Choosing the Best Nootropic Supplements – Top 10 Brands

Best Nootropic Supplement Brands

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Performance is an ongoing goal in every aspect of our lives, yet rarely do we consider the aspect where nootropics can be most helpful, our mental performance. We know full-well the benefits and requirements of achieving peak physical performance.

It requires training, a great diet and help from supplements such creatine or protein powder. The same approach is available for our brains as well, thanks to the advent in recent years of the supplement category known as nootropics. This broad category encompasses a variety of supplements that help improve cognitive function, or how our brains work.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly what nootropic supplements are and how best to use them, along with our recommendation for the 10 best nootropic supplement options.

What Are Nootropics?

Nootropic supplements are broadly classified as any substance that improves our brain’s working ability, otherwise known as cognitive function. There are a variety of substances that can fall under this classification, ranging from common stimulants known as caffeine all the way through prescription medications.

Traditionally, nootropics can be classified into prescription level options such as Adderall, a prescription drug usually for those with ADHD, stimulants such as caffeine, and more natural or herbal remedies, which we will be primarily discussing in this list. Nootropics can enhance our cognition in a variety of ways from simple stimulation such as the type we would get from caffeine or coffee to increase in our dopamine levels, and more.

Common Ingredients of a Nootropic Product

Nootropic supplements can have a wide variety of potential ingredients, all of which have some element of cognitive benefit. Some of the more popular ingredients that you may find in many nootropics include:

  • Citicoline – Enhances the repair of brain cells and accelerates recovery from brain injury. It converts choline into phosphatidylcholine, a key portion of cell membranes in brain cells that protects from free radical damage. It also aids in acetylcholine production.
  • Rhodiola Rosea extract – An herb known to influence central nervous system neurotransmitters called monoamines, it can combat mental fatigue and sustain focus over time.
  • L-Theanine – One of the many amino acids in our body, it helps keep neurons alive and with sustaining focused concentration over time.
  • L-Tyrosine – Yet another key amino acid, L-Tyrosine helps produce key neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, thus indirectly helping to combat stress, or the effects thereof.
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) – PS is an important compound that helps our brain function, including aiding in memory, learning and executive functions. It deteriorates as we age, thus supplementation is key.
  • Bacopa Monnieri – A powerful herb, it uses its active ingredients known as bacosides, can improve blood flow to the brain, helping to improve brain function as well as improving transmission of nerve impulses.
  • Vinpocetine – This vasolidator is a key component in delivering blood to the brain to improve function, as well as boosting serotonin and dopamine.
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom – This potential superfood helps to produce nerve growth factor, or NGF, thus improving nerve regeneration and cognitive function overall.
  • Huperzine A (HA) – This alkaloid is a key compound in blocking acetylcholinesterase, which degraded one of our key neurotransmitters in acetylcholine. In addition, it helps to boost nerve growth factor and increase energy in brain cells.
  • Pterostilbene – A derivative of resveratrol, a popular compound found in red wine, pterostilbene is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound that has an anti-aging effect. It offers great bioavailability and is a powerful polyphenol.

Sources:

[1] From World’s Healthiest Foods in client research documents.

[2] Phytotherapy Research 2005 Oct; 19(10): 819-38.

[3] http://supplementsinreview.com/nootropic/l-theanine/

[4] http://www.finerminds.com/mind-power/brain-waves/

[5] Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1999 Nov; 64(3):495-500.

[6] http://www.mindlabpro.com/ingredients/

[7] Neurobiology of Aging 33 (2012) 2062–2071 Low-dose pterostilbene, but not resveratrol, is a potent neuromodulator in aging and Alzheimer’s disease

Precautions and Side Effects

Side effects from nootropic supplements are mild as long the recommended dosage is followed. That is a critical component of using nootropic supplements effectively, the recommended dosage is what must be consumed, over-reaching for more is where adverse side effects may occur.

