Laurence Lee

February 5, 2023 in Supplements

Every supplement should serve a purpose, and we should always try to match what we’re taking to our goals. That’s why it’s important to not only know what’s in our supplements, but what their ingredients are best for. 

We’ve been looking at nootropics a lot, recently, and for good reason. They’ve been helping everyday people stay on task and remember important dates and events. But with everything going on in the world, today, the most challenging thing can be finding the motivation to get up and get going.

So we’ve put together a list of the very best nootropics for Motivation. Each of them has specific benefits that can give you the mental edge you’ve been needing to be your best self. So read each one to make sure you’re getting the exact right recommendation for you. Also, we have a quick breakdown of how nootropics work, and a great FAQ section at the end.

Best Nootropics


Best Clinically Reviewed


Best For Customizing

How Nootropics Work

Dozens of products have hit the shelves in the last couple of years claiming to recharge your brain. Reading some product reviews you may be tempted to think that the right nootropic will give you superhero powers.

The real science behind nootropics is pretty basic, and gets down to helping your brain work the best it can. Nootropics won’t make you smarter than you’ve ever been, or unlock a photographic memory you never knew you had.

Effective brain supplements will help you feel more focused, though, and help with short term recall and long term memory. The very best nootropics can also help you feel motivated, by clearing out the brain fog, and energizing your mind.

Brain Science Basics

Our brains are the most powerful computers on Earth. While you may not realize it, not even the most advanced electronics can do all the calculations you do on a second-by-second basis.

Think about all the calculus that goes into crossing the street. We have to look for signals from moving cars, other people, and changing lights. We have to have a latent recall of local laws and customs. We have to be able to calculate the height of the curb we’re stepping off, the speed of our feet, the distance to the next corner.

It’s all pretty amazing, and much of the brain is a mystery. The physical functions of our brain, however, are pretty well understood. Our brains are an organ like all the others, and they need specific things to function. Nootropics focus on the three key areas: boosting oxygen; improving signals; blocking harmful compounds.

Role of Oxygen

Without air to breathe, of course, we would have bigger issues than high-level computation. But on the brain level, we have small pathways criss-crossing our gray matter, carrying vital oxygen to each firing neuron. Without proper oxygen, our brains redirect the precious resource to portions of itself that control body functions.

In short, if we’re not getting proper oxygenation to the brain, it prioritizes heartbeat, lung function, organ processes, and motor skills. What falls by the wayside is focus on the meeting we’re in, remembering the specs on our latest project, or what happened in the last chapter of the novel we’re trying to read.

Boosting the Signal

Our brains really are like computers sitting in our heads. Each thought and movement of our bodies comes from a signal received from sensory organs (like the eyes), processed, and then another signal sent to the part of the brain that will do something (like dodge that bus headed our way).

Our travel through neurons that are sheathed in phospholipid cell membranes. They’re like the sheathing on electrical wires. The neurons then hit synapses where the signal is processed. The synapse usually requires compounds like acetylcholine (ACT) to transmit correctly. Nootropics work in part by helping protect our neuron sheaths, and improve the signal transmission and reception.

Blocking the Bad Stuff

We all know that there are toxic free radicals and depressive hormones that run in and out of our bodies. Whether there are things in our brains blocking good serotonin or dopamine, or other free radicals making us tired, one vital function of nootropics can be to block the harmful compounds and boost the good ones.

How Nootropics Improve Motivation

All of the science we’ve covered is all good to understand, but the bottom line is whether a nootropic can help us feel more motivated to get going. Whether that’s getting to the gym, to the next product meeting, or to apply for that new job we know would be better for us.

Nootropics work on our motivation by helping get our brains into tip top shape. When we have proper oxygenation, our neurotransmitters are firing, and we have proper hormone levels, we find that all the brain fog is lifted, the negative moods that keep us stationary abate, and we can start doing instead of just thinking.

NooCube: Best Overall

While each nootropic on our list meets a specific need for some consumers, we did find that NooCube has the best overall performance for all brain function needs.

They have a short, compact ingredient list with some of the best-researched outcomes in the nootropic field, and they’ll definitely get you motivated.

One of the key ways that NooCube works is in its blend of cutting-edge technology and centuries-old traditional herbs. By combining the two into one formula, NooCube is able to bring you the best of both worlds.

Key Ingredients

  • Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine: Also shortened to Alpha GPC, this compound increases the levels of ACT in the brain. ACT is the key that unlocks every firing neuron, thousands of times per second.
  • Cat's Claw: Known scientifically as the Uncaria tomentosa, this vine grows in the Amazon and has been used for years to help treat all sorts of physiological and mental health issues. When combined with all of NooCube’s other ingredients, we get a highly effective brain supplement.

Pros and Cons


  • Short, easy to understand ingredient list.
  • Cutting-edge formula.
  • Well-rounded results.
  • 60 money back guarantee.


  • Results may no last all day on one dose.
  • Should not exceed more than 4 capsules per day.


We found NooCube to be the best overall motivation nootropic, and right now you can get three free bottles if you buy three. That’s a fifty percent savings. If you have more questions about NooCube, click here to read a full review we did on them.

MindLab Pro: Best Clinically Reviewed

Finding a company with a good reputation online can be like finding that needle in a haystack everyone’s always talking about.

But in the case of MindLab Pro, we have great news: they’re backed up by a neuroscientist with a Ph.D. and by clinical trials at a University.

A Doctor at the University of Leeds, in England, found that after a three month trial, they saw a statistically significant difference in people who took MindLab Pro and those who didn’t. It’s designed to be taken in the morning with a cup of coffee or tea to energize and stimulate your mind. Translation: massive motivation.

Key Ingredients

  • L-Tyrosine: This amino acid helps to turn itself into dopamine in our brains. If you’re not familiar with that wonder hormone, dopamine is one of the primary chemicals our brains use to naturally make us feel good. In MindLab, it helps regulate our moods, so that we feel ‘down’ less often, so that moods less frequently affect our productivity.
  • Maritime Pine Bark: Used in traditional medicines to treat everything from asthma to poor circulation, it turns out this herb may be related to circulation. This has helped people in modern times improve brain performance to even possibly help with ADHD. In a nootropic, it can be a powerful motivation enhancer.

Pros and Cons


  • Backed by research studies.
  • Developed in cooperation with neuroscientists.
  • 11 ingredient formula for full impact.
  • No caffeine.


  • Only available on their website.
  • Best results after 30 days of continuous use.


We found the best clinical and scientific reputation backing up MindLab Pro. Of course a scientist’s opinion isn’t everything, but for brain supplements it can go a long way. If you’d like a more in-depth review of MindLab Pro, we have one here. Right now you can get a free bottle by buying a three month supply on their website.

Alpha Brain: Best Blend

Many of us are taking supplements for total well-being—physical, emotional, and mental. If that’s the case for you, then the nootropic you’ve been looking for is Alpha Brain.

Made by Onnit, Alpha Brain is actually a blend of three of their most effective recipes for nootropic health.

The factor that sets Alpha Brain apart as one of the best nootropics for motivation is the Fuel Blend, made with an amino acid called L-Leucine, known for years to be the energy behind good exercise.

Key Ingredients

  • L-Leucine:  As we mentioned before, Leucine is an amino acid, and an essential one. It is so important that it’s part of all the major groups: α-amino, α-carboxylic, and chain isobutyl. In a nootropic, it gives the same fuel to your brian that it normally gives to muscles and bones during exercise.
  • Oat Straw Extract: Long used for its anti-inflammation properties, it’s now being used in several nootropics. As science better understands how blood and oxygen flow affect brain activity, it’s become paramount to reduce inflamed areas around the brain to keep the mind from that ‘bogged down’ feeling that comes from improper flow.

Pros and Cons


  • Three blends in one.
  • L-Leucine for brain ‘fuel.’
  • Integrated products from Onnit for total wellness.
  • Comes in 45 day bottles.


  • Best price requires subscription.
  • Free Shipping requires a large order.


For the best blending of functions from a nootropic, we picked Alpha Brain. Their inclusion of L-Leucine is a stroke of genius, helping give the brain a true dynamo of energy for motivation and mental tasks. We have a longer review of them if you’d like to learn more, or you can check their website for a 45-day bottle for $79.95.

Thesis: Best for Customizing

One size does not fit all. Not for shirts, not even for socks, and definitely not for nootropics. For any supplement, it can feel like we’re reading a product label that almost gets it right for us, but not quite. That’s why we have Thesis.

Thesis is a new kind of supplement company, focused on personalized ingredient lists tailored to your needs.

When you visit their website for the first time, you’ll be asked to answer a series of questions, based not only on what you’d like out of a supplement, but also what you’re feeling and going through right now. Then they customize a package of products just for you.

Key Ingredients

  • L-Phenylalanine: Thesis has four categories of nootropic, one specially designed for motivation. An ingredient that came up after filling out our questionnaire was the amino acid Phenylalanine. This compound is specifically included to help with staying on task and getting motivated to keep on through the day.
  • Theacrine: Not found in almost any other product we reviewed, this naturally occurring substance is like caffeine just for mental energy. It won’t rev you up and give you the jitters, but it will help you zero in on tasks, and give you the mental motivation to tackle the next project.

Pros and Cons


  • Customized formulas.
  • Caffeine free.
  • Unique ingredients.
  • Products come with coaching, free shipping, and a journal.


  • Each product is different, so it’s hard to get baseline reviews.
  • One-time purchase is expensive.


If you could afford it, you’d probably customize every part of your life. From your couch to your car, you’d probably have a few changes you’d love to make. With Thesis, you can definitely take that power into your own hands and help curate the nootropic that works best for you. Their motivation blend has a proven ingredient that we don’t see in every formula. Subscribing on their website can save you $40 a month, and you can read a more in-depth review here.

Centrapeak: Best for Men

Not to discriminate, but some of the best products on the market are specially designed for different consumers. And Centrapeak is made specifically for men.

While it may work for women, too, Centrapeak has ingredients that we normally see in traditional male enhancement products, but combined in such a way as to improve total male health. Body, yes, but also mental health. With Centrapeak, you’ll feel renewed and reinvigorated, and yes, motivated.

Key Ingredients

  • Rhodiola Rosea: This has been found in some of the best weight loss and male supplements, and that’s because of its effects on the brain. It keeps the brian level and focused on goals, the ideal motivational ingredient in a nootropic.
  • Panax Ginseng: Also called red or Korean ginseng, this traditional herb has been shown to improve hormone levels and blood flow. In the male body (and brain) this will help improve energy and performance.

Pros and Cons


  • Absolute best for men.
  • Has physical and mental benefits.
  • Free shipping on US orders.
  • Testosterone health booster.


  • May not be suitable for women.
  • May be best to cycle off of it every few months.


If you’re a man of a certain age, you’ve probably already heard about Centrapeak. If you haven’t, you should check it out for all of its health benefits. In the case of a nootropic, we don’t find many with so many physical boosters, for any target audience. You can get a free bottle after buying three on Centrapeak’s website.

In the End…

Motivation can come in many forms. It can come from the outside, like praise from a boss. Or it can come from the inside, like repeating affirmations. Motivation can be negative, like wanting to avoid a bad thing from happening, or it can be positive, like trying to get a raise.

Perhaps the best form of motivation is the internal, positive kind. When your mind and your body feel in-tune and fired up. With the right nootropic, you can achieve part of that motivation and so much more. If you’re interested in any of these products, be sure to check their websites for the latest news on their deals and developments.


Are Nootropics Legal?

Absolutely. We only recommend 100% legal products, and that goes for nootropics, too.

Do Nootropics Really Work?

Yes, they do, but not every product is created equal. Keep in mind that the internet is full of products that don’t have the proper research. We do due diligence on all the products we review, including on their ingredients.

Can I Switch Nootropics?

You can, though you may wish to take a few weeks between them. It’s best to give your body time to process out the first product before trying to introduce a new one.

Do I Need a Prescription for Nootropics?

No, you do not. In the past, the term ‘nootropic’ only referred to prescription medications. But now it applies to mental and cognitive supplements, as a whole.

What Happens if I Stop Taking Nootropics?

In most cases, nothing. You may feel a little lethargic or more tired, but there are no long-term side effects to taking nootropics or to stopping them.

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About the author 

Laurence Lee

Lee is a neuroscientist who has dedicated his career to understanding the inner workings of the brain. He has seen firsthand the power of these supplements in improving cognitive function and believes that more people should be aware of their benefits. In his articles, Lee shares his extensive knowledge on the subject and provides unbiased reviews of different products.

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