23 Most Powerful Nootropics (Natural & Synthetic)

Updated on October 11, 2022
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

Nootropics are neuroenhancers that eliminate brain fog and improve memory and learning to achieve peak mental performance.

With the promise of cognitive enhancement, it has created a buzz in the market as many would want to gain a mental edge to perform complex tasks.

With the growing number of nootropic supplements in the market, it may be difficult to find the most effective and best nootropic that would help you achieve mental clarity and boost your cognitive performance to a higher level.

To know the best memory supplements that may help you improve focus and concentration, dive into this review and discover the wonders of brain booster pills.

Most Potent Natural Nootropics

According to our research and scientific evidence, the 23 most powerful nootropics are:

1. Mind Lab Pro

Designed as an all-in-one natural nootropic stack, Mind Lab Pro is one of the best nootropics for people who depend on having sharp focus and top mental capacity to function. This nootropic will give you the brain boost you need with an intense focus for 6-8 hours straight.

Mind Lab Pro offers improved brain functions thanks to the 11 research-backed nootropic ingredients proven to promote cognition. Some of the ingredients found in Mind Lab Pro are Bacopa Monnieri that fights cognitive decline; Rhodiola Rosea, which optimizes work capacity; and L-Theanine that boosts brain energy levels for alertness.

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Moreover, Mind Lab Pro contains no stimulants making it safer to consume in stacks and prevent the crash.

2. NooCube

If you want a brain-boosting supplement without worrying about the cost, then NooCube is a good choice.

Noocube is one of the best pills to boost your short-term memory. It contains seven effective nootropic ingredients to improve brain function for 8-10 hours on average. Some of the ingredients are Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, and Alpha GPC.

Moreover, Noocube helps with cognitive enhancement and focus without caffeine to give you jitters.

3. Onnit Alpha Brain

If you’re looking for an all-natural nootropic supplement that will boost your brain for 3-6+ hours, you may want to consider Alpha Brain to get productive.

This nootropic aims to target attention and executive mental functions, with published clinical trials to support its safety and effectiveness. It carries a few side effects like headaches and nausea but has no noted toxic substances and legality issues, making it one of the top nootropics to date.

Some of the ingredients included in its three proprietary blends are L Theanine, Vitamin B6, and Huperzia Serrata.

4. Performance Lab

Performance Lab is the best nootropic for cognitive performance, which is fit for older adults and students who want to get a temporary energy boost and mental clarity.

It improves mental performance while also protecting your brain from intense mental activities, helping you recover from doing complex tasks to avoid burnout. Performance Lab is also a basic premade nootropic stack safe for daily use.

The ingredients behind Performance Lab’s human brain booster effects are Cognizin and Sharp-PS Green, strengthening brain cell membranes. It also includes N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and Maritime Pine Bark extract that combat stress and promote long-term brain health.

5. Qualia Mind

Qualia Mind is a powerful over-the-counter smart drug that improves cognitive function, recall, and laser-like focus.

With 28 ingredients on its arsenal, Qualia Mind will get you the best results for your mental performance. It also includes Alpha GPC, L-Theanine, B-complex vitamins (vitamin B12, B6), and Rhodiola Rosea.

With its impressive cognitive effects comes a higher price. Qualia Mind is quite expensive than other nootropic supplements, with its $139 cost for a 30-serving bottle.

6. Brain Pill

Brain Pill is worth trying for an improved cognitive function whether you’re searching for short or long-term benefits.

Students and adults vouch that this smart drug is beneficial for high-stress jobs as it increases mental focus, productivity, and energy levels. It provides a competitive edge as you stay productive without feeling burnout.

Besides the effects on executive function, Brain Pill also aids in brain regeneration and brain health. This cognitive synergy effect comes from the 13 nootropic ingredients found in Brain Pill. Some of the notable ingredients are Vitamin B12, Phosphatidylserine, and Gingko Biloba.

7. Hunter Focus

Hunter Focus is designed to increase attention and focus on getting you in your flow state. This smart drug enhances blood flow to allow brain cells to receive more oxygen and nutrients, which results in improved brain function.

Dubbed as the best smart drug for professionals, Hunter Focus offers improved cognitive function, concentration, and mood. These prime results are produced by the nine of the best natural ingredients supported by clinical studies such as Citicoline, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, and Bacopa.

Smart Drugs Most With Powerful Ingredients

These are some of the ingredients that make above blends so powerful:

1. Caffeine

Caffeine is the most common and best nootropics that you can get your hands on easily. It is a natural stimulant and psychoactive drug that improves alertness while preventing fatigue. Once taken, it blocks adenosine receptors in your brain, making you feel less tired.

Aside from the mental benefits, it also gives you faster reaction times. Consuming a cup of coffee can already help you stay alert and energized for the day. However, taking too much coffee may be counterproductive as caffeine’s effects may also include anxiety and jitters.

2. L-Theanine

L-Theanine is an amino acid naturally found on tea leaves. It enhances alpha brain waves in the brain promoting “relaxed alertness” and increases creativity. Caffeine and L-Theanine are usually combined in nootropic stacks as the latter counteracts the jittery effects of caffeine.

3. Citicoline

Citicoline is a natural brain chemical and is later introduced as a prescription drug. It is used for Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, and cognitive impairment like age-related cognitive decline and memory loss.

With this, human research suggested citicoline to have a possible role in improving cognition and as a retardant agent for cognitive impairment and memory decline.

4. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is among the best nootropics that may improve mental function, enhance short-term memory, and protect brain health. It also defends you from emotional and mental stress as it helps balance stress hormones, thus promoting a balanced mood.

5. Lion’s Mane Mushroom

This mushroom contains two compounds called hericenones and erinacines that are said to stimulate brain cells’ growth. It may help slow down cognitive decline related to aging and improve its function with regular supplementation, as shown in a human study.

However, the effects disappear once supplementation stops.

6. Maritime Pine Bark

This antioxidant combats brain cell aging as it neutralizes free radicals. Aside from this, Pine Bark can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, which allows you to feel the benefits within an hour of taking it.

Pine Bark helps people experiencing brain fog by increasing cerebral blood flow and bringing more brain cells nutrients. It could also be an anti-aging and regeneration agent for improved memory.

7. Ginkgo Biloba

Gingko Biloba is a popular pure nootropics ingredient known for its antioxidant properties and improving blood flow in the brain. A clinical study shows Gingko Biloba’s effect on enhancing mental functioning and cognitive processing ability in older adults.

8. L-Tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is an amino acid shown to boost brain waves which can increase focus and prevent burnout. It facilitates high mental performance with increased clarity under stressful situations. L-Tyrosine also helps combat the brain drain that typically results from intense mental challenges.

9. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa is a wetland herb also known as water hyssop that contains powerful antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. Research shows taking 300 mg of this nootropic can increase processing speed and improve learning ability.

A clinical study showed that it could also be used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety agent for people with ADHD, memory loss, and other cognitive disorders.

10. Creatine

Creatine is a natural substance found in the body and brain. It is also found in animal products like eggs, fish, and meats.

According to researches, Creatinine can improve the executive functions of people who don’t eat meat. In a study, vegetarians who take creatine supplements experienced 25-50% improvement on a memory and intelligence test that required processing speed.

11. Panax Ginseng

Among the 11 species, Panax ginseng or Asian ginseng is known for its nootropic benefits. Clinical trials supported its efficacy for enhanced cognition, memory, anti-stress, and blood circulation.

With this, Panax Ginseng improves mood and reduces stress upon supplementation, as it works as an adaptogen that boosts GABA and provides an anti-stress effect.

12. Ashwagandha Extract

Ashwagandha is known as a stress-relieving agent by fighting the physical effects of stress. It is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components and its potential interaction with adrenal glands that are responsible for releasing stress hormones.

Aside from its anti-stress property, it also protects the central nervous system through nerve cells’ neuronal regeneration, which results in boosting synapses and restoring neuronal networks caused by degenerative diseases.

Synthetic Smart Drugs to Consider

These are for more advanced users only!

1. Modafinil

Modafinil is said to be among the most effective prescription smart drugs on the market. It is often used to treat sleep-related disorders like narcolepsy and has been available for medical use in the US since 1998.

Modafinil also enhances cognitive performance, although its nootropic benefits are still inconclusive. Among its effects are overall improved cognition, increased drive, enhanced memory recall and retention, and laser-like focus for 12-15+ hours.

2. Piracetam

Piracetam is sold as a dietary supplement in the US, while a prescription medicine for jerking spasms in the UK. While it is available as a medicine, Piracetam is not prescribed for nootropic purposes.

This brain supplement is also used to treat other health conditions like anxiety, depression, seizures, and dementia. Studies observe that Piracetam can increase the brain’s blood supply, thereby improving overall brain function.

3. Noopept

Noopept is a fast-acting nootropic that is a potent psychoactive drug developed in Russia. The benefits of this smart drug can be felt within minutes and would last for several hours.

Although animal studies have shown how Noopept improves memory retrieval, its conclusive results on healthy people have not yet been proven in scientific studies.

Moreover, Noopept is not available for over-the-counter purchases in the US, unlike other smart pills.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Cognitive Enhancers

In weeding out the ineffective nootropics, you must consider these factors to find the most powerful and effective ones.

Most nootropic supplements you see have common ingredients, while some contain unique ones that make them more effective. You must look for smart drugs whose ingredients are backed up by clinical studies in improving mental performance. Aside from the quality, you must also choose the best nootropic supplements that offer increased brain activity without crashing.

Product Guarantee
It is better to choose nootropics with a money-back guarantee as it allows you to try whether it works for you or not. You can already check its cognitive-enhancing benefits without worrying about the cost.

Not all costly nootropics guarantee powerful benefits, and not all low-priced supplements offer subpar effects. With this, you must know the right combination of a reasonable price and a good brain booster and whether the potency is worth the price or not.

What are Nootropics and Their Side Effects?

Nootropics are neuroenhancers that support brain health, enhance cognitive functions, memory, focus, and mental processing. It can be classified into two types: natural and synthetic.

what are nootropics and their side effects

The first type of nootropic consists of all-natural ingredients scientifically proven to improve cognitive functions for better memory. It includes amino acids, B vitamins, herbs, and plant extracts like Ginkgo Biloba and maritime pine bark extract. On the other hand, Synthetic smart pills are lab-created compounds primarily used in the medical field to treat mental health conditions.

Given the nootropic definition, you may wonder if, in exchange for its benefits, are nootropics safe?

Despite its brain-boosting benefits, nootropics also have a fair share of side effects. Since our body has different body chemistry, taking brain supplements may cause various interactions with our bodies. This is also true with misusing nootropic stacks or taking brain pills with subpar quality.

Some of the noted common side effects of nootropics are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Digestive issues
  • Insomnia

It is advised to monitor your nootropics consumption, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking other medications that may be contraindicated. It is essential to consult your physician first.

What’s the Best Nootropic?

No nootropics have it all. The best brain supplement for you may not be effective for others since we have different body chemistry.

whats the best nootropic

Since the ingredients have distinct target benefits, the effectiveness varies depending on your needs. For example, you may look for the best nootropic to target memory and focus, while others want the best supplement for mood enhancement.


The list of brain supplements above is just a few of the growing numbers of nootropics in the market. While these may be the most effective supplements among the rest, note that research on different nootropics is still ongoing. Thus, extensive conclusions on its efficacy are not yet final. If you want to know what nootropic supplement works best for you, this may serve as your guide but not the sole deciding factor.

Moreover, this nootropics review doesn't provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment for your health condition. Before taking these brain supplements, seek first the advice of your physician or other health professionals.