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< class="article__title title 10-best-nootropics-for-studying-according-to-researchers"> 10 Best Nootropics For Studying According To Researchers>
10 Best Nootropics For Studying According To Researchers
Oct 04, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

10 Best Nootropics For Studying According To Researchers

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 17 min read
10 Best Nootropics For Studying According To Researchers

As more people seek ways to enhance their learning process, the best nootropics for studying are gaining more recognition for their numerous benefits. 

Imagine a toolkit where Bacopa Monnieri sharpens memory retention, L-Theanine from Green Tea promotes focused calmness, Rhodiola Rosea combats study-related stress, and Ginkgo Biloba improves cerebral blood flow for heightened concentration. 

Add to this mix Lion's Mane Mushroom for neuro support, Omega-3 Fatty Acids for optimal brain function, Modafinil for increased alertness, Caffeine for a quick mental boost, and Creatine for improved cognitive performance, each serving as a pillar of cognitive support during intense study sessions.

In this article, we delve into the world of nootropics specifically beneficial for studying. Whether cramming for exams, working on challenging academic projects, or simply striving to enhance your learning process, these nootropics offer heightened focus, improved memory, and mental endurance.

1. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri isn't just an herb; it's a student's best friend for enhancing memory and cognitive function. Here's why Bacopa is a top pick for study sessions:

  • Memory Retention: Known for boosting memory formation and recall (1), Bacopa is ideal for students who need to absorb and retain large amounts of information.
  • Learning Efficiency: It not only helps with memory but also improves the rate at which you process information (2), making learning new concepts more efficient.

Picture this: You're studying for finals, and the information just sticks. That's Bacopa working its magic. It's like having a natural tutor, helping you remember and understand everything you study.🌿📚🧠

2. L-Theanine (From Green Tea)

L-Theanine (From Green Tea)

L-Theanine, predominantly found in green tea (and a few caffeine-free teas), is like a secret weapon for students seeking a boost of calm focus

It's not just about relaxation; it's about enhancing your ability to concentrate during long study hours. Here's the scoop on L-Theanine:

  • Relaxed Concentration: L-Theanine promotes a state of relaxed alertness. You can stay calm (3) and focused, which is perfect for intense study sessions or when preparing for exams.
  • Synergy with Caffeine: Often paired with caffeine in green tea, L-Theanine helps smooth out the jittery edge caffeine can cause, offering a balanced and sustained focus (4).

Imagine diving into your books and feeling both completely relaxed and fully focused. That's the L-Theanine effect. It's like a mental yoga session, aligning your mind for optimal learning and concentration.🍵🧠📖✨

3. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is like a beacon of resilience in the world of nootropics for focus, particularly valuable for students under heavy coursework and exams. Here's how Rhodiola Rosea can be a game-changer for your study routine:

  • Combat Study-Related Stress: Known for its adaptogenic properties (5), Rhodiola helps reduce stress (6) and fatigue, which are common hindrances to effective studying.
  • Enhanced Focus and Stamina: Not only does it help in managing stress, but Rhodiola also boosts your concentration and mental stamina (7), crucial during long study hours or when tackling complex topics.

Imagine preparing for an important test or project; even under pressure, you feel more focused and less tired. That's Rhodiola Rosea at work. It's like having a natural, stress-fighting ally on your study desk.🌿🧠📚💪

4. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba, derived from one of the oldest tree species, is a legendary nootropic for memory, helping students recall what they study. 

It's celebrated not just for its age but for its profound impact on focus and memory. Here's why Ginkgo Biloba is a must-have for your study arsenal:

  • Enhances Blood Flow to the Brain: Ginkgo boosts cerebral blood flow (8), which helps with mental clarity and focus and is critical for absorbing complex study materials.
  • Memory and Recall: Known for its memory-enhancing properties (9), it aids in better recall, a boon during exam preparations or when learning new subjects.

Imagine diving into your studies and feeling your brain light up, ready to tackle even the most challenging material. That's the power of Ginkgo Biloba. It's like a natural catalyst, turning your study time into a period of peak brain performance.🍃🧠📖💡

5. Lion's Mane Mushroom

Lion's Mane Mushroom is a culinary delight and a powerful nootropic for brain fog, making it an excellent ally for students seeking a cognitive boost. Known for its unique neurosupportive properties, this mushroom stands out in the realm of brain health. 

Here's how Lion's Mane recipes can enhance your studying experience:

  • Supports Brain Cell Growth: Lion's Mane is known for its ability to stimulate the growth of brain cells (10), which can lead to improved cognitive functions crucial for studying, such as focus and memory (11).
  • Enhances Neuroplasticity: This mushroom aids in neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections, which is especially important when learning new information or skills.

