Your Shopping Cart

It appears that your cart is currently empty!


What Is the Most Effective Nootropic | UK

by Hamza Jamal |

Lion's mane, reishi, and other nootropics can pass the blood-brain barrier and affect memory, concentration, stress, and sleep, but different active compounds and the way our bodies use them mean they have different results.

Caffeine has apparent effects – it stimulates brain activity and increases cortisol and adrenaline to improve focus [1] – while lion’s mane is less evident with effects on mood and stress [2], according to the latest studies.

The saying “different horses for different courses” is an excellent descriptor for nootropics, but it isn’t always clear which is the most effective for your goals: do you want to sleep better? Be less stressed? Have more focus?

We provide more colour on a few natural nootropics below:

  •         Lion’s mane
  •         Fish oil
  •         Caffeine
  •         Turmeric
  •         Cordyceps
  •         Choline

Editor’s note: The studies in this article do not form a scientific consensus.

Lion’s mane

Lion's Mane contains bioactive hericenones and erinacines compounds that stimulate the growth of new neurons and increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) [2], a protein crucial for brain cell health and function.

According to a study of Japanese adults with mild cognitive impairment, Lion's Mane supplementation for 16 weeks increases cognitive function tests with no adverse effects [3].

However, the benefits of Lion's Mane extend beyond brain health – it has strong immunomodulatory effects [4] thanks to a protein called HEP3 that reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In animal models of inflammatory bowel disease, HEP3 alleviated tissue damage and inflammation in the colon by modulating the gut microbiome.

Lion's Mane may also improve sleep quality, particularly in overweight and obese individuals [5] - an 8-week supplementation study showed a 34.4% reduction in sleep disorders, with the effects persisting even after a 2-month washout period.

Animal studies have demonstrated anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects in lion’s mane [6], helping restore the depleted levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine found in most depressed and anxious people.

Our Complete Meal Powder incorporates Lion's Mane extract, providing a nourishing and calorific meal rich in bioactive compounds for overall health. On the other hand, our Braincare Smart Focus utilises Lion's Mane as a coffee alternative, aiming to combat brain fog and enhance cognitive function with other great ingredients like chaga, reishi, and cordyceps. 

Fish oil

The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in fish oil are potent nootropics offering cognitive benefits across all age groups [7].

DHA is the most abundant omega-3 in the brain – it maintains the structural integrity of neuronal membranes, playing a vital role in neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and neurotransmission - and studies show supplementation can enhance cognitive performance in healthy individuals [8] and elderly subjects with mild cognitive impairment.

900 mg of DHA daily for 24 weeks led to significant improvements in memory and learning, indicating that it’s helpful when studying.

DHA is also essential for children’s normal brain development and better cognitive outcomes [9], with maternal DHA intake during pregnancy linked to higher IQ scores in offspring.

The neuroprotective properties of fish oil are equally impressive. Omega-3s have potent anti-inflammatory effects in the brain, reducing neuroinflammation – a key factor in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s [10].

Fish Oil’s fantastic health benefits can be found in our Complete Meal Powder and Braincare Smart Greens. 



There’s no better stimulant than a cup of coffee, and the reason for that is caffeine, which improves attention, alertness, and reaction time and enhances memory and learning in certain contexts over short periods [11]. 

However, our Braincare Smart Focus contains the same benefits with added premium ingredients like reishi, chaga and L theanine. L theanine paired with caffeine takes the edge of caffeine and reduces the anxiety and jitters that sometimes come with caffeinated beverages like coffee. 

Please note all our Braincare Smart Focus flavours contain L theanine. (Matcha naturally contains Matcha). 

Caffeine also mobilises fatty acids and spares muscle glycogen, delaying fatigue and increasing endurance exercise capacity – which is why it’s found in post-workout shakes.

It doesn’t appear to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy individuals, but high doses can lead to increased blood pressure, heart rate, and arrhythmias in susceptible individuals, so it’s something to take in moderation.