One of the most important distinctions to keep in mind with nootropics is that many products may contain caffeine and/or other stimulants as well. If you generally sensitive to caffeine and stimulants, have trouble sleeping or high blood pressure, it is advised to consult with a medical professional prior to use.

In addition, most nootropics have a delayed effect or have a subtle effect, thus it may be tempting to take more than the recommended dose if you do not immediately see results. Always maintain the recommended serving sizes, as you may over-supplement by not allowing the supplements enough time to kick in.

The general side effects of nootropics may include difficulty sleeping, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and mood changes. Anytime you are taking a nootropic supplement or are about to start, it is advised to consult with your medical professional on the best practices and to check for any individual risk factors you may have.

What to Look For in a Good Nootropic

When choosing a nootropic supplement there are a variety of factors to take into account. Your personal preferences will play a major part in finding the right selection for you, such as deciding if you want a stimulant-free nootropic or something with high caffeine content.

Some nootropic supplements will skew towards a specific demographic or training goal, such as increased energy or focus; your personal goals will need to align with the stated purpose of the product in order to see the best results.

Most nootropics come in capsule form generally, though there are alternatives. Convenience may also be a factor, make sure to choose a product with a convenient serving size and method.

Finally, price and budget are a factor as well. When cross-referenced with your other needs, the best option will need to fit into your budget, and while you generally may get what you pay for, there are some very effective nootropic supplements that won’t break the bank.

Top 10 Recommended Nootropic Supplements

We have put together a list of our top 10 recommended nootropic supplements. Each one has a short breakdown of its highlights, primary ingredients and usages, as well as a brief profile for the company who makes the product.

Check out all 10, and look for the best option that not only comes highly recommended but fits your individual needs and desires for a nootropic supplement. We hope you enjoy and find the best product for you!


1. Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro Nootropic Review

Mind Lab Pro is one of the top nootropic supplements on the market, particularly because it offers incredible benefits without the use of any caffeine or stimulants, limiting many of the potentially adverse side effects associated with nootropic use. It also makes it a high-quality nootropic product that anyone can use to increase their cognitive performance.

Product Highlights:

  • Allergen free, no soy, gluten etc.
  • Beneficial for all users
  • One of the highest reviewed formulas
  • Excellent quality
  • A premium product at a good value
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Key Ingredients: (per 1 serving)

  • 500mg hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane mushroom)
  • 250mg Cognizin (citicoline)
  • 125mg L-Theanine
  • 50mg phosphatidylserine
  • 50mg rhodiola rosea root
  • Also contains tyrosine, vitamin B6, bacopa monnieri, pterostilbene, vinpocetine, and huperzine-A

Company Profile:

Mind Lab Pro is produced by London-based manufacturer Opti-Nutra. They are best known for creating innovative products that are effective without adding in unnecessary fillers, keeping their products all-natural. Their best-known product may be Mind Lab Pro, but they have quite a few diverse products, all of which are high-quality.

Why We Recommend It:

Mind Lab Pro is one of the best options on the market, with 11 all-natural ingredients yet no caffeine or stimulants. They have an excellent blend that is safe and effectice, and stand by their product with a 30-day money back guarantee, making it one of the best nootropic products on the market for anyone looking to improve their cognitive performance.

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2. Nooflux – Infinity Stack

Nooflux Infinity Stack Nootropic

The Infinity Stack from Nooflux is a unique supplement stack that combines two distinct supplements, Flow and Axon. Flow has more of a focus on energy and concentration while Axon is more geared towards memory and brain health. Taken together they are a powerful and effective nootropic stack for cognitive performance.

