The Truth About Nootropics
Why might you need to take a brain supplement? Because so many factors conspire today to make our brains perform at suboptimal levels, regardless of our age. Including:
Decreased blood flow to brain cells. Decline in brain cell energy production. Damaged and dying neurons. Depletion of neurotransmitters. Stress and fatigue impeding mental performance. Multitasking reducing cognitive efficiency.
All of these factors can interfere with peak mental performance. The good news is, all can be combated by taking brain boosters. And it’s never too early to explore the benefits of gaining a mental edge through nutrition: Young adults and even teens are finding these incredible dietary supplements are helping them think better and faster.
Our Score Value Quick Summary Mind Lab Pro $$$ Sharpens concentration and focus Performance Lab Mind $$$ Science-based nootropic formulation Alpha Brain $$$$ Accelerates information processing speed Brainergy X $$$$ Boosts blood and oxygen flow to the brain PURE Mental Focus $$$ Contains Ginkgo Biloba which has been used for centuries enhancing brain function CILTEP $$$$ Helps restore neurotransmitter levels that have been depleted by stress Lumidex $$$ Long-term natural nootropic combined with 9 powerful ingredients Focus Factor $$$$ Contains 18 Nootropic ingredients with 22 additional ingredients Neuro Optimizer $$$ Enhances brain metabolism SmartX $$ Too many ingredients in one pill Addium $$ Uses a scientifically-engineered stack of maximum strength nootropics
What Are Brain Boosters?
Brain Boosters, also called nootropics, are substances designed to improve the brain’s overall health and mental performance. According to the Natural Marketing Institute, nearly 60% of consumers are concerned about brain health. Most popular nootropics are supplements made from 100% natural ingredients – amino acids, herbals, minerals, and vitamins.
Positive Effects of Brain Boosters
If Brain Boosters did not work, consumers would not spend half a billion dollars a year on them worldwide:
Seniors find that Brain Boosters help restore failing memory and slow, halt, or even reverse cognitive decline.
Middle-aged and even younger adults use Brain Boosters to make them sharper, improve concentration, and give them a competitive edge in the workplace. Students take Brain Boosters to make them more alert in the classroom, help them focus better in school and on homework, and enhance learning and problem-solving ability. Athletes gain a mental edge that helps them perform better when playing sports. Enumerated Benefits of Brain Booster Supplementation 1—Gives you more brain cells
Some of the nutrients used in the best-performing Brain Boosters provide the raw materials that brain cells are made of and signal your body to assemble them into new brain cells to replace those that are old and dying. With more functioning neurons, your brain transmits and processes signals faster.
2—Stimulates more brain waves
Some Brain Boosters contain bioactive compounds that trigger the production of more brain alpha waves. Alpha waves enhance the mind’s ability to study, learn, be creative, and achieve peak work productivity.
3—Shields the brain against damage
Antioxidants and enzyme-blockers in popular Brain Boosters defend the brain against dangerous free radicals that can damage brain cells – damage that can result in suboptimal brain health and performance.
Act as a vasodilator to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow to the brain.
Repair and grow new mitochondria in brain cells to increase energy production in the brain. Have neuroprotective properties that prevent damage to neurons and their myelin sheathing. Stimulate the production of neurotransmitters to restore them to healthy levels. Helps the brain function at peak performance even when the person is stressed or overtired. Are They Safe? Any Side Effects?
Brain Boosters whose ingredients are natural nootropics are safe and have no side effects, provided the dosages used are those indicated through clinical trials.
Hunter Focus is without doubt the best nootropic we’ve tried – period.
It promises you a way to “sharpen your mind and take control amid the chaos” – and we can confirm, it really does it deliver!
Hunter Focus is designed for the busy man who needs to stay sharp in every situation.
The most successful men all agree the key to success is pin-sharp focus.
And whether you’re in the office, at the gym or at home, the ability to keep your mind on the prize will give you the edge to beat your rivals and skip the rat race.
Hunter Focus offers you the chance to:
Achieve “a mental edge over your rivals” Find inventive answers to nagging problems Stay calm, yet alert under pressure Reach and exceed your goals Smash every deadline
Many nootropics use undertested ingredients – and some even hide critical dosage info in proprietary blends – but not this one.
Hunter Focus is packing nine of the safest and best-tested ingredients we’ve ever seen in a nootropic – and it shows!
Within just a few days, we felt our focus improve and also a noticable increase in our energy levels and motivation. Importantly, it can also have a similar effect to a pre-workout, keeping you concentrating for longer and harder when in the gym – for even bigger gains.
Hunter Focus costs $75 and we think it’s worth every penny. Take it for a few months and you’ll notice a huge difference in your overall motivation and mood. A solid 10/10 from SpotMeBro.
With extensive clinical studies in peer, Mind Lab Pro is hands down the number one brain booster on the market.
Mind Lab Pro was formulated by extensively reviewing the medical literature to identify the 11 bioactive compounds proven, in clinical trials, to have the biggest impact on brain health and performance.
Opti-Nutra, the makers of Mind Lab Pro, then created a nootropic with the same dosages of each nutrient shown to be most efficacious in the clinical trials.
Taking Mind Lab Pro will rapidly help you:
Sharpen concentration and focus.
Feel more energized and mentally alert. Solve problems better and faster. Improve memory. Think more clearly. Mind Lab Pro contains Rhodiola rosea, a Russian herb that stimulates peak mental performance under stress.
Vinpocetine in Mind Lab Pro boosts cerebral blood flow to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
Pterostilbene fights brain cell aging that is tied to cognitive decline, so you can remain sharp and alert well into your golden years.
Performance Lab Mind is a cutting-edge brain booster that enhances the most performance-oriented cognitive functions that help you excel in life – focus, memory and learning, just to name a few.
At the same time, Performance Lab Mind is stim-free and focuses on brain health above all, as the main way that you can boost brainpower. They call this “mental recovery”, similar to the “physical recovery” that can be accelerated with
good post-workout supplement. Performance Lab Mind is another streamlined formula from Opti-Nutra, with ingredients in advanced forms: Cognizin®, Sharp-PS® Green, the strongest pine bark extract out there (95% pronanthocyanidins), and more.
Performance Lab Mind benefits
Natural brain energizer without stimulants Enhances cognition in competitive scenarios Restores the brain to balance after stress Helps you think faster, with greater mental energy and alertness Good for all types of memory and learning Enhances performance in focus, attention and motivation
Performance Lab Mind features
Stimulant-free and crash-free Patented brain-boosters Cognizin® and Sharp-PS® Green Vegan-friendly capsules made from prebiotic fiber Designed for short-term cognitive performance and long-term brain health
Performance Lab Mind is the smartest nootropic choice for people with stress, hectic lives, multitasking and not enough sleep. It gives dominant cognitive performance and faster recovery from mental exertion.
What gets attention for Alpha Brain is the endorsement and involvement of UFC personality Joe Rogan. The brand has sold 27 million capsules and is backed by two human clinical trials. Benefits of taking Alpha Brain include:
Sharpens focus. Accelerates information processing speed. Improves verbal memory recall. Instills feelings of relaxed alertness. Boosts mental energy and life enjoyment. Enhances the ability to learn. Alpha Brain’s formula features a special form of Cat’s Claw herb, AC-11, which is patented for its ability to dissolve protein tangles that can cause brain degeneration. No other Brain Booster on our top 10 list contains AC-11.
L-Theanine and Oatstraw in Alpha Brain boost alpha waves to help users achieve the relaxed-yet-alert alpha state in which thinking and creativity are enhanced. While in an alpha state, people are better able to focus on the task at hand with a calm, happy mindset instead of feeling frazzled and stressed-out.
By increasing the level of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in your brain, Huperzine-A improves cognitive function and memory. It also helps keep neurons alive longer.
Bacopa monniera in Alpha Brain helps improve learning and mental processing speed.
5. Brainergy X
Unlike many of the top 10 Brain Boosters reviewed here, some of which combine up to 10 or more ingredients, Brainergy X contains natural herbs
, zero gluten, vegan capsules, and no synthetic fillers. Brainergy X capsules are made from vegetable cellulose. That’s it. No synthetics, no preservatives. They take herbs and put them into vegan capsules with absolutely no synthetic ingredients or gelatin. Rice flour is added to make sure the ingredients mix evenly and safely.
The benefits of taking Brainergy X include:
Boosting blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
Increasing mental energy. Restoring brain chemicals that decline with age and stress. Enhancing cognitive performance. Improving memory. Protecting brain cells. Promoting optimal brain health.
Caffeine and L-theanine can provide high levels of accuracy, efficiency, and alertness.
Ginkgo biloba has been shown to improve memory and significantly improved age-related decline in 6 out of 9 double-blind studies compared to a placebo.
Alpha GPC is a well-known nootropic compound that can produce cognitive improvement, and it’s even been shown to help you boost your max bench press weight.
L-Tyrosine improves cognitive performance and decreases memory loss during stressful situations.
Taurine stimulates the growth of new blood vessels and is a well-known energy-boosting compound.
6. PURE Mental Focus
What makes PURE Mental Focus is a nootropic supplement that promises to boost your mental energy, concentration, and memory using an all-natural formula.
PURE Mental Focus uses nootropics that enable peek mental performance at work or school during the day. PURE Mental Focus also reduces anxiety and worry, so you fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and wake up mentally refreshed.
PURE Mental Focus ingredients include:
36mg (60% daily value) Vitamin C
12mg (600% daily value) Vitamin B6 10mg Potassium 800mg L-Tyrosine 300mg L-Phenylalanine 100mg Taurine 80mg Grape Seed Extract 60mg Potassium Ascorbate 60mg DMAE 40mg Ginkgo biloba leaf extract 10mg CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) Other ingredients: magnesium stearate, cellulose, and silica.
Ginkgo biloba, which has been used for hundreds of years to enhance blood flow to the brain, can improve memory, attention, and cognitive performance.
CILTEP combines five ingredients, the most significant of which is Coleus forskohlii root extract, standardized for 20% forskolin.
Forskolin is the only nootropic known to boost cAMP, a brain cell-to-cell signaling compound that accelerates production of brain chemicals including acetylcholine and dopamine.
Working hand in hand with the forskolin, artichoke extract supplies luteolin, thought to be the safest and most effective neutralizer of PDE4, an enzyme that blocks cAMP.
Together, the forskolin and artichoke extract promotes long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP is a type of sustained brain cell activity that helps enable memory, learning, and knowledge retention.
In addition, CILTEP contains L-Phenylalanine, L-Carnitine, and Vitamin B6 as P-5-P.
L-Carnitine converts fatty acids into energy within the brain’s nerve cells to increase brain energy. It also increases production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to improve memory formation and recall.
P-5-P helps restore neurotransmitter levels that have been depleted by stress while supporting brain cell energy production and metabolism. And, it reduces the rate of brain tissue shrinkage that is often seen with cognitive impairment
The main benefit of CILTEP is that it leverages brain signaling to improve peak mental performance including concentration and memory. It also enhances mood, focus, and other aspects of cognition.
Lumidex was created to be the most potent, long-term natural nootropic combined with 9 powerful and safe ingredients to provide one of the best all-around focus supplements on the market.
Lumidex utilizes 2 unique complexes that create a powerful nootropic:
There are 3 key ingredients within Lumidex that form the strong base that makes Lumidex so consistent. Ginkgo Biloba, Acetyl-L Carnitine, and Bacopa mix perfectly to give you a strong and steady increase in overall brain power. They gently stimulate the receptors responsible for focus and thinking ability to give you a clearer mind. The Baseline Complex: This is where the true power of Lumidex shines through. These six ingredients — DMAE, Vinpocetine, St. John’s Wort, to name a few — work together to create a synergistic elevation in cognitive performance. This complex is the secret to Lumidex’s incredible effects. The Supercharger Complex:
Overall, Lumidex enhances mental energy and clarity of thought, making it great for studying, concentrating, working, and learning.
9. Focus Factor
Focus Factor combines 18 Nootropic ingredients with 22 additional ingredients. It is in essence a combination brain booster plus multivitamin.
The formula contains some common Nootropics include L-glutamine, Bacopa monnieri, Huperzine A, Vinpocetine, and boron.
There are also a number of nutrients not commonly found in Brain Boosters. These include bilberry fruit, grape seed extract, DMAE bitartrate, L-pyrogultamic acid, and vanadium.
The problem with Focus Factor is that the total dosage of all 18 Nootropics is 692 mg. If dosages were divided equally, that would mean you get a little over 38 mg of each compound. That’s way too low for these nutrients to have any noticeable effect.
The bottom line: when you pack 40 different nutrients into one tablet, the dosage of each is so miniscule that the pill is absolutely useless for improving mental performance.
10. Neuro Optimizer
Although people of all ages can benefit from Brain Boosters, seniors in particular increasingly worry about age-related cognitive decline. Neuro Optimizer seems to target age-related brain health concerns specifically.
The formula is a blend of 7 neuro-nutrients and protectants, which the other Brain Boosters listed in this review also use in varying dosages. These include Acetyl-L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine, Taurine, and Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Neuro Optimizer works by:
Enhancing brain metabolism.
Boosting mental energy. Maximizing brain cell efficiency. Repairing and regenerating neurons. Reducing stress. Facilitating cell to cell communication within the brain. Regenerating brain cells. Protecting brain cells against oxidative stress. Phosphatidylserine in Neuro Optimizer helps neurons regenerate and transmit signals more efficiently; it improves memory performance, too.
Phosphatidylcholine is known to help the body make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which benefits memory and mood.
Cognizin Citicoline boosts mental energy and information processing speed.
SmartX has 17 ingredients, more than any other Brain Booster in our top 10. It has a huge marketing advantage over other Brain Boosters in that it was featured on the popular TV show Shark Tank.
The plus is that it gives you a broader range of bioactive compounds, and so has a wide variety of beneficial effects on the brain. SmartX is claimed to:
Improve memory. Boost mental energy. Optimize brain health. Increase mental ability. Reduce fatigue. Elevate blood flow to the brain. Enable greater alertness. Decrease anxiety. The negative aspect of SmartX is that cramming so many nutrients in a single pill limits the dosage size of each, so you may not be getting enough for optimal brain health.
SmartX is packed with most of the ingredients you find in all the other supplements listed in this top 10 review including B vitamins, citicoline, L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, caffeine, Bacopa Monnieri, Vinpocetine, Huperzine A, and others.
It also features one less common brain nutrient, Schizandrol-A, which might increase dopamine to improve mood and induce a more relaxed state.
And it contains glucuronolactone, an ingredient found in energy drinks.
Addium allows you to ignore constant distractions and focus on the task at hand. It zooms you in so you’re motivated, alert, and find yourself concentrating harder and remembering more than ever before.
Addium delivers an incredible burst of energy that takes effect within minutes and lasts up to 6 hours. The powerful stimulants give you incredible, long-lasting energy without the crash or jitters of energy drinks or harmful side effects of prescription medication.
Addium uses a scientifically-engineered stack of maximum strength nootropics, known as smart drugs, to help increase brain activity, mental performance, and vigilance. Nootropics improve the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine via cholinergic (ACh) receptors and stimulate NMDA glutamate receptors that are critical to the learning and memory processes.
TYROSINE L-tyrosine benefits your brain by helping you create neurotransmitters that promote mental alertness. GABA An inhibitory neurotransmitter that prevents over-excitement to maintain focus. BACOPA MONNIERI This ingredient increases cerebral blood flow and cognitive function at the same time. ALPHA GPC Helps proper functioning of neurotransmission is integral to healthy cognition. VINPOCETINE Improves the brain’s utilization of glucose, increasing ATP energy production. HUPERZINE A Nhibits acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.
[Updated: February 2019]