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Best Nootropics for Anxiety and Depression that work

Our day-to-day lives are extremely stressful. We spend so much time running around doing various tasks that we forget to pay attention to our mental health. Because of this many of us have feelings of anxiety and depression in our lives that make it difficult for us to live a fulfilling life. Nootropics are supplements that can help us cope with these feelings.

Anxiety is typically associated with feelings of fear and embarrassment. If you’ve ever been to a new workplace or a new school and felt nervous about interacting with strangers then you’ve felt anxiety before. 

So what’s the solution to this issue? 

The term nootropic refers to a substance that is able to change the way the mind works. By using certain ingredients, nootropics are able to reduce these feelings of anxiety and relax the mind.

Studies show that a significant portion of the population experiences general feelings of anxiety or depression. Some people even experience generalized anxiety disorder, panic attack, and major depressive disorders. In fact, some studies have shown there is a critical relationship between these two conditions – meaning one increases your risk for developing another.[1]

When a person is experiencing daily feelings of severe anxiety and depression on a daily basis, they are often dealing with an illness. These feelings can have a massive impact on your life and prevent you from carrying out basic activities. In this case, it is recommended that you seek professional help from a therapist who will guide you on what steps you can take to improve your life. 


However, some brain boosting nootropics like MindLab have been shown to greatly alleviate feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. In fact, some studies show that people who are experiencing these symptoms report higher levels of happiness after taking a nootropic supplement such as this for one full month!

If you’re unsure whether or not you have a disorder or just general feelings of anxiety then be sure to contact your doctor before taking any further steps. 

However, if you’re simply looking for a drug to help reduce some of these feelings then we’re here to help. 


This article is going to give you a rundown of the best nootropics on the market that can help you cope with these feelings. But before we begin let’s look into what causes social anxiety in the first place: 

What Causes Social Anxiety?

All of us experience some form of social anxiety in our lives and these feelings are a lot more prevalent than we think. A study conducted in 2002 found that around 7 to 13% of people in western countries experienced social anxiety disorder [2]. 

Because of the nature of social anxiety, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes it [3]. However, in general, social anxiety can be caused by traumatic life experiences like abuse, bullying, and so on, or it can be caused by environmental factors like stressful home life. 

People that experience social anxiety usually develop social anxiety over a period of time and the severity of their symptoms will primarily depend upon the factors that caused it. 

Symptoms of Social Anxiety

In general, there are two types of symptoms that you can see, mental symptoms and physical symptoms. These can differ from person to person and some people may not experience all the symptoms on this list: 

Mental symptoms: 

Mental symptoms are mostly associated with the thoughts and behavior of an individual. They are usually triggered by social situations but even the anticipation of some situations might cause these symptoms. 

  • Avoidance of social situations. 
  • Fear of interacting with strangers. 
  • Anxiety at the thought of public situations. 
  • Having a blank mind during certain social situations. 
  • Fear of embarrassment and humiliation in these situations due to being anxious. 

Physical symptoms: 

When we talk about physical symptoms it refers to certain changes in the body which cause discomfort. These are usually caused as a result of the mental symptoms of anxiety. 

  • Breathlessness
  • Sweating
  • Trembling and racing heartbeat
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Nausea or an upset gut. 

These are the most common symptoms of anxiety. However, there are other symptoms which may not have been mentioned over here. 

Does Noopept help with anxiety?

Noopept is a drug that was developed as a more effective alternative to Piracetam. This nootropic is relatively new but works well in small doses. 

So is this nootropic drug effective as a remedy to certain symptoms of anxiety? 

Unfortunately due to the lack of research, it’s not possible to definitively say that Noopept has beneficial effects for anxiety. There have been a few studies done on mice that showed that there were some beneficial effects early on in the study [4]. 

There are only a few studies that have been done on humans with this product [5]. Although there were some positive effects early in the study, around the first week, these effects did not persist till the end of the treatment. Additionally, this study was done on individuals that had previous brain injuries and thus it does not represent the vast majority of the population. 

Noopept may be useful for the improvement of some cognitive functions. Currently, the research does not show that this drug is beneficial for symptoms of anxiety. 

Other natural alternatives that contain certain proven natural extracts might be a better choice for you. 

Best Stacks for Anxiety and Depression

Every person is different and you need to decide which nootropic is best for you. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best nootropics currently found on the market for anxiety. 

1. Mind Lab Pro Anxiety Nootropic

If you’re in need of a powerful nootropic that boosts your creativity then Mind Lab Pro is for you. When Opti-Nutra created this supplement, they wanted a universal supplement that was able to work for anyone at any time, and that’s exactly what they did. 

Mind Lab Pro is a nootropic with 11 natural ingredients that can give you around 6 to 7 hours of productivity. This supplement is perfect for people who are looking for some inspiration.

These ingredients relax the mind and enhance creativity while also giving you a boost of energy to complete the job. It is ideal for people who want a powerful nootropic that they can use on a daily basis.

2. Performance Lab Nootropics

Next on our list is another nootropic that is made by the same company as Mind Lab Pro, Performance Lab. Unlike Mind Lab Pro, this nootropic was built to help boost energy and destress the mind. 

We all tend to get burnt out every now and again. Performance Lab was designed to relieve all the stress and fatigue that comes with burnout. It helps to rejuvenate your mind and increase your focus. 

By reducing stress, Performance Lab is able to improve your attention span and energy. It can help you to finish off a bit of work after a long day. This nootropic is primarily useful for people who need a supplement to help with workout fatigue. 

3. NooCube Nootropic for Anxiety

If you need an efficient Nootropic that you can use daily then the NooCube might be a good choice for you. This supplement helps to promote mental clarity and increase your attention span. NooCube can also help with memory retention[6]. 

The great thing about NooCube is that the effects last for around 8 to 10 hours. This means that you can take one dose at the beginning of the day along with your coffee and you’ll feel the effects all through the day. 

Additionally, there is a 60-day money-back guarantee offered by the company. So if you don’t like the product you can get a complete refund, no questions asked. We recommend choosing this supplement if you want a daily, all-round supplement.

4. BrainPill Nootropic

BrainPill is another natural nootropic that reduces some symptoms of anxiety. This supplement has a number of ingredients that help you to focus on tasks better. It can also boost brain energy and allow you to work for longer periods of time. 

This supplement was designed specifically to aid people that have a hard time focusing and get distracted often. You can use this as a daily supplement to get ready for a tough day of work. 

Like NooCube. BrainPill also offers a 67-day money-back guarantee to allow you to test the supplement first. We recommend trying it out to see if this is the right supplement for you. 

5. Qualia Mind

But maybe you need a supplement that enhances cognitive function while also giving you that much-needed boost of clarity. In that case, Qualia Mind is the supplement for you. This supplement was created by the Neurohacker Collective, a company that is well-known for its nootropic supplements. 

As the name suggests, Qualia Mind is a supplement that improves the brain’s ability to process information and also heightens your problem-solving abilities. Qualia Mind has a plethora of nootropic ingredients that make it a powerful cognitive supplement.

Because of its large list of comprehensive ingredients, Qualia Mind is a great daily supplement for anyone who’s looking for a quality, effective nootropic. It is also great for individuals that experience a ton of brain fog as it improves mental clarity.  

6. Alpha Brain Nootropic

Alpha Brain is a natural nootropic that has been shown to improve verbal memory and overall cognitive ability[7]. It is a great nootropic for anyone who wants to increase memory retention and focus. 

This supplement has been scientifically proven to help with memory and focus. The effects last for around 6 hours which makes it perfect for completing a ton of work in a short period of time. 

It also improves your mental processing ability and allows you to enter into a flow state. If you’re looking for a supplement to help with memory then Alpha Brain is definitely the best nootropic on the market. 

The Most Effective Nootropic for Anxiety — How Popular Ingredients Affect Anxiety Levels

Now let’s take a look at some of the science that goes on behind the scenes. If you want to understand which nootropic is best for you then it’s a good idea to look at the ingredients that make up nootropics and figure out which one will work best for you.

In the list below we’ve given some of the most common nootropic ingredients on the market that can reduce anxiety. All of these ingredients are natural and have been shown to have significant benefits for stress and anxiety. 

L-Theanine

If you’ve ever looked up some natural remedies for stress then you’ve probably stumbled across green tea. This amazing beverage has a calming effect on the brain which is due to the presence of L-theanine.

L-theanine is an amino acid that acts as an antioxidant. It is a well-known natural supplement which relaxes the mind and reduces anxiety. It can help your mind to relax and calm down. Anxiety can cause you to become distracted and stressed. 

When you’re in that mind space it can make it difficult to focus and your productivity can take a massive hit. L-theanine is an excellent natural supplement to remedy these issues. This is probably why it is so common in many natural nootropics. 

How much L-theanine should I take for social anxiety?

The exact amount of L-theanine will change from individual to individual. However generally, around 200 mg has been shown to work well[8]. Certain people might find that they require more or less depending on their body. Most studies show that around 50 to 200 mg work well. Some others show that taking up to 400 mg has no ill effects but for most people, you don’t need to consume a large amount[9]. 

How L Theanine Calms People Down

L-theanine regulates serotonin, GABA(gamma aminobutyric acid)(, and dopamine levels. These are all neurotransmitters that are associated with mood. Therefore L-theanine can improve the overall mood of a person. It relaxes the mind and puts it in a calmer state. 

This antioxidant also promotes alpha brain waves in the brain. These waves are a type of activity in the brain which is associated with a relaxed state of mind. 

L Tyrosine

This is another amino acid that is often paired with L-theanine in many natural nootropic supplements. Like L-theanine, this amino acid is associated with reduced stress levels in the brain[10]. This supplement helps to improve mental clarity, increase alertness and reduce brain fog. It is an ideal nootropic supplement for reducing some symptoms of anxiety. 

Lion’s Mane Mushroom (*Does lion’s mane help with social anxiety?*)

The Lion’s Mane Mushroom is a fungus that gets its name from its peculiar appearance. Although this mushroom might look a bit peculiar, it is still one of the best natural nootropic supplements on the market. This mushroom has been shown to help improve the overall mood of an individual and reduce anxiety[11]. It also promotes certain neuroprotective functions in the brain.

Ashwagandha

This ancient ayurvedic herb has been used as a remedy for anxiety for over a century. It has many neuroprotective properties[12]. The plant improves the amount of brain energy in a person. This energizes and rejuvenates the brain while also preventing fatigue. Ashwagandha is able to do this because of the presence of a specific compound in the plant named withanolides. This compound has also been known to boost certain properties of the immune system. 

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is a tree that has compounds with nootropic properties. The extract of this plant helps with focus, increases attention span and can also improve the mood of a person. It can also relax the mind when it is facing large amounts of stress. This helps it to lessen some of the stress that can be caused by anxiety. 

DHA

DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a well-used health supplement. In one study this fatty acid reduced the overall inflammation of the body and decreased blood pressure[13]. When the blood pressure of the body goes down it can help to further calm the mind and reduce stress on the body and brain. This works well in tandem with many of the other supplements given on this list. 

Rhodiola Rosea

This flower-bearing plant is also known by the name ‘golden root’ and it’s easy to see why. The root of this plant has an extract with nootropic properties that are a common supplement for anxiety issues. One study found that after two weeks of use the participants saw that there was a decrease in the overall anxiety and stress levels of the participants[14]. The mood of the participants also saw significant improvement. 

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is another ayurvedic plant that has been used for health purposes. It is typically used to boost memory and enhance the overall learning ability of an individual. Studies have shown that this herb also reduces anxiety and heart rate in individuals over time [15]. It also decreases inflammation and increases memory retention. 

Citicoline

This substance is found in the cells of many animals including humans. It plays a part in the formation of the cell membrane. Although citicoline is typically used for cognitive rehabilitation it has also been shown to reduce levels of anxiety and stress in individuals[16]. This substance also serves as a great cognitive enhancer. 

Maritime Pine Bark

The Maritime pine bark has many compounds that make this tree an extremely valuable substance. The extract from this bark has therapeutic effects. It is able to reduce blood pressure and inflammation[17]. It is also an antioxidant that reduces anxiety and relaxes the mind. 

Phosphatidylserine

This compound is a phospholipid that plays a role in the formation of cell membranes. Phosphatidylserine has neuroprotective properties. It strengthens the myelin sheath and the cell membrane around nerve cells. Because of these properties, this substance is able to help in memory retention and it also improves the cognitive function of the brain[18].

The Most Powerful Nootropic Stack According to Research [Mind Lab Pro]

Of all of the nootropics that we’ve given, Mind Lab Pro comes out on top as the most powerful one. This is because of its unique combination of 11 ingredients that are all highly effective nootropic substances. 

The effects of this supplement also last around 6 to 7 hours which are quite long considering how powerful this supplement is. 

Nootropics that Increase Dopamine — Stacking for Anxiety [Mind Lab Pro and Qualia Mind]

Dopamine is one of the most crucial neurotransmitters in the body. It is associated with motivation and learning. It is usually released when the brain gets a reward or even when a reward is anticipated[19]. 

Reduced dopamine has been associated with increased symptoms of anxiety. Therefore, two supplements on our list help to increase dopamine levels, and thus they are very effective in lessening these symptoms. 

This is primarily due to the fact that both Mind Lab Pro and Qualia Mind contain L-tyrosine. This compound improves dopamine levels in the body and can provide a boost in motivation and energy. 

What’s the Best Supplement for Anxiety aside Nootropics?

If you’re looking for medication that doesn’t come under the nootropic umbrella then there are a ton of products on the market. However, to find the one that is best for you, you’ll need to figure out what works best for your body. 

Phenibut and Anxiety — The Unfiltered Truth

Phenibut is a Russian drug that has been used as a medication for social anxiety. This drug works because it is similar in structure to GABA, an important neurotransmitter. This improves the alertness and focus of a person’s brain. It can help to reduce the amount of brain fog. 

However, there are a few things that you should know before taking the drug. Due to the nature of Phenibut, this drug is very powerful. Thus it should be taken with caution. Additionally, the effects are relatively short-term so this might not be a good drug for daily use. 

GABA and Anxiety — What You Should Know

So are drugs that increase GABA effective against symptoms of anxiety? The answer is yes, but it needs to be used with caution. Small amounts of these drugs can go a long way to relaxing the mind. They can improve mental clarity and decrease anxiety. 

However, if they are used in excessive amounts then it can have the opposite effect. Large amounts of GABA can worsen the symptoms of anxiety and make people more irritable. This makes these types of medications risky. 

L-Theanine and GABA — Which Is Better? (Per the Evidence)

Now that you know a bit about both of these anti-anxiety medications, let’s look at which one is better. 

After looking at both of these we can say that L-theanine is the best choice because of the way that it works. There is much less risk associated with L-theanine and this makes it easier to use as a supplement. 

On the other hand, drugs that increase GABA can be quite potent. This makes them much tougher to use. 

Stacking for Anxiety — Factors to Consider

When we talk about stacking it usually refers to using two or more nootropic substances along with each other. Most common nootropic supplements on the market are made by stacking multiple substances together. 

Synergy

Substances that work best when they’re taken together have good synergy. An example of this can be found in Mind Lab Pro and Qualia Mind. 

Both of these supplements contain Citicoline and Phosphatidylserine which support each other. Citicoline plays a role in the production of phosphatidylcholine, a major phospholipid in our cells. Phosphatidylserine is also a phospholipid that is derived from Phosphatidylcholine. 

Thus this means that the production of Phosphatidylserine is enhanced by the presence of Citicoline. 

Multiplication

As the name suggests, multiplication refers to the enhancement of the nootropics effects. If we look at L-theanine and L-tyrosine, both of these substances have a relaxing effect on the mind. 

When they are used together they are much more powerful than if they were used on their own. 

Complementation

If two supplements are compatible together then they complement each other. All of the ingredients in the supplements on our list work well together and there are no side effects. 

However, if you are using other supplements or taking medication then you’ll need to check whether or not there are any significant side effects from using these supplements together. 

A note on alcohol and social anxiety

Alcohol can reduce some symptoms of social anxiety and therefore make people with anxiety feel more comfortable. Because of this, some people might use alcohol to dampen these feelings. 

However, alcohol has only a temporary effect. After a while the effect tends to wear off which makes this a terrible remedy. Alcohol also has many downsides and harmful effects. It can worsen the symptoms of anxiety if it is used to self-medicate. 

That’s why we recommend using other proven supplements to help with anxiety. 

Is there anything over the counter for anxiety?

Yes, there are plenty of drugs and supplements available on the market. Our list will give you a few great choices to choose from. Every person’s mind is unique so you’ll need to figure out which supplement works best for you. 

Final Word on Best Nootropics for Anxiety

Nootropics are a great supplement to help with various symptoms of anxiety. If you haven’t used any of these medications before, we recommend that you check them out. 

All-in-all the most powerful supplement on our list would be Mind Lab Pro followed by NooCube. These two supplements are meant for a wide variety of people and work for long periods of time. The other supplements mentioned are also extremely effective but they have their canpurposes.   

Remember that each supplement has its own formulation that is targeted towards various people. Be sure to pick the one that suits your lifestyle the best. 

References

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  6. Snow, A. D., Cummings, J. A., Tanzi, R. E., & Lake, T. (2021). In vitro comparison of major memory-support dietary supplements for their effectiveness in reduction/inhibition of beta-amyloid protein fibrils and tau protein tangles: key primary targets for memory loss. Scientific reports, 11(1), 3001. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79275-1
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  8. Hidese, S., Ogawa, S., Ota, M., Ishida, I., Yasukawa, Z., Ozeki, M., & Kunugi, H. (2019). Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(10), 2362. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102362
  9. Lyon, M. R., Kapoor, M. P., & Juneja, L. R. (2011). The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on objective sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Alternative medicine review : a journal of clinical therapeutic, 16(4), 348–354.
  10. Young S. N. (2007). L-tyrosine to alleviate the effects of stress?. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN, 32(3), 224.
  11. Wong, K. H., Naidu, M., David, R. P., Bakar, R., & Sabaratnam, V. (2012). Neuroregenerative potential of lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher Basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review). International journal of medicinal mushrooms, 14(5), 427–446. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushr.v14.i5.10
  12. Mirjalili, M. H., Moyano, E., Bonfill, M., Cusido, R. M., & Palazón, J. (2009). Steroidal lactones from Withania somnifera, an ancient plant for novel medicine. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 14(7), 2373–2393. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules14072373
  13. Swanson, D., Block, R., & Mousa, S. A. (2012). Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: health benefits throughout life. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 3(1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.111.000893
  14. Cropley, M., Banks, A. P., & Boyle, J. (2015). The Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. Extract on Anxiety, Stress, Cognition and Other Mood Symptoms. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 29(12), 1934–1939. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5486
  15. Calabrese, C., Gregory, W. L., Leo, M., Kraemer, D., Bone, K., & Oken, B. (2008). Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 14(6), 707–713. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2008.0018 
  16. Roohi-Azizi, M., Arabzadeh, S., Amidfar, M., Salimi, S., Zarindast, M. R., Talaei, A., & Akhondzadeh, S. (2017). Citicoline Combination Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Clinical neuropharmacology, 40(1), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1097/WNF.0000000000000185
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  19. Berke J. D. (2018). What does dopamine mean?. Nature neuroscience, 21(6), 787–793. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-018-0152-y
Erica Bail

Having specialized as a Neurologist for 8+ years treating patients with diseases like Parkinson's disease, Sclerosis, Dementia and Brain Injury. Dr Erica has the passion and experience to detect, diagnose and manage any type of brain disorder.

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