Have trouble learning new information, recalling old memories, or even remaining focused for a long time? Is your inability to effectively make decisions throwing you back mentally and emotionally? If so, this is understandable, as slowed cognitive function can do those mentioned above and many other damages to one’s mindset. The absence of a positive attitude can give rise to distress, depression, and an increased risk of common flu and, worse, cardiovascular diseases.
For people wanting a solution, the first step is to acknowledge that something needs to be done. This could range from getting mental stimulation and physical exercise to improving lifestyle choices and nutritional aspects that lead to bettered blood pressure and sugar levels, among others . However, supplements are usually sought to feel an immediate surge in brain power (within hours, for the matter). Undoubtedly, this is where our editorial team’s expertise comes into effect, as we’ve managed to gather 33 top-performing nootropic supplements in 2021. Without any further delay, let us reveal to everyone what we believe are the top contenders within this respective space.
The Top 33 Nootropic Supplements of 2021
Before heading straight to the contenders, it is imperative that we briefly introduce the process that led us to these solutions. Specifically, our editorial team sat down together to assess crucial factors that aided in deciphering the good from the bad. Our research involved studying the company, its processes, existing scientific evidence, and areas needing improvement, among others.
We also decided to include “popularity” because we rarely noticed substance in such solutions in the past. We like to make this point to support our belief that research is essential and that word of mouth doesn’t always work. More on the entirety of our ranking criteria will be expounded next. For now, here’s a summary of each of the top 33 (in random order):
- Company: Organixx
- Starting Price: $54.95
Ageless Brain is a doctor-recommended dietary supplement that aims to enhance mental acuity and brain function while also lowering inflammation through natural herbs. As explained by Dr. Melissa Gallagher, ND, CLT, “Herbal Nootropics are combinations of botanical compounds that improve cognitive function, enhance memory, balance neurotransmitters and support executive functions.”
Regarding Organixx as a company, their products embody American-owned farms, clean, quality, non-GMO, organic ingredients, maximum nutrients delivery, and most importantly, promoting affordability. How can anyone neglect their ongoing efforts in showcasing transparency, which has been reflected in the FAQs section and the posted lab results? Getting back on the topic of Ageless Brain, each serving (i.e., two capsules) contains a 700mg-proprietary blend of Camu Camu, Cat’s Claw, Bacopa Monnieri, Cinnamon, Pau D’Arco, Cocoa Powder, Dragon’s Blood Resin Extract, and Guayusa.
- Company: Amy Myers MD
- Starting Price: $49.97
NeuroLive is a physician-formulated dietary supplement trusted to serve as a foundation for optimal brain health and cognitive function. When Dr. Amy Myers, MD, formulated this solution, she allegedly considered seven brain-supporting nutrients. The goal was to provide brain cell membrane support, balance neurotransmitters, promote healthy vasculature blood flow, and induce desired alpha brainwave patterns (to balance calmness and alertness).
The uniqueness behind this brand is that Dr. Myers is its face, a formerly trained physician who received her Doctorate of Medicine from Louisiana State University Health Science Center. After her doctorate, she became an Emergency Medicine Resident, and eventually, an Emergency Physician at Dell Children’s Hospital and the University Center Brackenridge. Fascinatingly, she is also a published medical researcher, founded Austin UltraHealth, and is a two-time New York Times bestselling author, and mother among several others. Interested parties can review her resume on the official website.
The NeuroLive formula has been an autoimmune solution, candida protocol, leaky gut function protocol, The Myers Way, SIBO protocol, and thyroid connection-approved. Finally comes the ingredient’s list (i.e., two capsules/serving), encompassing a 1005mg-proprietary blend of Bacopa Monnieri, Mucuna Pruriens, Ginkgo Biloba, and SharpPS GREEN Phosphatidylserine, N-Acetyl Tyrosine (100mg), L-Theanine (100mg), and Vitamin B6 (5mg).
- Company: Zenith Labs
- Starting Price: $49.00
Another doctor-formulated supplement to have made our list is Brain C-13. As maintained on the official website, this formula celebrates the coming together of 13 natural herbs and minerals believed to promote memory function, mood, awareness, and quick thinking to say the least. Matter-of-factly, Dr. Ryan Shelton insists that Brain C-13 can go as far as prolonging the effects of aging on the brain.
A look-for facet regarding Zenith Labs is the team’s emphasis on research-based nutrition. Additionally, each solution supposedly represents a healthy balance between traditional medicine and scientific evidence – resulting in anticipated outcomes. Furthermore, the team ensures that each formula only contains the purest ingredients, undergoes third-party testing before and after manufacturing, and reflects honesty in labeling.
Taking everything into account, each serving (i.e., 3 capsules) delivers DMAE (150mg), Mucuna Pruriens (150mg), Rhodiola Root (150mg), Xerenoos or Citicoline (150mg), Rosemary (150mg), Gotu Kola (150mg), Acetyl-L Carnitine (150mg), Bacopa Monnieri (150mg), Turmeric (150mg), Ginkgo Biloba (150mg), Phosphatidylserine (75mg), Dimethylglycine (75mg), and Huperzine A (300mcg).
- Company: Leading Edge Health
- Starting Price: $69.95
The team at Leading Edge Health strongly believes that their take on a nootropic supplement can barricade the road yielding a life of memory loss and cognitive decline. Dubbed “BrainPill,” this supplement is trusted to house clinically studied natural ingredients that tend to one’s memory not only now but also well into the aging stages of life. Other potential benefits include mental performance under pressure, better concentration, and higher productivity.
As for Leading Edge Health, this company has been around since 1999 and still pays homage to its long-time mission of creating products that “restore youthful vitality, energy and confidence with visible results.” Furthermore, they are known for upkeeping consistency with every batch. Getting to the ingredients, each serving (i.e., 2 capsules) contains Vitamin B6 (5mg), Folic Acid (400mcg), Vitamin B12 (50mcg), Pantothenic Acid (30mg), Cognizin (250mg), Synapsa (320mg), L-Tyrosine (100mg), Phosphatidylserine (100mg), Ginkgo Biloba (100mg), DHA Complex (100mg), L-Theanine (100mg), Huperzia (5mg), and Vinpocetine (5mg).