Flow Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 250mg alpha-GPC
  • 180mg rhodiola rosea
  • 140mg L-theanine
  • 100mg caffeine
  • 15mg vinpocetine
  • 15mg noopept

Axon Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 500mg lion’s mane mushroom
  • 300mg ashwgandha
  • 300mg bacopa monnieri
  • 10mg huperzine A 1%
  • 5mg vitamin B6
  • 5mcg vitamin B12
  • 3mg vitamin B1

Company Profile:

Headquartered in Henderson, Nevada, Nooflux is a supplement company that specializes in nootropic supplements. They prioritize safety and transparency, and have committed to producing high quality products by implementing the same dosages in their products as are used in clinical trials. They avoid the use of proprietary blends and disclose their ingredients for complete transparency.

Why We Recommend It:

Infinity Stack from Nooflux offers the best of both worlds with both Flow and Axon, giving you maximum cognitive effectiveness with both or the option to use one or the other as the situation dictates, making it a flexible and effective product.

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3. Onnit Alpha BRAIN

Onnit Alpha Brain Nootropic

Onnit Alpha Brain is one of the best all-natural products on the market for cognitive enhancement. It is caffeine free yet can still support memory, focus and energy levels over the course of a day. It provides an affordable, all-natural mental boost without the jitters and side effects of a stimulant based nootropic supplement.

Product Highlights:

  • Caffeine-free
  • Offers a money-back guarantee
  • Great value
  • Made with all-natural earth-grown nutrients
  • Healthy blend of amino acids, herbs, and plant extracts.

Key Ingredients: (per serving, exact ingredient amounts not specified)

  • 650mg Onnit Flow Blend, consisting of L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, oat extract
  • 350mg Cat’s Claw bark extract – a powerful antioxidant and immune booster
  • 240mg Onnit Focus Blend – Contatins L-alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, bacopa monnieri extract, and huperzia serrata extract
  • 65mg Onnit Fuel Blend, including L-leucine, vinpocetine, and pterostilbene.

Company Profile:

Founded in Austin, Texas, Onnit is one of the largest and fastest growing supplement companies on the market Their stated goal is to help their customers achieve “total human optimization” with products that help customers achieve their peak performance. They have a wide range of products and generally affordable prices.

Why We Recommend It:

Onnit Alpha Brain is an excellent nootropic product that combines 10 ingredients for a potent dose of cognitive enhancement in each serving. Without caffeine, it can be taken throughout the day without the jitters or side effects. It also offers a money-back guarantee making it a safe and affordable choice.

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4. Neurofuse

Neurofuse Nootropic

Neurofuse, made by the company of the same name, is one of the stronger nootropics on the market and aims to help increase focus, energy and mental performance. Its proprietary blend does contain caffeine for added energy, and also offers an innovative 14-day trial to try it out at home and see if it is a good choice for you.

Product Highlights:

  • Powerful nootropic blend
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Good value
  • Free 14-day trial available
  • Uses a proprietary blend
  • Contains caffeine

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 903mg Neurofuse Blend – Rhodiola rosea, caffeine anhydrous, L-theanine, bacopa monnieri, DMAE bitartrate, phosphatidylserine, ALA, choline-bitartrate, vitamins D3, B6, B12 and more.

Company Profile:

Founded in 2013 and based in California, Neurofuse is one of the fastest growing companies in the nootropic supplement industry. Their product of the same name is one of the more popular and highest-rated products on the market and they have excellent customer service as well.

Why We Recommend It:

While their use of a proprietary blend does take away from their transparency, Neurofuse does offer a 14-day trial for free, making it a low-risk option to try and see if it works for you. It is a well-regarded and potent product, and an effective option for cognitive enhancement.

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5. OptiMind

Optimind Nootropic Review

Optimind is one of the more powerful supplements for cognitive enhancement, and includes a potent and effective blend of amino acids, caffeine, herbal extracts and more to improve focus and energy quickly and help you reach your maximum mental performance.

