The Best Nootropic Supplements for Boosting Brain Power in 2021
We all want to be able to perform to the best of our abilities every day, but it’s all too common to feel bogged down by brain fog, anxiety, or a long list of other mental ball-and-chains. If you’ve been interested in boosting your cognitive function, maybe you’ve come across the term “nootropic” in your research. Are you wondering what nootropics are and what the best nootropic supplements for you might be?
Some types of nootropics have undergone quite a bit of scientific testing, while others are still in need of quite a bit of research. When taking any substance, it’s best to do your due diligence, as even naturally occurring supplements can have a powerful impact on your brain and body.
Are you wondering what the best nootropics are for 2021? Let’s take a deep dive at some different nootropics, their effects, and the research (or lack thereof) behind them.
What Are Nootropics?
“Nootropic” is a term that refers to substances that might have a positive effect on cognitive abilities. If substances might be sourced naturally or created synthetically. There are three different general categories of nootropics, which are prescription drugs, synthetic compounds, and dietary supplements.
Nootropics can also be categorized into pharmacological categories. The first category contains substances that directly interact with receptors, the second contains substances that interact with enzymes, and the third contains substances that neither directly affect enzymes or receptors.
9-Methyl-ß-carboline (9-me-BC) is a nootropic that interacts with enzymes. In 2008, German researchers identified this substance as potentially neuroprotective.
Because of its ability to upregulate tyrosine hydroxylase, researchers became interested in the potential for this drug to treat dopaminergic disorders. Many of these disorders are associated with learning problems and memory issues.
There has been some animal testing done using 9-me-BC and it was found that, in healthy rats, this substance increased their levels of dopamine in the hippocampus, improved radial arm maze performance after ten days, and enhanced dendritic formations.
It is necessary for more studies to be done to determine the potential benefits and drawbacks of this supplement.
This synthetic nootropic can help to increase wakefulness and alertness. Interestingly, this substance is a stimulant, but rather than creating hyperactivity it instead fights off sleepiness.
It is possible that taking adrafinil might have positive effects on one’s memory. However, sufficient research has yet to be done on the impact of the drug on memory.
As of now, it isn’t advised to take this supplement long-term. This is because the drug is metabolized in the liver into modafinil, and studies haven’t been done to learn about the impact of the substance on the liver.
Developed in the 1980s in Russia, Bromantane is an actoprotector. Actoprotectors are drugs that can enhance an individual’s physical performance while undergoing extreme environmental conditions.
Some believe that this drug can help to inhibit fatigue, reduce anxiety, increase energy, improve movement coordination, and promote learning. In fact, this drug is used in Russia for the treatment of neurasthenia.
While there is limited scientific research into the drug, there is not evidence yet to suggest that this substance possesses any serious side effects or addictive potential. Bromantane is banned from the Olympics and many other sports competitions, however.
Citicoline occurs naturally in the body as a brain chemical but is also taken as a medicine or a supplement. It was originally used as a prescription drug in Europe and Japan to help those recovering from a stroke in order to improve brain function, memory, and thinking.
This drug is also used to help improve the vision of people who have glaucoma and help with the memory loss that accompanies aging. It is also used for a number of other brain conditions, such as Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, lazy eye, and bipolar disorder.
It is believed that citicoline works by increasing phosphatidylcholine, which is a brain chemical that is important for the functioning of your brain. It is also possible that this nootropic increases the amounts of other message-sending brain chemicals.
This nootropic supplement is believed to help prevent oxidative stress and enhance mitochondrial function. Through animal testing, it has been found that this substance might be able to help reverse cognitive impairment.
Naturally occurring in plants, laxogenin is a chemical that helps to stimulate plant growth. Many supplements that are branded as laxogenin actually don’t contain the natural compound, however, but rather a synthetic derivative known as 5a-hydroxy laxogenin or laxosterone.
This drug isn’t a prohormone or steroid, but people use it to help build muscle. While more research is necessary to prove or disprove its possible effects on muscle growth, some studies have been done relating to other potential applications.
In animal and cell studies, it has been found that this drug reduced lung tumor formation in mice, prevented tissue damage from poor oxygen supply and free radicals in cells, and reduced insulin resistance, sugar production in the liver, and blood sugar levels in obese mice.
If you’ve ever even skimmed the surface of forums online that discuss the best nootropics, you’ve probably heard of phenibut. This chemical is similar to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a brain chemical.
Used for insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, alcohol use disorder, and a long list of other conditions, it’s important to understand that this nootropic supplement can be addictive.
Phenibut is used in Latvia, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine in order to improve sleep and treat anxiety. It is also used to treat depression, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, asthenia, alcoholism, stuttering, posttraumatic stress disorder, tics, stuttering, Ménière’s disease, dizziness, vestibular disorders, for the prevention of motion sickness, and more.
Having anxiolytic effects, this central nervous system depressant was developed in the Soviet Union. While it’s not approved for clinical use in most of Europe and the United States, some people take it as a supplement or recreationally because of it’s ability to induce euphoria and ease social anxiety.
Phenylpiracetam is a racetam drug, which is a class of drugs that includes some nootropics and some anticonvulsants.
It has been reported that this drug can enhance physical performance while being more neuroprotective than the drug piracetam. There is also some research to support the claim that this drug can reduce the symptoms of and rate of cognitive decline in people.
Uridine is a drug that is synergistic with fish oil. Potentially possessing cognitive enhancing properties, this substance is a nucleotide base that is found in high levels in beer.
Are you surprised to see such a common substance on a list of drugs you may be otherwise have not heard of? Some people believe that caffeine might be one of the most potent nootropics. It works by blocking adenosine receptors in your brain which helps you to not feel as tired.
Found in drinks like coffee, energy drinks, and some teas, you can also find caffeine in supplement form.
This substance can help to increase your mental alertness, fight physical fatigue, and give you faster reaction times. By improving both your physical and psychological energy, caffeine can be an effective nootropic.
The substance is naturally found in tea but can also be purchased as a supplement. Purported as a way to become restfully alert, it is popular to combine L-Theanine with caffeine. Many find that this drug can help to counteract the jitteriness and anxiety that can sometimes accompany drinking or taking caffeine.
You’ve maybe heard of bodybuilders and gym-rats using creatine because of its ability to help with muscle growth. You may not have realized that this protein is also used for brain cells, and can help to improve reasoning abilities and short-term memory.
Another popular nootropic substance, this ancient herb is believed to help enhance the functioning of your brain. There have been studies that suggest that Bacopa Monnieri can speed up information processing, give you faster reaction times, and improve your memory.
Unlike some of the other nootropics on this list, the effects of this herb are not felt right away. Rather, the difference starts becoming clear after at least a couple of months of use.
This herbal supplement is a nootropic that might be able to fight off physical fatigue and mental fatigue during times of hardship and stress. Many people find that during high-stress experiences, Rhodiola Rosea can help induce a feeling of peace and calm.
Ginkgo biloba is a naturally occurring supplement that has been long used in ancient Chinese medicine. Some people believe that this substance can help people stay calm when undergoing stressful situations, which also improving memory and mental processing.
Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that had the ability to stimulate nerve growth factor in the brain. It is said that this mushroom has been used by Buddhist monks for thousands of years as a tea. Reportedly, these monks used the tea as a brain tonic that could heighten their ability to focus during meditation and enhance their brainpower.
Potentially helping to improve cognition and memory, it is believed that this mushroom is a catalyst for brain cell regeneration.
If you’ve never seen a lion’s mane mushroom before, it’s worth giving it a Google. With white, long, flowing tendrils, this mushroom earns its impressive name. Also going by the names Bearded Tooth, Monkey’s Head, Pom Pom Blanc, Satyr’s Beard, and Hedgehog Mushroom, this mushroom looks quite different than the little white ones you’re used to seeing in the woods.
Native to North America, Southeast Asia, and Europe, these mushrooms are a popular nootropic supplement.
This bioflavinoid compound occurs naturally in many plant foods. Known to be an adenosine receptor, this supplement might help balance your oxidation levels, support cognitive function, promote the bioavailability of other supplements, support your immune system, and support cognitive function.
This amino acid produces catecholamines like adrenaline and dopamine through the metabolism. It is often included in pre workout supplements and weight loss supplements because it is used in the production of thyroid hormones.
It is unclear whether or not increasing the amount of L-Tyrosine in your body actually has the effect of increasing catecholamine production in the body. However, there does seem to be some evidence to suggest that L-tyrosine can help to provide a safety buffer that essentially prolongs the anti-stress effects of catecholamines in situations where noradrenaline is protective.
This substance is a phospholipid, which carries messages between your brain cells as well as covering and protecting your brain cells. This fatty substance is vital in keeping your memory sharp and your mind in tip-top shape.
Phosphatidylserine has been suggested in the treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and muscle stress and soreness.
Pine Bark Extract
This nootropic is an extract from a pine tree that is native to the Mediterranean. Primarily used to increase cerebral blood flow, pine bark extract is also used to help prevent diseases and conditions such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, and chronic pain.
You Can Find Many of the Best Nootropic Supplements at Supplementor
As you can see, the world of nootropic supplements is vast and, in parts, largely unexplored. There are some very exciting potentials when it comes to these supplements, but also some reasons to proceed with caution.
Are you looking to boost your cognitive abilities with some of the best nootropic supplements for 2021?
Check out our online shop with many of the types of nootropics we’ve discussed in this article.