We live in a world where it is more important than ever to have a good memory. Names, dates, passwords, pin numbers, birthdays, appointments… There is no limit to the amount of information we need to remember.
Have you ever met someone that seems to have a photographic memory? They seem to have no problem remembering the names of every person they meet, never have to write down phone numbers, and always seem confident in their ability to remember details.
The truth is, there is no such thing as a photographic memory. No one can remember everything perfectly all the time. But there are people out there with an above-average memory. There’s also people out there with amazing memories. So what separates them from the rest of us?
It all comes down to brain chemistry. Some people’s brains are wired in such a way that they are able to remember things with ease. Most of us, however, are not so lucky. Most people are able to remember the big things, but struggle with the details.
Fortunately, there are nootropics that can increase the levels of certain chemicals in the brain to improve memory. Here’s a list of nootropics that are known to improve memory.
Alpha GPC (L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine) is a choline supplement that comes from soy lecithin. It is an excellent choline source and a potent memory booster.
Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Precursors are substances that are used to create something else in the body. In this case, choline is used in the body to make acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is known to play a crucial role in memory and learning.
Alpha GPC is such a potent memory booster that it is being studied as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s, as well as other cognitive diseases.
Although Alpha GPC can be highly effective on its own, it is often stacked with other nootropics. Some of the most common nootropics that it stacked with are piracetam, Noopept, and adrafinil.
Benefits of Alpha GPC:
- Improved Memory
- Improved Learning
- Brain Antioxidant
When used at recommended doses, Alpha GPC is very well tolerated. Side effects are very rare. The recommended dosage for Alpha GPC is between 100-500 milligrams. You should always start at the low end (100mg) and slowly work your way up until the desired results are achieved.
This was the first racetam to ever be created. The racetams are a class of drugs known for their nootropic properties. Piracetam has been extensively studied, and shown to have an excellent safety record.
In fact, you can only get piracetam with a prescription in many European countries. In the United States, however, it is sold legally as a dietary supplement and can be bought without a prescription.
It is not entirely understood how piracetam (and the other racetams) exerts its nootropic effect. It is thought to increase memory by influencing NMDA and AMPA receptor sites. It is also known to affect acetylcholine and the Ach receptor sites. Acetylcholine plays a vital role in memory and learning.
Benefits of Piracetam:
- Increased Memory
- Improved Learning
- Increased Focus
- Mild Mood Enhancer
- Reduced Anxiety
Piracetam can be effective on its own. However, it usually works better when stacked with a choline source, like Alpha GPC or citicoline.
The recommended dose for piracetam is 1-3 grams. It is recommended that you start with 1 gram at first. Then, if needed, increase the dose. Some people report the desired increase in memory, learning, and focus with only 1 gram.
This is another acetylcholine precursor. Citicoline (or more commonly, CDP Choline) is used in over 70 different countries as a cognitive enhancer.
CDP Choline has been shown in numerous studies to increase mental performance and energy, as well as protect the brain from oxidative stress. CDP Choline produces similar results to Alpha GPC, however they both work differently in the body. And, like Alpha GPC, CDP Choline works best when combined with another nootropic like piracetam or oxiracetam.
CDP Choline is an intermediate between phosphatidylcholine and choline. It is converted into choline in the intestines then back to citicoline after it crosses the blood-brain-barrier. Then it is used a precursor to acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is known to play a very important role in memory and learning. Reduced acetylcholine levels are associated with various cognitive problems.
Benefits of CDP Choline (citicoline):
Stacks well with other nootropics
CDP Choline has been extensively studied and shown to be generally very safe. Side effects are very rare, and even then are usually mild. The recommended dose for CDP Choline is 100-500 milligrams. You should start with 100mg and work your way up as needed.
This is another popular nootropic, and another member of the racetam family. Oxiracetam is considered to be slightly more potent than piracetam.
Oxiracetam is often used on its own, but works best when stacked with a choline source, like Alpha GPC or CDP Choline. It has been reported to improve memory, focus, and to be mildly stimulating.
Like all nootropics, it is not entirely understood how oxiracetam works. It is known that it works like the other racetams by influencing the cholinergic and acetylcholine systems. Oxiracetam has also been shown to stimulate the NDMA and AMPA receptors as well as the cholinergic system and their pathways. This is, at least in part, how oxiracetam exerts its memory-boosting effect.
Benefits of Oxiracetam:
Enhanced Learning Ability
Advanced Technical Thinking
If you are taking the anti-convulsant and mood-stabilizer carbamazepine, you should not take oxiracetam. They are known to interact negatively together. This interaction is not life-threatening, but could cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, and gastrointestinal distress.
The recommended dosage for oxiracetam is between 800-1500 milligrams. You should always start at the low end (800mg) and work your way up as needed.
This is one of the most popular nootropics right now, and this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it. Noopept is one of the most potent and safest nootropics on the market today.
Noopept is chemically similar to nootropics like oxiracetam and piracetam, although it is not technically in the racetam family. It is much more potent than the racetams. Because of this, only a small dose is needed to get amazing results. This is why it is so popular.
In addition to boosting memory, Noopept also increases focus, improves mood, and can reduce anxiety. If you are only looking to improve your memory, then you may be better off using a racetam, like oxiracetam or piracetam. But if you are looking for a powerful, all-around mind-boosting nootropic, then Noopept is a great choice.
Noopept is considered to be, milligram-for-milligram, over 1,000 times more potent than piracetam! Because of this, a much lower dose is needed. Noopept works in a similar way to the racetams. It works on the NDMA and AMPA receptor sites. It has a high affinity for the acetylcholine system and the Ach receptor sites. These factors contribute to the vast array of nootropic benefits that Noopept can provide.
In addition to its ability to work on memory-boosting receptors, Noopept also seems to stimulate selective dopamine receptors (specifically, the D2 and D3 receptor sites), serotonin receptors, and Ach nicotinic receptor sites. These dopamine and serotonin boosting effects are thought to be responsible for Noopept’s anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) and mood-boosting qualities.
Benefits of Noopept:
Better Overall Cognitive Performance
As mentioned earlier, Noopept is extremely potent. Because of this, only a small dose is needed to get amazing results. The recommended dosage for Noopept is between 10-40 milligrams. It is recommended that you start low (10mg) and work your way up, as needed.
Noopept has been shown to be safe in clinical trials. However, because it is so potent, you should never go above the recommended maximum dosage. The symptoms of a Noopept overdose may include headache, insomnia, fatigue, nausea, and gastrointestinal problems.
And there you have the best nootropics for memory. As you can see, racetams are often stacked with choline sources for optimal memory-boosting results. Noopept has powerful memory-boosting properties by itself, but can also be stacked with other nootropics.
Make sure to check out our other entries in the “Best Nootropics” series: