Learning & MemoryPodcast

We Talk Nootropics, Brain Supplements, & Cognitive Enhancers w/ Expert Jesse Lawler

Greetings, SuperFriends!

If you’re familiar with just about any of my work, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of nootropics, otherwise known as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers. I’ve used them for years, experimented with dozens of them, and I’m cautiously optimistic about the future of this rapidly-growing trend in biohacking.

Well, today, we have a special treat, because my guest is the host of an entire podcast dedicated solely to nootropics – SmartDrugSmarts. Like myself, he lacks a medical degree, but shares my passion for self-experimentation and broad-reaching research. He’s done hundreds of experiments on himself, and has even developed a number of nootropic stacks himself.

In this episode, we talk about tons of nitty gritty details about all of the various nootropics… we talk about diet and nutrition… we talk about self experimentation, polyphasic sleep… and so, so much more. I really enjoyed this episode, and I just know you’re going to enjoy it, too.

I enjoyed the opportunity to dive into the mind of another dilettante neuroscientist like myself, and to demonstrate to the audience that you don’t need a medical degree to safely and effectively tweak your cognitive and physical performance. Big disclaimer here: my guest and I are, as I said, NOT doctors, and we are NOT qualified to give you medical advice – consult your doctor before taking any of this tips home and trying them out, and of course, we take absolutely no responsibility for your results.

This episode is brought to you by the all new SuperLearner Academy!

This episode is brought to you by SuperLearner Academy – home of my exclusive masterclasses. Check out a free trial using the link above today!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Jesse Lawler’s path from being a computer programmer to being a nootropics expert and podcaster
  • Why podcasting is such an incredible network hack, and how it adds to one’s life
  • What are the big things that Jesse Lawler learned since he got into this?
  • What’s the difference between a “nootropic” and other “cognitive enhancers”
  • Which nootropics and brain supplements has Jesse Lawler tested on himself?
  • Which of these drugs are available, which are restricted, and how hard are they to get?
  • How do you decide which nootropics or brain supplements to use for which day or task?
  • Which substances are known to increase your working memory capacity?
  • What’s the relationship between creativity and memory?
  • Where do Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and other prescription drugs fit in to the mix?
  • How does ADD medication work?
  • Why Jesse went from being a raw food vegan to the paleo diet
  • What are some of the most ridiculous self-experiments that Jesse Lawler has done?
  • Thoughts on polyphasic sleep, biphasic sleep, and the “uberman” sleep schedule
  • How and where can you safely start experimenting with nootropics?
  • What supplements should EVERYONE be taking, according to Jesse Lawler?
  • Are these supplements compatible, or should you take one at a time?
  • How safe are drugs like piracetam or anaracetam?
  • What books and resources does Jesse recommend?
  • Who is Jesse Lawler’s “guru” or role model?
  • Learning about Jesse’s own nootropic stacks, how they work, and why he created them
  • What would a $100 “quick start” kit designed by Jesse look like?
  • Thoughts on alcohol and abstaining from it
  • Is horseback riding more dangerous than MDMA usage?

Resources Mentioned in This Episode on Nootropics:

Favorite Quotes from Jesse Lawler:

“ADHD… Attention Deficit HyperActivity Disorder… It’s a thing. It’s a real, diagnosable thing. But it’s a spectrum disorder. You can have a little of it, or you can have a lot of it.”
“The way that these focus enhancing compounds work in the brain of a person that has ADHD… it’s having some fundamentally different effects.”
“The effect I got was really, really strong. It kind of felt like I was trying to run too much power through my voltage cables.”
“The standard American diet is about the worst way that you could eat, so any direction that you venture off from that center point is probably a good move.”
“I think building up a skill for napping is just an AMAZING hack.”
“Everything sounds great when it’s on a sales page.”
“Get inspired by what really smart people can talk like, and think about… When I hear one of these guys, their brain is just, flowing out of the screen, it makes me want to push my own brain as far as it can go.”
“Stop drinking alcohol. It’s a cheap and easy hack… I know everybody likes alcohol, but dude… it is NOT worth the trouble!”


Jonathan Levi is a serial entrepreneur, published author, and lifehacker born and raised in Silicon Valley. Since 2014, Jonathan has been one of the top-performing instructors on online learning platform Udemy, and has snowballed this success into the launch of his rapidly growing information products company, SuperHuman Enterprises, which produces such products as the award-winning Becoming SuperHuman Podcast; the bestselling "Become a SuperLearner" print, digital, and audiobooks; and numerous other online courses through it’s own online training portal, SuperLearner Academy. Jonathan’s media products have been enjoyed by over 130,000 people in 200 countries. He is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.