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Nootropics – the Ultimate Solution for Improving Memory and Learning
There are many different benefits to nootropics, but improving learning and memory is one of the most common and well-studied uses of them. In fact, these qualities are almost a prerequisite for a substance to be considered a true nootropic, in the strictest sense of the term. In other words, many of the best nootropics for memory are in fact the best nootropics period.
While there are certain ways of improving memory and learning through things like improved sleep, diet, and behavioral/training methodologies, at the end of the day nootropics and nootropic-like substances are the most promising. Many nootropics now are under investigation to alleviate memory impairments associated with Alzheimer’s, brain injury, and other neurodegenerative conditions, and the current research is very promising.
However, I don’t intend promote nootropics as a cure for people with severe memory impairments caused by neurodegenerative diseases. There is very strong evidence that they can enhance memory and learning in healthy people with equal efficacy, and that will be the focus of this post.
Almost every nootropic on this lists shares an affinity for the acetylcholine system, a key neurotransmitter that regulates attention, memory, and learning.
List of the Best Nootropics For Memory
Uridine is a nootropic that is plays many crucial roles in the brain. Uridine is most commonly supplemented for its unique benefits to brain health and cognition, and is often considered a top player among memory enhancing nootropics.
Uridine can improve many aspects of learning, memory and cognition – including spatial short term memory, recognition, recall, attention, and executive function.
Citicoline is one of the most effective nootropics at improving memory due to its ability to effectively raise levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter responsible for memory, learning, and attention, and as such is a common target for memory-enhancing nootropics.
Citicoline has many unique properties that truly establish it as one of the best all-around cognitive enhancers, including the ability to upregulate dopamine and norepinephrine with chronic use.
Alpha-GPC is a naturally-occuring nutrient that has considerable nootropic actions when supplemented. Alpha-GPC is hands down the most effective nootropic at delivering acetylcholine to the brain, and does so with a relatively small dose.
Alpha-GPC is a fairly new contender in the nootropics market but it has immense potential as as memory-enhancing nootropic.
Acetylcarnitine, commonly referred to as ALCAR, is an incredible nootropic that offers many benefits. ALCAR provides potent neuroprotection against free radicals, oxidative stress, and even alcohol, and as such is commonly used to prevent cognitive decline and promote healthy aging and longevity.
ALCAR is also able to provide the brain with acetylcholine, and is a cheaper alternative to alpha-gpc and citicoline. Overall, ALCAR is an excellent nootropic for general cognition enhancement and memory.
Huperzine-A is a naturally occurring plant alkaloid that also used to raise levels of acetylcholine.
Huperzine-A is unique for having a long-half life and for promoting neurogenesis – the formation of new nerve cells in the brain. This ability of huperzine-a sets it from the other nootropics on this list and is quite a powerful nootropic that should be used with care.
Bacopa is one of the most effective herbal nootropic for memory and it is commonly used for such purposes.
Piracetam is considered by many to be the “Godfather” of nootropic substances, and is one of the oldest ones around. Piracetam is the first racetam, a class of nootropics that boost memory, learning, and brain power.
It primarily works by modulating glutamate and increasing acetylcholine usage in the brain. As such, it pairs well with acetylcholine-boosting nootropics, and has specific studies have shown a synegerstic effect between piracetam and citicoline.
Pramiracetam is a more “advanced” racetam that is newer than piracetam.
While pramiracetam does share many similarities with other piracetam and other racetams, it’s most well-known for its effectiveness in long-term memory storage and retrieval.
Interestingly, it seems to have a negligable effect on mood. As such, pramiracetam is a popular nootropic for people who are looking to specifically enhance cognition and memory without unpredictable changes in behavior.