Looking for a way for better brain health, mental performance, and cognitive function? You may want to consider trying a nootropic supplement.
Nootropic supplements are drugs, either natural or synthetic, that enhance cognitive ability. These “smart drugs” work by impacting brain cells in the central nervous system, particularly their metabolism.
Specifically, they affect aspects of your cognitive health by working to improve brain function, improve mental performance, and reduce brain fog.
So if you’re looking to boost your mental alertness, but don’t know where to start, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the nootropic supplements on the market. That’s why we did the research for you!
We rounded up five of the best nootropics that are sure to improve brain function and boost mental performance.
Summary of the Nootropic Supplements
After careful research and reaching countless reviews, these are the five nootropic supplements that stand out the most in the following categories:
- Overall Best Nootropics: BetterBrand BetterMushrooms
- Best Nootropics for Productivity: NooCube Brain Productivity
- Best All-Natural Nootropic Supplement: Naguna Labs Brain Guard Plus
- Best Nootropics for Experienced Users: Hunter Evolve Focus
- Best Nootropics for Mental Clarity: Pure Essence BrainEssence
Benefits of Nootropic Supplements
Nootropic supplements have a number of benefits for the individuals taking them, including:
- Improved cognitive function: Some of the best nootropics are designed to improve cognitive function and enhance a person’s understanding and thought, whether in an academic or work setting or in life in general.
- Enhanced memory retention: Smart drugs can improve memory retention and allow you to store information in your long-term memory as opposed to short-term only. This can be a benefit for students, working adults, and adults in general who want to increase their mental performance and cognitive function.
- Increased wakefulness and alertness: A nootropic supplement can increase your mental alertness and wakefulness, which can help you be more productive.
- Boosted focus and concentration: Synthetic and natural nootropics may help you concentrate on tasks better and more fully. You’ll be able to focus for longer than before you started taking a nootropic supplement, which is beneficial for everyone, including those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Improved mood: Nootropic supplements may help improve your mood, even if you have a mood disorder. It works by affecting the cognitive pathways that impact mood.
- Reduced age-related cognitive decline: Research published by the National Institutes of Health shows a link between oxidative stress and age-related cognitive decline. Some of the best nootropics often contain antioxidants that help ward off this oxidative stress.
5 Best Nootropics — Reviewed
While countless nootropics are on the market and claim to improve cognitive function and overall brain health.
In addition to boosting mental performance, some smart drugs have additional benefits. But not every nootropic supplement is effective. That’s why we took the time to find the best nootropics available.
1. Overall Best Nootropics: BetterBrand BetterMushrooms
What we love
While nootropics in general are supposed to help with mood, this has a special composition geared toward calming you as well.
These natural nootropics contain 10 types of mushrooms, so they support your metabolism and gut health in addition to helping improve cognitive function.
Plus, these particular smart drugs also optimize your immune function, so you’re not only alert but healthier overall.
What customers love
Customers love that BetterBrand BetterMushrooms contain natural ingredients and don’t have any fillers. They also rave about how nutrient-rich this formula is.
Consumers are noting how they enjoyed the compilation of mushrooms, one of which helps to prevent cancer.
Additionally, customers were saying they liked how this nootropic supplement made them feel, providing a natural energizing feeling and enhanced brain function. Reviewers also mention that these natural nootropic supplements help reduce brain fog.
BetterBrand is a supplement manufacturing company that has produced several types of supplements throughout the years. As of 2023, they produce three main supplements, including some of the best nootropics on the market.
To create these smart drugs, they use a six-step process that places emphasis on the research phase.
After they found the natural ingredients to serve the intended purpose, these gummies underwent extensive testing. And each batch goes to a third-party lab to test its purity.
- Chewable gummy
- Contains beneficial prebiotics
- 90% absorbency rate
- Gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly
- Not everybody will enjoy the taste
- Size: 60 gummies/container
- Dosage: 2 gummies/day
2. Best Nootropics for Productivity: NooCube Brain Productivity
What we love
This nootropic supplement caught our eye because of how it can improve focus and boost your problem-solving skills, memory, and motivation.
These smart drugs also decrease feelings of “brain fatigue,” and help with eye health issues and brain fog caused by staring at a smartphone, tablet, computer, or other electronic device.
This is super helpful, considering the average person spends almost seven hours looking at a screen each day.
And, this product is safe for adults of all ages. It won’t cause a “crash” like some other nootropics on the market because it boosts your mental performance without using caffeine.
What customers love
Customers believe these are the best nootropics if you’re looking to improve focus. Buyers also touted how this product doesn’t contain any fillers like some other nootropic supplements on the market. Consumers also noted how this product shipped quickly and was as the company described.
NooCube is a product of Wolfson Brands. This is a lab that creates various other supplements, including one for building muscle, one to burn fat, and of course, the NooCube supplements for mental performance.
The company employs a team of nutritionists, fitness professionals, marketing experts, and engineers who revolve their focus around healthy living.
- Grain-free and soy-free
- No known side effects
- 60-day money back guarantee
- Natural ingredients
- Not many customer reviews available
- Size: 60 capsules/container
- Dosage: 2 capsules/day
3. Best All-Natural Nootropic Supplement: Naguna Labs Brain Guard Plus
What we love
These are some of the best nootropics for mental performance because they’re known to sharpen your cognitive abilities and boost brain function.
These supplements also work to improve memory and stop brain fog. They’re formulated with ingredients known to support your immune system, elevate blood flow to the brain, and increase your physical and mental energy levels.
What makes this truly stand out from other similar products is the blend of natural ingredients that all work together to boost brain health.
About Naguna Labs
Naguna Labs was started by — and is still run by — two physicians, Dr. Kasey Nichols and Dr. Stephanie Nichols.
They founded the company on the belief that health starts on a cellular level, and, therefore, the nootropic supplements manufactured by this company are designed to work with your brain cells to enhance cognitive function.
- Made in the USA
- Third-party tested
- 60-day money back guarantee
- No customer reviews on website
- Size: 60 capsules/container
- Dosage: 2 capsules/day
4. Best Nootropics for Experienced Users: Hunter Evolve Focus
What we love
Have you tried brain function supplements before with no luck? Or are you an experienced user who doesn’t feel a boost in mental performance after just two capsules? If so, these brain health supplements might be for you.
This nootropic supplement has a higher recommended dose than most nootropics on the market, making it more potent and more effective for people who have a higher tolerance.
Despite this high dosage, the Hunter Evolve Focus mental performance supplements are still safe and aren’t known to cause side effects.
Moreover, you don’t need a prescription for them, nor does it require you to “stack” your nootropics to enhance cognitive function, alertness, sharpness, and problem-solving skills.
What customers love
For one, customers like that these nootropics require a high dosage and provide the mental performance benefits that the company claims it does.
They also like that the ingredients are safe, all-natural, and tested. Consumers recognize that it does more than help with their cognitive function. For instance, it’s been known to help with mood and energy levels.
About Hunter Evolve
Hunter Evolve is a supplement company that produces not only a nootropic supplement but also one for burning fat and another for elevating testosterone levels.
The team had a great deal of experience in supplements and health prior to starting Hunter Evolve. They also stress the importance of using the latest technology to create their products.
- No known side effects
- Formulated with clinical-grade nutraceuticals
- GMP compliant
- Only optimal for adults over 30 years old
- Size: 180 capsules/container
- Dosage: 6 capsules/day
5. Best Nootropics for Mental Clarity: Pure Essence BrainEssence
What we love
This nootropic supplement is formulated to boost mental performance and improve cognitive function by enhancing your memory, focus, energy, mood, and problem-solving abilities.
The ingredients in these nootropics are carefully sourced, so you know you’re getting a high-quality supplement. Plus, Pure Essence is so confident in their product that they offer a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
What customers love
Customers love exactly what we love — the high-quality ingredients sourced to improve mental performance and boost cognitive ability. They love that this product actually works, since many on the market don’t enhance cognitive function the way they claim to.
Consumers are saying that it works exceptionally well for memory and word recollection. Plus, it’s a mild supplement and easily digestible.
About Pure Essence
Pure Essence is a company dedicated to providing pure products. They focus on supplying supplements that are both safe and effective.
The head of the company is Jery Cochern, who is a nutritionist and American Superior Herbalist. He’s been working in the field for over 40 years and was the founder of Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems and now this company.
- Manufactured in the USA
- 90-day money back guarantee
- Lab verified ingredients
- Doesn’t contain soy, eggs, fish, or other common allergens
- Contains ingredients that may increase blood pressure
- Size: 30 tablets/container, 60 tablets/container
- Dosage: 2 tablets/day
How We Picked The Best Nootropics
We went through an extensive comparison process to find the best nootropics for boosting mental performance and cognitive abilities. Here’s how we picked our favorites:
Price was one of the criteria we used to narrow down the best nootropics because people want a supplement that’s worth the price tag.
Some people are on tight budgets, but still want the brain-boosting benefits of a nootropic supplement. That’s why we prioritized cognitive health supplements that give you the most bang for your buck.
Effectiveness is also super important when it comes to finding the best nootropics. We made sure that every product we picked actually works to improve cognitive abilities and cognitive health.
We also made sure they contained ingredients that have shown promising results for improved brain health.
We even made sure to search through numerous high-potency options until we found the ones that produced the benefits they advertised, like improving mental clarity and reducing brain fog.
This was important because we want people to find a product that works the first time and not waste valuable time and money on going through a bunch of products that don’t actually boost your cognitive abilities.
Far too often in today’s world, companies use synthetic ingredients or poorly controlled ones to create their products, which harms the product’s efficiency. Not to mention, some people follow strict diets and need products free from certain ingredients.
Therefore, we included only companies that were open and honest about sourcing their ingredients and were known for using high-quality ones that improve mental clarity and cognitive performance.
We also wanted people to know which products had caffeine, so those with a sensitivity can avoid them.
During the comparison process, we prioritized nootropic supplements with natural and organic ingredients.
Money Back Guarantees
How many products have you tried, discovered they didn’t actually work to enhance cognitive performance, and thrown away without any reimbursement?
If a supplement is advertised to improve mental clarity and give your brain cells a boost, it’s not fair to the consumer if it doesn’t actually work that way. That’s why we believe the best nootropics are ones that are willing to back up their products with guarantees.
What To Look For In The Best Nootropics
These are some of the considerations you should make whenever you’re shopping for the best nootropics for mental clarity and cognitive performance.
As you look for nootropic supplements, think about the benefits you want from them. While most of the best nootropics boost your brain cells to improve cognitive functions, some also help energize you.
Others have additional advantages that extend beyond enhancing cognitive abilities and energy levels, like supporting your immune system or improving your gut health.
While you may not know what to search for off the bat, it helps to compare several supplements and see which ones are most appealing to you in terms of benefits.
Compare your options based on price. You want to get the most for your money, so determine how much you can spend and look for supplements that have positive reviews in that price range.
First and foremost, you’ll want to look for nootropics that have ingredients that are proven to boost both mental clarity and cognitive performance.
Beyond that, you’ll also want to consider dietary restrictions. For example, you could have an allergy that prohibits you from taking a certain supplement.
Or sometimes, nootropics may contain gluten. And if you have a condition or sensitivity that interferes with you consuming it, you’ll want to avoid this specific supplement.
And if you choose to live an organic lifestyle, you’ll want to make sure the product contains all-natural and organic ones ingredients.
As you look for nootropics, always take a look at the company that manufactures them first. Be sure they’re a dependable company — it helps to choose one that’s been around for awhile and has had the opportunity to gain a reputation.
Keep in mind that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate supplements but not in the same manner as prescription drugs.
Safe for Long-Term Use
Some products are only safe to use on a short-term basis because they have potentially addictive ingredients in them.
Therefore, if you plan to use the supplement on a long-term basis make sure it’s suitable to do so by confirming your nootropics aren’t habit-forming and don’t result in adverse side effects.
How To Optimize Your Brain Function
Taking even the best nootropics isn’t enough on its own to increase your brain health and cognitive functions.
Here are some supplemental things you to can to do make sure your brain is operating at its maximum potential:
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet can boost your cognitive performance because your brain and body will receive all the nutrients they need to function to the fullest. A nootropic doesn’t tend to have all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly.
Get Enough Exercise
You should also get enough exercise. Ideally, the average adult should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. This can go a long way towards enhancing cognitive functions while also preventing cognitive decline.
Physical activity enhances blood flow to the brain, which can really help to boost mental function. It also increases the production of molecules your brain needs for memory and other functions.
Ultimately, exercise can help with learning, thinking, and problem-solving, and it releases “feel-good” hormones that may assist in reducing anxiety.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting adequate sleep each day should also be a priority on your list. Your brain needs that time to recharge if you really want to enhance mental performance. This cognitive downtime helps establish and form new pathways for memories and learning.
Your neurons and brain cells need it to be able to keep communication lines open. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can negatively impact your concentration and reaction time.
Ideally, the average adult should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Keep Mentally Stimulated
Besides physical stimulation, you also need cognitive stimulation to keep your brain sharp and enhance mental performance.
For example, you could opt to complete crossword puzzles, read, or do word puzzles or math puzzles. Drawing, painting, and arts and crafts could also be beneficial to your brain health.
Protect Your Head
Anytime you’re riding a bike or participating in any other activity where you could hit your head and sustain an injury, wear a helmet.
People who want to try nootropics for the first time may have some questions before buying. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions:
Are nootropic supplements safe?
Nootropic supplements are considered to be safe for most people. Some have no known side effects, while others only cause a few.
Nevertheless, if you have any health conditions, you should consult with your general practitioner (GP) before using a nootropic.
Pregnant and lactating people should also consult with their practitioners first and make sure to see if these dietary supplements are safe to take.
Are nootropic supplements legal?
Nootropic supplements are 100% legal in all states. Instead of being sold like vitamins or other dietary supplements, they legally must be sold as “research compounds.”
How do nootropic supplements improve cognitive health?
Nootropic supplements consist of vitamins, herbs, minerals, or other substances that promote energy and boost cognitive function. They act as vasodilators (meaning they open the blood vessels) to allow more blood to flow to the brain.
As a result, the brain receives more oxygen and nutrition. They also may act on the cognitive pathways and brain chemicals, which can impact on brain health.
Do you need a prescription for nootropic supplements?
While there are nootropic drugs that require a physician to prescribe, dietary supplements sold over the counter don’t need a prescription.
You, however, should consult with your physician before taking one, especially if you have any health conditions, take any medications, or have any other special considerations.
How many nootropic supplements can I take?
The amount of nootropic supplements you should take in a day depends on the recommended dosage, as well as any recommendations from your doctor.
In some cases, a person may benefit from taking more than one type of nootropic supplement because it provides the ultimate level of benefits, AKA stacking.
But always consult your physician before stacking nootropics, or even taking just one in the first place.
Do nootropic supplements have side effects?
Most nootropics don’t have any side effects. If one should cause a side effect, it tends to be mild, and it happens rarely.
Depending on the ingredients, you could have an undesired amount of energy. Sometimes, it’ll increase your libido or cause you to have difficulty sleeping.
What happens if I have too many nootropic supplements?
If you take too many nootropic supplements, you may find yourself feeling shaky or jittery. Your heart rate might increase, or you may find it hard to fall asleep. You might lose your appetite.
Since some supplements contain vitamins, you could find yourself suffering from vitamin toxicity, which varies based on the vitamin you took too much of.
Should I use a nootropic with caffeine in it?
A supplement with caffeine in it could boost cognitive function just as well as one that doesn’t have caffeine in it.
According to studies published in the National Institutes of Health, caffeine has a positive impact on the brain and may boost mood, improve concentration, and increase alertness.
Supplements with other ingredients can do this as well. But ultimately, it’s a personal opinion whether or not you want caffeine in your supplement.
For instance, you may want to avoid it if you’re more sensitive to it than the average person because it could end up interfering with your sleep.
Do all nootropics help prevent age-related cognitive decline?
The answer to this varies based on the nootropic supplement. Certain ones may have ingredients that help to prevent free-radical damage to the brain and age-related cognitive decline.
On the other hand, others may not have this type of ingredient, so you’ll need to look at the ingredients and learn about their benefits.
There are a plethora of nootropics out there, and some of them stand out as offering more benefits than the others. Different nootropic supplements have different strengths and weaknesses, which is why it’s essential to do your homework before you purchase one.
That’s why we wanted to do all the heavy lifting for you, and direct you to five of the best nootropics to boost cognitive abilities and prevent mental fatigue.