Nootropics for studying may strengthen learning, focusing, attention, and concentration abilities. Not considered cheat sheets, these “smart drugs” may help students correspond to the high competition standards.
However, not all nootropics work similarly, and not all of them positively impact studying. In fact, these over-the-counter “study drugs” should be a composition of natural ingredients proven to promote cognitive functions.
Navigation in the abundant market of supplements can turn the choosing process into a challenging task. Thus, to help you optimize your time, we compiled a list of the 5 best nootropics for studying.
Best nootropics for studying: shortlist
- Mind Lab Pro — overall best nootropic for studying
- Mind Vitality — best nootropic for focus and studying
- Onnit — excellent nootropic stack for memory and studying
- Perfromance Lab — solid nootropic for learning and ADHD
- Nooceptin — top-rated stress-reducing nootropic for studying
How to choose the best nootropics for studying?
Choose the right nootropics that have been formulated under high-quality standards. Here are the criteria to look for when buying your supplements.
|Price per serving
|cGMP and FDA-compliant
- Safety. For companies to ensure their nootropics are safe for daily use, they should conduct third-party testing. This is an independent lab test looking into the safety of the final product and its ingredients based on the absence of contaminants.
- Ingredients. Ingredients in nootropics for studying should be of the highest quality. They should be scientifically proven to stimulate brain hormones, positively influencing learning abilities.
- Price per serving. The price per serving for the products on our list gives an approximate range of how much you will spend on your daily intake of nootropics.
- Manufacturing. cGMP-certified and FDA-compliant facilities tend to stick to the highest quality of production. These standards ensure the final product is delivered to the user containing no industrial contaminants.
Best nootropics for studying in 2024: overview
Nootropics are substances developed to promote brain function and emotional stability. They may improve learning ability, attention, multitasking, concentration, and memory by influencing brain neurotransmitters.
Moreover, these brain pills may help reduce stress and anxiety, supporting a more balanced mental state for studying.
In the overwhelming quantity of highly praised supplements, we provide you with a detailed and unbiased review of the best nootropics to help you study.
1. Mind Lab Pro — overall best nootropics for studying
Mind Lab Pro has been shown in a human clinical trial to improve several aspects of memory, including both immediate and delayed recall. This nootropic is best for learning and studying to help students prepare for exams and remember new information.
The combination of phosphatidylserine, bacopa monnieri, and ginkgo biloba in Mind Lab Pro was shown to play a part in cognitive functions, improving working memory and attention.
In a clinical trial, participants who took Mind Lab Pro nootropic demonstrated better information processing, focus, and decision-making — essential for studying.
Consuming Mind Lab Pro, you may also obtain the daily amount of vitamins B6, B9, and B12, essential for brain health. Vegans, particularly, are deficient in vitamin B12, which is abundant in a diet including meat and dairy products.
This nootropic is certified by Clean Label Project and is vegan. Third-party testing shows that this nootropic contains no caffeine or unnecessary additives.
You can obtain 1, 2, and 4 months' supply of Mind Lab Pro and enjoy the discounts the provider offers. One month-supply costs $69.00 ($2.30 per serving).
2. Mind Vitality — best nootropic for focus and studying
Studying or working remotely requires constant focus and concentration. With this in mind, the scientists behind Mind Vitality nootropic formulated their supplement with potent herbs, vitamins, and other nutrients to help support prolonged focus.
The 3-in-1 formula is aimed at targeting various aspects of brain functioning. "Brain Focus,” as one of the 3 matrices in Mind Vitality, is designed to support brain function by improving blood flow, delivering vital oxygen and nutrients. It contains Bacopa monnieri, Ginkgo biloba, Mucuna extract, and Pine extract, suggested to boost memory, focus, and clarity.
Notably, Mind Vitality is free from stimulants like caffeine, that may often cause anxiety and sleep difficulties. According to the provider, the evidence-backed ingredients may help energize your brain similar to caffeine, without wrecking focus due to digestive and other physical discomfort associated with caffeine use.
Mind Vitality nootropic is a complex of 17 ingredients claimed by the manufacturer to be all-natural, non-GMO, and science-backed.
A bottle of Feedamind costs $89.99 ($2.99 per serving) for 30 days of use.
3. Onnit — best-rated nootropic stack for memory and studying
Onnit Alpha BRAIN nootropic supplement has been clinically tested and showed benefits in memory improvements.
Alpha BRAIN contains vitamin B6 that is essential for maintaining brain health and energy. Also, the addition of herbal nootropics helps to mitigate stress leading to fatigue.
The manufacturer offers cognitive and learning support with three nootropic blends —fuel, flow, and focus.
Alpha BRAIN by Onnit is claimed to be manufactured in cGMP-certified sites with natural ingredients.
The daily recommended serving size is 2 capsules. The supplement contains no caffeine so may be suitable for people sensitive to stimulants.
One bottle of Onnit Alpha BRAIN containing 90 capsules is sold at $79.95 ($2.33 per serving).
4. Performance Lab — solid nootropic for learning and ADHD
Thanks to its composition of citicoline, L-tyrosine, and phosphatidylserine, Performance Lab Mind nootropic may address ADHD symptoms — reduce anxiety, inattention, and improve learning ability.
One culprit for poor learning ability is stress and anxiety. With this in mind, the provider added natural adaptogens into its formula, helping the body and mind get used to stress and be ready to function during demanding and stressful conditions.
Apart from this, the manufacturer included Maritime pine bark extract, which is suggested to protect the brain from inflammation.
Performance Lab Mind formula is vegan and does not contain soy, gluten, or GMOs. It is certified Clean Label Project and is caffeine-free.
One bottle containing 30 servings is sold at the price of $59.00 ($1.96 per serving).
5. Nooceptin — best stress-reducing nootropic for learning and studying
Stress can affect the learning process, and vice versa. Nooceptin is a well-known nootropic formulation of 6 natural adaptogens which improve stress resistance.
Two of the significant adaptogens in Nooceptin are rhodiola rosea and ginkgo biloba, both demonstrated to have anxiety and stress-reducing properties. As evidenced by animal studies, rhodiola rosea may lower the levels of cortisol released during stress.
A study with healthy young volunteers suggested that supplementation with ginkgo biloba and panax ginseng can enhance cognitive performance. Yet, the doses used in the study are slightly higher than that of Nooceptin.
Nooceptin is third-party tested, caffeine-free, and natural, thus can be the best nootropic for students. However, in the case of taking other prescription medications, it’s essential to consult with a doctor.
One bottle of Nooceptin contains 60 capsules for 30 servings and is sold at $69.00 ($2.30 per serving).
Comparison of the top 5 nootropics for studying and learning
|Price per serving
|Capsules per bottle
|Daily serving size
|Ingredients for studying
|Allergens (soy, gluten)
|Mind Lab Pro
|Mind Lab Pro review
|Phosphatidylserine, bacopa monnieri, and ginkgo biloba
|Bacopa monnieri, ginkgo biloba, gucuna extract, pine extract, phosphatidylserine
|Onnit Alpha Brain review
|Phosphatidylserine, bacopa monnieri, L-tyrosine
|Performance Lab review
|Citicoline, phosphatidylserine, L-Tyrosine
|Available upon request
|Rhodiola rosea and ginkgo biloba, panax ginseng
|Available upon request
How we compiled our list of best nootropics for studying in 2024
We looked into the high-rated nootropics available on the market and compared them according to safety and production criteria.
Plus, we reviewed the ingredients’ dosages and price per serving the brand offers, as well as what consumers say about their effectiveness.
Below is a detailed elaboration on the criteria we considered when compiling our list of best nootropics for learning.
Brand reputation is built with time and reflects the company's transparency and communication with customers, as well as the quality of products.
Before buying a certain nootropic, read the customer reviews to create a clear image of what others experienced with this brand and its supplements.
When compiling our list of nootropics, we choose the ones containing ingredients observed in studies to play a role in learning improvement. The ingredients have been scientifically shown to affect stress reduction, memory, energy, and cognitive performance.
Some of these ingredients present in the nootropics on our list are citicoline, phosphatidylserine, rhodiola rosea, L-tyrosine, ginkgo biloba, and essential vitamins.
Considering dietary supplements are not regulated and approved by FDA, there is no recommended daily allowance for nootropics. You should follow the guidelines for recommended dosage displayed on the supplement label.
When choosing the best nootropics for studying, we evaluated the dosage of each ingredient you get with every serving.
Often nootropics contain proprietary blends, not revealing the exact amounts of ingredients. This may make it hard to predict the exact doses of each ingredient.
Consult your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects.
Nootropic supplements are generally known as expensive formulas to enhance brain activity. However, it’s possible to find affordable options on the market which also offer high quality.
The manufacturing process, testing, and ingredients may be some of the features determining the final price. We did the job for you and calculated the price per serving for your daily intake of nootropics for studying. Check them in the comparison table above.
Can nootropics really help when studying?
Yes. Thanks to their ability to promote brain performance through better memory, motivation, attention, and concentration, some nootropics may be effective in improving studying. Also, nootropics reducing the symptoms of ADHD can help students with this mental difficulty focus on tasks for a more extended period.
University students often meet a hurdle in staying relaxed and focused. In fact, some studies show that medical students may experience a rise in oxidative stress in the brain during examinations due to tension.
A research study suggests that certain nootropics can help reduce oxidative stress in the brain, hence, help with psychological and cognitive performance.
Specifically, citicoline was observed as one of the best nootropics positively affecting learning and memory. It plays a role in increasing the acetylcholine levels — involved in learning, memory, and attention.
In addition, adaptogens such as rhodiola rosea, ginkgo biloba, L-theanine, and bacopa monnieri may relax the anxious mind, help maintain energy levels, and thus can assist in studying.
What nootropic ingredients are best for learning and studying?
Citicoline, phosphatidylserine, and several natural nootropic ingredients may be the best for learning and studying.
But remember that these ingredients can not affect studying directly by making it an easy task. They may play a role in reducing factors associated with poor learning abilities.
Let’s take a look at how these nootropic ingredients work when ingested.
