The 10 Best Brain Supplements for Memory and Cognitive Function

brain supplements for increased mental performance

Popularity of brain supplements has been growing rapidly over the last couple of years. But in my opinion, not fast enough. Sure muscle supps, nutritional, and multivitamins are important, but what’s more important than your brain? It’s the central hub, the controlling factor – without it your muscles and other bodily health are irrelevant.

Not only that, but in today’s society, there are soo many distractions that make it nearly impossible to focus. Studies show that no matter how good at multitasking you think you are, focusing on one task at a time is always better. In fact, your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. Good multitaskers have what I like to call, mental agility. That being said, the main factors you should consider when buying a brain supplement are how well the product boosts focus, mental agility, memory and of course, overall brain health.

Now lets jump into the detailed reviews. Having recently graduated from a tough college, I am no stranger to brain supplements. The following (in order of awesomeness) are my top ranking brain supplements.*

  • Product Name
  • Overall Rating
  • Price
  • Price/Servings
  • Controlled/Clinically Studied
  • Featured Claims
  • SmartX by Cerebral Success
  • 4.8/5
  • $47 (with coupon "shq")
  • $1.57
  • Memory, Focus, Processing Speed
  • Excelerol
  • 4/5
  • $99
  • $3.27
  • Memory, Focus
  • BodyQuick by BrainQuicken
  • 3.8/5
  • $59
  • $2.29
  • Memory, Reaction Speed

How Our Rankings are Conducted

Not all products are created equal. When ranking supplements on SupplementHQ, we focus on 3 main criteria to determine which product is best.

  1. Each supplement is tested by members of our team. We take notes throughout the day. For brain supplements, we like to measure improvements using brain fitness tests like
  2. We review the ingredient profiles extensively. For proprietary formulas, we analyze total mg count and the order of the listed ingredients. We then compare these two factors to recommended dosages for the specific ingredients. For example, if a product has a total proprietary formula of 600 mg but contains ingredients that require 2 grams to be effective, the expected effectiveness is low.
  3. Lastly, we compile real testimonials from others across the web. This can be really hard to find authentic reviews, but real customers often provide great insights. Clinical studies are awesome as well, but few companies spend the money to have these done.

1. SmartX by Cerebral Success

best supplements for the brain

SmartX comes in as our #1 pick… as expected seeing as we created it. We study, test, and review supplements all day, every day. So who better to create a top-notch brain supplement than us? Cerebral Success has had products on the market for 3 years and recently won investment from Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank!

SmartX contains the best, science backed nootropic brain supplement ingredients available. This product is manufactured by a 3rd party GMP certified facility and 3rd party purity tested. In a recent clinical study, SmartX was shown to increase processing speed by 26%, improve memory reaction speed by 14%, and increase brain waves correlated to focus by 55% after only 7 days! Few companies bother spending the money to conduct studies.. but we did.

If putting our own product in the number one position seems too bias – we have included 9 other satisfactory options.

We believe in and use SmartX on a daily basis. I personally am prescribed Adderall, but prefer SmartX for its more natural (yet still effective) feel.

>> Use coupon code “shq” for 20% off! <<

2. Excelerol

excelerol reviewExcelerol has a decent list of ingredients that provide a strong boost of focus and mental energy. Ingredients like Guarana extract help to provide a clean energy comparable to that of conventional caffeine.

Excelerol is one of the highest priced brain supplements listed in this review at about $99 per 90 capsules (2 per serving). Does it warrant this high cost? Debatable, because other brain supplements like SmartX have similar ingredients for a lower cost. But does it work. In my opinion, yes.

3. BodyQuick by BrainQuicken

bodyquicken brainquickenBodyQuick has been around for a long time and is more fitting of its company name: BrainQuicken. This product works as a neural accelerator to increase the speed of neural processes in the brain. This is just fancy lingo for common effects from all brain supplements. This product packs a lot of strange and varied ingredients, but also includes the essentials.

BodyQuick tries to bridge the gap between fitness and cerebral supplements, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a brain supplement of great quality.

4. Alpha Brain

alpha brain reviewAnother good product in the brain supplement category, Alpha Brain, provides a solid combination of nootropic ingredients to help boost focus and memory.

We really like the available product sizing options. Don’t have enough for their 90 count jar? No problem. Get a 30 count bottle, or even a “Go Pack” of 4 capsules.

