Best Nootropics: Our Top 7 List

November 16, 2019 5 min read

Despite the growing interest in supplementing nootropics, there is still no consensus about the best nootropics that are available on the market. Therefore, many brands use confusion to sell underperforming and under-researched products. To help you avoid such products, we have decided to share with you the best-rated nootropics.

Best Nootropics 2020

We have been researching and developing nootropics for several years until we gained a specific understanding of nootropics, their effects, benefits, and interactions among each other. 

We were quite surprised that contrary to our belief, many “nootropics” proved to be ineffective or even dangerous. But we also found quite a few nootropics that provided terrific benefits and are side-effects free. 

Since most nootropics have to be taken orally for at least a few weeks before you can get the benefits, it is crucial to understand which of them can provide the benefits and which of them not. 

Also, you should NOT forget about safety, especially for long-term use.So, here are the best-rated nootropics that we identified. Keep in mind they are sorted in no particular order. 

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is one of the most potent adaptogen herbs that is found in high-quality supplements. [1

Studies show it is very effective for battling with fatigue and stress. Due to that, people report feeling more alert when supplementing this herb. [2

Another study shows that Rhodiola Rosea improves mental performance in healthy individuals. [3]Many other studies show multiple benefits of this adaptogen herb. [1

Rhodiola Rosea is potent at 50 mg/day, but most studies show benefits at dosages of 100 - 200mg/day. 

For optimal long-term performance, STAQ recommends taking 100mg of high-quality Rhodiola Rosea extract per day.  

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is another Ayurvedic herb that is used for improving cognition. [4

Also called Brahmi, this nootropic is very effective for improving cognition and memory in healthy individuals. [5

Studies show that supplementing Bacopa improves verbal learning and memory in older adults as well. [6]

Another study shows the potential of using this herb to decrease stress and anxiety. [7

Compared to Rhodiola Rosea, experts recommend supplementing Bacopa Monnieri for least 8 weeks to get cognitive benefits. [4

Therefore, we recommend supplementing both adaptogenic herbs together - Rhodiola Rosea for short-term benefits, and Bacopa Monnieri for long-term benefits. 

STAQ recommends a daily dosage of 300mg of Bacopa Monnieri (with 50% of bacosides) per day. 

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane Mushroom is one of our favorite nootropics for long-term use.Also called Yamabushitake, this dietary mushroom is effective for decreasing anxiety and stress in healthy individuals. [8

Another study shows that supplementing Lion’s Mane improves cognition in people with mild cognitive impairment. [9

Recent studies confirm that this mushroom can be neuroprotective and act as an anti-inflammatory agent. [10

The optimal recommended dosage has not been established yet. Based on the studies and experience, STAQ suggests supplementing 600mg of Lion’s Mane mushroom per day. 


Citicoline (CDP-Choline) is a natural compound found in every cell of your brain. [11

Moreover, this compound is also a popular and very effective nootropic. This study shows that supplementing citicoline can improve your cognition. [12

Other studies confirm that citicoline can improve memory in the elderly. [13

This compound also seems useful for slowing down cognitive decline. [14 

Compared to other choline sources, CDP-Choline (and Cognizin) seem to be the most potent and effective. [11

While we lack studies on healthy individuals, other studies on animals confirm what we already know - that Citicoline is a must-have nootropic for optimal cognitive performance. 

STAQ recommends supplementing 270-300mg of Cognizin per day. 


L-theanine is a non-essential amino acid found in green tea. [15

Studies confirm that L-theanine is a powerful anti-anxiety agent that can be as effective as Xanax. [16

Also, this amino acid can increase alpha wave function in adults with higher anxiety. [17] 

Most importantly, 200mg of L-theanine showed to increase brain function compared to placebo. [18

And this fact makes this specific nootropic so interesting.Not only can L-theanine make you more relaxed, but it can also improve your cognitive functions. This puts it high on our nootropics list. 

STAQ recommends supplementing 200mg of L-theanine per day (preferably combined with caffeine). 


Caffeine is unlike any other nootropic on this list. It is a widely consumed psychoactive drug. [19]

Since nootropics are side-effects free by definition, we can call caffeine a “half-nootropic.”Caffeine is a stimulant that can, in a matter of minutes, increase your energy and attention. [20

It can improve your physical performance [21], processing speed and wakefulness [22], and subjective well-being. [23

However, since frequent use leads to tolerance, we recommend cycling it. To avoid jitters, combining it with L-theanine will provide amazing benefits. [19

STAQ recommends supplementing 100mg of caffeine per day (combined with 200mg of L-theanine).  

Melissa officinalis 

Melissa (Lemon Balm) has been traditionally used for improving cognition and reducing stress. [24]

Studies show that when ingesting Lemon Balm, quality of memory formation improves. [25

Higher doses of this herb also decreased alertness and stress. [26] The same studies confirm reduced alertness and increased calmness when supplementing Lemon Balm.So, this herb seems effective on its own. 

Still, due to the lack of studies and relatively weak effects at lower dosages, we suggest combining Melissa with other effective nootropics for simultaneous effects. 

STAQ recommends supplementing 50-100mg/day of Melissa officinalis alongside caffeine. 

Our Recommendation

We just looked at the best quality nootropics that are currently available on the market, completely legal, effective, and very safe.

If you are serious about improving your cognitive performance, we just showed you which nootropics can help you do that.

You basically have two options available: You can go on the market, order 7 individual nootropics separately, properly weight them at home, mix them, and create your “homemade” nootropic stack.

Or, instead of wasting hours of your time, you rather buy the #1 Rated Nootropic Supplement currently available on the market - STAQ Performer.

The best thing about the Performer is that it already contains all mentioned nootropics (and a few other crucial nootropics for optimal cognitive performance and health).

It’s the highest quality supplement currently available, it will help you save time, and it is arguably more affordable than ordering all individual compounds.

To get this amazing supplement with the best nootropics ingredients, click below.

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Maya Andoljsek

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.


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