The Best Nootropics & Best Brain Supplements for Complete Boost
Taking a pill that can help you work and think better without negative side effects seems like a dream come true. Well, you can have all that and more with nootropics!
Nootropics have been a popular subject in the past few years. With everyone wanting to take good care of their health, it’s only natural to aim for a focused, more alert brain.
Furthermore, with the increase of distractions in the workplace and our daily lives, focusing on tasks is more challenging than ever. Social media, emails, phones, WhatsApp… there are constant distractions that are stealing our focus and hurting our ability to work.
To solve that are numerous nootropics or brain supplements on the market, each with varying ingredients and all claiming to be the best. They all target different areas like learning, memory, focus, anxiety and stress relief… but choosing the right one for you can be tricky.
Ideally, you want your supplements to contain natural ingredients that promote brain regeneration and boost cognitive function. The strongest nootropics include ginseng, ginkgo, and bacopa, and they are natural herbs!
In today’s article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the best brain supplements and what to look for in your nootropics. So, keep reading our nootropics review to find out more!
#1 Hunter Focus – Best Nootropic Stack
- All natural ingredients
- Scienced-back nootropics only
- Effective dosages
- Best nootropic for memory, focus and cognitive boost
- Great for stress relief
- Manufactured in the US
Key takeaways for this Best Nootropic piece:
- Nootropics of brain supplements are compounds that can help you with cognitive performance and mood
- They are scientifically backed ingredients
- Nootropics can affect: memory, learning, focus, clarity, mood, anxiety and stress
- There are natural nootropics that can help you: caffeine, ginkgo biloba, Rhodiola rosea, Boswellia…
- For best results, it’s better to take a comprehensive nootropic stack supplement
- Hunter Focus is the best natural brain supplement for focus, clarity and memory
What Are Nootropics?
You’ve probably heard of nootropics by their nickname, brain supplements or smart drugs. As the name implies, nootropics are a group of medications and supplements that enhance brain function. They often focus on the following key areas:
- Memory (short and long term)
- Energy levels
Do Nootropics Work?
While these substances won’t make you more intelligent, they are scientifically proven to improve your thinking, concentration, and memory.
Still, it’s worth noting that nootropics have been stable in multiple cultures and in Ayurvedic medicine for decades. For instance, caffeine is one of the most common nootropic or brain supplements with proven benefits to both cognitive and physical performance.
Nootropics can be anything from natural herbs to prescription medications. Yet, most brain supplements rely on natural nootropic mixes without the need for chemicals or drugs that might alter the brain.
You should note that nootropics are incredibly individual. The brain supplements that work for some might not work for others. It depends on your goal behind taking the supplements and the root cause of your concentration issues.
For example, vitamin B derivatives might be perfect for memory and reducing brain fog. Yet, you wouldn’t benefit from them as much if you’re looking to increase your concentration and creativity.
Best Natural Nootropics and Natural Brain Supplements
The idea of taking supplements to help your brain work better sounds pretty appealing. That said, many synthetic chemicals can improve cognitive functions, leaving you with unwanted side effects later on.
The most well-known example is Adderall.
Luckily, there are a lot of natural sources for nootropics. In fact, numerous brain supplements use these natural elements as the main ingredients.
Here are some of the best natural nootropics you might find on the market:
1. Ginkgo Biloba
- Reduces anxiety and depression
Ginkgo biloba is one of the most popular superfoods out there. This plant is considered a living fossil, as it’s one of the oldest plants used in Chinese medicine. In particular, ginkgo leaves are the source of all the beneficial components that boost brain activity.
First, ginkgo biloba leaf extract is a potent antioxidant, meaning that it fights free radicals and reduces inflammation. Antioxidants are also quite powerful against neurodegenerative disorders.
That’s why ginkgo is effective against dementia and might even enhance brain function in healthy individuals. This makes it one of the best supplements for improved memory and attention span.
As if that wasn’t enough, using ginkgo supplements along with other treatments might reduce anxiety and depression.
