The Secret Sauce Of Brain-Stimulating Supplements – The Most Advanced Smart Drug Formulas Known To Humankind, With “Mr. Noots” of Nootopia: Mark Effinger.

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My inspiring, intriguing, and mad scientist-esque smart drugs and nootropics expert guest on today's show is Mark Effinger, AKA “Mr. Noots.”

This guy is an absolute genius at nootropics chemistry, extractions, and brain optimization.

Mark's business partner, Matt Gallant, is the CEO of biOptimizers and one of the world's leading experts in formulating unique supplements. Together, Mark and Matt masterminded Nootopia, the first-ever company to offer 100% personalized, customized nootropics stacks. I've discussed nootropics quite a bit, including in a comprehensive two-part article series, and I've also had Matt Gallant on my podcast:

A seasoned entrepreneur and intrapreneur (meaning, behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization), Mark has been successful in industries from advertising to lasers to software and more. Companies turn to Mark for his clear grasp of the startup-to-sellout process, and he's passionate about working with CEOs, company founders, and management. Mark is a specialist in biochemistry, hormone and brain optimization, product development, social media, online media, software development…you get the idea. The dude is crazy smart and a real unicorn.

The death of Mark's former wife from a painkiller overdose put him on the path to creating high-performance experiential nutritional supplements. After four years of development, he released a product called “Limitless NZT-48,” as in the movie. Mark applied LEAN Startup methodologies, bootstrapped it, and experienced 3,500% growth over the first year (now 5,100% over 29 months)—an ideal blend of head and heart in important, life-enhancing technology.

Mark considers the biggest challenge with nootropics to be that everyone’s brain chemistry is unique. For the first time ever, Nootopia has solved this with a personalized process and product. First, you fill out an intake form. They use this to evaluate your goals and brain chemistry, then customize their nine core blends. Whether you want to say goodbye to afternoon energy crashes, increase your verbal fluency, boost your emotional intelligence, or reach other optimization goals, Nooptopia gets you 100% personal help every single day. The system even comes with an app that guides you every step of the journey and allows you to give feedback to customize your blends even further.

Mark's vision is for the resources from the company to move the needle in terms of making a difference while they make healthy profits (as he says, they've got employees to feed, right?). He firmly believes that Nootopia can add value both locally (in how they treat employees and our environment) and globally (in how they empower people and how much they give back)…all while having fun.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-How Mr. Noots got started (from his internet and software business to nootropics formulation)…08:31

  • White rat for Accutane back in the '80s
  • Mark’s health crisis: Put on mega doses of Accutane (for cystic acne) while in the Air Force 
    • Accutane burrows itself into the muscle fibers and other parts of the body; challenging to detox over time
    • Doctor placed him on EWOT (exercise with oxygen therapy)
    • Aside from the clarity and the wakefulness that resulted from it, it also resets your sleep and wake cycles

  • BGL article:
  • Ben uses Vasper
  • The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris
  • 2nd health crisis: found also to have hypothyroidism
    • Put on Armour Thyroid medication
    • Had an aha! moment; maybe there's something more than just living, there's a superhuman or at least a super-optimal performance state that you can achieve
  • Human growth hormone (HGH) supplementation
    • Not the actual HGH but secretagogues
    • HGH administration vs. HGH supplementation
    • Founded a company that became very successful but was shut down after 30 days
    • They couldn’t believe a company online outside of Amazon could go from zero to over $200,000 in a month
  • Got involved with some products:
    • TRIKKE three-wheeled scooter, you stand on the back wheels and use cambering, throwing it left and right to make it go forward
    • CMO for
    • Pzizz app for focus and meditation
  • Mark's wife committed suicide in 2008 on Oxycodone, Methadone, and alcohol 
  • A devastating loss; great mom of three kids; proof that these addictions can affect anyone
  • Worked with David McInnis, founder of PRWeb 
  • For the next four years, worked on:
    • How to get people out of addictive states
    • How to get people to perform well
  • Created a brainstorming software to teach people how to think creatively and how to be effective in going from concept to cashflow or creativity to productivity
  • Already knew how neurons fired and what neural chemicals were key to achieving certain states, but lacked the programming talent to “take this, and it'll get you there” outside of meds
  • Back to secretagogues to explore what amino acids convert to, what neurochemical precursors convert to, which neurochemicals excite which molecules to get them to perform
  • Started with pyroglutamic acid and pairing with other molecules
  • Some of the 400,000 customers in his software company started testing the drug
  • At events, there are 2 kinds of biohackers 
    • The ones that take it and ask you what it does
    • The ones that ask what it is in it and how much it is before deciding to take it

-Mark’s three-stage process for how to get people off drugs…29:02

  1. Make someone think more clearly
  2. The person is now thinking more clearly but can just barely function as a human being (just got off drugs and might now be dependent on another drug, prescription they give for treatment)
  3. Give him cellular energy, ATP-based energy, and the neurological components that would help him to perform well
    • You're thinking clearly
    • Now you have the energy to execute
    • You're going to get some level of success 
    • Repeated good, positive, reinforced double thinking
    • You get the spiral of success that goes up, and you start getting the kind of feedback loop of not only you recognizing the success you have but other people recognizing it

-Determining what neurotransmitter deficits or imbalances you have (the quiz) and then shipping the exact formulas that address those specific needs…30:41

-Dopa Drops and “You4ea” capsule…34:09

  • Dopa Drops (discount automatically applied at checkout)
  • Dopa Drops were built as a multi-stage release mechanism that doesn't down-regulate dopamine stores
  • Bring the precursors of dopamine up, make sure you get the proper enzymatic activity in the brain by adding C and B vitamins
  • Time release strategies to avoid burning up all dopamine
  • “You4ea” is still in secondary and tertiary testing; has a capsule within a capsule
  • Outer capsule breaks down in the gut, and the inner capsule past the duodenum

-What about the NectarX?…43:45

  • NectarX was the first product developed in 2008
  • Stack design methodology
  • Most people have a resistive component in their brain and body that is fighting inflammation, fighting adaptogenic response 
  • To make stacks effective, you need to start systematically eliminating the biggest problems that people have, to make the nootropics effective
  • The primary cause of the ineffectiveness of nutritional compounds people take is an excessive inflammatory response
  • Component stacks built into the capsules (sub-stacks within the caps, drinks, powders, and sprays)
    • Anti-inflammatory stack to mute excess inflammatory response
    • Adaptogenic stack to mute the adaptogenic response to hardcore stress
    • Methylated B stack to address the deficiency of B vitamins and specific nutrients critical to the enzymatic activity of the brain and body (B vitamins are enzymatic activators)
    • Stim layer of very mild multiple stimulant layers and cofactors to bring increasing wakefulness without being too much buzz and grittiness
    • 2 other factors:
      • The combination of neurotropic precursors to key neurochemicals needed to operate at a superhuman level
      • Choline donor to lend enough choline to the process so that it does not take choline from your body 

-Are there scalability issues, given the quiz is super-customized?…51:39

  • About a 20-minute customized quiz:
    • Weight, age, sex?
    • What stims do you take during the day?
    • How much coffee do you drink?
    • What meds are you on? 
    • What vitamins or nutritional supplements do you take? 
    • Are you ketogenic?
    • And more
  • When you visit the Nootopia website:
    1. Do a neurochemical analysis to figure out where you are dominant, where you are sub-dominant, and where you have challenges
    2. Who are you? How do you operate? What are your biggest challenges? What are your goals?
      • Break down into 6 different sections
      • Sliders to tweak personal preferences
    3. Result is then sent to a facility where it is compared to a million data points
    4. Stack design is then determined for the person
  • Social Command stack
  • Mark’s friend Eric Kinney 


  • Ben added CollaGenius to his morning smoothie
  • Design came out of a conversation between Mark and Matt Gallant
  • How they accidentally made the product
  • The mushroom helps in the absorption and extends the half-life of collagen
  • BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) from the mushrooms
  • BDNF is a precursor to neurogenesis
  • CollaGenius is like an OS for the brain (use code BEN10 to save 10%)
  • It's like a central nervous system stimulant

-How about the Apex?…1:01:14

  • A blend of calmness and energy
  • Apex is 12-hour energy but not in a stim way
    • A very steady dopamine flow with very low adrenal flow that does not jack up adrenaline
  • Ben has modified Upbeats and Apex stacks

-Do you stack psychedelics like psilocybin, Huachuca, LSD, or LSA, traditionally used for microdosing?…1:02:56

  • You can create nootropic custom stacks that address various neurotransmitters
  • Nootropics allow you to take reduced doses of the psychedelics; increase the neurogenesis
  • Expect to see more stacks that combine nootropics and psychedelics in the future, when they become legal and more popular

-Many people stack psilocybin with Lion's mane for enhanced creativity…1:05:40

  • Mark's friends have done it
  • CollaGenius is a great base for those kinds of experience (use code BEN10 to save 10%)
  • People looking for a profound experience that brings them to another level

-What Ben thinks of plant medicine microdosing…1:06:23

-What about nootropics and sleep?…1:07:49

  • Kion Sleep
  • Sleep solutions in the market rely heavily on melatonin
  • Typical sleep cycle of melatonin is 4 hours; some companies add more melatonin to increase the cycle
  • The downside of melatonin is it  interrupts the sleep cycle that you already have
  • A non-melatonin-based drink for quality sleep and duration of sleep without the hangover
  • The spray has melatonin in it

-Other projects in the pipeline…1:13:34

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Runga: October 13th-15th, 2022 (Austin, TX). This is the one event every year that I never miss. Join my family and me to tap into your full potential over three days of fully immersive programming and therapies. Gourmet organic chef-prepared meals, live podcast recordings, and personalized health consulting make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are only fifty spots available, so claim yours today here.
  • Wild Health Awake + Aware Principles: October 22nd, 2022 (Lexington, KY). Join me for a one-day intensive experience where I will guide you through a series of interactive lectures that explore purpose, meaning, and spiritual health. VIP guests will also join me on an immersive walk through nature and an intimate dinner. Learn more here.
  • Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Mark Effinger:

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:


Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Mark Effinger or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Mark or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

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12 thoughts on “The Secret Sauce Of Brain-Stimulating Supplements – The Most Advanced Smart Drug Formulas Known To Humankind, With “Mr. Noots” of Nootopia: Mark Effinger.

  1. Justin says:

    Ben, how would you compare these products to Qualia Mind?

  2. Tom Dineen says:

    Hi Mark, Nootropics typically don’t work for me. I’ve been doing “Feel Free”— it is a Kratom and Kava mixture and that really helps me. It is really fantastic. Incredible!
    I have no energy and depressed. I am a 70 male … I’m a teaching tennis pro.
    Do you think your product can help? I’d like to try it. Is there a number I call?
    Is it Brainflow?
    What is the actual product?
    Please let me know Mark.
    [email protected]

  3. Sarah says:

    I started taking the Nootopia system 7 months ago and I was skeptical to be HONEST. I have a history of SSRI and heavy prescription medication use from college days and my brain has just never worked optimally since (I’ve tried everything, including other nootropics, aka expensive caffeine IMO!) I can HAND ON HEART say that these nootropics have transformed my life.
    I am truly so much less reactive, more focused and calm, clear energy (not buzzed or sketchy like many formulas).
    After battling an addiction to my meds, I was really nervous about something similar with any ‘brain supplement’ but it’s been the opposite: I need WAY less supplemental support, I wake up feeling better than I could have ever imagined, and I don’t “need” the nootropics.
    I really enjoyed listening to this podcast as I have been a longtime fan of the show and was so happy to see when this brand popped up. Listening to Mr. Noots really opened my heart to the brand as well – they truly have the best intentions and I can’t thank them enough for their incredible add to the world.
    Thank you Ben for having this amazing guest on and the continued awesomeness that is BGL.
    And thank you, Mr. Noots, for the life-changing creations and your amazing team (the app and support rocks)!

    1. Sarah – you are the reason we do what we do.
      And I’m ecstatic to hear how you conquered The Meds!
      Ain’t it awesome when you find the things that help you take control?
      You are such an inspiration!

      Many thanks, and much love,
      Mr Noots

  4. Dylan Prestwich says:

    I am going through the process of ordering the products and I cant find the test anywhere. When am I supposed to take it? Do I check out first? I took some test and got results emailed back to me but does that go on my account? Also, it seems I can only buy packs, do I buy a pack and then get my custom product? I am just confused by the overall process. Also a lot of the products talked about like dopa drops and gabalicious arent on the site can you not buy these?

    1. Hi Dan,
      Awesome questions. Please allow me to answer below:

      1) THere’s a Neurochemical Test you take on the front end. This helps you AND our Customization Team have a better idea of how to blend your stacks.

      2) After you order, there’s a second form to complete that gives us a lot more insights into your current condition, sex, age, weight, training schedule, diet, stimulant intake, meds, supplements, and your goals, etc…

      That one is critical for our customization and personalization process.

      3) After your order, please reach out to our support team, and they can guide you on DopaDrops and Gabalicious (BEN10 is your coupon code).

      Let me know if that was helpful. And hit our support team for any questions. Kerry-Ann and Livve will be happy to ensure you’re on the right path.

      To your Nootastic future,
      Mr Noots

  5. Nick says:

    Wow, there is a shocking amount of BS ingredients in these products- I’m surprised you’d endorse this, Ben! Aspartame, Red 40, Yellow 5, sunflower oil… the list goes on… holy moly what a bunch of BS.

    1. Hi Nick,
      Thanks for the response.
      Please allow me to respond with some details that may help clarify things a bit.

      NOTE: Please don’t vilify Ben for anything regarding these products. He’s a generous soul who is deeply interested in helping move mankind forward, up and to the right. Had we more time, I’m certain we would have covered more of the nuances behind performance nootropics, custom stacks and supplementation, and how they develop..

      With that said: one of the biggest challenges we face with Custom Blended Nootropics, is having a label that keeps up with our constant reformulations, updates and your personal customization profile (yes, we customize every single capsule, drink or spray, based on what you share in your Intake and Feedback Forms).

      While most companies make 10 million bottles of a formula, we took a very different approach, making every capsule optimized to the individual. It’s painstaking work to align all of the customization attributes with the label.

      We’re actively working on this issue, looking at a custom ingredients print that aligns perfectly with your custom order. It will happen. It’s on our roadmap.

      Since 2008, when we launched our research into nootropic stack development, we’ve worked hard to balance Most Natural with Most Effective. It’s a bit of a tightrope, as some compounds that are super effective are also purely lab-derived. While others are purely organic, but a single, gentle tweak in the bio-reactor or through an extraction process will make them many times more bioavailable and effective.

      We reformulate our stacks two to four times a year.
      Partly to make them more effective, as we discover or create new breakthrough molecules and compounds.

      Partly because research indicates that certain compounds considered clean and safe for decades, go under a new microscope, exposing newfound insights that declare weaknesses (remember when all fats were considered bad news? .When seed oils were celebrated?)

      Our ultimate goal is a campaign we call Seed To Supplement (aka Plant to Powder/Plant to Pill).
      We are working ever closer with the farmers and suppliers who grow and extract our key molecules.

      The examples you shared are either issues we’ve addressed and eliminated (Aspartame, Red 40, Yellow 5) which were part of a former flavor profile (now replaced with Katempfe – an organic plant protein with extremely high sweetness – paired with organic flavor extracts from select Non-GMO farms.)

      With regard to sunflower oil: That was recently discovered as a byproduct of a sunflower cream we used in the first round of our mushroom extract drink. We’ve since reformulated, and are releasing the new formula in November (the product was initially released into pre-production, limited run late June, and we discovered the covert ingredient in July).

      We sincerely do our best to uncover these issues before we move from prototype to pre-production and eventually, volume production. Once we find issues (and, thanks to folks like yourself, call us out when we err), we mobilize our teams to reformulate with ever better compounds.

      We’ve also integrated our own layer of compound testing at the packager, to ensure that the ingredients we specify for the product, are of the same quality and cleanliness as the ones in our lab.

      Our ultimate goal is to provide healthy, natural biological optimization to every soul on earth.
      Thanks for helping us be ever better.
      Mark “Mr Noots” Effinger
      CPO & Cofounder, Nootopia

  6. Justin says:

    Why do these products contain ASPARTAME and ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS & COLORS ????

    This is our concern, Dude.

    1. Hi Justin,
      Please see the above response I composed for Nick.
      I believe I covered your issues there as well.

      And know that we do take our compounds, stacks and solutions seriously.
      And lean hard into organic and clean as much as humanely possible.

      Many thanks,
      Mr Noots

  7. Anthony says:

    What boggles the mind is that this must be the 200th (500th?) “game changing” substance/biohack/supplement you’ve endorsed over the years. How does one’s pantry fit all of these? How does one have time to consume or partake in all of these? How does one’s gut tolerate of of these? How do you afford all of them? How do you live with all the eye rolls from your wife? Are you in danger of approaching escape velocity?

    1. Hi Anthony,
      Mr Noots here.

      I get it. As a dedicated biohacker, there seems to be an infinite horizon of “new, miracle” compounds and solutions being released daily.

      There’s some truth to that.
      Now that , , (plus every research lab and university in existence) provides an onramp to their research, miracles are happening at an every increasing velocity. New discoveries are flooding the market. And “aha” moments of redirection (ex Alzheimer’s research taking a hard left) keep the biohacking performance market frothy and fresh.

      When you spend time on the lab. Surrounded by really smart, talented and inquisitive people. incredible things happen that you cannot predict. Things that often result in breakthroughs that illuminate a new area of performance or longevity.

      Ben doesn’t need me to stand up for him. (He hunts with a compound bow…;-)
      But as a fellow souljourner, it’s hard not to get excited by new approaches to biohacking that actually work.

      What he lightly touched on during our the podcast was the prototypes I sent him that won’t reach the market for 6-24 months. I’m far from the only one sharing their new-new things with Ben. He’s a firebrand for people like myself who are buried in the chemistry that we hope will make an impact on the world.

      Expect to see more Game Changers and Miracle Molecules.
      You can’t bridle innovation.
      But you may need a bigger pantry.

      To your continued awesome,
      Mr Noots

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