Nootropics [2024]: The Ultimate List of Top 50 Smart Drugs

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics, also known as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers, are substances specifically formulated to enhance various aspects of brain function, such as memory, focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation [1]. Originally developed to improve memory and overall cognitive abilities, some have even been prescribed to address neurological disorders.

The term “nootropic” was coined in the early 1970s by Romanian chemist Dr. Corneliu Giurgea. He defined nootropics as substances capable of enhancing memory, improving behavior, safeguarding the brain from physical or chemical harm, all while exhibiting minimal side effects.

Since then, the nootropic market has experienced a remarkable surge and is expected to reach a value of $35.03 billion by 2030, compared to an estimated $12.41 billion in 2022. This growth trend is expected to continue, with a healthy rate of over 14.6% from 2023 to 2030.

Nootropics are available in various forms, including natural supplements, minerals, vitamins, synthetic compounds and prescription medications. Prescription nootropics, requiring a doctor’s prescription, include stimulant drugs like Donepezil for Alzheimer’s and Adderall/Ritalin for ADHD, often misused for their stimulating effects.

In contrast, non-prescription nootropics are designed to enhance brain performance without significant bodily effects. Common natural options include bacopa monnieri, Ginkgo biloba, Panax ginseng, and Rhodiola Rosea. Synthetic nootropics, such as Vinpocetine, modafinil, and Racetams, are laboratory-produced cognitive enhancers. (I will discuss all these latter in detail in this post).

Nootropics offer a range of benefits, including increased motivation, focus, creativity, and energy, all without notable side effects or addictive potential. However, these advantages often come at a higher cost. It’s important to understand which nootropics are best suited for your needs before making a purchase.

This article will explore into the top ingredients used in various nootropic brands and their mechanisms, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Disclaimer:  This is an unsponsored article written by Manzoor (certified pharmacist) and medically reviewed by Dr Sajid Ali (PhD in Pharmacognosy). 

You can also read our infographic about medicines and supplements for memory improvement.

Nootropics Infographics

How Do Nootropics Work?

While the exact workings of these brain-boosting supplements remain a mystery, researchers suggest that nootropics may enhance brain performance by targeting various systems simultaneously.

One theory proposes that they enhance blood flow, allowing better oxygen delivery to the brain, ultimately improving its function. This boost in cerebral blood flow helps cognitive longevity by facilitating the transport of brain-nourishing compounds. They optimize brain oxygen and glucose levels, offer anti-hypoxic benefits, and shield brain tissue from toxins.

While, certain cognitive enhancers, such as Caffeine, activate noradrenaline neurons and influence dopamine release locally [2]. This is why Caffeine helps us stay awake without jitters. Other nootropics enhance memory and learning by inhibiting Acetylcholine activities, blocking Ca channels, and boosting antioxidants [3].

Some nootropics may amplify the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. Others prevent the reuptake of these neurotransmitters, leading to higher levels in nerve terminals. For example, dopamine is linked to pleasure and reward and is mostly released during enjoyable activities. Elevating dopamine levels can positively impact mood and brain function.

Considering the brain’s energy needs, certain nootropics support brain energy by enhancing mitochondrial metabolic activity, aiding the transport of fatty acids into brain cells, and increasing cerebral oxygen and nutrient uptake.

Nootropics may enhance cerebral circulation by promoting nitric oxide activation and blood vessel relaxation, while inhibiting homocysteine and oxidative damage. These actions reduce blood cell stickiness, minimizing clumping.

Furthermore, nootropics may facilitate neuro-regeneration by boosting natural brain-boosting growth factors like nerve growth factor (NGF), supplying neuronal building blocks like choline, and maintaining brain cell membrane flexibility and plasticity. Here are top 5 ways on how nootropics enhance cognition

Let’s have a look at some of the common brain boosting ingredients used in most of the nootropic brands;

Non-Prescription Natural Nootropics Supplements

As discussed above, natural nootropics, also called nonprescription nootropics, can improve your condition and brain performance without causing adverse effects. Here is a commonly used Nootropic list;

  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Caffeine
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Panax Ginseng
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acid
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Nicotine
  • Citicoline
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Apoaequorin
  • Cera Q
  • Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
  • Maritime Bark Extract
  • Dimethylethanolamine bitartrate (DMAE)
  • Huperzine A
  • Inositol
  • Vitamin E
  • Ashwagandha
  • Alpha GPC
  • Theobromine
  • Artichoke extract
  • Forkolin
  • Gotu Kola
  • Guarana
  • Kanna
  • Kratom
  • Lemon Balm
  • Magnolia
  • MCT oil
  • Passionflower
  • Oatstraw
  • Rosemary
  • Vitamin B6
  • Resveratrol
  • California Poppy
  • Cat’s Claw
  • CBD (Cannabidiol)
  • Clitoria ternatea

1. Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance brain function with the help of active compounds called bacosides. It can speed up information processing in your brain, reduce reaction times, improve memory functions, and relieve anxiety with its calming effects.

Bacopa monnieri is one of the most studied and the best supplement for brain. Let’s see what the research say about it; 

  • Many recent studies have shown to improve cognitive function, reduce reaction time and increase memory retention.
  • Other animal studies suggest that taking this ingredient can help improve conceptual learning and the ability to retain information.
  • According to another human study, supplementing 300mg of bacopa for three months can significantly improve visual information processing, learning rate, and memory.
  • The recommended dietary intake is 300 mg 3 times daily or 600mg 2 times throughout your daily routine. [4]

So, based on human and animal studies, this natural nootropic can help improve brain performance, visual information, and memory functions.

Please remember it can take up to 6 months for users’ brains to adapt fully, so don’t expect immediate results from taking bacopa at low doses.

Some of the most common brands that use bacopa monnieri in their list are BrainPill, Dynamic Brain, Boston Brain Science Cerebra, Onnit Alpha Brain, Avantera Elevate, and Alpha Brain Black Label.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine is a naturally occurring and one of the most widely consumed psychoactive stimulants humans have consumed for centuries. From the moment we wake up to powering through workouts and easing our headaches, Caffeine has done it all. But what exactly does it do?

The all-natural energy boosts you need to focus—without the crash. Caffeine provides a healthy dose of alertness and attention, unlike other drinking products filled with synthetic sweeteners or chemicals.

  • Caffeine works as a stimulant; it suppresses adenosine receptors in your brain, which causes you to feel less tired, increases your alertness and attention span, decreases your reaction time, and helps release dopamine, making you feel good about life. [5]
  • This nootropic supports task performance to a limited extent, improves reaction time, and delays cognitive decline in healthy people.
  • Some studies also suggest that at low doses, Caffeine can reduce anxiety, while at high doses, it can induce anxiety and cause an increase in tense arousal, nervousness, and jitteriness. Most of these benefits are short-term but do not affect long-term memory.
  • The usual recommended intake of Caffeine is 40–300 mg for alertness, improving focus, and decreasing reaction time.

So the bottom line is, Caffeine is an organic chemical compound with a wide variety of uses. It can make you more alert and improve your attention, making it useful for people who want to stay awake or feel more focused on the task at hand.

3. Ginkgo biloba

The ancient Asian tree Ginkgo biloba is a natural remedy for improving brain function. It is one of the most commonly used herbs studied in humans. Still, more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness and safety before recommending any dosage levels or claims that can be made about benefits against dementia symptoms and improving brain performance.