2. Rhodiola Rosea
- Stress and anxiety relief
Traditional medicine has used Rhodiola rosea for centuries in managing stress, anxiety, and depression. Modern research also supports its use as an adaptogen.
Numerous animal studies have shown that it has antistressant, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant properties.
The adaptogenic properties of Rhodiola mean it increases the body’s natural resistance to stress. Moreover, it mimics the effects of sertraline, an antidepressant, without the uncomfortable side effects!
If you need to refine your memory and learn faster, simply take supplements containing Rhodiola. The herb can significantly alleviate fatigue and enhance concentration.
Simply put, taking Rhodiola rosea for only a couple of weeks will lead to a clear and more focused brain, even in demanding situations.
Lastly, Rhodiola might have a positive effect on your overall well-being. It contains an active ingredient called salidroside, which inhibits the growth of cancer cells. It might protect against diabetes. Naturally, once you feel better physically, your brain function will boost substantially.
3. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
- Regulate mood
- Boost memory
- Protect from cognitive decline
So, you want a brain supplement that doubles as a tasty dinner? There’s no better option than Lion’s Mane mushroom.
This fungus is popular in East Asian medicine for numerous reasons. First, it stimulates the regeneration of brain cells and has anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Secondly, Lion’s Mane can stimulate the hippocampus, which is the brain region that stores memories and regulates emotions. So, the mushroom can help with depression and anxiety!
Not only does a healthy body lead to a healthy mind, but high triglycerides and cholesterol are associated with a decrease in cognitive function. That’s what makes Lion’s Mane such a popular ingredient. It improves lipid metabolism and reduces the risk of heart disease.
4. Panax Ginseng
- Improves memory
- Stress and anxiety relief
- Reduce sensation of fatigue
Whether you want a brain booster, something to relax you, or a kick starter to your health journey, ginseng is the correct ingredient.
This herb is a stable herbal remedy in Chinese medicine. It’s also a main ingredient in numerous health drinks and supplements.
Ginseng is rich in antioxidants, so it enhances brain function and improves memory. A study on healthy individuals showed that 200mg/day improved their memory. Whereas another study with 400mg/day doses showed increased attention.
Furthermore, drinking a cup of ginseng daily is sufficient to relax you, relieve stress and anxiety, and regulate your mood. A meta review proved that ginseng can be an effective herb treating stress, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear.
Therefore, ginseng helps your brain on an emotional and physical level. Additionally, it increases energy levels and eases fatigue, leaving you feeling more concentrated and energetic.
Ginseng won’t just benefit your neurons, but you’ll feel its advantages all over your body. Ginseng promotes circulation, boosts your immune response, fights bacteria, and might even lower blood sugar levels.
5. Bacopa Monnieri
- Improve memory
- Enhance cognitive functions (learn, attention, ability to process information)
- Good vs ADHD
Another natural nootropic herb that’s widely used in Ayurvedic medicine is Bacopa Monnieri. This plant is a perfect brain food due to its unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties is also widely used in joint supplements to combat joint swelling and pain.
Bacopa contains powerful compounds, bacosides, that have been linked with the treatment of epilepsy and other neurological disorders. In fact, Bacopa might even reverse signs of memory impairment.
Taking Bacopa supplements can strengthen your brain function greatly. An amount of as little as 300 mg of Bacopa daily can improve memory, attention, and the ability to process information.
Moreover, the herb might help you process visual information, leading to a faster and enhanced learning process.
Bacopa is an ideal supplement if you need an efficacious nootropic to manage ADHD symptoms. Studies suggest that this supplement results in a reduction in restlessness and impulsivity, and an increase in attention and impulse control.
6. Ashwagandha Root
- Anxiety and stress relief
- Increases cognitive performance (attention, memory, information processing)
- Improves mood
Ashwagandha is one more impressive adaptogen that can greatly benefit your cognitive functions. It can promote brain health as it possesses strong anti-inflammatory action.
This ancient medicinal herb can combat symptoms of depression and anxiety by controlling stress mediators and suppressing brain over-activity, as shown by recent meta studies.
Not only that, but ashwagandha supplements might reduce the severity of mental disorders such as schizophrenia.
Ashwagandha is an ideal supplement for individuals suffering from cognitive impairment as it increases the attention span, enhances memory, and improves information processing. Doses of 400mg are enough to achieve, according to the latest studies.
That said, it’s unclear if ashwagandha has a direct effect on the brain function of healthy individuals. Since it refines mood and reduces insomnia and anxiety, it’s safe to assume it can also boost brain activity!
- Precursor to neurotransmitters
- Essential nutrient
- Improve memory
Choline is one of the best natural nootropics you should look for. It’s an essential lipid that constructs the membranes of your cells.
Needless to say, choline is crucial for your entire body. Yet, the reason this macronutrient is so important for the brain is that it makes up the majority of the neurotransmitters in your brain, as well as the membranes surrounding the neurons!
This means that choline has both a functional and a constructional benefit by making acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine.
Though this is an essential lipid, your body isn’t able to make sufficient amounts of it. That’s why you need to provide your body with external choline. You can either take supplements containing choline or look for natural sources of it.
Excellent sources of choline include the following:
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Eggs and dairy
- Green vegetables such as cauliflower
- Nuts and seeds
- Beans and grains
- Neurotransmitter precursor
- Increase cognitive performance and mood
Another neurotransmitter building block is L-theanine. The amino acid increases serotonin and dopamine levels, so it improves your mood, behavior, and brain function!
L-theanine directly affects the brain, as it can cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, the macro-protein might alleviate mental fatigue, helping you stay focused and alert all day.
Furthermore, the amino acid has been shown to influence brain waves. In particular, it elevates the activity of alpha brain waves, resulting in a surge in creativity, attention, and cognitive performance.
Luckily, L-theanine is a staple ingredient in numerous brain supplements, gaming energy drinks, and pre-workouts. Still, you can find this amino acid naturally in tea.
Studies show that L-theanine works synergistically with caffeine. A 1:2 caffeine to L-theanine ratio can improve cognitive performance and mood, while keeping jitteriness and anxiety (induced by caffeine) at bay.
9. Vitamin C
- Promotes neuron differentiation
- Mood booster
Everyone knows how beneficial vitamin C can be for the immune system, but it makes a great nootropic for a variety of reasons!
Vitamin C is an important constituent of dopamine, the happiness hormone, so it can improve your mood and overall brain health.
Furthermore, vitamin C is a superb antioxidant, meaning that it aids in protecting the brain from oxidative stress, and might even reverse the brain damage done by toxins.
This micronutrient has a vital role in normal brain development, as it promotes neuron differentiation and the formation of myelin, on in vitro studies. Simply put, vitamin C keeps your brain growing, making you more intelligent in the long run!
That said, our bodies don’t store vitamin C, meaning that you need to take sufficient amounts of the vitamin daily to protect your brain.
10. Vitamin B12
- Mood booster
Vitamin B12 has a lot of benefits, including being a superb nootropic. This essential vitamin enters the synthesis process of the DNA! For this reason, you need enough vitamin B12 for your cells to regenerate properly.
This vitamin also reduces the loss of neurons. This means that it prevents brain atrophy, dementia, and mental decline! However, according to a meta review, vit B12 is most efficient in people with impairments, and it might not be able to boost cognitive performance in healthy adults.
Getting enough vitamin B12 reduces the symptoms of depression and improves mood. That’s because it’s associated with a rise in serotonin production and metabolism.
Vitamin B12 supplements are the go-to products for boosting energy levels. Naturally, this will lead to enhanced cognitive functions and mental clarity.
Luckily, there are plenty of vitamin B12 sources including red meat, eggs, and fish. So, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you might need to take vitamin B12 supplements.
5 Best Nootropics 2023
Finding all the mentioned natural nootropics and then adding them to your diet can be a hassle. That’s why nootropic stacks might be a better, more convenient option.
They also ensure that you can get them in an effective dosage in an easy way.
Now that you know all the best natural nootropics, you can understand all the complicated ingredients in brain supplements!
Here are the best nootropic stacks you can find on the market:
1. Hunter Focus – The Best Brain Supplement Overall
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Hunter Focus has been in the supplement business since 2012. So, you know you’re in good hands when taking their nootropic stack! This stack is a one-stop supplement containing all the ingredients you need for a healthy, focused brain.
The best thing about Hunter Focus is that it doesn’t contain any chemicals. Instead, it’s packed with natural brain supplements. In fact, Hunter Focus checks off all the best natural nootropics on our list!
It does so, by not sacrificing from any angle. As such, it might have one of the biggest servings (6 capsules), but this is the only way to ensure you get enough of each ingredient.
As the name implies, Hunter Focus is ideal for increasing concentration and alertness. It works on six different aspects, which are the following:
- Enhanced memory
- Improved focus
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- Boosted creativity
- Optimized learning
It can be easy to understand how Hunter Focus delivers all the above results since the stack contains the best natural nootropics for clarity and focus.
When tested it was the most efficient stack on increasing productivity, sharpness and memory. We experienced an increase in short term focus, as well as, improved ability to recall facts after a couple of weeks.
For us, this is the best brain supplement market when it comes to value and it’s one step above every other.
2. Mind Lab Pro – Best Nootropic without Caffeine
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Mind Lab Pro promises to help you reach your sharpest and most productive self. This stack is also quite convenient. Unlike Hunter Focus, you don’t need to take six capsules a day. Instead, you’ll be incredibly focused with just two to four capsules daily.
This nootropic stack is the best option for vegans! That’s because of the natural NutriCaps which are plant-based and contain plenty of fibers. So, your brain and digestive system will thank you for this supplement!
Mind Lab Pro doesn’t contain a lot of complicated ingredients. On the other hand, the capsules have pure, simple, and natural nootropics, including the following:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Lion’s Mane mushroom
- Bacopa Monnieri
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Maritime pine bark extract
The lack of caffeine, also makes Mind Lab Pro the ideal caffeine-free brain supplement. It is the proof that you can noticeably increase your productivity without relying on it.
3. Qualia Mind – Best Brain Supplement
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Qualia Mind offers one of the most comprehensive natural nootropic blends in the market. This premium brain supplement is excellent for those whom budget is not an issue.
The Neurohacker Collective (makers of Qualia Mind) have taken a very scientific approach and included most known natural nootropics in this blend, from citicoline, taurine, phosphatidylserine, to DHA (omega-3), Bacopa and Coelus forkohlii.
In our tests, Qualia was best at boosting cognitive performance, and increasing our focus with the tasks in hand. That said, it also includes theobromine, PQQ and other extracts to reduce fatigue and increase sharpness when tired.
All in all, they have one best well-rounded brain supplements for memory and focus, but it comes to a cost. It’s the most expensive brain supplement for focus listed here, and it has 7 capsule servings.
4. NooCube – Best Cheap Nootropic Supplement
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- Most affordable
- Good to increase productivity
- Mostly effective dosages
- Small doses
- No caffeine
- Less comprehensive than alternatives
- Not as effective in neuroprotection
- Semi-effective ingredients
NooCube is probably the most unique nootropic stack on our list. While other nootropics provide nutritional supplements essential for brain activity, NooCube acts on the root cause of cognitive issues.
The supplement is one of the best nootropics for studying as it contains no caffeine, gluten, or stimulants. So, it’s ideal for young students.
Parents wanting some extra energy might benefit from NooCube. Since it promotes brain longevity and reduces neurodegeneration, it’s excellent for older individuals as well.
Its formulation includes plenty of natural nootropics that you’ll find in any other supplement stack. Yet, NooCube also has exclusive ingredients that set it apart.
The powerful, organic, and natural components include the following:
- Huperzia Serrata
- Cat’s claw
- Oat straw
The main flaw of Noocube is that it lacks many effective natural brain supplements listed above. When tested it was good for short term memory and focus, but not as good for stress relief, anxiety and long term cognitive performance increase.
Nootropics and Brain Supplements You Should Avoid
Unfortunately, not all nootropics are beneficial. Some might result in serious complications, while others just don’t work as well!
To save your money –and your well-being– here are some nootropics to avoid:
1. Alpha Brain
Alpha Brain might be a nootropic hailed by celebrities like Joe Rogan. However, many customers experienced unpleasant side effects from using this supplement.
The effects of nootropics vary from one individual to another, but seeing as Alpha Brain might make you seriously sick, it’s best to avoid it.
The reason behind the severe reactions to this supplement is simple! Pterostilbene is one of the main ingredients of Alpha Brain. This ingredient is similar to the potent resveratrol found in NooCube. However, it’s a cheaper alternative that can be toxic in large doses.
Additionally, most of the ingredients are hidden behind proprietay blends and are not found in effective dosages. Any of the nootropics listed above will be more effective for memory and focus.
You can find theacrine as a stand-alone nootropic or an ingredient in nootropic stacks. There’s no doubt that theacrine works. It can significantly boost cognitive function and help you focus.
Here’s the downside, though. Theacrine is closely related to caffeine. Though it’ll make you energetic at first, you’ll quickly crash and become irritated afterward.
Moreover, if you’re taking anxiolytic medications, theacrine might have a synergistic effect. So, you’ll feel sleepy instead of alert!
Modafinil is probably one of the most effective stimulants you can get. Yet, its use as a nootropic isn’t recommended.
The potent prescription drug is great for narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. Taking it for any other purpose might result in serious side effects.
While most natural brain supplements improve mood and enhance neuron function and regeneration, modafinil can actually cause mood irregularities.
What’s more is that modafinil can alter your brain function, making you feel confused. So, you wouldn’t benefit from trying cognitive tasks while taking this medication.
Best Natural Brain Supplements & Nootropics FAQ
Nootropics can definitely have a positive effect on your brain function and your overall well-being. Still, it’s crucial to understand that they won’t cure brain diseases or stop them from happening altogether.
A healthy brain means a lower risk of brain disorders. That’s where nootropics come in handy. Brain supplements might provide your brain with all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Moreover, some nootropics have shown promise in preventing dementia, but further research is required.
Yes, the above-mentioned natural nootropics are safe to use in a daily basis. In fact, they have been formulated to best perform when taken regularly.
However, not all nootropics are suitable for long-term use. It depends on the ingredients and the purpose of the brain supplement.
Yes, for most healthy adults nootropics are generally safe for consumption. However, just like caffeine affects everyone differently, you might have some adverse reactions to some natural ingredients (in particular in larger doses) like boswellia.
We advise contacting you doctor and stopping taking your nootropic supplements if you feel any nausea, migraine or light head.
Adderall is a potent chemical drug that comes from amphetamine. It’s a potent stimulant used to treat ADHD.
1 on 1 there is no nootropic that can replace adderall. However, something like Hunter Focus can provide you with a milder and safer alternative to Adderall, without any of the side effects. The effects won’t be as fast or clear, but you will feel you attention span and focused increased, over time.
Yes, the best nootropics without caffeine will have similar cognitive effects as caffeine: fatigue reduction, increased in focus and attention.
Conclusion – The Best Nootropics
Nootropics are natural, tested supplements that can improve your cognitive function without any unpleasant side effects.
These brain supplements aren’t synthetic chemicals that work by stimulating the brain. Instead, they improve your mood and promote neuron regeneration by providing the brain with all the essential nutrients.
There’s no better source for nootropics than natural herbs. Some herbs that have been used for decades in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine include ginkgo, ginseng, Rhodiola, and lion’s mane.
Luckily, the best nootropic stacks, such as Hunter Focus and Mind Lab Pro, also contain these natural components.
You should still carefully examine the ingredients of each nootropic you get. Some nootropics that claim to be all-natural might have unwanted constituents, while other stimulants can negatively impact your cognitive function.