assess again. Ideally speaking – you should feel coordinatively “warm” but not too much to the point whereby even the slightest pinch, push or pull – of a portion of skin should feel as though you are about to bleed or to the point of injury.

Convincingly speaking from experience – Ginkgko’s blood circulatory effect seems noticeably more pronounced when there is some insulinogenic foods / carbohydrate consumptions are present. Ginkgko seems more potent wherever during these episodes insulinogenic rushes are present; especially with carb heavy feeding/s overtime within the first four / six hours of feeding window.

If you do decide to supplement on Gingko, I’d recommend getting one without any fillers that may interfere with ingestion; I speculate that to be Dextrin; as they’re used widely on tablet forms on supplements.

Interestingly as accordingly to my notes I respond better to regular coated film gingko’s; although this equates to a very small amount of actual Glycosides per tablet (only mere 9.5mg glycosides). I would need to dose up to at least anywhere between 30mg to 45mg of the ACTUAL Flavone GLYCOSIDES as standard dosage maintenance testing (as per to my comfortable tolerance level); which equates anywhere between SIX to TEN grams of physical leaf grammage amounts. 

My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

Acetyl L Carnitine (aka “ALCAR”).

This is perhaps the most significant and impactful of all NO-TROPICS I’ve felt so far as accordingly to what I can afford.

Generally perceived and marketed as a “fat-burner” – I do not mainly reach out for this intended outcome alone for “losing fat” on a CKD regiment (though of course, always a good vanity based outcome – there goes my honesty). More rather – I am reaching for its efficacy on raising and potentiating my level of “activeness”- both  in how I “receive” and “initiate”; almost all psychological intents, inner actions for any purpose and/or motives before it’s “too late”.

In other words, “Proscratination Management” – all for the better.

ALCAR is indeed working efficaciously, at least within my physiological interpretation. That is – I feel  “activated” and coordinated in mind – such not only that it cognitively sustains my “up-and-go” mentality, but also especially convincingly helpful to maintain that mental endurance as needed during my training workouts.

There are times I find myself able to cohesively arrange and coordinate speech with a little more fluency. Whenever and wherever I want – especially within public spaces whereby I do not usually feel comfortable.  Though at other times it was simply a matter of me being left with “switched” on state of cognition in a general sense; that I feel “receptively” ready; to receive any incoming external speeches, thoughts and/or oral feedbacks.

…Very difficult to explain. I wish at times I could have gotten a degree in Biochemistry to explain the thousands of neurotransmitter-pathways into plain English.

Nonetheless –  whenever I feel “down” from just lack of motivation or due to brain laziness for not able to continue doing my everyday task/s – I simply resort to ALCAR with my coffee and (almost) immediately – its profound effects are consistently noted each and every passing hour/s as noted within my dietary journalling.

HOWEVER one advice I’d like to share; which is contradictory to some source/sis to NEVER take ALCAR with food. Especially with large or actual meals. With or without carbohydrates. During CKD re-feeds as well as regular SKD days.

It just does not do well on me with food. Interestingly however I felt fine from using ALCAR with small, 5-7g of protein powder with water as my first portion post-workout feeding. I can’t speak with what happens to you, so your mileage may vary.

Upon immediate presence of large food intake – with ALCAR – I feel agitated and suffocative at times similarly as symptoms of very bad heartburns; perhaps it is my own given physiology, I do not know. There are some anecdotal accounts for further supporting this phenomena and hence advise consuming it on an empty stomach. Officially, here is another source that concurs such preference as well. Another paper suggests similarly as well.

At least, the best way for me seemingly thus far when it comes to supplementing ALCAR is to simply relax with a cup of straight black coffee; at least an hour away before or after eating food. Or just not on a full stomach. Within the coffee I use a pinch (no more than 400mg at a time) of ALCAR. Sometimes also with Creatine on my training day as preworkout coffee if training commences soon within the hour (with driving time).

I have also noted its reportedly insulin sensitizing effects – as I use it sparingly with no more than a 4 to 6 grams worth of protein of my first post-workout protein feeding (4-6 grams with water + ALCAR then my protein fluff with 15g WPC) on a training day. Interestingly this way – I do not feel any nasty heartburns at all. Only within actual meals it seems – triggers it adversely.

My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

Mucuna Pruriens (high strength 20x extract).

This is perhaps the most confusing and disappointing if compared against both ALCAR or Gingko.

It is important to note; that whilst Mucuna and L-DOPA are contextually similar (in that Mucuna you do get some minerals and small number of micronutrients; where as the separately available supplement L-DOPA – is the concentrated element being the precursor to Dopamine only and nothing else). Mucuna itself is a plant bearing of many qualities and characteristics beyond its famed NOTROPIC effects widely proclaimed anywhere from being a cognitive enhancer and all the way to libido (both men and women), and testosterone raising effects via endogenous increases of Dopamine within the brain and its dilation/reduction of the Prolactin hormone.