Check out the full alpha brain review here.

5. Procera AVH

procera avh This is a very popular supplement mostly because of the fantastic marketing the company has done and the expensive commercial time they have paid for.
In their defense however, their three main ingredients are 3 good ingredients. The AVH in Procera AVH stands for Acetyl-l-carnitine, Vinpocetine, and Huperzine A. Effective as these 3 ingredients can be, the company shares no information on the amount of each ingredient. To rank higher, we would like to see some more high end ingredients that complement the big 3.

6. Braino

braino brain supplement reviewBraino, from Amazon Nutrition, has been around for a long time. It contains some of the best and most essential brain supplement ingredients available. Braino works to boost brain blood and oxygen circulation, as well as increase nutrient uptake. Additionally, this brain supplement contains Huperzine A, Vinpocetine, and Choline, which help boost acetylcholine levels to improve focus and brain cell communication.

One great thing about this company is that they disclose the exact amount of each ingredient. This makes my job as a brain supplement review expert easy :).

Overall, a solid product, but a not so solid price. At a sales price of $78 a bottle, you would be better off with one of the higher rated products.

Price: $2.60/Serving (4 per serving)

7. Doxiderol

doxiderol reviewThe name may sound like a prescription drug, but it is in fact a supplement. Doxiderol has a make up of good brain enhancing nootropic supplements, but few of them. To rank higher, Doxiderol would need to expand its ingredient base, including some essentials like Huperzine A. But hey, at least its lack of additional ingredients keeps it cheap.

Price: $1.17/serving

8. Eureka

eureka brain supplementEurekas is another small company packing a solid punch. With over 60 five star ratings on Amazon, and an overall rating of 4.5 stars, you really can’t go wrong. Eureka’s formula however, seems to be lacking some of the more essential ingredients. Like Huperzine A, and Vinpocetine…Without these, it’s hard to compete with the big boys in the brain supplement industry.

Eureka and SmartX seem to be the only two brain supplements targeting the college student market – however, Eureka’s formulation seems to be a little more on the conservative side.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a fine product, with a good combination of solid, all natural ingredients. Probably better suited for the elderly rather than college students though. There is a reason why its so cheap… the ingredients are cheap.

Price: $1.33/serving

9. NeuroFuse

neurofuse pills reviewNeurofuse is another nootropic based brain supplement to recently hit the market. According to their website, the company was started by 2 Harvard roommates, and promotes reviews from Harvard alumni. Personally, I have a couple of issues with their marketing. For starters, I hate the “free trial if you enroll in our monthly subscription service” model. This obviously has nothing to do with the product itself, but to me, is a devious business model. But on to the product…

The ingredients are decent but the proprietary blend is only 555 mg. There is no way they can pack sufficient quantities of each listed ingredient for them all to be effective. Overall, Neurofuse is a mild product with a high price point. However, if other brain supplements are too intense for you, Neurofuse might be a great choice.

Price: $4.00/serving

10. FocusFactor

focus factorDespite the huge amounts of various good ingredients packed into this product, reviews are pretty bad. And the reason why is fairly obvious. With a proprietary blend of 692 mg spread out over such a large amount of ingredients, there is simply no way that there are sufficient quantities for the ingredients to be effective. Not only that, but this product requires 4 capsules per serving. So basically, to obtain the amount of ingredients needed, one would need to take 8 or more capsules. Kinda makes the 120 capsules seem like a joke doesn’t it? But hey, at least its cheap.

Price: $.93/serving

Side Note

best adderall alternative

Brain Supplements vs. Prescription Medication : If you are under the age of 26 or have children, you most likely have heard of Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse. These are prescription drugs prescribed to individuals with ADD and ADHD and are amphetamines. For those with the aforementioned diseases, they work to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain. For those with normal brains, they work as a super drug to enhance focus and mental agility – at a cost. These drugs have a number of side effects ranging from psychological instability to cardiovascular trauma.

A growing amount of students use these prescription medications without a prescription (with a “normal” chemical make up in the brain). This is dangerous and a growing concern. It is estimated that as high as 26% of college students have taken or take ADD medication illegally. The negative health and legal consequences are not worth it… especially when there are safe, healthy, and effective alternatives like brain supplements.

Brain supplements work within the natural framework of your body. The most effective supplements work to increase blood flow, provide needed and rare nutrients, stimulate communication between receptors, and improve brain cell growth and protection. A good brain supplement is not only effective in increasing focus, memory, and mental agility, but also works to strengthen and protect the brain.

So are brain supplements Adderall alternatives? The answer to that question depends on your intended use. Brain supplements are NOT for disease treatment. But if your adderall (or other ADD medication) use is for nothing but enhanced focus and mental energy – brain supplements are a much better option.

How’d we do? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below. Share your experience with brain supplements OR even brain drugs. Let us know what works for YOU.

Want Supplement Coupons? Free giveaways?

Then subscribe and never look back..

About Jessica Dungan

Jessica is a student at BYU studying Physiology and Developmental Biology. She has a passion for the human body and plans to enter the field of human health and nutrition research. Connect with her via Google+ and Facebook.


  1. I agree with Cerebral Success at number 1 but Excelerol is garbage and shouldn’t even be on the list! Its some expensive snake oil.

  2. Ryan Kraus says:

    Those are some expensive brain supplements. Can you give away brain supplements for the monthly give away? I subscribed!

  3. Grant Hiltbrand says:

    I learned a lot from this article its a great post on brain supplements! In my own experience I have found Cerebral Success to work well so I’m glad to see it on top

  4. I believe that Procera avh is one of the best in its class, however I can not give any opinions about the others because I haven’t used them.

    • Hey Karen. Thanks for the comment. Procera AVH is pretty good. But Id recommend trying one of the higher ranked products. They might surprise you!

  5. Thanks for the great list! Which one would you say is the best brain supplements?

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      Sorry for the slow response John. Cerebral Success is my personal favorite. In fact, the article is ranked in order of my personal favorites. Try some out. Find out which ones work best for you! And be sure to come back here and let us know. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Jessica,

    These all seem like they are for cramming for a test or school work. Any suggestions for an ongoing supplement program for your brain health? Would Cerebral Success still be your #1?

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      Hey Tom!

      Cerebral Success is definitely a solid choice for ongoing brain health. I have been using it for almost a year now consistently with great results. The only draw back (or benefit depending on how look at it) is that Cerebral Success contains stimulants. So thats up to you. I personally like to limit my stimulant intake – so some days it’s one or the other. But thats just me. But other than that, Cerebral Success has all the essentials you would be looking for in daily brain supplement as well.

      Hope that helps!

  7. Jessica,

    I don’t mean to be a naysayer and rain on your parade, but I see only nine supplements on your “10 Best” list. Also, there are a few spelling errors as well. The only reason I point this out (I promise, this is not mean-spirited) is that a review of brain supplements that is filled with errors loses all credibility. As someone who has their words evaluated on a daily basis, I would recommend being a little more thorough before posting.

    Regardless of that, thank you for the reviews and information to help out those of us looking into brain supplements.

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      Spelling has always been my achilles heal (spell checked that). People seem to have misconceptions about brain supplements. They won’t make you a genius. They won’t solve all your problems. And they certainly won’t make you the world’s best speller. They simply provide you with the nutrients and amino acids that your brain requires to function at its highest potential.

      There was 10 once, but the #10 spot was a negative review and the company requested I remove it. I am currently testing 3 new products, so there may be a shake up in rankings in the near future.

      Thanks for the comment. Hope it helped and I hope you found a supplement that works for you!

  8. Randy Gauthier says:

    Hey Jessica,

    Have you used all of these supplements? Or or you going by reviews for them?

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      I have personally tested 7 of them so far! I took into consideration my personal testing, other peoples reviews, and ingredient profiles for all of these products. I hope you find the reviews and information useful!

  9. Jason Debnam says:

    Hey Jessica,

    Great article on brain supplements. I have had success with Cerebral, and BodyQuick. I orginally found out about bodyquick when I read the 4 hour work week by Timothy Ferris.

    I stopped taking Cerebral because of the stimulants. Just recently i came across an ad for Execucore. it seems to be new to the market but the ingredients in there are pretty strong and the dosages I discovered were actually sufficient.

    Whats up with alpha brain? I keep getting mixed reviews on that .

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      I have never heard of Execucore before. From what I read on-line, it seems to take more of a relaxing approach. A relaxed mind is good (stress negatively effects mental performance), BUT I personally have got WAY to much to do every day to take a calming supplement. One of the ingredients is kava. I’ve drank kava socially on a few occasions… I ended up sleeping 16 hours straight once.

