It’s easy to underestimate the hype around nootropics especially considering the many challenges the supplements industry has undergone over the last few years. However, if you peer through online forums and social media sites, there is something exceptional you’re likely to notice.
Online platforms like Longecity and Reddit have provided platforms where self-experimenters go where mainstream pharmaceutical companies haven’t dared to go yet. It’s no wonder queries like Reddit nootropics, nootropics subreddit, and even r/nootropics are commonly keyed-in on various search engines.
Given the important role played by Reddit in the supplement world, we decided to dig deeper into the platform and come up with a list of some of the popularly recommended noots there. And by doing so, we were able to come up with the following 11 popular options.
Reddit Nootropics – A Run-Down of the Top 12
We’d like to clarify that this list isn’t in any particular order. These brain supplements yield different results e.g. there are ones for reducing anxiety, others for good memory, and quite a few others that are all about motivation-building.
Originally developed in Russia, Phenylpiracetam remains one of the most sought-after racetams out there in the world. With a half-life of 3 to 5 hours, it’s viewed by many a Reddit user as a powerful stimulant that can improve memory, mood, and even athletic performance.
This smart drug is renowned for its effects on memory and cognitive enhancement (1). But that’s not all, a closer look at its formulation reveals that it can also function as an energy booster just the same way Adderall does.
To top it all up, Phenylpiracetam is classified as an anxiolytic and anti-depressant all thanks to studies done in mice demonstrating that it can prevent anxiety and increase locomotion (2). That said, more studies still need to be done to ascertain its effectiveness among human subjects.
Fast absorbed into the body unlike ordinary piracetam
Can be stacked with fish oil or even Alpha GPC
Powerful drug with incredible potential
It is banned by WADA which makes it illegal for professional sportspeople to use
If the many positive Aniracetam reviews on Reddit are anything to go by, then this nootropic compound is quite useful. Some of its recommended uses include promoting creativity and complex thinking, managing social anxiety, memory formation, and concentration (3).
One really encouraging attribute of it is that its effects can be felt in 15 minutes or so. So, you can take it just a few hours before going to class or for an interview and experience near-instant results. And for that reason, the drug is a popular replacement to your everyday cup of coffee.
The icing on the cake is that Aniracetam actively repairs your nerves thanks to the fact that it boosts your brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (4). What’s BDNF? Well, it’s what some people commonly refer to as the fertilizer of the brain especially since it promotes the production of new nerve and brain cells.
It is absorbed fast and its effects felt within 15 to 20 minutes
Can provide you with an afternoon pick-me-up effects
Can boost concentration
Scanty scientific studies support its effectiveness
(5) Adrafinil (Best for Stroke & Trauma Recovery)
The Adrafinil 300mg dosage is thought of as a moderate one for folks looking to experience benefits that are 90% similar to Modafinil’s. Indeed, this eugeroic supplement seems to do a pretty decent job of promoting alertness without affecting the nervous system which is what caffeine does (5).
Unlike Moda which is illegal when sold over-the-counter, Adrafinil is freely available on the gray markets with a pill going for as cheap as $0.80 in some online stores.
One thing you need to note about Adrafinil is that it is meant to boost the levels of a hormone called Hypocretin in the brain. This is the neurotransmitter that’s responsible for promoting wakefulness (6). On top of that, intake of Adrafinil improves the way in which your brain breaks down Glutamine which directly impacts how your body cells communicate.
Read the full review of Adrafinil.
A safer modafinil alternative
Improves synapse plasticity which enhances your memory
Can be stacked with L-Theanine, Noopept, and Pramiracetam
Unlike racetams, Adrafinil piles a bit pressure on your liver and kidneys
(6) Bacopa Synapsa (Best for Memory)
Bacopa with Synapsa is a unique stack that can either be prepared at home by mixing the two in the recommended proportions or ordered as a ready-made product from the likes of Absorb your Health and Doctor’s Best.
Basically, Bacopa comes from an herb known as Bacopa monnieri which is commonly grown in Eastern India. Synapsa is also a form of Bacopa only that it is a proprietary extract which seeks to maximize the benefits of the Ayurveda herb.
The whole idea behind this combination is to promote neuron communication. Indeed, you can count on this noot to boost the growth of nerve endings which are commonly known as dendrites. By doing this, it slows down cognitive decline and supports your memory. Also learn more about Bacopa Synapsa as the best nootropic for stroke recovery.
Last but not least, the Bacopa & Synapsa duo contains adaptogenic properties (7). In other words, it is capable of blocking stress chemicals which can easily trigger negative effects in your psychology.
Prevents cognitive decline and boosts memory
Helps fight off stress and promote brain recovery
Preliminary studies show that it contains strong antioxidant properties
Since Bacopa is grown in marshy areas chances of it having heavy metals are high, insist on third-party tests
(7) Noopept (Best Reddit Nootropics for Study)
This is yet another one of the popular, originally made in Russia nootropics. It is thought to be 1000 times more powerful than piracetam (8). And can you guess what that means?
Well, it means that only a tiny portion of it is needed to stimulate your mind. And with only a pint of it required, there is less pressure piled up on your body system. In terms of efficiency, as most Reddit users seem to agree, very few other “smart drugs” can match up to the kind of potential offered by Noopept.
And even with a daily dosage of 10 to 40mg, you can count on it to take effect in just a few minutes. What’s more? The basic Noopept half-life is 6 hours which means you can fully rely on it for those demanding coding sessions or business meeting. Read more about Noopept as the closest over-the-counter thing to Adderal.
