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View Full Version : Do supplements/drugs have any effect on you?



baccheion
08-24-2015, 06:08 PM
I keep noticing supplements have no effect on me. What supplements have you taken that affected you positively? What effect did they have? Have any supplements helped with depression, procrastination, unhealthy states of being, etc?

Hephaestus
08-24-2015, 06:40 PM
Drugs, yes; supplements no.

Ptah
08-24-2015, 07:09 PM
Drugs? No idea. Never done any, don't intend to.
Supplements? As taken in through cola, energy drinks? Not much anymore. Not that I can tell, anyhow.

Senseye
08-24-2015, 07:30 PM
The only purported "mood altering" supplement I have tried is melatonin for sleep. I don't think it is having any effect, but I might keep experimenting. It's certainly not an obvious cure all for insomnia or anything (i.e. there is no onset of drowsiness shortly after dosing or anything). Maybe there is some subtle affect going on, but I'm skeptical at this point.

Spartan26
08-24-2015, 07:42 PM
Every once in a while, I'll get a boost mentally from taking ginko. I'll take it when writing. It's not so much a feeling I get but I'll sometimes feel like I'm in a solid flow after I've been going for maybe 25-45 mins. It doesn't happen all the time. I tend to take it infrequently as a way to increase efficacy, like I don't want my brain too used to the stuff.

I'll take extra vitamin C and echinacea when I feel the start of a sore throat. I think I've warded off a few colds that way.

I'll get whatever protein powder that's on sale or seemingly the best deal. I'm not looking to compete in Mr Universe so I don't really care too much about what's supposedly the best. I'll keep away from high sodium. They had a great on about 20 years ago that was perfect for my body type. Really did wonders for helping me gain muscle mass but it was discontinued 15 years ago or so. I just want a decent recovery shake. I've used about 4 different ones since the beginning of the year. Hard to say which is best. just really depends on how often I work out. I do try to stay away from the ones that have substances banned by like the IOC or major sports league. Obviously I'm not trying out for the doyers but if it's in question, I'd like to believe there's a health reason for that.

I've taken multi vitamins before, don't know if they did anything. I've been blessed with good health. I can get in ruts of poor eating habits but I generally snap out on my own. I'll cook well balanced meals so I don't really worry too much about supplement.

If I don't drink too many caffeinated energy drinks or those 5-hour energy shots, they work better for me. That's about it. I don't really have any special dietary needs or concerns. I've been taking some milk thistle for kidney/liver health. Not sure if it's been effective or just my drinking more water. Nothing too serious, just noticed some puffy ankles, which could be due to a number of things but I read online that it helps w/kidneys & liver function so that was the most obvious place to start. It could be helpful but I admit I wasn't taking it as frequently as directed.

stuck
08-24-2015, 07:52 PM
fish oil is pretty great

GnarlFox
08-24-2015, 09:14 PM
Caffeine works as a psychoactive to me. Colors change among other things.

last_caress
08-24-2015, 10:04 PM
I've tried various things but nothing I've taken supplement-wise has had a noticeable positive effect on me. In fact taking a multi-vitamin strangely enough seems to make me depressed. I've repeated this enough times that coincidence seems unlikely, so I don't take anything at all. Well ok I couldn't hold down a job without caffeine but that's so common I don't really think of it as a supplement, more of a necessity.

Anyway, giving attention to proper nutrition and exercise seems to have helped me in a minor but noticeable way so I think that's the best place to start.

MoneyJungle
08-24-2015, 10:19 PM
I take a multivitamin and have almost zero affect.

sandwitch
08-25-2015, 12:06 AM
caffeine improves my ability to talk to people and leave my house. also I have withdrawal headaches if I don't have any.

vitamin b makes my pee orange and smell funny.

melatonin helps me fall asleep.

kava kava can reduce social anxiety and make me feel more comfortable.

marijuana makes me think things are funnier and that problems are okay.

alcohol makes me clumsy and say things that I usually avoid saying.

Hephaestus
08-25-2015, 03:12 AM
Drugs? No idea. Never done any, don't intend to.
Supplements? As taken in through cola, energy drinks? Not much anymore. Not that I can tell, anyhow.

Caffeine, and guarana I would classify as drugs. They are psychoactive. I would also classify chocolate as a drug--or at least its psychoactive component, theobromine.

So, yes, you do do drugs, or have done--but only gateway drugs.


