Whether you're a student preparing for exams or an employee bettering their career with a little continuing education, studying is an essential part of it. Unfortunately, not all of us are cut out for the long hours and stress that comes with it, not to mention the sheer volume of information you are required to know. Enter the best nootropic stacks for studying.
Nootropics are a great way to give your brain the extra energy, focus and memory needed to help you pull through with your studies. When paired together correctly, the right nootropic stack can give you the edge you need to succeed.
There are a ton of products on the market, but which are the best nootropics for students? We're breaking down our 3 best nootropic stacks for studying based on your study needs, so read on and let's dive into it.
#1: Nootropic Stack For Studying: Memory Enhancement
Studying requires a certain amount of memorization and there are many nootropics that specifically work to improve your how your brain makes new memories and enhances your memory recall.
If memory enhancement is your goal, then you want to be using a nootropic that targets your neural plasticity; the function that allows your brain cells and neurons to form new connections. As your neural plasticity improves you will notice that your ability to learn, retain and recall information becomes significantly better.
It's worth noting that while many of these nootropics work great individually, a well devised stack can give you even better results. Below is an outline of a nootropic stack for studying that will enhance your memory.
Also known as Olmifon, Adrafinil is a water soluble nootropic that improves your memory by stimulating your glutamate receptors. These receptors are responsible for synapse in your brain. The better your synapse, the higher your memory performance will be.
Many users have found that an added benefit of Adrafinil is its ability to improve wakefulness without causing any jittery side effects.
The recommended daily dose of Adrafinil is 150-300 mg. It is typically sold as a powder, but can also come in capsule form.
Another cognitive enhancing nootropic, Noopept works by honing your reasoning skills. It is considered a mild psychostimulant and anxiolytic, meaning it boosts your focus while reducing the level of stress or anxiety you may be experience as a result of studying. As far as nootropic stacks for studying goes, Noopept is a must have when it comes to memory enhancement.
The daily dose of Noopept is relatively low. You should not take more than 10-30 mg per day or you might experience headaches or brain fog.
Best Pre-Made Nootropic Stack for Studying — Alpha Brain
Alpha Brain is a well balanced nootropic stack created by Onnit. It's highly effective ingredients are all natural and not only enhance your memory, but support your cognition and attention span. This pre-made nootropic stack for studying contains 11 key ingredients including:
- Alpha GPC — a precursor to the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, playing a vital role in memory formation
- Huperzine A — inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine to keep levels high
- Vinpocetine — vasodilator, allowing oxygen and other nutrients easy passage through brain
- AC-11 — helps repair DNA
- Phosphatidylserine — repairs and aids in the formation of new brain cells
- Bacopa Monnieri — enhances your brains metabolism
- Pterostilbene — a powerful antioxidant
- L-Tyrosine — an amino acid that reduces stress levels
- L-Theanine — another amino acid that helps your body and brain relax
- Oat Straw — relieves stress to help you improve focus
- Vitamin B-6 — essential for maintaining healthy function and processes in the brain
The primary function of this stack is to increase acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter critical to the formation of memories and learning capacities. As a whole, it provides you with an unbeatable brain boosting combination for more effective study sessions.
The recommended dosage of Alpha Brain is 2 capsules daily, taken in the morning or early afternoon for best results. It is best to take Alpha Brain with food as it is fat soluble and will work better and faster when taken with a light meal. Do not take more than 3 capsules in a 24-hour period.
#2: Nootropic Stack For Studying: Focus, Energy & Concentration
There is no substitute for getting a good night's sleep, eating healthy and exercising. Living an all around healthy lifestyle will naturally provide you with the focus, energy and the ability to learn that you need when it comes to studying.
But for those times when you simply aren't getting enough rest, can't channel an ounce of focus or need a little more concentration, we've got a nootropric stack for that.
L-Theanine for Studying
When it comes to nootropic stacks for studying, l-theanine is a must-have. This powerful nootropic helps put your body and mind in a more relaxed state so you can focus on the task at hand. It's almost like being in a meditative state of concentration. It also happens to be perfect for catching a few more zzz's when you take it right before bedtime.
The recommended daily dose for l-theanine is 100-200 mg. It is always best to start at a lower dosage and work your way up from there to see how your body reacts.
Some users have found that when paired with caffeine, they will use between 300-400 mg of L-theanine. Again, we recommend starting at the lowest dosage and adjusting over time.
Caffeine for Studying
To get the most focus and concentration out of this nootropic stack for studying, you're going to want to pair your l-theanine with a dose of caffeine.
Caffeine is one of the most common energy boosting tools we use on a daily basis (espresso, anyone!) and is not technically a nootropic because it is a stimulant. That being said, there is plenty of scientific research proving its ability to improve mental performance and cognitive functioning.
When paired with l-theanine, caffeine helps round out the benefits of L-theanine by reducing any sleepy side effects. It also doesn't give you the jittery side effects of just taking caffeine on its own.
The recommended daily dose of caffeine is between 100-200 mg for adults. Many of us have built up a tolerance to its effects with regular coffee consumption, and may be tempted to increase that dosage.
For the purposes of using this stack for studying, studies have found that the best ratio of caffeine to l-theanine is 1 part caffeine to 2 parts l-theanine. For example, 100 mg caffeine and 200 mg l-theanine.
Best Premade Nootropic Stack — Ciltep
Ciltep is designed to help turn short term memories into long term memories (also referred to as long term potentiation), while improving focus and concentration.
It's two key ingredients include premium artichoke extract and forskolin.
Artichoke extract is a natural PDE4 inhibitor which has been found to increase not only your cognition, but wakefulness.
Forskolin on the other hand, activates an enzyme that increases intracellular levels of cAMP leading to improved memory formation and information retention.
There are 3 other noteworthy ingredients:
- Acetyl L-Carnitine — mitigates the effects of acetylcholinesterase on your energy and short-term memory
- Vitamin B6 — benefits many essential neurotransmitters that play a vital role in cognitive functioning
- L-Phenylalanine — amino acid that produces dopamine; the happy hormone
The recommended dose of Cilep is 2-3 capsules on an empty stomach. It is best taken in the morning before eating, and you should not take more than 3 capsules daily. It is also recommended that you do not take it more than 5-6 times per week. A 1-2 day break each week is ideal.
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#3: Nootropic Stack For Studying: Anti Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety is a natural side effect of studying, especially when you're cramming for a big exam or project. The side effects of stress and anxiety can be some of the most ovewhelming and have highly negative impacts on your study efforts. If you're looking for a nootropic stack for studying that will combat your woes, then here's the one for you.
Phenibut is a natural derivative of GABA and is incredibly effective at passing through the blood-brain barrier for fast results.
This nootropic is effective at relieving short term stress and anxiety, but should not be considered a long term solution as it is incredibly powerful.
The recommended dosage of Phenibut is 250-1000 mg daily, though studies have shown that as much as 3000 mg of Phenibut daily can be safe.
For the purposes of this study stack, do not exceed 1000 mg per day.
Aniracetam is one of the best nootroprics for combatting stress because it does so much more than put you in a relaxed state. It helps to boost your mood, increase energy, focus and motivation for heightened memory and clear thinking.
It does this by stimulating AMPA receptors that regulate your body's level of glutamate, and essentially your GABA levels.
The recommended dose of aniracetam for studying is 500-750 mg taken twice daily (for a total of 1000-1500mg per day). This can be taken in powder or capsule form and still have highly effective results.
By combining phenibut and aniracetam you get the anti-anxiety effects that you need to focus with a clear mind, and the mood enhancing effects that breed optimism while you cram for that exam.
Best Premade Stack – Onnit’s New Mood
New Mood combines several deeply relaxing herbs that work to not only reduce stress and improve your mood, but that pass the blood-brain barrier quickly for fast results.
New Mood contains several natural nootropic ingredients, including:
- 5-HTP — a direct precursor to serotonin and l-tryptophan
- Vitamin B6 — to help the conversion and reactions of several other ingredients
- Magnesium — effective reducer of stress and aids sleep
- Niacin — improves blood flow and passage of oxygen through your blood
- Chamomile — increases feelings of relaxation
- Valerian Root — improves quality of sleep
- Vitamin D3 — enhances mood
- Lemon Balm — also enhances mood
New Mood can be used as a sleep aid or on a daily basis for reducing anxiety and stress. As a nootropic stack for studying, we recommend taking 2 capsules of New Mood through out the day when studying. Do not exceed 6 capsules in one day.
There are so many powerful and effective nootropics available, and the stacking options are innumerable. The most basic approach is to start small (in both dosage and quantity of nootropics you intend on stacking together) and adjust over time so you know how it affects your mind and body.
Nootropics require a little bit of trial and error, but we have found that the above nootropic stacks for studying are the most effective when tackling specific areas of need.
Tell us — do you have a favourite nootropic stack that you use when cramming for an exam? Share your stack ideas in the comment section below.
Studying isn’t what it used to be. Academic competition is fierce, and schools expect a lot more out of their students. Coupled with the economic recession, over 70% of college students are working part time (1), averaging 30 hours per week, while maintaining their studies.
With such limited time, how you study has become nearly as important as what you are studying. In order to maximize your time, energy and focus, many are turning to nootropics.
But what are the best nootropics for studying?
Top 10 Nootropics for Studying
Most degree and diploma programs can be categorized under one of two categories: logical learning or creative thinking.
Those studying economics, mathematics or the sciences would fall under logic based and would benefit from Oxiracetam.
What is it?
Oxiracetam increases left brain functionality, which is responsible for processing logic, analysis and facts, to name a few characteristics.
In effect, oxiracetam would promoting logic-based thinking and help you understand number based concepts easier.
How much Oxiracetam should I take?
The recommended dosage of Oxiracetam ranges between 1200-2400 mg daily. For best results you would split this into three even dosages — for example 400 mg taken 3 times daily.
It is always best to use the smallest dosage to see how it affects your body before increasing it.
How does Oxiracetam work?
Similar to other nootropics in the racetam family it affects both the acetylcholine and cholinergic systems in your brain to improve everything from your attention span and memory to sensory perception. Containing stimulant properties, oxiracetam will also help keep you alert and focused as you study.
If you are studying in the field of literature, philosophy or the arts, you would be considered more creative and want to use a nootropic that targeted your right brain functionality.
What is it?
Aniracetam triggers your right brain which is characterized by creativity, imagination, the non-verbal and feelings. When taken, aniracetam reduces stress and anxiety, boosts your mood, and allows ideas to flow more freely, which increases your ability to think abstractly.
How much Aniracetam should I take?
The recommended dosage of Aniracetam varies between 750-1500 mg. Start with the lowest recommended dosage to see how it affects your body and mind first.
It has been noted that taking any less than 750 mg and you will not likely experience any of its effects or benefits.
How does Aniracetam work?
It is not fully known how Aniracetam works, but what studies have found so far is that it helps protect the brain from negative effects of having a lower oxygen supply. It does this by motivating receptors in the brain to take in more oxygen and glucose.
To use aniracetam for studying, stack with Oxiracetam. Together you will experience improved verbal and linguistic functioning, as well as improved sensory perception and logical ability.
Struggling to stay focused on the task at hand or even find motivation to study in the first place? L-Theanine can help.
What is it?
L-Theanine is an amino acid that has been found to improve energy levels, while reducing the negative effects of stress. Originally found and isolated from Green Tea in 1949, studies now show that it is an effective aid for enhancing focus and supporting brain health.
How much L-Theanine should I take?
The recommended daily dose of L-theanine is 200 mg, though it is common to find supplement brands on the market with 250 mg dosages.
How does L-Theanine work?
It is easily absorbed into the bloodstream and works by targeting the neurotransmitters responsible for affecting cognitive processes, such as dopamine, serotonin, GABA and norepinephrine — all of which improve focus by putting you in a meditative, relaxed state.
To use L-theanine for studying, many students find it beneficial to couple it with a stimulant like caffeine. Separately these two supplements have their own negative side effects. For example, some people have found that L-theanine induces too much of a trance-like state, and caffeine alone causes uncomfortable jitter-like side effects. Together these two supplements complement one another nicely, by removing the negative side effects and giving you a clean, controlled focus for studying.
#4: Noopept For Studying
Get the right motivation and focus for studying or preparing for exams with Noopept.
What is it?
Noopept is an incredibly potent nootropic that has a mild psychostimulant effect, allowing you to study with laser focus. It offers similar effects as piracetam, but is a synthetic molecule and not actually a member of the racetam family.
How much Noopept should I take?
The recommended daily dosage for noopept is 10-30 mg. Take once a day and for no longer than 56 days at a time.
Some users recommend cycling Noopept for best results, using it for 1-3 weeks and then taking one month off.
How does Noopept work?
Noopept is absorbed through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where it is then carried to the brain. It’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier with ease means you will experience its effects quickly; as fast as 15-20 minutes after ingestion.
This particular nootropic works by binding to specific receptor sites within the brain to inhibit the breakdown of glutamate. Glutamate is an essential neurotransmitter for healthy cognitive function, so you want to preserve it within the brain for increased focus and processing.
