Nootropics: The Definitive Guide [2019] 4.6/5 (10)

The Definitive Guide

This is the most comprehensive guide to nootropics online. I’ve developed it with one single goal:

Answer all your questions you have regarding nootropics and nootropic stacks.

I cover all topics in this guide – from the basic definitions to the most advanced stacks that I ever tried.

Are you ready to learn how you can become a master of nootropics?

Let’s dive right in.


What are nootropics?

To answer the question of what are nootropics, we have to check out the formal definition:

Nootropics are substances, supplements and other cognitive enhancers that improve our memory, focus, creativity or motivation. They are cognitive enhancers that individuals use to improve their overall cognitive performance. [1]


The word nootropic was first used in 1972 by a Romanian psychologist and chemist, Corneliu E. Giurgea. The word nootropic comes from Greek words νοῦς (nous), or “mind”, and τρέπειν (trepein), meaning to bend or turn.

Nootropics are growing in its popularity since 2015 and the market of nootropics will triple from 2018 to 2022 based on the recent data.

But why are nootropics such a fascinating topic?

Let me mention just the most important reasons:

  1. Most nootropics are 100% natural and in general leave no side-effects
  2. Nootropics can give you an extra performance boost
  3. Certain nootropics can have long-term positive effects on your brains

Nootropics induce changes in your brain which result in your improved performance.

Combine them with daily physical activity, enough sleep, healthy diet, decreased blue light from your screens before sleep, and daily or weekly meditation/breathing exercises and you can achieve results that right now seem impossible.

Natural mood enhancers review

Who is using nootropics? 

  1. Professionals, high-achievers, Managers, CEO’s, etc.
  2. Athletes
  3. Students
  4. Everyone else who wants to live a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle

What nootropics aren’t?

  1. Magical pills that can increase your IQ (at least not for now)
  2. Alternatives to healthy eating habits
  3. Candies that you “can” eat anytime you want

As you can see, it’s very easy to answer the question of “what are nootropics”, but it’s much harder to define effective nootropics, daily dosages, side effects, etc.

Anyhow, in the next chapters I’ll try to answer all of these questions and much more.

Sounds interesting?

Keep on reading, that’s just the beginning.


Nootropic Benefits

Most nootropics are not a quick fix (with a few exceptions), but supplementing them in a long period can result in a dramatic improvement.

Let’s have a look at nootropic benefits to understand why are nootropic and nootropic stacks so popular.

Keep in mind this area is still developing, so I’ll be adding new use-cases to this blog post in the future.

1. Increasing productivity & motivation

Nootropics can trigger your motivation and improve your mood which consequently increases your overall productivity. This is the reason why many entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers, students, and other people use nootropics.

2. Improving focus & memory

Nootropics can directly influence your memory, focus & attention which consequently help to improve your results in different fields. Lots of people reported severe memory issues before taking nootropics. Personally, I had a lot of issues with short-term memory. My experience with nootropics shows great improvement, which was sadly not yet quantified.

3. Improving mood & well-being

Nootropics can dramatically decrease your anxiety, make you more relaxed, improve your mood and overall well-being. This makes your worst days much, much better.

4. Improving your sleep

There are millions of people reporting sleep issues. Luckily, there are several nootropics that can directly improve the quality of your sleep. It’s not like taking typical sleep pills, but the results of taking sleep-nootropics are phenomenal.

5. Supporting brain health

Due to the severe stress, poor quality food, and many other factors, millions of people die each year because of brain-related sickness. Nootropics can be a great remedy and support your brain health.

Let’s have a more detailed look at different benefits.

1. Productivity & Motivation 

Nootropics are extremely beneficial in 2 very common cases – when you need to “be in the flow” for a long period (several hours) and when you need a quick energy boost. 


  • Short periods of intense work
    Imagine all those stressful situations where you are working on a daunting task with no solutions available and you are on a tight schedule. You need to find a solution ASAP, but there is just no brainpower left.
    Yes, this happens to most of us every single week. For such cases, there are specific nootropics (such as caffeine & Noopept – I’ll talk more about them in the next chapters) that can be your best friends. They provide a cognitive boost that often makes the situation manageable. Certain nootropics can also help you in stressful situations such as writing an exam, public speaking, having a presentation in front of the managers, etc.
  • Long periods of productive work
    On the other hand, most productive work is done during a bit longer periods of intense work where we “get in the flow” and somehow we get lost in the work and consequently work for hours and hours. There is a specific way to get in the flow which I mention at the end of this blog post, but one important step of the process is taking nootropics (and potentially smart drugs). Certain nootropic stacks were specifically designed for such cases & after taking nootropics for several years, I can honestly tell you that the power of nootropics is absolutely awesome. So, whenever you write a blog post or a book, edit a video, do accounting, or any kind of other activity that requires hours and hours of your attention, nootropics can definitely help you out.

2. Focus & Memory

Do you consider your memory to be great? Can you remember names, places, numbers? How about more advanced stuff? Well, there are definitely some geniuses around us, but the truth is, the majority of people have an average memory.


So, can nootropics improve our memory?

Yes, they can. Nootropics such as Alpha GPC and other cholines are used for improving our short and long-term memory. They are also used for treating memory impairments and, you guessed it, improving our focus.

The main benefit of these nootropics is the fact that most of them are 100% natural (either choline based compounds or herbs) that provide several proven benefits.

There have been many studies conducted, but more has to be researched in order to have an even better picture of nootropics and which are the most effective ones.

Below you’ll find a list of all nootropics used for improving our memory & focus.

3. Mood & Well-being

If you love drinking coffee, let me ask how do you feel after drinking a cup of hot coffee? Do you feel more motivated, more optimistic, more energized?

How about when you drink green tea? Do you feel more relaxed and happier?


If you are not a very, very special human being, then your answer to both questions should be yes.

Why is it so? Because coffee and green tea contain caffeine/L-theanine – two well-known and very popular nootropics that have many benefits including improving our mood and well-being (you can learn more about them below).

These are not the only two nootropics that can provide such benefits but are definitely widely consumed by millions of people every single day.

As soon as you understand the science behind certain nootropics, you can quickly optimize your consumption of them and immediately feel the benefits.

How awesome is that?