Only a tiny portion of it is needed so less strain on liver and kidneys
Its effects kick in in 7 minutes on average
Relatively safe if taken according to the recommended dosage
Compared to piracetam, it’s 1.8 more likely to lead to side effects
Some of its side effects include insomnia and stomach problems
(8) Pramiracetam (Best for Creativity)
This is yet another one of the nootropic compounds that are getting a lot of love on Reddit. That’s mainly because it’s believed to enhance creativity.
One thing we can confirm through various scientific studies we’ve examined is that pramiracetam is a memory enhancer (9 & 10). It helps in the creation of new memories by stimulating the hippocampus and in so doing also reduces forgetfulness.
Besides that, this member of the racetam family has the reputation of improving alertness and enhancing learning capacity. So far, these effects are attributed to its ability to boost the production of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) (11).
NOS plays a key role in overall body functions particularly by improving cellular signaling. This might improve the rate at which your brain can solve complex tasks which is probably why pramiracetam is suggested as a creativity-enhancing nootropic.
Also has neuroprotective potential
Often cited as a potentially good alternative to Ritalin (12)
Generally well-tolerated and, therefore, safe
Ideal for social fluency as well
Weird, vinegar-like taste
This is a natural cholinergic compound that is known in full as L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine. The nootropic is often recommended for memory, motivation, focus, and learning enhancement. What’s more, its effects generally kick in within just a few hours of consumption.
One thing we love about Alpha-GPC is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Indeed, this nootropic compound is believed to deliver up to 40% choline to the brain (13).
There’s a widespread belief that Alpha-GPC can give Choline (Cognizin or Citicoline) a run for its money when it comes to the delivery of choline and activation of Acetylcholine (Ach) in the brain.
As such, if you’re after extra brain energy or simply looking for a supplement that can keep you alert and productive without involving the use of caffeine, Alpha-GPC would be a good one to try.
May help one overcome brain fog
Fast acting compared to choline
Well-tolerated in healthy adults
Can lower b.p. or cause dizziness in some people
(10) Ashwagandha (Best for Reducing Social Anxiety)
It’s rare to come across a complete list of top Reddit nootropics without Ashwagandha appearing on it. Also known by its scientific name of Withania somnifera, this Ayurvedic remedy is renowned for its stress-relieving properties (14).
To begin with, it protects your central nervous system which effectively makes it an ideal alternative treatment for degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Besides that, Ashwagandha is reputed for its antioxidant properties which means that it does an incredible job of destroying free radicals. And indeed, free radicals are the main culprits behind most of the age-related diseases (15).
Besides toning down your stress levels and detoxing your body, this herb plays a central role in regenerating your brain nerve cells (particularly the dendrites and axons).
And to crown it all up, this extract also inhibits acetylcholinesterase which is known for reducing the effectiveness of acetylcholine (16).
So, it’s safe to say that Ashwagandha indirectly boosts your cognition and memory.
Can help undo brain damage due to chronic stress
It can help you suppress depression symptoms
Its effects kick in as few as 30 minutes
Not ideal for hypothyroid and hyperthyroid sufferers as it stimulates the thyroid
(11) 5-HTP (Best Reddit Nootropics for Lucid Dreaming)
Looking for a nootropic supplement that can improve the quality of your dreams? Well, by supplementing on 5-HTP (also known as 5-hydroxy-tryptophan) it’s possible to boost your serotonin levels (17). As you might be aware, serotonin is quite helpful in promoting lucid dreaming.
One thing you need to know about serotonin is that it’s a multipurpose neurotransmitter. It generally affects your mood, appetite, and sleep. As far as sleep is concerned, it is reputed for its abilities to put people to complete rest, faster.
This is a status known as REM – the second stage of sleep where lucid dreams happen. The longer your REM sessions are, the higher the chances that you will remember your dreams better because you will be able to spend a significant amount of time dreaming.
And indeed, the duration of one’s sleep can influence the memorability and vividness of the dreams they experience. To get the best effects, though, you’d need to take at least 300mg of this nootropic in the course of the day.
Its effect kick in in 30 minutes, faster than most antidepressants work
Most people can tolerate it well
Some Reddit users swear by it
Prolonged use of 5-HTP my lead to hypertension
Disclaimer: Modafinil is a federally controlled substance (C-IV) because it can be abused or lead to dependence.
One thing you need to know is that Moda is not in the same league as other nootropics. In fact, calling it just a noot would be an understatement.
It’s a prescription drug which is commonly used for managing sleep-related disorders e.g. narcolepsy (19).
But why on earth would you use a prescription drug to manage your cognitive performance? Well, that’s because Modafinil does not just improve your sleep patterns but also strengthens your mind.
And unlike caffeine, this is not a stimulant yet it still functions like one with the best part being that it doesn’t come with the jitters and slump caused by coffee or amphetamine intake (20).
That said, Modafinil remains unavailable over the counter without a prescription. And, therefore, you might be better off taking its alternatives – such as Adrafinil. Generally, modafinil is phenomenal if your body gets along with it.
Also note that, mixing modafinil and alcohol can lead to an increase in alcohol tolerance and blackouts in worse off cases.
Enjoys a relatively high success rate
Dubbed “the world’s safest smart drug”
Known for promoting wakefulness
It’s a mood enhancer
May cause insomnia if take a few hours before bedtime
In rare cases, it may cause the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and/or dependence
So, there you have it – our list of some of the best Reddit nootropics. Of course, the word “best” is relative – meaning it’s possible to find contradictory information about certain supplements from different users. But all in all, the fact that these 11 made it to the top of this ever-busy platform speaks volumes about the kind of value they might have in store for you.
To this end, Mind Lab Pro seems like the best choice to us. Its clean ingredients and the fact that it’s 100% natural makes it probably the safest brain supplement available over the counter currently.
Further Reading: 10 Best Nootropics for Stroke Recovery
Article Last Updated: 21-February-2022