Memory is fundamental to your quality of life in 2020. Something as simple as remembering where you left your keys. To recalling a loved one’s birthday or doing well on your next exam or board presentation.
Neuroscience has now discovered how memory works in your brain all the way down to the molecular level.
And this new information has empowered us as neurohackers to be able to choose the best nootropics that work for improving learning and memory.
For example, researchers in Japan conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 36 children aged 4 – 14 years. The kids were diagnosed ADHD but had not received any conventional ADHD treatment prior to the trial.
The kids received 300 mg of Phosphatidylserine (PS) or a placebo daily for 2 months. The team recorded the children’s ADHD symptoms, short-term memory and working memory, and mental performance.
ADHD symptoms that improved were inattention, short-term memory problems, and impulsivity. The placebo group experienced no improvement during the trial.[i]
That’s just one example of hundreds of clinical trials conducted for the memory-improving nootropic supplements included in this post.
You can be sure that using one supplement from the following list will have a positive impact on your memory.
But use all of them daily for a month and you’ll be amazed at how much your memory improves.
Table of Contents
Best Memory Supplements
CDP-Choline (Citicoline, Cognizin®) – enhances the release of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine (ACh).[ii] Dopamine and norepinephrine are directly involved in attention, alertness, focus, learning and memory.
The bacosides A and B in Bacopa help improve signaling between neurons in your brain. Resulting in better word recall, attention, memory, increased focus while learning, and less anxiety and lower heart rate.[vii]
Bacopa also helps protect your brain from heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) during periods of chronic stress. Making you less susceptible to the memory loss associated with stress.[viii]
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Stimulating the repair and creation of neurons with Lion’s Mane helps boost neurotransmitters and brain cell signaling that help memory, learning, recall, and mood.
L-Theanine also boosts the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and GABA in your brain. As well as increasing the synthesis of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).[xi]
Boosting the levels of these amino acids and growth factors, L-Theanine is a powerful way to tame anxiety and stress, and boost memory.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT)
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) – is a highly bioavailable form of the amino acid L-Tyrosine. Your brain converts L-Tyrosine into L-DOPA. And the decarboxylation of L-DOPA results in the synthesis of dopamine.
NALT enhances working memory and executive function in the prefrontal cortex. It helps with creative flow states, is fuel for inspiration, cognitive flexibility, and the kind of “convergent thinking” you do in multiple choice exams.
NALT helps support cognitive flexibility which is associated with fluid intelligence, superior reading and comprehension, and a healthier brain. Meaning you can quickly adjust your thinking to adapt to novel situations and stimuli.[xiii]
It helps smooth out and prolong the effect of stimulant meds. And helps prevent the associated crash when they wear off.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) – you may recall that this nootropic was mentioned in the study example you read at the very beginning of this post. And is one of the most effective memory boosters known to science and neurohackers.
PS is a phospholipid component of brain cell membranes which play a vital role in cell-to-cell signaling. And is needed to maintain the fluidity of all cell membranes.
When your brain cell membranes are healthy, they are malleable, fluid and flexible. But by the time we reach our 20’s, phospholipids including Phosphatidylserine (PS) start declining. This casing starts to harden.
Several studies have shown that using Phosphatidylserine as a nootropic to boost memory works well with kids with ADHD/ADD, and for age-related cognitive decline as well as more serious diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.[xv]
The bottom-line, Phosphatidylserine (PS) is one of the most effect memory boosters for anyone past the age of 23.
Pine Bark Extract
Pine Bark Extract – a standardized extract of French maritime pine bark, this is one of the most potent antioxidants discovered.
Pine Bark extract protects cell membranes from free radical damage, chelates heavy metals, restores cell membranes, and prevents their rupture and leakage. Helping to prevent stroke.[xvii]
And Pine Bark Extract also boosts cerebral circulation. Studies show it significantly boosts blood flow even in healthy young adults.[xviii] And has a remarkable effect on memory, focus, decision-making and mood.[xix]
Best time to take memory supplements
Morning is usually the best time to take supplements to support short- and working-memory during your day. It’s even better to split your total daily dose in half. With one dose in the morning, and your other dose at noon.
But remember that long-term memory consolidation happens while you sleep. So good sleep is also critical for great memory.
If you need help getting to sleep, staying asleep, and waking feeling refreshed the next day, see my review on Performance Lab® Sleep.
Are these memory supplements safe?
Every memory supplement reviewed on this page is considered safe and well-tolerated by most people. Safe to use every day with no cycling required.
These truly are the most effective memory boosters experienced neurohackers use every single day. And each memory supplement is backed by dozens and dozens of peer-reviewed clinical studies supporting our real-world, practical experience.
How to save money on memory supplements
But how valuable is better memory to you? Can it genuinely improve your quality of life? If you’re able to easily remember names of people you just met. Or recall important dates like birthdays and anniversaries.
You’d find it easier writing your next exam or breezing through your next board presentation.
Good memory affects nearly every area of your life. So supporting learning and recall is an easily justifiable investment in your health.
Each of the memory supplements in this post can help boost your memory. Taken individually as single supplements.
For even a more profound improvement in memory, try taking them together as a single stack.
And if you want to reduce the number of capsules you’re taking, and save some money, you can use a pre-formulated memory supplement that contains all the ingredients reviewed above.
I recommend the pre-made stack I’ve been using every day for the last 3 years called Mind Lab Pro® which is made by Opti-Nutra® Advanced Nutraceuticals.
Or you can try Performance Lab® Mind which is also made by Opti-Nutra. This stack also contains the right amount of each nootropic supplement described in this post to support your memory.
Performance Lab® Mind will be more effective if used with a multivitamin like Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi for men or women. Because your brain will use these vitamins and minerals to support the memory supplements in Mind.
If you want a better and more productive 2020, make an investment in some memory supplements today. But do it now before you forget! 😊
Get Mind Lab Pro®
[i] Hirayama S., Terasawa K., Rabeler R., Hirayama T., Inoue T., Tatsumi Y., Purpura M., Jäger R. “The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 2014 Apr;27 Suppl 2:284-91. (source)
[ii] Petkov V.D., Stancheva S.L., Tocuschieva L., Petkov V.V. “Changes in brain biogenic monoamines induced by the nootropic drugs adafenoxate and meclofenoxate and by citicholine (experiments on rats).” General Pharmacology 1990;21(1):71-5. (source)
[vi] Alvarez X.A., Laredo M., Corzo D., Fernández-Novoa L., Mouzo R., Perea J.E., Daniele D., Cacabelos R. “Citicoline improves memory performance in elderly subjects.” Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology. 1997 Apr;19(3):201-10. (source)
[vii] Calabrese N.D., Gregory W.L., Leo M., Kraemer D., Bone K., Oken B. “Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial” Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine 2008 Jul; 14(6): 707–713. (source)
[viii] Chowdhuri D.K., Parmar D., Kakkar P., Shukla R., Seth P.K., Srimal R.C. “Antistress effects of bacosides of Bacopa monnieri: modulation of Hsp70 expression, superoxide dismutase and cytochrome P450 activity in rat brain.” Phytotherapy Research 2002 Nov;16(7):639-45. (source)
[ix] Lai P.L., Naidu M., Sabaratnam V., Wong K.H., David R.P., Kuppusamy U.R., Abdullah N., Malek S.N. “Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 2013;15(6):539-54. (source)
[x] Park S.K., Jung I.C., Lee W.K., Lee Y.S., Park H.K., Go H.J., Kim K., Lim N.K., Hong J.T., Ly S.Y., Rho S.S. “A combination of green tea extract and l-theanine improves memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study.” Journal of Medicinal Food. 2011 Apr;14(4):334-43. (source)
[xi] Yamada T., Terashima T., Wada K., Ueda S., Ito M., Okubo T., Juneja L.R., Yokogoshi H. “Theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, increases neurotransmission concentrations and neurotrophin mRNA levels in the brain during lactation.” Life Sciences. 2007 Sep 29;81(16):1247-55. (source)
[xiii] Steenbergen L., Sellaro R., Hommel B., Colzato L.S. “Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility: evidence from proactive vs. reactive control during task switching performance.” Neuropsychologia. 2015 Mar;69:50-5 (source)
[xiv] Kosicek M., Hecimovic S. “Phospholipids and Alzheimer’s Disease: Alterations, Mechanisms and Potential Biomarkers” International Journal of Molecular Science. 2013 Jan; 14(1): 1310–1322. (source)
[xvii] Sivonová M., Waczulíková I., Kilanczyk E., Hrnciarová M., Bryszewska M., Klajnert B., Duracková Z. “The effect of Pycnogenol on the erythrocyte membrane fluidity.” General Physiology and Biophysics. 2004 Mar;23(1):39-51. (source)
[xviii] Nishioka K., Hidaka T., Nakamura S., Umemura T., Jitsuiki D., Soga J., Goto C., Chayama K., Yoshizumi M., Higashi Y. “Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract, augments endothelium-dependent vasodilation in humans.” Hypertension Research. 2007 Sep;30(9):775-80. (source)
[xix] Belcaro G., Luzzi R., Dugall M., Ippolito E., Saggino A. “Pycnogenol® improves cognitive function, attention, mental performance and specific professional skills in healthy professionals aged 35-55.” Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2014 Dec;58(4):239-48. (source)