Best Nootropics feature image

Best Nootropics

WellStart Health is reader supported. We may earn a commission when you purchase through links in our content. Our reviews are fact checked for accuracy and adhere to our strict editorial guidelines.

Do you know what to look for when shopping for a safe and effective nootropic? Here’s a guide on all the ingredients to look out for, and some of the best nootropic supplements to help you on your way.

Everything about the world today means that keeping our minds sharp is more critical than ever. And the best nootropics are increasingly showing their worth as the perfect solution to fine-tuning our brains’ abilities.

While many nootropic ingredients have been used for centuries, scientific studies are only recently learning more and more about which work best.

So which nootropic has the most effective formula? Do nootropics really work, and if so, how?

I’ll guide you through everything you need to know about nootropics, most specifically the ingredients to look out for, and of course the best nootropics we’ve tried and tested.

Quick Verdict: Our Top Pick – Mind Vitality Focus

Mind Vitality Focus bottle

Mind Vitality Focus gets the number one position in this list of best nootropics.

It uses all the solid ingredients you need in a nootropic for cognitive health, with sound scientific research holding them up. The three blends tackle all you need for improved cognitive ability, with generous yet sensible dosages.

It works effectively at sharpening your focus, elevating your mood and mental energy, and wiping brain fog to leave you with a powerful, healthy mind.

Mind Vitality also offers a confident 100-day guarantee. I highly recommend you give it a try.

What Are Nootropics?

Often referred to as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers, nootropics aim to offer a spectrum of benefits to our mental performance.

The term is derived from the Greek words “nous,” meaning mind, and “tropos,” meaning turning. Here are the benefits you can expect when supplementing with an effective nootropic:

Enhanced Memory: Improvements in short-term and long-term memory. An effective nootropic will help with information retention, recall, and overall cognitive flexibility.

Improved Focus and Concentration: Sharpened mental ability, allowing us to stay attentive for extended periods and engage in tasks with heightened clarity.

Increased Mental Energy: A sustainable boost in mental energy, reducing fatigue and supporting sustained mental effort. People often describe it as a ‘calm’ energy, without hyper jitters.

Heightened Creativity: Enhanced creative thinking, enabling us to approach problems with novel solutions and think beyond conventional boundaries.

Mood Enhancement: A positive boost to our mood, potentially alleviating symptoms of stress, anxiety, or mild depression.

Remember, everyone reacts differently to nootropics. While I’m about to share my top picks, it doesn’t remove the fact that each individual needs to find their own perfect match. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

The 7 Best Nootropics In Our Tests

When I study and trial a nootropic, I focus on quality, research, and generously dosed, transparent formulas. Now, let me share my insights on the seven top-rated nootropics I’ve discovered, perfect for those of us looking to enhance cognitive functions in a safe and effective manner.

Mind Vitality Focus

Mind Vitality Focus nootropic

Topping my list is Mind Vitality Focus.

As my first choice, I’ve found this nootropic offers a comprehensive cognitive enhancement package. It’s known for improving focus, memory, and mental clarity. What makes it stand out is the blend of ingredients that support all these areas simultaneously.

Mind Vitality Focus brings together a powerful mix of 17 quality ingredients, vitamins and minerals tailored towards optimizing brain health.

These are delivered in their Ignition Tri-Factor matrix, where they’ve created three different blends that tackle three different areas of cognitive health: The Stress Kill Switch; The Brain Focus Matrix; and the Cognitive Accelerators.

Just look at this sensational list of nootropic gems, all of which feature amongst the best ingredients to look out for, at the end of this article:

  • Phosphatidylserene
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Mucana Extract
  • Ginsing Korean
  • Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract
  • Huperzine A
  • Lion’s Mane
  • Ashwagandha
  • N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Pine Bark Extract
Mind Vitality Focus ingredients list

And these just form the core of it. Credits to this impressive blend, Mind Vitality Focus stands as a frontrunner for cognitive spark, allowing users to go beyond their mental limits.

Why Mind Vitality Focus Is Our Top Pick

To name just a handful of reasons why Mind Vitality Focus stands out, it would start with its potency.

This supplement exhibits a remarkable ability to sharpen focus, fortify mental clarity, and nurture sustainability in periods demanding unwavering concentration.

