Are the Best Nootropic Reviews Reliable? Should you Trust Them?

Nootropics are one of today’s hot topics, so it’s only natural that you’ll be searching for information on them. We all tend to go to reviews for more information, but even the best nootropic reviews are likely to be biased and should be read with caution.

We’ve reviewed the reviews to help you work your way through them. And to give you a better chance at understanding which ones are really the best.

Nootropics

The topic is complicated – there’s a lot of information out there and lots of conflicting opinions.

Nootropics are also frequently referred to as smart drugs, cognitive enhancers or brain enhancers. These are drugs, supplements and other substances that are claimed to improve memory, learning, creativity, motivation and brain function.

There are literally hundreds of these products on the market – many with questionable claims. Many of them simply don’t work. Many claim the title of best, or #1.

Nootropics can be though of being in three categories:

  1. Prescription pharmaceuticals – often used to treat ADHD or narcolepsy. These are central nervous system stimulants. The most commonly prescribed are Adderall (dextroamphetamine) or Ritalin (methylphenidate). These stimulants help with focus and energy.
  2. Nootropic supplements – these are natural substances which have differing impacts on boosting brain performance. There are many of these, and this group includes things like caffeine-Theanine (found in tea), Creatine (an amino acid), and herbs such as Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea, Panax Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba.
  3. Pre-made Nootropic formulations – manufactured and distributed by various companies around the world. This is the group that we are considering in this article.

The Best Nootropic Reviews

There are also many reviews of the best nootropics published on-line. And the results are just as confusing. Any consensus view you may have been hoping for simply isn’t there. This in itself tells you that you shouldn’t trust these reviews.

We compared the top Google rated reviews – while these aren’t necessarily the best nootropic reviews, they are at least the most visible and the most likely to be referred to. The list was confined to the top 3 pages on Google and Firefox, with 12 reviews in total. Many other reviews on these pages are advertisements, which we rejected, or reviews of ingredients only, which we also rejected.

Our findings are published in more detail in the following paragraphs below.

Firstly, we need to define just what type of nootropic reviews we considered. Many reviews consider individual ingredients or supplements, whereas we have confined our deliberations to the pre-made formulations. This is where some of the wilder claims are made.

But are reviews reliable?

Even the best of these reviews are most likely not reliable sources of information. At the best, they are dispassionate, but still the ratings are subjective. At the worst they are simply a listing of products on which a commission will be paid.

The Subjective Nature of Reviews

Most reviewers will talk about ingredients, their combinations, and the amount of each used.

These are relatively quantifiable, but then we get into the quality of the ingredients used, referring to where and how the manufacturer purchases them. I find it difficult to believe that any of the reviewers would be able to comment on this for each supplier or make realistic comparisons. It may just relate to claims made by the manufacturer themselves.

Commentary about safety is likewise not one which can be verified other than by reference to manufacturer claims.

Customer satisfaction is widely used, but I don’t see where this comes from, other than on-line comments, which as we all know should not be taken too literally. It is too easy to “game the system” with planted comments.

None of these factors allows for standard comparisons or the ability to compare like with like.

Commissions Create Bias in Selection for Review and in Ranking

Most of the reviews come from affiliate marketing sites. These are blogs that exist with a view to selling something to its visitors.

Note that this site is one of those, and we will earn a commission on many of the products mentioned in this article. We have elected however to not include any product links. The only links on which we will earn a commission are on the advertised products.

This creates bias in two ways:

  1. Product selection – if you do not have an affiliate relationship, you may not select the product ion the first place.
  2. Ratings bias – this may refer to the amount of commissions paid on each product, or the brand’s popularity (and therefore customer attraction, and increased possibility of a sale).

Products rated

In the 12 “best nootropic reviews” we analysed, there were 43 different products given a rating.

30 of these were only mentioned once – with 9 of these being in the Top 3 of the respective reviews in which they were mentioned.

Another 6 were rated twice only.

This analysis suggests that these 36 brands have not made much impact on the market. We do note however that some of these are sister products to brands which have had a bigger impact.

