The nootropics list that follows is a comprehensive guide that is divided into sections that apply to different areas of health.
There is a nootropic for virtually any health condition or dietary need. Here I’ll break down the specific benefits of each nootropic and, also, discuss where some of them overlap.
Hope this will help you to have a better understanding of nutraceuticals and a better idea of what might work best for you.
And, if you decide you can benefit from any of these, here is a list of nootropic supplies.
Nootropics for Attention & Focus
Perhaps the number one reason most young professionals and students get into nootropics is out of a yearning to concentrate on their work, improve their productivity and achieve a sharper focus.
The following supplements may just work wonders if you’re looking to concentrate better, think clearer and have an edge at the office or in the classroom.
- Mucuna Pruriens
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Gotu Kola
- Huperzine A
- Lion Mane
Phenylpiracetam may be best known for its energy-enhancing properties, but it’s also a viable tool for optimizing learning retention, improving concentration and protecting your memory.
Personally, I place Phenylpiracetam in my top three supplements for mental energy and find that it is the single strongest supplement for increasing my productivity. When I take Phenylpiracetam, the words come pouring out of me and my workload increases tenfold.
I generally recommend that users stick to a 200 mg dose for the best results. As with all nootropics, users should cycle their dosage to avoid tolerance and adverse effects.
Adrafinil is a very potent smart drag for cognitive performance. This wakefulness-promoting agent can also provide long-lasting focus with some studies finding that its effects could have a duration of as many as forty hours.
Mucuna Pruriens is another supplement I highly recommend because it contains high concentrations of L-Dopa, a substance which many consider to be the number one defense against the effects of Parkinson’s disease.
What’s more, Mucuna Pruriens can significantly enhance motivation, attention and much, much more. Mucuna powder is the way to go and it’s readily available from online vendors.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb which is commonly used to combat anxiety and stress, but what many people don’t know is that ashwagandha powder can also improve memory recall and dramatically enhance one’s attention and concentration.
Noopept is one of the strongest nutraceuticals on the market and it offers a range of cognitive benefits. Chief among them is this chemical peptide’s ability to increase neuroplasticity, bolstering the user’s creativity and lifting brain fog.
Modafinil… If you’ve spent any time among the nootropic community, you’ve doubtlessly heard about Modafinil. I’ve called it the future of productivity and with good reason. This eugeroic has been embraced by many professionals suffering from night shift work disorder thanks to its powerful wakefulness-promoting properties.
But what many don’t know about Modafinil is that it is often used as a substitute for mainstream ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) medications thanks to its stimulating cognitive enhancement. It works by stimulating dopamine levels and regulating GABA in the brain.
Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen which boosts mood and athletic performance. It is commonly implemented as an attention enhancer due to its capacity for enhancing mental focus and supporting normal levels of vital neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine).
Gotu Kola is an herbal remedy that is commonly used to treat ADHD, but it’s also a terrific cognitive enhancer for the average bear. It prevents the degeneration of acetylcholine and protects against toxins and oxidative stress.
Ephedra sinica is a legal stimulant that contains active alkaloids that increase energy and maximize focus. It is a potent CNS (Central Nervous System) substance which has been used in Chinese medicine throughout the ages.
Huperzine A is among the most popular nootropics available. It is a naturally derived compound which increases acetylcholine levels and promotes neuroplasticity. As such, it is a premium supplement for sharpening focus and warding off mental stress.
Lion’s Mane is shown to improve cognitive impairment, gain back brain health, repair damaged neurons or cells. Repairing damaged neurons and cells makes Lion’s Mane so important for people with Alzheimer disease or dementia.
Nootropics for Memory
Cognitive enhancers like those in the Racetam family (Piracetam, Pramiracetam, Aniracetam) have a strong reputation for enhancing memory and boosting focus, but they can also be dangerous.
But, as luck would have it, there are a number of other nootropics that can offer these benefits.
As I mentioned earlier, there is going to be some overlap here, for no other reason than a lot of these wonderful nootropics are wildly diverse in their effects and benefits.
In the case of Huperzine A, it’s every bit as effective as a memory enhancer as it is an attention booster.
Its promotion of neuroplasticity enables the user to better adapt to new situations and store new information.
Bacopa Monnieri is an Ayurvedic medicine that has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of maladies, not least among them Alzheimer’s disease. Compounds within the Bacopa plant are believed to be valuable for protecting against brain cell degradation and healing brain tissue.
