Best nootropics for productivity and studying in 2020

The best nootropics for smart use and a better life

The human brain is an integral part of our physiology as it is involved in all our bodily functions. Everything from the blink of our eye to the pumping of our heart is managed by our brain, which makes it fragile but challenging to influence.

Before going into all the bumbo-jumbo, I’d like you to ask yourself this:

Do you consider yourself smart?

Good news to you, regardless of your answer: things aren’t permanent.

One of the best things about the brain is its neuroplasticity. It’s how blind people develop other senses to compensate the lack of that sense so necessary for survival.

Yes, reading makes you smarter. It’s your brain making new connections and accumulating wisdom.

Researchers believe that the human brain is never performing at its full capacity. Different people have different parts of their brain unlocked; hence some people are more perceptive while others are more reactive. There is an ongoing struggle in the research sector that prompts researchers to look for different ways to improve brain performance.

They have strived to unlock maximum brain capacity to increase the human standard and their quality of life. Nootropics are the result of one such research as it positively influences the human brain to enhance its performance and essentially make you smarter.

What are nootropics?

Nootropics might be an unheard word for some people, but if you are searching for the “best nootropics for productivity and studying,” then chances are you already know about them. We have defined nootropics in simple terms to make things clear for those who have stumbled here by accident.

Nootropics are drugs, supplements or herbs that enhance cognition without producing side effects that are typically associated with normal drugs. Most manufacturers advocate the efficiency of their nootropics by providing research-based data and evidence.

How do nootropics enhance productivity?

As stated earlier, nootropics influence our mental capabilities, but there is still some doubt about how it affects our productivity? It takes a lot of energy to produce something since more parts of our brain are involved in “creating” something new rather than recycling something old. Therefore, compounds used in nootropics are the necessary boosters for the human brain.

How do nootropics enhance studying effectiveness?

Most students find it difficult to do their daily assignments or prepare for their grand exam. They complain about piled up work, challenging schedules, stress, and anxiety that hinders their daily routine and affects their grades negatively. Therefore, the advent of nootropics has given students a lifeline and made them conscious about their diet.

Nootropics are known for their cognitive factors that not only help in productivity but unlocks human perception and memory as well.

By improving focus and concentration;

By increasing mood, energy and stamina;

By decreasing stress and anxiety.

Following are some of the best nootropics for productivity that also fall into the category of “smart drugs”:

Smart drugs

Smart drugs are the kind of drugs that use mostly one or two ingredients in their composition. The capsule, liquid, or powder is made from only one ingredient though the formula for that one compound can be complex. Following are some of the mainstream smart drugs with their pros and cons:

1.    Modafinil

How it helps:

Treats sleeping disorders: It is a known fact that sleep-deprived individuals can never work at their maximum efficiency. Their lack of sleep and energy makes them feel lethargic and unable to concentrate on work.

Modafinil helps individuals that are suffering from sleeping disorders to stay awake during their work hours. It improves their work quality and makes them attentive when they need it the most.

Note that Modafinil treats sleeping disorders like narcolepsy and sleep apnea etc. that causes increased and unusual sleeping patterns.

Increases Attentiveness: Modafinil works like caffeine as it keeps you awake during study hours without affecting your overall health. It fires neurons in your brain at an unusual speed and keeps your mind and body energized.


You must avoid using Modafinil if you have a medical history of drug abuse or alcoholism. Moreover, health problems like angina, high blood pressure, and cirrhosis, etc. are also potential red flags in your medical history if you wish to use Modafinil.

Recommended Dosage:

Doctors don’t recommend using Modafinil for more than 12 weeks to avoid side effects like nausea, profuse sweating, and skin rash, etc. Furthermore, prolonged use of it can cause addiction and suddenly withdrawn from it can result in vomiting, confusion, and chills, etc.

2.    Sunifiram

How it helps:

Improves Memory: A study done on animals (mice) suggests that Sunifiram improves memory. It helps the affected animal remember patterns and instill problem-solving skills in them. Theoretically, Sunifiram nootropics have the same effect on the human brain, which makes them perfect for students.

Impacts Learning Capabilities: Sunifiram also helps students during their learning hours by sharpening their focus and concentration. This claim is also backed by an animal (mice) experiment, and all its influences on the human brain are all theoretical.

Keeps you Awake: Another animal study shows that affected mice were more in control of their sleep. They performed increasingly well in the tasks given to them compared to mice who didn’t take any Sunifiram.

In theory, Sunifiram helps students stay awake during their study hours by sharpening their focus and keeping them alert during their study or work hours.


Just like any other drug, avoid using Sunifiram is a high dosage as it can cause severe headaches, nausea, and anxiety. Moreover, it does the opposite of whatever it was designed for by exhausting you mentally and slowing down your progress.

Recommended Usage:

Since there is no concrete research that proves that Sunifiram is effective for humans as a nootropic as it is for the animals, we can only use data from the “online personal experiments” to recommend its dosage. As per these “experiments”, you can use at least 4-8mg of Sunifiram daily to observe any positive effects.

3.    Phenibut

How it helps:

Helps with Sleeping Patterns: Insomnia and irregular sleeping patterns are some of the reasons that hinder an individual’s learning capabilities and productivity. A well-rested and attentive individual can focus more on the task at hand than a tired one who is missing their bed.

Phenibut helps you figure out an efficient sleeping pattern that helps stay ahead of your assignments and university work.

Treats Addictions: Some insufficient evidence suggests that Phenibut can treat alcoholism and other kinds of addictions as well. Addictions are a nuisance to people when they are trying to be productive and attentive during their work hours.

