8 Best Nootropics for Mood in 2022

Written on July 20, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

In this article, I'll take a closer at the 8 best nootropics for mood. I'll also cover the potential risks and side effects you may run into, as well as the benefits you can expect.

Do you ever feel like your mood is just… off?

Like something isn’t quite right with how you feel, and it’s affecting everything in your life?

Well, I have some good news for you.

There are nootropics that can help improve your mood! Nootropics are supplements that increase cognitive function and brain health.

They work by increasing the number of neurotransmitters available to the brain, which helps improve focus, memory, creativity, and mood.

Let's take a closer look at the 8 best nootropics for mood down below.

The best nootropics for mood, according to scientific evidence, are:

  • Mind Lab Pro
  • Caffeine
  • L-Theanine
  • Theobromine
  • L-Theanine + Caffeine Stack
  • Phenibut
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • L-Tyrosine

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is what we consider a nootropic blend. Nootropic blends are supplements that contain a mix of different nootropics. This particular blend contains 11 different nootropics, most of which have been scientifically shown to improve mood.

Some of the ingredients in Mind Lab Pro include:

  • L-Theanine
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • L-Tyrosine

The blend works by increasing the number of neurotransmitters available to the brain, which helps improve focus, memory, creativity, and mood.

Mind Lab Pro gives you a well-rounded approach to improving your mood. It doesn’t just rely on one nootropic but instead gives you a mix of different nootropics that all work together to improve mood and cognitive function.

Mind Lab Pros

  • 11 evidence-backed nootropics
  • Improves mood, focus, memory and creativity
  • All-natural nootropic blend

Mind Lab Pro Cons

  • Can be expensive for people on a budget

Mind Lab Pro in Summary

Mind Lab Pro contains 11 different nootropics, most of which have been shown to improve mood. It's an all-natural nootropic blend that is also non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan. Mind Lab Pro is a great choice for those looking for an all-in-one solution to improving their mood.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can be found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate. It is an adenosine receptor antagonist that works by blocking the neurotransmitter adenosine from binding to its receptors [1]Ribeiro, Joaquim A, and Ana M Sebastião. “Caffeine and adenosine.” Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD vol. 20 Suppl 1 (2010): S3-15. doi:10.3233/JAD-2010-1379.

This increases the firing of neurons and the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which leads to the alert and awake feeling associated with caffeine consumption.

The mood-boosting effects of caffeine are thought to be due to its ability to increase levels of serotonin, one of the major neurotransmitters involved in regulating mood. Therefore, consuming caffeine can help to improve mood and provide a nootropic effect.

Caffeine Pros

  • Well-established mood-boosting effects
  • Can be found in coffee, tea, and energy drinks
  • Inexpensive

Caffeine Cons

  • Can cause anxiety and jitters in some people

Caffeine in Summary

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can be found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate. It has well-established mood-boosting effects and is also an adenosine receptor antagonist.

Caffeine is inexpensive and widely available, making it a great choice for those looking for a nootropic to improve mood.

L-Theanine

L-Theanine is an amino acid found naturally in tea leaves. It is considered a nootropic because it has been shown to improve cognitive function and promote relaxation without causing drowsiness.

L-Theanine increases levels of the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin, which help to reduce anxiety and improve mood. L-Theanine also increases alpha brain waves, which are associated with a state of relaxation [2]Williams, Jackson L et al. “The Effects of Green Tea Amino Acid L-Theanine Consumption on the Ability to Manage Stress and Anxiety Levels: a Systematic Review.” Plant foods for human nutrition … Learn more.

In addition, L-Theanine has been shown to boost the immune system in athletes post-exercise, which can help to reduce stress and improve mood [3]Juszkiewicz, A et al. “The effect of L-theanine supplementation on the immune system of athletes exposed to strenuous physical exercise.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition … Learn more.

L-Theanine Pros

  • A natural nootropic found in tea leaves
  • Can improve mood and cognitive function
  • May help to reduce stress and anxiety

L-Theanine Cons

  • Can cause drowsiness in some people

L-Theanine in Summary

L-Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves that has been shown to improve mood and cognitive function. It may also help to reduce stress and anxiety.

L-Theanine is generally well-tolerated but can cause drowsiness in some people. If you're looking for a natural nootropic to improve mood, L-Theanine is a great choice.

Theobromine

Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, Theobroma cacao, which is used in making chocolate. Theobromine is structurally similar to caffeine and has similar effects, but it is much less potent than caffeine.

Theobromine acts as a mild stimulant and can increase alertness and energy levels. It also has mood-boosting effects and can improve feelings of well-being [4]Martínez-Pinilla, Eva et al. “The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 6 30. 20 Feb. 2015, doi:10.3389/fphar.2015.00030.

The mechanisms underlying these effects are not fully understood, but theobromine may act by affecting the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in regulating mood and motivation, while serotonin is involved in regulating mood, anxiety, and sleep.

Theobromine may also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Theobromine Pros

  • Mood-boosting effects
  • Can increase alertness and energy levels

Theobromine Cons

  • May cause side effects such as headache, nausea, and vomiting in some people

Theobromine in Summary

Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid found in chocolate that has mood-boosting effects. It can also increase alertness and energy levels.

Theobromine may cause side effects such as headache, nausea, and vomiting in some people.

If you're looking for a nootropic to improve mood, theobromine is a good choice.

L-Theanine + Caffeine Stack

L-Theanine is an amino acid found naturally in tea leaves. It is known to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases alertness and energy.

When these two substances are combined, they are thought to produce a more rounded effect on mood than either one alone. The combination has been shown to improve task performance and reduce feelings of stress.

It is thought that the L-theanine may help to offset some of the adverse effects of caffeine, such as jitteriness and anxiety. The exact mechanism by which these substances interact is not fully understood, but it is believed that they work together to produce a more balanced state of mental arousal [5]Giles, Grace E et al. “Caffeine and theanine exert opposite effects on attention under emotional arousal.” Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology vol. 95,1 (2017): 93-100. … Learn more.

L-Theanine + Caffeine Stack Pros

  • Can improve task performance and reduce stress
  • Improves mood
  • The combination of L-theanine and caffeine may offset some of the adverse effects of caffeine

L-Theanine + Caffeine Stack Cons

  • May cause side effects such as jitteriness and anxiety in some people

L-Theanine + Caffeine Stack in Summary

This stack is a combination of L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, and caffeine. It is thought to produce a more rounded effect on mood than either one alone.

If you're looking for a natural and effective nootropic to improve mood, this stack is a good place to start.

Phenibut

Phenibut is a GABAergic and nootropic compound that is derived from the neurotransmitter GABA. It was first discovered in Russia in the 1960s and has since been used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Phenibut is thought to work by modulating GABAergic transmission and reducing stress levels. animal studies have shown that it can increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, which may account for its mood-boosting effects [6]Lapin, I. “Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug.” CNS drug reviews vol. 7,4 (2001): 471-81. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.2001.tb00211.x.

Additionally, Phenibut has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and improve memory and cognitive function.

Phenibut Pros

  • Mood-boosting effects
  • Can reduce stress and anxiety levels
  • Improves memory and cognitive function

Phenibut Cons

  • Can cause withdrawal symptoms if used excessively

Phenibut in Summary

Phenibut has anti-anxiety, mood-boosting, and cognition-enhancing effects. It is thought to work by reducing stress levels and modulating GABAergic transmission.

If you're looking for a nootropic to improve mood, Phenibut is a good choice.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is a nootropic herb that has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

This herb is most commonly used for its cognitive-enhancing effects, but it also has mood-boosting properties. Bacopa Monnieri works by increasing the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.

Serotonin is known as the "feel-good" neurotransmitter and plays a role in regulating mood. Dopamine is another important neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation and is also responsible for the pleasure and reward pathways in the brain.

By increasing these neurotransmitters, Bacopa Monnieri can help improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Additionally, Bacopa Monnieri has shown promise in reducing stress levels and improving memory and learning ability [7]Kumar, Navneet et al. “Efficacy of Standardized Extract of Bacopa monnieri (Bacognize®) on Cognitive Functions of Medical Students: A Six-Week, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.” … Learn more. This nootropic herb may be an effective natural treatment for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Bacopa Monnieri Pros

  • Has mood-boosting and cognitive-enhancing effects
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Improves memory and learning ability

Bacopa Monnieri Cons

  • Can cause gastrointestinal upset in some people

Bacopa Monnieri in Summary

Bacopa Monnieri is a nootropic herb with mood-boosting and cognitive-enhancing effects. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and works by increasing serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters.

Bacopa Monnieri can cause gastrointestinal upset in some people and should be taken with food. If you're looking for a natural nootropic to improve mood, Bacopa Monnieri is a great choice.

L-Tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is naturally occurring in the body. It is a precursor to several important neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

These neurotransmitters regulate mood, and research has shown that L-Tyrosine can help improve mood and reduce stress levels [8]Young, Simon N. “L-tyrosine to alleviate the effects of stress?.” Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN vol. 32,3 (2007): 224. . One mechanism by which L-Tyrosine works is by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with feelings of pleasure and motivation, and it has been shown to be effective in treating depression.

According to Young et al., L-Tyrosine has also been shown to increase levels of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is another important neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and is also involved in the stress response.

L-Tyrosine Pros

  • Aids in the production of important neurotransmitters
  • Improves mood and reduces stress levels
  • Has cognitive-enhancing effects

L-Tyrosine Cons

  • Can cause side effects such as headache and nausea

L-Tyrosine in Summary

L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is a precursor to several important neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

These neurotransmitters play a role in regulating mood, and research has shown that L-Tyrosine can help improve mood and reduce stress levels.

What Are the Best Nootropics for Mood?

The best nootropics for mood are the ones that work by increasing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Phenibut, Bacopa Monnieri, and L-Tyrosine are all effective nootropics for mood. They all have different mechanisms of action but share the common goal of improving mood by increasing important neurotransmitters.

Mind Lab Pro® is a comprehensive nootropic that includes many of the best nootropics for mood. It has a wide range of cognitive-enhancing and mood-boosting benefits.

With this nootropic blend, you get the benefits of Phenibut, Bacopa Monnieri, L-Tyrosine, and more.

Mind Lab Pro® also includes other nootropics with mood-boosting effects, such as Rhodiola Rosea and Citicoline.

How to Choose the Right Nootropic Supplement for Mood?

In order to choose the right nootropic supplement for mood, it is important to understand how each nootropic works.

Each nootropic has a different mechanism of action, and some are more effective for mood than others. I recommend looking into nootropics that work on increasing important neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

It is also important to consider the other ingredients in the nootropic supplement. Some nootropics work better when they are combined with other nootropics, such as L-Theanine and Caffeine.

Your personal goals and needs should also be taken into account when choosing a nootropic supplement.

Do you want a nootropic that is specifically for mood? Or do you want a more comprehensive nootropic that includes other benefits such as improved memory and focus?

What Are the Benefits of Nootropics for Mood?

Nootropics that work by increasing important neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine can have many benefits for mood.

This is because neurotransmitters play an important role in cognitive function and mood regulation.

Some of the benefits of nootropics for mood include:

  • Improved mood
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Increased motivation and pleasure
  • Improved sleep quality

Nootropics can have a wide range of benefits for mood, and they are a great choice for people who want to improve their mood and cognitive function.

What Are the Side Effects of Nootropics for Mood?

Most nootropics only have mild side effects, if any.

The most common side effect of nootropics is insomnia, especially when they are taken in the evening or at night.

Other side effects may include headache, nausea, and dizziness.

It is important to start with a lower dose and see how you react to the nootropic before increasing the dose. It is also important to choose a high-quality nootropic supplement that is free of fillers and other unnecessary ingredients.

The only nootropic on my list that you need to be careful with is Phenibut. This is because it can be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms if you abuse it.

It is always best to start with a lower dose and increase gradually as needed. If you do experience any side effects, they should go away after a few days of supplementation.

Phenibut can also cause rebound anxiety and insomnia when you stop taking it, so it is important to taper off slowly to avoid these withdrawal symptoms.

Do Nootropics Really Work for Mood?

Yes, nootropics that work on the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine can be effective for mood.

They have been shown to improve the overall sense of well-being, reduce stress levels, and reduce anxiety. Nootropics can also improve cognitive function and motivation.

To get the best mood benefits from nootropics, I recommend choosing a high-quality supplement that contains a blend of several different nootropics, like Mind Lab Pro.

Final Thoughts

Taking nootropics for mood has become a popular way to improve cognitive function and overall sense of well-being.

Nootropics that work by increasing important neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, can be especially effective for mood.

Students, professionals, entrepreneurs, and busy people all over the world are taking nootropics to help them improve their mood, cognitive function, and motivation.

Mind Lab Pro is my top choice for the best nootropic supplement for mood because it contains a blend of 11 different nootropics, including L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, and Rhodiola Rosea.

This makes it an extremely effective supplement for reducing stress levels, improving cognitive function, mood, and increasing motivation.

References

References
1Ribeiro, Joaquim A, and Ana M Sebastião. “Caffeine and adenosine.” Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD vol. 20 Suppl 1 (2010): S3-15. doi:10.3233/JAD-2010-1379
2Williams, Jackson L et al. “The Effects of Green Tea Amino Acid L-Theanine Consumption on the Ability to Manage Stress and Anxiety Levels: a Systematic Review.” Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands) vol. 75,1 (2020): 12-23. doi:10.1007/s11130-019-00771-5
3Juszkiewicz, A et al. “The effect of L-theanine supplementation on the immune system of athletes exposed to strenuous physical exercise.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 16,1 7. 15 Feb. 2019, doi:10.1186/s12970-019-0274-y
4Martínez-Pinilla, Eva et al. “The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 6 30. 20 Feb. 2015, doi:10.3389/fphar.2015.00030
5Giles, Grace E et al. “Caffeine and theanine exert opposite effects on attention under emotional arousal.” Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology vol. 95,1 (2017): 93-100. doi:10.1139/cjpp-2016-0498
6Lapin, I. “Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug.” CNS drug reviews vol. 7,4 (2001): 471-81. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.2001.tb00211.x
7Kumar, Navneet et al. “Efficacy of Standardized Extract of Bacopa monnieri (Bacognize®) on Cognitive Functions of Medical Students: A Six-Week, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2016 (2016): 4103423. doi:10.1155/2016/4103423
8Young, Simon N. “L-tyrosine to alleviate the effects of stress?.” Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN vol. 32,3 (2007): 224.