The Best Nootropic Stack to Replace Adderall & Ritalin
Nowadays, you don’t visit a new restaurant until you’ve looked up Yelp reviews or asked your friends about their favorite places.
The same rules should apply when you’re in the market for a good nootropic stack.
Now, when it comes to food preferences, what one person likes may not be something that you like. But at least it gives you an idea of what’s out there.
The same is true of nootropics, everyone is different and everybody responds differently to nutraceutical combinations.
It all comes down to personal preference and needs. Nevertheless, in the following guide, I will teach you how to put together the best stack for you.
You’ll learn how to build the stack that suits your specific requirements.
A lot of companies offer “proprietary” blends that they advertise as the complete, perfect stack for everyone. When it comes to nootropics, this is a bit of a red flag.
Any brand who claims to have the best stack — but who does not share the dosages of each ingredients — should be approached with discretion.
To be clear: on Corpina, I’m not selling anything. I’m here to explore and recommend nootropics that I’ve tried myself, and which may be able to assist you in your quest to enhance your mood, boost your performance and so on and so forth.
So let’s get started.
The 6 Best All-in-One Nootropic Stacks
Despite the extensive list of options I am about to offer for building a DIY stack, many of my readers will probably want pre-made stacks that are entirely done-for-you (whether they be proprietary or not).
Sometimes, it’s just more convenient to take one supplement that rolls everything into one.
Oftentimes, it’s much more affordable to buy a proprietary formula that contains multiple ingredients than it is to go out and purchase each supplement on its own.
If you’re absolutely insistent upon going with a pre-formulated stack, here are some recommendations for you to choose from.
|Name||Effect Rating||Price||Where To Buy|
|Mind Lab Pro||☆☆☆☆||$$$||Get Mind Lab Pro|
|Alpha Brain||☆☆☆||$$$||Get Alpha Brain|
I highly recommend this particular blend. A unique product from the people at the Neurohacker Collective, Qualia is a split stack that comes in two separate bottles, one that you take during early morning fasting and the other for after you eat.
Qualia contains Taurine, Lion’s Mane, Uridine Monophosphate, ActivAMP Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Extract and Acetyl-L-Carnitine, among many, many other ingredients, all for optimal mental performance.
As you may have heard, Uridine Monophosphate promotes a positive mood and assists in the areas of motivation and focus.
ActivAMP Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Extract is a highly concentrated derivative of the adaptogenic herb Gynostemma Pentaphyllum which aids in weight loss, relaxation and mood improvement. It is often used as an herbal alternative to prescription antidepressants.
Unlike other brands, the folks at Neurohacker Collective have gone to great lengths to prepare a stack that gives the user the exact amounts of each ingredient for ultimate efficacy and brain health.
Click here to order Qualia, and use code CORPINA to get 10% off.
2. Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is called the “universal nootropic” for a good reason. Because it contains eleven research-backed ingredients that have been used for thousands of years all over the globe.
Ancient cultures knew the value of these popular folk medicines and thanks to companies like Opti-Nutra, the Western world is waking up to their myriad benefits.
Mind Lab Pro is said to be able to boost memory, increase energy, increase creativity, improve mood, relieve stress and fight aging in just two capsules. It is able to achieve all of this courtesy of its unique and diverse formula.
Mind Lab Pro contains Citicholine, Phosphatidylserine, Bacopa Monnieri, Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Full Spectrum Extract), Pterostilbene, Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, Vinpocetine, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.
Citicholine is an impressive supplement that has been clinically proven to treat cognitive impairment. It is commonly implemented in the treatment of ADHD, anxiety disorders and Parkinson’s disease.
If Qualia is outside your price range, I highly recommend MLP as your go to all-in-one nootropic stack.
3. Alpha Brain
This one’s got a solid reputation among consumers, but it’s not my absolute fave since it contains fillers and is pretty expensive.
One 90 count bottle costs a whopping $67.96. If you have money to spend, Alpha Brain might be right for you.
Alpha Brain works by stimulating the release of acetylcholine in your brain. It achieves this by providing raw choline via Alpha GPC content, an excellent source of choline.
But is Alpha Brain really effective? And is Alpha Brain worth the money?
User reviews question the legitimacy and value of this product with one user on the Joe Rogan sub-Reddit writing, “I went through a whole bottle a few years ago…and nothing. Didn’t feel even the slightest bit different.
Tried high doses too. No crazy dreams either. Maybe I’m just not sensitive enough to feel what’s going on with my body. But whenever I hear someone on a podcast go off on how they swear by it, I can’t help but roll my eyes.”
Another user wrote, “Even if alpha brain worked, for most it’s far too expensive to use on a regular basis, let alone at the dose Rogan says (4 at a time).”
If you still decide to go with this stack, you should know what’s in it. Each bottle contains Cat’s Claw, Bacopa Monnieri, Huperzia Serrata and Oat Straw.
My verdict: Alpha Brain does indeed work well, but the benefits may not be worth the price.
