James Dixon examines the best nootropics on the UK market as he looks to find the peak of his cognitive powers using these mind boosting supplements made from natural ingredients.
The focus for health and wellness has shifted over the last couple of years and although physical health is still high on the agenda for most people, mental wellbeing is starting to come in to focus more and more.
Getting quality sleep, reducing anxiety and improving cognitive functioning are now all firmly on the radar of those who want to perform at their best and keep their bodies and minds in tip top condition.
Meditation, regular sleep patterns, a balanced lifestyle and good hydration are all natural ways in which you can improve your mental wellbeing but many people want to go further and for that there is nootropics.
The term nootropics stems from the Ancient Greek language and translates to ‘mind’ ‘a turning’. Nootropic supplements are now widely available and are generally designed to improve cognitive functions such as focus, support positive mood and provide a feeling of being more energised.
Our No.1 Choice Of Nootropic
The best nootropics have all natural ingredient profiles but all will have slightly different stacks and so it is worth considering what you want to gain from a nootropic supplement and how a product aligns with that aim. We have compiled what we believe to be the best nootropics available in the UK and will showcase these below, but first, let’s take a look at some of the common questions around brain health supplements.
Best Nootropics Quick Picks:
What Do Nootropics Do?
To put it simply, Nootropics aid healthy brain functioning and in particular can help with focus, creativity, memory and motivation. They utilise natural and synthetic ingredients to improve the performance of pathways in the brain that promote these desired effects. We would advocate 100% natural nootropics as opposed to synthetic and natural combinations and all of our suggestions here have natural profiles.
There are hundreds of studies that argue for the performance of nootropics and they are often used by people looking to improve their cognitive functions for work or learning purposes as well as video gamers and gym goers.
8 Best Nootropics In The UK
Now we have a good understanding of what to look for, let’s take a look at the best Nootropics available in the UK.
NooCube is a caffeine free nootropic supplement that is made up of completely natural ingredients – all of which are scientifically backed to have a positive impact on brain functions. NooCube promises to improve a range of cognitive functions including concentration, mental energy, memory and overall functioning.
NooCube is not the cheapest nootropic supplement available but it does have an excellent ingredient stack with Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, Cat’s Claw, Bacopa Monnieri, Oat Straw, L-theanine and L-tyrosine all making the cut. NooCube state that you get all the benefits of caffeine but with the added benefit of productivity that you don’t always get with caffeine. The lack of caffeine also means there is no chance of the dreaded jitters.
Each bottle contains 60 capsules which will last one month and they have some excellent offers on such as buy 3 bottles get 3 free which gives some excellent savings overall. Shipping is free and they deliver to the UK quickly.
All NooCube ingredients are scientifically certified and clinically backed meaning they are safe to consume and you should expect no side effects. Through testing we found that we had an improved concentration and focus and the feeling of greater mental energy was apparent after just 30 minutes of taking our first capsule.
If you are looking for a good all-rounder that doesn’t contain caffeine and is safe to take daily then NooCube is an excellent option.
Mind Vitality Focus
Mind Vitality Focus is a relative newcomer to the UK nootropics market but one that has made a huge splash with a growing user base. Manufactured by UK based Health Nutrition Limited, it has no less than 17 natural ingredients – ranging from brain boosting B vitamins to some big hitters such as Lions Mane Mushroom, Bacopa Monnieri and Ashwagandha.
In fact, a lot of the ingredients you will find in Mind Vitality can be found as individual supplements – a testament perhaps to their efficacy.
But how does it stack up as a nootropic?
Well we tested it for a month to find out – and the results were surprising. Surprising in a good way that is.
Aside from Hunter Focus (next on our list), Mind Vitality has just about the most comprehensive set of ingredients of any nootropic – with a well thought out formula that is backed by numerous clinical studies.
And that showed in our testing – with a modest impact on focus, energy levels and even motivation being felt within just 7-8 days. Even Noocube wasn’t quite so fast acting.
With Bacopa Monnieri and Ginkgo Biloba, there is also a good chance that memory will see a benefit from long term use – although this is harder for us to substantiate with just a one month test.
What we really found that set Mind Vitality Focus apart from the rest of the nootropic supplements we tested is it’s ability to not only improve focus, but also provide a sense of calmness – even in high pressured situations.
There was no negative impact on sleep when assessed using an Oura ring (our sleep tracker of choice) and in fact the reverse was noted – with a 7% higher amount of deep sleep over the 30 days of testing vs the previous 30 days when taking no nootropics.
