Best Nootropics For Studying, Memory, and Focus

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Key Information

Nootropics are cognitive enhancers

They work by affecting various aspects of brain function, such as neurotransmitters, neuroplasticity, and brain health.

Nootropics can improve focus and memory

They can help you stay focused and alert during long study sessions, and enhance your memory formation and recall.

Nootropics can also improve mood and motivation

They can help you feel more positive and motivated to study, by increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.

Nootropics are safe and natural

They are made from natural ingredients that have been independently verified for purity and potency, and have minimal side effects compared to prescription drugs.

Affiliate Disclosure: Holistic Nootropics may earn affiliate commissions if you purchase through the links on this page. Here's how it works.

Hey there! If you’re looking for the best nootropics for studying, you’ve come to the right place.

As a nutritional therapy practitioner, I have spent countless hours researching and testing nootropics to help my clients stay focused and alert while studying.

After careful consideration, I have compiled a list of the best nootropics to help you ace your exams easily.

Not only are these nootropics safe and effective, but they are also made from all-natural ingredients that have been independently verified for purity and potency.

Got an important test coming up? Want to make sure you can ace it with the best studying performance possible? Check out this article for help selecting nootropics that will support your success and give you an edge on exam day!

So if you’re ready to take your studying game to the next level, let’s get started!

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What Are The Best Nootropics for Studying in May 2024 – Quick Answers

Mind Lab Pro #1

Mind Lab Pro

Science-backed nutrition for your brain
5
Check PriceBuy 3 bottles, get 1 free with our links
NooCube #2

NooCube

Maximize your mental performance for peak productivity
4.8
Check PriceGet 20% off three bottles
Neurofuel #3

Neurofuel

Best Budget Stack
4.5
Check PriceUse Code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS15 to get up to 40% off
Alpha Brain by Onnit #4

Alpha Brain by Onnit

Try it Now – Free 15 Day Trial
4.5
Check PriceLimited time offer: Free 15 day trial
Lion's Mane Mushrooms #5

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Brain Enhancing Superfood
Bacopa Monnieri by Nootropics Depot #6

Bacopa Monnieri by Nootropics Depot

Protect Nerve Cells and Promote Growth of New Ones!
4.5
Check PriceGet 5% off entire order w/ code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS
Oxiracetam by SwissChem #7

Oxiracetam by SwissChem

Most Adderall-like racetam nootropic
4.5
Check Price$10 Off With Code HolisticNootropics
Magnesium Breakthrough #8

Magnesium Breakthrough

#1 Magnesium Product
4.8
Check PriceUse code: HOLISTICNOOTROPICS to save 10%
Blood Sugar Breakthrough by Bioptimizers #9

Blood Sugar Breakthrough by Bioptimizers

#1 Blood Sugar Support Supplement
4.9
Check PriceSave add’l 10% w. code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS @ checkout
Reishi by Real Mushrooms #10

Reishi by Real Mushrooms

Calming, Mood Enhancing
4.8
Check Price15% Off order with code holisticnootropics
Aniracetam by Nootropics Unlimited #11

Aniracetam by Nootropics Unlimited

Popular nootropoic for boosting focus and mood
4.7
Check PriceSave 15% w. code “HolisticNootropics”
Citicoline Capsules by Nootropics Depot #12

Citicoline Capsules by Nootropics Depot

Pure, bio-available choline
Noopept #13

Noopept

More potent than a racetam
4.5
Check PriceSave 10% w. code “HolisticNootropics”
Adrafinil Powder by Nootropics Unlimited #14

Adrafinil Powder by Nootropics Unlimited

Over-the-counter version of Modafinil
4.5
Check PriceSave 15% w. code “HolisticNootropics”

As school becomes more competitive, students around the world are turning to cognitive-enhancing nootropics.

These include nootropic supplements that can increase mental performance without the dangerous side effects of traditional study drugs.

Nootropics for Studying – Frequently Asked Questions

What are nootropics, and how do they work to improve studying?

Nootropics are a class of cognitive-enhancing drugs that work by affecting various aspects of brain function, including neurotransmitter activity, neuroplasticity, and brain health. Some nootropics also help to increase levels of important neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which can help improve mood and motivation to study effectively. Additionally, these supplements may help to enhance memory formation and recall by increasing blood flow and circulation in the brain to promote better information processing.

How effective are nootropics for improving your memory when studying or taking tests?

Studies have shown that many nootropic compounds can significantly improve memory function in both healthy individuals and those with cognitive disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

In particular, substances like piracetam, aniracetam, oxiracetam, pramiracetam, and Noopept have been shown to increase the density of synapses in the brain and improve long-term potentiation (LTP) – a mechanism that is crucial for forming memories.

Can nootropics be used as an alternative to prescription drugs like Adderall?

Yes, many people find that using nootropics as an alternative to prescription drugs like Adderall can be beneficial for improving focus and concentration during study sessions or test-taking scenarios without experiencing the same negative side effects that commonly occur when taking medications like Adderall long-term. However, it is important to note that each individual’s response to different supplements will vary depending on factors like age, medical conditions, and overall health status.

How do you know which nootropic is right for you when studying or taking tests?

There are many different types of nootropics available on the market today, each with its unique properties and effects on cognitive function. When choosing a nootropic for studying or test-taking purposes, it is important to consider factors such as its mechanism of action (how it works in the body), its bioavailability (how well it is absorbed into your system), its duration of action (how long it takes effect after being administered), as well as any potential side effects or drug interactions.

What are some of the most popular nootropics for studying?

Some of the most common nootropics used as an alternative to Adderall include racetams like piracetam, noopept, and pramiracetam; amino acid supplements like L-tyrosine; cholinergics like Alpha GPC and citicoline; and natural herbal remedies like ashwagandha and Rhodiola rosea.

Each of these different types of nootropics has been shown in clinical studies to have significant benefits for mental performance and focus compared to placebo groups, making them a popular choice for those looking for nootropics for studying.

How can you ensure optimal results when taking nootropics for studying?

There are several things you can do to ensure optimal results when taking nootropics for studying purposes. First and foremost, it is important to start with a low dose when trying out any new substance to see how your body reacts to it before increasing your dosage gradually over time if necessary.

Additionally, it is important to take care of yourself physically by getting sufficient sleep each night and eating a healthy diet rich in whole foods that provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal functioning during daytime hours when you will likely be using your brain most active while studying or preparing for tests at school or work.

Finally, be sure to balance study activities with regular breaks throughout the day so that your brain has time both to rest between tasks but also stay active enough so that you remain focused while engaged in those tasks during those times when you need extra mental exertion such as while writing papers or cramming before major exams at school or work-related deadlines at the office.

Are there any risks associated with taking nootropics for studying purposes?

While most nootropic substances are considered safe when taken at recommended dosages for short periods, there may be certain risks associated with using these substances for more extended periods or at higher dosages.

For example, some users report experiencing headaches or irritability from taking high doses of caffeine or other stimulants over long periods. Additionally, some people experience unwanted side effects from taking certain nootropic compounds such as racetams or cholinergics that can interfere with sleep cycles or cause digestive issues such as nausea or constipation.

As always, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement regimen to discuss any potential risks or adverse effects of using these substances for studying.

Attention Deficit Disorder Drugs

It’s no secret that heavy stimulants such as Adderall have become an epidemic on college campuses.

Best Nootropics for Studying, Best Nootropics For Students, nootropics for learning, Nootropics for test
Drugs like Adderall are effective for studying but come with pretty severe drawbacks when taken without a prescription.

Although some students legitimately need these medications to manage their ADHD, many students purchase the drugs on the black market to pull all-nighters.

While Adderall abuse may have some benefits in the short term, it can come with some severe downsides.

Read more: Best Nootropics For ADHD

Natural Over-The-Counter Adderall Alternatives

While adderall or ritalin can help you “cram in a jam”, anyone who has experienced the dreaded Adderall crash will attest to how terrible these drugs can make you feel when they wear off.

