Best Nootropics and Smart Drugs | That Actually Work

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Curious where to find the best nootropic and smart drugs on planet earth?

Then you’re in the perfect place. In this detailed guide, we’ll reveal the absolute best smart drugs for anyone and everyone in 2020.

Whether you want to boost your cognition, memory, and productivity — or maybe crush social anxiety and/or depression. Below you’ll find out exactly how to get the ‘edge’ you need to succeed.

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Recently, nootropics and smart drugs have become all the rage. Everyone from Tennessee to Timbuktu is talking about “biohacking” and how to improve your life by simply popping a pill, or three.

It’s damn near impossible to find an entrepreneur, CEO, grad student, or startup founder who hasn’t tested the murky waters of mental performance enhancement.

And don’t even get us started with the nootropic use and abuse on Wall Street!

However, there’s a small issue that’s popped up…

Namely, the average individual has not a clue about how to select which nootropics and smart drugs actually work — and which products are a waste of money.

Luckily, you’ll find everything you need to succeed about the best nootropics below.

This is not legal or medical advice. This article was strictly created for your entertainment. Please consult with your primary care physician or a medical professional with close working knowledge of your health -- before consuming pharmaceutical drugs or nootropics, like Modafinil. Please read my disclaimer.

What Are Nootropics?

Before we dive deep into the absolute best nootropics in 2020, we need to talk a little bit about what smart drugs are and why they’ve gained popularity.

So…what are nootropics?

Well, nootropics and/or smart drugs are basically pills or powders used to increase cognition for a brief amount of time. Think of them as ‘steroids for the mind’ in many ways.

But for a more technical definition of what a nootropic is, let’s take a look at what Wikipedia has to say:

Nootropics, also known as smart drugs and cognitive enhancers, are drugs, supplements, and other substances that may improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals [1].

While that might be a bit technical for some, let’s think about nootropics in ‘layman’s terms’ these days. As such, when we’re talking about why people take smart drugs, it’s generally because of the impressive cognitive benefits like:

  • Increased focus for 5-15+ hours
  • Improved memory retention and recall
  • Enhanced overall motivation
  • Increased sense of mood, well-being, and positivity
  • Inability to feel fatigue
  • Enhanced creative output
  • Overall increased productivity

That’s just the tip of the iceberg folks! There’s a myriad of uses and benefits of taking nootropics to improve mental performance in one way or another.

Essentially, you take a nootropic to increase your “intelligence” for a short-time. This allows you to become more productive, get more things done, and think with a clarity rarely found on “normal” days.

Typically, people who take smart drugs are either students looking to get better grades or professionals looking to make more money in some way, shape, or form.

Choosing the Best Nootropic For You…

While most of the best nootropics found below offer similar benefits, there’s a lot of difference between Modafinil and Alpha Brain.

Oh, and most individuals take Phenibut for different reasons than they’d take Mind Lab Pro

Thus, it’s important to decide what your goals and objectives are before purchasing and using any of the nootropics found on the list below.

For this reason, you’ll find our favorite smart drugs below — listed in a multitude of categories. Here’s a quick primer:

  • Top 2 Nootropics in 2020
  • Other Potent and Powerful Smart Drugs
  • Dirt -Cheap Nootropics That Work
  • Best “Social” Smart Drugs
  • More Over-the-Counter Nootropics
  • Beginner’s Nootropics and Smart Drugs

By breaking down the best nootropics in the world into these categories, our goal is to help you find the perfect product for your goals.

Maybe you’re looking for a little cognitive enhancement on the cheap. Maybe you just want the strongest smart drug on the market. Or hell, maybe you want to get rid of social anxiety that cripples your social life.

Whatever it is…

You can find the world’s best nootropic and smart drugs below.

Top 2 Nootropics in 2020

  • Modafinil

Generic Modafinil

There’s a reason we’ve listed Modafinil as the #1 RECOMMENDATION for those looking to test out nootropics in 2020.


Because this is probably the most powerful smart drug on the market. For any student, CEO, or online hustler looking to achieve more — Modafinil is sure to help.

See, Modafinil offers similar cognitive performance enhancing benefits, like Adderall does, but you don’t get any of the side effects of Adderall.

While Modafinil is a prescription drug in certain countries, it’s generally fairly easy to get your hands on. Just order it online.