Each serving comprises of 3 capsules which can be taken at the same time. To get the most from Mind Vitality Focus you should take these with breakfast or lunch. We opted for breakfast and the impact lasted all day with what felt like a compounding effect over time.
There is no caffeine involved (which is a positive for us) so you can still consume coffee or tea as required and perhaps the only ingredient missing from it that we’d like to see is L-Theanine. However, combining Mind Vitality with some green or black tea will set this straight.
Overall, it is well worth your consideration and who knows, with a little more testing it might even take top spot for us.
Hunter Evolve are one of our favourite supplement providers in the UK thanks to a small but high quality product range. They focus all of their attention on just three supplements, with their nootropic supplement ‘Hunter Focus‘ being one of them. Hunter Focus is designed for everyday use and it has been targeted at aspirational men aged 30 and over – although it can be used by anyone over the age of 18. It has one of the best ingredient stacks we have seen and they have some excellent offers when you buy in bulk. Although this is not a cheap nootropic supplement, it does offer excellent value for money when you look at the 3 and 4 month supply packages.
One of the key reasons this nootropic offers incredible value for money is that it has one of the highest dosage levels of each active ingredient. This makes it incredibly potent thanks to an ideal dose of some well chosen ingredients.
Hunter Focus contains 9 completely natural ingredients that all have a different aim in terms of improving your cognitive functions. They break these ingredients down in to three sections, they are:
The Memory Matrix – Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Maritime Pine Bark and Bacopa Monnieri are all included to provide improved memory performance.
Mood Amplification – Phosphatidylserine, Ashwagandha and Passion Flower are all added to Hunter Focus to provide you with a calm and positive frame of mind. These three ingredients combine to provide you with a sustained positive mindset through the day.
Concentration Activation – When you are looking to perform at your best it is often that extra 1% that makes the difference and the combination of Citiclone, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine are all designed to aid concentration and give you that extra 1% than even the next best nootropic when it comes to focus.
Everything that goes in to Hunter Focus is natural and there are no synthetic additives or proprietary blends – which means Hunter are completely open and transparent about what goes in to their product. It is manufactured in the UK and the USA and is fully FDA compliant so you know what you are taking is safe. For us, Hunter Focus is the best nootropic supplement available in the UK today and if you are looking for an everyday nootropic that will give you the best cognitive functions over a sustained period of time without any comedown then this is it – ideal for work and play.
Mind Lab Pro V4.0
Mind Lab Pro is part of Opti-Nutra Ltd – a well respected UK based supplementation company. Mind Lab Pro started in 2015 and has seen 4 iterations of its top selling nootropic since then.
Whilst the previous versions of Mind Lab Pro were good, it seems that they have nailed it with V4.0. Not only does it have a seriously impressive range of ingredients that appear to be optimally dosed, it has some seriously impressive scientific data to back up its efficacy.
It was also one of the fastest acting nootropics that we tested which provides some handy anecdotal support to the claims made by the company themselves.
Each serving requires you to take two capsules (best taken after breakfast) and contains 11 carefully selected natural ingredients – all of which are derived from high quality sources.
Nothing is hidden behind proprietary blends so you know exactly what is in each dose. You get vitamins B6, B9 and B12, 250mg of Citicoline, 150mg of Bacopa Monnieri, 500mg of Lion’s Mane Mushroom, 175mg of L-Tryosine, 100mg of L-Theanine, 50mg of Rhodiola Rosea, 100mg of Phosphatidylserine and 75mg of Maritime Pine Bark Extract.
It really is a great combination of ingredients.
We found that within 2 days of taking the supplement, our focus and concentration levels were heightened and motivation to complete tasks was also increased. The decision to not include caffeine will be a positive for many users and it means if you wish to continue to drink your usual amount of caffeinated drinks then you can. This does mean the impact isn’t quite so acute, but over time the improvement in cognitive functioning was clear to us.
Our experience is further backed up by Mind Lab Pro’s own independent studies. A double blind placebo controlled study by University of Leeds found that the impact of Mind Lab Pro was ‘impressive’ and that there was a ‘degree of statistical significance’.
Mind Lab Pro is not a cheap nootropic – but they do offer some good bulk buy discounts and provide fast and free UK wide shipping. If you want something that is vegan friendly, stimulant free, is free from almost all allergens and is highly effective then this is a great option.
Hux Health are a relatively new UK supplement company that started off making greens powders. They are a fast growing company that have caught our eye and as a result have become one of our ‘trusted suppliers’. Their nootropic supplement is not an absolute standout winner when it comes to what is out there already, but it is a very good nootropic none the less.
The one thing we really like about Hux Nootropics is that they do not use any proprietary blends so you know exactly what dose each serving contains for each ingredient. Starting off with 500mg of Citicoline, 380mg of Lions Mane Extract and 200mg of L-Theanine, you know you are off to a good start.
Hux Nootropics does contain 100mg of Caffeine Anhydrous which will definitely give you a kick first thing in the morning (the best time to take this supplement), and with Ginko Biloba, Niacin and a few B vitamins, you do have the makings of a very good nootropic indeed.
Of course, if you are looking for something stimulant free then you will want to opt for one of the options above, but if you are not a coffee drinker and want the caffeine kick to give you that mental boost then Hux is a great option.
We found the usual benefits of increased mental clarity, improved focus and a greater recall all present when using Hux. It’s not the cheapest with just 40 capsules (20 servings) per bottle and although the subscribe and save option does give you a good discount, it’s still pretty pricey compared to NooCube which is our no.1 nootropic of choice.
If you value supporting a smaller British company, want the caffeine included and are happy to try a subscription then Hux is probably for you.
Relax By Innermost
Not all nootropics are about having laser focus and being super concentrated. In fact, there is an ever growing move towards using nootropics to aid recovery and to improve ones overall wellbeing. The Relax Capsules by Innermost fall firmly in to this category and are an ideal choice for anyone who is looking to relieve anxiety and to improve their overall quality of sleep – something that is absolutely key to improving recovery.
Innermost very generously sent us two bottles of their capsules to try and so we did. Taking 2 capsules each evening before bed, the idea of this stack is that it helps you to relax, which in turn can have no end of advantageous side effects – including feeling better rested, promoting lean muscle growth and a better overall sense of wellbeing.
The Relax Capsules are completely vegan friendly and contain a natural ingredient stack that compares well to some of the other nootropics listed on this page. Of course, the focus here is very much on relaxation and helping to regulate your sleep pattern but the benefits are felt each and every day as a result of such well rested sleep. Each capsule includes 350mg of Lions Mane Mushroom, 200mg of Ashwagandha, 100mg of Valerian Root, 250mg of L-Glycine, 100mg of L-Theanine and 100mg of 5-HTP which is an amino acid naturally produced by the body that aids weight regulation and helps increase serotonin levels.
After just one week of taking these nootropic supplements we could tell the difference. We really tried to keep our usual bedtime routine the same, so minimal screen time before going to sleep and not eating too close to bed – and what we thought was an already pretty solid pre-sleep routine seemed to be made all the better thanks to the Relax Capsules. After the first week and beyond we had stronger recoveries (evidenced by our Whoop Band stats), lower resting heart rate during sleep and just felt much more energetic the following day.
For anyone looking to improve their sleep and reduce their anxiety levels then Relax by Innermost is a great investment to make.
London Nootropics offer something completely different to any of the other products on this list and that is because their nootropics come in the form of a coffee blend as opposed to being a pill that you swallow. They have researched and found the highest quality natural nootropics & adaptogens from around the world and created three adaptogenic coffee blends, each of which has a slightly different focus to the next. You can drink them on a daily basis if you wish and they are made from natural & powerful nootropic and adaptogenic ingredients such as Lions Mane (a mushroom known as Hericium Erinaceus), Rhodiola Rosea and Siberian Ginseng.
We tested out all three flavours of coffee that they offer and found all three to have positive effects that you would associate with fast acting nootropics. The three flavours they offer are:
Grind Coffee – Their standard blend is aimed at providing mental clarity and focus and a positive impact on short and long term memory functions. This is a great tasting blend with Lion’s mane mushroom & Rhodiola and you can drink it as you would normally take your coffee; either with milk or black.
Zen Coffee – This blend combines the alertness and focus you get with the coffee grind but also has a calming impact. It has a natural ingredient profile that includes organic ashwagandha root extract as well as water soluble CBD from organic hemp. It also tastes great!
Mojo Coffee – The Mojo blend is designed around endurance and vitality and it achieves this with organic cordyceps mushroom extract and Siberian ginseng. Cordyceps is a strong antioxidant and works wonders at increasing blood flow – it’s known to increase your aerobic capacity and oxygen flow to your body and brain, to help give you a natural boost – especially great when feeling fatigued or before a workout.
