We live in the 21st century, were pretty much everyone has a hard time focusing now and again. No, just because you can’t stay deadlocked on your schoolwork doesn’t mean that you have ADHD - it’s just not hardwired into human instinct to spend 6 hours a day staring at pieces of paper and listening to lectures. You’re not mentally unwell, you’re just human.
That said, it’s certainly practical to have the ability to focus when it’s necessary. Two of the most ideal times to focus would be during school and work, which are unfortunately two of the most common times that people lose their focus. Fortunately, you don’t need to run to the doctor to get a prescription for your problem - you can take a much less addictive route by using nootropics.
Nootropics are fantastic for a number of reason. They’re also known as ‘smart drugs’ because they enhance your cognition in general and can make you more functional. Nootropics are one of the most effective and least-risky ways for a person to maximize their potential as a human being. Many nootropics share the following benefits:
- Improving memory recall and allowing for an easier formation of new memories
- Improving verbal fluidity, making it easier to explain complex ideas and feelings
- Improving comprehension, making it easier to understand the content of textbooks and lectures without feeling lost
- Enhancing motivation and giving you the extra ‘kick’ you might need to tackle your daily tasks
- Regulating mood and anxiety
- Helping to enhance focus and concentration
Today we’re going to be focusing on the best supplements for focus. These nootropics will be ideal for students and people who work in jobs that require a lot of cognitive processing, such as those who work with computers or have to do lots of math at work.
Most of these nootropics also provide at least a couple of the benefits listed above in addition to being fantastic aids for focus.
750 - 1500 mg per day
100 - 200 mg per day
Powder or Capsules
200 - 400 mg per day
100 - 200 mg per day
150 - 300 mg per day
Powder or Capsules
500 - 1000 mg per day
Aniracetam is a popular member of the -racetam family, of which piracetam is considered the grandfather. Piracetam came first, all other racetams are derivatives of this compound.
Like other -racetams, Aniracetam is known for providing general cognitive benefits. However, each -racetam varies a bit in its acute effects. Aniracetam is known for being an interesting racetam because it provides benefits for an individual’s emotional wellbeing instead of just boosting cognition like many of the others.
Aniracetam does, indeed, boost focus at a cognitive level. However, the unique ability of aniracetam to lower anxiety (many other focus-based nootropics are known for promoting anxiety in a similar vein as caffeine) and modulate mood allows people who suffer from unstable mental health to focus in situations that may not be helped by other, more stimulating nootropics.
Doses of up to 3000 mg a day are generally recommended for people who are new to using aniracetam. Like most nootropics, this dosage is best split up into several smaller doses throughout the day. For a beginner, 3 doses of around 500 mg a day should be enough to feel cognitive benefits.
If you’re looking to combine this nootropic with others, you’ll probably do well with a small aniracetam stack. Beginners might want to include a choline source with their aniracetam; CDP choline and Alpha-GPC are two of the best, readily available choline sources.
Any racetam stack should include a source of choline because the racetams are known to cause your brain to produce and use more choline. If you supply it with extra, exogenous choline then the benefits of the nootropics will be more readily apparent.
Phenylpiracetam is arguably the most potent and stimulating racetam. Its effects are pronounced at incredibly small doses, and taking too much of it can easily lead to side effects that typically result from taking too much of a stimulant: anxiety, jitters, agitation, etc.
That said, it’s not too difficult to figure out a healthy dose of phenylpiracetam. When you do, you’ll find that this nootropic stands out among others for its ability to provide sheer, laser-sharp focus for several hours. When I take it, the laser focus usually lasts around 3-4 hours, with residual stimulation lasting a few more hours and enhanced cognition, verbal fluidity and memory lasting the rest of the day.
I usually take it in the morning because taking it any later than the afternoon usually results in me tossing and turning for a few hours before I manage to fall asleep. That said, those few hours are usually spent entertaining interesting thoughts and finding solutions for my daily problems!
Since phenylpiracetam is several dozen times stronger than the parent compound, piracetam, much smaller doses are required. Typical doses start around around 50mg and range up to 200mg - I notice if I take much more than 150 mg, I get too stimulated and the experience is uncomfortable. I’m a pretty small guy, though.
If you are you looking for a good phenylpiracetam stack, you’ll probably want to consider something similar to the regular -piracetam stacks. Phenylpiracetam and alpha GPC or another choline source will provide you with accentuated benefits and you won’t run the risk of depleting or overworking your choline system.
Some people like to combine phenylpiracetam and noopept. Both of these compounds are very potent and work in similar manners. If you’re going to be combining the two of them, make sure you have a reliable choline source.
As I’ve mentioned in other articles, pramiracetam is definitely my favourite of the -racetam nootropics. This is in stark contrast with its flavour, which is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever had the misfortune to put in my mouth. That said, it really goes to show how excellent of a nootropic this stuff is since I’m willing to grin and bear the flavour just so I can seek the benefits.
Pramiracetam is quite similar to phenylpiracetam but I find it’s a lot more forgiving. You can take quite a bit mre without experiencing the jittery effects of overstimulation. Unfortunately, it’s fairly expensive - I find that you only get about half as many doses with pram as you do with phenyl for the same price.
That said, pramiracetam provides a comparable amount of focus and motivation as phenylpiracetam. I also find that it’s remarkable for enhancing creativity - I noticed I was writing and drawing a lot more when using pramiracetam. It also helps immensely for writing articles like these without falling into a state of mental fatigue.
Pramiracetam doses are usually within the range of 400-500mg. I used a scoop that measured out 500mg doses and that was enough for me - if not a bit too much at times. Sometimes I’d find myself balancing just on the edge of over-stimulation, but I never actually got there with pramiracetam.
If you’re looking for a pramiracetam stack, then the basic racetam stack will do you fine. Just mix it with a good choline source. You might want to consider mixing pramiracetam with l-theanine or another light anxiolytic if you’re prone to anxiety.
Modafinil is a very interesting nootropic. It’s probably the only substance I’ve taken that can be rightfully described as a wakefulness promoting agent, because it does just that: promotes wakefulness. Substances like caffeine tend to make you more awake, but they do this by jacking up your adrenaline system and leaving you excessively stimulated even after you want the effects to wear off.
Modafinil just wakes you up and gives you more focus. There’s no excessive stimulation. In fact, if you take modafinil when you’re already wide awake, you probably won’t notice a thing - it’s not even hard to fall asleep. It really works wonders when you’re working overtime or have to get up in the morning. I’ve never been an early riser, but taking 100mg of modafinil an hour before I’m scheduled to wake up and then falling back asleep allows me to wake up with a healthy amount of energy, ready to face the day.
Modafinil usually comes in 100mg doses, which is perfect. Some people require 200mg, and that’s fine. The thing with modafinil is that you just need to find a dose that works for you and stick with it. Once you do, taking more of it won’t provide you with stronger effects, and all you’ll be doing is wasting money.
Some people like to stack modafinil with coffee, but I prefer it on its own. The combination of the two leads to unnecessary stimulation and actually makes it harder to focus - for me. If anything, I’d combine modafinil with a racetam because modafinil gives me enough energy to tackle the day, and a racetam - preferably pramiracetam - gives me the extra focus to know exactly what I want to accomplish.
Uridine is a substance that doesn’t get nearly the respect it deserves. It’s great for long-term potentiation, meaning you might not notice any acute effects the day that you start taking it. This is because uridine - which is a naturally occurring substance that your body produces - helps to promote neurogenesis.
Neurogenesis, like the word suggests, is the process of your brain building new neurons. It was once thought that a dead brain cell is lost forever, but recent research has turned that theory upside down. It’s not only normal for your brain to grow new neurons, but it’s possible for it to repair damaged brain cells that resulted from drug abuse or injuries.
Uridine does all this perfectly, and the result of a healthier state of neurogenesis is a long-term increase to focus, motivation, comprehension, and logic. I used uridine to help me recover from a drug addiction of several years, and it helped me return to baseline much quicker than I was expecting.
Uridine monophosphate is typically recommended to be taken in doses of 100-200 mg twice daily. This is a massive waste of uridine, which is pretty expensive. Uridine extremely well-absorbed sublingually, and if you pop 10mg under your tongue you’ll experience the same benefits as swallowing 100mg.
Uridine stacks quite well with other nootropics, but honestly, after taking it for a few months, I barely felt the need to use other nootropics. Until that point, I stacked it with racetams and other herbal nootropics like ginkgo biloba and gotu kola.
L-tyrosine is an amino acid that is a precursor to dopamine. It’s metabolized by the body into L-dopa, which is then metabolized into dopamine in the brain.
L-tyrosine is particularly useful for people who suffer from dopamine-related mental problems. These can occur in people who struggled with addiction to amphetamines, or in people who just naturally have issues with dopamine.
L-tyrosine can provide a noticeable improvement to mood, motivation, and energy levels. The more bioavailable form, N-Acetyl-Tyrosine or NALT, can be much more effective for people because it’s able to pass more easily into the brain.
Doses for L-tyrosine vary immensely depending on the person taking it and the reason they’re taking it. Some people only need as little as 100 mg, other people need to take several grams. The important thing here is to start slow and make sure that you don’t take more than your body can handle - otherwise you might experience nausea and diarrhea.
L-tyrosine stacks quite well with other nootropics and is often recommended to accompany L-theanine, which can make the whole experience much more relaxing. Tyrosine also goes very well with modafinil and can provide a lasting euphoric boost to the stimulatory nature of modafinil.
There are a million reasons that you might want to improve your focus. Fortunately, there are about a million nootropics that can help you do that. Today, we’ve taken a detailed look at the most effective nootropics that one could invest in if they’re hoping to find a sustainable method to improve focus over the long-term.
Many of these nootropics can be used in combination with each other, so it’s important that you find which stack works best for you. Everyone is different, and we can only tell you so much. Good luck!