14 Best Nootropics for Energy (Get Energized)

Updated on November 30, 2022
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the 14 best nootropics on the market for energy. We will look at the benefits of each nootropic, how they work in the brain, and what the science says.

We've all been there – feeling lethargic, low on energy, and completely unmotivated.

What if you could just take a pill that would make you instantly energetic and alert?

Wouldn't that be great?

Well, as it turns out, quite a few nootropics can provide this type of energy boost.

So if you're looking for the best nootropics to get energized without relying sorely on caffeine, this article is for you!

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The Best Nootropics For Energy

According to both scientific evidence and customer reviews, the 14 best nootropics for energy are:

  • Vyvamind
  • NooCube
  • Mind Lab Pro
  • Citicoline
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Caffeine
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine
  • Curcumin
  • L-Theanine
  • Phenylpiracetam
  • Modafinil
  • Noopept
  • Oxiracetam
  • Sulbutiamine

Nootropics can be natural or synthetic. Despite being two different things, they both have the components to help you enhance your mind skills, improve brain functions, and optimize your energy.

Here are some of the best smart drugs that help you boost brain energy and increase your brain function.

1. Vyvamind

Often described as an alternative to Adderall by its users, Vyvamind is the best pre-made nootropic stack for energy.

Although Vyvamind doesn't contain many ingredients, the ones it does contain are clinically proven to be effective and work in perfect synergy to promote focus and energy throughout the day.

Vyvamind Pros:

  • Contains 6 clinically-proven brain-boosting ingredients
  • Helpful for people who want an edge in business or academics
  • Safe and well-tolerated by most people
  • A great alternative to Adderall and other harsh stimulants

Vyvamind Cons:

  • Not suitable for people who are sensitive to caffeine

2. NooCube

NooCube is a cognitive supplement that helps your brain focus, retain information, and boost your memory.

It provides a synergistic blend of vitamins, minerals, and other essential building materials for a healthy, well-functioning brain.

NooCube is a proprietary blend of natural ingredients such as Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, Cat's Claw, Bacopa monnieri, oat straw, L-theanine, and L-tyrosine.

It does not contain caffeine, unlike many other nootropics, but still gives you a clean boost in energy.

NooCube Pros:

  • Contains clinically proven ingredients that work synergistically
  • Boosts cognitive function, energy levels and supports memory retention
  • All-natural formula

NooCube Cons:

  • You need to take it regularly for maximum benefit

3. Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is marketed as the world's first universal nootropic and is intended to boost all aspects of cognitive function.

It contains 11 clinically-proven brain-boosting ingredients that will support memory, focus, concentration, mental clarity, energy, and learning.

Mind Lab Pro does not contain caffeine, but it does include ingredients that complement it, improving its effect significantly. For a smooth lift, take 2 capsules with your morning coffee. Clean, calm, jitter-free mental energy is needed to power up for the day.

Mind Lab Pros:

  • You get 11 powerful nootropic compounds in one blend
  • It can help improve focus, energy, memory, and cognitive function
  • The capsules are easy to take and don’t have any unpleasant taste
  • It is vegan-friendly and has no artificial colors or preservatives

Mind Lab Pro Cons:

  • Can be a bit pricey if you're on a tight budget

4. Citicoline

Citicoline is a nootropic compound that enhances focus, attention, and overall mental performance. This supplement also raises dopamine and acetylcholine levels associated with all executive brain functions like memory and learning.

Citicoline is usually used as a foundational supplement for the nootropics stack due to its safe interactions with other memory-enhancing drugs. It is also easily absorbed by the body and has high bioavailability.

Citicoline is also a research-backed nootropic. A clinical study shows that supplementation with a higher dosage of Citicoline significantly improves older adults’ mental processing and cognitive functions [1].

Citicoline Pros:

  • Boosts cognitive function
  • Increases dopamine and acetylcholine levels
  • Improves memory and energy
  • Helps protect the brain from age-related damage

Citicoline Cons:

  • May interact with certain medications such as antiparkinsonian drugs

5. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is an herbal nootropic known to fight different kinds of stress. Russian, Chinese, and Scandinavian traditional medicines commonly use this herb to combat fatigue or burnout.

Research shows that Rhodiola Rosea has physical and mental benefits as a powerful adaptogen that prevents the negative effects of stress [2]. Aside from this, Rhodiola also improves mood, restores energy, and protects the brain from toxin damage.

It was also shown that Rhodiola is effective in combating chronic fatigue produced by repetitive low-intensity movements or prolonged high stress [3]. While this may not be as effective for professional athletes, Rhodiola may help energize both mind and body after a grueling day.

Rhodiola Rosea Pros:

  • An adaptogen that helps the body better cope with physical and mental stress
  • Improves cognitive function and reduces fatigue
  • Shown to have anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects
  • Mental energy booster

Rhodiola Rosea Cons:

  • Can be hard to find high-quality Rhodiola Rosea in stores

6. Caffeine

Caffeine is probably the best natural nootropic that you can get your hands on. This nootropic is often used in various everyday beverages such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks.

According to various studies, this psychoactive drug improves focus, mood, and alertness [4]. Caffeine also blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, which helps your body feel less tired and more alert.

Aside from being a source of energy, Caffeine also gives you faster reaction times. The physical and mental energy you get from a caffeine supplement will be beneficial as you review for an exam or stay awake to be more productive.

Caffeine Pros:

  • Boosts alertness
  • Fights drowsiness
  • Increases focus and mental energy
  • Heightens concentration

Caffeine Cons:

  • Not suitable for people with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

7. Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is one powerful nootropic that enhances cognition and fights physical and mental fatigue. ACLAR also combats aging effects by improving the brain function of people with age-related cognitive decline.

ACLAR also crosses the blood-brain barrier easily and works within the brain cells by maintaining cellular integrity. This naturally-occurring nutrient is also a precursor of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter associated with learning.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine Pros:

  • Aids in the production of energy
  • Enhances cognitive function and memory
  • Helpful in age-related cognitive decline
  • Shown to help treat depression

Acetyl-L-Carnitine Cons:

  • May cause fishy body odor in high dosages

8. Curcumin

Curcumin is a natural nootropic that is an active component of turmeric, a powerful antioxidant.

This turmeric component shows potential neuroprotective efficacy as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which can protect your body against free radicals and inflammation [5]. Taking this brain-boosting supplement could also support your cognitive function and promote a healthy mood.

Curcumin could also boost neurogenesis, the production of brain cells essential for learning. It also stimulates neurotransmitters such as serotonin associated with good mood, cognition, and focus.

Curcumin Pros:

  • A natural anti-inflammatory that can help to ease pain
  • The potential to improve cognitive function and energy levels
  • Has neuroprotective effects
  • Helps to improve symptoms of depression

Curcumin Cons:

  • Most of the benefits only come when stacked with black pepper (Piperine)

9. L-Theanine

L-Theanine, which you can find in green tea, is one amino acid that modulates brain functions. It supports the production of certain brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.

Theanine influences your mood, emotion, sleep, and how your body deals with the causes of stress. This compound also aids in producing alpha waves in the brain, which leads to restful alertness.

Users usually combine (also called stacking) L-Theanine with caffeine as it balances the substance’s jittery effects through its calming benefits.

A study also shows how taking L-Theanine with caffeine and L-Tyrosine may enhance energy production in athletes whose sports require fast body movements [6].

L-Theanine Pros:

  • Can improve cognitive function and mental alertness
  • Helps reduce stress and anxiety
  • Can improve sleep quality
  • Works extremely well for energy when stacked with caffeine

L-Theanine Cons:

  • Causes drowsiness in high doses

10. Phenylpiracetam

Phenylpiracetam is a nootropic from the Racetam family. It is a derivative of Piracetam, another nootropic compound. This nootropic’s only difference with Piracetam is the added phenyl ring, the same structure as amphetamines.

Aside from its brain-boosting effects and improvement in energy levels and well-being, Phenylpiracetam also has anxiolytic properties that improve mood and reduce anxiety levels when in a high-stress environment.

Russian cosmonauts use this nootropic to combat stress when working in space without affecting memory and cognitive performance.

Phenylpiracetam Pros:

  • Increases focus
  • Encourages wakefulness
  • Boosts motivation and energy levels
  • Heightens sensory perception

Phenylpiracetam Cons:

  • Hard to get your hands on
  • Can be expensive

11. Modafinil

Modafinil is a powerful stimulant for wakefulness, a drug developed to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders.

Aside from inducing wakefulness and alertness, it also has a list of brain-boosting benefits like enhancing focus and memory, stimulating the mind, and increasing motivation, productivity, and energy. It has also been shown to improve mood even for people who are in a sleep-deprived state [7].

Modafinil also helps reduce fatigue perception and extend the time to exhaustion during high-intensity exercise.

Modafinil Pros:

  • A powerful nootropic that can help to improve focus, energy and motivation
  • A wakeful drug that can help people to stay awake for long periods of time
  • Can help to improve cognitive function in those with sleep disorders
  • Have potential as a treatment for ADHD

Modafinil Cons:

  • You need a prescription to obtain it in most countries

12. Noopept

Noopept is a fast-acting nootropic that contains both stimulant and anxiolytic properties. This supplement is also known for its memory-enhancing benefits and as a treatment for cognitive impairments.

Since we can use it as a treatment for cognitive decline, most research on Noopept is done on people with impairments like neurodegeneration, stroke, and other brain diseases [8].

Meaning to say we still don’t have any reported studies on Noopept’s effect on healthy humans. However, since it helps boost mind functions and enhance motivation, the reports from users are positive.

Noopept Pros:

  • Improves memory and recall
  • Enhances learning and comprehension
  • Aids in focus and concentration
  • Heightens sense of well-being and motivation

Noopept Cons:

  • Relatively expensive compared to other nootropics
  • Not sold in stores and hard to find online

13. Oxiracetam

Oxiracetam is a potent nootropic that enhances many mental processes like long-term memory, focus, and verbal fluency. It is a synthetic derivative of piracetam, a known potent nootropic.

Aside from the brain-enhancing benefits, Oxiracetam also acts as a mild psychostimulant that may enhance mental energy and motivation. This may offer you increased endurance to quickly perform various tasks without feeling tired. In an animal study, this nootropic shows help inhibit sleep and promote alertness by enhancing blood flow in the brain, thus improving energy metabolism [9].

Oxiracetam Pros:

  • Improves cognitive function
  • Enhances memory
  • Aids in learning and energy

Oxiracetam Cons:

  • Hard to find high-quality Oxiracetam
  • Not sold in stores

14. Sulbutiamine

Sulbutiamine is a derivative of Vitamin B1 or Thiamine. A lab in Japan developed this synthetic derivative to treat chronic fatigue and beriberi, a nervous disorder caused by a B1 deficiency.

While Sulbutiamine treats fatigue and thiamine deficiency, it may also benefit healthy people as it boosts memory and improves mental performance by promoting brain chemicals like acetylcholine.

Sulbutiamine may also boost your energy and mood by increasing glutamate levels.

Sulbutiamine Pros:

  • Boosts acetylcholine and energy levels
  • Improves mental clarity and focus
  • Enhances mood and motivation

Sulbutiamine Cons:

  • May interfere with sleep in some people

How To Choose The Right Brain Supplement For Energy?

brain

The way you choose a brain supplement for energy is to first understand how they work. There are three primary types of nootropics that can be used for energy:

  1. Stimulants: These nootropics work by stimulating the central nervous system, which can lead to increased alertness, energy, and focus. However, they can also cause jitters and anxiety in some people.
  2. Non-stimulants: These nootropics increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, improving cognitive function and energy levels. However, they may not be as effective as stimulants for some people.
  3. Blends: Blends usually combine stimulants and non-stimulants to provide a more balanced approach to energy. You get an all-in-one solution that can provide both energy and cognitive benefits.

The best way to find the right brain supplement for you is to experiment and see what works best for you. Some people do better with stimulants, while others do better with non-stimulants or blends.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Nootropics For Energy?

The benefits of using nootropics for energy are many. Nootropics can be beneficial for people who want to:

  • Increase their focus and concentration
  • Improve their cognitive function
  • Enhance their memory
  • Boost their energy levels
  • Improve their mental clarity
  • Reduce stress and anxiety

Regarding the benefits of nootropics for energy, it’s important to remember that not all nootropics are created equal. Some are more effective than others. The best way to find the right nootropic for you is to experiment and see what works best for you.

If you're looking for a place to start, we recommend Mind Lab Pro. Mind Lab Pro will give you the energy you need to power through your day while also providing other benefits like improved cognitive function and memory.

What Are The Side Effects Of Cognitive Enhancers For Energy?

14 Best Nootropics for Energy (Get Energized) 1

The side effects of cognitive enhancers for energy vary depending on the nootropic you take. As we briefly alluded to, some nootropics can cause jitters and anxiety in some people. If you’re sensitive to stimulants, it’s best to avoid them.

Other side effects may include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness

Some nootropic compounds can also interact with other medications you’re taking, such as SSRIs and blood thinners. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any nootropics, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking prescription medications.

Conclusion

All in all, nootropics are a great way to boost your energy levels and cognitive function. They come in different forms, so it's important that you do your due diligence on which type of nootropic is best for you. Experiment and find the one that works best for you.

If you're looking for a great place to start, we recommend Mind Lab Pro. Mind Lab Pro is a well-rounded nootropic that will give you the energy you need to power through your day while also providing other benefits like improved cognitive function and memory.

According to our research, the most effective ingredients for energy are featured in nootropic blends like Mind Lab Pro, Vyvamind, and NooCube, which help with focus, concentration, and energy. These blends are all-natural and safe for most people to take, but as always, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any nootropic supplement.

References

References
1Nakazaki, Eri et al. “Citicoline and Memory Function in Healthy Older Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 151,8 (2021): 2153-2160. doi:10.1093/jn/nxab119
2Anghelescu, Ion-George et al. “Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review.” International journal of psychiatry in clinical practice vol. 22,4 (2018): 242-252. doi:10.1080/13651501.2017.1417442
3Lekomtseva, Yevgeniya et al. “Rhodiola rosea in Subjects with Prolonged or Chronic Fatigue Symptoms: Results of an Open-Label Clinical Trial.” Complementary medicine research vol. 24,1 (2017): 46-52. doi:10.1159/000457918
4Pasman, Wilrike J et al. “Effect of Caffeine on Attention and Alertness Measured in a Home-Setting, Using Web-Based Cognition Tests.” JMIR research protocols vol. 6,9 e169. 7 Sep. 2017, doi:10.2196/resprot.6727
5Jakubczyk, Karolina et al. “Antioxidant Potential of Curcumin-A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 9,11 1092. 6 Nov. 2020, doi:10.3390/antiox9111092
6Zaragoza, Javier et al. “Effects of acute caffeine, theanine and tyrosine supplementation on mental and physical performance in athletes.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 16,1 56. 26 Nov. 2019, doi:10.1186/s12970-019-0326-3
7Thomas, Robert Joseph, and Kenneth Kwong. “Modafinil activates cortical and subcortical sites in the sleep-deprived state.” Sleep vol. 29,11 (2006): 1471-81. doi:10.1093/sleep/29.11.1471
8Amelin, A V et al. Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova vol. 111,10 Pt 1 (2011): 44-6.
9Mondadori, C et al. “Effects of oxiracetam on learning and memory in animals: comparison with piracetam.” Clinical neuropharmacology vol. 9 Suppl 3 (1986): S27-38.
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