This left 7 brands that dominated the reviews, which implies that these are the most successful in the market. It does not necessarily mean they are the best. But they are definitely the most popular and if any market share data were available – I would expect it to show that these are the market leaders.

The 7 highest rated brands

#1 – Mind Lab Pro

The apparent market leader is Mind Lab Pro.

It was rated in 7 of the 12 reviews considered, was rated #1 on 4 occasions and #2 on another. Its average rating across these 7 reviews was 2.6.

#2 – Alpha Brain

This was rated in 6 of the 12 reviews, with an average rating across these 6 reviews of 4.8.

#3 – NeuroPeak

This was rated in 5 of the 12 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6.

#4 – OptiMind

This was rated in 4 of the 12 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5.

#5 – CILTEP

This was also rated in 4 of the 12 reviews, but with an average rating of only 7.0.

#6 – Noocube

This was rated in only 3 of the 12 reviews, but with an average rating of 2.7.

#7 – Brain Pill

This was also rated in only 3 of the 12 reviews, with an average rating of 4.0.

The Second Tier

These 6 brands were only rated in two of the reviews:

  • Qualia Mind – average rating of 1.5;
  • Brain Booster – average rating of 2.5
  • Lumultra/Lumonol – average rating of 3.0
  • Performance Lab Mind (sister product to Mind Lab Pro) – average rating of 4.5
  • Mag Mind – average rating of 6.5
  • Brain Plus – average rating of 9.0

Other Brands Mentioned

  • Memontenz New Formula
  • Neuro Focus
  • Opus
  • Focus+ by Excelerol
  • NeuroIgnite
  • Nooflux – Infinity Stack
  • Awaken
  • GenBrain
  • Hunter Focus
  • Ascend
  • IonZ
  • Neurofuse
  • Enhance MHz
  • Havasu Nutrition
  • Memoril
  • Smart Pill
  • Brain Support
  • Neuro Clarity
  • Nitrovit
  • Genius Consciousness
  • Neuro Spark
  • Neriva
  • Neuro Optimiser
  • True Focus
  • Brainergy-X
  • Provasil
  • Brain Awake
  • Clarity
  • Focus Factor

6 thoughts on “Are the Best Nootropic Reviews Reliable? Should you Trust Them?”

  1. Hi David
    Read through your post is very informative even went on to read what you have said about corona virus which was very interesting, as I am out and about doing things for people who can’t get out.
    Regards
    Suzanne

    Reply
    • Hi Suzanne,
      Thanks for the comments. I’ve been fascinated by how we can get more use from our brain – apparently we only use 88%! So good to hear that you are out helping people. Stay safe.
      David

      Reply
  2. Thank you for bringing something that in many cases may be off the chart.

    Trying to cut corners by taking smart drugs could be a very big mistake although there are many companies out there trying to design the perfect drug.

    With AI (artificial intelligence) all the rage nowadays they might not be far from a breakthrough if you are prepared to risk it yourself.

    The film “Limitless” first brought this type of drug to the forefront even though this was supposed to be based on fiction. Maybe not too far from the actual truth.

    Personally I won’t take any drugs even for headaches.

    Thanks for sharing

    Mick

    Reply
    • Thanks Mick,
      The world of nootropics supplements contains two subsets – the so-called “smart drugs”, which are pharmaceutically based (think Ritalin, Provagil) and then there are the natural substances. Some of these are everyday stimulants that exist in things like green tea and coffee. Others we are less familiar with, but have been used in many ancient medicines for thousands of years. The modern industry is based largely on extracting better results from these natural substances, but there’s a lot of misinformation being peddled around.
      All the best,
      David

      Reply
  3. Really interesting topic to read about, as I’m not really familiar with nootropics. Even as a user of creatine, I didn’t know that it was a kind of a nootropic, but thank you for sharing your knowledge on the topic. I think it’s important to point out the methods and ways that some of these supplements are rated, as we know that some rating systems tend to be flawed. Great work!

    Reply
    • Thanks Dereck, It’s a fascinating subject, with so many natural substances that have been used to stimulate our brains over thousands of years.

      Reply

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