Which memory supplements are best?

If you want to keep your brain sharp, consider taking a memory supplement. Also known as nootropics, these supplements boast a formula of synthetic and natural chemical compounds that may boost memory and increase focus. 

This broad category of supplements includes everything from caffeine to plants like ginkgo biloba, so a bit of research is recommended before settling on a particular product. Life Extension Cognitive Basics Softgels are the top pick because they’re loaded with potent ingredients like antioxidant-rich blueberry extract. 

What to know before you buy memory supplements

Types of memory supplements

Basically any substance that can be used to improve memory and attention span could be considered a nootropic. These “smart drugs” range from synthetic supplements formulated in a lab to substances that have been used in traditional medicine for millennia. Most memory supplements will use at least one or two of the following ingredients to keep your memory sharp. 

  • Caffeine: Perhaps the most widely consumed nootropic on Earth, studies have shown that caffeine can improve your memory in addition to giving you energy and increasing focus. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These essential fatty acids cannot be produced by the human body, so the only way to get them is through food or supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids have been tied to improved memory and reaction times, and the fats have anti-inflammatory effects that could help prevent age-related mental decline
  • Ginseng: Research has indicated that ingesting red ginseng root could help improve memory and brain function, so it’s often used in supplements. 
  • Ginkgo biloba: This popular nootropic is derived from a tree of the same name that’s native to China. Although there isn’t a ton of research, there is some evidence that ginkgo biloba could be useful for preventing age-related mental decline and memory loss. 
  • Antioxidants: Many of the ingredients found in memory supplements are loaded with antioxidants. This is because studies have shown that antioxidants could be useful for fighting off the free radicals that could lead to cognitive decline. 
  • Prescription and synthetic nootropics: Medications like ritalin and adderall are also considered memory supplements, but these must be prescribed by a doctor and come with a risk of dependency and other negative side effects. 

What to look for in quality memory supplements

Form

Like most dietary supplements, nootropics are sold in a wide variety of forms. Capsules are popular, but you can also find memory supplements in powder, liquid or gummy form. These products are useful if you want the benefits without the hassle of swallowing a pill. 

Potency

The potency of your supplement will vary depending on the active ingredient, so always read the dosage instructions found on the packaging. If you have a busy schedule, look for a supplement that you only need to take once daily. 

Quality

Since most nootropics are derived from natural sources, look for a supplement that uses organic ingredients and a formula that’s free of genetically modified organisms, otherwise known as GMOs.  

Vegan

If you follow a vegan diet, make sure that the supplement you choose doesn’t contain gelatin, magnesium stearate or glycerine in its inactive ingredients. These are all animal-derived ingredients. Omega-3 fatty acids are often derived from fish like mackerel, so look for a memory supplement that uses plant-based sources like green algae instead. Rule of thumb, if a supplement doesn’t clearly state that it’s vegan, then it probably isn’t. 

How much you can expect to spend on memory supplements

The cost of a memory supplement can vary widely depending on the active ingredients in the formula. Most consumers can expect to spend around $15-$30 for a medium-sized container of capsules, while specially formulated blends can cost $75 or more. 

Memory supplements FAQ

Are memory supplements safe? 

A. While it depends on the formula you choose, most natural nootropics are generally considered safe to take. That being said, always talk with a medical professional before starting a new regimen of supplements. 

Should I take a memory supplement every day? 

A. Most studies on memory supplements were less than six weeks long, so there’s no research to indicate long-term safety beyond that. In addition, some manufacturers recommend taking a few days off from nootropics on a regular basis. This can help stop a tolerance from building up. 

What are the best memory supplements to buy?

Top memory supplement

Life Extension Cognitive Basics Softgels

Life Extension Cognitive Basics Softgels

What you need to know: These one-a-day supplements focus on an antioxidant-rich formula to support memory and brain health. 

What you’ll love: These popular softgels are easy to swallow and boast a specialized formula of potent nutrients and wild blueberry extract. The supplements are free of gluten, non-GMO and manufactured in the United States. 

What you should consider: Most users had to take it every day for at least a week before they felt any effect. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top memory supplement for money

Zoi Research Think Support Supplement

Zoi Research Think Support Supplement

What you need to know: This memory supplement is budget-friendly and loaded with potent botanicals. 

What you’ll love: The specialized formula contains loads of potent and natural ingredients like ginkgo biloba, l-theanine and Chinese skullcap root to enhance memory and cognitive function. The capsules are suitable for vegetarians. 

What you should consider: A few people had trouble sleeping after taking this memory supplement. 

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb

Worth checking out

California Gold Nutrition Mem Food Memory Support Powder

California Gold Nutrition Mem Food Memory Support Powder

What you need to know: This nootropic powder can be mixed into water, coffee or your morning smoothie.

What you’ll love: The comprehensive formula contains loads of antioxidants, amino acids and medicinal mushrooms to support memory function. The powder dissolves quickly and is a great choice for people who don’t like taking pills. 

What you should consider: The herbal taste and smell of the powder may be unpleasant for some people, so consider mixing it with a beverage that already has a strong flavor. 

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb

 

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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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