nootropics competitive gaming

19 Best Nootropics for Gaming & eSports

David Tomen
David Tomen
17 minute read

Key Takeaways

  1. Cognitive Enhancers, Vitamins & Minerals, and Natural Nootropics beneficial for eSports and gaming
  2. Consider trying cognitive enhancers like Alpha GPC, CDP-Choline, or Noopept to potentially improve focus and reaction time.
  3. Maintain a balanced intake of essential vitamins and minerals like the Vitamin B complex, Vitamin D, and Magnesium for optimal cognitive function.
  4. Explore natural nootropics like Ashwagandha, Bacopa Monnieri, or Rhodiola Rosea for a more holistic approach to enhancing gaming performance.
  5. With a broad spectrum of nootropics available, experiment to find what works best for your individual needs and preferences in improving your gaming skills.

A recent study conducted at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane explored stress levels and coping techniques in professional eSports players.

The researchers found that elite eSport pros require the same mental agility and stamina it takes to be a top Olympian.

And high performing eSports professionals have found that gaming nootropics give them the edge and mental stamina required to be at the top of their game.

best nootropics for eSports and gaming

Nootropic supplements for gaming professionals are an effective and proven alternative to energy drinks. And the substances now banned by International e-Sports Federation and other professional gaming and athletic associations.

A special shout-out to flickshot specialist and AIM reflex world record holder; YouTube Gaming Noted (Vince Mancinni) for helping me to identify specifically where gamers need help.

Strategy games like Counter Strike, League of Legends or Tekken 7 are extremely complex. The motor skills, high degree of tactical understanding, and extreme hand-eye coordination required put extraordinary demands on your body and brain.

nootropic benefits for gamers
by Rainbowsix Proleague

Here you’ll find the best nootropics for gaming stack suggestions specifically designed with the pro gamer in mind.

A carefully chosen nootropic gaming stack should support:

  • Better reflex and reaction time
  • Superior vision
  • Heightened focus
  • Think and learn faster
  • More energy – prevent mental and physical fatigue
  • Reduce physical pain
  • Eliminate anxiety

The following nootropic supplements have been shown to support multiple areas of brain, body, and vision health. And specifically selected with the pro gamer in mind.

Each nootropic reviewed here has a live link through to a full review of that nootropic which includes dosing instructions, side effects, drug interactions and types to buy.

If you’re looking for a quick reference for a nootropic gaming stack you can put together right now, you can start with:

  • Aniracetam – 750 mg twice per day
  • Bacopa Monnieri – 200 – 450 mg per day (45% bacosides)
  • CDP-Choline – 300 mg twice per day
  • Coconut or MCT Oil – 3 tablespoons per day
  • DHA (Omega-3) – 1,000 mg per day
  • American Ginseng – 500 mg twice per day
  • L-Theanine – 250 mg 2-3 times per day
  • L-Tyrosine – 500mg twice per day
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) – 100 mg 3-times per day
  • Pine Bark Extract – 100 mg 3-times per day
  • Rhodiola Rosea – 150 – 200 mg per day
  • B-Complex – find a nature-identical supplement
  • Performance Lab® Vision – 1 – 2 capsules per day

If you’re new to nootropics, that may seem like a lot of supplements. But if you want to experience an improvement right now, that’s what it’ll take.

Taken consistently, every day for as long you want to perform at the top of your game.

See the conclusion of this post for a way to consolidate your nootropic gaming stack into fewer capsules per day.

Best Nootropics for Internet Gaming and Cognitive Function


Aniracetam is a derivative of the original nootropic, Piracetam. And perfectly legal to use when competing in eSports and gaming.

This potent racetam reduces anxiety with no sedation by activating dopamine D2 and D3 receptors.[i] Aniracetam heightens reflexes and perception. And helps improve cognition, learning and memory.[ii]


best nootropic for video gamesOne of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, Ashwagandha is the ideal nootropic for gaming. It helps reduce anxiety and the stress hormone cortisol.[iii]

It helps regenerate axons and dendrites, and reconstruct synapses stressed by intense gaming sessions.[iv]

And Ashwagandha inhibits acetylcholinesterase which means you have more acetylcholine available for quick thinking, learning and memory.[v]

Bacopa Monnieri

Ancient Ayurvedic manuscripts recommended Bacopa Monnieri for memorizing long passages of text and boosting cognition. And modern science shows us it works just as well for the professional gamer.

