10 Nootropics to Hack Your Brain And Unlock Your Full Cognitive Potential

Nootropics are supplements that boost your brain’s health and cognitive power. The word nootropic roughly translates to “bend or shape the mind” in Greek.

If you’re new or into biohacking, here’s a list of smart drugs you can try out to get your brain into its best shape.

A quick tip: you can stack, or mix, supplements to achieve your desired effect. Mix and match complementary or synergistic supplements to amplify their benefits.

As with any supplement, remember to read each product’s benefits as well as its side effects, if any. Look into the optimal dosage to get the best results. More isn’t necessarily better; safe dosage is key.


What is it: a lab-produced form of L-Carnitine, derived from the amino acids lysine and methionine

1) Helps: boost physical and mental energy

    How: facilitates the delivery of fatty acids to the mitochondria, the cell’s power source

2) Help: enhance memory and alertness

    How: supports the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter critical in memory formation and concentration

3) Helps: protect brain cells from damage

    How: contains antioxidants that support brain-derived neurotrophic factor, proteins that are essential for cell growth and survival


What is it: a phospholipid naturally found in soy, eggs, and offal

1) Helps: battle cognitive decline

    How: supplies the brain with choline and glycerophosphate, which are necessary for healthy cellular membrane structure and function

2) Help: enhance memory

    How: supports the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter critical in memory formation and concentration


What is it: an herb used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine

1) Helps: reduce stress and enhance mood

    How: lowers cortisol (stress hormone)  levels and influences chemical signaling in the nervous system

2) Helps: battle cognitive decline caused by injury or illness

    How: exhibits antioxidant properties that defend nerve cells from damaging free radicals


What is it: a stimulant naturally found in tea, coffee, and cacao

1) Helps: increase alertness and reduce fatigue

    How: inhibits the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that causes feelings of relaxation and exhaustion

2) Helps: improve athletic performance

    How: promotes the burning of fat instead of glucose stored in muscles, delays the onset of muscle fatigue

CDP-Choline or Citicoline

What is it: a naturally occurring choline source found in all cells

1) Helps: improve learning and memory

    How: supports the production of the neurotransmitters, acetylcholine and dopamine 

2) Helps: mend damaged brain cell membranes

    How: releases uridine into the body, which is involved in the production of neuron membranes


What is it: an amino acid naturally found in green tea

1) Helps: achieve a relaxed yet alert state

    How: boosts alpha brain waves 

2) Helps: enhance memory and cognition

    How: increases GABA, serotonin, and dopamine levels in the brain

Rhodiola Rosea

What is it: also known as Golden Root, Roseroot, Arctic Root; an herb used in traditional Russian and Scandinavian medicine 

1) Helps: reduce stress and fatigue

    How: stimulates the nervous system and encourages neuron regeneration

2) Helps: enhance mood

    How: promotes the activity of serotonin, norepinephrine, and natural opioids

Some Types of Vitamin B

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Helps: boost your brain’s energy levels

How: converts nutrients from food into adenosine triphosphate, a molecule that transports energy into cells

Vitamin B6 (P-5-P)

Helps: enhance mood and reduce anxiety

How: supports the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, GABA, norepinephrine, and serotonin

Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)

Helps: enhance mood and reduce symptoms of depression

How: supports the production of the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin

Your Brain, Your Personal Cognitive Enhancement Journey

This is by no means a comprehensive list of nootropics, but it’s a good place to start! Your journey to achieving peak mental performance begins with arming yourself with the right knowledge.

Our brains are unique and have different needs. When seeking the right supplements, be mindful of the following:

  • Set your intent. Ask yourself what aspects of your brain you are trying to improve. You may be a student, and you want to improve your memory retention. You may be advanced in age, and you want to protect your brain from cognitive decline. Your cognitive enhancement journey will be defined by what you are trying to achieve.
  • Pay attention to your body. When trying out new supplements, observe your body’s reaction. Notice changes happening to your cognitive performance. It might be helpful to keep track of your progress with a daily journal. It goes without saying that you have to discontinue use if you notice adverse effects.
    • Start with the basics. You don’t have to go big right away and test complex formulas. Begin with what’s proven and tested, and when you feel your body is capable of more experimental supplements, go ahead and explore. Add one supplement to your stack at a time to see if it works for you. 

    Whatever form your cognitive enhancement journey takes, we’d like to be a part of it. Reach out to us if you have questions, or maybe you have personal findings to share. We’d be happy to help you find your ideal stack!