1. Best Brain Supplements
If you are ready to increase your attention, focus, memory, and overall cognition, while keeping your brains healthy and in top shape, let’s have a look at the best brain supplements you can get on the market.
All of them play an important role in our brain performance and they are listed in no particular order.
Side note: Instead of buying them separately, I suggest buying an effective brain supplements stack (mix of brain supplements). More info below.
Side note 2: Consult your doctor before buying any brain supplements, even though most are considered non-toxic and safe. You always want to stay on the safe side.
I’ll share the best brain supplement stacks at the end of the post.
1. Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Smart mushroom for ultimate cognitive performance
Let’s start this list with one of my favorite and most effective brain supplements – Lion’s Mane mushroom.
Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus), also known as yamabushitake, is a mushroom native to parts of Asia, North America, and Europe. 
Lion’s Mane Side Effects
It’s been used medicinally for thousands of years and it is becoming extremely popular in the last years.
Lion’s Mane can be found in many popular brain supplements and nootropic stacks, but you can get it as an individual compound as well.
It has become so popular because:
- It has been shown to improve our mental functions (memory, motivation, focus, and attention)
- It can prevent neurodegeneration
- It can support our immune system
- It contains cancer-fighting and anti-depressant properties
- It can increase Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) that is crucial to the growth of neurons
Lion’s Mane is becoming one of the crucial supplements in providing brain support and helping people to improve their cognition.
It is considered a very safe and non-toxic supplement, but if you are allergic to it, you should definitely avoid it.
Recommended daily dosage: 500 – 1000 mg (up to 3 times/daily)
Read more about Lion’s Mane here >>
2. Rhodiola Rosea: A cognition-boosting adaptogen herb
Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen herb that is known for its benefits for enhancing our ability to decrease stress, work as an anti-depressant and improve our cognition. 
The last mentioned benefit is what we should focus on.
Researchers have found various adaptogenic effects of Rhodiola extract on our body which is making this adaptogen herb a very popular and often used in brain boosting supplements.
Rhodiola Rosea extract is involved in a number of physiological functions and pathways that retard the growth of cancer cells, it reduces fatigue and improves mental performance. 
When taken in the recommended daily dosage, Rhodiola Rosea leaves no side effects.
Rhodiola can be taken as an individual compound, but based on my experience with it, it’s far more effective if taken with other compounds (more info below).
Recommended daily dosage: 50 – 688 mg/day
Read more about Rhodiola Rosea here >>
3. Bacopa Monnieri: An Ayurvedic herbal brain booster
Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal remedy and one of the most popular brain enhancing supplements. 
Bacopa Monnieri Review
It is used as a brain-boosting supplement that can also improve your memory, attention, thinking and processing speed.
Bacopa is often used with patients that have Alzheimer’s disease, but recent research is showing benefits for healthy individuals as well.
When this herb was compared to a very effective drug Modafinil
(which we will soon talk about), it was shown to be the most potent.
Also, keep in mind that Bacopa is a known adaptogen, which means that it can decrease stress, reduce hormone cortisol and boost your energy.
When it comes to side effects, Bacopa Monnieri is considered safe.
However, if you don’t follow the recommended daily dosage or you don’t take it with a meal, people reported issues such as nausea, diarrhea, and cramping.
So follow the recommended dosage and you should be able to avoid all potential side effects.
Recommended daily dosage: 300 mg/day (with 55% of bacopasides, the bioactive compounds)
Read more about Bacopa Monnieri here >>
4. Citicoline: Your ultimate brain defender
Citicoline is one of the most effective brain-boosting supplements available on the market.
It is a compound that is found in every cell of our body. 
Citicoline as Cognizin
Citicoline provides a whole range of benefits:
- It plays an important role in memory formation and learning
- It increases levels of dopamine and acetylcholine
- It can improve our mood and vision
- It slows down cell aging
- It improves brain circulation
- It can improve our focus, concentration, and attention
Citicoline can be very effective as an individual compound, but it’s even more effective in a brain-boosting supplement that contains multiple brain ingredients.
It is well tolerated by people and no special side effects have been reported. But again, consult your doctor before supplementing it.
Recommended daily dosage: 250 – 1000 mg/day
Read more about Citicoline here >>
5. Alpha-GPC: Your memory-boosting supplement
Whenever we mention Citicoline, we cannot go without mentioning Alpha GPC as its alternative.
Alpha GPC is a choline compound found naturally in trace amounts in the body. 
Similar to Citicoline, Alpha GPC also increases the level of neurotransmitters, it improves our memory, focus, attention span and can help slow down mental decline.
While Alpha GPC is considered a brain supplement in most of the world, it is used as a prescription medication for Alzheimer’s in Europe.
So you can understand how effective this compound really is.
Alpha GPC should not be taken by anyone using anticholinergic drugs, but otherwise is considered a very safe supplement.
Recommended daily dosage: 300 – 600 mg/day
Read more about Alpha GPC here >>
6. Ginseng: An effective cognitive enhancer
Ginseng (especially Panax Ginseng and American Ginseng) is another adaptogenic herb known for several benefits. 
This herb has been used for centuries for decreasing our stress levels, improving energy, and boosting our immune system.
In addition, American Ginseng has clinically proven benefits being an effective cognitive enhancer.
Supplementing Ginseng can also improve our focus and attention.
Since it is considered a very safe supplement (with some rare occasions of insomnia, increased heart rate, and headaches), it is rapidly growing in popularity.
Recommended daily dosage: 200 – 400 mg (2 times/day)
Read more about Ginseng here >>
Huperzine-A is a mental energy booster that is also known for improving memory and brain circulation. 
It is extracted from a special plant called Chinese club moss (huperzia serrata) and it is the main active compound that provides the benefits.
Huperzine-A can raise our acetylcholine levels, it can slow down Alzheimer’s disease, and it can treat dementia.
Actually, it is used as a prescription drug in China.
Some potential side effects of supplementing Huperzine-A include upset GT, headaches, nausea, and slowed heart rate.
However, this brain supplement is still considered safe.
Recommended daily dosage: 30 – 100 mcg/daily
Read more about Huperzine-A here >>
8. ALCAR – Mental energy booster
ALCAR (Acetyl-L-Carnitine) is an amino acid that can improve our physical and mental performance. 
L Carnitine ALCAR
It is a precursor of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter known to influence our learning and memory.
This amino acid is effective in improving our mental focus, clarity, thinking speed and even memory.
Besides, it may have positive anti-aging benefits.
Recent studies show the potential of supplementing ALCAR to slow down Alzheimer’s.
I also found some evidence that it can increase the insulin sensitivity of our brain cells to help them better utilize blood glucose.
That’s why ALCAR is often listed as an effective energy-boosting supplement.
Recommended daily dosage: Up to 2 grams/day
Read more about ALCAR here >>
9. L-Theanine: Get in the productive flow
L-Theanine is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in tea leaves, but also in rare species of mushrooms. 
It is a non-dietary amino-acid, which means it’s not urgent for us to take it, but it can provide a whole range of benefits.
L-Theanine is known to promote relaxation without drowsiness.
It can also boost our attention and focus.
Besides, it works extremely well with caffeine, the widely used stimulant.
Several studies actually show that the right combination of both brain supplements can improve our reaction time, decrease tiredness and improve our memory.
L-theanine can also improve memory and cognition in seniors.
Last but not least, L-theanine is neuroprotective against Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s.
Recommended daily dosage: 200 mg of L-Theanine (it can be taken in a combo with 100 mg of Caffeine)
Read more about L-Theanine here >>
10. Phosphatidylserine (PS): FDA approved cognitive enhancer
Phosphatidylserine is a protein that is found widely in the membrane of the cells, and it is the most pronounced in the neural tissue. 
This brain supplement is very popular for boosting cognition, focus, learning, concentration, and memory.
PS also ensures that toxins don’t reach our brain.
It can repair the structural integrity of neurons. It also normalizes the level of cortisol in our body.
PS may also produce a feeling of happiness by influencing neurotransmitters.
Besides all that, supplementing PS can significantly improve attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children.
Due to its memory-boosting benefits, it is often used by students before exams.
Phosphatidylserine is considered safe and effective for people of all ages.
Typical side effects include the upset stomach, gas, and insomnia, but if you follow the recommended dosage, there should be nothing to worry about.
Keep in mind that phosphatidylserine received a qualified stamp of approval from the FDA for age-related cognitive decline and dementia in seniors.
Recommended daily dosage: 3 x 100 mg/day
Read more about PS here >>
11. Ginkgo Biloba: Probably the most popular brain supplement
Ginkgo Biloba is a 200 million years old tree and a known antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory agent, an antidepressant, a natural anticoagulant, an anti-stress agent and even an antidiabetic. 
Ginkgo Biloba can protect the brain from free radical damage and increase circulation to the brain.
It’s a very popular memory booster and a prescription drug in Europe.
While it is believed that Ginkgo Biloba is a potent memory supplement, recent studies rejected this. 
But despite that, Ginkgo is still very beneficial for treating anxiety and stress, it can definitely improve short-term memory and it can influence neurotransmitter production.
Ginkgo Biloba is often added to popular brain enhancing supplements.
When it comes to side effects, ginkgo side effects include digestive upset, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, and restlessness.
Ginkgo also reacts badly with many medications, so do consult your doctor before supplementing it.
Recommended daily dosage: 80 – 680 mg/day
Read more about Ginkgo Biloba here >>
12. Curcumin: Long-term brain protector
Curcumin, the main bioactive compound in the Indian spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), is known to protect our brain in several ways.
It is a very effective anti-depressant, it can increase blood flow to the brain, and it can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine.
Besides, a study shows that supplementing curcumin can improve attention and memory in otherwise healthy seniors.
It can also improve energy, mood, and working memory while decreasing stress.
Also, keep in mind that people who consume turmeric in India have some of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s in the world.
Recommend daily dosage: 80 – 500 mg /day of a turmeric supplement
13. Magnesium: Your crucial brain mineral
As you might know, magnesium is an essential dietary mineral that is required for over 600 metabolic functions in our body.
Sadly, the majority of people are believed to be magnesium deficient nowadays. 
What are the effects of deficiency?
- Brain fog
- A general feeling of tiredness
- Lack of focus
Supplementing magnesium can immediately solve those issues.
Not just that, supplementing it can be beneficial for improving memory, attention, and anxiety.
Also, magnesium has proven beneficial for the treatment of depression, ADHD, and even schizophrenia.
If you decide to buy magnesium supplement, search for l-threonate that seems to be the most effective in crossing the blood-brain barrier.
Recommended daily dosage: Up to 320 mg for women / 420 mg for men