Top 10 Ingredients In Nootropic Supplements
4 min

The Top 10 Ingredients In Nootropic Supplements

4 min
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In this article, we explain what nootropics are and how they work. We also feature a list of the top 10 ingredients you should look for when purchasing nootropic supplements.


In recent years, the popularity of nootropics has increased dramatically due to the success of movies like “Limitless” and reports of Silicon Valley tech mavens using nootropic supplements to enhance their mental performance. Despite this rise in both interest and demand, many still don’t understand what a nootropic is.

Generally speaking, nootropics like OmniMind are a kind of supplement that can help boost cognitive abilities and overall brain function. Moreover, nootropics are reported to even increase confidence, motivation, and memory. Essentially, they are a kind of “smart drug” of the future that can be purchased today. But it should not go without saying; these supplements are far from perfect, and are still being fine-tuned and improved.

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To further explain the effect of a nootropic, it helps to look at the semantics. Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea penned the term “nootropic” in 1972. He combined the latin words “nous” (mind) and “trepein” (to bend). This means, at their essence, nootropics are mind-bending substances.



Basically, nootropics are neurochemical compounds that further enhance the substances already present in our brains. They can help increase the presence of a number of enzymes, chemicals, and nutrients. This way, functionality of specific regions of the brain can be amplified.

The beauty of nootropics lies in their simplicity. Rather than implementing an entirely new “operating system”, they simply heighten the substances inherent in our brains. By multiplying the “cognitive fuel” of the brain, nootropics allow it to perform better and process more. This is further facilitated by their ability to stimulate blood flow to the brain.

Most of these supplements are safe to use and present only a few potential side effects for the user. However, more research is needed to obtain definitive evidence. Since this is a very new industry, even scientists, analysts, and manufacturers don't understand everything about nootropics.

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In order to meet a certain standard, there have been a few guidelines established for nootropic supplements:

  • They should help protect the brain from physical and chemical injuries
  • They should enhance the cognitive capabilities of the brain and prevent them from being disrupted by health conditions
  • They should further enhance the brain's memory, concentration, and learning ability
  • They should not be toxic and only have minimal potential side effects
  • They should enhance the cortical and subcortical control mechanisms in the brain

Keep in mind that the exact effectiveness of a nootropic depends on who uses it, what the dosage is, and who manufactured it. And of course, the ingredients themselves are of the utmost importance. More on that soon.

Because of the way nootropics work, they can be beneficial for entrepreneurs, students, artists, or athletes. They are also at the forefront of medical research regarding a variety of physical and mental health issues. People who suffer from Alzheimer's, ADHD, ADD, dementia, and many other conditions could potentially benefit from nootropics. To achieve the desired outcomes, users should experiment with different dosages and products, as well as methods of administration.


Since you now have a basic understanding of what a nootropic is and how it affects your brain, we can discuss the top 10 ingredients you should look for in these supplements. Although a nootropic supplement does not need to include all of these ingredients (that would be considered overkill), it should include some of them.



Bacopa monnieri is an herb also known as “brahmi” to Hindus who use it in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It grows most abundantly in India and can naturally be found in temperate wetlands. It is also pretty common in Northern Australia, parts of Europe, Africa, and South America.

It is used traditionally to treat anemia, but recent studies reveal that is has some promising neuroprotective and cognition-enhancing properties. The antioxidant function of the herb is important for promoting brain health. Bacopa monnieri is being studied to see if it can help reduce anxiety, enhance memory retention, decrease stress, and increase neuron communication capacity.

Generally, the herb is now accepted to have serious memory-enhancing properties. It significantly improves both memory acquisition and retention. However, subjects used in studies did experience some side effects.



Ginkgo biloba helps the brain by opening up veins and arteries through vasodilation and thus, increases the viscosity of the blood. It can effectively combat or even prevent vascular dementia.

Ginkgo biloba also contains a lot of antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the brain. To some extent, this helps prevent degenerative diseases in general.



Krill oil contains great amounts of the two crucial omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. The way these two are arranged chemically makes it easier for your body to absorb and use them. The fatty acids in krill oil seem to be incredibly efficient in repairing and building brain cell membranes.



This substance is highly promising right now, although there hasn't been much research conducted on it so far. However, it can boost nerve growth factor (NGF) production, which is responsible for the growth of new nerve cells in the brain.

This is why lion's mane mushroom extract is thought to be effective in preventing or at least delaying the onset of cognitive decline. For anyone looking to ensure that their brain is performing at its maximum potential, this may be of benefit.



Magnesium is one of the more well-known substances on this list, and can influence cognitive function and brain health in many positive ways. It strengthens the synapses in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain largely responsible for memory storage.

Because the mineral is also essential for the transmittance of information between nerves and synapses, it can improve memory capacity, recall speed, and general cognitive skills.

Since most of the population does not intake the minimum recommended daily amount of magnesium, a supplement is highly recommended. Especially since it sustains some very direct influences on memory, brain function, and mood.



Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that has been shown to lift mood, alleviate stress, and boost confidence. It is synthesised in the body to create tyrosine. Tyrosine is another essential amino acid that has the power to greatly increase the production of powerful neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.

However, it has some possible side effects. These include nausea, heartburn, and headaches. But these side effects are mild and pretty rare. Nevertheless, you should monitor yourself when you take phenylalanine.



This ingredient is so powerful that it should definitely be in the nootropic you choose. It is easily the most effective, reliable, and safe natural nootropic substance there is.

Rhodiola rosea significantly reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, while enhancing focus and memory retention. It also further reduces mental fatigue. If you are under a lot of stress, then Rhodiola rosea can help you cope with it.

Some studies even suggest that it has life-prolonging properties. If a nootropic supplement lacks Rhodiola rosea, it is incomplete and you should look for another; that's how important and powerful it is.

8. Vinpocetine


Vinpocetine acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and protects brain cells from damage. Therefore, it is mainly used for neuroprotection. It was observed that vinpocetine improves blood flow to the brain while keeping blood pressure at normal levels.

Vinpocetine is gaining popularity as a memory-enhancing supplement in Europe, but has been used for decades as an herbal medicine and brain supplement.



The B vitamins B6 and B12 are also supplements that shouldn't be missing in any nootropic. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in energy synthesis, providing your brain with energy. Vitamin B12 is responsible for the synthesis of myelin. Myelin is a fat-like substance which forms a protective wrapping around your nerves. This protects them and facilitates the transfer of information.

Another important vitamin B is folic acid or folate. It keeps your brain functioning properly and healthy. Folic acid can dramatically reduce the onset of physical brain degradation (atrophy) later in life. This is crucial for preventing diseases like Alzheimer's.



Due to a shift in our work habits (spending more working days indoors), a huge part of our population suffers from a vitamin D deficiency. This increases the risk for cancer, strokes, diabetes, dementia, and general cognitive decline. Studies have shown that vitamin D can prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease as it clears amyloid plaques that build up in the brain.


Written by: Maximilian
Life-long cannabis enthusiast, freelance musician, and guitar teacher from Germany that is happy to work for the great team at Zamnesia. He strives to deliver information on the wonderful properties of cannabis to open-minded people in order to make global legalization more than just a dream.

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