Each of the three flavours come in their own sachet and you just need to add hot water (and milk if you wish) to take it. This makes it incredibly convenient and if you are a coffee lover then why not get the added cognitive benefits of these natural blends at the same time as taking your morning or afternoon coffee break.
Each coffee works out to less than you would pay for a Starbucks and offers incredible value for money as well as positive brain-stimulating effects. All blends are available in different sized boxes and you can buy a mixed box to find your perfect blend. They are manufactured and sold in the UK and are a great way to start off with nootropics if you have not tried them before and if you are a coffee lover.
Brainzyme Focus Pro
Brainzyme is a well known UK made nootropic that has been featured in major publications such as The Times, Forbes and Trail Running Magazine. It is 100% natural, completely plant based and improves focus, energy, mood and memory. There are three main product lines that they sell but we are focusing on the middle of the range product which is the Brainzyme Focus Pro – this has the perfect blend of key ingredients but without being overly expensive and really gives those cognitive processes a kickstart.
There is an impressive 19 ingredient profile found in the Focus Pro and this includes Ginkgo Biloba, Guarana seed, L-Tyrosine, Matcha Green Tea Blend (which contains L-Theanine), Maca root as well as Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin B12. The all natural ingredients found in Brainzyme Focus Pro really are about as good as it gets if you want to stay caffeine free and completely natural and vegan friendly.
You will feel the impact of taking your first capsule after just 30 minutes as you become more focused and attentive to the task at hand. This feeling lasts up to 8 hours and you should take 2 capsules each day to give all day focus.
Brainzyme have some excellent bulk package deals and a 6 month supply can be enjoyed with a £30 discount at the time of writing which makes this very affordable considering the nootropic stack you are getting.
UK shipping is free for all orders of £5 and over and as a UK based company and with all aspects of this supplement being safe to consume it is well worth a try.
NooCube tops our list of nootropics thanks to its all-natural ingredient profile and evidence of real efficacy during our testing. Each ingredient is backed by well researched clinical studies and we noticed a profound improvement in memory, focus and attention after just a week of using it.
There are many good quality nootropics on the market but NooCube is our number one pick by some distance and the 60 day money back guarantee makes this a pretty risk free investment in yourself.
The Nootropic supplements we tested are all natural and as such they do not come with any warnings around side effects. As with any supplement you should ensure you do not exceed the specified dosage and if in doubt you should consult your GP.
Some people complain of ‘the jitters’ if they have too much caffeine or if they take caffeine and other stimulants. Most nootropics will balance out the impact of stimulants with herbal energy enhancers such as ginkgo biloba and bacopa monnieri as well as amino acids.
Some ingredients may also have additional positive side effects such as helping to boost testosterone levels and providing additional vitamins and minerals that are good for all-round health.
There are many variations of ingredient stacks and all cater to a slightly different impact on the brain.
Some of the key ingredients to look out for include:
Grown in tropical conditions, this plant is found in ancient Ayurvedic medicine and has been used for hundreds of years as a way of improving memory and reducing anxiety. Bacopa Monnieri needs to be taken consistently to produce results so don’t expect instant improvement as a result of taking it but do look for this in your nootropic and ideally at levels of 300mg or more per serving.
Ginkgo Biloba: The jury is out on Ginkgo Biloba in terms of clinical studies and although results in these studies have been inconsistent there is enough of a body of evidence to suggest that this herbal supplement can have a positive impact on focus and memory. It has been linked to improved thinking skills in healthy middle aged people and is 100% natural. Certainly a worthy addition to your ingredient stack.
Caffeine: This one needs little introduction and is the most widely used brain stimulant in the world with billions of people taking it daily in tea and coffee. Too much of it can lead to the dreaded ‘jitters’ but doses of 100mg-200mg should be fine especially when balanced with other calming ingredients such as L-Theanine. It is not vital to have caffeine in your nootropics and there are more and more caffeine free nootropics coming on the market nowadays that use other natural ingredients to create similar cognitive benefits that would be associated with caffeine.
L-Theanine: A calming amino acid that is found naturally in tea but is limited in our diet unless taken through supplementation. It works perfectly with caffeine as it helps to create a balanced effect but is also widely regarded as being able to reduce anxiety and stress. A 100-200mg serving is considered optimal in boosting cognitive functioning.