The world is moving at an ever-accelerating pace, and to keep up, we are constantly looking for ways to enhance our cognitive abilities. Enter nootropics: substances that are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to improve mental performance. Known as 'brain-boosters' or 'smart drugs,' they have carved a significant niche in the health and wellness market, and for good reason.

Nootropics promise a host of benefits, from enhanced focus and memory to increased motivation and even creativity. Yet, like any supplement, they're not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the 'best nootropic' varies from individual to individual, depending on specific cognitive needs, lifestyle, and overall health status.

In this article, we'll delve into the world of nootropics, exploring their history, how they work, and their potential benefits and side effects. We'll delve into scientific research behind nootropic ingredients and provide an overview of some of the best nootropics available on the market in 2023, including Vyvamind, Nooceptin, and others.

We'll help you understand how to choose the right nootropic for you, making sure you're informed about the most potent nootropic options and aware of the most effective nootropics according to research. From the most popular nootropics to new arrivals on the scene, we've got it covered.

Whether you're seeking the best nootropics for focus, anxiety, memory loss, or cognitive enhancement, we hope this guide will illuminate your path. So join us as we journey into the realm of cognitive enhancement, understanding what's the best nootropic for different needs and which could potentially be the strongest nootropic stimulant or the most effective nootropic for your unique cognitive landscape.

In this rapidly evolving field, we aim to provide a comprehensive, science-based review, keeping you informed about the top rated nootropics in 2023. Buckle up and get ready for a deep dive into the world of brain enhancement.

Top Nootropics 2023 Overview

Nooceptin top rated nootropic stack

#1 Rated


Nooceptin is a new nootropic stack designed and manufactured by biopharmaceutical startup SAP Nutra. Nooceptin is designed to deliver total brain optimization. It rapidly sharpens focus, increases information processing speeds, and enhances working memory. When used daily for several months, it promotes neurogenesis and helps protect brain cells from the effects of stress. Because of the way it works - increasing key neurotransmitters, reducing anxiety, increasing brain cell health and promoting neuroplasticity - Nooceptin is the best overall nootropic for consistent, daily use.


#2 Rated


Vyvamind is a powerful neurostimulant and study aid specifically designed to help you stay focused, motivated and productive throughout your working day. Many people have taken to referring to Vyvamind as "natural Vyvanse", owing to its ability to keep you focused, mentally sharp and motivated for hours on end. Vyvamind has instantaneous effects on focus, processing speeds and mental clarity, but without any of the side effects associated with synthetic smart drugs. It is a great alternative to prescription smart drugs like Adderall or Modafinil. 

NooCube noopept alternative

#3 Rated


NooCube is one of the most widely-sold nootropics in the world, and for good reason - it works! NooCube's formula isn't perfect, but it does unarguably cover every aspect of cognitive performance, including focus, working memory and brain health. Interestingly, NooCube also includes Lutein, which has been added to prevent eye strain and promote long-term visual health. While many of the ingredients could be dosed better, and even though it isn't suited for prolonged daily use, NooCube is still a solid and widely-used cognitive enhancer.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics, sometimes called "smart drugs" or "cognitive enhancers," are compounds that can enhance brain function. The term was coined by a Romanian psychologist and chemist, Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, in the 1970s. His intent was to identify substances that could improve mental functions while causing minimal side effects.

The world of nootropics encompasses a wide range of substances, including dietary supplements, synthetic compounds, and even some prescription drugs. While these substances may have different origins, they all share a common goal: to enhance cognitive functions such as memory, creativity, motivation, and attention.

What are nootropics

So how do these powerful nootropics work? In essence, they interact with the brain and body in a variety of ways, often by modulating neurotransmitter levels, improving blood flow to the brain, or enhancing brain cell health and resilience.

For instance, some nootropics may increase levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine or acetylcholine, both crucial for learning and memory. Others may enhance blood flow, thereby ensuring the brain receives adequate oxygen and nutrients to function optimally.

As with any substance, the potential benefits of nootropics come with possible side effects. These may vary depending on the specific nootropic and the individual's unique biology. Common side effects may include digestive upset, insomnia, or headaches. More serious side effects could include high blood pressure or mood swings. As always, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Indeed, nootropics offer a promising avenue for cognitive enhancement. Yet, as with all things, they should be used responsibly and based on the best available evidence. In the following sections, we'll examine the applications of these powerful cognitive enhancers, review the clinical research behind the most effective nootropics, and guide you on selecting the best nootropic supplement for your needs.

Indications for Nootropics

Nootropics, owing to their diverse mechanisms of action, serve a broad spectrum of cognitive needs. Here, we take a closer look at some common indications, exploring the underlying science of how nootropics address these conditions.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by restlessness, impulsive behavior, and difficulty maintaining focus. Some nootropics target neurotransmitter systems implicated in ADHD, particularly dopamine and norepinephrine pathways. For example, substances like Vyvamind might increase the availability of these neurotransmitters, enhancing attentional control and executive functioning (Cortese et al., 2017).

Nootropics indicated for ADHD

Cognitive Impairment

Cognitive impairment, often associated with aging, disease, or stress, can manifest as memory deficits, reduced mental agility, or slowed cognitive processing. Nootropics, such as certain cholinergic agents, work by boosting the levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter critical for memory and learning. Other nootropics might exert neuroprotective effects, combating oxidative stress that can contribute to cognitive decline (Froestl et al., 2014).


Anxiety disorders, characterized by excessive worry and physiological overarousal, can impair cognitive performance. Certain nootropics have anxiolytic effects, functioning through the GABAergic system—the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter system in the brain—to promote a sense of calm, improve mood, and ultimately support cognitive function (Kalueff and Nutt, 2007).

Memory Loss

Memory loss, particularly age-related memory decline, is a widespread concern. The best nootropics for memory, such as those containing Bacopa monnieri, can enhance neuronal communication by promoting neurite outgrowth, thereby boosting memory-related functions (Aguiar and Borowski, 2013).

Shift Work

Shift work disrupts the body's natural circadian rhythms, often resulting in cognitive challenges such as decreased alertness and impaired short-term memory. Nootropics, particularly those with stimulant properties, can help mitigate these disruptions by enhancing arousal, promoting wakefulness, and improving cognitive performance during off-peak hours (Mcclellan et al., 2006).

Nootropics benefits shift work

Studying and Productivity

Nootropics can enhance several cognitive domains crucial for studying and productivity, such as attention, memory, and executive functions. Some, like NooCube, work by boosting neurotransmitters associated with cognitive function, enhancing blood flow to the brain, and improving brain cell health (Oberste et al., 2019).

Other Cognitive Conditions

From transient brain fog to chronic conditions like Alzheimer's, different cognitive disorders can benefit from nootropics. These compounds may work by modulating neurotransmitter systems, enhancing cerebral blood flow, promoting neuronal health, and exerting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, thereby potentially slowing cognitive decline (Froestl et al., 2014).

Nootropics can offer benefits beyond these specific indications, catering to healthy individuals seeking cognitive enhancement or prevention. Whether you're seeking the best nootropics for energy and motivation or the top nootropic supplements for overall brain health, understanding the science behind these cognitive enhancers can guide your choice.

Clinical Research on Nootropic Ingredients

Clinical research serves as a cornerstone in our understanding of nootropics, elucidating their effects and informing us about the most effective nootropic substances. Let's take a look at some of the key findings on common nootropic ingredients.

Caffeine: Recognized as the most widely consumed psychoactive substance globally, caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can improve various cognitive functions, including alertness, attention, and memory (Nehlig, 2018). It works primarily by antagonizing adenosine receptors, thereby increasing neuronal firing rates and promoting the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine.

L-Theanine: Often found in tea leaves, L-Theanine has been shown to promote relaxation without sedation and enhance attention, especially when combined with caffeine. Its mechanism of action is thought to involve modulation of alpha brain waves, promotion of GABA release, and other neurotransmitter alterations (Hidese et al., 2019).

Bacopa Monnieri: Bacopa Monnieri is a plant-based nootropic known for its memory-enhancing effects. Research suggests that it can improve memory and delay memory-related age decline. Its action is believed to involve antioxidant neuroprotection, choline acetyltransferase activation, and β-amyloid reduction (Aguiar and Borowski, 2013).

Rhodiola Rosea: Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen that can help the body resist stress. It has been shown to improve symptoms of fatigue, increase mental performance, and reduce the effects of work-related stress (Panossian and Wikman, 2010).

Ginkgo Biloba: Used in traditional medicine for centuries, Ginkgo Biloba is another potent nootropic. Clinical trials suggest that it can improve cognitive function, memory, and speed of cognitive processing in older adults, possibly by enhancing cerebral blood flow and offering neuroprotective effects (Zhang et al., 2020).

Panax Ginseng: A staple in traditional Chinese medicine, Panax Ginseng has shown potential as a cognitive enhancer. Studies indicate that it can improve mental performance, mood, and memory, although the underlying mechanisms remain under investigation (Lee et al., 2018).

Citicoline: Also known as CDP-choline, citicoline is a potent nootropic known for its ability to support brain health and cognitive function. Research indicates it may help in improving memory and treating neurocognitive disorders. It works primarily by increasing the levels of acetylcholine and dopamine in the brain and promoting the synthesis of brain cell membranes (Alvarez-Sabín et al., 2013).

Tyrosine: Tyrosine is an amino acid that serves as a precursor to dopamine, a neurotransmitter vital for maintaining mental performance, especially under stress or fatigue. It has shown promise in enhancing cognitive flexibility, the ability to switch between tasks or thoughts, and boosting working memory during acute stressors (Colzato et al., 2013).

Lion's Mane Mushroom: Known scientifically as Hericium erinaceus, Lion's Mane Mushroom is a unique nootropic that has shown potential in promoting neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. It has been found to improve cognitive function, reduce depression and anxiety symptoms, and even enhance nerve growth factor levels in the brain, contributing to neural health (Nagano et al., 2010).

B Vitamins: B vitamins, including B6, B9 (folic acid), and B12, play a critical role in brain health. They are involved in various metabolic processes that maintain the health of nerve cells, assist in neurotransmitter synthesis, and manage homocysteine levels, high levels of which have been associated with cognitive decline. Studies suggest that B vitamins can support cognitive function and help slow brain atrophy in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (Smith et al., 2010).

These ingredients reflect some of the most effective nootropics based on clinical research, offering a glimpse into the diverse world of cognitive enhancement. Understanding this research can help inform choices about the best nootropic supplements.

The Best Nootropics on the Market Today

In a saturated market, several nootropics have emerged as leaders due to their scientifically-backed ingredients and significant cognitive benefits.

Let's take an in-depth look at five of the best nootropics in 2023:

Nooceptin review

1. Nooceptin

100% Overall

Known for promoting long-term cognitive health and neurogenesis, Nooceptin is an all-in-one nootropic that appeals to a broad audience. Its balanced blend of Lion’s Mane, Citicoline, L-Theanine, Panax Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa Monnieri, and Ginkgo Biloba aids in sustained cognitive enhancement and brain cell development.

Benefits of Nooceptin:

  • Sharper focus, concentration and learning
  • Faster information processing speeds
  • Promotion of neurogenesis
  • Enhanced mental stamina and resilience
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Support for long-term brain health

Nooceptin provides total brain optimization. The stack is made up of 7 clinically proven cognitive enhancers which each target a specific brain performance pathway. These ingredients have synergistic effects, meaning the stack as a whole gives you results greater than the sum of the parts. What's even more impressive is that Nooceptin continues to deliver benefits long after users stop taking it, as many of the biggest benefits come through neurogenesis and brain cell development. 


Our Review (60 Day Trial)

I cannot recommend a nootropic without having tried it ourselves. I take every nootropic compound, stack and substance we talk about on this site ourselves for at least 60 days and monitor its efficacy against a number of cognitive tests and my subjective, day-to-day experience as a business owner. Below is a brief summary of my first 60 days on Nooceptin.

"When I started using Nooceptin, I was particularly interested in its long-term cognitive benefits. I was pleasantly surprised by the improvements I noticed in my overall cognitive function, even in the first few weeks. Over time, I felt a heightened mental resilience and a clear boost in my brain’s overall health and functioning. Of particular note was the improvement I noticed in my working memory retention and recall speeds, as well as my overall ability to remain focused on complicated tasks for hours on end, even without consuming any caffeine whatsoever." - Chris Fraighten, 2023.

If you want to learn more about how Nooceptin works or the specific benefits I experienced during my initial 60 day trial of Nooceptin, I strongly recommend you check out my full Nooceptin review. I have also published in-depth comparisons between Nooceptin and other popular nootropics on this list which you may want to read before making any buying decisions.

Vyvamind review bottle image

2. Vyvamind

95% Overall

Standing out as one of the most potent nootropics, Vyvamind features a powerful blend of ingredients such as Citicoline, Caffeine Anhydrous, Tyrosine and L-Theanine. These ingredients work in synergy to create a host of cognitive enhancements. Vyvamind is specifically designed for those needing immediate cognitive improvement, making it a perfect choice for professionals, traders, athletes, or students who require a cognitive edge while burning the midnight oil.

Benefits of Vyvamind:

  • Enhanced focus and mental clarity
  • Improved memory retention and recall
  • Comprehensive neuroprotection and burnout prevention
  • Immediate cognitive improvements

Vyvamind is frequently referred to as "natural Vyvanse" by users due to its immediate effects on focus, mental energy and motivation. By combining and dosing ingredients in a very precise way, the makers of Vyvamind have managed to produce significant and rapid improvements in cognitive performance and mental energy without causing any notable side effects, withdrawals or dependency. In other words, Vyvamind offers users a way to obtain smart drug results without a prescription. 


Our Review (60 Day Trial)

I try every nootropic I review, and I certainly would never list a nootropic as one of the best without taking it for a spin for a decent amount of time. Here is a summary of my 60 day experience with Vyvamind.

"My personal experience with Vyvamind was quite remarkable. As someone who needs to maintain a high level of focus and productivity throughout the day, I noticed an immediate enhancement in my cognitive capabilities. My memory recall improved substantially, and I found my focus to be sharp and sustained. The thing I liked most about Vyvamind was the very noticeable lift in mental sharpness and energy that it gives you, but without any of the jitters, anxiety or energy crashes that you can expect from large doses of caffeine. I was amazed that Vyvamind delivered all of the high quality effects of stimulants and none of the negative effects that ruin productivity. While I will be using Nooceptin as my daily stack going forward, I would never hesitate to use Vyvamind when in need of a fast-acting cognitive boost." - Chris Fraighten, 2023

I strongly recommend reading my full Vyvamind review to learn more about what this brain supplement does and the specific ways that it enhances cognition. Vyvamind is not as broad spectrum as Nooceptin, but in some cases it may be the better option, depending on your needs. I have also written articles comparing Vyvamind directly with other top nootropic supplements. Overall though, this is a great nootropic stack worth trying for sure!

NooCube best nootropic ranking

3. NooCube

85% Overall

As a daily nootropic, NooCube offers a wide range of cognitive enhancements. Despite its potential benefits, its use of Huperzine A makes it less suitable for long-term, continuous use. However, for those needing short-term cognitive boosts or episodic use, NooCube offers an effective solution.

