Best Nootropics For Focus

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By Ryan Brennan

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

best nootropics for focus

When it comes to cognitive function, you always want to stay sharp, especially if you have a job that demands mental clarity or are worried about cognitive decline. If you want to avoid prescription medication or addictive supplements, nootropics can be a better option for cognitive function.

In this article, we are going to discuss how nootropics work and how they may benefit you. We will start by sharing our top-rated nootropics for focus before diving into the details of how we chose them.

Best Nootropics For Focus

While there will plenty of nootropic products containing the ingredients above, they will often come stacked with a variety of other harmful or unnecessary ingredients. You can always buy the ingredients above separately, but you won’t get the same results as a scientifically-made formula. Below, we’ve listed four of our top nootropic supplements for those interested in laser focus and heavy concentration. These also come with other ingredients that can give you a better overall cognitive experience.

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is hands down one of the most popular and effective nootropics on the market. The product include quite a few ingredients, none of which pose any harm with daily use in adults.

For focus, it contains Citicoline (Cognizin) and N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, targeting all the major neurotransmitters.

The 250mg of Citicoline and 175mg of Tyrosine are perfect doses to receive the cognitive benefit.

In addition to that, it also has Vitamins B6, B9, and B12, Bacopa Monnieri, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Phosphatidylserine, L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, and Maritime Pine Bark.

What you get is a powerful stack of ingredients that will target your focus, memory, stamina, energy, mood, brain health, and stress.

mind lab pro

Performance Lab Mind

Performance Lab Mind is similar to Lab Mind Pro, but not as powerful.

With much fewer ingredients, this makes for a great nootropic for stacking or a great option for people who prefer a simpler formula.

Performance Lab Mind contains 250mg of Citicoline but will bring more N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine to the stack with 300mg. Remember, the more Tyrosine the better!

You will also receive Phosphatidylserine and Maritime Pine Bark, both found in Lab Mind Pro.

If you want a simpler blend than Lab Mind Pro, this is perfect. It’ll still check off all the boxes when it comes to a good overall nootropic, just not as powerful as what’s above (which some customers prefer).

Performance Lab Mind


Noocube is an all-in-one nootropic that includes 13 research-backed ingredients.

Noocube is designed to improve attention span, reduce stress, boost memory, and increase mental processing speeds.

Noocube is caffeine-free, which is great for people who are sensitive to caffeine or prefer to get their caffeine from another source like coffee.

Noocube is a great option for people who use nootropics regularly since they offer significant discounts on bundles.



HVMN Rise is another simple nootropic with three main ingredients.

The Product contains 250mg of Citicoline (CDP Choline), falling in line with the doses in the products above.

HVMN Rise also contains Bacopa Monnieri and Ashwagandha, both of which act as powerful antioxidants, important for inflammation, overall brain health, reducing stress, and relieving anxiety.

hvmn rise

About Nootropics

Nootropics are natural or synthetic compounds that are used to improve mental function and cognitive performance. They are often a blend of different ingredients used to boost memory, focus, creativity, and attention. In some cases, they may even improve sleep and reduce stress.

Nootropics have emerged as the go-to supplement for improving our cognitive function. These will come in a capsule or powder form that can be taken daily as dietary supplements. When shopping for the right nootropic supplement for you, there will be some research involved.

Nootropics can have various benefits depending on the ingredients used. Some nootropics enhance mental focus, while others improve memory, improve mood, manage stress, create more mental clarity, and promote brain health. If you are interested in finding natural and safe ways to manage your cognitive performance, then nootropics can be a good solution. We are here to assist you in finding the nootropic best suited to fit your needs. Learn more about it below.

How Can Nootropics Enhance Cognitive Performance?

For those of you interested in enhancing your mental performance, there are several ingredients you should be on the lookout for. Before we dive into that, it is important to understand first how our mind works and what causes us to experience cognitive enhancement.

It is common to have our minds drift off on their own. They are constantly working, and we sometimes find ourselves needing a break. This is known as mental fatigue or brain fog and can lead to physical fatigue. Unfortunately, our schedules and to-do lists will not always allow for a break. So, what if you could take a brain pill that led to cognitive improvement? Think of nootropics as brain supplements, just like any other dietary supplement.

Composition with dietary supplement capsules and containers

How Nootropics Work

Our brains have over 50 known neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, produced by our brain cells and responsible for our cognitive capacity, behavior, and working memory. When it comes to focusing, 4 key neurotransmitters are doing a majority of the work — dopamine, glutamine, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine. Take a closer look at how each of those neurotransmitters affects our focus. Many of these change according to the levels of amino acids in our bodies.

The Four Neurotransmitters To Know About


Our bodies produce dopamine by turning Tyrosine (naturally occurring amino acid) into dopa, which turns into dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for how we feel pleasure and can help us zero in on things we are interested in.


