Best Nootropics to Start With

December 7, 2020

Admittedly navigating the world of nootropics may be somewhat complex as a beginner. So many different products are being advertised with so many claimed benefits. This sometimes discourages those who have a new interest in nootropics and their wonderful benefits. 

Well, rest easy as we break down nootropics supplements into easy categories. You will also receive pointers on which nootropics are the best to start within each category and a few nootropic stack combinations that are bound to give you that boost you need.

Types of Nootropics


What a lot of people don’t realize is that nootropics are not a recent invention. For over a millennia, cultures all over the world had already discovered the numerous mental and physical benefits of consuming certain herbs regularly.

Modern science has now explained how these nootropic herbs produce these beneficial effects on our brains. From memory-boosting to increased focus and even mood stabilization, the applications of nootropic herbs are almost endless.

Here are a few popular nootropic herbs you should try out:

Bacopa monnieri: Studies show that this herb has significant anxiolytic properties, boosts cognitive function, and may even reduce blood pressure.

Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo is a popular herb that has been found useful as an anxiolytic, antidepressant, cognitive enhancer, and powerful antioxidant.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom: This herb is popular among beginners because of its tolerability. It has been linked with increased levels of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which aid in beaver cell regeneration and slow down degeneration due to aging.


Some people classify adaptive as herbs, but they occupy a specific niche when it comes to herb lore. Adaptogens help your body and mind resist different types of natural and artificial stressors.

These stressors may come from chemical, physical, or even biological processes. They have been an integral part of various healing practices across cultures all over the world. Some have also been found to be powerful nootropics, which have significant cognitive benefits when utilized properly.

Here are a few popular nootropic adaptogens: 

Panax ginseng: This herb has shown some positive results in managing Alzheimer’s disease, memory improvement, and mood stabilization.

Rhodiola Rosea: Rhodiola is an adaptogen used for memory enhancement, stress-relief, and improvement of cognitive function.

Ashwagandha: This plant has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. As a nootropic, it has benefits in stress-relief, anxiolytic activity, memory aid, and neuroprotection.


Not all nootropics occur naturally. Some were discovered in laboratories or created for another function but were later discovered to have nootropic properties.

The effects of synthetic nootropics are usually better studied than natural nootropics and are more popular. Thus they are widely used as study aids or cognitive enhancers in demanding occupations.

Here are some popular examples:

Racetams: This class includes Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, and Pramiracetam, all known to be memory enhancers and aid in concentration.

Modafinil: Modafinil was originally developed to treat a sleeping disorder called narcolepsy but was found to be useful as a stimulant, enhancing focus and executive functions. 

Methylphenidate: This is the active component of Ritalin and is a popular focus enhancer, stimulant, and mood stabilizer. It is also used to treat ADHD.


Free radicals (or oxidants)  are naturally produced by various biochemical processes that occur naturally in the body. The body has certain safeguard mechanisms to deal with them, but they can lead to significant damage when they overcome these mechanisms.

Some nootropics are famous for their strong antioxidant properties and help mop up these excess free radicals from the body. This prevents premature cell aging, reduces inflammation, and improves mental function over time.

Here are some popular nootropic antioxidants:

Selenium: This mineral is an important part of about 25 proteins within the body, functioning as important antioxidants.

L-theanine: This is a glutamate analog that crosses into the brain and blocks certain glutamate receptors, reducing the negative effects of excessive glutamate action. It is also a good antioxidant.

N-acetyl cysteine: N-acetyl cysteine helps replenish glutathione, an essential antioxidant in the liver. It has also been popularly used to treat OCD and some forms of depression.


Most people fail to realize just how important vitamins are in maintaining homeostasis and carrying out vital biological processes. The chances of getting a vitamin deficiency are low, but most people still consume suboptimal levels of certain key vitamins.

Here are some important vitamin vitamins for brain function:

Vitamin B-Complex: These are a group of 8 vitamins that perform vital roles in the body and brain. Vitamins B12, B9, and B6 are essential for optimal brain function.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids are found abundantly in fish oil and aid in memory, brain function, reaction time, and even slow down neuron degeneration with age.

Vitamin D: Vitamin is closely linked to optimal brain function, which is why getting some sunshine every day is great for your mental health. 

Aside from these popular nootropics, other nootropic drugs are worth mentioning for beginners to start with. Some of them include:

Amino Acids like N-acetyl L-tyrosine, taurine, acetylcholine-L-carnitine, and L-tryptophan.

Choline Sources such as citicoline, choline, and alpha-GPC choline.

Phospholipids like phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylcholine, etc.


Nootropic Recommendations for Newbies



The world of nootropic supplements is confusing at first, but these supplements are safe and very tolerable for beginners. Start simple with one or two trusted combinations, and then adjust your formula until you find the optimal blend for you.

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