Citicoline is known to participate in the production of acetylcholine — a neurotransmitter that is involved in learning, memory, attention, and motor functions.
Citicoline is observed for its properties to improve memory and ADHD symptoms. Studies conducted with healthy young adults suggest supplementation with citicoline for 28 days may enhance attention to tasks and psychomotor speed.
Other findings emphasize such benefits as working memory and concentration improvements with the combined consumption of citicoline and caffeine.
L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves. A study shows that 12 weeks of L-theanine consumption from tea enhances sustained attention and working memory. Noteworthy is that people who received L-theanine made fewer errors and improved their reaction.
L-theanine is, first of all, an effective adaptogen. This means that it can help you relax and reduce stress by activating the alpha brain waves. These effects of L-theanine may be beneficial for students feeling anxious when getting ready for exams.
Rhodiola rosea is a traditionally used herbal medicine in Ayurvedic and Chinese cultures. It belongs to the family of adaptogens, which is also a strong antioxidant protecting from brain aging and neurodegeneration.
It is also known to improve cognitive function, including learning and memory. These effects may be derived from its anxiolytic, anti-fatigue, and nootropic properties.
Students who aim to achieve the highest grades and often feel informational brain fatigue can benefit from rhodiola rosea or nootropics containing it in their formula.
The assumption that learning ability reduces with age is not a myth. Chronic inflammation or illnesses not treated on time may lead to neurodegeneration and worsen cognitive performance.
Ginkgo biloba has been used in Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Japanese medicine as a potent antioxidant addressing aging diseases, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. The research study suggests that people who consumed ginkgo biloba showed improved cognitive performance along with learning, attention, and memory.
Synthetic smart drugs for learning: Are they safe?
Synthetic smart drugs may be safe if you follow the safety and usage guidelines.
The most widely used synthetic smart drugs used for learning are prescription drugs used to treat ADHD symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and lack of focus. The following are the commonly used synthetic drugs by university students:
Misuse can lead to adverse effects including quickened heart rate, poor sleep, appetite loss, and irritability. The effects of prescription “study drugs” such as Adderall may attenuate with long-term use.
Some students may want to increase the doses to feel the effects with or without a doctor’s surveillance. This can lead to long-term side effects. For this reason, natural nootropics may be the best Adderall alternatives leading to no significant side effects.
In any case, we recommend talking to your doctor before taking any nootropics or other supplements.
Are there any side effects of nootropics used for studying?
Nootropics for studying are generally considered safe. However, with any supplements or prescription drugs, side effects are possible in case of misuse. Some of the possible side effects of nootropics for studying may be the following:
- Sleep disturbances
- Blurred vision
- Hot flashes
These “smart drugs” for a more motivated learning process are often a combination of several natural adaptogens, nootropic compounds, or medicinal mushrooms for better brain health.
Natural formulas may be a safer alternative to prescription medication but should not replace them unless advised otherwise by a healthcare professional.
Do I need a prescription to take nootropics for studying?
Nootropics usually have natural and organic origins, and as long as they do not contain any prohibited substances, students can obtain them without a prescription.
They are available over the counter, and you can buy them from online retailers or official websites.
However, it’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider for more professional advice regarding dosage and usage frequency.
Remember that we need more clinical studies with humans to establish the safety of long-term use, effectiveness, and interactions with other supplements and medications.
Read more on nootropics for cognitive health
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Best nootropics for energy — attain optimal energy levels with quality nootropic supplements
Best nootropics for ADHD — address ADHD symptoms with over-the-counter nootropics
Best nootropics for anxiety
— discover the anxiolytic benefits of nootropic supplements
What is the best nootropic for studying?
Our market research revealed that the best nootropic for studying is Mind Lab Pro. This nootropic contains natural adaptogens to relax the wandering mind, reduce stress, and help concentrate on one task for longer. It is also shown in clinical studies to improve memory and learning ability.
Can nootropic supplements help with motivation?
Yes. Theinfluence dopamine production. They can also assist in maintaining high energy levels. Some of the nootropic compounds known to affect motivation and energy positively are L-tyrosine, rhodiola rosea, citicoline, and moderate amounts of caffeine.
What is the best nootropic alternative to Vyvanse?
Nootropics as OTC supplements cannot be alternatives to prescription medications such as Vyvanse. Vyvanse works by reducing ADHD symptoms, including impulsiveness, lack of focus and attention, and hyperactivity. To find the best supplement to address ADHD, you have to talk to your doctor.
Why should you consider taking nootropics?
To help with cognitive and mental processing, you may consider using nootropics. These non-prescription supplements may help with such aspects of life as energy and motivation boost, studying and ADHD assistance, working under pressure, and long hours.
- Antioxidants. Ginkgo biloba in the Aging Process: A Narrative Review.
- International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. Improvements in concentration, working memory and sustained attention following consumption of a natural citicoline–caffeine beverage.
- Journal of Attention Disorders. The Effect of Citicoline Supplementation on Motor Speed and Attention in Adolescent Males.
- Basic and Clinical Neuroscience. Citicoline Improves Human Vigilance and Visual Working Memory: The Role of Neuronal Activation and Oxidative Stress.