As our bodies get older and more rusty, our brain follows suite and cognitive function begins to decline, resulting in deteriorating focus, energy, lateral thinking, and mood. Luckily, nootropics can help. These supplements are designed to enhance brain function, with a blend of herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals that have been shown to improve cognitive performance. However, the nootropic market is unregulated, and not all supplements are effective, with a wide variance in ingredient quality across brands. That’s why at BCR we analysed hundreds of nootropic supplements to present you the very best!
Benefits of using nootropics
- 🌫️ Lessen brain fog: Improve focus, concentration, attention span, alertness, and memory recall
- 💬 Better communication skills: Increase verbal fluency and allow for clearer self-expression
- 🤔 Improved intelligence: Enhance abstract reasoning and logical problem-solving skills
- ⚡ Elevated productivity: Boost motivation, physical energy, and determination
- 🎨 Heightened creativity: Encourage deeper thought processes and innovative ideas
- 💊 Synthetic and natural forms: Offer health advantages and support biological integrity
- 🌟 Overall benefits: Clearer mind, greater energy, efficient information storage and recall, enhanced intelligence and productivity, and a longer, healthier, and more fulfilled life
What Are Nootropics?
Top 3 Nootropics
Our best reviewed Nootropics for brain health
|Best Overall||Best for attention span||Best for brain protection|
|Highest Dosed||Best for Attention||Highest dose of Citociline|
|Best for Focus||Well known Brand||Best protective Vitamines|
|Best for Mood||Fantastic Reviews||Good Reviews|
For the best results, look for supplements that boost mental acuity, cognitive function, focus, and memory retention. These typically contain herbal compounds or are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as L-Theanine and Citicoline. Citicoline, in particular, has been studied extensively, with findings showing increased brain membrane formation and energy levels. L-Theanine, on the other hand, is known for promoting mood regulation and improving memory and sleep efficiency. Choose the best nootropic supplements to ensure optimum cognitive performance and sustained focus throughout the day.
The #1 rated Nootropic: Hunter Focus!
Hunter Focus is probably the best nootropic supplement we know! While it may not be as well known as other brands, this supplement by Roar Ambition is the highest quality on the market today.
With its extensive array of research-backed and clinically-proven ingredients – including Citicoline, L-Theanine, Ginko Biloba, Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, L-Carnitine, and B vitamins – Hunter Focus covers all the bases for optimal brain performance. It offers higher dosages than other nootropics, making it the most powerful option available.
We especially love Hunter Focus for its ashwagandha, a proven stress-reliever, as well as its higher dosages of Bacopa and L-Tyrosine than its competitors. Plus, it contains Pine Bark, Rhodesea Rosea, L-Theanine, and Citicoline, delivering optimal levels of these key ingredients for maximum brain benefits.
While Hunter Focus is priced slightly higher than other brands, it’s worth the investment for its incredible benefits. Users report improvements in focus, memory, and stress levels, as well as overall brain health. The only downside is that it contains caffeine for those who want to avoid it. ‘
Noocube: Best Nootropic for Students
Attention all students: looking for the best nootropic on the market? Whle Noocube may not be perfect, it’s packed with ingredients like L-Theanine and Alpha-GPC which have been clinically proven to improve focus and information retention. Plus, it’s caffeine-free and even has brain-protecting properties thanks to Resveratrol. But here’s the catch: it comes with a high price tag, which may not be affordable for most students. And while it’s great for memory, it’s missing citicoline, a key ingredient in other top-rated nootropics. Overall, we highly recommend NooCube for anyone looking for a stim-free brain boost.
Check out NooCube at the official website to get best prices!
Performance Lab Mind: Best for over 50
If you belong to the over fifty year olds, chances are your need for a solid nootropic increased dramatically with age. PLM might be exactly what you need! While it may be missing L-Theanine for regulating mood, it contains an ingredient called Sharp-PS Green (also known as Phosphatidylserine) that has been shown to slow mental decline and is being trailed as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and other conditions.
Aside from Sharp-PS Green, Performance Lab Mind also contains citicoline for repairing the brain membrane and increasing brain energy. Plus, the addition of pine bark extract improves cerebral circulation to prevent cognitive decline.
As the sister company of the highly-regarded Mind Lab Pro, Performance Lab is known for producing high-quality nootropics. And while some past customers have reported issues with late shipments, overall reviews are positive. If you’re looking to prolong your mental function and protect your brain cells, give Performance Lab Mind a try.
Mind Lab Pro: Best stim-free nootropic
Can’t deal with caffeine and Co.? We got you covered! As the most popular nootropic supplement on the market, it offers a combined stack of all the core ingredients that you’d expect in a good nootropic blend. But with slightly lower doses of Bacopa and L-Tyrosine and no caffeine, it’s not quite as effective at stress reduction and mood benefits as some other options. However, if you’re only looking to boost brain function, it’s an excellent choice.
While there were some delivery issues in the past, the vast majority of customers report increased mental energy and focus. The science behind the ingredient choices is favorable, although it remains to be seen whether the supplement can prevent mental decline. Our only criticism is that we would have liked to see a higher dosage of Bacopa, but overall, Mind Lab Pro is a great choice for improving brain function.
The most prominent ingredients in Nootropics
Natural nootropics consist of a variety of ingredients, and it’s important to understand which ones are the most effective. We’ve compiled a list of the top ingredients found in the best nootropics to help guide your selection process.
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that’s included in many nootropics for its ability to increase focus and combat mental fatigue. While it may not promote long-term brain health, its short-term effects can be extremely beneficial.
L-Tyrosine has been shown to help alleviate stress and improve cognitive function, making it a great addition to any nootropic stack. Studies have shown that L-Tyrosine is effective at reducing stress and improving overall brain function.
Ginkgo biloba has been shown to be effective at boosting memory retention in healthy individuals, and even more so in people who suffer from brain fog. It improves blood flow to the brain cells, leading to improved cognitive function and positive results in patients with a variety of medical issues.
L-Theanine is a highly researched ingredient that’s included in many premium nootropics thanks to its ability to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. The expense of L-Theanine means that it’s generally only found in the most effective nootropics.
Citicoline is another important ingredient in many nootropics as it helps to repair and protect brain cells, leading to better cognitive function. It also aids in the processing of sugars in the brain, which helps to prevent mental fatigue.
Ashwagandha is a powerful cortisol-lowering ingredient that’s known for its ability to reduce stress. Stress is a major contributor to poor cognitive function, and ashwagandha can help to restore brain function during prolonged periods of stress.
Specialized Nootropics with targeted benefits
Looking for more targeted benefits? We recommend Performance Lab Vision for gamers seeking to protect their eyes while enduring long screen time. With ingredients like Lutein and zeaxanthin, it promotes overall eye health and visual processing. While Performance Lab Vision may not be as effective for memory, focus, or cognitive functions as other nootropics, it can help maintain long-term eye health so you can game longer.
And for those seeking a boost of energy alongside their cognitive enhancement, BrainPill is a top choice. With the addition of Vitamins B12 and B6, it’s an all-round nootropic and energy-based multivitamin. While the dosage is on the small side, BrainPill is an excellent option for those not already supplementing these vitamins.
Popular Nootropic Stacks: Combining Supplements for Maximum Effect
“Nootropic stacking” – it sounds like something you might do with Lego blocks, but alas, we’re not building a colorful tower here. We’re constructing the architectural marvel that is your optimized brain.
So, let’s talk about stacks, and no, not the kind you flaunt at the gym. A nootropic stack is essentially a power-packed combo meal for your brain, a mix of different supplements tailored to supercharge your cognitive prowess.
Ever heard of the “racetam stack”? Sounds like a hot new pancake house, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s a potent combo of a racetam (piracetam, aniracetam, take your pick) coupled with a choline supplement, like the swanky Alpha-GPC or CDP-Choline. Racetams are the cool kids on the block, known for juicing up your memory and learning. Choline supplements, on the other hand, are like the pit crew supporting acetylcholine production, a neurotransmitter that’s pretty much the ‘influencer’ of memory and learning in your brain.
Next up is the “caffeine and L-theanine stack.” This is the espresso shot of nootropic stacks, with caffeine bringing the power surge and L-theanine playing the role of the calming green tea monk, reducing those caffeine-induced jitters. This stack helps you achieve that laser-focused energy, turning you into a cognitive superhero, minus the cape.
Then there’s the “fish oil and B-vitamin stack.” Sounds like something your nutrition-conscious aunt would recommend, right? Fish oil, abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, is like the premium fuel for your brain, while B-vitamins are the pit crew, essential for neurotransmitter production and cognitive function.
And for those of you who like to go big, meet the “Qualia Mind” stack, the all-you-can-eat buffet of nootropics. This comprehensive stack brings together a band of over 20 nootropic ingredients. Think of it as the Avengers of brain optimization, featuring racetams, choline supplements, caffeine, L-theanine, and a host of other vitamins, minerals, and herbs.
Nootropics vs. Smart Drugs: What’s the Difference?
Before we roll up our sleeves, let’s clarify one thing. Despite the Hollywood image of brain-enhancing substances instantly turning us into super-geniuses, the reality is a little less ‘Limitless’ and a little more nuanced. Let’s throw a spotlight on our two contenders and separate the science from the silver screen.
|Caffeine||8/10||Caffeine has been found to improve mental alertness and thought clarity.||Source: European Neuropsychopharmacology|
|L-Theanine||8.5/10||This amino acid found in green tea has been reported to promote relaxation without sedation, which can aid in focus.||Source: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry|
|Modafinil||9/10||Originally developed to treat narcolepsy, Modafinil has been found to enhance cognitive function in non-sleep deprived individuals.||Source: Journal of Psychopharmacology|
|Bacopa Monnieri||8/10||Used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine, Bacopa Monnieri has been found to improve memory free recall.||Source: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine|
|Ginkgo Biloba||7.5/10||Ginkgo Biloba has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and is thought to improve blood flow to the brain, aiding in cognitive performance.||Source: Psychopharmacology|
In the left corner, we have “Nootropics,” our so-called ‘brain boosters.’ These substances, from dietary supplements to various plant extracts, aim to enhance brain functions such as memory, creativity, and even motivation. Think of them as the pit crew, always ready to give your cognitive engine a tune-up.
In the right corner, we have “Smart Drugs,” the prescription powerhouses. These substances, typically medication prescribed for conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy, are often used off-label to improve focus and alertness. Picture them as the turbo boosters, kicking your brain into high gear when it needs to perform.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Here’s a table to help visualize the distinction:
|Function||Enhance memory, creativity, motivation||Improve focus, alertness|
|Source||Dietary supplements, plant extracts||Prescription medication|
|Side-effects||Typically fewer, milder||Potentially stronger, including dependency risk|
|Regulation||Less tightly regulated||Prescription only|
|Long-term use||Typically safer||Long-term effects less known|
While both nootropics and smart drugs aim to enhance cognitive performance, they differ significantly in their source, side effects, and regulation. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Or as our good friend Spider-Man’s uncle puts it, “With great power, there must also come — great responsibility!”
Using smart drugs without a prescription can lead to a range of side effects and potential health risks. They’re like the high-performance sports cars of the brain world – potent, but requiring careful handling.
Nootropics, on the other hand, are generally safer for long-term use, with fewer and milder side effects. They’re more like your trusty bicycle – reliable, good for your health, and unlikely to crash into a tree if you’re not paying attention.
The truth is, both nootropics and smart drugs have their place in cognitive enhancement, but they’re not one-size-fits-all solutions. Just like you wouldn’t use a chainsaw to butter your toast (at least, I hope not!), it’s important to choose the right tool for the job when it comes to boosting brainpower. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or medication.
The Future of Nootropics
|Aspect||Future Trend||*||Science Fact||Source|
|Personalization||Increasingly popular trend towards tailoring nootropics to individual needs||9/10||Studies show that personalized medicine may increase efficacy and safety of treatments.||Source: Personalized Medicine Coalition|
|Natural Nootropics||Growing demand for plant-based, natural cognitive enhancers||8/10||Research suggests some natural substances, like Bacopa Monnieri, can enhance cognitive functions.||Source: National Library of Medicine|
|Technological Integration||Wearable tech and smart devices will assist in optimizing nootropic usage||8.5/10||Emerging research in biofeedback shows potential for technology to influence cognitive function.||Source: Frontiers in Neuroscience|
|Scientific Validation||Need for comprehensive research and clinical trials for nootropics||10/10||The scientific method is crucial for confirming safety and efficacy of treatments.||Source: FDA|
|Regulation and Transparency||Greater regulation for safety and clear labeling of ingredients||9.5/10||Regulatory bodies like FDA oversee safety and efficacy of drugs and dietary supplements.||Source: FDA|