Best Nootropics for Memory – Remember What You Came For

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Introduction to The Best Nootropics for Memory

At any time in our life, we can have bouts where we can’t seem to remember things.  This is usually short term memory and can come and go.  We have stress, other worries and just plain life. 

Short and long-term memory trouble can happen at any age and certain nootropic supplements can help and we certainly know when it starts interfering with our lives.  Today I take about 10 of the best nootropics for memory.

Memory loss can be from anything really, even what we eat or a hectic lifestyle.  Do you have young children?  If you do you get my point.

This is where nootropics can help.  You don’t necessarily need prescription drugs with annoying side effects to get reliable boosters for your memory.  Many of them are natural.  In fact, quite a few are natural if you prefer that over synthetic nootropics.

There are a lot of herbs and plants people will insist you should take to improve your memory, but truth is, not all of them do work and trying to find which ones do and will work for you can be a crazy task where you just give up trying or even believing they are out there.

Well, they are and I’ve got 10 tried and true nootropics that can help with your memory.  First, as I do in some of my posts, we can go over some other methods to sharpen your memory.

Memory Retention Strategies

Regularly present yourself with challenges.  They promote neural growth.  If you are interested in learning something new, pick up some books on the topic you are interested go online and learn about it.  Doing this stimulates positive plastic changes in your brain’s synapses.  It strengthens glutamatergic synaptic transmission, boosting memory function.  The more you work your brain by studying, the better it gets.

You can also do things like solve puzzles or playing educational games.  Just go to your app store and check out some brain games.  Grab a few completely different ones and use them daily.

Get good sleep, find ways to lower your stress level if you are having trouble with stress.  Maintain a proper diet and get to the gym regularly.  These are all very important when it comes to a healthy brain.

Ginkgo Bilobabest nootropics for memory

Ginkgo has a great reputation as a memory enhancer and some recent research is concluding this to be true.

There are studies that show when you take Ginkgo Biloba there is a significant improvement in your memory.

Ginkgo opens your mind so to speak.  It increases blood circulation to your brain keeping it nourished.  This helps enhance your memory and concentration.

Other studies show Ginkgo to be just as good as prescription medications geared at improving our cognitive function and memory but doesn’t produce the side effects expected from the prescription drugs.

Read more about Ginkgo Biloba in my in-depth article here!

Acetyl L-Carnitine

ALCAR for short is the supplemental form of L-carnitine and is found through our central nervous system.  ALCAR produces very important neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  It is very adept at getting through the blood-brain barrier quickly and easily where it is a quite powerful antioxidant where it protects the brain from ageing and neurodegeneration removing free radicals from the brain.

ALCAR supports a healthy flow of blood to the brain and also supports high levels of acetylcholine in the brain.  This is critically important because acetylcholine is important for learning, perception, memory and other cognitive functions.


L-Tyrosinel tyrosine benefits side effects

It is the precursor for dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, three of the most important neurotransmitters which are helpful in retaining memory. It does appear that L-tyrosine does boost our working memory as tasks become increasingly more challenging.  This is likely because the level of stress is amped up where L-tyrosine works.

L-tyrosine appears to boost working memory as tasks become increasingly more challenging. A 2013 study on adult volunteers who did a progressively challenging mental task found that those who took the tyrosine performed better on the most difficult levels of the task but showed little or no improvement on the easier levels [1].

One thing to say about L-Tyrosine’s benefits is that L-tyrosine does not really boost or brain power.  Instead, it prevents memory decline.  When we are under stress our memory is not nearly as good as when we are not under stress.  L-tyrosine under those stressful situations makes more resources available to our brain.

If you want to read more about L-tyrosine click here

Rhodiola Rosea

Depression is worldwide with many millions of people suffering with it.  Usually, there is an imbalance of neurotransmitters and why different medications are prescribed for it.  Rhodiola Rosea is increasingly being used as a treatment for depression and now we know why.

When symptoms of depression and anxiety are reduced, higher mental performance such as memory and learning naturally follow.

To find out more about Rhodiola Rosea, read my in-depth article here!

Huperzine Abest nootropics for memory

Huperzine A is an alkaloid coming from the Huperzia Serrata plant.  This plant is typically native to Southeast Asia and India. The Chinese have used it for hundreds of years as a treatment for blood disorders, fever, and swelling.  Now, it is being tested as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease as well as memory loss, a memory enhancement, and for lack of concentration.

It is understood to help slow the degeneration of neurons in our brains.  This is exciting because of the benefits it may have for those suffering from mild to even servers memory loss.

In a fairly small, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 34 pairs of middle & junior school aged adolescents who complained about memory were chosen to receive administration of either 100 mcg Huperzine A or placebo daily for a 4-week period.

By the end of the study, the researchers found the Huperzine A group scored better on the Memory Quotient tests than the placebo group, leading to the conclusion that this nootropic supplement enhances the memory and learning performance of adolescent students namely on language. [2]

To find out more about Huperzine A you can read my complete article here!



The biggest and most widely known benefit of Pramiracetam is, greatly improved memory formation and retrieval [3].  What happens is it stimulates the parts of the brain responsible for memory formation and retrieval.

Pramiracetam has been clinically proven to improve memory in healthy elderly adults with memory loss‍  and enhance overall cognition in young adults with memory problems [4]

Pramiracetam is a proven memory enhancer that has been studied and tested for many years.  It improves our memory in two ways.  It stimulates the hippocampus which is the part of our brain responsible for the formation of new memories.  The other is that it acts as a potent anti-amnesia reducing forgetfulness [5].  Both of these actions make pramiracetam a pretty good memory booster.

If you would like to find out more about Pramiracetam read my article here!


One study showed that rats with induced amnesia reversed memory loss via alpha-GPC supplementation. People who are deficient in choline may have a difficult time concentrating and might even display symptoms of ADHD [6].  The study points to a connection between memory and dietary choline.

Studies are also showing that choline in a diet is very beneficial for our brains.  People who get plenty of choline in their diets may perform better on memory tests and be less likely to show brain changes associated with dementia.

Read my in-depth article on Alpha-GPC for more info here!

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the intermediate stage between normal age-related cognitive decline and dementia.  If you are diagnosed with MCI, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are increased [6].

A study was conducted on seniors who were diagnosed with MCI.  They were given 3 grams of Lion’s Mane mushroom for a total of 4 months (16 weeks) and at the end of the study, their cognitive function scores had significant improvements and no side effects [7].

Beta-amyloid plaques in the brain are an important biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease and there’s evidence that lion’s mane can break them up.  Mice given food with lion’s mane showed a significant decrease in these beta-amyloid plaques

One way lion’s mane may slow mental decline is by increasing the levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning.

To find out more about Lion’s Mane Mushroom you can read my in-depth article here!


Adrafinil can do a lot including improving your speed of learning new things and your overall cognition.  One study involving older dogs showed that when treated with adrafinil they had substantial improvement in their learning abilities as shown by an increase in the successful completion of tasks resulting in a lower error rate.

In another, 100 participants over 65 years of age dealing with severe vigilance problems were selected for a double-blind placebo-controlled study.  Those that were given adrafinil were happier and had improved concentration, the power of recall and attention [8].

In another larger study consisting of 548 participants suffering from attention and concentration problems showed those who were given adrafinil displayed a big improvement in their daily activities, attention, orientation, and memory [9].


CDP-Choline gives your body more usable choline and can increase our concentrations of choline in our brains better than other forms of choline.  It is easily converted to choline and uridine which allows you to benefit from both and get the benefit of brain protection from damage as well as a great effect on our learning.

CDP-Choline is better than basic choline in that it can protect us against memory deficits.  Long term CDP-Choline is strongly linked to the prevention of memory impairment.

One study consisting of 60 adult women showed that daily supplementation of CDP-Choline at a dosage of 250mg to 500mg improved their focus.

Another study showed that in older participants dosages of 500-1000mg of CDP-Choline improved their memory performance.

To learn more about CDP-Choline read my in-depth article here!

To Wrap it Up

There you have it.  Ten nootropics with proven track records for you to try.

Please remember that you are different than the person next to you.  You are unique and so every brain on the planet with have a different reaction to nootropics.  What works for you may not work for someone else and visa versa.

If you are using memory improvement techniques like what I have talked about at the top of the article or any of the other methods, taking a nootropic alongside these will benefit your brain even more than on their own.

11 thoughts on “Best Nootropics for Memory – Remember What You Came For”

  1. Hello Stew, may I first of all commend your post. But I have a worry,  my father who is 75 this year has started loosing his memory lately. I think he suffers from short term memory. He used to have a super memory. Do you think that he can find any help from any of these? 

    • Indeed yes, any of these listed will help, but remember that everyone is different so he might have to try one or two before finding the one that works for him.

  2. I have found that the older I get my memory simply isn’t the greatest. I do a lot of puzzles and things like that to keep my brain sharp but it still isn’t as sharp as I would like. I will certainly check out these nootropics out. Hopefully, it will help me out. Thanks for the review.

  3. I naturally have a relatively poor short term memory. I looked for many ways to help myself when I realised it because it was affecting my studies . I would read and forget easily. Until I read and read over again. I finally found a lasting solution which is the first you talked about memory retention strategy. I began playing puzzle games as advised by a friend of mine. I downloaded memory centric games that I played and I was always reading and trying to memorise information written on sign and bill boards. Thanks for the article 

  4. I have never given memory loss much thought, except for the normal forgetfulness which I always just assume is because of how busy life is. I do love to play logic and educational games and most of my game apps are those kinds of things. I am curious about the dietary choline and how to make sure to get some in a regular diet, is this possible or would a supplement of some kind be better?

    • You can get choline from food, but really only eggs, beef liver, and soaked nuts.  Not the greatest choice.  I believe supplementing is the better choice however, you must find a vendor with good quality.  Most off the shelf choline supplements are not that good. Online is a better choice.

  5. Hi, I have read the article very attentively and found here lots of information about nootropic supplements, I learned abut this for the first time through your article, Although I knew about Ginkgo Biloba but I did not know so much detail. I am very excited to know about this. After reading your article I am very interested to take nootropic supplements. which one you recommending for me? Thank you very much for writing the article.

  6. Loved the article.

    I found really useful those general memory retention strategies. And accurate as well. It rings true to most what I’ve read in books on the topic. Just wanted to assure that people can trust that advice. By no means to say that I’m an expert on the subject. 🙂

    Just to add one other thing to the stack. I’ve heard aerobical exercise of being a great benefit to the neuroplasticity of the brain. Ultimately, exercise feeds the brain. Any kind. Also the gym. Thus, one can learn more, be more attentive, focused, aware, as well as better memory if regular exercising is in place. 🙂

    Either just wanted to add to the conversation. By all means, I loved the other insights as well!

    Thank you!

    Cheers, and have a Great One!


  7. Oh, finally… I mean, they’ve finally have come to a conclusion in regards to Ginkgo Biloba. I’ve seen so many contradictory research on this one. And thus, I’ve been on and off it for quite a while now. But I’m glad they finally settled the argument.

    Overall, I truly learned a lot. I had no idea of how many various Nootropics are there for memory. Gonna have to try some additional ones. And I totally subscribe to the fact of you adding L-Tyrosine to the list although it factually does not improve memory. Not losing it, I see as something just as important.

    Thank you for sharing this article!

    Have a Wonderful Day, Stew!


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