Our health is our biggest asset. When we’re healthy, our other worries in life – career, money, relationships, goals – get easier. When we’re not healthy, every aspect of our life gets harder.
When people speak of staying in good health, most automatically think about exercising and going to the gym. But in today’s day and age, many of us also need to look after our mental health.
Just as you would take a multivitamin or an organic protein powder to nourish your body, you might want to consider a ‘nootropic stack’, a type of supplement that consists of natural ingredients that support optimal brain function.
In order to help you find a reliable product, we’ve researched and tested the 25 most popular nootropic stacks this year.
Athletes, gamers, professionals, and active elderly people are all taking nootropics to be at their sharpest mentally. A good nootropic stack needs to be:
- 100% natural
- Extremely safe and non-addictive
- Offer both short-term benefits, and long-term brain protection
- Produced by a reputable company
- Well received by its users
There are many great brain supplements on the market. They all have different ingredients, which means each one works a little differently. However, the three products below are the best overall on offer today.
1 - Mind Lab Pro
2- Performance Lab Mind
3 - Qualia Mind
• 11 Bioactive Ingredients
• 4 Ingredients
• 27 Ingredients
Why Use a Brain Supplement?
You will see us mention the terms ‘nootropic’ and ‘nootropic stacks’ throughout this article. While nootropic is a single ingredient that can support your brain function (e.g. Fish Oil, Ginkgo Biloba), a nootropic stack is a combination of multiple nootropics (e.g. Fish Oil+Ginkgo Biloba) that yields bigger benefits than one ingredient alone.
There are many reasons why you might consider a nootropic stack. The most obvious one is that you want to improve your memory and focus.
The problem is, there are many factors today that make our brains work at below optimal levels – regardless of our age.
- Poor blood flow to your brain cells
- Diet poor in essential brain nutrients (choline, phosphatidylserine, B vitamins, etc.)
- Weak mitochondria in brain cells
- Mental energy decline
- Depletion of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and acetylcholine
- Stress and fatigue impairing cognitive performance
- Multi-tasking reducing mental efficiency
These are just some of the factors that can interfere with your mental performance. Natural brain boosters shown in this article have the potential to offset these problems.
In addition, it’s never too early to start reaping the mental benefits of nutrition. These dietary supplements are helping everyone from older people, stay at home parents, students, doctors, to busy CEOs perform at their peak mentally.
Best Nootropic Ingredients
Before covering the best brain supplements you can find, let’s have a look at the best individual ingredients that make up a great nootropic ‘stack’.
1. Citicoline – Brain Energy, Focus, Memory
Citicoline (CDP-Choline) is the single best nootropic overall. If you could only choose one nootropic ingredient to take, many neurohackers will argue that this is it.
Citicoline can help rapidly increase your focus, learning, and information processing. It is shown to increase brain energy by up to 13.6% in some studies. (7) This is why it’s a backbone of most high-grade nootropic stacks.
It’s extremely efficient at supplying choline to your brain. There, choline is used to make acetylcholine – a brain chemical that regulates executive function.
Citicoline also helps support brain structure as you age, and can enhance memory function. (6)
2. Rhodiola Rosea – Resistance to Stress & Fatigue
Rhodiola is a herb which usage dates back to the Viking Age. Ever since then, it’s been used by people to boost their cognition under stress.
Studies have shown that Rhodiola makes you able to withstand pressure, distractions, and stress in situations where you’d otherwise ‘crumble’ mentally. (8)
So unlike some anxiolytic pills, Rhodiola doesn’t sedate you. Instead, it keeps you anxiety-free and mentally sharp when things get hot.
And you don’t need much of it, either. As little as 50-100mg per day is enough to confer its mental and physical anti-anxiety benefits.
3. Phosphatidylserine – Best Memory & Cognitive Enhancer
Phosphatidylserine, aka, PS is a fat most abundant in your brain. It’s the main constituent of your neurons. (9)
Without PS, your brain cells wouldn’t be able to fire signals to each other. And when one of your brain cells dies and is ready to be replaced, PS shifts to the outside of your cell membrane. This signals to your immune cells to destroy the dead neuron.
The issue is, our PS levels decline as we age. Supplementing with PS is shown to maintain healthy cognitive function. Some studies have even shown that PS has short-term benefits, making it just as useful for younger folks too.
4. DHA – Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acid
DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, is the most abundant fat in your brain. Not only does it make up a large chunk of your cerebral cortex, DHA is also used to construct your retina and skin.
Supplementing omega-3s in general is a good idea if you’re looking to maintain a sharp and youthful brain. Few people get enough through food alone. It’s found in algae and some fatty fish, which are foods most people’s diets are devoid of.
5. Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Helps Repair and Grow New Brain Cells
Lion’s Mane is the only nootropic mushroom known to regenerate our nerves.
It’s been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Modern clinical trials show that this mushroom has one fascinating effect that makes it unique among nootropics – it triggers the release of NGF (aka, Nerve Growth Factors) in our brain. (10)
NGF is what governs the growth, proliferation, and repair of your brain cells. Higher NGF levels means healthier and more robust brain. This translates to better mental performance overall.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom is arguably the most effective nootropic for long-term, lasting brain boost in our experience. Its benefits range from mood enhancement to improved memory, and they last long after you stop taking it.
With this particular ingredient, you want to be taking 300-1000mg per day for a few months to see big results.
How We Rank Nootropic Stacks
In order to give you a fair and accurate report, we analyze and test every supplement the same way – no matter the brand, reputation, or price.
We combine over 25 ranking factors across 7 crucial categories including: ingredients, short-term benefits, long-term benefits, personal experience, safety, trust, and value. The nootropic supplement with the highest final score ranks as #1.
We really dive deep in our individual supplement reviews at Valentino’s Naturals, but to give you a general idea of what we’re looking for:
- The ingredient formula – The quality of the ingredients, as well as how they’re dosed.
- Value – We look at all the things that a product offers for its price.
- User Testimonials – It needs to be a well-reviewed product.
- Trust – You’ll be taking these brain supplements daily. We need to make sure they’re produced by a reputable manufacturer and completely risk-free.
- Brand authority – What’s their track record? Have they produced successful supplements before? Were they involved in any scams or shady activities?
- Where to Buy – We’ll share links to these nootropic’s official websites for you to look into them, and buy if interested.
Our best nootropic stack list for 2021 includes only supplements that we have roadtested for weeks to ensure they’re completely free of synthetic or risky ingredients. Buy in confidence and within weeks you will start noticing improvements in your focus, productivity, and recall.
Best Nootropic Stacks 2021
#1 – Mind Lab Pro®
With a wealth of peer-reviewed clinical studies, Mind Lab Pro is hands down the best brain supplement money can buy right now.
Mind Lab Pro is produced by Opti Nutra, a specialist company from the U.K. Their R&D team includes Dr. Ramon Velazquez, a P.h.D neuroscientist and assistant research professor at Arizona State University.
Mind Lab Pro was formulated with 11 bioactive ingredients shown, in clinical studies, to have the biggest impact on mental health and performance.
Taking Mind Lab Pro will help you:
- Increase focus and mental energy
- Improve work rate
- Enhance productivity (get more done in less time)
- Have a better memory
- Decrease stress & anxiety
While some nootropic supplements only affect 2 or 3 brain pathways. Mind Lab Pro targets an impressive 6 different brain pathways for improved neurogenesis, brain energy, brainwaves, cerebral blood flow, brain cell protection, and neurotransmitters.
Mind Lab Pro uses Rhodiola Rosea, an adaptogenic herb that increases physiological resilience to stress. (1) One study found that Rhodiola Rosea has an antidepressant effect that’s comparable to Sertraline, a prescription anti-depressant. (2)
Lion’s Mane Mushroom in Mind Lab Pro keeps your brain young by promoting nerve cell growth. (3, 4) Pine Bark Extract fights brain cell aging and boosts blood flow to the brain, which helps you stay sharp at any age. (5) Learn more about Mind Lab Pro’s ingredients by clicking here.
What do others say?
One thing that cements Mind Lab Pro as the market leader is its user reception. There are endless testimonials for this nootropic online and their website has great reviews. For us, this is equally as important as its impressive ingredient profile.
- Patented ingredients
- Long-term brain support
- The formula has been updated three times since 2015
- Nature-identical B vitamins grown using NutriGenesis® technology
- Vegan Plantcaps made of fermented tapioca
- Stimulant-free, GMO-free, soy-free, allergen-free
- Produced in cGMP and FDA approved facilities
- 30 day money-back guarantee
- Premium price
- You can only buy it directly from the manufacturer
- CDP-Choline dose is too light if you’re using Racetams
2 – Performance Lab Mind
Performance Lab Mind is an ultramodern nootropic for brainpower and cognitive well-being. Although it’s 2nd overall, our team rates it as the best nootropic for stacking with other supplements.
You can think of Performance Lab Mind as a more focused version of Mind Lab Pro. It contains only four ingredients in generous dosages, each one boosting your cognitive function in its own way.
Even though it has such a seemingly simple formula, Performance Lab Mind still covers all the most important aspects of your mental performance. This includes brain energy, neuroprotection, brain cell regeneration, and neurotransmitters.
The formula is open sourced and of cleanest quality. Meaning, there’s no fillers, waste, or unnecessary ingredients.
Benefits you’ll experience taking Performance Lab Mind include:
- Enhanced focus
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Better memory
- Improved productivity
The key advantage of this nootropic is how easily it can be combined with other supplements. In fact, Performance Lab Mind has been formulated to work together with other Performance Lab supplements. Our favorite is Performance Lab Mind+ Stim– it helps to keep us productive for hours when otherwise we’d feel exhausted.
Perfect for Stacking
If you’re looking to enhance other aspects of your health, then Performance Lab Mind is perfect for stacking with the following supplements.
Depending on your goals, Performance Lab has products to improve your:
Performance Lab Mind Pros and Cons
- Protects brain cells from oxidative stress
- Promotes nerve growth
- Excellent ingredient quality
- Extremely safe
- Vegan friendly
- Top-notch, branded ingredients
- Impressive value for money
- Can be easily stacked with other nootropics
- Not as advanced as Mind Lab Pro
- Doesn’t have stimulants like caffeine, but you can stack it with Stim
- You can only get it on the official website, much like MLP
3 – Qualia Mind
Qualia Mind has one of the most advanced ingredient formulas you’ll see in any nootropic. By supplementing it, you’ll experience a range of great short-term effects on your mood, memory, motivation, creativity, and more.
Qualia Mind was formulated with a similar goal as other nootropic stacks on this list – to provide total brain optimization. Although it might not be the safest long-term solution, Qualia is great for anyone who’s looking for a short burst of energy.
Instead of using only a few nootropic ingredients, Qualia Mind has an incredible 28! All of them are backed by scientific research and are delivered in clinically tested doses.
Such a large formula has a few advantages. The main one is that it works. It will make you mentally sharper, more alert, with more energy and motivation to kick your day off with a bang. Doing mental tasks becomes easier too.
Qualia Mind has tons of testimonials from users all over the world. People who don’t like caffeine can opt for the stim-free version, although we don’t recommend either for long-term supplementation. One downside of this product is the price – it costs over $100 per bottle!
- High-quality nootropic ingredients
- Extremely advanced formula
- Outstanding online reviews
- Impressive short-term benefits
- Two options available: with and without stimulants (caffeine)
- Some people don’t want to bother taking 7 capsules per day
Valentino’s Naturals Recommendation
We ranked the top 3 nootropic stacks strictly based on product testing, user experiences, clinical research and potency. Mind Lab Pro is our team’s pick of the very impressive bunch, but all of them can deliver amazing results.
For our best nootropic stack for this year, follow the link below: