Best Nootropic Stack: The Dirty Secret Nobody Wants to Tell You

When we buy Chinese food or a pizza, it’s natural to visit Yelp and seek the best reviews and restaurants. Once we find a trusted resource, each individual finds a different meal based on personal preference and taste.

Searching for the best nootropic stack involves the same motivation and steps. We first find a trusted resource (which you have done by visiting this site), but then we find different nootropics based on our personal preference and needs.

In this guide, we will teach you how to create the best nootropic stack for you. We are all unique. There is no one size fits all.

For those other guys who claim to have the super magic, awesome, spectacular best nootropic stack, it’s an illusion. To be clear: anyone who says they have the “best nootropic stack” is at best suspect or lying outright to sell you something.

Best Nootropic Stack for Mental Performance

Improving mental performance and optimizing cognition could mean many things for you. Would you like:

  • Focus and Concentration
  • Creativity
  • Mood Enhancement
  • Memory and Learning Ability
  • Anti-aging and Longevity

All of the above! Of course, anyone interested in nootropics would like to achieve all of these things, but sometimes this isn’t possible. It’s challenging to be both creative and focused at the same time. Sometimes smart drugs that increase focus, do not enhance mood.

Let’s look at each of these individually. Below, I’ll break down some options for beginners and more advanced users. At the end of this post, I’ll provide the best nootropic stack options for me.

Focus and Concentration

Far and away, the most desired cognitive goal is increasing focus and concentration. Here are a few suggestions:

Caffeine + L-Theanine – it may seem basic, but the basic caffeine + L-theanine combination is well studied and well-respected [1]. Try to take a 1:2 ratio respectively, but don’t take this daily. As many of you are aware, caffeine builds tolerance quickly. This is the combo that I buy.

Phenylpiracetam – the racetam family has a reputation for memory enhancement, but phenylpiracetam is a powerful concentration tool. I even verified this for my brain with QEEG maps while using phenylpiracetam. This also builds tolerance to cycle it. Get it here.

best nootropic stack

Noopept Sublingual – said to be 1000 times stronger than piracetam [2], noopept is a synthetic drug that interacts with the cholinergic system. By taking a sublingual solution, it helps avoid first-pass metabolism and goes directly to your brain. Get it here.


In contrast to popular opinion, it’s challenging to have both focus and creativity. Most concentration comes independent of creative thought as they can be opposing cognitive tools:

Microdosing Psychedelics – a high percentage of Silicon Valley executives and entrepreneurs are using LSD and microdosing specifically. It is a great creativity tool. We cannot provide a source to purchase for obvious reasons, but our guide helps measure doses accurately.

Phenylpiracetam – even though phenylpiracetam does increase focus, it also helps with creativity and verbal fluency. As my QEEG (and studies on racetams) suggest, it is one of the few multi-purpose tools.

Modafinil – this is not for the feint of heart. In fact, I don’t recommend beginners use modafinil (aka provigil) because it is so intense. There is evidence modafinil improves working memory [3], which is a major part of creativity. It’s obviously a great focus tool, which makes it unique among smart drugs. .

Mood Enhancement

Improving mood is obviously enjoyable, but also helps with cognitive performance as well. Reducing anxiety and symptoms of depression has cognitive performance effects.

Ashwagandha – a basic Ayurvedic herb, many studies suggest ashwagandha can reduce symptoms of anxiety by up to 56.5% [4]. It’s a well-tested and useful nootropic compound if you have the right vendor. We recommend getting it here.

St. John’s Wort – a meta analysis of 5500 patients and 29 trials showed St. John’s Wort was no different than SSRI prescription drug medications, but it had fewer side effects [5]. It’s a natural mood enhance with a bit more safer profile. Get it here.

Tianeptine – once a prescription drug treatment, tianeptine is a potent anxiety reducer and mood booster. There is a slight addiction potential and other side effects, so tianeptine is not for a beginner. Get it here.

Memory and Learning Ability

The ability to learn and process new information is desirable to many smart drug enthusiasts:

Bacopa Monnieri – one of the most well-researched nootropics is bacopa. This Ayurvedic herb has been (and still is) used by children in India for thousands of years. This is a great beginner tool for memory, but it does take time (8 – 12 weeks). We recommend getting it here.

Piracetam – this is where it first began! Piracetam (aka nootropil) was discovered in the 1960s, which spawned the term “nootropics” It’s well researched in humans and animals, though it can be a subtle drug that times time to work. Get it here.

Centrophenoxine – as far as memory enhancement goes, centrophenoxine is one of the newcomers on the block, but already has a solid backing. Many people within the nootropics community love centrophenoxine for memory enhancement as a cholinergic option. Get it here.

Anti Aging and Longevity

There are many aspects of anti aging and even the greatest minds haven’t created a solution. Nonetheless, anti aging and neuroprotection often aid mitochondrial function and other foundational markers:

Coenzyme Q10 – this basic building block is additive to support mitochondrial function. Keep in mind that CoQ10 is fat soluble, so take it with a meal or fat source. Get it here.

PQQ – a perfect combination with the CoQ10, PQQ molecule aids in mitochondrial function and longevity. No long-term human studies exist with this compound, but theoretically there are many benefits. Get it here.

Quercetin – a natural antioxidant found in apples and onions, quercetin is one of the most powerful nutrients for aging and longevity. The bioflavonoid is beneficial in theory, but a naturopathic doctor and PhD researcher are both big proponents. Get it here.

All in One Best Nootropic Stack

Despite all of this valuable information, there are a certain percentage of readers who are still looking for the one product that will save the day.

I don’t believe this exists, but I understand most people don’t want to learn about all of these details. If you are hellbent on purchasing a premade or unique nootropic stack, consider the information below.

Our best recommendation for an all-in-one nootropic stack is Qualia (read our review here).

  • Nootrobox – good quality ingredients, safe, but often inadequate and expensive
  • TruBrain – high grade nootropics, safe, but very expensive
  • Alpha Brain – okay ingredients, but includes fillers. Quite expensive for what you get.
  • CILTEP – good ingredients, but expensive (also comes in Qualia and easy to DIY)
  • Four Sigmatic – good ingredients, but low efficacy or impact
  • OptiMind – not good ingredients, not great product, expensive
  • Addium – terrible product. Stay clear at all costs.

Best Nootropic Stack for Me

I’m a big proponent of cycling nootropics as much as possible. Using different nootropics helps to ensure certain aspects of the brain are not overworked, but they also increase the efficacy of the drugs.

Click on each of the example days to see the best nootropic stack for that particular day.

Day 1
Caffeine and L-Theanine (80 mg + 160 mg)
Noopept sublingual (0.5 mL)
Creatine (5 g)
Fish Oil (1000 mg DHA + 500 mg EPA)
Day 2
Phenylpiracetam (200 mg)
Creatine (5 g)
Fish Oil (1000 mg DHA + 500 mg EPA)
Day 3
Qualia (Step 1, not step 2)
Creatine (5 g)
Fish Oil (1000 mg DHA + 500 mg EPA)
Day 4
Creatine (5 g)
Fish Oil (1000 mg DHA + 500 mg EPA)
Day 5
Caffeine and L-Theanine (80 mg + 160 mg)
Phenylpiracetam (100 mg)
Creatine (5 g)
Day 6
Qualia (Step 1, not step 2)
Creatine (5 g)
Fish Oil (1000 mg DHA + 500 mg EPA)
Day 7
Quercetin (800 mg)
CoQ10 (200 mg)
Creatine (5 g)
Fish Oil (1000 mg DHA + 500 mg EPA)
References (Click to Expand)


Nootropedia is meant to be a resource for individuals researching drugs and supplements that are good for brain health, otherwise known as nootropics, and thus we are the Nootropics Encyclopedia. Because of our in-depth coverage of this topic, our community has requested that we cover other brain health topics and "lifehacks" so that has become the focus of Nootropedia.