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

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico | Co-Founder & Marketing Director
Last updated: November 29, 2023
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Although they aren’t exactly a new supplement, I started taking nootropics a few years ago, and our team at Total Shape has been testing and researching many different products to figure out the best ones.

And part of that research has involved experimenting with the timing and finding out how often and how long you should take nootropics for mental well-being and performance.

So, to provide our clients and readers with sound advice, I teamed up with a nutritionist and expert in nootropic supplements to review the scientific literature on how often you could and should be taking nootropics.

Quick Summary

  • Nootropic supplements are generally based on safe, natural ingredients to improve memory, mood, and mental fatigue, and as a rule of thumb, they should be taken as recommended by manufacturers.
  • There are some drugs with synthetic substances for cognitive tasks and mental well-being that cause confusion regarding regular intake.
  • It’s important to understand different ingredients before taking nootropics on a regular basis for longer time periods.

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 ingredients.

I know that’s not an exact answer, but the question is similar to how often you should take pain medication.

It depends on the prescription medications and pain, and ultimately a healthcare provider will have advice on this.

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.

In fact, most of you probably take nootropics like caffeine every day and have done so for many years [1].

“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

Ultimately, it comes down to understanding the ingredients and what nootropic effects they have in order to determine when to take them and how often.

Do You Need To Cycle Nootropics?

Yes, you should probably cycle both natural and prescription nootropics.

When it comes to prescription medications, it’s always best to follow the advice on the leaflet and the one provided by a health provider.

But even when you take nootropics with natural ingredients, it can be a good idea to take a break every few months.

My nutritionist mentioned that the advice she gives is to take 1-2 weeks off every three months.

While there isn’t any scientific study to support it, she has found that her clients produce results more consistently when they do this.

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, and just like any other supplements, you should always stick with the recommendation on the label.

Another thing to keep in mind when you take nootropics is that you don’t want to take multiple products with the same benefits and ingredients at the same time.

You’ll find quite a few different nootropics that will help you with cognitive tasks, but when you take multiple products, you could end up with more than a safely recommended dose for some ingredients.

When Is The Best Time To Take Them?

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

The reason for this is that you want the nootropic effects to boost your mental activity for the whole day, not just a short time.

The exception here would be prescription nootropics, and you should always take those based on the advice you got from a healthcare provider.

This may then 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.

And with just a few natural nootropic products, you could be taking care of problem-solving skills and even ensure you get enough sleep.

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

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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