Pills vs Powders? Use Heisenberg’s “Empire Mindset” to Decide

Have you seen Breaking Bad?

Remember this scene?

His paradigm-shifting answer: “I am in the empire business.” He was saying, in my opinion, that he was concerned with that which brings him true power.

Likewise, at the end of the day I’m not in the “nootropics” or “smart drug” business. I suspect you aren’t either. I am in the business of mastering myself. For as long as it takes.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.”
–Laozi, Tao Te Ching

Speaking of empires and money…

Buying nootropics can get expensive if you go the pre-packaged capsule route. Bulk powders might be a waste of money if you don’t have your metabolism and nutrient status in order or that nootropic ends up having no effect on you. With that in mind which do you choose…pills or powder?

Trick question. A “false dilemma” just like Jesse’s question to Walt. I’ll explain in a minute.

First, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each option.



  • Biggest benefit: cheaper than pre-packaged capsules
  • Customized and precise dosages are only scoops away (some nootropics, like piracetam tend to work better when multiple doses are taken over the day vs. taken once)
  • Easily make your own stacks for different purposes (anxiety, better memorization, sleep, stress reduction, etc)
  • Saves money if you take ≥ 4-5 noots or plan to.


  • Can be time-consuming (especially without a calibrated digital scale)
  • Bitter tastes even with a chaser (I don’t mind the taste. Regularly taking Jon Barron’s Blood Support in the past toughened my taste buds up.)
  • Potential for degradation via each exposure to air, humidity, light, and heat



  • Saves time
  • No tedious measuring and calibration (ever tried dosing noopept with those micro-scoopers?)
  • No bitterness or aftertaste
  • More simple to trial purchase and determine if that substance actually works with your biochemistry before spending money on bulk powder.
  • bottle/capsules protect ingredients and staves off product degradation
  • Portable1


  • Convenience can be expensive: You pay for the labor and some of the capsule price
  • More difficult to customize dosages
  • Low/ineffective dosages of certain ingredients (read labels and make sure you are getting the right dose if you are going to pay top dollar for pills)2

Escaping Binary Choice Prison: How I Decided to Take Nootropics

You see a lot of the time we make choices from binary options. Heisenberg’s answer demonstrated that if you want to build a legacy or empire, this is NOT the default way you want to think. Being aware of all your options gives your decisions that much more power.

Pills or powders? A binary decision. Awareness of being caught in a thinking trap can help you escape it3.

When you’ve been in the game long enough, you’ll probably prefer powders to pills and capsules. But, no need to place limits and make this an either/or problem; I use them both…

I highly favor DIY capsule-making with powders (as well as making sublinguals in the near future). You can’t help but feel like Heisenberg when sifting, tamping, and scraping.

The Math Behind the Madness

Still pill poppin’? You crazy. Better get on that DIY. The math checks out, look:

Piracetam powder can be found for ~ $17 for 100 grams.

A bottle of piracetam capsules for ~ $40 for a 90 count with each capsule containing 800 mg.

800 mg * 90 = 72000 mg.

72000 mg / (1000 mg / 1 g) = 72 g of piracetam

Comparing $/g:

Powder: $17 / 100 g = $0.17 per gram
Capsule: $40 / 72 g = $0.56 per gram, nearly 3X as much

Note: this calculation didn’t include shipping/handling for each. Or empty capsule prices (around $0.015 per pill)

Use The Heisenberg Answer Mindset: Compensating for the Slight Capsule-Making Time Sink

What would Heisenberg do?

Utilize time and energy wisely. He would separate his wealth from his time. Thus allowing him to efficiently rule his empire and stack money rather than have the empire rule him.

What does this have to do with capping noots?

If you lift weights, you probably already take a day where you cook and pre-portion your meals for most of the next week right?

Well, improve yourself by examining your current habits: batch-process certain tasks on certain days (e.g. pill making and cooking, studying for exams and building your own business on the side, etc.)

More sprints, less marathons

Whip up yo own Smarter-than-Nikola-Tesla pills the same way you prepare for the gym. The time invested will be once every X days if you batch-process. Buy smart (bulk powder AND capsules), batch process, and have the convenience later. Hell, buy some pre-packaged capsules as a backup for that one week you pushed it too hard on those deadlifts or squats. Or for the zombie apocalypse (almost NSFW but you’re dead inside if it doesn’t inspire you to train more).

Heisenberg made the purest product around. Middle men be damned because if you can save money and come out on top with higher profit margins…why not? Same thing applies to capping your own noots. Empire mindset.

Being able to blow money on pre-packaged pills = saved time = empire method.

For now, batch-processed DIY pill packing = my empire method.

Ultimately, it’s a trade off between time and money. As I’ve hinted at, there is one set back to capping your own pills. If you have read Millionaire Fastlane (or any stoic philosophy) then you know that time is the king commodity, to spend it wisely, and buy it when you can. So take your pill-making game a step further than batch-processing…

Best Heisenberg Empire Method: pay someone you trust to batch-process it for you, offer them a % of the product, or barter your skills. You can get more money but never more time.

Time to build my own personal empire and as Ray Lewis might say “leave my legacy.”

Over and out you nootroponaut freaks.

P.S. Let’s cook. Getcha Heisenberg hat and go check out my list of where to buy nootropics → for powders, capsules, and more.

1 Debatable because you could put your powder into nickel/dime bags, but could get crazy if you have multiple daily doses.
2 Be sure to check my reviews for the effective dosages used in research and anecdotal experiences as well.
3 Thinking you can’t get caught is also a trap.
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