What Are the Best Nootropics in 2023?
Reviews, Ratings & Buying Guide
- 1 What Are the Best Nootropics in 2023?
Reviews, Ratings & Buying Guide
- 1.1 What Are Nootropics?
- 1.2 History of Nootropics
- 1.3 Try Nootropics Supplements For Yourself
- 1.4 Our Top 5 Nootropics Supplements 2023
- 1.5 Other Nootropic Supplement Reviews
- 1.6 Types of Nootropics
- 1.7 Are Nootropic Supplements Safe?
- 1.8 Do Nootropics Actually Work?
- 1.9 Who Should Take Nootropics and Who Shouldn’t?
- 1.10 Where Can You Buy the Best Nootropics?
- 1.11 Should I Try Nootropic Supplements?
The human brain is a fascinating organ.
It is responsible for just about everything we do. It controls our thoughts, movements, and speech. It allows us to make and recall memories. It lets us dream and imagine. It’s responsible for complex thought patterns unique to humans. It also drives essential functions like our breathing and heart rate.
As you can see, our brains do a lot. (1) Experts claim that our brains are the most powerful “computers” known to man, which is why its so important that we take care of our brains.
Just like any computer, our brain can deteriorate and requires regular maintenance for optimal health.
Think about it. We use our brains every day and put them under lots of stress. We worry about a million things, study for tests, remember birthdays, etc.
With all of this constantly on our minds, it’s normal for our brains to “glitch” here and there. We might forget things or find ourselves unable to focus.
These “brain farts” are normal. But, it can be frustrating when our minds lets us down.
So, the question is, how can you boost your mental performance?
For many, the answer lies in nootropics (AKA “smart drugs”). These cognitive enhancement supplements can boost brain performance by increasing blood flow and enhancing biological processes. The benefits include improving short-term memory, sharpening your focus, and more.
If you’ve been asking yourself questions like “Are there any nootropics that actually work? or “What is the most effective nootropic?” then you’ve come to the right place.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about nootropics and how people can benefit from them. We will also provide you with unbiased reviews to help you find the best nootropics products in the market today.
What Are Nootropics?
Chances are if you’re reading this article than you’re already familiar with nootropics. But if not, let me give you a quick breakdown…
(2) Nootropics are supplements that contain ingredients that have shown to improve cognitive function in healthy individuals. People take them to improve memory, eliminate brain fog, and even promote intelligence and creativity.
While companies usually market their products as “nootropics,” people also refer to them as:
- Smart drugs
- Cognitive enhancers
- Memory-enhancing substances
Some of these terms may sound a little scary but nootropic supplements don’t require a subscription and are generally considered safe for the average adult. Of course though, it is always smart to consult with your physician before taking any supplement.
Nootropic supplements typically contain “natural” ingredients such as: Green tea, Bacopa monnieri, Rhodiola rosea, and Lion’s mane to name a few. These ingredients are extracted from plants and are typically present in the best nootropic capsules and supplements. Even caffeine and nicotine are technically substances that boost cognition, and many people use these every day.
The quality that makes a substance a nootropic is its effect on brain flow. Our brains need blood flow to transport vital molecules, like oxygen. It uses these components to aid in cognitive processes. With the best nootropic supplements, you can naturally enhance your brain’s processing system.
History of Nootropics
“Humanity will not wait passively millions of years for evolution to offer a better brain.”
Nootropics might seem like a new trend. Maybe you’ve heard the media throwing the term around within the last few years with Silicon Valley coders taking the supplements to achieve an ‘alpha brain.’
It’s true that brain supplements have recently risen to popularity but they have actually been around forever.
Throughout history, whether they recognized them or not, people have reaped the benefits of natural nootropics, like caffeine from green tea or creatine from red meat and fish.
Dr. Corneliu Giurgea made strides by creating the first synthetic nootropic, Piracetam, in 1964. Throughout his randomized studies, he realized that other substances had similar effects on cognitive enhancement. This prevalence led him to coin the term “nootropic” in 1972.
Dr. Giurgea set loose criterion that nootropics should meet, including:
- They should protect the brain against various injuries and promote brain health.
- They should enhance memory and learning.
- They should produce few side effects and have very low toxicity.
Ever since then companies have worked to capitalize on these “smart drugs.” They manufacture and sell both synthetic and natural nootropic supplements. Consumers all over the world use them in hopes that they may help revive or promote their mental energy.
Try Nootropics Supplements For Yourself
So, you’ve decided that nootropics are worth a shot. After all, who would not want their brain to function at its best?
You could go the route of buying a single nootropic, such as a bottle of Bacopa monnieri or growing Rhodiola rosea and Lion’s mane in your yard. But with this option, you won’t get the combined effect of all these powerful ingredients.
As they say, the sum is greater than the total. The best nootropic supplements combine Bacopa monnieri, Rhodiola rosea, and Lion’s mane as well as other various ingredients to give you a massive brain boost. As we will discuss later, ingredients like Lion’s Mane are some of the best herbs that naturally enhance your brainpower.
Unfortunately, in this rising industry, there are many nootropics on the market that promise the similar benefits but results can vary quite a bit from supplement to supplement. However, with that in mind, how do you know which nootropics are safe to trust?
Here we’ve rounded up sine if our reviews of the best nootropics. They come from trustworthy companies and are bound to give your brain function the boost it needs. Use our nootropic reviews to find the best boost for your brain’s needs!
Our Top 5 Nootropics Supplements 2023
|Some Claimed Benefits
|#1 – Mind Lab Pro
|#2 – Performance Lab Mind
-Perform under stress
|#3 – Neurohacker Qualia Mind
|-Lift Brain Fog
|#4 – Onnit Alpha Brain
|#5 – Optimind
|Adrafinil is a mild stimulant drug. Older patients first benefited from this nootropic with greater wakefulness and attentiveness. Today, Adrafinil is more commonly used to combat general fatigue and exhaustion for long periods. This nootropic interacts with your brain’s receptors and neurotransmitters. These interactions create elevated senses of both mood and alertness. Users report feeling higher levels of energy, mental endurance, and concentration. It also helps users improve their ability to recall information even under stressful situations.
|Alpha GPC is a cholinergic compound that people use as cognitive enhancers. While Alpha GPC offers short-term results, it also helps prevent cognitive decline because of how it supports your brain’s cellular membranes. Alpha GPC’s main purpose is to facilitate the release of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that facilitates learning and improves memory. It’s also known for raising dopamine levels, which can lead to significant improvements in memory function.
|Aniracetam is a supplement that is known for its ability to improve memory and mental sharpness. It’s known as both a stimulant and a mental enhancer. It stimulates your brain’s AMPA receptors, which are responsible for transmitting nerve signals between neurons. Aniracetam speeds up this transmission, which means that users will receive benefits like better concentration and improved overall brain health. One of its best benefits is that it contributes to holistic thinking, which can help you better comprehend the tasks you need to complete.
|B12 is what is commonly known as Vitamin B12. It is one of 8 B-vitamins found in every one of your body’s cells. However, it has a particularly important influence on the brain. B12 is responsible for synthesizing the neurotransmitters in your brain. If your body experiences a deficiency of B12, it results in issues like neuropathy, sensory disturbances, and cognitive and behavioral problems. All of these problems result in decreased mental function. Also called Cobalamin, B12 will increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. As a result, you will experience decreased fatigue and depression, which will lead to increased productivity.
|Bacopa Monnieri is a perennial aquatic herb that’s native to southeast Asia. In ancient times, it was best known for helping people memorize long passages of text and enhance overall cognition. One of the best effects of Bacopa Monnieri? It prevents chemical stress from forming in the brain. This is unlike a lot of modern antidepressants that just suppress it. This natural nootropic helps the brain keep its levels of acetylcholine stable. As a result, users experience better memory and cognition. You won’t feel the effects of this nootropic immediately. You’ll have to consistently take generous doses (around 300 mg) for several months to experience its full brain health benefits.
|C60 is an antioxidant that’s composed of 60 carbon atoms. It is known for its ability to combat the negative effects of oxidative stress on the brain. As a result, users experience rebalanced brain chemistry and better mental energy. C60 may also minimize the effects of premature aging, which has proven to increase overall cognitive function. Some of C60’s other brain-enhancing benefits include boosted energy, increased resistance to fatigue, and improved memory.
|Caffeine has wonderful energizing effects. For many, it’s the best natural stimulant. Caffeine opposes adenosine production, which prevents you from becoming sleepy. Caffeine is great for getting you through periods where you need to stay focused. Plus, it improves your mood by making your brain’s serotonin receptors more responsive, making it a lot easier to get work done. If you don’t normally consume caffeine, a little will go a long way. Even if you’ve built a tolerance for it, you shouldn’t need more than 300 mg to feel its effects.
|Citicoline is a nootropic supplement that supplies your body with the energy your brain needs. Even though the brain makes up around 2% of your body weight, it’s responsible for a large portion of your body’s energy consumption. Citicoline helps the mitochondria function properly, which means that it can produce enough energy to promote healthy brain activity. Citicoline also regulates the brain’s acetylcholine levels, which is essential for healthy cognitive function. When you take citicoline as directed, your brain will also benefit from enhanced cell membrane maintenance and increased neuron protection.
|Creatine is a molecule naturally found in your muscle cells. It’s also taken as a supplement to increase mental clarity. Once in your body, creatine turns into phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine takes the form of phosphate groups to store and release energy as necessary. Phosphocreatine keeps your brain cells properly hydrated, which enhances their function and protects them from long-term damage. As a result, users tend to experience better overall cognition. Another important function of phosphocreatine is that it prevents calcium buildup in neurons. If calcium growth in your neurons goes unchecked, it can lead to your neurons’ over-excitement and eventual death. It can have a detrimental effect on your ability to memorize and retain information.
|DHA, which is scientifically known as docosahexaenoic acid, is an omega-3 fatty acid. No matter your age, DHA is essential for the healthy function and structure of your brain. One function that DHA performs is that it helps your brain regularly build new neural pathways. This is essential for optimizing neural signaling and cognitive function. DHA also stimulates the BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which is the brain’s primary growth hormone. DHA also notably contains anti-inflammatory properties.
|Ginkgo Biloba is a Chinese tree that has been used medicinally for thousands of years. In modern times, users typically consume ginkgo extract rather than its stems and leaves. The extract is one of the best for memory enhancement. Because Ginkgo Biloba contains high amounts of terpenoids and flavonoids, it has powerful antioxidant effects. It works to fight off free radicals in the brain and neutralize their effects, which can be damaging if left to accumulate. Gingko Biloba is known for improving brain function, cognitive performance, and perceived well-being in healthy individuals.
|Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are large white mushrooms that have powerful effects on the brain. As you grow older, your brain will become less effective at forming new connections. To combat this issue, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms stimulate the growth of erinacines and hericenones. These substances promote nerve growth and have been known to aid with mild cognitive impairment in older adults. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms also help alleviate chronic inflammation of the brain, which combats feelings of depression and anxiety. As a result, users experience some of the best natural cognitive enhancement capabilities available.
|L-Theanine is an amino acid that’s commonly found in green tea. However, people often take it on its own as a way to increase mental focus. It also allows users to feel more calm and creative, which is great for creating a productive mental state. Its most notable benefit is how it reduces stress and overall mental fatigue. L Theanine works by amplifying the effect of the brain’s alpha waves, which contributes to a better sense of alertness.
|Modafinil (AKA the “Limitless Pill”) is a nootropic supplement that acts as a stimulant but classifies as a wakefulness-promoting agent. Do you have trouble staying awake? Whether you’re suffering from a couple nights’ of lousy sleep or have a more severe sleep disorder, modafinil minimizes feelings of extreme sleepiness. It doesn’t make you feel hyper-alert or jittery; rather, it enhances your mental processes with few (if any) side effects. (3) In healthy adults, modafinil also improves fatigue levels, reaction time, and motivation. Some people consider modafinil to be the best nootropic.
|Noopept also called N-Phenylacetyl-l-prolylglycine ethyl ester is a synthetic compound nootropic that has similarities to Piracetam. The difference however is that Noopept is more absorbable and much more potent. Noopept helps with the beginning processesing stages of memory as well as improve with retrieval of memory. It also increases blood flow and helps protect the brain from neuro toxins.