Product Highlights:

  • Includes a high amount of caffeine
  • One of the strongest per dose amounts of nootropic ingredients
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Offers a 100% money-back guarantee
  • Offers a free 10-capsule trial order.
  • Uses a proprietary blend

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 1315mg proprietary “focus blend”, including L-tyrosine, taurine, phosphatidylserine, bacopa extract, gamma-aminobutyric acid, caffeine, ALA and more.
  • 75mg of caffeine per capsule
  • Vitamin D and B12

Company Profile:

OptiMind is manufactuered by AlternaScript, based out of Austin, Texas. They specialize in nutraceuticals, specifically their two products OptiMind and RestUp. Founded in 2013, AlternaScript has received positive feedback and continues to grow and innovate.

Why We Recommend It:

OptiMind is an excellent product and one of the strongest on the market in terms of caffeine and content per dose. While it is not a great choice for those who do not wish to have caffeine, it is an excellent choice, arguably the best, if you prefer a caffeinated option.

6. Neuro Clarity

Neuro Clarity

Neuro Clarity is one of the best nootropics on the market with an emphasis on herbal ingredients such as gingko boloba and St. John’s Wort. It is caffeine free, and delivers energy with excellent natural ingredients. It is not a value buy as it is more expensive than some products, but an excellent option for a more natural nootropic approach.

Product Highlights:

  • Has a unique blend of ingredients.
  • Uses pharmaceutical grade ingredients
  • Caffeine Free
  • Uses a patented formula including gingko boloba, St. John’s Wort, glutamine and more
  • More expensive than some other products.

Key Ingredients: (per serving, exact quantities not listed)

  • 250mg St. John’s Wort extract
  • 150mg glutamine
  • 125mg phosphatidylserine complex
  • 100mg bacopa monnieri
  • Also includes carnitine, gingko boloba, vinpocetine and DMAE bitartrate

Company Profile:

Nutrition Essentials manufactures Neuro Clarity. They are an internet-based and mail-order supplement provider, with a focus on providing excellent customer service and quality products. While small, they are rapidly growing and continue to excel.

Why We Recommend It:

While this is not an ideal buy in terms of affordability or value, it is one of the few quality nootropic options that include both St. John’s Wort and gingko boloba, two powerful herbal and all-natural supplement ingredients to improve cognitive function. In addition, it is caffeine free, making it one of the best all-natural options.

7. Ciltep Nootropic Stack

Ciltep Nootropic

This is one of the most unique products on the list, featuring a variety of ingredients not traditionally seen in some of the other nootropic options. Ciltep Nootropic Stack, made by Natural Stacks, uses artichoke extracts and forskolin as primary ingredients. In addition, it is caffeine free, making it an excellent option for daily use.

Product Highlights:

  • Unique ingredients and blend
  • High quality ingredients
  • Caffeine free
  • Made in the USA
  • One of the more expensive options on the market

Key Ingredients: (per serving, exact amounts for all ingredients not listed)

  • 900mg artichoke extract
  • 750mg acetyl-L-carnitine
  • 500mg L-phenylalanine
  • 20mg coleus forskohlii root extract

Company Profile:

Based in Delaware, Natural Stacks is a supplement company that attempts to maintain complete transparency in its entire process, including manufacturing, ingredients used, and more. They emphasize quality, consistency and customer satisfaction which has helped them continue to grow and prosper as a company.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the most unique options on the market, though it is also one of the more expensive ones. It is caffeine free and may be a great option for someone looking for a low-stimulant, natural way to boost their cognitive performance without concern for value and price.

8. Jarrow Formulas – Neuro Optimizer

Jarrow Formulas Neuro Optimizer

Neuro Optimizer, courtesy of Jarrow Formula’s, is one of the most powerful nootropic options, including 7 neuro-nutrients and protectants. It is also stimulant free, though the serving size is a bit inconvenient and it is more expensive than some other products on this list.

Product Highlights:

  • Includes 7 neuro-nutrients and protectants
  • Stimulant Free – contains zero caffeine or other stimulants
  • Has high quality ingredients
  • Contains ALA
  • Large serving size of 4 capsules per serving
  • More expensive than most

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 500mg acetyl L-carnitine
  • 500mg L-glutamine
  • 500mg taurine
  • Also includes cognizing, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, and alpha lipoic acid.

