5 Nootropics That Actually Work

Written on February 8, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

Are you looking for a new supplement to help with memory, focus, and concentration?

Nootropics are becoming increasingly popular as people realize the benefits of cognitive enhancers.

They’re not just for students cramming before exams anymore – they can be used by anyone who wants to improve their brain function.

And there are many different types of nootropics available today that work in different ways.

Some may boost your energy levels while others will keep you calm and focused.

But which ones actually work?

I've done all the research so you don’t have to!

Here are my list of 5 nootropics that actually work when it comes to improving memory, focus, and concentration.

5. Bacopa Monnieri

This is a popular herb in traditional Indian medicine.

It’s primarily used to improve memory, especially when learning new information or studying for an exam.

Studies have shown that it may help people perform better on cognitive tasks and will also keep you calm under pressure.

It doesn't cause any jitteriness or anxiousness either.

Bacopa can be found in health food stores as well as online.

It's important to note that this is one of the supplements that you're probably going to need to take for several weeks before noticing any results, so don't get discouraged with the initial lack of effects!

How does it work?

Bacopa contains a number of active compounds known as bacopasides which improve the ability to form new memories and recall old ones.

It also works by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and GABA.

There are some reports that it can increase levels of acetylcholine as well but more research is needed to confirm this claim.

4. Lion's Mane Mushroom

Lion’s mane is a traditional Chinese medicine used to improve nerve growth and for treating cognitive decline.

It can even help stimulate the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).

This compound promotes neuroplasticity, which means it helps build new brain cells as well as repair old ones.

It’s also been shown to improve learning and memory in mice.

Lion's mane can be found online or at health food stores that carry mushroom extracts or in nootropic supplements such as Mind Lab Pro.

It doesn't have a strong taste so it won't affect the flavor of your drink if you add it to smoothies or other drinks.

How does it work?

As mentioned above, Lion’s mane works by increasing the levels of NGF in your brain, which stimulates new neurons to grow and helps form connections between existing ones.

It also contains antioxidants that protect nerve cells from oxidative damage when you're under stress or dealing with inflammation in your body.

Research has found that it may even protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Other studies have found that it works by blocking the activity of glutamate, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory.

It also increases dopamine levels which improve cognitive function and help keep you calm under pressure.

Lion's mane is one of my favorite nootropics because there are so many benefits associated with using this extract!

3. Phosphatidylserine (PS)

This is one of my favorite supplements because it's shown to boost memory and attention span in a number of studies.

It’s also been found effective at reducing stress levels, improving cognitive function in people with ADHD, and protecting the brain from age-related decline.

PS helps maintain the structure of cellular membranes and is a key component in brain function.

It can be found in naturally occurring organ meats like the liver, brains, or kidneys.

PS helps by increasing the activity of acetylcholine, serotonin and dopamine.

It can also increase alpha-wave production in your brain which keeps you calm under pressure.

This supplement is great for focus because it will keep you relaxed while staying sharp!

How does it work?

Phosphatidylserine works by increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain.

It also helps by increasing levels of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that makes it easier to form new memories and recalls old ones.

This supplement has been shown to be effective at improving memory function in older adults as well as protecting the brain from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

It's also been shown to boost brain function in healthy adults, especially memory and focus.

I have a bottle of this supplement sitting on my desk right now because it helps me stay calm under pressure while boosting my cognitive abilities!

I love the natural ingredients that go into Mind Lab Pro so you don't get any nasty side effects from this supplement.

I take this before I do any work that requires a lot of focus so it's easier to get in the zone when I need to concentrate.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world so it’s no surprise that there are a number of benefits associated with this stimulant.

It can improve wakefulness and alertness as well as boost cognitive function, including memory and focus.

This supplement works by blocking adenosine receptors in your brain, which reduces tiredness and increases energy.

It also induces the release of dopamine, serotonin and glutamate which keeps you more alert.

Caffeine is found naturally in coffee beans as well as green tea leaves so it's easy to add into your diet if you want to increase cognitive function or stay focused on the task at hand.

It’s also one of the easiest nootropics to find because it’s added to supplements and you can easily buy pure caffeine powder or pills.

I usually drink a cup of coffee every morning with a 100mg dose of L-theanine to prevent any side effects from the caffeine.

How does it work?

Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors which increases energy and alertness.

It also speeds up chemical reactions in the brain that use dopamine as a neurotransmitter, making tasks seem more pleasurable.

It’s also been shown to improve memory and focus when combined with L-theanine, which is why I usually take a cup of coffee in the morning with 100mg of L-theanine!

I like using this supplement because it doesn't give me jitters or make me feel nervous when I use too much caffeine.

1. Modafinil

Last but certainly not least, my favorite pick for the best nootropic that actually works is Modafinil.

Modafinil is a prescription drug.

This smart drug works by blocking dopamine reuptake which results in an increase in dopamine levels in the brain.

It also stimulates Fos-immunoreactivity in orexin cells which are responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles to keep you more awake when you need it most!

I don’t take Modafinil often but I always have it on hand for times when I have an important deadline to meet!

How does it work?

As mentioned above, Modafinil works by blocking dopamine reuptake, resulting in increased dopamine levels.

This keeps you more awake and active when you need it most.

Modafinil can also improve memory by increasing extracellular glutamate in your brain.

It can also improve focus by increasing glutamate levels in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for attention and decision-making.