The Making of a Memory Champion with Bacopa Monnieri & Lion’s mane

There are few individuals who can memorize 99 faces and names, two decks of shuffled playing cards, or a sequence of 1,000 random digits in a matter of minutes. Chester Santos, the 2008 USA National Memory Champion, hopes to successfully complete these memory challenges, among others, when he defends his title at the USA National Memory Championship in New York on Saturday, March 7.

Now in its 12th year, the USA National Memory Championship is a tournament of challenges created to test the limit of memory. Co-founder Tony Dottino created the competition to increase awareness of the fact that a brain, similar to a muscle, gets stronger when given proper training, regardless of age.

For more than seven years, Santos has competed at the highest levels of competitive memory by training his brain to extraordinary heights. Secrets to Santos’ success include taking vitamins and supplements daily and spending at least two to three hours per day completing memory enhancing exercises, such as memorizing decks of playing cards, poems and random sequences of spoken words.

“I strongly believe that taking the right vitamins and supplements, coupled with the proper mental training, can help to dramatically improve memory. It’s what I’ve done for years to help me achieve greatness in the field of competitive memory,” says Santos. “Every day, I take a fish oil supplement for the omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to improve brain function, a B complex vitamin for concentration and Bacopa Monnieri, Lion’s mane. Here, I review some of the best supplements.

Memory enhancing supplements contain various nootropic ingredients that can help improve memory, focus, motivation, productivity, and overall cognitive function. They may also help long-term brain health by protecting against age-related cognitive decline.

Since memory enhancing effects of ingredients like Bacopa, Lion’s Mane count on the brain to physically develop stronger memory pathways, the memory benefits may take about 4-6 weeks to build up. It’s a good idea to purchase 2-3 months supply.

Do memory enhancement pills Work?

Yes and no! While some of the natural ingredients in these smart nootropics are beneficial, like Bacopa monnieri and Lion’s mane etc. (on which majority of clinical studies have been done), results may still vary from individual to individual.

Why are ingredients in memory pills important?

If you are interested in improving your memory & cognitive function and are considering using memory pills or supplements, it is important to understand what ingredients they are using. As reported by Consumer Reports and Nutraingredients USA etc, there are still products out there that don’t help much. More people may be using memory enhancing supplements, but the public is still behind the curve as far as being educated consumers who understand the products and their capabilities.

Besides, memory pills come in all sorts of combinations, but there are some key ingredients that any company that produces pills for improving memory or brain function should include for maximum efficiency.

However, consumers should also be wary of overhyped, exotic ingredients like synthetic copy of the jellyfish protein called apoaequorin, developed in labs, whose effectiveness & safety profile is still questionable.

We have researched these products and carefully selected the following as having the most potential in the market.

Best otc memory enhancing pills & supplements reviews

1). Mind Lab Pro

Review: For those that are looking for something to help improve short and long-term memory, as well as most effective overall brain enhancement, Mind Lab Pro is one of the best brain supplements for you.

The ingredients in Mind Lab Pro work at –

Mind Lab Pro is also being made use of by & suggested for students, investment bankers, potential traders, stock market professionals, sports athletes, fitness & bodybuilders enthusiasts and more.


Citicoline – Cognizin®, a highly effective, enhanced and patented form of citicoline, a non-prescription nootropic.

Tyrosine – super swift memory recall, even under stressful situations making it a vital part of one of a kind nootropic formula in several natural memory boosters.

Lion’s mane – A unique clinically studied mushroom that supports brain health, Lion’s Mane supplies active nootropics called hericenones and erinacines.

Phosphatidylserine (PS) – performs a vital role to maintain good cellular function in the brain, may increase attention, language skills and remembrance, even in older people with decreasing cognitive abilities.

Synapsa (Bacopa Monnieri extract) – A fundamental element of traditional Indian medicine & Ayurveda, Brahmi(water hyssop) or Bacopa Monnieri boosts intelligence and memory. Indian students would drink tea with bacopa leaves that would help them recollect massive amounts of information with superhuman recall.

Other ingredients: Vitamins B6, B9, B12, L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, Maritime pine bark extract, omega 3 & other nutrients. Can be stacked with their Omega-3 fatty acids supplement (DHA + EPA). Read more on Vitamins for memory.

2). Brain Pill

Review: Brain Pill is one of the most comprehensive memory boosters on the market right now for adults that comes with an impressive blend of effective, potent nootropics. One of the rare products to combine Bacopa Monnieri with Huperzine A (which may possibly enhance memory and safeguard nerve cells, may has shown potential in reducing cognitive decline connected to Alzheimer’s as well as enhance growth hormone levels).

Brain Pill elevates focus, memory function, boosts learning capacity, mental clarity, cuts down stress, stimulates neurogenesis, and defends the brain from oxidative stress.


Synapsa: This Bacopa monnieri extract helps improve the brain’s ability to process information & verbal recall & may help with age-related memory loss. Read real life experiences of people using Bacopa for memory.

Cognizin: A derivative of citicoline, Cognizin is among the most effective natural brain booster. It raises the levels of dopamine, noradrenaline and acetylcholine neurotransmitters resulting in more focus, improved memory and the ability to respond faster.

Phosphatidylserine: Phosphatidylserine is a chemical that plays a key role in maintaining cellular function in the brain. PS is proven to improve attention, language skills and memory… even in older folks with declining cognitive abilities including this attention and focus enhancer in their unique nootropic blend.

Vinpocetine: Vinpocetine increases blood flow to the brain… improving memory and thinking skills.

Huperzine A

One of the most powerful anti-aging, brain boosting nootropic is this memory-enhancing ingredient Huperzine A which is clinically tested comprehensively to enhance memory, even for people with memory problems.

Ginkgo Biloba– to enhance mental performance and give a boost to focusing capability by strengthening neurotransmitter function and blood flow to the brain.

3). Fungi Perfecti Host Defense Lions mane pills

Review: “Lion’s Mane” is a true nootropic given it permanently enhances cognition by strengthening the brain’s ability to alter itself structurally. Host Defense Lion’s Mane Capsules use activated, freeze-dried, Certified Organic Lion’s Mane mycelium mushroom (Hericium erinaceus, Yamabushitake), best for providing support to the brain and nervous system, with a full spectrum of ingredients: polysaccharides (beta glucans, arabinoxylane, glucose, xylose, galactose and mannose), glycoproteins, ergosterols, triterpenoids and other myco-nutrients, that may help mental clarity, focus, memory, cerebral and nervous system support, immune system health, cognitive function.


  • Contains a very generous serving of Lion’s Mane, clinically studied for its effects on NGF (Nerve Growth Factor)
  • SAFE, SMART MUSHROOMS – Side effects free memory pills
  • CONVENIENT, ONE-A-DAY daily source of mushroom mycelium
  • Some users report mental sharpness, increased concentration and memory


  • Relies on single ingredient for brain health and memory
  • Other nootropics stack lion’s mane with other memory boosters
  • Expensive for just a lion’s mane supplement

Comprehensive research has found that lion’s mane may slow up the risk of developing dementia, lower mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, and help restore nerve damage and is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting and has been featured on shows like Paul Stamets, Joe Rogan, Dr. Oz etc.

4). Stonehenge Health Dynamic Brain supplement

Review: Stonehenge Health Dynamic Brain is a uniquely engineered memory pill designed to help support memory, concentration levels, focus, and verbal recall. The product is formulated with 40 unique nootropic ingredients Including Phosphatidylserine, Bacopa Monnieri, and Huperzine A, Phosphatidylserine, Bacopin, Dimethylethanolamine (DMAE) etc.


Bacopa Extract, Phosphatidylserine Serine 20%, Huperzine A, Choline (bitartrate), DMAE Bitartrate (Dimethylaminoethanol), L Glutamine, DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) 14%, Green Tea Extract, Gaba (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid), Glutamic Acid, Grape Seed Extract, Grape Fruit Seed Extract, Inositol, Bilberry Fruit Extract, Olive Leaf, Cinnamon Bark Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Boron (Citrate), Vanadyl Sulfate 19%, Vitamins A, C, D, E, D1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Folic Acid Pure, Biotin 1%, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Potassium, Vegetable Capsule


  • All-natural ingredients contain no harmful chemical substances.
  • The ingredients have been shown to support positive brain health.
  • Formulated at a cGMP & FDA regulated facility so you can be assured of its credentials.


  • Mixed user reviews- negative Dynamic Brain reviews suggest that the product doesn’t work.
  • Main nootropic ingredients are hidden behind a proprietary blend, making it difficult to know their exact quantities.


5). Onnit Alpha Brain

Review: Onnit Alpha Brain is a dietary nootropic supplement scientifically proven to enhance executive functions noticeably. It has three blends known as the Onnit Fuel Blend, Onnit Flow Blend, and the Onnit Focus Blend. These three combinations are designed to target different phases for optimal cognitive function. Alpha Brain is crafted with earth-grown nutrients like Bacopa, Cat’s Claw, Oat Straw, and Huperzia Serrata etc.


Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine HCl), L-Tyrosine, Oat (straw) Extract, Phosphatidylserine, Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) (bark) Extract, L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC), Bacopa (aerial parts) Extract, Huperzia serrata (aerial parts) Extract, L-Leucine, Pterostilbene, Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water), Silica


  • For those who don’t experience side effects, the product can do wonders
  • Excellent product for ADHD
  • Good ingredients profile
  • Clinically studied product


  • Several users have complained about intense side effects like Stomach ache, Nausea, anxiety and vomiting
  • Expensive

6). Bacognize Bacopa extract

Review: Bacognize Bacopa monnieri is produced via a special system which maintains the organic natural spectrum of the herb. It has good amounts of Serotonin-Active Bacopa Glycosides (SABG) and Bacosides – both fundamental parts of Bacopa’s cognition enhancing effects. As compared to other Bacopa extract products, Bacognize is especially robust as an organically grown supplement due to the high amount of SABG. The SABG enhances the activity of Tryptophan Hydroxylase, an enzyme that manages the production of Serotonin from the food we eat and they can induce the Serotonin 5-HT1a receptor, a receptor which when activated can significantly decrease feelings of stress.

The memory increasing effects of Bacopa pills are somewhat more complex and seem to work via various different mechanisms – like increased neuroplasticity in conjunction with upregulation of Acetylcholine signaling.


  • Supports Stress Management + Promotes Relaxation
  • Elevates Cognition + Boosts Memory and Focus
  • Has undergone randomized, placebo controlled, crossover human trial showing considerable improvements in cognitive function, including memory, focus and attention
  • Manufactured in Verdure Sciences’ hands-free, botanicals-only, ISO-certified, NSF GMP-registered facility
  • Several positive user reviews, being used as modafinil alternative


  • Relies on a single ingredient for memory ie. compounds from Bacopa monnieri
  • Expensive for just a Bacopa monnieri supplement

7). Zhou Neuro Peak Brain Support supplement

Review: Neuro-Peak from Zhou Nutririon is a popular nootropic pill designed to help support memory and cognition. The unique blend of ingredients supports oxygen and circulation brain cells, and neurons. ZHOU’s Neuro-Peak claims to provide the benefits of several ‘brain pills’ in a single, once-daily supplement.


Vitamin B-12, Bacopa Monnieri, Phosphatidylserine, Ginkgo Biloba, Rhodiola Rosea Extract, DMAE. Other Ingredients: Gelatin (Capsule), Rice Flour, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate, Silica.


  • Good ingredients profile
  • Considered safest & mostly side effects free formulation for most consumers
  • Several positive user reviews
  • Inexpensive


  • Some ingredients seem underdosed, eg. just 7mg of phosphatidylserine
  • Doesn’t have more powerful cholinergic ingredients like CDP choline or Alpha-GPC

8). Force factor forebrain

Review: The scientists at Force Factor meticulously developed the three proprietary blends in Forebrain to assist you with your mental edge. Carefully chosen premium ingredients in the MemorySafe, ThinkUp Advanced, and BioBrain+ blends get the job done in synergy along with COGNIGRAPE, a Sicilian red grape extract to deliver clearer thinking, sharper memory, and better information processing. Forebrain pills are safe and may deliver a real cognitive performance boost.


MemorySafe®: Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) Extract (whole plant)(std. to 50% Bacosides), COGNIGRAPE® Grape (Vitis vinifera) Extract (fruit)(Anthocyanins and Proanthocyanidins). ThinkUp Advanced®: zümXR® Extended Release Caffeine, Thinkamine Vincamine, Thoothed Clubmoss (Huperzia serrata)(aerial parts)(Huperzine A). BioBrain+® BioPerine® Black Pepper Fruit Extract. Other Ingredients: Gelatin, Magnesium Stearate, Micocrystalline Cellulose, Silicon Dioxide, Titanium Dioxide


  • Good variety of nootropic ingredients
  • Also carries children’s products
  • Reliable and inexpensive formula
  • Positive user reviews


  • Uses a proprietary blend and ingredients seem underdosed
  • Long-term safety of a few elements in the product has not been examined
  • May need cycling or stacking

9). Genius mushroom

Review: Genius Mushrooms is a mix of 3 types of mushrooms in a brain supplement & memory pill that have scientific evidence for boosting immunity, cognition, energy, motivation and physical performance. The 3 different kinds of mushrooms in Genius Mushrooms are Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and Reishi. Overall Genius Mushrooms is an excellent mushroom stack yet it is essentially similar to every other mushroom stack out there. Users of Genius Mushrooms may gain from better memory and body’s immune system function, increased neurogenesis (the growth and expansion of neurons) with long-term use.


  • Genius Brand otc supplement is completely organic, non-GMO, and harvested in the USA.
  • Good combination of 3 powerful smart mushrooms
  • Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is termed as “the mushroom of immortality” for its support of the immune system, better sleep quality and minimizing stress by supporting calmness via GABAergic effects.
  • Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) energizes Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) production, neural reconstruction and myelin nerve sheath synthesis helping new learning, concepts, thoughts and memories
  • Cordyceps enhances dopaminergic system and oxygen capacity and oxygen usage, thus strengthening cardiovascular function, raising exercise capacity, improving energy, and lowering fatigue.


  • No quick, immediate effects or dramatic improved focus, learning, clarity, or mood.
  • Some users have reported serious side effects

10). Neuriva Brain Performance Plus

Review: Neuriva brain performance plus is a nootropic dietary supplement produced by a notable company called Schiff Vitamins and specifically formulated to enhance mental performance, cognizance, aid neuron health, and improve learning capacities. There’s been a considerable amount of research on its two active ingredients coffee cherry extract (a natural nootropic) as well as phosphatidylserine otherwise called PS.


  • Coffee cherry
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Vitamin B6, B12
  • Folic acid


  • Clinically studied ingredients like Coffee cherry and PS
  • Neurofactor, a potent extract is a whole fruit extract originating from the Coffea Arabica plant which can potentially increase BDNF levels.
  • Neuriva is GMO-Free, Vegetarian, and Decaffeinated.


  • Despite being endorsed by celebs like Mayim Bialik, solid medical evidence proving that this product will support brain performance like focus, memory, learning, accuracy, concentration, and reasoning is not there!
  • Many negative user reviews on Neuriva
  • There are better products in the marketplace with more comprehensive ingredients profile.
  • No moneyback guarantee

11). Four Sigmatic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Elixir, Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder

Review: Four Sigmatic’s Lion’s Mane Mushroom Elixir is a morning coffee alternative and nootropic, an umbrella term for a category of products that may produce a potential boost to the mental abilities of the human brain. People are looking for unique supplements to support productivity, memory & focus and Lion’s Mane does kickstart productivity comprehensively. Four Sigmatic Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder with Rhodiola & Rose Hips helps attention, focus, memory recall etc.

Ingredients – Organic Lion’s Mane, Organic Rhodiola , Organic Rose Hips, Organic Mint


  • Good variety of ingredients
  • Positive user reviews
  • Affordable price


  • Some users complain of mysterious side effects
  • Results can be mixed

12). Cognimax

Review: CogniMax is an over-the-counter brain & memory supplement manufactured by company Youthful Health to assist cognitive abilities through promoting better concentration, learning, and enhancing overall mood. This supplement is made up of ingredients that are meticulously chosen to enhance brain health.

CogniMax can be taken by both genders and various people with varying age brackets. The producer of CogniMax claims that the product is very successful in enhancing mood, learning concentration, alertness, memory, brain energy, and focus.


  • CogniMax’s diverse ingredients may increase memory, focus, and mental alertness
  • May also help manage depression and anxiety
  • May protect against neurotoxins


  • The company that manufactures CogniMax isn’t well known.
  • The website has limited information about the product.
  • Not many user reviews are available
  • The supplement hasn’t gone through clinical trials.

13). Geehii brain pills

Review: GeeHii Brain is a popular memory pill & brain function boosting supplement crafted from all-natural ingredients. GeeHii Brain pills feature nootropic substances that help enhance cognitive and memory function, thereby assisting you to adjust to the demands of a modern lifestyle.

Ingredients: L-theanine, Bacopa Monnieri, Ginkgo Biloba, GABA, Omega 3, Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, Vinpocetine, L-Tyrosine, Phosphatidylserine, Caffeine


  • Good ingredients profile


  • Not many real user reviews available
  • Company behind the product is not well known

14). Sane Vitaae

Review: Vitaae is a cognitive supplement manufactured by SANE, a nutritional supplement company recognised for its nutritional supplements, SANE diet program, and other products.

SANE claims that by consuming three capsules of Vitaae daily, you can improve brain energy utilization by 13.6%, increase membrane turnover by 26%, and improve mental clarity, among other benefits.

Ingredients: Folate, L-Carnitine, Cognizin Citicoline, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Fish oil (with EPA and DHA fatty acids), Gymnemic acid, Gymnema Sylvestre leaf extract.


  • Good quality ingredients
  • Contains superior patented folate Magnafolate
  • Contains more bioavailable Microactive CoQ10


  • Misses out on some powerful memory boosting nootropics
  • Not many user reviews are available
  • Gymnema Sylvestre is not a nootropic
  • TINY dose of DHA from processed fish oil

15). Prevagen

Review: Prevagen is an over-the-counter memory support supplement from the company Quincy Bioscience launched in 2007 available on Amazon, CVS, Walgreens etc. It is designed to support your cell’s ability to make more energy and upregulating NAD+ and ATP while supporting dozens of other processes and pathways within the brain and body. Apoaequorin is the active ingredient in Prevagen, a modified variant of protein found in jellyfish.

Ingredients – Apoaequorin from jellyfish, Vitamin D, microcrystalline cellulose, vegetable capsule (cellulose, water), and maltodextrin


  • Some positive user reviews
  • Doesn’t use a proprietary blend


  • Misses out on other strong memory boosting ingredients like Bacopa Monnieri, Phosphatidylserine
  • Very few preliminary studies support Apoaequorin products use for the brain, enhancing BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), supporting Neuron & Synaptic Function
  • Some experts believe this supplement has a lot of marketing hype, questioning its effectiveness & safety

16). Limitless Noootropic Pill Brain Booster

Review: LIMITLESS Neuro NZT nootropic pill is a popular memory enhancer sold on and formulated with pure and potent ingredients including an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fruit extracts with essential fatty acids to boost general health and agility.

Ingredients – Proprietary blend in nzt-48 limitless pill has DMAE Bitartrate, L Glutamine, Glutamic acid , Bacopa extract, green tea extract, choline, inositol, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, Bilberry fruit extract, GABA, grape fruit extract, olive extract, cinnamon bark, licorice root, DHA, Phosphatidylserine, Huperzine A, Vitamins, Copper, Magnesium, Iron, Biotin, Zinc and Folic Acid.


  • Good diversity of nootropic ingredients for memory support
  • Contains good range of vitamins & minerals
  • Some positive user reviews
  • Inexpensive


  • The major nootropic ingredients are hidden behind a proprietary blend
  • Ingredients seem underdosed
  • Company behind the product is not well known

17). Nature’s Bounty Brain Focus

Review: Nature’s Bounty Brain Focus is chewable brain & memory supplement tablets that are fast acting and Caffeine Free with Cognizin Citicoline and L-Theanine, CoolMelt Chewable Tablets.

Ingredients: Cognizen Citicoline (250mg), L-Theanine (200mg), Other Ingredients: Xylitol, Erythritol, Isomalt. Contains <2% of: Natural Flavors, Silica, Spirulina Extract (Color), Stevia, Turmeric (Color), Vegetable Cellulose, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate.


  • Quality ingredients
  • Come in matcha lemonade flavor
  • Inexpensive
  • Non-GMO, suitable for vegetarians, and 100% drug free
  • Well known company


  • Misses out on other powerful memory boosting ingredients
  • Very mixed reviews – works for some people while doesn’t for others

18). Procera AVH Advanced Brain

Review: Procera AVH is a nonprescription herbal memory booster. Its manufacturers claim that it helps its users by boosting cognitive attributes of the brain and is effective in maximizing concentration, performance, and mental clarity. Procera seems to be turning out to be well known leader in Cognitive Health with several nootropic supplements like Procera AVH, Advanced brain, XTF extreme focus etc. available on Walmart, GNC etc.

Procera AVH ingredients: Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Vinpocetine, Huperzine A


  • Quality ingredients
  • Some positive user reviews


  • Contains only 3 main nootropic ingredients
  • The company is relatively new & not BBB Accredited
  • Not many user reviews are available and reviews seem to be mixed
  • Expensive

19). Promind Complex

Review: Promind Complex is a Science-based nootropic formulation & memory pill developed by some of the top scientists, MDs, and Ph.Ds. designed and tested to meet the highest standards of supreme cognitive function and alternative to Adderall.

Ingredients: Vinpocetine, Huperzine A, Ginkgo Biloba, Acetyl-L-carnitine, Phosphatidylserine, St. John’s Wort, Bacopa Monnieri, Tyrosine


  • High quality & good diversity of ingredients
  • Manufactured in FDA-inspected facility with certified good manufacturing practices
  • Developed by experts – Dr Jack Lane, Carl Henderson


  • Higher priced than other similar products
  • Doesn’t contain Lions Mane
  • Not many user reviews are available

20). Advanced Bionutritionals Advanced Memory Formula

Review: Advanced Memory Formula bacopa pills are designed to increase the protein nerve growth factor (NGF) production, repair neurons, help age-related memory loss and mental decline. It also boosts blood flow to the brain, allowing for better brain health, faster thinking, and increased alertness, among other benefits.


Calcium, Phosphorus, Ginkgo Biloba, Phosphatidylserine Complex, Alpha-GPC, Acetyl-L-carnitine, Vinpocetine, Bacopa monniera, Blueberry extract, Luteolin, Lecithin, Neurofactor from coffea arabica


  • High quality & diverse ingredients
  • Mostly positive user reviews especially from older people


  • Contains shellfish (shrimp, sardines, crab, lobster, etc) making potential allergies a risk
  • Expensive

Other memory products with potential:

  • Memotenz (Ginkgo Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Glutamine, Phosphatidylserine, Bacopa Monnieri, Acetyl-L-Carnitine)
  • Mushroom wisom Amyloban 3399 ( a modern Lion’s mane mushroom extract based on Japanese patent 394,3399 specifically helping against Amyloid – a protein that builds up in the nerve’s cells in brain due to aging & some positive reviews from seniors and those with conditions like parkinsons’ disease, alzheimer’s, dementia)
  • Provasil
  • Redimind
  • Real mushrooms lions mane
  • Mushroom Wisdom Super Lion’s Mane