Many people take nootropic supplements for memory, cognition, and overall brain health.
The right nootropic supplement can boost memory, enhance focus, and make you feel smarter.
Some nootropics work by supporting blood flow to the brain. Others work using synergistic blends of plants, herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals.
Whether you’re an older adult, a college student, a worker in a competitive environment, an entrepreneur, an athlete, or anyone looking for an edge, nootropic supplements are more popular than ever.
With so many nootropics available, it’s challenging to pick the right one for you. We want to help. Here are the best nootropic supplements available in 2021.
Ranking the Top 33 Nootropic Brain Booster Supplements
Every nootropic supplement claims to boost brainpower. Some of them work, while others do not. Here are the best science-backed nootropic supplements available today.
- SANE Vitaae
- Mind Lab Pro
- Nuzena Nuero Focus +
- Ageless Brain
- Onnit Alpha Brain
- Hunter Focus
- Qualia Mind
- Performance Lab Mind
- Vital Plan Brain Boost
- NaturalCell NeuroActiv6
- Synapse XT
- Natural Stacks NeuroFuel
- UpWellness Mind & Mood
- PureEssence BrainEssence
- PureHealth Research Ageless Brain
- Brain C-13
- Cymbiotika Golden Mind
- Elm & Rye Nootropics
- Amy Myers MD NeuroLive
- Youthful Brain
- Oweli Neuro
- ReMind Solution
- ProMind Complex
- Memory Hack
- Memo Defend
Vitaae from SANE Laboratories is a leading nootropic formula. While other nootropics use herbal extracts and vitamins, Vitaae uses antioxidants like CoQ10 to target inflammation in your brain. According to SANE Laboratories, the formula could lead to a 13.6% increase in brain energy utilization and a 26% increase in membrane turnover, among other unique benefits.
Taking SANE Vitaae daily could improve mental clarity, enjoy deeper concentration, and improve your mood, among other benefits. SANE Vitaae is competitively priced with some of the more budget-friendly options on our list.
Each three capsule serving of SANE Vitaae includes folate, vitamin D, acetyl L-carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids, citicoline, CoQ10, and more. Because Vitaae uses a three capsule serving instead of a two capsule serving, you get more active ingredients with each serving. That means more noticeable cognitive effects.
Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is one of the internet’s best-known and best-rated nootropic formulas. Although it’s more expensive than competing options, Mind Lab Pro is an ideal introductory nootropic for those looking to get started in the space.
Every two capsules serving of Mind Lab Pro contains 11 research-backed brain boosters. The formula also had patented and advanced nutrients, including the popular NutriGenesis vitamins that maximize bioavailability and absorption. With substantial dosages, third-party testing, and no pointless ingredients, Mind Lab Pro is one of the internet’s best-rated nootropic formulas for a reason.
Mind Lab Pro comes from Opti-Nutra, a supplement company with a medical advisory board. That board is led by neuroscientists like Dr. Ramon Velazquez, Ph.D. Key ingredients in the Mind Lab Pro blend include citicoline, phosphatidylserine, Bacopa monnieri, lion’s mane mushroom, and Rhodiola Rosea extract, among others.
Nuzena Neuro Focus +
Nuzena’s Neuro Focus + is a nutritional supplement that supports memory recall, mental focus, and cognitive function. Made in the United States, Neuro Focus +is priced at around $60 per bottle, although you must buy a minimum of three bottles per purchase, making Neuro Focus + the only supplement on the list with this type of offer.
Neuro Focus + is one of the best-rated – and best-looking – nootropic formulas on this list. Each serving of Neuro Focus + contains significant doses of multiple vitamins and minerals. You also get 692mg of a proprietary blend with DMAE bitartrate, glutamic acid, green tea extract, bilberry fruit extract, and other active ingredients.
However, the most significant advantage of Neuro Focus + is the price to value ratio. For $60 (the same price as most other single bottles listed here), you get three bottles of Neuro Focus + (180 capsules) or a three-month supply. If you want one of the best-value nootropic supplements available today, then Neuro Focus + may be the right choice for you.
Launched in 2020, NooBru has made a splash in the nootropic supplement space for its tasty flavor, 13 active ingredients, and extensive media attention. Marketed to athletes, older adults, students, and competitive workers, NooBru is a powder containing alpha GPC, vitamin B5, L-theanine, ashwagandha, choline bitartrate, Huperzine A, and other proven ingredients.
One of the best things about NooBru is its transparency. While other nootropic supplements hide active ingredients within proprietary formulas, NooBru discloses all ingredients and dosages upfront. You know exactly what you’re getting with each serving of NooBru, and the company generally uses potent dosages of all active ingredients.
You have two options when buying NooBru, including two powders (Shield or Advantage). Just mix either powder with water or the beverage of your choice, then drink it daily. With either version of NooBru, you get an accessible nootropic beverage to boost immunity, energy, cognition, focus, clarity, and more.
Nootrogen is a nootropic formula that supports cognition, energy, focus, and stress. By taking two capsules of Nootrogen daily, you can target energy, focus, and overall brain health.
Nootrogen makes many of the same promises seen with other nootropic formulas listed here. However, the supplement contains ingredients we don’t see with different formulas, including glutamic acid, L-tyrosine, and DMAE. Every two capsule serving of Nootrgen includes a 642mg proprietary formula with herbal extracts, amino acids, and plant extracts proven to support cognition in various ways.
One of the most significant advantages of Nootrogen is the price. At $30 per bottle, Nootrogen is surprisingly affordable compared to competing options listed here. Although dosage is average, the price-to-value ratio makes Nootrogen a much more attractive option.
Ageless Brain from Organixx is a nutritional supplement priced at $55 per bottle. The formula contains ingredients found in other formulas on this list – like Bacopa monnieri. It also includes ingredients we don’t see with different formulas, including cat’s claw, guayusa, Camu Camu, dragon’s blood, cacao, and cinnamon, among other unique ingredients.
If you’ve grown tired of other nootropic supplements and want to try something more unique, then Ageless Brain may be the right choice for you. Although more research is needed to verify the effects of some of these ingredients, the Ageless Brain can support cognition in multiple ways using unique active ingredients.
Onnit Alpha Brain
Onnit Alpha Brain is arguably the best-known nootropic supplement sold online today. Promoted by Onnit co-owner Joe Rogan, Alpha Brain supports memory, focus, and daily cognition.
Onnit’s Alpha Brain is one of the few nootropics on this list backed by peer-reviewed research and clinical trials. Most supplement companies do not invest in clinical trials because of the high cost. With Onnit Alpha Brain, you get a high-quality formula to give you the edge over the competition.
With more than one million bottles sold to date, Onnit’s Alpha Brain is popular for a reason. Each serving of Alpha Brain contains Bacopa monnieri, cat’s claw, oat straw, Huperzia Serrata, and other ingredients linked to cognition. Although Alpha Brain uses proprietary formulas, the company discloses individual dosages of most ingredients within these proprietary formulas, making it easy to compare Alpha Brain to other leading nootropics sold online today. At $35 per bottle, it’s also a reasonable option for anyone looking to optimize cognition.
Hunter Focus from Roar Ambition is a nootropic supplement that claims to give you an edge over the competition – whoever that competition may be. Each serving of Hunter Focus provides clear thinking with all-natural ingredients and a high-quality formula.
Key ingredients in Hunter Focus include Bacopa monnieri, passionflower, and phosphatidylserine, all of which can be found in other nootropic supplements listed here. Advertised as the smart solution to mental fatigue, Hunter Focus also has some of the most attractive packaging on this list. We also appreciate how Roar Ambition discloses all dosages upfront. With four capsules per serving, Hunter Focus has some of the highest dosages on our list, which is why it continues to be one of the internet’s top-rated nootropic supplements.
Qualia Mind from Neurohacker Collective is another popular nootropic supplement that backs up the hype with powerful active effects. Each bottle of Qualia Mind contains 28 brain health ingredients to support focus, memory, energy, and long-term brain health.
Another advantage of Qualia Mind is the moneyback guarantee. The formula is backed by a 100-day money-back guarantee, making it one of our list’s best and most extended guarantees. We appreciate a company that stands behind its formula, and Neurohacker Collective certainly does that with Qualia Mind.
Another advantage of Qualia Mind is the customization options: Neurohacker Collective offers four nootropic supplements under the Qualia brand, including Qualia Mind, Qualia Mind Caffeine Free, Qualia Mind Essentials, and Qualia Focus.
The aptly named Mind from Performance Lab is a nootropic supplement with clean packaging and effective formula. By taking Mind daily, you can purportedly boost brain energy by up to 13.6%, support focus and memory, boost motivation, and even enhance recovery from intense cognitive exertion.
Performance Lab Mind uses active ingredients like citicoline, phosphatidylserine, L-tyrosine, and maritime pine bark extract to achieve these benefits. Together, these ingredients give your body the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed to support cognition in various ways.
Brain Boost from Vital Plan is a nootropic supplement created by Dr. Bill Rawls, MD. The supplement claims to help support memory, cognitive function, mental clarity, focus, immunity, natural energy, mood, stress, and even your gut microbiome, among other areas.
Brain Boost contains ingredients like Bacopa monnieri, Ginkgo Biloba, ashwagandha, cat’s claw extract, and lion’s mane mushroom to achieve these benefits. The supplement has transparent labeling, potent dosages, and zero proprietary formulas, which is why it’s one of the best nootropics of 2021. Plus, with four capsules per serving, Brain Boost is one of the most potent formulas on our list for those who want noticeable effects on brain health. At $48, Brain Boost provides incredible value.
NeuroActiv6 is a powdered nootropic formula from NaturalCell. The formula uses a high-powered powder to support brain health, improve focus, and boost clarity, among other benefits.
By mixing one scoop of NeuroActiv6 daily with the beverage of your choice, you can purportedly restore brain energy, increase BDNF levels, prevent oxidative stress, support healthy cortisol levels, and promote neural communications among other benefits. NeuroActiv6 contains a range of nootropic superfoods, including ashwagandha, grape seed extract, turmeric, B vitamins, citicoline, and coffee fruit extract.
If you’re looking for an easy way to boost brain power by adding active ingredients to your daily smoothie, then NeuroActiv6 may be the right choice for you. And, at under $46 per jar, NeuroActiv6 won’t break the bank compared to other nootropics on our list. A 60-day money-back guarantee also backs the formula, and NaturalCell discloses most dosages upfront for maximum transparency.
Synapse XT uses a blend of herbs, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based ingredients to support brain health and hearing health. If you’re an older adult experiencing hearing and cognitive issues, Synapse XT claims to support both.
By taking two capsules of Synapse XT daily, older adults can support hearing, memory, and focus by communicating between cells, minimizing signs of brain fatigue.
The Synapse XT formula also claims to support the perception of senses and sounds while transforming your life with clear thinking and hearing. Priced at around $69 for a single bottle, Synapse XT is more expensive than competing formulas, given its average list of ingredients. However, the West Jordan, Utah-made nootropic supplement may be the right choice for those needing to support brain and hearing health.
NooCube Brain Productivity
NooCube Brain Productivity is a nutritional supplement developed by top neuroscientists. Unlike many other brain supplements, NooCube’s Brain Productivity contains no caffeine. Instead, it uses unique herbal extracts, plant extracts, and other active ingredients to support cognition in various ways.
Key ingredients in NooCube Brain Productivity include Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, cat’s claw extract, and Bacopa monnieri. Backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee, NooCube’s Brain Productivity formula is priced at around $60 per bottle, delivering good value without compromising quality, ingredients, or dosages.
NeurolFuel from Natural Stacks is a nootropic supplement that targets brain fog, cognition, memory, and more. Although NeuroFuel is similar to other nootropics listed here, it has a unique advantage over competing formulas: it traces all ingredients and sources on the blockchain, making it the only “open source” nootropic listed here.
Blockchain aside, NeuroFuel uses active ingredients like artichoke extract, forskolin, acetyl L-carnitine, and vitamin B6 to target cognition in various ways. With 900mg of artichoke leaf extract, 750mg of acetyl L-carnitine, and 500mg of L-phenylaniline per serving, Natural Stacks emphasizes substantial doses of a small number of ingredients instead of small quantities of a large number of ingredients, which could make it more effective than other formulas listed here. At $30, it provides excellent value for a better brain.
Mind & Mood
Mind & Mood is a brain health supplement from UpWellness. While other nootropic supplements listed here support cognition, memory, and focus, Mind & Mood focuses mainly on anxiety, stress, and emotions.
By taking Mind & Mood daily, you can purportedly enjoy a calmer, more relaxed nervous system. The supplement claims to support your emotional health and stress management using adaptogenic ingredients like Rhodiola Rosea, 5-HTP, GABA, saffron, and L-theanine, among other popular options. Formulated by Dr. Joshua Levitt and Dr. Amanda Levitt, Mind & Mood is also one of the few formulas on this list created by real doctors.
BrainEssence is a nootropic supplement from PureEssence that supports memory, focus, energy, clarity, and mood. The supplement comes in the form of a tablet – not a capsule. You take two tablets daily to support cognition in various ways.
PureEssence discloses all ingredients and dosages upfront, making it easy to see exactly what you’re putting into your body with each serving of BrainEssence. The formula contains substantial doses of acetyl l-carnitine (500mg), Bacopa monnieri extract (300mg), and ashwagandha (200mg), along with smaller amounts of Rhodiola Rosea extract, alpha-lipoic acid, and Chinese club moss extract (with Huperzine A), among other ingredients. At $30 for 15 servings, it’s more expensive than competing options but maybe the right choice for you.
PureHealth Research Ageless Brain
There are two ‘Ageless Brain’ supplements on our list. The second supplement comes from PureHealth Research. Backed by a 365-day money-back guarantee, PureHealth Research’s Ageless Brain is a nutritional supplement formulated by Dr. Holly Lucille. The supplement uses B vitamins, GABA, caffeine, and Huperzine A, among other ingredients, to supercharge cognition in various ways.
By taking one capsule of Ageless Brain daily, you can purportedly decrease anxiety and brain fog, improve memory and focus, and boost memory and cognitive wellness, among other effects. The main drawback of Ageless Brain is using a proprietary formula: we know Ageless Brain contains 600mg of active ingredients in its proprietary formula, but we don’t know the specific breakdown of each ingredient (including caffeine). However, if dosage transparency doesn’t bother you, Ageless Brain is one of the top options on our list.
Brain C-13 from Zenith Labs is a nootropic supplement containing vitamins, minerals, herbs, and plant extracts similar to other formulas listed here. The supplement comprises DMAE, Rhodiola root extract, rosemary leaf, turmeric, ginkgo leaf, Huperzine A, and phosphatidylserine, among other ingredients.
Zenith Labs discloses all ingredients and dosages upfront, making it easy to compare the formula to other top-ranked nootropics listed here. And, with three capsules per serving, Brain C-13 has more substantial dosages than some of the one or two capsule supplements on our list. Like other Zenith Labs supplements, Brain C-13 is formulated by doctors and supported by a medical advisory board.
Cymbiotika Golden Mind
Golden Mind from Cymbiotika is the only nootropic formula on this list that comes in a liquid tincture instead of a powder or capsule. Each serving of Golden Mind contains ingredients like organic phosphatidylcholine, lion’s mane powder extract, Rhodiola Rosea, and L-theanine, among other ingredients.
Golden Mind also contains ingredients we don’t see in other nootropics, including sea buckthorn oil, Gotu kola extract, and a combination of 82 ocean minerals, among other unique ingredients. By taking Golden Mind daily, you can purportedly reduce brain fog, protect your brain, and nurture brain cell growth, among other benefits, according to Cymbiotika.
Elm & Rye Nootropics
Elm & Rye sells a nootropic supplement called Nootropics. Priced at $85, Nootropics is the highest-priced option on our list. Elm & Rye uses ingredients to improve memory and focus, support increased attention, and increase productivity and stamina, among other prominent benefits, to justify that high price tag.
Each serving of Nootropics contains GABA, bacopa monnieri extract, alpha GPC, L-theanine, L-tyrosine, B vitamins, and phosphatidylserine extract, among other ingredients. You also get a surprisingly strong dose (268mg) of caffeine per serving, which is like drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee at once. For an instant jolt combined with other proven nootropics, Elm & Rye Nootropics may be the right choice for you – even at the higher price point.
CogniBiotics is a nootropic blend that claims to improve brain health, mental clarity, learning, memory, and focus – similar to any other nootropic supplement on this list. Unlike any other nootropic, however, CogniBiotics works by optimizing digestion – not by explicitly targeting your brain.
Bad gut health can lead to impaired cognition. Your gut bacteria play a surprisingly crucial role in brain performance. CogniBiotics contains 17 nootropic and adaptogenic herbs that boost cognitive function, mood, and stress by improving gut flora. You also get ten brain-friendly probiotic bacteria strains that support bacteria levels in your gut. If you want to support brain health uniquely compared to other nootropic supplements listed here, then CogniBiotics may be the right choice for you.
Amy Myers MD NeuroLive
NeuroLive by Amy Myers MD is a doctor-formulated and recommended nootropic brain booster supplement that acts as a premium cognitive enhancer. With professional physician care and seven high-profile brain-supporting micronutrients, the NeuroLive nootropic formula makes a strong case for why it isn’t one of the most effective products on the market today. Aside from the vitamin B6, the proprietary blend of bacopa monnieri whole plant extract, mucuna pruriens seed extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, sharp-PS GREEN Phosphatidylserine and N-Acetyl Tyrosine/L-Theanine make for a complete brain health booster for natural cognitive function support.
These ingredients are designed to provide a powerful attack against free radicals and help win the fight against oxidative damage. With the help of a patented brain cell membrane support of the highest quality phosphatidylserine available (the Sharp•PS® GREEN ingredient), the brain performance enhancer from Amy Myers MD looks to support healthy memory and recall through a unique combination of active-form nutrients that encourage energy production in the brain and ideal methylation. With a myriad of health benefits available from the Amy Myers MD NeuroLive supplement page, the nootropics in this formula support healthy vasculature and optimal blood flow better than almost any other product on the market today. With free shipping, a 90 day return guarantee and third party lab tests for all of its NeuroLive nootropic supplements, users may expect sharp cognitive function by consuming enough ‘brain food’ to make a big difference right away in memory and focus.
Neuro is the only nootropic on this list that comes in the form of gums and mints. By taking the gums or mints daily, you can energize, calm, and focus the mind.
Neuro sells three gums and mints, including Energy & Focus, Calm & Clarity, and Ideal State. Whether looking to boost energy in the morning, optimize mood and clarity in the afternoon, or enjoy an overall sense of wellbeing throughout the day, Neuro may be the right choice for you.
Some people like the idea of taking a mint or gum instead of swallowing a capsule. With peppermint and cinnamon flavors available, Neuro may be the right choice for anyone looking for functional gum and mint options.
OptiMind is a mental energy, focus, and cognition supplement priced at $39 for 32 capsules (16 servings). The supplement boosts energy, focus, cognition, mental clarity, and attention using proven ingredients.
OptiMind’s principal active ingredient I Bacopa monnieri with 55% bacosides. Bacosides are the active chemicals within the Bacopa monnieri plant that give it its purported benefits. Taking the bacopa monnieri in OptiMind daily allows you to enjoy powerful cognitive support benefits and other effects.
Youthful Brain is a nootropic supplement created by Vitality Now. Priced at $65 per package, Youthful Brain can support mental energy, cognition, and overall brain health using multiple active ingredients.
Key ingredients in Youthful Brain include vitamin B12, Bacopa monnieri, and Huperzine A, among others. Overall, Youthful Brain contains similar ingredients to other leading nootropic formulas on this list. However, it has lower dosages and a higher price tag, which pushes it further down our list of the best-rated nootropic supplements of 2021.
Oweli Neuro Brain & Focus Formula, also known simply as Neuro, is a unique nootropic that promotes Zen-like focus. By taking two capsules of Neuro daily, you can purportedly support improved memory and learning, support neuroplasticity, and help fight age-induced cognitive decline, among other benefits.
Each two capsule serving of Neuro contains ingredients to support concentration, cognitive function, memory, mood, stress, and productivity. Key ingredients include Huperzine A, bacopa monnieri, phosphatidylserine, B vitamins, inositol, and DMAE, similar to other formulas listed here. At $30 per bottle, Neuro also provides some of the best value on this list.
ReMind Solution, also known simply as ReMind, uses clinically proven ingredients to fight anxiety, stress, cognitive issues, focus problems, and more. Priced at $69 for a 30 day supply, ReMind’s main drawback is the price and value: the supplement provides few advantages over other supplements at this price range, yet it charges a premium price tag.
Nevertheless, ReMind is backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee, making it easy to request a refund if you’re unsatisfied with the effects of the formula. Plus, further discounts are available when ordering 3 or 6 bottle packages of the formula.
Marketed as an “unfair advantage” over the competition, BrainPill claims to eliminate brain fog, fight mental fatigue, protect and boost memory, ignite rapid recall, sustain cognitive energy, and improve learning abilities, among other benefits.
Each serving of BrainPill contains 13 nootropics for all-day focus without the crash. Recommended by Dr. Dave David, BrainPill claims to boost cognition with no unwanted side effects or jitters. And, unlike other formulas on this list, BrainPill does not contain caffeine; instead, the formula stimulates brain power using active ingredients like citicoline, tyrosine, L-theanine, and vitamin B12, among others.
Although BrainPill says all of the right things with its marketing, the formula is priced higher than competing supplements despite having lower dosages. It’s difficult to see specific dosages of many ingredients within BrainPill. The company claims to use “hefty doses” and “proper doses” of active ingredients without disclosing complete dosage information upfront, which puts it a tier below the top-ranked nootropic supplements on our list.
ProMind Complex is a nootropic formula created by a man named Carl Henderson. Carl claims to have used his decades of experience to formulate the perfect nootropic supplement. Although Carl and his team make the correct claims about the formula, ProMind Complex falls short based on its active ingredients and dosages.
Key ingredients in ProMind Complex include L-glutamine, phosphatidylserine, bacopa monnieri extract, vinpocetine, and Huperzine A. All of these ingredients are popular and proven for their nootropic effects. However, the dosage is surprisingly low given the high price of the formula. ProMind Complex also comes with just 30 capsules (30 servings) per bottle, making it the smallest nootropic on this list. However, if you like ProMind Complex’s marketing and are looking for a unique formula, then it could be the right choice for you.
Memory Hack is a cognitive supplement made by Nutrition Hacks. Priced at $69 per bottle, Memory Hack is priced higher than many competing supplements listed here, yet it doesn’t have the ingredients or dosages to support that price tag.
The biggest issue of Memory Hack, however, is the advertised benefits. The company claims people with memory problems can expect “total restoration of memory in six months.” Few nootropic supplements make claims like this, and Nutrition Hacks may give people with memory disorders unrealistic expectations about the effects.
Nevertheless, Memory Hack is backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee, and all purchases come with a bonus guide, making it easy to maximize the value of your purchase.
MemoSurge is a nutritional supplement that claims to work in a three-step process. First, the supplement fires up neurotransmitters in your brain. Then, the formula repairs damaged brain cells and eliminates brain shrinkage. Finally, the formula gets rid of anxiety and insomnia to boost your energy levels. The formula also claims to optimize your entire health and wellbeing, among other benefits.
Priced at $69 per bottle, MemoSurge provides limited information about its ingredients, concentrations, or dosages, making it difficult to compare the formula to other supplements listed here. MemoSurge may provide powerful benefits with few downsides, although the company offers limited information to support these claims.
Made by a researcher named Thomas Taylor, Memo Defend is a nootropic supplement that uses natural ingredients to support cognition in various ways.
Like other low-ranked supplements on our list, Memo Defend has limited information about its ingredients, dosages, or lab testing. The formula’s core consists of a 620mg proprietary blend with Hawthorn leaf, garlic bulb, and olive leaf. However, none of these ingredients have been linked to significant cognitive improvements in any notable studies to date. The most critical ingredient in Memo Defend is vitamin B12 – an ingredient you can get in any nutritional supplement sold online today.
How the Best Nootropics and Top Smart Drug Pill Ratings Work
All nootropic supplements make similar promises, but only the best nootropics live up to those promises. After combing through lab reports, consulting with our team, contacting manufacturers, and doing other due diligence, here’s how our editorial team ranked the best nootropic supplements above:
Certain ingredients have been proven to support cognition in multiple studies. After decades of research, we have plenty of evidence proving that plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts can boost brain power in most people when taken in specific dosages. We preferred nootropics with science-backed ingredients and dosages, and we ranked these supplements at the top of our list.
Many nootropic supplements contain the right ingredients at the wrong dosages. For example, a formula might have a dozen effective ingredients, yet the doses are too small to affect the human body significantly.
Transparent Advertised Benefits
Some nootropic companies exaggerate their benefits. They claim their formulas will make your brain decades younger, for example, and supercharge your memory and cognition, among other benefits. The best nootropic companies are honest and transparent with their advertised usefulness.
Many supplements contain proprietary blends. In the nootropic space, however, proprietary blends are frequently used to hide weak dosages. Some companies even use proprietary blends to hide stimulants like caffeine. You might think a nootropic supplement is supercharging your cognitive energy – when you’re just getting a 250mg dose of caffeine hidden within a 300mg proprietary blend.
Doctor Formulated or Approved by a Medical Advisory Board
Some of the leading nootropic supplements are formulated by real doctors, including medical doctors (MDs) or naturopaths (NDs). An in-house medical advisory board approves others. The more professional certifications a nootropic had, the higher we ranked it.
Manufacturer Reputation & Lab Testing
Some manufacturers partner with third-party labs to test their formulas. Other manufacturers have decades of experience creating effective supplement formulas. Although we preferred manufacturers with a proven reputation for producing quality products, we weren’t biased towards older companies.
Customer Reviews & Subjective Experiences
Even the best nootropic supplement won’t work for everyone. That’s why we compared customer reviews and subjective experiences among our editorial team. We considered these reviews in our ratings.
Price & Value
Some people want to spend $200 per month on nootropic supplements. Others are looking for an edge for $20 per month. We preferred nootropic supplements with good value at any price. Whether looking to spend a few dollars or a few hundred dollars per month to support brain health, we listed a range of supplements for you.
Clinical Trials & Peer-Reviewed Research
Most nootropic supplement companies do not invest in clinical trials. Clinical trials are expensive and take a long time. However, as nootropics have become more popular, some companies have invested in clinical trials or published research in peer-reviewed journals, giving these companies an extra layer of legitimacy over competing nootropic supplement companies.
Money Back Guarantee
The best nootropic supplement companies stand behind their formula with a moneyback guarantee. We preferred supplement companies that offered a satisfaction guarantee, moneyback guarantee, or similar promises to ensure the formula worked as advertised.
Nootropic Supplement Benefits: What Does Science Say?
Nootropic supplement companies make bold claims about their effects and benefits. But do nootropic supplements work? How do nootropics work? What does science say about nootropics? Do clinical trials and peer-reviewed research back nootropics?
A few years ago, nootropics was an emerging field with little research. Today, you can find peer-reviewed research supporting specific nootropic formulas. Some of the best nootropic supplement ingredients are backed by decades of research in animals and humans. We’ll review some of that research below.
Many nootropic supplements contain Bacopa monnieri, an herbal extract used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. In this 2001 study, researchers gave participants 300mg of Bacopa monnieri over 12 weeks, then found the herbal extract “may improve higher order cognitive processes.” Researchers found Bacopa monnieri was particularly effective at improving learning and memory.
Bacopa monnieri is one of the most-studied nootropic ingredients available. In this 2008 study, researchers found that a 300mg dose of Bacopa monnieri safely enhanced cognitive performance in older adults. Meanwhile, this study found that Bacopa monnieri improved information processing, reduced reaction times, and improved memory. Today, researchers know that the benefits of Bacopa monnieri are linked to bacosides within the formula. That’s why some top-rated Bacopa monnieri supplements disclose their bacosides dosage upfront. Research shows that the best Bacopa monnieri dosage is around 300mg to 600mg per day.
Ginkgo biloba is another popular herbal extract found in many leading nootropics. Like Bacopa monnieri, ginkgo Biloba is backed by centuries of use in traditional Chinese medicine. It’s also backed by modern scientific research. In this 2001 study, researchers gave ginkgo Biloba and vinpocetine (another nootropic ingredient) to participants for 14 days. Researchers observed faster response times and better memory in the ginkgo Biloba group compared to the placebo.
Ashwagandha is one of many adaptogens found in leading nootropic formulas. Ashwagandha is popular in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine, where it’s been used for relaxation, cardiovascular health, sleep, stress management, and more for centuries. In this 2016 study, researchers reviewed dozens of studies on ashwagandha and concluded the formula had “nootropic potential.” Researchers found multiple studies proving that ashwagandha had mind-protecting effects: it targeted neurotoxins in the brain that would typically impede memory and cognition.
Huperzine A is another popular nootropic ingredient that has been extensively studied. In this 1999 study, researchers in China gave Huperzine A or a placebo to participants, then observed significant improvements in cognition, memory, and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. Today, Huperzine A continues to be one of the most promising and science-backed nootropic ingredients, which is why it can be found in many nootropics listed above.
L-theanine is part of the world’s most popular nootropic stacks: many people take caffeine and L-theanine daily to support cognition. L-theanine may nullify the adverse effects of caffeine, giving you all of the energy-boosting benefits of caffeine with none of the jitters or anxiety. However, L-theanine also appears to have plenty of help on its own. For example, in this study, researchers found that taking 50mg of L-theanine, or roughly the same amount found in two cups of brewed tea, increased alpha brain wave activity and creativity. A similar study found that L-theanine complemented the effects of caffeine, negating unwanted side-effects without reducing the active effects of the stimulant.
Some nootropics use ginseng (also labeled as Panax ginseng or Korean ginseng) to support cognition. This study found that taking 200mg to 400mg of ginseng reduced brain fatigue and improved brain performance, among other cognitive effects.
Onnit Alpha Brain is one of the few nootropic supplements that has completed major clinical trials. In this 2016 study published in Human Psychopharmacology, researchers gave Onnit Alpha Brain to 63 participants between 18 and 35. Participants received either Onnit Alpha Brain or a placebo over six weeks. Researchers found the Alpha Brain group “significantly improved verbal memory” and executive functioning compared to the placebo group. It was one of the first – and most extensive – studies involving a specific nootropic brand.
Millions of people already take a nootropic daily: caffeine. Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive substance. It’s also the world’s most popular nootropic stimulant. We already know about the stimulating and energy-boosting effects of caffeine. In this 2021 study, however, researchers found that regular caffeine consumption changed your brain’s grey matter. Although the effect is temporary, caffeine appears to adjust neural pathways. Researchers analyzed a group of 20 healthy young individuals, then gave them caffeine or a placebo. Researchers performed a brain scan before and after the test, finding significant differences in grey matter formation and brain electrical activity (EEG).
Overall, the best nootropic supplements available today use proved ingredients to support cognition, mood, memory, and more. Look for science-backed ingredients and dosages to ensure you’re maximizing the benefits of your nootropic formula.
Nootropic supplements contain a blend of different ingredients. Follow the recommended dosage instructions on your nootropic supplement.
With most encapsulated nootropics, you take one to two capsules once or twice per day.
With powdered nootropic formulas, you might mix one scoop of powder with water, a shake, or the beverage of your choice, then drink it daily to boost brainpower.
Check your nootropic label for a proprietary formula. Most reputable nootropic supplements disclose individual dosages. However, some companies continue to use proprietary labels. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, and if your nootropic supplement uses a proprietary formula containing caffeine, then be careful when using your nootropic supplement.
Nootropic Side Effects
It’s rare for healthy adults to experience any significant side effects when taking nootropics in standard dosages.
However, some people experience mild digestive discomfort, nausea, headaches, and other mild symptoms when using a nootropic.
If you follow the recommended dosage instructions on your nootropic supplement and don’t have any underlying health conditions, then it’s unlikely you’ll experience significant side effects from your nootropic supplement.
However, nootropics can contain unique plant-based ingredients, herbal extracts, mushroom extracts, and other ingredients. Although rare, it’s possible to experience allergic reactions to these ingredients.
Other nootropics contain caffeine and other stimulants. Caffeine could cause jitters, anxiety, chest tightness, nausea, and other side effects, especially when taken at high dosages.
Stop using your nootropic if you experience significant side effects. Talk to your doctor before taking a nootropic supplement – or any supplement – if you are taking medication or have a medical condition.
FAQs About Nootropics
We get plenty of questions about nootropics and how they work. Here are some of our most commonly asked questions and answers:
Q: What is a nootropic?
A: A nootropic is a drug, supplement, food, beverage, or other consumable used to boost cognitive ability.
Q: What do nootropics do?
A: Nootropics support brain health in different ways. Some boost memory and cognition. Others increase energy by acting as a stimulant. Some even improve executive functioning or adjust brain plasticity in unique ways.
Q: How do I take nootropics?
A: It’s easier to take nootropics than ever. You can buy nootropics online, in stores, or through major online retailers like Amazon. With most nootropics, you just take one or two capsules per day with water – just like you would take any supplement.
Q: What’s the best nootropic?
A: Any of the top-rated nootropic formulas on our list are among the best nootropic supplements available in 2021.
Q: Where does the word ‘nootropic’ come from?
A: The term ‘nootropic’ was coined by a Romanian psychologist in the 1970s who combined three Greek words: Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea combined the Greek word for ‘intelligence’ (noos) with the words for ‘mind’ (vouc) and ‘turning’ (trope). Nootropic roughly translates into “intelligence / mind turner.”
Q: Are nootropics safe?
A: By law, all nootropic supplements sold online today contain ingredients Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. When following the recommended dosage instructions on your supplement, you’re unlikely to experience safety issues or severe side effects. However, when making your nootropics, combining nootropics with drugs, or experimenting with dosages, nootropics could become unsafe. You should also talk to your doctor before taking a nootropic if you have a medical condition or take any medication.
Q: What are the side effects of nootropics?
A: Common side effects associated with nootropics include jitters, mild digestive issues, and headaches. However, most people experience no side effects when taking nootropics at the normal, recommended dosages.
Q: Why should I take a nootropic supplement? What are the benefits?
A: People take nootropic supplements to boost memory, cognition, and overall brain power. Some people are targeting a specific issue – like memory problems. Others are looking for general cognitive support.
Q: Who benefits from a nootropic supplement?
A: Athletes, people who work in competitive environments, college students, entrepreneurs, busy parents, older adults, and anyone looking for a cognitive edge can all benefit from a good nootropic supplement.
Q: How do I buy nootropics?
A: Today, nootropics are widely available online and offline. You can buy nootropics through Amazon and other major online retailers. You can even find nootropics at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and other brick-and-mortar retailers.
Q: Are nootropics legal?
A: Yes, nootropics are legal in all 50 states. To sell a supplement in the United States, the company must use ingredients and dosages Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. The FDA has verified that these ingredients and dosages are generally safe when used as intended.
Q: Are nootropics natural?
A: Most nootropics contain natural ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, plants, and herbal extracts. However, some nootropic ingredients are synthetic, which means they’re made in a lab. Check the label.
Q: Are nootropics vegan?
A: Most active nootropic ingredients are vegan. They do not come from animals. However, some manufacturers package their ingredients into gelatin capsules instead of vegetarian capsules. Gelatin capsules are not vegan (gelatin is a pork or beef by-product).
Q: Are nootropics addictive?
A: Nootropics are not considered habit-forming. Although you can get addicted to anything, nootropics do not have inherently addictive properties.
Q: Can I get a prescription for nootropics?
A: You do not need a prescription to buy nootropics. However, if you are dealing with severe memory issues or other cognitive problems, then a doctor may issue a prescription-strength drug to manage the condition.
Q: When should I take nootropics?
A: Most people take nootropics in the morning or early afternoon to support cognition during regular working hours. If your nootropic supplement contains stimulants, then it’s important to avoid using it late at night, as it could make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Final Word on the 33 Best Nootropics and Brain Booster Supplements
Nootropic supplements are more popular than ever. You have more nootropic formulas available today than at any previous point in history.
Today, you can easily and cheaply buy popular nootropic formulas at major online and offline retailers. A good nootropic supplement optimizes memory, cognition, executive functioning, and more. This ultimate guide on the best nootropics contains the top-ranking brain boosters and cognitive enhancers on the market in 2021:
- SANE Vitaae – buy now save big direct
- Mind Lab Pro – buy now save big direct
- Nuzena Nuero Focus + – buy now save big direct
- NooBru – buy now save big direct
- Nootrogen – buy now save big direct
- Ageless Brain – buy now save big direct
- Onnit Alpha Brain – buy now save big direct
- Hunter Focus – buy now save big direct
- Qualia Mind – buy now save big direct
- Performance Lab Mind – buy now save big direct
- Vital Plan Brain Boost – buy now save big direct
- NaturalCell NeuroActiv6 – buy now save big direct
- Synapse XT – buy now save big direct
- NooCube – buy now save big direct
- Natural Stacks NeuroFuel – buy now save big direct
- UpWellness Mind & Mood – buy now save big direct
- PureEssence BrainEssence – buy now save big direct
- PureHealth Research Ageless Brain – buy now save big direct
- Brain C-13 – buy now save big direct
- Cymbiotika Golden Mind – buy now save big direct
- Elm & Rye Nootropics – buy now save big direct
- Amy Myers MD NeuroLive – buy now save big direct
- CogniBiotics – buy now save big direct
- Neuro Gum and Mints – buy now save big direct
- OptiMind – buy now save big direct
- Youthful Brain – buy now save big direct
- Oweli Neuro – buy now save big direct
- ReMind Solution – buy now save big direct
- BrainPill – buy now save big direct
- ProMind Complex – buy now save big direct
- Memory Hack – buy now save big direct
- MemoSurge – buy now save big direct
- Memo Defend – buy now save big direct
Whether you’re an older adult, an athlete, a worker in a competitive office, a student looking for an edge, or anyone else who wants to optimize brain power, any of the top-ranked nootropic supplements on our list may be the best choice for you. Without question, this is one of the most extensive nootropic reviews ever crafted, so make sure to bookmark this page as there will be plenty of updates to share with the latest customer success stories and even complaints about negative side effects or adverse reactions. The list for the top 33 best nootropic supplements for brain boosting cognitive performance enhancement offers something for everyone as it is a detailed collection of the very finest smart pills and nootropic stacks available today.
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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.