Best nootropics and smart drugs to hack your mental and physical health naturally

·10-min read

You probably take daily nootropics without even realising it. Even if you don't actively incorporate so-called “smart drugs” into your daily routine, you may have a coffee each day or drink tea.

Caffeine and L-theanine (a naturally occurring amino acid found in tea) are two of the most popular nootropics around, but there are plenty more doing the hard work to encourage focus, mental clarity and energy levels in healthy people.

You'll find nootropics in all shapes and sizes from the daily capsules swallowed with a sip of water each morning to coffee-like sachets that replace your morning cuppa, gummies to chew as you go about your day-to-day life and powders to mix in with your protein, smoothies or milk of choice.

What should you look for when buying nootropics?

Dave Wright, Director of leading nootropic brand Mind Lab Pro, says: "To have the best experience with nootropics – don’t skimp on research! Pay close attention to ingredients and quality. Look for proven formulas rooted in science. Be confident you’re getting what you pay for. Avoid products containing caffeine or stimulants to amplify impact and mask otherwise cheap, ineffective formulas.”

When will you feel the effects of nootropics?

"Go in with realistic expectations and a long-term approach. The best nootropics supply ‘raw material’ brain nutrients and deliver results that accumulate subtly over time. Think of it as healthy eating – you feel the benefit immediately after consuming healthy food. But the most benefit comes with consistency over weeks, months, and years.”

Who should take nootropics?

"Before starting any supplement program, it’s always recommend to consult your doctor first. Especially if you’re taking any regular medications, you should show your doctor a list of the vitamins and ingredients contained within a nootropic.”

What are the main benefits of taking nootropics?

"Beyond its performance-enhancing effects, supplementation also nourishes the brain for long-term healthy function – helping to counter brain aging whilst maintaining healthy brain structure and neural plasticity. Simply put, a nootropic is a brain-booster. A natural or synthetic compound that helps to enhance mental performance. Nootropics have many different mechanisms of action, and some also help to promote long-term brain health."

We’ve rounded up all of the best nootropics to help you feel your best.

The Herbtender Uplift & Revitalise

Think of any kind of physical or mental ailment and there’s probably a Herbtender capsule to fix it. While that’s something they can’t officially claim on the bottles, it’s something you’ll probably decide for yourself when you’ve admired their curated list of impressive nootropics.

Divided into seven bottles ranging from Calm & Collected to Daily Defence and Perform & Recover, each of these miracle bottles delivers a powerful punch in a single capsule. Better yet, the capsules are vegan, gluten-free, sustainably packaged and made from entirely clean ingredients: the full package.

Buy now £35.00, The Herbtender

Puresport Mind & Body Mushroom Blend Nootropic Capsules

If your summer has been a whirlwind of late nights and early mornings and your immune system needs a boost, these Nootropic capsules from Puresport, with six medicinal mushrooms, will give you the energy you’re craving. The premium quality adaptogens and nootropics are create to optimise focus and memory.

A different kind of magic mushrooms, the natural nootropics of Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Shiitake, Cordyceps and Maitaike, help with brain function and there are some medical experts who to suggest there are benefits for memory conditions like ADHD, Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

Buy now £30.00, Puresport

JSHealth Memory & Cognition

JSHealth's Memory & Cognition supplements are the latest addition to the gang and come stuffed to the brim with brain-pleasing ingredients. The most prominent one here is Brahmi, loved mostly for its ability to support brain and mental function and memory and mental recall while also helping to maintain your general mental wellbeing.

These vegan supplements are a brilliant midpoint between keeping you alert without feeling on edge, thanks to the inclusion of lemon balm (which decreases symptoms linked to mild anxiety) and vitamin B6 for increased energy levels and overall energy production.

Buy now £31.99, JSHealth

Indi Mind

Indi makes good use of ingredients you wouldn’t typically find on your dinner plate. Incorporating indigenous ingredients into its potent blend of natural nootropics, a quick scoop of Indi in the morning promises to quickly take the place of your caffeine hit.

Believe the rumours, because Indi is just as impressive as it sounds. Mix with your plant-based milk of choice and delight in how its cocoa and berry flavour wakes you up without a single scoop of coffee in sight.

Beetroot Juice Powder, Lion’s Mane Powder and Rhodiola Root Extract are just some of the colourful ingredients you’ll spy inside Indi Mind. You’ll have all of the above to thank when you’ve tackled your fatigue, banished your brain fog and found focus once again.

Buy now £45.00, Selfridges

Qualia Mind Nootropics

Qualia Mind is produced by a brand called “Neurohacker Collective” which should give you some indication as to just how powerful these nootropics are. Sure, they’re not the cheapest on the market. But the clarity, mental energy and internal drive that seems to spring to life after taking these for a while is almost unparalleled.

Feeling a little drained recently? These are a brilliant solution to getting back into gear. Qualia Mind is the result of thousands of hours of research and development by a long list of researchers and doctors, pulling together an impressive list of results without any jittery bursts or crashes.

Buy now £119.00, Amazon

YIELD Nootropic supplements gummies

Nootropic gummies are perfect for a few different types of people: those who want a grab and go solution to their mental ailments, those who don’t have the time or patience to weigh out various powders and those who need a little extra incentive to get their goods in.

Enter: Yield’s delicious yuzu, matcha and mango gummies. Bringing together Ginkgo Biloba extract, Lion’s Mane extract and Green tea extract amongst other things, this London-based label is one of the most delicious health-focused brands around. It’s also a climate positive company - so win, win.

Buy now £16.99, Selfridges

Motion Nutrition Day Time Nootropic Power Up 60 Vegan Capsules

Motion Nutrition has two different types of nootropics: daytime and night time. If you’re really in need of a mental fix, it’s worth investing in both. The daytime Power Up capsules are our favourite of the two, designed to improve mental performance and up your energy levels in a way that’s strangely peaceful, in contrast to their 18 powerful ingredients.

Some of those active ingredients include vitamin B5, which contributes to normal mental performance, biotin, which aids in normal psychological function, iron for cognitive function, and vitamins B6 and B12 for reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Take one capsule in the morning and wave goodbye to that post-lunch tiredness.

Buy now £25.00, Boots

Innermost The Focus Capsules

If you’re feeling overloaded, and need some mental clarity, these nootropics from Innermost could give you the boost you need. The capsules contain research-backed ingredients, including Siberian Ginseng– a herbal plant that reduces mental and physical fatigue and improves memory and alertness.

They also contain Rhodiola Roseam, a plant which is said to reduce the effects of physical exhaustion that can result in fatigue, stress and burnout.

Take two a day in the morning for the best effects. They can also be taken later in day, if you want to power through emails or a project after dinner and they won’t keep you up when your head is ready to hit the pillow as they don’t contain any stimulants.

Buy now £18.95, Innermost

DIRTEA Lion’s Mane powder

If you’re a big fan of mushrooms and tea then this nootropic is the one for you - a tea which can stimulate the brain with just a few sips. Add the powder to hot water and drink like a tea, or pop it in your favourite smoothie or plant based milk for a very focused start to your day.

Lion’s mane is said to help with anxiety and depression, while also improving memory and cognition. It’s may also help stimulate new nerves in the brain, working as a ‘brain tonic’ to give you more focus and brain power - helping you with whatever the day may bring you.

Buy now £29.99, Planet Organic

Hux Feed your Brain Nootropics

Packed with clinically backed ingredients, these supplements (which should be taken twice a day) will help sharpen your focus, increase energy and boost your brain health. If you’re WFH and struggling with focus, one of its key ingredients, Lion’s mane, will not only help generate brain cells but can also boost memory and mood while giving you focus and clarity. Another main ingredient, Citicoline, is proven to increase mental energy and protect the brain - so you’ll be on fire all day long.

Buy now £45.00, Hux

London Nootropics Adaptogenic Coffee Blends Starter Box

The best thing about London Nootropics’ coffee blends is their versatility. Perfect for anyone who wants a caffeine boost in the morning without the typical jitters that can follow, these three different blends promise to keep you energised in the mornings and Zen in the afternoons.

Power up with Mojo, find mental clarity with Flow and feel calm and alert with Zen. If you find yourself wandering to the kitchen to make a coffee every few hours, these may quickly become a daily staple. Wave goodbye to your morning (and afternoon) cuppa - there’s a better replacement in town.

Buy now £15.00, London Nootropics

Battle Ready Fuel Fast Focus Nootropic Blend

Prefer to drink your Nootropics? Take this, just like a protein shake, in the mornings after your workout for a razor-sharp focus start to your day. The Orange and Mango powder is mixed with water to create a ready-to-drink shake - complete with ingredients like Niacin which will help power up your mind and the ashwagandha herb to help you face stressful situations head-on. The powder also contains Pantothenic Acid, which helps your brain build new neurotransmitters.

Buy now £34.99, Battle Ready Fuel

Mind Lab Pro

Speak to anyone with a vague interest in nootropics and you’ll almost certainly hear the phrase ‘Mind Lab Pro’ pop up once or twice. Known as pioneers of the industry with an impressive product to match, this one stop shop delivers quite literally a full package to bring you right back to top form.

Mind Lab Pro produces a Universal Nootropic, a powerful boost of ingredients that function together as a whole-brain optimiser to support a state of peak overall mental performance. While the website may bring you back a little too closely to science exams of your past, you can feel safe in the knowledge that these are top of the game when it comes to hard-hitting nootropics.

Buy now £49.00, Mind Lab Pro


While some nootropics may fight a specific ailment, The Herbtender's range helps to tackle pretty much every mental strain under the sun...and then some. These potent, seriously powerful supplements promise to become a daily staple in your morning routine.

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