Choline Citrate has blown up on the Internet with people posting about it on Pinterest and YouTube, and multiple reviewers praising its memory-improving abilities. Life Enhancement have noted the cognitive benefits it has on people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.
Noopept is not just great for promoting attention and focus, it’s also a life saver for those suffering from age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Noopept is 1,000 times stronger than Piracetam, another popular memory-enhancing nootropic.
It boosts acetylcholine and influences both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
Phenylpiracetam is another noot that not only maximizes concentration and focus but, also, enhances memory and mood.
But now, let’s talk about Uridine, a substance that assists in repairing dopamine receptors. This nutrient has been shown to vastly improve the symptoms of neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. It is often stacked with choline, resulting in the creation of new and healthy neurons.
Last but not least is Vinpocetine, an impressive supplement which increases brain blood flow and metabolism.
Studies have been conducted which show that Vinpocetine has substantial efficacy at improving memory, particularly in those suffering from dementia.
- Nature Bound Mind + Memory Matrix
- NuturaPlus Neuro Vitality +
Nootropics for Depression & Anxiety
According to DBSA (Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance), roughly 20.9 million American adults have a mood disorder.
And that’s to say nothing of anxiety and depression. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 18% of the population.
Big Pharma makes an obscene fortune off of these unfortunate conditions. In fact, it has been estimated that anxiety problems cost the US more than 40 million dollars per year.
Fortunately for those who don’t want to become dependent upon dangerous prescription-grade anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medications, there is a true treasure trove of natural supplements and nutraceuticals that can combat the symptoms of depression and anxiety without all the harmful side effects.
- St. John’s Wort
- Rhodiola Rosea
5-HTP is among the best nootropics for fighting acute anxiety. It works by releasing serotonin, eliciting a calming effect on the limbic system.
It has also proven beneficial to those suffering from depression, Fibromyalgia, ADHD and sleep disorders, among many other ailments.
SAM-e. Depression and mood disorders take a serious toll on our cognition, which is why SAM-e may just be a godsend for you or a loved one. SAM-e works to combat depression while simultaneously improving cognitive integrity.
SAM-e enables enzymatic reactions that are crucial to healthy functions within our bodies. It yields important proteins and neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine).
St John’s Wart. Clinical studies are inconclusive when it comes to the antidepressant potential of St. John’s Wort, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a prevalent natural supplement for mood improvement. And it was found to have positive results in at least one placebo-based study.
GABA is typically used for anxiety relief; it is a powerful natural sedative that is known to give users a restful night’s sleep and a general sense of calm.
Phenibut. This, of course, brings us to Phenibut which actually affects GABA signaling in the brain. The molecules it produces interact with the GABA receptor in your brain, protecting nerves from environmental stimuli.
This neuropsychotropic substance offers some crazy benefits, not least of which is its potent anxiolytic effects and its ability to increase sociability.
Ashwagandha. We’ve already been over the manifold benefits of Ashwagandha, but what you may not have known is that Ashwagandha powder can also help stabilize your mood and stop depression in its path.
Many curious parties have posed the question, “Can Ashwagandha cure anxiety?” The answer seems to be a resounding Yes, having been found to be effective at reducing stress and anxiety in a double-blind placebo-controlled study of its safety and efficacy.
L-Theanine is a relaxing amino acid that is commonly used in teas, but it is also available in supplement form. L-Theanine supports restful sleep, mood stabilization and weight management.
Rhodiola Rosea. I know I must sound like a broken record with some of these nootropics, but the number of benefits that some of them possess are simply awe-inspiring. This is the case with Rhodiola Rosea as much as any other. This adaptogen is among the best nootropics for vanquishing stress.
Aniracetam, on the other hand, is one substance that most people wouldn’t expect to find on this list. Stimulants such as Aniracetam are not commonly associated with things like stress relief, but this one most certainly is.
Picamilon is a synthetic combination of GABA and Niacin which was used by the Russian cosmonauts. Research has pointed to Picamilon powder optimizing biochemical status and cerebral circulation.
A list of studies have shown it to be an effective tension and anxiety reliever. A potent vasodilator, Picamilon has also been used to treat brain damage and migraines. This is another one that has too many uses to count.
Nootropics for Anti-Aging & Longevity
Nobody wants to get old and nobody wants to get sick. With some of the supplements on this list, you may not have to. These are some of the best nootropics for your body’s general health and overall well-being.
- Alpha GPC
- Fish Oil
- Green and White Tea Extracts
- NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine)
It should go without saying that, in the very least, every adult should be taking a multivitamin. They roll all of the essential vitamins your body requires into one supplement, ensuring that you get the proper amounts of iron, potassium, Vitamins B6 and B12, and so on.
Today, multivitamins come in a variety with some formulated for a woman’s needs and others for a man’s needs. Check with your local vitamin shop to explore your different options.
Alpha GPC enables the user to increase nerve growth factor (NGF) thanks to its high levels of choline. This vital B vitamin produces tissue renewal and protects your brain against age-related decline.
Fish Oil is a viable supplement for longevity, but it’s important that you shop around when seeking out a Fish Oil supplement as very specific strains offer longevity benefits. That being said, Fish Oil has been shown to possess impressive anti-aging effects.
Carnosine is a natural antioxidant that blocks the central changes to cells and tissues that cause age-related diseases and signs of aging. It is an active ingredient in many topical aging creams, but it is also available in supplement form.
Recent studies have backed the claim that Carnosine can significantly affect the user’s longevity, confirming its age-delaying properties.
Green and White Tea (and their extracts) contain polyphenol antioxidants which support a long and healthy life. The herbal teas differ from oxidized teas, such as black tea, in that they do not contain caffeine.
Their potential for life extension has even been espoused by medical professionals, who have written about their medicinal properties for maintaining health and warding off illness.
N-Acetyl Cysteine. Studies have found that an uptake in NAC results in a substantial increase in median and maximum life span. It is a quality anti-aging medicine that slows the aging process and boosts our resistance to oxidative stress.
Pterostilbene. Extensive research has been conducted to confirm Pterostilbene’s longevity benefits and the results are looking good. It is renowned for its capacity to activate three vital longevity pathways. It decreases the risk of atherosclerosis by protecting endothelial cells.
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant which has a solid reputation as a preventative measure against cancer and neurological degeneration. Recent research into the cognitive benefits of turmeric suggest that it could be one of the best nootropic herbs available today.
Uridine is a nucleoside that has mild cognitive benefits, boosting overall cognition and offering neuroprotective support. After three weeks using a Uridine stack, I found memory recall improved and a sense of well-being prevailed.
Vinpocetine has proven memory-related benefits and substantially improves cognitive function. Studies have confirmed that it can make a big difference when performing a wide range of mental tasks. Vinpocetine is an active ingredient in Alpha Brain, a proprietary blend from the folks at Onnit Labs.
Zinc levels have been linked to the modulation of lifespan. It’s a venerable anti-aging mineral which has been featured in Shape Magazine where one writer said that getting enough zinc could save your life.
Nootropics for Sleep & Dream Enhancement
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report that as many as 50-70 million adults are affected by some form of sleep disorder. Others experience problems like sleep paralysis, night terrors and other undesirable ailments.
Fortunately, there is a vast array of nootropics that can help users achieve a restful sleep, some of which may even induce lucid dreaming.
- Bacopa Monnieri
- Mucuna Pruriens
- St. John’s Wort
- Valerian Root
- Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa)
Melatonin is, perhaps, the most mainstream OTC sleep aid out there. It is a mild calm-inducing herbal supplement which offers the added benefit of improving short-term memory.
We’ve already gone over Phenibut, Ashwagandha, Bacopa Monnieri, GABA, etc. But these are all viable options when a user is looking to get a good night’s sleep that’s free of disruption.
Valerian Root is an herb that elicits a calming effect that many find to be helpful in easing them into sleep. It can also offer a subtle “high” that also helps users to chill out. The state of relaxation it induces is directly related to its interaction with GABA in the brain.
Kratom is a “research chemical” that originated as a folk medicine in Southeast Asia. It has been used as both a stimulant and a natural pain reliever for thousands of years, but, in certain doses, it can also induce a sedative effect which has helped many to cope with sleep disorders.
The ideal kratom powder dosage range for sleep relief is 3-5 grams. Users should not exceed 7 grams of kratom powder at any given time, particularly if they are using it for sleep.
Kratom capsules are also readily available online from a variety of vendors. Unlike many of the other nootropics on this list, many kratom products are not legit and many kratom vendors are disreputable.
Our readers are urged to do their research before purchasing kratom from an online store.
So there you go, that is my full list of nootropics for a variety of health and wellness benefits. If you think I missed any, drop me a comment and let me know.
We’d love to hear from you. Be well.