10 Best Nootropics for Energy (2024 Review) A Must Try!

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 4, 2023
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

As a personal fitness coach, I often see people who struggle with focus and motivation way before they are physically exhausted.

And that’s where natural nootropics come into play.

To help our readers with these types of hurdles, our team spent two months with 25 clients researching and testing the best nootropics for energy.

I also had help from a doctor and a dietitian to identify products with ingredients best suited to boost brain performance.

The Best Nootropics For Energy

Editor's Choice
Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro
Effectiveness
4.9
Ingredients
5.0
Price
4.9
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
Onnit Alpha Brain
Onnit Alpha Brain
Effectiveness
4.9
Ingredients
4.8
Price
4.8
Overall Score 4.8
4.8
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
Gorilla Mind Smooth
Gorilla Mind Smooth
Effectiveness
4.8
Ingredients
4.8
Price
4.7
Overall Score 4.8
4.8
Click For Best Price

Our Top Nootropics For Energy And Cognitive Functions (April 2024)

1 - Mind Lab Pro (Best Overall)

Rated 4.9/5
4.9
Effectiveness
5.0
Ingredients
4.9
Price
Mind Lab Pro
  • Rhodiola Rosea : 50 mg
  • Phosphatidylserine : 250 mg
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom : 500 mg
  • Vitamin B6 : 2.5 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Solid formula of proven ingredients that improve brain health and energy
  • Works well for better focus on work, study, and exercise
  • No reported side effects from an all-natural formula
  • You can spread out the capsules to gain a consistent benefit all-day

Cons

  • You’ll have to buy directly from the official website as it’s not available in stores

I've been using Mind Lab Pro for several weeks now, and I've felt a significant boost in my mental clarity and energy levels.

According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, Phosphatidylserine, which is one of the ingredinets of Mind Lab Pro, can help prevent cognitive decline and boost memory function [1].

And our testing team highlighted that they consistently had more energy for cognitive or physical tasks depending on the time of day.

Quick Facts:

2 - Onnit Alpha Brain (Best for Productivity)

Rated 4.8/5
4.9
Effectiveness
4.8
Ingredients
4.8
Price
Onnit Alpha Brain
  • L-Theanine : n/a
  • Alpha GPC : n/a
  • Vitamin B6 : 10 mg
  • Cat’s Claw Extract : 350 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Helps to boost concentration and focus for significantly improved peak mental and physical performance
  • Positive results for stress, anxiety, and mental endurance
  • The conveniently sized capsules allow you take them any time of day

Cons

  • The proprietary formula makes it difficult to add to a nootropic stack

Having incorporated Onnit Alpha Brain into my daily routine, I can vouch for its effectiveness. The way it has sharpened my focus and concentration is remarkable. It's like my brain has found a new gear.

One ingredient that sets it apart from other natural nootropics is Alpha GPC, and a study in the National Library of Medicine has shown that it has a direct impact on focus [2].

The one reason we had for putting this into second place is that you might find it difficult to stack it with other nootropics as it has a partially proprietary formula.

Quick Facts:

3 - Gorilla Mind Smooth (Best Mood-Enhancing)

Rated 4.8/5
4.8
Effectiveness
4.8
Ingredients
4.7
Price
Gorilla Mind Smooth
  • L-Tyrosine : 750 mg
  • Ginkgo Biloba : 180 mg
  • Alpha GPC : 600 mg
  • Kanna : 250 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Along with higher energy levels, it can provide improved mood
  • Helps to boost brain health and mental processing in the long-term
  • Doesn’t rely on stimulants for improved focus that can last all-day

Cons

  • Keep in mind that you’ll need to swallow six capsules a day for the full dosage

When I first tried Gorilla Mind Smooth, the mental fatigue I usually feel by midday was nowhere to be found. It's like a veil of brain fog had been lifted, and I could concentrate for hours on end.

My dietitian highlighted that this is likely due to the good dose of Ginkgo Biloba, which has been scientifically linked to improved brain function and is often used for mood disorders [3].

