In the modern world, having your mental capacity firing on all cylinders is crucial to success. As we learn more about cognitive functioning, the more we turn towards our health and nutritional intake to ensure we are mentally sharp.
Nootropics have become a popular way to boost brain functions, with it being pretty widely accepted that supplementation can improve focus, clarity, memory, creativity, motivation and even intelligence.
Finding the right or best nootropics though is no easy task – and like many supplements, finding those nootropics that make a real difference can feel like a mentally exhausting challenge in itself.
Our aim is to save you time and energy when finding the best nootropics for your needs by researching, testing and shortlisting our favorites for you right here.
There should be something for everyone here, no matter your age, gender or your reason for wanting them. Each one will be better suited to a particular type of person so it is well worth browsing through our entire list rather than just going straight for our number one choice. However, if you are strapped for time or simply want a great all-rounder that is tried and tested – then going for our top pick should reap some great cognitive rewards for you.
NooCube – Our Top All-Rounder
Consistent top performer in our tests and has an impressive all-natural ingredient profile. Aids a wide range of cognitive functions.
NooCube – Our Top All Round Nootropic
NooCube aims to improve a wide range of brain functioning including boosting memory, improving concentration, providing more mental energy, enabling improved communicate and boosting all round brain functioning.
It also aims to do all of this without the need for caffeine – which is an ingredient commonly found in nootropics but something that can easily be obtained from other sources.
There are 7 key ingredients in NooCube, all of which are completely natural and safe to consume. The company behind the product (Wolfson Brands Limited) have also gone to great lengths to research each ingredient that goes in to their brain boosting supplement and provide citations to studies, showing exactly why each ingredient is included, on their website.
Wolfson is a company that is well known to us here at PathMed as they also produce some of our other top rated supplements, not least their testosterone booster offerings which also produce excellent results from a natural stack of ingredients.
It is not one of the cheapest nootropics on the market, but it is without a doubt one of the highest quality supplements and one of the most impactful of those we have tested. For those who are skeptical, the company offers an impressive 60 day money-back guarantee and their products can be shipped anywhere globally from their UK and US premises.
- Top rated brand
- Made and shipped from the UK and US to anywhere globally
- All ingredients are backed by clinical studies
- 100% natural ingredients
- 60 day money back guarantee
- Studies on some ingredients are limited
NooCube contains an impressive portfolio of natural ingredients – all of which are supported by clinical studies and all of which are designed to improve brain functions.
Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients included in NooCube:
Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha GPC): Regarded as a key natural ingredient that increases acetylcholine in the brain – which acts as a messenger to help brain cells communicate. In addition to being well known to help improve all-round cognitive functioning it has also been mooted as being a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s. NooCube cite a 2013 study that showed a clear improvement in psychometric testing in patients after just 90 days of taking Alpha GPC.
Huperzine-A: Derived from the Chinese Club Moss plant and works in tandem with Alpha GPC to prevent acetylcholine levels in the brain from dropping. This allows Alpha GPC to work more effectively and further improve the mental focus, clarity of thinking and memory functions. A 1999 study that supports its use as a nootropic saw patients suffering with Alzheimer’s disease benefit from a 58% improvement in memory compared to those who had been taking a placebo.
Bacopa Monnieri: Bacopa is an Indian herb and it’s inclusion in NooCube is down to its repairing properties – more specifically, the way in which it can help repair neurons and even help instigate the growth of new nerves. Again, studies have shown that taking a 300mg daily serving of Bacopa Monnieri for just 3 months can radically improve memory compared to those taking a placebo.
Cat’s Claw: Cat’s Claw is rich in anti-oxidants and has protective properties that aid neurological performance and help to give overall protection to the brain. It has been found to protect against cell damage in the brain and has been linked to giving greater protection against Parkinson’s disease. It is a naturally derived ingredient that is native to the Amazon Rainforest and is not something that you can generally substitute through diet alone.
L-Theanine & L-Tyrosine: These two amino acids both have strong links to providing cognitive benefits and are derived from green and black tea. L-Theanine has a unique impact on the brain that is thought to relieve stress but at the same time provide a certain level of focus. L-Tyrosine offers similar benefits and is thought to help us perform well in stressful situations thanks to its role in helping to produce dopamine and noradrenaline.
Oat Straw: This is an ingredient that has been used since the dawn of time and is found in wild green oats. It is also referred to as Avena Sativa and is thought to increase alpha-2 waves in the brain which in turn allows for greater blood flow to the brain and can also help to lessen inflammation in the brain. All of this provides a greater level of alertness and helps you feel full of energy.
We found NooCube to be the fastest acting and best all-round nootropic in our testing and our anecdotal results felt pretty profound. It’s always worth looking further afield at general user reviews though, and the testimonies for NooCube are extremely positive.
These testimonials go a long way to showing the positive impact that NooCube can have…
Hunter Focus – Ideal For Concentration
Hunter Focus has one of the most impressive profiles of all the nootropics we tested. In terms of what is packed in to each 6 capsule serving you really do get a lot for your investment – and that’s a good thing as it isn’t cheap – but you do get plenty for your money.
Hunter Focus is a supplement made by Hunter Evolve, one of our preferred suppliers when it comes to supplementation. When a supplement company focuses in on a small range of supplements (rather than tries to cash in on lots) this is usually a good sign and this certainly is the case with Hunter Evolve. They only have 3 products in their entire range – and Focus is one of them.
As the name suggests, this is a product that aims to give you laser focus and increased levels of concentration, but the ingredients they include have a multi-pronged attack that they break down in to the 3 areas – ‘concentration activation’, ‘memory matrix’ and ‘mood amplification’.
So essentially, Hunter Focus is aimed at three core areas of the brain – concentration, memory and mood. The ingredients are very clearly labelled and Hunter Evolve cite various studies to support the inclusion of each ingredient and link it to one of their 3 core aims.
Everything in Hunter Focus is of course naturally derived and there are no fillers or synthetic ingredients used. It is vegan friendly thanks to the vegetable cellulose capsule that is used and the products are manufactured in the UK and USA at FDA approved facilities.
- Excellent for concentration and mood
- Ships worldwide
- Free from synthetic ingredients
- FDA approved facilities
- Vegan friendly
- 6 capsules per serving is a lot to stomach
There are 9 core ingredients to be found in Hunter Focus, all of which have proven nootropic capabilities. In addition to these ingredients (which we shall detail in a moment) you also get a whole array of vitamin based benefits which include Vitamin B6, B9, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Vitamin K2. The daily dose of 6 capsules does feel a lot but they are packed full of natural ingredients and each bottle has a month’s worth of supply.
One of the things that gives Hunter Focus a lot more credibility is the amount of clinical studies they cite for each ingredient. Unlike some products we tested, they tend to cite 3-4 clinical studies per ingredient and each shows a pretty strong argument for the inclusion of that ingredient. Let’s take a look at the key ingredients included with Hunter Focus…
Concentration Based Ingredients: There are 3 key ingredients included in Hunter Focus that are primarily their for their concentration and focus improving qualities. These are Citicoline, L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine. The last two we saw in NooCube so we already have a good idea as to the benefits these provide, but Citicoline is one that is additional in Focus.
Citicoline is a chemical that is found naturally in the body and when you consume it the chemical splits in to choline and cytidine. Choline is then in turn converted in to actylcholine which is known to improve memory, learning skills and recall. Cytidine is also converted into uridine by the body and this helps to protect the brain and give you focus for longer.
These three ingredients are provided in generous supply with 500mg of L-Tyrosine, 200mg of L-Theanine and 250mg of Citicoline.
Memory Based Ingredients: Like many of the best nootropics, Hunter Focus includes Bacopa Monnieri and as we have already covered that in a fair amount of detail we’ll skip over that here. It is good to know though that you get a generous helping of 300mg of Bacopa in each serving.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom is highly regarded as a key ingredient with high neurotrophic properties and as such its inclusion in Hunter Focus is very welcome. It is known to help repair neurons which can lead to a higher level of alertness and improved memory functions. Each serving of Focus gives you 500mg of organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom.
The third ingredient designed to improve memory is Maritime Pine Bark. The studies to support this ingredient are numerous but far from conclusive but there is one small study that supports the theory that it can improve focus and memory. How well it actually improves ‘memory’ seems to be up for discussion but there is plenty to attest to its ability to increase blood flow to the brain and the benefits from that are numerous so we are happy to have it included – it certainly won’t do you any harm.
Mood Amplification Ingredients: There are two key ingredients in Hunter Focus that are designed to improve mood and they are Ashwagandha and Phosphatidylserine. Ashwagandha is found in many supplements but it does have certain qualities that really lend itself to nootropics. It can improve choline levels in the brain, repair axons and dendrites in the brain and improve memory. There are studies that support its use as a mood enhancer and motivation improver too.
Phosphatidylserine is known to help aid nerve growth factor in the brain and has also been shown to relieve stress with one particular study showing its benefit for those partaking in sports such as golf. Hunter Evolve cite no less than 7 studies that support its efficacy and one in particular showed that it could return cortisol to normal levels for those suffering from chronic stress!
Mind Lab Pro V4.0
Mind Lab Pro was one of the standout brain boosting smart drugs we found during our search for the best nootropic. It is manufactured in the US by Opti-Nutra and it ships globally from the UK and US with over 1 million customers across 6 continents.
Mind Lab Pro has evolved since its first inception and it is now on to V4.0. It’s great to see a company like Opti-Nutra (who class themselves as being an advanced nutraceutical company) continually strive to develop their product to be the best in class.
Mind Lab Pro V4.0 is made from completely natural ingredients – some of which you will now be familiar with and some that are unique to their product – and is labelled as a universal nootropic, meaning it has a multitude of brain boosting benefits.
Nootropics are useful for a range of people from all walks of life, but some do pitch themselves at certain types of consumer. Mind Lab Pro is very much aimed at a wide range of users and hence is labelled as a ‘universal nootropic’. Students, professionals, athletes, gamers, the young, the old – it doesn’t matter – they are confident that their smart pills will work wonders.
We tested Mind Lab Pro over a 1 month period and our testers were confident that they saw results within just days of taking the supplement. Two capsules per day is all that is needed to give you a boost in terms of focus, attention, motivation, memory, mood, energy, clarity and calmness. The dosage is not quite so high as some of the other nootropics we reviewed and for those who wish to you can take a further 2 capsules each day if required.
The first two capsules are recommended to be taken in the morning with breakfast and then if you feel you need that midday boost then you can take another two with lunch. As Mind Lab Pro V4.0 does not contain caffeine you can also still enjoy your usual caffeinated drinks or just enjoy the fact that you aren’t going to suffer from a caffeine crash at any point.
- Can increase dosage if required
- All natural ingredients
- Caffeine free
- Improved formula
- Excellent ingredient profile
- Relatively low dose of Bacopa Monnieri
There are 11 natural ingredients in Mind Lab Pro which include:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin B12
- Bacopa Monnieri
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract
The capsules are made from rice concentrate and Pullulan and are vegan friendly, soy free and allergen free.
We have seen some of these ingredients before so a word on the ones we know of first. There is a good 500mg dose of organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom which we know has strong neurotrophic properties and can aid in focus and memory and there is Citicoline (250mg) and Bacopa Monnieri (150mg) which we saw in Hunter Focus. L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine have been common through pretty much all the nootropics we tested and we also see a return of the Maritime Pine Bark Extract with Mind Labs Pro.
So although there is nothing new in terms of ingredients to what we have seen in the other nootropics tested, we really like the mix that you get with Mind Labs Pro and we also like the fact that it is all in just 2 capsules which makes it much easier to take each morning – with the option of taking additional capsules if you feel the need.
One of the real attractions of Mind Labs Pro is the amount of positive reviews and testimonials they have from real life users. Here is a selection that we found:
Alpha Brain is a daily supplement aimed at improving memory and focus. It is manufactured by the well known supplement company ONNIT and is famously supported by Podcaster and Comedian Joe Rogan.
There are a range of products sold under the ‘Brain Boosting’ umbrella on the ONNIT website and they also have a variety of nootropics that are focused around mood and sleep. We took an in-depth look at their main Alpha Brain product as well as their Alpha Brain Black Label which is marketed as a more potent and all-encompassing version of their primary nootropic supplement.
The Black Label product does start to get very expensive so we’d recommend starting out on the standard version first and that’s where we will focus most of our attention today.
The first thing to point out is that Alpha Brain has many of the same ingredients we have seen in the other nootropics we reviewed although it does have a couple of ingredients unique to their product too. The science behind their product is very solid and their marketing is even better. Don’t be concerned by their smooth talking marketing campaigns though, we found Alpha Brain to be a really effective nootropic with their claims being supported by the anecdotal results of our testing.
Alpha Brain includes three blends of ingredients – each one focusing on a different outcome for the brain. They have their ‘flow blend’ which is aimed at getting you in to a flow state – a scientific term that most of us might call ‘being in the zone’. When we are in a flow state we breeze through tasks without distraction and are able to generally accomplish much more in a set amount of time. We’ll discuss the ingredients they use to accomplish this shortly.
They also have their ‘focus blend’ which as the name suggests aims to increase concentration and focus levels – this is achieved by improving the performance of neurotransmitters – largely through helping the body to create more acetylcholine. Last they have their ‘fuel blend’ which is aimed at improving communication in the nervous system – to call this a blend is a little bit of a stretch as it is merely the inclusion of L-Leucine and Pterostilbene, but the science behind the ingredient is solid and they have just marketed it in the way that they felt was appropriate.
You do get pretty good value for money with Alpha Brain as each bottle contains a 45 day supply – whereas most on our list contain a 30 day supply. You take 2 capsules per day (recommended with food) and enjoy the benefits all day long. Like most nootropics we’d recommend taking them in the morning and doing so regularly to get the most benefit.
As ONNIT have created three blends it is hard to know with 100% certainty how much of each ingredient is in each blend. Some of this information is provided with the focus blend but the flow blend for example does not break down the individual amounts. That being said, ONNIT have gone to great lengths to research, test and analyze to find the perfect quantities for their blend and on the whole user reviews are very positive.
We certainly saw impressive results when using Alpha Brain with focus and concentration being the two biggest areas of improvement.
- 45 day supply per bottle
- Good value for money with standard range
- Excellent for focus
- All natural ingredients
- Includes Toothed Clubmoss
- Marketing language is a little fluffy
- Low dose of Bacopa
Having touched on the ingredients in Alpha Brain already, let’s take a look at each blend in more detail.
Flow Blend: Here we see 4 ingredients that we have seen in the other nootropics. They are L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Oat Straw Extract and Phosphatidylserine. In total you get 650mg of these ingredients which overall seems to correlate well with what we have seen in terms of ingredient quantities in the other supplements. Onnit also include Cat’s Claw as an addition to this blend of which there is 350mg and this is welcome addition.
Focus Blend: The focus blend contains a total of 240mg with Alpha GPC (which we saw in NooCube), 100mg of Bacopa Monnieri extract and 400mcg of Toothed Clubmoss extract all combined to help give you focus and concentration. The 100mg of Bacopa is quite a way under what we get from other products (Hunter Focus gives you 300mg) but this should still be sufficient to have an impact and the inclusion of Toothed Clubmoss (Huperzia Serrata) which is used to aid patients with Alzheimers is a very welcome addition.
Fuel Blend: With 60mg in total of L-Leucine and Pterostilbene (an anti-oxidant that may improve cognition) the fuel blend is designed to improve communication in the nervous system and protect the neurons in the brain for the long term.
Alpha Brain has a really strong ingredient profile and but for the lower does of Bacopa Monnieri it stacks up well against the other products reviewed. There is little need to separate the blends but for marketing, but the whole blend of ingredients put together works well. If you want to go one step further then you could opt for Alpha Brain Black Label but for those just starting out with nootropics the profile of the standard supplement should give real cognitive benefits.
User reviews are generally positive for Alpha Brain with an overall rating of 4/5 stars. The quality of product fairs better than the value of product with a 4.1 rating compared to 3.7 for value.
Here are some reviews we found…
Centrapeak is not just a nootropic but is more of an all-round body and mind boosting supplement. Primarily aimed at men over the age of 40, Centrapeak has a solid ingredient profile, is a well regarded company and has developed a bit of a cult following among its users.
It is commonly know and very well scientifically studied that as men get older they have lower levels of testosterone and become more deficient in energy, libido, cognitive health and more – and Centrapeak have developed a supplement to combat this.
As Centrapeak is a supplement aimed at the body and the brain it has one of the most impressive ingredient profiles of all the supplements we tested. That being said, it won’t be suitable for all and although it won’t hurt anyone under the age of 35 taking it, it probably isn’t required – however for men 35 and over it (and even more so at 40+) this will be a very effective supplement to take if you want to boost your physical health as well as your mental health.
We haven’t tested Centrapeak ourselves but with so many testimonials online and positive user reviews we feel this is a good all-round supplement and looking at the natural ingredient profile it seems clear that this is a solid performer.
- Great for men over 40
- Mind and body focused supplement
- Boosts natural testosterone too
- Great range of ingredients for all round health
- Not a fully focused nootropic
In terms of nootropics you will find a plethora of ingredients in Centrapeak designed to give a mental boost and mental clarity. These include some that we have seen in our other tested products such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin K2, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea and Phosphatidylserine. You will also find Boron, Zinc, Magnesium, Indole-3 Carbinol, Mucuna Pruriens, Korean Ginseng and Bioperine in the all-in-one blend.
Each serving requires 3 capsules and you get a 30 day supply. You can see from the list of ingredients above that there are some usual suspects missing that we would now expect to find in a nootropic and the brain boosting benefits are likely not so strong with this supplement – however, if you are looking for a bit of a boost mentally and also a boost physically and you don’t want to mix nootropic supplements with body enhancing supplements then this is a good alternative.
As stated previously, the user reviews are generally extremely positive for Centrapeak. Here are some that we found online:
For the uninitiated it can seem like a bit of a minefield when looking for the best nootropic supplements but we have really made it our aim to scour the market for the top all-round options. Unless you have a very specific need then these nootropics will have you well covered and you can be safe in the knowledge that you are only putting scientifically backed, natural ingredients in to your system.
NooCube is our favorite all-rounder and will be the ideal choice for those who want to benefit from an all round increased mental performance. For those who really want to improve their focus and concentration then Hunter Focus is probably the best choice and for men over 40 looking for an all-round supplement for body and mind then Centrapeak is the go to pick.
Whichever you choose from this list you should be well served.