Picture yourself preparing for an important exam or tackling a complex topic. With Lion's Mane as part of your study regimen, it's like giving your brain the tools to build and strengthen its cognitive capabilities.🍄🧠📚🌟

6. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, commonly found in fish oil and certain plant oils, are more than just a health supplement; they're crucial for brain health and an excellent choice for students looking to enhance their cognitive abilities. Here's the role Omega-3s play in boosting study performance:

  • Enhances Cognitive Functions: Omega-3s are essential for maintaining brain health (12). They aid in improving cognitive functions such as memory, focus, and learning new information—vital for effective studying.
  • Supports Brain Cell Health:These fatty acids contribute to the health of brain cells (13), ensuring better information processing and mental clarity.

Imagine studying with a brain fully fueled and functioning at its best. That's the benefit of including Omega-3s in your diet. It's like giving your brain the high-quality oil it needs to run smoothly.

Incorporating Omega-3 Fatty Acids into your diet can be as simple as eating more fatty fish, like salmon or mackerel, or taking a high-quality supplement.🐟🧠📚✨

7. Modafinil

Modafinil, often known for its use in treating sleep disorders, has gained a reputation as a potent study aid due to its wakefulness-promoting properties. It's a go-to for students needing an extra edge in focus and alertness. Here's how Modafinil can revolutionize your study sessions:

  • Increases Alertness: Modafinil effectively reduces fatigue and increases alertness (14), which can be a game-changer for students pulling all-nighters or battling daytime drowsiness.
  • Enhances Cognitive Function: Beyond keeping you awake, it's reported to improve cognitive functions (15), such as memory and concentration, making it easier to grasp and retain complex concepts.

Imagine tackling your most challenging study materials with a clear, alert mind, free from the fog of fatigue. That's the promise of Modafinil. It's like a turbo boost for your studying efficiency and focus.

However, it's important to note that Modafinil is a prescription medication and should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It's not a typical nootropic and has specific medical uses. 

It is crucial to consult with a doctor to understand its suitability for your needs and its potential side effects.💊🧠📖🚀

8. Caffeine


Caffeine, the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, is a staple in the student's toolkit for a reason. 

It's not just about warding off sleep; it's a powerful stimulant that can enhance focus and mental alertness. Here's how caffeine can be a crucial ally in your studies:

  • Boosts Alertness and Concentration: A moderate amount of caffeine can help you feel more awake and focused (16), crucial for those long study sessions or when you need to absorb complex material quickly.
  • Improves Cognitive Performance: Beyond just keeping you awake, caffeine has been shown to improve various aspects of brain function (17), including memory, reaction times, and general cognitive performance.

Imagine sipping coffee or tea and feeling a wave of focused energy wash over you when you need it most during your studies. That's the power of caffeine. It's like a reliable old friend, always there to give you a mental lift.

While caffeine is generally safe in moderation, finding the right balance is important, as too much can lead to jitteriness or disrupted sleep patterns. 

Remember, everyone's tolerance to caffeine can vary. It's all about understanding your body's response and using caffeine strategically to enhance your study sessions. You can also leverage the benefits of mushroom coffee to lower caffeine consumption during your study sessions.☕🧠📚💡

9. Creatine

Creatine, commonly known for its use in sports nutrition, is also a valuable nootropic for enhancing brain function. 

It's not just about physical stamina; Creatine plays a role in mental endurance and clarity, making it a unique addition to a student's study regimen. Here's how Creatine can boost your studying experience:

  • Enhances Cognitive Function: Creatine contributes to improved brain performance (18), particularly in tasks that require speed and quick thinking, which can be a boon during intense study sessions.
  • Supports Mental Endurance: It helps reduce mental fatigue (19), allowing longer, more productive study periods without feeling mentally drained.

Imagine tackling a marathon study session or a challenging problem-solving task. With Creatine, you have that extra mental energy reserve, helping you stay sharp and focused when you need it most.💪🧠📘🔋

10. Theobromine


Theobromine, primarily found in cocoa beans, is a milder cousin to caffeine and a subtle yet effective nootropic for students. 

It offers a gentler approach to enhancing cognitive function, ideal for those who want a less intense stimulant than caffeine. Here's how Theobromine can support your study efforts:

  • Subtle Mental Alertness: Unlike caffeine, Theobromine provides a smoother and less intense boost in mental alertness (20), helping to maintain focus without the potential for jitters or anxiety.
  • Improves Mood and Concentration: It enhances alertness and has mood-improving properties, which can be beneficial during long study sessions when motivation and concentration might wane.

