The cyberpunk future is here, and it’s just how we imagined it to be — reality is a 100% mediated experience, humans are an android composite of flesh and technology, corporations own everything, etc. etc. — except instead of beautiful neon-lit backdrops, most of us are living indoors surrounded by thin paper walls and none of us have the cool fashion sense of Blade Runner or the Matrix. No, we’re all sitting around in our sweats, watching the same streaming services, and getting fat.
Well, not all of us.
Perhaps not since the Gutenberg press have we been challenged to so rapidly adjust to a new set of technology, a new means of communication, and, thus, a new standard of living. For many, this transition is scary. Yet, for an optimistic few, this also presents a whole new world of opportunity.
Of course, again, because we’re entering a new cyberpunk dimension of living, our ideas of work and labor are becoming more and more cerebral. More of us are working in our headspace than in the physical world. This means that nootropic “cognitive enhancers” are quickly becoming the new way to “get ahead” in the world, for better or worse.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled here my list of the Best Nootropic Supplements to Buy in 2021. I’ve limited my selection to natural nootropics, as opposed to synthetic “smart drugs” such as modafinil, Adderall, Ritalin, etc. The idea here is to enhance brain performance for the long run, as opposed to over-exerting your brain on artificial dopamine — so if you’re hoping to get ahead and stay ahead, these are a few great brain boosters to add to your daily supplement stack this year onward.
Best Nootropic Supplements to Buy in 2021
In previous years, I’ve included Performance Lab Mind (review here) as a simpler “more stackable” alternative to Mind Lab Pro, which is a more comprehensive nootropic formula. While this is a great brain booster that’s certainly worth your consideration, especially if you’re bulk ordering from the Performance Lab website (link here), I’ve instead compiled here a stack of nootropic supplements that you can stack altogether.
In other words, while the following supplements are great as standalone performance enhancers, they work even better when used in conjunction. Either way, however you want to use them, here are the best nootropic supplements to buy in 2021, starting with:
Mind Lab Pro
The gold standard of natural nootropic supplementation, Mind Lab Pro has been around for several years at this point. The success of Mind Lab Pro has spawned various copy-cat formulas, with some manufacturers even reformulating their products to more closely match MLP’s formula; and, yet, Mind Lab Pro still remains the best daily nootropic supplement for general brain health and function enhancement.
With any supplement, it’s always better to do more with less than to try to do everything with too much. Many nootropic formulas fall into the bad habit of overstuffing their sparse capsule space with way too many ingredients, resulting in an ineffective mess of weakly dosed nootropics.
Not so with Mind Lab Pro.
By sticking to a select few of nootropics, with 11 in total, each supplied in premium, easy-to-absorb forms, Mind Lab Pro is able to precisely target the brain bio-pathways that matter most for total brainpower. Altogether, Mind Lab Pro’s 11-ingredient formula enhances:
- Brain Energy – via non-stimulatory ATP enhancement
- Brain Chemicals – via promoting neurotransmitter synthesis
- Brain Circulation – via enhanced nitric oxide (NO) production
- Brain Waves – via L-theanine’s alpha brainwave promotion
- Neuroprotection – via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways
- Neuroregeneration – via NGF- and BDNF-boosting activities
By targeting these key brain bio-pathways, Mind Lab Pro hits all the “pressure points” of cognitive performance. Taken every morning, Mind Lab Pro fosters healthy daily brain nutrition and support for greater cognitive performance and longevity.
Get the best deal on Mind Lab Pro here.
Synthetic “smart drug” cognitive enhancers have their place and purpose. However, even the frequent “smart drug” users will admit that they’re a difficult habit to sustain for long-term brain health and performance. By avoiding all synthetics and stimulants, even caffeine, Mind Lab Pro offers a formula that not only improves short-term cognitive performance but protects long-term cognition as well. And with caffeine-complementing nootropics, Mind Lab Pro still works as a healthy addition to your morning cup of coffee — or choice of stimulant.
Potency & Quality
Every ingredient in this formula is delivered in high-quality, premium form. Altogether, Mind Lab Pro supplies: Citicoline (as Cognizin®), Bacopa Monnieri Extract (24% bacosides, 9 bioactives), Lion’s Mane Mushroom (full spectrum), Phosphatidylserine (as Sharp-PS® Green), L-Tyrosine (as N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine), L-Theanine (as Suntheanine®), Rhodiola Rosea (3% rosavins, 1% salidrosides), and Maritime Pine Bark Extract (min. 95% proanthocyanidins).
Extra Geek Points
Mind Lab Pro smartly encapsulates its all-natural, premium formula in all-natural, premium Plantcaps®, a prebiotic-infused, plant-based capsule constructed out of fermented tapioca. Without any junky additives, artificial sweeteners, fillers, colorants, etc., Mind Lab Pro is also one of the cleanest nootropic supplements you can buy.
Want some? Get the best deal on Mind Lab Pro here.
Performance Lab Stim
Not every single damn nootropic stack needs caffeine, especially at the megadoses found in so many “brain health” supplements. All the same, it’s nice to have the option available to stack with my other nootropics. So, if you’re looking for a good mix of nootropics and brain-energizing caffeine, my go-to stim stack is Performance Lab Stim, a sort of nootropic-enhanced “Caffeine 2.0” pill that pairs well with non-stimulatory Mind Lab Pro.
There’s no denying it: caffeine is nice. And of all the natural cognitive enhancers, few work as reliably well as caffeine, at least for on-the-spot enhancement of brain energy and focus. Yet, it’s easy to overdo it and veer off into “jittery” side effect territory — especially if you’re already drinking coffee, taking a caffeine pre-workout supplement, etc. etc.
