Tiredness, fatigue and braing fog are disastrous for productivity. We’ve all been there. You’ve had 5 hours of sleep, your morning has been mentally taxing, and you have hours of meetings ahead of you in the afternoon. By about 3pm, your mental performance is likely to be abysmal: your short-term memory will be impaired, your mental processing speeds slow, and your verbal fluency rapidly declining. Fortunately, natural nootropics can help.
Using the best nootropic supplements can help you smash through mental fatigue and poor cognitive function without causing side effects and without putting you at risk of addiction or dependency (a risk you run when using stimulants and synthetic smart drugs).
In this article, we will look at the best natural nootropics for energy, motivation and focus. We will give you our list of the 5 best nootropics for boosting mental and physical energy levels, as well as our recommended brain supplement stack for enhancing cognitive performance and avoiding mental fatigue.
17 Best Brain Supplements & Smart Drugs For Energy
So what are the best brain supplements for boosting energy and cognitive function more broadly?
Here is our list of the most effective nootropic supplements for enhancing mental performance, fighting fatigue and raising energy levels:
- Mind Lab Pro
- Vitamin B6
- Rhodiola rosea
We’ll now go into more detail and explain how each of these nootropics work to increase energy levels.
Vyvamind is currently our go-to nootropic for energy, focus and motivation. Originally designed as an over the counter alternative to drugs such as Vyvanse, Adderall and Ritalin, Vyvamind is a powerful nootropic, focus aid, and energy supplement all rolled into one safe and side effect-free package.
Where Vyvamind differs from other energy supplements is that it does not rely on large doses of stimulants to perk you up. Instead, Vyvamind uses Citicoline, which has been shown to increase brain energy output by up to 13% while also enhancing focus, processing speeds, and learning ability. This is combined with a moderate dose of caffeine – just enough to give you a quick lift, but not enough to cause jitters. The generous dose of Tyrosine in each serving boost dopamine production, which keeps you motivated, productive and in a good mood throughout the day. All of this is topped off with B vitamins and Theanine to reduce anxiety and keep energy metabolism high.
Vyvamind has been specifically formulated for times when you need an instant hit of energy and motivation coupled with intense focus and brain performance. We strongly recommend trying this product the next chance you need to burn the midnight oil. It is easily the best alternative to prescription smart drugs on the market!
NooCube, a cognitive supplement, helps you focus, retain information, improve your memory, and more.
It contains a combination of all-natural nootropics that together sharpen focus and increase motivation.
NooCube is composed of 100% natural ingredients such as Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, Cat’s Claw, Bacopa monnieri, oat straw, L-theanine and L-tyrosine. Together, these natural nootropics support healthy brain cell energy metabolism, boost dopamine levels, and help protect the brain from the effects of chronic fatigue. They also boost neuroplasticity and reduce stress – essential if you’re constantly burning the midnight oil.
It doesn’t contain caffeine like many nootropics , but it gives you an energy boost.
3. Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro is a complete nootropic stack designed to improve all aspects of cognitive function.
It comprises 11 natural nootropic ingredients with proven clinical effectiveness. Long-term Mind Lab Pro users typically find that they see improvements in memory, focus and concentration, mental clarity, energy and motivation.
It is important to note that Mind Lab Pro is also a stimulant-free nootropic. While it does contain ingredients proven to boost brain energy and help the brain deal with chronic fatigue, it does not deliver the kind of instant energy boost you get from Vyvamind. Instead, users need to take Mind Lab Pro for months to see real improvements in mental energy levels. But when they come, they tend to last.
When it comes to boosting mental energy, you can’t get much better than caffeine. Caffeine primaerily works by blocking adenosine receptors. This tricks the brain into thinking it isn’t tired any more. Caffeine also increase the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, exciting the CNS, raising both motivation and mental awareness, and giving you faster reaction times.
Caffeine would be the perfect nootropic for boosting energy if it wasn’t for the adverse effects. Caffeine use is associated with a range of fairly serious side effects, including: jitters, dizziness, elevated heart rate, hypertension, anxiety, paranoia, and irritability. It is important to take caffeine in moderation and in conjunction with plenty of Theanine. Clinical trials have found that the optimal ratio of theanien to caffeine is 2:1; taking 50-100mg of caffeine with 100-200mg of theanine is going to produce optimal benefits with minimal side effects .
Citicoline is arguably the ultimate brain performance nootropic. Citicoline has been found in clinical study after clinical study to eliminate brain fog, increase mental focus, and promote overall brain health. Some studies have found that Citicoline promotes better short-term memory, while others have found that it significantly increases brain energy (by as much as 13% in one clinical trial). One study suggested that Citicoline also speeds up formation of brain cell membranes and may boost production of neurotransmitters essential to brain function.
Citicoline works in numerous different ways. Its main mechanism of action is raising acetylcholine levels in the brain. Citicoline also raises ATP levels in your brain cells. ATP is the “energy currency” of your cells; more ATP means more available energy. By raising ATP levels by 14%, Citicoline has been found to greatly improve multiple aspects of cognitive performance and to increase mental stamina .
L-Theanine is an amino acid commonly used in nootropic supplements, sleep aids, anti-anxiety supplements, and more. In more than one clinical trial, Theanine has been shown to improve cognitive performance, raise brain energy levels, and reduce anxiety.
One of the most important properties of L-Theanine is its ability to mitigate the adverse effects of caffeine. Combining theanine with caffeine accentuates the benefits of the stimulant while lowering its side effects.
Tyrosine is another amino acid commonly used in nootropic supplements. In our opinion, Tyrosine is a huge underestimated nootropic.It is a fundamental building block of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This is the neurotransmitter responsible for motivation, drive, and mood.
More than one clinical trial has shown that supplementing with L-Tyrosine improves cognitive performance in stressful, mentally taxing situations (e.g. sleep deprivation, extreme cold, multi-tasking, etc). The cognitive enhancing effects of Tyrosine are likely the result of reduced anxiety levels and greater movitation associated with higher dopamine levels. This is also the reason why Tyrosine is an effective nootropic for fighting depression.
8. Vitamin B6
While Vitamin B6 may not be the most exciting nootropic in the world, it is an absolute must-have for any comprehensive nootropic stack which targets chronic fatigue and afternoon brain fog.
B6 plays an integral role in energy metabolism. Simply put, you need B6 to turn food into energy. Supplementing with B6 is known to give you a short-term energy boost without causing side effects or energy crashes further down the line.
9. Rhodiola rosea
Rhodiola Rosea, an herbal nootropic, is known to combat stress. This herb is commonly used in traditional medicine from Scandinavia, China, and Russia to fight fatigue or burnout.
Research has shown that Rhodiola Rosea is a powerful adaptogen which prevents stress from affecting the body and the mind. Studies show that Rhodiola Rosea is highly effective at supporting good cognitive function by alleviating mental fatigue and helping to combat the mentally draining effects of stress and fatigue .
Also, Rhodiola was shown to be effective in combating chronic fatigue caused by low-intensity repetitive movements or prolonged high stress. Although this is not as effective for professional athletes it may be able to energize the mind and body after a hard day.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR for short), a powerful nootropic, not only improves cognition, but also combats mental and physical fatigue. In fact, ALCAR is up there with caffeine as one of the most reliable and effective nootropics for reducing fatigue and boosting mental energy levels.
ALCAR has a number of different mechanisms of action in the context of energy levels. One study found that acetyl-L-carnitine supplementation altered the neurochemistry and energy metabolism of the rodent brainL: “In conclusion, chronic ALCAR supplementation decreased glucose metabolism to lactate, resulted in increased energy metabolite and altered monoamine neurotransmitter levels in the mouse brain.” There have been few good clinical trials done on ALCAr in humans, but anecdotally we know that is works, so it is safe to assume it boost energy levels by the same mechanism as it does in rats. ACLAR may also reduce the effects of aging by improving brain function in people suffering from age-related cognitive decline (especially in cases where brain cell energy metabolism is compromised).
Curcumin is the active component of turmeric responsible for giving the herb all of its associated health benefits. Increasingly, people are using curcumin supplements instead of turmeric as it is a much more efficient weay to enjoy the benefits of the herbal medicine.
The neuroprotective potential of curcumin is significant. As an anti-inflammatory nootropic and neuro-specific antioxidant, curcumin can be protect against inflammation and free radicals. The long-term cognitive enhancement you get from preventing free radicals or chronic inflammation from damaging neurons is immense.
Curcumin may also increase neurogenesis, which is the production of brain cells (necessary for verbal fluency, learning and memory formation). It also seems to stimulate neurotransmitters like serotonin, which are associated with positive mood, cognition and focus.
Phenylpiracetam (sometimes known as fonturacetam), a nootropic compound of the Racetam family, is one example. It is a derivative from Piracetam, another nootropic substance. The only difference between this nootropic and Piracetam, is the addition of a phenyl rings. This structure is similar to that of amphetamines.
Phenylpiracetam has brain-boosting and energy-enhancing effects. It also has anxiolytic qualities that increase mood and decrease anxiety in high-stress environments.
