Best nootropics


The word nootropic is said to come from the Greek words meaning “to bend the mind.”

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Which nootropics are best?

Nootropics are supplements designed to enhance cognitive performance. They may be chemical or natural compounds, but all claim to increase your memory and your ability to concentrate and focus. Nonprescription nootropics are called supplements and are considered to be safe, nontoxic and nonaddictive when you follow instructions. As with any medication, consult your doctor first.

If you are looking for a gluten-free, genetically unmodified nootropic that is made in the United States, try Life Extension Cognitex Basics gelcaps. This product has a one-year, no-hassle, money-back guarantee.

What to know before you buy a nootropic

There are three basic categories of nootropics.

  • Natural compounds: These are common, everyday ingredients like the caffeine found in soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee, tea and chocolate. Caffeinated products are stimulants that raise levels of glucose, insulin and cortisol, and contribute to increased appetite and weight gain.
  • Synthetic compounds: These are compounds formulated to act on the brain’s neurotransmitters. Synthetic nootropics all claim to work well, but vary widely in their effectiveness. Some synthetic compounds have been shown to boost memory in people with brain-related injuries and diseases, but show few or no positive results with healthy individuals who take them the same way as they take vitamins and supplements. 
  • Pharmaceuticals: The well-known amphetamines Ritalin and Adderall are the most effective class of nootropics. They boost awareness by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamines regulate attention, alertness and energy, but may not improve memory. Stimulants affect mood, not memory. Medical experts say that the best way to enhance cognition is by eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients, exercising and getting enough sleep.


Here are some of the common ingredients found in over-the-counter nootropics:

  • Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Caffeine is a natural chemical that increases alertness and attention while reducing fatigue. The downsides are that caffeine can also make people irritable and anxious. Most people get plenty of caffeine from the beverages they drink throughout the day. 
  • Ginkgo biloba is extracted from the leaves of the plant of the same name. It is said to improve memory and mental processing in older adults. It has some ability to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol and to boost the brain’s circulation and blood flow.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are a common nootropic. They are naturally occurring in fish and nuts. They support memory and focus, lower levels of depression and protect brain cells from some types of damage. 
  • Creatine is known to be used by bodybuilders to bulk up. This amino acid binds with brain phosphates to fuel brain cells, leading to increased memory and reasoning skills while also reducing some sources of stress. 

To learn even more about nootropics, take a look at the full nootropics buying guide from

What to look for in a quality nootropic

Oral medication type

Most nootropics come in capsule form, but other types include gelcaps, pills, tablets, caplets and chewing gum. Choose the method that is most comfortable and convenient for you to take. 


The amount of the nootropic you take is determined by the strength per product dose. This is usually represented in milligrams per dose, as in 500 milligrams per capsule. You can choose to take one or two larger doses or several smaller ones throughout the day.

How much you can expect to spend on a nootropic

Some medication pricing has to do with the product formulation, but most of it has to do with how many pills or capsules come in a bottle or jar. There are pricey ingredients and cheap ones, and big bottles and small ones, so it is best for you to calculate what your daily nootropic cost will be, not the cost per pill or the cost per bottle.

Nootropics FAQ

What are the chances of developing a dependency on nootropics?

A. Because over-the-counter medications are not regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration, anything can happen. Your doctor can advise you on how to exercise caution when taking nootropics.

Do nootropics have a functional shelf life?

A. They sure do, just like all supplements. Your nootropics will last longer if you keep them cool and dry and away from bright light.

What’s the best nootropic to buy?

Top nootropic

Life Extension Cognitex Basics

Life Extension Cognitex Basics

What you need to know: This formulation is targeted nutrition for memory, focus, attention and overall cognitive performance.

What you’ll love: These softgels are non-GMO, gluten-free and made in the USA. The 10-calorie gelcaps include the antioxidants and nutrients found in blueberries. Thirty gelcaps is a one-month supply. This product has a one-year, no-hassle, money-back guarantee. Call or go online for complimentary personalized guidance from nutritionists and healthcare professionals.

What you should consider: You have to take these gelcaps every day for as long as it takes to feel the effects. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Top nootropic for the money

NeuroGum Nootropic Energy & Focus Gum

NeuroGum Nootropic Energy & Focus Gum

What you need to know: Users say this vegan gum will not cause the jitters or leave you with the after-effects of a sugar crash.

What you’ll love: Labeled as a dietary supplement, this product claims to deliver energy five times as quickly as drinking coffee or energy drinks. The product formulation includes B6 and B12 vitamins to support mood, nerve functioning, cognition and focus. The vegan formula has no GMOs, gluten, sugar or aspartame. This is a good choice for people who would rather not bother with pills or powders and prefer their nootropics on the go. 

What you should consider: Nine pieces of gum for $21 is a very pricey way to get your nootropics.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Worth checking out

Genius Brand Mushrooms Immune System Booster and Nootropic Brain Supplement

Genius Brand Mushrooms Immune System Booster and Nootropic Brain Supplement

What you need to know: This product says it nurtures your mind, body and spirit with a combination of three different species of mushrooms, none of them psychedelic.

What you’ll love: This is a good choice for those who are into organic wellness. These pills are intended to elevate your energy levels naturally, increasing oxygen utilization, aerobic capacity and athletic endurance without stimulants. These 90 pills are designed to enhance cognitive function and boost focus and mental clarity, making them ideal for work and study.

What you should consider: Make sure to eat soon after taking these capsules to prevent headaches.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.


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