|Panax Ginseng is a well-known herb used worldwide, and it’s particularly popular in China. This nootropic supplement is most commonly referred to as an “adaptogen,” meaning that it helps protect the body from physiological stress. Because Panax Ginseng regulates stress, users reported improved cognition as a result. It helps calm feelings of overall anxiety and boosts reaction time, memory, etc.
|Phosphatidylserine, or PS, is an essential phospholipid that makes up part of the brain. You may recall what phospholipids are from high school biology. If you need a refresher, they are molecules that make up cellular membranes and aid in certain cellular processes. We need this natural phospholipid to complete everyday functions and get it from consuming certain foods. However, unless you are regularly eating foods like chicken hearts and mackerel, you will need a supplement to receive an adequate amount. PS helps users improve their learning processes and combats symptoms of memory decline. It’s one of the best nootropics available, as it is a natural nootropic and can be used safely with various other cognitive enhancement supplements.
|Piracetam is a widely-used derivative of the neurotransmitter known as GABA. GABA is a chemical messenger that calms hyperactive neurons in the brain. Piracetam operates a little differently than GABA, but it still offers extensive brain health benefits. For instance, this supplement increases blood flow to the brain which helps people who experience a lack of mental energy. It also reduces the symptoms of dyslexia and the frequency of myoclonic seizures.
|Phenylpiracetam is a chemical alteration of piracetam. It’s basically piracetam with an extra phenyl group attached, which makes the supplement more stimulating. As a result, this nootropic significantly improves attention, cognition, and memory. It also diminishes symptoms of depression, which can lead to enhanced mental clarity.
|Pterostilbene is a derivative of resveratrol. But what is resveratrol? Resveratrols are a type of polyphenols. They act as antioxidants as they protect your body from damage. They can also improve mental clarity and support brain cells. Because it is a derivative of resveratrol, pterostilbene acts similarly. Its slightly different structure, however, makes it much more effective. Its one hydroxyl group instead of three makes it easier for our bodies to uptake it. This increased bioavailability means we can process it and experience its brain health benefits more efficiently.
|Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb that helps your body deal with stress. The Rhodiola rosea herb grows in the cold, mountainous areas of Asia and Europe. Its root contains over 140 active ingredients, the main two being rosavin and salidrosides. High-quality Rhodiola rosea cognitive enhancers typically have around 1% salidrosides and 3% rosavins. The Rhodiola rosea’s benefits include improving memory and reducing feelings of burnout. One study found Rhodiola rosea to be particularly useful for reducing fatigue in college students.
|Sulbutiamine is a synthetic variation of vitamin B1 (thiamine). Unlike thiamine, sulbutiamine is fat-soluble. It dissolves in fats, meaning one should consume it with high-fat foods for best absorption. Despite this difference, sulbutiamine and thiamine act similarly. Sulbutiamine raises the brain’s thiamine levels and may have a mild stimulant effect. There is little research on the benefits of sulbutiamine. It may be able to reduce feelings of fatigue, improve memory, and even enhance athletic performance. However, sulbutiamine is on the FDA’s Dietary Supplement Ingredient Advisory List. You may want to steer clear of nootropics that use this ingredient.
|Tyrosine is a type of amino acid. Our bodies have lots of amino acids. These compounds are the building blocks of our body’s proteins. We get tyrosine from foods such as dairy products, nuts, and wheat. Our bodies also make tyrosine using another amino acid called phenylalanine. Most commonly, people with the disorder phenylketonuria take tyrosine. This is because their condition prevents them from being able to process phenylalanine. But, people also take tyrosine to improve their mental clarity. It can boost memory and even make one more alert after a lack of sleep. Tyrosine is known to be safe but may cause mild symptoms such as headache and nausea.
|Uridine is an important ribonucleotide in our bodies. Our RNA uses it to translate our genetic code (DNA) into proteins. Uridine is also an important energy source because it breaks down sugar. Its functions result in it playing an extremely important role in our cognition. We consume uridine naturally through the foods we eat. Our bodies may produce it if we have too little. We can also replenish our uridine stores by taking supplements. Like other nootropics, uridine improves mental performance and clarity. The standard serving size is 500-1,000 milligrams. The possibility of experiencing side effects is low, but taking uridine with food can help prevent them.
So, these are the most popular types of nootropics. Many consumers opt to take them on their own, such as Rhodiola rosea extracts or Lion’s Mane mushrooms. While solo nootropics can work wonders, their effects amplify when combined into one supplement.
Some choose to use a “nootropic stack.” Others choose to purchase a premade, catch-all brain supplement like the ones we’ve reviewed above. They allow for more comprehensive brain optimization. As a result, users experience more potent and longer-lasting results when it comes to memory and cognition improvements.
Are Nootropic Supplements Safe?
By definition, nootropics are safe. The man who coined the term, Dr. Giurgea, noted that these substances must have few side effects and low toxicity.
However, the FDA loosely regulates nootropic supplements. They are nutritional cognitive performance supplements rather than pharmaceutical drugs. They don’t necessarily need to be backed by clinical trials, meaning a manufacturer can call a product a nootropic even if it’s not safe.
Before buying a nootropic, research the following:
- Clinical trials that study potential symptoms
- Reports of any harmful symptoms by consumers
- It uses the minimum effective dosage (high concentrations of nootropics may cause harm without improving its benefits)
- The manufacturer’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification status (issued by NSF International, GMP measures factors like factory cleanliness, equipment condition, etc.)
- Whether or not the product has additives (gluten, artificial colors, carrageenan, etc.)
Do Nootropics Actually Work?
Yes, nootropics actually work. By definition, nootropics enhance brain function. But, again, just because a manufacturer calls a product a nootropic doesn’t mean its effective.
Analyze a product’s effectiveness through research. Do a deep-dive into the company’s website:
- How long has it been in business?
- What claims does it make?
- Is it transparent about its manufacturing process, return policies, etc.?
You should also research outside of the company’s website. Look at unbiased product reviews online. If you have nootropic-enthusiast friends, ask for their opinion!
Who Should Take Nootropics and Who Shouldn’t?
Healthy people of all ages should take nootropics. The supplements are particularly useful to people like college students who are under a lot of stress.
So far, we’ve discussed primarily over-the-counter nootropics. It’s important to note that there are also prescription nootropics. It is important to note that you should only take those if you have received a prescription from your doctor since they may cause adverse symptoms.
High-quality nootropic supplements are generally safe for healthy people. However, they may cause adverse symptoms in some. Standard medical advice says that people who shouldn’t take nootropics include:
- Women who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive
- Children under the age of 18
- Individuals who are taking drugs that may react poorly with a nootropic
While the ingredients are safe, part of these precautions point to the need for more research. Natural ingredients like Rhodiola rosea or Lion’s Mane require more research to determine if they are safe for pregnant women or breastfeeding.
Where Can You Buy the Best Nootropics?
It’s good that many manufacturers are producing nootropic products. It keeps the industry competitive and gives consumers lots of options.
However, you have to be careful about where to buy these smart drugs. Unfortunately, many subpar manufacturers plague the industry.
You don’t want to get tricked into buying a low-quality product. At best, they won’t do what they’re supposed to do. At worst, you’ll be putting harmful substances into your body.
Fortunately we have done a ton of research so that you don’t have to worry about spending money on ineffective (or even dangerous) smart drugs. The best place to buy nootropics is by clicking the links on this website.
Should I Try Nootropic Supplements?
Of course you should try nootropic supplements, they work! A lot of factors can cause your mental performance to decline. High levels of stress and inevitable aging can lead to a decline in cognition. Individuals suffering from more serious neurodegenerative disorders are also bound to experience issues with memory and information recall.
People of all ages have found a solution in nootropic supplements. They use them to help minimize and even ward off cognitive decline.
However, before you begin to take a nootropic supplement, you need to find the best nootropics for you. Remember that there isn’t one nootropic that’s better than all the others; the most effective nootropic will help you the best.
Ensure that the nootropic you choose is safe and proven to be effective. You should also check that it can help you meet your unique goals, whether you take nootropics for studying, nootropic for weight loss, or nootropics for motivation.
Greg Don is the main author of Zimmez. He’s also an avid health and fitness enthusiast. He enjoys spending time outdoors fishing, hiking, and playing tennis. You can find more about him here.