Russian cosmonauts used this nootropic to reduce stress while working in space, without affecting cognitive performance or memory.
Sulbutiamine, a derivative Vitamin B1 and Thiamine, is also known as sulbutiamine. This synthetic derivative was developed in Japan by a lab to treat beriberi and chronic fatigue, which are nerve disorders caused by a B1 shortage.
Sulbutiamine is used to treat fatigue and thiamine deficiencies. However, it can also be beneficial for healthy people because it enhances memory and mental performance by promoting brain chemicals such as acetylcholine.
The effects of sulbutiamine on your mood and energy can be boosted by an increase in glutamate.
Modafinil is possibly the prototypical nootropic for energy, focus and motivation. As a eugeroic, Modafinil does not work by exciting the central nervous system; this makes it diferent to stimulant drugs like Adderall or Vyvanse. Instead, eugeroics like Modafinil, Armodafinil and Fladrafinil increase wakefulness and alertness primarily by acting on dopaminergic systems in the brain .
The effects of taking Modafinil include rapidly increased wakefulness, alertness, focus, concentration and processing speeds. Modafinil can keep you awake for 8-12 hours at a time while keeping you locked into an intense ‘flow state’ of pure focus and productivity.
Noopept, also known as Omberacetam or GSV-111, is not normally thought of as an energy-boosting nootropic. Indeed, it is neither a stimulant nor a eugeroic, so it is not normally said to be an anti-fatigue nootropic. But, when used correctly, Noopept can absolutely increase energy levels and reduce fatigue.
Noopept works by boosting levels of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the brain. When you raise BDNF levels in the human brain, you dramatically increase the rate of neuron creation, growth and development. This has all sorts of interesting effects, such as lower anxiety levels, better working memory function, and increased mental energy.
Oxiracetam (developmental code name ISF 2522) is a nootropic drug of the racetam family, and it is one of the best nootropics for energy, motivation and focus on the market. Oxiracetam is a very mild stimulant. However that isn’t how Oxiracetam primarily boosts energy levels. The main mechanism of Oxiracetam is thought to directly influence CNS activity by stiulating protein kinase C (PKC).
PKC is an enzyme (or rather a group of enzymes) which control the activity of other proteins. One interesting function of PKC is that it excites neurons in the CNS, specifically the 5-HT2A receptor which is a binding site for serotonin. PKC also has the effect of increasing excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) in the autonomic nervous system. So by stimulating protein kinase C, Oxiracetam acts as a broad nervous system stimulant, raising mental and physical energy levels and increasing the rate at which your neurons fire. This makes it both an effective nootropic for energy and a fantastic cognitive enhancer more generally.
The original nootropic compound, Piracetam features prominently on every single best nootropics list out there. Whether it’s for energy, motivation, focus or long-term brain health, Piracetam is always a great option. Piracetam is thought to work in a few different ways at once, but the main way it enhances cognition appears to be by increasing blood flow to brain cells and by increasing the expression of neurotrophic factors. Both of these things will increase brain energy and decrease fatigue.
Our Top Rated Energy Boosting Nootropic: Vyvamind
Vyvamind is, hands down, the best nootropic supplement for energy that money can buy right now. This comprehensive nootropic stack has been purposefully designed to offer a legal, over the counter, safe alternative to prescription study drugs and energy-boosting nootropics such as Adderall, Ritalin and Modafinil. Vyvamind uses ultra-pure, highly-bioavailable ingredients, each of which has been clinically proven to sharpen focus, enhance learning and processing, increase mental energy and stamina, and support motivation and mood.
What sets Vyvamind apart from other energy-boosting nootropics is the way it covers all bases, increasing energy levels, processing speeds and overall cognitive function while also controlling anxiety and side effects from caffeine. Unlike simple caffeine pills, Vyvamind uses a precise dose of caffeine which minimizes side effects while maximizing reductions in fatigue. The other ingredients in Vyvamind compliment the caffeine and bring out its energy-boosting effects while also preventing jitters or anxiety.
This is one of the best energy-boosting nootropics, and it is a highly effective nootropic for ADHD symptoms, chronic fatigue, and productivity support.
At $44.99 per bottle when you purchase the 3-bottle bundle, Vyvamind offers excellent value for money. A serving works out at around $1.45, which is a small price to pay for total brain optimization and sustained, controlled mental energy for hours at a time. If your job requires you to stay locked in for hours on end, then Vyvamind is probably the most cost effective and safest way to do it, especially when compared to simply pounding coffee!
Can Nootropics Really Give You Energy?
