What are the best supplements for memory and focus? Glad you asked, because we’re going into all the details of the top 10 nootropic supplements we love. Whether you’re looking to possess a DaVinci level memory or concentrate with the focus and precision of a neurosurgeon, these supplements have you covered.
We’ll talk about why these supplements are popular nootropics and what the science says about each one of them.
From ashwaghanda to periwinkle extract and racetams, these top 10 supplements could help you to clear out the cobwebs and focus all day.
Best Nootropics For Memory And Focus
Nootropics are famous for helping to perk up your memory and sharpen your focus. And some of the best nootropics for focus and best memory supplements are found in this guide. What supplements could improve memory? What’s the best nootropic stack for focus? Keep reading to find out.
Here’s our list of the best supplements for memory and focus:
This powerful herb is often recommended for its cognitive benefits and has been celebrated as a memory enhancer for thousands of years. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, healthy male participants showed significantly improved cognitive function after 14 days of taking 250 mg of ashwagandha twice daily.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3897003/ Another study showed similar improvements to immediate and general memory after eight weeks.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28471731/ And when researchers reviewed data on ashwagandha, they found that the herb appeared to improve cognitive performance across a wide range of study participants.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31742775/
2. Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa monnieri has been used for centuries in Ayurveda (the ancient medical system of India) to encourage memory function and relieve stress. Bacopa is also sometimes called Brahmi. Studies indicate that bacopa could significantly increase working memory, improve learning, and decrease oxidative stress.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746283/https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/bacopa Specifically, bacopa appeared to improve working memory, attention, and cognition in a group of elderly study participants.https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/606424/ It also showed significant improvement in cognitive function in medical students. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5075615/ Researchers are even hopeful that it could lead to advances in Alzheimer’s research.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1177392819866412
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3. Choline Based Supplements
Choline is an important substance that’s found in every cell of your body. There is some choline in certain foods, notably eggs and nuts. However, to get enough of this essential nutrient for memory and concentration benefits, you’d have to eat quite a bit of organ meats, like liver. Since most of us don’t consume this kind of food, we must turn to Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline supplements to see any cognitive effects. Both Alpha GPC and CDP-Choline (also known as citicoline) are forms of choline that are readily used by the brain. Animal studies indicate CDP-Choline could improve cognitive deficits.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1074742703000248 And it’s even shown to help reverse the effects of stroke.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19351232/ Alpha GPC shows similar behavior in the lab, with studies suggesting it could improve memory.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12637119/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1662399/
4. Huperzine A
There have been several promising studies indicating huperzine A may be able to protect your brain and increase learning and memory functions. Huperzine A has been studied in both younger people https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10678121/ and looked at as a potential Alzheimer’s treatment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4137276/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16364207/. And in animal studies, huperzine A has been shown to restore brain activity and improve memory function.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23515019/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19795377/
L-theanine is an extract made from green tea. It’s well known for calming the mind and helping you feel relaxed. L-theanine may also improve memory and concentration. In studies, it’s been linked to brain theta waves, which are an indicator of cognitive function.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21303262/ And in two separate double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, it positively impacted verbal fluency and improved working memory too.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836118/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080935/
6. Lion’s Mane
This unique-looking mushroom has become quite popular recently for its reputation as an overall health promoter and cognition enhancer. Studies suggest that lion’s mane (properly known as Hericium Erinaceus) can help promote nerve growth factor in your brain.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321969743_Neurological_Activity_of_Lion’s_Mane_Hericium_erinaceushttps://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-85972-2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/ In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers also found that active compounds of lion’s mane significantly improved cognition in Alzheimer’s patients. They also noted that after 49 weeks of treatment, lion’s mane appeared to be well-tolerated by the study participants.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7283924/
7. N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT)
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, often shortened to NALT, is the acetylated form of L-tyrosine. NALT is a popular supplement for memory and focus and is often preferred to L-tyrosine because it is water-soluble. Tyrosine has been studied for its purported ability to support working memory https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24379768/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17585971/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10548261/ and enhance cognitive performance.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7794222/
8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids your body and brain need to function properly. They’re found in abundance in fatty fish and flax seeds. There’s some evidence to suggest that omega-3s can help lower the risk of heart disease.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31567003/ And they are also potentially beneficial for your brain health, too.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116096/ In fact, studies indicate omega-3 could improve memory in healthy adultshttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26890759/, and positively impact working memory in healthy young adults, too.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23056476/
9. Periwinkle Extract
Also known as vinpocetine, periwinkle or vinca extract is a nootropic supplement that may enhance cognition. In studies, it has been shown to improve memory and concentration.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4160700/ It’s important to note that anyone taking blood thinners or women who are pregnant or nursing should not take vinpocetine.
Racetams are a special class of nootropics that may help to improve memory and boost concentration. Some names of common racetams include: aniracetam, oxiracetam, pramiracetam, piracetam, phenylpiracetam, and noopept. Racetams have been extensively studied for their brain loving benefits, including memory improvement in those with amnesia https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7870912/, improved memory and mood in dementia patients https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0278584689900547?_docanchor=&_fmt=high&_origin=gateway&_rdoc=1&ccp=y&md5=b8429449ccfc9c30159a5f9aeaa92ffbhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3594458/, and improved focus and attention in patients with organic brain syndrome https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3594459/ When you’re stacking nootropics, it’s important to note that if you choose to try a racetam, you should consider adding in a choline-based supplement to your stack. In order to experience the positive effects of racetams, your body needs adequate choline.