CILTEP contains a small number of ingredients and it’s far from cheap for what you’re getting in each capsule. The main ingredients are Artichoke Extract, Forskolin, L-Phenylalinine, ALCAR and Vitamin B6.
Billed as “the most trusted nootropic,” CILTEP is said to safely enhance the brain’s ability to form vivid, long-lasting memories and sharpen mental focus as well as motivation.
The problem is, there is an inadequate amount of medical research to support any claims about its ingredients.
While artichoke extract has long been used as a natural remedy, there is no scientific evidence to back up its purported benefits.
Yes, ALCAR or Acetyl-L-Carnitine has been known to be beneficial to those afflicted with anxiety and depression, but most of the scant ingredients in this formula are dubious at best.
On a more positive note, if you’re looking for a milder blend, this may be the stack for you. It has a mild kick and may indeed have long term nootropic benefits.
That’s the upside. And the downside? There are two that come to mind.
First, when you consider the wealth of ingredients present in competitors’ blends, CILTEP seems to come up short in terms of effective and versatile formulas. You may be better off buying the ingredients individually from reliable supplement vendors like NOW Foods.
Second, some users, including myself, have experienced a sort of short-but-intense depression after more than a week of daily CILTEP usage.
It’s not clear what causes this effect, but reports on Longecity and Reddit suggest that CILTEP “burns out” your natural serotonin, thus giving you the blues.
Nevertheless, I still take CILTEP occasionally for the possibility of inducing long-term potentiation.
This one’s a good all-around option for beginners. It’s safe and contains high quality ingredients. After a few months of consecutive use, I think it’s worth the price.
Designed to boost mental performance and vanquish stress, TruBrain was developed by UCLA-trained neuroscientists who allege that it can help the user to power past stress and overcome mental blocks.
Users on Reddit have reported great experiences using TruBrain with one poster writing, “Trubrain’s stack does wonders for ADHD and depression, and their customer service is amazing.”
And for those who don’t like taking “horse pills,” the company also offers TruBrain as a “think drink” which comes in a variety of delicious flavors.
Another interesting thing about TruBrain is its dedication to ongoing R & D. The company relies on a team of CEOs, artists and lawyers (as well as other forward-thinking professionals) to research data patterns. This enables them to better determine what they could be doing better.
It contains Piracetam, CDP-Choline, Magnesium, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Pramiracetam, L-Theanine and Tyrosine, all of which are excellent ingredients for a cognitive enhancement stack.
Optimind is a cognitive enhancer that is meant to enhance focus, maintain memory function and increase concentration. Like Mind Lab Pro, Optimind has a wide range of ingredients with a total of twelve active ingredients in each supplement.
Users of Optimind have called it “amazing,” effective and “safe.” Personally, I like this one because you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.
Each Optimind supplement contains GABA, Vitamin D3, Phosphatidylserine, Caffeine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Tyrosine, Taurine, Huperzine A, Sulbutiamine, Vitamin B12, Bacoside A and Vinpocetine.
As a whole, Optimind is an impressive stack and one that has been more well-received than others on the market. A 32 count bottle sells for $43.31 which places it at a fair middle of the road price point.
Best Nootropic Stack for Mental Performance
Enhancing one’s cognition is not as difficult as it might seem. You don’t have to be Bradley Cooper in Limitless to improve your mental performance and boost your cognitive abilities.
Maybe you’re looking for one or more of the following:
- Increased focus and concentration
- Mood enhancement
- Anti-aging and longevity
- Improved memory
- Advanced learning capacity
If so, there are safe, natural options at your fingertips and here we’ll talk about the ones that I personally believe can be extremely beneficial for this purpose.
It goes without saying that it can be challenging to be both creative and focused simultaneously. It can be difficult to find the right nootropics to achieve this because many smart drugs that enhance mood do not necessarily increase one’s focus.
Here I’ll break down some options for first-time users as well as more advanced noot enthusiasts. After we’ve discussed them individually, I’ll make a suggestion for what I think is the best nootropic stack for mental performance.
Focus & Concentration
By and large, the most popular goal with nootropics is increasing concentration and focus. Here are some possible choices:
Caffeine & Theanine—This is one of the simplest combinations around and the most accessible. This particular combination is well-researched and well-regarded. Users are advised to take a 1:2 ratio and avoid daily use as caffeine tolerance can build over a short period of time.
Phenylpiracetam—the racetam family has long been implemented to enhance memory. While it was initially developed to improve physical endurance, it has been shown to moderate receptor sites and neurotransmitters including Dopamine, NDMA and GABA. It can relieve symptoms of anxiety disorders, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and more.
Noopept—It’s often said that Noopept is “1,000 times stronger than Piracetam”, mostly due to the large disparity in doses between the two substances. This cholinergic drug crosses the blood-brain barrier in record time when taken in the form of a sublingual solution. Studies have confirmed the cognitive enhancement benefits of Noopept with findings suggesting that it is a neuroprotective agent.
