5 Best Brain Boosters To Improve Memory, Focus And Cognition

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Feeling foggy, tired, low, and mentally slow?

A brain-boosting supplement can improve your mental function safely and naturally.

Be the best you can be at work, ace every test at college, and be super-focused for your workouts.

We have discovered the top 5 best brain supplements on the market.

TOP 5: Best Brain Boosters

1. Mind Lab Pro by Universal Nootropic

Mind Lab Pro by Universal Nootropic

First, we have the Mind Lab Pro Universal Nootropic, a product that claims to deliver “100% Brain Power”.

More specifically, it is designed to boost entire mental performance including memory, performance, mindset and mood, and structural brain health (i.e. anti-aging and injury repair).

What we like about this product is the fact that it is natural, safe, and doesn’t contain any questionable ingredients.

What’s more, it doesn’t contain any stimulants which risk disrupted sleep and anxiety.

There are 11 “research-backed nootropics” in this formulation selected to support multiple brain ways.

The key ingredient is Cognizin (Citicoline) with a 250mg dosage per serving.

Citicoline1 is a naturally-occurring substance found in the brain and is often used for treating dementia thanks to its memory-supporting properties.

It works by boosting phosphatidylcholine, a chemical found in brain cells that also supports memory, repair, and overall cognitive function.

Other key ingredients include:

  • Phosphatidylserine: derived from sunflowers, this phospholipid (found in the fatty parts of the brain) helps the brain cells to produce energy. It also helps to remove toxic brain cells to protect healthy brain cells from damage by association. It is FDA-approved as a potential treatment for the prevention of cognitive decline2.
  • Bacopa Monnieri: helps with information retention and learning (great for studying or starting a new job), and helps with stress management3.
  • Maritime Pine Bark Extract: boosts short-term focus and keeps the mind clear when attention is needed.
  • L-Theanine: promotes “feel good” chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, and helps with creative activities4.

Other nootropics included are Lion’s Mane Mushroom, L-Tyrosine, Rhodiola Rosea, Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 for energy, blood flow to the brain, and healthy moods.

How it works?
  • 2-4 capsules are taken per day.
  • Citicoline boosts phosphatidylcholine production.
  • The brain cells repair themselves more thoroughly.
  • Memory and recall is sharpened.
  • Phosphatidylserine supports the memory and lifts the mood.
  • Bacopa Monnieri helps with relaxation and successful learning.
  • Maritime Pine Bark Extract kicks your focus into high gear.
  • L-Theanine keeps you calm and opens your mind for creative thinking.
  • Zero caffeine and stimulant content keeps your sleep schedule on track.
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Supports multiple brain functions.
  • Caffeine, gluten, and GMO-free.
  • Vegan-friendly.
  • Natural ingredients with no synthetics.
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
Cons
  • Quite expensive.

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2. Noocube

noocube

Next up, we have NooCube, designed by neuroscientists for maximum effect and safety.

This is a product created the smart way, with clinical studies backing every ingredient, without a synthetic substance in sight.

The top ingredient is Alpha GPC5, which boosts acetylcholine production in your brain.

Acetylcholine acts as an important messenger between brain cells, sharpening concentration and improving memory.

Alpha GPC has been proven to help Alzheimer’s patients, a testament to its efficiency.

The second key ingredient is moss-derived Huperzine A6, which works to hinder the chemical called AChE.

AChE threatens acetylcholine, (the brain messenger).

Huperzine A protects acetylcholine from being reduced, therefore, supports memory and focus.

Note that supplements containing Huperzine A should be cycled (for example, 2 weeks on, 1 week off) as it has a long half-life.

Thirdly, we have the naturally-derived ingredient Cat’s Claw which is an antioxidant, protecting the brain cells from free radicals.

The other ingredients are Bacopa monnieri, Oat Straw, L-Theanine & L-Tyrosine.

Noocube is a great brain booster for people looking for something safe, well-researched, natural, and caffeine-free.

It would be ideal for you if you’re facing a stressful, busy stage at work, and need some help with focus, memory, information retention, calmness, and stress management.

How it works?
  • Two capsules are taken, with results experienced in 30 minutes.
  • Alpha GPC increases acetylcholine, resulting in sharp concentration.
  • Huperzine A makes sure acetylcholine production is upheld, by stopping AChE from hindering it.
  • Cat’s Claw protects the brain cells from oxidative stress.
  • Oat Straw improves blood flow to the brain, keeping you alert.
  • L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine keep you sharp yet relaxed and in control.
  • Caffeine-free formula means you can sleep soundly.
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Caffeine-free.
  • Backed by clinical studies.
  • Designed with safety as a high priority.
  • 60-day 100% money-back guarantee.
  • Free shipping worldwide.
Cons
  • Low dose of Alpha-GPC.
  • Needs to be cycled due to Huperzine A.

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3. Qualia by Neurohacker

Qualia by Neurohacker

At number three, the Qualia Mind range, by Neurohacker.

This supplement has been designed for excellent focus, concentration, productivity, and calmness at the same time.

What’s more, it has been formulated for long-term brain health and the prevention of cognitive issues.

The top ingredient is Acetyl-L Carnitine (500mg), an ingredient often taken by elderly people to support memory.

It may also help to boost blood flow to the brain, keep you energized, and even lift the mood for a slight antidepressant effect.

The second key ingredient is Artichoke Leaf Extract (500mg). Artichokes contain something called Cynarin which helps to improve memory and recall.

In addition, artichoke extract can help the body to withstand all kinds of stress.

Lastly, there’s a good dose (300mg) of Rhodiola Rosea Extract7 which helps to reduce anxiety and promote a calm outlook during stress and high-pressure situations.

Other ingredients include Vitamin C, Vitamin DC, Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Bacopa Monnieri, Taurine, Alpha GPC, Cognizin, OrganicCoffee Berry (not in caffeine-free variety), and L-Theanine.

There are a few negatives to be aware of. For example, the daily serving size is 7 capsules, which is quite a commitment.

What’s more, they’re reported to have a bad taste and smell.

How it works?
  • 7 capsules are taken daily.
  • Acetyl-L Carnitine staves off fatigue, sharpens your concentration and helps you recall information in a flash.
  • Rhodiola Rosea extract kicks in to keep you calm and anxiety-free during stressful situations.
  • Vitamin C supports the immune system, fights free radicals, and keeps your energy levels healthy.
  • Vitamin B12 boosts energy production, supports a sharp mind, and keeps the mood lifted.
  • Caffeine (not in caffeine-free variety) gives an energy hit and helps to fight fatigue.
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Good selection of vitamins (C, D3, B6, B12).
  • Vegan and gluten-free.
  • Caffeine-free option available.
Cons
  • Capsules taste bad.
  • Reports of jitters, headaches, and stomach ache.
  • Large serving size (7 capsules).
  • Low dosage of key ingredients.

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4. Nitrovit by Project Nooyou

Nitrovit by Project Nooyou

At number four we have Nitrovit by Project Nooyou, marketed as being for “Focus, Memory, Drive”, and “intense laser-like focus”.

This is a brain booster designed for extreme concentration and successful attention for projects, work demands, and anything which requires procrastination-free focus.

The key ingredient is the registered nootropic Noopept, a potent and fast-working peptide similar to Piracetam8.

Noopept improves memory, learning, and retention, and soothes anxiety.

What’s more, it helps the body to metabolize glucose to fuel your brain for sharp concentration and unbroken focus.

One of the key ways Noopept works is by supporting healthy levels of Neurotrophin, a protein that supports the central nervous system and neuron health.

The other ingredients include Alpha GPC, BioPerine, Guarana Powder, Huperzine A, Taurine, Uridine, Vitamin B12, and Phosphatidylserine.

Note that guarana is part of the mix, which means this is a caffeine-containing supplement.

How it works?
  • Up to 4 capsules are taken every 24 hours (5 days on, 2 days off to avoid building a tolerance to the ingredients).
  • Noopept kicks in quickly, feeding neurotransmitters with nutrients. The result is sharp focus, reduced anxiety, and an increased desire to work.
  • Vitamin B6, L-Taurine, Alpha GPC improves sleep quality and mental clarity.
  • Acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter) is supported by Noopept, improving memory and information retention and recall for work and study.
  • Guarana gives an energy boost and dose of extreme focus.
  • Vitamin B12 gives overall cognitive support, boosts the mood, and helps with energy production in the brain.
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Fast-working.
  • 1-year money-back guarantee.
  • Potent formula.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Made under FDA guidelines.
Cons
  • Contains caffeine (a “con” for people with sleep issues).
  • Not 100% natural (Noopept is synthetic).

