5 Brain Boosting Nootropics for Students on a Budget
If you aren’t taking a brain supplement, are you putting yourself at a disadvantage? That’s a very good question, considering the recent rise of nootropics (also known as brain supplements) being used as performance enhancers. It’s hard to imagine that just doing your “very best” isn’t enough anymore, but this modern alternative medicine has indeed been increasing in mainstream use.
Nootropics are known for the improvements they bring to the brain’s many cognitive processes – from focus, clarity, and motivation, to memory, problem solving ability, and even mood. If that wasn’t enough, they hardly cause any adverse side effects either. In fact, most nootropics are actually safer than table salt.
So with all the positive benefits we can get from using nootropics, why isn’t everyone using them? Well, for starters, nootropics can get quite expensive, with big-name companies charging anywhere from $50 to $200 for a month’s supply. Whether that’s affordable or not will depend highly on a person’s income level, but that leaves those on the bottom brackets wanting.
So does this mean that the frugal college student won’t be able to reap from any of the benefits that nootropics provide? No. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. While many nootropics are more expensive, there are a few affordable options out there.
We’ve checked all of them out, and here are the top 5 we believe to be best for students looking to make the best bang for their buck:
1. Ginkgo Smart.
From pharmaceutical company Irwin Naturals, Ginkgo Smart tries to do exactly what the names implies: make you smarter with its feature ingredient Ginkgo Biloba, which is included at a hefty 400 mg. Other notable ingredients are Acetyl L-Carnitine, Fish Oil, and Vinpocetine.
Ginkgo Smart is great for slight improvements to memory (as per the effects of Ginkgo) and mood, but it doesn’t do much for focus or motivation. It takes a while to build up in your system as well, so students looking to cram for an exam might want to look elsewhere. At $25.99 for a 30-day supply, it comes down to just under a dollar a day!
Warning: Ginkgo Smart contains DMAE, which is banned in Australia and Canada (as well as a few other countries). Please check before ordering.
Released as a complementary enhancer to its big brother NITROvit, Neuro Laboratories’ NITROamp does quite well on its own. It uses a simple formula containing two feature ingredients – caffeine anhydrous for its energy and focus enhancing properties, and L-Theanine for its soothing and calming elements. While both effects might seem contradictory, the science behind NITROamp is actually quite interesting in that both ingredients produce synergistic effects when used in combination.
NITROamp is a no nonsense energy and focus booster with great memory enhancing properties for those on a budget. It improves motivation and actually allows you to get the job done. A 60-count bottle costs $17.97, but can actually last 2 whole months (the manufacturer suggests 1-a-day, however, 2-a-day is also okay)! A sure steal and the best value on this list at only 30 cents a day.
3. Sharp Mind.
Solaray’s Sharp Mind is actually a little different from the others on this list in that it’s from the UK. This means that if you’re from the US, you might have to cough up a few extra dollars to get it shipped internationally. Its feature ingredients include Ginkgo Biloba, Phosphatidylserine, and Huperzine Serrata. All of these are great ingredients, but we would have liked more ingredients dedicated to energy. We think Cat’s Claw at 350 mg is also a terrible waste of space in the formula as it does nothing for brain enhancement (though it has some immune system boosting effects).
The formula is a little one-sided, but is overall still good for those looking to improve their memory over a long period of time. Of course, it’s also pretty cheap at $22.99 for a thirty day’s supply, coming in at around 75 cents per day.
4. True Focus.
Now Foods’ True Focus may not be the best option for students, but it is still great for those on a tight budget. Using an ingredients list that is mostly multivitamins (with the small inclusion of Ginkgo Biloba, CoQ10, and L-Tyrosine), its improvements to mood and memory are very slight but still noticeable. Unlike what the name implies, we didn’t see any improvements to focus though (however, this may be a little subjective).
Most of the ingredients included here are multivitamins though, so it might be cheaper to just purchase a centrum and separate Ginkgo or CoQ10. Those looking for convenience though will enjoy True Focus as all you have to do is just take 3 capsules a day. True Focus comes in at $19.99 MSRP for a month’s supply, which comes to around 66 cents per day.
Warning: True Focus contains DMAE, which is banned in Australia and Canada (as well as a few other countries). Please check before ordering.
Elebra might be the most expensive one on this list, but it’s still relatively cheaper than most other brain supplements available on the market. It contains a long list of 21 unique ingredients ranging from multivitamins to nootropics. The formula itself isn’t that potent and we would have liked if the multivitamins were cut out for some more nootropics, but at that price, we understand that they had to cut corners somewhere.
The effects are only slightly noticeable, but it is fairly well-rounded, producing positive effects to focus, energy, mood, clarity, and memory. Whether or not the slight improvements are enough to justify the cost will be up to you, but for $29.95 for a month’s supply (around $1 per day), you’ll be able to find out yourself!
There you have it!
Brain enhancement may seem expensive, but it doesn’t need to be so if you’re only looking for specific improvements to your brain. As a student, you probably aren’t going to fully benefit from purchasing a $100 brain supplement anyway. Ace your exams and bring yourself one step closer to graduation with any of these great budget nootropics!