Creativity—Contrary to what you may have heard, it’s not easy to achieve both creativity and focus. Most of our focus and recall comes independently of creative thought as it runs counter to critical thought. Luckily, there are a number of cognitive tools on the market and many are experimenting with some exciting combinations and concoctions.
Microdosing—Microdosing is a technique by which we can study the behavior of drugs by administering them in sub-therapeutic (very small) doses. Some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have been taking LSD (Lysergic Acid Diamide) in microdoses for the purpose of advancing their creativity. I cannot provide our readers with sources for LSD (duh!), but I’m not one to judge either.
Phenylpiracetam—Although Phenylpiracetam is primarily used for its ability to improve focus, it also provides creativity and boosts increases verbal fluency.
Modafinil—This one is more extreme than the other supplements on this list. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it for a first-timer’s stack. Evidence has suggested that Modafinil can positively affect memory which plays an integral role in creativity.
Improving one’s mood is obviously something that is desirable in a general sense, but it is also an important factor when it comes to cognitive performance. Those who are in a good mood are typically more productive than those who aren’t.
Getting rid of the symptoms of anxiety and depression can help a person to significantly improve their cognitive performance. The following are some nootropics that can assist in this area.
Ashwagandha—This Ayurvedic herb has been shown to reduce anxiety by as much as 56.5 %. Studies have also found that it can help relieve stress and treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis and other pain conditions. An adaptogen, Ashwagandha has also been used as a sleep aid and an anti-inflammatory.
Perhaps most interesting of all, it has also been used to improve learning ability which makes it ideal for both mental performance and mood enhancement.
Picamilon—A synthetic combination of GABA and niacin, Picamilon was first developed in the Soviet Union and used by Russian cosmonauts for its cognitive performance. Its ability to enhance one’s mood is well-documented.
Picamilon is neuroprotective, and has ability to relieve anxiety and induce relaxation.
St. John’s Wort— The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health have written extensively about St. John’s Wort’s effect on depression, noting that St. John’s Wort was found to be as effective as standard prescription antidepressants in a 2009 systematic review.
Tianeptine—A one-time prescription medication, Tianeptine is now available as an OTC supplement and it has powerful anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects. Not only that but it is also a potent mood enhancer which a comparitive study determined to be every bit as effective as the prescription antidepressant Prozac.
Memory & Learning Ability
The ability to learn and process information is one of the biggest things nootropic enthusiasts are usually looking for.
Ever since the nutraceutical-driven action movie Limitless opened Westerners’ eyes to the idea of cognitive enhancement, we’ve been actively seeking to expand our minds with a pill like NZT-48.
Below, I have compiled a short list of my favorite nootropics for memory and learning capacity.
Bacopa Monnieri—This perennial creeping herb has been in use for ages as a folk medicine for longevity and cognitive enhancement. It has been proven that Bacopa supplementation can reduce anxiety and support memory formation.
Centrophenoxine—One of the newer memory enhancement tools on the market, Centrophenoxine is being embraced by a growing number of noot nuts who love this cholinergic’s ability to vanquish brain fog and eliminate anxiety.
Users on Reddit have pointed out its anxiolytic effects, with one user writing that it helped them to “think properly.” That seems to be a common thread with anti-anxiety nootropics — they “clear your head” by helping you relax. This is likely a side effect of the GABAergic effects of many anxiolytics, such as Phenibut.
Choline & Piracetam— Studies have found that combining these two compounds can have a profound effect on memory. By enhancing cellular membrane fluidity, Piracetam boosts cognition. It has also been found to be every bit as effective as aspirin at preventing blood clots.
Anti-Aging & Longevity
Everyone worries about getting older and very few things scare us more than the thought of neurological degeneration.
Neuroprotective agents are important to mitochondrial function and much, much more. Here’s a look at some nootropics that can make a big difference.
Coenzyme Q10—It won’t stop you from aging, but it will protect your cells against the damage wrought by free radicals. By working as an antioxidant, Coenzyme Q10 contributes to the overall health and appearance of your skin.
It is also a fundamental building block that assists in mitochondrial function.
PQQ—This one aids in mitochondrial function as well as longevity. It is the perfect combo with the aforementioned CQ10. No definitive studies have been conducted to determine its precise value, but it has several theoretical benefits.
Quercetin—This natural antioxidant which is found in apples and onions can also be found in supplement form. Its active bioflavonoid is believed to make this nutrient beneficial to those seeking longevity and an anti-aging remedy.
In summary, these are some viable selections for a basic nootropic stack. The “best” nootropic stack is going to vary based on your experience with nootropics, and your intended use for the stack.
Personally, I recomomend Qualia as the best all-around nootropic stack available today, and take it about 3-4 times per week.
With any stacks or individual nootropics, make sure that you cycle them regularly so you don’t “overwork” different neurotransmitter pathways in your brain.