Taking prescription stimulants off-label can cause potentially severe health issues such as:

  • Sleep issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

However, nootropics can be a much more sustainable alternative to abusing drugs like Adderall.

ADD Supplements

Instead of dumping excessive amounts of dopamine in your brain, nootropics work through much more subtle pathways.

These supplements can improve your ability to concentrate and retain information while you study, without health risks.

Whether you are for college student or trying to memorize all of Wikipedia for your upcoming appearance on Jeopardy, here are our expert picks for the best nootropics for studying.

Read more: Best Adderall Alternatives

Best Nootropics For Studying – May 2024 

Science-backed nutrition for your brain

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro
Shop NowBuy 3 bottles, get 1 free with our links
Shop NowBuy 3 bottles, get 1 free with our links
  • Designed to optimize cognitive functions through 11 natural ingredients that work in 6 bio-pathways

  • Boosts serotonin levels which can help improve your mood, sleep quality, appetite control, stress management,

  • Mind Lab Pro helps improve focus, memory, clarity, energy levels without relying on stimulants or artificial additives

  • Contains premium forms of each ingredient for enhanced potency and activity, while avoiding potential side effects associated with lower quality ingredients

Pros

  • Proven to boost overall cognitive performance including memory, focus, mood, creativity, motivation, and overall well-being.
  • Potent blend of all-natural nootropics, herbs, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Good for experienced biohackers and those new to nootropics.
  • Caffeine Free
  • No artificial fillers or toxic preservatives
  • Affordable Price, money back guarantee

Cons

  • Ingredients are lower dosed.

Mind Lab Pro is a powerful nootropic supplement aimed at helping improve focus and concentration while studying. The key ingredients in Mind Lab Pro work together to provide a range of cognitive benefits, including increased brain energy, better memory recall, and improved mental clarity.

One of the main ingredients in Mind Lab Pro is citicoline, a potent brain-boosting compound that works by increasing levels of acetylcholine and dopamine in the brain. This helps to improve focus and concentration, making it easier to stay focused and on-task during long study sessions.

Another key ingredient in Mind Lab Pro is phosphatidylserine, which helps to increase production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These neurotransmitters play an important role in regulating mood, motivation, and overall cognitive function, making phosphatidylserine an excellent choice for staying motivated and keeping your mind sharp when you’re trying to tackle challenging coursework or study for exams.

Other ingredients in Mind Lab Pro include Bacopa monnieri, organic lion’s mane mushroom extract, maritime pine bark extract, L-theanine, and rhodiola rosea. Each of these ingredients has been shown to have beneficial effects on brain health and function, helping you stay focused and alert while studying for longer periods of time without experiencing any of the negative side effects associated with other stimulant-based nootropics.

Overall, I believe that Mind Lab Pro is an excellent choice for anyone looking to boost their focus and concentration while studying. Whether you’re struggling with procrastination or simply want a little extra support during those long hours spent hitting the books, this powerful nootropic can help you achieve your academic goals faster and more effectively than ever before!


Maximize your mental performance for peak productivity

NooCube

NooCube
Shop NowGet 20% off three bottles
Shop NowGet 20% off three bottles
  • Improves oxygenation, nutrient absorption and stimulate neurotransmitter production for better cognitive function

  • Stimulates the production of neurotransmitters

  • Supports increases in concentration, learning, short-term memory, and problem-solving

  • Reduce age-related cognitive decline while improving overall mental performance

NooCube is a revolutionary dietary supplement that provides cognitive benefits to help people with their everyday tasks.

It contains a unique blend of natural ingredients such as Lutemax, Bacopa monnieri, Huperzia Serrata, Pterostilbene, Resveratrol, L-theanine, L-tyrosine, Alpha GPC, Oat straw extract, Cat’s claw, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B7, and Vitamin B12.

Lutemax is derived from lutein and zeaxanthin and helps support optimal health by helping the body absorb light better. Bacopa monnieri helps boost memory and concentration by supporting neurotransmitters in the brain.

Huperzia Serrata boosts mental clarity by making it easier for your brain to process information quickly and accurately. Pterostilbene helps preserve healthy brain cells, while Resveratrol promotes overall brain health.

L-theanine works in combination with caffeine to provide more focused alertness without the jittery side effects generally associated with the caffeine alone.

L-Tyrosine aids in reducing mental fatigue, while alpha GPC helps improve memory formation after exercise or physical stress. Oat straw extract helps increase mental energy levels while cat’s claw supports cognitive function through its anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamins B1 (thiamin), B7 (biotin), and B12 (cobalamin) support healthy nervous system functioning crucial for all aspects of neural communication within the brain.

NooCube combines this unique blend of natural ingredients to create an effective solution for people looking to boost their focus and concentration when performing daily tasks or studying for exams or projects.

By providing improved cognitive abilities without the dangerous side effects of other prescription drugs, NooCube is an easy alternative for anyone looking to get ahead in life without risking their long-term health or productivity levels.

As someone who has used NooCube regularly, I can confidently say that it has made an incredible difference in my day-to-day life since taking it regularly over the past few months.

The combination of natural ingredients has allowed me to focus on my tasks throughout the day while providing increased energy levels so I can stay productive longer into the night if needed.

Overall I think NooCube is one of the best supplements out there right now – allowing people to boost their cognitive abilities safely and naturally – which is why I highly recommend it.

Pros

  • Preformulated for easy access to essential nootropics
  • Best value for nootropic cognitive enhancement
  • All-natural ingredients with no fillers/preservatives
  • Includes B-vitamins for enhanced metabolism

Cons

  • Some ingredients may be underdosed for specific nootropic therapy

Best Budget Stack

Neurofuel

Neurofuel
Check OfferUse Code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS15 to get up to 40% off
Check OfferUse Code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS15 to get up to 40% off
  • Reduces stress and fatigue

  • Boosts neurotransmitter cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels, leading to improved focus and concentration

  • Helps regulate hormones important for learning and memory formation

  • Contains B6, artichoke extract, forskolin, L-phenylalanine and acetyl-L-carnitine

NeuroFuel is a brain supplement and focus supplement created by Natural Stacks. NeuroFuel contains the patented CILTEP Nootropic Formula that put the company on the map and set the standard for high-quality nootropic stacks long ago, and its this unique formula of natural ingredients sets Neurofuel apart from other supplements:

It contains B6, artichoke extract, forskolin, L-phenylalanine and acetyl-L-carnitine, all of which work together to increase neurotransmitter cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels in the brain which helps to improve focus and concentration, as well as memory formation and recall.

Together these ingredients create an effective nootropic stack that can help you reach peak mental performance.

What we really like about NeuroFuel is the company behind it – Natural Stacks is committed to providing clean and effective supplements backed by science. They have an “open source” transparency program that provides ingredient traceability and 3rd party lab test results for every batch so that you can make informed decisions about their health and wellness.

I have personally used Neurofuel for a few months, and I can attest to its effectiveness in improving my mental clarity and focus. After taking it regularly, I noticed an increase in my ability to concentrate on tasks for more extended periods of time without feeling overwhelmed or fatigued.

The dosage instructions were easy to follow, and the capsules are easy to take on an empty stomach in the morning for maximum effect.


Try it Now – Free 15 Day Trial

Alpha Brain by Onnit

4.5
Alpha Brain by Onnit
Shop NowLimited time offer: Free 15 day trial
Shop NowLimited time offer: Free 15 day trial
  • Alpha Brain delivers a blend of potent nootropics that promote alpha brain waves and improved cognitive function

  • The formula includes L-Theanine, phosphatidylserine, L-tyrosine, cats claw, be it in a propriety form

  • There are no artificial additives, flavors, sweeteners, colors, caffeine, dairy or gluten in the product

  • Keto and paleo diet friendly


Brain Enhancing Superfood

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

4.8
  • Stimulates NGF and BDNF synthesis

  • Boosts energy levels by raising alpha brain waves

  • Improves cognitive functioning and concentration

Pros

  • Clinically proven to increase Nerve Growth Factor synthesis
  • Can cross the blood-brain barrier
  • Boosts energy levels and sharpens focus
  • Suitable for Vegans/Vegetarians
  • Available in powder and pill form
  • Can be mixed in with meals and beverages

Cons

  • Can contain small amounts of toxins if not purchased from reputable sources

Lion’s Mane mushroom, scientifically referred to as Hericium Erinaceus is well known for its potential to support regeneration of impaired neuronal synapses, boost neurotransmitters, stimulate neurite outgrowth and neuronal signaling.1Vikineswary Sabaratnam, Wong Kah-Hui, Murali Naidu, and Pamela Rosie David, Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help?, J Tradit Complement Med. 2013

Extracts of this culinary mushroom contain polysaccharides which have the ability to exert influence on neuronal differentiation and encourage survival of nerve cells.2Young Shik Park , Hyun Soo Lee, Moo Ho Won, Jin Ha Lee, Shin Young Lee, Hyeon Yong Lee, Effect of an exo-polysaccharide from the culture broth of Hericium erinaceus on enhancement of growth and differentiation of rat adrenal nerve cells, Cytotechnology. 2002

All of these combined properties mean consumption of Lion’s Mane mushroom stimulates learning caliber, promotes recalling capacity and assists you during the process of studying.3Kah-Hui Wong , Murali Naidu, Rosie Pamela David, Robiah Bakar, Vikineswary Sabaratnam, Neuroregenerative potential of lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher Basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review), Int J Med Mushrooms. 2012

Freshcap Mushrooms provide the highest percentage of beta glucans and fruiting body nutrients, making this mushroom product my preferred choice for Lion’s Mane.

Learn More about this Potent Nootropic: The Ultimate Guide to Lion’s Mane


Protect Nerve Cells and Promote Growth of New Ones!

Bacopa Monnieri by Nootropics Depot

Bacopa Monnieri by Nootropics Depot
Check PriceGet 5% off entire order w/ code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS
Check PriceGet 5% off entire order w/ code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS
  • Increased mental processing speed

  • Increases ability to recall information

  • Improve Memory, Learning, and Cognition

  • Protect nerve cells and promote growth of new cells

  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects

  • Can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and seizures

Pros

  • Increases acetylcholine – the most important neurotransmitter for memory and learning
  • Can also increase serotonin and GABA in the hippocampus, the brain’s hub for memory and emotions
  • Can offset cognitive decline with aging
  • May protect the gut and stomach
  • Can be taken in capsule or powder form

Cons

  • Some people say doesn’t taste good and can cause nausea or stomach upset
  • Possible interaction with the antidepressant amitriptyline, consult doctor before using

Bacopa is an all-natural nootropic in use for millennia in Eastern cultures. It may be one of the original study drugs.

There is archeological evidence that monks and scholars used bacopa monnieri to help them memorize prayers and manuscripts thousands of years ago!

Nothing has changed all that much, and Bacopa is still a fantastic herb for hitting the books if you’re a modern student. Modern research also suggests that this nootropic is useful for studying.

Bacopa monnieri contains organic compounds called “bacosides” that may speed up mental processing and increase information retention according to research.

As another bonus for students, bacopa is an adaptogen, meaning it can help the body deal with stress and help the anxiety of studying for exams.

Bacopa can keep your hormones in balance so that you can focus effectively on the work in front of you.

We consider bacopa a must-have for any student looking for a calm and collected focus.


#1 Blood Sugar Support Supplement

Blood Sugar Breakthrough by Bioptimizers

Blood Sugar Breakthrough by Bioptimizers
Shop NowSave add’l 10% w. code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS @ checkout
Shop NowSave add’l 10% w. code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS @ checkout
  • Most potent blend of blood sugar stabilizing ingredients on the market today

  • 100mg of Dihydroberberine per serving (2 capsules)

  • Supports Stable Blood Sugar Levels

  • All-Natural ingredients including herbals, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals

  • Product manufactured in USA according to highest GMP-certified standards

  • 30 servings per bottle (2 capsules/serving)

  • Free shipping and added discounts available

Pros

  • Contains natural ingredients that have been clinically proven to help lower blood sugar levels
  • Has been shown to help people lose weight
  • comes with a money-back guarantee, so you can feel confident that you’re not wasting your money if it doesn’t work for you
  • Produced by BiOptimizers, one of the most trusted names in the Supplement Industry

Cons

  • Can be a bit pricey
  • Encapsulation includes magnesium stearate, and silicon dioxide (not toxic at low levels, but not 100% clean)

Blood Sugar Breakthrough is a complex formula consisting of several ingredients which have been linked to the enhancement of cognitive processes such as memory, concentration and studying.

Ingredients like biotin, chromium, and alpha lipoic acid found in Blood Sugar Breakthrough can improve the responsiveness of the body’s cells and tissues to insulin and hence have an overall positive impact on brain health.4NIH, Chromium, NIH. 20215Mitra Hemmati, Homa Babaei, and Mohammadreza Abdolsalehei, Survey of the Effect of Biotin on Glycemic Control and Plasma Lipid Concentrations in Type 1 Diabetic Patients in Kermanshah in Iran (2008-2009), Oman Med J. 2013

Some ingredients in the Blood Sugar Breakthrough Formula have antioxidative properties which also aid in the improvement of intense cognitive exercises like studying.6Supatra Porasuphatana , Suthi Suddee, Atinuch Nartnampong, Julraht Konsil, Busakorn Harnwong, Adichai Santaweesuk, Glycemic and oxidative status of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus following oral administration of alpha-lipoic acid: a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled study, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2012


Most Adderall-like racetam nootropic

Oxiracetam by SwissChem

Oxiracetam by SwissChem
Check Price$10 Off With Code HolisticNootropics
Check Price$10 Off With Code HolisticNootropics
  • Can help increase attention span and cognition

  • Studies show that it can improve memory

  • People report feeling more focused and motivated to study/work

  • Boosts levels of neurotransmitters in the brain

  • Gives an energy “kick” not experienced w. most other nootropics

Pros

  • Highly potent
  • Adderall-like effectiveness
  • Great for focus, memory, learning
  • Neuroprotective qualities
  • Energy-stimulating properties

Cons

  • No effects on mood
  • Can lead to a headache if not paired w. choline
  • May be too stimulating for some

#1 Magnesium Product

Magnesium Breakthrough

Magnesium Breakthrough
Shop NowUse code: HOLISTICNOOTROPICS to save 10%
Shop NowUse code: HOLISTICNOOTROPICS to save 10%
  • Magnesium restores balance to the mind and body

  • Improves symptoms of ADHD in some people

  • Triggers relaxation response

  • Steadies the mind for restful sleep

Pros

  • Includes the 7 most effective forms of magnesium
  • Highly credible manufacturer
  • No added fillers, preservatives, or unnecessary ingredients
  • Free shipping and discounts are available

Cons

  • Underdosed for specific magnesium type you may want

Magnesium is an essential mineral for various cognitive functions, including studying. We know that studying is an extensive process requiring deep concentration, learning and memorization.7Kateba Al-Ghazali, Sana Eltayeb, Ayesha Musleh, Tamara Al-Abdi, Vijay Ganji, and Zumin Shi, Serum Magnesium and Cognitive Function Among Qatari Adults, Front Aging Neurosci. 2020

Research suggests that increasing the intake of dietary magnesium can help in enhancing our cognitive abilities such as learning, focusing and memorization.

This postulation is supported by extensive clinical evidence suggesting that insufficient levels of magnesium in the body are associated with cognitive impairment.8Inna Slutsky , Nashat Abumaria, Long-Jun Wu, Chao Huang, Ling Zhang, Bo Li, Xiang Zhao, Arvind Govindarajan, Ming-Gao Zhao, Min Zhuo, Susumu Tonegawa, Guosong Liu, Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium, Neuron. 20109Jürgen Vormann, Magnesium: nutrition and metabolism, Mol Aspects Med. 2003

It is well known that different forms of magnesium can have different bioavailabilities; hence, a complex formulation consisting of various forms of elemental magnesium such as those found in Magnesium Breakthrough can significantly increase the likelihood of receiving all the cognitive benefits of magnesium.10Abdullah M. Al Alawi,corresponding author,Sandawana William Majoni, and Henrik Falhammar , Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions, Int J Endocrinol. 201811Jan Philipp Schuchardt and Andreas Hahn, Intestinal Absorption and Factors Influencing Bioavailability of Magnesium-An Update, Curr Nutr Food Sci. 2017


Calming, Mood Enhancing

Reishi by Real Mushrooms

Reishi by Real Mushrooms
Buy from Freshcap15% Off order with code holisticnootropics
Buy from Freshcap15% Off order with code holisticnootropics
  • Promotes long-term focus and mental energy

  • Stimulate neurogenesis

  • Boosts immune system

  • Calm effects on central nervous system

Pros

  • May help improve sleep quality and reduce stress levels
  • Can be consumed in many different forms, such as capsules, powders, teas, and tinctures
  • Used in Asia for centuries as a medicinal mushroom

Cons

  • Common side effects include gastrointestinal upset and nausea
  • Not recommended for people with autoimmune disease or taking immunosuppressive medication

Reishi is a medicinal mushroom with many therapeutic effects ranging from improved cardiac function to enhanced cognitive abilities.12Sissi Wachtel-Galor, John Yuen, John A. Buswell, and Iris F. F. Benzie, Chapter 9Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi), CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. 2011

The most appealing feature of Reishi is its neurostimulating effect on intense cognitive processes such as memory building, concentration and studying.13Karen S Bishop , Chi H J Kao , Yuanye Xu , Marcus P Glucina , R Russell M Paterson, Lynnette R Ferguson, From 2000 years of Ganoderma lucidum to recent developments in nutraceuticals, Phytochemistry. 2015

Studies have demonstrated several positive cognitive effects such as improvement of mood, boost of focus, increase in clarity, ability to concentrate for long hours and ability to grasp concepts quickly among users of Reishi.14Najeeb Khatian & Muhammad Aslam, Effect of Ganoderma lucidum on memory and learning in mice, Clinical Phytoscience. 2019

Freshcap Mushrooms provide the highest percentage of beta glucans and fruiting body nutrients, making this mushroom product my preferred choice for Reishi.


Popular nootropoic for boosting focus and mood

Aniracetam by Nootropics Unlimited

Aniracetam by Nootropics Unlimited
Shop NowSave 15% w. code “HolisticNootropics”
Shop NowSave 15% w. code “HolisticNootropics”
  • Improves brain connectivity and helps with focus

  • Highly sustainable- no need for tolerance build up

  • Helps to avoid the sudden crashes you see with other drugs

  • Minimal side effects, can be taken every day

Aniracetam is a cousin of oxiracetam and is also a racetam. It works through a similar mechanism, but it does have a few distinctions.

Like oxiracetam, many people say that aniracetam is great for stimulated-but-controlled focus and memory. And, there are plenty of clinical studies to back this up.15Shirane M, Nakamura K. Aniracetam enhances cortical dopamine and serotonin release via cholinergic and glutamatergic mechanisms in SHRSP, Brain Res. 2001 16Ingvar M, et al. Enhancement by an ampakine of memory encoding in humans, Exp Neurol. 1997

It is also famous for elevating mood. Feeling an emotional boost could put you in a better headspace to crack open the books and get to work. Keep in mind this is not the manic high of a drug like Adderall, but a more gentle effect.

Aniracetam and oxiracetam are both great choices, but aniracetam might be better if you are looking for a mood boost as well.17Nakamura K, Tanaka Y.. Antidepressant-like effects of aniracetam in aged rats and its mode of action, Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001

Learn More About Aniracetam for Studying


Pure, bio-available choline

Citicoline Capsules by Nootropics Depot

  • Increases attention and focus

  • Improves memory, mood, and dopamine levels

  • Combines well with cholinergic nootropics like racetams

Pros

  • Great choice for students or anyone looking to boost their cognitive performance
  • Improves focus, attention, and impulse control in people with ADHD
  • Generally well tolerated and side effects are rare.
  • All-natural supplement
  • Easily found online or in health food stores

Cons

  • May cause stomach upset, headache, dizziness, and insomnia

This nootropic is an excellent, stimulation free source of energy for your hungry brain.

It is a form of choline, which is a crucial nutrient for overall brain health and cognition.

Citicoline is the perfect addition to your studying stack if you are going to use oxiracetam, aniracetam, or noopept.

Those nootropics can use up the choline stores in your brain, meaning it’s a good idea to supplement with an additional source.

The racetams can then turn it into acetylcholine, improving your focus and memory in the process.

Also, if your brain starts running low on choline, you run the risk of a headache. This pain is obviously something you DON’T want while studying for an important test.

We recommend always combining racetams with something like citicoline for this reason.

Learn More about Citicoline for Studying


More potent than a racetam

Noopept

Noopept
Shop NowSave 10% w. code “HolisticNootropics”
Shop NowSave 10% w. code “HolisticNootropics”
  • Improves brain connectivity and helps with focus

  • Highly sustainable- no need for tolerance build up

  • Helps to avoid the sudden crashes you see with other drugs

  • Minimal side effects, can be taken every day

Noopept is very similar to the racetams listed above, in that it’s a synthetic nootropic that can improve studying through the acetylcholine system.

It also stimulates what’s called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF).

BDNF and NGF are the processes that grow and repair new neurons.

Building and repairing neurons is critical for maintaining the health of the brain and forming new memories.

By increasing these abilities, noopept can help you retain whatever you’re learning so you can recall it easier come exam time.

Noopept is also famous for its stimulating effects. It is one of the most potent nootropics out there, increasing the energy even in minimal doses.

Learn More About Noopept for Studying


Over-the-counter version of Modafinil

Adrafinil Powder by Nootropics Unlimited

4.5
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  • Increases energy and productivity

  • Helps to stay awake and focused over long periods of time

  • Combats drowsiness without sacrificing sleep quality

  • Improves your overall mood

Pros

  • Adrafinil has been shown to improve working memory, executive function, and vigilance in healthy adults.
  • In one study, adrafinil was found to be as effective as methylphenidate (Ritalin) at reducing ADHD symptoms.
  • May also help to improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
  • Can help you stay awake longer

Cons

  • Most common side effects reported are headache, nausea, and anxiety.
  • Adrafinil is a schedule IV controlled substance in Canada and is classified as a prescription drug.
  • not currently approved by the FDA

Adrafinil is an excellent alternative to Adderall if you are looking to stay up all night cramming.

This nootropic is actually a prodrug of the prescription drug Modafinil meaning that your body turns adrafinil into modafinil, but you do not need a prescription to buy it.

Adrafinil was initially created as an anti-narcoleptic drug to keep people up and alert for long periods.

This nootropic is used by militaries around the world to stay focused during taxing operations, and these effects can translate to studying for exams.

Adrafinil works by mildly stimulating your dopamine receptors (among others), although not nearly to the degree of Adderall.

This stimulation can give you an increase in focus and motivation while you study for long periods.

Adrafinil is legendary for its anti-fatigue effects, and it can help you power through a last-minute crunch.18Battleday RM, Brem AK. Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects: A systematic review, Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 19Milgram NW, et al. Oral administration of adrafinil improves discrimination learning in aged beagle dogs, Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2000 20Müller U, et al. Effects of modafinil on non-verbal cognition, task enjoyment, and creative thinking in healthy volunteers, Neuropharmacology. 2013

It is also pretty sustainable, without any serious crash to worry. Be mindful that it can cause insomnia in too high doses or taken too late at night.

Adrafinil has a relatively low side-effect profile for the most part.

Learn More About Adrafinil For Studying


Wrapping Up

As we’ve seen, these supplements can improve your ability to concentrate and retain information while you study. They also help the brain function more efficiently without any of the health risks that come with addiction or dependency on drugs like Adderall.

If you are considering using nootropics as a student, it is important to be aware of how they work in order to avoid potential side effects.

Comment below if you have used them before!


References

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Author

Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for HolisticNootropics.com and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

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