The Beginner’s Guide To Smart Drugs And Nootropics

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The Complete Beginner's Guide To Nootropics

By Mark Taylor

beginners guide to smart drugs and nootropics

Do you want to get smart, achieve a superb memory, and develop uninterruptible concentration irrespective of your age? If yes, then nootropics are ultimately your perfect bet. Popularly referred to as smart drugs, nootropics are a group of substances that are taken primarily for purposes of boosting the brain power by enhancing mental cognition 1. Nootropic are widely available in forms of dietary supplements, although there are still available in form of pills and capsules. They are mostly consumed to enhance memory 2, improve mental cognition, in addition to improving focus, concentration and alertness.  Some nootropics can also be used as a suitable treatment for neuro-degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease among other mental conditions 3.  

How Do Nootropics Work?

Nootropics work by targeting and augmenting the specific parts of the human brain that are responsible for cognitive function. Nootropics also work by triggering the activity of serotonin and dopamine 4, which are basically the neurotransmitters that are associated with feelings of pleasure, consequently boosting mood and bringing an overall feeling of relaxation5.

Common Myths About Nootropics

Even as the popularity of smart drugs continues to soar, there are lots of myths 6 out there regarding nootropics and the use of these cognitive enhancers. For instance, a common myth about these drugs is that, nootropics give instant results once ingested. However, these drugs may not necessary guarantee instant results, but they are capable of bringing substantive results on brain performance once consumed over a period of time. The other common myth 7 about nootropics is that they are ineffective. Nevertheless, it can be skeptical to arrive to such a conclusion without thorough research on the effectiveness of these drugs.


While nootropics are touted as the perfect way to enhance mental performance, there are a couple of considerations 8 you should make prior to using these cognitive enhancers. First, there are concerns over whether the use of these drugs can lead to long-term dependency following prolonged use. Again, there are neuro-ethical considerations 9 surrounding their ability to promote cognitive enhancement. Research also shows that nootropics can produce unfavorable results when combined with pyscho-stimulants 10. Moreover, when some nootropics are used in high doses, they can lead to over-dependence and substance abuse.


Whereas the use of nootropics for purposes of boosting mental performance may not be overly hazardous, the prolonged risks of dependence on these cognitive enhancers may be viewed as a hazard itself. Research 11 also shows that long-term use of combinations of some cognitive enhancers may produce negative side effects.  Again, these drugs are made from synthetic substances that may cause negative side effects particularly when they interact with certain medications.

The Low Hanging Fruit

Most nootropic beginners want to go for the most advanced nootropic supplements right away. Although nootropics can be effective in enhancing mental cognition, it is extremely imperative to ensure your body has met all the basic needs prior to testing out more complex nootropics and other cognitive enhancement substances. When it comes to nootropics, the key is always to start easy or rather to go for the lowest hanging fruit especially for newcomers. Below are some important requirements to meet prior to giving nootropics a try:

Eat Better

The importance of diet in providing optimum cognitive performance cannot be underscored.  Research 12 has shown that dietary factors have influences on neuronal function.  Therefore, regular consumption of a healthy diet that can provide the brain with sufficient levels of essential minerals, vitamins, and essential fats is key to amplifying the cognitive performance associated with smart drugs.  There are plenty of foods 13 you can add to your daily diet schedule to improve your mental power and further enhance cognitive performance.

Get More Sleep

Proper sleep is definitely the foundation of cognitive enhancement 14.  Sleep helps with facilitating cognitive processes by improving various cognitive functions, such as working memory, language processing, and decision making.  The adverse effects of sleep deprivation outweigh the health benefits any nootropic can provide irrespective of how potent it is. In this regard, proper sleep is recommended to optimize the cognitive enhancement benefits provided by nootropics.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is also crucial for amplifying the mental cognitive benefits of smart drugs. Recent studies 15 have revealed that exercise has positive influence on cognitive abilities.  Furthermore, there is substantial proof that regular exercise aids in improving memory, by activating certain areas of the human brain 16that are responsible for memory and thinking. As such, exercising regularly can be a safe way of optimizing the benefits associated with smart drugs, in addition to aiding in improving physical fitness.

How Can I Decide What Is Right For Me?

Although the use of cognitive enhancing substances has increasingly soared over the past few years, there are some things that should guide you when picking your nootropic products. First off, you have to look at the specific nootropic supplement in regard to its mechanism of action, as well as the duration of time within which users can experience their desired results, following regular consumption of the nootropic compound. The other point of consideration when picking the right nootropic compound is dosage. According to Cambridge University’s neuroscientist 17, Barbara Sahakian, it is not the effectiveness of nootropics that is in question-but rather how much should be considered acceptable dosage. To decide on the right nootropic compound, you also need to consider age. If you are picking a product for your teenager who is still in crucial stages of mind development, you should ensure the product isn’t very potent lest it cause harm to your teenager’s mental health.

There is a huge variety of nootropic substances that are used for purposes of boosting brain function and overall cognitive functioning. Below are some of the popular nootropic substances, their description, their potential benefits, and recommended dosage for each nootropic substance.

Herbs And Plant Derived Compounds

These are basically natural nootropic compounds that are primarily derived from medicinal herbs as well as plants that have nootropic properties. This group of nootropic compounds is widely perceived to be safe since they are derived from natural sources, as opposed to their artificial counterparts that are derived from synthetic compounds.  Here is an outline of different types of herbs and plant derived nootropic compounds.


This is an amino acid that is mostly prevalent in different types of teas like black and green tea. Scientific findings 18 show that L-Theanine can positively impact on the mental state consequently increasing relaxation and lowering stress levels. It promotes alertness and relaxation by boosting the activity of the alpha brain waves 19, consequently bring a feeling of relaxation. Furthermore, it has positive effects on human cognition, especially when paired with caffeine 20.  L-Theanine is considered safe in dosages of up to 250 mg 21.  However, the amino acid may interact with some nootropic agents when used in large doses.


The nootropic root has long been used in ancient medicine owing to its versatile medicinal properties 22. The herb further has long-lasting cognitive benefits, and it has been used since time immemorial for improving mood and combating stress 23.  Recent research also shows that it can positively impact on mental cognition. Although there is no definite dosage of this root, it is clinically proven to be effective when taken in doses of 100 mg a day 24.

Bacopa Monieri

The perennial herb is prevalent in Eastern and Southern India, and it is yet another naturally powerful nootropic agent.  The herb has positive effects on human memory 25, where it is particularly effective in aiding with memory functions among aging individuals. It is loaded with powerful compounds known as bacosides, which are known for having anti-stress effects 26, thus making the herb an excellent option for lowering stress levels.  More importantly, the herb has neuro-protective and cognitive enhancement effects 27, which play a role in treating Alzheimer’s disease together with other chronic mental illnesses. NCBI recommends a daily dosage of 300 mg 28 dried Bacopa Monierri extract for persons striving to harness the cognitive benefits of this herb.


While caffeine is not regarded as a nootropic substance, it still provides similar nootropic benefits to other nootropic substances. When a recent study 29 was conducted to establish the impact of caffeine on memory, there emerged evidence associating caffeine intake with reduced risk of memory impairment and depression. Caffeine also helps with improving concentration and boosting memory 30, in addition to reducing the risks of mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Though caffeine has numerous health benefits, it should be consumed in dosages not exceeding 400 mg daily, for excess consumption can lead to adverse effects.


The bright yellow compound is contained in some plants, and it is the principal compound of turmeric.  It boasts of protective capabilities against cognitive impairment 31 and oxidative stress. The compound has also been recommended for boosting the effectiveness of other nootropic substances. Curcumin is relatively safe when used in dosages of 12 mg daily over duration of 3 months.

Lion’s Mane

The edible mushroom is widely viewed as one of the most powerful natural nootropic substances, and it boasts of a wide array of profound health benefits32. It has neuro-regenerative potential, thus making it an excellent treatment for a variety of peripheral nerve disorders. The extract from this nootropic herb is extremely potent, and should be consumed in moderate dosages of 500 mg daily. This dosage can be taken a couple of times throughout the day.


It is a group of polyphenolic flavonoids, and is known for its potent antioxidant activity 33 that aids in protecting the body against inflammatory damages. Resveratrol’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier thus protecting the brain together with the nervous system against cellular damage is well-known. But the recommended dosage isn’t necessarily the same for all users. For some, the dosage can be higher than that of other users and vice versa. But on average, the standard dosage is normally around 1500 mg a day. Again, this substance ought to be taken in varied doses throughout the day, other than taking the recommended dosage at once.


The nootropic product is derived from the periwinkle plant, and it was traditionally used in Hungarian traditional medicine 34 since 1975.  The nootropic substance has been known to enhance memory and learning in laboratory animals. Though it has never formally received approval from FDA, Vinpocetine is still widely used in supplements designed to improve memory and vasodilatation.  Being one of the highly potent nootropic substances, it helps improve the process through which the brain utilizes oxygen, thus protecting the brain against depreciating oxygen levels as well as in boosting energy levels. Though the right dosage of this nootropic substance remains unclear, it was clinically found to be safe and most effective when used in dosages of about 1-10 mg every day.

Black Cumin

Also known as Black Seed, Cumin Noir or Comino Negro35, Black Cumin is a nootropic substance derived from the seeds of Nigella sativa, a medicinal herb that is mostly found in South Asia. Its powerful therapeutic potential makes it a suitable neuro-pharmacological agent 36 for improving memory and learning, thus increasing the 5-HT levels in the human brain. Its nootropic properties aid with enhancing cognitive performance, and it can also work effectively when paired with other synthetic and natural nootropic compounds. Due to its strong therapeutic properties, the extract from this herb shouldn’t be used in dosages exceeding 25 mg per day.  

Black Pepper Extract

This extract is parked with L-Tryptophan, an essential nutrient contained in black pepper and which has been well-known for aiding with fighting depression. A study 37 conducted by scholars at Wheeling Jesuit University concluded that the extract can help enhance cognitive stamina, motivation, and performance. Research is ongoing to determine the suitability of black pepper extract in combating common symptoms associated with dementia.  Although there is no proven dosage of this extract, it is believed to be effective when used in daily dosages of about 300-600mg38 , although consumption should be done different times throughout the day rather than as a single dosage.