The only purported "mood altering" supplement I have tried is melatonin for sleep. I don't think it is having any effect, but I might keep experimenting. It's certainly not an obvious cure all for insomnia or anything (i.e. there is no onset of drowsiness shortly after dosing or anything). Maybe there is some subtle affect going on, but I'm skeptical at this point.

Melatonin can be a little hit or miss and at a proper dose is going to be fairly subtle. The reason its hit or miss has little to do with it's efficacy though. It's because it's not regulated and so the formulations can be inconsistent, especially from brand to brand. They may have a dose on the front, but there's no certainty that that's what your actually getting. Or at least, that's what my browsing on the subject reveals.

The other thing that can throw a monkey wrench into the works is that different formulations might have differing ability to survive digestion. Ingestion isn't the usual method of taking melatonin--pineal gland secretion is, and in substantially smaller amounts, but then, it isn't getting ripped apart with stomach acids. Pineal gland delivery is mainlining--and right next to the target given the gland is in the brain.

I've found that taking large doses works very effectively--or at least, large doses by the bottle. Most sources of information would probably be aghast at the amounts I ingest to insure effect, but it insures my stomach isn't destroying everything. I get a definite effect, but sometimes there are issues. The most common issue is a sort of hangover. It feels a little odd, like I'm fighting through some slightly sedating cough medicine, but I feel lucid, just a little... off. The most common reason I end up in that state is that I can never seem to find the same stuff twice, or if I do, the price/dose is different or something, so I'm back to guessing, so I'm more likely to go overboard.

The second most common issue I have is that I end up with a buffer restlessness. If I take too many pills, it makes me restless and uncomfortable. Consequently, I tend to look for 10mg pills so I can hit a high dose without crossing that threshold--which gives me room to find a good dose for that particular bottle.

For me, the perfect dose makes feel ready to sleep in about half an hour. I can choose not to and the feeling will fade in about an hour and the opportunity will be missed, so I generally take a dose, watch a half hour show, and go to bed.

I take higher doses for another reason: I'm more likely to remember my dreams.


Every once in a while, I'll get a boost mentally from taking ginko. I'll take it when writing. It's not so much a feeling I get but I'll sometimes feel like I'm in a solid flow after I've been going for maybe 25-45 mins. It doesn't happen all the time. I tend to take it infrequently as a way to increase efficacy, like I don't want my brain too used to the stuff.


I found gingko only had a perceptible effect if I wasn't taking any other stimulants. If I had a cup of coffee, at most it might make me cross the too much coffee mark a little sooner. The effects overlap, and gingko's effects aren't as strong. They get overshadowed. But I think gingko was less likely to make me shaky. Hard to say as I roll in and out of caffeine fiend-hood depening on how much it's irritating my bladder. Lately, it irratates my bladder to the point of anger.


Caffeine works as a psychoactive to me. Colors change among other things.

Cool! It is a psychoactive, but it's not usually psychedelic.



kava kava can reduce social anxiety and make me feel more comfortable.

marijuana makes me think things are funnier and that problems are okay.

alcohol makes me clumsy and say things that I usually avoid saying.
I experimented with kava kava about twenty years ago. It was something like a pound of ground root and you were supposed to cold steep it. It made a beverage that tasted like dirt until your tongue went numb. Then it was a bit like being drunk.

Marijuana has a number of effects on me but one that is fairly common at some point in the high is that I become sort of super lucid and objective about my own behaviors and my interactions with others. It can give me uncomfortable perspective into things I missed the first time around. It feels like peeling back a veneer of social perception and seeing the underlying mechanisms and motivations that people don't even realize are there.

This can have several useful effects for me, but none of them are pleasant. Once I've peeled past any insights that I can discard as paranoiac, I am often able to create plans to make myself a better person--and in that state I am better able to implement them. When I sober up, more often than not, that loss of lucidity allows me to choose to fuck myself over instead, when in that state I do not tolerate my bullshit whatsoever. I'm inclined to kick the crap out of myself if I haven't at least made some token concessions toward doing the things I know I should do.

Unfortunately most employers, especially employers in the field I'm trying to get into, are pretty strict about intruding on their employees lives and demanding control over what they do with their own bodies even in the time that they are not paying for. So I've had to quit. But fortunately, that lucid state made quitting easier. My sober self would play "just one more" games, because I wanted to feel happy. My stripped down lucid high said, "Fuck that. The only way to quit is to destroy the stash, not smoke it." So while smoking one more time, I threw everything away in a manner that it was irretrievable, and when I sobered up, I was fine with that.

It's a crazy awesome drug--but at the same time, the most negative sides of it, like disconcerting bouts of paranoia, make it easy to quit, provided you adjust your internal machinery appropriately. And, the nature of the drug is that (for me) it yields the needed insight to do just that.

Alcohol is lame. It ruins the flavor of almost everything it's in, and the best buzz it yields also leads to great discomfort. Plus, it's usually loaded with calories. I've lost interest. But it can make me more social and less concerned about social consequences. If I went to bars, I'd be more likely to wake up with people I barely knew--but it isn't like I've never avoided a sure thing while drunk off my rocker before. It doesn't lead me to doing things I would never do, it just makes it easier to do things I'd normally restrain myself from doing.

Light Leak
08-25-2015, 03:32 AM
I don't use supplements to try to alter my mood or anything, but I think some of them may take awhile to build up in your system and work - it's not instant. At least that's what my neurologist told me about some vitamins that I take to try to help with migraines... but I've taken them well over the amount of time that I was told it should take to build up in my system and I'm still not sure they do anything.

I also take vitamin D because my levels are always low unless I take it regularly. I felt more energetic when I first started taking it, but now it doesn't seem to do anything other than keep my levels in a normal range... so I guess it is doing something even if I can't feel it.

Hephaestus
08-25-2015, 03:39 AM
Oh! Almost forgot, one supplement I know does something for me: potassium. It definitely helps block cramps, though I still prefer to ingest it via bananas.

Madrigal
08-25-2015, 08:06 AM
I've tried guarana but I easily get tachycardia, which is a shame. I'd use stimulants all the time if that weren't the case. Coffee does the same in large doses, I feel like my heart'll leap out of my throat. Mate tea is the only stimulant I can drink without restraint.

Hephaestus
08-25-2015, 09:40 AM
I've tried guarana but I easily get tachycardia, which is a shame. I'd use stimulants all the time if that weren't the case. Coffee does the same in large doses, I feel like my heart'll leap out of my throat. Mate tea is the only stimulant I can drink without restraint.

Beta blockers! They suppress tachycardia. Seems a bit excessive just to have a latte though.

Probably less than healthy.

Architect
08-25-2015, 12:07 PM
Drugs - never interested, no idea. My mind is my playground, never wanted to mess with it.

Supplements - for the most part these have little effect on a person. Mostly as insurance when younger, when older certain things aren't produced by your body as they used to be, you should supplement with them. In this category I've noticed reasonably dramatic results.

For example, phosphatidylcholine. It's in every cell on this planet, and your rate of production plummets as you get older. It's why older folks get papery skin and various functions start to break down. As I approached the late 40's I noticed my skin beginning to get this, supplementing so far has staved off the effect, along with exercise (which I'm finding becomes more important as you get older). Maybe 60/40.

Another one is CoQ10. Used in mitochondrial energy production, again declines as we age. Below 150mg I don't notice it, but above that there is a definite boost in general pep. Recommended dose is 50mg which I take (many older people abuse this because they want an energy hit I guess). There's a bunch others, many related to aging again. Ones for optimal/youthful brain functioning, such as phosphatidylserine. Also I've worked for years to improve my sleep, in addition to everything else melatonin (3mg) is very helpful to achieving a good sleep.

However these are little use if the rest of your regime is dreck. I see overweight people who don't exercise take supplements, hoping for a "magic pill". You have to clean everything up first, then as a last step mild supplementation can be beneficial.

Senseye
08-25-2015, 03:07 PM
Hephaestus - you mention some very valid issues with supplements. Since they are unregulated, quality control is very hit and miss, so one never knows exactly what level of the supposed active ingredient is in any given pill. One likes to think it would be consistent between brands, but who knows? I'm guessing like many things its the same factory in China churning out the various products with the only difference being the label on the end packaging the product is placed in.

Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, there are no extensive well funded clinical trials for supplements so nobody knows how much of the supplement actually makes it into the bloodstream. So your point about digestion is also well founded.

It's all very hit and miss, so you probably just have to try whatever you have in mind as an individual, and see what happens. It seems the effects of most supplements are very subtle/subjective so the placebo affect is definitely in play, but who cares really, if you are convinced you get the outcome you desire, it matters not the path (eg. if I take melatonin and fall asleep, it's a win, whether the melatonin itself is knocking me out or I just manage to convince myself I'm sleepy and relax enough to fall asleep). Alas, I my skeptical nature does not allow me to fool myself easily.