The Best Nootropics to Improve your Mental Health

Nootropics are supplements, drugs or any other elements that are used to boost cognitive functions in healthy people. These functions include;

  • Memory
  • Motivation
  • Reflections
  • Attention
  • Knowledge
  • Creativity

Nootropics are also known as cognitive enhancers or smart drugs. Medical researchers, scientists, and physicians have been skeptical about healthy people using these drugs. Questions have been raised about the detrimental effects and morality of using nootropics in the absence of medical conditions. Regardless of all this, the demand for cognitive enhancers continues to rise by the day.

While the market is filled with nootropic drugs, the best nootropics should demonstrate a clinically tested prove of cognitive enhancement. Nootropics come in synthetic, herbal, or natural form. While natural nootropics have not been approved to treat any medical conditions, some synthetic nootropics have been prescribed for the treatment of various conditions like narcolepsy. This article will run a comprehensive nootropics review to help users understand the best cognitive enhancers there are in the market.

Nootropics Supplements

Any type of drug whether natural, herbal or synthetic can have different reactions from one user to the other. However, natural and herbal drugs are credited for causing the least if any reactions. This is because they have fewer artificial elements. In many cases, natural and herbal supplements do not contain any preservatives.

#1. Aniracetam

This Nootropics supplement falls under the Racetam family. Aniracetam has the ability to boost certain cognitive functions. It has anxiolytic properties and boosts focus, memory, and mood. Continued research has shown that Aniracetam exhibits little to no toxicity levels and side effects.

How effective is Aniracetam?

Users have reported a significant improvement in their speed and ability to remember things like dates, conversations, figures, and even dreams. It has particularly been of help to students by enhancing their attention span and knowledge capacity. Some users reported an improvement in their mental energy. This was evident in their ability to concentrate with little distractions. People with procrastination tendencies can overcome them with the use of this supplement.

Even though Aniracetam is not a drug, some existing evidence indicates that it can assist in improving various cognitive complications, especially those affecting the elderly. Aniracetam is believed to play an important role in the treatment of ADHD and Alzheimer's disease. This supplement has been recommended by doctors in various regions as a remedy for relieving sleep disorders and motion sickness. Research is underway to determine whether Aniracetam can be used to lessen the effects of depression and anxiety.

Possible Side Effects

Some users have reported experiencing mild headaches after taking this supplement. Additionally, there seems to be little clinical information about Aniracetam. It is also important to note that this supplement is fat soluble and must be taken with fish oil and milk.

#2. Oxiracetam

Oxiracetam belongs to the Racetam family. It improves alertness, memory, focus, and promotes mental energy. Oxiracetam also falls under the Ampakine class because it promotes the formation of memory and enhances learning. Oxiracetam has similar characteristics to other Racetams but it is believed to be more potent.

Oxiracetam is water soluble which makes it easy and convenient to take. This supplement controls both cholinergic and acetylcholine systems in the brain. It also energizes the NMDA and AMPA receptors. Users need to have a sufficient supply of choline to enhance the performance of Oxiracetam.

How effective is Oxiracetam?

Oxiracetam has not been shown to exhibit any effects to mood or anxiety; neither does it function on serotonin and dopamine brain chemicals. This means its major role is to enhance cognitive enhancing functions. It is important to note that Oxiracetam influences the production of acetylcholine and glutamate. The functions of these chemicals extend to the central nervous system to help sustain neuron transmissions. This supplement also has neuroprotective properties to prevent neuron damage and keep the neurons healthy.

Despite the fact that Oxiracetam cannot be used to treat depression, it has stimulating effects which are beneficial to various cognitive functions like the ability to remember, think faster, and clearly. Other functions include improvement of motivation, concentration, attention, and focus. Research indicates that Oxiracetam boosts learning abilities, analytical, and critical thinking.

Oxiracetam contains antioxidants which help alleviate toxins from the brain. Some of the toxins include excess alcohol and calcium. This best nootropic for focus has not been prescribed for treating mental complications. However, research is undergoing to ascertain whether Oxiracetam can alleviate the symptoms of dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.

Elderly people who suffer from cognitive decline have shown tangible improvement after using Oxiracetam. Due to its natural properties, Oxiracetam does not have adverse effects on users. Therefore, it neither causes dependency nor withdrawal symptoms. No Oxiracetam overdose has been reported. However, it is important to stick to the recommended dosages per day.

Possible Side Effects

Some users reported mild insomnia, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. These side effects however subsided with continued use. These effects often indicate a deficiency or overdose of choline. In the case of headaches, users should include a choline supplement to Oxiracetam.

