The Ultimate Guide to the Best Nootropics for Focus in 2022

Benjamin Martin  - 28 November 2022

nootropics for focus

If you are here, chances are you are looking to learn more about nootropics (also commonly referred to as study drugs, smart drugs or cognitive enhancers) for focus.

The good news is that you are in the right place. We, like you, have noticed that life seems to be getting busier, more competitive and more fast-paced.

It is no wonder the demand for nootropics for focus is through the roof.

Hundreds of companies and brands have come into the market to meet this demand, but consumers can feel paralysed by the selection of brands and the claims they make. That's why we are here to help.

We asked our team of experts to answer people's most common questions about nootropics for focus, such as what nootropics for focus are, the pros and cons of nootropics and comparing pharmaceuticals to natural nootropics

Ultimately, we’ll also show you our recommended nootropic for focus that is 100% plant-powered, affordable and made right here in the UK!

Contents

  • What are Nootropics for Focus?
  • What is the History of Nootropics?
  • Pros and Cons of Nootropics for Focus
  • What are the Side Effects of Nootropics?
  • Pharmaceuticals vs Natural Nootropics
  • 6 Examples of Pharmaceutical Nootropics for Focus
  • 6 Examples of Natural Nootropics for Focus
  • Our Recommended Choice

What are Nootropics for Focus?

Nootropics are a type of cognitive enhancer that are designed to improve focus, concentration, and memory. They are sometimes referred to as smart drugs or memory enhancers.

Nootropics have been used to treat cognitive deficits in patients suffering from Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, stroke, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ageing. However, they are most commonly used by students, professionals, athletes, and anyone who wants to improve their cognitive performance.

Nootropics might be foods, drinks, supplements, drugs or other substances, and they can improve things like concentration, motivation, wakefulness, performance under pressure or even your mood.

Watch: Can Drugs Make You Smarter?

What is the History of Nootropics?

Nootropics actually have a long history of use, dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used various plants and herbs for cognitive enhancement.

The modern history of cognitive enhancers can be traced back to 1967 when a Romanian psychologist and chemist, Corneliu E. Giurgea, first used the term “nootropics” to describe compounds he synthesised to improve memory and cognition. 

Since then, nootropics have become a popular topic of interest among scientists, biohackers, and Silicon Valley executives looking for an edge in an increasingly competitive world.

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Pros and Cons of Nootropics for Focus

Using nootropics for problems with focusing and concentration has become one of the most prominent reasons why people have turned to nootropics in the first place. 

In a world saturated with distractions, it makes sense to look for ways to focus on the task at hand, whether you need it for work, study, or daily life. 

best nootropics for focus

Check out this chart below for a glance at some of the most common pros and cons of nootropics for focus. 

Pros

Cons

  • Combat common symptoms of cognitive disorders such as ADHD.
  • Enhance overall productivity.
  • Natural nootropics are readily available over the counter.
  • Help with anxiety and stress relief.
  • Unwanted side effects (especially with pharmaceutical or synthetic nootropics).
  • Not always regulated by the MHRA or FDA.
  • Questionable manufacturing sources when getting them from overseas.
  • Depending on the type or brand, they can be expensive.

Take our quiz below to see which nootropic would work best for you.

What are the Side Effects of Nootropics?

While there are many valid reasons for someone to start using nootropics for focus, it’s also important to remember their side effects.

Smart drugs, the most common nootropics in the UK, have many side effects. Modafinil commonly causes headaches, sleep problems, chest pains and other issues.

More severely, its use can cause acute rashes and cause or worsen mental health problems. These are rare side effects but potential issues nonetheless.

Adderall commonly causes nervousness and stomach problems. It can also cause rarer, more severe side effects, such as hyperthermia and cardiovascular problems.

Ritalin causes similar side effects to Adderall, with common headaches, nervousness and stomach problems. Like Adderall, Ritalin has several less likely side effects that can be quite dangerous, such as heart issues and problems with mental health.

Conversely, many natural nootropics in the UK have much less severe side effects. Some people have reported problems such as increased thirst and rare headaches due to using natural nootropics.

There are very few, if any, natural nootropics that can cause the more severe side effects mentioned above.

Brainzyme Focus Pro is a great nootropic alternative

You can easily and safely buy natural (and legal) nootropics with little to no side effects, such as Brainzyme® FOCUS PRO™, which is made and regulated in the UK.

Pharmaceuticals vs Natural Nootropics

Nootropics can effectively boost your performance, but unfortunately, as previously mentioned, synthetic or pharmaceutical nootropics often cause unpleasant side effects. 

Therefore, we prefer natural nootropics over pharmaceutical nootropics.

  • They are available over the counter.
  • They tend to be better value for money.
  • They come with fewer side effects.
  • They contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
  • They can be just as effective as pharmaceuticals. 

Most synthetic or pharmaceutical nootropic smart drugs in the UK are not legal (without a prescription) following the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act.

nootropics for focus and concentration

The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) has warned university students, in particular, against taking any prescription, fake or unlicensed pharmaceutical medicines. They also highlight the possible dangers to health as more and more students attempt to get higher marks.

Many of them, like Adderall, are controlled substances. The 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act also made it “an offence to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, possess on custodial premises, import or export psychoactive substances; that is, any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect.”

Note that food, drink and medical products are exempt from this Act, as well as people working in the medical or research fields.

As a result of the Act, any psychoactive drug is illegal to supply, import or export without a proper licence or prescription. At the same time, this also means that most natural nootropics are perfectly legal to produce or supply, as they do not contain psychoactive drugs.

Natural nootropics, made with food supplement ingredients, are fully legal if compliant with the relevant agency requirements (Department of Health, MHRA, FSA, Trading Standards, Environmental Health, EFSA, etc.). They might contain plant extracts, vitamins or minerals.

Not all natural nootropics are legal. Some are banned in certain countries because they don't comply with the relevant agencies.

6 Examples of Pharmaceutical Nootropics for Focus

nootropics for focus

1. Adderall

Looking for information on Adderall as a nootropic? Check in with our experts to find out all about Adderall in the UK.

2. Modafinil

Want more info on Modafinil as a nootropic? Find out all you need to know about Modafinil in the UK.

3. Ritalin

Our ultimate guide to Ritalin in the UK.

4. Racetams

Curious about the nootropics family of Racetams? Here is all you need to know about Racetams in the UK.

5. Piracetam

Find out more about the UK’s most common Racetam, Piracetam.

6. Noopept

Everything you should know about Noopept in the UK.

The MHRA warns against buying pharmaceutical smart drugs or pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers over the internet and that such types of pills could cause problems for users.

They state: "A huge number of medicines bought online are counterfeit, substandard or adulterated. While reports of side-effects of some cognitive enhancers include risk of dependence, cardiovascular problems and psychosis, there is no guarantee the product you are receiving isn’t laced with any number of other dangerous substances."

Users have reported side effects, including skin rashes, migraines, irritability, dizziness, nervousness and anxiety.

Brainzyme Focus Pro is a great nootropic alternative

You can get 10% off your very first purchase of Brainzyme® FOCUS™! Use the code WELCOME10 when checking out.

6 Examples of Natural Nootropics for Focus

1. Panax Ginseng

Main effects include reducing brain fatigue and protecting it from oxidative stress.

2. Ginkgo Biloba

Main effects include improving memory and decreasing stress levels.

3. L-Tyrosine

Tyrosine is required for the development of dopamine in the brain.

4. Brainzyme® FOCUS™

A range of legal, affordable, and natural nootropics for focus made in the UK.

5. HVMN’s Kado 3

Formally called Nootrobox, this company is based in the USA and needs to be imported.

6. Alpha Brain

A popular nootropic supplement that has to be imported from the US, Check out our recommended Alpha Brain Alternative to try instead.

Our Recommended Choice

In closing, nootropics are a great way to enhance your focus and concentration, making you more productive. 

We have looked at what exactly nootropics are, their history, and some notable pros and cons of using nootropics for focus. We also laid out the side effects most commonly associated with taking nootropics.  

Additionally, we compared pharmaceutical nootropics to natural nootropics and have seen how natural nootropics are a much better choice in the long run for someone looking to add nootropics to their daily routine. 

When choosing a natural nootropic for focus, we recommend the brain supplement Brainzyme® FOCUS PRO™ as one of the best options available. 

natural nootropics for focus

Brainzyme® FOCUS PRO™ is a 100% plant-powered, non-pharmaceutical, UK-made nootropic that has been specifically designed to help improve your focus, energy, motivation and memory.

References

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (2016) Freshers warned to be smart and avoid modafinil, GOV.UK. GOV.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/freshers-warned-to-be-smart-and-avoid-modafinil (Accessed: November 11, 2022).

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (2014) Medicines watchdog makes record seizure of Experimental Smart Drugs, GOV.UK. GOV.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/medicines-watchdog-makes-record-seizure-of-experimental-smart-drugs (Accessed: November 11, 2022). 

A;, F.W.M.A.P. (no date) Cognitive enhancers (nootropics). part 1: Drugs interacting with receptors, Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22886028/ (Accessed: November 11, 2022).

Benjamin Martin is a nootropic and brain supplement enthusiast

Benjamin Martin

Benjamin Martin is a nootropic and brain supplement enthusiast who has tried every type of performance-boosting supplement under the sun. He uses his expertise to produce educational content for the Brainzyme® blogs.

Based in Edinburgh, Benjamin loves spending his free time in nature whenever he gets the chance.

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