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Best Nootropics (2020): Top Smart Brain Boosters [FAQ Guide]

Smart consumer review guide on how to buy the best nootropics online and FAQ research on using top brain boosting supplements to maximize cognitive performance.

Nootropics and other cognitive performance enhancing nutritional stacks that help boost the way the brain functions optimally can be used by nearly any adult to support mental focus, alertness and endurance to name a few. There have been many studies on these brain boosting substances through the years, finding that both healthy consumers and individuals with neurodegenerative diseases alike can benefit through daily supplemental uses of these in-demand cognitive enhancement products.

These nootropic supplements come with a variety of benefits; possibly helping improve memory retention, creativity, mental acuity, and other life-sustaining cognitive processes. While these types of ‘smart drug' supplements are not created to cure or treat any conditions, the improved mental state some of the top ranked nootropics can make is a big difference in work, school, and everything in between for functional productivity and sustainable energy.

Given the gravity of how important the brain's optimization and mind's attention span is, nootropics are all the rage in the world of everyone. From biohackers to elderly seniors, to entrepreneurs or students, to athletes or gamers, anyone looking for a resurgence in extra clever wittiness or daily energetic endurance for enhanced productivity is taking a second to review the best nootropics online. After the top nootropic supplements are ranked and reviewed, there is an extensively-researched frequently asked question and answer section that helps spell out the clarity within the budding smart pill era.

Reviewing the 10 Best Nootropics in 2020

Unfortunately, none of the natural nootropic supplements listed below are quite as powerful as Bradley Cooper in Limitless movie when he was taking NZT-48 smart drug pill. However, thankfully with the innovations in science and technology, new wholesome brain boosting vitamins and minerals, herbal extracts and even patented/trademarked ingredients have entered the industry at lightning speeds over the past few years.

While not all nootropic brain boosters are created equally, here are the top-rated cognitive performance enhancers to consider buying on Amazon today. Here’s a look at some of the best nootropic brands that the industry has to offer in 2020.

Neuro Focus +

Neuro Focus + by Nuzena is at the top of the list, offering a “complete nootropic blend” that is rooted in science. The formula includes some of the classic ingredients included in nootropics, like bacopa extra, DMAE, L-theanine, and others. It specifically deals with the mental focus, memory, and cognitive function that these remedies are known for, recommending at least 90 days of use to feel the full effects.

Consumers only need two capsules a day to get the desired results. These capsules can be taken together or separately throughout the day.

While consumers can purchase a 60-capsule bottle of Neuro Focus + for $30, the official website offers the ability to simply pay $8 monthly to cover the cost through VIABILL.

Find Nuzena Neuro Focus + on Amazon

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro has made it a personal mission to set themselves apart from other brands. While some products provide a single nootropic in their remedy, this brand stacks them up. Not one, not two, but 11 different nootropics (which are all backed by science) make up this formula, working together to give greater efficacy to the formula.

To ensure that the formula is good for any consumer, there are no stimulants or additives. Plus, the formula targets both immediate brain support and long-term brain health.

This $65 supplement ships around the world, though the website also offers the bottles in a 2-pack and a 3-pack with a discount. Plus, consumers are provided a tracking number within 24 hours of the products shipping out.

Find Mind Lab Pro on Amazon


Noocube is a blend of multiple ingredients, offering nutritional value alongside the nootropic ingredients. The formula is meant to promote the same memory, focus, and mental acuity as other formulas, but also boasts amino acids, vitamins, and other necessary nutrients for a health brand.

While some nootropics can take hours to be effective, the official website for Noocube says that this dose only takes about 30 minutes to start stimulating the brand. It’s been formulated by neuroscientists, giving it an advantage over the competition. While this formula isn’t meant to treat debilitating brain diseases, some of the ingredients included have been tied to potential treatments for ailments like Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, there’s no caffeine, and all of the energy comes from the natural ingredients.

Consumers can purchase one, two, or three bottles from the official website, though each of the multi-packs offers additional bottles for free as an incentive. Presently, the single bottle is available for $39.99 with free shipping.

Find Noocube on Amazon

Ascend by Legion Athletics

The Ascend formula is meant to help consumers to get all the desired benefits of nootropic supplements, but with a little extra. Along with the use of Ginkgo Biloba – which promotes improve cognitive function through increased blood circulation – the formula also includes a few vitamins that the body naturally needs to support brain health. Other ingredients include CDP-Choline and Alpha-GPC, which come from natural sources.

With no stimulants or fillers, consumers can purchase Ascend for $44.97 on Amazon. However, for consumers that like a deal, a subscription is available to shave 5% off that price tag with recurring shipments.

Find Legion Athletics Ascend on Amazon

Havasu Nutrition neuroIGNITE

Havasu Nutrition is quickly earning a place as a trustworthy name in the supplement industry. NeuroIGNITE promotes mental clarity and focus with prominent nootropic ingredients, like Bacopa Monnier, St. John’s wort extract, DMAE, and Ginkgo Biloba. The treatment specifically states that both men and women can benefit, offering traditional nootropic support, along with mood improvements and more natural energy.

One of the major qualities that set apart this product from others is the full transparency with the label. Consumers will find exactly how much of each ingredient is in the product, compared to other products that are riddled with proprietary formulas and unknown quantities.

Presently, consumers can purchase the neuroIGNITE formula on Amazon for $20.94 but have the same deal available as Ascend for monthly shipments.

Find Havasu Nutrition neuroIGNITE on Amazon

Zhou Neuro-Peak

Zhou Neuro-Peak brings the popularity of the Zhou Nutrition name, but it doesn’t just solely rely on recognizability. Instead, the Neuro-Peak formula provides a unique ingredient for nootropics – Rhodiola Rosea extract. This extract is typically associated with energy, endurance, and strength, but it also supports memory retention. It is considered an adaptogen to help the body deal with stress, which can intensely impact mental performance.

Though Zhou Neuro-Peak is hardly the first nootropic product to use Rhodiola Rosea extract, they stand out for their inclusion of vitamins like B12 and herbal extracts as well. Some of the other ingredients found in this formula include DMAE, Bacopa Monnieri, and Ginkgo Biloba.

This supplement is available on Amazon for $20.90.

Find Zhou Neuro-Peak on Amazon

Nutra Champs Neura-Spark

The Nutra Champs Neura-Spark supplements sticks with traditional nootropic ingredients. It focuses heavily on DMAE and Gingko Biloba but states that all of the ingredients involved are organic. The formula is fast-acting and can be used daily to consistently improve the brain’s function.

All of the benefits of using Neura-Spark aren’t condensed to the impact it has on the brain. Presently, for each of the purchases that consumers make from Nutra Champs, the company donates to Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization that is focused on supporting nutritional needs in other countries. The company aims to help at least 40,000 people this year through these purchases.

Neura-Spark is listed on Amazon for $21.97 and is available through the subscription program as well.

Find Nutra Champs Neura-Spark on Amazon

Natural Stacks CILTEP

Natural Stacks CILTEP has a rather unique quality about it. Though it qualifies as a nootropic formula, it doesn’t have all of the classic ingredients that consumers expect from one. Instead, it has ingredients like artichoke extract and forskolin. Still, the company states that these ingredients help to naturally improve memory and promote better focus.

Consumers can purchase this formula on Amazon for $42.95, though it will not be back in stock until December 26th, 2019.

Find Natural Stacks CILTEP on Amazon

Arazo Nutrition Brain Plus

Arazo Nutrition consistently brings high-quality formulas to the supplement industry, and Brain Plus is no different. Tackling the nootropic benefits first, each bottle of Brain Plus includes important vitamins and minerals that are often seen in multivitamins instead. In doing so, consumers can get the concentrated support for the brain and all of the necessary vitamins for their day without the need to take two separate formulas.

The proprietary blend inside Brain Plus is the only true downside to this formula. Proprietary blends often include plenty of helpful ingredients, but there is no way to know how much or how little of each one there is. Still, the reputation of the company and its history of success is what keeps Brain Plus on the list.

Presently, Brain Plus is available on the official website with all 41 ingredients for $19.95, covering 60 capsules. Though many of these other products are for anyone, Arazo Nutrition’s website states that it is “perfect for college students, busy moms, and aging seniors over 50.”

Find Arazo Nutrition Brain Plus on Amazon

NeoVicta Clarity

Even though NeoVicta Clarity isn’t entirely as well known as some of the brands on this list, it still outperforms many products in the industry. It offers the benefits of both a nootropic and a multivitamin, but it doesn’t rank as high on the list for the same reason that Brain Plus barely made it – the proprietary blend.

While the proprietary blend appears to be where most of the nootropic support comes from, there’s no information about how the 346 mg portion is spread amongst the many ingredients.

Consumers can purchase NeoVicta Clarity from Amazon for $19.50, but there is currently a coupon available to attach.

Find NeoVicta Clarity on Amazon

What Are the Side Effects of Using Nootropics?

Nootropics stand to help consumers around the world to gain support for their cognition and memory, and there are already many nootropic ingredients that you might use. Nicotine, for example, is the substance found in cigarettes, and it is known to improve motor function and alertness. Caffeine is found in nearly every soda or energy drink, and it stimulates the nervous system, so what could be so bad?

The side effects mostly depend on the type of nootropic that the user integrates into their lifestyle. For instance, nootropics like nicotine, modafinil, and Adderall are highly addictive, and the latter can even cause anxiety. Gingko Biloba, though it is in nearly every nootropic, can cause stomach pain, nausea, and dizziness. Ginseng can also interact with medications, causing issues with high blood pressure.

Nootropic Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What counts as a nootropic?

A: It's hard to pin down a singular and straightforward definition for nootropics. The industry is pretty versatile, and nootropics can work in several different ways. But as a general rule, a nootropic is any supplement, drug, or superfood that can help improve cognitive function or capacity. The effectiveness of many nootropics is debated within the medical field, but some research has found that some supplements can greatly enhance neurological capabilities.

Q: Do nootropics work?

A: The answer to this critical question depends largely on the specific type of nootropic you're dealing with. Some nootropics are supported by relatively legitimate research studies, while others are not. Be sure to extensively research the studies cited by the nootropics you choose to take. Some nootropics are known scams, and you should also be wary of any product that claims to do things like improving overall intelligence or give you super-human smarts.

Q: How do you use nootropics?

A: Most modern nootropics are supplements in either pill or capsule form. With both types of supplements, use is relatively straightforward. Just take the number of pills or capsules (usually 1-2) outlined by the nootropic's manufacturer. Some nootropics should be taken at specific times of day, and some require you to take them with food or drink.

Q: How do nootropics improve brain function?

A: All nootropics should help to improve cognitive function by enhancing certain parts of the brain. For example, some nootropics work to promote higher blood and oxygen flow to the brain to increase its energy output capabilities. Other nootropic supplements claim to help users by increasing dopamine output, which could increase motivation within the brain naturally.

Q: Are nootropics dangerous?

A: Nootropics are generally not dangerous at all. Very few nootropics have been linked to serious side effects. However, part of the reason this is the case is the fact that nootropic supplements are very seldom the focus of scientific research studies. Nootropics are also not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, meaning that it's hard to be 100% sure of the true safety of these substances.

Q: What is the legality of nootropics?

A: Nootropics are 100% legal in the United States. They are federally classified as dietary supplements. This means two things. First, a dietary supplement is not officially evaluated by the FDA, meaning that it's harder to verify its safety. Second, nutritional supplements like nootropics are not actual drugs. Users should manage their expectations with supplements and only make purchases from companies with stellar transparency. But legally, there's nothing to worry about when buying a nootropic.

Q: Are nootropics just placebos?

A: Many users argue that nootropics are only placebos. The placebo effect happens when a drug isn't doing anything, but the user feels like it is because of the expectations they have for the drug. Some nootropics might be placebos. But this is not always the case. Many placebos are backed by actual peer-reviewed research. Concerned consumers should conduct their deep dive into this research to make sure they use only effective nootropic supplements.

Q: Can a nootropic help you lose weight?

A: Yes, and no. On the one hand, nootropic supplements do not naturally encourage weight loss directly. Nootropics focus mainly on the brain, rather than the rest of the body. However, some nootropics function to improve motivation by increasing dopamine production/release within the brain. When this is the case, consumers can quickly become more motivated in working out and exercising.

Q: Do nootropics follow the vegan diet?

A: Almost 100% of the time, your nootropic should be vegan. Most nootropics are plant-based, and it isn't easy to find a dietary supplement in the nootropic sector that is made from beef or animal products. However, these meat-based supplements still exist. Be sure to check the label for a full ingredient list if you follow a vegan diet.

Q: Are nootropics psychoactive drugs?

A: Absolutely not. Because psychoactive deal with the brain and nootropics claim to enhance brain faculties, some people associate them together. However, there is no reason to expect that a nootropic will lead to a psychoactive high.

Q: What is a nootropic food?

A: Nootropic foods are foods that might help to improve the cognitive capacity of the brain. Walnuts, spinach, mushrooms, berries, avocados, and leafy greens are some of the most popular nootropics. The main benefit of nootropic foods is that they generally have decades of research backing their effectiveness.

Q: Do nootropics require prescriptions?

A: No. This is one significant advantage to supplements in general, and it's especially clear when it comes to nootropics. Because these supplements are not approved or evaluated by the FDA, they require no prescription for possession or use. You can even buy nootropics at some grocery stores or gas stations.

Q: How do nootropics help you sleep?

A: This is an important thing to research before you buy a nootropic. Some nootropics fall under the broader drug category of stimulants, which means they can increase the heart rate and oxygen flow of users. These types of nootropics will often make it harder for users to sleep, rather than easier. Some nootropic supplements contain L-theanine, which can increase GABA levels in the brain and help you get asleep and stay asleep at night.

Q: Can your pets take nootropics?

A: Some nootropics may be made for pets. Most, however, are designed exclusively for human use. We do not recommend giving any human supplement to your pet unless it is specifically designed for pet use. If you choose to give your pets a nootropic supplement, be sure to carefully research and adjust your dosing as needed.

Q: What's a nootropic stack?

A: The term “nootropic stack” just refers to groups of two or more nootropic compounds taken at once. Combining caffeine with L-theanine, for example, can improve sleep capabilities while also providing the upper-effect of caffeine.

Q: When should nootropics be taken?

A: This depends on the specific supplement. Because nootropic supplements work to improve energy in the brain and body, they should generally be taken in the morning before breakfast. Taking a nootropic at night can mitigate the effects of the drug, especially since it might keep you awake past your bedtime.

Q: Is a nootropic natural?

A: Natural nootropics do exist. Caffeine and some leafy greens can function as natural nootropic supplements. Other nootropics and nootropic stacks are produced entirely in a facility, meaning that they are not natural. You can decide for yourself just how vital naturalism is to your supplement purchasing process.

Q: How often should you use nootropics?

A: This depends on several different factors. For example, older users might want to use nootropics more consistently because of their deteriorating brain function. For the most part, users who expect or desire consistent improvement should take their nootropic once per day for multiple weeks. Specific instructions regarding dosage frequency should be available on a nootropic's official product website.

Q: Can nootropics cause addiction?

A: Generally, nootropics will not cause addiction. Some nootropic substances, such as caffeine, may cause dependency if they are used consistently over a long period. But nootropics will rarely ever cause any addiction problem. If you take nootropics for an extended period and begin to experience dependency symptoms, contact the company and a medical professional.

Q: Should you give nootropics to children?

A: We generally recommend that consumers refrain from giving nootropics to their children unless the product is specifically tailored towards kids. Children's brains are still developing, so it's best to avoid interfering in this delicate process. But some nootropic vitamins might be made for children, and these might be safe to use.

Q: What are the nootropic benefits?

A: Benefits of nootropics are plenty. All nootropics primarily focus on improving brain function and cognitive ability, but the other side effects and impacts of nootropics can vary greatly. Some nootropics improve motivation, and might consequently help you to work out and lose weight faster. Other nootropics help users to get to sleep and stay asleep.

Q: What are the side effects of nootropics?

A: Few side effects have been substantively linked to major reputable nootropic supplements—however, some adverse side effects to persist, especially when consistent use occurs. For example, overuse of supplements featuring caffeine can cause headaches and even minor withdrawal symptoms—thoroughly research case studies and research tests before using any supplement over an extended amount of time.

Should You Take a Nootropic?

The only person that can answer this question is you, but there are ways to decide if this type of supplement is right. Consumers should discuss any plans to supplement their body’s needs with a medical professional. Any interactions with medications could be explained at that point, allowing consumers to make an educated decision.

However, if you don’t have any real medical issues and have used nootropics in the past, this list may help to guide the way to a new formula with better benefits than you’ve ever experienced. Seek out a regimen that targets your mental goals and prepare for the immense focus you need.

About the author

Andy Yogi

Andrew, aka Andy, is one of the finest journalists in the TheHealthRadar family and has contributed to dozens of different media publications in his near decade-long career as a professional writer. Based in Calgary, Canada, Andy specializes in investigating trending topics, researching through scientific literature and helping conceptualize new medical announcements through his detailed analysis guides from years of experience inside the health and wellness industry.

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