Oxiracetam's natural properties make it one of the best nootropic stack. This means it can be used with other Racetams like Aniracetam, Noopept, and Pramiracetam.

#3. Noopept

Rated as one of the best nootropics supplements, Noopept has exhibited immense cognitive benefits to users. This supplement improves learning abilities and boosts memory speed. The manifestation of Noopept effects varies from one person to the other such as holding longer conversations and remembering each detail.

How effective is Noopept?

Noopept enhances mental strength, prolongs attention span, and improves the ability to concentrate and stay focused. Noopept has been shown to help reduce anxiety and stress. Many users reported an improvement in their mood, motivation, and productivity. Noopept has neuroprotective properties to prevent brain neuron damage. Noopept is among the best cognitive supplements which have antioxidants to rid the brain of toxins like excess alcohol.

Noopept enhances brain communication by boosting development of synapses which connect the right and left hemispheres in the brain. This plays an important role in improving memory and alleviating anxiety. The effects of Noopept can be noticed within a few minutes of taking this supplement. For this reason Noopept has been rated one of the most effective nootropic supplement.

Many users have reported a lucid and energized feeling immediately after using Noopept. This is because Noopept enhances the production of oxygen in the brain. This supplement also promotes the metabolism of glucose in the brain hence boosting concentration, focus, and brain energy.

#4. Phenibut

Phenibut nootropic supplements are effective for improving sleep patterns, reduction of anxiety and promoting cognitive functions. Phenibut is derived from modifying the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is naturally produced by the brain. This supplement is often used with other nootropic stacks whose purpose is to boost your mood and alleviate stress. Phenibut is the best nootropics reddit and can be used as an anti-depressant. People who have social anxiety symptoms can benefit from the anxiolytic properties present in this supplement.

How effective is Phenibut?

Research conducted on Phenibut shows it has minimum side effects when used as recommended. However, overusing this supplement is likely to cause withdrawal symptoms when users stop using it.

Phenibut exhibits neuroprotective, cardioprotective, cognitive, anxiolytic, and ataractic benefits. This means it has the ability to reduce anxiety which may occur as a result of excessive processing of neurons and stress. This supplement can be used to stabilize an individual's thinking capacity. Phenibut helps people to overcome social anxiety.

Even though researchers are still studying Phenibut, some evidence indicates that it promotes mental performance and improves brain functions like the connection of the hemispheres in the brain. Many users reported improved memory, learning capability, and the ability to be adequately creative.

Phenibut does not only promote good sleep, it also helps users to wake up feeling relaxed. Its neuroprotective properties help prevent neuronal cell damage which may occur as a result of heightened stress levels. Its cardio protective properties help alleviate pressure on the ventricles of the heart.

#5. Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine has been ranked as one of the best nootropic stack. This supplement is often prescribed to patients who suffer from Alzheimer's and other mental health complications. Additionally, Vinpocetine enhances mental strength and promotes clarity of thoughts.

How effective is Vinpocetine?

In order to reap the ultimate benefits of Vinpocetine, one should stick to the recommended dosage. Vinpocetine is synthesized from Vincamine a supplement which originates from the periwinkle plant. Vinpocetine is believed to be more potent and safer to use than Vincamine. This supplement is often sold as a prescription drug in some areas for medical processes like relieving the effects of dementia and stroke.

Extensive research carried on Vinpocetine indicates that it promotes blood circulation within the brain through dilation of the walls surrounding the blood vessels in the cerebrum. This enhances glucose and oxygen supply to the brain hence improving and energizing the brain. Eventually, communication of neurons in the brain is enhanced which helps prevent brain cell damage.

Studies indicate that Vinpocetine is able to aid the growth of neurons. This is important as it can lower the effects of aging; promote mental functions like thinking and rapid memory, enhancement of focus, and concentration. The benefits of Vinpocetine can be seen after using it regularly for a prolonged time.

#6. Huperzine-A

Huperzine-A is formulated from the Chinese club moss plant. This natural supplement is used to treat Alzheimer's disease. Even though Huperzine-A has been laboratory prepared, it is regarded as bioequivalent to the natural form present in the Lycopodiaceae, Huperziaceae, and Selaginella plant families.

Recently, Huperzine-A is being used as an element of brain supplements such as alpha brain and procera AVH.

How effective is Huperzine-A?

Various clinical trials carried on healthy teenagers indicated that this supplement improved their memory significantly. When the trial was carried on students who suffered from memory complications, there were notable improvements. This is a clear indication of the effectiveness of Huperzine-A.

There are numerous studies that have been carried on this supplement. One study indicated that patients suffering from senile dementia were likely to observe improvement within four weeks of consistent use.

Huperzine-A has been shown to enhance alertness and brain energy as well as reducing memory loss in elderly people. Some users have reported the ability to stay focused, attentive, and manage ADHD symptoms after using this supplement. Additionally, Huperzine A is one of the best nootropics stack. It can be combined with other brain enhancing supplements like Vinpocetine, Bacopa Monnieri etc.

Why Huperzine-A works

It is amazing how this alkaloid that originates from a plant is able to promote cognitive functions. Huperzine-A works because of the effects it has on acetyl cholinesterase, an enzyme found in the brain. The enzyme has the ability to disintegrate the acetylcholine neurotransmitter which promotes memory recall and formation. Huperzine-A is a cholinesterase inhibitor which stops the disintegration of acetylcholine hence enhancing the level of activities in the brain.

Huperzine-A helps maintain healthy levels of acetylcholine. This is important for the enhancement of memory and prevention of brain cell and tissue damage. It is important to note that low acetylcholine is an indication of possible Alzheimer’s and other cognitive health related complications.

Usage of Huperzine-A and Possible side Effects

This supplement can either be taken through injections or orally. Unless the doctor prescribes an injection, it is often taken orally. Huperzine-A has minimum side effects. Some users reported mild nausea and vomiting after the first few days of usage. Patients who took Huperzine-A according to the recommended dosage reported no side effects.

Research is still ongoing to determine whether long-term use of Huperzine-A can cause side effects. However, preliminary studies indicate that it is as safe.

#7. 5-HTP

5-HTP contains serotonin enhancement properties used to relieve symptoms of migraines, anxiety, fibromyalgia, anxiety, and depression. This supplement also aids weight loss. 5-HTP is also known as Oxitriptan, 5-Hydroxytryptophan, or L-5-HTP. It is a natural element that forms part of supplements used to enhance mood and reduce stress.

5-HTP also improves focus and enhances relaxation. Additionally, it promotes the quality of sleep. 5-HTP helps the body to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which helps in regulation of mood.

5-Hydroxytryptophan is metabolized in the body from Tryptophan which is an essential amino acid. Tryptophan can only be obtained from supplements or diet since the body lacks the ability to synthesize it. This amino acid can be obtained from dairy products, meat, seafood, and various plant-based proteins like chickpeas, sesame seeds, chia seeds etc.

5-HTP and Tryptophan are chemical precursors of Melatonin and Serotonin. The production of melatonin is depended on the amount of serotonin available in the body. When serotonin levels are low, individuals are likely to have sleep disorders. 5-HTP helps balance neurochemical levels hence improving mood.

How effective is 5-HTP

Despite the fact that 5-HTP is used to relieve the symptoms of ADHD, there are not enough clinical studies to show how effective it is if used for treatment. Users have reported a relaxing and calming effect after using this supplement. This can be attributed to the increased levels of serotonin.

#8. GABA

GABA or Gamma-Amino-Butyric-Acid is a natural supplement which helps reduce stress. It is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that gives one a calming effect and alleviates nervousness while improving sleep and focus. GABA is produced from vitamin B6 and Glutamate.

How effective is GABA

GABA is a brain neurotransmitter responsible for enhancing the alpha brain and regulating mood. GABA supplements cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, GABA supplements do not have the ability to regulate anxiety. However, it prevents neurons from getting over-excited as a result of external stimulation.

GABA helps balance chemicals within the body like noradrenalin and adrenalin. This plays an important role in alleviating irritability, insomnia, and restlessness. This supplement improves focus and regulates the production of hormones responsible for the development of muscle cells.

Studies indicate that GABA improves athletic performance and aids fat loss. This supplement also aids the development and regulation of neural and embryonic stem cells.

Researchers are still devising ways to incorporate anxiety regulating supplements to enhance the functions of GABA to the brain. Some of the top nootropics boosters include L-Theanine a booster found in green tea that enhances focus and relaxation. Users looking for nootropics best for anxiety can stack GABA with Phenibut. Phenibut is obtained from GABA and it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.

#9. Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is also known as alpha glycerophosphocholine. This supplement has been rated as one of the best nootropics for memory. It contains choline, a compound which is believed to improve cognitive functions. Extensive research conducted on Alpha GPC indicates that it can reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

How effective is Alpha GPC?

This supplement has been used to boost acetylcholine supply in the body hence treating scopolamine-induced amnesia. Alpha-GPC is believed to boost the natural production of the growth hormone. Alpha-GPC is easily absorbed in the body and plays an important role in brain cell health.

Alpha GPC supplements increase choline levels in the body. Usually, the body produces choline in small amounts. This supplement increases blood flow to the brain and enhances nutrient supply to the brain cells. Alpha GPC is the best nootropics to metabolize sugar into energy as well as boost oxygenation in the brain.

#10. Choline

Choline is associated with vitamin B complex. It is water soluble and is necessary for synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity is the weakening or strengthening of synapses depending on their activity.

Choline protects the liver from fat accumulation and promotes the development of cellular membranes. Choline plays a key role in the cognitive functions. Research indicates that choline boosts brain development in infants and lowers memory loss in elderly people. The studies found that using choline to reverse or lower cognitive decline is not possible.

Taking choline will improve intellect and boost brain health while promoting memory retention. Other benefits of Choline include;

  • Enhancing mood
  • Alleviating ADD and ADHD symptoms
  • Reduces insomnia and promotes better sleep
  • Alleviates mental fatigue and enhances brain energy
  • Promotes communication within the brain

#11. L-Thiamine

L-Thiamine is derived from green tea. It is credited for boosting mood and alleviating depression and anxiety. L-Theanine has been credited for boosting mental performance and focus. This supplement reduces neurochemicals which lead to a reduction of mental clarity and stress.

L-Theanine's chemical composition is similar to that of GABA, Glutamine, and Glutamate. This supplement increases the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter which restricts the symptoms of over-excited stress in the brain.

L-Theanine helps the body feel relaxed by blocking L-glutamic acid which is an excitatory transmitter associated with seizures. Users of L-Theanine have reported an enhanced muscle function and improved focus. This supplement is believed to lower blood pressure as well as the heart rate. L-Theanine has a minimum to no side effects.

#12. Phenylethylamine (PEA)

Phenylethylamine is a naturally occurring chemical found in the body. This supplement is often referred to as the love drug and is an element found in dark chocolate. The PEA supplement exhibits dopamine boosting properties and is one of the best nootropics for enhancing concentration. PEA alleviates the symptoms of anxiety and depression while enhancing mental energy.

PEA is obtained from the metabolism of Phenylalanine, an amino acid which belongs to the monoamine alkaloids category. This supplement functions as a neuromodulator or a neurotransmitter and regulates the production of Norepinephrine and Dopamine in the brain.

How effective is PEA?

PEA is a stimulant which promotes feelings of wellbeing. It is also an excellent mood enhancer. PEA has the ability to stimulate Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is believed to play an important role in various cognitive functions like a prolonged attention span, memory formation and recall, mental clarity, and learning capacity.

Possible Side Effects

Some users reported experiencing mild headaches, nausea, and heartburn. Expert’s advice on reducing the dosage in case these symptoms escalate.

#13. Bacopa

Also known as Bacopa Monnieri, this supplement is quite common among nootropic users. It is herbal and quite potent and promises to improve various cognitive functions. The extract of Bacopa Monnieri is obtained from a natural herb found in Northern India.

How effective is Bacopa?

While Bacopa is used to promote brain power and clarity, it has been used as a treatment for ulcers, asthma, tumors, epilepsy and other medical complications. Today, many people use this supplement to slow down aging and alleviate neuron damage. Bacopa can be used as a neuroprotectant and an antioxidant. Users reported an improvement in their learning skills.

Bacopa can be combined with other nootropics to boost its performance as a memory enhancer. Research indicates that Bacopa exhibits anxiolytic properties and, therefore, alleviates stress while promoting good sleeping patterns. This supplement has hersaponins. These elements are known to induce feelings of relaxation.

Possible Side effects

Users reported that this supplement caused sedation. To avoid this feeling, it is advisable to stack Bacopa with other supplements. Some users experienced mild drowsiness. This can be alleviated by reducing the dosage

#14. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT)

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) is formulated from L-Tyrosine, an amino acid that is naturally produced by the body. This amino acid is necessary for enhancing cognitive and other body functions. It is important to supplement this compound for ultimate cognitive health.

Tyrosine plays an important role in the functioning of NALT. An enzymatic process turns Tyrosine into L-Dopa, a chemical which is paramount for the production of dopamine and other vital chemicals responsible for mental health. The effectiveness of NALT is determined by the amount of Tyrosine present. Tyrosine promotes sufficient sleep and has antioxidant properties which help flush out toxins from the brain.

NALT is believed to improve learning capacity, memory recall and formation, and analytical skills. Many users reported feeling energized, improved concentration levels and the ability to focus clearly. NALT has a calming effect which is as a result of reduced anxiety and stress levels.

#15. Adderall

Adderall is a blend of amphetamine salts. It is a prescription drug that stimulates the central nervous system. It is believed to enhance focus, attention span, and concentration. Adderall is FDA approved and can be used to treat ADHD in adults and children.

How effective is Adderall?

People who suffer from sleep complications can use Adderall to alleviate fatigue. This drug is often used as a cognitive and energy enhancer. Some users reported moderate euphoria feelings and an elevation of moods after using it. Adderall enhances the production of adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. This promotes focus and attention levels.

Research indicates that Adderall can be used for purposes of weight loss since it contains appetite suppressants. This drug is not recommended for long term use. It is important to seek medical advice for better alternatives to boost cognitive functions.

#16. Modafinil

Modafinil is a nootropic which has been classified as an analeptic drug. It is known to boost energy, alertness, and alleviate fatigue caused by lack of enough sleep. This drug is prescribed for people who suffer from sleep related complications like narcolepsy and sleep apnea.

How effective is Modafinil?

Modafinil has shown significance in promoting concentration, mental clarity, and boosting memory. Even though this drug has a positive impact on cognitive functions, there is little evidence to show its ability to contain ADD? ADHD in adults. However, when used in children suffering from the same condition, there was a significant improvement.

Possible Side Effects

It is important to seek medical attention before taking this drug. Modafinil exhibits minimum side effects when used as recommended. Some users reported getting mild headaches after using it.

#17. Pramiracetam

Pramiracetam is one of the best nootropics available. This supplement enhances blood circulation to the brain and promotes glucose metabolism and oxygen. This enhances mental energy hence translating into mental clarity and improves focus.

How effective is Pramiracetam?

Users reported having a prolonged attention span, improved alertness, and concentration levels as well as the ability to think fast. Pramiracetam is believed to promote learning capacity, memory formation, and recall. In some regions, Pramiracetam has been prescribed to treat ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, and other mental health related complications.

Possible Side Effects

Studies are underway to determine the possibility of combining this supplement with other drugs. Pramiracetam is a natural supplement which has mild side effects like headaches. This is often associated with a drop in choline levels. Users may want to up their intake of choline to counter the headaches.

#18. Adrafinil

Adrafinil is a nootropic compound believed to have eugeroic properties. It exhibits cognitive benefits and also acts as a central nervous system stimulant. Its stimulating properties lead to more vitality, attention, and energy. People who suffer from sleep apnea and narcolepsy can benefit a lot from using this supplement.

How effective is Adrafinil?

Adrafinil has wakeful properties. For this reason, it has been used by people who work during the night and students preparing for exams. Studies indicate that Adrafinil can boost productivity, well-being, and motivation. This supplement stimulates dopamine receptors which boost pleasure and excitement while reducing stress levels.

Some of the cognitive benefits that this supplement has include; enhanced learning capacity, memory recall and formation, and fast reasoning. Adrafinil is credited with mental clarity and energy. Many users reported high spirits and focus after taking Adrafinil.

#19. Phenylpiracetam

Phenylpiracetam is a modification of the original nootropic Piracetam. It is more potent than Piracetam. Phenylpiracetam is believed to speed up memory formation and recall, promote learning capacity, increase mental energy, concentration, and focus.

Phenylpiracetam has been formulated to cross the blood-brain barrier. This means it can regulate anxiety, control mood, and regulate receptors and neurotransmitters like dopamine, GABA, Acetylcholine etc. These neurotransmitters enhance the functions of this supplement. Additionally, Phenylpiracetam alleviates sleep deprivation symptoms.

#20. Creatine

Creatine is a supplement which has for long been used by bodybuilders. However it is fast gaining popularity among people who want to enhance their cognitive functions. Creatine is naturally produced by the body. This supplement is vital for the ultimate cognitive enhancement.

How effective is Creatine?

Creatine enhances brain metabolic functions which results in improved neuron health and mental strength. This supplement is credited for enhancing muscle energy. This promotes performance for athletes and weightlifters. Creatine increases resistance, endurance, and strength among athletes.

Creatine exhibits neuroprotectant properties which promote neuron health while protecting them from damage. It also enhances mood and regulates anxiety which is likely to cause toxicity in the brain.

This supplement does not have any adverse effects. However, people below the age of 18 are discouraged from using it.


Nootropics are beneficial for overall body and most especially cognitive health. While many of these supplements are natural, users should carry out extensive research before using them. Reading reviews is an effective way of determining their authenticity. It is also important to seek medical advice for a comprehensive guidance on how to use them.

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