Earlier this year, Nooflux sent me samples of their Human 2.0 Human Optimization Stack to try out. In actuality, this is a stack of stacks– four separate stack products for four distinct purposes. Nooflux’s four products are:
Axon- For memory enhancement, cognitive performance, and overall brain health.
Zen- For relaxation, mood and stress relief, without sedation.
Flow- For energy, productivity and focus.
Rest- For deep, restful sleep.
In this article I’ll share my overall impressions of each one, based on both my own experiences with them and on the clinical evidence for their efficacy. I’ll be dead honest about which ones I like and which ones I didn’t.
Full disclosure: There are affiliate links in this article, and I get a little bit of money if you click my links and buy these products.
Axon contains a mix of ingredients that are intended to improve working memory, boost neuronal development, and provide “brain support.” That last term is super vague, but what about working memory and neuronal development?
All of the ingredients in this stack do have clinical evidence for improving working memory and overall mental function. And they’ve all been proven effective at the dosages used, except for the huperzine, which is under-dosed. Unless of course it has a synergistic effect with the other ingredients, which it very well might.
I personally noticed what seemed to be an improvement in memory and mental clarity on this supplement, although I didn’t actually test that in any systematic manner.
As for improving neuronal development, that’s hard to judge since it’s a much more long-term effect. There’s clinical evidence for it, but I can’t really attest to it based on personal experience.
Overall, this is definitely something I would use if improving my memory was a priority for me. It isn’t though, so for me personally, this was the one item out of the four that I just don’t feel like I have any need for. If I was getting older and my memory was starting to slip, then I’d probably use this on a regular basis.
Axon takes almost an hour to kick in, and the effects last for at least a few hours, maybe as many as eight.
Zen is design to provide anxiety relief, strengthen the body’s ability to handle stress, and improve your mood by both making you happier and making your mood more stable over time.
Like Axon, all of the ingredients have been demonstrated in clinical settings to provide at least one of these benefits. Unlike Axon, you would take Zen mostly for the acute effects, as all but one of the ingredients have an immediate impact on your mood. The one exception here is vitamin D, which builds up in the body over the course of weeks since it’s fat-soluble.
So how did it work for me? Really well actually. Every time I took a full dose of Zen, I felt calm and happy for several hours after, regardless of whether I was working, socializing, relaxing, working out, or even dealing with something going wrong in my life. This is one anti-stress supplement I can absolutely recommend.
Zen takes about a half hour to kick in, and the effects last 3-5 hours.
The closest thing to a pure stimulant stack that Nooflux produces, Flow is meant to bring the brain int a “flow” state– one characterized by deep alpha brain waves, intense concentration and total immersion into what one is doing.
The various ingredients contribute to this in different ways. Caffeine is a stimulant, while theanine has a relaxing effect that prevents the caffeine jitters. Alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine, in combination, deliver nutrients to the brain. Alpha-GPC directly enhances focus, rhodeola rosea is a stimulant that also enhances focus, and so on.
It’s a great selection of ingredients. However, personally I found it too stimulating. It helped motivate me to work, but also made it hard to focus since I had a bit too much energy and wanted to pace around.
The caffeine is dosed rather high– it’s microencapsulated for extended release, so it’s really only equivalent to 168 mg of caffeine, but as I’ve explained before, that’s still enough to build up a tolerance over time, and to impair your sleep later that night.
The extended release formula is intended to smooth out the caffeine high so that it lasts longer, with a less pronounced peak and no crash afterward. And it does that, mostly, but extended release also means more caffeine left in your system when you go to sleep that night.
The ratio of caffeine to theanine is also too high– typically people go for 1:2, and this is more like 3:2. I ended up only taking one pill at a time (the normal dose is two pills) and then combining it with a separate theanine supplement. That kind of worked but left me with too little of the other ingredients.
Personally I love the ingredients, but I wish they would cut the caffeine dosage in half, add a bit more theanine, and double the carnitine and ALA dosages. If you’re a heavier caffeine user than I am, you’ll probably like it better than I did, but as someone who suffers from insomnia and now is on the low-caffeine bandwagon, I’d rather have something less stimulating.
Flow only takes 15 minutes to kick in. The effects can last anywhere from 3-6 hours; people vary a lot in how quickly they metabolize caffeine.
Rest is, simply put, a sleep aid stack. Some of the ingredients, like 5-HTP, directly cause sleep. Others, like theanine and magnesium, promote relaxation. Still others such as zinc are mostly there to make sleep more productive once it occurs.
It’s a wonderful combination, tackling the problem from three different angles: strengthening the chemical pathways that promote sleep, countering those that prevent sleep, and supporting those that make sleep productive.
It doesn’t contain melatonin though– .3 mg of melatonin would have been nice. My guess is this is because melatonin is prescription-only in some European countries, and they intend to sell Nooflux in those countries. But 5-HTP is a precursor to melatonin, so it will have the same effect for most people, just slower.
I found I got some of the most restful sleep of my life on Rest. I absolutely recommend it and wouldn’t hesitate to use it again.
Rest takes at least an hour to kick in. Some people may even find it mildly stimulating for the first half hour to an hour after taking it; that’s a side effect of the 5-HTP. So this is something you have to think ahead in using, and not just take right before bedtime.
As you can see, I liked the two “downer” stacks more than the two “upper” stacks. Zen and Rest both seem perfect for me, and I plan to use them again.
I was less positive about Axon and Flow for two different reasons– Axon because I don’t particular need what it offers, and Flow because I’m keeping my caffeine intake lower these days. Both of those stacks, I’m sure, would be good for many other people, but they just aren’t for me.
If you haven’t tried any of these yet and aren’t sure which ones you’ll like, I’d recommend buying the Human 2.0 sampler pack, which contains a 7-day supply of each of the four.
Whichever one you end up buying, enter the coupon code JOHNFAWKES at checkout for 15% off the entire order.