Summary: Brain supplements are an excellent way to help give you a mental edge at work, school, or in your business. But not all of them are created equally. We reviewed over 30 different brain supplements, focus pills and nootropic supplements and we sorted out what works and what doesn't. Here are the top 10 nootropic supplements and focus pills that actually work.
What Are Nootropic Supplements?
Nootropic supplements are also known as “smart pills” or “brain boosters”. They were originally developed by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, a Romanian physician, and they have long been used by those in the field of computer programming and other professions where brain power is important.
As of recently, they have also become popular with everyday individuals who believe that they can optimize their mental performance by taking such supplements.
Being able to do so means first to understand what their ingredients are and how they work. Various clinical studies have shown that certain compounds are able to improve various cognitive functions.
In order to find a good nootropic product, therefore, you should only consider those that have been backed by clinical science.
It is very important and increasingly difficult to maintain proper mental and physical health and function. We must ensure that we get the right nutrients to be able to live a long, healthy life.
One element of this is to optimize the performance of the brain. Not only is this simply good for us, it can also make us more successful in and satisfied with our daily activities, while at the same time leaving us feeling more productive and motivated.
More and more people now take supplements in order to maintain good health. In fact, the supplement industry is one of the largest in the world today. It is also wholly unregulated, with the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) not having set any rules or regulations in place.
However, manufacturers who are committed to the quality of their products do set certain standards and use FDA-approved or GMP-approved facilities, as well as guaranteeing their products are Made in the USA, for instance.
One of the particular supplements that are now interesting, as stated, are those that enhance brain power. They include vitamins, nutraceuticals, and other health products, commonly named “nootropics”. Nootropics aim to enhance mood, motivation, focus, memory, learning, and cognition and they are said to have very few, if any, side effects.
The Benefits of Brain Supplements
The benefits of using nootropic supplements include the fact that:
- They enhance memory.
- They help to increase focus and concentration.
- They boost energy levels.
- They help to increase athletic performance.
- They enhance intelligence.
- They reduce anxiety.
- They may help to treat depression.
These benefits are only available with good quality nootropic supplements, however. Hence, you need to learn how to recognize a good quality product from one that is only a cleverly marketed hype.
How To Determine If A Nootropic Stack is Effective Or A Scam
Some of the things you should look for include:
- The claims made on the labels. Always check out the Supplement Facts, where the ingredients must be listed by law. Read the precautions and follow the directions when it comes to using them. Try to see beyond the hype on the label as well. The FDA does not regulate supplements, but it states that claims need to be proven and that supplements may not claim to cure, treat, prevent, or diagnose disease.
- The list of ingredients. By law, this list must be included with any supplement and the order of ingredients has to be from the highest to the lowest percentage. Additionally, you need to understand the type of ingredients. For instance, beta-carotene is a type of vitamin A, but it isn’t very bioavailable, which means it isn’t efficient. The same is true for magnesium, which is of poor quality if it’s magnesium oxide, but of good quality if it is magnesium glycinate, citrate, or malate. Do also make sure to look into which flavors are used (the word “natural” may still mean that it contains additives), and coatings and bindings in the product.
- The warnings and cautions. While you may be worried if you see warnings and cautions, it is good for a manufacturer to add them as it proves that they have truly researched their own product. Warnings and cautions to be particularly aware of include counterindications with different medications.
- The marketing. You need to be able to see beyond what they market, disbelieving any unrealistic claims straightaway. Look for words like “enhancing”, “promoting”, and “supporting”, which do not point to exaggerated claims.
We have sorted through most of the brain supplements available on the market today to determine what works and what doesn't. Hopefully, this will help you make an informed decision about which supplement you might want to consider yourself. Below, we reveal our top 10 best supplements on the market today.
Our Selection Criteria and Why They Matter
There are a number of key things we have looked for in determining the top 10 supplements on the market today. These are:
- Speed of results. Naturally, you do not want to have to wait too long for your product to work.
- Overall effectiveness. This is down to the quality of the ingredients, their dosage, and whether the are backed by science.
- Safety. You should check whether there are any side effects associated with any supplement you take.
- Ingredient quality and purity. Check whether the facility in which the product is manufactured is properly registered, where the ingredients have come from, and whether they are whole ingredients or extracts.
- Customer feedback. Most supplements will have a range of positive testimonials listed on their own website. Try to find feedback listed on third party independent websites. A product receiving a few complaints is not necessarily a bad product, this all depends on how the company has responded to the complaints.
- Company reputation. Look into the company, their history, whether they focus particularly on the supplement market, and so on.
- Return policy. If you are unhappy with the results of the product, the quality of manufacturing, or have any other issue, you should be able to return your product. Most companies limit the amount of time you have to do that.
- Money back guarantee. As indicated above, there should be clear guidelines on the money back guarantee offered by the company. Find out whether it is a full guarantee, whether you get your money back if the product has already been opened, and how long you have to return your product.
- Overall price for value. This is somewhat of a personal opinion, but you can find out from others whether they believe the product was good value for money or not.
Reviews of The Best Nootropic Supplements of 2018
Brain Enhancement Pills That Help You Focus
1. Qualia Mind
Qualia Mind by Neurohacker Collective contains 28 different ingredients, all of which are backed by clinical trials.
It focuses on the functioning of the entire nervous system, leading to optimal cognitive performance, including creativity, mood, energy, and focus.
It is also recommended by some of the most recognized fitness experts. Results become evident very quickly, but some people have reported a few side effects.
The product is suitable for vegans, non-GMO, and gluten free. It also comes with a 100% in 100 days money back guarantee.
2. Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is perfect for people new to nootropics and who look for something to use on the long term. It takes a while for this supplement to take effect but once it does, it improves mindset, overall performance, and memory.
It uses an advanced formula that has recently been optimized to be stronger, extracting the ingredients from nutrient-rich soil. It has received excellent reviews and the company offers a 30 day money back guarantee.
Few side effects, other than the occasion headache, have been reported with this vegan friendly, non-GMO product.
NooCube is one of the fastest acting nootropics on the market, with results noticeable in 30 to 45 minutes. It has been described as very effective, although it can lead to a number of minor side effects.
The product is non-GMO and free from gluten and GMO. It also contains Alpha-GPC, a highly bioavailable ingredient that is backed by clinical science. The product is available with a free trial and a 60 day money back guarantee.
Lumonol takes just a few days to increase productivity, focus, and energy. Some people have compared it to Adderall, which is an ADHD medication. It includes highly complex ingredients, including Noopept, and acetylcholine boosting ingredients.
Three different blends are included, which are focus, energy, and memory, to work through three stages: undistracted focus, vital blood flow, and regaining vision and direction. The company offers a 100% 90 day money back guarantee, but 99.7% of clients never returned their product and were fully satisfied with it, including with the fact that there are no reported side effects.
CILTEP is marketed as one of the best nootropic supplements available. It was developed by Tim Ferris, a renowned entrepreneur and self proclaimed “human guinea pig”. He claims that the product works almost instantly and contains nothing but high quality ingredients.
Indeed, the product is vegan, paleo friendly, gluten free, and certified open source. CILTEP’s ingredients are quite similar to those in other nootropics, except for the addition of forskolin and artichoke extract. These two increase the focus and energy you can expect from the nootropics, while also reportedly making people more creative.
However, side effects include drowsiness and reduced choline levels, which are of concern. Endurance athletes and students seem to enjoy the product in particular. The company, Natural Stacks, offers a 30 day money back guarantee, but only on the first purchase.
Alpha Brain is one of the best known nootropics on the market, which is mainly due to the fact that it has received numerous celebrity endorsements and it is featured heavily during podcast advertisements. It seems, as well, that the product really works.
It is manufactured by Onnit, which has included a wealth of important and clinically backed ingredients such as L-tyrosine, L-theanine, and L-leucine, to create a nootropic that significantly helps to improve performance. The product is free from stimulants, which means it won’t make you jittery.
However, there have been some reported side effects, such as low blood pressure, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. Uniquely, the product is certified drug free by the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG). It has been clinically studied and is free of caffeine and gluten.
Three blends (flow, focus, and fuel) are included in the vegetarian capsules and the product has been clinically studied. This nootropic has received tons of positive reviews, with people appreciating the protection they receive through the trademarked Keep It Return Policy, although few people have had to use that. Unfortunately, it is one of the more expensive supplements, but those who have used it say it was worth it.
Nootrogen takes around one week to take effect. It has been reviewed as highly effectively, likely due to the high quality, natural ingredients. Uniquely, there have been no reported side effects with Nootrogen at all.
It contains highly bioavailable dimethylaminoethanol, which has been tested in a randomized, group-parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. They also offer a 60 day money back guarantee although it seems very few people have ever had to use this.
Nootroo is one of the few supplements that offer immediate effects. However, the company recommends that people continue to take the product regularly to get the best results. Nootroo is made up of two individual products, which can make it somewhat difficult to use properly.
There have also been reports of some more uncomfortable side effects such as insomnia and an irregular heartbeat. However, the product contains the purest ingredients in the industry, which is backed up by independent third party lab tests. It includes synergistic ingredients, which are all based on extensive scientific research. It is unclear, unfortunately, whether the product comes with a money back guarantee, although an auto shipment program is available.
Optimind is for those who don’t just want to be focused but also want energy. It contains caffeine, which means it is perfect to take in the morning for a daily energy boost. It also contains Huperzine A, Vinpocetine, and Bacopa, which have been shown to have a positive effect on cognitive function.
The caffeine content is quite high, however, so this product may not be suitable for those who already drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Finding the right dosage can be quite difficult and many people have experienced side effects such as jitteriness and headaches, likely to be related to the caffeine.
The product is Made in the USA and the capsule is fully vegetarian. Uniquely, the product was initially made for personal use by the manufacturers at Synapsa. It comes with a free trial and a 100% 30 day money back guarantee.
Nootrobox is one of the lesser reviewed products out there. It appears to be quite slow acting and many people found caffeine to be more effective. This has resulted in the company now working on improving the formula, which is why the product is worthy of mention.
At present, it can lead to digestive upsets, headaches, and irritability. This is mainly due to the highly bioavailable ingredients that are divided across four nootropic blends, which target different aspects of cognitive performance.
The company does offer a money back guarantee and return policy, but the details thereof have not been made clear on the website, which is concerning. This is a product that will need further reviewing once the ingredients have improved, at which point the overall value for money will also become clearer.
Overall, if you want to have a happy, healthy life in which the quality of your life is maintained right until old age, you have to focus on the health of your brain as much as on the rest of your body.
One way to achieve that is by taking nootropic supplements. So long as you take one of the ten listed above, you are likely to experience positive results, which will positively impact every element of your life.
We believe that these 10 brain supplements are the best nootropic stacks on the market today. They all meet our standards, meaning that they are quality assured, do not contain unnecessary ingredients, are highly bioavailable and absorbable, and have proven positive effects.
All 10 have also received numerous positive reviews from their users. Naturally, all have also received a number of negative reviews, but we believe this is further testament to the quality of the products.
Other Things To Consider
Each human body is different, which means it reacts differently to the various ingredients. With each of the nootropics described above, people have experienced a range of side effects. None of them were dangerous, but they ranged from trouble sleeping to stomach upsets, all of which are uncomfortable and unwanted.
What this means is not that the products are of poor quality, but rather that their ingredients are indeed highly bioavailable and that some people simply do not respond to them the same as others do.
Additionally, it is often not clear how people took the capsules (at what time, in what dosage, and in combination with other medication), which could also have a significant impact on the overall effect of the nootropics. Furthermore, the majority of the side effects were caused by the caffeine or other stimulant ingredients contained within the nootropics.
Supplements That Did Not Make the Top 10
We reviewed many supplements, but not all of them made our top 10 due one of many factors including, but not limited to, product quality/effectiveness, company reputation, billing practices, customer service issues. While some of these supplements may be worth trying, others are should be avoided. Read each review below if you're interested in learning more about each of the brain or nootropic supplements below.