- Company: Cymbiotika
- Starting Price: $50
Up to this point, our discussion was surrounding nootropics delivered in capsules form. Cymbiotika’s Golden Mind is an oral spray that provides advanced brain nutrients using micelle technology. Based on the information provided, we gathered that Golden Mind was founded on extensive thinking. Specifically, the team’s strategy involved targeting the structure of the brain and the gut-brain axis, all while protecting both from the effects of aging.
As for the processes involved, Cymbiotika pledges only to choose the highest quality organic and wild-crafted ingredients, free from chemicals, animal products, common allergens, sugar, and preservatives. Matter-of-factly, the team has since posted the lab results for Golden Mind, which is yet another factor that was checked off our list. Finally, each serving (i.e., 14 pumps) contains a 795mg-proprietary blend of Phosphatidylcholine, Lion’s Mane, Rhodiola Rosea, L-Theanine, Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil, Gotu Kola, Green Tea, American Ginseng, Bacopa Monnieri, and Ocean Minerals.
- Company: biOptimizers
- Starting Price: $62.10
CogniBiotics is advertised as a mind, mood-enhancing probiotics supplement that can improve brain health, induce mental clarity, and motivate learning, memory, and focus. The inclusion of probiotics implies targeting the gut microbiome. Hence, this supplement may alleviate one’s cognitive function at the gut-brain axis or, as explained by one source, “a bidirectional link between the central nervous system (CNS) and the enteric nervous system (ENS) of the body .”
That said, biOptimizers was co-founded by Wade Lightheart and Matt Gallant, who both met at a gym and realized the combined passion they have for health and fitness. Both individuals have a story filled with pain to share, and neither let their negative experiences overtake them. To date, CogniBiotics garnered support from top biohackers, doctors, and even top health authorities. Why is this the case? The evidence might be the ingredient list (i.e., two capsules), which contains 30 billion CFUs of probiotics (i.e., L. casei, L. Rhamnosus, B. Animalis, B. Breve, B. Longum, L. Reuteri, L. Helveticus, B. Infantis, and L. Fermentum), 260mg of prebiotics (i.e., Organic Inulin, and Xylooligosaccharide) and, 280mg of a Chinese Herbal Blend.
- Company: Elm & Rye
- Starting Price: $84.99
Elm & Rye created their take on nootropics with emphasis placed on improving cognitive function and concentration. As a result, individuals can anticipate increased alertness, productivity, and focus. Our editorial team found astonishing Elm & Rye’s level of transparency on the topic of company efforts. Not only have they provided a breakdown of the ingredient list and their reasoning for choices, but they have also gone as far as providing lab results that delve into the physical, chemical, and microbial analyses.
To what extent will individuals be impressed by the Elm & Rye Nootropics? Well, each serving (i.e., two tablets) contains Vitamin B3 (30mg), Vitamin B6 (5mg), Caffeine Anhydrous (268mg), and a proprietary blend filled with Gamma-Aminobutyric, Bacopa Monnieri, Alpha GPC, L-Theanine, Phosphatidylserine, L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, Huperzine-A, and Magnesium.
- Company: Roar Ambition
- Starting Price: $60
Hunter Focus is judged as a premium nootropic supplement that can potentially deliver clarity from “a world full of distractions.” Given that another goal for this solution is to increase productivity, the team at Roar Ambition claims to have invested their time studying scientifically-backed nutrients at clinically approved dosages. Regarding Roar Ambition, all their products are either made at facilities located in the U.S. or UK. In terms of what the team wants everyone to know, they said, “We stay at the forefront of nutritional research, developing products for fitness enthusiasts, gym warriors, amateurs and professional athletes.”
Every serving (i.e., 4 capsules) delivers a whopping concentration of Lion’s Mane (500mg), Ashwagandha (300mg), Citicoline (250mg), Passionflower (250mg), Bacopa Monnieri (200mg), N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (200mg), L-Theanine (200mg), Phosphatidylserine (100mg) and Maritime Pine Bark (100mg).
Mind Lab Pro
- Company: Opti-Nutra
- Starting Price: $89.00
Mind Lab Pro is a nootropic supplement that contains 11 evidence-backed ingredients thought to target six significant pathways, including brain energy, brain chemicals, brain circulation, brain regeneration, brain protection, and brain waves for optimal mental performance. Furthermore, this formula is believed to target multiple brain-boosting activities at once rather than focusing on single taskers.
Opti-Nutra has done an impressive job at sticking to their mission as they continue to embark on their supplements journey through research and development. To ensure the quality of ingredients, their screening processes involved over 40 questions to suppliers. This has been done to guarantee compliance with the Opti-Nutra protocol. Moreover, the capsules are as vegetarian as they get and free from cellulose. Impressive, right?
Each serving (i.e., 2 NutriCaps) entails the most significant number of patented ingredients we’ve seen yet. Precisely, individuals can forestall the likes of Vitamin B6 (2.5mg), Vitamin B9 (100mcg), and Vitamin B12 (7.5mcg) as NutriGenesis, Cognizin, Bacopa Monnieri (150mg), Organic Lion’s Mane (500mg), Sharp-PS (100mg), N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (175mg), L-Theanine (100mg), Rhodiola Rosea (50mg), and Maritime Pine Bark Extract (75mg).
- Company: N/A
- Starting Price: $69
Memo Defend was introduced to the market by long-time researcher Thomas Taylor. In his opinion, the formula that he created can support a healthy memory for anyone of any age and medical history. Besides advising people to sleep well, get in a daily dose of laughter, make appropriate lifestyle choices, drink plenty of water, and read from time to time, he believes that including Memo Defend can further heighten results.
Unfortunately, the thought process into Memo Defend is unclear; however, we are at least provided with a supplement’s fact. Notably, every capsule embodies proper dosing of Vitamin C (60mg), Niacin (2.5mg), Vitamin B6 (5mg), Folate (100mcg), Vitamin B12, and a 620mg-proprietary blend of Hawthorn, Garlic, Olive, Hibiscus, Buchu, Uva Ursi, Juniper, and Green Tea. Following everything, there’s some air needing clearing. For instance, our editorial team was unsuccessful at verifying Thomas Taylor’s credentials. Second, the manufacturer is unknown. Finally, Memo Defend made this list primarily because of its ongoing demand. That’s right, this is the first of the “popular” supplements, and until Thomas decides to provide clarity on Memo Defend, there isn’t anything meaningful to pinpoint.
- Company: Nutrition Hack
- Starting Price: $69
Another supplement that appears to follow the trends of Memo Defend is Memory Hack. Though some company has been listed as the makers, close to nothing about their existence is accessible. Additionally, the advertised benefits are over-the-top and promise individuals nothing but false hope. Specifically, Memory Hack has been touted for its ability to promote “total restoration of memory in six months.” Unluckily, we also couldn’t find a supplement facts, but existing reviews have reported them as being Ginkgo Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Choline, and L-Theanine. Our editorial team was far from impressed with Memory Hack; hence, we cannot simply comment on its uses or value until more information is available.
- Company: N/A
- Starting Price: $69
The third popular supplement (without mention of a manufacturer) on our list is MemoSurge, presented as a solution that challenges Big Pharma. Many of us supposedly have brain farts or a “senior’s moment” because of an avoided imbalance in brain chemicals. The latter is fundamental to this solution. It is trusted to fire up neurotransmitters and repair damaged brain cells while preventing brain shrinkage, protect the brain against cognitive decline, and, lastly, eliminate anxiety and insomnia. Finally, we have some known ingredients, such as Phosphatidylserine, St. John’s Wort, N-Acetyl L-Carnitine, and Bacopa Monnieri, but it is unclear why are others involved. Ultimately, this should suffice to indicate where we stand.
- Company: NaturalCell
- Starting Price: $49.95
NeuroActiv6 is an advanced polyphenol and brain superfood formula designed to improve clarity, focus, and mood, restore brain energy and overall health, induce a calming effect, and raise BDNF levels. BDNF, short for “brain-derived neurotrophic factor,” is crucial for brain health, as it has been tasked with safeguarding neuronal survival and growth. In addition, it is said to participate in neuronal plasticity, which is what drives our learning and memory functions . That said, for now, we know that the makers are NaturalCell, but scarce information is accessible on their establishment. Similarly, the ingredient list is quite extensive, yet only a handful of them have been revealed, such as NeuroFactor (Coffee Fruit), Activin (Grape Seed), Cognizin (Citicoline), and Sensoril (Withania Somnifera). So, interested parties should reach out to the customer service team before placing an order.
- Company: Natural Stacks
- Starting Price: $29.95
Natural Stacks’ NeuroFuel is “the original CILTEP formula for enhanced focus, deep concentration, and improved memory.” Out of all the supplements found on this list, this one takes the cake because it may deliver a brain surge within 30 minutes of taking a serving. How so? As it turns out, NeuroFuel has been designed to fuel neurotransmitters, and consequently, promote more significant signaling between brain cells.
In addition to being an original formula, the company is also equally original. The official website suggests that Natural Stacks is “the world’s first open-source supplement company” on a mission to provide ingredient traceability and third-party lab tests. Factors including transparency, tamper-proof, and trustworthiness are also guaranteed because of the use of blockchain technology and HealthLoq’s security quality. Lastly, we have the serving size, i.e., three capsules, housing the likes of Vitamin B6 (5mg), Artichoke (900mg), Acetyl L-Carnitine (750mg), L-Phenylalanine (500mg), and Coleus Forskohlii (20mg).
Energy & Focus
- Company: Neuro
- Starting Price: $21
If capsules, tablets, or even oral sprays aren’t convincing enough as delivery methods, there’s another one that we’ve rarely seen. Energy & Focus is the Neuro team’s take on a nootropic that provides fuel for the mind. As for its delivery, these are gums! That said, in the team’s opinion, big goals require equivalent energy levels. Bearing the latter in mind, they’ve considered simple ingredients that do the job while also upkeeping mental endurance and maximum bioavailability.
Besides simplicity, the fact that all Neuro products are certifiably safe is what enticed our editorial team. In other words, their products are helpful and safe, and compliant, and they have three proofs for it (i.e., NSF-approval, WADA-compliant, and FDA-compliant).
When discussing Neuro, two faces should take form in one’s imaginations, Kent and Ryan. With combined degrees in neuroscience, chemistry, and economics, the duo always had their minds challenged. After searching for a product that would keep them going, they realized there weren’t any that weren’t either supplements or energy drinks.
This led them to start Neuro, and within three days, they were crowdfunded and fully loaded to go big! Even Fast Company was pleased, as they stated, “It gives you a clean burst of energy and focus without the jitters of coffee or energy drinks.” Now for the ingredient’s list, it contains Natural Caffeine (40mg), L-Theanine (60mg), Vitamin B6 (60% Daily Value), and Vitamin B12 (100% Daily Value).
- Company: NooBru
- Starting Price: $84.19
Advantage by NooBru has been created to “give the brain everything it needs to unlock its peak performance.” According to the team, each serving reflects 11 active ingredients selected in reviewing the science alongside medical doctors to guarantee an advantage like no other. This is a powdered supplement; hence, individuals simply must add it to their bottled waters, give a good shake, and they should be good to go.
Founder Martyn Cook grew tired of downing capsules after capsules to attain the fuel he needed. He supposedly associates tablets with illnesses because that’s precisely what we are trained to do when we fall sick. After months of testing, tasting, and trialing, NooBru came to life, and today it serves the goal of producing “convenient, affordable mind and body supplements that are easy to use.” One of the good things they have planned is to give one billion meals away by 2025, currently sitting at 22,939,565. If this isn’t enough, each solution comes with complete information.