Nicotine is the substance that is primarily found in a variety of tobacco products. Although it has a bad rap since it is linked to lung cancer, it is still a great nootropic substance, and it can serve as a suitable neuro-protective agent. There is sufficient amount of evidence 39 that nicotine can help with treating the symptoms of ADHD in adults. But due to its addictive nature even when used as a smart drug, nicotine should be used in small dosages of 4 mg 40 throughout the day.

Rhodiola Rosea

The ancient, adaptogenic herb is loaded with multiple health benefits. It is excellent at relieving mental and physical fatigue 41, in addition to providing a host of mental health benefits.  Evidence from several studies 42 show that its extract can benefit mental health as well as heart functions. Like with most nootropic herbs, Rhodiola Rosea, doesn’t have a standard dosage, but clinical doses can be between 200 to 600 mg 43.


This medicinal root is prevalent in South Pacific islands, and it has been used for centuries, thanks to its wide range of medicinal benefits.  The root is further loaded with nootropic properties, and it has been found suitable for calming the mind 44. When used in standard dosages of 60-300 mg daily 45, it can help combat impaired cognitive function and mental slowing. It has promising benefits for curbing depression 46, and it boast powerful therapeutic effects ideal for combating the harmful effects of depression on the brain.

Dopamine Modulators

Dopamine modulators are naturally occurring compounds alongside other pharmaceutical drugs that amplify the activity of the dopamine neurotransmitter. Below are some of the most popular dopamine modulators.


It is a stimulant drug that is mostly used for treating ADHD. The stimulant medication comes in several formulations, and it is recommended as a suitable medication 47 for treatment of teenagers with behavioral disorders. The nootropic drug has been found to possess cognitive effects that can potentially aid in enhancing cognitive functions 48. Better still, it plays a vital role in the management of ADHD (attention deficit disorder). Owing to its potency, the drug should be used in smaller dosages of about 10-20 mg 49 and any increments thereafter should not exceed 60 mg.


The amino acid is largely viewed as one of the most effective dopamine modulators, with several human and animal studies 50suggesting that it can aid in enhancing memory as well as improving mental performance under psychological stress.  It further helps with alleviating the effects of prolonged stress besides facilitating the many processes that are associated with mental functioning 51. The amino acid is taken in average daily dosages of 250 mg, although higher amounts are recommended for users seeking to achieve a higher dopamine activity.


Also known as Selegiline, L-Deprenyl is a suitable dopamine modulator that also offers lots of cognitive benefits 52.  Its molecular pharmacology makes it a suitable therapeutic drug for treating Parkinson’s disease 53. Moreover, it can help in combating disturbance occasioned by monoamine neurotransmitter disturbances 54, which are linked with Alzheimer’s disease.  Though it has no actual recommended dosage, it is perceived to be safe when used in dosages of 9-12 mg 55.


There are several types of nootropic ingredients that are known to improve cognition as well as overall mental performance. In most cases, these ingredients are widely used in making a variety of nootropic products, such as nootropic supplements and pills. Here are a couple of nootropic nutrients that boast of powerful nootropic properties.


The nitrogenous organic acid is naturally present in all vertebrates, and it is known to be an effective nootropic nutrient. It is widely associated with increased athletic performance; it is, thus, a very common ingredient in most sports supplements.  As a nootropic nutrient, Creatine helps with enhancing muscle mass 56 in addition to helping athletes benefit from increased energy levels.  The use of Creatine has also been associated with improved cognitive function in both young and old individuals alike 57.  Though dosage can vary from one individual to the other, Creatine is largely perceived to be safe at dosages not exceeding 20 mg a day.


The nootropic nutrient easily converts to cytidine and choline upon ingestion, and it naturally occurs in cells of animal and human tissue. According to a Belgian study 58, this nootropic nutrient was proved to be effective in improving the ability of dogs to easily learn and remember things.  It is also shown to aid with improving mental performance 59 among patients with mental disorders. Dosage recommendations of this nootropic nutrient vary greatly from one individual to the other, but most experts recommends an average daily dosage of 250 mg.

Alpha GPC

This cholinergic compound boasts of powerful cognitive-enhancing properties, with recent research 60 showing that it can be an excellent cognitive-enhancing agent. It can be used on its own, or it can still be used as part of a powerful nootropic stack. Research 61 suggests that this compound can provide promising capabilities in lowering the risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease as well as other common mental ailments. Mayo Clinic recommends taking one 300 mg capsule of this compound a day.


The nootropic nutrient is primarily present in body cells62, and it is an excellent treatment option for a wide array of mental ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease as well as age-related memory loss63.  The amino acid further works as a neuro-protective compound, and it protects the brain against neuro-damage brought about by degeneration of brain cells.  It produces tangible results when used in average daily dosages of 200-300 mg, although dosage can be higher for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

EPA & DHA Omega-3

The essential fatty acids have been proven scientifically to aid improving cognitive outcomes among healthy individuals 64. It further supports optimal brain levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. When paired with vitamin D, these essential fatty acids can effectively support brain function besides improving overall mental performance.  Many experts suggest that taking 200-2000 mg of these essential acids can help lower symptoms of anxiety and depression.


