How Often Should You Take Nootropics? (From A Nutritionist)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
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A few years ago, I began exploring nootropics, and our Total Shape team has since rigorously tested various products to identify the best ones.

In our research, we've delved into optimal timing and frequency for taking nootropics to enhance mental well-being and performance.

To offer expert advice, I collaborated with a nutritionist and nootropic supplements expert, thoroughly reviewing scientific literature on the subject. Here’s what I found.

Quick Summary

  • Take nootropics as recommended by the manufacturer for optimal results.
  • Nootropic supplements are generally based on safe, natural ingredients to improve memory, mood, and mental fatigue.
  • 23 percent of adults take supplements, including nootropics, to maintain or improve brain health and potentially delay or reverse dementia.
  • As a practicing physician, it's crucial to ensure proper usage of nootropics, incorporating them into a routine along with a healthy diet and exercise to expedite fitness progress.

How Often Should You Take Nootropics?

A nurse reading the label from a nootropic pill bottle

You should take nootropics as often as they are safe to take based on the recommendations provided by the manufacturer.

Maintaining consistent usage is vital, with the specific frequency dependent on prescribed medications and their intended purpose.

In general, though, when you’re taking a natural nootropic to boost brain power, improve memory, and better deal with stressful situations, they can be safe to take once a day.

For years, I've been using nootropics every day to handle my hectic patient schedule, and knowing the ingredients helps me determine when and how often to take them.

“Almost everyone uses a nootropic, whether they know it or not, says D'Adamo. He's talking about caffeine, and while it can have health risks if you overdo it, this natural stimulant has been shown to improve thinking skills.”
- Dan Brennan, MD at

Do You Need To Cycle Nootropics?

Yes, it's advisable to implement cycling for both natural and prescription nootropics. Specifically, for natural ingredient nootropics, it is beneficial to incorporate breaks every few months.

As a general practice, I recommend a 1 to 2 week hiatus every three months to ensure consistent results for my patients.

Additionally, it is important for them to follow the guidelines provided in prescription medication leaflets.

Can You Take Too Many Nootropics?

A person pouring nootropic pills from a pill bottle on their hands

Yes, you can take too many nootropics. Like other supplements, it's crucial to follow the recommended dosage on the label.

Be cautious not to use multiple products with similar benefits and ingredients simultaneously to avoid overdosage.

Research published by the National Institute of Health suggests that exceeding the safe recommended dose for certain components may lead to untoward side effects [1].

When Is The Best Time To Take Them?

The best time to take nootropics for cognitive performance and enhanced brain power is in the morning before breakfast.

This ensures that the nootropic effects uplift your mental activity throughout the day rather than just for a brief period.

However, for prescription nootropics, always follow the advice from your healthcare provider, and this may also depend on other medications you're taking.

How To Plan A Supplement Stack

A nurse planning out a supplement stack on a clipboard

Creating a nootropic supplement stack can be an ideal way to produce results that give you the best possible performance boost.

Here’s how to approach it.

1. Decide What Effects You Want For Brain Health And Function

You’ll find a wide range of different nootropics that have benefits for brain health, cognition, mental clarity, and even sleep improvement.

Each nootropic supplement will list its main ingredients along with information about the benefit they provide.

What you need to do is identify each benefit you’re interested in to create a supplement stack that suits you.

2. Determine The Ideal Ingredients

A doctor reading the label of a pill bottle

According to the Medical News Today, you can take nootropics with all kinds of ingredient formulas, and what you want to do is determine which ingredients are best suited for different effects [2].

To help you determine the ideal nootropic stack, our team has tested dozens of new supplement products, and I’ll provide you with links to our test data and results below.

3. Find Them In One Product

The great thing is that there are a few nootropic supplement products that combine multiple effects and benefits into one.

As a result, it’ll be a lot easier and cheaper than creating a nootropic stack.


Do Nootropics Have A Permanent Effect?

No, taking nootropics doesn’t have a permanent effect. Most products will show some effects within hours and a few days, but once you stop taking them, the effects will wear off, and you won’t experience the supplement benefits anymore.

Can You Take Nootropics More Than Once A Day?

Yes, you can take nootropics more than once a day, but you should avoid taking more than the recommended dose. Some products come in multiple capsules, and you could spread them out. And for medical nootropics, it’s best to talk to a healthcare provider first.

Plan To Take Nootropics At The Ideal Time

Come up with a specific plan to take nootropics at a certain time every day, and then work out a cycle time of 2-3 months, after which you take a few weeks off.

If you’re on other medications and synthetic substances for mental health or other issues, then talk to your healthcare provider first.

To determine which products will give you a cognitive and mood boost as well as enough sleep, check out the test results from our research:

Browse the lists to find the one that suits you best.


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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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