Bacopa improves recall, attention, memory, and focus.[vi] And it helps reduce anxiety.

Research at Banaras Hindu University showed Bacopa as effective for anxiety as the benzodiazepine drug lorazepam. But without the sedation.[vii]


CDP-Choline (Citicoline) is present in every cell in your body. This unique choline source separates into cytidine and choline once you take it.[viii]

Cytidine converts into the uridine needed to synthesize phosphatidylcholine (PC) which makes up the outside layer of brain cell membranes.

This new PC repairs damaged neuron membranes. The membranes that were raided to make acetylcholine during intense gameplay.[ix]

Supplementing with CDP-Choline helps boost cognition, increases brain energy, increases brain blood flow, and improves learning and memory formation.

For the professional gamer, this means quick thinking, mental processing, and mental clarity as well as better memory consolidation and retrieval.

Coconut & MCT Oil

Unrefined coconut oil is 90% saturated fat. And nearly 60% of the fats are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

nootropics competitive gaming
by Rainbowsix Proleague

The MCTs in coconut oil bypass your normal digestive system and go directly to your liver where they are converted to ketones.

Ketones are carried throughout your body including your brain for use in the citric acid cycle to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP fuels your mitochondria which improves alertness, cognition, memory, and mood.

Research also shows MCTs help increase serotonin which provides an anti-stress effect.

Using MCT Oil or unrefined coconut oil 3-times per day is one of the least expensive but most effective ways for increasing alertness and focus and improving your game.

The best MCT Oil for gamers is Performance Lab® Organic MCT Oil. It’s derived from 100% organic non-GMO coconuts using only C-8 (60%) + C-10 (40%). And extracted with hexane-free technology and triple-distilled for purity.

DHA (Omega-3)

Your brain is composed of 60% fat. 15 – 20% of your cerebral cortex is DHA. Even the retina in your eyes is 30 – 60% DHA. Making DHA the most essential nutrient for eye and brain health for the professional gamer.

DHA acts as an anti-inflammatory by reducing the enzyme COX-2. Inflammation is a key factor in carpal tunnel syndrome and other pain associated with long-term game play.

DHA regulates calcium oscillations, which are involved in neurotransmitter release, mitochondrial function, gene activation, oxidative stress, and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).

Daily supplementation of DHA for 3-4 weeks can result in faster thinking, and better learning and memory with less pain.

The best algae-sourced DHA on the market today is Performance Lab® Omega-3 which contains 600 mg of DHA and 300 mg of EPA per dose.


Cognitive enhancers like Ginseng will help your energy levelsPanax ginseng (Asian) and Panax quinquefolius (American) contain a collection of active compounds called ginsenosides. These triterpenoid saponins (plant chemicals) are unique to the ginseng species of plants. And are steroid-like in nature.

Ginsenosides increase protein synthesis and the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. And ginseng stimulates the formation of blood vessels and improves blood circulation in the brain. Which improves memory and quicker thinking.[x]

A single dose of 200 – 400 mg of ginseng can significantly reduce the mental fatigue associated with gaming.[xi]

Supplementing with ginseng should boost your energy levels, both physical and mental energy.[xii]

And ginseng acts as anti-inflammatory by reducing cytokines. Which should help decrease the physical pain associated with gaming.


Huperzine-A (Hup-A) is a water-soluble alkaloid nootropic derived from Chinese Club Moss (Huperzia serrata).

Huperzine-A boosts levels of available acetylcholine (ACh) in your brain by blocking the effect of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). ACh is critical for encoding new memories, reasoning, concentration, cognition, and neuroplasticity.[xiii]

Hup-A also protects brain cells from glutamate toxicity, and boosts nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is critical in brain cell development, maintenance, and repair.[xiv]

While it looks like Huperzine-A is the ideal nootropic supplement for providing the edge needed for winning, caution is strongly advised.

Hup-A has at least a 24-hour half-life. Which means it takes an entire day for your system to eliminate it.

This means that if you choose to use Huperzine-A, use it only on the day of the competition. And give your brain a break for 2-3 days before using it again. Otherwise, the buildup of Huperzine-A can be toxic and do more harm than good.


L-Theanine is a non-dietary amino acid found in green tea (camellia sinensis) and is available as a dietary supplement.

For long gaming sessions you can help your brain function with with a nootropic stackL-Theanine boosts the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and GABA in your brain. As well as increasing Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).[xv]

Supplementing with L-Theanine before or sipping on organic green tea during gameplay energizes you without draining. Calms without putting you to sleep. And motivates without causing a jagged edge.[xvi]

L-Theanine + caffeine is a simple but popular nootropic gaming stack. Researchers at Unilever in the UK looked at the combined effects of 100 mg L-Theanine and 50 mg caffeine on cognitive enhancing effects like performance and mood.

27 volunteers were assessed for measurements on word recognition, rapid visual information processing, critical flicker fusion threshold, attention switching and mood.

The team concluded that, “L-Theanine and caffeine in combination are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks”.[xvii]

The most effective pre-formulated caffeine + L-Theanine stack for gamers is the new Performance Lab® Caffeine+. It contains Natural Caffeine (from Coffea Robusta seeds) 50 mg, L-Theanine (Suntheanine®) 100 mg, Ajipure® L-Tyrosine 250 mg, with a balanced NutriGenesis® B-Complex. For alert clean energy without the jitters.


L-Tyrosine is the master precursor required to form all catecholamine neurotransmitters. Including dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.

Supplementing with L-Tyrosine or N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine before a game increases dopamine levels. Enhancing working memory and executive function (decision-making) in the prefrontal cortex.

It helps with creative flow states, is fuel for inspiration, cognitive flexibility, and the kind of “convergent thinking” you do during a tournament.

Clinical studies show that L-Tyrosine improves memory and quick thinking while under acute stress like during gameplay.[xviii]

And supplementing with L-Tyrosine provides greater cognitive enhancement as cognitive demand increases.[xix]

The best nootropic stacks will help with your gaming success

Phosphatidylserine (PS)

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is arguably one of the most effective gaming nootropics we have available today. It keeps our brain cells healthy.

And has a reputation for improving alertness, attention, cognition, memory, recall and mood.

PS is a critical component of brain cell membranes that when healthy are malleable, fluid, and flexible.

But by the time we reach our 20’s, phospholipids including Phosphatidylserine (PS) start declining. As this casing starts to harden; attention, concentration, memory, mood, and learning begin to suffer.[xx]

PS is one of the most effective memory boosters we know of. Many clinical trials with PS have shown improvements in working- and long-term memory, recall, logic and even vision.

Attention span increases while using PS. And motivation, socialization, and initiative all increased when using Phosphatidylserine as a nootropic.

Pine Bark Extract

Pine Bark Extract could be your secret weapon for winning tournaments. It’s used primarily to boost blood flow.

This increase in blood flow means more nutrients and fuel to brain cells. Resulting in a boost in working memory,[xxi] improved thinking speed and mental performance,[xxii] better sustained attention, and mood.[xxiii]

Pine Bark Extract is also one of the most potent antioxidants ever discovered. For you it means less joint pain, and not feeling completely burned out after gameplay.[xxiv]

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb and nootropic that has been used in traditional medicine in Russia and Scandinavian countries for millennia.

Rhodiola helps reduce anxiety and fatigue, increase energy, alertness, and stamina, while boosting mental performance under the kind of chronic stress you experience during gameplay.

Research shows Rhodiola Rosea can increase attention to detail-oriented tasks by improving concentration over a prolonged period. The ideal gaming nootropic.

Rhodiola boosts mood by influencing serotonin and norepinephrine levels in your brain, and the feel-good opioids like beta-endorphins.

Clinical studies and our experience show that most experience the full benefits of Rhodiola Rosea from 30 – 40 days of consistent, daily use. This is the kind of supplement that if you choose to use it is best if used every day.


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is one of the most powerful natural remedies in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.[xxv]

As a gaming nootropic, turmeric is anti-anxiety, improves memory, and reduces pain.

For anxiety, Turmeric works by reducing the stress hormone cortisol while increasing levels of serotonin. And clinical trials have shown it to be more potent than the antidepressant Prozac.[xxvi]

Supplementing with turmeric or its active compound curcumin increases levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which can boost intelligence and memory.[xxvii]

And the curcumin in turmeric is a potent antioxidant which helps protect your brain and body from inflammation. Helping reduce the pain associated with intense gameplay.

But curcumin and turmeric on their own are poorly absorbed by your gut. The most efficient way to boost bioavailability is to combine turmeric or curcumin with Piperine.

One study showed combining curcumin with 20 mg of Piperine increased bioavailability by 2000%.[xxviii]

The B-Complex Vitamins

Every nootropic gaming stack should contain the B-Vitamins to be effective. And here’s why …

Each of the B-Vitamins contributes in its unique way to the synthesis of all the major neurotransmitters, creation of ATP to fuel mitochondria, the myelin sheath protecting axons, brain cell signaling, receptor density, reducing inflammation, and more.

You will not realize the full benefit of any nootropic gaming stack without the B-Vitamins.

Choose a B-Vitamin Complex that’s considerably higher than RDA recommendations. And make sure it contains bio-identical vitamins that your body can use (i.e. folate instead of folic acid, methylcobalamin instead of cyanocobalamin).

Improve cognitive performance with the right nootropic stack

Nootropics for eSport Vision Health

Eye and vision health is critical for the novice and pro gamer. Even the best gaming monitor will not make up for poorly maintained eyes.

In fact, better vision could give you an edge over your competition.

The following vision supplements have been shown to accelerate retinal electrical transmission speed, quicken reflexes and focus speed, prevent flash blindness, diminish eye strain, improve contrast sensitivity, boost depth perception and more.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin

The yellow carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated in the macula and fovea sections of your eyes retina.

Supplementing with both help protect your eyes from high-energy (blue light) radiation emitted by your gaming monitors. They help filter out blue light before it can damage the macula.[xxix]

Lutein and zeaxanthin are potent antioxidants and reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced during conversion of photons to electrical signals in photoreceptors in your retina.

Lutein and zeaxanthin enhance visual performance in low light conditions, improve glare recovery, and help you distinguish subtle changes of light and dark. Critical for aiming in FPS games.[xxx]

Black Currant

Black Currant extract is quickly growing in popularity in the pro gaming community. Because it helps reduce your dark adaptation threshold, improves recovery time, and reduces fatigue when using a gaming monitor.

Rhodopsin is a light-sensitive protein found in the rods of the retina in your eyes. It is extremely sensitive to light and allows you to see in low-light conditions.

When a molecule of rhodopsin absorbs a photon, it splits into a retinal molecule (11-trans-retinal) and an opsin molecule. This process initiates a biochemical reaction that sends a signal to your brain’s visual processing center.

Retinal and opsin then recombine into rhodopsin.

Even though the initial splitting of rhodopsin into retinal and opsin is nearly instantaneous, it can take up to 30 minutes for opsin and retinal to recombine and restore rhodopsin to optimal levels.

A purple plant pigment in Black Currant called C3G (Cyanidin-3-glucoside) helps regenerate rhodopsin. Allowing for quicker dark vision recovery.[xxxi]

Black Currant is a potent antioxidant and protects your eyes from free radical surges in the high-energy gaming environment.

And Black Currant boosts vision by increasing blood flow to and within the eye by upregulating nitric oxide synthase. Increasing nitric oxide which helps blood vessels provide more blood to your eyes during intense gameplay.[xxxii]


Studies in human subjects show Bilberry effective in improving problems with the retina, improving small blood vessel (capillary) integrity which boosts blood flow, and slowing the progression of issues with lens opacity and myopia (nearsightedness).

And like Black Currant, Bilberry extract provides C3G which helps regenerate rhodopsin, improving night and low-light vision.[xxxiii]

And Bilberry extract helps protect against blue light-emitting diode (LED) light-induced photoreceptor cell damage.[xxxiv]


Newly published studies demonstrate Saffron’s ability to improve vision sharpness and improve light flicker sensitivity.

The carotenoid α-crocin provided by Saffron protects retinal cells from UV-B damage.

Crocin also boosts blood flow in the retina and choroid of your eyes. The choroid layer is between the sclera (white of your eye) and the rest of the retina. Saffron improves the oxygen and nutrient supply required for healthy eyes.[xxxv]

Saffron extract has become popular within the pro gaming world because it helps improve vision. And reduces light flicker sensitivity from bright and flashing lights.


Astaxanthin has been shown in several clinical studies to be the most powerful antioxidant found in nature. And is a far more potent free radical scavenger than β-carotene and α-tocopherol.[xxxvi]

Human studies show supplementing with Astaxanthin reduces eye fatigue caused by staring at a gaming monitor for hours. And improves the ability to change focus at different distances.

Astaxanthin reduces blurred vision, dryness, and sore eyes. It reduces eye fatigue in healthy people. It improves retinal capillary blood flow and helps your eyes focus more easily. Astaxanthin improves depth perception and reduces ocular inflammation.[xxxvii]

Best Gaming Vision Supplement

The best vision supplement stack I’ve been able to find anywhere is called Performance Lab® Vision.

Performance Lab® have managed to pack all the vision supplements described above into one capsule per day.

I highly recommend any novice or pro gamer consider adding this vision formula to your daily stack. It’ll make that much of a difference in your game.

Nootropic Benefits for Gamers

The good news is clinical studies show pro gamers display greater cognitive ability and better cognitive skills than the average person.[xxxviii]

Optimize your gaming performance with the best nootropic stackBut it comes at a cost. Burn out and the end of a potentially lucrative career by the time your 23. Along with extreme physical pain, burned out eyesight, and a badly depleted brain.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Nootropic supplements will take a larger and larger role in professional gaming and eSports. And early adopters get the benefit of longer, more successful gaming careers, and go on to other pursuits healthier than ever.

The nootropic supplements suggested in this post are proven by hundreds and hundreds of clinical trials. And are used every day by countless neurohackers around the world.

If you are new to the nootropic world, please understand that there is no “one pill” solution to better cognition.

It will take a nootropic stack of several different supplements. All working together in synergy for a better brain.

You can narrow your stack to fewer capsules by using a wisely selected pre-formulated nootropic stack.

From the recommended list in this post, you can try Mind Lab Pro® (B-Vitamins, CDP-Choline, Bacopa Monnieri, Lion’s Mane, Phosphatidylserine (PS), N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, and Pine Bark Extract).

For vision and eye health, the best supplement on the market by far is Performance Lab® Vision.

For a quick, clean, pure energy boost I recommend the L-Theanine + caffeine stack Performance Lab® Caffeine+.

The best MCT Oil available for professional gaming is Performance Lab® Organic MCT Oil.

The best algae-sourced DHA on the market today is Performance Lab® Omega-3 which contains 600 mg of DHA and 300 mg of EPA per dose.

Add Aniracetam and you’ll have the most powerful and effective nootropics gaming stack on the planet.

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] Malykh A.G., Sadaie M.R. “Piracetam and piracetam-like drugs: from basic science to novel clinical applications to CNS disorders.” Drugs. 2010 Feb 12;70(3):287-312. (source)

[ii] Zhao X., Kuryatov A., Lindstrom J.M., Yeh J.Z., Narahashi T. “Nootropic drug modulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in rat cortical neurons.” Molecular Pharmacology 2001 Apr;59(4):674-83. (source)

[iii] Bhattacharya S.K., Bhattacharya A., Sairam K., Ghosal S. “Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study.” Phytomedicine 2000 Dec;7(6):463-9. (source)

[iv] Kuboyama T., Tohda C., Komatsu K. “Neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction induced by withanolide A.” British Journal of Pharmacology 005 Apr;144(7):961-71. (source)

[v] Choudhary M.I., Yousuf S., Nawaz S.A., Ahmed S., Atta-ur-Rahman. “Cholinesterase inhibiting withanolides from Withania somnifera.” Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Tokyo) 2004 Nov;52(11):1358-61. (source)

[vi] 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)

[vii] Bhattacharya S.K., Ghosal S. “Anxiolytic activity of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera: an experimental study.” Phytomedicine. 1998 Apr;5(2):77-82 (source)

[viii] Rao A.M., Hatcher J.F., Dempsey R.J. “CDP-choline: neuroprotection in transient forebrain ischemia of gerbils.” Journal of Neuroscience Research 1999 Dec 1;58(5):697-705. (source)

[ix] Wang L., Pooler A.M., Albrecht M.A., Wurtman R.J. “Dietary uridine-5′-monophosphate supplementation increases potassium-evoked dopamine release and promotes neurite outgrowth in aged rats.” Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 2005;27(1):137-45. (source)

[x] Choi K.T. “Botanical characteristics, pharmacological effects and medicinal components of Korean Panax ginseng C A Meyer.” Acta Pharmacologica Sinica. 2008 Sep;29(9):1109-18. (source)

[xi] Reay J.L., Kennedy D.O., Scholey A.B. “Single doses of Panax ginseng (G115) reduce blood glucose levels and improve cognitive performance during sustained mental activity.” Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2005 Jul;19(4):357-65. (source)

[xii] Wang J.R., Zhou H., Yi X.Q., Jiang Z.H., Liu L. “Total ginsenosides of Radix Ginseng modulates tricarboxylic acid cycle protein expression to enhance cardiac energy metabolism in ischemic rat heart tissues.”Molecules. 2012 Oct 29;17(11):12746-57. (source)

[xiii] Wang B.S., Wang H., Wei Z.H., Song Y.Y., Zhang L., Chen H.Z. “Efficacy and safety of natural acetylcholinesterase inhibitor huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: an updated meta-analysis.”Journal of Neural Transmission (Vienna). 2009 Apr;116(4):457-65. (source)

[xiv] Tang L.L., Wang R., Tang X.C. “Effects of huperzine A on secretion of nerve growth factor in cultured rat cortical astrocytes and neurite outgrowth in rat PC12 cells.” Acta Pharmacologica Sinica. 2005 Jun;26(6):673-8. (source)

[xv] 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)

[xvi] Yokogoshi H., Kobayashi M., Mochizuki M., Terashima T. “Effect of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on brain monoamines and striatal dopamine release in conscious rats.” Neurochemistry Research. 1998 May;23(5):667-73. (source)

[xvii] Owen G.N., Parnell H., De Bruin E.A., Rycroft J.A. “The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood.”Nutritional Neuroscience. 2008 Aug;11(4):193-8. (source)

[xviii] Coull N.A., Watkins S.L., Aldous J.W., Warren L.K., Chrismas B.C., Dascombe B., Mauger A.R., Abt G., Taylor L. “Effect of tyrosine ingestion on cognitive and physical performance utilising an intermittent soccer performance test (iSPT) in a warm environment.” European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2015 Feb;115(2):373-86. (source)

[xix] Colzato L.S., Jongkees B.J., Sellaro R., Hommel B. “Working memory reloaded: tyrosine repletes updating in the N-back task.” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2013 Dec 16;7:200. (source)

[xx] 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)

[xxi] Ryan J., Croft K., Mori T., Wesnes K., Spong J., Downey L., Kure C., Lloyd J., Stough C. “An examination of the effects of the antioxidant Pycnogenol on cognitive performance, serum lipid profile, endocrinological and oxidative stress biomarkers in an elderly population.” Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2008 Jul;22(5):553-62 (source)

[xxii] 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 Science. 2014 Dec;58(4):239-48. (source)

[xxiii] 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 Science. 2014 Dec;58(4):239-48. (source)

[xxiv] Kobori Y., Suzuki K., Iwahata T., Shin T., Sadaoka Y., Sato R., Nishio K., Yagi H., Arai G., Soh S., Okada H., Strong J.M., Rohdewald P. “Improvement of seminal quality and sexual function of men with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia syndrome following supplementation with L-arginine and Pycnogenol®.” Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2015 Sep 30;87(3):190-3 (source)

[xxv] Ravindran P.N., Babu K.N., Sivaraman K. “Turmeric: The Genus Curcuma”; CRC Press Pg 5 March 1, 2007 ISBN 9780849370342 (source)

[xxvi] Sanmukhani J., Satodia V., Trivedi J., Patel T., Tiwari D., Panchal B., Goel A., Tripathi C.B. “Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial.” Phytotherapy Research. 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85. (source)

[xxvii] Wang R., Li Y.B., Li Y.H., Xu Y., Wu H.L., Li X.J. “Curcumin protects against glutamate excitotoxicity in rat cerebral cortical neurons by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor level and activating TrkB.”Brain Research. 2008 May 19;1210:84-91. (source)

[xxviii] Shoba G., Joy D., Joseph T., Majeed M., Rajendran R., Srinivas P.S. “Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.” Planta Medica. 1998 May;64(4):353-6. (source)

[xxix] Krinsky N.I., Landrum J.T., Bone R.A. “Biologic mechanisms of the protective role of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye.” Annual Review of Nutrition. 2003;23:171-201. (source)

[xxx] Kvansakul J., Rodriguez-Carmona M., Edgar D.F., Barker F.M., Köpcke W., Schalch W., Barbur J.L. “Supplementation with the carotenoids lutein or zeaxanthin improves human visual performance.” Ophthalmic and Physiologic Optics. 2006 Jul;26(4):362-71. (source)

[xxxi] Matsumoto H., Nakamura Y., Tachibanaki S., Kawamura S., Hirayama M. “Stimulatory effect of cyanidin 3-glycosides on the regeneration of rhodopsin.” Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 2003 Jun 4;51(12):3560-3. (source)

[xxxii] Xu J.W., Ikeda K., Yamori Y. “Cyanidin-3-glucoside regulates phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase.” FEBS Letters. 2004 Sep 10;574(1-3):176-80. (source)

[xxxiii] Chu W., et. al. “Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.)” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. (source)

[xxxiv] Ogawa K. et. al. “Protective effects of bilberry and lingonberry extracts against blue light-emitting diode light-induced retinal photoreceptor cell damage in vitro” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Published: 2 April 2014 (source)

[xxxv] Xuan B., Zhou Y.H., Li N., Min Z.D., Chiou G.C. “Effects of crocin analogs on ocular blood flow and retinal function.” Journal of Ocular Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 1999 Apr;15(2):143-52. (source)

[xxxvi] Belviranli M., Okudan N. “Well-Known Antioxidants and Newcomers in Sport Nutrition” Antioxidants in Sport Nutrition CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2015. (source)

[xxxvii] Capelli B., Cysewski G. “Natural Astaxanthin: King of the Carotenoids” Cyanotech Corporation ISBN-13: 978-0-9792353-0-6 (source)

[xxxviii] Colzato L.S., et. al. “DOOM’d to switch: superior cognitive flexibility in players of first person shooter games” Frontiers in Psychology 21 April 2010 (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 the best nootropic supplements? 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 […]

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 - 45 comments

October 17, 2023

Hello David
Would it be possible to throw in nicotine into this stack?

    David Tomen
    October 18, 2023

    Haarper, absolutely Nicotine would be a good addition as long as it was used and dosed wisely.

June 17, 2022

Hi david i am planned to enter esports game called valorent,for that i need Processing speed, Decision-Making, Focus, Flow,Thinking,reaction time & creativity can you suggest me best combination of nootropic

    David Tomen
    June 19, 2022

    Siva, the best stack would be the list included in the yellow box near the top of this page. But if you want to consolidate what you use I suggest Mind Lab Pro full dose twice per day and Performance Lab Vision. Link in the last section of this page.

April 1, 2022

Hey David, im Esport Player thinking about adding some concentration, quick memorization, focus , energy boost would you still reccomend this stack or would you add something?

Also is it possible that for me L-Teanine+ Caffeine in dosage 100/200mg is not really working, making me more tired?

And 300mg L teanina/ 200mg Caffeine is actually working good

    David Tomen
    April 1, 2022

    Louis, I still recommend the supplements I mention in this article for gamers. But there may be one or two that are not for you.

    But I’m confused about your comment about L-Theanine + Caffeine. If this combo works for you but causes fatigue then try cutting the dose in half. But make sure you are also using L-Tyrosine and a B-Complex to support caffeine use.

May 5, 2021

American Ginseng – 500 mg twice per day so total of 1000 mg WTF is it safe

    David Tomen
    May 5, 2021

    Yoyoga, Ginseng has been and continues to be extensively researched. These doses are based on clinical trial data:

    – For stress, anxiety or fatigue: 1-gram ginseng daily dosed 500 mg twice per day
    – For Type 2 diabetes: 200 mg per day
    – For erectile dysfunction (ED): 900 mg of Panax ginseng 3-times per day

    The bottom-line is to stay within the dosage recommended by the ginseng supplement manufacturer.

      May 8, 2021

      i mean ginsenoside content percentage % because some will have more on 500mg

        David Tomen
        May 8, 2021

        It depends if it is 5% ginsenosides or 20% ginsenosides. Some manufactures don’t even to do that and state a 20:1 or 5:1 extract.

        The manufacturer is the best source for dosage recommendations because they’ll know more about how people react to their supplement than anyone.

        Then it depends on how you react to it as an individual which will likely be different than the person next to you.

September 21, 2020


Love the article a lot! Been meaning to plunge into buying all these supplements and implementing the stack!

