If you haven’t been introduced to the world of nootropics, you’re about to have your mind blown. There are nootropics for energy, nootropics for memory, and even nootropics for focus. These powerful supplements are designed to help your brain perform at heightened levels, allowing you to live a happier, healthier, and smarter life.
Don’t worry if nootropics are new to you, we are going to break down everything you need to know about what they are, how they work, which ones come with scientific support, and even a few pre-formulated nootropic stacks to try out for yourself.
With so much to learn, let’s not waste any more time! Let’s see what makes these supplements so special and what some of the best nootropic stacks are.
Best Nootropic Stack
Here are our top picks. Keep reading to learn how we chose them.
- Best Overall: Mind Lab Pro
- Best for Daily Use: Performance Lab Mind
- Best for Memory and Focus: Alpha Brain
What Are Nootropics?
We briefly mentioned how nootropics are designed to improve your brain’s function, but that doesn’t exactly give you the entire story here.
While nootropics are known as cognitive enhancers, they do so in a wide variety of ways. They’ve been proven to enhance your memory, focus, energy, mood, and support short-term and long-term brain health.
Nootropics will essentially provide the brain with the nutrients it needs to perform properly. Much like nutrients provide fuel to other parts of the body to keep you going throughout the day, your brain needs food too!
To help you better understand the power in nootropics, we’ll break down how they work to provide each of the benefits mentioned above — memory, focus, energy, mood, and brain health.
How Can Nootropics Improve Memory And Focus?
Scientists have discovered four different areas of the brain that play a role in memory and our ability to process information — the amygdala, hippocampus, cerebellum, and prefrontal cortex.
Let’s take a closer look at these:
- The amygdala is responsible for mood management, which is known to help regulate the information we store in our brain.
- The hippocampus improves recognition memory and spatial memory.
- The cerebellum helps us learn from errors.
- The prefrontal cortex allows us to retrieve information we stored in our brain previously.
The different areas of the brain are also responsible for regulating neurotransmitters in the brain. Scientists have discovered several neurotransmitters that have an effect on memory and focus, including dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and acetylcholine.
This is where nootropics come into play, since they provide nutrients that help produce, regulate, and synthesize neurotransmitters in the body. Several nootropics are known to have a direct effect on increasing dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and acetylcholine in the brain, listed below.
Nootropic Stack: Bacopa Monnieri, Citicoline, Phosphatidylserine, Rhodiola Rosea, Alpha-GPC, and L-Tyrosine.
How Can Nootropics Improve Energy?
Nootropics will work a bit differently when improving mental energy. They will do so in four major ways — helping the body produce ATP, managing stress, enhancing blood flow to the brain, and regulating neurotransmitters.
Our bodies produce ATP, also known as adenosine triphosphate, with the help of mitochondria found in your cells. When your mitochondria are damaged, your body will struggle to convert compounds into ATP.
We’ve already mentioned how nootropics affect neurotransmitters. Two neurotransmitters that play a role in mental energy are glutamate and GABA.
It should also be noted that frequent stress and anxiety can lead to restlessness, which will burn through energy much quicker than we’re used to. Neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine are known to help reduce stress, which could provide your body with more energy.
Lastly, nootropics are known to improve blood flow in the body. This will make it easier to transport glucose and oxygen throughout the body, which will make it easier to produce energy.
Nootropic Stack: Acetyl-L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine, TeaCrine, L-Theanine, Ginkgo Biloba, and L-Tyrosine
How Can Nootropics Improve Mood?
Much like nootropics improve memory, focus, and energy by enhancing the synthesis of neurotransmitters, they will do the same for your mood. You’ve likely heard of the major mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, which include serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and norepinephrine.
There are several nootropics that will achieve this, and we’ve already touched base on a few of them. In fact, many of them have been used for thousands of years.
Nootropic Stack: Rhodiola Rosea, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, L-Theanine, Citicoline, Ashwagandha, and Ginkgo Biloba
How Can Nootropics Improve Brain Health?