4. Sleep Improvement

Student Sleep Hacks

Sleep consistency

If you are reading this blog post, I’m sure you heard about the importance of having a high-quality sleep.

The reality is that most of us are aware of how important sleep is, but we still struggle to get the most out of it.

Luckily, nootropics such as melatoninmagnesium and Gaba can help us out.

These nootropics can help you relax, fall asleep easier and ensure a deeper sleep.

People also report fewer nightmares, shorter sleep and more energy in the morning.

In the next chapters, we will check out how can sleep nootropics positively influence your sleep.

5. Brain Health

Nowadays we love to spend hours every day in the gym training our biceps and abs.

Brain Health

But we often forget on our brains which, well, are the ones that allow us being and training in the gym in the first place.

But this point is not about brain training – it’s more about taking care of our brains. By all the toxicity in our environment, poor quality food, and stressful situations, our brains are dying much faster than they should.

Luckily, certain nootropic stacks such as Mind Lab Pro were developed to help up support our brain health.

With more scientific studies being done, we already have the tools (and supplements) that can become our brains best friends.

As you can see, nootropics provide a long list of benefits which make them so popular.

But let’s dig deeper into the topic so you’ll soon know how nootropics can improve your performance.


Understand the basics about nootropics

Before you start taking nootropics, there are several things you should understand.

You know, nootropics can provide tons of benefits, but they could also cause some issues such as headaches, stomach pains or potentially some more serious health-related issues.

In most cases, people experience only positive effects. Why? Because they follow the rules.

Cycling nootropics

In order to avoid tolerance and dependency on nootropics, experts often suggest cycling nootropics. This means taking them periodically.

Most often I recommend taking them 5 days on, 2 days off (this means you take them during the week, but not during the weekend), or taking them for 3 weeks and then being 1 week off.

That’s how you can avoid most issues. However, there are some exceptions which I’ll tell you more about later.

Following the daily recommended dose

One day before writing this chapter, I had intentionally “overdosed” with B vitamins, vitamin D and Lion’s mane mushroom.

Result? I had a severe headache.

I’ve done this in order to test my performance, but it happens quite often that we accidentally overdose by not reading the guidelines. Even worse, some people do it intentionally.

If you really understand nootropics, then you know the recommended doses (for those nootropics that the doses were already established). In this case you can, of course, do some tests and experiments.

But if you are new to nootropics, I urge you to follow the rules and the guidelines. At least until you know how nootropics influence your performance.

You really want to avoid any kind of health-related issues, trust me on that.

More is not (always) better

There are many nootropics that have the best effect at relatively low doses. I know we are used to thinking the other way around, but that’s not always the case with nootropics.

Please keep that in mind.

The frequency of taking nootropics

As I mentioned before, nootropics are usually not a “quick-fix”. For most nootropics, to get the benefits, you have to take them on a daily basis for days, weeks or even months. It’s often recommended taking them for at least 1 month before “judging its effects.”

There are exceptions such as caffeine for example, but these exceptions are rare.

Nootropic dependency 

Similar to alcohol and drugs, some nootropics have habit-forming properties. If a nootropic has been taken continually at above-recommended doses, suddenly quitting it may cause nasty symptoms. Again, follow the rules and you should be on the safe side.


Nootropics vs Smart drugs

Nootropics vs Smart drugs

Have you heard of smart drugs? Can you differentiate between nootropics and smart drugs?

The majority of people talk about the same thing: nootropics are smart drugs and vice versa.

However, in my opinion, this is not exactly true. I drew a clear line between nootropics and smart drugs.

Let me explain.

Nootropics for beginners

Nootropics for beginners

While nootropics are natural cognitive enhancers, smart drugs usually stand for stimulants (like Modafinil and Adderal) and other kinds of drugs, medicine or food supplements.

Saying it differently, most nootropics might have a long-term positive effect and leave no harmful side-effects.

Most smart drugs, however, can be usually taken only in a small dosage now and then (when needed) and may leave negative long-term side effects on your brains and body.

This doesn’t mean I’m against smart drugs, but I want you to clearly understand the difference.

While you can take most nootropics on a daily basis, that’s not the case with smart drugs. You should only take them when you need an extra push (sure, others might tell you a different story, but I recommend you to do your research before you do anything stupid). 

I hope this difference makes sense.

Now let’s dig deeper into the topic of nootropics.


Single Nootropic vs Nootropic Stack

Single nootropic vs Nootropic stack

Do you want (or need) to take just one nootropic (one compound) or do you need a stack of nootropics (several compounds) to achieve your desired results?

My answer: It depends on your goals (which we will define in the next chapter).

But for now, let’s look at what is a nootropic stack

Total Human Day Pack

Total Human Day Pack

A nootropic stack is a combination of two or more nootropic supplements taken together or in a sequence to create specific benefits.

Stacking nootropics is extremely popular because it allows you to combine multiple nootropics that provide several different benefits into one capsule/product.

We all know that if you take a high amount of any ingredient that can bring clinically proven benefits (or side effects), you will very soon see these benefits. How strongly will a specific compound impact you depends on several factors and on the compound itself.

If, on the other hand, you take several more effective ingredients simultaneously, you will most likely see even more benefits (or side-effects) in a shorter time.

If you have a single goal – let’s say you just want to improve your focus, but don’t want to do anything on the memory part and energy, then taking a single nootropic is probably enough.

But since we are complex beings, it is challenging to dramatically improve our focus without improving alertness, memory, good mood and having enough energy. That would just be too easy.

Makes sense, right?

Even though there is more research that has to be done in the field of nootropics, nootropic stacks are much more effective and popular compared to a single nootropic. With certain well-developed stacks (or even with carefully prepared homemade stacks), you can achieve dramatic cognitive improvement by tackling several cognitive-related issues simultaneously.

The disadvantage is that somehow we don’t always really understand why we achieve certain results, but with time & research, that’ll be clearer and clearer.

On the other hand, there is a higher chance of having negative side-effects. Therefore, you should definitely stick with the recommended and well-known brands in the industry that provide highest-quality products.

So, what’s your goal with nootropics? What do you want to achieve?


How to start with nootropics?

How to start with nootropics

Since we now understand the basics, you probably wonder what’s the next step.

