Between school projects, work deadlines, and building businesses, perhaps you’re looking for a cognitive boost.
Here’s something you should know:
Your brain is capable of shifting into high gear.
Whether you’re the competitive Type-A personality, or just looking for an edge, elite performers and Fortune 100 CEOs have a little secret: specially formulated brain boosting drinks.
Popular nootropic drink benefits include:
- Boosting energy
- Enhancing memory
- Sharpening focus
- Increasing stamina
- Inducing calm and relaxation
- Clearing the mind
- Upgrading workouts
- Speeding up mental processing
- Increasing alertness
- Beating procrastination
- Ignoring distractions
- Tapping into the flow state (getting into “the zone”)
Sounds like a pipe dream. But try a high-quality brain boosting drink and you’ll feel the effects within minutes. Unlike sugar-laden energy drinks, the top products don’t have the dreaded crash. Nor do they jack up your stress and hormones. In fact, nootropic drink formulas include ingredients that support your health even after the effects wear off.
Today, I’m reviewing the best nootropic drinks for energy, cognition, mood, productivity, and euphoria.
Best For: brain-boosting buzz
Aside from glucose (sugar), ketones are the only other fuel that the brain source that the brain can run on. They’re a steady source of clean energy. Interestingly, they generate fewer free radicals and thus support long-term optimal brain performance. Exogenous ketone supplements have a slew of powerful science-backed benefits:
- Accelerating weight loss by reducing appetite
- Enhancing brain function
- Boosting physical and mental energy
- Protecting the brain
Plus they’re great for the metabolism. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of ketone supplements.
You can either use the cheaper C8 MCT oil which boosts ketone levels by 15 percent. With most exogenous ketones, you only absorb about 50 percent. KetoneAid products contain bioidentical non-racemic ketones, increasing bioavailability to nearly 100 percent.
You won’t find many other nootropic drinks backed by a clinical study that showed increased physical performance and mental stamina.
KetoneAid also sells a fortified ketone product called Snakewater that includes an upgraded version of caffeine along with:
- 5.5 grams of KetoneAid BioBHB
- 750mg BCAA 2:1:1
- 350mg Beta Alanine
- 200mg L-Taurine
- 100mg Cordyceps 10:1 Extract
- 10mg CoQ10
- 75mg Theacrine
- 20mg L-Theanine
- 15mg L-Carnosine
- 5mg Niacin
- 15mg Acetyl L Carnitine
Buy KetoneAid to enhance the function of your brain while increasing energy and physical performance simultaneously.
Best For: natural nootropic smoothie
Brain Juice is a new and lesser-known addition to the nootropic drink scene using fresh, high-quality whole foods with a touch of the right nootropics. They’re the natural approach to energy and mental clarity. Drinks come in five flavors. Each of which is non-GMO, gluten-free, free of colorants or synthetic fillers, low-sugar, low-carb, Keto-friendly, BPA-free.
Brain Juice Active contains an impressive array of compounds:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Green Tea Extract
- Organic Acai Berries
- Organic Blueberries
- Organic Beet Powder
- Red Spinach Extract
- Himalayan Pink Salt
- Ginger and Tumeric
These ingredients primarily boost two neurotransmitters. Learning and memory (acetylcholine). Healthy behavior, motivation, inspiration, focus, and drive (dopamine). As a bonus, you’ll blunt overstimulation, reduce nutrient deficiency, crush decision fatigue, and improve sleep.
Brain Juice is the top natural nootropic drink pick.
Alpha Brain Instant
Best For: caffeine-free anti-aging blend
Alpha BRAIN® Instant is a powder supplement created by Onnit Labs. It is a caffeine-free, stimulant-free, non-GMO, gluten-free formula. Specially designed to boost your alpha brainwaves (see where the product gets its name?). Alpha brain waves increase productivity and indistractibility. This product supports healthy neurotransmitter production.
Alpha Brain Instant’s ingredients include:
- Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine HCl)
- Oat (straw) extract
- Cat’s Claw (bark) extract (ac-11)
- Bacopa (aerial parts) extract
- Huperzia serrata (aerial parts) extract
- Black Pepper (fruit) extract (BioPerine)
- Organic Tea Leaf
Their blend improves memory, focus, mental processing, and ability to “get in the zone”. Even among healthy users. Pour a packet into a liquid of your choosing. It comes in seven unique flavors and supports. A convenient and delicious alternative to the Alpha Brain capsules.