Imagine settling into your study space with a cup of hot cocoa, supporting your concentration and mood with every sip. That's the Theobromine effect. It's like a comforting yet stimulating companion, aiding your academic endeavors without overwhelming your senses.🍫🧠📚✨

FAQs About the Best Nootropics for Studying

Are Natural Nootropics Always Safer Than Synthetic Smart Drugs?

While many people are drawn to natural nootropics because they're sourced from plants and herbs and often have a history of traditional use, it doesn't always mean they're without risks. Both natural and synthetic substances can produce side effects or interact with other medications. 

For instance, some natural nootropics may lead to digestive issues or headaches in certain individuals. On the other hand, synthetic smart drugs, though powerful, can come with a more pronounced range of side effects. 

The key is understanding that "natural" doesn't always equate to "safe for everyone" and that thorough research and professional consultation are essential before incorporating any nootropic into your regimen.

How Long Do I Need To Take Nootropics Before Seeing Improvements In My Studying?

The time it takes to observe noticeable improvements from nootropics can vary based on the substance and the individual. Some nootropics, like caffeine paired with L-Theanine, can immediately affect alertness and focus within minutes to hours of ingestion. 

However, others, such as Bacopa Monnieri, might require consistent usage for weeks or months before manifesting significant cognitive benefits. Consistency is crucial, but it's also important to monitor one's body and mind for any changes (both positive and negative) and adjust usage accordingly.

Can I Combine Multiple Nootropics For Better Results?

This practice is often called "stacking" in the nootropics community. The idea is that certain nootropics can complement one another, amplifying their collective benefits. 

For instance, a popular stack combines L-theanine with caffeine to boost focus without the jitters commonly associated with caffeine alone. However, stacking can be complex and potentially risky without proper knowledge. 

If you're considering creating a nootropic stack, it's essential to do thorough research, start with lower doses, and ideally consult with a healthcare professional familiar with nootropics.

Key Takeaways

Navigating the vast world of nootropics can feel akin to venturing into an enchanted forest: filled with wonder, potential, and uncertainties. With every promise of heightened cognitive prowess comes a responsibility to tread wisely. 

Whether it's the allure of nature's botanicals or the cutting-edge pull of synthetic smart drugs, one thing remains clear: the brain, in all its majesty, thrives not just on these enhancers but on holistic care. 

From sleep and nutrition to age-old meditation practices, it's a harmonious dance of many elements. And as you stand at the crossroads of cognitive enhancement, remember that knowledge is your most potent nootropic. Harness it. 

But hey, don't just take our word for it. Dive in, explore, and drop a comment below when you find what works for you (or if you're a seasoned nootropics enthusiast). Share your insights, experiences, and wisdom with our community. Together, we're not just chasing greatness; we're defining it.

👇 Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. We're all ears and can't wait to hear from you! 👇

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  1. Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers, (1),
  2. Efficacy of Standardized Extract of Bacopa monnieri (Bacognize®) on Cognitive Functions of Medical Students: A Six-Week, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial, (2),
  3. Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial, (3),
  4. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness, (4),
  5. Rhodiola Rosea Extract Counteracts Stress in an Adaptogenic Response Curve Manner via Elimination of ROS and Induction of Neurite Outgrowth, (5),
  6. Rhodiola rosea L.: an herb with anti-stress, anti-aging, and immunostimulating properties for cancer chemoprevention, (6),
  7. Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue: a systematic review, (7),
  8. Effects of Ginkgo biloba on cerebral blood flow assessed by quantitative MR perfusion imaging: a pilot study, (8),
  9. Examining Brain-Cognition Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract: Brain Activation in the Left Temporal and Left Prefrontal Cortex in an Object Working Memory Task, (9),
  10. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia, (10),
  11. Hericium erinaceus Improves Recognition Memory and Induces Hippocampal and Cerebellar Neurogenesis in Frail Mice during Aging, (11),
  12. The Importance of Marine Omega-3s for Brain Development and the Prevention and Treatment of Behavior, Mood, and Other Brain Disorders, (12),
  13. Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Brain Functions: A Systematic Review, (13),
  14. Modafinil improves attentional performance in healthy, non-sleep deprived humans at doses not inducing hyperarousal across species, (14),
  15. Mechanisms of modafinil: A review of current research, (15),
  16.  Effect of Caffeine on Attention and Alertness Measured in a Home-Setting, Using Web-Based Cognition Tests, (16),
  17. Cognition and Brain Activation in Response to Various Doses of Caffeine: A Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study, (17),
  18. The effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive performance—a randomised controlled study, (18),
  19. “Heads Up” for Creatine Supplementation and its Potential Applications for Brain Health and Function, (19),
  20. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption, (20),

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