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5. LumUltra (before Lumonol)

LumUltra

Last but not least, LumUltra by Avanse Nutraceuticals. This brain-boosting supplement contains three blends of ingredients.

The first is the “energy blend”, (415mg). This includes Guarana, Panax Ginseng, and Vitamin B12.

Guarana gives a caffeine hit, Panax Ginseng helps with stress management and improves concentration.

Vitamin B12 keeps the brain functioning at top-not speed and accuracy and boosts the mood.

Next, the “focus blend”, (515mg) which contains Noopept, L-Tyrosine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, and PhosphatidylSerine.

These ingredients are designed to sharpen concentration, extend mental alertness, and increase focus for longer.

Noopept is a potent, registered nootropic that acts fast, giving you the sharpness of mind you require for busy days and pressure-packed assignments.

And lastly, the “memory blend”, (185mg) which contains Alpha GPC and Ginkgo Biloba.

Alpha GPC boosts memory by increasing acetylcholine production (a neurotransmitter crucial for memory).

Ginkgo Biloba is a natural supplement with fantastic antioxidant properties.

It helps to soothe anxiety, and boost overall cognitive function, especially in the memory department.

How it works?
  • 2 capsules are taken per day (After 90 days, a 30-day break is advised).
  • Guarana, Panax Ginseng, and Vitamin B12 increase energy, reduce fatigue and help with positive mood.
  • Noopept kicks in (along with L-Tyrosine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, and PhosphatidylSerine) to hone your focus and hold your unwavering concentration for as long as you need it.
  • Alpha GPC and Ginkgo Biloba boost your memory so you can recall information needed for work, study, or social situations.
  • Guarana helps to keep you awake during all-nighters or late work nights.
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Works fast.
  • Great for work and study.
  • Made in the USA.
  • 90-day 100% money-back guarantee.
Cons
  • Not 100% natural (Noopept is synthetic).
  • Contains caffeine (can be negative for light sleepers).

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a brain booster?

Brain Booster

A brain-boosting supplement is also known as a Nootropic.

They are an over-the-counter (no prescription) supplement designed to sharpen mental clarity and cognitive function.

Many varieties aim to target all aspects of mental function, including mood, relaxation, and concentration.

People take these supplements for various reasons such as:

  • Focus during study and exams.
  • Increased productivity at work.
  • Motivation to workout.
  • Staying focused despite stress and tiredness.
  • Mental strength to stick to diet and exercise plans.
  • Better mood and ability to relax properly.
  • Sharpen memory and information recall.
  • Decreased “mind fog” and fuzzy thinking.
  • Sharper, more intelligent work interactions.

Who should take a brain boosting supplement?

Consider a brain-boosting supplement if you are:

  • Studying for exams and assignments.
  • Starting a new job.
  • Are under stress and pressure.
  • Have a heavy workload.
  • Need a mood boost.
  • Need sharp focus for workouts.
  • Need a motivation boost.
  • Would like to sharpen your memory and recall.
  • Would like to be wittier and more “present” socially.

Avoid taking them if you:

  • Are under 18.
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive.
  • Take a regular medication (check with the doctor first).
  • Are dealing with health issues or injuries.
  • Take psychiatric medications.

We recommend chatting to your doctor before taking a brain-boosting supplement, especially if you have existing medical conditions.

Your doctor may suggest the best ingredients and the ingredients to avoid in order to work with your personal medical history and goals.

What ingredients should I look for?

nootropics ingredients

  • Vitamin B12: an important vitamin which helps with energy production, fights fatigue, boosts energy and mental clarity, and boosts mood.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: a natural ingredient known for supporting memory and reducing stress, anxiety and cognitive decline attributed to aging.
  • Citicoline: boosts brain repair and overall cognitive function, memory, and prevention of memory loss.
  • Bacopa Monnieri: supports information retention, effective learning, and helping with relaxation under stress.
  • L-Theanine: a stress-relieving amino acid which helps us to remain both focused and at ease in stressful situations.
  • Alpha GPC: boosts production of important neurotransmitters which increase memory and focus.
  • Noopept: a registered, synthetic ingredient which acts fast to lower stress, increase focus, and sharpen memory and overall cognitive performance.
  • Guarana: a strongly-caffeinated, plant-based ingredient which gives you jitter-free energy and focus.
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine: helps to fight fatigue, boost energy levels, and support effective learning.
  • L-Tyrosine: an amino acid that supports the production of neurotransmitters (dopamine and noradrenaline) which help us to remain focused, alert, and calm when pressure and stress mounts.
  • Huperzine A: protects the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, therefore, boosts memory and sharpness of thought.

Watch out for:

  • Modafinil,
  • Phenylpiracetam,
  • Ritalin.

When buying a brain booster (or any supplement!), look for brands that have recognizable certifications and research-backed ingredients.

Check the label and conduct research to ensure the product fits within safety parameters. For example, look for GMP, FDA, and US Pharmacopeia certifications.

Are there any side effects?

All of the brain-boosting supplements on our list are considered safe and very low-risk as they don’t contain banned substances.

However, there are potential side effects you may experience if you overdo your dosage, or find yourself extra sensitive to certain ingredients.

Side effects can include:

  • Insomnia,
  • Headaches,
  • Racing heart,
  • Anxiety and nervousness,
  • Weight loss,
  • Muscle cramps,
  • Stomach upsets,
  • Nausea.

Never exceed the recommended dosage, and stop if you experience strong side-effects.

Recap

brain enhancement pills

Brain boosting supplements can improve productivity, sharpen focus, help with learning and information retention, and keep you calm under stress.

The five products on our list have been created with researched-backed ingredients proven to improve cognitive function.

For an entirely natural option without any synthetics, try the Mind Lab Pro Universal Nootropic.

For a caffeine-free formula that won’t keep you buzzing at bedtime, try NooCube.

If you need something potent, fast-working, and strong enough to push you through pressure-lacked times, try Project NooYou Nutrivit.

Not only can a brain-boosting supplement offer instant and/or short-term cognitive benefits, but it may also provide long-term protection and support against cognitive decline and memory issues.

When the recommended dosage instructions are adhered to, side-effects are rarely experienced, and in mild form, if they are.

And lastly, if you are taking regular medication, have an ongoing illness, or are trying to conceive, talk to your doctor before taking any kind of supplement.

References

  1. Alvarez, X. Anton, et al. “Citicoline improves memory performance in elderly subjects.” Methods and findings in experimental and clinical pharmacology 19.3 (1997): 201-210. https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/9203170
  2. Fadok, Valerie A., et al. “A receptor for phosphatidylserine-specific clearance of apoptotic cells.” Nature 405.6782 (2000): 85. https://www.nature.com/articles/35011084
  3. Russo, A., and F. Borrelli. “Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant: an overview.” Phytomedicine 12.4 (2005): 305-317. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0944711304001461
  4. Nathan, Pradeep J., et al. “The neuropharmacology of L-theanine (N-ethyl-L-glutamine) a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent.” Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy 6.2 (2006): 21-30. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/J157v06n02_02
  5. Lopez, C. M., et al. “Effect of a new cognition enhancer, alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, on scopolamine-induced amnesia and brain acetylcholine.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 39.4 (1991): 835-840. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0091305791900409
  6. Xu, Si-Sun, et al. “Efficacy of tablet huperzine-A on memory, cognition, and behavior in Alzheimer’s disease.” Zhongguo yao li xue bao= Acta pharmacologica Sinica 16.5 (1995): 391-395. https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/8701750
  7. Cropley, Mark, Adrian P. Banks, and Julia Boyle. “The effects of Rhodiola rosea L. extract on anxiety, stress, cognition and other mood symptoms.” Phytotherapy research 29.12 (2015): 1934-1939.  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.5486
  8. Bartus, Raymond T., et al. “Profound effects of combining choline and piracetam on memory enhancement and cholinergic function in aged rats.” Neurobiology of aging 2.2 (1981): 105-111. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0197458081900075

About the author

Shelley Lewis RD, LD, CDE
Shelley Lewis RD, LD, CDE

Shelley is a registered dietician. She loves to help people to explore and improve all aspects of wellness to live a healthy, nutritious life. In spare she shares her knowledge with ThinkMelon's readers.

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