  • According to a study, taking 200mg of Ginkgo daily for five months may improve the symptoms of dementia. Other studies suggest that this herbal extract can improve memory and mental processing in healthy older adults when taken daily for one and a half months [6] [7] [8].
  • The usual recommended intake of Ginkgo for cognitive enhancement is 120-240mg daily at least 1-4 hours before the performance. For relieving cognitive decline in adults, 40-120mg 3 times a day is enough [9].

Read Popular Nootropic Brands Qualia Mind and Mind Lab Pro.

4. Panax Ginseng

Ginseng is a plant used for many years to strengthen the immune system and help fight off stress. There are different types of ginseng, such as Asian Ginseng (from Chinese and Korean sources), which can be consumed in pill form before bedtime to improve clear thinking.

American ginseng with properties similar to those found in Siberian Ginseng but is not quite as strong or potent when taken orally. It’s primarily known because its root aids people with diabetes by reducing their chances of potentially getting sick during winter due to colds and flu.

  • The study of 52 healthy individuals revealed that taking 1 gram of Panax ginseng daily for eight weeks remarkably increased the volume of a brain region crucial to memory and improved scores on executive function, attention-related tasks, and long-term memories [10].
  • Other studies also suggest that taking 200-400mg of this herbal extract can help you reduce brain fatigue and improve performance on complex tasks like mental math problems. However, the exact mechanism of improving brain performance is not known.

5. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most well-known and studied natural nootropics. This fatty acid is vital for brain health, as it helps build membranes around neurons to protect them from damage or injury.

  • Omega 3 comes in 3 different forms; alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Among these three types, the EPA appears to be the best against depression[11].
  • Omega 3s also help repair cells in other parts of your body, like skin, that are aging, similar to our brains getting older due to harmful chemicals. According to studies, Omega 3 fatty acids can protect against brain aging and are vital for brain and nervous system function [12].
  • Omega-3 supplements may help prevent and treat depression. Most researchers agree that EPA seems more efficacious than DHA at fighting mental health issues like anxiety or stress. Studies have shown positive results for people with severe mood disorders using this type of fish oil. However, further research will need to be conducted before drawing any conclusion.

Popular Omega 3 Brand: Omega XL.

6. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is another natural adaptogen that can help you feel less stressed. This plant grows in the cold parts of Europe ad Asia. It is also known as arctic root or golden root. This plant is very rich in nutrients, and according to some studies, it contains more than 140 active ingredients, the two most potent being rosavin and salidroside. 

  • Several studies show Rhodiola supplements improve mood and reduce feelings of burnout in anxious people or those who occasionally experience high levels of stress.
  • Some studies suggest that taking Rhodiola has decreased mental fatigue for college students during exam periods when they are most tense.
  • Many use it to treat anxiety, fatigue, anemia, depression, and headaches. But, according to a randomized, double-blind study, taking a standardized extract of Rhodiola Rosea may improve concentration and reduce fatigue.
  • The most common side effects of Rhodiola Rosea are dizziness, dry mouth, sleep problems, and jitteriness.

So, Rhodiola Rosea is a popular herb with few side effects, and it appears to offer some benefits for the conditions mentioned. The benefits of Rhodiola Rosea have also been known to help with increased stamina, concentration, and mental well-being. However, there haven’t been many extensive studies on these effects, which leaves its true potential unclear.

7. Nicotine

Despite the negative beliefs about nicotine, more researchers call it a powerful nootropic. It is abundant in tobacco leaves and has beneficial effects on memory, cognition (including creativity), motivation, and executive functions like decision-making, among other things, for healthy individuals to become more intelligent or boost their brainpower, which we all desire.

  • Nicotine is a stimulant that can improve your attention span and motor functions. It also has nootropic effects, such as improving alertness and mental performance, especially for people with naturally poor focus spans [13]. 
  • Another study suggests that Chewing Nicotine gum makes you more adept at handwriting skills. However, these benefits come at the cost of addiction and may be lethal in large doses.

8. Citicoline

Citicoline is naturally found in the cells of humans and animals. It is a natural brain supplement that effectively treats stroke and traumatic brain injury. Citicoline also helps reduce free radicals, which can potentially harm your cells by neutralizing them with nutrients.

  • It’s possible that citicoline could play an active role in neurotransmitter release like dopamine for Alzheimer’s patients since they need more stimulation than usual due to their condition [14].
  • The usual recommended dose of Citicoline in humans is 500-2000mg per day or 7-28mg/kg body weight. However, in most trials, lower doses have been used in patients with depressive disorders.

Citicoline is a compound that helps the brain function more efficiently by increasing phosphatidylcholine synthesis. This could be due to the following three mechanisms:

The first one is, Converting 1,2-diacylglycerol into this essential nutrient. The second one is, stimulating SAMe production, which reduces levels of arachidonic acid in our bodies and stabilizes membranes. The third one is, allowing us to think better and heal quicker from any injury as well.

Citicoline may stimulate mental alertness through increased production of critical amino acids such as the building block lecithin enzymes. This increase can promote repair after physical activity or stress-inducing events like exercise because extra amounts will keep you feeling fresh mentally long enough until those nutrients are depleted.

This nootropic is generally considered safe and will not cause toxicity in many cases. Still, some individuals may experience side effects like headache, constipation, insomnia, blurred vision, stomach upset, etc.

Read Popular Nootropics⇒ Prevagen, Cognium, Cognifen, and Focus Factor.

9. Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine, or “PS” for short, is a fatty substance in our brain cells and carries messages between them. This essential phospholipid protects your mind by keeping it sharp so you can stay on top of anything with relative ease. Phosphatidylserine has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of ADHD.

  • In the 2010 study, researchers found that older adults with mild cognitive impairment who took phosphatidylserine supplements had improved memory after six months. In addition, when taking this drug versus a placebo, participants experienced a significant improvement on tests in the end-of-study.
  • Another study found significant improvement after just two months on average- more extensive studies are needed before determining its long-term safety or efficacy. However, other small studies revealed improvements, such as increased focus and concentration over time.
  • According to a European Psychiatry study, PS and omega-3 fatty acids could help treat ADHD in children.
  • This phospholipid is also crucial for neuroplasticity so the brain can repair its cells and generate new ones.
  • PS also encourages neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine. This, in turn, improves communication between the brain cells.
  • It also reduces the effects of mental stress by lowering cortisol levels. High levels of this hormone can cause brain fog, anxiety, mood swings, and memory problems.

Phosphatidylserine is considered safe, but it may sometimes cause side effects like insomnia, gas, and stomach upset. It may also cause a blood-thinning effect and can cause adverse effects if used along with other blood thinners like warfarin.

Read more about the best-selling Phosphatidylserine brands here → Neuriva Brain Performance and NeuroQ.

10. Apoaequorin

Apoaequorin is a calcium-binding protein that was initially extracted from a type of jellyfish known as Aequorea victoria.

While there is potential for agents to help maintain healthy calcium levels in brain cells, Apoaequorin has a chemical structure that gut bacteria may break down before it reaches your brain.

This protein is primarily promoted as a natural brain booster by a company (Quincy Bioscience) that manufactures it in Prevagen.

  • This protein has been shown to help people with dementia and memory problems as a supplement.
  • Some studies have also suggested that it may be beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s disease or certain forms of cancer because they increase blood flow. In addition, it can enhance your thinking skills by increasing your brain’s dopamine levels-which lower as you age.
  • Certain studies suggest this protein is safe and may not cause serious side effects. However, no good scientific evidence supports its use for these conditions.

While the brand using this ingredient leads as the best seller in the Nootropics category, it’s important to note that research on its efficacy is quite limited. Experts suggest that there is insufficient evidence to confirm its effectiveness as a brain booster.

A popular product containing Apoaequorin is Prevagen.

11. Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane Mushroom is an ancient Chinese medicinal food that has boosted cognitive function and enhanced mental clarity.

Lion’s mane mushrooms may be the most potent fungi on earth. According to studies by scientists worldwide, they contain compounds that can stimulate the growth of brain cells.

  • Recent studies show it can protect the body against cancer, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), fatty liver disease, and aging.
  • Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are also sometimes used to help relieve symptoms of mild anxiety and depression. An animal study found that lion’s mane mushrooms could also improve moods by decreasing feelings associated with stress or trauma-induced upset among those who have suffered from these conditions before.
  • Some of the ingredients found in mushrooms have been proven to recover the growth of brain cells: hericenones and erinacines. It is also proven to be beneficial for improving memory functions.
  • Certain animal studies suggest that Lion’s mane mushrooms can reduce anxiety and depression by reducing inflammation.

However, more human research is needed, but so far, studies suggest the use may be beneficial in this regard.

Read the best Lion’s Mane Mushroom Brand.

12. Maritime Pine Bark Extract

Pycnogenol® is a patented French maritime pine bark extract with 65–75% procyanidins. These powerful antioxidants support heart health and combat free radicals in the body, which may cause diseases such as cancer or diabetes [15].

  • Pycnogenol® is a supplement beneficial for many subjects, including those with initial cognitive impairment. Pycogeneros help regulates oxidative stress levels and may improve brain function in these individuals by reducing symptoms like confusion or memory loss [16][17].
  • The usual recommended intake of Maritime Pine Bark is 45- 360 mg daily for poor circulation and improving athletic performance [18].

Pine Bark Extract is a nootropic with many other uses, including preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

Maritime Pine Bark is a natural remedy that can help boost your brainpower. It supplies the body with flavonoids, antioxidants capable of stopping free radicals from damaging cells in our bodies and causing cognitive decline as we age – even if you’re unaware.

13. CERA-Q

Cera-Q is a new ingredient derived from silk that has long been consumed for its health benefits. Cera-Q peptides attract and bind to β-sheet portions within other proteins, such as beta-amyloid plaque, which can help prevent or disrupt the formation of this brain-damaging substance affecting human neuron membrane receptors resulting in better cognitive function.

Cera-Q also increases glucose uptake into memory/cognition areas, assisting mental performance.

  • The results of this study were promising, but additional research is needed to determine the mechanism and whether biochemical markers involved in memory formation correlate with them.
  • Another study indicates that 400-600mg of this protein has been shown to improve brain performance and verbal and visual performance. Although these effects are promising, additional clinical trials are required to clarify further because this is not well-researched, and legitimate studies do not prove its benefits.

14. Dimethylethanolamine bitartrate (DMAE)

DMAE is another naturally occurring nootropic that many believe can positively affect mood, enhance memory and improve brain function. Many people also use it as anti-aging for beautiful skin.

DMAE works by increasing acetylcholine (Ach) production, which helps regulate functions controlled by the brain, including sleep, muscle contractions, or pain responses.

Although DMAE is considered safe, it may cause rare side effects like skin irritation, muscle twitching, sleep disorder (insomnia), sneezing, severe eye irritation, and convulsion. In addition, this compound can interact with other drugs, so use it with caution.

  • Animal studies suggest that DMAE increases choline and acetylcholine extracellular levels and may be effective in scopolamine-induced memory deficit. 
  • Some people believe that it may be helpful in Alzheimer’s disease, depression, ADHD, and dementia. However, the research regarding this compound is limited.

15. Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a dietary supplement derived from a plant called Chinese club moss Huperzia Serrata and has been eliciting some interest as an upcoming treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. It acts like another kind of medication called cholinesterase inhibitors by improving neurotransmitter levels in our brains which help control memory functions such as learning abilities or recall span.

However, this is not entirely safe and may cause nasal obstruction, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, cramping, increased saliva, anxiety, dizziness, thirst, and constipation.

This nootropic comes in tablets and capsules form, and the usual dose for memory boosting is 100 mcg twice daily, while the daily dose for Alzheimer’s disease is 300 mcg to 500 mcg. For dementia, it’s 100 mcg twice daily.

  • Huperzine A exerts its cognitive-enhancing effects by inhibiting the acetylcholine esterase enzyme. It could treat the neurodegenerative disorder and potentially serve as a disease-modifying drug for Alzheimer’s.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine also treats fever, inflammation, Alzheimer and other forms of dementia. 

16. Inositol (Vitamin B8)

Inositol, also known as vitamin B8, is an essential nutrient the body can’t produce on its own. It naturally occurs in foods such as rice and cereal and through certain supplements like vitamin B8-rich multivitamin tablets or fish oils for people looking to increase their brain power with nootropic effects.

Inositol is a nutrient that works well for treating mental health conditions and, in some cases, has even been shown to be more effective than prescribed medication.

Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 are the most commonly used vitamins for brain health. They can help disintegrate homocysteine, high levels of which have been connected with a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • This is one of the most commonly used vitamins for the brain and functions as a nootropic with benefits for anxiety disorders such as depression and OCD [19].
  • Certain studies have revealed that those suffering from depression and anxiety have a low level of Inositol.  
  • Taking Inositol has been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety but is not too effective in schizophrenia. While some studies even found that it may be helpful in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Most Popular brand of Inositol is Ovasitol.

17 Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin naturally found in certain foods. This vitamin most commonly occurs in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.

  • This vitamin is an antioxidant that primarily protects the cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is believed to help improve the mind and memory of older people.
  • This memory supplement can also aid people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
  • As it is an antioxidant, it prevents or slows down cognitive decline in the aging population, but more in-depth research is required to prove its benefits for the brain. 
  • The usual recommended dietary intake is 1000mg daily (considered safe) for adults. 

However, taking this vitamin and other medicines, significantly blood thinner, can be risky. So it’s better to avoid it and ask your general physician.

18. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that can help manage stress. It also provides numerous other benefits for your body and brain, such as boosting the function of nerve cells in our brains called neurons and lowering blood sugar and cortisol levels to reduce anxiety symptoms or fight depression more effectively.

Ashwagandha is a natural nootropic that has been used in Ayurveda for centuries. Its most well-known property may be its ability to reduce stress, as it blocks the stress pathway through regulating chemical signaling, among other mechanisms.

  • Also, according to some authentic studies, Ashwagandha can reduce the symptoms in individuals with stress and anxiety disorders. 
  • Ashwagandha is packed with many neuroprotective phytoconstituents that can help with various brain disorders, but further study is required to promote it as a nootropic drug. 
  • It also improves sleep quality and may help reduce stress and anxiety. 

Read Best Ashwagandha Gummies Stress Balls ⇐Here.

19. Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is a natural choline compound found in the brain. It has also been investigated for its potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

It also works as a precursor of acetylcholine by increasing its levels at nerve endings; this might help improve memory and learning functions. 

  • However, some studies concluded that Alpha GPC or Caffeine does not significantly affect mood, cognitive abilities, and physical performance. 
  • Most Alpha GPC brands have 300-600 mg daily, but almost all studies safely used 1200mg per day in three doses for cognitive decline.
  • This ingredient is present in Quantumind Nootropic.

20. Theobromine

Theobromine, formerly known as xanthosis—is a bitter alkaloid in cocoa and chocolate. It was first discovered in the 1840s; its effects are slightly similar to Caffeine, and it works as a mild stimulant in the body. 

Apart from the stimulant effects of Theobromine, this compound also helps you promote more profound and better sleep, improve cholesterol levels, remove body toxins, reduce inflammation, promote a healthy weight, and reduce gout symptoms. 

  • Theobromine inhibits the effects of phosphodiesterase and blocks adenosine receptors. Still, it also shows other adenosine receptor-independent consequences, such as oxidative stress depletion and gene expression management.  
  • Some clinical studies show that Theobromine can improve focus, memory, and concentration. 
  • Other studies suggest combining Theobromine with other flavanols can enhance mental performance. 

21. Artichoke Extract

Artichoke extract, derived from the leaves of the artichoke plant (Cynara scolymus), is gaining attention for its potential cognitive benefits. Several research studies have explored its impact on brain function, revealing promising findings.

  • Cholinergic Enhancement: Artichoke extract has been studied for its ability to boost cholinergic activity in the brain, potentially improving memory and learning processes.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Research suggests that artichoke extract exhibits antioxidant effects, which may help protect the brain from oxidative stress and support overall cognitive health.
  • Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition: Studies indicate that artichoke extract may inhibit acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme involved in the breakdown of acetylcholine. This action could contribute to increased acetylcholine levels, known for their role in cognitive function.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some investigations propose that artichoke extract possesses anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting a potential role in reducing neuroinflammation and promoting optimal brain function.

Incorporating artichoke extract into your nootropic regimen may offer a multifaceted approach to cognitive enhancement, with research pointing towards its positive impact on cholinergic activity, antioxidant defense, acetylcholine regulation, and anti-inflammatory pathways.

22. Clitoria ternatea

Clitoria ternatea, commonly known as Butterfly Pea or Blue Pea, is a flowering plant whose extracts have been investigated for their potential cognitive benefits. Scientific studies suggest various aspects of cognitive enhancement associated with this natural ingredient.

  • Memory Improvement: Research indicates that Clitoria ternatea may have memory-enhancing properties, attributed to its ability to modulate neurotransmitter activity in the brain, particularly acetylcholine.
  • Antioxidant and Neuroprotective Effects: The plant’s extract is reported to exhibit antioxidant properties, offering protection against oxidative stress. This antioxidant action may contribute to neuroprotection, potentially safeguarding the brain from age-related cognitive decline.
  • Anxiolytic Potential: Studies have explored the anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects of Clitoria ternatea, suggesting a role in promoting a calm and focused mental state, which can positively impact cognitive performance.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Some research indicates the anti-inflammatory effects of Clitoria ternatea, suggesting a potential role in mitigating neuroinflammation, a factor often associated with cognitive disorders.

23. Forskolin

Forskolin, derived from the Indian Coleus plant (Plectranthus barbatus), is a natural compound that has attracted attention for its potential cognitive benefits. Several research studies have delved into the impact of forskolin on cognitive function, revealing intriguing findings.

  • cAMP Activation: Forskolin is known for increasing levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in the brain. Elevated cAMP levels have been linked to improved communication between neurons, potentially enhancing memory and learning processes.
  • Neurotransmitter Modulation: Studies suggest that forskolin may influence the activity of neurotransmitters like acetylcholine. This modulation could contribute to cognitive enhancement by optimizing the transmission of signals within the brain.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Forskolin has been explored for its anti-inflammatory properties, indicating a potential role in reducing neuroinflammation. Inflammation is often associated with cognitive decline, and forskolin’s anti-inflammatory action may contribute to mental well-being.
  • Vasodilation and Blood Flow: Some research suggests that forskolin may promote vasodilation and improve blood flow to the brain. Enhanced blood circulation could support cognitive function by ensuring an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients.

24. Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) is an herb with a rich history in traditional medicine, and contemporary research has shed light on its potential cognitive benefits. Investigations into Gotu Kola reveal several intriguing aspects related to cognitive enhancement.

  • Enhanced Neurogenesis: Studies suggest that Gotu Kola may promote neurogenesis by forming new neurons. This process is crucial for learning, memory, and overall cognitive function.
  • Adaptogenic Properties: Gotu Kola is recognized as an adaptogen, which may help the body adapt to stress. Its adaptogenic nature could contribute to stress reduction, positively impacting cognitive performance.
  • Antioxidant Activity: Research indicates that Gotu Kola possesses antioxidant properties, helping combat oxidative stress in the brain. This antioxidative action may contribute to the herb’s neuroprotective effects.
  • Anti-Anxiety Effects: Some studies suggest that Gotu Kola may have anxiolytic properties, potentially reducing anxiety levels and promoting a calm mental state, which can positively influence cognitive function.

Incorporating Gotu Kola into your nootropic regimen may offer a holistic approach to cognitive enhancement, with research supporting its potential to promote neurogenesis, act as an adaptogen, provide antioxidant protection, and exhibit anti-anxiety effects.

25. Guarana

Guarana, derived from the seeds of the Paullinia cupana plant native to the Amazon basin, is renowned for its natural stimulant properties. Beyond its energy-boosting effects, research suggests several cognitive benefits associated with Guarana consumption.

  • Caffeine Content: Guarana is a potent source of caffeine, known for its stimulating effects on the central nervous system. Caffeine can enhance alertness, concentration, and overall cognitive performance.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Studies indicate that Guarana exhibits antioxidant activity due to its rich polyphenols content. This antioxidative potential may help protect the brain from oxidative stress, contributing to long-term cognitive health.
  • Memory Enhancement: Some research suggests that combining caffeine and other bioactive compounds in Guarana may have memory-enhancing effects, potentially improving both short-term and long-term memory functions.
  • Neuroprotective Effects: Guarana has been explored for its neuroprotective properties, with studies indicating a potential role in safeguarding the brain against age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders.

Guarana may offer a dual benefit of heightened energy levels and cognitive enhancement. Research supports its role in boosting caffeine, antioxidant protection, memory enhancement, and neuroprotection. More research is needed to prove further its efficacy in brain-boosting and brain health.

26. Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum)

Kanna, derived from the succulent Sceletium tortuosum, has a history of traditional use in South Africa for its mood-enhancing properties. Contemporary research sheds light on its potential cognitive benefits, revealing a promising profile.

  • Serotonin Reuptake Inhibition: Kanna is thought to act as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, potentially increasing serotonin levels in the brain. This mechanism is associated with mood elevation and may positively influence cognitive well-being.
  • Stress Reduction: Studies suggest Kanna may possess adaptogenic properties, helping the body cope with stress. Its stress-reducing effects could contribute to a calmer mental state, potentially enhancing cognitive resilience.
  • Cognitive Flexibility: Some research indicates that Kanna may impact cognitive flexibility, adapting to new information and changing circumstances. This mental adaptability is crucial for problem-solving and creative thinking.
  • Anxiolytic Effects: Kanna has been explored for its anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects, suggesting a potential role in alleviating anxiety symptoms and promoting a relaxed mental state conducive to cognitive performance.

Kanna may also offer a unique approach to cognitive enhancement, with research supporting its potential in serotonin modulation, stress reduction, cognitive flexibility, and anxiolysis.