Unlike other products such as VyvaMind or Kaged Mindset that may be better suited to specific needs, Mind Vitality Focus offers an all-inclusive approach to cognitive enhancement. It’s perfect for executives, professionals, and anyone else seeking a well-rounded boost in their mental agility.

It’s easy to take, offers value for money and comes with a money back guarantee.

Hunter Focus

Hunter Focus Bottle

Next is the powerful Hunter Focus. This nootropic from the reputable Roar Ambition has a rapid onset and potent effects, making it perfect for those requiring immediate cognitive enhancement.

When I’m in need of a quick boost, Hunter Focus certainly delivers.

This UK-based company has woven together a cocktail of 20 natural ingredients to target cognitive function, memory, and focus.

This array not only includes mainstream nootropic elements like Ginkgo Biloba and Citicoline, but also introduces intriguing components such as Lion’s Mane Mushroom and Bacopa Monnieri.

Like Mind Vitality, Hunter Focus also directly confronts different cognitive aspects with 3 blends:

Concentration Activation
  • Citcoline
  • L-Tyrosine
  • L-Theanine
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Spanish Sage
Memory Matrix
  • Lion’s Mane
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Rhodiola Rosea Extract
Mood Amplification
  • Phosphatidylserene
  • Ashwagandha Root
  • Caffeine Anhydrous
  • Panax Ginseng

As a total package, Hunter Focus is elite. It stands out by offering a well researched and robust formula that pitches a top spot against the most fiercely competitive nootropics. The positive reviews it received verify my thoughts on its potential.

It’s a commendable blend of traditional and innovative ingredients which could be the seekers’ choice among natural nootropics.


In third place is NooCube, a nootropic supplement that is beginner-friendly due to its balanced, stimulant-free blend of cognitive enhancers. It shines in its capacity to improve memory, focus, and mental clarity. I recommend it as a great starter option for those dipping their toes into the world of nootropics.

NooCube contains a unique blend of potent nootropic elements that sets it apart from many contenders. Predominantly, it is packed with high-end ingredients like Lutemax 2020, a derivative of the prolific marigold plant.

Unlike Alpha Brain, which relies heavily on traditional stimulants, NooCube’s formulation is caffeine-free, eliminating jitters and crashes common to its caffeinated rivals.

Noocube V3 Ingredients
  • Lutemax 2020
  • Panax Ginseng
  • L-Theanine
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Pterostilbene
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Choline (VitoCholine)
  • Reserveratol
  • Cat’s Claw

Lutemax 2020 makes up a significant part of NooCube. It includes essential nutrients for brain health that have demonstrated prowess in bolstering several areas of brain function, such as memory retention, listening comprehension, and visual sharpness.

It’s a well-rounded ingredient list that ensures NooCube holds its weight against other market players like Mind Vitality, and often finds itself right at the top of our nootropics trials.

I’ve used NooCube for many years, and I respect how frequently they check in on enhancing their formula. They’ve recently made a number of changes to make it suitable for more of us, such as making it gluten free, soy free, suitable for vegans, allergen free, and more bioavailable.

These factors lend NooCube a distinct appeal, setting it apart from contenders and making it a robust choice for those wanting to optimize their cognitive abilities.

Mind Lab Pro

Mindlab Pro package

Taking the fourth spot is MindLab Pro. This nootropic has proven effective for improving memory and focus, enhanceing cognitive functions, and unlocking long-term brain health benefits.

As a product with dual benefits, it’s definitely worth considering.

The key strength of Mind Lab Pro lies in its inclusion of 11 research-backed nootropics.

It’s not the most extensive, but has a number of big hitters, including Citicoline, Phosphatidylserine, Lion’s Mane, Bacopa Monnieri and more, with a lot of scientific backing underpinning their efficacy.

Its punchy ingredient list us what gives Mind Lab Pro an impressive edge.

But what does this mean for you, the user? It’s simple. Mind Lab Pro offers a potent blend of nootropic ingredients that work in tandem to boost your brain health and cognitive performance. Users have noted marked enhancements in areas of mental fatigue, reaction time, memory retention, and decision-making skills.

To conclude, the richness and effectiveness of Mind Lab Pro’s ingredients place it as a top contender on my list of best nootropics. It delivers a compelling, credible performance backed by science.

While these are my top four, there are three others worth mentioning: VyvaMind, Kaged Mindset, and Alpha Brain. Whether you’re into sports, a student, or a working professional, these nootropics are worth considering. Here’s why.


Vyvamind bottle

Vyvamind boasts a blend of cognitive-enhancing ingredients that make it one of the best products in its category.

Its straightforward formula contains no speculative ingredients with uncertain effects – only four established compounds centered on the combination of caffeine and L-theanine.

The first two components L-theanine and caffeine are not only effective on their own, but also have a solid synergistic impact.

L-theanine lowers caffeine’s adverse effects while increasing benefits such as improved working memory and alertness.

The other two components are citicoline and L-tyrosine.

The first may boost episodic memory, focus, and motivation, while the second enhances working memory and executive function. Unfortunately, the two are only dosed roughly at half the recommended amounts.

However, I’ve used Vyvamind successfully and experienced a nearly immediate improvement in energy and clarity, as is expected with caffeine and L-theanine.

Vyvamind also combines critical vitamins B6 and B12, which help to combat cognitive decline and mood imbalances while aiding in homocysteine metabolism, which is tightly linked to cognitive performance.

The orchestrated balance in Vyamind’s formulation minimizes side effects, proving it to be as secure as it is efficient. It can boldly stake its claim among the most successful nootropics.

Kaged Mindset

Kaged Mindset tub

Kaged Mindset is a great option for a lot of us for two reasons. First, it comes in powder form, mixing into a rather tasty drink.

This is perfect for anybody who struggles with swallowing capsules, which is the typical of form of delivery for nootropics.

Secondly, it also comes in two variations, with or without caffeine, giving us the choice between a stimulant or without. It’s a unique nootropic that delivers on its claims.

The primary elements in Kaged Mindset which claim to boost cognitive functionality include caffeine and Alpha GPC, which is a natural choline compound that lends a solid foundation to brain health and cognitive function.

Kaged Mindset offer a patented, purer form of Alpha GPC, called AlphaSize.

The Cereboost proprietary blend in Kaged Mindset is center stage here. This unique blend is designed to elevate mental clarity and sharpen focus. It also includes its Ioniplex Mineral complex, which is filled to the brim with helpful minerals.

Kaged Mindset offers a helpful collection of blends here, packing quite a lot into a robust formula. It’s had a lot of positive results from users, and I too enjoyed trialing it, feeling noticeable improvements from both the caffeine and caffeine-free version.

The options we’re given and in a powder form too makes Kaged Mingset an innovative, effective nootropic.

Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain Bottle

Last but not least is Alpha Brain. This nootropic gets a lot of attention, mostly as a knock-on effect from the promotional efforts of Joe Rogan, who is financially connected to it.

But what’s it really like, behind all the marketing noise? The big no-no in Alpha Brain is its proprietary blend – it tells us what’s in it, but not how much of each.

So where there are positive results in studies for certain ingredients, these studies are based on certain dosages – and we simply can’t see how effective the dosages are in Alpha Brain.

Still, it does include some decent ingredients…

Alpha Brain firmly embraces the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

It offers three blends based on ‘Focus‘, ‘Flow‘, and ‘Fuel‘, with ingredients renowned for their cognitive enhancing capabilities.

Chief among them is Bacopa, a natural herb long praised for its memory-boosting properties. Paired with antioxidant-rich Cat’s Claw plant, these two elements formulate a potent duo for combating mental fog.

The presence of Huperzine A, another natural nootropic, sees Alpha Brain addressing memory recall, one aspect often overlooked in some of its counterparts like Mind Lab Pro and VyvaMind. Add in L-Tyrosine, an amino acid that bolsters alertness and focus, and it’s evident Alpha Brain aims for comprehensive cognitive enhancement.

But is Alpha Brain worth the hype? Not without knowing how much of each ingredient we have. Why hide it?

We fully tested Alpha Brain, and in that Alpha Brain review we studied each ingredient, its blend, and how effective it was when I used it myself. I did notice an improvement, actually. It does work. It loses points on lack of transparency, but still makes it to our list of helpful nootropics.

Though it’s not as good or comprehensive as our top scorers, a real Joe Rogan fan would love this option, and will likely see some cognitive improvements.

What Are The Best Nootropics Ingredients To Look For?

Here is a list of some of the most commonly used and highly effective nootropics ingredients to look out for when you’re assessing a supplement.

As always, if you have any medical conditions or take any medication, you must speak with your healthcare provider first, who will be able to advise you on your individual suitability and recommended dose.

Acetyl L-Carnitine

  • Boosts memory, mental alertness, fluid thought, and is a strong antioxidant.
  • Protects neurotransmitters, boosting the effectiveness of other nootropics.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 500 – 1,500 mg

Alpha GPC

  • Boosts acetylcholine levels in your brain, contributing to improved memory, cognition, learning and focus.
  • Protects against age-related memory loss.
  • Derived from soy.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 600 mg


  • Helps relieve stress, fatigue, restore energy and boosts concentration.
  • As an adaptogen and an antioxidant.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 250 – 500 mg

Luteolin (Artichoke Extract)

  • Improves brain’s messenger systems.
  • Improves cognition, memory, wakefulness, and protecting neurotransmitters in your brain.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 500 mg

Bacopa Monnieri

  • Helps prevent the chemical and physical effects of stress.
  • Used to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.
  • Boosts memory, concentration and reaction time.
  • Used for neuroprotection, and to balance neurotransmitters.
  • Binds to receptor sites to increase cognition and memory.
  • Has been shown effective in treating ADHD.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 450 mg (with 45% bacosides)

coffee beans in sack


  • Improves reaction time, alertness, memory and mood.
  • Influences acetylcholineepinephrine (adrenaline), and serotonin and boosts the use of dopamine.
  • Protective effect by boosting gene expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
  • May protect against developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Some may be sensitive to it and should avoid its use if so.

Cat’s Claw

  • Potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that support DNA repair, immune function and normal cell division.
  • Has been used to prevent inflammation, promote cerebral circulation, fight Alzheimer’s, and possibly even boost acetylcholine (ACh).

Recommended Daily Dosage: 250 to 350 mg


  • Common signs of choline deficiency can include; headaches, fatigue, memory problems, and muscle pain.
  • Precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

The way your body uses different sources of choline varies depending on the source, and mechanism of action. Common choline sources used as nootropics are explained next…

Choline Bitartrate 

  • Least costly and also weaker source of choline.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 500 mg – 5 grams

Choline Citrate

  • Slightly more concentrated form of choline.
  • Boosts memory and recall, cognitive abilities, and concentration.
  • Used to treat brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
  • Athletes like it for its ability to assist in cellular and muscle health and repair.
  • Available in powder, capsule or pill form.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 500 mg to 3 grams

Citicoline (CDP-Choline)

  • Highly bioavailable source of choline that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier.
  • Aids in the synthesis of acetylcholine in the body (the neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning).
  • Helps cognition or thinking.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 250 – 750 mg


  • Helps increase alertness, boosts mood and memory, may help improve mood.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 50 – 200 mg, depending on how your body responds to it.


  • Prevents other neurotransmitters from being released.
  • Effective for relieving anxiety and stress and helpful for sleep.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 250 – 500 mg

Ginkgo Biloba

  • Effective at slowing the effects of brain aging, in elderly memory loss, and slow thinking and reasoning.
  • Can offer significant improvements in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer patients.
  • Improves short-term memory and recall.
  • Effective in reducing stress and anxiety, and boosting mood.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 120 – 240 mg with food.


  • Can improve symptoms of anxiety, and boost attention, concentration, and memory.
  • Other species include American Ginseng and Siberian Ginseng. Panax Ginseng is preferred, and is used as a memory booster, improves mood, lower anxiety levels, and boosts stamina and endurance.

Recommended Daily Dosage: Look for ginseng extract of at least 3-5% ginsenosides. A good starting dose is 100 mg.


  • Boosts levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in your brain.
  • Improved memory, retention, cognition, and lucid dreaming.

Recommended Dosage: 200 mcg every 2 days or twice per week.

lions mane mushroom

Lion’s Mane

  • Prevents and treats nerve damage by boosting Brain Nerve Growth Factor, or neurogenesis.
  • Improves focus and attention, repairs brain cells, helps depression and anxiety.
  • May help manage other neurological problems like Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s and muscular dystrophy.

Recommended Daily Dosage: Depends largely on the strength of the extract. Try 500 mg to 3 gm per day depending on extract concentration.

L-Dopa (Mucuna Pruriens)

  • A precursor to the formation of dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine in your brain.
  • Dopamine deficiency is directly correlated with Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Enhances memory and learning retention.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 150 mg to 1 gm, depending on strength of the extract


  • Amino acid used for anxiety, learning, mood, and focus.
  • Works quickly to increase dopamine and serotonin – the “feel good” chemicals in your brain.
  • Can be stacked with caffeine for a synergistic effect to promote cognition, motivation and attention. Caffeine jitters are reduced when combined with L-Theanine.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 250 – 500 mg


  • Deficiency can result in brain fog, anxiety and depression, though sorely lacking in our food supply.
  • Helps improve memory and cognition.
  • Reduces anxiety, brain fog and depression.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 1 gram

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine

  • Highly bio-available form of the amino acid L-Tyrosine.
  • Helps with alertness, working memory, focus, and executive function.
  • Useful for cold, fatigue, prolonged work, stress, sleep deprivation, and those suffering with hypothyroidism.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 300 – 500 mg

Oat Straw

  • Improves attention, cognition, concentration and focus.
  • Contains gluten.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 800 – 1600 mg

pine bark extract

Pine Bark Extract

  • Helps boost cerebral blood flow by increasing nitric oxide which helps dilate blood vessels and repair/maintain blood vessel linings.
  • Protects neurons and other brain cells from oxidative damage.
  • Calms PMS symptoms, tames asthma and hay fever, and alleviates symptoms of ADHD.

Recommended Daily Dosage: up to 100 mg x3


  • Black pepper extract.
  • Used with other supplements for greater and faster absorption.
  • Sometimes seen as BioPerine® – a patented form of Piperine that is said to significantly enhance the bioavailability of various nutrients through increased absorption.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 5 – 20 mg

Rhodiola Rosea

  • Potent antidepressant effects, promotes relaxation and mental clarity.
  • Particularly beneficial in combating anxiety and increasing dopamine production.
  • Decreases depression and stress-related mood swings, reduces fatigue, stimulates energy and alertness, and boosts cognition.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 150 – 200 mg, or 50 mg when stacked with other ingredients.

Phosphatidylserine (PS)

  • Boosts cognition, focus, memory, and recall.
  • Derived from plant sources, such as soybean lecithin, or sunflower lecithin.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 100 – 300 mg


  • Boosts learning, memory and cognitive power in the hippocampus section of your brain.
  • Improves blood flow and boost brain health.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 20 – 250 mg


  • Improves motivation and focus.
  • Can be helpful for those dealing with ADHD.
  • Can sharpen memory, reduce anxiety, boost mood, and protect brain nerve cells from neurotoxins.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 500 mg – 2 grams


  • Essential trace element for optimal brain health and cognition.
  • Helps lower oxidative stress which protects brain cells and cerebral blood flow.
  • Low levels strongly connected with depression.

Recommended Daily Dosage: 30 mg


The vitamins we like to see in a nootropic for their multiple benefits are:

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Verdict On The Best Nootropics

Studying nootropics and their catalog of ingredients can seem complex, but when you know what to look for it starts to become a whole lot clearer.

Mind Vitality Focus nootropic

We’ve learned about what to look for in an ingredients list, and things to think about, such as whether you’d get on with a nootropic that contains caffeine.

Our top pick Mind Vitality Focus ticks all the boxes of a high quality nootropic supplement. It offers a potent formula with generous doses, excluding any unnecessary ingredients that have little to offer.

It doesn’t try to be inventive, and instead includes all the scientifically backed ingredients we know will make a positive difference to our cognitive skills.

I certainly noticed a positive difference when I trialed it, and keep it as one of my regular go-to nootropics. They also offer a 100-day money back guarantee, making it reassuringly worth seeing for yourself just how great Mind Vitality Focus really is.