What Are the Best Nootropics for Memory, Learning and Studying?

“How can I improve my memory,” you ask yourself after you miss a doctor’s appointment or forget to call the office for an important work meeting. When you can’t recall the basic and often vital details of your everyday life, it can get frustrating. Is it old age, a hectic lifestyle, or a little of both? With memory nootropics (memory boosting supplements), we may finally have a solution for developing a sharper mind.

Many students and entrepreneurs are looking for the best nootropic for memory to help them better achieve their academic or career goals. Taking nootropics is a common way to improve the information retention power of your brain. Whether you’re looking to recall critical facts or dates for a final exam or want to improve learning capacity as a whole, these cognitive enhancement supplements have proven themselves effective time and time again. This article isn’t going to be an Adderall vs. Modafinil debate. They tend to be the two most popular smart drugs on college campuses. Instead, this article will focus on different cognitive enhancement supplements that have slightly better reputations in regards to their safety.

With multiple options on the market for memory enhancement, choosing one supplement can be difficult, so we’ve picked several of the best nootropics for memory to review. This article features extensive information on various brain supplements to help you create the best nootropic stack for memory, learning, and studying based on your personal preferences. Single nootropic supplements can work wonders for your brain and your ability to interpret complicated concepts. However, these supplements work best when stacked with other nootropics to enhance their effectiveness. When using nootropics, you can expect an improvement in the way your brain functions and processes stored information. You may also gain an improved sense of mental health and well-being.

“Synaptic plasticity” is the most important concept to remember. Synaptic plasticity is a vital neurochemical foundation for memory and learning. It involves the strengthening or weakening of your brain’s synapses. In other words, it is your brain’s ability to maintain old neural connections and develop new ones over time, creating new neural pathways to retain learned information. This critical process is what our list of nootropics below has been proven to accomplish. Here are some of the best memory-boosting nootropic supplements available today. No prescription is necessary for these supplements.


Acetylcholine, known as the “learning neurotransmitter” supporting cognitive function, was the first neurotransmitter discovered in the human body. It acts as a “neuromodulator,” which means it can easily influence the way your brain retrieves and processes information. Whether you’re studying or performing at work, a choline supplement should be a part of every nootropic stack for memory. Unfortunately, many people are choline deficient, mainly due to their diet. A choline supplement positively affects neuroplasticity, decision-making, and learning skills among other things. If something can produce or release acetylcholine in the brain, it is called a “cholinergic” substance. Three primary acetylcholine supplements for memory enhancement are:

Acetylcholine Agonists

An example of an acetylcholine agonist is Piracetam, along with other members of the racetam family of nootropic supplements. They work to stimulate the receptors in your brain causing them to release more acetylcholine, which leads to memory enhancement and improved synaptic plasticity.

Choline Sources

This group includes Alpha GPC (Alpha-Glycerophosphocholine/Choline Alfoscerate), CDP-Choline (Citicoline), and Choline Bitartrate (Lecithin). High quality and vital choline supplements contribute to the increased production of acetylcholine in the brain. This increase can enhance learning, studying, and memorization skills.

Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors

Acetylcholinesterase (AChE or acetylhydrolase) is an enzyme that occurs naturally in the human body and is responsible for breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. By slowing its production through the use of inhibitors (or antagonists), the amount of acetylcholine neurotransmitter will increase naturally.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is one of the more popular natural nootropic supplements for memory enhancement. It also serves as an effective stress reliever and brain protectant. Studies suggest Bacopa monnieri has the potential to increase memory recall. Although, more research is still being done to determine the full extent of its effects across all cognitive abilities in humans. Many studies have shown the significance of Bacopa in improving memory in the elderly or those on the cognitive decline. This improvement is evident in those with Alzheimer’s disease, and even in healthier individuals.


Huperzine-A is a chemical purified from a plant known as Chinese club moss. This powerful nootropic has been proven to have multiple benefits for memory function. It is in the “acetylcholinesterase antagonist” class of choline supplements, meaning it inhibits enzymes from breaking down acetylcholine. Inhibiting choline breakdown increases the levels of acetylcholine and boosts memory retention and mental clarity. When stacked with a good choline source such as Alpha GPC, the effects of this memory booster are amplified. Huperzine-A is preferred as a cholinergic due to having less cholinergic-related side effects, but also due to its long half-life.


L-Theanine is a natural amino acid found in tea leaves. It doesn’t directly impact memory and learning, but it indirectly helps. Here’s why: Most people take L-Theanine for stress relief because it is such a powerful relaxant. However, evidence shows that when combined with caffeine, there are notable positive cognitive effects. L-Theanine works to help take the edge off when caffeine consumption is high. When both nootropic supplements are combined, you can expect to have increased speed and processing accuracy when performing attention demanding tasks. Also, you’ll be less susceptible to outside distractions which could impact memory retention and information recall.


Vinpocetine is a natural substance extracted from the seeds of the periwinkle plant. Studies have confirmed its ability to improve both long and short term memory formation. Vinpocetine can also enhance other cognitive functions by increasing the flow of blood to the brain. Taking Vinpocetine for memory has various other benefits as well. These advantages include neuroprotection and reduced neural inflammation, similar to that of an omega-3 fish oil supplement (EPA and DHA).


Aniracetam, perhaps the best racetam for memory, is known to increase and improve the cognitive processes of the brain. Taking Aniracetam for memory may also impact other areas of the user. Many people have reported an increase in information recollection, concentration and mental stimulation with feelings of relaxation and calmness. This synthetic nootropic supplement helps in the regulation of sleep and wake cycles as well. Aniracetam also increases dopamine and serotonin levels, which are responsible for sending “feel good” signals to the brain. It’s an effective nootropic with a broad range of effects, making it a reliable addition to any memory or studying stack.


Oxiracetam has shown to have positive effects on the thinking ability and other critical reasoning skills in elderly patients or those with Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is currently little evidence to support improvements in neuroplasticity and information retention in young adults without cognitive impairment. With that said, Oxiracetam, while similar to both Aniracetam and Piracetam, may have an additional benefit. Oxiracetam increases glutamate and acetylcholine release in active neurons. Glutamate assists in the transmission of signals between nerve cells which plays a significant role in memory and learning abilities.


Piracetam is another well-known nootropic that enhances cognitive functions and is perhaps the most widely used of all the racetams. When putting together a nootropic stack for studying or memory retention, Piracetam is a popular choice among students and professionals. When taken with a choline supplement such as Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline, it can show great improvements in memory, information retention, and recall. Taking Piracetam can also increase the fluidity of ideas. It’s considered one of the best nootropics for creativity, while potentially increasing levels of acetylcholine in the brain as well.


Ampakines are responsible for having stimulating effects on glutamate receptors in the brain. Glutamate plays an important role in improving your brain’s neuroplasticity and the connections between different neurons. Enhancing neuroplasticity can increase focus and concentration, attention span, learning, memory, and studying capabilities. Ampakines boost energy and improve alertness when taken in moderation with other nootropic supplements.

Keep in mind that Ampakines are considered the strongest nootropics available, but they’re still very new. Much smaller doses are required to notice their cognitive enhancing effects compared to other memory nootropics. The two most popular supplements in this class are Sunifiram and Unifiram.

Best Nootropic Stack for Memory

It’s difficult to choose a single best nootropic memory stack since everyone reacts differently to different chemicals. We’ve found that a combination of Huperzine-A and a quality choline source such as Alpha GPC can work wonders for long term and short term memory formation. The quantity of each ingredient is largely up to the individual. Adjust your dose of each ingredient until you receive the desired effect. See our Alpha GPC review for a complete breakdown of this supplement.

CogniTune™ is our memory-boosting nootropic formula that utilizes only scientifically proven ingredients shown to boost mental cognition. If you’re looking for an all natural way to support focus, energy, memory, and mood, you can learn more about CogniTune™ on the homepage.

What do you think the best nootropic for memory and learning is? Let us know what you use in your studying stack!

Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

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