Simply put, yes, nootropics can give you energy. Nootropics can greatly increase one’s daily energy levels without having negative effects on health. Nootropics such as caffeine and citicoline can increase motivation, processing speeds and mental energy without causing side effects.
Most of you will be more than familiar with nootropics by now. Nootropics may have been a niche concern a decade ago, but today they are decidedly mainstream. Natural cognitive enhancers are among the most popular supplements on the market, rivalling things like pre-workouts and caffeine pills.The best nootropics are used by people around the world every single day to boost focus, mental clarity, and short-term memory.
But what about energy levels?
Are there natural nootropics capable of boosting mental energy and alertness without causing side effects?
There are a number of highly effective, safe, natural nootropics which have been proven in clinical studies to increase mental processing speed, sharpen focus, and rapidly increase mental energy. Best of all, the most effective energy-boosting nootropic supplements deliver total cognitive enhancement without causing adverse side effects.
So while most people don’t use nootropics for boosting energy, there are natural nootropics which can significantly decrease mental fatigue while enhancing focus, clarity and reaction times. The trick is knowing which nootropic supplements actually work for energy and fatigue!
Should you use nootropic stimulants?
If we’re talking about brain supplements for energy, we need to talk about stimulants.
The most obvious example of a nootropic stimulant is caffeine. Few people think of caffeine when they think of nootropics, but caffeine is a phenomenal cognitive enhancer as well as a potent sitmulant.
There are few other sitmulants which can properly be called nootropics. There is still much debate about whether or not pharmaceutical smart drugs with stimulant-like effects can class as nootropics.
The cognitive benefits of synthetic nootropics are undeniable. Some of the most popular “study drugs” in the world today are stimulants prized for their ability to fight fatigue, rapidly increase mental energy and sharpen focus.
The most obvious example of a stimulant nootropic “smart drug” is Adderall. This prescription drug is probably the most abused study drug in the world today. As a collection of amphetamine salts, Adderall is a powerful stimulant. It increases central nervous system activity by increasing norepinephrine and dopamine action.
Another example if Modafinil. This smart drug was initially developed to fight narcolepsy and assist fighter pilots on extended sorties. Modafinil is not a stimulant nootropic; rather, it seems to work by boosting dopamine and manipulating the hypothalamus (the part of the brain which controls sleep). Yet it does feel like a stimulant to the user.
While “smart drugs” like Adderall and Modafinil may boost mental focus, reduce fatigue and enhance all-round brain function, they come with serious risks.
The adverse effects of using these types of nootropics can be severe, and include:
- Erratic behavior
- Mood swings
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
Abusing powerful nootropic stimulants like Adderall, and even natural nootropic stimulants like caffeine, can have serious long-term health effects (e.g. increased risk of heart disease, addiction and dependence).
If you plan on using powerful stimulant nootropics to boost energy, please get medical advice from a qualified health professional. If you experience any side effects from energy boosting nootropics, stop using them immediately and seek medical attention. We are not doctors and this is not medical advice.
What is the Strongest Nootropic For Boosting Energy?
If you’re looking for the strongest natural nootropic for increasing energy in a short amount of time, then caffeine is probably your best bet.
No other natural nootropic delivers the same powerful lift in mental and physical energy as caffeine. The fact that the increased energy is coupled with enhanced mental function is a huge bonus, and is why caffeine is such a popular nootropic.
However, using the “strongest” energy nootropic is not always the best approach depending on your specific needs and circumstances.
For most of you, a comprehensive nootropic stack which supports healthy energy levels along multiple different pathways is going to be optimal. The best nootropic stacks for reducing fatigue and increasing energy will combine natural stimulants with other nootropic ingredients which enhance energy at the level of your brain cells.
Which nootropic gives you the most energy?
Caffeine is probably the nootropic that gives you the most energy. This nootropic is found in various beverages such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks. It is a powerful nootropic capable of rapidly increasing energy, focus, and alertness.
As always, we believe the most effective way to support enegry and mental performance is to use nootropic stacks which combine multiple ingredients that work on different pathways.
Using multiple brain boosters at the same time in a comprehensive nootropic stack ensures that every base is covered and that your brain is truly firing on all cylinders.
For example, the cognitive effects of Citicoline are very different to those of caffeine.The nootropic benefits of Citicoline are increased concentration, learning and working memory, while caffeine primarily reduces mental fatigue and speeds up processing.
You may feel that caffeine is just what you need at 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon, but your problem may actually be low acetylcholine ruining your focus. By combining Citicoline and Caffeine, you cover all angles and make sure your brain is operating at 100% capacity.
The same goes for B vitamins, amino acids, and other energy nootropics. Stacking multiple nootropic ingredients will always give you better results than taking one substance alone. This is why the best nootropic stacks are almost always going to be more effective in the long-run than cheap energy supplements, and even better than caffeine pills in most cases.
When to Use Energy-Boosting Nootropics
When should you use energy nootropics?
This is a good question. The time of day you use energy-boosting nootropics will have an enormous effect on the results you get.
For most people, it is tempting to use energy nootropics in the late afternoon or evening, when mental and physical fatigue is at its highest.
However, this is not always a good idea. If your chosen nootropic contains caffeine, then taking it later in the day can disrupt your ability to get to sleep on time. Even the top energy-boosting nootropics can also take a couple of hours to really start working, as it can take natural nootropics 45-90 minutes to really ‘kick in’.
As such, we strongly advise using an energy-boosting nootropic stack which can be taken first thing in the morning.
A high-quality nootropic should compliment your morning cup of coffee and set you up for optimal energy levels throughout the day, right into the afternoon. Ideally, your nootropic should wear off by evening, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep and start the process again first thing the next morning.
Will nootropics keep you awake?
One of the concerns many people have about using energy-boosting nootropics is the fear that they will keep you up all night. However, this is a largely unwarranted concern. Obviously some nootropic stacks will keep you awake all night; nootropics that contain large doses of caffeine, theobromine, theacrine and other natural stimulants can prevent you from sleeping. On the other hand, a high-quality nootropic that boosts energy in a clean, sustainable way shouldn’t interfere with sleep.
Most Effective Stack For Energy & Focus
So what is the best nootropic stack for energy, focus and motivation on the market right now?
One thing that is important to consider is safety and long-term brain health. You do not want to waste your money on cheap brain pills with proprietary formulas which cause frequent side effects. Similarly, relying on prescription drugs to boost your mental performance and energy levels can ruin your cognitive function over the long-term.
A dietary supplement with natural ingredients is always a better option. Not only is a natural, potent nootropic safer and less prone to side effects, but it should also use 100% natural ingredients suitable for daily, long-term use.
You also need to opt for a nootropic stack which combines multiple ingredients to increase energy levels, sharpen focus and accelerate mental processing speeds in different ways. By attacking fatigue on multiple different pathways you can guarantee results; this is not something you can do when using one single energy boosting nootropic.
Most of the best nootropic stacks on the market today contain multiple nootropics which increase energy levels and combat mental fatigue. However, it is always a good idea to research the ingredients carefully and to find the exact right nootropic stack for you and your particular needs.
So what is the best nootropic for energy you can buy right now?
The answer is, in our opinion, Vyvamind.
Vyvamind is a nootropic stack designed to rapidly increase mental energy, reduce fatigue, and sharpen focus without causing the side effects, addiction, depencency or withdrawals that you get from using powerful stmulants or synthetic smart drugs. It provides a precision dose of caffeine, chosen to hit the sweet spot between energy and side effects. This caffeine is combined with a large serving of Theanine to both reduce side effects and promote mental clarity, Tyrosine to increase motivation and drive, Citicoline to enhance cognitive function, focus and working memory, and B Vitamins to prevent energy crashes.
Taken together, the ingredients in Vyvamind not only work to effective lower fatigue, increase stamina and raise mental and physical energy levels, but they also improve thw quality of your cognitive performance and help control the side effects of stimulants.
Learn more from the Vyvamind official website: Vyvamind.com.
Energy Nootropics FAQs
Do nootropics increase energy?
Yes, many nootropics can boost energy levels and wakefulness while also enhancing cognitive performance.
Does Piracetam give you energy?
Piracetam may may boost mental performance, but it does not increase mental energy levels. Piracetam is not a stimulant or a eugeroic, and it does not work by increasing brain energy metabolism.
Is Oxiracetam a stimulant?
Oxiracetam acts as a very mild stimulant, but this is not how it primarily delivers its associated nootropic benefits. It is actually not fully known how Oxiracetam works to improve focus, energy and memory, but it likely works in a similar way to Piracetam.
Is Phenylpiracetam a stimulant?
Phenylpiracetam is a general central nervous system stimulant. Taking phenylpiracetam typically results in a rapid and significant increase in mental energy and a drastic reduction in fatigue.
What supplements help with energy and motivation?
- Mind Lab Pro
- Vitamin B6
- Rhodiola rosea
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Brian Johnson is current Editor of Vagarights.com and a long-time writer for VAGA. A former psychologist, Brian is passionate about improving mental health and finding ways to stave off cognitive decline. He is an expert on nootropics, cognitive enhancement and biohacking more broadly. You can see his work on Google scholar.