improve reaction time

5 Best Nootropics for Reaction Time

David Tomen
David Tomen
8 minute read

If you are searching for natural ways to boost your reaction time, you are in the right place. You’ll discover the 5 best nootropics for reaction time below.

This is for the time when you need to make a split-second decision, maybe to avoid an accident, outwit someone in an argument, or to win a game.

The time it takes for you to react could be the difference between life or death. No pressure, but are you willing to leave reaction time to chance or luck?

Or do you want to enhance your reaction time naturally and live a less stressful life?

That’s where nootropics step in. Because clinical studies as well as practical user experience shows us that consistent use of the right nootropic supplements can support a faster reaction time.

This guide looks into the 5 best nootropics capable of elevating your reaction time. We will look at the mechanism of action for each of these nootropic supplements as well as other factors influencing your cognitive performance.

I’ll also share some insights on how to take advantage of the full potential of each nootropic. So, let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

    1. Nootropics offer potential benefits in cognitive performance and reaction time enhancement.
    2. Sleep quality and physical fitness considerably influence reaction time.
    3. The leading nootropics for reaction time are caffeine, L-Theanine, DHA (Omega-3), and Rhodiola Rosea.
    4. Before using a nootropic for the first time, learn how the supplement works in your brain and body, potential side effects, and if you are using meds consider consulting a medical professional.

best nootropics for reaction time What is Reaction Time?

Reaction time is the amount of time it takes for your nervous system to recognize a stimulus and direct your muscles to take action.

In other words, how fast can you “think on your feet” and not get hit by the bus barreling towards you.

The sequence goes like this:

  • Stimulus hits your senses
  • The information travels from the sensory neurons to your brain
  • Your brain processes the information
  • Your brain sends a signal through your motor neurons to your muscles
  • Your muscles move to produce the response

Stimulus => Sensory Neuron => Spinal Cord or Brain => Motor Neuron => Response

This entire process takes 180 – 200 milliseconds.[i]

Nootropics for Reaction Time Enhancement

If boosting reaction time is your goal, nootropics can help.

Nootropic supplements can improve cognitive performance, including reaction time. While physical training hones reaction time through coordination and muscle memory, supplementing with nootropics may provide faster results by directly improving cognitive function.[ii]

But let’s be honest. If you do not get enough sleep or the quality of your sleep is poor, if you are dealing with anxiety, poor nutrition, or are generally unhealthy, supplementing with nootropics alone will not be enough to significantly increase your reaction time.

Other Ingredients Affecting Reaction Time Performance

To elevate your reaction time, it’s essential to understand the roles of sleep quality and physical fitness. A restful sleep and a fit body can fine-tune your neural pathways, facilitating faster cognitive to increase reaction time

Adequate sleep is essential for optimal reaction time. Research shows the negative impact of sleep deprivation on cognitive function, including quick responses. Studies show human adults need 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night.[iii]

If you need help with sleep, see my article: Best Nootropics for Sleep

Physical fitness also helps fine-tune sharper reaction times. Regular workouts boost brain blood flow, support neurogenesis resulting in new neuron growth, and optimize cognitive performance.[iv]

Activities that work on coordination and faster reflexes, such as martial arts and other physical sports, can further refine reaction times.

For nootropics to help in athletic performance see my article: 6 Best Nootropics for Athletic Performance

Mindfulness meditation has also been shown to benefit improved reaction time performance. Meditation hones focus and attention, enabling quicker reactions to stimuli.[v]

For nootropics to support your meditation practice, see my article: Best Nootropics to Enhance Meditation – Calm Your Mind

The Top 5 Nootropics for Reaction Time Enhancement

Decades of research with nootropics demonstrate quicker reaction times. Clinical research demonstrating the effectiveness of nootropic supplementation have shown encouraging results.

Here’s a roundup of the top 5:

  1. Caffeine: This well-known natural stimulant, Caffeine boosts alertness and reaction time by inhibiting adenosine receptors in your brain, supporting wakefulness and faster cognitive processing.[vi]
  2. L-Theanine: A component of green tea, the amino acid L-Theanine when combined with Caffeine improved reaction time in several clinical studies.[vii]
  3. DHA (Omega-3): The Omega-3 called DHA is a critical component of brain cell membrane health and permeability. Studies show supplementing with DHA improves reaction time performance even in healthy young people.[viii]
  4. Rhodiola Rosea: An adaptogen, Rhodiola Rosea reduces fatigue and improves mental capabilities, including reaction time. It improves stress response and reaction time without inducing jitters.[ix]
  5.  Mind Lab Pro®: A study conducted at the University of Leeds in the UK found participants who supplemented with Mind Lab Pro® daily for 30 days experienced faster reaction times.[x]

improve reaction timeSelecting the Optimal Nootropic for Reaction Time Enhancement

To select the ideal nootropic, evaluate your unique needs, weigh the pros and cons, and read the user reviews. User testimonials can offer a glimpse into the real-world efficacy of these supplements.

Also be aware of potential side effects. Nootropics are generally considered non-toxic and safe to use by most healthy adults.  But despite the general safety of these supplements when used following dosage recommendations, some might experience side effects.

And if you are using prescription meds, check and make sure the supplements you are planning on trying are not contraindicated with those meds.

Strategies to Optimize Nootropics’ Impact on Reaction Time

To elevate your performance, integrate the following tactics:

  1. Pre-workout Supplements: Choose supplements tailored for reaction time enhancement, containing ingredients like caffeine and creatine such as my favorite pre-workout supplement: Pre Lab Pro®.
  2. Sleep: Prioritize 7-9 hours of quality sleep.
  3. Diet: Ensure a balanced diet replete with antioxidants, omega-3s, and B vitamins.
  4. Mindfulness: Meditation techniques like deep breathing can be transformative.

Also, embrace lifestyle modifications:

  • Exercise Regularly: This enhances brain blood flow and endorphin release.
  • Minimize Distractions: Focus is key for tasks demanding swift reactions.
  • Hydration: Adequate water intake is crucial for cognitive functions.
  • Brain Exercises: Puzzles and memory games can sharpen cognitive reflexes.

What are the Best Nootropics for Reaction Time?

how to get better reaction timeLet me share with you the best nootropics for reaction time and which I have been using every day for the last several years.

Mind Lab Pro® – my favorite pre-made nootropic supplement which I’ve used daily for the last 6 years increases reaction time. And is the world’s bestselling universal nootropic stack. Mind Lab Pro® contains Citicoline, Bacopa Monnieri, Phosphatidylserine (PS), N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, Maritime Pine Bark Extract, and NutriGenesis® vitamins B6, B9 & B12.

Performance Lab® – Caffeine 2 – contains Natural Caffeine (from Coffea Robusta seeds) 50 mg, L-Theanine 100 mg, L-Tyrosine 250 mg, with a balanced NutriGenesis® B-Complex. Remember, the studies earlier in this article showed the combination of caffeine with L-Theanine improved reaction time.

Performance Lab® – Omega-3 – contains 540 mg DHA and 270 mg EPA in 3 NutriGels® from life’s™ OMEGA 60 for faster reaction time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Nootropics Safe for Reaction Time Enhancement?

Each of the nootropic supplements described in this article are considered non-toxic and safe to use by most people. Of course, each of us can react differently from someone else’s reaction to using the same supplement. And always check with your doctor if you are using prescription meds to make sure any supplement you want to try is safe to use with the meds you are on.

Can All Age Groups Use Nootropics?

Nootropics can potentially benefit all age groups, but most clinical trials have been conducted with adults. Parents of any child under 18 years should check with their doctor before starting your kid on a supplement regimen.

What’s the Typical Onset Time for Nootropics’ Effect on Reaction Time?

The onset varies based on the specific nootropic and dosage. However, you can usually feel the benefits of amino acids such as L-Theanine within the first day or two of using that supplement. Herbs such as Rhodiola Rosea may take several days of daily use before you feel the full benefit of that supplement.

Any Side Effects of Nootropics?

Every nootropic supplement I have reviewed on Nootropics Expert including the supplements detailed in this article may have side effects in some people. Nootropics are considered non-toxic and safe to use but high dosages or combining with certain medications can cause adverse effects. Always read the Side Effects section for each supplement you are considering and if in doubt, check with a medical professional.

Dosage Recommendations for Nootropics?

