If you’re interested in reaching peak mental performance and improving brain function, you may have heard of nootropics before.
Often referred to as “smart pills” or “cognitive enhancers” nootropic supplements can help you improve memory, focus, motivation, learning, and mental clarity. Nootropics are also often used to help with age-related decline, anxiety, and depression as well.
While nootropics won’t make you superhuman, they will allow you to perform at your highest potential. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a CEO, entrepreneur, grad student, or startup founder that hasn’t at least experimented with smart drugs to boost brain function and cognition.
However, with so many nootropics and brain supplements on the market, choosing a high quality product that actually works is no easy task. While some nootropics work AMAZING, others are a total waste of money.
To help you find the best nootropics for your needs, The Nootropic Authority has reviewed the top cognitive enhancers on the market. We examined their ingredients, dosages, customer reviews, and price to come up with our list of top-performing products.
If you’re ready to unlock your brain’s potential and reach peak mental performance, here are the best nootropics to try.
Top 5 Best Nootropics For Improved Brain Function
1) Mind Lab Pro: Most Effective Nootropic
Mind Lab Pro is one of the best nootropics on the market thanks to its superior formulation of brain-boosting ingredients. Mind Lab Pro helps you unlock 100% brain power, allowing your brain to fire on all cylinders to reach peak mental performance.
You take two capsules early in the day, and the manufacturer says you can increase the dose to four pills if you need greater brain function to face a more intense cognitive challenge, like a looming deadline or a grueling test.
The powerful ingredients improve six of your brain pathways, including energy, chemicals, circulation, regeneration, protection, and brain waves. Most other nootropics only work to enhance two or three pathways. This multi-tasking approach supports memory, performance, structure, and mindset, adapting throughout the day and from one day to the next to meet changing mental demands.
In all, Mind Lab Pro contains 11 research-backed ingredients that have been shown to improve brain function and cognition. Every ingredient in Mind Lab Pro is clinically-dosed for the best results. You won’t find any “proprietary” blends in this formula or pointless ingredients.
Here are the ingredients inside of Mind Lab Pro:
Cognizin – (Citicoline)
Sharp-PS Green (Phosphatidylserine)
Lion’s mane mushroom
Maritime Pine Bark Extract
What’s not in Mind Lab Pro? It’s free of caffeine, gluten, soy, artificial preservatives, and allergens. It’s vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and non-irradiated. You won’t find any banned substances in these premium NutriCaps, just highly effective brain-boosters backed by scientific research. This advanced nootropic is safe, clean, and full of brainpower.
Mind Lab Pro is the best nootropic supplement for active, dynamic people who depend on top mental performance and sharp focus. If you’re a college student, working professional, competitive athlete, or adult 55+, you can function at a higher level with the brain-boosting power of this quality formula. Mind Lab Pro helps your brain fire on all cylinders and encourages optimal brain function in the future.
Helps Nourish Brain Cells For Long-Term Mental Performance
11 Research-Backed Brain Boosting Ingredients
Third-party Tested and Validated For Potency
Free of Gluten, Caffeine, Soy, or Synthetic Additives (Vegan Friendly)
Used By Professionals, Competitors, Active 55+, Athletes, and Students
Click Here To Get The Lowest Price on Mind Lab Pro
2) Performance Lab Mind – Best Nootropic for Cognitive Performance
Performance Lab nootropics support brain health and brain power while helping you stand up against burnout. It’s the only nootropic to improve cognitive function and aid in your brain’s recovery from the intense mental workout it performs on a daily basis. Performance Lab helps you cope with burnout stress and enhances brain health going forward.
Performance Lab recommends starting your morning off right by taking one to two capsules with your first meal. For best results, include some dietary fat, like milk or the company’s MCT oil. With consistent use, you’ll give your brain power a lift, which should increase your focus, memory, energy, and motivation.
The key ingredients behind Performance Lab’s mental upgrade power include Cognizin and Sharp-PS Green. They work together to strengthen your brain’s phospholipids — healthy fats essential to strong brain cell membranes.
Performance Lab also features L-Tyrosine to combat the negative effects of stress, intense cognition, and multitasking. The product’s Maritime Pine Bark adds antioxidant power to enhance cell regeneration and promote long-term brain health.
All of these powerful ingredients are packed into one small, easy-to-swallow capsule. Performance Lab is vegan-friendly and free from caffeine, soy, and synthetic additives.
Performance Lab is a high-powered cognitive aid that is healthy for you to use on a daily basis. It provides the cognitive lift you need now and helps you bounce back from the heaviness you go through when you’re facing intense mental exertion. Plus, it’s stimulant-free, so you can boost your brain without the post-stim crash of some other products.
Performance Lab is the ideal supplement for adults or college students who depend on optimal cognitive function daily. If you’re in a high-powered job or an intense academic program, Performance Lab gives you the boost you need to be the sharpest employee or student you can be.
Effective at Improving Short Term Memory
Boost Brain Function and Mental Processing Speed
Helps Optimize Brain Cells For Long-Term Health
Only 1-2 Capsules Needed Per Day For This Brain Supplement
Free of Stimulants, Crashes, and Jitters
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3) NooCube: Best Nootropics For Memory Recall
If you’re looking for a mighty daily-use supplement to improve your memory while giving you heightened focus and mental speed, NooCube is a powerful choice. It features a terrific combination of amino acids, vitamins, and vital building blocks to make sure your neurotransmitters stay healthy and keep firing on all cylinders.
Most users recommend starting your day by taking two NooCube capsules with your breakfast. Each person’s neurochemistry is different, so your optimal dosage may be three or four capsules every morning. Your NooCube dose will start working in 30-45 minutes, and the benefits of the dose will last up to ten hours with no adverse side effects.
NooCube blends seven highly effective ingredients to enhance your cognitive function swiftly and safely. The super seven combo includes:
Each ingredient plays an important part in NooCube’s mission to keep your gray mattering operating at peak power. Studies have shown Alpha GPC’s role in improving cognitive function in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Huperzine and Bacopa gave study participants a memory boost.
claw offers antioxidant properties. Oat straw has been bumping brain waves since the Middle Ages. L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine offer a one-two punch with neurotransmitter stimulation and relaxation properties.
Why NooCube? Most users say the supplement provides unparalleled memory enhancement and helps increase your productivity, performance, and potential. Users also boast a heightened ability to concentrate and communicate effectively. Some of the ingredients have shown such promise that they were considered as possible treatments for conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Best of all, you get NooCube’s power with no caffeine, so you’ll have none of the jitters that come with that stimulant.
Memory is critical to peak performance, whether you’re at work, at school, or at play. If you want a quick, safe memory upgrade, you can’t beat NooCube.
Best Nootropics For Improving Short Term Memory
Effects Last Around 8-10 Hours
Every Ingredient Has Been Rigorously Tested For Safety and Effectiveness
Discounts For More Than A 1-Month Supply
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4) Hunter Focus: Best Nootropic For Focus and Productivity
Hunter Focus is an advanced natural nootropic that helps you tap your mind’s potential. It gives you the added advantage of increased focus, creativity, and concentration, improving your life at work and at home. It’s designed to give men over the age of 30 the power to perform at prime neurofunction.
With just four capsules a day, Hunter Focus works to increase and strengthen your brain’s pathways and enzymes. It also enhances blood flow and oxygen to your brain, so your body’s supercomputer can function at full power. With a focus on neuroplasticity, or your brain’s capacity to create new neural connections, Hunter Focus offers better memory and mood, plus greater energy and creativity.
The Hunter Focus formula features nine of the best natural ingredients engineered to produce prime results in three areas:
Concentration gets support from Citicoline, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, and L-Theanine.
Memory function achieves a boost from Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Maritime Pine Bark, and Bacopa.
Mood improves thanks to Phosphatidylserine, Ashwagandha, and Passion Flower.
Hunter Focus has evidence-based science on its side, with clinical studies showing the safety and efficacy of the supplement and its ingredients. You get 100% all-natural, non-GMO ingredients with no preservatives, soy, or gluten. Plus, Hunter Focus comes with no harsh side effects like stomach upset, headaches, or post-boost crashes.
If you’re a man over 30, this top natural nootropic can give you the power-up you need to succeed in your professional and personal life. It was designed with YOU in mind and has been shown to improve your cognitive processes. Hunter Focus combines premium ingredients to help you achieve premium results through heightened focus and productivity.
One of the Best Nootropic Supplements For Professionals or Entrepreneurs Over 30
Speeds up Mental Processing and Creativity
Improves Problem-Solving Skills
Helps Reduce Anxiety and Improve Happiness
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5) Brain Pill: Top Nootropic Smart Pills for Entrepreneurs
If you’re an entrepreneur seeking a competitive edge, Brain Pill provides the power to boost your cognition and enhance your performance. You can banish the brain fog, stand up under tight deadlines, and overcome the most stressful situations with ease, thanks to Brain Pill’s potent, clinically proven nootropic formula.
Brain Pill’s state-of-the-art ingredients have the support and backing of science and studies on brain health. It works to support cognitive function now while helping your brain to regenerate and strengthen for the future. It increases learning, memory, and rapid recall ability to enhance your cognitive speed and stamina.
The ingredients in Brain Pill are cognitive game-changers. Seven ingredients combine to drive focus and energy:
The product features six more ingredients that help you level up in terms of mental speed and memory:
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
These high-quality ingredients work together to boost your brain’s performance from a variety of different angles, creating a unique cognitive synergy. All of this power comes without caffeine, trace ingredients, and mystery fillers that can lead to jitters and other undesirable side effects.
Brain Pill isn’t meant for a quick energy boost. You can grab a cup of coffee if that’s all you need. This nootropic supplement was created to enhance brain performance and provide sustained mental stamina in high-stakes situations. It helps you clear the fog, stay focused, meet mental challenges, and be your best on even the longest days.
If you’re an entrepreneur who depends on your cognitive power and creativity, Brain Pill powers the endurance you need to succeed. Enhance your confidence and productivity to stand out from the crowd.
Best Nootropic or Smart Drug For Entrepreneurs
Makes A Great Natural Alternative to Adderall or Modafinil
Protects Brain From Memory Loss and Mental Fatigue
Steady Flow of Concentration and Unwavering Focus
67-Day Money Back Guarantee
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What Are Nootropic Supplements and How Do They Work?
Nootropics (smart drugs) are natural or man-made compounds used to augment cognitive performance. These supplements, sometimes referred to as smart pills or brain boosters, may enhance brain activity, brain cell formation, and a variety of mental processes. They act on your brain’s pathways to:
The best nootropics have the potential to positively impact your brain, improving your mental clarity and cognitive ability.
Nootropics won’t turn you into Einstein or give you superhero mind power, but they can give your brain the boost it needs to enhance your daily performance and drive your success now and in the future.
Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Cognitive Enhancers
If you type “nootropics” into your Google search bar, you’ll see more than five million results. Searching for “brain supplements” and “nootropic supplements” will give you over 400,000 additional results. How do you wade through millions of links to find a top nootropic?
We hope our suggestions on the best nootropic supplements help you find the best choices to improve your mental performance. If you like to do your own research on smart pills, here are some things to consider.
Have you ever heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out?” If you want a nootropic that will encourage optimal brain performance, you can’t choose one that includes subpar ingredients. While you’re examining nootropics choices, look for brain supplements with ingredients that are backed by long-term scientific study or clinical trials.
If a nootropic or smart drug boasts a clean label, that’s another indication of product quality and purity. A clean label likely means the brain booster is non-GMO and free of additives and allergens like soy, nuts, or dairy. The smart drug should also be free of artificial colors and preservatives. Of course, if any of these items pose a particular problem for you, you should do your own deep read of the nootropic’s website and label.
If you’ve ever grabbed a coffee before a long work meeting or a late-night study session, you took advantage of a naturally occurring nootropic — caffeine. There’s nothing wrong with that. Caffeine is a stimulant and can give you the brain energy you need to power through a long day or a tough project. Caffeine and L-Theanine are often combined together for memory, focus, and increased mental processing.
The problem with caffeine and other stimulants is that they make many people feel jittery, and once they wear off, they often make their users crash. The best, highest-quality nootropics offer sustained energy and increased brain activity without the crash that follows.
When you decide to purchase nootropic supplements, whether it be for mental clarity or short term memory, it’s an investment in your brain and your life. Since everyone’s brain chemistry is slightly different, you may be hesitant to make that investment if you’re not sure how a particular nootropic will work for you. Many top companies stand by their products with some type of money-back guarantee. That’s a good sign and a way for you to try a brain booster without risk to your bank account.
As you browse cognitive enhancers, you’re likely to see a range of prices. As we all know, price is not the sole indicator of quality. “You get what you pay for” often proves true, and bargain basement prices lead to bargain-basement results. At the same time, high-priced does not automatically guarantee high-quality.
Many top nootropics and smart drugs feature a combination of powerful ingredients for your mind. These quality ingredients come at a cost to the company, so you may pay a little more. You know what price point you’re comfortable with, and if you can match that with a brain booster that can improve your cognitive performance, that’s a solid investment.
The Best Nootropic Ingredients for Improved Cognitive Function
When you decide to feed your gray matter to enhance performance, you’ll want the best nootropic ingredients for the job. These cognitive powerhouses include:
L-Theanine provides an alpha brain wave boost with a unique one-two punch for a mental clarity that’s both alert and relaxed. This green tea-based ingredient supports creativity, mood, sleep, and ongoing brain health. It reduces stress even during times when intense multitasking is a necessity. It also helps protect your brain from age-related cognitive decline. Recent studies have investigated how L-tyrosine, L-theanine, and caffeine supplementation may help the mental and physical performance in adults.
If we gave an award for the best nootropic for the mind, it would go to citicoline. It works in the mitochondria of your brain’s cells and has shown to improve energy levels without the crash associated with stimulants. Citicoline comes with numbers to back its claims: It increases brain energy by more than 13% and brain cell building by 26%.
This superstar nootropic also works with acetylcholine, a brain chemical, to increase your brain’s blood flow. Studies have shown Citicoline supports working memory and cognition while standing against age-related decline.
Rhodiola Rosea is one of the best nootropics for mind-body function. The extract from this perennial flowering plant helps balance stress hormones to build up your physical and mental opposition to stress. Rhodiola Rosea also helps fight fatigue, increase energy, and balance mood. In addition, Rhodiola Rosea extract is also a particularly effective nootropic supplement for athletes and other competitors.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
The top nootropic for Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), Lion’s Mane Mushroom enhances a variety of bioactivities in the brain, including regeneration, plasticity, and signaling. Lion’s Mane supports memory, focus, and cognitive performance, while also helping to fight anxiety and the blues. Better cognitive scores and better moods both fall within this mushroom’s power.
Maritime Pine Bark
This mighty antioxidant works to combat brain cell aging, neutralizing the negative impact of toxic free radicals. It can move past the blood-brain barrier and stimulate nitric oxide to help increase blood flow to the brain. It may be up to fifty times more powerful than Vitamin C for adults that use it. Maritime Pine Bark shows potential for anti-aging and regeneration, including better working memory and mental ability.
Ginkgo Biloba keeps the blood moving, promoting increased blood flow to your brain. It’s a longtime nootropic supplement trusted for its cognitive enhancement abilities. The Ginkgo Biloba supplement also has antioxidant properties. Some studies show Ginkgo Biloba’s potential to enhance cognitive speed. Ginkgo Biloba also helps prevent memory loss and allows you to get things done more efficiently. Others show a positive impact on Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, though Ginkgo Biloba does not prevent these diseases.
L-Tyrosine helps you reach peak mental performance, enhancing clarity under pressure and contributing to recovery after an intense mental challenge. Stressful situations and multitasking challenges can drastically reduce your brain’s dopamine and norepinephrine. This amino acid helps fight the brain drain that can result in a distracted, foggy feeling. L-Tyrosine can improve cognitive performance even when you’re sleep-deprived.
Also known as water hyssop, Bacopa Monnieri is a flowering plant containing powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Research has shown its potential as an anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety agent that may be useful in people with ADHD, Parkinson’s, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders.
The effects of caffeine are well known. Caffeine is a natural nootropic with stimulant properties. It’s found in coffee and tea, as well as a variety of other products. Caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine, helping you feel awake and alert. Many people experience an energy crash afterward and often crave more and more caffeine to produce the same results. When caffeine and L-theanine combine, they offer an exceptionally effective boost to your brain functions.
Vitamin B12 is just one of the B vitamins that’s vital to your brain functions and nervous system, aiding in the metabolic process. It helps to ensure blood flow and may help prevent brain shrinkage due to age. This nootropic may also contribute to the turn-around of cognitive decline as you age.
List of Synthetic Smart Drugs To Consider
Depending on your goals and brain boost needs, you may want to consider synthetic smart drugs as opposed to natural nootropics. Potential choices include:
Modafinil is a prescription drug used to promote alertness. Modafinil is typically reserved for patients who suffer from extreme sleepiness due to sleep apnea, rotating work shifts, or, in more serious cases, narcolepsy. Modafinil is not a cure for your sleepiness or lack of energy, though it does work on the part of the brain that impacts sleeping and waking. This synthetic smart drug may cause a range of side effects including dizziness, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, depression, anxiety, and problems breathing. You should always consult your doctor for medical advice if Modafinil is something you’re interested in.
You may be familiar with Adderall, which is also a kind of nootropic. Adderall is a prescription smart drug that is classified as an amphetamine, so it acts as a stimulant on both the mind and body. It’s often used to treat ADHD though doctors also prescribe it for narcolepsy. Adderall is only available by prescription, though it is often abused and procured in other ways. Potentially serious side effects of Adderall include nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, depression, hallucinations, and altered sex drive. Adderall is often referred to as a “study drug” and is commonly abused among college students.