      If you do wan’t stimulants, I would simply chose a brain supplement that does not have stimulants – but going the opposite direction may hurt productivity. It all depends on what your goals are though.

  10. Hey, great article thank you for all your research and experimenting! I noticed that you commented on a previous comment on the fact that you are testing 3 new products. May I ask what those are? Thanks!

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      Sure, I tested Brain Stack, TruBrain, and Mind Boost. TruBrain is interesting but very expensive and contains racetam’s – which is questionably legal.

  11. David Wesley says:


    I have a friend who is suffering from PCS Post Concussion Syndrome. She is in her senior year of high school and suffers from excruciating headaches when reading, watching TV, using the computer, etc. She has to limit the use of her brain. Do you think that any of these supplements may provide relief? Have you tested or read up on Neuro 1 from Nutrition 53? Bill Romanowski helped develop this formula to assist himself and others after concussions. Any help is appreciated.

  12. Hi Jessica,

    I didn’t try many nootropics, but I do know that stimulants on the long run may exhaust your adrenals creating a syndrome called adrenal fatigue (check in google), which is very difficult to recover from. I would be grateful if you test Execucore and let us know how it is. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      I am familiar with adrenal fatigue and I would be seriously surprised if any of the above mentioned supplements contributed towards this condition. They simply do not put that kind of stress on the body with their relatively low quantities of stimulants.

      Are you a rep for Execucore? Could you send us a sample? We would be happy to evaluate and review the product. PM us through our contact link at the top of the website.

  13. Rakesh Chopras says:

    Just wanted to say thank you for this review. I purchased C.S. about a month ago and it has been a huge help for my memory. I am in a very hard semester of school and this supplement has been a huge help. I finally have a clear mind now and focusing is easy!

  14. bobby ouyang says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I’m currently doing research on Cerebral Success and I’m wondering if you tried it out yourself. It’s been getting some shady reviews on other sites.

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      Really?!? Thats surprising. And to answer your question, YES I have tried it. I have been taking it 5 days a week for the past 10 months. Its been great and its by far my favorite study aid.

  15. Hi Jessica, thanks for this review. I´m very anxious and at the end of the day I´m exhausted, so I´m afraid to take stumulants.
    Have you ever taken “Source Naturals, Life Force Multiple”?
    If yes, is it good for the brain?


    • Jessica Dungan says:

      I have not tried this product, but I quickly scanned the ingredients. It has a ton of great and essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids… a number of which are vital for healthy brain performance. So yes, this product does benefit the brain, but I would not rank it as a full fledged brain supplement… in my opinion.

      Hope that helps.

      PS. There are a couple non stimulant brain supplements listed above. Check them out.

  16. Hi Jessica,

    Thank you for the reviews this is very helpful. Have you ever heard of Nootrobrain? I came across its website while browsing and it sounds like a good product but I am not able to find much reviews on it?

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      I have heard of Nootrobrain. It’s a decent product but it uses an ingredient (Aniracetam) that is not permitted as dietary supplements according to the FDA. Not sure why as it is relatively safe. I personally don’t enjoy products containing ingredients from the racetam family – I tend to feel groggy the next day.

  17. These are all really solid brain supplements. I’ve never heard of Cerebral Success. I will try it and let you all know how it goes.

  18. Zach Gehring says:

    Anyone tried Brain Fuel Plus? I just ordered my first bottle, hoping for awesome results!

  19. Danica Barm says:

    Just wanted to report that I tried cerebral success and I absolutely love it. It has helped me focus an stay on task while at school. I take it first thing in the morning and it lasts all day until I come home from school. Just for reference, I’m 5’9″ 125 pounds. 22 years old. Thank you for this post!

  20. Hi Jessica,
    Thank you for the reviews. This is very helpful. Have you ever tried “Better Brain” from Garden of Life? If so, how would you rank it against the nine you have posted?

    Thank you!

  21. How about Swanson Brain Essentials? How does it rate compared to those supplements mentioned above?

  22. Hi Jessica,
    Have you tried or know about “Evo” ?
    They say it’s the most powerful brain enhancer on the planet.

    Thnx alot

  23. Dan Keicher says:


    Is there any case to be made that you might have a personal bias that would cause you to lean towards Cerebral Success?

