5 Best Nootropic Stacks For Optimal Brainpower

best nootropic stacks
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

No matter your age, gender, race, or profession, you want to have peak mental health. That includes providing your brain with the fuel it needs to perform optimally. 

This leads us to nootropics, also known as “smart drugs” or “cognitive enhancers.” These supplements can give you a mental boost whenever you’re feeling sluggish, or, better yet, keeps you in tiptop mental shape throughout your day.

Now, it isn’t enough to choose a nootropic willy-nilly and hope for the best. You want to research what the best nootropics are and which supplements are optimal for mental performance. 

Lucky for you, we’ve done all of the hard work and have compiled our list of the top nootropic supplements you can get right now. For all of you science geeks (we’ve provided links to studies and research to back every claim made in our review). 

Plus, we get into what nootropics are, what they actually do for you, whether they work or not, and other frequently asked nootropic questions.

Let’s get started!

 

  
 
Our ranking
What we love about it
Top Ingredients
Ratings
Trusted Brand
Price
Free Shipping

InstaBrain™ by VitaMonk

$21
rogue squat rack
Our ranking : #1
What we love about it : Best Overall Nootropic
Top Ingredients : B12, Folate, Acetyl-l-Carnitine, and L-theanine.
Ratings : 4.3 out of 5.0
Trusted Brand
Price : Middle Ground
Free Shipping

Gaia Herbs Nootropic Focus

$19
rogue squat rack
Our ranking : #2
What we love about it : Best For Improving Focus
Top Ingredients : Saffron, Ginkgo, Spearmint, & Lemon Balm
Ratings : 4.1 out of 5.0
Trusted Brand
Price : Most Expensive
Free Shipping

Mainframe Nootropic Formula

$45
rogue squat rack
Our ranking : #3
What we love about it : Best For Brain Health
Top Ingredients : Lion’s Mane, Teacrine, & Alpha GPC
Ratings : 5.0 out of 5.0 (Limited Reviews)
Trusted Brand
Price : Lowest Price
Free Shipping

#1 Best Overall Nootropic Supplement: InstaBrain by VitaMonk (Best Overall Nootropic)

Nootropic Brand

Why We Love It

  • High-quality nootropic ingredients
  • Trusted brand
  • Backed by third-party research
  • Affordable ($19 per month)
  • Fights brain fog, enhances energy, helps with focus
  • Best nootropic for improving overall body health
  • One pill per day, that’s it

OUR RATING



Our #1 Rated

5/5

5 out of 5

When it comes to nootropics, you won’t find one better than Vitamonk Instabrain

And the science backs it up…

It has the perfect blend of high-quality ingredients, all of which are backed by scientific literature.

vitamonk nootropic nutrition label

I’ve went through each ingredient individually and they don’t add a single ingredient that doesn’t assist in cognitive functions.

Not. Even. One. 
 

The ingredients in this formula have been backed by 3rd party research and found to improve overall brain function, enhance energy levels, and relax the mind without making you feel drowsy.

The main nootropic ingredients in this supplement match up with a lot of the best individual nootropics we dive into at the bottom of this article (in the section titled “The Best Individual Nootropics”), including vitamin B12, folate, acetyl-l-carnitine, and L-theanine. 

And it doesn’t stop there.

VitaMonk also packs in Rhodiola Rosea and L-tyrosine for an additional mental boost.

While all of these ingredients are fantastic as nootropics, they also affect other parts of your body as well. 

Cocoa polyphenols boost your mood, which allows you to have a kinder approach to the world at large. This aids in spiritual health. 

Plus, acetyl-l-carnitine has been found to increase glucose disposal in people with Type 2 diabetes, making it beneficial to your metabolism and glucose usage.

Not only a nootropic, InstaBrain by VitaMonk you will help you perform better under pressure, focus more, eliminate brain fog, boost your energy, and improve other biomarkers. 

All from one supplement.

I’ve tried a lot of nootropics in my day, and without question, Vitamonk Instabrain takes the cake. 

1.1 – Ingredients

1.2 – Pros

  • High-quality nootropic ingredients
  • Trusted brand
  • Backed by third-party research
  • Affordable ($19 per month)
  • Fights brain fog, enhances energy, helps with focus
  • Two pills per day, that’s it

1.3 – Cons

  • Side effects if you take more than the recommended dose (can be avoided by taking recommended serving)

#2 Best Overall Nootropic Supplement: Vitamonk Instabrain (Best for Improving Focus and Function)

Nootropic Brand

Why We Love It!