Noopept is a synthetic nootropic that claims to enhance learning ability and improve memory. The noopept smart drug was developed in Russia and while some studies show its power to combat cognitive decline due to aging, it has not been proven in sufficient scientific studies. Noopept is not available over-the-counter in the U.S.
In the U.S., Piracetam is a dietary supplement, though it does not have FDA approval. Some evidence suggests that Piracetam benefits patients with cognitive decline, depression, and anxiety, though results are not conclusive.
Type of Nootropics
More than 80 different substances may fall under the definition of nootropics, including:
B Vitamins, including Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9, and Vitamin B12 are vital tools for cognitive performance and overall brain health. They help reduce stress, enhance blood flow, and promote the creation of nerve sheaths. Vitamin B6 in particular helps older adults store information more effectively. If you don’t get enough B vitamins, a nootropic is an easy fix for the B complex your body needs.
For centuries, people have relied on the botanical nootropic power of herbs like Lion’s Mane Mushroom and Bacopa Monnieri. Tradition shows the safety and efficacy of these natural nootropics, while modern techniques for extraction and potency enhancement make them even better. Bacopa Monnieri positively impacts the storage and retention of new information and improves memory. Lion’s Mane Mushroom balances mood and slows cognitive decline. Both nootropics have a strong reputation of tolerability for beginning nootropics users.
This type of botanical nootropic affects both your brain and your endocrine system, balancing the mental and physical stress response so you can shine under pressure. Adaptogens help to reduce the mental exhaustion and brain fog that result from high-stress situations. The adaptogen Rhodiola Rosea is great for beginners since its energizing effects work quickly, allowing the users to realize the benefit almost immediately.
A type of healthy fat, phospholipids support the regeneration and repair of brain cells. This category of nootropic is critical to the optimal function of brain cell membranes and works by keeping them flexible and fluid. Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an ideal starting nootropic for new users because of its variety of benefits including improved focus, memory, problem-solving, communication, and mood.
Choline assists your body with the regulation and synthesis of fats. This natural nootropic is vital to optimal brain activity — the gray matter is more than 50% fat. Choline combines with phospholipids to rebuild and repair the brain. It enhances energy, mood, memory, and your overall brain health. Plus, it has a solid safety profile.
Antioxidants work to safeguard your brain and memory from the damaging effects of free radicals, which attack brain cell membranes and speed up the aging process. While there are plenty of antioxidants on the market, Maritime Pine Bark Extract is an effective nootropic because it can pass the blood-brain barrier. This natural antioxidant also aids in nerve growth and the protection of blood vessels.
As powerful biological building blocks, amino acids form proteins and promote full-body wellness. Not all amino acids are nootropics, but each amino acid that is a nootropic does double-duty, acting as both a brain chemical itself and a raw material that they use to manufacture chemicals to boost your brain. L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine are powerful nootropic amino acids that relieve stress and promote relaxation while enhancing cognitive ability. Acetyl L-carnitine is a chemical similar to an amino acid that helps the body turn fat into energy.
Are Nootropics Safe and Do They Have Any Side Effects?
Generally, the best nootropics we reviewed and others from reputable sources are both effective and safe. This is definitely a case where you get what you pay for. Cheaper smart drugs sold by unknown or fly-by-night suppliers may be of inferior quality or may contain unlisted ingredients or contaminants.
While risks are typically low, you need to be aware of issues with even the highest-quality memory enhancing drugs. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, and all medications or supplements may provoke an unexpected interaction. Nootropics may also have a negative interaction with other supplements or pills you currently take.
Before you embark on any brain-boosting smart drugs, you should discuss your potential brain supplement with your health care professional. This pre-purchase discussion is particularly important if you are currently taking prescription medication or if you are aware of underlying health problems.
By design and definition, nootropics do not have side effects. Realistically, as we’ve stated, everyone’s body and brain chemistry vary, and so an individual may experience an occasional adverse reaction.
In addition, if someone new to nootropics tries to stack or combine the supplements, they might experience unexpected side effects.
If you use nootropic stacks incorrectly or use an inferior quality product, you may experience side effects including headache, insomnia, brain fog, or digestive issues. Other rare side effects may include jitters, mood alteration, tiredness, lightheadedness, and unusual or lucid dreams.
If you’re a beginner to smart drugs and worried about side effects, you should choose a nootropic that:
For the most part, safety risks and side effects are highly unlikely for the average person. You should be sure to ask for medical advice from a medical professional before you start taking a human brain supplement, and pay close attention to your own physical and mental performance, such as short-term memory, while taking them.