Phenibut—the mood-enhancing nootropic smart-drug (that I finally gave a try)
Phenibut just might be your new wingman (or wingwoman)
After hearing accomplished people rave about them for months, I found myself a reputable distributor and bought myself some smart drugs—drugs made especially (and with care) for my brain.
There were a lot of nootropics to choose from but I had a specific scenario which I was seeking to see if I could improve so it was easy to narrow it down to Phenibut.
As you may know (and if you didn’t you now know!) that I am the host of three podcasts, two are fiction—audio drama—podcasts. I perform these works—yes, I do all the voices—and I engineer myself. I’m coming to the close of my first year, which is to say that I’ve recorded and produced an episode of either comedic or suspense fiction every week for the past 49 weeks.
Some of those episodes are over an hour long. I have experimented with a few different methods of production but early on I realized that the best (read: most efficient) way to produce an episode is to spend a minimal amount of time editing so, unlike my audio drama brethren who record a number of takes then choose the best take to edit into the mix, I rehearse my episode and perform it straight through. I sometimes mispronounce a word, and when I do—just as an engineer would—I roll back to just before the flub, hit play then tap the red button to record to punch myself in at the point where I left off, leaving no trace of a break in dialogue. Over the year, I’ve learned to come in on the middle of a phrase with the appropriate inflection—you can never tell when you’re listening where I may have broken off to correct a mistake but it’s a better experience for me not to mess up in the first place. It allows me to lose myself in the piece and really get into the emotionality of what’s going on in the story.
Some sessions run more smoothly than others. That is to say that some days my reading is more fluid than others. I’m doing what I love so there’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ day but I have wanted to feel more in control of my performances. Before many performances I feel anxious or excited. My general solution is to start off the recording session with a big fat glass of red wine… and then maybe another. Which works. It’s a lovely thing: wine. I love it. (You too, right?)
Here’s the thing about wine, too much turns my reading pear-shaped. After a few glasses I might as well hang it up. So you can see, for some of those longer episodes—or on days where I record more than one episode, wine isn’t a viable solution.
I’d heard about it mostly from people who were using it in social situations as an alcohol replacement—it’s reported to give that same calming mood lift and genial sociability that I could expect from a couple drinks. Since a couple drinks is what I generally have to smooth out my performance anxiety, I thought I should give it a try.
After reading literally a hundred or more reviews, I decided to place my order from LiftMode. Why? LiftMode had mostly five-star reviews. Repeated in each of the reviews were comments that their orders had arrived quickly—a big green check mark in my book. Some customers left video reviews on YouTube—yes, I looked on YouTube for reviews! I found several unboxing vids of LiftMode customers showing off their wares. The packaging was clean and packed with obvious care. Plus, the product reviews all seemed satisfactory—customers seemed enthusiastic about the quality of the products, and the consistency.
The LiftMode website is nice to look at and use. It was easy to find what I wanted, explore all their products and place my order. There is a lot of useful information on their website, and there’s even a little box on the side for customer support. I used that box to ask a few questions and received a friendly email from customer support within minutes answering my questions in a way I could understand.
Certain beyond a doubt that I’d found a reputable company, I placed my order on liftmode.com.
Within a few days a small box came in the mail. It was clean and undented. Inside were all the products I’d ordered with a receipt, a quality assurance report, and a scoop in an appropriate size to accurately measure the product—there was some love and appreciation inside that box too, I could feel it.
The recommended dosage for Phenibut varies but the range suggested is from 500mg to 2000mg per day. As with anything employed to achieve a result, it’s best to go with the minimum effective dose. Also, Phenibut has the potential to achieve two effects: nootropic and calming. A larger dose might feel nice but I didn’t want to be too relaxed in my performance, or succumb to the irresistible urge to take a mid-afternoon nap in the sunshine.
I dosed 500mg of Phenibut Free Amino Acid.
After about 40 minutes I was sure that I was feeling a subtle improvement in my mood but I didn’t experience the other effects I’d read about. I decided to dose larger the next time.
The following day I dosed 750mg of Phenibut … and recorded an episode straight through without stopping once to punch myself in.
I was mind-blown.
My read was flawless.
But the thing that impressed me the most was this: the performance had been effortless.
I’ll continue to experiment with my dosage. It may be that 750mg isn’t even my sweet-spot. We shall see. I’ll keep you posted.
I’ve heard about Phenibut being helpful to people in social situations and I can personally attest that it is helpful in performance situations too. I tried it again, and again I was able to replicate that same effortlessness in my work.
Generally I need to intensely focus to maintain the high-quality concentration required to read long passages aloud without making errors, simultaneously imparting the appropriate emotion and vocal inflection in my narration to keep the listener engaged and be hyper-aware of which of the characters is speaking and about to speak—each character has his or her own cadence and dialect, and I have to keep them clear so that the listener always knows who is speaking. It takes a tremendous amount of focus to do all that while at the same time listening to myself—keeping an ear out for mispronunciations or words spoken too low… there’s more, but you get the idea.
For me to flow effortlessly through an entire episode without stopping seemed like a dream. When I’d reached the end of the recording, the pessimist in me said, “Yeah, but listen back to it and see if you actually did such a great job.”
Of course, you’ve heard of the writer or painter who got into some powders or a bottle of good wine and created a masterpiece only to discover the next day that their masterpiece was a piece of sh*t —LOL — hey it happens to the best of us. But guess what?
The next day it was still a masterpiece.
No matter what it is you do throughout your days and nights, I encourage you to give this a try and compare your results experientially. If you paint gnomes for a living, or are a writer like me, or any type of performer certainly—if you do anything that you feel could be easier with enhanced confidence, focus, or cognition, I hope you will give LiftMode’s Phenibut a try. You can buy a sample — which itself will give you between 2-10 doses (depending on the effect you want to achieve) — for less than $5. Here’s the link.
As with anything, read the guidelines, ask questions if you don’t understand something; use it responsibly—and if you try it, let me know about your awesome experience.
Something to consider: Phenibut is available in capsules and bulk powders. If you don’t have a .001 gram scale at home and do not plan to invest in one, I suggest choosing the capsules. As you experiment to find your most beneficial dose, you’ll want to know exactly how much you’re taking so that you can replicate your results once you hit your sweet spot. You don’t want to be guessing about what that is — after all, this isn’t iced tea mix we’re talking about, these are nootropics. The scoop included is helpful but it’s a measurement of volume and can at best provide an approximate range of the amount of product in the scoop, and there will always be variations depending on how densely you pack the powder into the scoop and how high you’re piling the powder upon the scoop: no scoop can provide you with an accurate measurement the way a scale can. Capsules have the additional benefit of being easy to transport for travel and to consume on the road should you wish to do so. They are also more discreet. The quality of your experience will be the same no matter which you choose. Bulk powder has the advantage of being administered sublingually, which means that you won’t have to wait for 30 minutes for the capsules to dissolve in your belly. If you’re a mad scientist like me and you do want a scale, consider this one.
And if you’d like to take a listen to my fiction podcasts, here they are: The Mollyville Dystopian Suspense Modern Radio Drama and my award nominated Afterlife Paranormal Modern Radio Drama— Afterlife is nominated for multiple awards, including Best New Original, Long Form, Small Cast, Ongoing Production and Best Writing of a Fan/Adaptation Production. At the time of this posting the polls are still open. Here’s the link if you’d like to cast a vote for me. Whether you choose to vote or not, I hope you’ll take a listen. It’s a deep little podcast, and darkly funny so I’m told. If you like what you hear, please tell a friend who you think would appreciate it and let me know you’re listening. I always appreciate a hello. You can find me on twitter at @maxximillian.