2022's Brain & Memory Supplements Buying Guide
How We Found the Best Supplements For Cognitive Enhancement and Energy
Cognitive enhancement is one of the latest trends in the natural supplement world, and desire to boost the function of the brain has spurred the development of all sorts of supplements in recent years. Nowadays there are hundreds of pills, supplements, and drugs of all kinds that promise to promote cognitive function, improve focus, and promote mental energy levels1.
Improving our mental faculties can have a major impact on our jobs, our school work, and our personal lives, which is why there’s been such interest in coming up with a product that can boost our brainpower. While these “nootropic supplements” can’t make you as smart as a Nobel Prize winner, there is some evidence that they can either improve focus and mental clarity or help people maintain better problem-solving skills.
The issue when it comes to cognitive enhancement is that it’s so popular that it’s spurred the growth of a massive nootropic industry, and now the market is flooded with hundreds of pills that promise to make you smarter, more focused, and happier. Unfortunately, many of these products are low in quality, and some others contain ingredients that aren’t proven to do a thing.
Frankly, there are too many options, and so lots of customers don’t even know where to begin. That’s why we wrote this handy guide: to help customers out there, young and old, to learn the real truth. We’ve compiled all the latest and greatest information from across the internet in an effort to inform people about what they should expect when they’re pursuing for nootropic supplements.
What follows is a guide to help users understand the basics of cognitive enhancement, as well as info about how to make the right decisions when it comes to buying. We’ve topped it off with our Top 5 Favorite Nootropic Supplements at the very end of it.
To start, let’s look at exactly what nootropic supplements are, and how they can help your life.
Nootropics: What’s the Deal?
Nootropic supplements are generally plant or gelatin-based pills filled with plant and animal extracts intended to promote mental clarity, focus, and mood stability.
Understanding The Brain
The brain is the most important organ in the body, and while it’s extremely powerful, its function can start to weaken just like any other organ. According to the CDC, 1 in 9 American adults had some form of subjective cognitive decline2. When you get to age 70 or older, that can increase to 2 in 33. The symptoms of cognitive problems include slower mental processing, slower performance, and becoming easily distracted4. While cognitive impairment can be caused by injuries to the brain or by aging, many people experience forms of it due to inadequate production of neurotransmitters. Read more >>
Neurotransmitters help send messages from brain cell to brain cell, and can help promote production of hormones that control the mood5. When everything is working properly, the brain functions well and people are able to work, study, and focus properly.
When the brain isn’t working at its maximum efficiency, however, it can cause problems. Not only can an imbalance in neurotransmitter and hormone production result in impaired focus, but it can lead to mood swings, anxiety, and a decreased sex drive6. Job performance, school studies, and even your personal relationships can be impacted when your brain isn’t producing enough of what it needs.
The desire to have the brain perform at its best has led to a whole industry dedicated to boosting your brainpower. While there are many pharmaceutical drugs7 which can cause side effects including dizziness, nausea, and sleep disorders8, many prefer to improve their cognitive function in a more natural way that’s cheaper, more natural, and less likely to cause side effects. These are what are known as nootropic supplements.
- Boost Your Memory9
- Support Analytical Thinking
- Improve Focus10
- Handle Stress11
- Improve Productivity12
- Support Verbal Recal
- Fight Cognitive Decline
- Promote Better Mood13
Top 3 Criteria For The Right Nootropic Supplement
We’ve spent lots of time researching all the latest ingredients in the world of natural health, and particularly looked at the ingredients users have said were the biggest help. After all our research we managed come up with a list of the top 3 ingredients you MUST have in a good nootropic product. While a pill can also contain other ingredients, it must contain the following three at a MINIMUM:
Derived from cabbage or soy bean, this natural chemical is an integral part of cellular functions throughout the body. More especially, it’s been found to correlate with better memory in people with age-related mental decline, and is supposed to reduce some effects of Alzheimer disease14.
- Huperzia Serrata
This is a plant, long-used in Chinese folk medicine for thousands of years for various functions. In the field of modern natural health, it’s been used in promoting cognitive enhancement. It contains a chemical called Huperzine A, which inhibits acetylcholinesterase – a chemical that prevents the important memory and thought chemical acetylcholine from breaking down16.
- Alpha GPC
A popular chemical in the nootropic world, and one that’s also found naturally in the body. It’s used for improving thinking skills and memory, and has been tested on people with Alzheimer disease and dementia. It’s supposed to increase the brain’s production of acetylcholine, which is an important part of memory and learning processes15.
4 Things To AVOID
When Buying A Nootropic Supplement
1. Too Few Ingredients
Lots of supplements meant to help with cognitive issues will select one well-known ingredient and make it the sole active ingredient in a product. While the ingredient might be decent enough, you won’t be getting your money’s worth. Choose supplements that come with a variety of respected ingredients that promote cognitive enhancement from multiple angles to make sure you get the most out of your purchase.
2. Not Backed Up By Research
A supplement is only as good as its ingredients, so if an ingredient is suspect, why would the supplement be any good? Only choose supplements containing ingredients backed up by clinical research, otherwise you could end up getting something that doesn’t work.
3. Bad Return Policy
If a product doesn’t work, why should you pay for it? You need to make sure the company you buy from has a robust and permissive return policy, otherwise you could end up losing money. If a product isn’t returnable within a minimum 30-day window, it shows the company doesn’t have confidence in their product. Avoid them.
4. Blindly trusting Amazon Reviews
According to a study, there were as many as 1.8 million unverified Amazon reviews in March 2019, and almost 100% were 5-star reviews17. That’s a huge problem. With e-commerce relying on positive customer reviews, many companies have resorted to paying people to write 5-star reviews of their products without even trying them, all in an effort to boost their ratings and getting better visibility. Just because a product seems popular doesn’t mean it is.
2022’s Top Five Nootropic Supplements
Our review involved over a HUNDRED different nootropic supplements, and we evaluated each one according to a thorough review process. To select the Top 5 Nootropic Supplements of 2021, we looked for the right balance of effectiveness, scientific research, product safety, value, customer service, and customer reviews.
#1 Brainmentin - Highest Customer Rated For 12 Months
Why It Made The List
Brainmentin made the top of our list for a few important reasons. Firstly it contains a great formula composed solely of natural ingredients including our top three favorites: Phosphatidylserine, Alpha GPC, and Huperzia serrata. This along makes it an awesome choice for cognitive enhancement, since its main ingredients have all be clinically tested.
Brainmentin works on multiple levels using a revolutionary, maximum strength formula, and can be taken by people of all ages - seniors or students.
What made it even better is the way it’s made. We discovered that the product contains zero artificial ingredients, so it will be easy for your body to metabolize and digest. The company makes all their products in a clean facility in the USA that passes FDA safety and quality standards. It’s also GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified. The company also offers an amazing 30-day money-back guarantee so you know you can buy with confidence.
All in all, Brainmentin seems like an effective product. It has clinical studies and plenty of facts to back up its effectiveness, which makes this product worth the price.
It offers consumers the most comprehensive nutritional support for their brain, improving all areas of cognitive function.
*Results are not typical, and individual results can vary. Please refer to the official product website for detailed information.
- Radically improves focus and concentration
- Enhances short- and long-term memory
- Boosts circulation in the brain
- Slows the progress of age-related cognitive decline
- Boosts the ability to take in and retain new information
- Contains Phosphatidylserine, Alpha GPC, and Huperzia serrata
- Doctor recommended*
- All ingredients tested for their effectiveness in clinical trials
- Works in as little as a few days
- Has researched ingredients, Made in GMP and FDA approved facility*
- Has no synthetic ingredients or fillers
- Improves alertness with no jittery feeling
- Good money-back guarantee
- Has extremely low risk of side effects
- No same-day or overnight shipping option
- Only available for purchase online
#2 Think Tank Elite
Guarantee: Money Back
Our runner-up is Think Tank Elite, a brain health supplement that uses a potent mix of natural ingredients to support your mental function and strengthen your memory. It also contains amino acids and vitamins which are supposed to help give you an additional mental edge. It’s available from Amazon and comes with a full month of servings per bottle. They’ve done everything to ensure their product is bioavailable and works fast in your body.
- Has ashwagandha and L-Tyrosine
- All-natural ingredients in formula
- Contains piperine for added absorption into the body
- Comes with free shipping
- Priced higher than some competition
- Low number of customer reviews
A drawback is the advertised price (nearly $70) which is more than twice what some other products cost. However, it might be worth it for some people, depending on what they’re looking for.Find Out More
Guarantee: Money Back
Next on our list is RediMind. This supplement also claims to help improve memory and enhance your cognitive function, and unlike many other brain pills, they back it up with an impressive study put on by Princeton Consumer Research. It contains a decent mix of ingredients including bacopa monnieri, ginkgo biloba, and huperzine. It’s easily purchased online and comes at an attractive price as well.
- Contains major ingredients bacopa monnieri and huperzine
- Formula consists largely of all-natural ingredients
- Each bottle lasts a full month
- Gluten Free
- Large number of good customer ratings
- Limited ingredient diversity
- Company has bad review grade on Fakespot
While the price is nice and the product is made to decent specifications, the company has a “D” on Fakespot, implying there are large numbers of untrustworthy reviews of their products.Find Out More
#4 Ascent Cognitive Enhancement
Guarantee: Money Back
Next up is Ascent Cognitive Enhancement from Bionic Nutrition. We thought this was a solid choice, because it comes with most of the big-name ingredients that you’ll find in the best cognitive enhancement products. Not only that, but they offer an incredible 120% money back guarantee, offering a full refund plus $10 towards another product of theirs. That’s pretty rare to see.
- Contains phosphatidylserine, bacopa monnieri, and L-Theanine
- Full month of servings per bottle
- Reasonable price
- Solid customer response
- Not much presence outside of main website
- Few ratings
- Caffeine content may cause jitters
While there are many positives, we weren’t able to find much about this product outside of Amazon and the Bionic Nutrition main website. In addition, the caffeine content may cause some people to have jitters and sleeplessness, unless they take it early in the day.Find Out More
#5 Life Enhancement InnerPower
Guarantee: Money Back
Last on our top list is Life Enhancement InnerPower, a cognitive supplement offering a large assortment of minerals and natural ingredients to help support brain function. The product was developed with the support of Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, considered experts in the field of natural health since the late ‘60s. The product is made in California in an FDA-compliant lab.
- Contains arginine, citrulline, taurine
- Natural ingredients
- Made in the USA
- FDA-compliant lab
- High price
- Limited formula
- Formula contains no herbal or plant extracts
- Some undesirable ingredients
One main drawback is that the formula, while natural, doesn’t contain any of the ingredients we like to see in cognitive supplements such as bacopa monnieri or phosphatidylserine. This means it may not be as effective as other supplements. It’s also higher in price than some are used to, which combined with the weaker formula makes it less of a solid choice.Find Out More
1 – https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/features/nootropics-smart-drugs-overview
2 – https://www.cdc.gov/aging/data/subjective-cognitive-decline-brief.html
3 – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352827319304549
4 – https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17990-mild-cognitive-impairment
5 – https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-neurotransmitter-2795394
6 – https://patriotdirectfm.com/2017/04/imbalanced-neurotransmitter-levels-and-their-impact-on-health/
7 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690227/
8 – https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/cognitive-enhancers/
9 – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nootropics
10 – https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/best-nootropics/
11 – https://www.thorne.com/take-5-daily/article/what-is-a-nootropic-and-where-do-nootropics-come-from
12 – https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/lifestyle/gallery/best-nootropics-for-productivity
13 – https://thethirty.whowhatwear.com/natural-dopamine-supplements
14 – https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-992/phosphatidylserine
15 – https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1087/alpha-gpc
16 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26059088/
17 – https://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2019/04/16/amazons-fake-review-problem-is-getting-worse/#7f207e0d195f