By supplying a minimally effective dose of natural caffeine (50 mg) paired with caffeine-complementing nootropics, Performance Lab Stim helps control the jittery downsides of caffeine while maximizing its performance benefits. Stim’s formula splits into two stacks:
- Performance-Tuned Stimulation: the well-researched caffeine + L-theanine combo that synergizes the energy benefits of caffeine with the calming focus-sharpening effects of L-theanine, an amino acid sourced from green tea leaves.
- Caffeine Balance and Recovery: a smart mix of L-tyrosine, a stress-relieving amino acid that replenishes attention-enhancing catecholamine neurotransmitters, and B-vitamins to counter the B-vitamin-depleting effects of caffeine.
This two-stack combo essentially stimulates brain performance while promoting and protecting your brain chemical status against the deleterious sides of caffeine.
Performance Lab Stim Ingredients
- NutriGenesis® Caffeine Balance B-Complex – B2, B6, B9, B12
- Natural Caffeine – from Coffea robusta seeds
- L-Theanine (Suntheanine®) – focus-sharpening amino acid
- L-Tyrosine (Ajipure®) – stress-relieving amino acid for attention and working memory
Many “nootropic” caffeine pills supply the simple combo of caffeine + L-theanine. However, the further additions of L-tyrosine, as premium Ajipure®, and the bioavailability-enhanced NutriGenesis® B-vitamin complex set this stim stack apart from other caffeine pills.
If I could design the *perfect* caffeine pill to stack with my other nootropic stacks, it would look virtually identical to Performance Lab Stim. With a modest dose of 50mg caffeine per serving, paired with L-theanine at the research-backed 2:1 ratio of L-theanine to caffeine, Performance Lab Stim allows you to take 1 serving, 2 servings, even 3 servings, as needed, rather than forcing you to consume a caffeine megadose of 200-300mg per serving as found in many other stim formulas.
Potency & Quality
The caffeine is naturally sourced from Coffea robusta (coffee beans), the L-theanine is premium Suntheanine®, the L-tyrosine is premium Ajipure®, and the B-vitamin complex is supplied as a NutriGenesis® B-vitamin stack complexed with natural cofactors, such as probiotics, antioxidants, enzymes, and fibers.
Extra Geek Points
Everything is perfectly ratioed in this formula, and, again, the modest dose of caffeine at 50mg allows me to occasionally double or triple the serving size at will. This is truly the most useful (and healthy) caffeine formula available, and, thanks to its simplicity, this formula can be paired with many other nootropic supplements, including the aforementioned Mind Lab Pro.
Performance Lab MCT
Pairing your nootropic stack with some beneficial fats, like MCT or omega-3s, is a good idea for a couple reasons: (1) such beneficial fats possess their own brain healthy benefits whether paired with nootropics or not, and (2) when paired with other cognitive enhancing formulas, they help maximize the absorption of fat-soluble nootropics. My favorite “brain fat” supplement is Performance Lab MCT, a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil bottle that matches the high quality standard of Performance Lab Stim.
Whereas many MCT oil formulas focus strictly on the C8 MCT, due to its well-known association with ketogenesis, Performance Lab MCT also includes C10, another beneficial MCT for brain health and stim-free energy production. Altogether, Performance Lab MCT supplies:
- C8 – Caprylic Acid: the “best” MCT for keto energy
- C10 – Capric Acid: the mitochondrial energy boosting MCT
Sourced from 100% organic coconuts, Performance Lab MCT is also one of the cleanest MCT oil supplements available — which is why I take this stuff straight bottle to mouth, with my morning nootropic stack. Ever since adding Performance Lab MCT to my morning routine, I’ve been recommending this stuff to everyone.
Performance Lab MCT oil should be taken by every nootropic enthusiast, as well as anyone committed to the keto diet and/or intermittent fasting, as an energy alternative to glucose (i.e., carbohydrates).
Performance Lab MCT is comprised of 60% C8 and 40% C10, the proper ratio to maximize the keto benefits of C8 while still supplying the mitochondrial energy enhancement advantages of the less appreciated C10 MCT.
Potency & Quality
Performance Lab MCT oil supplies pure, 3x-distilled medium-chain triglycerides extracted from 100% organic coconuts using hexane-free technology. This MCT oil is also completely synthetic-free and devoid of any artificial additives.
Extra Geek Points
One Performance Lab MCT bottle lasts me forever, and I use this supplement everyday with my morning nootropic stack. Of all my supplements, Performance Lab MCT feels like one of the more valuable, cost-effective nootropics in my collection. I highly recommend this MCT oil.
My Conclusion on the Best Nootropic Supplements to Buy in 2021
I say it every year, but I’ll say it again: smart drugs, such as modafinil or Adderall are fun and beneficial in a short-term sense, yet they lack the long-term health and performance advantages of natural, healthy nootropics. When I recommend a “best nootropic supplement of [X] year,” I’m recommending a nootropic supplement that will benefit this year and the next year — and the next year after that.
Mind Lab Pro, Performance Lab Stim, Performance Lab MCT — these supplements I like to mix together every morning for a combination of acute on-the-spot performance enhancement and long-term brain health support. If you’re looking for a combination of natural supplements that simultaneously benefit both your cognitive fitness and health, look no further than these formulas.
To learn more about Mind Lab Pro, head to mindlabpro.com
To learn more about Performance Lab, head to performancelab.com