9 Optimal Nootropics to Boost Your Reading Comprehension (and Retention)

Updated on March 19, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Explore the effects of optimal nootropics on enhancing reading comprehension and memory retention.

Do you want to find out what nootropics can help you stay focused and retain information while reading, in your academic and professional life?

Thankfully, there are numerous nootropic supplements out there that can help improve your overall reading comprehension and as well as memory and verbal fluency.

Today, we’ll be discussing the seven best nootropics that can help in this area of need. When you have endless distractions and a constant influx of information, remaining calm and understanding and retaining what you read is an essential skill and anything that offers a boost should be looked at.

Keep reading to learn more about these game-changing cognitive enhancers whether you’re a student preparing for an exam or a professional trying to stay on top of industry trends.

Shortlist of our Favorite Nootropics for Understanding and Grasping Written Text

  • Nooceptin — Best for improving cognition, memory, and focus
  • Mind Lab Pro — Best for boosting processing speed
  • Bacopa Monnieri — Best for enhancing overall cognitive function
  • Citicoline — Great for increasing attention span
  • ALCAR — Great for reducing mental fatigue
  • Phosphatidylserine — Best for improving memory retention
  • Uridine — Great for promoting brain cell growth
  • Theacrine — Best for enhancing energy and motivation
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom — Great for promoting healthy brain function

How to Choose Wisely

Selecting the right nootropics involves understanding the key factors that actually contribute to cognitive enhancement. Here’s a table of the top factors to consider.

FactorDescriptionWhy It’s Important
Ingredient TransparencyRefers to clear labeling of all active and inactive components in a supplement.Knowing exactly what you’re taking is crucial for safety and effectiveness.
Dosage and SynergyThe amount of each ingredient and how they work together.Proper dosages are necessary to achieve desired cognitive benefits without adverse effects.
Scientific BackingEvidence from clinical studies supporting the use of the nootropics.Ensures that the nootropics have been proven to be effective for cognitive enhancement.
Brand ReputationPublic perception and the credibility of the brand producing the nootropics.Trusted brands are more likely to deliver high-quality, consistent products.
Side Effect ProfilePotential negative effects that may arise from using the nootropics.Minimizing side effects is critical for long-term use and overall health.
  • Ingredient Transparency: Knowing the exact ingredients and their sources helps to avoid allergies and ensures that you are not consuming any harmful substances.
  • Dosage and Synergy: A nootropic’s effectiveness is often tied to having the right dosage; too little may be ineffective, and too much can be harmful. Understanding ingredient synergy is also crucial as certain combinations can enhance the cognitive benefits.
  • Scientific Backing: Clinical trials and peer-reviewed research provide credibility to the claims made about a nootropic’s efficacy. Supplements with substantial scientific support are generally preferred.
  • Brand Reputation: A brand with a strong reputation is likely to have higher manufacturing standards and a commitment to quality, which can impact the effectiveness of their nootropics.
  • Side Effect Profile: It’s important to consider the potential side effects and their impact on your daily life. The ideal nootropic should have a minimal risk of adverse effects to ensure it can be used safely over time.

The Best Nootropics on the Market in 2024

According to our in-depth research and testing, the top nootropics currently available in most countries are:

1. Nooceptin

Nooceptin is a widely popular nootropic that has been specifically designed for enhanced reading comprehension and information processing. It is a cognition boosting supplement that helps one to read better and faster, while improving attention, concentration and memory for a better understanding of the text. Nooceptin is made up of natural ingredients that work synergistically to enhance the brain’s cognitive functions, especially those involved in reading. It contains herbal extracts such as Panax Ginseng, L-Theanine, and Ginkgo Biloba, which are well known for their nootropic properties. These ingredients improve blood flow to the brain, providing the brain with the right nutrients to focus longer, and allowing one to avoid fatigue.


  • Helps improve focus, memory, and motivation
  • Promotes a calming and stress-relieving impact
  • Improves brain blood flow and neuron connections


  • Effects may not be instant

With Nooceptin, studying and absorbing information becomes so much easier in every capacity. It is perfect for students, writers, and anyone looking to improve their narrative reading comprehension. Nooceptin is highly recommended for its effectiveness and safety for daily use.

2. Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is a nootropic pill that may be the key to unlocking your brain’s full potential when it comes to memory and understanding what you just read (and retaining it too). This natural nootropic pill contains 11 scientifically proven brain-boosting substances that work together to improve cognitive performance. Mind Lab Pro is designed to target six different brain pathways, meaning it provides a well-rounded increase in cognitive ability. One of its most potent compounds is Citicoline, which helps with cell membrane production and repair, and has been proven to be neuroprotective. Another ingredient, L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that helps the body produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Additionally, the combination of adaptogens in Mind Lab Pro helps the body adjust to stress, preventing persistent weariness and cognitive damage. It helps improve both long-term memory and short-term memory. With its non-GMO and soy-free formula, Mind Lab Pro is suitable for individuals of all ages looking for an eco-friendly nootropic combination.


  • Enhances memory retention, brain energy, and mental clarity
  • Improves cognitive function and mental agility
  • Increases levels of acetylcholine and dopamine


  • Not recommended for pregnant or nursing females

Compared to other similar nootropics, Mind Lab Pro stands out for its quality and potency. So, if you’re looking for a nootropic to help improve your comprehension and understanding of text, Mind Lab Pro may be the perfect solution for you.

3. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri, also known as water hyssop or brahmi, is a popular nootropic that can help boost your mental performance when reading complex textbooks or course material. Bacopa Monnieri has been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries, and recent scientific studies have shown that long-term, moderate use of Bacopa nourishes and enhances neurons without being addictive or forceful like some psychostimulants. Studies found that chronic Bacopa administration had an overall greater positive impact on cognitive processes than modafinil, especially in the domain of memory.(1) It may also be clinically prescribed as a memory enhancer.


  • Improves memory and cognition
  • Alleviates anxiety and depression
  • Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress


  • Long-term safety and effectiveness have not been extensively studied
  • May cause digestive issues or headaches in some individuals
  • May interact with certain medications

Bacopa extract has been shown to help cognitive performance in adolescents with ADHD and has been demonstrated to improve intellect, concentration, and memory enhancement.(2) Overall, Bacopa Monnieri is a safe and effective nootropic that may overcome understanding and interpretation difficulties and provide a variety of other cognitive benefits.

4. Citicoline

Citicoline, also known as CDP-choline, is a popular nootropic that has been shown to improve cognitive function and promote neural repair. It works by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain, which are important for learning and memory. Citicoline has also been shown to improve blood flow to the brain, enhance energy metabolism, and protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. This nootropic is particularly beneficial for individuals with age-related cognitive decline, traumatic brain injury, or neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.(3) Some of the best food sources of citicoline include eggs, liver, and red meat, but it can also be found in supplement form.


  • Improves focus and attention
  • Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Has neuroprotective properties


  • May cause insomnia or jitteriness in some individuals
  • Limited research on long-term safety and effectiveness

The recommended dosage of citicoline varies depending on the individual and the specific goals they are trying to achieve, but studies have shown positive effects with doses ranging from 500mg to 2,000mg per day. As with any nootropic, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning supplementation to ensure safety and efficacy.


Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is a popular nootropic that is known for its ability to enhance brain function and cognitive performance. ALCAR is a natural compound that is produced in the body and can also be found in foods like red meat and dairy products. It works by increasing the production of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory processes. ALCAR has been widely studied and has been shown to improve cognitive performance in a variety of settings, including in older adults and individuals with cognitive impairment.(4)

Additionally, ALCAR has been shown to have neuroprotective effects, meaning that it can help protect the brain against age-related decline and damage from neurotoxins.(5)


  • Improves energy metabolism in the brain
  • Enhances memory and cognitive function
  • Alleviates symptoms of depression
  • Acts as a neuroprotectant


  • May increase blood pressure and heart rate in some individuals
  • May cause digestive issues or headaches

When taken in recommended doses, ALCAR is safe and well tolerated. Some individuals may experience mild side effects like nausea or gastrointestinal distress, but these are typically temporary and resolve with continued use. Overall, ALCAR is a promising nootropic for individuals looking to improve their cognitive abilities.

6. Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a nootropic supplement that has been shown to improve cognitive function, including comprehening text and other visual content. It is a phospholipid that is naturally produced in the body and is found abundantly in cell membranes, particularly in the brain. Phosphatidylserine is involved in a variety of cognitive processes, including memory formation, attention, and comprehension. Research has shown that taking phosphatidylserine supplements helps improve all levels of book learning by boosting working memory and information recall. It may also enhance concentration and attention, which are essential for reading complex texts.

Additionally, phosphatidylserine has been shown to have a positive effect on mood and helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can interfere with reading and writing skills.(6)


  • Improves cognitive function and memory
  • Reduces cortisol levels to alleviate symptoms of stress
  • Improves physical performance


  • May cause headaches in some individuals
  • Limited research on long-term safety

Overall, phosphatidylserine is a safe and effective nootropic supplement that can help improve cognitive function, particularly with regard to understanding of text.

7. Uridine

Uridine is a nucleotide that is naturally present in the human body. It is also found in various foods, such as tomatoes, broccoli, and organ meats. It enhances memory, learning, and overall cognitive function. Uridine is known to increase the production of dopamine receptors in the brain, enabling it to better communicate with nerve cells.(7) This increase in communication drives the brain to produce more acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for memory functions. Uridine also boosts the release of other neurotransmitters such as glutamate and GABA, which control mood and anxiety.

In addition, uridine can increase the production of phosphatidylcholine, which is a vital component of brain cell membranes. Phosphatidylcholine helps to improve neural signaling between cells, leading to better cognitive function. It is worth noting that uridine has been shown to have greater effects when combined with choline, a nutrient that helps with the synthesis of acetylcholine.(8)


  • Enhances mood and motivation
  • Enhances memory and cognitive function
  • Alleviates symptoms of depression


  • May need to be combined with other nootropics for proper effectiveness
  • May induce minor side effects

In summary, uridine is a nootropic that can improve memory, learning, and overall cognitive function by increasing the production of key neurotransmitters and enhancing neural signaling between brain cells.

8. Theacrine

Theacrine is a nootropic that is gaining popularity due to its ability to improve cognitive functions. It is a naturally occurring compound found in tea leaves that stimulates the nervous system, providing users with a boost in energy levels and mental clarity. Unlike caffeine, Theacrine does not cause jitteriness or anxiety, making it a more favorable option for those seeking a calm and focused brain state. Theacrine also improves mood and motivation, which are important factors in retaining reading material.(9) It does this by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, which improves attention and executive function.

Theacrine is commonly paired with caffeine to enhance its effects and provide a smoother stimulation.(10) It is important to note that Theacrine should be taken in moderation, as its long-term effects on health are yet to be fully understood.


  • Enhances cognitive function and alertness
  • Reduces feelings of fatigue and improves athletic performance
  • Does not cause jitters or insomnia like caffeine


  • Limited research on long-term safety and effectiveness

Overall, Theacrine is a promising nootropic for improving reading levels and providing a natural and sustained boost in energy and focus.

9. Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is a medicinal mushroom that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for its cognitive and neurological benefits. Lion’s Mane mushroom contains bioactive compounds called hericenones and erinacines, which can stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain.(11) These growth factors are essential for the survival, growth and differentiation of neurons, which are the basic units of the nervous system.

Lion’s Mane mushroom enhances comprehension by improving various aspects of brain function, such as memory, learning, attention, and mood. Studies have shown that it prevents cognitive decline, improves working memory and mental processing speed, reduces depression and anxiety, and increases creativity and curiosity.


  •  Protect against neural disease by stimulating nerve growth factor
  •  Enhances hippocampal function
  •  Supports immune system function
  •  Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties


  •  May cause allergic reactions in some people
  •  May interact with some medications

By boosting the health and plasticity of neurons, Lion’s Mane mushroom can help the brain process and retain information more efficiently and effectively. It is a natural and safe nootropic that can support reading and learning and overall cognitive performance.

How Do These Nootropics work for Reading Comprehension?

Nootropics and smart drugs that can help in reading comprehension work by enhancing cognitive functions that are essential for effective reading. These cognitive functions include working memory, attention, motivation, and processing capacities.

Working memory is particularly important for retaining semantic information while reading, while attention helps one stay focused on the material. Nootropics improve the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help regulate mood and reduce feelings of drowsiness. In doing so, they can help to improve overall cognitive processing and reduce feelings of fatigue that can be a barrier to effective reading. By enhancing these cognitive functions, nootropics can help readers absorb and understand the material more efficiently, improving memory retention and recall.

It’s important to note that nootropics do not offer an instant solution and must be taken consistently alongside other healthy habits, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet, to achieve the desired results. When used correctly, they can be a valuable tool for supporting the reader in achieving their reading and study goals.

What to Consider Before Buying Nootropics of this Sort

Before purchasing nootropics in this category, consider the following factors to ensure you make an informed decision.

1. Compatibility with Your Health Profile

Understand how a nootropic may interact with your current health status, including any medications you may be taking. Some compounds may not be suitable for individuals with certain health conditions.

2. Your Specific Reading Goals

Identify what you want to improve in your reading. Is it focus, memory retention, processing speed, or something else? Look for nootropics that target those particular cognitive areas.

3. Long-Term Use and Sustainability

Consider whether the nootropic is suitable for long-term use. Some substances may be great for short-term gains but could have diminishing returns or potential health risks over time.

4. Cost and Value

Evaluate the cost of the nootropic against the benefits it provides. The most expensive option isn’t always the most effective, and it’s important to find a product that offers good value for money.

5. Lifestyle and Daily Routine

Assess how the nootropic fits into your daily routine. You’ll want a supplement that complements your lifestyle, whether you’re a student, a professional, or someone who reads extensively for leisure.

By taking into account these factors, you can choose a nootropic supplement that not only improves your reading skills but also aligns with your overall health and cognitive enhancement goals.

How We Picked the Top Supplements

Our selection process involved a thorough evaluation to identify the best nootropics for enhancing literary interpretation. We took into account factors such as effectiveness, active ingredients, brand reputation, product transparency, manufacturing procedures, user feedback, price, and overall value. This diligent approach enabled us to provide readers with a trustworthy and comprehensive list of the top nootropics in their class.


We focused on examining scientific research and user experiences to determine how these nootropics influence reading, attention span, and information processing capabilities.


We carefully analyzed each product’s formula, prioritizing evidence-based, natural, and high-quality ingredients that support better reading and comprehension and cognitive function.

Scientific Evidence

We consulted peer-reviewed articles and meta-analyses to substantiate the effectiveness of key ingredients in boosting reading and overall comprehension.


We evaluated appropriate dosages and ingredient ratios in line with existing research to ensure maximum potency.


We ensured the safety of all elements in the nootropics by considering potential side effects and interactions while confirming compliance with regulatory guidelines. Ingredients approved by the FDA were given preference.

Brand Reputation

We assessed brands’ reliability and trustworthiness based on customer reviews, expert recommendations, and their established history.

Product Transparency

We put a premium on complete disclosure of ingredients, including their sources and concentrations, enabling consumers to make informed decisions.

Manufacturing Process

We evaluated manufacturing standards, prioritizing products produced in certified facilities and adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

User Reviews

We examined genuine customer feedback, emphasizing testimonials that describe improvements in narrative grasp, complex course material learning and general cognitive function.


We compared product prices, ensuring they were competitive and reflective of the nootropic’s quality and effectiveness.


We analyzed overall value by considering the balance between price, quality, and effectiveness. This helped to guarantee optimal return on investment for potential users.

In Summary

Reading comprehension is a vital skill that can help one succeed in various aspects of life, such as education and career. However, this can be challenging for many people, especially when faced with complex or unfamiliar texts. Fortunately, there are several nootropic supplements that help you improve in this area by enhancing cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and mood.

These nootropics include Nooceptin, Bacopa Monnieri, Citicoline, ALCAR, Phosphatidylserine, Uridine, Theacrine, Mind Lab Pro, and Lion’s Mane Mushroom. Each of these nootropics has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, and one should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any nootropic stack or supplementation regimen.

Nootropics for reading and learning text-based content are not magic pills that can make one a better reader overnight. They require consistent use and a proper dosage to achieve optimal results. They also work best when combined with other healthy habits, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep. By using nootropics, one can boost their cognitive performance and enjoy the benefits of improved reading skills. Nootropics can help boost memory, both short-term and long-term, and enhance information processing speed and accuracy.

Whether one is a student preparing for an exam or a professional trying to stay on top of industry trends, nootropics can be a valuable ally in achieving one’s reading goals. However, it is important to note that the effective dose of each nootropic may vary depending on the individual and their specific needs.


Can nootropics replace good reading habits?

While nootropics may enhance cognitive function, they should not be viewed as a replacement for good reading habits. Consistent reading practices and exposure to diverse materials will always be essential for improving reading and understanding.

Are natural nootropics better than synthetic ones?

Natural nootropics are generally preferred over synthetic ones because they tend to have fewer side effects and are safer to consume. However, synthetic nootropics can also be effective if used correctly and in the right dosage.

Can nootropics help with learning disabilities and reading disorders?

Nootropics may be a useful supplement to traditional treatments for learning disabilities and reading disorders. However, it’s essential to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the proper course of treatment.

Can nootropics replace the need for practice and repetition in reading?

No, nootropics can complement the practice and repetition of reading but cannot replace it. Reading is a skill that improves with practice, and nootropics can enhance cognitive function but cannot substitute for hard work and perseverance.

Can nootropics improve reading for everyone?

No, nootropics may not work for everyone because individual results may vary depending on many factors such as genetics, lifestyle, diet, and other underlying health conditions. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements to ensure safe and effective use.

Can children take nootropics?

No, children should refrain from taking any supplements or drugs unless prescribed by a healthcare professional. It is essential to follow age-appropriate guidelines and to discuss any health concerns with a pediatrician.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Neale, Chris et al. “Cognitive effects of two nutraceuticals Ginseng and Bacopa benchmarked against modafinil: a review and comparison of effect sizes.” British journal of clinical pharmacology vol. 75,3 (2013): 728-37. doi:10.1111/bcp.12002 ↩
  2. Fatima, Urooj et al. “Pharmacological attributes of Bacopa monnieri extract: Current updates and clinical manifestation.” Frontiers in nutrition vol. 9 972379. 18 Aug. 2022, doi:10.3389/fnut.2022.972379 ↩
  3. Jasielski, Patryk et al. “Application of Citicoline in Neurological Disorders: A Systematic Review.” Nutrients vol. 12,10 3113. 12 Oct. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12103113 ↩
  4. Nasca, Carla, et al. “Acetyl-l-carnitine deficiency in patients with major depressive disorder.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115.34 (2018): 8627-8632. ↩
  5. Hudson, Sheila A., Naji Tabet, and Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group. “Acetyl‐l‐carnitine for dementia.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010.1 (1996). ↩
  6. Starks, Michael A et al. “The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 5 11. 28 Jul. 2008, doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-11 ↩
  7. Pizzorno, Giuseppe, et al. “Homeostatic control of uridine and the role of uridine phosphorylase: a biological and clinical update.” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease 1587.2-3 (2002): 133-144. ↩
  8. Baumel, Barry S et al. “Potential Neuroregenerative and Neuroprotective Effects of Uridine/Choline-Enriched Multinutrient Dietary Intervention for Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Narrative Review.” Neurology and therapy vol. 10,1 (2021): 43-60. doi:10.1007/s40120-020-00227-y ↩
  9. Sheng, Yue-Yue, et al. “Theacrine from Camellia Kucha and its health beneficial effects.” Frontiers in Nutrition 7 (2020): 596823. ↩
  10. He, Hui et al. “Assessment of the Drug-Drug Interaction Potential Between Theacrine and Caffeine in Humans.” Journal of caffeine research vol. 7,3 (2017): 95-102. doi:10.1089/jcr.2017.0006 ↩
  11. Hwang, Juen-Haur, et al. “Hericium erinaceus enhances neurotrophic factors and prevents cochlear cell apoptosis in senescence accelerated mice.” Journal of Functional Foods 66 (2020): 103832. ↩