The essential mineral is naturally contained in a wide variety of foods, and it is mostly used as a dietary supplement 65. Research 66 indicates that persons who regularly consume this mineral stand a lower risk of experiencing cognitive decline. There is also a set of studies 67 linking magnesium with improved mental health and a stronger stress response system. WebMD 68 recommends a daily standard dosage of 65 mg for children, 110 mg for children between 4-8 years and 350 mg for adults.

Vitamin D

The soluble vitamin is readily and naturally available in various food sources 69 like fish, eggs and vegetables. It can also be synthesized naturally by the skin when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Recent research 70 suggests that this essential vitamin provides strong neuro-cognitive function, which can be beneficial for treating symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  Research 71 further indicates that vitamin D can benefit mental health and overall wellbeing. Moreover, vitamin D supplementation is recommended for persons with impaired cognitive function 72. WebMD recommends a daily standard dosage of vitamin D of 1,500 to 2,000 IU (International Units) 73.

Wakefulness Enhancers

Wakefulness enhancers are basically drugs that enable users to remain awake for longer, at the same time avoiding the side effects associated with sleep deprivation. These drugs also give the user increased alertness, in addition to increasing cognitive productivity.  Below are some of the most popular wakefulness enhancers that help users to remain awake and alert for long durations.


Modafinil has been clinically found 74 to help in improving wakefulness and alertness in non-sleep deprived persons. The drug is also a cognitive enhancer. It further boasts of wakefulness enhancing properties, which are also ideal for helping users cope with rigorous schedules as well as long working hours. The dosage for this drug varies from one patient to the other.  But on average, Mayo Clinic recommends a daily dosage of 200 mg 75 for teenagers between age 17 and above. Modafinil can produce unpleasant interactions when taken alongside some medications, and users should talk to a doctor prior to using it.


This is another powerful wakefulness promoting nootropic drug, and an R-enantiomer of Modafinil.  It is widely used for reducing extreme sleepiness 76 as a result of narcolepsy as well as other sleep disorders.  In addition, it is also recommended for workers who want to remain awake during working hours. The recommended dosage for this drug remains unclear; but a daily dosage of 150-250 mg 77 is recommended.


Also known as Olmifon 78, Adrafinil is a nootropic drug that is used as a wakefulness drug and a cognitive enhancer.  It can also be used as an alternative to Modafinil, since the two drugs are stimulants. It is regarded as aneugeroic drug 79, for it can stimulate mental function and awaken the mind at the same time. The recommended daily dosage for this drug is 200 mg 80 for teenagers aged 17 years and above.


Besides being a powerful nootropic drug, Tyrosine is also an effective wakefulness enhancer, and it can improve cognitive performance during prolonged wakefulness 81.  Research shows that Tyrosine can potentially help sleep-deprived workers experience improved work performance, and it can further significantly lower cognitive-performance impairment linked to sleep deprivation.  The recommended daily dosage of Tyrosine that is ideal for improving alertness and promoting wakefulness is 150 mg 82.


This is one of the most potent wakefulness enhancers that also possess powerful cognitive properties 83. Besides promoting wakefulness, Creatine is also known to aid in boosting performance and concentration 84. Although there is no clear dosage of Creatine, the most recommended daily dosage for this wakefulness enhancer that has been studied scientifically is 10-35 mg 85.   


Also known as co-factors, coenzymes are a group of organic compounds that amplify the activity of body enzymes. Coenzymes are mostly derived from water soluble vitamins and they are non-protein by nature. Coenzymes also boast of nootropic properties as well as antioxidant and bio-energetic properties 86.  Here are some of the popular coenzymes that are known to have nootropic properties.


The naturally occurring coenzyme has powerful nootropic properties thus making it ideal for improving the symptoms associated with cognitive heart failure87.  Due to its antioxidants-rich nature, the coenzyme acts as an effective neuro-protective agent, making it an excellent cure for treating some of the symptoms that are attributed to Alzheimer’s disease. Though WebMD recommends a standard dosage of 100 mg 88 for this coenzyme, taking a higher dosage can cause insomnia in some users.


This coenzyme is present in all living cells 89.  The coenzyme has proven cognitive benefits such as improved brain function and enhanced cognitive performance 90. It is still known to aid in facilitating dopamine synthesis, not to mention its role in combating the negative effects jet lag has on sleep and cognitive function. The coenzyme can work optimally when used in a dosage of 60 mg per day.

Racetams And Derivatives

These are a group of drugs from the Racetam family 91.  They are believed to have positive nootropic benefits such as reduced risk of developing amnesia and cognitive deficits. Below are some of the most popular Racetams and derivatives.


This is the primary nootropic supplement of the Racetam family. It is one of the oldest nootropic drugs that have significant cognition-enhancing properties 92.   It is recommended for treatment of aphasia 93, since it is among the nootropic drugs that are known to aid in boosting brain recovery and replacement of depleted brain chemicals. However, the nootropic drug is not potent like other Racetam nootropic drugs, and thus WebMD recommends a higher daily dosage of 1,200-4,800 mg 94.


The nootropic drug Phenylpiracetam is derived from Piracetam, and it is overly considered a stimulant of the central nervous system 95.  Its structure makes it more potent 96 than other Racetams and derivatives.  Due to its potency, it has several clinical uses such as treating narcolepsy, appetite suppression, and attention deficit. Experts recommend a daily dosage of 100 mg of this nootropic drug.


The nootropic drug is normally sold in European nations as a prescription drug. Preliminary research97 shows that the drug can offer several health benefits such as treatment of disorders associated with central nervous system, sleep disorders, and anxiety disorders.  Widely perceived as relatively safer than most Racetam nootropics, this nootropic drug is effective when used in a daily dosage of 750 mg and above throughout the entire day.


The mild nootropic drug is arguably the safest nootropic compound of the Racetam family. It is mostly used for purposes of curing ailments such as bipolar disorder and epilepsy among other ailments that are associated with central nervous system. It is also ideal for treating traumatic brain injury 98. Clinical research shows the nootropic drug is non-toxic 99, and effective in doses of up to 2400 mg per day.


The Racetam nootropic is also considered as a stimulant of the central nervous system, and its usage has been associated with improved memory and learning ability 100. Research 101 has further suggested that there is a close relationship between prolonged ingestion of this drug with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical study shows that the Racetam nootropic can produce favorable results when used in daily dosages of 300 mg 102.  

Other Substances

There are many substances that are known to have nootropic properties. Below are a number of them.


This nootropic substance is used to boost cognitive function, and it is specifically used as an alternative treatment of Alzheimer’s disease 103. Although it doesn’t completely cure Alzheimer disease, it can significantly improve the symptoms associated with this mental disorder. The nootropic substance has been proven to be safe, effective, and well-tolerated 104. Again, numerous studies show that this substance can provide significant cognitive benefits when consumed on standard daily dosage of 10 mg 105.  


Short form for Gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA is a nootropic supplement that works as the main neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It is mostly used in nootropic products, thanks to its immunity and cognitive enhancements effects 106. GABA supplement also boosts the body’s growth hormone 107 hence improving sleep and reducing sleep disruptions. Most patients have experienced optimal benefits upon ingesting 2-20 mg of GABA a day 108, although some patients may need high dosages of 80 mg.

Huperzine A

The potent nootropic substance is derived from Huperziceae herbs, and it can help with treating symptoms of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.  It also works as cholinesterase inhibitor 109, where it boosts the levels of brain transmitters hence significantly improving cognitive performance particularly among individuals struggling with Dementia and other mental illnesses. The average daily dosage for this nootropic substance is normally 100 mg 110, though patients with Alzheimer’s disease can take daily dosages as high as 200 mg.


The nootropic drug is normally used in Ukraine and Russia for a wide array of conditions, thanks to its nootropic properties.  Its role in treating acute hemispheric ischemic stroke 111 is well documented.  Clinical studies carried out in rats suggested that the nootropic substance can act as a powerful protective agent against brain injury. It has been clinically tested to be effective when used in dosages of 100 to 150 mg 112.


The nootropic substance has been found to benefit the brain and the body in numerous ways, such as enhancing basic cognitive functions 113 among patients with cognitive disorders. It works as a neuro-protective agent 114, whereby it combats neurodegenerative ailments attributed to cognitive impairment. Noopept has been known to function optimally when used in daily dosages of 100 mg 115.


The Ampakine nootropic substance is commonly used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, having been found safe and effective for treating this mental disorder116. It further plays an important role in triggering the activity of AMPA receptors 117, consequently boosting mood and eliminating mood disorders.  Clinical research suggests that this nootropic substance can work optimally once used in moderate doses of about 1-5 mg a day 118.  

Pre-formulated Blends

There are numerous types of nootropic blends that are well-known to provide similar nootropic benefits to other nootropics and nootropic agents. These can be a great way to get started with nootropics.

Alpha Brain

The famous nootropic blend is known to aid with enhancing mental function 119, boosting creativity and improving mental performance.  The nootropic blend has been thoroughly researched120, and it has been found to aid in enhancing cognitive function on top of significantly improving tasks such as memory. Many experts recommend a daily dosage of 150 mg of Alpha Brain supplement.


The unique nootropic blend is designed to help the user achieve their maximum potential by optimizing their brain’s mechanism for memory and learning.  The nootropic blend also plays a vital role in improving mental clarity, boosting motivation, and overall mood. This powerful nootropic blend is developed by natural stacks, and it is made from natural ingredients such as forskolin and artichoke extract 121. The nootropic blend can be effective when consumed in dosage of 10-25 mg a day.

Foursigmatic Mushroom Coffee

The nootropic coffee blend features a combination of mushroom and organic coffee, all of which are associated with multiple cognitive benefits 122. Besides being a mentally stimulating nootropic blend, it also provides moderate cognitive improvements 123 that one can never get from any single ingredient of this blend.

Rise by Nootrobox

The nootropic blend is carefully designed to improve cognitive performance and memory, at the same time reducing mental fatigue and anxiety. Some of its nootropic ingredients include Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa Monnieri , and Alpha-GPC. All these natural ingredients boast of powerful nootropic properties, and all of them are combined in their recommended dosages.

Evergreen by Northwest Nootropic

This high quality nootropic blend is a reliable blend from reliable suppliers.  It is made from Alpha-GPC, Bacopa Monnieri, and Rhodiola Rosea, which are associated with enhanced memory, maximum clarity, and improved focus. Its unique combination is designed to boost the acetylcholine neurotransmitter, which is basically a neurotransmitter that is linked to increased memory, focus and clarity. Like most nootropic blends, its ingredients are carefully paired with each other in their recommended dosages.

Mind Lab Pro

The non-stimulant nootropic blend is designed to help users experience better mental performance, besides aiding with brain regeneration and providing long-term mental health benefits. Its notable ingredients include Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea, and Alpha-GPC. These ingredients are specially formulated in their recommended dosages, and the blend is overly safe for use.


The health nootropic blend is specially designed for improved cognitive performance. Its ingredients have been evaluated by renowned neuroscientists, and they are carefully paired with each other to provide optimal mental focus and energy.  Some of its key ingredients include vinpocetine, SerinAid, and Bacopa Monnieri.  Like other nootropic blends, its ingredients are meticulously combined in their appropriate dosages to create a safe and effective blend.


The nootropic blend is available in capsule form, and it is relatively new on the nootropic products market. The blend is crafted with improved cognitive functioning in mind. It enhances cognitive function by stimulating the activity of glutamate receptors, which are critical for memory and learning processes. It is safe as it features a combination of all-natural nootropic ingredients that are paired in their proper dosages.

Nootropic Stacking

Stacking is a popular term used to refer to the process of combining or pairing several products with each other with an aim of achieving some desired health effects. In the world of nootropic supplements and products, stacking is all about combining different nootropic ingredients with each other with an aim of achieving as many cognitive benefits as possible from each nootropic ingredient.

What Do You Want To Accomplish?

Many nootropic enthusiasts stack different nootropic ingredients without knowing how each ingredient can provide them with optimal cognitive benefits. However, always stack your nootropic based on what you want to achieve. This entails understanding your needs so that you can figure out exactly which ingredients to pair in order to get the precise cognitive benefits that you desire. If you want to improve your cognitive function, for instance, you should go for the specific ingredients that help with improving cognitive function, so that you can create a combination that is perfect for your cognitive needs.

Research, Research, Research

Research is paramount to creating effective and safe nootropic stacks. Without proper research, you can never figure out the best combinations of nootropic ingredients that can potentially give you the best possible cognitive benefits. Still, it is only after research that you can be able to discern some of the nootropic ingredients that are associated with potential harmful effects 124. Most importantly, research will help you pair the right ingredients in their proper dosages, hence ensuring that you don’t end up experiencing the adverse effects and harmful interactions that are associated with some nootropic ingredients.


Upon stacking the right nootropic ingredients, you need to actually test your stack by ingesting it to evaluate whether it is offering the desired effects. However, give it time, and don’t expect things to work miraculously. At times, nootropic stacks can take weeks before users can experience any significant benefits.

Measure Your Results

After consuming your stack for certain duration, you definitely ought to verify that your stack is actually making a difference.  Some of the simple metrics you can use to establish the effectiveness of your stack is by evaluating your daily lifestyle habits to see how your stack is impacting on them.  If, for instance, you observe that you are able to handle your everyday stressors or you can easily remember things, then it means your stack is working perfectly fine. Alternatively, you can use cognitive performance validity tests 125 to evaluate your brain performance upon taking your stack.


How to Measure Powders

Measuring nootropic powders is the most fundamental aspect of creating a powerful nootropic supplement. Without accurately measuring your nootropic powders, you shouldn’t expect to come up with effective stacks. The best way to measure powders is by investing in a measuring scale, scoops, or a capsule machine, all of which you can get from a reliable nootropic provider.

How To Store Nootropics

Although buying nootropic supplements in large amounts can be an excellent way of saving money and ensuring you have adequate amount of nootropic supplements at your disposal, storing nootropics can be challenging. Some nootropics such as Racetams lose their potency once left exposed or if not stored properly. But there are lots of ways you can store nootropics. You can encapsulate them with a capsule machine or store them in reagents jars or aluminum foil bags.  Alternatively, you can pre-measure doses and transfer them into HDPE bottles, or store them in silica gel packets to increase their shelf life.

How To Measure Your Cognitive Performance

Measuring your cognitive performance is fundamental to evaluating whether the nootropic supplement you are taking is working or not. After all, the main reason for consuming your supplement is to improve your cognitive performance.  But tracking your cognitive performance can be tricky, especially when you don’t know the right way of doing it.

Cognitive tests and performance validity tests are some of the best and most accurate metrics to use for purposes of measuring your cognitive performance.  These tests use the following parameters to measure cognitive performance.

Learning And Memory

Tests can be administered to evaluate memory functions including both long-term and short term memory. Some of the common tests administered to evaluate learning and memory include Wechsler Memory Scale 126, Brief Visuospatial Memory Test 127, and California Verbal Learning Test 128.


Some tests are administered to evaluate the ability to maintain attention and focus in an environment setting with distractions.  In most cases, persons with cognitive problems have difficulties maintaining attention for relatively long durations. One of the most used tests for measuring attention is Conners Continuous Performance Test 129.  

Processing Speed

Processing speed is yet another parameter that is used for measuring cognitive performance in healthy individuals. Processing speed is basically the duration of time a person takes to process information and respond to questions.  People with poor cognitive function have remarkably slow processing speed. The most frequently used test for evaluating processing speed is Trail Making Test 130.


There are several mobile apps that can be used for purposes of self-tracking cognitive performance. They include:

The awesome app is designed to help you track alertness and cognitive functions such as memory and attention.

This app is primarily designed for clinicians, although anyone can use it for self-testing their cognitive performance. It measures cognitive performance based on cognitive abilities, such as focus and attention.

The versatile app is designed to measure cognitive performance using several cognitive tests. These tests are simple and take little time to complete.

Supplier Information

Though there are several nootropic supplements and products suppliers, not all of them are reliable. Moreover, some suppliers stock counterfeit products that can do little to provide any cognitive benefits. As such, knowing where to purchase your nootropics is quite imperative.

Reliable Suppliers

Here is a comprehensive outline of some of the reliable nootropic suppliers that you can purchase your nootropics from:


Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Ceretropic 131 is one of the world’s most reliable nootropic product suppliers. They have a long history of selling high quality nootropic products, including different types of cognitive enhancers and cerebral enhancers.  They also specialize in metabolic enhancement products, nootropic sprays, and sublingual products.  Their nootropic products are manufactured from FDA- approved ingredients.

Nootropics Depot

The online supplier is increasingly becoming a popular nootropic supplier in the smart drug industry. Nootropics Deport 132 sells high quality nootropic capsules and powders online.  Their nootropic products are designed from natural plant extracts and medicinal herbs. Besides selling nootropic capsules and powders, they also provide free shipping, especially for overseas clients who are purchasing their products in bulks.


They are trustworthy nootropic vendors who sell nootropic products that are well known for helping with optimizing brain performance. Their products are meticulously blended to aid in overcoming mental blocks, boosting overall cognitive functions, and improving verbal fluency. TruBrain 133 specializes in manufacturing high quality nootropic drinks, capsules, and all-natural nootropic products.

Pure Nootropics

They are reliable nootropic products suppliers, for they use 3rd party testing and verification since their launch in 2013. Pure Nootropics 134 stocks a huge variety of nootropics ranging from cholinergic, Alpha GPC to Racetams. They also sell Aniracetam powder and capsules, nootropic stacks, Noopept capsules, and powders as well as Adrafinil capsules and powders.

Now Foods

The nootropic supplier specializes in designing natural nootropic products with an aim of empowering people to live healthier lifestyles. Besides manufacturing nootropics, they also specialize in manufacturing essential oils, vitamins, and food supplements. Now Foods 135 are leading suppliers of nootropic vitamins, stacks, and products.  The best thing about them is that all their products are safe for they are designed from all-natural ingredients.


LiftMode 136 stocks brain boosting nootropics and dietary supplement ingredients.  The online nootropic supplement supplier is widely known for its popular nootropic supplements such as Phenibut and PhenibutHCL( Fine Crystals). Their products are made from rigorously tested ingredients, thus guaranteeing the highest possible safety. Moreover, their products boast of the best combination of effective nootropic ingredients.

Mind Nutrition

They are revered as manufacturers of nootropic products for an optimized brain. Mind Nutrition 137 is a trustworthy vendor of a wide array of nootropic powders and nootropic capsules. Their nootropic supplements are carefully encapsulated for purposes of increasing their shelf life. They also manufacture advanced nootropic formulas for optimal mood boosting effects. They stock the widest collection of pure nootropics in North America.

New Star Nootropics

The fantastic nootropic supplier offers a vast range of nootropic products that are designed from nootropic compounds with the strongest molecular structures.  Star Nootropics 138 products are revered for their powerful potency, thus making then a solid option for boosting memory, brain function, and overall cognitive function. They have a tangible track record of manufacturing effective nootropic capsules and supplements with unmatched potency.


This supplier is known for their high-quality nootropic products. PureBulk 139 stocks premium quality nootropic dietary supplements, both for nutritional and cognitive needs. Their nootropic products are devoid of fillers, and they have been lab-tested for reasons of ensuring they meet the highest level of safety and effectiveness. Founded in 2008, they have a wide range of nootropic and nutritional powders that include amino acids, nootropic powders, and herbal extracts.

Relentless Improvement

The supplier stocks nootropic products that boast high quality pharmaceutical properties. Relentless Improvement 140 offers products that are manufactured in FDA-approved facilities, which act as a solemn indication that their products are of superior quality. They are adept at designing highly effective nootropic capsules and powders, all of them featuring unique formulations of nootropic ingredients with potent nootropic ingredients.


Onnit 141 manufactures nootropic and nutritional products that are designed to help you achieve optimized brain performance and cognitive function. Their cognitive supplements are the foundation of enhanced brain performance. They are mostly renowned for churning out the most effective Alpha Brain supplements, all of which have been reported to aid in supporting and improving mental function.  They are leaders in clinically studied nootropic products which are designed from natural, earth-grown ingredients.


The human enhancement company specializes in manufacturing nootropics that offer the greatest possible potential for brain and cognitive function improvements. Thrivous 142 boasts of the most powerful neuro-protectors more than any other nootropic manufacturer. Their nootropic capsules and powders offer unmatched potential for improving focus, mood, memory and learning ability.

Suppliers To Avoid

Here is a list of some of the suppliers that you should avoid and the reasons to avoid their nootropic products:

Nootrabiolabs (a.k.a. "Johnson Laboratories" & "Smart on Nootropics")

Nootropic products from this supplier have received a wide range of criticisms over severe quality control issues, inauthentic products, and most are not worth the value of the price they are sold at. Again, there have been numerous reports of people receiving baking powder from the supplier. Therefore, you have no reason to believe that their products can produce your desired results no matter how they are advertised.

Cerebral Health (a.k.a. "Bioscience Nutra")

Products from this supplier have severe quality issues, and they have repeatedly sold inauthentic nootropic products. One buyer complained of receiving out the wrong nootropic supplement 143, and then the supplier cut communication with that buyer. That clearly means buying your products from them can be risky, since the inauthentic products they sell to clients can cause severe adverse reactions.

Absorb Health

This supplier has questionable trust and reliability, and nootropic users need to avoid their products. Their cognitive products are made from ingredients that have no known history of enhancing cognitive functions. Even worse is the fact that these ingredients are largely synthetic and a good number of them are not FDA- approved. They can, therefore, lead to harmful side effects.

Powder City

The supplier is known for producing cheap, substandard nootropic products. The supplier recently announced that they will be shutting down, and since then, they have been referring buyers to other lesser known suppliers. Even before making the announcement, they had received criticism over the absence of FDA labels on their products. The safety of their products, therefore, remains questionable.  


While nootropics enthusiasts take these nootropic drugs to get the many cognitive benefits, there are questions over the safety of these smart drugs 144 and whether their prolonged use can potentially lead to over dependency. Most importantly, some nootropic substances may produce harmful interactions when combined with other suitable nootropic ingredients.

Caffeine Warnings

Caffeine is a common ingredient in most nootropic products. It is mostly combined in a variety of nootropic supplements in form of black and green tea extract. Although it is widely considered to be safe, users should take caution when using caffeinated nootropic supplements. Caffeine may interact poorly with some nootropic ingredients, thus causing unexpected side effects. Again, caffeine can reduce the effectiveness of some nootropic ingredients, especially when used in extremely high dosages. Considering that excess consumption of caffeine has been linked with adverse health effects, nootropic users need to maintain moderate dosages of caffeine when supplementing with it. More importantly, you should do thorough research to find out how caffeine interacts with different nootropic agents so as to identify the most valuable nootropics that can provide optimal health benefits when paired with caffeine.

Modafinil Warnings

Modafinil interactions 145may alter how nootropics work, or even worse, increase your risk of experiencing harmful side effects. Although Modafinil is an effective nootropic agent that can effectively treat a variety of sleep disorders, it can still produce side effects when paired with some nootropic ingredients, or when not used in its proper dosage. The nootropic can also make your nootropic supplements more potent, or reduce the potency of other nootropic ingredients, especially when used in large amounts. In this regard, consideration should be made when supplementing with Modafinil, particularly in regards to how much of this nootropic agent should be used. Above all, proper research need to be done before stacking with Modafinil so as to establish how each ingredient is likely to react once paired with Modafinil.

Final Thoughts

With this guide, you now know and understand virtually everything regarding nootropics alongside multiple other cognitive enhancers. Understanding nootropics and how these smart drugs work is the first step to getting the most of these cognitive enhancers, whether you are a seasoned nootropic user or a beginner. Again, it is the surest way of dispelling some of the common myths associated with nootropics on top of understanding which nootropic can work best for you. The other important thing is to be well-versed with as many nootropic products, substances, and nutrients as possible. This is ultimately the only way you can be able to evaluate the nootropic benefits of each of them, and how well they can suit your cognitive needs.  Secondly, it will help you pick the best nootropic ingredients for your nootropic stacks based on how you think each ingredient can provide you with optimal cognitive benefits.

However, when stacking, it is advisable to be cautious with the type of ingredients that you use. It is also important to consider their long-term benefits, side effects as well as their proper dosages. If you don’t want to stack your nootropic ingredients, you can still purchase pre-made nootropic products, but ensure you are purchasing them from reliable suppliers.

Keep in mind that not every supplier out there stocks the most effective supplements, and knowing the right place to purchase your supplements is paramount.  Be wary of unscrupulous nootropic products suppliers who are out to lure you into purchasing their substandard and harmful products, all in the name of making revenues.

Finally, be keen on understanding how the nootropic products you are purchasing can benefit your cognitive function and overall mental health. Moreover, visit a health specialist for advice in case you are under any medications. This is crucial to avoiding harmful interactions and ensuring you get the full benefits of the nootropic product you have purchased. In addition, remember to give your nootropic supplements time to work because nootropics are like any other medications that require time before they can finally take effect. Also remember to start with simple nootropic products if you are a beginner, instead of going for complex nootropic products.

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