Benefits of NooCube:

  • Enhanced memory and learning capabilities
  • Increased mental speed and focus
  • Promotion of mental clarity and thought fluidity
  • Support for short-term cognitive enhancement needs
  • Fairly rapid onset of benefits due to Huperzine A/Alpha-GPC combo

NooCube is invariably included on lists of the top nootropic stacks, and there is very good reason for that; it is a genuinely effective brain supplement capable of giving users measurable improvements in concentration and memory function. There are issues with the formula which I go into in great detail in my NooCube review. However, overall NooCube is a solid choice for a daily brain supplement, so long as you are willing to take breaks to allow acetylcholine levels to return to normal.


Our Review (60 Day Trial)

I personally review every nootropic on this site, and I conduct 60 day trials on all of the recommended nootropics on this page. Here is a summary of my 60 days using NooCube.

"My experience with NooCube was slightly different than it was for Nooceptin or Vyvamind. Since it's recommended for short-term or episodic use, I found it incredibly helpful during periods of high work demand. It effectively boosted my mental speed and focus, making it easier for me to manage complex tasks. However, I refrained from taking it daily for the full 60 days because doing so will almost inevitably cause side effects. This is because Huperzine A taken daily will eventually start causing side effects. But my experience using NooCube episodically for 60 days was very positive. "

While I think users will generally benefit more from using either Nooceptin or Vyvamind - or potentially a combination of the two - NooCube remains a solid choice for people looking for a reliable, fast-acting and potent cognitive enhancer to help them stay alert, focused and productive on a daily basis. 

Synthetic Nootropics and Smart Drugs: A Closer Look

While we've primarily focused on natural nootropics, there are also a variety of synthetic nootropics and smart drugs that promise heightened cognitive function. Although these substances are known for their potent effects, they are generally less suitable for most individuals due to their potential side effects, risk of dependency, and withdrawal symptoms. Here's a closer look at some of these powerful synthetic nootropics:


As the first nootropic ever synthesized, Piracetam is known to enhance memory and cognition. However, it may cause side effects like headaches, dizziness, and agitation.


Highly potent and fast-acting, Noopept provides a significant boost in focus and cognitive function. But its potent nature also leads to potential side effects, including irritability, restlessness, and insomnia.


Known for enhancing creativity and holistic thinking, Aniracetam unfortunately may lead to side effects like headaches, nausea, and uneasiness.


Originally developed as a treatment for narcolepsy, Modafinil is often used off-label for cognitive enhancement. It can cause side effects like insomnia, anxiety, and potential dependence.

Smart drugs compared to nootropics


Often used for anxiety and stress relief, Phenibut can be quite potent and can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms and dependence when used regularly.


While PRL-8-53 has been shown to enhance learning and memory, little is known about its long-term safety profile, which makes it a riskier choice.


A prescription medication used to treat ADHD, Adderall is sometimes used off-label for its focus-enhancing effects. It carries a high risk of dependency and withdrawal symptoms, along with potential side effects like insomnia and loss of appetite.

While these synthetic smart drugs can offer powerful cognitive enhancements, they require careful use and are generally not the best choice for most people seeking to improve cognitive function. Natural nootropics, like the ones discussed earlier, offer significant cognitive enhancements with far fewer risks, making them a safer and more sustainable choice.

How to Choose the Right Nootropic for You

Choosing the best nootropic for your needs can be a complex task, given the sheer variety of products available on the market. Here are some crucial factors you should consider:

Cognitive Needs: Define what you want to achieve with the nootropic. Are you looking to enhance your focus, memory, creativity, or mood? Perhaps you need support for anxiety or stress management. Different nootropics have varied strengths, so ensure the one you choose aligns with your goals.

Lifestyle Factors: Consider how the nootropic will fit into your lifestyle. For instance, some nootropics, such as Vyvamind, provide immediate cognitive enhancements, making them ideal for those needing instant improvements. On the other hand, Nooceptin promotes long-term cognitive health and neurogenesis, making it better suited for individuals looking for long-term brain health.

Health Status: Always take into account your overall health and any specific conditions you may have. If you're sensitive to certain substances, have any allergies, or are taking other medications, it's vital to ensure the nootropic doesn't contain any ingredients that could trigger negative reactions.

Quality and Reputation: Look at the reputation of the nootropic and the company that produces it. Opt for companies that are transparent about their ingredients, have good customer reviews, and have their products independently tested for quality and safety.

Value for Money: Finally, consider the price versus the benefits offered by the nootropic. The best nootropic supplement for you should not only deliver effective results but also provide good value for money.

Remember, the goal is to find a nootropic that provides the cognitive enhancements you need, suits your lifestyle, and aligns with your health status. Ultimately, the 'best' nootropic will be highly individual and dependent on your specific needs and goals.

Conclusion: Finding the Best Nootropic for Your Needs

In the rapidly evolving world of cognitive enhancement, identifying the best nootropics and brain pills for your specific needs can be quite a challenge. While it's clear that nootropics offer a broad range of potential benefits, from enhanced focus and memory to reduced anxiety and depression, it's important to choose a product that matches your goals, lifestyle, and overall health status.

In this comprehensive guide, we've explored the world of nootropics, delving into the history, potential benefits, and various indications for these cognitive-enhancing substances. We've also shed light on the notable research surrounding the most effective ingredients and how these compounds work to boost your brain function.

Of the various nootropics we've examined, two stand out for their effectiveness and safety: Vyvamind and Nooceptin. These powerful yet safe nootropics have shown excellent results, making them top picks on the list of nootropics available today.

Vyvamind, the most potent nootropic on the market, is especially well-suited for individuals seeking immediate and significant cognitive improvements. Its powerful blend of ingredients, including Citicoline and Bacopa Monnieri, has been thoroughly tested and shown to provide a fast-acting boost to memory, concentration, and energy levels. This makes it one of the top brain enhancement pills for those who need instant cognitive boosts for demanding tasks, such as long workdays or intensive study sessions.

On the other hand, Nooceptin stands out as an all-in-one nootropic solution that promotes long-term cognitive health and neurogenesis. With ingredients like Lion's Mane and Citicoline, Nooceptin is designed to provide steady and sustainable cognitive enhancements over time. This makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a safe nootropic for ongoing use, such as professionals, students, and older adults looking to maintain and improve their cognitive function over the long term.

Remember, no single nootropic will be the best fit for everyone. The "best" choice will depend on your personal cognitive needs, your lifestyle, your health status, and your long-term goals for cognitive enhancement. It's important to note that while nootropics can significantly improve cognitive function, they are not a replacement for a healthy lifestyle. Adequate sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise are all essential for maintaining optimal cognitive health.

As we continue to explore the vast and complex world of nootropics, the top 10 memory supplements, nootropic compounds, and cognitive supplements will undoubtedly evolve and grow. But as of 2023, Vyvamind and Nooceptin have emerged as the leading choices for individuals seeking to enhance their cognitive abilities safely and effectively. Both of these products provide a strong foundation for anyone interested in building their own best nootropics stack.

Remember to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions or are taking other medications. And always use nootropics responsibly, keeping your overall health and well-being as your top priority.

With that, your journey into the world of nootropics can truly begin. With the right knowledge and careful selection, these powerful cognitive enhancers can open up a whole new world of possibilities for your brain health and cognitive performance. Good luck on your journey, and may you find the best nootropic to unlock your full cognitive potential!


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Brain fog, a term that encapsulates the frustrating feeling of sluggish thinking,

As a seasoned researcher in cognitive health, my experience suggests that nootropics

About the Author Chris Fraighten

Chris Fraighten is a leading biomedical researcher and currently the lead author of the Epimodels blog. He holds qualifications in chemistry, biology and is highly experienced in the fields of quantitative modelling and epidemiology. He brings this wealth of knowledge and experience to the Epimodels blog to bring you insightful, informative and interesting content on the latest advances in the space.