A particular one that stood out to us is how they arrived at their dosing. Next to the dose, individuals are told how many scientific studies with evidence exist out there, comforting, right? With respect to ingredients, each serving contains Alpha GPC (120mg), L-Theanine (200mg), Ashwagandha (100mg), Choline Bitartrate (250mg), Vitamin B5 (30mg), Huperzine A (200mcg), BioPerine (2mg), PhosphatidylSerine (50mg), N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (50mg), Sulbutiamine (1mg), and Vitamin B6 (2mg).
NooCube Brain Productivity
- Company: Wolfson Brands (UK) Limited
- Starting Price: $59.99
The NooCube Brain Productivity formula represents a synergistic blend of nootropics to support and enhance focus levels, mental speed, and memory. Within 30 minutes of taking each serving (lasting anywhere between 8 and 10 hours), individuals can anticipate a swift transition from low to sufficient energy and cognitive function. As stated on the official website, this formula was designed by top neuroscientists, emphasizing clinical research, rigorous testing, and safety and efficacy.
At Wolfson Brands (UK) Limited, the goal is to “offer supplements of the highest quality that are manufactured on FDA approved facilities using 100% effect ingredients based on our pioneering and well-researched formulas to help you achieve the best results possible.” How has this goal been translated into NooCube? Well, it turns out that each serving (i.e., 2 capsules) contains Alpha GPC (50mg), Huperzine A (20mg), Cat’s Claw (175mg), Bacopa Monnieri (250mg), Oat Straw (150mg), L-Theanine (100mg), L-Tyrosine (250mg), Vitamin B1 (1.2mg), Vitamin B12 (2.4mcg), Biotin (50mcg), Marigold Extract (20mg), Resveratrol 99% (14.3mg) and Pterostilbene (140mcg).
- Company: Vita Balance
- Starting Price: $29.95
Nootrogen is touted as the “ultimate nootropic” that supports cognitive function, energy, and focus levels and helps manage everyday stress. Based on the creators’ claims, the chosen ingredients have the potential to stimulate the brain’s natural synaptic plasticity, and thus, grow productivity levels, promote sharp thinking, and simply get everyone by daily.
That said, natural health company Vita Balance is the one to oversee the Nootrogen brand and over 34 others to date. Regarding supplements, Vita Balance stands by its passion for the miracles that stem from natural ingredients. Matter-of-factly, their philosophy is, “Mother Nature knows best.” With this, the team guarantees to cover all the extreme measures so that safety, efficacy, and compliance are never compromised.
Getting back to the Nootrogen formula, it is yet another one to have such an enormous list of ingredients. Focusing merely on the 642mg-proprietary blend, every two capsules delivers DMAE Bitartrate, L-Glutamine HCL, Glutamic Acid, Green Tea, Bacopa Monnieri, Inositol, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Bilberry Fruit, GABA, Grape Seed Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Olive Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Licorice Root, Boron, DHA, 14% Vanadyl, Huperzine A and Phosphatidylserine. The rest entails a combination of vitamins and minerals.
Neuro Focus +
- Company: Nuzena
- Starting Price: $30
Neuro Focus + is a nootropic formula designed by health professionals to provide optimal brain function. When taken as directed, individuals can forestall benefits such as mental clarity and focus, concentration, and feelings of relaxation during stressful times. For people wondering what’s so special about Nuzena, two significant facets among several others come to mind. First, they include clinically proven ingredients, with a summary provided on the official website on each one.
Second, and most thought-provoking, is their free health specialist included. Specifically, individuals are asked to take a 3-minute quiz with 13 questions that aids one in choosing Nuzena products that best fit their health needs. The formula is comparable to Nootrogen, except the Nuzena proprietary blend has a slightly higher concentration (692mg per serving).
- Company: Onnit
- Starting Price: $34.95
Alpha Brain has been formulated to target memory and focus. To be more precise, the Onnit team believes that individuals can now “focus even with the most complex tasks” and that their ability to recall information heightened.
They serve athletes, biohackers, professionals, retirees, parents, gamers, fighters, and students. To ensure that the human body is optimized for greatness, the team vouches to offer all the fundamentals while keeping in check with science. Speaking of science, they pride themselves in following the latest breakthroughs in cognitive science and tailoring them for daily uses.
Matter-of-factly, each serving reflects three unique blends that target the brain differently. First, we have the Onnit Flow Blend (650mg), which simply delivers brain-essential nutrients. These include L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Oat Straw, and Phosphatidylserine. Second, there’s the Onnit Focus Blend (240mg) – ensuring that acetylcholine chemicals are found in excess for maximum focus. As for its contents, it includes Alpha GPC, Bacopa Monnieri, and Huperzine A. Lastly, we have the Onnit Fuel Blend (60mg) housing L-Leucine and Pterostilbene to optimize blood flow to the brain.
- Company: AlternaScript
- Starting Price: $29.95
Next, OptiMind is a dietary supplement intended to improve focus, cognitive functions, and mental performance within 12 weeks. An exceptional feature belonging to this supplement is that its creators pledge for long-term results. Regularly taking OptiMind servings may lead to verbal learning, cognitive and mental performance, retention of new information, and visual information processing. Another confirmed feature is that it has also been doctor-formulated, i.e., by Dr. Catherine Hutt, Ph.D., Registered Dietician, Certified Food Scientist, which is nice to see.
Besides the former pieces of information, OptiMind appears to primarily deliver Bacopa with 55% bacosides (found in the Focus Blend of 1,363g) because it is trusted to increase working memory and verbal learning while reducing errors. That said, supporting ingredients include L-Taurine, Phosphatidylserine, Natural Caffeine, GABA, L-Tyrosine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Huperzine A. Additionally, each serving contains Vitamin D (9.6mcg), Thiamin (1.5mg), Vitamin B12 (500mcg) and Calcium (10mg).
- Company: Oweli
- Starting Price: $29.99
Neuro by Oweli is a nootropic complex trusted to promote healthy brain function, focus, and alertness and enhance memory retention by targeting neuroplasticity. Like Mind Lab Pro, this supplement is not tailored for one specific target market, as it can be benefited by working professionals, seniors, students, and competitors. Though in some ways, the Oweli team wants to induce short-term results, at large, they appear to be thinking bigger.
As maintained by the team, each serving can eventually support neuron and synapse protection, neurotransmitter signaling, and mentioned earlier, optimize neuroplasticity. This doesn’t surprise us, seeing that at Oweli, the goal is to “transform lives through solutions that assist the body’s complex interrelated structures, rather than ‘treat’ the symptoms.”
Nevertheless, the Neuro formula has been created with several components in mind. This supplement appears to resemble that of Nuzena’s and Vita Balance’s Nootrogen. Once again, the main difference across all three is the concentration per ingredient; otherwise, the thought process was comparable.
- Company: Performance Lab
- Starting Price: $69
After seeing long formulas, we’re happy to finally review another simple thought process that made the top contenders of 2021. Performance Lab’s Mind is believed to promote peak brainpower and health while resisting burnouts. Captivatingly, the team affirms that Mind can boost brain energy up to 13.6%, and is likely to tend to focus, memory, speed, motivation, and recovery as seen fit.
As a company, Performance Lab prides itself in being the “world’s most sophisticated nutritional supplement system,” only supporting industry-leading ingredients, advanced nutritional technologies, patented lab-growing processes, and quality control before, during, and after manufacturing. That said, these processes have been infused in Mind formula, given that each NutriCap contains Cognizin (250mg), Sharp-PS (100mg), Ajipure L-Tyrosine (250mg), and Maritime Pine Bark Extract (75mg).
- Company: N/A
- Starting Price: $69
ProMind Complex is advertised as cognitive function support that finds and eliminates a specific type of bacteria judged as the culprit for memory loss. Supposedly developed by Carl Henderson, who carries decades of experience in the supplements’ realm under his belt, this simple formula is said to go a long way. Were we able to verify Carl Henderson’s credentials? At present, no, even gaining access to the manufacturing company felt like an impossible task. Nevertheless, a supplement’s fact has been provided. It seems to contain the likes of St. John’s Wort (250mg), L-Glutamine (150mg), Phosphatidylserine 4% (125mg), Bacopa Monnieri (120mg), Ginkgo Biloba (50mg), N-Acetyl L-Carnitine Hydrochloride (50mg), Vinpocetine (2mg), Huperzine A (10mcg).
PureHealth Research Ageless Brain
- Company: PureHealth Research
- Starting Price: $44.10
Ageless Brain is a memory, focus, and clarity-supporting supplement that rejoices from clinically tested ingredients for utmost neurologic wellness. In addition, individuals can anticipate a reduction in feelings of anxiousness and brain fog. At PureHealth Research, an entity encompassing skilled experts, innovative and talented people, the goal is “to help people reclaim the control of their own health.” To achieve those above, the team is trusted to scour through scientific journals and ancient texts. Moreover, they vouch to create evidence-based educational material poised to help build consumer awareness on any ingested solution they offer.
Lastly, this team carries other brain-focused supplements worth investigating, such as Metabolic Reds, Nerve REGEN, Youth Switch, Omega-3, and Sleep Formula. Ageless Brain delivers an ample concentration of Niacin (10mg NE), Vitamin B6 (2.5mg), Green Tea Extract (250mg), and a 600mg-proprietary blend of Caffeine Anhydrous, GABA, Bacopa Monnieri, Alpha GPC, L-Theanine, Phosphatidylserine, L-Tyrosine and Huperzine-A.
- Company: Vitality Now
- Starting Price: $64.95
Formulated by a brain health specialist and former NASA scientist, Dr. Sam Walters, Youthful Brain is a dietary supplement believed to combat commonly experienced cognitive issues associated with mild memory loss. His strategy for this supplement involved relying on nutrition that astronauts allegedly ingest to keep their minds sharp. That said, one source  insists that the claims made by Dr. Sam that “diacetyl often passes through the blood brain barrier and can lead to deposits in the brain” lacks substance. Fast-forward, this source’s research also led them to discover that Dr. Sam is merely a naturopath, with no evidence that he was a NASA scientist.
This is concerning and shows that individuals need to make deep research – even claims reporting in favor of a supplement. On the ingredient’s list, each serving of Youthful Brain is said to deliver Vitamin B12 (1000mcg) and a 280mg- Clear Mind Formula proprietary blend of Bacopa Monnieri, Phosphatidylserine, Ginkgo Biloba, and Huperzine A.
- Company: PureEssence
- Starting Price: $29.99
BrainEssence is a dietary supplement that delivers nootropic nutrients and botanicals that improve one’s mental support. Mainly, it could drive focus and energy levels, revamp one’s memory and mental clarity, induce problem-solving and neurogenesis, maintain healthy stress response and overall cognitive function.
Founder and President of PureEssence’s research and development, Jerry Cochern approached BrainEssence and all other supplements under this brand with science and eastern disciplines in mind. Hence, at PureEssence, the goal is to “provide [everyone] with an exceptional line of support” symbolizes the power of holistic approaches, quality ingredients, and testing that complies with the highest standards.
In summary, each serving of BrainEssence (i.e., 2 tablets) contains Acetyl L-Carnitine (500mg), Bacopa Monnieri (300mg), Organic Ashwagandha (200mg), Mucuna Pruriens (200mg), Schizandra Extract (200mg), Phosphatidylserine (100mg), Alpha Lipoic Acid (100mg), Gotu Kola (75mg), RhodioLife (50mg), Fisetin Extract (10mg) and Huperzine-A (100mcg).
- Company: Neurohacker Collective
- Starting Price: $59
Qualia Mind is a supplement that contains 28 ingredients believed to enhance focus, memory, and mental clarity across some of our major neurological systems. The Neurohacker Collective team shared that their strategy targeted and regulated vital neurotransmitters, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, prefrontal cortex activity, neuron and synaptic functions, and other pathways critical for brain function. According to the claims made, this approach is what permits long-term cognitive health benefits.
At Neurohacker Collective, the goal is to “expand the collaborative nature of research for the benefit of all [and] to advance human quality of life.” Thus, the reason why all supplements start with the name “Qualia,” which refers to “individual instances of subjective conscious experience.” Finally, with reference to the Qualia Mind formula, ingredients include Bacopa Monnieri (300mg), Rhodiola Rosea (300mg), DL-Phenylalanine (300mg), Uridine-5 (250mg), N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (250mg), Taurine (200mg), L-Theanine (200mg), Alpha GPC (200mg), Cognizin (150mg), Organic Coffeeberry (129mg), Mucuna Pruriens (100mg), Phosphatidylserine (100mg), and several others.
- Company: N/A
- Starting Price: $69
ReMind Solution is an advanced cognitive enhancer that might sharpen the mind, promote clear thinking, and induce laser focus. Our editorial team has very little to discuss on this solution seeing that information on its effectiveness is hard to find outside of a third-party sales page. This solution has been advertised as having a lot of demand. Yet, the listed prices do not seem to depict the completeness of ReMind Solution, as it significantly fails on the factor of transparency. What stunned us most is that this formula is identical to the previously mentioned ProMind Complex, which also happens to be underwhelmingly thorough.
- Company: SANESolution
- Starting Price: $46.95
Vitaae is an anti-aging clinical research formulation that might allow consumers to “leave behind brain fog and improve mental clarity, while keeping memories safe.” SANESolution insists that the included ingredients, which have been clinically studied, could increase brain energy utilization by 13.6% and membrane turnover by 26%.
Speaking of the At SANESolution, their goal is to provide “health-promoting solutions for their valued clients and customers.” By “health-promoting solutions,” the team implies those that carry the latest research, have undergone third-party testing, and are compliant with FDA standards for manufacturing. Our editorial team was able to quickly gather that SANESolution considered the “simple is sweet strategy.” Each serving (i.e., three capsules) contains Vitamin D (125mcg), Magnafolate (667mcg), Cognizin (100mg), MicroActive (50mg), and 1800mg VitaalMind Proprietary Blend of Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl, L-Carnitine Tartrate, Gymnema Sylvestre, and Omega-3 Fatty Acid.
- Company: N/A
- Starting Price: $69
Another popular supplement is Synapse XT, which is broadcast to supercharge and maintain a healthy brain and hearing. Why target hearing? One source explained that hearing is a brain activity that delivers electrical impulses via the auditory nerve to the ears. Once they reach the brain, only then are we able to recognize sounds . Thus, people who have mild hearing loss might be at risk of an overwhelming cognitive function. As captivating as this all might sound, we aren’t certain as to who might have formulated Synapse XT. Still, regarding ingredients, each serving (i.e., 2 capsules) might cover Riboflavin (1.2mg), Vitamin B6 (1.7mg), Folate (800mcg), Magnesium (200mg), Potassium (200mg), Hibiscus (350mg), Garlic (200mg), Hawthorn Berry (200mg), and Rosemary (140mg).
Mind & Mood
- Company: UpWellness
- Starting Price: $57
Mind & Mood is an adaptogenic herbal and nutritional formula that supports a relaxed nervous system, neurotransmitter signaling, mood and energy, and enhanced attention to detail. Formulated by Dr. Joshua Levitt, this supplement is a simple one that celebrates nothing but herbs that draw upon the science of conventional and naturopathic medicines. At UpWellness, the goal is to redefine the meaning of “nutrients,” which aren’t only derived from food and one’s overall way of life. That said, taking two capsules of Mind & Mood every morning with food might fuel the brain with Vitamin B6 (10mg), GABA (200mg), L-Theanine (200mg), Rhodiola Rosea (200mg), 5-HTP (200mg), L-Tyrosine (100mg), Passiflora Incarnata (50mg), and Saffron (30mg).
- Company: Vital Plan
- Starting Price: $48
Finally, we have a physician-formulated natural nootropic blend called Brain Boost that might promote brain and cognitive health despite modern-day challenges and aging processes. In addition to targeting the brain, this formula also fortifies the immune system and gut microbiome. Regarding the gut microbiome, Dr. Bill Rawls explained that “keeping the bad guys in check prevents the microbiome from becoming an undue burden on the brain.” As for immune function, it is a vital component to “free up the brain to function at its best.”
Dr. Rawls’ love research made him side with herbal therapies, allowing him to embrace them all. Matter-of-factly, it took over ten years of learning and appreciation, turning him into a modern herbalist capable of pinpointing issues for commonly experienced health concerns. Returning to the Brain Boost formula, each serving (i.e., four capsules) includes the combined effects of Lion’s Mane Extract (500mg), Cat’s Claw Extract (350mg), Bacopa Monnieri (300mg), Sensoril Ashwagandha (125mg), and Ginkgo Biloba (120mg).
How Our Top Picks Measure Up to A Customizable Ranking System
At this stage in the guide, it should be no surprise that most solutions are unique in their concept and execution. Likewise, some solutions hit the mark, while others still lack to affirm any results. In the majority of the substance-less supplements, the founding factor was popularity or unattainable benefits/claims. This goes to show that one aspect is never enough to evaluate usefulness. So, what else should we be looking at? This is where our customizable ranking system comes into effect. The following is a summary of the deciding factors that we viewed as being crucial. Bear in mind that these may vary on a case-by-case basis:
Company & Transparency
Simply knowing a supplement and its contents tells us nothing about its legitimacy. Why are we looking at that solution if a company chooses to remain silent or fails to reveal itself? The number one factor that should hold no matter the product is its creator and their level of transparency in keeping everyone informed. A discrepancy in either one is a warning that needs to be immediately picked up on.
Another equally important factor is the manufacturer’s standing; how else would we have a supplement, right? That said, just because a manufacturer could bring a solution to life, it doesn’t make them saviors. In assessing such components in a supply chain, individuals need to verify their legitimacy, whether they comply with existing regulations, their responsiveness, and their overall presence within the supplements industry. Failing on any one of these counts should be questioned.
Scientific Evidence & Clinical Dosing
The FDA does not approve natural dietary supplements. The organization is sure to intervene when it involves pharmaceutical drug products or to assess product labels. Hence, scientific evidence and clinical dosing are imperative to evaluate. Should a supplement encompass ingredients with little to no backing, it’s equivalent to investing in fillers. Fortunately, the science regarding natural ingredients is only starting to develop further, so individuals are highly recommended to research listed components before placing an order.
Advertised benefits are a favorite among members of our editorial team because we’ve seen a handful of providers make outlandish claims to lure in consumers. It should be carefully reviewed if a nootropic supplement insists that poor cognitive function and memory loss are completely reversible or can help consumers regain brain function equivalent to one’s time as a youth. No nootropic supplement we know of can magically transform one’s cognitive function in the short run. Therefore, individuals need to consider brain support systems with the mindset of attaining relief over the long run.
Uniqueness is a factor that can be defined in multiple ways. To us, it’s practically anything that makes a company stand out. Hence, any statements including but not limited to doctor/physician-formulated, third-party lab testing and availability of results, education material, patented and proven ingredients, money-back guarantees, and efforts towards the betterment of society were sure to draw us in for further analysis.
Value for Price
Finally, we have value for the price, which is determined based on the number of factors a supplement checks off. If we have two solutions priced similarly but contain one and several desirable factors respectively, it seems reasonable to go with the second option. Why pay $60 for a solution that only contains natural ingredients when something similar in price range also has been doctor-formulated and underwent third-party lab testing? Just some food for thought when researching future products.
The Scientific Outlook into Nootropic Supplements
So far, this guide delved into the proposed top 33 supplements of 2021 and the ranking system that gave each solution such a renowned title. After spending some time on each formula, we noticed that many ingredients were recurring. Does this mean that these are the ones to have the most scientific backing? Well, we’d hope so, and this is the main reason why we decided to see for ourselves what the scientific outlook into nootropic supplements suggests. The top five recurring ingredients were studied to keep things direct, but in general, we recommend going over each one before arriving at a final verdict. Nevertheless, listed below is a brief on each one:
Citicoline is chemically identical to CDP-choline and has been shown to increase the effect of neuroplasticity while promoting acetylcholine production. A 2015 review that looked at the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of citicoline summarized that its ingestion could contribute to neuronal repair and cognitive impairment of any kind. The researchers also noted that long-term oral intake is likely safe, with the dose-ranging between 500mg to 2000mg per day. Above all, “citicoline has been recently shown to increase SIRT1 protein expression and this is strongly involved in its neuroprotective actions .”
A 2020 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that looked at the effect of a patented citicoline called Cognizin on memory function in healthy older adults found significant results. Precisely, after 12 weeks of intervention, more significant improvements were reported in the control group’s episodic memory than that of the placebos. This finding led researchers to affirm that “regular consumption of Cognizin may be safe and potentially beneficial against loss due to aging .”
Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance called phospholipid that essentially covers and protects neuronal cells while helping with the transfer of messages. WebMD further highlighted that it plays a significant role in “keeping the mind and memory sharp .” A 2015 scientific literature across MEDLINE articles summarized that phosphatidylserine is essential for healthy nerve cell membranes and myelin.
A dose of 300 to 800mg/d is trusted to be “absorbed efficiently in humans, crosses the blood-brain barrier, and safely slows, halts, or reverses […] deterioration in nerve cells.” Moreover, it could support short-term memory, help create new memories, retrieve old ones, and boost concentration, focus, problem-solving and language skills, and communication .
Also referred to as Brahmi, water hyssop, gratiola, and herb of grace, bacopa monnieri remains a top contender among Ayurvedic practitioners. A 2012 study that looked at the effect of this plant on attention, cognitive processing, working memory, and cholinergic and monoaminergic functions in healthy elderly found improvements worth recording. Specifically, it took 12 weeks of ingesting (300mg and 600mg) to improve the facets above. The reason for this rests in the herb’s potential in suppressing AchE (acetylcholinesterase) activity .
Interestingly enough, a 2021 study also assessed the effect of Bacopa monnieri on cognitive tasks, life satisfaction, memory complaints, mood, and BDNF. However, the study was inconclusive. Matter-of-factly, the researchers said that its ingestion “demonstrated slower reaction time in an image discrimination task in the [control] group and faster reaction time in a spatial working memory task in the placebo group.” Ultimately, a larger sample size might be needed to see whether results will remain inconclusive .
Huperzine A is a cholinesterase inhibitor, meaning that it might improve neurotransmitter levels. A rat-based model that looked at its effects reported that improvements by Huperzine A on cognitive dysfunction do hold, adding that this was seen on the cholinergic system, on oxygen free radical system, and regarding energy metabolism . Another source confirmed the former statement that Huperzine A initiates neuroprotective effects by activating the cholinergic system, adding that AChE activity is also involved .
L-theanine is a type of amino acid, and a natural constituent found in tea. Unlike the ingredients mentioned above, this one seems to focus more so on promoting relaxation. According to the 2019 randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover, and double-blind trial that looked at the possible effects of taking L-theanine for four weeks, the outcomes were deemed favorable. In particular, the researchers discovered that it “has the potential to promote mental health in the general population with stress-related ailments and cognitive impairments .”
Another 2011 study examining L-theanine effect, but this time on attention and reaction time response in 18 university student volunteers, highlighted its ability to enhance both, especially in healthy subjects prone to heightened anxiousness. These results were summarized after providing students with 100ml of water or 200mg of L-theanine 15 to 60 minutes before undergoing a series of tests. Of course, this study is a preliminary one given the low sample size count .