I’m presuming that these Nootropics should be taken consistently at a specific time frame everyday correct? Much like Vitamin C, these Nootropics appear to provide “passive” benefits so to speak. So taking it consistently as well as doing at the same time frames should be the most beneficial correct?

So far, i’ve just been trying to take this stack first thing in the morning around 10am. Then take the 2nd dosages (as suggested for specific Nootropics) around 4pm or at least 6 hours after initial round of dosages. Then whenever i’m trying to game, I typically pop a 100mg-200mg caffeine pill with 300mg – 600mg L-Theanine. I found a 3:1 ratio seems to work best for me in regards to caffeine pills.

Am I doing this optimally? Let me know! Thank You

P.S. – I’m taking everything listed within your stack including the performance lab vision supplement

    David Tomen
    September 21, 2020

    Marc, you’ve pretty much nailed how to dose these nootropics for your specific purpose. Only thing I’d suggest is becoming more familiar with the half-life of each ingredient. So you understand how long each lasts in your system. Just Google it if it’s not in my review for that supplement.

    And which are fat-soluble. Because fat-soluble ingredients tend to get stored in your fat for later use as needed. So something like DHA can be used first thing to last the day.

Eric Lynn
September 2, 2020

hey David, what is better for playing competetive strategic games
MindlabPro or Aniracetam

Thx a lot

    David Tomen
    September 2, 2020

    Eric, I’d use both of them along with 300 mg Alpha GPC.

May 22, 2020

Hi David

When you say “Aniracetam – 750 mg twice per day”
Do you mean take 375mg twice a day adding up to 750mg? Or do you mean take 2 doses of 750mg a day?

Also can i use Tumeric instead of Rhodiola Rosea? I suffer from anxiety and would like to know if Tumeric would have the same anti anxiety benefits.
If so, what dose of Tumeric should i take?

One last thing, should the stack outlined in yellow be taken all at once in the morning after a meal? Or can i just take them on an empty stomach?

    David Tomen
    May 22, 2020

    Jason, if dosage recommendations for a nootropic that says “twice per day” it means once in the AM and the next dose at noon. For Aniracetam that would mean 750 mg in the AM and anther 750 mg at noon.

    If it says 3-times per day it would be the stated dosage taken once in the AM, again and noon and the last dose around 4 PM.

    Turmeric and Rhodiola Rosea while both considered “herbs” are very different supplements. And will provide unique benefits. I suggest reading the full review for each and then deciding which sounds like it may work for you.

    I also recommend a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil or MCT Oil each time you take your nootropic stack. The oil helps any fat-soluble ingredients in your stack cross cell walls. That is what it means when the label says to take it with a meal.

    Any water soluble nutrients will cross on their own with some water.

      May 22, 2020

      Okay, thank you

        May 30, 2020

        Hi David
        Is the dosing of the ingredients in this product good or bad?

        Blackmores Ginkgo Brahmi

        I’m mainly curious about the Bacopa dosage, is 3000 mg too much and is 67.5mg bacosides too little?

        Also how is the dose for Gingko?

        David Tomen
        June 1, 2020

        Jason, the recommended dosage of Bacopa Monnieri containing 20% bacosides is 750 mg per day. If it contains 45% bacosides it is 200 – 450 mg per day. But there is not a defined ‘standard’ dosage for this herb. It depends on how much you need that works for you.

        And for Ginkgo biloba extract the daily dosage can range from 120 – 600 mg depending on the disorder being treated.

        I’ve found that pre-made stacks for certain herbal nootropics are often not the best. Because dosages are wrong. Or the form is not effective. And you may not need or want whatever is packaged together. In cases like this I’ve always went with an individual supplement from a company I trust.

        How I choose them is explained in this post:

May 5, 2020

I want to make my stack and want is it safe to mix anyone of these nootropics together?

In theory would it be possible to take all of the nootropics listed here in one day without overdosing on something?

    David Tomen
    May 5, 2020

    Alex, the ‘gaming stack’ detailed in the yellow box near the top of this page can safely be used together at the recommended dosages. You can also consolidate many of them by using the pre-made stacks I mention in the conclusion of this post.

    But if you’re going to use the nootropics outlined in the yellow box and have never used them before, I highly recommend trying them one at a time and seeing how your body reacts. If you take everything all at once and have negative side effects, you will not be able to identify what caused the problem.

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.