Many people may not be familiar with the term “nootropics”, although they have been consuming many of these substances throughout their life. A few examples of common nootropics that are found in normal foods are: caffeine in coffee, theanine in green tea, choline in eggs, and tyrosine in cheese.
It wasn’t until recently that such substances started receiving a lot of publicity as potential cognitive enhancers, aka nootropics. Consisting of both natural supplements and man-made pharmacological chemicals, these brain boosting aids have drawn the interest of students, professionals, gamers, and whatnot, who are looking to augment their mental performance.
The main problem with most of these products, however, is that they offer very appealing claims and promises of life-changing results, but often fail to deliver those promises. This is particularly true for companies that offer branded or proprietary formulations, which typically prey on naive or misinformed consumers and often use deceptive marketing techniques.
Seasoned consumers usually do a lot of research on their own, and when it comes to buying a product, they often avoid branded blends and opt for generic, bulk supplements. This way, they can evaluate the efficacy of each compound separately, and ultimately build their own nootropic stack consisting of the compounds and dosages that best serve their needs.
And this brings us to the key point of this article: Where can one buy high quality, hype-free nootropic compounds online?
The answer has three parts, because the following are three of the best online stores that offer a variety of generic, purity-tested nootropics at reasonable prices:
#1. Nootropics Depot
Based in Arizona, Nootropics Depot can be rightfully called the most reliable supplier of nootropic compounds on the Internet. They have a massive, loyal customer base both from inside and outside the US.
This company is often praised for their excellent quality control. They perform multiple standard lab tests to verify the identity and purity of each batch of their products. In addition to their in-house lab tests, some materials are also sent to a third-party lab for further chemical analysis of their active ingredients.
As the name implies, Nootropics Depot is a one-stop shop where you can find almost any nootropic supplement, including nutritional products, herbal substances, medicinal mushrooms, as well as a selection of synthetic compounds.
Some of the most notable products they carry are: KSM-66 Ashwagandha, Caffeine + L-Theanine, BaCognize Bacopa Monnieri, Cognizin Citicoline, Alpha-GPC, and Lion’s Mane Mushroom.
They also have a variety of man-made nootropics like piracetam and other racetams, phenibut, adrafinil, noopept, and others. Most of these are offered in different capsule and powder package sizes.
#2. HR Supplements
This is another well-established US-based supplier of nootropics, muscle building supplements, and some other types of nutritional products.
HR Supplements offers very competitive prices, especially for bulk powder orders. If you frequently purchase nootropics or sports supplements, you’ll love this place since they carry numerous products at some of the lowest prices you’ll find online.
They sell quality, neatly packaged supplements that are tested for purity in their in-house lab. You can download the Certificate of Analysis (COA) of a specific lot from their website or request it via a scannable QR code on each container.
Some of the best-selling items this company carries include: phenibut HCl and FAA, adrafinil, noopept, phenylpiracetam, aniracetam, and several others.
#3. Pure Nootropics
Last but not least, Pure Nootropics is another trustworthy vendor known for their friendly and prompt customer service. They are also based in the US and ship to many other countries.
This is a relatively small company that focuses exclusively on cognitive enhancement products including both herbal and chemical compounds. They perform third-party lab tests on each batch they receive from their raw material supplier.
One of the occasional downsides of this company though is that they frequently run out of stock of some of their top-sellers like adrafinil and a couple of racetams. They are usually quick to restock items, but there have been extended delays for some products lately, probably due to recent regulatory changes in raw material manufacturing countries, mainly China.
Which Nootropic Supplements Are Best?
Well, “best” is a relative term since what works for you may not work for others and vice versa. With that in mind, the following are some of the most potent natural nootropics that have a high efficacy rate:
- Caffeine & L-Theanine: Caffeine is a powerful natural stimulant and theanine is a relaxing amino acid found in green tea. The two of them work synergistically to improve attention and other cognitive functions, as studies show.
- Alpha-GPC: This is a natural source of choline: an essential nutrient that the body needs to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. There is some evidence that choline supplementation may improve memory and overall cognitive performance.
- Rhodiola Rosea: An adaptogenic herb that helps reduce stress and fatigue. It can combat mental fatigue and improve performance for people working under stressful circumstances.
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom: This medicinal mushroom is famous for its potential memory-enhancing properties. It has been found to promote regeneration of brain cells and can be useful against mild cognitive impairment. You’re not likely to experience any instant results taking this supplements, however, long-term consumption may effectively improve cognitive wellness, particularly in older people prone to age-related cognitive decline.
- Ashwagandha: A very popular adaptogenic herb with many potential mental and physical health benefits. Ashwagandha is used as a natural remedy for anxiety, stress and depression. There is early evidence that this herb improves executive function, attention and memory in adults with mild cognitive impairment.
Is It Safe to Take Nootropics?
Safety concerns vary depending on the type of the product and several varying individual factors like the user’s age, existing conditions, other supplements and medications they are taking, etc.
The following is a general safety overview based on the type of product:
- Nutritional Substances: Consuming essential nutrients is generally safe and does not cause adverse effects. Examples of nootropic nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, choline, acetyl l-carnitine, and others.
- Herbal Substances: Most herbal supplements are generally considered safe when used in standard dosages. Each body may respond differently to a specific herb or herbal blend, and some potential adverse effects have been associated with certain herbs.
- Synthetic Substances: Most of the man-made chemical nootropics on the market are not approved for medical use and lack conclusive clinical evidence to support their efficacy and safety. These are often used for research purposes and short-term experimentation. They are generally not recommended for long-term human consumption.
Nootropics, like all other supplements on the market, are not regulated by the FDA. It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure that whatever product you are planning on using is safe for you, either by doing your own research or by seeking advice from a qualified health care professional.