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How can a substance have a purity over 100 percent??

At Supplements for Work, we strive to bring our customers the highest purity compounds possible. This means that all our compounds are tested to ensure that they behave in the way we would expect the compound to behave and are pure. We employ a third party chemical testing organization to ensure that the data we receive is accurate and truthful. Below is an example of one of those reports for a batch of Tianeptine Sodium.

A COA that we received from a third-party testing company.

Notice anything odd about the results? According to this analysis, our Tianeptine Sodium is 101.7% pure, which, while flattering, is physically impossible. I will attempt to explain how this result came to be and what our customers should take away from a Certificate Of Analysis (COA) like this.

To understand how it is possible to have an analytical purity above 100%, we first must understand how the purity is determined. In this case, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is used. HPLC is a technique used to separate, identify, and quantify all the components of any given mixture. Most modern HPLC procedures use an all-in-one, self-contained machine.

Courtesy of
A diagram showing all the individual parts of an HPLC machine.

The basic set up of an HPLC is as follows: There are two reservoirs of solvents, one polar and one non-polar. These are mixed in different amounts over the 30-minute runtime. For example, a procedure might start out being 100% solvent A and slowly transition to being 100% solvent B after 25 minutes. The middle contains every variation in between those two extremes. This creates a gradient that pulls different compounds within a sample at different rates depending on how they interact with each solvent. These flow at very high pressure to a specialized analytical column designed to retain compounds within the column, creating a greater separation between the multiple compounds within a given sample.  On the other end of the column is a detector that scans the liquid that leaves the column. The detector is connected to a computer that compiles the data and outputs a graph like the one below.

An example of what an HPLC output looks like. Note that this HPLC protocol could be further improved to provide greater separation between the two tallest peaks.

The Y-axis represents the intensity of the signal the detector picked up (corresponding to concentration) while the X-axis shows the time that the compound left the column (corresponding to polarity).

To use this data to find out the purity of a substance you need to have a sample standard. This is a virtually pure sample of the compound that can be used to judge other samples against. Making something this pure is incredibly difficult and requires time-intensive work, so standards are notoriously expensive. For example, 5mg of Tianeptine Sodium Salt standard from Millipore Sigma is $254, and that is still only 98% pure.

The sample standard is dissolved at a known concentration (1 mg/ml) and run using the method that the experimental sample will be run at. The experimental sample is then dissolved at the same concentration (1 mg/ml) and run. An example of how this might look is below.

An example of a comparison between a pure reference standard and an impure compound.

By calculating the area under each peak and dividing the experimental peak by the standard peak we can find the purity of our compound. So how then can we get values greater than 100%? When dealing with weight values as low as 1 mg the accuracy of our equipment begins to break down, so it is possible when weighing out the 1 mg there was error intrinsic to the sample. For example, if 0.98 mg was weighed out instead of 1 mg/ml and our experimental sample was overweighed to 1.01 mg the sample would appear to be 103% pure. To combat this, liquid dilutions are sometimes used to spread the error over much more solution resulting in a lower error in the end results. However, this can be a problem when the material is prohibitively expensive as is the case with Tianeptine standards.

Even if the initial solution is a perfect 1.0000 mg/ml the equipment that samples the solution is not immune to malfunctioning and may take 19.99 μL instead to the programmed 20 μL, which can create a similar error as detailed above. This type of equipment malfunction can be caused by static electricity, miscalibration, or power surges.

The discrepancy can also be explained by an old standard solution of Tianeptine. Standard solutions are usually made very shortly in advance of the testing and are stored at -20 C or lower. If the solution is made too far in advance, or not stored properly in the run-up to the tests, then small amounts of compound degradation can occur. Then when this is compared to the other samples, it will make it appear to be a higher purity. This form of error can appear even with no fault of the chemist, as some compounds are just inherently unstable in solution and will begin to break apart almost immediately until an equilibrium of broken and unbroken molecules is reached.

Analytical chemistry is a complex field that requires immense precision on a level that most people are not used to thinking about. Experimental error is a part of the everyday reality of dealing with highly specialized and finicky equipment such as milligram balances, HPLC samplers, and HPLC columns. For the most part analytical chemistry succeeds in providing highly accurate information about compounds identity and purity, however, this is an uphill battle against the ever-present invasion of error into the scientific process. All we can do is try to minimize this error to the greatest extent possible and live with results knowing they are as close to the truth as we are able to get at this point.

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What is the best nootropic stack?

People who consider themselves part of the nootropic community are always on the lookout for the best nootropic stack. While there are some amazing proprietary nootropic stacks that many companies mix together into a capsule, these proprietary blends are a “one-size-fits-all” stack and lack the personalization of creating a nootropic stack that works for the individual. If you’re a creative writer, for example, the best nootropic stack you can put together will be aniracetam based.

This article will discuss the attributes of individual nootropic ingredients you can use to create the best nootropic stack that works for you.

Before you can create the best nootropic stack for your own personal use, it is imperative that the nootropics you select are sourced from a trusted nootropic vendor with excellent quality assurance practices. One thing to look for in any nootropic vendor is their Certificate of Analysis (COA) from a 3rd party. This is an independent laboratory, not affiliated with the vendor or nootropic manufacturer, who analyzes each nootropic to find any impurities. Supplements for Work has a steadfast commitment to the high-quality standards of their products and is the number one vendor for many in the nootropic community.

You can view Supplements for Work’s Quality Assurance procedure here. If you want the COA for a particular product, just let us know. We keep all of the COA’s for every lot number in a digital archive.

The best nootropic stack for you should not only improve brain function, it should improve your health in a variety of ways through the power of synergistic nootropics working together.  This can include any supplement, smart drug, and even vitamins and minerals.  One may desire to take a nootropic stack to have a  boost in overall brain health, better focus, improved mental clarity, increased concentration, better memory concentration, reduced anxiety and stress, and have a better learning capacity.  

When you take more than one nootropics, you create a stack. Stacking these will allow the supplement, smart drug, or nutraceuticals to work more efficiently, working harder on improving brain function. Various stacks are designed to help with anxiety, improve the memory and more. The best nootropic stack can help you boost your creativity, enhance your learning process, sharpen your focus, make you concentrate deeper, give you more motivation, and increase social fluidity.  If one is interested in creating the best nootropic stack that is personalized for them, they need to first determine what they want to accomplish with the nootropics.  Making a list of things one would like to see an improvement in (memory concentration, less stress, mood enhancer, less fatigue, reasoning better, etc.) will help to determine what the best nootropic stack will be for you.

Creating a stack customized just for you can be more economical than purchasing pre-made stacks.  You will be in full control of the doses that are added when you customize your own.   Not sure which nootropics to add to make your best nootropics stack?  Here are some suggestions:

If you are looking for a way to up your motivation, you may be interested in Sulbutiamine. This will not provide any jittery feelings.  When taken on a regular basis, Sulbutiamine has been shown to improve memory.  This includes both short and long-term memory skills.  Anxiety can also be reduced when taking this nootropic.  Please be advised if you are on SSRI antidepressants to talk to your physician as they can cause a negative reaction when mixed. This powerful supplement can assist you in making the best nootropic stack for your personal needs. Those that are suffering from fatigue may benefit greatly from taking this nootropic.  It will promote wakefulness as it has stimulant properties.  

If you are looking to enhance short and long-term memory, you will want to check out Piracetam (one of the most well known racetams).  It is a great nootropics for beginners, and could potentially have a boost in motivation.  It has a very high success rate and is fairly inexpensive.  Piracetam has been known to promote neuronal communication while protecting brain cells.  Oxygen is boosted when taken, which could promote feelings of alertness and mental fluidity.  Piracetam is often labeled a best nootropic stack as it is generally well tolerated by most individuals.  Those using Piracetam will often notice they are able to recall past auditory, olfactory,and visual experiences, connecting those to other memories.  It is often noted as the best nootropic stack to take if you are suffering from dyslexia, sickle cell anemia, or vertigo.

L-Theanine promotes overall focus and memory retention.  It is used by many as a means to relax as well.  This is a very safe nootropic with minimal or rare side effects.  It is found in black and green tea and works well with caffeine.  Together they will create a faster reaction time and assist in mental endurance and memory. L-Theanine improves the function of the heart as it increases nitric oxide production.  It prevents hardening of the arteries and limits liver injuries by restoring liver cells. L-Theanine is also great for those that want to improve their sleep quality.  

If you have a goal to make mental clarity the issue you are working on, you can check out Bacopa.  Not only will this herbal supplement make you sharper, it will reduce anxiety and depression levels and help with forgetfulness.  This supplement has been used in India for well over three centuries.  Blood pressure can be lowered when using this supplement.  This is a high-quality nootropic stack as it acts as an adaptogen.  Bacopa has the ability to regulate chronic stress in an individual’s life.  Information that is newly processed in the brain is retained easier when consuming Bacopa. Due to being an anti-inflammatory, those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can greatly benefit by adding this to their daily regimen. The antimicrobial herb has been used to prevent H-pylori, the bacteria that form stomach ulcers.

Alpha GPC is a great nootropic to take on its own to enhance the memory.  However, when combined in a stack, this compound will maximize the effects of the other ingredients.  Alpha GPC can be classified as the best nootropic stack for an energy booster as it acts as a mild stimulant.  This nootropic supports overall brain function, enhancing the brain’s ability to repair any damaged cell membranes while encouraging new brain cell development.

Alpha GPC is the best nootropic stack to take if you are wanting to improve your mood or mental clarity.  This nootropic is one of the best at starving away age-related cognitive decline, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Nootropic stacks are a great addition in managing one’s health.  Overall brain function can be improved, as can one’s overall energy.  Mental clarity, enhanced memory in both short and long-term memory, better focus, and improved sleep quality can all be improved by adding a nootropic into your daily regimen.

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How Dustin Mike Miller Used Nootropics to Create the U.L.C.

dustin mike miller

This week’s S4W Accomplish More: All-Stars spotlights Dustin Mike Miller. Dustin Mike Miller is the founder of The Unified Living Construct (U.L.C.), a platform for world change, self-development and sharing philosophy fostering innovation and growth. This is his story about how experimenting with nootropics helped lay the cornerstones for The U.L.C.

Continue reading How Dustin Mike Miller Used Nootropics to Create the U.L.C.

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Supplements for Work’s Updated Quality Control Process

Complete transparency is one of the cornerstones upon which Supplements for Work was built. It’s always been one of our core values, ever since we first started and included a copy of the Certificate of Analysis with each order we shipped. Every customer has the right to know exactly what’s in the products they buy because, let’s face it, it can be pretty scary when faced with a ubiquitous “proprietary blend” and you aren’t certain that the listed ingredients may not be entirely accurate. When someone buys from Supplements for Work, we don’t want them to have a single doubt in their mind about the purity of what they’re getting, which is why we are updating our quality control process.

Previous to this update, our QA process was pretty much the same as every other online nootropic vendor:

  1. We request something to be manufactured
  2. The manufacturer provides us with their analysis of the batch before shipping us the batch.
  3. Once received, we send a sample from that batch to a 3rd party lab for HPLC analysis.
  4. If the results of the analysis meet our standards (>98% purity with no traces of  harmful impurities), only then are we able to make it available for sale. Anything non-complaint with these standards gets sent back.
  5. Our COAs are always available for any customer who wants to view them here.

This process is the QA standard in the supplement industry and is essential both for knowing exactly what’s in our products and keeping our customers safe, however, there are several problems with this model of quality control. What if the manufacturer sends you a fake COA? What if the 3rd party lab tech botches the analysis? What if their testing equipment is not working properly? What if they mix up the samples or results of the analysis with a different batch? Although extremely rare, there are an infinite amount of things that could go wrong due to human error or technological malfunction. This risks the possibility, however remote, that both the vendor and customer may not know the true quality of each batch.

Starting immediately, Supplements for Work is adopting a new quality control process that removes any doubts of a products purity and gives our customers peace of mind.

  1. We request something to be manufactured.
  2. We send an auditor to the manufacturing facility to ensure they operate in a clean, ethical, and GMP complaint environment.
  3. If they pass, they manufacture the requested compound and provide us with their analysis of the batch before shipping us the batch.
  4. Once received, we send a sample from that batch to a 3rd party lab for HPLC and a second form of analysis depending on the compound.
  5. Meanwhile, we conduct our own in-house analysis.
  6. The compound manufacturer, the 3rd party lab, and our own in-house analysis must match up while conforming to our standard of >98% purity with no traces of  harmful impurities. Any variance between the three test results requires additional analysis before we can make it available for sale.
  7. The certificates of analysis are fastidiously updated with every new batch and open to the public at all times. Factory audit reports will also be available, although the names and contact information will be blacked out.

Obviously, this new process involves an extra week or two of lead time between us receiving the products and actually making them available for sale. It is also considerably more expensive, however, Supplements for Work will endeavor to offer the lowest prices on the highest quality nootropics available anywhere. The goal here is to eliminate the question of quality from every end of the spectrum, and by immediately adopting this new QA procedure, we hope to do just that.

Let us know if there are any other steps you would like to see us adopt into our Quality Assurance process by commenting below.

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7 Reasons Packages Get Destroyed

This is a guest post courtesy of one of our customers, John Hawthorne. View the original article here.

Receivingpackages in the mail is one of life’s little pleasures. You open your door and there on your porch is a little bundle of joy. No, not a baby (hopefully). It’s a UPS/USPS/FedEx package containing something you ordered or someone sent you.

You pick up the parcel of goodness and transport it inside with trembling, sweating hands. With baited breath, you delicately slice the packing tape, all while maintaining the precision of a surgeon. No room for error here.

But something is wrong. You look inside the package and feel your stomach drop. The shock is almost too much.

Is this some kind of cosmic joke?

Is someone out to get you.

Your package has been…



destroyed package
Image via

Continue reading 7 Reasons Packages Get Destroyed

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The S4W Weekly Giveaway!

s4w weekly giveaway

Each week we’re giving away the best nootropics from our secret stash. All you have to do is follow us on Facebook or Twitter to enter. Winners will be announced via email on Monday of each week.

This weeks prize:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can’t wait that long? Check out other products we have on sale this week.


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How to Make Sulbutiamine Powder Taste Delicious

The Sulbutiamine Taste

Many people detest Sulbutiamine for its taste but love its benefits. As most know, Sulbutiamine tastes like B vitamins + dirt + hot garbage ran through a coffee grinder. When you order Sulbutiamine in powder form, it’s a good idea to have a plan in mind for when it arrives. Otherwise, it might sit around for months! If you’re like me, you don’t like the idea of good nootropics going to waste (or anything for that matter). Here are a few ways to actually make it taste good!

  1. Sulbutiamine + vanilla protein powder. This has become a near daily occurrence for me after a good hard workout as I usually lack energy after a few hours at the gym. First, vanilla is the only protein powder flavor that can successfully mask the taste of Sulbutiamine. I tried a few different brands of protein powder and all of them not only mask the taste, but vanilla enhances it to the point where it actually tastes decent. I like to add some cinnamon, turmeric, or vanilla extract to mine, as well, sometimes.
  2. Sweet tea. There is no secret here. It’s because sweet tea generally has a TON of sugar in it to cover up the nasty taste of Sulbutiamine.
  3. Mocha coffee/frappuccino. While these can sometimes have quite a bit of sugar in them, you actually taste more of the mocha flavoring than the Sulbutiamine. Note that chocolate flavored ANYTHING will not work, as chocolate is naturally bitter. I add two Splendas to mine to mask the Sulbutiamine even more.

Follow these tips and you’ll be enjoying your Sulbutiamine powder in no time!

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Top 5 Nootropics for Motivation

nootropics for motivation

What are the Best Nootropics for Motivation in 2017?

In student life in the classroom or in the workplace, you see some people who seem like they are just brimming full of motivation all the time. They’re always active and on the move, doing new ventures, and enjoying life to the fullest. However, most people are not like that. If you are in the latter group, you will notice that sometimes you find it hard to motivate yourself. You want to accomplish things, but you just can’t motivate yourself to do it. You can’t put effort into action. So things pile up. What will happen to those dreams you’ve had? Many times you have tried forcing yourselves to start working on them, but in the end, you simply burn out.

If you are in this latter group, you are lucky. Why? There is a solution for you. Nootropics for motivation will help you make active and spirited. So, you will be much more productive.

Certainly, there is no drug that will make you enjoy boring and monotonous work, but there are a few supplements for motivation that can decrease the negative feelings. These nootropics for motivation can alter your feelings of reward and give you an increased drive to accomplish tasks. The motivation will come from within. In this article, we will cover the following five nootropics for motivation and cognitive enhancers:

  1. Noopept
  2. Phenylpiracetam
  3. Adrafinil
  4. Semax
  5. Tianeptine Sodium

The top five nootropics for motivation will give you the drive you need to get important work done. This list is based on scientific evidence, anecdotal reports, and personal experience.

  1. Noopeptnoopept 512x

Noopept is chemically the similar to members of the racetam family. It is very powerful and needs only a small dose to be effective. This is one of the reasons why it is so popular.

Noopept affects NMDA and AMPA receptors in the brain. It also increases serotonin, acetylcholine, and dopamine. Dopamine plays a crucial role in motivation as well as reward. Acetylcholine plays a vital role in cognition. And serotonin is involved in sleep, mood, and appetite. Noopept is one of the greatest nootropics for motivation. The benefits of Noopept are that it:

  • Improves Motivation

  • Improves Focus

  • Improves Memory

  • Improves Mood

  • Improves Overall Cognitive Performance

Because of its strength, the recommended dose is between 10 and 40mg.

  1. PhenylpiracetamPhenylpiracetam

Phenylpiracetam was first developed in the early 1980’s by the Russian scientists. It was produced to improved motivation, energy, and physical stamina. Phenylpiracetam was created by adding a phenyl group to the Piracetam molecule. This is what makes it about 30-60 times more powerful than Piracetam.

Phenylpiracetam has been popular in Russia and Europe since it was first brought to the market in the 1980’s. It has recently started to become more popular in the United States and Canada.

Researchers don’t fully understand how Phenylpiracetam works. But, it is recognized as increasing the density of NMDA glutamate receptors in the hippocampus. This part of the brain is identified to play a vital role in memory. Unlike other nootropics for motivation, Phenylpiracetam helps to increase nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the cortex and dopamine receptors in the striatum. The benefits of Phenylpiracetam are that it:

  • Improves Motivation

  • Increases Alertness and Focus

  • Increases Physical Performance

  • Enhances Memory

  • Enhances Mood

The suggested dose for Phenylpiracetam is 100-250mg. Like other nootropics, it is recommended that you should start with 100mg. Some experiments have suggested that some people will have great results with 100mg, while others need to increase dosage to get the desired results.

3. AdrafinilAdrafinil squared

Unlike other nootropics for motivation, Adrafinil is an artificial supplement that works as a central nervous system stimulant, preventing fatigue and enhancing energy and alertness.

Adrafinil was discovered in the 1970s by French pharmaceutical company Lafon Laboratories, and marketed in Europe under the brand name Olmifon. Later, in 1986, it was prescribed throughout Europe, mainly as a treatment for narcolepsy and other sleep disorders that cause excessive daytime sleepiness.

Adrafinil works on the adrenergic system, the part of the nervous system that releases adrenaline. In a “fight or flight” response, a rapid release of adrenaline helps enhance energy and increase alertness. Like Phenylpiracetam, not all of Adrafinil’s actions have been completely understood yet. But, it is believed to imitate the positive effect of an adrenaline release by increasing adrenergic neurotransmitters.

Though Adrafinil was originally developed for its alertness promoting properties, it is now shown to produce significant cognitive benefits as well. Adrafinil’s benefits are that it:

  • Enhances Mood

  • Increases Motivation and Reaction Time

  • Improves Memory

  • Heightens Focus over Longer Periods

  • Increases Learning Capacity

  • Enhances Energy

The recommended dose varies, but a range of between 150 and 300 mg per day is widely accepted as safe and effective. It is one of the most powerful nootropics for motivation. So, it’s a good idea to start with a lower dose and gradually increase as needed.

4.  Semaxsemax

Semax is a new heptapeptide nootropic, Semax shares a similar history, potency and chemical make-up with Noopept. It was developed in 1982 by a research team from the Institute of Molecular Genetics at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

Semax is very powerful and needs only a small dosage to be effective. This is one of the reasons why it is so popular. It is considered to be 1000 times more powerful than Piracetam.

Like other nootropics for motivation, Semax works by changing receptors in the Limbic Reticular complex. It also affects Serotonin, Acetylcholine, Adenosine, Dopamine, Histamine, and others. Semax also increases NMDA receptors involved with glutamate in the central and peripheral nervous system and boosts energy metabolism in your neurons.

Semax has a psychostimulant effect and is quite beneficial to human cognitive performance. The most amazing fact of Semax is that it does not have many of the negative side effects that normally go hand-in-hand with CNS stimulants. The most common benefits are that it:

  • Increases Memory and Learning

  • Increases Alertness

  • Enhances Reasoning, Perception

  • Improves Concentration

  • Increases Energy

  • Improves Immune System Function

  • Helps Increase Mood

Though Semax is 1000 times more powerful than piracetam, the effective dosage of Semax is said to be 1000 times smaller than Piracetam by weight. The recommended dosage of Semax for cognitive enhancement purposes is 2 to 3 drops of 0.1% solution in each nostril taken twice a day. With that recommendation, each spray will be roughly 50mcg of the active ingredient. So, if you spray twice in each nostril you will be getting 200mcg of Semax per dose.

It is advised that users only need one dosage of Semax daily due to the very long half-life of the drug, which can range from 12-24 hours. It is also suggested that you consider cycling this drug. Try using this drug for 14 days successively and then take a 14-day break before starting again.

5. Tianeptine Sodiumtianeptine sodium

Tianeptine Sodium is the most common form of Tianeptine and is water-soluble. Tianeptine Sodium is orally bioavailable and can be absorbed rapidly when consumed. Tianeptine is very hygroscopic if it is in the form of a raw powder. And when exposed to the atmosphere, it will rapidly harden.[1]

Tianeptine Sodium was first discovered by the French researchers Antoine Deslandes and Michael Spedding during the 1960s. It was patented by the French Society of Medical Research in 1971.[2]

The best nootropics for motivation tend to increase dopaminergic neurotransmission either directly or indirectly. Tianeptine raises dopamine and blocks stress-induced noradrenaline release in the frontal cortex.[3]

Tianeptine is also used in the treatment of the Major Depressive Disorder. It has antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. It has been shown to lessen depression in Parkinson’s disease and also has been effective for Asthma as well.

Tianeptine is an anxiolytic compound that is primarily used for its mood-boosting and anti-anxiety properties. This substance also has nootropic abilities in regards to individuals whose cognition is negatively impacted by mood disorders. It has the ability to improve focus and concentration in individuals who have poor attention spans, as well. The main benefits of Tianeptine are that it:

  • Enhances Mood

  • Enhances Memory and Learning

  • Improves Depressive Symptoms

  • Lessens Anxiety, Stress, and PTSD

  • Decreases Anti-anxiety

  • Enhances Cognitive Performance

  • Improves Focus and Concentration

The recommended starting dosage for Tianeptine Sodium is 12.5mg taken early in the day. Most people like the standard dosage between 12.5 and 37.5mg with a half-life of about three hours. You can take take it three times a day at 12.5mg.