My Favourite Nootropics
(Updated For 2018)
Who wants their brain to be healthy?
I certainly do.
It’s what gets me through my day in one piece. It’s what allows me to enjoy the things like do, and avoid the things I don’t.
Nootropics are not magic pills, but they are useful supplements.
I do a lot of reading about nootropics, for both work and pleasure, and these are the ones that have stood out.
List updated every year.
1. Qualia Mind
Qualia is made by a company called Neurohacker
If you were to have a look through the top shelf of my nootropics stash, you’re likely to find this.
Qualia appears to have evolved.
While many formulas with many ingredients appear to be treating ingredients like they were spices or something, Qualia has intention behind its ingredients.
They’ve Updated Their Line
From the 2017 review, Qualia cut the pill count down from 9, to 7, and it’s no longer sold as two stages. The pricing structure is still the same, but is trying to trick you with their pricing.
A month supply used to retail at $150, or $130 if you bought the subscription service.
Cost of Qualia now:
Qualia Mind - $59 First Month - $89 Later - Valued at $99
Qualia Mind (Caffeine-free) - $89 First Month - $119 Later - Valued At $139
Qualia Focus - $39 First Month - $59 Later - Valued At $69
Looks like these guys are taking their own Qualia and trying to outsmart us.
One question I have is:
Why is the caffeine free version $30 more expensive?
Qualia Recommends Cycling
They also recommend a cycling regimen. This involves taking the capsules for several days, followed by breaks.
Common Cycle Methods Include:
5 days on, 2 off
3 on 2 off repeat
Even more interesting, is that it involves a whopping 42 ingredients.
This is quite a lot when you consider that each ingredient would needs anywhere from 1 mg to a few grams to reach therapeutic doses.
A normal "00" capsule only holds about a gram of powder, max.
Here’s the breakdown:
So you’re probably thinking,
7 capsules is a lot.
A lot of other manufacturers have changed the way their product is used based on this alone. Some turn it into tinctures, or oils, or booster packs.
Despite having to spend nearly 5 minutes swallowing capsules in the morning, the formula is one of the best I've ever seen, and the high dosage is more than justified.
I also appreciate their emphasis on quality in their manufacturing, because we have to remember that supplement manufacturing in the United States, isn’t as highly regulated as it probably should be.
Justin’s Rating: 8/10
Nootrobox is one of the newer nootropics to the market.
They've taken a different approach to nootropics by providing an entire line of nootropics that each focus on a specific aspect of brain health.
They can be taken alone, or in combination, as all 4 supplements are designed to work synergistically if take at the right time each day.
This is their daily nootropic, which is intended to be taken consistently everyday for long periods of time.
It contains a blend of bacopa, alpha-GPC, and rhodiola. All herbal fractions are standardized to contain therapeutic doses of the herbs.
This is an omega-3, vitamin K, vitamin D, and astaxanthin supplement designed to support brain function. Omega-3 works to support cell division throughout the body and reduce inflammation.
Kado-3 uses a specific blend of 2:1 DHA to EPA omega-3 fatty acids in order to optimize benefits pertaining to the brain.
This is designed to improve immediate mental clarity and energy for around 6 hours duration. It is designed for short term, but high demand tasks. this is perfect for helping with that final push on a project, or cramming for a final exam.
It contains caffeine, L-theanine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vinpocetine, and L-tyrosine.
This is the last supplement by Nootrobox.
As the name implies, it's designed to help with sleep cycles. It can be taken when needed, rather than on a daily basis like Kado or Rise.
This supplement combines the sleep neurotransmitter melatonin, with the calming L-theanine, magnesium citrate, and glycine.
Optimind is an older nootropic.
It has found much of its success from high-level members of academia, and wall street.
The formula contains 12 different ingredients designed specifically to improve memory and persistence.
The formula includes well known ingredients like GABA, phosphatidylserine, vitamin D, caffeine, huperzine-A, salbutiamine, vinpocetine, bacopa, and a series of amino acids aimed at supporting neurotransmitter production.
It's an intelligent nootropic formula offered at an affordable price.
There are a lot of nootropic formulas in this price range with low grade ingredients, unsafe additives, or sketchy op-out subscription services.
Optimind is a safe bet for anybody looking for an introduction to nootropics with a solid formula, and great business ethics.
4. Tru Brain
Tru Brain as created a daily drinkable nootropic supplement.
This is a unique take on an old concept, and comes at an affordable price.
Flavoured with monk fruit and blue agave, they go down easy.
The formula comes in either caffeinated or decaffeinated versions, which is a great touch for this key ingredient. many people prefer to take their nootropics at night to assist dreaming or correspond with fasting states, while others enjoy the benefits of caffeine as a daily supplement.
The way Tru Brain works it through a series of neurotransmitter supporting amino acids, 2 racetams (piracetam and oxiracetam), L-theanine, uridine, centrophenoxine, noopept, and magnesium.
For those not familiar with many of these ingredients, there are a lot of heavy hitters in this formula.
Noopept, piracetam, and oxiracetam are among the most popular compounds in the nootropics industry, none of these ingredients come from natural sources, but have been shown time and time again to have a high level of safety, even with long term use.
Magnesium, uridine, L-theanine, and a series of amino acids are intelligently formulated to support the effects of this potent nootropic formula.
The one thing I would recommend when taking this nootropic is to add a dose of B vitamin complex to provide what I believe is the missing ingredient in this formula.
5. Alpha Brain
Alpha-Brain is by far on of the leading nootropic brands on the market today, and with good reason.
The company behind Alpha-brain, Onnit, is endorsed by Joe Rogan, well known podcaster, comedian, and UFC commentator.
The formula uses a blend of botanical extracts like huperzine-A, cat's claw, bacopa, and oat straw.
It then combines these herbal extracts with well known nootropics like alpha-GPC, psterostilbene, vinpocetine, and phosphatydylsterine.
To round the nootropic supplement out further they add vitamin B6 and a series of neurotransmitter precursors and amino acids to optimize the rest of the formula.
Acetylcholine levels are improved with a combination of huperzine-A to inhibit the enzyme that breaks this neurotransmitter down, and alpha-GPC to increase acetylcholine directly.
Vinpocetine helps to improve blood flow to the brain, and phosphatydylsterine improves cellular communication in the brain.
Herbal extracts with well known and diverse cognitive enhancing abilities like bacopa, cat's claw, oat straw, and huperzia serrata are added in therapeutic doses to act as a general tonic to the brain and reduce any possible side effects from the heavy hitters of this supplement.
To cap it all off, this formula contains all of the main precursors to acetylcholine, serotonin, and dopamine production, along with the vitamin B6 needed to achieve this. Like any good nootropic, it contains a series of antioxidants like ptersilbene from blueberries, and herbal extracts of cat's claw and oat straw to prevent any oxidative side effects of neurotransmitter production.
Overall this is a very well balanced formula. The chemicals included have previously been shown to have strong synergy with each-other.
This is one of the most well rounded nootropics on the market. These guys really know what they are doing and take the time and effort to ensure their product is the best it can be.
The Sunlight Experiment
(Updated October 2018)