Frequently Asked Questions About Nootropics
Q: What is the origin of the word “nootropic”?
A: Nootropic is derived from two Greek words, “nous,” implying the mind, and “tropein,” implying bend or turn. This term was coined in 1964 by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, a Romanian chemist and psychologist who accidentally discovered them while trying to create sleeping pills. The pills that took shape improved memory and behavior under severe conditions, protected the brain against injury, and improved the cortical tonic mechanism, writes one source .
Q: What is a nootropic supplement?
A: Nootropic is a dietary supplement developed to naturally optimize one’s awareness by tapping into different areas of cognitive function. It is generally believed to fill in related voids such as memory loss, inability to retrieve old information and learn new ones, lack of focus and energy, etc.
Q: Why should we care about the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)?
A: As explained earlier, the BDNF plays a vital role in neuronal survival and growth while also serving as a modulator for our neurotransmitters.
Q: What is the relevance of the brain’s natural synaptic plasticity?
A: Synaptic plasticity is a change that occurs at the synapses, or in simpler terms, at the junctions between neurons that allow for communication to take place. The stronger the synaptic plasticity, the better because it implies effective communication among neurons .
Q: What is neurogenesis?
A: Neurogenesis is a process through which new neurons are created in the brain, and such creation is fundamental in regulating cognitive functions and mood.
Q: How might acetylcholine help the brain and cognitive function?
A: Acetylcholine is a type of neurotransmitter that contributes to our muscle movement, thinking, working memory, and other aspects of the brain, explains one source. Memory impairment and brain disorders are likely to occur when the brain has low counts of this specific neurotransmitter .
Q: Are nootropic supplements safe to take?
A: At large, nootropic supplements are deemed safe because of the use of natural ingredients and clinical dosing reported in existing studies. However, the best thing to do before placing an order is to provide a health practitioner with the supplement facts for a second opinion.
Q: What are the side effects of nootropics?
A: Some possible side effects of taking nootropics include insomnia, blurry vision, high blood pressure, fast heart rate, circulation problems, and possibly addiction summarizes WebMD, but these are for prescription nootropics and not dietary supplements .
Q: Who is a suitable candidate for nootropics?
A: Nootropic dietary supplements can be taken by working professionals, athletes, students, and the elderly. That said, individuals should make sure that their preferred brand identifies the target market before investing. The simple explanation for this is that students and seniors are likely to tolerate a solution differently. A similar argument could be made when comparing a healthy person to someone who has a medical history.
Q: Are nootropic supplements legal?
A: Yes, nootropic supplements are entirely legal in the U.S. but may be considered prescription drugs elsewhere. So, it is the consumer’s responsibility to confirm legality regarding nootropics in different regions.
Q: Can people become dependent on nootropic supplements?
A: Some nootropics can create dependencies. In the case of our top picks, individuals may view caffeine as addictive; however, since safe doses are of importance, its presence is unlikely to have such a gruesome effect.
Q: How do you know an advertised nootropic supplement is legitimate?
A: Not all nootropic supplements are legitimate, as a handful of scammers are out there trying to profit from an individual’s concerns. To assess legitimacy, we recommend everyone refer to our ranking system, which outlines crucial deciding factors.
Q: Are all nootropic supplements natural?
A: Not all nootropic supplements are formulated to be natural, as synthetic options are available. There are lab-made options as well, but our list focuses on natural solutions.
Q: Does The FDA approve nootropics?
A: Nootropics are dietary supplements and therefore are neither regulated nor approved by the FDA. The FDA’s approval is not even needed, but this would signify the need to investigate solutions before placing an order thoroughly.
Q: Are there any foods that have similar effects to taking nootropics?
A: As maintained by Harvard Health Publishing, foods likely to enhance brain power include green, leafy vegetables, fatty fish, berries, tea and coffee, and walnuts .
Q: Is it okay to consume alcohol with nootropics?
A: Every nootropic dietary supplement is unique in its formula, and hence, there is no straight answer to whether it is appropriate to include alcohol consumption. To be safe, it is best to avoid it altogether.
Q: Is there a difference between nootropics and cognitive enhancers?
A: No, “cognitive enhancers” is another term for “nootropics.”
Q: Will taking nootropics cure my depression, anxiety, and ADHD, among others?
A: Dietary supplements are not designed to cure or treat an existing condition; however, they might help in alleviating specific symptoms. That said, nootropics have been shown to ease the mind, feelings of anxiousness, and symptoms linked to ADHD.
Q: Is it necessary to discuss nootropics with a health practitioner?
A: It is unnecessary, but it is always a good idea because one’s respective health practitioner is likely to provide an overview of a specific formula and how it might positively and negatively impact one’s health.
The Top 33 Nootropic Supplements of 2021 Final Verdict
Ultimately, nootropics are dietary supplements that intend to maximize cognitive function and brainpower. We must emphasize the ingredients list, which encompasses nothing but natural ingredients across all 33 supplements. Undeniably, we’ve seen a fair share of unique approaches and others that meet market standards. Regardless, the contents of each formula (for the most part) have clinical backing. The latter is uplifting for those in dire need of an energy hike, focus and concentration for hours on end, and a stimulus like no other.
While there are good options out there, there are also equally bad ones. There are at least five on our list that merely passed the test based on “popularity.” As repetitive as this might be, individuals need to realize that products lacking company/manufacturer information, an official website outside of a sales page, and a clear supplement facts, to name a few, should be neglected because those are decoys that many people continue to fall for. That’s why having a ranking system is so crucial.
Moving forward, individuals ought to make it a habit to refer to our ranking system and to customize it to their likings before finalizing a pick. Until next time, we hope that we’ve shed light on the significance of extensive research, scientific backing, and the need for transparency on the company’s side instead of blindly trusting misinformation.
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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.