Moreover, Phenibut treats withdrawal symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, sweating, chill, and nausea, etc. as well. It is the most effective nootropic for individuals who want to quit any addiction, especially alcoholism.

Affects Learning & Thinking: Phenibut is known to affect human learning and to think positively, unlike other pseudo nootropics. It increases the acetylcholine levels among neurons that will eventually increase human learning capabilities.


According to the medicinal evidence, Phenibut is not suitable for pregnant women and new moms. Their residue affects in the bloodstream can interfere with the human physiology in more ways than you can imagine. Furthermore, it can indirectly affect the normal development of a human fetus.

Recommended Dosage:

Several factors determine the appropriate usage of a drug or supplement such as age, height, weight, medical history, etc. Lack of evidence about its side effects made it impossible for us to recommend an appropriate dosage for a general audience; therefore, you must check the label of whatever supplement intend to use to ensure your safety.

4.    Armodafinil

How it helps:

Treats excessive sleepiness: Just like Modafinil, Armodafinil[1] tackles all the sleeping disorders that deal with excessive sleepiness and helps you stay awake. Diseases like narcolepsy and shift work sleeping disorder hinder basic human functionality and make individuals distracted at work.

Researchers also peg Armodafinil as an agent that promotes wakefulness in individuals suffering from excessive sleepiness.

Keeps you Sharp & Focused: The human brain can perform ten times better when it is void of any fog and confusion. Armodafinil is a wakefulness agent that can increase the concentration and focus of the human brain and their productivity effectively.


Note that Armodafinil can easily become your addiction; therefore, you must take it in small quantities and be consistent with your dosage. If you become addicted to it, then it will have the same side effects as that of an addiction withdrawal once you drop it from your diet.

Recommended Dosage:

A normal-sized capsule is recommended to be taken orally every morning by people who are suffering from excessive sleeping disorders. But if you want to concentrate on your work and study, then eat it one hour before the task to stay ahead of your work goals.

So far, we’ve recommended some of the best nootropics for productivity and studying in 2020 based on their chief ingredient and the buzz around it. The following are some of the nootropics that have been engineered and tested in the laboratory for maximum efficiency.

5.    Mind Lab Pro®

How it helps:

Citicoline as Cognizin®: It regenerates neurons to restore brain energy and helps individuals in increasing their focus.

Suntheanine® L-Theanine: This component can be pegged as a “wakefulness agent” as its powers brainwaves to stay alert without any caffeine drawbacks.

Rhodiola Rosea: This component takes care of the balance between a person’s mind and body during stressful situations and helps them avoid an unusual spike in blood pressure.

Bacopa Monnieri: This is an organic compound that promotes not only the retention of knowledge but other cognitive factors as well.


You must consult with your doctor before including Mind Lab Pro in your diet. If you are taking medication for something else already, then make sure your doctor knows about it so they can advise you against its use if there is a possibility of a bad chemical reaction.

Recommended Dosage:

Most people who use laboratory tested supplements take only 1 to 2 capsules per day. Taking one capsule is considered safer right before the study hour or work shift than two capsules. Know that there is no such thing as “death from underdose,” but we’ve all heard of “death from underdose,” so try to avoid the latter rather than the former. 

6.    Qualia Mind

How it helps:

Uridine Monophosphate: [2]This component impacts our short- and long-term memory positively because of its neural association with our brain.

Huperzine A: This compound is imperative to improve your memory, especially when you want to ace in your exams.

Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ): This ingredient in Qualia Mind is mainly associated with human neurological functions and their associated energy; therefore, you can observe enhanced mental outputs.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Aged people can find this supplement useful for them as it is designed to improve memory and treat lethargy in old people.

DL-Phenylalanine: This component is a precursor in the production of compounds like dopamine and norepinephrine that are both crucial for active brain motion.


You must check the precaution label on the bottle of this supplement as it can interfere with your medication and put your health at risk.

Recommended Dosage:

One Qualia Mind bottle contains 28 veggie capsules that can last for 28 days easily if you take one capsule per day. One capsule per day right before you start your study hour is the recommended dosage by the manufacturer. It is scientifically proven that a small dosage of Huperzine A four times a week can improve an individual’s memory exceptionally.

7.    Phenylpiracetam

How it helps:

Phenylpiracetam: Most phenylpiracetam supplements don’t use other ingredients because of its targeted reactivity. It is an antidepressant and anti-amnesic component that enhances the efficiency of the human brain drastically.

Maltodextrin: This component is a food additive that neither harms nor benefits tits user in any way. Unlike other coatings used in most supplements, Maltodextrin is the perfective material for packaging.


Avoid breathing any harmful gases as well as fragrances while using Phenylpiracetam as you can suffer from a bad allergic reaction. Moreover, avoid using it for too long, and if you use it for a long period, then administer it in small quantities.

Recommended Dosage:

One capsule per day before any task is the recommended dosage Phenylpiracetam for effective results. 

Wrapping it up

The efficiency of supplements and nootropics has been questioned since their advent. Therefore, we’ve only recommended those nootropics in our list that have been proven to be effective by their users one way or another.

[1] Darwish, M., Kirby, M., Hellriegel, E., Yang, R., & Robertson, P. (2009). Pharmacokinetic Profile of Armodafinil in Healthy Subjects. Clinical Drug Investigation, 29(2), 87-100. doi: 10.2165/0044011-200929020-00003

[2] Holguin, S., Martinez, J., Chow, C., & Wurtman, R. (2008). Dietary uridine enhances the improvement in learning and memory produced by administering DHA to gerbils. The FASEB Journal, 22(11), 3938-3946. doi: 10.1096/fj.08-112425