    For Instance, The fact that you are married to the inventor of the product?

    • Hey Dan.

      Yes, you are correct. I am married to the creator of Cerebral Success. I disclosed that fact myself and made that clear with the disclaimer and the asterisks. If I didn’t want people to know that I wouldn’t have added that to my post and it wouldn’t have been hard to use an alias/different name. However, I’m honest about my post and also honest about my opinions on the products. I started taking Cerebral Success before I started even dating Trevor and loved it so much that I started taking it over Adderall, which I had a prescription for. I’ve always had trouble with staying focused on schoolwork (just ask my now husband :) ) and thought Adderall would help so I got a prescription. As a physiology major and pre-pharmacy student I knew the dangers of drugs and tried many alternatives to Adderall as I don’t really like taking it. It made me jittery and also has side effects on mood. I met Trev when he was working on developing the product and have been there throughout the whole process and I know how well it works. He’s actually the reason I got so interested in supplements and started writing for this blog. I’ve tried multiple products (most of them on the 10 best review). Some of them worked great and some not so much. Cerebral Success has worked the best for me and has been my favorite long before we were married and if you see my opinion as bias and that keeps you from trying the product, or other ranked products, then you are missing out! I can’t be more honest that that. Hope this helps clarify things and I hope you find the right product for YOU.

      Best wishes,


  24. Hi Jessica,
    Thanks for the research in your article.
    I just recently joined Brain Abundance, Brain Fuel Plus is the name of their product. I joined primarily because of the timing, comp plan, etc…, and did so before doing extensive research into the product and the brain health industry itself. What I’ve discovered is that brain health has been getting a ton of press lately. Glad to see that. I’ve ben taking the product for a month and happy to report that I’m already sleeping much better. Results not yet in on my mental clarity, but I do feel alot calmer throughout the day. Have you any had any first hand reviews, testimonials or seen any reports on this product. Thanks for your help.
    Anthony Cappello

  25. Matthew says:

    Have you ever tried the Evo brain supplement or heard much about it? I’ve heard a lot about it recently and read a lot of reviews. Any insight?

  26. Paul E. says:

    Cerebral Success is some really solid stuff

  27. Lou Mason says:

    Can one product really boost memory, focus and be good for you al at the same time? I have my doubts

  28. Hey Jessica,
    I’m looking to help my college age son with his memory. He’s an athlete on a college sports team n would any of these supplements affect his eligibility to play?
    Have you heard of our tried Evo? I’ve read up a bit on it but I’m not sure of its affects. Any, and I mean any, help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!

    Thanks for any help you can give me, I really want to help my boy!

    Best regards,

    • Jessica Dungan says:

      Hey Jeff.

      Sorry for the extremely delayed response. I have not been writing for SupplementHQ for a while. I am just getting back into it.

      Standard nootropic/brain supplement ingredients should not affect eligibility for college sports. I have heard of Evo. It didn’t make our list though. There are plenty of better products.

  29. Germaine says:

    We need to feed our Brain everyday just like we do for our bodies.

  30. Hi dear Jessica Dungan
    I have never tried study drugs or brain supplements (for Studying) ,but I decided to buy “Cerebral Success”, if available here!(in Iran)
    Thank you for your great post and replies, they were really helpful for me.
    love you for your honesty & knoledge & sagacity & beauty.
    I wish the best to you and your lovely family :)
    I will be in touch with you and get help from you again. (maybe after buying one of them)
    Bye for now….. n_n

  31. what is the best supplement without stimulants?

  32. How do brain health products interact with THC? I currently use cannabis to treat some spinal trauma from childhood as opposed to taking vicodin and I am curious what my experience would be with something like CS. I do have a brother and father who are very good examples of classic ADD or ADHD and though I have not been diagnosed myself I do have a hard time focusing. Thanks ahead of time for your reply

  33. Is Neurozan also good for memory?

  34. Thank you for the SmartX coupon code! Saved a lot.

  35. Joseph Abrams says:

    Do you have any data about EVO. Is it real or a phony?

  36. Has anyone tried Alpha brain? Good results? I am thinking to give it a try…

  37. Andy Koz says:

    There is a supplement called Brainz Power, and it has 9 of the most popular brain enhancement ingredients all in one bottle. Check it out at the link below.

Speak Your Mind