27. Kratom

Kratom, derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree native to Southeast Asia, has gained popularity for its diverse alkaloid content and potential effects on cognitive function. While its primary use is for pain relief and mood enhancement, emerging research hints at mental benefits.

  • Mitragynine Alkaloid: The primary active alkaloid in Kratom, mitragynine, has been studied for its potential as a cognitive enhancer. Some findings suggest it may modulate neurotransmitter systems, impacting mood and mental processes.
  • Stimulation and Focus: Certain Kratom strains are known for their stimulating effects, potentially increasing alertness and focus. Users report enhanced concentration and attention, which may contribute to improved cognitive performance.
  • Adaptogenic Properties: Anecdotal evidence suggests that Kratom may have adaptogenic properties, aiding in stress management. Stress reduction can positively impact cognitive function and overall mental well-being.

It’s crucial to note that Kratom’s effects can vary based on the strain and dosage. While some users report cognitive benefits, the potential risks and individual responses warrant careful consideration before incorporating Kratom into a nootropic regimen. Always consult with a healthcare professional due to possible side effects and safety concerns associated with Kratom use.

28. Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is an aromatic herb with a long history of traditional use, and contemporary research is uncovering its potential cognitive benefits. This citrus-scented herb offers more than a refreshing flavor; it may contribute to mental wellness in several ways.

  • Improve Cognitive Calmness: Lemon Balm has been traditionally associated with calming effects. Studies suggest that its natural compounds may interact with GABA receptors, promoting relaxation and potentially reducing stress and anxiety, which can positively impact cognitive function.
  • Memory Support: Research indicates that Lemon Balm may have memory-enhancing properties. It is thought to modulate acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter crucial for learning and memory processes, suggesting potential benefits for cognitive retention.
  • Antioxidant Defense: Lemon Balm possesses antioxidant properties due to its rich polyphenols content. This antioxidative action may help protect brain cells from oxidative stress, supporting long-term cognitive health.
  • Mood Elevation: Some studies suggest that Lemon Balm may have mood-elevating effects, potentially contributing to a positive mental state. Improved mood can positively influence cognitive performance and overall well-being.

Lemon Balm may also provide a refreshing and zesty approach to cognitive enhancement, with research supporting its potential in promoting mental calmness, memory support, antioxidant defense, and mood elevation. The research is promising about this herb, but more in-depth clinical studies are required to establish its role in cognition and memory health. 

29. Magnolia

Magnolia, a genus of flowering plants, particularly Magnolia officinalis and Magnolia grandiflora, has caught the attention of researchers for its potential cognitive benefits. Delve into the intriguing aspects that make Magnolia a noteworthy addition to the realm of nootropics.

  • Honokiol and Magnolol Content: Magnolia bark contains compounds like honokiol and magnolol, which have been studied for their neuroprotective effects. These compounds contribute to cognitive well-being by supporting overall brain health.
  • Anxiolytic Properties: Research suggests that Magnolia extracts may have anxiolytic effects, helping to alleviate anxiety and stress. This calming influence can positively impact cognitive function, promoting a focused and clear mental state.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Magnolia compounds, particularly honokiol, exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is linked to cognitive decline, and Magnolia’s anti-inflammatory action may contribute to maintaining optimal brain function.
  • GABA Receptor Modulation: Some studies propose that Magnolia may modulate GABA receptors, which play a role in calming neurotransmission. This modulation may contribute to its potential to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Research has highlighted its neuroprotective properties, anxiolytic effects, anti-inflammatory potential, and influence on GABA receptors. Always consult with a healthcare professional before adding new supplements to your regimen.

30. MCT Oil

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, derived from coconut and palm kernel oils, has gained popularity for its potential cognitive and physical performance benefits. Dive into the scientific insights that make MCT oil a notable inclusion in cognitive enhancers.

  • Ketone Production: MCTs are readily converted into ketones, which serve as an alternative energy source for the brain. This process, known as ketogenesis, may provide a quick and efficient fuel supply, potentially enhancing cognitive function and mental clarity.
  • Brain Fuel: The brain’s preference for ketones as an energy source positions MCT oil as a valuable tool for cognitive enhancement. This alternative energy pathway may be particularly beneficial during increased mental demand.
  • Focus and Alertness: Some studies suggest that MCT oil consumption may enhance focus and improve memory. The rapid conversion of MCTs into ketones is associated with a more sustained energy release, potentially supporting prolonged cognitive performance.
  • Neuroprotective Effects: MCTs have been explored for their potential neuroprotective properties. The ketones produced from MCT metabolism may offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, contributing to overall brain health.

Research supports its role in ketone production, brain fuel utilization, focus enhancement, and potential neuroprotective effects. Always consult a healthcare professional before significantly changing your diet or supplement regimen.

31. Oatstraw

Oatstraw, derived from the green, unripe stems of the oat plant (Avena sativa), is a traditional herbal remedy with emerging recognition for its potential cognitive benefits. Explore the attributes that position Oatstraw as a natural contender in cognitive enhancement.

  • Rich Nutrient Profile: Oatstraw is a rich source of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These compounds play a vital role in overall health, indirectly contributing to cognitive well-being.
  • Adaptogenic Properties: Oatstraw is an adaptogen, aids the body in adapting to stress. Oatstraw may indirectly support cognitive resilience and mental clarity by promoting a balanced response to stressors.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some research suggests that Oatstraw exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is associated with cognitive decline, and Oatstraw’s anti-inflammatory action may contribute to maintaining optimal brain health.

Its rich nutrient profile, Avena sativa extracts, adaptogenic properties, and potential anti-inflammatory effects make Oatstraw an intriguing choice for those seeking cognitive vitality from nature. 

32. Passionflower

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a botanical remedy recognized for its soothing properties, and its potential extends beyond tranquility to cognitive well-being. Dive into the scientific nuances that make Passionflower a notable contender in cognitive support.

  • GABAergic Modulation: Passionflower is believed to modulate the GABAergic system, promoting the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter with calming effects. This modulation may contribute to stress reduction and a relaxed mental state, indirectly benefiting cognitive function.
  • Anxiolytic Effects: Research suggests that Passionflower exhibits anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. By potentially alleviating anxiety, Passionflower may create an environment conducive to optimal cognitive performance and focus.
  • Improved Sleep Quality: Passionflower is known for its sleep-inducing properties. Quality sleep is crucial for cognitive function, and Passionflower’s ability to promote relaxation may contribute to enhanced sleep, supporting overall brain health.
  • Antioxidant Protection: Passionflower contains compounds with antioxidant properties. These antioxidants help combat oxidative stress, which can be detrimental to cognitive function over time. Protection against oxidative damage contributes to mental resilience.

Its potential GABAergic modulation, anxiolytic effects, sleep-promoting qualities, and antioxidant protection make Passionflower an intriguing option for those seeking a natural path to cognitive serenity.

33. Resveratrol

Resveratrol, a natural compound found in the skin of red grapes and certain plants, has gained attention for its potential health benefits, including cognitive enhancement. Explore the scientific insights highlighting Resveratrol as a promising ally for mental well-being.

  • Antioxidant Powerhouse: Resveratrol is renowned for its potent antioxidant properties. These antioxidants combat oxidative stress, which is linked to age-related cognitive decline. The neuroprotective effects of Resveratrol may contribute to maintaining optimal brain function.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Research indicates that Resveratrol possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is associated with cognitive disorders, and Resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory action may contribute to mental health by reducing neuroinflammation.
  • Neurotransmitter Modulation: Resveratrol may modulate various neurotransmitter systems, including dopamine and serotonin. These modulations could impact mood, memory, and overall cognitive function.
  • Enhanced Blood Flow: Some studies suggest that Resveratrol may improve blood flow to the brain. Enhanced circulation ensures a sufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients vital for cognitive performance.

Resveratrol may offer a natural approach to cognitive enhancement, with its antioxidant prowess, anti-inflammatory effects, neurotransmitter modulation, and potential improvements in blood flow to the brain. 

34. Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has transcended its culinary uses to become a noteworthy botanical in cognitive enhancement. Uncover the aromatic secrets and scientific nuances that make Rosemary an intriguing ally for cognitive vitality.

  • Cognitive Aromatherapy: The inhalation of rosemary aroma has been associated with cognitive benefits. Inhalation of Rosemary essential oil may stimulate the olfactory system, potentially enhancing alertness and cognitive performance.
  • Carnosic Acid Content: Rosemary contains carnosic acid, a compound with neuroprotective properties. Research suggests carnosic acid may shield the brain from oxidative stress, contributing to long-term cognitive health.
  • Acetylcholine Regulation: Compounds in Rosemary may inhibit acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine. This inhibition could lead to increased levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter crucial for memory and learning processes.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Rosemary has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is associated with cognitive decline, and Rosemary’s anti-inflammatory action may contribute to maintaining optimal brain function.

Whether incorporated into meals, used in aromatherapy, or taken as a supplement, Rosemary offers a multifaceted approach to cognitive well-being. Its potential in cognitive aromatherapy, neuroprotection, acetylcholine regulation, and anti-inflammatory effects make Rosemary a delightful addition to the cognitive enhancement toolkit.

35. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a pivotal role in various biochemical processes within the body, including those essential for cognitive health. 

  • Neurotransmitter Synthesis: Vitamin B6 is a cofactor in synthesizing neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Adequate levels of these neurotransmitters are vital for mood regulation and cognitive processes.
  • Hemoglobin Production: B6 synthesizes hemoglobin, the protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood. Efficient oxygen supply to the brain is crucial for maintaining cognitive function and preventing mental fatigue.
  • Amino Acid Metabolism: B6 converts tryptophan to niacin (Vitamin B3) and helps in homocysteine metabolism. Proper homocysteine metabolism is linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline.
  • Nervous System Support: Vitamin B6 is essential for producing sphingolipids, a lipids class critical for forming myelin sheaths around nerve cells. This myelin sheath ensures efficient nerve signaling, crucial for cognitive processes.
  • Homocysteine Regulation: B6, along with other B vitamins, helps regulate homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders.

Ensuring an adequate intake of Vitamin B6 through a balanced diet or supplementation supports neurotransmitter balance, oxygen transport, amino acid metabolism, and overall nervous system health.

36. California Poppy

The California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is not just a vibrant wildflower; it’s also valued for its potential health benefits, including its role in promoting relaxation and supporting mood. Explore the natural attributes that make California Poppy an intriguing botanical in the realm of well-being.

  • Sedative Properties: The California Poppy is traditionally recognized for its mild soothing effects. It promotes relaxation and alleviates mild stress, creating an environment conducive to mental well-being.
  • Mood Enhancement: Some studies suggest that California Poppy may have mood-enhancing properties. Its interaction with neurotransmitter systems could contribute to a positive mental state.
  • Analgesic Effects: Traditionally used for its analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, California Poppy’s potential to reduce discomfort may indirectly support mental relaxation and cognitive clarity.
  • Alkaloid Content: The plant contains alkaloids such as californidine and eschscholtzine, which are believed to contribute to its relaxing effects. These alkaloids may interact with receptors in the nervous system, influencing mood and stress responses.

Incorporating California Poppy, often consumed as an herbal tea or in supplement form, into your wellness routine may offer a gentle approach to relaxation and mood support.

37. Cat’s Claw

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa), a woody vine native to the Amazon rainforest, has gained recognition for its potential health benefits, encompassing immune support and overall well-being. Explore the key attributes that make Cat’s Claw a notable botanical in natural health.

  • Immunomodulatory Effects: Cat’s Claw is renowned for its immunomodulatory properties, which may help regulate and support the immune system. This can contribute to the body’s ability to defend against various pathogens and maintain overall health.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Action: Research suggests that Cat’s Claw exhibits anti-inflammatory effects. This anti-inflammatory action may contribute to reduced inflammation in the body, potentially benefiting conditions associated with chronic inflammation, including joint health and cognitive function.
  • Antioxidant Protection: The vine contains antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals. This antioxidant action is crucial for cellular health and may contribute to protecting the brain from oxidative stress, supporting cognitive function.
  • Adaptogenic Qualities: Cat’s Claw is an adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stress. Its adaptogenic nature may reduce stress, indirectly promoting mental well-being and cognitive resilience.

Cat’s Claw may also offer a natural approach to immune support, anti-inflammatory benefits, antioxidant protection, and adaptogenic qualities.

38. CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a prominent compound derived from the cannabis plant known for its potential health benefits without the psychoactive effects associated with THC. Dive into the multifaceted attributes that make CBD a captivating player in natural well-being.

  • Cannabinoid Receptor Interaction: CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, influencing CB1 and CB2 receptors. This modulation regulates various physiological processes, including mood, sleep, and immune function.
  • Anxiolytic Effects: Research suggests that CBD may possess anxiolytic properties, potentially reducing symptoms of anxiety. Its calming influence may promote a relaxed mental state, contributing to overall well-being.
  • Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Qualities: CBD is recognized for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. These properties support pain relief and alleviate inflammation, which is potentially beneficial for conditions impacting cognitive function.
  • Neuroprotective Potential: Studies indicate that CBD may have neuroprotective properties, shielding the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. This neuroprotective action may contribute to optimal cognitive health.

Incorporating CBD into your wellness routine, often in oils, capsules, or topical products, may offer a natural pathway to balance and well-being. As with any supplement, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you are on medications or have specific health concerns. 


Amino Acids Nootropics

39. L-theanine

L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in green and black tea and some mushrooms, but it also has many benefits when taken as a supplement. For example, many studies have shown that taking 200 mg of this amino acid may help focus and improve sleep quality and creativity without causing drowsiness.

  • According to a study, using L- theanine can positively impact the general state of alertness, attention, focus, and arousal and may be linked to increased creativity.
  • Another study showed that those 50 milligrams increased alpha waves, most commonly linked with improved mental alertness or “creativity,” without causing any side effects.
  • The usual recommended intake is not established, but many studies found that 100 mg and 400 mg daily can significantly improve sleep quality and promote relaxation.

L-theanine also affects the level of serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters can influence moods like sleep patterns and emotionality levels in people who experience certain emotional states or stressful situations.

40. Creatine

Creatine is another amino acid supplement that may help with exercise performance and mental abilities. This amino acid is naturally found in muscle cells and the brain.

  • A recent study found positive effects on short-term memory and reasoning when taking creatine supplements; however, more research must be done before concluding its effectiveness or safety at different levels.
  • Apart from cognitive-enhancing abilities, this amino acid is one of the most commonly used supplements for improving performance in the gym. Some studies suggest that Creatine can increase muscle mass, strength, and exercise performance [20] [21].
  • Taking 5 grams of Creatine daily is entirely safe and doesn’t cause any side effects for long-term use.

There are limited studies on adolescents, but some scientists think it could be safe for them to take this amino acid.

41. L-tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is another amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and can also be found in certain foods. The body produces it from phenylalanine. Most people use it orally as a dietary supplement to improve alertness, attention, and focus.

It helps reduce stress and prevent stress-induced memory and attention deficits by increasing the level of noradrenaline and dopamine. 

  • The usual recommended daily dose of L tyrosine is 500-2000mg, roughly 30-60 minutes before any acute stressor. 
  • It has been used to improve mental performance, alertness, or memory by people looking to treat their depression.
  • However, recent research shows that it may not work for depression due to a lack of effectiveness compared with those taking prescription medications.

42. 5-HTP

5-HTP is a remarkable nootropic, is an amino acid that plays a pivotal role in regulating serotonin levels and other crucial neurotransmitters within the brain.  By serving as a precursor to serotonin, 5-HTP facilitates the synthesis of this vital neurotransmitter. Serotonin, often called the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, is involved in various essential functions, including mood regulation, stress management, and appetite control. As 5-HTP aids in optimizing serotonin levels, it can positively influence emotional stability and mood elevation and promote healthy sleep patterns.

  • Extensive clinical research and studies have showcased its potential to promote relaxation, enhance sleep quality, and contribute to overall well-being.
  • Clinical trials have provided evidence of 5-HTP’s efficacy in addressing various conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and insomnia. Its influence on serotonin levels makes it a promising natural alternative for individuals seeking mood enhancement, stress reduction, and improved sleep quality.

5-HTP’s ability to regulate serotonin and other vital brain chemicals makes it a noteworthy nootropic. Its impact on relaxation, sleep quality, and appetite satisfaction has garnered attention through extensive clinical research and studies, offering individuals the potential for improved overall well-being and mental balance.

43. Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALC)

This is a potent antioxidant, has been proposed as a valuable neuroprotective agent capable of energizing and safeguarding brain cells. Here is what the research says about it;

  • Research suggests this compound may benefit age-related cognitive decline and related issues. Additionally, Acetyl-L-carnitine has shown promise in various therapeutic applications, such as Alzheimer’s disease, memory enhancement, cognitive function improvement, alleviating symptoms of depression, and mitigating nerve pain in individuals with diabetes.
  • Clinical studies have explored the use of Acetyl L-Carnitine in individuals with Alzheimer’s, demonstrating encouraging outcomes regarding memory enhancement and cognitive improvement. It is believed to enhance the production and release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in learning and memory processes.
  • Furthermore, Acetyl L-Carnitine has shown potential as an adjunctive treatment for symptoms of depression. Modulating neurotransmitter activity and increasing the availability of energy substrates within brain cells may help alleviate depressive symptoms and enhance overall mood.

Acetyl L-Carnitine, with its antioxidant properties and potential neuroprotective effects, holds promise as a supplement for supporting brain health. While it is often associated with age-related cognitive decline and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, its potential benefits extend to memory enhancement, cognitive function improvement, depressive symptom relief, and the alleviation of nerve pain in individuals with diabetes. However, further research is needed to fully understand and validate its efficacy in these areas.

Synthetic Nootropics

44. Racetams

Racetams belong to a class of synthetic nootropics that share a pyrrolidone nucleus. The smart drugs in this class include Piracetam, Pramiracetam, Phenylpiracetam, and Aniracetam. Other drugs in this class are levetiracetam and seletracetam, considered anticonvulsants.

Piracetam is a synthetic nootropic molecule that has been shown to improve memory in people with age-related mental decline but does not seem to have many benefits for healthy adults. Piracetam may help you retain information better, solve complex problems more quickly and efficiently than before, and enhance your cognitive function overall —though this research needs further exploration.

Phenylpiracetam, aka Phenotropil, is another over-the-counter and synthetic smart drug shown to help the brain recover from various injuries. It’s similar in structure to Piracetam and Noopept but not as potent or effective. 

  • One study shows it enhances memory slightly better than both options alone when taken by rats with strokes! However, adult research isn’t available yet, so use caution before taking this supplement.
  • Pramiracetam also belongs to Racetams nootropics and works as a CNS stimulant. It is also used as a cognitive enhancer and long-term memory formation. The usual recommended dietary intake is 400mg three times a day or 600mg 2 times a day.

Phenylpiracetam is a unique drug developed in 1983 for the Soviet space program. It’s an analog of Piracetam, but with one amino acid changed from Phenethylamine to Hydroxyphenyl ethylamine (or HPEH). Adding this extra chemical causes it to promote greater mental alertness than its parent compound. It may have benefits outside just being used as medication on outer-space astronauts, like enhancing creativity through brainstorming sessions or improving productivity at work.

Aniracetam is another synthetic Racetam nootropic. This one is available as an over-the-counter supplement in the US, and in Europe, it is known by prescription only. Aniracetam is also believed to improve memory and enhance brain performance.

45. Noopept

Noopept is another drug that belongs to a group of synthetic nootropics. This one has similar brain-boosting effects to Piracetam but has a much lower daily dose than Piracetam. 

The unique thing about Noopept is that it has quick action, and you will feel its effects in minutes, lasting several hours.

  • Researchers have found that this smart drug is an effective treatment for brain injuries, and it could be helpful as a nootropic in healthy adults [22].
  • The standard daily dose for Piracetam is 4800mg, while Noopept is 10-30 mg daily.

46. Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine is a synthetic nootropic obtained from Voacanga Africana seeds or Vinca minor leaves. One of its common uses may enhance blood flow, leading to increased memory power; however, these claims haven’t been investigated thoroughly.

Vinpocetine is a widely-used cognitive enhancer with success in preserving cognitive function and slowing down the onset of dementia. Unfortunately, there isn’t as much literature on this topic compared to other drugs tested for their efficacy against Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s symptoms.

  • Besides memory enhancement, recent studies have demonstrated its efficacy in other diseases like cardiac, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. 
  • This nootropic’s usual daily dietary intake is 15-60mg in three doses. The ideal dose is 5mg three times a day.

Prescription Nootropics

Some commonly used prescription drugs are stimulants that treat ADHD, narcolepsy, dementia, or other conditions. Here is a list of some of the widely used Prescription Nootropics;

  • Provigil contains Modafinil as an active substance.
  • Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.
  • Ritalin contains methylphenidate.
  • Axura contains Memantine.

Please note that these drugs can only be used with the doctor’s permission and can only be effective in treating certain conditions.

These medications can effectively treat specific medical conditions, but like any other prescription drug, they carry side effects and interaction risks. Therefore, people should only take them under a doctor’s care to avoid adverse outcomes.

Before taking this powerful class, every patient deserves a proper consultation with an expert who knows exactly what treatment plan will work best without harming you chemically and physically.

Now let’s discuss them one by one.

47. Adderall

Adderall is the brand name for the combination of 2 stimulant drugs, such as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is most commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Adderall can be used only with a doctor’s permission and might cause side effects like dry mouth, insomnia, headache, stomach upset, dizziness, weight loss, constipation, etc. Other less common and more severe side effects include heart attack, stroke, depression, hallucination, irritability, muscle breakdown, etc.

  • Adderall works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain area that controls working memory, attention, and behavior [23].
  • According to a study, Adderall improved people’s ability to control their behavior and enhanced short-term memory. [24]

48. Modafinil (Provigil)

Modafinil is a stimulant drug and was introduced in the late 1990s. It is the active ingredient in prescription medicine like Provigil and is used to help people stay awake when needed for work or school. The drug was introduced in the late 1990s to treat narcolepsy and shift work disorder, but it can also be effective for people who have trouble staying awake during the day because of obstructive sleep apnea.