In addition to preserving glutamate, Noopept brings more oxygen to the brain which not only improves your focus, but also elevates your mood.
To use Noopept for studying, take 10-15 mg up to 3 times a day for cram sessions, however you should not exceed 40 mg within a 24 hour period.
The ability to memorize and retain information is crucial, especially when preparing for exams.
What is it?
Pramiracetam is one of the most common nootropics used for improving memory and learning capacity, optimizing brain function, and enhancing your ability to focus. Potent on its own or coupled with others to enhance the effects of other nootropics.
How much Pramiracetam should I take?
The recommended dose of Pramiracetam is 300-600 mg daily, taken once or split into two doses.
It generally works within 30 minutes of ingestion and has a relatively long half-life (4-6 hours), so if splitting doses, it is best to take it in the morning and then again in the early afternoon.
How does Pramiracetam work?
Pramiracetam is a fat-soluble compound that is absorbed into the blood through fatty acids. Unlike most racetams which target specific neurotransmitters, Pramiracetam indirectly causes the release of acetylcholine by increasing high affinity choline uptake. As you may know, choline is a precursor to acetylcholine and responsible for forming long term memories, as well as improving learning speed and concentration.
It does not seem to affect wakefulness or your emotional state, so when it comes to using pramiracetam for studying, you may want to couple it with an energy enhancer like adrafinil or oxiracetam.
One of the best nootropics for improving your memory and enhancing neuroplasticity (ie. being able to understand the material you are studying) is Alpha GPC.
What is it?
Alpha GPC — glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alfoscerate — is naturally present in our bodies in small quantities, but commercially manufactured in more concentrated doses to enhance your memory and reduce the effects of aging on the brain.
How much Alpha GPC should I take?
The recommended dose of Alpha GPC is 300-600 mg per day, however it is typically tolerated well by most healthy adults so the dosage range can widen.
It has been found that taking between 300-1200 mg in one dose or split into two can be safe and effective. If you have never tried it before start at the lowest dosage and increase as deemed necessary over time.
How does Alpha GPC work?
Alpha GPC’s structure naturally contains glycerol, phosphate and choline and is used by the body to store choline. It is water soluble and fast acting, meaning it crosses the blood-brain barrier with ease and users can feel the effects within an hour of ingesting it.
After it has been absorbed and metabolized, the byproduct is a combination of choline and glycerophosphate, but its the additional choline that makes this nootropic so effective. As we’ve mentioned before, choline is essential for memory function and recall, as well as a whole host of other cognitive functions like concentration, focus and learning ability.
When stacked with other nootropics, specifically those in the racetam family, it can make Alpha GPC for studying even more beneficial.
#7: Adrafinil For Studying
If your morning cup of coffee just isn’t cutting it during study sessions then Adrafinil could help.
What is it?
Adrafinil — also known as Olmifon — is a nootropic compound typically used for its eugeroic effects. In other words, it is a wakefulness promoting supplement or stimulant.
How much Adrafinil should I take?
The recommended daily dose of Adrafinil is 150-300 mg. It is one of the more potent nootropics out there so it’s always best to start at the lowest dosage and give your body time to adjust before increasing.
Cycling is also recommended. Try two weeks on, one week off, then go to one week on and two weeks off.
This is not recommended for anyone who has issues with their liver as Adrafinil has been found to elevate certain enzymes which can actually cause liver damage.
How does Adrafinil work?
Adrafinil mimics the same response your body experiences during “fight or flight” mode. Though it is not completely understood how, it is believed that this nootropic increases the levels of Hypocretin — a neuropeptide that regulates wakefulness as well as arousal and appetite.
It also affects your body’s levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and histamine, which all affect how alert you feel.
To use Adrafinil for studying, stack with other nootropics including Sulbutiamine, Alpha GPC or Noopept for even more energy and alertness, plus improved attentiveness, memory and mental performance.
#8: Bacopa Monniera For Studying
When it comes to studying you likely want a nootropic for improving your alertness and making studying easier – like Bacopa Monniera.
What is it?
Bacopa Monniera is a natural nootropic that comes from the Ayurvedic herb water hyssop, and is used for its anti-fatigue properties and ability to improve alertness and wakefulness.
How much Bacopa Monniera should I take?
The recommended dose is 300 mg per day as long as the total active compound makes up 55% of the supplement by weight.
If taken in leaf or powder form, the recommended dose is 750-1500 mg.
It should be noted that if taken on its own, this nootropic takes several weeks to see improvements, as many as 8-12 weeks in fact. However, if you want to use bacopa monniera for studying and reap its benefits then you should stack it with phenylpiracetam, piracetam or one of the other racetams depending on your desired outcome (ie. physical energy, cognitive stimulation or reduced anxiety).
How does Bacopa Monniera work?
Bacopa Monniera improves synaptic communication by enhancing the growth of dendrites (brancehd nerve cell extensions) through which neural impulses travel. The better your neural impulse travel, the better your cognitive functioning and alertness.
The active ingredient in this nootropic is Bacoside-A and is known for its ability to stimulate nerve cells, making synapses more welcoming to nerve impulses.
#9: Phenibut For Studying
Studying doesn’t come without a certain level of stress and anxiety, whether that be related to the act of studying or the outcome. To reduce your stress levels while studying or writing exams, test out Phenibut.
What is it?
Phenibut is a commonly used GABA-derivative nootropic that helps rid you of anxiety and improve your quality of sleep. Most often stacked with others for its mood boosting, stress-reducing qualities.
How much Phenibut should I take?
The recommended daily dosage of Phenibut is anywhere between 250-1000 mg. If you are a new user then you should start at the lowest possible dosage and allow your body time to adjust before increasing the amount taken.
Highly effective, you do not want to take multiple doses as you should feel the effects of this nootropic all day long with just one dose.
How does Phenibut work?
Phenibut is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA is responsible for reducing activity in the neurons that it binds to, leading to a calming, stress-reducing effect.
Unlike GABA which cannot pass the blood brain barrier when taken in supplement form, Phenibut contains an additional phenyl ring molecule which allows it to cross this barrier with ease. There it binds to GABA receptors and lowers the level of excitatory action in the brain.
To use Phenibut for studying, stack with Noopept for the ultimate memory boosting, cognition improving, increased wakefulness, but with a calm, anxiety-free effect.
Looking for another anti-anxiety nootropic for studying? Try Picamilon.
What is it?
Picamilon, also known as nicotinyl-gamma-Aminobutyric acid, is another GABA-derivative nootropic, commonly used by college students to reduce anxiety and stress. It is considered very safe and has been well researched, and boasts very few (if any) negative side effects.
How much Picamilon should I take?
The recommended daily dosage of Picamilon is 50-300 mg. Most brands on the market it sell it in a 150 mg capsule, but you can also buy it in powder form and measure it out yourself.
For best effects, many users prefer to split their dosage in two, taking one in the morning and another in the evening. Like most other nootropics, start with a lower dosage and increase over time as you deem necessary.
How does Picamilon work?
Picamilon contains two natural anti-anxiety chemicals, GABA and niacin. As it passes through the blood brain barrier these two chemicals separate through a hydrolytic reaction.
From there, GABA targets receptors in the central nervous system producing an anxiolytic response (ie. an anti-anxiety response) by preventing neuronal over-stimulation in your brain.
Niacin, on the other hand, dilates blood vessels in your brain resulting in more oxygen to the brain, improved cerebral blood flow and increased glucose metabolism. In essence it improves the health of your brain neurons.
To benefit from Picamilon for studying, stack it with racetams like Piracetam or Aniracetam for a more positive and effective studying session.
The Ultimate Nootropic Stack For Studying
This stack is most effective when taken before an exam for study purposes or during exams as well. I wouldn’t recommend taking it daily as you’ll start to see a lesser effect over time.
Benefits: Consider this as the “mood enhancer” in the stack as it has a direct impact on increasing dopamine levels. It has a rather nice anxiolytic effect which will help reduce unwanted stress during exams or in the lead up to them.
Benefits: Oxiracetam can be considered a mild stimulant when compared to aniracetam. It’s basically a powerful antioxidant, helping to remove excess toxins like calcium, which can lead to a drop in memory function in the brain.
Benefits: Noopept is regarded as one of the most well known nootropics on the market today. It aids in improving cognitive and learning functions much like most racetams, however with a faster absorption rate.
The Best Premade Studying Stack
CILTEP By Natural Stacks
Dosage: 2 capsules in the morning (stop on weekends)
Benefits: CILTEP is your all out performance enhancer. It contains 3 main components: artichoke extract (900mg) for learning and memory, ALCAR (750mg) for combatting brain fatigue and LPhenylalanine (500mg) to help increase dopamine metabolism.
Out of all the brands of premade stacks, this one is most likely to help for studying purposes.
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