The 7 Best Nootropic Supplements For Energy, Focus, Brain Fog & More*
Brain supplements are having a moment right now, and clinically researched nootropic ingredients are at the heart of their incredible cognitive benefits. Whether you're looking for added energy before a workout, mental clarity and concentration while you're working or studying, memory support as you age, or a way to bolster your stress resilience, nootropic ingredients can help.
Here, we've identified the absolute best on the market. Enjoy the cognitive function support and brain longevity benefits that these dynamic and innovative formulas offer!
Best nootropics of 2023:
Best nootropics of 2023:
What is a nootropic?
Nootropics are unique compounds that support a diverse range of cognitive functions—including mental clarity and acuity, memory recall and formation, neuronal function, neurotransmitter synthesis and balances, and cognitive task performance.
At mindbodygreen, we use the term "nootropic" to describe brain-supporting ingredients (i.e., nutrients, botanical phytonutrients, and other bioactives) found in high-quality supplement formulas.
"Specific mechanisms of action of nootropic ingredients vary, and thus support different cognitive benefits," mindbodygreen's nutrition scientist Emma Engler, M.S., previously shared. "For example, caffeine (arguably the most widely used nootropic) works on adenosine receptors1 supporting mental and physical energy, while citicoline (a potent neuronutrient) supports phospholipid synthesis2 and neuronal health."*
How we picked:
These formulas boast nutrients, botanicals, and bioactives with scientific research demonstrating their nootropic actions, and thus, brain benefits. We elevate formulas with efficacious doses of science-backed active ingredients.*
Since each ingredient has unique characteristics and brain benefits, we deliver a diverse array of high-quality products for various aspects of cognitive health, from focus and memory to mood support and stress resilience.*
We feature reputable brands that prioritize quality testing to ensure the potency of the premium active ingredients and emphasize purity (limiting heavy metals, microbials, etc.) and clean excipients (other ingredients).
From ingredient sourcing to packaging decisions, we prefer products created with sustainability in mind. As such, we highlight key certifications, as well as recyclable and eco-friendly containers.
Our picks for best nootropics of 2023:
Best for focus: mindbodygreen focus+
- Plant-origin caffeine
- Botanical synergy
- Instant & sustained energy
- Not recommended at night (contains caffeine)
This dynamic nootropic formula delivers clean, sustainable energy and focus that will help you maintain a healthy attention span all day long. In just one capsule, it features instant and extended-release caffeine from organic whole coffee berry and green coffee beans, plus additional botanicals and bioactives (i.e., Panax ginseng, guarana seed extract, and L-theanine) and essential vitamin B12 (in its bioactive methylcobalamin form) to provide mental clarity, focused “zen,” and a delightful mood lift to help you tackle to-dos productively (and with enthusiasm). One capsule a day will help you tap into your full brain-body potential and improve everyday cognitive performance.*
Best for energy: Thesis Energy
- Available with & without caffeine
- Large serving size
- Individual packaging (not eco-friendly)
This supplement is packed with a range of both classic and trendy nootropic ingredients (botanicals, bioactives, etc.) designed to support neuronal health, neurotransmitter response, and cognitive performance. Tackle your day with ease, thanks to ingredients that synergistically promote physical and mental performance (caffeine and teacrine) and help enhance attention during cognitively stressful conditions (i.e., L-theanine and mango leaf). Additional ingredients (e.g., citicoline, NALT, NAC, sabroxy) enhance executive function, bolster memory support, and promote healthy nerve cells.*
Best for stress: Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower USDA Organic Hemp Oil
- Made from whole flower
- Smart packaging with marked dropper
- Available in different volumes and strengths
- No gentle dose option
- Not suitable for those with tree nut allergies (coconut)
CBD has been found to help with occasional bouts of anxiousness, deliver mood support, and even promote mental and physical relaxation. And when it comes to high-quality ingredients and clean extraction, this hemp CBD oil is the cream of the crop. Made from whole hemp flowers, this high-potency oil tincture offers 1,500 milligrams of CBD per bottle (i.e., 50 milligrams per serving!), giving you a high dose of support when you’re dealing with an especially stressful task or project. All hemp is locally and sustainably sourced from organic hemp farms in Kentucky, then tested for unwanted compounds (pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, microbial contaminants, etc.) as well as potency, to ensure you’re getting the strongest dose of stress resilience in each bottle. If 50 milligrams is a little strong for you, this tincture is also available in gentler doses.*
Best for mood boosting: Bulletproof Zen Mode™
- Blend of adaptogenic herbs
- Amino acid trio
- Nutrients vitamin B6 and magnesium
- Plastic bottle
Packed to the brim with adaptogenic herbs, this comprehensive mood-enhancing supplement promotes stress resilience and helps you feel calm as you tackle mentally taxing tasks. (Bonus: it helps support memory and attention, too!) With a “Zen Blend” of some famous adaptogenic herbs (holy basil, ashwagandha, kanna, saffron), essential nutrients, and amino acid ingredients (L-theanine! GABA! 5-HTP!), this formula is sure to support a healthy, stress-free mood and enhanced mental clarity.*
Best for memory: Neurohacker Collective Qualia Mind™
- Comprehensive formula
- Multidimensional brain support*
- Large serving size
- High price point
For a healthy dose of brain-centric vitamins, botanicals, amino acids, and bioactives, this neurohacking nootropic formula delivers concentration and memory support in spades. Designed to comprehensively promote mental performance capabilities, this impressive supplement is powered by B vitamins (for supporting neurotransmitter production), an array of botanical nootropic ingredients (artichoke leaf, velvet bean, rhodiola root extract), omega-3 fatty acid DHA, and loads more (we’re talking a total of 28 ingredients—hence the 7-capsule serving size). Support your memory recall and formation, mental clarity, and overall cognitive task performance with this well-rounded formula.*
Best nootropic bundle: mindbodygreen nootropics collection
- Nootropic ingredients rooted in clinical research
- Promote cognitive performance, mental clarity & focus*
- Formulas backed by experts
- Not for children
Combine the energy, concentration, and mood support that focus+ delivers with the memory, cognitive performance, and brain longevity benefits of brain guard+ in this thoughtfully curated collection of breakthrough nootropic formulas. When taken together, these innovative supplements cover all of the cognitive bases—they promote executive function, bolster cognitive flexibility, enhance stress resilience, aid mental precision and performance, and more. Designed to be complementary yet completely unique, the collective blend of neuronutrients (citicoline, vitamin B12), phytonutrients (caffeine, L-theanine, resveratrol), and botanicals (Panax ginseng, guarana, kanna) that these two powerhouse nootropic formulas deliver will support your brain dynamically, synergistically, and comprehensively. (What more could you ask for?)*
Best for brain fog: Parable Daily™
- Ingredients with clinical efficacy
- Bioactive B vitamins
- Formulated by neuroscientists
- Can stain easily (contains turmeric)
This clean and holistic powder was thoughtfully designed by neuroscientists to support three key facets of brain health—cognitve, mental, and neural—at the source. With a powdered oat milk base and science-backed botanicals (i.e., turmeric, lemon balm, ginseng, and green tea extract), this supplement adds both a pleasant, mild flavor and brain-boosting benefits to your coffee, tea, or smoothie. Added neuronutrients (i.e., vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, and phosphatidylserine) further bolster mental clarity, promote cognitive performance, and clear brain fogginess away with ease. Add one scoop to your choice of food or drink daily for comprehensive, long-term brain support!*
How to choose.
When choosing a nootropic supplement that meets your unique brain health needs, look for clinically researched and scientifically backed ingredients and doses. You should also consider quality, purity, trustworthiness, and sustainability as you narrow down a formula and brand that delivers the cognitive support and benefits you desire.
What is the best nootropic for focus?
We believe that mindbodygreen's focus+ delivers the most comprehensive formula of targeted nootropic ingredients (caffeine, L-theanine, vitamin B12, Panax ginseng, guarana) that holistically support focus, bolster concentration, and increase attention span. Additionally, this innovative supplement delivers both instant and sustained-release energy, for all-day support in tackling cognitively demanding tasks.*
Do nootropics have a permanent effect?
No. Most nootropic supplement ingredients deliver short-term cognitive benefits, such as enhanced concentration, energy, and mood support.
That said, certain nootropics create a compounded effect of brain health benefits. For example, when taken daily over extended periods of time, neuronutrient citicoline has been clinically shown to help maintain cognitive function by increasing energy reserves and utilization in the brain and bolstering memory support in adults as they age.*
Nootropics aren't a magic brain pill that will give you infinite cognitive abilities. However, the thoughtfully formulated nootropic supplements featured in this review deliver clinically backed ingredients in efficacious doses that have been shown to promote memory formation and recall, enhance focus and concentration, bolster mood support and stress resilience, and even ease the effects of brain fog.* And that's more than convincing enough for us to add nootropics to our daily routine.