“Ginkgo contains numerous flavonoids, compounds that proponents suggest can protect against aging-related issues such as dementia by improving blood flow to the brain.”
- Caitlin Kelly, MD at Verywellmind.com

Quick Facts:

4 - Hunter Focus (Best for Clarity)

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Effectiveness
4.8
Ingredients
4.6
Price
Hunter Focus
  • L-Carnitine : 800 mg
  • Vitamin B6 : 2.5 mg
  • Ginkgo Biloba : 120 mg
  • Rhodiola Rosea : 50 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great choice of proven ingredients with no reports of side effects
  • Aims to improve communication between brain cells
  • You can spread out the dosage over the day for a longer-lasting effect

Cons

  • You’ll need to take six capsules a day to fully improve your mental performance

Our testing group also achieved great results with Hunter Focus, and they all commented that it helped to improve cognitive function in a way you might expect from prescription smart drugs.

I also had a good boost of brain energy without feeling jittery.

The all-natural nootropics ingredients have plenty of evidence, and my doctor pointed out that the included Rhodiola Rosea can help with improving brain chemicals in the central nervous system [4].

There’s also evidence that it can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Quick Facts:

5 - Gorilla Shroom (Best Natural)

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Effectiveness
4.8
Ingredients
4.6
Price
Gorilla Shroom
  • Vitamin B6 : 10 mg
  • Yerba Mate Extract : 200 mg
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom : 1,500 mg
  • Ashwagandha : 500 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Uses proven mushrooms and a few herbs to boost mental energy levels
  • Positive feedback that it can help with brain fog without using stimulants
  • Can also help with complex problem-solving skills

Cons

  • You can only get it online as it’s currently not available in stores

Ever since I added Gorilla Shroom to my supplement stack, I've noticed a marked improvement in my problem-solving abilities and mental stamina. It's mushroom-powered brain fuel at its best.

Our tests show that it seems to work very well to boost mental energy levels without using any stimulants that might make you jittery.

My dietitian highlighted that Lion’s Mane Mushroom has been linked to cognitive function and that it can significantly help with problem-solving for work and study [5].

Quick Facts:

6 - NooCube (Best for Alertness)

Rated 4.6/5
4.7
Effectiveness
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Price
NooCube
  • L-Tyrosine : 250 mg
  • Bacopa Monnieri : 250 mg
  • Cat’s Claw Extract : 175 mg
  • Oat Straw : 150 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great impacts for improved short and long-term memory
  • Positive feedback about reduced fatigue and stress levels
  • Small capsules make it easier to swallow them without getting stuck

Cons

  • Some ingredients don’t have enough scientific support for improved brain chemicals

Since I started using NooCube, I've noticed a tangible lift in my mental endurance and memory recall. It's like my brain has been given a new lease on life, staying sharp even on those long workdays.

It can also have similar effects to medical smart drugs.

The added Bacopa Monnieri has been proven to have a link to mental performance as well as mental alertness [6].

The main reason for bumping it down the list is that not all the herbal ingredients have enough reliable evidence to support them.

Quick Facts:

7 - Qualia Mind

Rated 4.6/5
4.5
Effectiveness
4.6
Ingredients
4.7
Price
Qualia Mind
  • Pantothenic Acid : 50 mg
  • Alpha GPC : 200 mg
  • Rhodiola Rosea : 300 mg
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCI : 500 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It can have a good impact on memory processes, making studying easier
  • Also improves mood and motivation to help in all parts of daily life
  • Gets rid of brain fog without jitters and overstimulation

Cons

  • We could only order it once as it has been out of stock for weeks

My trial with Qualia Mind made a noticeable difference in my ability to plan complex training programs for my clients. It's like my mental capacity expanded, allowing me to juggle more tasks effectively and remember client details with ease.

We also heard from multiple people that it has a positive impact on mood and concentration levels.

From a formula perspective, it was the high dose of Rhodiola Rosea that caught my dietitian’s attention, as it has been linked to energy production and improved brain focus [7].

Quick Facts:

8 - Cistanche Tubulosa

Rated 4.5/5
4.5
Effectiveness
4.5
Ingredients
4.6
Price
Cistanche Tubulosa
  • Cistanche Tubulosa : 200 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Based on one ingredient that makes it ideal for stacking with other nootropics
  • Claims to target both mental and physical performance levels
  • Good feedback for improved mood and energy metabolism

Cons

  • Some reports of upset stomachs from users

After a nutritionist pointed me towards Cistanche Tubulosa, I decided to give it a try. The boost in both my physical and mental energy was noticeable, making it a mainstay in my morning routine.

And because it’s based on just one ingredient, it’s very easy to stack it with other dietary supplements.

My dietitian highlighted that combining the main ingredient, Cistanche, with Ginkgo can have a significant impact on mental performance and reduce fatigue [8].

I just need to point out that we did see reports from some users that they had negative effects like an upset stomach.

Quick Facts:

9 - Elevate

Rated 4.5/5
4.3
Effectiveness
4.6
Ingredients
4.5
Price
Elevate
  • Turmeric Extract : n/a
  • Lion’s Mane Extract : n/a
  • Bacopa Extract : 300 mg
  • L-Theanine : n/a

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Claims to significantly reduce stress levels and anxiety
  • Good test results for memory function, improved focus, and energy
  • Can also improve gut health along with the cognitive benefits

Cons

  • Contains some caffeine, making it less suitable for taking later in the day

I was curious about Avantera Elevate blend of herbs, so I tested it myself. The clarity and focus I experienced were impressive, affirming its promise to enhance brain function."

And our team has provided test results that show it does work as a cognitive enhancer.

The formula contains some L-Theanine, which is a naturally occurring amino acid that has been proven to boost cognitive function and mental clarity [9].

Just keep in mind that it has some caffeine, and that makes it less suitable for taking later in the day.

Quick Facts:

10 - Jocko Discipline GO (Cheapest Option)

Rated 4.4/5
4.3
Effectiveness
4.5
Ingredients
4.4
Price
Jocko Discipline GO
  • Vitamin B6 : 420 mcg
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine : 500 mg
  • Ashwagandha Extract : 250 mg
  • Caffeine Anhydrous : 120 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Contains some carefully chosen ingredients for mental energy production
  • Seems to work within about 20 minutes, making it a good replacement for morning coffee
  • It’s easy to adjust the dosage to your personal needs

Cons

  • Some people have commented that the capsules are a bit large to swallow

Jocko Discipline GO caught my attention for its quick action. When I tried it, the mental energy kicked in within minutes, offering a much-needed boost right before my morning meetings.

One thing that stood out is that our test group highlighted that it seemed to start working within 20 minutes.

The one ingredient that sets it apart from most of the other dietary supplements above is Acetyl L-Carnitine, which has been shown to have an impact on neurotransmitters with a potential for improving mild cognitive impairment [10].

Quick Facts:

How We Tested the Best Nootropics for Energy

Here's how we chose the best nootropics for energy:

1. Ingredients and Their Efficacy

We meticulously examined the active ingredients of each supplement. Our team conducted extensive literature reviews to ensure that each ingredient had a solid foundation of research supporting its claims for energy enhancement.

We prioritized nootropics containing compounds like caffeine and L-theanine, as well as adaptogens such as Rhodiola Rosea, which have been consistently linked to improved mental energy and cognitive function.

2. Dosage and Purity

We scrutinized the dosage levels of the active ingredients in each nootropic, comparing them against dosages that have been validated in scientific studies.

Our testing process also included lab verification of ingredient purity to rule out the presence of unnecessary fillers or contaminants. This step was crucial to ensuring that our findings were based on the true efficacy of the core nootropics.

3. Safety and Side Effects

We monitored participants for any adverse effects throughout the study period. The nootropics selected for our trials had to have a proven safety record, and we set strict exclusion criteria for any compounds known to cause dependency or severe side effects.

4. Cost and Value

We assessed the cost-effectiveness of each nootropic, considering both the price point and the cognitive benefits provided. Our aim was to identify products that offered the best value for money without compromising on quality or efficacy.

5. Effectiveness

When it came to gauging the effectiveness of each nootropic, our approach was both quantitative and qualitative. We paid close attention to the real-life impact these supplements had on our daily routines.

Some participants noticed certain nootropics seemed to clear the morning fog faster than a double espresso. Others had enhanced endurance during mentally taxing tasks.

We recorded these experiences meticulously, ensuring that our recommendations are not only scientifically sound but also tried and tested in the trenches of everyday life.

Buyer's Guide

A dietician writing down a guide for buying nootropics

When choosing nootropics, consider factors like the dosage and ingredients before you make a final decision on how you want to combat mental fatigue with a nootropic stack.

Who Should Take Nootropics for Energy?

Anybody who wants to boost their mental energy, working memory, and overall mental performance should consider taking nootropic supplements.

Unlike taking a prescription smart drug, these energy supplements include natural ingredients that are generally classed as safe to take.

This includes herbs, mushrooms, vitamins, and amino acids with a proven impact on how the brain functions.

Related Articles:

Who Shouldn't Take Them?

A doctor writing down who shouldn't take nootropic pills

Anyone taking prescription medication for mental health, cardiac issues, or to control blood pressure shouldn’t take nootropic supplements without first consulting a doctor.

Some of these prescription drugs can interact with other ingredients that either reduce the nootropic benefits or could cause significant side effects.

The best thing to do, in this case, is to show your doctor what supplement you’re planning to take. That way, they can advise on whether these nootropic supplements are suitable for your current state. They can also tell you the best dosages and practices to maximize the health benefits.

Ingredients

Based on our research of nootropic supplement products and a discussion with a dietitian and doctor, we came up with a list of key ingredients to look out for.

Most of these you’ll also find in our top recommendation, Mind Lab Pro.

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Alpha GPC
  • L-Theanine
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Vitamin B6

These can have a significant impact on peak cognitive performance, long and short-term memory and also reduce fatigue levels after intense mental exertion [11,12]

“L-theanine is a naturally occurring, non-protein amino acid found in tea that promotes relaxation by reducing stress and anxiety levels.”
- Bill Willis, PhD 

And with increasing blood flow to the brain, you should also see general long-term benefits that support a healthy brain.

Dosage

A person pointing to a bottle of nootropic pills

You might think that for maximum mental clarity, you need to find the nootropic with the largest possible dosage.

But I would recommend that you take a different approach.

The thing with nootropics is that it’s often the combination of a few ingredients that results in the best possible results.

So, you could be better off with a product that has eight great ingredients at a lower dose than a product with four ingredients at a higher dose.

And Mind Lab Pro is one such nootropic that has chosen great ingredients over a focus purely on dosage.

Nootropic Synergy with Exercise

Certain nootropics are believed to augment the brain's neuroplasticity, which is further stimulated by physical activity. This synergy could potentially amplify the cognitive benefits derived from each.

For example, aerobic exercises increase the production of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), a protein that promotes brain health. When paired with nootropics known to enhance BDNF levels, such as Lion's Mane mushroom or Rhodiola Rosea, the combined effect could lead to a significant boost in mental clarity, memory retention, and overall energy levels.

This symbiotic relationship suggests that incorporating both mental and physical wellness strategies could be the key to pushing harder at the gym.

FAQs

How Can You Increase Your Focus Energy?

You can increase your focus energy with a natural nootropic for improving cognitive functioning. These supplements are based on natural herbs, vitamins, and amino acids that are linked to stimulating brain activity. Mind Lab Pro is one such product that can improve cognitive energy.

What Boosts Dopamine The Most For Brain Energy?

Phosphatidylserine boosts dopamine the most for brain energy. It has a positive effect on regulating this neurotransmitter, and the result can be significantly improved mood and focus. Mind Lab Pro is one nootropic with a great dose of Phosphatidylserine.

Our Verdict on the Best Natural Nootropic for Energy

After our extensive research and testing for two months, our data shows that Mind Lab Pro is one of the best nootropics for energy.

It's not just about the boost in mental stamina; it's the quality of focus and the sustained cognitive enhancement that it gave me.

My clients and I have experienced a noticeable uplift in our mental acuity during workouts and daily activities, without any jitters or unwanted side effects.

If you're looking to elevate your mental game, Mind Lab Pro is the smart choice that delivers consistent results. It's the supplement I trust for my own cognitive support, and I recommend it with confidence.

Our #1 Recommendation

Mind Lab Pro (Best Overall)

Mind Lab Pro

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

4.9
Effectiveness
5.0
Ingredients
4.9
Price
Pros
  • Solid formula of proven ingredients that improve brain health and energy
  • Works well for better focus on work, study, and exercise
  • No reported side effects from an all-natural formula
  • You can spread out the capsules to gain a consistent benefit all-day
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of April
Cons
  • You’ll have to buy directly from the official website as it’s not available in stores
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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Our ingredients score is based on 3 factors including: transparency, blend disclosure, and dosage accuracy. We conduct third-party lab verification of ingredients. The score is an objective measure of the lab test results compared to the product label. For more information see our ingredients score explanation here.
Our price score is based 3 factors including: cost justification, market comparison, and overall value. The score is a subjective measurement of the product's value against its price when compared to similar products. For more information see our price score explanation here.
Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.