It’s also safe, and zero individuals have been arrested for using Modafinil off-the-label for personal use. There’s no risk here!

Most people consider Modafinil the world’s most popular smart drug these days. That’s because the nootropic just works and offers insane cognitive benefits like [2]:

  • 12-15+ hours of hyper-focus
  • Overall heightened cognition
  • Improved sense of well-being and mood
  • Enhanced memory recall and retention
  • Increased drive
  • High energy levels

There’s a reason everybody and they mama loves this stuff…

Because Modafinil just works, y’all.

If you’re looking for the strongest nootropic in the world, this is the only smart drug you’ll need. Highly recommended.

Can’t say enough good stuff about this bad boy.

You simply take one 200mg Modafinil pill in the morning, and less than an hour later you’ll be focused and dialed in for the entire work day and more.

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  • Mind Lab Pro

If you’re looking for a 100% legal over-the-counter nootropic, then  start with Mind Lab Pro.

This stuff is as potent and as powerful as any over-the-counter product on the market. There’s very few other pre-made natural nootropic stacks that even come close.

Many have been surprised by the insane cognitive boost they get when taking this stuff. Oh, and it’s legal everywhere and anywhere in the world.

When taking Mind Lab Pro, you’ll usually find enhanced cognition and intense focus for 6-8+ hours straight. Most people find their mind is exceptionally enhanced when taking this smart drug.

It’s not Adderall or Modafinil. You won’t find 12-15+ hours of insanely enhanced cognition here — or a jittery buzz. However, that’s to be expected, as Mind Lab Pro is not a prescription drug.

With this over-the-counter nootropic, you’ll find is ideal focus and a heightened cognitive output — that’s smooth. This is thanks to the 11 brain boosting Mind Lab Pro ingredients that work synergistically to:

  • Increase memory recall and retention
  • Improve drive and motivation
  • Enhance your mood
  • Increase energy levels
  • Sharpen focus
  • Extra neuroprotection benefits

These impressive benefits have proven in numerous research studies, like [3][4].

However, there’s even more to love about Mind Lab Pro. In fact, there’s another specific reason we’ve included this smart drug as one of the top nootropic recommendations in 2020.


The impressive CREATIVE benefits.

Mind Lab Pro offers the traditional nootropic benefits like improved focus and heightened memory retention, but the smart drug does even more. It’s the ideal nootropic when you want to tap that creative side of yours and come up with new projects and ideas.

Mind Lab Pro is certainly recommended.

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Other Potent and Powerful Smart Drugs

  • Armodafinil

Another exceptionally potent and powerful nootropic? Armodafinil.

Armodafinil is more than similar to Modafinil.

It can be considered to be something like Modafinil’s little cousin. Most find Armodafinil offer striking similarities to Modafinil, but offers a few benefits and differences.

First, Armodafinil is better than Modafinil when you want to get a full nights’ sleep. The nootropic ideal for people looking to use potent smart drugs, while staying on a normal sleep schedule.

While Adderall and Modafinil often have half-lives that last for 12-16+ hours, Armodafinil’s effects often wear off in 10-11+ hours usually [5]. This means you can generally take the smart drug in the early afternoon and still fall asleep before the next morning.

You may also find no side effects with the product — which is a huge benefit.

Just insane focus, increased memory retention, improved mood, and so much more! You might get two full days of work done in one day when taking Armodafinil.

Again, highly recommended!

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  • Flmodafinil

This is a fun one…

Flmodafinil is one of the newer nootropics on the scene. Commonly known as Flmodafinil, Laudflumide, and/or CRL-40,940 — this research chemical is a derivative of Modafinil [6].

Being a Modafinil derivative, this means the compound is “derived” from the parent compound, yet there is some adaptation to improve the original.

Flmodafinil is essentially Modafinil with two fluoro-groups attached [7]. By attaching these fluoro-groups, Flmodafinil potentially has better bio-availability than Modafinil. Potentially…

Studies thus far have proven inconsistent.

After testing Flmodafinil multiple times, we’ve found the nootropic to be exceptionally effective.

You get Modafinil-like effects, even at low doses. The side effects are minimal. The focus is intense.

If you’re looking to try something new or switch off Modafinil, Flmodafinil is highly recommended. The stuff 100% works!

Just understand…

Flmodafinil is a research chemical. Only “test subjects” are allowed to legally take it. There have not been near the amount of studies on Flmodafinil like there have been on Modafinil. So there’s some risks here.

Get your hands on a great Flmodafinil now!
  • Qualia Mind

When talking about a potent and powerful over-the-counter nootropic, Qualia Mind no doubt fits the bill.

This stuff is incredibly powerful and just gets the job done. You will find impressive cognitive benefits when taking this product, including things like:

  • Enhanced focus
  • Laser-like drive
  • No distractions, tunnel vision
  • Improved memory recall

The effects are impressive. In fact, it’s one of the best over-the-counter smart drugs I’ve personally ever tried. With 28 ingredients, the nootropic is comprehensive and powerful as can be [8].

Qualia Mind would be higher on this list just based on effect, but there’s an issue…

Qualia Mind is expensive.

The nootropic retails for $139 for a 30-servings bottle. That’s not cheap. You’re talking over $4.50 per serving, whereas Modafinil can be found for under a $1 buck per pill.

If money is no issue, this product is highly recommended. If you don’t want to spend that much cash, there’s better options on this list.

Dirt-Cheap Nootropics That Work!

  • Gorilla Mind Rush

If I had to describe Gorilla Mind Rush in one word, it’d be…


Outside of Mind Lab Pro, this is the only 100% legal smart drug in the world that can compete with Modafinil and Armodafinil head-to-head.

However, you might feel a little jittery with this product too.

If you’re new to the wide world of smart drugs, it’s not recommended to start with this one.

But if you’re looking for intense cognitive enhancement and insane focus, then Gorilla Mind Rush is ideal. Just be prepared for intense mental clarity like you’ve only felt on Modafinil.

Oh, and Gorilla Mind Rush is cheap too!

Some people absolutely love this nootropic. Other people feel like it’s overkill and prefer something like Gorilla Mind Smooth.

The name truly says it all here. This smart drug offers a rush of energy and focus. You will find 8-9+ hours of focus and increased production with this bad boy.

Gorilla Mind Rush is a potent nootropic and reasonably priced.
  • Neuro-Peak

Neuro-Peak is on this list for one reason — and one reason only:

It’s cheap.

Oh, and this smart drug actually works. Surprisingly, you’ll find 6+ hours with great focus on Neuro-Peak.

There’s also little to no side effects when taking this stuff.

If you’re looking for a cheap, beginner smart drug, then starting with Neuro-Peak is a solid idea. You’ll find cognitive benefits, see what you think about nootropics, and not break the bank.

This nootropic isn’t potent and powerful, but you’ll certainly feel more in-tuned and focus than simply drinking a cup of coffee.

Plus, Neuro-Peak is only $21 bucks!

Which is why we recommend this product for beginner’s to nootropics and smart drugs who are on a tight budget, but want to start testing things out.

Best Nootropics in Social Situations

  • Phenibut


If you’re looking for a nootropic that’s absolutely ideal for social situations, then look no further! Phenibut is what you want and need to succeed.

Developed by Russian chemists for lord knows what reason, Phenibut is a different type of nootropic. Not designed to strictly help you focus and be more productive, Phenibut actually is an anti-anxiety nootropic that allows you to relax while in social situations.

Which means it also helps relax you in “social” money-making situations, like sales calls and business meetings.

When taking this social smart drug, you’ll find benefits like [9]:

  • Decreased anxiety
  • Ability to relax, while still being alert
  • Overall improved sense of well-being and mood
  • Improved motor control and overall thinking ability
  • Insanely deep sleep at night

Oh, and Phenibut doesn’t make you tired. You’ll feel incredible energy when taking this stuff, but once you’re ready to fall asleep, it’ll be some of the best sleep of your life.

Many individuals experiencing PTSD also take Phenibut.

But here’s how I like to look at this supplement as a nootropic, let’s say you’re:

  • Going on a date with a real cute girl and you’re nervous you won’t know what to say…Phenibut can help.
  • Having trouble closing sales calls because you’re so stressed out with your boss looking over your shoulder…Phenibut can help.
  • Need to crush a big business meeting that you’ve worked months for, but you’re feeling a l0t of anxiety…Phenibut can help.
  • Looking to go party one night, but don’t want to drink a bunch of booze and have a hangover…Phenibut can help.

Phenibut should NOT replace other smart drugs on this list as your go-to nootropic when you want to dial in and get incredibly focused. We use Phenibut for different reasons.

But there’s no denying this is the best social smart drug on the planet!

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More Over-the-Counter Nootropics

  • Performance Lab Mind + Stim

This nootropic stack is something new we’ve been testing out…

And the results have been solid!

Performance Lab Mind + Performance Lab Stim is an incredible pre-made daily nootropic stack. Here’s why:

Performance Mind Lab is a modern, yet basic premade nootropic designed for daily use. The product only contains four ingredients — offering a simply, yet potent product.

This caffeine-free smart drug contains:

  • Citicoline, 250 mg
  • Phosphatidylserine, 100 mg
  • L-Tyrosine, 250 mg
  • Maritime Pine Bark Extract, 75 mg

Most individuals find around 5-7+ hours of smooth focus and improved mood when taking this product alone. It’s a damn good nootropic by itself. However, the real benefits come when you stack Performance Lab Mind with:

Performance Lab Stim

Stim is a simple product. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that “stim” stands for stimulant. Aka this nootropic is going to have some caffeine in it.

As such, Performance Lab Stim features:

  • Natural Caffeine, 50 mg
  • L-Theanine, 100 mg
  • L-Tyrosine, 250 mg

Again, a simple product designed to help you get the absolute most out of your caffeine intake each and every single day.

Yet the magic happens when you combine Mind + Stim. The products work synergistically to offer insane nootropic benefits. You’ll find energized, sharp cognitive enhancement designed for daily use.

If you’re looking for a nootropic stack that’s ideal for taking Monday through Friday, this is the healthiest option that’s also insanely potent.

Overall, one of our new favorite nootropic stacks!

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  • Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain doesn’t get a lot of love from some. Many claim it’s overhyped. Some even claim it doesn’t work.

That’s simply not true.

Alpha Brain does work. And it works pretty damn well if you’re looking to enhance the mind for 3-6+ hours during the work day.

Is it as powerful as Modafinil? Hell no. Or even as strong as Mind Lab Pro? Not even close.

But you will find improved focus, energy, and increased productivity. Alpha Brain does work. It is one of the best nootropics for beginners in 2020.

Plus, the nootropic offers little side effects — which is a huge benefit. Meaning you can take it in the morning, get your work done, and then enjoy the rest of your day without any issues.

Get your hands on a great over-the-counter nootropic... Alpha Brain
  • Adrafinil

While Mind Lab Pro is our absolute favorite over-the-counter nootropic recommendation, there’s no denying Adrafinil gets the job done too!

Oh, and Adrafinil is a cheap smart drug too!

The nootropic is 100% legal to buy over-the-counter, yet you cannot find it on Amazon or at a local supplement shop. You’ll have to order it online.

The interesting thing about Adrafinil? The smart drug offers Modafinil-like effects because it actually converts to Modafinil once inside the body [10].

While the product offers impressive cognitive benefits, Adrafinil effects cannot compare to Modafinil because of the conversion. Many tend to call Adrafinil a “light” version of Modafinil. You’ll generally find 6-9+ hours of cognitive enhancement, improved focus, and more here.

It’s simply not as potent as Modafinil due to how the product is ingested and converted once in the body. You lose some of the cognitive enhancing powers during the conversion.


The nootropic still works damn well and is a great low-cost alternative to many other smart drugs these days.


Adrafinil is 100% legal and a solid Modafinil alternative.

Beginner’s Nootropics and Smart Drugs

  • Black Coffee

The world’s original “smart drug” is coffee. We’ve all tried it. Most of us love it. Caffeine is a hell of a drug. We won’t go too far into the cognitive benefits of coffee, but the stuff has been scientifically proven to enhance the mind [11].

If you need a little cognitive enhancement, just drink an extra cup of coffee or three today.

It’s legit that simple.

Coffee is a nootropic, and you already know it works. Is it the strongest smart drug on this list? Hell no! However, it’s legal and easier to get your hands on than anything else, since you can find it nearly everywhere on earth.

Even if a cup of coffee alone isn’t enough to get the job done for you, the good news is you can combine coffee with damn near every other nootropic on the planet for enhanced effects.

  • Nicotine Gum

While we certainly don’t recommend smoking cigarettes for the cognitive benefits, or at all, there’s no denying that nicotine is a potent nootropic and smart drug.

Chewing nicotine gum can provide unique cognitive benefits like [12]:

  • Improved attention span and focus
  • Enhanced working memory
  • Elevated fine motor skills
  • Overall better episodic memory functions

Nicotine is proven to enhance cognition overall. There’s a reason you used to see every newspaper journalist crushing cigarettes as a deadline fast approaches. The nicotine found in the cigarettes made their jobs easier.

However, these days we don’t have to smoke anything to get the potent cognitive benefits nicotine provides. Instead, nicotine gum provides all that — without the vast majority of health risks caused by smoking.

Individuals generally chew nicotine gum on days when they’re just drinking a couple coffees — not when taking something like Modafinil or Mind Lab Pro. That’d be overkill.

Are Nootropics Safe?

Now that we’ve discussed everything you need to know about the premier nootropics and smart drugs available, let’s take a look at one more thing…

Are nootropics safe?

Many have questions about safety and side effects before jumping into the wide world of nootropics. That’s more than reasonable.

So here’s the deal:

Every product listed above is a safe, legit nootropic.

We’ve tested each product on this list, along with recommending many of them to friends and family members.


Because we know these products offer insanely beneficial cognitive enhancement — and that they’re safe products. Smart drugs with little to no side effects.

However, it’s important to note that every single one of us has slightly different chemistry. We will all react differently to certain products.

So it’s important to start small. Take a half dose of any nootropic you’re not familiar with to ensure you don’t see any negative side effects.

This should minimize the negative side effects found in any nootropic, which tends to be pretty rare these days.

Still, there’s a few nootropic side effects to pay attention to, including [13]:

  • Headaches
  • Digestive issues and diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heart rate
  • Insomnia and sleep issues
  • Blurry vision
  • Addiction

Some of those may sound pretty bad, but never fear! Most nootropics users experience zero side effects. Certainly not issues with blurry vision or addiction.

The most common, minor nootropic side effects users experience are headaches and stomach issues.

While rare certain users, do struggle with both of these minor side effects. However, these both can typically be avoided by staying hydrated when taking smart drugs.

Make sure to drink plenty of water and even Gatorade when taking smart drugs — not just coffee!

Oh, and if you’re having issues with headaches when taking nootropics, the absolute best thing you can do is supplement with Choline in the afternoon.

Best Nootropics and Smart Drugs in 2020 | The Verdict?

Whew! That was a whole lot of info about…

The best nootropics and smart drugs in 2020. Legit everything you need to know about which smart drugs work and how to use them to achieve your goals.

Hopefully this article did just that.

Cognitive enhancement awaits…

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  1. Nootropic. (2020, April 9). Retrieved from
  2. Gerrard, P., & Malcolm, R. (2007, June). Mechanisms of modafinil: A review of current research. Retrieved from
  3. Mori, K., Inatomi, S., Ouchi, K., Azumi, Y., & Tuchida, T. (2009, March). Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Retrieved from
  4. Bryan, J. (2008, February). Psychological effects of dietary components of tea: caffeine and L-theanine. Retrieved from
  5. An Eight Week, Double-Blind Efficacy Study of Armodafinil Augmentation to Alleviate Fibromyalgia Fatigue – Full Text View. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  6. CRL-40,940. (2020, April 23). Retrieved from,940
  7. Cao, J., Prisinzano, T. E., Okunola, O. M., Kopajtic, T., Shook, M., Katz, J. L., & Newman, A. H. (2010, October 10). Structure-Activity Relationships at the Monoamine Transporters for a Novel Series of Modafinil (2-[(diphenylmethyl)sulfinyl]acetamide) Analogues. Retrieved from
  8. Qualia Mind. (2018, February 9). Retrieved from
  9. Phenibut: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  10. (2019, September 18). Adrafinil Supplement – Health Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects. Retrieved from
  11. Shmerling, R. H. (2017, September 25). The latest scoop on the health benefits of coffee. Retrieved from
  12. Valentine, G., & Sofuoglu, M. (2018). Cognitive Effects of Nicotine: Recent Progress. Retrieved from
  13. Berry, Jennifer. “Nootropics: Types, Safety, and Risks of Smart Drugs.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 18 Sept. 2019,

Table of Contents

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