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.

What Is A Nootropic?

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. 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.

How Does A Nootropic Work?


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. 

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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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.

Top 10 Ingredients For Nootropics

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.

1. Bacopa Monnieri


Bacopa monnieri is an herb also known as “brahmi” to Hindus. 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.

Generally, the herb is now accepted to have serious memory-enhancing properties. It significantly improves both memory acquisition and retention. 

2. Ginkgo Biloba


Arguably one of the oldest plant species on the planet, Ginkgo biloba has been around for over 270 million years. With a deep-rooted history in Chinese herbal preparations, Ginkgo biloba is thought to impact neurotransmitters, potentially protecting against symptoms of ageing while helping to improve concentration.

Ginkgo biloba owes these nootropic capabilities to its chemical structure, a quarter of which is composed of flavonoids, with another 6% made up of powerful terpenes—compounds known for their vast influence on the human body.

3. Krill Oil


A lack of omega fatty acids in Western diets is not a new phenomenon, but it is one that may have a significant impact on our brains. Omega-3 is a brain-boosting fatty acid that comes from oily fish, flaxseed, and hemp seeds.

Fortunately, another fantastic source of omega-3 is krill—tiny crustaceans from the Southern Ocean. In fact, krill oil is considered vastly superior because it also contains astaxanthin alongside omega-3. Astaxanthin is a far more potent antioxidant than many regular vitamins.

4. Lion's Mane Mushroom Extract


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. For anyone looking to ensure that their brain is performing at its maximum potential, this may be of benefit.

5. Magnesium


Magnesium is one of the more well-known substances on this list, and can influence cognitive function 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. 

6. Phenylalanine


Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that has been shown to lift mood 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.

7. Rhodiola Rosea


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 tension, while enhancing focus and memory retention. 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


If you're feeling sluggish or want to improve your memory, it's worth considering the versatile nootropic vinpocetine. The compound is actually a synthetic version of an alkaloid extracted from the seeds or leaves of the Voacanga and Vinca genera respectively.

It wasn't until 1978 that chemists were able to manufacture vinpocetine, but that hasn't stopped it from amassing widespread popularity throughout Europe. The decades-old supplement is believed to increase vitality and positively influence blood circulation.

9. Vitamins B


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.

10. Vitamin D


If you ever needed an excuse to spend more time outside in the sunshine, look no further than vitamin D. If, however, you live in the northern hemisphere, or spend a lot of time working indoors, beaming sunshine is hard to come by. That's when vitamin D supplements become an attractive option for topping up your levels of this essential nootropic. Greater levels of vitamin D may improve memory and support the heart.


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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