We’re all going to forget something at some point. It’s all normal, no need to panic. Being forgetful is not necessarily a sign that you’re on the cusp of some memory-impairing illness like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Not unless, of course, your forgetfulness becomes more persistent and your quality of life suffers! If so, book an appointment with your doctor right away.
That said, our list of the best nootropics and memory supplements may help give your memory and recall abilities a boost!
What are memory supplements? Do they really exist?
Well, the answer is both yes and no. There is NO single pill that will give you instant sharpness, focus, power, or memory. However, YES, certain nutrients can enhance cognitive abilities.
Before we define what memory supplements are, we first need to understand how our brains work. So, for our brains to work properly, we need good nutrition from the foods we eat. According to the European Food Safety Authority, these nutrients contribute to the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system (1):
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
P-5-P (Vitamin B6)
Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Ideally, we’d get all these nutrients from a healthy diet. Studies have shown there is a connection between poor diet and poor memory (3). But of course, a lot of people would rather eat junk food than healthy food. In fact, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults eat fast food daily. Similar statistics were found for children and adolescents, too (3).
This is where memory supplements can come in handy. Memory supplements, also known as nootropics or cognitive enhancers, are formulated to help fill nutrient gaps in your diet. Taking these pills help ensure good brain health, so it continues to stay sharp. And your overall brain function remains at optimal levels.
Related article: What are nootropics?
Do we need memory supplements?
Memory is an essential cognitive function. Without it, we’d be like Guy Pearce in the movie Memento or Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates. If you’ve watched either movie, you’d know they had different types of amnesia… But the point is that memory loss of any type is not something anyone should ever have to go through.
There are so many advantages associated with having an excellent memory. Here are some of them:
- It can help you succeed in school, work, relationships, and basically, all aspects of everyday life.
- It will boost your productivity and performance, giving you greater self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Having great memory can help keep anxiety, depression, and fear of the unknown at bay.
So, will taking memory pills give you crystal clear memory? Will all your forgotten memories come rushing back in an instant? Of course not! Memory pills and nootropic products aren’t magical in nature. No pill – synthetic or natural – can restore memory that well.
Who can benefit from memory supplements?
Memory supplements aren’t meant for people with advanced memory problems. This includes people diagnosed with amnesia, dementia, Alzheimer’s or something similarly advanced. But if you’re healthy and can benefit from clearer thinking, then consider taking a nootropic.
The best nootropics will help you improve your overall productivity in your day-to-day activities. So, now, you’re probably asking what is the best supplement to improve memory? Well, there are quite a few… scroll down for our recommendations!
What are the best nootropics for memory?
Here are several examples of the best nootropic supplements currently available in the market:
|Omega-3 fatty acids||Phosphatidylserine||Ginkgo biloba|
|Magnesium||Lion’s mane mushroom||B-complex vitamins|
1) Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3’s numerous health benefits extend to memory, learning, and cognitive support.
Here are the findings from a few studies:
- One study reported that people with higher levels of omega-3 had higher cerebral blood flow in certain areas of the brain (4).
- Older people who took 900mg of omega-3 for 24 weeks scored better on a memory test than the placebo group (5).
- Even younger people (aged 18-25) who took fish oil supplements for 6 months showed significant improvements in working memory (6).
Our Ultra Pure Omega-3 supplement is made of superior triglyceride fish oil. Each serving contains 2,250mg of omega-3 fatty acids in the clinically studied 3:2 EPA:DHA ratio
Magnesium is a vital nutrient that’s involved in hundreds of processes in the human body. A deficiency can lead to a bunch of health problems, including brain fog and memory issues.
Magnesium-L-Threonate is the best nootropic in this category. It’s the only form of magnesium that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Studies also show it may help improve brain function. This includes short and long-term memory as well as learning abilities (7).
Magnesium L-Threonate is an ingredient in our MagEnhance Triple Magnesium Complex. The other forms of body-ready magnesium in MagEnhance are Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Taurate.
Fans of curry dishes, rejoice! Researchers have found that curcumin – the compound that gives curry its color – can help improve memory and attention in healthy, non-demented adults.
In one study, 40 adults, aged 51 to 84 years, were divided into two groups. They were given either placebo or curcumin for 18 months. The curcumin group showed decreases in amyloid and tau accumulation in regions of the brain which control memory and emotional functions. This led to improved attention, and verbal and visual memory in the subjects (8).
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid found in high concentrations in the brain’s cell walls (9).
Studies show that PS can help improve mild cognitive impairment in older adults. For example, in one study the subjects were 50-69 years old. Those with low memory scores showed remarkable improvement after taking PS for 6 months (10). This makes PS one of the best natural nootropics there is!
To help supercharge your brain, we use only the purest PS from soy-free sunflower lecithin in our Phosphatidylserine supplement.
5) Lion’s mane mushroom
To date, only a small number of studies have looked into the effects of this mushroom on humans. But so far, animal studies have been very promising. And it may be able to help us with its memory and cognition-enhancing potential (11, 12).
One of these human studies reported that lion’s mane mushrooms helped improve concentration, anxiety, and depression in female subjects (13).
Another study found that it helped improve mild cognitive impairment in older Japanese subjects. However, the mushroom must be taken continuously for the cognitive benefits to continue (14).
For optimal benefits, we only use 100% fruiting bodies in our Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract supplement. Every capsule is also standardized to contain a minimum of 25% beta glucans.
Ashwagandha is a staple in Ayurveda and indigenous medicine. Its purported benefits include cognitive and memory enhancement. A few studies support this claim.
In one study, subjects who took 300mg of ashwagandha 2x daily had significant improvements in their memory, attention, and information processing speed (15).
Another study reported that this herb helped improve psychomotor and cognitive performance in healthy male volunteers (16).
Ashwagandha is one of the ingredients in our all-natural nootropic stack, Seneca Nootropic Complex.
7) Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba has been a star in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. However, the jury’s still out on Ginkgo’s effects on memory and cognitive enhancement. But a few small studies do show some favorable results.
For example, an 8-month study on men aged 60-70 showed that ginkgo extracts helped improve cognitive performance and reduced blood viscosity. Higher blood viscosity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions (17).
Ginkgo Biloba is another ingredient in our Seneca Nootropic Complex!
8) B-complex vitamins (B6, B9, B12)
B-complex vitamins are essential to many biological functions. But when it comes to memory and cognitive boosting properties, vitamins B6, B9, and B12 reign supreme.
Researchers think it’s because these 3 vitamins help with homocysteine metabolism (1). High homocysteine levels is said to be an early marker for cognitive impairment, especially in the elderly (18). This can lead to decline in memory, learning, and other cognitive abilities (19).
Seneca Nootropic Complex also contains several of the B-complex vitamins, including B6, B9, and B12.
9) Reishi mushroom
Depending on where you’re from, you probably know this mushroom by another name. It’s known as reishi in Japan and lingzhi in China. In the scientific community, it’s known as Ganoderma lucidum.
Reishi’s health benefits may be due to its antioxidant, antitumor, and antimicrobial properties (20). This mushroom may help improve memory and recall in subjects with declining cognitive function (21).
Also, one study reports it may help reduce fatigue, anxiety, and depression. It may also help improve the overall quality of life (22).
And the best nootropic for memory is…
Well, there really isn’t a single best nootropic for memory. Or any other cognitive ability you want to boost. But you can’t go wrong with any of the nootropics we’ve shared above. Any of these may enhance your memory and recall abilities.
When you’re ready to level up your nootropic experience with a pre-made stack, check out Seneca Nootropic complex. Seneca combines 18 research-backed nootropics in one capsule. It includes the all-important B-vitamin complex, lion’s mane mushroom, ashwagandha, and ginkgo biloba.