Best Nootropic Combinations for Specific Goals
Clean Mental Energy
Our favorite stack of ingredients for mental energy is Vitamin B12 + Rhodiola Rosea + Citicoline.
Each one of them promotes your mental energy in a unique, complementary way.
- Vitamin B12 – foundational nutrient for our energy metabolism.
- Rhodiola Rosea – natural adaptogen that staves off mental fatigue.
- Citicoline– optimizes mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells.
Both Citicoline and Rhodiola are known for their non-stimulatory, brain-energizing effects. The result is a clean, lasting energy boost that is very different from the one you’d get from caffeine.
Brain Cell Regeneration
Four nootropics can help support your neurogenesis, they are:
- Phosphatidylserine – provides building blocks for brain regeneration.
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom – boosts nerve growth factors (NGF).
- Citicoline – fuels and accelerates new neuron creation.
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract – helps increase the levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).
Combined, these nootropic ingredients provide the energy, growth factors and raw materials that all support healthy brain cell regeneration.
Mental Performance in Sports
The combination of Rhodiola and PS is extremely powerful for any athlete. This combo will reduce your stress response while boosting mental clarity for an improved mind-body connection.
- Rhodiola Rosea – stress resistance, focus, and exercise performance.
- Phosphatidylserine – enhances endurance training, reduces cortisol levels.
- Bacopa Monnieri – memory and learning benefits for improved matchday performance.
With the addition of Bacopa Monnieri, this mini-stack can give you a highly effective, yet totally safe and legal competitive edge.
Stress, exercise, and high-performance thinking all deplete brain chemicals needed for mental focus.
The stack best for offsetting this is:
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine – Supports the creation of stress-depleted neurotransmitters.
- L-Theanine – Promotes healthy alpha brainwaves which are beneficial for relaxation and deep sleep, which in turn helps your brain recover and repair.
Mental Performance Under Pressure
The combo of Rhodiola Rosea and N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is very effective for boosting cognitive function under stressful, distracting and demanding scenarios.
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine – maintains healthy levels of catecholamine neurotransmitters that are needed for high-intensity cognitive tasks.
- Rhodiola Rosea – its adaptogenic activity makes you more resilient to stress, enabling you to maintain a ‘cool’ head when things get hot.
Vitamin B6 and L-Theanine is an excellent mini stack for a positive mental outlook.
- Vitamin B6 – It helps your brain make serotonin, dopamine, and other mood-balancing brain chemicals.
- L-Theanine – Promotes the GABA neurotransmitter, as well as calming Alpha Brain waves.
Memory, Learning, and Information Retention
DHA, PS, Bacopa and Lion’s Mane is an amazing stack for helping you to encode and recall crucial information in the short-term, as well as improving the consolidation of that knowledge in your long-term memory.
- Phosphatidylserine (PS) – Helps your brain cells communicate more efficiently.
- Bacopa Monnieri – Sustains the retention of newly acquired information, making it the best nootropic for long-term memory.
- Lion’s Mane – Supports neuron growth and brain plasticity that underlie new learning.
- DHA – Foundational component of your brain cells which is needed for their healthy function.
This stack is a very smart choice for students and learners of all age groups to recall and retain newly acquired information.
What Nootropic is Most Like Adderall?
Adderall is undoubtedly one of the most used cognitive enhancers ever made.
Students around the world use Adderall to learn information faster during finals.
Adderall use is also highly prevalent in big companies and corporations.
This productivity drug is most popular in the US, where it seems to be prescribed to anyone and everyone who asks for it!
The thing about Adderall is that it most definitely works. Anyone who’s used it will tell you the same thing – you really feel it kick in once you take it.
There’s currently no natural OTC replacement for Adderall that can give you the same effects.
The effect of amphetamine salts is too powerful to be compared with natural nootropics.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a natural alternative to Adderall. Plenty of nootropics on the market offer safer, more reliable, and more effective long-term results.
So, what are some of the best nootropics to use as an Adderall alternative?
Best OTC Natural Adderall Alternatives
Professional stacks like Mind Lab Pro deliver complete brain optimization in a way that’s safe, natural and non-addictive.
Other formulas, such as Performance Lab Mind and Alpha Brain, can be combined with caffeine to give you the ‘boost’ people want from Adderall.
You can also try a combo of Performance Lab Mind+ Performance Lab Stim. Which gives a similar kind of energy kick as Adderall; clean, focused, but without side effects!
Of course, you can also try to create your own stack, depending on how experienced you are with nootropics. We’ve shown you a simple stack example for brain energy and focus above. Now it’s up to you to experiment and find what works best for your goals!
How to Build Your Own Nootropic Stack – Top Tips
Here are 5 tips for building your ultimate nootropic stack tailored to your unique wants and needs.
- Define your goal – Know what it is that you want to achieve. Is it better memory? More mental energy? Long-term brain health and support? Mood & anxiety? Don’t just rush into buying a supplement. Thinking about what your goals are in advance will help you make a better choice.
- Do proper research – Make sure to do a lot of reading before buying any supplement. Take your time and read through all the major studies about the nootropic. You might find that some nootropics are very popular, but don’t have clinical evidence to back the hype up.
- Always start low – You don’t want to push pedal to the metal with nootropics. If you’re new to them, make sure to start with the lowest recommended dosage; maybe even half of that is possible. This way, you’ll see how little of the compound you need to notice a difference, and you’ll dramatically cut down the risk of side effects.
- Try a simple stack first – If you’ve never dabbled in the world of nootropics before, it’s best to start simple. Most people will see an improvement in their focus and memory from a DHA and vitamin B complex stack. Adding in some Ginkgo Biloba and caffeine is typically enough to bring about a notable boost in your cognitive function.
- Try different types of the same nootropic – For example, Citicoline (or CDP-Choline) is far more bioavailable and effective at boosting your brain function than plain choline powder. Some forms of minerals (i.e. magnesium) are better absorbed by your body than the others. Another example is Bacopa Monnieri. You’ll generally find two different Bacopa extracts on the market – Bacognize and Synapsa. Each one has a different effect. For some, one form of Bacopa is more calming and for others, it’s more energizing.
- Don’t forget about the essentials – Diet, exercise, sleep, water, reading, socializing, cutting back on alcohol. These are just some of the things you should ensure you’re doing right in order to really get the most out of nootropic supplements.
Do Nootropics Have Side Effects?
The pioneer of nootropics, Dr. Corneliu Giurgea, said that by definition they must be free of side effects.
Therefore, true nootropics are naturally risk-free.
Obviously, there’s a lot of different nootropics on the market right now, and each one was made differently.
All the variables that can happen between when a herb is picked from the ground and when a person takes it in a capsule can increase the risk of side effects.
Before trying a nootropic, consider some of the following risk factors:
- Formula – Not all nootropics should be taken together. This is why it’s best to choose a pre-made professional nootropic stack from a reputable company. That is, unless you’re highly experienced with stacking and know what you’re doing.
- Usage history – This is arguably the most important way you can determine if a nootropic is safe and worth a go. This includes both anecdotal (of other people) and clinical evidence.
- Manufacturing quality – The supplement should be made in a cGMP certified facility.
- Ingredient quality – Some nootropics are grown in polluted environments. Other nootropic ingredients might come in their synthetic forms. Take B vitamins for example. Look for branded nootropics that have a trademark on their name and are standardized to a precise dose.
- Fillers – These are the “other ingredients” you see on the product’s label. These might include gluten, soy, artificial colorants, or other added ingredients that do nothing except adding to the dead weight of the product. The fewer “other” ingredients, the better.
Other Nootropic Risk Factors
Even if your nootropic passes all of the criteria from above, you might still be at risk of side effects.
How? By taking the supplement the wrong way.
Some of the following examples show how misusing or abusing the supplement can lead to unwanted consequences.
Taking too many servings too many times is one way to overdo it with nootropics.
The upper safe limit is different for every nootropic, for example:
- Caffeine – Anything over 400mg per day can lead to side effects. In intolerant users, as little as 100mg can result in adverse consequences.
- Citicoline – Anything between 250mg-2000mg is safe to take every day.
Follow the manufacturer’s (or your doctor’s) instructions, watch your daily intake, and consider cycling the supplement ‘on’ and ‘off’ if that’s required.
This is perhaps the biggest reason why so many nootropic users experience side effects. They’re taking too much at once.
In most cases, more isn’t better with nootropics. You need to make sure to stick to the recommended “serving sizes” on the label and proper dosage levels, in order to avoid painful visits to the bathroom!
- Genetics & Lifestyle Factors
This is the most unpredictable nootropic risk factor.
Each one of us will react to a different compound in a different manner. This all comes down to your genetics, diet, medications, exercise activity and so on.
Some users might experience side effects from a nootropic, while many other people report positive, amazing results. On the other hand, some users might not feel anything at all.
These stark differences only highlight the need for robust, large placebo-controlled clinical studies. These allow us to gauge how effective and safe a nootropic truly is for the majority of people.
Are Nootropics Addictive?
This is a common question that we’ll always answer the same: a true nootropic is non-addictive.
Obviously, some nootropics can lead to “physiological withdrawal-like symptoms,” the best example of this is caffeine.
But for the most part, it’s the non-addictive nature of nootropics that makes them so popular around the world.
How to Get Started If You’re New to Nootropics
There’s a lot to take in from this nootropics guide.
If you’re completely new to nootropic supplements, you might want to start with fish oil + caffeine + theanine for focus and productivity. You’ll want to use a lower dose of caffeine (50-100mg) and twice as much l-theanine, with your first meal of the day.
For mood and stress, we suggest trying Rhodiola and Bacopa Monnieri with your breakfast.
For sleep, you might want to consider melatonin, Phosphatidylserine and L-Theanine.
And for mental energy, memory and long-term brain health, a mini-stack consisting of Lion’s Mane Mushroom, DHA, and Citicoline is a good starting point.
Nootropics are no different from other supplements. As cliche as it might sound, they’re addons to your healthy lifestyle, not a replacement for it!
Following a regular exercise routine, eating a varied diet and ensuring you sleep well for 7-9 hours every night will do more for your mental health than any supplement can.
That said, a good nootropic – particularly the one that is proven by reputable scientific studies – can provide amazing support to your lifestyle.
A good nootropic can help you with:
- Stress resistance
- Focus and productivity
- Creative flow
- Long-term brain health
There are many nootropics available over the counter in the UK. Each one works in its own way.
However, if you want to support your brain health from all angles, you should look into nootropic stacks. These combine multiple nootropic ingredients which address different areas of your cognitive function.
Our current favorite nootropic stack is Mind Lab Pro, which uses 11 natural ingredients, is of the cleanest quality and made by professionals.
Alpha Brain is another good option that provides some of the best nootropics in safe and effective doses.
Performance Lab Mind is a smart choice for those that want to build their own custom nootropic stack, and can be safely used together with other supplements without any issue.