People who’re serious about improving their brain health are serious about their lifestyle. A nutritious diet and regular exercise should be your starting point before thinking about a so-called “nootropic” supplement.
That said, we can all use a bit of help sometimes. The name “nootropic” is given to food supplements that are specifically made to support your cognitive function.
Before we jump to the best nootropic stacks of this year, you should understand that these products aren’t proven to boost brain function. Rather, it’s their ingredients – vitamins, antioxidants, herbal extracts – that are shown in scientific studies to help with mental performance.
Each nootropic supplement uses different ingredients in different doses. So you can expect each one to work a little differently. We’ve scoured the market to find the best nootropics available – and after going through a lot of bogus and scammy products, we’ve picked the 3 best options overall on offer today.
1 - Mind Lab Pro
2- Performance Lab Mind
3 - Qualia Mind
Why May You Need to Use a Brain Supplement?
Why should you take a nootropic supplement? The most obvious answer is to improve your memory, focus and long-term brain function.
The problem is, there are many factors today that make our brains work at below-optimal levels, regardless of our age. Including:
- 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 nootropic 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 is the most abundant fat in your brain. It’s what makes up a large chunk of your brain, and is used to construct your retina, skin, and cerebral cortex.
Needless to say, this makes DHA one of the most important ingredients or brain health.
Supplementing with it is a good idea if you’re looking to maintain a sharp and youthful cognitive function. Few people get enough of it 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 Supplements
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 2020 includes only 100% natural supplements. They’ve all been roadtested for weeks by our team to ensure they’re completely free of synthetic or risky ingredients, so you can buy in confidence.
Best Nootropic Stacks 2020
#1 – Mind Lab Pro®
With a wealth of peer-reviewed clinical studies, Mind Lab Pro is arguably the best brain supplement on offer right now.
Mind Lab Pro is produced by Opti Nutra, a specialist supplement company from the U.K. Their Research & Development team includes Dr. Ramon Velazquez, a PhD neuroscientist and assistant research professor at Arizona State University.
Mind Lab Pro was formulated with 11 bioactive ingredients shown, in clinical studies, to have a significant impact on mental health and performance.
Some nootropic supplements may only focus on 2-3 brain pathways. However, Mind Lab Pro targets 6 different brain pathways for improved neurogenesis, brain energy, brainwaves, cerebral blood flow, brain cell protection, and neurotransmitters.
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
Official Website: www.mindlabpro.com
Mind Lab Pro uses Rhodiola Rosea, an adaptogenic herb that strengthens your 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.
- Right now, it’s the most advanced formula on the market
- Made for people from all walks of life
- Patented ingredients
- Contains nature-identical B vitamins which have been grown using NutriGenesis® technology
- Uses Vegan Plantcaps made of fermented tapioca
- Very impressive long-term benefits
- Stimulant-free, GMO-free, soy-free, allergen-free, produced in cGMP and FDA approved facilities
- 30 day money-back guarantee
- Cleanest quality
- Premium price as the ingredients are ‘state of the art’
- You can only buy it direct from the manufacturer
- Some people prefer caffeine-based formulas (that said, you can easily stack it with Performance Lab Stim)
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
Performance Lab Mind’s Website: www.performancelab.com/products/mind
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, it’s designed to be very safe
- 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