The final benefit you’ll receive with nootropics is a much healthier and protected brain. They’ll do this by protecting the cells and cell membranes that ensure everything in the body is working properly.
Some nootropics will improve cell signaling, which will improve the body’s ability to replace dead or damaged cells. Other nootropics will optimize the construction of new brain cells and brain structures.
In addition to that, any nootropic that improves blood flow to the brain acts as an antioxidant, or has anti-inflammatory properties will provide short-term and long-term health benefits to the brain.
Nootropic Stack: Phosphatidylserine, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Bacopa Monnieri, Citicoline, and DHA
Nootropic Ingredients That Work
We’ve mentioned a ton of nootropics that can improve your cognitive abilities, and we’ve even briefly touched base on how they work their magic. What we haven’t done yet is give a detailed overview of each nootropic ingredient.
Like we said earlier, nootropics work in various different ways. Let’s take a look at what we mean by that exactly.
Rhodiola Rosea has been utilized by our ancestors for its medicinal and cognitive properties for thousands of years. It is most notably known for its relaxing and calming effects, making it highly effective against stress and anxiety.
Scientists have also uncovered that Rhodiola Rosea does much more than just calm you down during stressful times, but it can also improve your brain function during these times for maximum effect.
Uses: Mood, Mental Energy
Dosage: 50-100mg per day
Stacks Well With: Bacopa Monnieri and L-Tyrosine
Gingko Biloba has major benefits to short-term and long-term brain health, especially in older people. Since blood flow to the brain will naturally become restricted as we age, the need for improved blood flow will increase the older we get.
Gingko Biloba will support this in two ways. First, it will thin your blood with the help of terpenes. Secondly, it will widen your blood vessels with the help of glycosides. Together, they can effectively reduce cognitive decline and help older people feel more on top of their game.
Uses: Brain Health, Energy, Focus
Dosage: 50-100mg per day
Stacks Well With: Phosphatidylserine, Bacopa Monnieri, and Citicoline
Another plant used heavily in Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha comes with a wide range of health and brain benefits. It’s most well-known for its ability to reduce cortisol levels in the body. Since cortisol creates stress in humans, Ashwagandha can effectively reduce that stress in a way most nootropics can’t.
Ashwagandha may also have positive effects on our memory, reduce inflammation, and lower blood sugar levels.
Uses: Mood, Brain Health, Focus
Dosage: 300-500mg per day
Stacks Well With: L-Tyrosine, Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa Monnieri, and Citicoline
When bringing up the world’s best nootropics, you’d be crazy not to mention Bacopa Monnieri. This plant has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It has earned a name for itself as being the best nootropic available and comes with mounds of scientific research and evidence supporting it.
It is most known for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but it has the ability to improve your learning and memory as well. It’ll do this by increasing dendrite branching, which means your brain will have more points of communication.
Bacopa Monnieri is also known as an adaptogenic plant, which means it can help your body manage stress.
Uses: Memory, Mood, Brain Health
Dosage: 150-250mg per day
Stacks Well With: Phosphatidylserine and Citicoline
Phosphatidylserine is a type of phospholipid that can be found in high concentrations throughout the brain. They are found in all cell membranes and will play a significant role in cell signaling.
During this process, Phosphatidylserine will act as a signal to other immune cells notifying them that a brain cell is damaged or dying. Phosphatidylserine will move to the outer edge of the membrane until the immune cells arrive to destroy it.
It is believed that Phosphatidylserine levels decrease the older we get and will play a role in a depleted memory.
Uses: Brain Health, Memory
Dosage: 50-150mg per day
Stacks Well With: Bacopa Monnieri and Citicoline
Citicoline is a highly important nutrient for the brain. It is responsible for producing acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine by aiding the delivery of choline to the brain. Without this process occurring regularly, our memories would begin to suffer.
Citicoline will support the jobs your hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebral cortex are performing on a daily basis. It can also glutamatergic synaptic transmission and improve LTP in the body.
Scientists have even discovered that citicoline has the ability to deliver uridine to the brain, as well. This is unique among cholinergics and can help produce dopamine.
Uses: Memory, Focus, Brain Health, Mood
Dosage: 200-250mg per day
Stacks Well With: Phosphatidylserine and L-Tyrosine
This amino acid is most commonly found in black and green tea. It has a unique effect on the brain that promotes relaxation without feeling tired or fatigued. Due to this, it has become a popular supplement for stress, anxiety, and depression.
Over time, scientists have discovered that L-Theanine works best when combined with a stimulant — like caffeine. The two will work together to give the body a healthy source of fuel without a crash. You’ll often find L-Theanine in pre-workouts, but they can also be found in nootropics.
Uses: Mood, Focus
Dosage: 100-200mg per day
Stacks Well With: TeaCrine, Bacopa Monnieri, Ashwagandha, and Rhodiola Rosea
Alpha-GPC is a compound that will work similarly to Citicoline. It’s made up of glycerophosphate and choline. As you may recall from Citicoline, choline is responsible for producing acetylcholine, which plays a role in a variety of memory functions.
Alpha-GPC, like Citicoline, can also increase dopamine levels in the brain, making it effective as a mood-enhancer. Unlike Citicoline, Alpha-GPC can also promote strength and muscle recovery in the body.
Uses: Memory and Focus
Dosage: 250-500mg per day
Stacks Well With: Citicoline, TeaCrine, L-Theanine, and Bacopa Monnieri
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that occurs naturally throughout the body. It comes in several different forms, but Acetyl-L-Carnitine is known to be the most effective form for your brain. It will assist the body in energy production and mitochondrial function.
By protecting against cell damage, ALCAR can reduce cognitive decline and also enhance memory — especially those with neurodegenerative diseases.
Uses: Brain Health, Energy, Memory
Dosage: 500mg per day
Stacks Well With: Phosphatidylserine, Gingko Biloba, Bacopa Monnieri, and Citicoline
TeaCrine, also known as Theacrine, is a stimulant with similar effects to caffeine. I’m including this ingredient for several reasons. First, we all understand the effects of caffeine and how often we rely on this source of energy. Second, we consume enough caffeine each day as it is, so it’s nice to consume something different.
Finally, it is very powerful when combined with L-Theanine. This combination will give you the energy boost you’ve been looking for, while also providing a more calming and relaxed vibe. In turn, you’ll be much more focused and satisfied throughout the day.
Uses: Energy, Mood (w/ L-Theanine)
Dosage: 100-200mg per day
Stacks Well With: L-Theanine, Bacopa Monnieri, Citicoline, and Phosphatidylserine
We’ve mentioned several amino acids thus far, but none are more abundant in the brain than L-Glutamine. It’s responsible for a wide range of functions, but is most known for being a precursor to two neurotransmitters — glutamate and GABA. These two neurotransmitters play a major role in focus, mood, concentration, and memory.
Glutamine can also improve your immune system and supply energy to cells in the intestines. It can enhance nitric oxide synthesis and regulate arginine in the body, as well.
Uses: Mood, Focus, Memory, Brain Health
Dosage: 500mg per day
Stacks Well With: Bacopa Monnieri, Citicoline, Ashwagandha, and Rhodiola Rosea
Tyrosine is an amino acid that works a lot like Rhodiola Rosea. It’s known as an anxiolytic, meaning it helps the body manage and deal with stress or anxiety. It will also help improve brain function during stressful situations, like Rhodiola Rosea.
Tyrosine is known to increase dopamine, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and norepinephrine in the brain. This is where the calming effects will stem from, as well as the natural “fight or flight” response that we need in stressful situations (adrenaline).
Uses: Mood, Focus
Dosage: 200-300mg per day
Stacks Well With: Rhodiola Rosea, Citicoline, and Ashwagandha
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Lion’s Mane Mushroom is exactly what it sounds like — a mushroom. It will often be found in nootropics as an extract. There are several studies that point towards it being effective against cognitive decline due to the presence of hericenones and erinacines.
Believe it or not, Lion’s Mane Mushroom can improve the function of your hippocampus — responsible for memory and emotional response. This makes it a popular supplement to enhance mood and learning ability.
Uses: Brain Health, Mood, Memory
Stacks Well With: Bacopa Monnieri, Citicoline, Ashwagandha, and Rhodiola Rosea
Best Nootropic Stacks
Anyone can create their own nootropic stack by combining any of the ingredients from above, but that can become a large chore for anyone new to this. Luckily, there are a wide variety of pre-formulated nootropics available today that give you exactly what you need, when you need it.
Finding the right nootropic stack will depend on what it is you’re looking for. Some will solely focus on one major benefit, some will combine several benefits, and others will be more of an all-in-one solution.
Let’s take a look at four of our favorite all-in-one solutions that everyone should consider before beginning their nootropic journey.
Mind Lab Pro
In the world of nootropics, not many will come with higher ratings than Mind Lab Pro. It combines a healthy dose of natural and proven nootropic ingredients and is available for $200 per 4-month supply.
Mind Lab Pro contains 250mg of Citicoline, 150mg of Bacopa Monnieri, 500mg of Lion’s Mane Mushroom, 100mg of Phosphatidylserine, 175 mg of L-Tyrosine, 100mg of L-Theanine, 50mg of Rhodiola Rosea, and 75mg of Maritime Pine Bark Extract. There will also be Vitamins B12, B6, and B9.
With those ingredients, this is sure to hit all the significant benefits of a typical nootropic supplement. It’s going to be tough to find a better nootropic stack than that, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be your only option. Let’s see what else is available.GET THE BEST PRICE ON MIND LAB PRO
Performance Lab Mind
If you’re looking for something a little more basic than what Mind Lab Pro provides, Performance Lab Mind could be exactly what you’re looking for. Where Mind Lab Pro contained 11 ingredients, Performance Lab Mind only has four — and they’ll look mighty familiar!
Performance Lab Mind includes 250mg of Citicoline, 100mg of Phosphatidylserine, 250mg of L-Tyrosine, and 75mg of Maritime Pine Bark Extract. These four ingredients will effectively improve brain health, memory, and mood.
You can purchase Performance Lab Mind for $150 per 4-month supply, which is a bit cheaper than Mind Lab Pro!GET THE BEST PRICE ON PERFORMANCE LAB MIND
The thing I really enjoy about HVMN stack is versatility and ease-of-use. They combine some powerful nootropic ingredients, but split them up into four different products — Rise, Kado, Sprint, and Yawn.
Rise (Memory) will contain Bacopa Monnieri, Ashwagandha, and Citicoline. Kado (Brain Health) combines Vitamins D3 and K, Omegas, and Astaxanthin. Sprint (Energy, Focus) provides Caffeine, L-Theanine, and Panax Ginseng. Yawn (Sleep) contains L-Theanine, L-Glycine, Melatonin, and Magnesium Glycinate.
You can take these products together throughout the day or buy them individually if you’re only after one of the benefits. Each product will cost around $31 individually, but you can buy them all together for $110.
Alpha Brain is a three-blend combination of powerful nootropic after powerful nootropic. While they won’t show you the exact dosage of each ingredient, they will tell you the dosage of each blend to give you a glimpse.
In the Flow Blend, they combine L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Oat Extract, Cat’s Claw Extract, and Phosphatidylserine. The Focus Blend contains Alpha GPC, Bacopa Monnieri, and Huperzine-A. The Fuel Blend consists of L-Leucine and Pterostilbene.
This will cost $35 per bottle of 30 capsules, which is cheaper than the first two nootropics we mentioned and only a few dollars more expensive than HVMN.GET THE BEST PRICE ON ALPHA BRAIN