Home Fitness 4 Best Nootropics For Studying & 3 To Avoid (2024)
4 Best Nootropics For Studying & 3 To Avoid (2024)
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4 Best Nootropics For Studying & 3 To Avoid (2024)

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One good way to boost your academic performance (or retain instructional information) is through nootropics.

These so-called smart drugs can help you be focused during class or lectures, have better memory retention when studying, and better recall in the crucial moments of the exam. Even when we are young, our energy levels are not endless, and nootropics can provide a much-needed boost.

But not every nootropic on the market will do. All claim significant benefits, but few genuinely deliver them.

I am always excited to test new products and see if they can make my brain more powerful, and I will happily share with you the results of my detailed research and personal tests for the best supplements for studying.

  • Best Nootropic For Studying: NooCube
  • Best Stimulant Nootropic For Studying: Vyvamind
  • Best Natural Nootropic For Studying: Braini
  • Best Nootropic For Focus & Studying: Mind Lab Pro
NootropicPricePrice per Serving
NooCube$64.99 – $194.99$1.30 – $2.17
Vyvamind$74.99 – $207$2.30 – $2.50
Braini$59.99 – $259.99$1.73 – $2.00
Mind Lab Pro$69 – $207$1.73 – $2.30

Best Nootropic For Studying

NooCube

NooCube Brain Productivity

Pros

  • A complete formulation enhancing focus, memory, and cognitive flexibility.
  • Most of the ingredients are backed up by scientific studies.
  • The effects get better the more time you take, with optimal results achieved around the 3rd month.

Cons

  • No quick results make Noocube not suitable for someone short on time.
  • Some of the ingredients should have had higher doses.
NooCubePricePrice per Serving
1 Bottle$64.99$2.17 per serving
3 Bottles$129.99$1.44 per serving
5 Bottles$194.99$1.30 per serving

Best For Studying

NooCube Brain Productivity

Non-stimulant nootropic to boost brain power with no side effects.

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NooCube

While studying for endless hours right before an exam is something I’ve also done instead of spreading the time through the whole semester, the second approach is infinitely better, which is why I’ve chosen a non-stimulant nootropic, providing a full spectrum of cognitive benefits over a long period of time.

Noocube is a comprehensive nootropic that enhances all areas of brain activity necessary to get the most out of studying at home and when attending classes and lectures.

The clever NooCube recipe contains well-known substances such as Bacopa Monnieri [4], L-Tyrosine [3], and L-Theanine [1][2] to help improve focus and concentration and reduce stress.

Bacopa Monierri, Choline Bitartrate [5], Panax Ginseng [6], and Huperzine A are important components that help various aspects of memory.

The product also contains less studied nootropic ingredients such as Lutemax2020, Resveratrol, and Choline.

Even though some ingredients are slightly underdosed, the formulation covers everything a student needs- better focus, a clear mind, enhanced memory, and reduced stress and anxiety.

My test period with Noocube was successful, meaning that I felt more dialed in and focused and could retain more info when recording podcasts, writing articles, or going through recent clinical studies.

All these effects lead me to believe that Noocube is a superb nootropic for studying, regardless of your field or level of studies.

My NooCube review goes into further detail.

Best Stimulant Nootropic For Studying

Vyvamind

Vyvamind Memory Nootropic Supplement

Pros

  • Immediate and reliable effect thanks to the caffeine/L-theanine stack, perfect for students short on sleep.
  • Provides long-term memory enhancements.
  • No unnecessary filler ingredients.

Cons

  • Fewer ingredients means fewer potential long-term benefits.
VyvamindPricePrice per Serving
1 Bottle$74.99$2.50 per serving
2 Bottles$139.98$2.33 per serving
3 Bottles$207$2.30 per serving

Best Neurostimulant For Studying

Vyvamind Neurostimulant

Unparalleled focus and clarity, increased motivation and drive, and stress and anxiety support.

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Vyvamind

Students, especially in college, rarely prioritize sleep over social life and studying, and stimulants like caffeine are what many rely on to support them.

While drinking coffee, tea, or energy drinks will get you the required energy, there is an alternative and possibly better way to do it- stimulant nootropics.

One of the best in the category is Vyvamind. It is a simple formula with no speculative ingredients, herbs, and mushrooms with unknown effects—just 4 proven substances centered around the combination of caffeine and L-theanine.

Not only are the two ingredients powerful on their own, but they also have a solid synergizing effect. L-theanine reduces caffeine’s negative effects and enhances effects such as better working memory and alertness [7,8].

Citicoline [9] and L-tyrosine [10] are the two other ingredients. The first may increase episodic memory, focus, and motivation, while the second improves working memory and executive function. The bad news is that the doses of both are at least half of what is recommended.

Despite this flaw, I’ve used Vyvamind to great effect and have felt an almost immediate boost in energy and clarity, which is to be expected from caffeine and L-theanine. The other two ingredients provide long-term benefits, so Vyvamind is not simply a glorified cup of coffee in the shape of a pill.

The simple stimulant-based formula is a perfect fit for all students looking to prolong the time their minds are sharp and avoid energy slumps during critical moments such as exams.

My Vyvamind review goes into further detail.

Best Natural Nootropic For Studying

Braini

Braini Natural Memory Nootropic

Pros

  • Exclusive natural ingredients unique for Braini.
  • Personal test you can take to gauge your results and be certain if they are real.
  • Brain boasts a peer-reviewed independent study showing outstanding results in different age groups, especially in 18-30 years.

Cons

  • A bit more expensive than the competition.
BrainiPricePrice per Serving
1 Bottle$59.99$2.00 per serving
3 Bottles$169.99$1.89 per serving
5 Bottles$259.99$1.73 per serving

Best Natural Nootropic For Studying

Braini

A powerful brain supplement designed for long-term gains in cognitive function and memory.

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Braini

A few things set Braini apart from the other products on this list. It has exclusive ingredients, utilizes a third-party brain assessment tool, and boasts independent study on the complete formulation.

The four-ingredient formula delivers outstanding results in memory enhancement. It allows you to retain what you study and recall it during exams, sharpen your focus, improve your mood, reduce stress, and elevate cognitive function.

NeruXcel and Peptylin are two components exclusive to Braini. The first is the result of intensive research and development, and it contains SDA and GLA, two scientifically proven omegas that increase brain mobility.

Both show results in improving memory and executive function, including organizing thoughts and switching tasks, among many other brain activities.

Peptilyn, in particular, demonstrates the capacity to strengthen brain synapses and provide therapeutic advantages.

I admit I was skeptical about the benefits, but Braini has a clever system to gauge your own results. The company provides a test you should take before you start intake and after 30 days. An independent study shows an average of 7.8% improvement in cognitive ability [11].

Trials were done for different age groups, and the group 18-30 years old showed significant improvements across six cognitive tests.

This simply means Brain is an excellent choice for students looking for a natural and proven nootropic to help them in their educational journey.

My Braini review goes into further detail.

Best Nootropic For Focus & Studying

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro Supplement

Pros

  • Full spectrum of cognitive benefits, capable of aiding all your academic pursuits.
  • Independent study on the whole formulations proving effectiveness.

Cons

  • Some ingredients are underdosed.
Mind Lab ProPricePrice per Serving
1 Bottle$69$2.30 per serving
2 Bottles$138$2.30 per serving
4 Bottles$207$1.73 per serving

Best Nootropic For Focus & Studying

Mind Lab Pro Nootropic Brain Supplement

Boost brain power, reduce cognitive decline, and enhance memory and focus for studying.

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Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is the second nootropic on this list, which can show off a clinical study on the entire formulation.

Mind Lab Pro’s composition has a unique combination of 11 research-backed components. This synergistic formula addresses all elements of brain health, highlighting the significance of a comprehensive approach.

Mind Lab Pro has many of the same ingredients as the other products on this list, including L-theanine [1][2], L-Tyrosine [8], and Bacopa Monnieri [4], as the core brain enhancers.

To the more speculative substances, we can add Organic Lions Mane Mushrooms, which boosts working memory and attention [12], and Pine Bark Extract, which is thought to improve general memory [13].

Mind Lab Pro also has a couple of other important benefits. You can view all user reviews on their website, which currently approaches 2500, to gauge regular users’ opinions.

Then, Mind Lab Pro was proven effective by two studies, the first independently done by the University of Leeds [14].

As a full-scope nootropic, Mind Lab Pro provides benefits every student can appreciate. I’ve felt more focused and less distracted and avoided the afternoon slumps most days. If the product has benefited me, I am sure it can do it for you in your studies.

My Mind Lab Pro review goes into further detail.

Nootropics For Studying To Avoid

There are three popular nootropics you can find in most general stores and pharmacies, which makes them very popular. They are also cheaper than legitimate products like Noocube. The attractive price and availability combination makes Focus Factor, Prevagen, and Neuriva popular in the nootropics market.

But they are not worth your money, and I will share why you should avoid them.

Focus Factor

Focus Factor Nootropic

Focus Factor seems like a decent nootropic at first. With Bacoppa Monierri, Phosphatidylserine, L-Tyrosine, and almost a dozen other substances on the ingredient list, Focus Factor should be listed next to Noocube and Mind Lab Pro, right?

It could have been if the doses of the ingredients hadn’t been criminally underdosed. The entire blend of ingredients is 640 mg. which is about as much as you may need from some of the individual components. This is why I strongly advise you to avoid Focus Factor and not be lured by the low price.

I gave Focus Factor a chance and tested it myself, but the results confirmed my expectations, and I didn’t feel any cognitive enhancements.

My Focus Factor review goes into further detail.

Prevagen

Prevagen is marketed as a leading cognitive health supplement using a unique ingredient called apoaequorin, a protein found in a species of jellyfish. This sounds interesting, but the only study was published in a low-impact journal and done in-house by the parent company.

The study showed a significant improvement in verbal learning and memory recall, but we don’t have any other data outside of this likely biased study. I don’t believe the claims of this study, but I still gave Prevagen a chance. As expected, I haven’t felt any improvements in 30 days of taking it. 

My Prevagen review goes into further detail.

Neuriva

Neuriva Brain Supplement

The label of the third popular grocery store, nootropic Neuriva, will promise you an enhancement in memory, focus, learning, and concentration, which are things every student would want to improve.

Sadly, the result never materializes. Neuriva’s formulation is based on two active substances: coffee fruit extract and Phosphatidylserine.

The problem with the coffee fruit extract is that the only studies supporting any effect have been funded by the company producing the item, and I do not believe in unbiased studies of this kind.

The other ingredient, called Phosphatidylserine, is a proven nootropic but is not enough on its own to justify the price of the Neuriva.

Not to mention that the supplement contains an additive banned in Europe called Titanium Dioxide.

My Neuriva review goes into further detail.

How To Pick The Best Nootropics For Memory

Nootropics For Studying

Ingredients & Formulation

The ingredients and formulation make or break a nootropic. Studying requires solid concentration, memory retention, and energy to be able to maintain them for extended periods of time. In general, nootropics aim to enhance precisely these qualities, but some ingredients are better than others.

Many speculative ingredients don’t have enough backing to support their claims fully, but there are also some proven ones, which are usually the backbone of most formulations. These include Bacopa monnieri, L-Tyrosine, Choline, and Panax Ginseng.

If you need an instant boost in energy, you should look for stimulants, which in most cases is caffeine, preferably aided by L-theanine. This amino acid is also a cornerstone of many nootropics.

The whole formulation is also important, as many ingredients work synergistically with each other and provide a greater effect than if you take only some of the substances individually.

Dosage

The dosages are almost as important as the formulation itself. All proven substances have been studied in specific dosages, and the effective ranges are known.

This is why it’s essential to pick nootropics with disclosed exact dosages on every ingredient instead of proprietary blends that usually hide critically underdosed ingredients.

Often, the dosages in formulas are under the recommended ranges, which does not necessarily mean they don’t work, but the effects may not be as complete as those proven in studies.  

Here are the recommended dosages for some of the more popular nootropic ingredients:

  • Bacopa monnieri: >300 mg
  • L-tyrosine: >2 g
  • L-theanine: 200 mg.
  • Caffeine/L-theanine: 1:2 ratio
  • Rhodiola rosea: 100-170 mg, with a rosavin content of 3.6-6.14 mg
  • Huperzine A:> 1mg/kg bodyweight

Stimulant vs. Non-Stimulant

Stimulant-based nootropics like Vyvamind use caffeine and other ingredients to provide you with an almost instant energy and focus boost. Students are always well acquainted with caffeine and often use it to pull all-nighters before an exam.

Taking a nootropic with stimulants is an even better option because there are additional ingredients to give your brain a boost.

Non-stimulant nootropics do not have such a quick effect and rely on a longer intake to provide a full scope of cognitive benefits.

The significant upside to them is they bring more positive effects in the long run and can be used regardless of the time of day.

If you are hard-pressed on time and need to study for 12 hours a couple of days before an exam, a stimulant nootropic will be a much better choice. If you want to retain information and focus better in class throughout the semester, non-stimulant nootropics will have more value for you.

Third-Party Testing

Best Nootropics For Focus And Studying

Third-party testing by independent labs ensures that a supplement includes the contents listed and is free of harmful contaminants.

This testing will ensure the substance’s purity, potency, and safety. Furthermore, the informed sport tick indicates it has been tested for prohibited substances, which is especially important if you are a competitive college athlete and must pass regular banned substances tests.

Always choose products that have undergone third-party testing and share the results, giving you peace of mind regarding their quality.

Clinical Research

The more clinically researched ingredients a nootropic has, the better. Looking at peer-reviewed studies proving the effectiveness of an ingredient is a way to ensure you will be getting some benefits outside of a placebo.

But as I said, the formulation also matters a lot. The best test a supplement can provide is on the complete product rather than the individual ingredients.

Most nootropics don’t have independent studies done on them, but Brain and Mind Lab Pro from this list are the two that boast positive results from double-blind, placebo-controlled studies done in independent laboratories.

Price

The price of nootropics can vary a lot. It goes from $1.30 up to $2.50 per serving. Buying in bulk is always much cheaper, and in the case of non-stimulant nootropics, you need to take them for around 3 months to enjoy the optimal results, so buying a 3- or 4-month stack is not a bad idea.

While the price can indicate quality, it’s not always the case. More expensive often means the manufacturer has put more ingredients in the formula.

While this may sound like a good idea, if they are speculative or underdosed, chances are you are paying for more but not getting anything out of it.

Then buying the cheapest nootropics is also unwise because it has either too few ingredients or the dosages are insufficient to provide any effect at all. 

The best course of action is to do some research, consult some reviews, compare the options to your budget, and then decide what is worth it.

Frequently Asked Nootropics For Studying Questions

Do Nootropics Help Studying?

Nootropics can help with studying. The good products provide mild improvements in memory, focus, attention, motivation, and mood. All are necessary for success in all levels of education.

The keyword here is mild. Nootropics are not magical and will not make your brain work “100%,” like in some entertaining movies.

A good diet and sleep will likely be more beneficial than pills, but some nootropic products like the ones listed in this roundup can enhance your study efforts in many ways.

Summary

Noocube is my first choice for a nootropic for studying. The formulation consists of many proven ingredients, and they are a great long-term solution to provide brain power. If you need more sudden improvements, a stimulant-based nootropic such as Vyvmind is the best solution.

Another interesting option worth trying is Braini, with its unique ingredients and quantifiable way of measuring results.

Best For Studying

NooCube Brain Productivity

Non-stimulant nootropic to boost brain power with no side effects.

CHECK CURRENT DEALS
NooCube

References

  1. Hidese, S., Ogawa, S., Ota, M., Ishida, I., Yasukawa, Z., Ozeki, M., & Kunugi, H. (2019). Effects of L-theanine administration on stress-related symptoms and cognitive functions in healthy adults: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrients, 11(10), 2362.
  2. Williams, J. L., Everett, J. M., D’Cunha, N. M., Sergi, D., Georgousopoulou, E. N., Keegan, R. J., … & Naumovski, N. (2020). The effects of green tea amino acid L-theanine consumption on the ability to manage stress and anxiety levels: A systematic review. Plant foods for human nutrition, 75, 12-23.
  3. Reay, J. L., Kennedy, D. O., & Scholey, A. B. (2006). Effects of Panax ginseng, consumed with and without glucose, on blood glucose levels and cognitive performance during sustained ‘mentally demanding’tasks. Journal of Psychopharmacology20(6), 771-781.
  4. Kongkeaw, C., Dilokthornsakul, P., Thanarangsarit, P., Limpeanchob, N., & Scholfield, C. N. (2014). Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on cognitive effects of Bacopa monnieri extract. Journal of ethnopharmacology151(1), 528-535.
  5. Kansakar, U., Trimarco, V., Mone, P., Varzideh, F., Lombardi, A., & Santulli, G. (2023). Choline supplements: An update. Frontiers in Endocrinology14, 1148166.
  6. Reay, Jonathon & Scholey, Andrew & O., Kennedy. (2007). Effects of 8 weeks administration of Korean Panax ginseng extract on the mood and cognitive performance of healthy individuals. Journal of Ginseng Research. 31. 10.5142/JGR.2007.31.1.034.
  7. Haskell, C. F., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., Wesnes, K. A., & Scholey, A. B. (2008). The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biological psychology, 77(2), 113-122.
  8. Owen, G. N., Parnell, H., De Bruin, E. A., & Rycroft, J. A. (2008). The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. Nutritional neuroscience, 11(4), 193-198.
  9. Nakazaki, E., Mah, E., Sanoshy, K., Citrolo, D., & Watanabe, F. (2021). Citicoline and memory function in healthy older adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The Journal of Nutrition, 151(8), 2153-2160.
  10. Steenbergen, L., Sellaro, R., Hommel, B., & Colzato, L. S. (2015). Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility: evidence from proactive vs. reactive control during task switching performance. Neuropsychologia, 69, 50-55.
  11. Lanou, A. J., Mast, A. C., Hill, B. D., Kim, S. S., & Hanaway, P. (2023). A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of a Novel Dietary Supplement on Standardized CNS Vital Signs Cognitive Performance Parameters in Adults. Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 29(5), 303-312.

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James de Lacey James is a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international level teams and athletes. He owns Sweet Science of Fighting, is a published scientific researcher and has completed his Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. He's combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your combat training.