While there isn’t enough research to make factual claims about how it works, some studies suggest that it blocks dopamine reuptake, increasing the extracellular dopamine level.

Please note that this medication does not cure any disorders but may relieve extreme drowsiness due to narcolepsy and other illnesses like obstructed breathing while sleeping( obstructive ), which often causes sufferers’ heads to hit against their backs at night.

49. Ritalin (Methylphenidate)

Methylphenidate, the active ingredient in Ritalin, is a central nervous system stimulant. It influences chemicals in the brain and nerves resulting from hyperactivity and impulse control. This drug increases the level of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain and helps improve short memory in healthy individuals.

Ritalin, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can cause positive and negative side effects. Positively it helps with symptoms of ADHD while risking more severe complications throughout the body; negatively, this stimulant leads people who misuse their prescriptions into an addiction linked back through time to liver disease, heart problems, etc.

Ritalin is a medication that was first introduced during the 1950s to treat chronic fatigue, depression, and psychosis of people who were also depressed. It became very popular for ADHD treatment by 1990, with around 3 million prescriptions annually.

50. Memantine

Axura is the brand name for Memantine, a prescription medication that can be taken by mouth to slow the progression of moderate-to-severe dementia associated with Alzheimer’s.

Side effects include headaches, constipation, and sleepiness. Still, they may also have blood clots, psychosis, or heart failure in more extreme cases if not adequately managed with other medications prescribed by an experienced doctor. 

Although the risk of Axura (Memantine) abuse is very low, it can still be illegally used to improve focus and brain performance.  

While the above-discussed prescription nootropics can effectively treat certain medical conditions, you should still not take them without a doctor’s permission.



Side Effects From Prescription Nootropics

Please remember that the above prescription medicines come with side effects; Here is a list of some common side effects associated with using these prescription nootropics.

Adderall can cause abuse; some side effects might be low sex drive and sweating. Other severe side effects include heart attack if concurrently taken with alcohol.

Ritalin can cause psychosis, hallucinations, seizures, heart arrhythmias, and high BP, especially in high doses.

Conversely, modafinil can cause headaches, nausea, drowsiness, constipation, gas, and difficulty falling asleep.

How to select the best Nootropic Brand for you?

Many products are available on the market, but finding the best nootropics supplement is tricky. Also, everyone responds differently because everyone has a different metabolism rate. That’s why we’ve done a great deal of research and reviewed the best brain supplements for adults available on the market. Still, if you wish to do additional research for cognitive enhancers, the following factors can help narrow your search:

1. Always Check The Ingredients List Of Cognitive Enhancers

The ingredient list is the most crucial thing in a Nootropic product. Check out which ingredients are present and how they affect your brain, and look at an objective list to see if this product is reputable. In addition, another thing that needs consideration too; quality and potency — so make sure milligram concentrations match up with other stuff like dose size recommendations.

2. Bioavailability Of The Ingredients

You may wonder why some essential compounds in nootropic supplements are poorly absorbed. One example is L-tyrosine, an amino acid that helps make dopamine and epinephrine (among other things). But when taken as a supplement, it’s difficult for your body to digest because our bodies aren’t designed to digest peptides. The same is true for Turmeric because the Nootropic present in Turmeric is poorly absorbed. The bioavailability can be increased by adding piperine—so always check for piperine in a nootropic stack if it already contains Turmeric.

3. Safety

Make sure that the ingredients in your supplements are safe for consumption. Many people have allergies and sensitivities, so they will want to check labels on any product containing those substances, making an informed decision about whether it’s worth taking them, given their dietary restrictions.

4. Money Back Guarantee

Many reputable companies offer a money-back guarantee on their supplements. You can try the Nootropic for a specified period and get a refund if you don’t feel any difference. If you’re skeptical about smart drugs, buy from a company with a generous guarantee or return policy.

5. The Price Of The Stack

If you’ve been on the hunt for a nootropic that will give your brain all of its nutrients and energy, don’t settle with just any old product. As mentioned earlier in this article, there’s more than one determinant when buying these supplements — price is only one factor among many others, like ingredients or potency; however, it isn’t irrelevant either.

For example, You might not want to buy from a highly low-quality brand even if they were cheap. Something could happen during shipping resulting in poor quality powder getting mixed up, amongst other things, too often. So always check the price of the stack you are purchasing.

6. Verified Customer Feedback

Always check the product pages and read genuine customer reviews on Amazon, TrustPilot, and Better Business Bureau. When looking for a product, you must take the time and find as much information about them as possible from different sources such as Google search engines, etc. Media reports on lawsuits or negative reviews can also be enlightening when deciding if this product has been through enough hardships and will not disappoint its customers in any way possible.

7. Third-party testing

This one is crucial when selecting a supplement brand. It provides an extra layer of assurance regarding the product’s quality, purity, and safety. Third-party testing involves independent laboratories evaluating the supplement’s ingredients, potency, and potential contaminants. It helps verify that the brand’s claims are accurate and that the product meets regulatory standards. Look for brands that openly share their third-party testing results, as it demonstrates transparency and a commitment to providing reliable and trustworthy products. By choosing a brand that undergoes third-party testing, you can have greater confidence in the quality and integrity of the supplements you are considering.

Bottom Line: Selecting the best nootropic brand for you requires careful consideration. Start by identifying your specific cognitive needs and goals. Research and compare different brands, paying attention to their reputation, ingredients, and customer reviews. Look for brands prioritizing quality, transparency, and safety in manufacturing. Consider consulting with a healthcare professional or pharmacist for guidance tailored to your health condition and medication interactions. Choose a reputable brand that aligns with your needs, preferences, and budget, ensuring you make an informed decision for your cognitive enhancement journey.

So based on the above list, which is the best nootropic supplement, and how to select one for yourself?

As a pharmacist, I recommend anything that contains most of the well-researched, proven, and safe ingredients. That’s why I recommend BrainPill®—which is loaded with some natural and proven ingredients. BrainPill contains some or most of the above-discussed natural nootropics.

Why we love BrainPill®

  • This nootropic stack comes with a 67-day money-back guarantee.
  • The formula is all-natural and has ingredients that boost focus, attention, and overall brain health.
  • BrainPill® is effective for treating brain fog and may also help improve learning abilities.
  • Also, BrainPill® is safe and free from toxins and other harmful substances. Read more about BrainPill ←Here.


Many types of nootropics and smart drugs with different potency levels are available.

Prescription smart drugs like Adderall and Ritalin have the most potent effects on memory and attention span; however, they’re also highly addictive and need doctors’ prescriptions.

Synthetic nootropic supplements like Noopept and Piracetam can be more challenging to find, but research is lacking on their effectiveness in healthy adults.

Natural brain boosters such as BrainPill® offer a gentler approach without any risks associated with addiction or dependency. The Ingredients in BrainPill are all effective, honest, and safe for memory improvement and overall brain performance.

Whatever your preferred method may be, we recommend that you consult a doctor before taking anything new so that they can assess whether it will cause side effects or interact negatively with other medications you might take regularly. You can read more about Nootropics brands here← and other supplements and medicine on Drugs Bank.


0 Reviews ( 0 out of 0 )

Write a Review

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *