Are you a professional struggling to achieve your monthly targets and secure that longed-for promotion?
Are you a college student keen to emerge as a topper in exams or an elderly man worried about giving in to dementia?
Or maybe you are a housewife going crazy managing your husband, kids, and all that never-ending cooking and other chores.
At some point in time or the other, you yearn to have a magic pill or a tonic that will power up your brain and help you remember every detail and every task you have to finish.
So, it is no wonder that nootropics, or smart drugs as they are known in everyday parlance, seem to have, of late, become a favorite among a lot of people, especially those who are keen on having an edge in the competition.
But, are these cognitive enhancers safe? And do they really boost memory and intelligence or simply help improve your focus and creativity?
So many question marks. Right?
Well, that is because there are a lot of grey areas yet to be explored in this area. Moreover, you are dealing with the brain, which still is a mystery and a puzzle to many because of the unexpected ways it can react to external stimuli despite medical advancements and years of study poured into it.
Nootropics can be made from natural or synthetic substances that are taken to improve mental abilities in people. These smart drugs are said to have a positive effect on an individual’s cognitive skills. In any case, we all partake in it every day unknowingly in those endless mugs of coffee to get that kick or those numerous cups of tea to make you think straight.
But, it is a different ball game altogether when it comes to popping a pill or taking any dietary supplement drink or powder to clear your head and improve productivity.
Then, the question of safety comes in.
So, how do you know which is safe and effective?
Well, here are a few we found to be both. Note: Not all products in the market are what they claim to be. So, we took a lot of time and effort to make sure these were reliable, safe, and effective.
Our Top Three Nootropics — 2021
#1. NooCube — Strongest Nootropic Supplement Infused with Bacopa Monnieri
#2. Mind Lab Pro — Premium Smart Drugs for Boosting Brain
#3. Focus Factor — Blended with Vitamins, Minerals, and Neuro-nutrients, High-Quality Smart drug
Three Best Nootropics — Reviewed
#1. NooCube: Strongest Nootropic Supplement Infused with Bacopa Monnieri
Produced by Wolfson Berg Limited, NooCube is considered one of the best smart drugs that may boost your memory and improve mental alertness, attention span, focus, and multi-tasking abilities. This is accomplished by boosting neurotransmitter production and aiding in neuron growth and repair. Its formula has 13 powerful nootropic ingredients, including the award-winning Lutemax 2020 and vitamin B1, B7, and B12. It may also help reverse the process to some extent if your mind is declining over the years.
An excellent way of understanding how these supplements work is to examine their active ingredients, which have proven benefits for the brain.
#1. Alpha-GPC: L-alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine is a compound found naturally in the brain, and eggs and broccoli are rich sources of it. Taking it as a supplement improves memory and the brain’s processing capacities and helps to keep depression and other mental health issues at bay. It is also prescribed to elders experiencing a cognitive decline, and it is being researched as a popular treatment for Alzheimer’s as well.
#2. Bacopa Monnieri: Also called water hyssop or Brahmi, this is a plant used in traditional medicine. It is full of potent antioxidants that help repair neurons, promote new nerve growth, and curb inflammation. As a supplement, it enhances spatial learning and improves the retention of new information. It is also used as a natural treatment for ADHD, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
#3. Huperzine A: A chemical that naturally occurs in the brain, Huperzine A works in collaboration with alpha-GPC, and it improves thinking skills in adults and improves mental clarity, learning, and concentration. It even has the potential to treat various mental disorders, including Alzheimer’s.
#4. L-Theanine: This is an amino acid, a building block of the human body found in black and green tea. It reduces stress and anxiety levels and increases focus.
#5. L-Tyrosine: This too is an amino acid created naturally by the body. Along with L-Theanine, it works to boost focus energy and cognitive function and reduce anxiety.
#6. Oat Straw: A natural brain booster since the Middle Ages, oat straw is a stem of the unripened Avena sativa plants. In the NooCube formula, oat straw improves mood, relieves stress, boosts memory and focus, and blood flow to the brain.
#7. Pterostilbene: Also present in blueberries, it improves cognition, helps in treating neurodegenerative diseases, and controls blood sugar.
#8. Resveratrol: This ingredient protects brain cells from damage. Since Resveratrol is present in grapes, drinking red wine in small quantities is recommended to slow down age-related mental decline.
#9. Uncaria Tomentosa: A tropical vine commonly called cat’s claw found in the Amazon rainforest is also used in traditional medicine. It improves the flow of blood to the brain and also enhances the immune response. It also protects the brain from future damage.
#10. Vinpocetine: Vinpocetine is known for its brain-boosting effects.
- The award-winning ingredient Lutemax 2020 is a crucial component.
- Dosage is two capsules per day with breakfast.
- NooCube comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the results.
- NooCube causes no known side effects.
- Free shipping to anywhere in the world.
- NooCube supplements can be bought directly from the official website of the brand. One bottle comes for $59.99, two bottles cost $119.99 with one free bottle, while three bottles come for $179.99 with three free bottles.
- May strengthen the brain’s ability to create connections between neurons
- May reduce brain inflammation and damage
- May improve blood flow to the brain
- Rather vague about what all of the ingredients do
- Not recommended for children due to a lack of clinical testing
- Not recommended for pregnant and lactating women
- Vinpocetine present can cause miscarriages and harm the fetus
- Those with pre-existing health conditions should not take it without consulting a doctor
#2. Mind Lab Pro: Premium Smart Drugs for Boosting Brain
Produced by Opti-Nutra, a veteran in nootropic supplements, Mind Lab Pro is an entirely natural supplement with 11 research-backed ingredients that may optimize your cognitive abilities. It is considered the first nootropic of its kind, as it is a “universal nootropic” containing ingredients that support every aspect of the mental process. So, it is no wonder it is a hit with athletes and students all over the world. If you suffer from brain fog or want to improve your cognitive performance, then Mind Pro Lab is perfect.
Its 11 well-researched, clinically-backed ingredients are what sets it apart from the rest of the competition. All ingredients are safe and highly effective. Let us take you through each of them for you to understand how Mind Lab Pro works.
#1. Citicoline: Citicoline helps to energize your brain cells and optimizes the neural electrical impulses powering your thoughts.
#2. Phosphatidylserine (PS): This compound helps maintain fluidity and optimizes receptors in the brain. It also increases nerve growth to aid in brain cell creation.
#3. Bacopa Monnieri: Bacopa contains antioxidants called bacosides that enhance other brain oxidants. It protects the brain cells from the aging process.
#4. Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Lion’s mane stimulates nerve growth which helps promote the creation of brain cells.
#5. Maritime Pine Bark Extract: Maritime gives a potent complex of antioxidants that cross the blood-brain barrier with ease to help neutralize the damaging effects of toxic free radicals. The proanthocyanidins in pine bark extract help in the release of nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to the brain.
#6. L-Tyrosine: Tyrosine is an amino acid that is said to improve mood and memory. It can also ease brain stress, anxiety, and depression.
#7. L-Theanine: Theanine is another amino acid that enhances creativity and a state of wakeful relaxation. It also helps in clear thinking during the aging process.
#8. Rhodiola Rosea: This component reduces stress, fights fatigue, and increases mental fitness.
#9. Vitamin B6, B9, B12: All B vitamins contribute to brain health, but B6, B9, and B12 play an active role in sharpening mental performance.
- It is a true universal nootropic that works for everyone, is believed to be safe, and fits all lifestyles.
- It is believed to work in six different ways to help support your cognitive abilities.
- It may provide complete protection and support to ensure your brain operates efficiently and smoothly.
- Every order comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If unsatisfied, you can return your order and get a full refund after trying the product for at least 30 days.
- One bottle comes for $69, two bottles for $138, and three bottles cost $207 with an additional free bottle.
- The brand is believed to be one of the safest nootropics.
- Take two capsules daily with food.
- May improve creativity
- May heighten focus and concentration
- May improve energy levels
- May improve mood
- May provide neuroprotective and brain regenerative properties
- Some users report stomach discomfort
- Must consult a doctor before use if you have any medical conditions
- Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
#3. Focus Factor: Blended with Vitamins, Minerals, and Neuro-nutrients, High-Quality Smart Drug
Focus Factor may improve memory, critical thinking, and mental focus with its blend of vitamins, minerals, and neuro-nutrients. It is manufactured by Synergy CHC Corporation, which has made a name for its skincare products and nutritional supplements. The manufacturer uses ingredients like Boron to make Focus Factor, which nourishes the brain and aids in learning. Overall, this supplement is known to provide overall wellness and enhanced immunity.
Some of the vital active ingredients in Focus Factor are:
#1. Boron: A mineral derived mainly from food, Boron plays a crucial role in keeping bones healthy and building muscles. Boron nourishes the brain and improves cognitive performance, and it also elevates memory, perception, and attention.
#2. L-Glutamine: An amino acid, which exists naturally in the body, has a calming effect and is vital in learning and memory.
#3. Bacopa Monnieri: An ayurvedic herb with many medicinal properties, it is effective in improving memory and relieving stress and anxiety. It also enhances communication among brain cells, elevating cognitive function.
- It may improve memory, concentration, and cognitive performance.
- Contains a blend of ingredients, essential vitamins, and minerals, which may make your brain healthy.
- The brain supplement is available in a few variants — Original and Extra Strength for adults, Kids Chewables and Kids Extra Strength for children, and Brain & Vision to promote vision, brainpower, memory, and concentration.
- The standard dosage is four tablets daily and should be taken with food. Depending on body weight, activity, stress, and diet, you can take up to eight tablets per day.
- You can purchase Focus Factor from its official website, and you can also get it on Amazon and at local drug stores.
- You can purchase bottles that contain 60, 90, 150, or 180 tablets per bottle.
- Single bottles are priced between $14.99 and $23.99, and purchasing a three-month or six-month bundle will give additional savings per bottle. You can save an extra 10% if you sign up for a Focus Factor subscription, and shipping is free in the U.S. for orders above $50.
- Contains more vitamins and minerals than others
- May improve your memory and overall cognitive performance
- Natural ingredients may enhance focus and concentration
- May eliminate brain fog, helping you to think with clarity
- Ingredients based on limited and outdated research
- Daily dosage of four to eight tablets is a bit too much for one supplement
- Contains food allergens, such as fish and soy
- Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) may result in side effects
- Dangerous for women of childbearing age
- Some users have complained of effectiveness
- May cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea
- Only offers refunds if you receive a faulty product
- No trial period
- More expensive than other brands
- Best to consult a physician before starting on this supplement
What We Looked Into to Call Them The Best
All nootropic supplements promise to work wonders, but many fall woefully short. After a thorough study and detailed research, we came up with some parameters to evaluate the best nootropics.
The quality and potency of the ingredients were the fundamental deciding factors. Nootropics with science-backed ingredients and dosages were our priority for the list. These ingredients include plant and herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals that boost brain power when taken in prescribed dosages. Also, a nootropic with adaptogens may increase your body’s tolerance to stress.
Many nootropic supplements contain the right ingredients but in the wrong dosages. Suppose you buy a supplement with all of the effective ingredients. But that supplement is not going to work for you if you take it in small doses or if the ingredients in them are not in the right proportion. Sometimes, a disproportionate bunch of natural chemicals could even make you terribly sick. So, the ingredients must be good, pure, clean, and preferably organic, and they should be present in the right combination and proportion. The supplements must also be taken in the correct doses to be effective yet safe to blend into your daily life.
- Money-Back Guarantees
Many companies offer a money-back guarantee, so you will get a refund if you take the nootropic supplement for a specific time and do not get the desired results. We went for those companies that offered money-back guarantees or satisfaction guarantees. It not only allows you to get your money back if it does not work, but it also cultivates a sense of confidence in the consumers’ minds about the product’s effectiveness.
- Customer Reviews
With so many nootropic supplements available in the market, it becomes challenging to select THE ONE. Even the best nootropic supplement does not always work for everyone, as each body is wired differently. What works for one may not work for another due to many reasons.
For instance, the problem area may vary from person to person. Each person’s chemical balance differs, and each person’s adaptability, immunity, receptibility, and tolerance levels vary, too.
It is here that online customer reviews and individual experiences came in handy to make our list.
Nootropics have a wide price range. If you go for a cheap brand, the ingredients used in the making may be of poor quality or the potency may be very low. There are also expensive fancy brands with high-quality ingredients with great potency. But, you should avoid these extremes. Just go for the ones we have put on this list, as they are reasonably priced yet have high-quality, well-researched ingredients.
This factor is a top priority, as here, the most critical part of the body is involved — the brain. We checked whether the products were free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), preservatives, artificial colors, or ingredients like nuts, soy, or dairy products to which you may be allergic. If you are pregnant, lactating, underage or overage, or with pre-existing health conditions, you may need to avoid taking such supplements.
A Guide to Buying & Using Nootropics Supplements
If you are new to brain supplements, it is natural that you may feel confused about which nootropics to buy with so many in the market, each claiming to be better than the others. But, we are here to guide you step-by-step on what to keep in mind while buying the best nootropic supplement.
- Why Do You Want It
You first need to be clear about what you need it for. Are there any issues with memory, creativity, mood, motivation, low willpower, or focus? All of these are separate issues and need to be dealt with differently. What pill works for one may not work for others, and also, no two people will react to the same chemical combination in the same way.
- Seek Medical Advice
Never give in to the temptation to buy just any brain supplement you come across in an advertisement. Once you have realized what you need it for, go to your doctor and seek advice. The effects of these supplements vary from person to person, and there is also the possibility of side effects, especially if you already have a pre-existing medical condition. Remember, a supplement to reduce depression will be different from the one which will boost your memory or focus.
Research, research, and more research. Set aside some time to go online and read as much as you can on nootropics. Yes, it is time-consuming, but it is worth all of the effort.
- Go Easy on the Dosage
You need to ease into your dosage slowly. Not all nootropics work in the same way for everyone, and there is a possibility of an adverse effect or allergic reaction. You also do not have any idea what effect it will have on you. So, you should start with a low dosage then work your way up to a full one.
- Have an Alternative Handy
You need to have an alternative supplement in place if you run out of your regular nootropics. Brain supplements are available at all local pharmacies, and you just need to walk in and ask for the one you need or an alternative that matches what you have been taking. The pharmacists, too, can help you choose the one with the right ingredients.
- Buy Genuine, Buy Right
Always buy your nootropics from registered retailers, be it an offline pharmacy or an online store. If you pick up products from unregulated sellers, you may end up with fake supplements that may be harmful.
- Healthy Lifestyle
If you want your nootropics to give you the best results, you should support it with a healthy lifestyle and enough sleep. At least eight hours of shut-eye at night, a nutritious diet, and a regular workout routine will go a long way in enabling your nootropics to give optimal benefits.
- Keep Trying
If your chosen nootropic does not work for you, do not get disheartened, and keep trying until you get the right one. Also, ensure you do not get dependent on these supplements. Taking a two-day break from time to time should do the trick.
FAQs: Nootropic Supplements
Q1: What are nootropics?
A: They are supplements that increase your normal brainpower to beyond 100% by manipulating cognitive functions in the brain. They are also known as “cognitive enhancers.” They work to improve memory, increase concentration, keep fatigue at bay, and power you up.
Q2: Where did the word “nootropic” originate?
A: The term was coined by a Romanian chemist and psychologist, Dr. Corneliu E Giurgea, in the 1960s. The word is a portmanteau of ‘Noos’ which means ‘mind’ and ‘Tropein’, which means ‘to bend or turn’. By accident, he discovered nootropics while trying to develop sleeping pills, which led him to invent the first nootropic drug Piracetam in a Belgian lab in 1964.
Q3: What are the different types of nootropics?
A: There are different kinds of nootropics. Some are pharmaceutical drugs designed to treat sleepiness or narcolepsy and improve attention and focus in people with attention disorders. Some healthy people also use these drugs to enhance their cognitive performance. They are not medications to help out the sick, but their intention is to help healthy people achieve more.
There are two broad categories of nootropics — Natural and Synthetic.
- Natural: These include entirely natural ingredients like plant extracts and herbs, which can enhance cognition naturally. They can be bought over the counter.
- Synthetic: These smart drugs have a substantial effect on brain functions. They are used under medical supervision and require a prescription for purchase.
Q4: What are nootropics used for?
A: They are used to optimize human cognitive processes. They may help boost productivity, creativity, memory, learning, motivation, and focus and improve sleep and manage anxiety.
Q5: How do they make the brain work better?
A: To put it in simple terms, here are what nootropics may do:
- Help clear all accumulated toxins from your brain
- Dilate blood vessels in the brain, increasing blood flow to it, allowing it to work faster
- Boost brain cells functioning by utilizing the increased nutrient flow to the brain
- Help repair minor wear and tear of the CNS (central nervous system) tissues
- Enhance neurotransmitter production, keep them intact, and maintain functionality
Q6: What is a stack, and how does it help?
A: Combining two or more nootropic substances is called a stack. While a single nootropic substance will give a single benefit, two or more will provide multiple benefits. But, this is an art form that has to be perfected after a lot of research to get the correct combination of ingredients in the proper dosage to give maximum cognitive enhancement.
Q7: Are nootropics safe?
A: They are meant to be safe, so you need to get natural nootropics with no excess ingredients or synthetic stimulants to avoid any adverse reactions. Some nootropic supplements use poor-quality ingredients and have no standard dosage, doing more harm than good. You need to be smart enough to understand which nootropic to take and in what quantity. Keep in mind the dosage and always buy from reliable sources. However, long-term use of anything, including nootropics, is not a good idea, as it can cause dependence. Brain supplements should always be used as directed and in moderation. And if you are on any medication, ensure your doctor is in the loop before adding any nootropic to your daily routine.
Q8: Are nootropics expensive?
A: It depends on the quality of the product. The typical price range is between $30 to $75 for a one-month supply. But, if you buy in bulk, you will get a better deal.
Q9: Are nootropics effective?
A: No, not all nootropics are effective. If you want an effective nootropic, you have to check the ingredients, quality, and dosage.
Q10: How do nootropics affect us as a whole?
A: There is an improvement in base performance, which includes improvement in memory, heightened focus, greater creativity, more efficient processing of information, ease of speech, and ability to maintain focus for a longer time. You may also experience a general improvement in mood and motivation.
Q11: Do nootropics increase your IQ?
A: Nootropics are not a magical pill. They do not boost your IQ nor do they make you more intelligent. Their effects last as long as they are in the body. You are born with either a high or low IQ, and no pill will magically increase your low IQ overnight. But, they do optimize the brain’s cognitive functions, which may help in enhancing your intelligence levels. Here, you need to look at the ingredients and select the one aimed at optimizing mental levels.
Q12: Do nootropic supplements actually work?
A: Yes, they do, but after taking into consideration various factors. Not much research has been done in this field, so our knowledge is limited. Nootropics do not work for everyone, while some forms may work better than others. The effects vary from person to person, and low-quality nootropics, in most cases, do not work at all.
Q13: How long do nootropics take to show results?
A: It depends on the specific nootropic. Some kick in faster, while others may take more time. It usually ranges from a few minutes for the fast ones to a few hours for the slow ones.
Q14: How often should you take nootropics?
A: Every day. But first, take a look at the dosage instructions and follow them in words and spirit. Overall, remember not to overdose.
Q15: Are nootropics addictive?
A: No, provided they have natural, good-quality, stimulant-free ingredients. However, if they have caffeine and other stimulants, then they can be addictive.
Q16: Will you fail a drug test after taking nootropics?
A: No. But if you have bought some shady nootropics with illegal drugs in them, then you could be in trouble.
Q17: When is the best time to take nootropics?
A: They can be taken anywhere and anytime, depending on the ingredients, quality, and dosage. But ideally, they should be taken an hour or so before you need to use your brain a lot.
Q18: Do nootropics have any side effects?
A: Yes, some nootropics do have side effects. They can range from headaches, jitters, and a sudden crash in energy to digestive problems like heartburn and diarrhea if you take in low-quality supplements or brands that make their products from unhealthy ingredients. So, you need to pay careful attention to the ingredients.
Q19: Are nootropics a waste of money?
A: Buying low-quality supplements with harmful additives is undoubtedly a waste of money. So, go for high-quality, natural, scientifically-backed nootropics. You may have to pay a little more for quality stuff, but that is worth every penny you put in.
Duress and age play havoc not just on our mental state but also the way we behave, work, and approach things in life. We tend to forget many things we need to do. We, often to our horror, feel how slow we have gone in our comprehension of even some simple matters. And, as we age, we, more frequently than ever, do wrong work at the wrong time.
But, nootropics can perhaps offer us a solution. The three brands we have discussed and reviewed in this article are what we are in need of to keep ourselves alert, aware, and conscious.
They are the best because the supplements, especially NooCube and Mind Lab Pro, have helped thousands of people to avoid dementia and remain alert and aware. So, wait no more, and try out one from our list to experience the resurrection of brain power you have lost.