‘Nootropics’, also know as ‘smart pills’, are a fairly new type of supplement that claim to have the magical ability to boost your brain power to provide you with extended mental endurance and concentration, increase your energy and make you more alert.
Like any supplement, nootropics are made from common ingredients that you’ll likely find in your everyday food, though provided in higher doses. Many brands have patented forms of these food extracts which deliver high doses of nutrients to boost your intake of brain friendly ingredients.
Being such a new type of supplement, it’s even more important to take time and care to research the ingredients and manufacturers as thoroughly as possible. We’ve tried to save you some time by rounding up what we feel are the best nootropics currently available.
However, make sure you do your own research and have a good luck on the manufacturers website to ensure all of their claims are verified and backed by science.
- Focus harder than ever before
- Get more done
- Hit your targets faster
- Get ahead of your rivals
- Achieve work-life balance
Our top picks for 2022
Take an in depth look at some of the best nootropic supplements on the market in 2021.
[Disclaimer: We do not make any guarantee of specific results and that the results can vary]
Designed to help the busy man gain a mental edge on his rivals, Hunter Focus is a nootropic that promises to help you hit every deadline and smash every target, overcome complex problems and be the leader in everything you do. It may be a new product, but it’s already creating quite a buzz online. Unlike many other nootropics, Hunter Focus uses only scientifically-backed ingredients, with no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, GMO, gluten or soy. It’s safe to use, offers real results and is worth every penny of its premium price.
What’s in it?
Hunter Focus contains nine proven nootropic ingredients. Lion’s mane mushroom protects and repairs the nerves to help your mind stay sharp as you age. Ashwagandha repairs the axons and dendrites in your brain to lift your mood, clear your mind and promote long-term brain health. At 300mg, ashwagandha reduces cortisol to further reduce stress. Bacopa contains bacosides A and B – two active compounds which improve spatial memory and processing speed, while also promoting long-term brain health. N-acetyl-L-tyrosine boosts key neurotransmitters to enhance your ability to multitask, and L-theanine increases GABA levels to raise focus and expand creativity. This formula also contains passion flower, phosphatidylserine, and maritime bark extract to further fuel your mind.
How to take it
There are 120 capsules in every bottle of Hunter Focus, which gives users a supply of four capsules per day for 30 days. The directions for use recommend taking two capsules with a large glass of water twice per day. For best results, take each dose before your morning and afternoon meals. This helps you stay at your sharpest when colleagues and family count on you most.
- Contains nine well-researched nootropic ingredients
- Offers real results
- Boasts glowing reviews
- No proprietary blends – transparent formula shows you exactly what you’re paying for
- Does not contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Free from gluten, soy and GMO
- Natural ingredients unlikely to cause side effects
- Premium price – it costs more to get the best
- Not suitable for vegetarians
- Only available through manufacturer: www.hunterlife.com
Hunter Focus is a great nootropic with nine proven ingredients that set it apart from rival products. It’s also free from proprietary blends to let you know how much of ingredient it contains – and a little digging shows even the dosages are aligned with the latest research. Whatever your reasons for sharpening your mind, Hunter Focus gives you the results you’re looking for – and we can’t recommend it enough.
Prices start from $75.
With 11 clinically-researched ingredients, Mind Lab Pro is a “universal nootropic” designed to enhance several cognitive functions and improve “whole life” mental performance. It’s suitable for all kinds of people, from students, to professionals, over 55’s, athletes and other competitors. Made by Opti-Nutra, Mind Lab Pro boasts hundreds of positive online reviews. Its respected users include Nigel Short (Chess Grandmaster) and David Williams (pro poker player). The vegan-friendly formula is free from caffeine, gluten, artificial preservatives, additives, soy, and GMO.
What’s in it?
Mind Lab Pro contains compounds which increase brain energy, helps balance the user’s mood, enhances memory and improves ability to focus. Phosphatidylserine protects and repairs the brain cells to help keep your mind sharp, while also enhancing glucose metabolism to increase mental energy. Bacopa monnieri contains bacosides which promote antioxidant activity and help reverse the mind-aging process, and lion’s mane mushroom encourages the brain to produce more Nerve Growth Factor to further promote learning. L-theanine boosts Alpha brainwaves to induce a calm alertness, while rhodiola rosea and N-acetyl-L-tyrosine help you perform better under pressure. Maritime pine bark extract increases blood flow to deliver more vital nutrients to your brain and provide more mental energy. Meanwhile, vitamins B6, B9 and B12 allows your brain to metabolize these vital nutrients more efficiently.
How to take it
There are 60 capsules in every Mind Lab Pro bottle. With a serving size of two capsules per day, each box gives you a 30-day supply. The directions suggest users should take two capsules in the morning or afternoon. You may increase the initial serving size to four capsules per day, but the label warns not to consume more than this maximum amount in a 24-hour period.
- Formula devised using clinical research
- Contains powerful nootropic ingredients
- Suitable for people of all ages and walks of life
- Boasts famous and/or respected users
- Does not contain anything artificial
- Gluten, GMO and soy-free
- Only available directly from product website: https://mindlabpro.com
- Vitamins freely available in food and other supplements – potential waste of space
- Smaller doses and serving sizes than Hunter Focus – not as powerful
There’s no doubt Mind Lab Pro is a great nootropic stack – it’s glowing reviews and respected users are evidence of this.
Our one issue with this product is that it contains three vitamins (B6, B9 and B12), which are freely available in food and other supplements you may be taking. In other words, the formula may have been more effective if the creators had added more nootropics instead of just vitamins.
That said, research shows that at least 8 of the 11 ingredients in the formula have potent brain-boosting effects. For this reason, Mind Lab Pro is certainly worth your consideration.
Prices start from $65.
Opti-Nutra’s Performance Lab Mind is an “advanced brain supplement” that’s formulated to enhance focus, boost motivation and increase processing speed in “high-pressure environments”. It’s also designed to reduce stress and improve users’ multitasking skills. Performance Lab boasts a plant-based formula to make it vegan-friendly, while the PlantCaps® capsules ensure the nutrients are easier for your body to absorb. The formula does not contain any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. It’s even free from caffeine, gluten, GMO, soy and other allergens – and as a result, its safe for daily use.
What’s in it?
Performance Lab Mind contains just four ingredients. One of the most important of these is Phosphatidylserine, which improves cell-to-cell communication, boosts attention, and aids the prevention of cognitive decline. N-acetyl-L-tyrosine boosts neurotransmitters to enhance users’ mental performance under pressure, while maritime pine bark extract reduces the flow of free radicals to promote “long-range brain health”. The formula also contains a patented form of phosphatidylserine (Sharp PS® Green) to ensure users always get high-quality versions of key ingredients.
How to take it
Each bottle of Performance Lab Mind contains 30 capsules, with a serving size of one capsule per day. It’s best to take it early in the morning to help “upgrade your cognition” in time for your busy day ahead.
- Uses four of the most well-researched ingredients on the nootropics market
- • Uses the best-tested forms of key ingredients
- Just four ingredients – the addition of other key nootropics would make it more effective
- Limited availability – you can only buy directly from https://www.performancelab.com
- Maritime pine bark extract is slightly under-dosed
Performance Lab Mind is a good nootropic with four powerful ingredients, all of which are backed by science. It’s also great to see that at least three out of the four are included in optimal doses. Our one niggle with this product is that it contains so few ingredients – there’s plenty of room for other nootropics that would improve the formula. However, these ingredients will help enhance your mind – and that alone makes Performance Lab Mind worth a try.
Prices start from $50.
Made by Onnit, Alpha Brain is a popular nootropiccreated to improve “memory, focus, and processing speed” in healthy users. The Alpha Brain website cites clinical studies which suggest the product’s formula improves verbal memory, processing speed and flow state. Alpha Brain uses “earth-grown nutrients” and is free from caffeine and gluten. The product is endorsed by Joe Rogan – a standup comedian, and podcast host. Other users include Michelle Waterson (UFC strawweight fighter), Andrew Sendejo (NFL football player), and Jason Ellis (pro skateboarder).
What’s in it?
The Alpha Brain formula comprises three different blends: The Onnit Flow Blend, Onnit Focus Blend, and Onnit Fuel Blend. To support your flow state, L-tyrosine helps to increase your overall mood, L-theanine induces a calm alertness to reduce stress, while oat straw extract is said to produce similar effects. Meanwhile, phosphatidylserine is shown to lower cortisol, reduce stress and improve attention. In the Focus Blend, Alpha-GPC, bacopa extract and Huperzia serrata extract allow the brain to produce more acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter which supports memory and mood. As part of the Fuel Blend, L-leucine slows perceived exertion to help keep you going during even the toughest mental tasks. Pterostilbene is understudied, but it’s said to help fight brain-cell aging and reverse cognitive decline. Finally, cat’s claw extract is thought to promote brain and body health.
How to take it
Alpha Brain comes in 30-capsule or 90-capsule bottles. The directions say you should take two capsules per day. Although it’s not clear when you should take each dose, we recommend taking one capsule at a time to improve energy and focus all day, for example with breakfast and lunch. We also advise taking each capsule with food to ensure your body can absorb all the nutrients.
- Contains a number of well-researched ingredients
- Gluten and caffeine free
- Oat straw extract, pterostilbene and cat’s claw not backed by enough research
- Hides some vital dosage information – no way of knowing what you’re paying for
- Vitamin B6 freely available in food
Alpha Brain contains some great ingredients. As we say elsewhere, the likes of L-theanine and bacopa are first-class nootropics we’d expect to find in the very-best products in this category. It’s also good to see that it’s not full of caffeine – which should be welcome news to anyone sensitive to stimulants. However, Alpha Brain also contains oat straw extract, cat’s claw and pterostilbene – none of which are backed by enough research to justify their use here. What’s more, the proprietary blend hides the dosages of key ingredients, which gives you no way of assessing how good it really is before you buy. While it’s possibly the best-known pre-made nootropic due to its association with Joe Rogan et al, it isn’t the best. That said, Onnit offers a 30-capsule bottle, so this may be a good way to try before you buy – and we say go for it.
Prices start from $29.71.
Designed to “unleash your mind” by boosting your “energy, alertness and focus”, Optimind promises to help improve your cognitive functions and ensure you retain newly-learned information over time. While not the best-known pre-made nooptropic on the market, Optimind boasts several positive online reviews. Owned by Alternascript LLC, Optimind is made in the US at GMP-certified facilities. It’s also suitable for vegetarians and is free from gluten and preservatives.
What’s in it?
Optimind contains several popular nootropic ingredients. Bacopa monnieri is a well-researched herb that’s been shown to improve memory, prevent cognitive decline and reduce stress. L-taurine influences the GABA receptors in the brain to lift your mood, while phosphatidylserine improves attention, lowers stress and enhances processing accuracy. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter shown to have a calming effect on the brain – and it works with caffeine to heighten focus while “taking the edge off” the stimulatory effects. L-tyrosine improves your problem-solving skills, while alpha lipoic acid promotes longevity. While understudied, huperzine A and sulbutiamine are also thought to improve your powers of recall.
How to take it
Each bottle of Optimind contains 32 capsules. According to the directions on the label, you should start with one-two capsules for “elevated focus energy”. Beginners may to consider starting with just one capsule to test “how it feels”, before moving on to two capsules to achieve “the full effect”.
- Contains some proven and some promising nootropic ingredients
- Positive reviews
- Just 32 capsules per bottle (90-120 is standard)
- Proprietary blend hides important dosage information
- Some understudied ingredients (huperzine A, sulbutiamine)
Optimind isn’t a bad pre-made nootropic. We were disappointed to see just 32 capsules in each bottle, while the proprietary blend gives you no way of knowing whether key ingredients are dosed correctly. That said, Optimind contains a number of proven nootropics – and you’ll find the likes of bacopa or phosphatidylserine in the best cognitive enhancers out there. Huperzine A also shows promise as a nootropic ingredient. While Optimind certainly isn’t the best nootropic out there, its low price and blend of proven ingredients could make it a good place to start your nootropic journey.
Prices start from $43.31.