Alpha Brain is a popular portable nootropic powder gentle enough for everyday use.
Best For: powerful racetam-based nootropic
TruBrain is the product of a California-based startup that has been prominently featured in major media outlets. Formulated by a team of UCLA-trained neuroscientists, it comes in one-ounce shots. Designed to increase your verbal fluency, avoid distractions and boost mental output. Or, in other words, get more done with less effort.
TruBrain contains a powerful concotion of nootropic ingredients:
- Noopept – 20mg
- ALCAR – 500mg
- NALT – 350mg
- Centrophenioxine – 250mg
- Magnesium – 200mg
- L-Theanine – 160mg
- Uridine Monophosphate – 500mg
- Caffeine (optional)
Few products list the exact dosages of both their nutrients and active nootropics. Though each sachet does contain four grams of sugar, it’s primarily sweetened with natural ingredients like monk fruit, mangosteen, and blue agave.
Whether used for calm focus, turbo-charged memory, or ridding brain fog, Hollywood Film Festival selected TruBrain as “The Juice That Fuels Creatives”.
Best For: Pre-workout nootropic
Need “rocket fuel for your brain”? If exogenous ketone supplements don’t do the trick for you, Mental Mojo bills themselves as exactly that. They pride themselves as the only patent-pending nootropic drink designed by a Neurochemist. Mental Mojo makes the selection process simple, offering only one option. A package of sugar-free Kiwi Strawberry “sticks” (sweetened with stevia).
Their product is formulated in the USA and “tested on celebrities, not animals”.
Mental Mojo’s nootropic ingredients include:
- Alpha GPC
- Ginko Biloba
- Green caffeine
Between the nootropics and 175mg of caffeine, normal effects include greater energy, deeper focus, mental clarity, and feeling mentally switched “on”. Just add 1 stick to 16 ounces of water. If you don’t love it, send it back within 30 days for a full refund.
Caffeine lovers that want a simple blend of nootropics will enjoy Mental Mojo.
Best For: brain boosting soda alternative
Something about cans makes their contents extra satisfying. Koios is exactly that, the first canned nootropic. Packed with 11 earth-grown ingredients, and then naturally sweetened with stevia and erythritol.
Neurohackers choose Koios for memory enhancement, maximum productivity, stress reduction, improved mental endurance, and greater motivation.
KOIOS nootropic beverage ingredients::
- Lions Mane Mushroom
- MCT Oil
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Panax Ginseng
- Caffeine (from green tea)
*Bolded ingredients are rarely found in nootropic drinks
The Koios proprietary blend claims to deliver nutrients that support greater brain blood flow, oxygenation, and greater ability to wire new neural connections.
Koios is the healthier nootropic alternative to soda.
Neu Energy Shots
Best For: Extra-strength energy shot
With 300mg of caffeine, Neu is the strongest energy-based nootropic shot on the market. Far stronger than typical “extra-strength” energy shots. Crafted for highly active folks, ranging from athletes to musicians to world-travelers. All five flavors contain zero sugar and zero carbs.
Neu Energy Shot Ingredients:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Pantothenic Acid
- Choline Bitartrate
Neu hides exact doses of their brain boosters behind a 1.705 gram “nootropic blend”. They do disclose that the drinks contain 300mg of caffeine and 250mg of L-Theanine to take off caffeine’s edge (and jitters).
Choose Neu if you’re looking for a potent, heavily caffeinated energy shot, and don’t mind the preservatives.
Best For: nootropic coffee
Kimera Koffee isn’t your typical cup of joe. They make the original nootropic coffee products with a different blend for every preference: original, dark, focus, K-Cups, amber, endurance, and even TOGO travel bags. Kimera sources high-quality beans from Brazil’s premier coffee plantations. All products are organic and the result of dozens of product iterations.
Kimera Koffee research-backed nootropic ingredients include:
- Alpha GPC
Though the added ingredients are simple, Kimera has amassed a 4.5-star rating from over 1,000 happy customers.
If you like the convenience of getting coffee and nootropics all-in-one, Kimera is the clear winner.
Rasa Adaptogenic Coffee Alternative
Best For: nootropic coffee alternative
I’m an advocate of taking a 10-14 day caffeine tolerance reset every quarter. While suffering through the decaffeinated period, I’m always on the lookout for satisfying coffee alternatives. Rasa has become the one-stop wellness apothecary — with taste. Their Original product is a blend of 12 potent organic herbs. Each cup produces mellow energy that lasts throughout the day (and is naturally caffeine-free).
Unlike coffee, you’ll also enjoy reduced stress, a mood lift, enhanced immunity, and increased libido. Leading to greater output and health.
Rasa Original Ingredients include:
- Roasted chicory roots
- Burdock roots
- Dandelion roots
- He shou wu
- Chaga mycelium
- Ceylon cinnamon
- Reishi extract
Brew your cup just like coffee, but steep for 10 minutes. You’ll get the best ingredients handpicked from Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, & Western Herbalism.
Rasa is the best herbal nootropic coffee alternative.
CocoTropic Raw Cacao
Best For: whole-food nootropic
Another great nootropic drink alternative, CocoTropic is 100% plant-based raw cacao. A nutritionally dense drink that supports immunity, blood flow, general health, and also cognition and focus. Since their inception in 2016, CocoTropic committed to quality, testing every batch of raw material is quality tested for heavy metal and microbial contamination and purity.
CocoTropic’s nootropic ingredients include:
- Natural wild cacao powder
- Reishi mushroom extract
- Natural raw maca powder
- Chaga mushroom extract
- Natural turmeric
Expert artisan farmers have generations of experience growing the mushrooms CoCoTropic adds to all their products. These mushrooms come from China’s high-altitude mountainous regions. Consume CocoTropic as a coffee substitute, or add it to coffee, tea, smoothies, shakes.
CocoTropic is the most versatile nootropic food or drink additive.
Best For: classic energy drink taste with strong nootropics
FocusAID is one of the biggest nootropic drink makers. They have different products for just about any situation. From excelling at golf, to increasing immunity, to recovering from a hangover. Even the FocusAID can feels remarkably similar to a certain popular energy drink. FocusAID is an energy blend designed to increase mental acuity, focus, concentration, and memory. Its “fusion tea” taste comes at 45 calories per can, sweetened with 9 grams of of raw organic blue agave.
FocusAid contains the following ingredients:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Full Vitamin B complex
- Folic acid
- GABA (for stress relief, focus and clarity)
- Rhodiola rosea (for concentration)
- Alpha GPC (for memory and cognition)
- American ginseng (for learning)
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine (for neurotransmitter support).
- Yerba mate
- Green tea
Each can contains 100mg of caffeine, barely above average. FocusAID has been featured in 9 large publications.
When looking for a nootropic-boosted energy drink, try FocusAID.
Best For: convenient nootropic drink
Neurobrands, the company behind neuroSonic, is the oldest supplier of nootropic drinks. Since 2007, neuroSonic has introduced many skeptics to nootropics. It was the first nootropic drink I tried, and I found it easily. Physical retailers like Kroger, Walmart, Target, Shop Rite, and of course, Amazon all carry Neurobrands products.
Though they claim that their product significantly increased energy, attention, and mood in a clinical trial, I couldn’t locate the study.
NeuroSonic ingredients include:
- Alpha GPC
- Vitamin D2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
This product is a good source of antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols. From Goji, Pomegranate and Blueberry to the natural caffeine in green tea and green coffee beans. Although they got the 2:1 caffeine-to-theanine ratio right (100mg to 200mg), I don’t like the 9 grams of sugar per serving. And the company has been involved in some litigation.
Choose neuroSonic when shopping for a nootropic drink in-store.
Synapse Clean Nootropic Energy Drink
Best For: Healthy energy drink alternative
Synapse’s Clean Nootropic Energy Drink pleasantly surprised me. With zero caffeine, I expected to find a scary list of other stimulants. Carefully formulated by neuroscientists and biomedical engineers, Synapse is the ultimate alternative to energy drinks. Synapse’s slogan is “energy without sacrificing your health”, and I agree. Their flavor is derived from a combination of ginger and Asian pear extract.
Synapse Clean Nootropic Energy Drink & Synapse Nootropic Matrix ingredients include:
- Citrulline malate
- Creatine hydrochloride
- Alpha GPC
- Bacopa monnieri leaf powder
- Schisandra 5:1 whole berry powder
Every can is portioned into two servings of 40 calories, 11 grams of carbs, 5 grams of sugar in each portion. I rarely consume energy drinks, but when I do it’ll be this one.
Synapse is great for getting over caffeine and still feel like you’re drinking a normal energy drink.
Best For: Adaptogenic energy drink
The most recent entry to nootropic drinks, NERD Focus hit Amazon shelves in December of 2020. Already, it’s highly-rated hovering at 4.8 stars. Think of NERD Focus as a typical energy drink lightly fortified with nootropics and adaptogens. The taste is somewhere between Mountain Dew and Jolly Ranchers (too sweet for me).
NERD Focus ingredients include:
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Alpha GPC
- Ginseng Extract
- Guarana Seed Extract
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
128mg of caffeine is above average for a 12-ounce can. NERD Focus comes in original (170 calories per can and 42 grams of sugar) and zero. Original has far too much sugar for me, and zero contains lots of preservatives.
If your priority is a nootropic and adaptogen-enhanced energy drink, and don’t mind sweet try NERD Focus.
Best For: relaxation and mood
Sun Chaser makes one single product. A healthy alternative to alcohol that produces a buzz without the hangover. It’s one of the two euphoria-inducing drinks on this list. The fruity flavor gives Sun Chaser a mocktail-in-a-can feel.
Sun Chaser ingredients include:
- Vitamin C
- Red Tart Cherry Concentrate
- Lime Juice
- Cordyceps Extract (Cordyceps sinensis)
- 5-HTP (Griffonia simplicifolia)
- Himalayan Sea Salt
At 60 calories, 14 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of sugar, it’s a beverage best saved for special occasions. So far, Sun Chaser has been featured in Shape, Glamour, ThingTesting, and Product Hunt.
Best For: strongest mocktail
My favorite nootropic drink for euphoria, Kin has established themselves as the premium choice. Everything from the product design, to the unique formula make the drink feel like an actual substitute for a $25 NYC cocktail.
Kin Spritz specifically enhances social situations by supporting key neurotransmitters in charge of mood, pleasure, and reward. Kin’s products include adaptogens, nootropics, botanics, and other compounds.
The full ingredients inside Kin Spritz include:
- Vitamin B6
- Hibiscus Flower Extract
- Rhodiola Rosea Extract
- Licorice root extract
- Bitter orange extract
- Gentian root extract
- Ginger extract
Spritz does include 5 grams of sugar, and 50 mg of caffeine for a “lifted mind, relaxed body, and kindred spirit”.
Buy Kin Euphorics for special occasions to replace a night of drinking.
Nootropic Drink Questions & Answers
What is a nootropic drink?
Nooptropic drinks are a class of beverages that include special ingredients that improve the functioning of the brain. Research suggests that their benefits last even after the obvious feelings wear off. Nootropic drinks usually include ingredients like caffeine, L-Theanine, Alpha GPC, vitamins, and minerals.
What drink is best for the brain?
Certain ingredients are well-researched to improve health, repair, and processing power of the brain. This category is called nootropic beverages and they can offset the effects of sleep deprivation, increase focus, and enhance mental endurance — without overstimulating the body.
What is the most powerful nootropic?
Caffeine isn’t actually the most powerful nootropic. A better alternative to boost alertness, mood, focus, productivity and energy is a related compound called Theacrine. It provides all the same benefits (and more) without the jitters, insomnia, stress and side effects of caffeine.
Are nootropic drinks safe?
High-quality nootropic drinks are generally safe (but not recognized as so by the FDA). The safety of nootropic drinks depends on the manufacturer. Since there is little regulatory oversight, companies often add cheap or unproven ingredients.
Nootropic Beverages to Maximize Energy, Brainpower, & Euphoria
The first and most powerful nootropic in the world is sound sleep, a clean diet, consistent exercise, and adequate recovery.
Once you master the basic, specific brain-boosting drinks can elevate your mental performance to its peak. Compared to pills and powders, drinks are a convenient and tasty replacement.
Certain beverage categories like nootropic coffee can make your life easier. No more wondering if you remembered to take your pile of compounds.
Others like natural nootropic smoothies get you nutrition and powerful cognitive enhancers all-in-one.
Energy drink lovers can rest assured that there are quality nootropic energy drinks that taste good without a mountain of sugar. Products that include adaptogens and nootropics, and support health (rather than detracting from it).
Do you have a favorite functional nootropic drink? Let me know in the comments below.