  • Organic, high-quality ingredients
  • Passed microbial, heavy metal, identity, pesticide, and strength testing
  • Trusted brand
  • Supports enhanced concentration and revitalizes your body
  • Best Nootropic for improved focus and function
  • Made in the USA

OUR RATING



Our #2 Rated

4.8/5

4.8 out of 5

If you’re looking for a nootropic to improve your ability to focus, this is the one you want. 

Gaia Herbs has always been a trusted source of amazing supplements filled with all-natural ingredients that work, period.

And they have a Nootropic Focus supplement that has your brain firing on all cylinders.

The advantage of taking this supplement is it’s calming and concentration effects. It has a spearmint leaf-lemon balm proprietary blend and saffron stigma extract to keep your behavior balanced and steady. 

Plus, it has ginkgo biloba leaf extract, which gives you an energy boost to keep you going strong throughout your day. This mix of chilling you out while ramping up productivity makes it the perfect supplement for busy parents or professionals looking to get things done while maintaining an even keel. 

This is the ideal supplement for complete focus while remaining calm.

You can attain focus with a cup of coffee, but you might feel jittery or uncomfortable in the process. Nootropic Focus has a mix of ingredients that help your brain function to the max:

As you can see, the main components of this supplement get your brain fired up and raring to go… all without causing additional stress on yourself and in your body.

(Pro tip: You can pair Nootropic Focus with Gaia Herbs Agile Mind, found here, which has even more nootropic ingredients like bacopa, turmeric root for reducing inflammation, and rosemary leaf.)

2.1 – Ingredients

Best nootropic for improved focus

2.2 – Pros

  • Organic, high-quality ingredients
  • Passed microbial, heavy metal, identity, pesticide, and strength testing
  • Trusted brand
  • Supports enhanced concentration and revitalizes your body
  • Made in the USA

2.3 – Cons

  • Might have to take more than once a day for the desired effect

#3 Best Overall Nootropic Supplement: Mainframe Nootropic Formula by Method Performance Supplements (Best for Brain Health)

Why We Love It!

  • Packed with lots of nootropic ingredients backed by research
  • Gives you all of the benefits, including enhanced cognition, energy, and focus
  • Includes Teacrine, a non-habituating version of caffeine
  • Can be bought in bulk
  • Best nootropic for brain health

OUR RATING



Our #3 Rated

4.6/5

4.6 out of 5

This supplement is jam-packed with all kinds of nootropic ingredients, making it more than deserving at our #4 spot on our list. 

Mainframe Nootropic Formula has two different ingredient complexes, one offering elite energy and focus, the other a premium nootropic complex that includes Lion’s mane mushroom extract, Bacopa monnieri, and alpha GPC (a natural choline compound found in the brain). 

Plus, it has a patented ingredient, Teacrine, which inhibits adenosine receptors just like caffeine, making you feel more awake. The only difference is that Teacrine is a dopamine agonist, meaning you get a dopamine hit at the same time. 

This gives you clean energy for about four to six hours.

On top of that, it has black pepper extract to enhance the bioavailability of all the other ingredients.

If you want to boost your neurotransmitters, improve your overall concentration, support your cognitive function, and have dialed-in focus, this would be the supplement to reach for in your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe.

3.1 – Ingredients

Best Nootropic For Brain Health

3.2 – Pros

  • Packed with lots of nootropic ingredients backed by research
  • Gives you all of the benefits, including enhanced cognition, energy, and focus
  • Includes Teacrine, a non-habituating version of caffeine
  • Can be bought in bulk

3.3 – Cons

  • Proprietary blends *could* include additional unlisted ingredients 

4 – The #4 Best Overall Nootropic: Beverly International Fast-Up Nootropic

Why We Love It!

  • Promotes the health and function of the GI tract
  • Trusted brand-name
  • Organic ingredients
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Price-friendly

OUR RATING



Our #4 Rated

4.3/5

4.3 out of 5

Another solid Bodybuilding.com nootropic product is the Beverly International Fast-Up.

Just as the name implies, this supplement will get you up and at ‘em like nothing else.

Fast-Up has four different B vitamins, including B12 and folic acid. The Fast-Up energy and cognitive renewal system have ingredients like L-citrulline, caffeine, Coenzyme-Q10, and green tea leaf extract for the polyphenols. 

What all of these do is create a fantastic nootropic stack that gets you alert as quickly as possible and keeps you in that enhanced state for most of your day.

It supports your mental and physical performance, boosts your energy, and promotes overall health and wellness.

If you want a supplement that can be a pre-workout and a pre-work supplement, definitely go with Beverly International Fast-Up.

4.1 – Ingredients

Best Nootropic Supplement Facts

4.2 – Pros

  • Helps you wake up and be alert faster and longer
  • Includes polyphenols for enhanced cognition
  • Nootropic ingredients are backed by research

4.3 – Cons

  • Not the most well-known brand
  • Could make you jittery from the caffeine

5 – The #5 Best Pre-Made Nootropic Stack: The Brain Booster Stack by VitaMonk

Why We Love It!

  • Comes in both powder and pill form
  • Stack creates a potent nootropic blend
  • Trusted brand name
  • Cost-friendly (two nootropics for the price of one)
  • Natural ingredients found naturally inside the brain
  • Improve mental clarity, focus, and performance

OUR RATING



Our #5 Rated

4/5

4 out of 5

Last up, we have a nootropic stack from our good friends over at VitaMonk.

This combo includes alpha GPC, which we’ve established as a choline compound found in the brain, and uridine. 

The alpha GPC (650mg per serving) helps support brain cognition and promotes learning and memory.

Uridine is a nucleoside that makes up nucleic acids; adding uridine into the stack helps promote synapse growth, neuroplasticity, and healthy brain function.

Together, this stack amps your brain up into a whole other playing field.

With faster synapses, increased brain cognition, improvements in memory, and heightened neuroplasticity, you don’t need anything else. 

Of course, getting these two singular ingredients as a stack — either in pill form or mixed together in a powder — saves you money at the same time.

So you can get sharper and smarter while not having to dig too deep into your wallet.

5.1 – Ingredients

  • 650mg Alpha GPC
  • 350mg Uridine 5’-Monophosphoric Acid Disodium Salt

5.2 – Pros

  • Comes in both powder and pill form
  • Stack creates a potent nootropic blend
  • Trusted brand name
  • Cost-friendly (two nootropics for the price of one)
  • Natural ingredients found naturally inside the brain

5.3 – Cons

  • You only get 30 servings of Alpha GPC, compared to 60 servings of Uridine
  • Despite it being a stack, only two total nootropics
  • Might have a weird taste if you go with the powder

 

  
 
Our ranking
What we love about it
Top Ingredients
Ratings
Trusted Brand
Price
Free Shipping

InstaBrain™ by VitaMonk

$21
rogue squat rack
Our ranking : #1
What we love about it : Best Overall Nootropic
Top Ingredients : B12, Folate, Acetyl-l-Carnitine, and L-theanine.
Ratings : 4.3 out of 5.0
Trusted Brand
Price : Middle Ground
Free Shipping

Gaia Herbs Nootropic Focus

$19
rogue squat rack
Our ranking : #2
What we love about it : Best For Improving Focus
Top Ingredients : Saffron, Ginkgo, Spearmint, & Lemon Balm
Ratings : 4.1 out of 5.0
Trusted Brand
Price : Most Expensive
Free Shipping

Mainframe Nootropic Formula

$45
rogue squat rack
Our ranking : #3
What we love about it : Best For Brain Health
Top Ingredients : Lion’s Mane, Teacrine, & Alpha GPC
Ratings : 5.0 out of 5.0 (Limited Reviews)
Trusted Brand
Price : Lowest Price
Free Shipping

What Are Nootropics?

As we said above, nootropics are substances — usually in pill or supplement form — that might improve cognition, especially these mental function areas:

  • Executive functions (processes necessary for cognitive behavior control)
  • Memory
  • Creativity
  • Motivation

We say “might” because science is still out on a lot of the various nootropics being lauded as miracle brain drugs.

However, some nootropics have healthy amounts of research backing up the claims. We’ll get into which nootropics are bolstered by studies and which ones aren’t.

Do Nootropics Actually Work?

Are there any nootropics that actually work? It’s a common question, and a fair one.

Again, it’s a half-yes, half-no answer. Some nootropics have been shown to work with the neurons in your brain to improve chemical balances. Others are akin to snake oil.

For the most part, if you stick with companies that conduct third-party research and include only high-quality, effective ingredients, you should get a supplement that works for most healthy individuals.

Below, we’ll list the best, most effective individual nootropics you can get, as well as the ones that are smoke and mirrors and should be avoided at all costs.

Are Nootropics Dangerous?

Nootropic supplements affect the brain, so practice extreme caution. The last thing you want is for your brain to go all haywire on you.

