Citicoline is a nootropic that naturally exists in your body.

When take it supplementally, it can help improve memory, enhance brain health, and fight against memory loss… while also delivering an energy boost.

The supplement supplies the brain with a potent dose of choline that can benefit anyone looking for mental performance benefits, especially the elderly [1], those with dementia, or stroke survivors.

Citicoline has a low risk of side effects, can be stacked with several other nootropics safely to produce enhanced effects.

What is Citicoline?

Citicoline is a nutritional supplement based on a nutrient that already exists in our bodies.

The water-soluble compound serves a number of functions, primarily producing and maintaining healthy brain tissue as an intermediary in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine.

It strengthens cell membranes by forming the backbone of various phospholipids, and can also help to improve circulation in the brain.

In addition to the benefits seen with other Choline supplements, Citicoline also contains compounds that stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in a boost in both physical and mental energy.

It also provides the body with an additional nootropic component in cytidine/uridine that positively affects neural synthesis.

The supplement is legal and easy to obtain. Online and in-store retailers have a variety of brands available that are to be taken orally in either pill or powder form.

The brain-boosting benefits are similar to what you would see in other Choline supplements like Alpha GPC, Choline Bitartrate, or centrophenoxine that increase the level of acetylcholine in the brain.

Users experience an enhanced memory recall, learning ability, reaction times, and an increase in energy.

Overall, Citicoline is a good choice for a safe and potent supplement that can cross the blood-brain barrier and deliver nootropic effects for users.

Other names for the product

CDP Choline, Cytidine-diphosphate choline

Editor’s Note

At first glance, Citicoline is a basic nootropic, providing your body and brain with what it needs to produce more of the neurotransmitter that enhances your memory.

While it’s not quite as potent as Alpha GPC and needs to be metabolized to cross the blood-brain barrier, it has a few additional perks that make it a supplement to consider.

As a user, there are little to no reported side effects. It’s a nutrient that already exists organically within the body, so most people have an excellent tolerance for it as a nootropic.

The only notable exception would be anyone with an existing anxiety condition- there are some reports of CDP choline supplements making that condition worse.

For me, the main enhancement that set Citicoline apart from other supplements in the same class are the natural and caffeine-free energy boosting benefits it provides. It gives me a mental and physical boost without the jitters, that just add to the overall mental clarity and sharpness.

Whether you’re looking for a stand-alone brain booster or a very tolerable supplement to stack, Citicoline is a good choice to consider.

Citicoline Reviews

As Citicoline is readily available through a variety of retailers online, it’s easy to find a plethora of user reviews on the product. On Amazon, Verified reviews (not sponsored), are generally quite positive.

When it comes to improving focus, there are thousands of success stories. Boosting mental clarity is another common theme in reviews, many users report feeling sharper and clearer after taking CDP Choline.


Benefits and Effects

Citicoline is a nutrient that provides many brain health benefits to users when taken as a supplement that include:

Memory enhancement

Citicoline can both improve memory and prevent memory loss in any user, even someone without any sort of degenerative memory disease.

By increasing the level of Acetylcholine inside the brain, you’ll have access to more of the neurotransmitters responsible for creating and retaining new memories.

Not only will you be able to quickly learn new information, like facts, figures, names, or important details, but you’ll be able to remember them when you need them in the future.

There has even been research that supports the Citicoline as a potential treatment in conjunction with prescription medications for Alzheimer’s disease, and that proves that it can slow down mental deterioration when stacked with the nootropic piracetam. [2]

Energy boost

The feeling of having “brain fog” can prevent you from performing at your peak throughout the day. Using Citicoline can help prevent brain fog by increasing the bioenergetics in the frontal lobe of your brain.

Not only will this give you a mental energy pick-up, but it also has positive anti-aging effects over time. [3]

Laser Focus and Concentration

The ability to focus on a task and avoid distractions is critical to overall productivity at home, in school, or in the workplace.

