Nootropics for Weight Loss – Can they actually help you lose pounds?

How Does Your Brain’s Cognition Affect Weight Loss?

This page was last updated June, 2024

When it comes to losing weight, your mental health plays an essential role in your physical health. After all, sticking to a strict diet and exercise routine can be mentally taxing. Without motivation, willpower, energy, and a balanced mood, it’s easy to revert to one’s original, unhealthy routine.

As a result, many are now realizing the potential of brain-boosting nootropics for weight loss. While some of these supplements play a more active role in weight reduction, like appetite suppression and metabolism stimulation, the main benefit they offer is enhancing your cognitive function.

How does this help in losing weight? The brain’s cognition dramatically influences one’s productivity in any given task, such as dieting or exercising. To better explain this phenomenon, let’s break down the brain’s many weight regulation roles and how using nootropics may be advantageous.>/p>

Motivation Plays a Critical Role in Losing Weight

There is a plethora of scientific evidence that confirms a positive correlation between motivation and weight loss. For instance, one study examines the effects of two interventions for weight loss—one acting as a control and the other focusing on enhancing motivation. The research team concluded that the enhancing motivation intervention significantly exhibited more significant weight loss among the tested individuals.

How does your brain factor into all of this? For one, it’s the organ responsible for secreting dopamine, which plays a vital role in motivation. Since nootropic supplements improve brain health, they can potentially promote dopamine production to keep your determination going.

Burning Fat Becomes Difficult When Fatigued

Fatigue is more than just feeling tired or sleepy, though these are common symptoms. It’s a condition that constitutes a complete lack of energy and motivation.

While most types of fatigue stem from physical exertion, some are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. A lack or excess of regulating hormones like cortisol, melatonin, and dopamine can impart feelings of sleepiness and exhaustion.

Leading a healthier lifestyle – like resting at regular hours and eating a nutritious diet – can go a long way towards avoiding fatigue. Similarly, taking nootropics may also be helpful. Some of these supplements are even specially made for improving your sleep to give you more energy.

Increasing Your Focus Helps Shed the Pounds

If motivation is the catalyst for one’s actions, your focus is the skill that is necessary to sustain it. Without the drive to finish what you start, meeting your weight loss goals will take longer than expected. What’s more, many studies even directly link obesity with focusing problems.

Just like motivation, many of the brain’s processes influence focus. Functions like alpha wave activity, beta wave activity, and hormonal balance all help us concentrate better. That’s why many nootropics for weight loss also have a focus-enhancing benefit.

Reducing Stress and Improving Your Mood Helps With Dieting

Every task is easier to accomplish if you’re relaxed and in a good mood. In fact, research suggests that stress relief improves weight loss among obese individuals. Conversely, too much stress can severely dampen many cognitive functions like focus and motivation, both of which – as we’ve mentioned – are necessary for shedding off extra pounds.

Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone, and an imbalance of this substance negatively influences your general disposition. By maintaining normal cortisol levels through practicing healthy habits and taking nootropic supplements, you can make your weight loss regimes more fruitful and manageable.

Best Nootropics for Weight Loss

Every nootropic supplement has its own unique way of encouraging weight loss. So depending on your needs, one might suit you more than another. Most nootropics have a more passive benefit of improving your motivation and focus, but some can directly help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite or speeding up your metabolism.

When combined with proper diet and exercise, these nootropics can help you achieve your weight loss goals faster.


Cyanocobalamin – more commonly known as Vitamin B12 – is a water-soluble substance used by every single cell in your body. One might use Vitamin B12 for weight loss because it improves your concentration, alertness, and energy levels. This vitamin directly influences your energy production because it’s responsible for helping your body process carbohydrates into glucose.


L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea and mushrooms that improves your concentration. One Electroencephalograph (EEG) study found that young individuals who took L-theanine supplements had an increase in alpha brain wave activity, which raised their alertness and attention span. This effect is why many use L-theanine for weight loss since it’s the perfect supplement for keeping you focused on tasks that span over a long duration.


Caffeine from your coffee gives you that signature buzz every morning by influencing your central nervous system’s hormone balance. Specifically, it blocks your adenosine – a neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel calm and relaxed – to boost your energy and alertness. Caffeine also raises your epinephrine levels, which signals your body to burn more fat tissue.

Some nootropic manufacturers combine L-theanine with caffeine for weight loss because of their synergizing effects.


Many studies attest to Phosphatidylserine’s many benefits, which include staving off physical decline. One particular study found that healthy men who take this supplement feel less physical stress from intense exercise. This effect is thanks to Phosphatidylserine’s ability to prevent free-radical damage and buffer the stress hormone cortisol.

Keeping your body protected against stress makes it easier to exert more effort in your exercise routines for prolonged periods.


Many already know modafinil as a stimulant for treating narcolepsy and other sleeping disorders, but it’s also becoming popular for weight loss use. While present research on modafinil is relatively limited, some studies suggest that this nootropic’s effectiveness stems from its ability to boost your body’s orexin and histamine levels. These neurotransmitters can act as appetite suppressants to help lower your daily caloric intake.


Adrafinil is the non-metabolized version of modafinil, so it imparts similar benefits. The only difference between the two is that Adrafinil takes time to metabolize and accumulate in the bloodstream. Simply put, this supplement takes longer before you can feel its effects.


The antioxidant Pterostilbene naturally occurs in many common foods like blueberries, peanuts, and almonds. Several animal studies found that this substance improved dopamine levels and cognition while lowering anxiety. Present research on humans is limited, but one study that tested the effect of Pterostilbene on cholesterol, blood pressure, and oxidative stress accidentally discovered that it significantly reduces weight as well.


Tyrosine is an amino acid precursor for dopamine, the substance that improves motivation. Many studies highlight tyrosine’s positive effects on overall cognition, focus, and memory, all while acting as a stress reducer. These benefits can improve your productivity and motivation for losing weight. Keep in mind that there are presently no studies that directly correlate tyrosine intake and weight loss.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is an herb widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for its memory- and focus- enhancing benefits. Numerous studies attest to this plant’s perceived effects. For example, one analysis shows its potential for boosting your brain function, as well as alleviating stress and anxiety. However, there is currently no research that tests its benefits on weight loss.


Citicoline is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that’s essential for brain function. One study also finds that this substance can increase dopamine receptor densities and reduced cravings when taken as a supplement. However, the researchers also concluded that the weight change of the tested individuals was not significant.


People mainly use Adderall as a form of ADHD treatment, but it’s also popularly used as a weight loss aid. Stimulant drugs like Adderall encourage your body to burn calories faster and make you less hungry.

Even with its effectiveness, only take this nootropic if recommended by your doctor. The possible adverse side effects include high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and disturbed sleep.

Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna Pruriens is a legume native to Asia and Africa. Researchers discovered that the plant is naturally rich in a neurotransmitter called l-dopa. This substance can promote weight loss by indirectly enhancing your human growth hormone production, contributing to fat burning and muscle growth.


Athletes and bodybuilders commonly use hordenine to boost their physical performance, but it’s also one of the most popular nootropics for weight loss on the market. One study found that this substance increases young, healthy individuals’ metabolic rate, even while at rest.


Synephrine is a stimulant that naturally occurs in bitter oranges. Plenty of scientific evidence attests to this nootropic’s capabilities as a fat burner. One such study found that taking it as a supplement increases the fat oxidation rate when combined with exercising at low to moderate intensities. We recommend taking synephrine in moderation, especially with other stimulants like caffeine.

Nootropic Appetite Suppressants

By influencing your hormone balance and other chemical levels, some supplements can effectively stave off your feelings of hunger. Modafinil, Adderall, and caffeine are just some of the most popular nootropics with this effect. However, possible side effects of too many stimulants in your system include high blood pressure, headaches, and an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, so it’s crucial to take them in moderation.

These nootropics will always work best when taken in tandem with a good diet. If you keep eating unhealthy meals, you will still likely exceed your daily dietary recommendations, even if you eat less frequently. Also, keep in mind many of these nootropics have yet to be reviewed by the FDA as appetite suppressants.


Nootropics for weight loss are steadily rising in popularity thanks to the many ways they can go about increasing your success. They can improve your cognitive health, provide you with more energy, and even help you burn off excess fat faster.

Remember, though, that each person reacts differently to nootropics. So what works for one person might not be the best choice for you. What’s more, the effectiveness of nootropics relies on the foundations of proper dieting and exercise. An absence of the two makes any form of supplementation useless.

Nootropics are also a relatively new addition to the alternative supplement world, which is why it might be challenging to find effective products from established manufacturers. Consider reading through our reviews of the most popular nootropics on the market for a better-informed buying decision. We provide honest, in-depth reporting that is grounded on scientific evidence and first-hand experience.

Greg Don

Greg Don


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.