Never, under any circumstances, should you take more than the recommended dose (it’s recommended for a reason). 

Seeing as it alters and stimulates your brain, there’s always a danger.

Most — if not all — of the nootropic supplement packaging should have some sort of warning label. Simply practice safe supplementation and STOP taking them if you experience any side effects.

You do it right, and you can supplement nootropics safely.

What Is the Most Effective Nootropic?

Individual ingredients are great for improving brain function.

Some of them you might be using already and you don’t even realize they’re nootropics. But what are the best individual ingredients you can use to boost your brain function?

The Best Individual Nootropics:

  1. Bacopa monnieri: An Ayurvedic herb that can increase information processing speed in the brain, as well as enhance memory and reduce reaction times. It also protects your brain from oxidative stress. This herb can be found in its very own supplement.
  2. L-theanine: Increases alpha waves in the brain, aiding in creativity. It also relaxes your brain without making you drowsy. It can be found in organic green tea.
  3. Fish oil: Has the fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which supports brain health. It can be found in fatty, cold-water fish, or a high-quality fish oil supplement.
  4. Acetyl-l-carnitine: An amino acid created naturally in the body, ALC supports behavior balancing while also enhancing acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter associated with optimal brain function. It also helps with memory and attention span. While your body makes this, you can find this amino acid in protein supplements or other nootropics.
  5. Caffeine: This substance blocks the adenosine receptors in your brain, making you feel more awake and less tired. It can be found in coffee, tea, or cocoa.
  6. Ginkgo biloba: Increases mental processing functions and memory, and may improve blood flow to the brain. Extracted from the leaves of the Ginkgo tree, it’s found in numerous supplements.
  7. Nicotine: Aids in alertness and improving attention span. (Warning: Nicotine is potentially addicting, which is why cigarettes are so tough to quit.) It can be found as nicotine gum or patches.
  8. Modafinil: A prescription drug for narcolepsy, modafinil reduces fatigue and improves memory, along with increasing executive function, which allows you to manage your time optimally. (Warning: Taking high doses of modafinil could result in dependency; stick to low doses.)
  9. B vitamins: B12 and folate are known to support cognitive function, while the rest of the B vitamins help with other health areas in the body. It can be easily taken as B-complex vitamins.
  10. Ashwagandha: Derived from the root of a plant, this extract can help reduce the effects of stress, and it might be neuroprotective (meaning it protects the brain from oxidative stress). This Ayurvedic herb can be found in multiple nootropic supplements.
  11. Resveratrol: Found in trace amounts in red wine, resveratrol is a polyphenol, giving your brain antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress. It also supports cytokine balance, inflammatory chemicals that need to be managed or they get out of hand. While you could drink an entire bottle of red, we recommend finding a supplement packed with more resveratrol.

What About Adderall and Ritalin?

While these are both nootropics, A) they usually require a prescription for a neurological disorder such as ADHD or ADD, and B) they come with too many side effects to be considered the “best.” 

Adderall abuse can result in anxiety, low libido, sweating, and, in recreational use, more severe effects like heart attacks, especially if you mix Adderall with alcohol. 

As for Ritalin, it can impair thinking if excessive amounts are taken, and have side effects like insomnia, headache, upset stomach, and loss of appetite.

Worse effects still include seizures, heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure, psychosis, and hallucinations.

In short, steer clear of both Adderall and Ritalin. They aren’t worth the cognitive benefits.

Can You Take Them Daily?

Yes. In fact, a lot of the nootropics don’t reach peak performance until you’ve used them for a long period of time.

Taking healthy, science-backed nootropics regularly each and every day will ensure that your brain starts to expect those boosts in your day.

When Should I Take Nootropics?

If you want to boost your cognitive function throughout the day, we recommend taking your nootropic supplement in the morning.

You could also take it in the afternoon to beat that slump you feel after lunch. Read the packaging of your supplement to see if it works best with food or without. 

Conclusion: Choose the Best Nootropic for You

Look again at the list of individual nootropics and think about which brain functions you want to be improved.

Is it your mood? Memory? Attention span? Creative thinking?

Pick out a handful of nootropics that match the benefits you’re looking for, then find the best nootropic that has all of those. 

Or, better yet, go with our top choices, like VitaMonk’s Instabrain or Gaia Herb’s Nootropic Focus.

Trust us: Equipped with a high-quality nootropic, your brain will be working in tiptop shape (and it will show in your performance).

Recent Posts

Share this post with your friends

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin