We often think about boosting our productivity and performance and go through all possible resources to find effective ways to do that. What we often forget is that to improve our mental and/or physical performance, we have to take care of our energy levels first.
Our everyday’ are often packed with tight deadlines and all kinds of different tasks that demand our full attention and focus - whether it’s work, relationship, family, or hobby-related. We all know that fatigue and mental exhaustion mostly prevent us from being fully present in the situation. That is why it is essential to find safe, sustainable, and of course, practical solutions to naturally boost our energy levels and successfully compete with everyday obligations and responsibilities.
To help you out, we created a complete list of best energy pills and supplements that you can safely implement into your routine.
Energy, by the definition of physics, is the ability to do work. If we talk about energy in the world of performance, it refers to physical stamina and endurance, as well as attentiveness and vigilance.
People have different needs when it comes to energy levels. We also use different tactics depending on what works well for us and what doesn’t. Some can’t live without a cup of coffee in the morning, which gives them the required boost for the forenoon; others have their energy-boosting rituals after lunch.
Some people think they’ve really tried all solutions and haven’t found one that would work for them. Tiredness is, for some people, an everyday companion. This can seriously influence every area of one’s life - from core productivity to one’s mood and mental health as well.
We think it is clear that optimizing and improving one’s energy must be done on an individual level since we all have different needs and circumstances.
Below we are going to share the best nootropics that can help you get focused in the short- and long-term. Instead of buying individual nootropics, we do recommend taking nootropic supplements.
At the end of this post, we will share more information regarding our favorite supplement.
Caffeine is a popular stimulant for boosting energy. It comes from coffee beans or can be synthesized in the laboratory. Since it sensitizes neurons and provides powerful mental stimulation, it is also classified as a nootropic. Caffeine is most known as a central component of coffee, but it is also found in different teas, energy drinks, and other energy pills. 
The most common way to consume Caffeine is through coffee or tea, and the less convenient way is through different energy drinks since they often contain a whole lot of sugar, which can be more harmful than beneficial. Caffeine’s main mechanisms are connected to the adenosine and its receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems and also in some organs. Adenosine works well for promoting relaxation and sleep. Caffeine, on the other hand, works as an antagonist of adenosine receptors and therefore boosts wakefulness and alertness. 
That said, Caffeine does not only affect our mental performance; it also affects our physical performance. On the one hand, it improves the ability to stay focused, alert, and it also affects reaction times and improves short-term recall. 
On the other hand, the consumption of Caffeine can also enhance our athletic performance. It increases physical strength and endurance, and it enhances the body’s use of fat as a fuel, which results in delayed exhaustion during exercise. 
It can also improve mood, but only in relatively small amounts. Improvements in mood are mostly secondary to decreasing fatigue. Consequently, our subjective feelings of well-being can increase. 
The effects of consuming Caffeine can differ vastly among people. One can quickly become tolerant to it and, if consuming it every day in large amounts, the effects and benefits will be reduced to minimal. Those who don’t consume Caffeine so often can be very sensitive to it, meaning that they can feel strong effects even when consuming small amounts of it.
So, with benefits, there are also side effects that should be mentioned. We’ve all probably felt the energy crash a few hours later after drinking coffee. Or, you felt a little irritated, anxious, or even tired after. There are many side effects that one can experience due to too large amounts of Caffeine consumed or some other individual factors (for example, more significant sensitivity to it).
To avoid the side effects of taking Caffeine, we have a perfect solution for you. Please keep reading further.
L-Theanine is an amino acid most known as a relaxing agent without sedation. L-Theanine decreases the subjective feelings of stress and can also work well for improving attention. 
To improve your energy levels, boosting cognition and attention, L-Theanine works best in combination with different stimulants. The connection between L-Theanine and Caffeine is one of the most well-known. We could describe the activity between them as a metaphor of the scale where Caffeine boosts your energy levels on the one hand, and L-Theanine provides balance on the other side with creating a more calm and less jittery experience.
Because of its relaxing properties, L-Theanine also has a significant effect on visual attentional performance and improved reaction time response, mostly in those who are more prone to have higher anxiety. 
So, to create the most significant energy boost possible, combine Caffeine and L-Theanine in a 1:2 ratio. This way, L-Theanine can work best in maximizing the benefits of Caffeine and minimizing the side effects of it.
Rhodiola Rosea is a herb that has adaptogenic properties. That means it helps combat all kinds of stressful situations.
