Best Nootropics

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By Leslie Waterson

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

Best Nootropics

When you think about how complex and incredible the brain is, you start to truly appreciate the many wonders it provides us with on a daily basis. After all, it’s the most complex organ in the human body and one of the most complex things in the entire world — it’s a true masterpiece. 

With that said, not all brains are created equal and they’re in no way perfect. Much like the rest of the human body, they’re capable of having flaws and they aren’t going to work as efficiently for some people. In fact, sometimes the brain might need a rest at the worst possible times. 

If this happens to you often or you feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your brain on a daily basis, don’t panic. This is something everyone struggles with at certain points in their lives, but it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s where nootropic supplements come in to save the day.

So, what are nootropics?

Nootropics are supplements that benefit the brain in a variety of ways. They contain a wide range of different nutrients that the brain needs for optimal function, including memory, focus, mood, energy, and everyday brain health. They help you lead a happier and healthier life. 

The term ‘nootropic’ was coined in the mid-1960s by Dr. Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian chemist and psychologist. In an attempt to create a sleeping pill that would help patients fall asleep more efficiently, he ended up inventing piracetam — a supplement he considered to be a nootropic. 

Today, the world of nootropics has continued to grow and evolve with hundreds of different formulas available to anyone and everyone. They’re not all created equal and they each feature a unique formula, but we’re going to help you navigate your options to find the best one for you!

Best Nootropics

Here are our top picks. Keep reading to learn how we chose them.

Benefits of Nootropics

Nootropic supplements are known for providing a wide range of incredible benefits for the brain. While some formulas target only one area of cognitive function and health, other formulas target them all. At the end of the day, it depends on what you’re looking to achieve with your nootropic. 

Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits you receive when taking a daily nootropic:

How to Choose the Right Nootropic Supplement

Not all nootropic formulas are created equal, and they’re each unique in their own way. Some of them are made to be highly safe and effective, while some are created for the hype (yet never seem to live up to it). In fact, some of them are downright dangerous and should be avoided. 

When searching for the right nootropic supplement for your precious brain, you have to know how to separate the good from the bad. There’s a lot that goes into your decision, and you have to know what to look for — as well as what to avoid — if you want to find the right one for you.

What To Look For

  • Research-backed ingredients
  • Manufactured in FDA-approved facility
  • Manufactured with GMP-certified standards
  • Certificate of Analysis (CoA)
  • USDA-Certified Organic
  • Transparency
  • Positive reviews from verified customers
  • The right nutrient forms of each ingredient
  • Quality assurance and third-party testing

What To Avoid

  • Fillers and additives
  • Proprietary blends
  • Too low or too high dosages
  • Large number of capsules per day
  • Ingredients that need to be cycled
  • Negative reviews by customers
  • Too much hype, not enough results

Top-Rated Nootropic Formulas

By now, you understand what nootropics are, how they benefit the brain, and how to go about finding the right one for you. That’s a lot of valuable information to ensure you have a safe and rewarding experience with your nootropic supplement, but that’s not all we’re going to teach you.

To make your decision even easier, we’re going to detail some of the most prominent nootropics available on the market today and what makes them so special. That way, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t find a nootropic supplement that meets your wants and needs to the fullest.

Best Overall

Mind Lab Pro

by Opti-Nutra Ltd.

Mind Lab Pro is our easy favorite when searching for an all-in-one, universal nootropic. The 11 research-backed ingredients combine to improve all five major benefits of nootropics — mood, focus memory, energy, and brain health. It’s the safest and most effective formula out there. 

It contains Citicoline (250mg), Phosphatidylserine (100mg), Bacopa Monnieri (150mg), Lion’s Mane Mushroom (500mg), Rhodiola Rosea (50mg), Maritime Pine Bark Extract (75mg), L-Theanine (100mg), N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (175mg), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9, and Vitamin B12. 

Each bottle contains enough NutriCap capsules for one month and will cost you $69.95. Of course, you can save a ton of money by purchasing three bottles for $207 — they’ll throw in an extra bottle, making it a four-month supply. They’ll even throw in fast and free shipping.

Mind Lab Pro


  • All-In-One Nootropic Formula
  • Optimizes 6 Brain Pathways
  • Free of Allergens, GMOs, Microbes, Pesticides, and Herbicides
  • Easy-to-Absorb, 100% Natural Vegan NutriCaps
  • Third-Party Tested and Validated
  • Made In the USA, GMP-Certified


  • A Little Expensive, But Worth It
  • Only Available Online

Or Read the Review

Best for Memory



Rise by HVMN is one of four formulas included in the HVMN Nootrobox, which can be taken together or separately. It’s a simple formula with just three ingredients, but gives your brain everything it needs (and nothing it doesn’t) for improved memory and cognitive resilience. 