When we face a complex obstacle or task, we will use up more glutamine than we can produce. A nootropic substance can help replenish our glutamine levels so we can stay on task without fatigue.


Known as one of the most abundant neurotransmitters in our nervous system, acetylcholine can be found throughout the brain. It is essential to a lot of our brain pathways and cognitive function. It can also help regulate the speed of your neurotransmitters when necessary for mental processing.


Acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter, meaning it helps enhance cognition. Low levels of norepinephrine can result in a lack of mental flexibility, causing us to lose focus easily.

Why You May Avoid Pharmaceuticals

When faced with cognitive impairments, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), many people have to resort to popular “pharmaceutical smart drugs.” Some of these medications include Adderall, Ritalin, or Concerta, but these can be extremely dangerous to your overall health.

These types of pharmaceutical smart drugs can be great when prescribed by a doctor and followed meticulously, but they are not intended to be used as a daily supplement. Instead, natural nootropics will provide a safe alternative to this when you know what to look for. Most nootropic supplements help improve brain function by boosting the neurotransmitters, more specifically dopamine, glutamine, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine.

What Are Smart Drugs?

Smart drugs refer to a brain pill that is a nootropic and can improve brain function.

Essentially, when you hear the mention of a smart drug uses a variety of nootropic formulas to boost memory, enhance brain function, and improve mental performance. Although prescription nootropics promote the brain-derived neurotrophic factor to help improve cognitive function, these are the pharmaceutical nootropic supplements that lead to addiction.

Natural nootropics, on the other hand, use only nutrients and anti-inflammatory agents and fight oxidative stress. A nootropic is a natural smart drug that stimulates your brain cells to produce each naturally occurring chemical and helps fight brain fog without damaging effects.

What Is A Nootropic Stack?

You may have heard the term nootropic stack. This is simply a term used when nootropic stacks become widely popular by mixing two or more nootropics for use in one single dose. You may find a commercial blend available, or you can do it yourself. Some of these stacks may just mix certain natural ingredients, like Rhodiola Rosea, bacopa monnieri, ginkgo Biloba, caffeine, or B vitamins, with other ingredients, like choline and L-Theanine.

Nootropics for ADHD?

Despite many doctors recommending pharmaceutical nootropics, you can use natural nootropics to manage ADHD in some cases. In the same way that these would improve cognition in a regular adult, they can help focus a hyperactive brain.

The key to your health is to consult with your physician and have permission to stop taking prescription medicine. Sometimes, physicians will give nootropics with medications and then discontinue the prescription nootropics to find out if the natural ones are working.

Best Nootropic Ingredients For Focus

In the world of nootropics, there are plenty of “posers” and “phonies” claiming to improve your focus.

Unfortunately, these come with a lack of evidence and scientific research. They will often make it seem like a new state-of-the-art blend, only leading to disappointment and potential harm to the consumer. If you are not sure about synthetic nootropics or smart drugs, you should do a little research before consuming anything.

There are plenty of proven ingredients and nutrients that will improve memory, offer cognitive benefits, and improve your mental performance. We have compiled a list of the ingredients and cognitive enhancers that will make for a potent nootropic.

You should also be aware of proper doses and side effects, and you can do some more research on your own. Keep in mind too, that some research has only focused on animal studies so far, and more development is coming. Most healthy adults will not need many nootropic supplements at once, but they may need to boost an amino acid or find natural ingredients. However, natural nootropics and substances that enhance physical performance, such as green tea, can be a good addition to promote brain function.

When you are shopping for nootropic substances, here are some natural ingredients to look for:


  • Citicoline is essential for transporting choline to the brain, which forms acetylcholine.
  • It can also help transport uridine, which is essential for our RNA, and dopamine. Research suggests that it can amplify the effects of other nootropics.
  • Recommended Dose: 250mg per day (Look for a pure form of citicoline, like Cognizin)
  • Side Effects: High doses can lead to GI disturbances, hypotension, headaches, and restlessness, but this is only in extreme cases.

Bottom Line: Take it if you are looking for nootropic supplements backed by science and safety.



  • Alpha-GPC is similar to citicoline in that it helps transport choline to the brain, but it will also increase the amount of acetylcholine produced.
  • It can also increase dopamine levels and calcium levels, which can help our brain transport messages throughout our body.
  • Recommended Dose: 300-400mg per day.
  • Side Effects: Alpha-GPC is well-tolerated in most people, but extreme cases can result in headaches, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and low blood pressure.

Bottom Line: Alpha-GPC acts as an anti-inflammatory and prevents cognitive impairments in healthy adults with a family history.



  • A nootropic supplement will not be complete without some form of caffeine or stimulant. Caffeine, as we all know, will increase your energy levels and allow you to stay focused for longer periods without fatigue.
  • Recommended Dose: 100mg (depending on how much caffeine you consume already).
  • Side Effects: Some known side effects of large doses involve restlessness, nausea, sleep disorders, increased heart rate, and stomach issues.

Bottom Line: Caffeine is safe and has been used for centuries, and you find it in green tea, coffee, and other naturally occurring beverages. Healthy adults can have caffeine regularly, but those with high blood pressure, GI issues, or insomnia should refrain.



  • Tyrosine is very important when it comes to focusing because it acts as a precursor to both dopamine and norepinephrine.
  • N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine is a form of Tyrosine that is known to be easily absorbed by our bodies. Tyrosine is most beneficial in stressful situations.
  • Recommended Dose: 200-250mg (more is better in this case)
  • Side Effects: Relatively safe for adult use, some have reported nausea, heartburn, headache, and joint pain when taken in high doses.

Bottom Line: N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine is helpful as a part of nootropic supplements to improve focus, reduce physical fatigue, and boost mood. However, it may cause restlessness for some.


  • There are plenty of B Vitamins out there, and they are all essential for overall brain function and health. Specifically, B3, B9, and vitamin B12 are known as the best focus-enhancing B-vitamins.
  • Dose: B3 (16mg), B6 (1.3mg), vitamin B12 (2.4mcg)
  • Side Effects: Overdosing can result in skin conditions, thirst, blurry vision, cramps, and nausea

Bottom Line: For natural nootropics, go with B vitamins. Many healthy adults don’t get enough of their B vitamins through diet, so it is important to supplement them for mental fatigue and cognitive enhancement.


  • You may already know creatine because it promotes muscle growth, and can boost energy in your body. This also means, though, that your brain cells will obtain more energy, ultimately helping you feel more focused.
  • Dose: You can take up to 5 mg a day without much problem.
  • Side Effects: Because creatine is often used as a measure of kidney function, using it may result in false positives. You may also exceed the recommended amounts if you already consume a lot of protein in your daily diet.

Bottom Line: For vegetarians and vegans, using creatine is a great idea to boost mental performance and increase energy levels

Ginkgo Biloba

  • Ginkgo Biloba has been used for centuries to improve memory and mental processing, and it can help reduce blood pressure as well.
  • Dose: There is no standard dose, but find a supplement that includes Ginkgo Biloba as part of its ingredients.
  • Side Effects: With large doses, it may cause stomach upset or headaches.

Bottom Line: There is truly no harm in adding Ginkgo Biloba to your list of supplements. Use it especially if you need to improve learning, attention, and also want to feel less stressed.


  • This is a naturally occurring amino acid that is present in many teas and can often have a calming effect.
  • Dose: 50-200 mg of L-Theanine can enhance creativity and calm your mind.
  • Side Effects: It may cause drowsiness and tiredness in some individuals.

Bottom Line: Take L-Theanine mixed with caffeine for better results. Use it when you are feeling stressed or anxious, but need to get some work done.


To summarize here, 8 major nootropic natural ingredients have scientific backing as a focus-enhancer.

Citicoline and Alpha-GPC will target your dopamine and acetylcholine neurotransmitters.

Tyrosine will target your dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters.

B vitamins are generally deficient in healthy adults, so adding them to your diet will probably help as well. 

If you are looking to improve your physical health and mental performance, then creatine is always a good choice.

For natural nootropics that have no known harmful side effects, choose Gingko Biloba.

Finally, caffeine will do what we all know it will. Mix it with L-Theanine for a better effect on your cognitive performance.

Are Nootropics Safe?

Natural nootropics and supplements mentioned in this article are safe. They may induce certain side effects in some individuals, but for the most part, they will not be addictive nor damaging to your health. Do not be confused with synthetic or prescription nootropics, which are highly addictive and can lead to substance abuse in many cases. Always research before starting a supplement and be mindful of the ingredients mentioned here. When in doubt, consult your doctor, check for safety standards, added ingredients, and any reviews.

Summary: Nootropics For Focus

When you want to increase your mental focus and concentration, there is a supplement for that.

There are specific ingredients out there that will enhance these cognitive behaviors, and you can find them everywhere. To boost your focus, you need to target four main neurotransmitters essential to your ability to pay attention.

Nootropic ingredients like Alpha-GPC, Citicoline, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Caffeine, B-Vitamins, Ginkgo Biloba, and Rhodiola Rosea can help replenish or produce more of the right neurotransmitters. If you are looking for the perfect nootropic for you, start your search with either Mind Lab Pro or Performance Lab Mind. Those two products will stand out above the rest and will have you laser-focused when you need them most.

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Ryan Brennan

Ryan Brennan is a health and fitness writer with both personal and professional experience in the field. His passion for nutrition stems from personal experiences dealing with malnutrition, low energy, and other health complications. Through research and experimentation, Ryan was able to overcome these issues and take control of his health. He now aims to help others do the same. Ryan has been writing about nutrition, fitness, and supplementation for the past 7 years. He also has experience in the field, serving as the manager of a high-end fitness facility in Las Vegas, NV where he currently resides.