Rhodiola does have a variety of different health benefits and effects, which makes it a popular dietary supplement and nootropic. The first of many benefits is stress resistance. Rhodiola was shown to be effective in different work-related stressful situations. Participants felt decreased symptoms of stress, such as fatigue and anxiety. 
Due to those properties and effects, Rhodiola can also improve signs of burnout, which is nowadays quite a frequent topic because of a fast lifestyle, tight deadlines, and all kinds of expectations to ourselves and others.
Its energy-boosting effects come from the fact that it helps fight physical and mental tiredness, which makes you more ready to overcome everyday difficulties and challenges. Consequently, being less tired and less stressed-out can lead to improved attention and concentration in the given situation. 
One interesting study also showed that taking Rhodiola Rosea was found to improve participants’ capacity for mental work and their performance. 
On the other hand, Rhodiola also shows promising results in improving our mood since it is balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain, which are often unbalanced in depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. For example, a study shows that supplementing Rhodiola improved symptoms by people with mild or moderate forms of depression, improved their problems with sleep deprivation and emotional stability. 
All in all, Rhodiola does show effects on different areas of our lives - from our mental health to cognitive performance and handling stress better. Some studies also show that it also affects exercise performance in terms of endurance. This means it helps you work out longer and harder without fast exhaustion or fatigue during practice. 
Citicoline is primarily a brain chemical found in the body. Additionally, it can also be supplemented and works excellent as a nootropic compound. 
When researching, you can often see links between Citicoline and memory improvements. There are many studies showing improvements in brain function, memory, and thinking in patients that had a stroke. However, Citicoline shows promising results in boosting cognition in healthy individuals too. 
Besides Citicoline’s effects on cognitive decline and memory improvements, it is also efficient in boosting energy, supporting alertness, and increasing attention.
Some studies also show that it adds its part in improving mental clarity and focus by stimulating electronic impulses and maintaining healthy neurons. 
For a long time, it has been known that we can get the recommended dosage of B Vitamins from the right diets. It was thought that vegans and other plant-based eaters didn’t get enough of them through food and should definitely supplement it, while meat-eaters get it enough through meat and other animal products.
Recent scientific findings show that B12 deficiency is not only a vegan problem. B12 is produced by bacteria in soil and also in the guts of all animals. However, the soil needs to contain Cobalt, which is crucial for the production of B12. Since nowadays soil is lacking Cobalt, mainly because of over-farming and keeping animals mostly indoors, those animals can’t get enough of the B12. Cows and chickens, for example, get B12 through the dirt around the grassroots. That is why a lot of manufactured B12 is supplemented to those animals. 
The factory kind of farming can be one reason that meat-eaters should also supplement B12 in many cases. The other reason is also a fast and demanding lifestyle which often doesn’t allow us to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Some individual factors can also increase the body’s need for B vitamins - pregnancy, alcohol consumption, different medical conditions, and some medications. Those are all the circumstances when supplementation of B vitamins is necessary.
B12 deficiency mainly shows a lack of energy, tiredness, muscle weakness, different problems with mood and cognitive difficulties (decision making, memory impairments). Those problems are actually the reason why we put B Vitamins on this list of energy pills. They really are crucial for our overall health and well-being, and they are specifically vital for our mental and physical performance.
B6, for example, is essential for the chemical breakdown of glycogen, which gives the body the fuel it needs for physical activity. 
When it comes to mental performance, B9 and B12 are central for maintaining good mental health and decreasing the possibilities of depression or other mood disorders. 
L-Tyrosine is a great nootropic that also boosts energy levels and improves our cognitive performance since it helps with regulating our attention and enhancing our focus.
Supplementing L-Tyrosine increases levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, which boosts our cognition, improves memory and performance, mainly in stressful situations and, more specifically, during acute stressors. 
Considering its benefits in stressful situations, supplementing L-Tyrosine also affects our mood and improves our subjective well-being.
When it comes to the safety of different energy pills, one must be aware that some products contain synthetic stimulants that can be harmful. Moreover, as with Caffeine, some energy pills can be addictive.
When taking any kind of supplements or nootropic stacks, you must do your research. Avoid products with non-transparent formulas, hidden ingredients, or hidden dosages of the ingredients.
The best way to guarantee the safety of the products you’re taking is to reach out for those that are transparent, use certified ingredients that have undergone proper testing.
Head Of Nutrition At STAQ Performance
Maja Andoljsek, BSc in Sports Science and Nutrition, has been researching nutrition, supplements, and coaching people for years. As a certified coach and nutritionist, she has helped hundreds of people improve their cognitive performance, physical performance, and overall health.