Company Profile:

Jarrow Formulas is one of the oldest and most-seasoned supplement companies on the market. Founded in 1977 in Los Angeles, Jarrow Formulas not only makes Neuro Optimizer, but a host of products from vitamins to supplements. Since their inception, they have remained committed to producing high quality products for their customers in the nutritional supplement industry.

Why We Recommend It:

Neuro Optimizer is a unique product on the nootropic supplement market, and while it may be a bit more expensive than other comparable products, it is effective, and especially so without the use of caffeine and stimulants. It is an inconvenient serving size, but an effective and quality product nevertheless.

9. Brainergy-X

Brainergy X

Developed by EVO-X, Brainergy-X lives up to its name, providing a strong dose of mental energy including caffeine and L-theanine. Made in the USA, it uses a proprietary blend to deliver their special blend of nootropics, caffeine and B-vitamins for cognitive energy and focus.

Product Highlights:

  • Includes caffeine and L-theanine for energy, including an especially high amount of caffeine per serving at 200mg
  • Also includes B-vitamins
  • Made in the USA
  • Money back guarantee
  • More expensive than most

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 1405mg Synergistic Cognitive Compound, including L-theanine, caffeine, gingko boloba, panax ginseng, bacopa monnieri, alpha-GPC, BioPerine, rhodiola rosea, L-Tyrosine, and taurine.
  • B-vitamin blend, including B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12.

Company Profile:

EVO-X is one of the newest companies on the market, founded in 2014. They’ve continued to grow into a force in the industry, using innovative products, affordable prices and excellent customer service, as evidenced by their money-back guarantee.

Why We Recommend It:

Brainergy-X is one of the highest caffeine-oriented products on the market and it certainly delivers a potent dose of energy and focus. For those not looking for stimulant-free products, this would not be a good option, and while it is a bit expensive it is certainly a great option for pure energy and focus, as long as caffeine is not an option.

10. FOCUS+ by Excelerol Neuro Alert

Focus Plus By Excelerol

FOCUS+ offers one of the most powerful combos of caffeine and herbal ingredients for a great amount of focus and energy with each serving. They use clinically studied ingredients such as green tea, coffee bean extract and gingko boloba for a powerful and effective once-a-day supplement for cognitive function.

Product Highlights:

  • High caffeine content
  • Only requires one capsule a day
  • Uses clinically studied ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • One of the more affordable options
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Uses a proprietary blend

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 625mcg vitamin B12
  • 325mg proprietary blend, including matcha green tea, coffee bean extract, rhodiola extract, gingko boloba extract, phosphatidylserine, green tea extract and more

Company Profile:

FOCUS+ is a product manufactured by Accelerated Intelligence. Based in the US, they produce brain supplements and cognitive enhancement products to help their customers achieve their peak performance by improving motivation and focus through natural interventions.

Why We Recommend It:

FOCUS+ is an effective and potent product, with a wide variety of ingredients. While it has a high amount of caffeine per serving, it will deliver an effective boost of energy and focus for improved cognitive performance.

Notice: This content has not been written, reviewed or endorsed by a doctor, medical professional or qualified Health Care Professional and is therefore not to be used to prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease or illness. Nutricentre.com does not assume liability for any actions undertaken after reading this information, and does not assume liability if one misuses products featured on this website. You must read and follow the instructions on the label of any product you purchase. Always speak with your doctor before taking any of the products featured on this site. Results may vary about any product effectiveness.

Written by Carl Putman

Carl Putman is a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level and writer on fitness, health and supplements. Over the past decade, he has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from professional athletes and world champions to youth and general population, as well as tactical practitioners. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. Based in Florida, he continues to train and coach as well as write with a passion for making a positive impact for his clients and readers