It contains Bacopa Monnieri (300mg), Ashwagandha (250mg), and Citicoline (250mg). Bacopa Monnieri and Citicoline are two of the best nutrients for memory, helping produce and release acetylcholine in the brain. Ashwagandha is an herb that helps to relieve stress and anxiety. 

Each bottle of Rise by HVMN contains 60 capsules, and you’re directed to take two capsules per serving. A one-month supply (one bottle) costs you $34.95, but you can also save money by bundling it with the other three formulas in the HVMN Nootrobox — Kado, Yawn, and Sprint.



  • Research-Backed Ingredients
  • Free Shipping On Orders $50+
  • Safe and Effective Dosages
  • Vegan-Friendly, Gluten-Free, & Allergen-Free
  • Designated by the United States FDA as GRAS
  • No Proprietary Blends


  • Doesn’t Contain Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  • Better When Taken With HVMN Nootrobox

Or Read the Review

Best for Mood


by Thrivous

Clarity is a nootropic supplement manufactured by Thrivous. While it’s designed to help improve memory, focus, clarity, and brain health, the three main nutrients — Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea, and L-Theanine — are more targeted toward mood by relieving stress and anxiety. 

In addition to those three ingredients, Clarity includes eight B-complex vitamins — Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12 — which help the body function normally. Not only that, but the Clarity formula also contains Zinc, which is another major player in your overall mood. 

One bottle contains a total of 60 capsules, and you’ll be directed to take two capsules per day. A one-month supply costs you just $30 — making it one of the best-valued nootropic supplements on this list. You can also save some money by signing up for a subscription of your choice.

Thrivous Clarity


  • No Proprietary Blends
  • 100-Day Money Back Guaranteeesearch-Based Ingredients
  • 8 B-Vitamins & Zinc Included
  • Manufactured In FDA-Approved & GMP-Certified Facility
  • Free Shipping In the USA


  • Doesn’t Contain Phosphatidylserine
  • Only Small Dosage of Zinc

Or Read the Review

Best for Focus

Performance Lab Mind

by Opti-Nutra Ltd.

Performance Lab Mind is manufactured by the same company that makes Mind Lab Pro — the ‘Best Overall’ on this list. It’s similar in many ways, but features a much more simple formula with just four ingredients — Citicoline, Phosphatidylserine, L-Tyrosine, and Maritime Pine Bark. 

Citicoline will help improve both memory and focus, while L-Tyrosine is designed to improve your cognitive performance while under stress. This means you’re more focused and concentrated when it matters most. It’ll also help keep your brain strong and healthy throughout.

One bottle contains just 30 capsules and will last you an entire month when taking it as directed — one capsule per day. Each bottle costs you $49, which is more expensive than Clarity by Thrivious, but a cheaper alternative to Mind Lab Pro — the more advanced supplement formula.

Performance Lab Mind


  • Accurate & Transparent Label
  • Safe & Effective Dosages
  • Research-Backed Ingredients
  • All the Right Nutrient Forms
  • Vegan-Friendly NutriCaps


  • Doesn’t Contain Some Key Nootropics
  • Can be a bit expensive without discounts

Or Read the Review

Best for Energy



Sprint by HVMN is another one of the amazing formulas included in the HVMN Nootrobox — which also includes Kado, Rise, and Yawn. The Sprint formula is designed to give you a boost of energy with 200mg of caffeine, but also helps you focus and concentrate on the task at hand.

The L-Theanine included in this formula is the real go-getter because it helps reduce the unwanted side effects of caffeine, including the jitters and the eventual crash. It also contains Ginseng, which improves mood, reduces the impact of fatigue, and enhances reaction time.

Each bottle contains 60 capsules, and you’re directed to take two capsules per day. With that said, a one-month supply costs you just $24.95, and you can save money by bundling it with the rest of the formulas in the HVMN Nootrobox — or you can save by signing up for a subscription.

HVMN Sprint


  • Free Shipping On Orders $50+
  • Research-Backed Ingredients
  • No Proprietary Blends
  • Vegan-Friendly & Gluten-Free
  • Takes Effect In 30 Minutes
  • 60-day money-back guarantee


  • High Dosage of Caffeine
  • Doesn’t Contain L-Tyrosine

Or Read the Review

Best for Brain Health



If you’re interested in setting your brain up for long-term success, then Kado by HVMN is the perfect supplement for you. It won’t contain any ingredients that directly improve mood, energy, focus, or memory, but it gives your brain the nutrients it needs for optimal and sustained health. 

The formula contains 2,000IU of Vitamin D3, 500mcg of Vitamin K1, 100mcg of Vitamin K2, Omega-3 Fatty Acids (470mg of DHA and 235mg of EPA), and Astaxanthin. This is an all-star lineup of brain health nutrients and ensures your brain is properly-equipped for the days ahead. 

Each bottle contains 60 capsules, and you’re directed to take two capsules every day. A one-month supply costs you $34.95, but you can also bundle it with the other three formulas in the HVMN Nootrobox. If you subscribe to a monthly delivery, you’ll save additional money.



  • Optimizes & Protects the Brain
  • Free Shipping On Orders $50+
  • No Proprietary Blends
  • Gluten-Free
  • Sourced from Fish & Krill
  • Designated by the United States FDA as GRAS


  • Not Designed to Improve Mental Performance
  • Best When Combined With HVMN Nootrobox

Or Read the Review

Nootropic Supplements FAQ

Nootropics are such an interesting subject, and there’s a reason why so many people in the Western world are starting to take notice. They come with real benefits; they’re safe when taken as directed, they’re easy to add to your daily routine, and they come in all different forms.

If you’re looking to learn more about nootropic supplements, how they work, and when to take them, we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions in more detail below!

How do nootropics improve memory and focus?

The four parts of the brain that are involved in memory and focus include the amygdala, hippocampus, cerebellum, and prefrontal cortex. By helping the brain produce, synthesize, and release neurotransmitters in these areas of the brain, they can help improve memory and focus.

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers inside the brain that transmit a signal from one nerve cell to another target cell. The neurotransmitters that are most associated with memory and focus include dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine.

Target Ingredients: Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Bacopa Monnieri, Citicoline, Alpha-GPC, and Phosphatidylcholine

How Do Nootropics Improve Energy?

Nootropics improve mental energy in four major ways — regulating neurotransmitters, relieving stress and anxiety, increasing blood flow to the brain, and producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Any nutrients that provide those benefits will help give you a much-needed energy boost.

ATP is the body’s main energy currency and is produced in the mitochondria, which is also known as the powerhouse of the cell. As far as neurotransmitters go, the two that play a major role on energy include glutamate and GABA.

Anxiety and stress often cause restlessness, which increases the body’s metabolism and burns more energy than needed. Finally, with better brain flow to the brain, glucose and oxygen are more easily transported to and from the brain.

Target Ingredients: Caffeine, B-Complex Vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and TeaCrine

How Do Nootropics Improve Mood?

There are a few neurotransmitters that are known to affect mood, including dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and norepinephrine. Since certain nootropic ingredients can help produce, synthesize, and release these neurotransmitters in the brain, they can help improve mood.

Nootropics with this effect are known as adaptogens. They help the body react and adapt to the everyday stressors we encounter. Since stress isn’t going anywhere and it’s something we have to deal with daily, it’s essential that our bodies understand and know how to deal with it.

Target Ingredients: Rhodiola Rosea, L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, Ashwagandha, and Ginkgo Biloba

How Do Nootropics Improve Brain Health?

Many nootropic ingredients act as antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, and provide anti-aging benefits — all of which are designed to improve brain health for long-term use. For example, antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress — the overproduction of free radicals.

Nootropics also help protect brain cells and cell membranes, produce new brain cells and brain structures, improve cell signaling (ability to replace dead or damaged cells), and improve blood flow to the brain. This leads to a healthier brain, which leads to optimal daily function.

Target Ingredients: Phosphatidylserine, Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA & EPA), and Maritime Pine Bark Extract 

Can I Take Nootropics On A Daily Basis? 

It truly depends on the nootropic stack you’re interested in, but most quality nootropic supplements are designed for daily use. There are several ingredients that shouldn’t be taken daily, such as Huperzine-A — which should be cycled five days on and two days off.

Caffeine is another ingredient you want to watch out for. It’s not recommended you consume more than 400mg per day, no matter where the caffeine comes from. If you already consume a lot of caffeine as it is, you might want to search for a supplement that’s caffeine-free.

All in all, you should trust that the manufacturer won’t steer you in the wrong direction, so long as it’s a trustworthy manufacturer. If you take the supplement as directed, you should be fine. If you have any doubts about a certain supplement, don’t hesitate to go with a different formula.

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Leslie Waterson

Leslie has been passionately involved in the health and fitness industries for over a decade. She is constantly reviewing the latest scientific research and studies in order to take a research-backed approach to lifestyle optimization. Her main areas of interest include nutrition and supplementation. Leslie shares her findings on Fitness Clone to help other health enthusiasts choose the products and routines that will help them achieve their goals.