5 Best Nootropics on the Market (Updated 2021 Guide)
Are you looking to gain an edge by using some of the best nootropics, smart drugs, and cognitive enhancing agents on the market right now?
If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this full guide, we’re going to explore the best smart drugs in 2021 and how they can help you 10x your life.
We’re not going to just start there, however. We’re going to show you the actual clinical studies that PROVE these smart drugs WORK!
So, whether you want to enhance your focus, improve your memory, or just boost your overall brain performance, then keep on reading.
What Are Nootropics?
Now, before we get into the best nootropics in 2021, we first want to offer a brief explanation as to what nootropics are and how they work in the brain.
What are nootropics and why are they suddenly so popular?
Well, the word “nootropics” comes from the Greek word for “mind expanding,” hence why they refer to brain boosting drugs. [R]
A good definition of what nootropics are would be the following:
A nootropic, also known as a “smart drug,” is any substance that enhances cognition and memory, and facilitates learning at an accelerated rate.
In other words, nootropics help you do just about anything that involves using your brain (which is pretty much everything you do, all the time).
Here are some common benefits of nootropics:
- Improved Short Term Memory
- Enhanced Cognitive Performance
- Easy to Focus for 10-12 Hours
- Improve Verbal Capabilities
- Increased Mood & Sense of Well Being
- …and more
Different nootropics are going to have different effects on the brain, so it’s important to choose one that’s best for your own unique brain chemistry.
How to Choose A Nootropic
There’s all kinds of different nootropics out there. Some will improve your focus, some will enhance your memory, and some will improve your mood.
So, the point isn’t to take everything at once—the point is to find a nootropic that is the best for you. In other words, what do you want to improve?
We recommend you skim this list and try different smart drugs out, until you find one that works the best for you. That being said, we’ve organized them for your convenience, and explain their effects here.
So, if you’re ready to boost your brain to unparalleled levels of laser focus, hyper intelligence, and boosted IQ, then get ready for this EPIC list.
5 Best Nootropics in 2021
We’ve organized this list based on several different factors, but it’s primarily based on the effectiveness of these nootropics overall.
In other words, while some nootropics might be great for improving anxiety or depression, most people take nootropics to get a brain boost for focus, energy, and mental alertness—so we’ve prioritized these.
Here is an overview of the best nootropics in 2021:
- Gorilla Mind Smooth – Best Nootropic Overall
- Alpha GPC – Best Nootropic & Focus
- Bacopa Monnieri – Best Nootropic for Memory
- L-Theanine – Best Nootropic for Mental Calm
- Kanna – Best Nootropic for Anxiety & Sleep
So, with all of this in mind, let’s explore each of these nootropics in-depth.
#1 – Gorilla Mind Smooth
Gorilla Mind Smooth is one of the brand’s best-selling nootropic supplements. It’s a pre-workout nootropic that can give you an added energy boost, improve your focus, and enhance your concentration. Its users also credit this supplement for clearing up their minds.
Seems like hyperbole? Perhaps it’s because you haven’t used any of Gorilla Mind nootropics before. Or maybe it’s the case that you’re yet to use a nootropic in your entire life. Either way, our review of the Gorilla Mind Smooth should help clear your doubts.
Gorilla Mind Smooth Ingredients
Gorilla Mind Smooth contains three categories of ingredients. The first category, named ‘Gorilla Mind Cognition Complex’, boosts your cognitive functions. The other two categories include ‘Gorilla Mind Absorption Catalyst’ and ‘Smooth Energy and Focus Matrix’.
Here are the ingredients of Gorilla Mind Smooth:
- Gorilla Mind Cognition Complex is made up of multiple ingredients. Some of which, like L-Theanine, Alpha GPC, and Bacopa Monnieri, aren’t produced by our body. Others, like DMAE, are made internally. Both types of ingredients boost your cognitive functions.
- Gorilla Mind Absorption Catalyst has a single ingredient. That one ingredient, known as BioPerine (Black Pepper Fruit Extract), is enough to help our digestion system break down the nutrients we consume, leading to enhanced energy and motivation levels.
- Smooth Energy and Focus Matrix consists of Huperzine-A, L-Tyrosine, 2-Aminosoheptane, and various other ingredients. All of them join their forces to bring about molecular-level changes in your body. The changes, in turn, give your energy and focus levels a shot in the arm.
You might want to note that all of the Gorilla Mind Smooth ingredients are derived from natural sources. That doesn’t mean that this supplement is 100% natural. Far from it. It’s just to say that none of this product’s ingredients are synthetically produced.
Benefits of Gorilla Mind Smooth
The significant benefits of Gorilla Mind Smooth include more focus, better clarity, enhanced memory and cognition powers, and increased overall productivity. There’s also loads of evidence linking Gorilla Mind Smooth to enhanced motivation and protection of brain functions.