In order to find the most suitable nootropic (or a nootropic stack = a mix of nootropics) for your needs, you have to define your goals and wishes – what do you want to achieve with nootropics?

Let’s have a look at the options you have.

Improve Your Memory

Improve your memory

There are 3 types of memory – Sensory memory (up to 1s), short-term memory (up to 60s) and long-term memory (lifetime memory). Different nootropics can help to improve your short-term and long-term memory, providing you with life-changing benefits.

The main reason I ever started taking nootropics was that of the “memory issues” that I often encountered. My working memory which should allow you to store a small amount of information (up to 7 items) for about 30-60s often refused to deliver information I needed. Consequently, I started experimenting with playing the brain (memory) games while testing different nootropics.

First results were seen in about 2-3 weeks.

I was fascinated and decided to continue experimenting with nootropics.

And here I am years later, writing this complex beginners’ guide to nootropics. 

So, let’s look at the nootropics that could help improve your memory.


Description: CDP-CHOLINE is a nootropic used for treating memory impairments and is being used as a memory enhancer and a supplement for increased alertness. [3]

Other benefits: It enhances memory; it improves circulation in the brain; it protects the brain from harmful agents; it slows down aging in the brains; it improves mood

Standard dosing: 500 – 2000 mg/day divided in 2 doses

Number of studies done: Medium

Want to learn more Citicoline? Click here >>

Want to order Citicoline? Click here >>


Description: ALPHA GPC is another choline-containing supplement that is used by younger people for improving their memory and by older people to decrease their cognitive decline. Athletes also use ALPHA GPC to enhance power output. [4]

ALPHA GPC is an alternative to citicoline.

Standard dosing: 300 – 1200 mg/day (the most effective dosage for decreasing cognitive decline is 3 times 400 mg/day)

Want to learn more about Alpha GPC? Click here >>

Want to order Alpha GPC? Click here >>


Description: GINKGO BILOBA is a very popular and commonly used herb for improving cognitive performance. It’s been used among older people for decreasing cognitive decline. Youth use it as a memory booster. [6]

Other benefits: 

  • It helps to improve blood circulation, restore vision, cognition, symptoms of psychiatric disorders
  • Can prevent problems with antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction, infections, fatigue, metabolic syndrome, respiratory diseases and allergies, cancer and bed wetting
  • Protects the skin, the heart, the liver, from hearing disorders
  • Has a positive effect on mood and a DNA protective effect
  • It relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
  • Reduces mucosal damage
  • Decreases the symptoms of intermittent claudication
  • Inhibits anxiety
  • Soothes bladder irritation

Standard dosing:
120 – 240 mg / up to 4 hours before a performance

Want to learn more? Click here >>

Want to order Ginkgo Biloba? Click here >>


Description: BACOPA MONNIERI is another nootropic herb that is used as a memory booster and nootropic to improve cognition. Besides, using Bacopa Monnieri can decrease anxiety. [6]

Other benefits: 

  • improving memory formation
  • reducing stress
  • reducing anxiety
  • improving cognitive brain functions

Standard dosing: The standard Bacopa Monnieri dosage is 300 mg under the condition that the dosage contains 55% of the active bacoside compound.

Want to learn more? Click here >>

Want to order Bacopa Monnieri? Click here >>

Bacopa Monnieri Review

Bacopa Monnieri Review


Definition: Centrophenexoineis a popular memory enhancing nootropic because of its quick absorption in the form of choline. And as you’ve read earlier, choline and its successor acetylcholine are both critical for learning and improving memory.

Standard dosage: The best way of taking centrophenoxine is to ingest 1-3 doses of 250 mg split throughout the day.

Read more about Centrophenoxine here >>

Want to order Centrophenoxine? Click here >>


Definition: Forskolin is a plant from South Asia with potential nootropic benefits.

Benefits: Once combined with Artichoke extract, it can improve memory.

Standard dosage: 150 – 250 mg/day

Want to order Forskolin? Click here >>


Definition: Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in the grapes.

Benefits: It can boost memory and cognition

Standard dosage: 20 – 250 mg/day


Definition: Uridine Monophosphate is a known precursor to RNA (RNA stands for ribonucleic acid).

Benefits: It can improve your memory

Standard dosage: 150 – 250 mg/twice per day

Want to order it? Click here >>

We have checked well-known ingredients for memory improvement. You can take them separately (try different ones and compare them to see which one works the best) or take them with an effective nootropic stack.

If you want to skip other content and check out my favorite nootropic stacks, just click here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You might find different memory nootropics in the same stack (like ALPHA GPC and BACOPA MONNIERI) since combining those nootropics might be even more effective. However, please consult a doctor or a medical expert before you decide on taking any nootropics (combined or individually).

Improve Your Cognition

Cognition is “the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.” [7]


Cognition includes the following processes:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Attention
  3. Memory
  4. Judgment
  5. Evaluation
  6. Reasoning
  7. Problem-solving
  8. Decision making
  9. Comprehension,…

Having a super-fast “processor” in your head can give you a cutting-edge advantage on your journey.

Even though there are many nootropics that affect different parts of cognition (we already talked about memory nootropics, but there are others to come), there are several popular nootropics that I want to point out.

LION’S MANE MUSHROOM (also named Yamabushitake)

Description: LION’S MANE MUSHROOM is a mushroom and a cognitive enhancer used for improving different cognitive processes. [8]

Other benefits: Prevents neurodegeneration; immunomodulation; inflammation fighter

Standard dosing: Current research on people suggests that an effective dose of LION’S MANE MUSHROOM is 3 x 1000 mg/day.

You can read more about it here.

Want to order Lion’s Mane Mushroom? Get it as a part of a popular nootropic stack Mind Lab Pro. 


Description: PTEROSTILBENE is a methylated stilbene molecule that is used as a cognitive-booster and also for reducing cholesterol and glucose. [9]

Other benefits: It may fight cancer; it reduces inflammation; it protects the liver; it may protect the heart.

Standard dosagePossible anxiolytic properties are seen are estimated to be seen at 5.5-11mg for a 150lb person; 7.3-14.5mg for a 200lb person and 9-18mg for a 250lb person. This means eating a cup or two of blueberries every day.

Want to order Pterostilbene? Click here >>


Description: Creatine is a molecule produced by the body that can rapidly produce additional energy to support cellular function. Research shows that supplementing creatine improves physical performance and power output, but it may also improve solving cognitive demanding tasks. [26]

Standard dosing: Creatine monohydrate is usually supplemented through a loading protocol. To start the process, take 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for 5–7 days, then follow with at least 0.03 g/kg/day either for three weeks (if cycling) or indefinitely. This means that a 200 lb person (90,7 kg) would take around 27 grams of Creatine during the loading protocol and later up to 3 grams.

My recommendation: I usually take up to 5 grams of creatine/day, but only every second or third day (on my training days).

Want to order Creatine? Click here >>


Definition: Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an ingredient that is vital for cognitive function. Our body synthesizes it, but adding it as a supplement shows positive effects to improve memory and cognitive capability. [10] People also use PS for improving attention.

Other benefits: It improves the health of neurons; it may treat Alzheimer’s; it may reduce stress

Standard dosage: 3 x 100 mg/ day (or max. up to 400 mg).

Here you can read more about PS >>

Where to order PS: For more information please click here >>


Definition: L-Tyrosine is an amino acid which appears to improve cognition during acute stressors. Research shows that L-Tyrosine also improves our working memory and well-being. [11]



Standard dosage: It is believed that 500 – 2000 mg/day taken up to 1 hour before a stressful situation might provide positive effects. However, studies in humans show best results when L-tyrosine is taken as advised: 100 – 150 mg/kg per bodyweight (up to 60 minutes before exercise).

Read more about it here.

Where to order L-Tyrosine: For more information please click here >> 


Definition: Rhodiola Rosea is a herb that often appears in the traditional Chinese medicine due to several benefits. It can improve functioning in persons who experience a reduction in fatigue. Besides, it may also promote longevity. [12]

Other benefits: It may ease your stress; it may relieve you from fatigue; it works as an anti-depressant

Standard dosage: 288 – 680 mg/day.

Learn more about Rhodiola Rosea here >>

Want to order Rhodiola Rosea? Click here >>

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea


Definition: Vinpocetine is an alkaloid that is derived from the periwinkle plant and it is being among the most popular nootropics due to its cognitive effects. It is believed that taking it could increase the blood flow to the brain. [13]

Standard dosage: 15 – 60 mg/day (divided into 3 daily dosages)

Currently, I cannot find a reliable vendor offering Vinpocetine.

FISH OIL (Omega-3)

Definition: Fish oil is usually referred to the 2 kinds of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) and is used for providing several positive effects. In general, it increases brain activity in several ways. It’s probably one of the most important supplements that the majority of people should consider taking (especially vegans). [14]

Standard dosage: Up to 1 gram of EPA & DHA combined

My recommendation: I take up 1g of EPA & DHA every 2 days.

Read more about it here >>

Want to order Fish oil? Click here >>


Definition: Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that is used to improve our mood, energy, concentration, mental function and has at least a dozen other benefits not related to cognition. [15]

Standard dosage: Up to 1 mg/day.

My recommendation: I take about 200 to 300 mcg of B12 every 2 days.

Want to order Vitamin B12? Click here >>


Definition: L-theanine is an amino acid found in green teas and it is known to be a relaxing agent that people use to reduce stress and increase alertness. [16] Combining it with caffeine (200 mg of each) shows to be a very popular and effective way to boost your cognition.

Standard dosage: 100 – 200 mg/day

Want to learn more about L-Theanine? Click here >>

Want to order L-Theanine + Caffeine? Click here >>

Green tea


Definition: Caffeine is a very powerful stimulant which provides mental stimulation, but it can also improve physical strength. It is probably the most widely used nootropic around the world. [17]

Dosage: If taken in doses, 100 – 200 mg/day. Otherwise 1-2 black coffees

Where to order Caffeine: You can basically drink any coffee that you prefer the most.

If you prefer taking caffeine in pills, please click here >>


Definition: Huperzine A is a highly concentrated extract from the Chinese club moss plant, highly regarded in traditional Chinese medicine. One study proved Huperzine A was responsible for a visible improvement in the subjects’ memory and learning skills compared to the second group that was given a placebo. Recent studies also reveal Huperzine A has a significant impact on an individual’s cognitive function for daily use as well as on suppressing overall symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Standar dosage: Typical doses are 50-200 mcg, twice per day.

Want to learn more? Click here >>

Want to order Huperzine A? Click here >>


Definition: L-Carnitine is another amino acid found in high protein foods, such as meat and eggs. L-Carnitine is key in acetylcholine production, and anything that improves our secretion of acetylcholine is a compound we want on our list

Standard dosage: 500-2000 mg per day should improve your focus, alertness, memory, and clarity.

The effects of L-Carnitine are supported by a lot of studies.

Want to learn more about L-Carnitine? Click here >>

Want to order L-Carnitine? Click here >>


Definiiton: Noopept modulates the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain. Low levels of glutamate are linked to cognitive diseases and decline, so as you can imagine, modulating your glutamate levels will surely enhance your memory.

Standar dosage: It is best to take 10-30 mg of Noopept split into 1-3 doses.

Want to learn more? Click here >>

Want to order Noopept? Click here >>


Definition: Pramiracetam is a great synthetic nootropic which works best if taken in doses up to 1200 mg. Pramiracetam is fat soluble, which means it will act longer than many other nootropics on the market.

If you want to read more about racetams, you can read it here.

Want to order Pramiracetam? Click here >>


Definition: Oxiracetam comes from a family of racetams, substances known as the OG of nootropics. It is similar to Noopept as it stimulates acetylcholine products and is water soluble, meaning it can be taken on an empty stomach.

Standar dosage: I recommend you start at 800 mg and work your way up to ingesting 2400 mg per day.

If you want to read more about racetams, you can read it here.

Want to order Oxiracetam? Click here >>

*Oxiracetam is one of the nootropics that lacks human studies. 


Definition: Nicotine can be a powerful nootropic when taken sparingly (1-2 mg only). Nicotine has a direct impact on mitochondrial energy, and anything that increases your mitochondrial activity has a beneficial effect on memory. It can be taken in via smoking, chewing tobacco, lozenges, gums or in a spray form.

That said, taking nicotine in low doses as a nootropic (for improving your attention, memory and reaction time) can be harmful, so I wouldn’t recommend it for anything more than an occasional boost.


Definition: Alpha-lipoic acid is a synthetic version of lipoic acid, which naturally occurs in your body.

Benefits: It eliminates free radicals, it boosts energy, cognitive function, and memory.

Standard dosage: 200 – 400 mg per day

Want to read more about it? Click here >>

Want to order it? Click here >>


Definition: Artichoke Extract is a PDE4 inhibitor, which is an enzyme responsible to break down cAMP molecules.

Benefits: Improves memory & cognition, wakefulness and protecting neurotransmitters in your brain.

Standard dosage: 320 – 640 mg/day

Want to learn more about it? Click here >>

Want to order it? Then click here >>


Definition: Ginseng is the root of plants native to Asia.

Benefits: Improves memory and mood, it lowers anxiety

Standard dosage: 100 mg / day (min. 3-5% of ginsenosides)

Want to read more about Ginseng? Click here >>

Want to buy Ginseng? Click here >>

L-DOPA (Mucuna Pruriens)

Definition: L-Dopa is a precursor to the formation of dopamine.

Benefits: It increases libido, testosterone, and cognitive function

Standard dosage: 150 mg to 1 gram/day of the extract


Definition: L-Glutamine is an amino acid that increases the effectiveness of neurotransmitters.

Benefits: It improves focus, energy, cognition, and retention

Standard dosage: 500 mg – 20 g/day


Definition: NADH is a coenzyme that is related to the B-Vitamin family.

Benefits: It boosts the production of Dopamine and norepinephrine which results in better cognitive performance

Standard dosage: 5 – 20 mg/day


Definition: Oat Straw comes from oat grass and it is an MAO-B inhibitor.

Benefits: It improves concentration, focus, and cognition

Standard dosage: 800 – 1600 mg/day


Definition: Picamilon is a combination of GABA and Vitamin B3.

Benefits: It improves memory, focus, and motivation

Standard dosage: 50 – 100 mg/day, up to 3 times


Definition: PQQ is known to help the growth of mitochondria in your brain cells.

Benefits: It might give you an energy boost

Standard dosage: 10 – 20 mg/day

Read more about PQQ here >>

Order PQQ here >>


Definition: Berberine is a yellow alkaloid extracted from plants such as Indian Barberry (tree turmeric), Oregon Grape and goldenseal used in traditional medicine as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory supplement.

Benefits: It can control diabetes, it increases energy, it improves mood, it protects the brain from damage

Standard dosage: 500 mg, 3x/day

Want to buy Berberine? Click here >>


Definition: Zinc is one of the essential trace elements which is required for optimal brain health.

Benefits: Optimal brain health

Standard dosage: 30 mg/daily in a combination with copper

Want to order zinc? Click here >>

Boost Your Immune System

Boosting your immune system goes hand in hand with improving your cognitive performance. If for whatever reason, your immune system is weak, you cannot expect the same positive benefits of taking nootropic as if your immune system is at its top.

If you want to boost your immune system, you can find tons of advice on Google. However, I want to specifically focus on the nootropics (and vitamins) that are known to be great immune system boosters.

Immune system


Definition: VITAMIN C is one of the essential vitamins due to its antioxidant properties. It is used to reduce the symptoms of the cold and prevent cold in the first place. [23]

Dosage: RDI (recommended daily intake) is between 100 – 200 mg/day. To support the immune system or to reduce the cold, you can take up to 2000 mg/day.

My recommendation: 
I usually take 1000 mg/day; up to 5 times/week.

Where to order Vitamin C: For more information please click here >>


Definition: VITAMIN D is another vitamin critical for our survival. It is associated with several benefits including improved cognition, immune health and also well-being. [18]

Dosage: The standardized dosage is between 1000 and 2000 IU (international unit) /day.

My recommendation: I’m taking VITAMIN D during winter more or less every day, usually up to 5000 IU.

Where to order Vitamin D: For more information please click here >>


Definition: VITAMIN K is another essential vitamin that plays a major role in cardiovascular and bone health. While it is not directly related to the immune system, it goes well along with VITAMIN D. When both vitamins are taken together, the effects of each can be improved. [19]

Dosage: Between 90 and 360 mcg/day

Where to order Vitamin K: For more information please click here >>


Definition: Cat’s Claw is a vine used as a nootropic with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Benefits: DNA repair, cognitive health, immune function

Standard dosage: 250 mg to 350 mg/day

Learn more about Cat’s Claw here >>

Want to buy it? Click here >>


Definition: MCT oil is basically a coconut oil which is extracted from the coconut palm.

Benefits: It is a potent antioxidant, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-tumor, and anti-bacterial

Standard dosage: 1 tablespoon/day

Want to read more about MCT oil? Click here >>


Definition: Coenzyme Q10 is an essential nutrient that mimics the properties of antioxidants in the body.

Benefits: It is a potent antioxidant, energy-boost & anti-aging

Standard dosage: Up to 600 mg/day, usually around 100 mg/day

Want to learn more about CoQ10? Click here >>

Want to buy it? Click here >>

Reduce Anxiety & Improve Your Sleep

Even if you’re taking all previously mentioned nootropics in the perfect dose, you eat very healthy food and you are a physically active person, there is one important part missing.

I’m talking about sleep.

If you encounter sleep issues, nootropics will most likely have a lower effect then they’d have if your body and mind receive the sleep they need.

If you are normally a calm person who have no sleep issues, you probably don’t need additional nootropics to improve your sleep.

If, on the other hand, you have insomnia or other sleep-related issues, there are several nootropics that could help you out.

So, let’s look at the nootropics that can help improve your sleep.

Improve sleep


Definition: Melatonin is a hormone in the brain which regulates your sleep. It is one of the most important nootropics used for improving your irregular sleep and insomnia. It also helps in case of a jet lag and shift work. Besides, Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant. [20]

Dosage: The optimal dosage is between 500 mcg and 5 mg. The effectiveness of Melatonin is not dose-dependent (if you take more than 5 mg, you will not fall asleep faster).

Where to order Melatonin: For more information please click here >>


Definition: Glycine is an amino acid and neurotransmitter that can improve our sleep quality.  [21]
Dosage: Based on the current research, the active dose is between 1 – 3 mg, even though taking higher doses (up to 45 mg) seems to leave no side effects.

Where to order Glycine: For more information please click here >>


Definition: Magnesium is an essential mineral in our body that significantly decreases blood pressure and has several other positive benefits. Studies show it also improves sleep in people with poor sleep quality. [22]

Dosage: A standard dosage is between 200 – 400 mg/day.

My recommendation: I take a magnesium supplement every 2nd day in the evening (usually around 300 mg).

Where to order Magnesium: For more information please click here >>


Definition: Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb that is used to prevent anxiety. It is also used for relieving insomnia and depression. Research shows that Ashwagandha can also reduce cortisol. [27]

Dosage: A standard dosage is 300-500 mg/day.

Want to learn more? Click here >>

Where to order Ashwagandha: For more information please click here >>

CoQ10 (Ubiquinol)

Definition: CoQ is responsible for fueling the mitochondria in our cells.

Benefits: It improves our athletic performance, it is an antioxidant and it helps with depression

Standard dosage: 100 mg/day

Where to buy? Click here >>


Definition: 5-HTP is a serotonin precursor in the brain.

Benefits: It improves mood, it controls appetite and behavior and it helps with sleep

Standard dosage: 50 mg, 3x/day, up to 2 weeks

Want to read more about 5-HTP? Click here >>


Definition: GABA is a neurotransmitter produced in your brain.

Benefits: It makes your calmer and it may help with sleep

To get the benefits, combine it with Phenibut, which helps Gaba to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Standard dosage: Up to 5000 mg/day

Where to buy GABA? Click here >>


Definition: Gotu Kola is a herb traditionally used in Ayurveda medicine.

Benefits: It reduces anxiety and may promote longevity

Standard dosage: 400 – 600 mg/day in powder, or 10 drops of the extract

Want to buy Gotu Kula? Click here >>


Definition: Kava is a herb native to the South Pacific.

Benefits: It reduces anxiety, improves mood and promotes a sense of well-being. It may boost cognitive function.

Standard dosage: 250 – 500 mg/day


Definition: Lemon Balm is a plant from the mint family.

Benefits: Anti-anxiety effects, stress relief

Standard dosage: 1 – 2 grams of lemon balm lea; 300 – 600 mg of the extract/day

Want to buy Lemon Balm? Click here >>


Definition: Phenibut is a GABA agonist, developed in the 1960s.

Benefits: A strong, sedative effect, anti-anxiety benefits

Standard dosage: 2 – 300 mg/day

Want to buy Phenibut? Click here >>


Definition: Pine Bark extract is an extract of French maritime pine bark.

Benefits: It’s a very potent antioxidant

Standard dosage: 100 mg up to 3x/day

Want to read more about it? Click here >>

Want to order it? Then click here >>


Definition: Piperine is black pepper extract often used in a combination with other nootropics and supplements for faster absorption.

Benefits: Decreased anxiety, improved mood and boosted memory

Standard dosage: 5 – 20 mg of Piperine

Want to order Piperine? Click here >>


Definition: Phenylalanine is an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier.

Benefits: It can improve mood and motivation

Standard dosage: 500 mg /3x per day

Want to order it? Click here >>

To read more about it, click here >


Definition: SAM-e is an amino acid methionine which is bound to an ATP molecule.

Benefits: It can boost your mood, improve energy and help with depression

Standard dosage: 400 mg/day


Definition: St John’s Wort is a traditionally used plant for improving mood disorders.

Benefits: It might help with anxiety and depression

Standard dosage: 900 – 1800 mg/day (talk to your doctor before)

Want to learn more? Click here >>

Want to order it? Then click here >>


Definition: Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids (and a precursor to melatonin, Vitamin B3 and serotonin).

Benefits: It improves your depression, it helps with anxiety and insomnia, it might help with memory

Standard dosage: Not established


Definition: Turmeric is an Indian spice used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Benefits: It reduces inflammation in the brain, it helps with stress

Dosage: 2,5 – 4 grams/day

Want to buy turmeric? Click here >>

So, we checked the most commonly used nootropics including vitamins, minerals, and herbs that can boost your cognitive performance, improve memory, focus, attention and improve sleep quality.

We’ll be adding new nootropics to this post as soon as more research is done.


Which nootropic stacks do you recommend?

Best nootropic stack

Let me guess: you have read through my research, you set up your personal goals and now you’re wondering where to get a nootropic stack that will help you reach your goals.

If you are like most people I know, you’d rather choose an advanced nootropic stack that’ll require taking only 1 pill (or a couple) per day instead of manually ordering 10+ ingredients, weighing them every single day and then take each individual ingredient on a very detailed schedule.

I know, “standardized” solutions are much easier for regular consumers and those that I recommend definitely deliver on its promises.

Let’s check out the options.

You Want To Improve Your Cognitive Performance?


Performance Lab is the most advanced line of nootropics ever available. It has been developed & designed to help you reach peak human performance.

Performance Lab

Performance Lab

RECOMMENDED TO: Everyone who is serious about upgrading their performance

Performance Lab formulas upgrade biological functions that give you an edge in life. They were developed to help you improve your energy, focus, memory, strength, brainpower, vision, digestion, overall health and even sleep. With a close collaboration of a university and a specialized laboratory, there is no doubt Performance Lab nootropics are the most advanced nootropics of 2019.

Why do I recommend Performance Lab? 

  1. Scientifically researched ingredients (TOP Quality)
  2. Fast development of new formulas
  3. Affordable
  4. Great personal experience

If you want to learn more about different PL products, you can read reviews below:

  1. Performance Lab Mind Review
  2. Performance Lab Energy Review
  3. Performance Lab Vision Review

If you want to order Performance Lab products, then click here >>


If you search for the most advanced nootropic stack that will deliver you all essential ingredients, QUALIA MIND is a product to check.

Here are 3 main reasons why Qualia Mind is a product for you:

  1. Qualia Mind is definitely the most advanced nootropic stack that I ever reviewed
  2. It provides a full list of nootropics, vitamins, minerals and much more
  3. It is well-dosed and it delivers on its promises

If you want to read my whole review about Qualia Mind, please click here >>

If you want to order Qualia Mind, you can do it here >>

P.s. Use code YOURINCEPTION & receive 10% discount. 


If you want to improve your overall cognitive performance (memory, speed, clarity and get long-term brain support), but you don’t need the additional vitamins & minerals that Qualia Mind contains, Mind Lab Pro might be a product for you. 

Mind Lab Pro Review

Mind Lab Pro Review: Does it Work?

Mind Lab Pro is definitely one of the most advanced nootropics on the market. The formula was designed to improve your overall cognitive performance (memory, speed, clarity). Besides the short-term effect, Mind Lab Pro uses several nootropics that can improve your brain health in the long-term.

The formula was optimized in 2017 and it is now even stronger as before (also, they removed one doubtful ingredient from the formula). I’ve been taking Mind Lab Pro for years and I have never experienced any side-effects or other kinds of health issues whatsoever.

If you want to read my whole review about MIND LAB PRO, please click here >>

If you want to order MIND LAB PRO, you can do it here >>


To be completely honest, there are several other great nootropic stacks available on the market.

If you want to check my list of best nootropics, then click here.

You Want To Improve Your Sleep

Improve sleep

If you want to improve your sleep with nootropics, I’d recommend my favorite option I often use. 


Performance Lab Sleep is currently my favorite sleep nootropic on the market (and the most effective as well).

Sleep Nootropic

Sleep Nootropic

RECOMMENDED TO: Everyone who is serious about achieving ultimate performance and improving his/her sleep

Performance Lab Sleep is one of the latest inventions of the Performance Lab brand that managed to develop one of the most fascinating sleep nootropics on the market.

The supplement contains magnesium, tart cherry (the biggest natural source of melatonin) and L-Tryptophane, which all play a major role in our body.

PL Sleep promotes restful sleep, which is crucial for regeneration and peak daytime performance.

Why do I recommend Performance Lab Sleep? 
  1. It increases the quality of our sleep
  2. It helps us wake up rejuvenated
  3. High-quality ingredients

Want to read my whole review? Then click here. 

If you want to order Performance Lab Sleep, click here. 

2. SLEEP STACK (by Natural Stacks):

This is the ultimate solution to tackle your sleep issues and increase the quality of your sleep to the maximum

Sleep stack

The stack contains 3 products – MagTech, Gaba Brain Food and a prebiotic.

You can order the products separately, but I do recommend combining MagTech and Gaba Brain food for the max. effect.

If you want to order Sleep Stack, you can do it here  >>

P.S. You can use coupon code YOURINCEPTION15 to receive 15% discount!


My all-time favorite Smart Drugs

My favorite smart drugs

All right, now it’s getting interesting here.

Before you continue reading this chapter, you have to promise me you’ll read it carefully before you jump into ordering Modafinil or other smart drugs, ok?

Smart drugs work on a completely different level than nootropics. The immediate benefits that they provide are far greater compared to nootropics.

In order to avoid any potential health-related issues, let’s look at my favorite smart drugs, how to take them and what do they actually do.


Do you wonder what many Harvard students do to tackle the pressure they undoubtedly encounter during studies?

Yup, Modafinil is one of the best friends of many students across the world.

So, what exactly is Modafinil?



Modafinil is an enhancing smart drug that is used for treating daytime sleep-related disorders. [24]

Modafinil is a game-changer, trust me on that.

It helps you enter a different realm, you like or not. It’s like nitro in your car or an additional, hidden engine that provides more power when needed.

Modafinil doesn’t increase your IQ or dramatically improves your memory.

But it helps you increase your focus to a level where your productivity doubles. And this is much more important than your IQ because it helps you outwork “smarter” people.

Standard dosage: 100 – 200 mg/day

Potential side effects: If you take a higher dose than recommended, or you take Modafinil too often, here is a list of side effects you could expect:

  • A headache
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping may occur.

Don’t worry, in most cases, you’ll be all right, but I just wanted to mention it so you know what to expect.

If you want to read my complete review of taking Modafinil, you can do it here >> 

If you want to order it, just click here >>

Modafinil Review

Modafinil Review


Adderall used to be an alternative to Modafinil for years, despite being a completely different drug.

However, due to the high risk of abusing it, many side effects and because it is challenging to buy it online, Adderall is losing its value in terms of smart drug potential.

Definition: Adderall is a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor and releaser. Adderall can enhance or impair aspects of cognitive function depending it seems on one’s baseline performance. Adderall will tend to impair already high-performers but will bolster low-performers.

Standard dosage: 10 mg once in the morning

Side Effects: Mood changes, anxiety, loss of appetite, higher blood pressure, euphoria, racing heart, palpitations, insomnia, paranoia, mania, irritability, anxiety, possible neurotoxicity,…




Let me answer the most commonly asked questions that I receive.

Question 1: Is it safe taking nootropics?

Yes, the majority of nootropics are considered safe if taken as recommended. However, I still suggest talking to your doctor before you actually try any nootropics.

Question 2: Can you mix up nootropics? 

In general, yes you can, but not all of them. If you are not sure what you’re doing, I’d advise you to start with standardized stacks such as Mind Lab Pro or Qualia Mind. 

Question 3: Should you cycle nootropics?

Yes, I would definitely recommend cycling nootropics following 4 weeks on, 1 week off / or 5 days on, 2 days off.

Question 4: Is it safe combining nootropics and smart drugs?

This is a delicate question to answer and I’m sure no one can definitely support the safety of combining nootropics and smart drugs. To stay on the safe side, I wouldn’t recommend doing it. At least I (almost) never combined nootropics and smart drugs.

Question 5: What if I experience negative side effects or overdosing?

First of all, don’t panic. Figure out which nootropic you took that could cause issues. Then immediately call your doctor and tell him/her what happened. Don’t worry, overdosing with most nootropics isn’t as dangerous as it sounds, but there are exceptions, so be careful and smart.

Question 6: There are several other nootropics that you didn’t mention in this post. Why?

Yes, this is correct. There are at least a dozen other compounds marked as nootropics that could have potential benefits. However, since the majority of them lack scientific studies, are rarely used in nootropic blends and have many side effects, I have decided not to include them in this post until more information about their benefits and side effects are known.

Question 7: Which nootropics are best for mood enhancement/depression?

Let me start out by saying that I am NOT a medical professional. If you have serious problems, please, consult a specialist. If you’re looking to just improve your mood, keep reading. Let’s start out with the most common nootropics, that would be Sulbutiamine, Inositol and Cobalamine. The three B vitamins (B1, B8 and B12) all help the brain to produce more neurotransmitters called dopamine and serotonin, both of which are integral with good mood and overall well being. There is also an amino acid found in meat and dairy products that has a similar effect – L-Tyrosine.

Next are Fish Oil supplements, which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Our lifestyles and eating habits can frequently leave us feeling beat up and lethargic. By adding Omega 3 supplements to your daily diet, you can avoid feeling lazy and lethargic and more motivated and ready for action.

The last nootropic I would like to point out is Noopept. Noopept is commonly used for enhancing cognitive function and memory, but recent research shows it can also improve mood and anxiety issues. Reduced stress levels will result in mood stabilization, followed by improved mental well-being.

Question 8: How do I get rid of brain fog?

Brain fog can be described as a fluctuating impairment of cognitive functions. Individuals with brain fog experience problems with concentration, memory recall, and decision making. In practice it is that annoying feeling of inability to “get stuff done”, and that can stem from natural causes or taking nootropics, such as piracetam.

The main reason for brain fog in both instances is the naturally occurring low levels of Acetylcholine in our brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that gets processed in our brain into Choline and is responsible for proper brain cell function, and when our bodies lack this chemical, all of our motor and cognitive functions will slow down.

So to battle this from a nootropic standpoint, I would consider taking Alpha GPC and Centrophenoxine to boost the production of acetylcholine and the brain fog should clear out.

Question 9: Is there an anti-procrastination drug?

There is not a single drug on the market that would directly affect procrastination. The motivation for work and productivity must come from within, but there are some ways of enhancing your focus and energy once you set your mind on a particular task.

If you’re having problems focusing and sticking to the mental task, take a look at my article on Modafinil. It is the closest thing to an anti-procrastination drug as you’ll currently get.

Question 10: What are the best nootropics for social anxiety?

Whenever you experience anxiety, you feel embarrassed, inferior, or humiliated, and all these feelings can largely be attributed to a chemical imbalance in the brain. This imbalance is not triggered by a lack of any particular neurotransmitter, such as GABA or dopamine. Instead, social anxiety gets caused by a chain of events that happen in our brain where the short-term production of certain neurotransmitters gets inhibited while others processes go into overdrive.

The top 3 anti-social anxiety nootropics would be Aniracetam, L-Theanine, and Fish Oil.

Aniracetam is a common antidepressant, which also works well with symptoms of social anxiety by increasing GABA levels, which are responsible for keeping the brain protected from stress. Taking L-Theanine has been proven to be a very good relaxant without giving you the feeling of drowsiness, so you can mellow out without falling to sleep. Lastly, Fish Oil supplements increase Omega 3 levels, the lack of which has been connected to anxiety and depression.

Question 11: What are some ways to prevent mental decay as you age?

Mental decay describes the loss of cognitive function due to aging and stress-related activity. Thus many of the memory-enhancing nootropics in this article are also commonly used to protect aging individuals from mental decay. Let me point out, in my opinion, the best three cognitive enhancers that will protect your brain from age-related decay: Pterostilbene, Gingko Biloba, and Huperzine A.

All three are completely natural extracts, that in one way or another battle the aging of brain cells. Pterostilbene is a molecule found in blueberries that not only reduces brain inflammation but also helps fight high blood sugar levels and has anti-cancer effects. Gingko Biloba increases microcirculation, keeping the brain healthy by flushing it with nutrient-rich blood on a regular basis, and Huperzine A improves the brain function by boost acetylcholine levels.


My TOP Recommendation & How my every day looks like


All right, so you wonder what’s my daily routine and which nootropics I take on a daily basis?

Let’s check it out.

Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof Coffee

First of all, my daily routine has been changing from one month to another for the past years until I found out what really works for me.

Nowadays the routine is pretty much stable, but since I’m experimenting with nootropics, I often switch nootropics on a monthly basis for the sake of testing, but other parts stay the same.

Here’s my ultimate daily routine that brings the most out of me: 

  1. I usually wake up at 6 AM
  2. I take around 5 grams of Creatine on an empty stomach
  3. I eat a banana or some nuts before I leave for gym
  4. I train different muscles for about 1 hour every 2nd day
  5. In between training, I drink BCAA mixed in a water (I usually buy them in a local shop)
  6. I take a colder shower (can’t handle cold showers, but “colder” sounds fair) after my training
  7. I take high-quality proteins + Omega 3 + a nootropic stack (most often Mind Lab Pro / Qualia Mind / smth else I’m testing)
  8. If the stack I’m testing doesn’t contain Vitamin B12 / Vitamin D3 / Vitamin C, I take them separately
  9. Then I start doing my work and if I need an additional energy boost, I drink my favorite Bulletproof coffee / standard coffee works as well if Bulletproof coffee is not available
  10. During the day, I eat a normal (usually healthy) lunch and dinner
  11. In the afternoon (1-2 hours after lunch) I normally drink green tea or take 200 mg of L-theanine to minimize coffee jitters and have a relaxing afternoon
  12. Usually, I have no issue with sleep, but if I do, Sleep stack always saves my ass (it’s a truly fantastic product)
  13. An hour before sleep I shut down my laptop/smartphone/tablet if possible. I use f.lux on my Mac to block blue light coming from my screen and messing up with my sleep
  14. I enjoy a perfect sleep (usually wearing this sleep mask)

And that’s about it.

My routine works for me and many of my friends, so I’d definitely recommend trying it out.

P.s. I do not take Modafinil (smart drug) on a daily basis, so it’s not really part of my daily routine. But it is on my schedule every couple of weeks.


  • 6Shares
  • 0
  • 0
  • 2
  • 0
  • 4

Please rate this

By |2019-05-23T16:09:24+00:00April 1st, 2019|Categories: guide, Nootropics|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Leave A Comment

Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !