BEHOLD... the human brain! The most powerful supercomputer in the world...a vast and beautiful neuroscape of limitless potential… key to the mystery of our apish origins and our evolution into intergalactic space monkeys… BLAH BLAH BLAH.
Don’t know about you, but OUR brains are not the miraculous super-networks that the Discovery channel told us about. In fact, our brains are JERKS.
They forget what we need to remember, they remember what we want to forget (please Kars4Kids jingle, just let us die…), and they make us say “orgasm” instead of “organism” and ruin 8th-grade biology for pretty much the whole year.
Maybe that last one was just us… but you get the point.
Are You Doomed to This Neurodegenerative Fate? Can You Convince This Jerk to Change His Ways so He Can Help You Focus, Stay Alert, and Not Get Fired From Your Job?
…science thinks so.
There are a bunch of tools to fight back against your jerk brain, and they’re called nootropics. These natural supplements protect the brain, boost its function, and make it all-around more efficient—but they’re not all the same.
In this post, we’ll cover the best nootropic brain supplements (backed up with hard science), and tell you exactly what to use them for.
The 8 Best Nootropic Brain Supplements
Fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, anxiety, and even impotence can all be traced back to the guy upstairs—your jerk brain. Use the following nootropic supplements to besiege your brain with wholesome nutrition and bend it to your will. Revenge is sweet.
Nootropic power: Memory enhancer
Bonus: Fights inflammation
If your go-to greeting for coworkers and acquaintances is “Hey… you!” then you might be suffering from stifled synapses in your brain. Weak synapses can make cognition and memory sluggish, but uridine can help.
Uridine is a nucleotide that is a crucial component of RNA (essential for the regulation and expression of genes). As a nootropic, Uridine helps the body produce more CDP choline, which in turn helps to protect, strengthen, and grow synapses in the brain.
Improved synapse and neurite growth has been directly linked to uridine supplementation, and scientists know that better neuronal health means quicker thinking and better recall .
Not only that, but uridine is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. In a recent study, participants were given uridine for carpal tunnel syndrome. After just 30 days, 77% of the participants had stopped their other pain and inflammation treatments .
Neurohack: Stack uridine with choline and DHA for the ultimate memory boost .
Interested in a uridine supplement? We've got you covered.
Nootropic power: Builds muscle
Bonus: Turns your beer belly into a 6-pack (after months of exercise and diet)
Remember that choline stuff we were talking about above (if you don’t, you seriously need some uridine!)? Well, this synapse-building material is a key to healthy brain function, and Alpha GPC is the most efficient choline-influencing supplement you can take. Not only does Alpha GPC boost your brain power, but it also influences systemic choline and strengthens your cell membranes from head to toe .
Speaking of strength, athletes love Alpha GPC for its ability to enhance the body’s natural production of growth hormones. This helps you build muscle stronger, faster and has been shown to improve jump performance and reaction time . Finally, you can replace that photoshopped 6-pack pic with a real one!
Neurohack: Alpha GPC’s superpowers are only revealed in high doses, so supplementation is highly recommended!
This is one of our favorite supplements out there and it has great synergy with uridine, which is why we've created a separate supplement stack for it. Take a look!
Nootropic power: Improves cognition
Bonus: Protects against neurodegeneration
Magnesium is incredibly important for a healthy brain and body. In fact, it oversees more than 300 internal reactions to keep you running from day to day. If you don’t have enough of it? That’s a bit like powering up a factory when the employees are on strike. Things go haywire, and management (your brain) is not happy. It punishes you with critical levels of stress, ADHD, and migraines, and it could even lead to a stroke.
By supplementing with magnesium, you provide your brain with the fuel it needs to stay sharp and healthy. How does it work? In science talk, magnesium improves neuroplasticity. Basically, this means that it helps your neurons communicate better, thereby improving your ability to learn new things and remember them with confidence . It also functions as a neuroprotectant, keeping your brain cells strong and decreasing your chances of developing neurodegenerative diseases .
Neurohack: Not all magnesium supplements are nootropics! Choose one with chelated magnesium, which can cross the blood-brain barrier, to get the maximum benefits.
Nootropic power: Improves mood
Bonus: Boosts focus
It’s Monday morning, it’s pouring down rain, and you have a performance review with the boss you LOVE (aka hate). How do you feel?
Ok, so maybe L-Theanine can’t help you with every situation, but if life gets you down more than just occasionally, this nootropic happy pill can give you the natural lift you need to take life as it comes.
And the best part? It really is ALL NATURAL. In fact, your body produces it on its own! But taking more L-Theanine via supplementation has been shown to boost serotonin (happy), dopamine (happier), and GABA (chill af) in the brain .
As an added benefit, it's a potent supplement to help focus. L-Theanine was given to a group of human participants in a study, and those who took the supplements made fewer errors in an attention test . So, not only will you feel better about that performance review, but you’ll be ready for it too.
Neurohack: Get more L-Theanine by switching from coffee to green tea! If you don’t have the power to abandon your delicious black gold, try a green tea supplement.
Nootropic power: Weight loss
Bonus: Memory enhancer
Acetyl-L-Carnitine may be the best nootropic for adults who don’t make it to the gym quite as often as they should. This powerhouse of an amino acid has tons of benefits, but our favorite is its ability to increase fat burning at a cellular level. Not only does this make it easier for you to get rid of that muffin top, but it can also boost endurance and recovery .
How does it work? Acetyl-L-Carnitine helps your mitochondria (your cells’ metabolizing agents) burn more fat and produce more energy. This makes you feel invigorated, slim down, and deliver more nutrition to each cell.
To be clear, Acetyl-L-Carnitine is not a miracle nootropic. You still need to eat healthy and do some exercise if you want to lose weight, but this supplement can definitely make it easier to achieve your goals.
Neurohack: Acetyl-L-Carnitine needs to be taken for over 3 months before it starts to work its magic, so make sure to stock up!
Nootropic power: Anti-anxiety
Bonus: Boosts libido
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti
-You, before every social interaction
Anxiety is on the rise in the U.S. with nearly 1 in 5 people suffering from a disorder . While many opt for new, expensive, and somewhat risky meds from pharmaceutical companies, others are turning to an incredibly powerful nootropic that’s been used since ancient times.
It’s called ashwagandha, and its amazing abilities are just as cool as its name. Ashwagandha is a plant that contains a variety of natural elements that restore your adrenals, lower stress, combat depression and more .
Studies on humans have shown that taking ashwagandha decreases levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, by up to 28%. And in tests from the same study, levels of anxiety in participants fell by 72% .
Not only will you feel more relaxed, but you’ll also feel younger… especially in the bedroom. Ashwagandha has been shown to boost libido and help men “stand to attention,” if you know what we mean .
Neurohack: Ashwagandha pulls double-time as a nootropic supplement AND an adaptogen, making it one of the most comprehensive supplements for brain health to add to your regimen!
Our adaptogen supplement, AdaptoTrax, contains not only Ashawagandha and Rhodiola Rosea (up next) but a myriad of other amazing adaptogens to help you out. Click here to learn more.
Nootropic power: Natural energy
Bonus: Fuels immune system
If you’re trying to cut down from 18 to 17 cups of joe a day, Rhodiola Rosea is one of the best brain supplements that also gives you the energy to get up, head to the store, and buy more coffee.
An herb with over 140 active ingredients, Rhodiola Rosea has a ton of health benefits for the brain and body, but the one you’ll feel the most will help you get out of bed or keep you up to cram for that exam. As Rhodiola won’t give you the caffeine jitters or have you running to the bathroom every 3 minutes, it’s one of the best nootropics for students.
In a study conducted on people with stress-related fatigue, Rhodiola Rosea was shown to decrease tiredness and improve attention. And the best part? Benefits were felt by the participants within just one week !
Neurohack: Rhodiola Rosea is one of the most commonly adulterated nootropics, so make sure to buy from a reliable source .
Nootropic power: Sexual support
Bonus: Powerful antioxidant
Let's talk about sex, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
That Panax Ginseng can do for your bedtime bits
Ok, so we’re not expert lyricists. But, we ARE expert nootropicists (?), and Panax Ginseng is a natural supplement that we will never remove from our stack.
Panax Ginseng is a root that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries (ever wonder why the population is so high?), and it has benefits that range from brain function to immune support to sexual health.
A study done on 86 men with ED found that Panax Ginseng supplementation resulted in significant improvements in erectile function and overall sexual satisfaction . It also improves the production of nitric oxide in the body, which promotes healthy blood flow “down there” .
In addition, Panax Ginseng is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, so you can stay healthy and heal properly no matter how much sleep you lose from your renewed interest in doing the no-pants dance .
Neurohack: Take Panax Ginseng supplements BEFORE meals to increase absorption and experience the full package of benefits. Pun intended.
Nootropic Cocktails: Why Choose Just One?
Instead of popping pills, drinking tea, and frying up roots all day long, why not take a nootropic cocktail that combines the powers of some of the best nootropics into one, easy-to-take supplement? Your brain will love you, your body will thank you, and you’ll finally be able to give your head a mental high-five (and not a physical one, like you did when you stirred your coffee with the USB pen drive that held your entire presentation).
Vitamonk’s nootropic cocktails are made with the highest quality ingredients and are formulated by licensed doctors. You won’t find any fillers or adulterated shams here, just real, natural health that we believe can reignite the passion between you and your brain. You two belong together!