Here are the main benefits of Gorilla Mind Smooth:
- Improves your concentration. According to a study carried out in 120 children with ADHD, taking an herbal medicine containing Bacopa Monnieri (one of the ingredients of Gorilla Mind Smooth) led to improved attention, focus and cognition.
- Reduces the signs of aging. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology reported that DMAE could diminish fine lines on the face while reducing other signs of aging skin. The good news? DMAE is one of Mind Smooth’s vital ingredients.
- Boosts your memory. Huperzine-A, one key ingredient in this nootropic’s ‘Smooth Energy & Focus Matrix’, has been linked to improving memory and protecting nerve cells. Scientists further hope that it could one day help them find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
- Increases your motivation. Research has found that one can achieve increased motivation and energy if one could somehow balance neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Guess what? N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, one of this nootropic supplement’s key ingredients, does precisely that.
- Helps fight depression. The benefits of Huperzine-A aren’t limited to improving memory and protecting nerve cells. This naturally occurring dietary supplement has also been found to exerting an antidepressant-like effect on the brain.
Taking Mind Smooth regularly can bring about molecular-level changes in the body. These changes, in turn, can boost your ingenuity and creativity, enhance your ability to respond in stressful situations, and might improve your logical reasoning skills as well.
Side Effects of Gorilla Mind Smooth
Most users who take Gorilla Mind Smooth claim that it’s entirely safe. Some, however, complain of nausea, anxiety, stomach cramps, and headaches. We suspect that these side effects are linked to incorrect dosage. We suggest you limit your intake of Mind Smooth to 3 capsules/day.
#2 – Alpha GPC
Alpha GPC is one of the best nootropic supplements for improving focus, enhancing memory, and boosting concentration. Whether you’re a student, a professional, an entrepreneur, or a retiree, Alpha GPC will give your mind the support it needs to perform at its best.
This nootropic stack is made up of four ingredients. They include Alpha GPC choline, gelatin, silicon dioxide, and cellulose. Its manufacturer recommends that you shouldn’t take more than eight capsules of this supplement over 24 hours, and not more than 1-2 capsules at a time.
Alpha GPC Ingredients
Alpha GPC is made up of four natural ingredients. The first, Alpha GPC (choline alphoscerate or L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine), is essential for brain health. The other three ingredients, which include gelatin, silicon dioxide, and cellulose, help both the brain and the body.
Here are the primary ingredients of Alpha GPC:
- Alpha GPC is a phospholipid. Made inside the body, it increases the brain’s acetylcholine chemical (vital for memory & learning functions). Doctors in some European countries prescribe alpha-GPC to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other conditions.
- Gelatin contains high amounts of glycine. One study observed that patients who ingested glycine experienced improved memory and enhanced attention spans than members of the placebo group. Another found glycine to reducing the symptoms of schizophrenic patients.
- Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, brings about improvements in heart health and the workings of immune system. Recent research has concluded that regular intake of silicon dioxide prevents the hardening of arteries, reducing the risk of coronary disease and high blood pressure.
- Cellulose is a crucial part of our diet as it assists our digestive system – pushing the food through the gut and removing the waste out of our system. Keep in mind, though, that your body cannot digest cellulose in raw form. Your diet must contain it in the form of fiber.
Benefits of Alpha GPC
The primary benefits of Alpha GPC include improved memory, enhanced focus, improved digestion, and a healthier immune system. Secondary benefits of this nootropic supplement, meanwhile, are too many to be mentioned here.
Here are the major benefits of Alpha GPC:
- Keeps your brain healthy. According to a study carried out on persons with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, taking Alpha GPC for six months improved the symptoms of the disease. It can thus be concluded that this nootropic supplement keeps the brain healthy.
- Increases your power output. Results from a study carried out on seven men with at least 24 months of resistance training experience show that their growth hormone, responsible for the body’s response to exercise, increased 44-times.
- Improves your cognitive functions. Persons with Alzheimer’s disease experienced a significant improvement in their cognitive functions after taking 1,200 mgs of Alpha GPC per day. This gives enough evidence to conclude that the supplement improves your cognitive functions.
- Assists your digestive system. Cellulose, one of the key ingredients of Alpha GPC, aid the digestive system in pushing food through the gut. Not only that, but it also helps push waste out of your body. Both these points mean that Alpha GPC boosts the performance of our digestive system.
That’s not all as far as the benefits of Alpha GPC are concerned. This nootropic supplement also improves your cardiovascular health by introducing silicone dioxide to your body, which prevents the arteries from hardening, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack.
Alpha GPC Side Effects
Unlike most other nootropic supplements that are available on the market, Alpha-GPC has very few side effects, most of which are mild, per researchers. This means that this supplement is relatively safe to take vis-à-vis other nootropics currently out there.
Bacopa Monnieri is one of the best nootropics of 2021 thanks to its high-end formulation of brain-boosting, natural ingredients. Those of you who wish to reach peak mental performance should take this product to get your brain firing on all cylinders.
Start with two capsules a day and notice if that does the trick. Its manufacturer claims that the sustainable ingredients in this supplement are more than enough to improve blood circulation to the brain, balance chemicals, look after your neurons, and fortify your brain waves.
Bacopa Monnieri Ingredients
This Bacopa Monnieri supplement contains only one ingredient: the organic Bacopa whole plant. It has no fillers, chemicals, additives, or flavors. Don’t think that’s true? We, too, thought likewise before we came to know that it’s USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO verified.
Here is the major ingredient of this supplement:
- Organic Bacopa Whole Plant is a staple plant that grows in tropical, wet environments and can thrive underwater, too. It can support the nervous system, improve brain functions, modulate stress, and shield the brain from the ill effects of aging. Ayurvedic medical practitioners have been using this plant for centuries to treat epilepsy.
Benefits of Bacopa Monnieri
Proven benefits of Bacopa Monnieri include an improvement in memory, prevention of rise in anxiety, improvement in attention in persons with ADD (attention deficit disorder) as well as healthy persons, and increase in alertness levels. Let’s discuss all these benefits in detail.
Here are the proven benefits of Bacopa Monnieri:
- Has antioxidant effects. Research shows that Bacopa Monnieri has powerful antioxidants that could help reverse the damage caused by free radicals. That damage, if left unchecked, could lead to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other brain-related disorders.
- Could reduce inflammation. Did you know that chronic, low-level inflammation could lead to cancer, kidney disease, and diabetes? The good news is that Bacopa Monnieri, in test-tube studies, has been shown to suppress molecules that cause inflammation in the body.
- Boosts brain function. Multiple studies have connected the dots between Bacopa Monnieri and an improvement in spatial learning and memory. Its users have also experienced an improvement in learning rate as well as an increase in the speed of processing visual information.
- May reduce ADHD symptoms. One study in children aged 6 to 12 years found that ingesting 225mg of this supplement daily for six months led to a reduction in ADHD symptoms such as poor self-control, restlessness, and inattention among 85% of the study’s participants.
- Helps reduce anxiety and stress. According to a study, Bacopa Monnieri helps reduce anxiety and stress by lowering levels of cortisol, otherwise known as the ‘stress causing’ hormone. The study also proved that the supplement elevates your mood.
You might be pleased to note that the benefits of Bacopa Monnieri don’t end here. Research suggests that taking this supplement daily could keep your blood pressure within a healthy range, decreasing the strain on your blood vessels and reducing your risk of heart disease.
Bacopa Monnieri Side Effects
Ingesting Bacopa Monnieri on an empty stomach may lead to nausea, diarrhea, cramping, and bloating. Given that this supplement has anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects, a relaxed person may experience a reduction in motivation to work after taking it.
Did you know that L-Theanine is a major component of green and black tea? It’s an amino acid that, on its own, can promote anything from arousal to relaxation. Where one study links it to a reduction of stress response such as an elevated heart rate, another credits it for increasing mental focus.
You can have two options to take L-Theanine. The first one is natural, with green, black, and white teas all excellent reserves of L-Theanine. The second option is to try it in supplement form, which is where we come into the picture.
This L-Theanine supplement contains multiple ingredients besides L-Theanine itself. These ingredients include vegetable capsule or cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, vegetable magnesium stearate, and silicon dioxide.
Here are the ingredients of this L-Theanine supplement:
- L-Theanine is an amino acid found mainly in black and green tea and some mushrooms. Four out of five randomized controlled trials linked it with reduced anxiety and stress in persons facing stressful scenarios. Paired with caffeine, it can increase attention and focus, too.
- Cellulose is present in two forms inside this L-Theanine supplement: microcrystalline and vegetable. Microcrystalline cellulose helps modify the texture of this supplement, whereas vegetable cellulose is used in the making of this supplement in capsule form.
- Vegetable magnesium stearate offers no other benefits besides stabilizing this nootropic supplement. It does that by preventing the individual ingredients of this nootropic from sticking to each other. It also helps improve the consistency of this capsule.
- Silicon dioxide has been shown to improve bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in young adults. However, there is insufficient evidence for silicon dioxide reducing the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and preventing hair loss.
While it is famous for helping users relax, L-Theanine offers other benefits too. They include anxiety and stress relief, increased focus and concentration, better functioning of the body’s immune system, stabilized blood pressure, and more.
Here are the benefits L-Theanine offers:
- Anxiety and stress relief. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that people with schizophrenia experienced decreased anxiety and improved symptoms after taking L-Thiamine, confirming that L-Theanine calms the mind.
- Enhanced focus and attention. A small study paired L-Theanine with caffeine to analyze the former’s effects on focus and attention. It found that after taking 97 mg of L-Theanine and 40 mg of caffeine, the participants felt less tired and more alert in general.
- Boosts immunity. People with a strong immunity face fewer upper respiratory tract infections and catch flu less frequently. Two separate studies found that L-Theanine ticks the right boxes on both counts – it reduces upper respiratory tract infections and prevents flu.
- Manages blood pressure. One study linked L-Theanine intake with a reduction in increased blood pressure among persons who had just performed specific mental tasks. Another found that 200mg of this supplement brings resting heart rate under control.
- Provides a good night’s sleep. Given the fact that it helps promote relaxation, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that L-Theanine induces a good night’s sleep. Between 200 mg and 400 mg of this nootropic have been linked to greatly improved sleep.
What’s even more encouraging is that even children and those diagnosed with schizophrenia can draw benefits from L-Theanine. Two separate studies have linked this nootropic supplement to improved sleep quality in both groups.
L-Theanine Side Effects
According to a reputed health publication, there are no direct or confirmed side effects of consuming L-Theanine. The publication also insists that while it’s the responsibility of this supplement’s manufacturer to ensure the product is safe, in general, it’s safe to take L-Theanine supplements.
Kanna, or Sceletium, is a ground-cover plant primarily grown in South Africa. Native peoples of South Africa have been using it as a traditional medicine for centuries. Its modern-day users vouch for this supplement’s efficacy for anxiety, depression, and various other conditions.
Not everything about Kanna is excellent, however. Since it works by causing sleepiness, some people also use this nootropic supplement to get high. You’d therefore do well to stick to the dosage guidelines on the package of this supplement if you decide to take it.
The Kanna supplement we’re recommending is made up of three primary ingredients. Surprisingly, the amount per capsule of Kanna (35 mg) isn’t the biggest. The other two ingredients – Manitol (35 mg) and Taurine (400 mg) – are in much larger quantities.
Here are the ingredients Kanna supplement is made out of:
- Sceletium Tortuosum leaf extract contains chemicals that induce sleepiness and related effects while working in the brain. S. Tortuosum has been traditionally used to enhance mood, memory, and cognitive activity, as well as to manage depression and anxiety.
- Manitol has multiple applications in the health industry. On the one end, it’s used as a diuretic (water pill) to increase urine production in people with sudden (acute) kidney failure. On the other end, Manitol injections reduce pressure and swelling around the brain or inside the eye.
- Taurine is a chemical that occurs naturally inside the human body. It is found in large amounts in the heart, brain, retina, and platelets (blood cells). People use Taurine to boost athletic performance, reduce the symptoms of diabetes, and for swelling of the liver.
Minor ingredients of Kanna include hypromellose (relieves dryness in eyes), silicon dioxide (improves brain health and immune system), magnesium stearate (improves the quality of supplement capsules), and citric acid (lowers acid in the urine and kills bacteria).
Native South African people have been fermenting the Sceletium Tortuosum plant and chewing the resulting medicinal form to relieve thirst, hunger, and pain for centuries. They have also been using it to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as to kill pain.
Here are the major benefits of Kanna:
- Boosts mood. Multiple studies have found people taking Kanna reporting reduced stress and improved sleep, both indicators of good mood. That isn’t a surprise to psychiatric doctors in South Africa, a few of whom have been prescribing it to patients with anxiety.
- Lowers inflammation. To study the effects of Kanna on inflammation, researchers exposed various cells to this supplement in a study. They found that the exposed cells experienced increased expression of IL-10, the cytokine that fights inflammation.
- Improves cognitive function. A study carried out on 35 healthy adults between ages 45 – 65 found that those taking 25 mg/day of Kanna for nine weeks experienced improved cognitive flexibility than members of the placebo group.
The abovementioned are proven benefits of Kanna. However, if users of this supplement are to be believed, its ingestion leads to reduced pain and decreased sensation of hunger. Still, more research is required to ascertain these claims.
Kanna Side Effects
There isn’t much information available on the side effects of Kanna. Having said that, some people who have taken it to report issues such as headaches, depression, and loss of appetite. There have also been reports that Kanna causes ‘high’ in people who use too much of this supplement.
Whether you wish to look after your brain in older years or to conjure as much brainpower as you could to meet a tight deadline, the nootropics mentioned above can be pretty impactful. All of them are relatively safe to use, with few side effects, and are trusted by thousands of users like you. Still, if you can’t decide which of the five nootropics will suit you more, please feel free to get in touch.