One of the nootropic benefits of Citicoline is boosting that hyper focus in users, even in those with conditions that can result in mental impairments like brain injury, stroke, or Alzheimer’s disease. [4]

How It Works

When Citicoline is taken orally the two main components of the supplement, cytidine and choline, are broken down and then distributed throughout the body.

The water-soluble nutrient breaks down into its two components, choline and cytidine which are then able to cross the blood-brain barrier enter the central nervous system and be used by the body.

The choline is sent to the brain and acts as a cholinergic and the cytidine is converted to uridine which is an important nucleotide base that plays a role in neural membrane synthesis.

The breakdown happens quickly, so you can expect to feel the brain-boosting effects shortly after taking the supplement. The effects will typically last for around 12 hours depending on how quickly your body metabolizes and synthesizes the supplement.

Citicoline serves three main processes in the body: it repairs and restores neuronal membranes in the brain, increases the amount of the feel-good chemical dopamine in the central nervous system, and it helps the brain to produce more of the neurotransmitter responsible for memory formation, acetylcholine. [5]


The recommended Citicoline dose varies based on the user and the expected results.

Most users take between 250-750 mg daily, but it’s possible to take as many as 2000 mg daily without any negative side-effects. You can take the dose all at once, or split it into a twice-daily supplement.

Supplements are available in both pill and water-soluble form, and most people will absorb around 95% of the dosage when it’s taken orally.

Interestingly, there may not be any additional benefits in supplementing at very high dosage levels.

One MIT study compared users taking 2000 mg daily with users taking 4000 mg daily and saw little difference between the two groups.

Side Effects

Citicoline has been found to have no documented serious side effects in clinical studies and trials. Even when taken at high doses, the supplement doesn’t cause complications or interact negatively with other medications.

There have not been any tests done on pregnant or breastfeeding women, so it would be important to check with your doctor if you are either before using this supplement.

Anecdotally, users sometimes report headaches, especially when it’s stacked with a piracetam. Other complaints include digestion issues, insomnia, and anxiety.


Citicoline can be safely stacked with other nootropics for enhanced benefits. A common way to stack Citicoline is with a racetam as the choline can make them more effective, and may also take the edge off the potential negative side effects from the nootropic.


When it comes to delivering the benefits of choline to the brain, there are a few alternate supplements that have similar effects to Citicoline.

1. Choline Bitartrate

Also sometimes called Lecithin, Choline Bitartrate is the least pricey of the choline supplements on the market.

They typically deliver a high percentage of choline by weight to the user but don’t produce much in the way of a true nootropic benefit to the user. Choline Bitartrate is a good, low-cost supplement to a diet that is deficient in choline.

2. Alpha GPC

As a high-quality and potent source of Choline, Alpha GPC delivers nearly the exact same brain-boosting benefits as Citicoline.

The main difference between the two is that Alpha GPC is able to cross the blood-brain barrier without being broken down first by the body making it a cholinergic.

Additionally, Alpha GPC can stimulate the production of human growth hormone in the body, making it a popular choice for athletes to help with workout performance and recovery. [6]

3. Centrophenoxine

While not technically a source of choline, Centrophenoxine will increase the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and can assist in improving memory.

Centrophenoxine can be taken on its own, but it’s often a popular choice to stack with other nootropics that draw on choline stores or racetams to increase the absorption of oxygen in the brain.

Any looking to improve mental clarity and acuity should include a choline supplement in their stack. Determining which is right for you is a matter of doing some research on these three alternatives and others, and making that personal choice.

Closing Thoughts

There is no one who can’t benefit from the brain boost, mental clarity, and mood enhancement properties associated with citicoline.

The widely researched supplement is safe for all types of users, and has several proven and documented positive effects that can be felt immediately upon taking the supplement.

Users with completely healthy brains and even those with cognitive impairments like stroke survivors and people with Alzheimer’s can safely use citicoline and see improvements to their memory and mood.