Top 10 Potent Nootropics for Cognitive Edge

A good outcome when scientists create drugs for all kinds of health problems—is that they later appear to power up the brain for healthy individuals.

In this article, in no special order, you’ll learn about some of the top nootropics you can take.


Sulbutiamine is synthetically made from two vitamin B1 (thiamine) molecules. Created in Japan to support chronic B1 deficiency, but healthy individuals will get clean mental energy and motivation.

Sulbutiamine is more effective than original thiamine. It can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and affect dopamine, choline, and glutamate more effectively.

This will give you the nootropic benefits and improve memory, attention, focus, and creativity.

Sulbutiamine is also neuroprotective and has shown to protect neuronal cells in the hippocampus from oxygen/glucose deprivation.


Semax originates from corticotrophin and was originally made for stroke victims suffering from cognitive decline. It’s approved in Russia as an essential drug because of the medical value.

Well researched compound that also provides cognitive enhancement. Especially used for the neuroprotective, neurogenic, and nootropic flavors.

The drug activates dopaminergic, serotonergic brain systems—and NMDA receptors for glutamate.

This opens up the possibility to enhance your mood, motivation, and cognitive performance to tackle mental work. Semax can also improve your memory, learning, focus, perception, energy, mood, and immune system. And mild depression and symptoms of ADHD.

It’s an expensive nootropic compared to noopept and other popular nootropics. But also a strong one that delivers.

Semax & Noopept: Neurotrophin Factor

top nootropics

Neurotrophin are small proteins that manage survival—development—and function of neurons.

Semax has shown to stimulate brain-derived neurotrophic factor, in short BDNF, after thirty minutes of administration in the frontal cortex. It can stimulate nerve growth factor, too.

Noopept is also known to have these brain-boosting benefits.

Both NGF and BDNF leads to better cognitive abilities, especially memory. Plus, long and short-term brain health.


Noopept is cheap, safe, and documented to be 1,000 stronger than piracetam, the godfather of nootropics.

The downside, in my opinion, is the short one-hour life span. But the effects kick in within twenty minutes to make you ready fast for a productive hour.

If your goal is focus try to look somewhere else because you might not be complete satisfied.

Some people will experience focus enhancement. Other may feel subtle improvements in these areas. Depends on your unique brain chemistry, and on how you take noopept. Sublingual under your tongue or nasal spray.

One user on Reddit reported that with nasal spray the effects were stronger and last longer compared to sublingual noopept. So if you’re looking for concentration you know what a good option might be. Personally, I take noopept sublingually and happy with the great learning and memory upgrade.

The power is within the neuroprotective and memory boosting flavors. Like discussed above noopept stimulates NGF and BDNF—which leads to better memory—learning—and brain health.

Noopept can also increase alpha/beta1 waves activity in all brain areas. Alpha waves manage cognitive function including learning, focus, and being in the present moment.

Beta waves regulate cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making.


Phenylpiracetam is a modified version of piracetam with a group of atoms added. Now it’s stronger—more energizing—and carries psychostimulatory effects.

And also more expensive, but the typical dose is much lower: 100-200 milligrams compared to piracetam which is 4800mg.

Phenylpiracetam is a unique nootropic banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. One big reason besides enhanced athletic performance is because you become more resilience to cold temperatures.

Phenylpiracetam works on key neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, and NDMA receptors. The nootropic benefits you get include improved memory, attention, focus, motor coordination, and suppressed fear response.

You can use phenylpiracetam before an important test to make sure your learning and focus abilities are there for you.

Or for productivity, since you will feel it’s easier to stick and finish a task without getting too distracted. You’ll also feel that it’s not a placebo, and enhanced energy levels for both your mind and body.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is natural choline found in the brain. Supplements are also made from purified soy lecithin and used for the brain-enhancing benefits. In Europe it’s prescribed for alzheimer’s disease.

Probably one of the best forms of choline that penetrate the blood-brain barrier and act as an acetylcholine precursor.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter connected with memory, learning, attention, focus, and thinking skills. It handles working, short, and long-term memory.

If your memory is dull at the moment alpha gpc can enhance choline uptake in the hippocampus and turn it around.

Strong nootropics drain choline levels from your brain.

This is why a good source is basic to have in your stack if you take these. Not only does it counteract headaches—but alpha gpc compliment other nootropics.

Alpha gpc can also schedule REM sleep. And help you induce lucid dreams, which is a nootropic itself that improve creativity like nothing else.

Some people take it for muscle growth since it has shown to stimulate human growth hormones.


Sunifiram is somewhat new effective AMPAkine nootropic derived from piperazine. The first research began in 2000, and positive results to aid memory impairments are here.

Sunifiram carries anti-amnesiac features, which opens up the door for cognitive improvements.

The drug is four order of magnitude more potent than piracetam. Both can stimulate acetylcholine. However, sunifiram act mainly as an AMPAkine that affects glutamate, a neurotransmitter that manage synaptic plasticity—memory storage—and spatial navigation.

Limited human research exists. But sunifiram has shown to improve mood, energy, learning and memory functions. Users also report enhanced visual perception, reduced anxiety, depression, and increased sex drive.

Sunifiram should be used with caution because it’s not well researched yet, but appears to be nontoxic.


Phenibut originates from a natural calming neurotransmitter called GABA. Created in Russia in 1960 and has since been used for anxiety, depression, insomnia, alcoholism—and posttraumatic stress.

Phenibut can, unlike other GABA supplements, penetrate the blood-brain barrier and improve right and left brain communication, memory, learning, and enhance blood flow to the brain. But limited research exists to complete this area. It’s thought that memory and learning improves when the drug stimulates dopamine and GABA receptors simultaneously.

Phenibut is more known for the anti-anxiety and sleep improving qualities. It’s a potent nootropic that you can feel if you use it wisely. Note that it also carries side effects and can be addictive.


Modafinil is a central nervous stimulant, and a wakefulness-promoting drug created only for patients suffering from narcolepsy. It’s a well-researched nootropic approved by the FDA as a schedule IV classed drug. Healthy individuals use it for the many brain-boosting benefits.

Modafinil works in complex ways and affects neurotransmitters including orexin, dopamine, serotonin, histamine, GABA, and glutamate. It can improve your memory, attention, motivation, and information processing.

The most notable effect is laser sharp focus, and the need for sleep is gone.

If you take modafinil you won’t need coffee or anything else to stay productive. The effects kick in within an hour and last for up to twelve hours. You must have a prescription to buy modafinil. But generics are available online, and some of them are more powerful than the original.


Adrafinil is metabolized into modafinil in the liver and was created for the same purpose. It carries almost all the same benefits, but modafinil is more gentle on the liver, works differently, and produce different side effects.

However, Adrafinil is much cheaper, and in many countries, you won’t need a prescription.

Adrafinil produces mental focus without jittery feelings, but should also be used wisely, and only for days when you need to get things done.


Maybe it’s not made in a laboratory. But definitely a top nootropic. Ashwagandha is popular within Ayurveda for the dazzling restorative benefits for your whole system.

The roots hold the power to enhance your brain. It works by stimulating choline, glutamate, GABA, serotonin, dopamine, and adrenergic neurotransmission.

Ashwagandha has shown to help your system develop new neurons and prevent brain cell degeneration.

As a nootropic, you will improve memory—attention—social cognition— and reaction time. It’s one of the strongest anti-stress fighters that limits stress hormones from taking over your system. You can use ashwagandha in the morning to have a smooth day, and at night to induce a deep cell rejuvenating sleep.

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