Sleep is another big factor with caffeine—it reduces fatigue and improves subjective feelings of alertness and well-being, which is ideal for staying up late at night. However, excessive consumption or intake too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep, and people are advised to avoid it up to 6 hours before bedtime [12]


The main active component of turmeric is curcumin, a widely studied compound with potential neuroprotective effects in various neurological disorders [13]. Turmeric is one of the many ingredients in our Braincare Smart Greens formula providing excellent benefits to brain health, immune system and sleep. 

Recent research has highlighted the promising role of curcumin in the treatment of several disorders, such as depression, tardive dyskinesia, epilepsy, and other neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions.

In models of major depression, curcumin has demonstrated antidepressant-like effects, possibly by inhibiting monoamine oxidase enzymes and increasing serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain [14]. Curcumin has also been shown to enhance the antidepressant effects of conventional antidepressants, such as fluoxetine and bupropion.


Cordyceps is a unique and intriguing mushroom that has been traditionally used in Chinese and Tibetan medicine for centuries due to its potential health benefits. One of the most notable compounds found in cordyceps is cordycepin, which has been studied for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating properties [15].

Research has shown that cordyceps may offer a range of health benefits, including supporting energy production, improving exercise performance, and enhancing immune function. [16] It has also been suggested that cordyceps could have neuroprotective effects, potentially offering protection against neurodegenerative disorders.

In addition to its potential health benefits, cordyceps has gained attention for its adaptogenic properties, which means it may help the body adapt to stress and maintain balance. This could be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with chronic stress or fatigue.

Furthermore, some studies have indicated that cordyceps may have anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects, although more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and efficacy in this regard. 

Cordyceps cannot be found in any food sources like other nootropics but, our Braincare Smart Focus contains a good dose to give you high amounts of energy for any physical activities. 


Choline is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in various physiological processes, including neurotransmitter synthesis, cell membrane integrity, and lipid metabolism. It serves as a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory, mood regulation, and muscle control.

Research suggests that choline may have neuroprotective properties and could potentially benefit cognitive function and brain health. [17] Adequate choline intake has been associated with improved cognitive performance, memory, and attention.

Furthermore, choline is important for liver function, as it helps in the metabolism of fats and cholesterol and aids in the transport of triglycerides from the liver. It also plays a role in foetal brain development during pregnancy, making it particularly important for expectant mothers.

Incorporating choline-rich foods like eggs, liver, fish, and certain vegetables into your diet can help ensure you're getting enough of this essential nutrient. Additionally, our Braincare Smart Focus contains choline alongside other premium ingredients. 

Summing Up

Summing Up

Caffeine is present in our diets every day, while fish oil is one of the safest supplements and natural products you can consume. Paired with l-theanine you can be jitter free and maximise the potential of any caffeine intake. 

Choline is an exceptional option to add to your diet to help brain health. Studies also suggest that it helps brain development, mental health, and memory and lastly can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart-related illnesses.

Lion’s mane is a more recent nootropic supplement, although it has a history stretching back to the Han Dynasty. The most recent studies show that it has enormous potential as a memory, concentration, sleep, and mood booster.

Cordyceps, like Lion’s mane, is another ancient remedy gaining attention for its potential cognitive and physical benefits. Studies suggest it may improve energy levels, enhance athletic performance, and support overall well-being.

Turmeric has far less data around its cognitive effects, although there isn’t a study that belittles turmeric’s potential.

In summary, the best nootropics have research and safety behind them – caffeine, l-theanine, choline, cordyceps and lion’s mane are your best options..

To experience the benefits of nootropics try our products: 

vybey’s Lion Mane - contains lion's mane mushroom fruiting body extract 10:1

vybey’s Complete Meal Powder - contains lion’s mane

Braincare Smart Focus - Noontropic Coffee Alternative - contains lion's mane mushroom extract (hericium erinaceus), chaga mushroom extract, cordyceps extract, reishi extract, Peruvian maca root extract, green bean caffeine extract, L-theanine, choline, turmeric root powder, and vitamin B complex.

Braincare Smart Greens - contains fish oil, turmeric root powder,  matcha green tea powder premium grade, peruvian maca root powder, rhodiola rosea root extract (15:1)