Sadly – within various dosing on this 20x strength velvet beans – there was no “euphoria”. No uplifting of moods despite my convinced down outlooks on life. I thought my condition would be at least conditionally legitimate enough for the mucuna to portray its effects – but sadly it didn’t.

I’ve scrutinised, researched even more compulsively for hours and hours, days-upon-days – on end on why this is happening. I have tried with or without food. During CKD refeeds and during normal SKD days hours on empty stomach in between meals coffee (no solid food), that includes isolating one supplement at a time, upon rising, before sleeping. Pre workouts. After workouts. Small doses. Megadoses (several capsules per day) to normal and lowered dosages (half to quarter of a capsule).With coffee, without coffee. Tea and straight water (interestingly, it is somewhat has a sweet aftertaste).

Nothing seems “activated”. Nothing seems out of the ordinary.

There is however, a sensation as though something is “hitting” through my brain; something is “trying” to be “received up there”. I speculate this as the mucuna’s attempt of crossing the blood brain barrier. Interestingly compared to ALCAR; ALCAR felt as though it always “arrives” successfully to wherever it needs to hit the brain. No traffic “jam”.

The 20X Velvet Bean Extract did not make me a social butterfly nor do I look forward on Mondays.

Nor does it turn me instantly to a flawless PUA the next time I’m at a gym (or anywhere else politically approachable for allowing whimsical interactions with the opposite sex). Nope – no overly-hyped libido improvements either.

Once again, I may perhaps am a genetic exception, or possess some sort of enzyematic resistance to this as an outlier of some form that leads me being resistant to it. I do not know. Despite week/s of patience and documenting I therefore would conclude that sadly I have to abandon Mucuna’s supplementation.

Would I be compelled to try again? Perhaps but for some time later unlikely. But things will need to convince me greatly as to do so once again.

My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

98% L-DOPA Extract from Mucuna

Following upon weeks of disappointments of solely testing out the highly concentrated Mucuna / 20x velvet bean extract; I began trying out the 98% L-DOPA; or at least – the principally concentrated amine precursor to Dopamine “L-DOPA” (L3,4 Dihydroxyphenlylananine) in over 98% concentration extract from Mucuna Pruriens. Yes, this is STILL coming straight from the plant itself, but only the L-DOPA component being extracted in such very HIGH amounts; purportedly claimed and reported as such as that it is often reassured to be nothing else but precursor to Dopamine itself.

Plus one other “promise” – it guarantees a much more succesfull penetration to the blood-brain-barrier for it to be “received” successfully.

My initial week/s upon it were once again; disappointing and dubious if anything just like Mucuna. However, interestingly overtime as I abandoned it, settling down with ALCAR & Gingko for quite some time and then trying back to exclusively dosing 98% L-DOPA weeks later (less ALCAR & Ginkgko intake) – I notice a somewhat “care-free”, mind freeing effect.

“Whatever happens, happens.” Mentality. For once out of the ordinary I feel much more sane and collected. Euphoric? Not really. But just more content. I have never smoked any illicit or recreational drugs in any kind before; so I wouldn’t be able to make any comparisons between 98% L-Dopa extract versus other recreational herbs (eg. weed, hemp / cannabis, etc) on this effect alone.

This feeling somewhat strucked me nostalgically back when I used SAM-e (S-Adenosylmethionine) for the first few time/s.

That however was almost a decade ago as I praised SAM-e for its joints-rehabilitative and mood potentiating effects; especially when used as an “intra” supplement during intense training workouts.

For the longest time under my early scrutiny and analysis has been based upon taking the 98% L-DOPA with straight blackcoffee and teas. Coffees however – in my opinion thus far – represents the most disappointingly dubious and ineffective outcome as I tested with various dosages between low and high.

Where as it seems to work best and quickest – when flushed straight with water.

Another synergistic combination I felt is with straight green tea.  There are some very detailed, complex and nuanced discussion surrounding L-DOPA with green teas to help with L-DOPA’s uptake to the brain. Further reading points me to a plausible consensus that it is the Green Tea that helps INHIBIT an enzyme called “COMT” (Catechol-O-Methyltransferase); which is responsible for reducing Dopamine, norepinephrine, epinepherine and (interestingly) – estrogen hormones. 

Genetic polymorphisms; interestingly also plays a role for expressing this enzyme in either “slow” or “fast” mechanism/s which further dictate this COMT inhibition effectiveness. All those things – indeed seem as plausible factors in determining absorbability and utilisation of L-DOPA.

But how exactly is it relevant though if used as a preworkout? My preliminary thoughts so far on it are sadly; quite disappointing.

Mental acuity, physical exertion capacity, DOMS, muscle-fatigue time to failure – seems more or less unchanged. According to my notes, I even wrote some quite noticeably more difficult but nonetheless surviveable – accounts from trying to maintain an average of 250+ reps of each depletion-training day (during the SKD regiment, obviously). In other words – no “wow!”changes. However I may yet to change my opinion on these specifically surrounding such application. Because not only my thoughts on the 98% L-DOPA is still somewhat in its infancy – they are also EXCRUCIATINGLY expensive; cost per dosage wise for me to keep experimenting under a wide variety of usage scenarios.

Being the most expensive of all NO-TROPIC investments – a 25g pouch immediately costs $25 straight out. As reassuring to see that each 25g pouch carries anywhere between 120 to 150 serves – beware nevertheless that you will need a micro gram scale (found on ebay for < than $10) to track dosages as accurately as possible.

Other no-tropics / going forward

Of course, I am no CEO of Google®, Microsoft® or Monsanto®; hoarding every access to every known no-tropics there is on the planet. I am yet to try or afford the more other well-researched no-tropics – Piracetams, Aniracetams, Modafinil, 5-HTP, Noopept; only to name a few.

Regardless, it is clear that if I were to compare myself back years ago – even before sustaining on any Ketogenic interventions – I still would firmly believe I would have it far worse off today; if it weren’t for the help of no-tropics.

Our current Normalcy immediately frown these supplements as if they are nothing but “cheats”; assuming that these would significantly improve their motions of living that much easier. It’s instilled deep within their head. Their speculative imagination. As well as hypes and expectation.

As such as that they consider such use or submissions to supplementations as simply “weak-willed”. Or worse, push such users to the sideline as though they are nothing but iconographic examples of “juvenile”, and/or “abhorrent” representation of social morality.

Reality on the other hand – is far more complex and unassuming.

As what I wrote before in my manuscript – my belief upon rationalising usage of any supplements and/or “drugs” mainly revolves around the pre-existing living, socio-economic and subjective contextual – conditions. Drugs or supplements does not necessarily “do” the work. They “augment” the work but needs the conditional initiations. That “initiation” – is the surrounding conditions upon which the user has been subjected to; for quite some time until some physiological concern of inadequacies – remains sorely unaddressed nor unfulfilled.

Further adding salt to injury – our current normalcy remains fixated within antiquated, paternalistic – black or white mentality. Preserving every paternalistic notion of what is “good”; whilst banishing any or everything else being the remotely opposite as useless or irrelevant. Hence, the desire for labelling and categorisations. That includes – labelling entire human beings through their behavioural, visual based outcomes – as “juvenile” or “morally abhorrent” pejoratives.

I have never smoked “weed”, or knowing what a “bong”, “Mitsubishi”, or a “Toyota” is; until a friend of mine showed me what they are. Yet, to this day I still have never ever smoked or snorted “ice” or ectasy.

….Yet also to this day – I still would caution anyone to never lay a word of disgust, frown, scorn or contempt – against them.

I have met and befriended individual/s who have used and abused such substances before. Both recreational and illicit…. And my prior prejudices; were so sorely embarassing far so much so to the polar opposite – in finding that these people are human beings.

They have weaknesses and desires to escape the momentarily disconnectedness of the present – away from reality; much the same as I too find such relative escapism amongst video games, the caloric surplus carb re-feed days, noting down new “PR” lifts in my 6×6 exercise journals, listening to chillhop essentials after having done 250+ reps of depletion each per four days of training…. and general attractions to the opposite sex. 

Yes, I know what you’re all thinking. I must be writing as a poster boy to legitimise drug use.

I have never ever said that illicit drugs alone – be it morphine or heroin – are benign to human biological interpretation. I am simply reconciling a food for thought once again – we must remain pragmatic yet progressive in our thinking to never ever dismiss anything as deemed or grown within Nature’s own surroundings – as simply irrelevant for human cause/s. It is the question of synthetically lethal analogues of nature – that I perceive them as damaging and adverse.

If anything – I am willing to bet that – “heroin” – is a societal, institutionalised solution no differently to that of Rivastatins®, Plavix®, Nexium® or other proton-pump inhibitors / stomach acid suppresors; all of them seemingly to treat (ironically not solve) – chronic “painful” states of the body. By fooling mother nature’s intricacies with something else so foreign; it instead interprets as something else far too incompatible to existing delicate systems between every organs, nerve and hormones.

I dearly hope that one day everyone can learn from this article which they too; are never immune from any sort of calamity from within.

As pessimistic as that may sound – I have learned thus far as of my third decade of life – I have accepted that any solution – must someway or somehow involve ourselves to be dissolved so much within our own predicaments – only then we are able to reflect and reconcile – the most pragmatically sensible course of action for our own physiological individuality.

…Not as per what cancer-foundation institution/s, mental institution, Legal institution, dietary institution, religion/marriage/court institutions – dictate or define all the thinking’s on our behalf.

…Because they will NOT change their stance FOR you. That; I can almost guarantee.

Alex Wigan /
Alex Wigan /

Do you have any experiences amongst NO-TROPICS you wish to share? Do you have or recorded any side effects of its use upon your existing physiology or sociological circumstances? What or how does it affect you, your sustenance, physiology, your life and your sociological surroundings? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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