Specific dosages exist for each nootropic. Recommended dosages for each supplement on Nootropics Expert® are based on clinical studies and what users find effective and safe to use long-term.

Final Thoughts

Nootropics can boost reaction time performance. By influencing neurotransmitter activity and brain functions, these brain enhancers can significantly improve task speed and precision.

Selecting the appropriate nootropic and closely following dosage recommendations is essential.

For best results, consistent and daily nootropic usage can potentially enhance reaction times significantly, so you can live a less stressful life.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] Jain, A., Bansal, R., Kumar, A., & Singh, K. D. (2015). A comparative study of visual and auditory reaction times on the basis of gender and physical activity levels of medical first year students. International journal of applied & basic medical research5(2), 124–127 (source)

[ii] Karia RM, Ghuntla TP, Mehta HB, Gokhale PA, Shah CJ. Effect of gender difference on visual reaction time: A study on medical students of Bhavnagar region. IOSR-PHR. 2012;2:452–4. (source)

[iii] Taheri, M., & Arabameri, E. (2012). The effect of sleep deprivation on choice reaction time and anaerobic power of college student athletes. Asian journal of sports medicine3(1), 15–20 (source)

[iv] Brisswalter, J., Arcelin, R., Audiffren, M., & Delignières, D. (1997). Influence of physical exercise on simple reaction time: effect of physical fitness. Perceptual and motor skills85(3 Pt 1), 1019–1027. (source)

[v] Lohot A., Gite S., Kelkar G. Dongre P.M., “Influence of meditation on visual and auditory reaction time in young healthy volunteers” Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 61(2):100-106 (source)

[vi] Lindsay B Baker, Ryan P Nuccio, Asker E Jeukendrup, Acute effects of dietary constituents on motor skill and cognitive performance in athletes, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 72, Issue 12, 1 December 2014, Pages 790–802 (source)

[vii] Haskell CF, Kennedy DO, Milne AL, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biol Psychol. 2008 Feb;77(2):113-22 (source)

[viii] Stonehouse, W., Conlon, C. A., Podd, J., Hill, S. R., Minihane, A. M., Haskell, C., & Kennedy, D. (2013). DHA supplementation improved both memory and reaction time in healthy young adults: a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition97(5), 1134–1143 (source)

[ix] Jówko E, Sadowski J, Długołęcka B, Gierczuk D, Opaszowski B, Cieśliński I. Effects of Rhodiola rosea supplementation on mental performance, physical capacity, and oxidative stress biomarkers in healthy men. J Sport Health Sci. 2018 Oct;7(4):473-480 (source)

[x] Utley A., Gonzalez Y., Imboden C.A. “The Efficacy of A Nootropic Supplement on Information Processing in Adults: A Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Study” Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research 49(1)-2023.  BJSTR. MS.ID.007746. (source)

Subscribe to the Nootropics Expert newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest developments in the nootropics space.

Head First 2nd Editon

The Award Winning Guide to Healing & Optimizing Your Brain with Nootropic Supplements.

Head First 2nd Edition

NEW! Eliminate Brain Fog, Low Energy, Moodiness, Difficulty Sleeping, Memory Loss or Anxiety. Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Walmart and more...

Where to Buy Nootropics

Wondering where to buy nootropics? Well, you’re in the right place. Because here you will find the nootropic supplements that I personally use and recommend. Each supplement has a link to the company store and product that I use. I also include a link to my full review for each supplement here on Nootropics Expert® […]

The Definitive Guide to Nootropics

Nootropics can help increase your memory, boost learning ability, improve your mood and assist overall brain function. If you’re new to nootropics, or wonder about the difference between a nootropic and a smart drug, then this page is for you. Here you’ll find the definition of a nootropic, how to pronounce the word “nootropic”, the […]

The Most Comprehensive Nootropics List

This is our big list of the most popular Nootropics in use today. Here you’ll learn what each nootropic is, what it does and suggested dosages. What is this List of Nootropics About? Nootropic supplements are cognitive enhancers aiming to improve brain function. Whether you are looking to treat mild cognitive impairment, improve mental focus, or biohack […]

Free Secrets of the Brain 3rd Edition

Get “Secrets of the Optimized Brain,” 92 nootropics to help you plan your Nootropic Stack when you sign up for my newsletter:

Join The Discussion - 0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.