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Nootropics for Motivation

Nootropics for Motivation

Struggling with mental fatigue and brain fog can be frustrating and demotivating. However, in recent years, nootropics have become more and more acclaimed for their ability to boost your motivation and energy levels while improving cognitive performance. 

There are dozens of nootropic supplements out there, and it can sometimes be difficult to separate the legit from the scam. This article covers the science behind nootropics, and what the best supplements on the market are. 

Comparison Table

Product Number of Ingredients Daily Dosage Capsules Per Bottle Price FDA Status
Mind Lab Pro 11 Two capsules 60 $69.00 Not approved
NooCube 7 Two to four capsules 60 $59.99 Not approved
Performance Lab Nootropics 4 One to two capsules 30 $69.00 Not approved
Qualia Mind 28 Seven capsules 154 $139.00 Not approved
BrainPill 13 Two capsules 60 $79.95 Not approved
Alpha Brain 11 Two capsules 60 $34.95 Not approved


Quick Verdict: Best Nootropics for Motivation

  • Best Overall – Mind Lab Pro – Mind Lab Pro is an affordable, high-quality nootropic with research-backed ingredients and no additives or stimulants.
  • Best Unique Ingredient Nootropic – NooCube – NooCube contains ingredients like oat straw and pterostilbene that aren’t present in many other nootropic supplements.
  • Best Core Nootropic Supplement – Performance Lab Nootropics – With only four ingredients, Performance Lab Nootropics focuses on providing a focused, high-quality dose of nootropic supplementation while remaining affordable.
  • Best Premium Nootropic – Qualia Mind – With 28 ingredients, Qualia Mind is a more expensive, premium brand of nootropic supplement.
  • Best Nootropic for Motivation and Memory – BrainPill – BrainPill is not only marketed for motivation, but its ingredients can also help improve memory and cognitive function.
  • Most Well-Known Nootropic – Alpha Brain – Endorsed by Joe Rogan, Alpha Brain is one of the most popular nootropics on the market today.

Dopamine, Nootropics, Motivation — What’s the Connection?

Dopamine is essential to maintain brain function and stimulate the parts of your brain responsible for motivation. 

Nootropics, also known as brain chemicals or cognitive enhancers, refer to any type of drug or chemical compound that positively affects your brain. In most cases, the name refers to supplements or drugs that cause an increase in dopamine levels, either directly or indirectly. 

Besides motivation and mental vigor, nootropics can be used for various other functions, most prominently to improve memory. For more information on nootropics for memory, check out our complete article on the subject.

How Nootropics Affect Dopamine Levels

Nootropics improve motivation by boosting dopamine production and the neurotransmitter’s action on your brain’s dopamine receptors. Once a nootropic enters your bloodstream, it stimulates dopamine neurons and a dopamine release [1]

Taking nootropics can boost your dopamine levels, which could help enhance motivation, increase mental activity, and boost your energy and mood.

What Is Dopamine?

Dopamine is a brain chemical, also known as a motivation neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters carry messages between your brain cells and can affect various bodily functions, including [2]

  • Movement.
  • Learning.
  • Memory.
  • Cognitive function and control, especially in the prefrontal cortex.
  • Emotional responses.

Dopamine is made of two amino acids: tyrosine and phenylalanine. As a result of its involvement in emotion and cognitive processing, for motivation, dopamine release can significantly boost the systems involved with motivating you to work, study, or be creative.

Dopamine and the Reward Pathway

Your body’s reward pathway refers to some areas of your brain involved in memory, emotion, and behavior that plays a role in our perceived pleasure or enjoyment of doing something or obtaining a goal by completing a task [3].

Part of this reward pathway or system is the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. This connects the part of your brain responsible for dopamine production and raising dopamine levels, known as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), to the part of your brain that is associated with motivation, pleasure, and rewards, the nucleus accumbens [3]

Dopamine receptors are stimulated mainly by G-proteins in response to the anticipation of an activity or task that previously triggered the activation of your reward pathway and the release of dopamine by the dopamine neurons. 

These chemical pathways in our bodies can be activated by a range of activities, including: 

  • Sex [4].
  • Eating food you enjoy.
  • Listening to music [5].
  • Spending time in the sunlight [6].

Glutamate is another amino acid and neurotransmitter that can be released due to glutamatergic reward input that activates your body’s glutamate receptors [7]

Glutamate creates nerve cell excitation and is often co-released alongside dopamine. The neurotransmitter will also stimulate glutamate AMPA receptors and metabotropic glutamate receptors to synthesize the proteins required for neural axons (nerve endings) to reach their targets in the brain [8] [9].

Signs of Dopamine Deficiency 

If your body’s dopamine release system is impaired or its overall dopamine levels drop too low, you may experience various adverse symptoms, including:

  • Mental fatigue.
  • Muscle cramps, aches, and spasms.
  • Constipation.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Reduced energy levels.
  • Mood swings.
  • Loss of motivation.
  • Constant fatigue.
  • Anxiety.
  • Low libido.
  • Feelings of guilt.

A dopamine deficiency can also add to the factors that lead to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). People with ADHD may have more dopamine transporters in their bodies, which remove dopamine from the cells it acts on and cut short its effects [10].

Best Nootropics for Motivation

nootropics for motivation

Below are summaries of the best nootropic supplements available to increase your motivation.

1. Mind Lab Pro – Best Overall

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $69.00 for a one-month supply 4/5
Ingredients 11 claimed nootropic ingredients 5/5
Dosage Two capsules a day 5/5
Additives No stimulants, additives, or GMO ingredients. Free from most allergens, including soy, nuts, and wheat 5/5
Side Effects Mild side effects like frequent urination, diarrhea, headache, insomnia, jitters 4/5


  • Completely additive, GMO, and allergen-free ingredients, including the capsules.
  • 60-day money-back guarantee minus shipping costs.
  • Research-backed nootropic ingredients.


  • You need to double your dose to reach clinical dosages of each of the ingredients.

Mind Lab Pro is one of the most widely acclaimed nootropic dietary supplements available. As a self-proclaimed universal nootropic, Mind Lab Pro affects more than just one of your brain’s chemical pathways but aims to achieve whole-brain optimization. 

All Mind Lab Pro ingredients are research-backed and have proven effects on brain function and helping boost motivation. 

As one of the main ingredients, Rhodiola Rosea enhances physical and mental performance [11]

Another ingredient, L-theanine, has been shown in brain research and clinical studies to reduce stress-related symptoms and improve overall cognitive performance after only four weeks [12]. L-theanine may also help enhance feelings of calmness while increasing focus and can benefit people going through stressful exam periods or work pressure.

Bottom Line: 

Mind Lab Pro contains evidence-backed ingredients that can increase motivation and brain performance. However, to achieve the best results, you may need to take double the dose and cycle your use of the supplement for four weeks on and one week off. 

For more in-depth information on the effects of Mind Lab Pro on motivation, check out our Mind Lab Pro review.

2. NooCube – Best Unique Ingredient Nootropic

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $59.99 for a one-month supply with free shipping 4.5/5
Ingredients Seven nootropic ingredients 4.5/5
Dosage Between two and four capsules a day 4/5
Refund Policy Unopened, unused bottles can be returned for a refund within 60 days 2.5/5
Side Effects Mild side effects like frequent urination, stomach ache, dizziness, headache 4/5


  • Natural, research-based ingredients.
  • Less popular ingredients included such as oat straw and pterostilbene.
  • No known negative interactions with other medication.


  • Refunds are only available for unopened bottles

Noocube claims a variety of health benefits, including: 

  • Better blood flow to the brain.
  • Better focus, concentration, and cognitive performance.
  • Improved mood.
  • Increased energy.

Besides also containing L-theanine, NooCube has another amino acid as an ingredient, L-tyrosine. N-acetyl L-tyrosine may reduce the effects of stress, which could help boost your motivation to participate in activities and continue with your work or studies [13]

L-tyrosine is typically found in green or black tea alongside L-theanine. 

Bottom Line: 

NooCube offers a range of benefits due to its seven nootropic ingredients focused on boosting motivation and mental performance. However, the supplement has a limited return policy for people who find the product doesn’t work as expected. 

For a complete NooCube review, check out our detailed article on the topic. 

3. Performance Lab Nootropics – Best Core Nootropic Supplement

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $69.00 for a one-month supply 4/5
Ingredients Four nootropic ingredients 3/5
Dosage One to two capsules daily 5/5
Additives Stimulant and additive-free 5/5
Side Effects Mild side effects like headache, trouble sleeping, and digestive issues 4/5


  • Stimulant free.
  • 60-day money-back guarantee.
  • Vegan friendly.


  • Limited ingredients.
  • Only available for sale through the official website.

Performance Lab Nootropics contain four active ingredients:

  • Citicoline, shown to increase brain metabolism and boost dopamine levels [14].
  • Phosphatidylserine, which produces a positive effect on mood and cognition [15].
  • L-tyrosine.
  • Maritime pine bark.

Each of these ingredients is aimed to boost motivation and improve mental and cognitive performance. The supplement shares most of its ingredients with Mind Lab Pro and NooCube. 

Compared to Mind Lab Pro and NooCube, however, the cost of a month’s supply is relatively high for a limited range of ingredients.

Bottom Line: 

Performance Lab Nootropics focuses on boosting motivation through enhancing mental energy and performance. Its ingredients are all-natural, although the variety is lacking compared to alternatives. 

For more information about this supplement, read our Performance Lab Nootropics review.

4. Qualia Mind – Best Premium Nootropic

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $139.00 for a 28-day supply 3/5
Ingredients 28 ingredients, including nootropics and supplemental vitamins 5/5
Dosage Seven capsules a day 3/5
Refund Policy 100-day money-back guarantee 5/5
Side Effects Mild side effects like jitters, difficulty sleeping, and headaches 4/5


  • 100-day money-back guarantee.
  • All-natural ingredients.
  • Wide range of beneficial active ingredients.


  • Much pricier than other nootropic supplements.
  • It contains stimulants in the form of caffeine.

Qualia Mind is a nootropic supplement that contains the widest range of active ingredients compared to other dietary supplements on this list. The product claims benefits like improved cognitive performance and better focus. 

One of the key ingredients is Huperzine A, a chemical compound extracted from a Chinese herb. This compound has shown promise in protecting against neuronal death and the negative effects of excitatory neurotransmitters like glutamate [16].

Bottom Line: 

Qualia Mind is a premium nootropic supplement that provides many health benefits and can help increase motivation. However, compared to other nootropic blends, it is expensive and much more tedious to take each day as a daily serving consists of seven capsules.

5. BrainPill – Best Nootropic for Motivation and Memory

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $79.95 for a one-month supply 3.5/5
Ingredients 13 active ingredients including nootropics and vitamins to improve brain function and memory 4.5/5
Dosage Two capsules daily 5/5
Refund Policy 67-day money-back guarantee 4/5
Side Effects Mild side effects including headaches, difficulty sleeping, and diarrhea 4/5


  • All-natural ingredients.
  • 67-day risk-free money-back guarantee.


  • Side effects may worsen significantly if a larger dose is taken.

BrainPill claims various benefits that can help increase your motivation, including better mental performance and higher energy levels. These effects are achieved by the 13 active ingredients. 

One of the primary ingredients of BrainPill, Bacopa monnieri, has shown promising neuroprotective and memory-boosting qualities [17].

Bottom Line: 

BrainPill can help give you a motivation boost and improve your memory. However, the only downside is that taking too much of the supplement could lead to slightly worse than mild side effects. 

For more information on the nootropic supplement, check out our BrainPill review.

6. Alpha Brain – Most Well-Known Nootropic

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $34.95 for a one-month supply 5/5
Ingredients 12 nootropic ingredients 5/5
Dosage Two capsules a day 5/5
Additives No stimulants, allergens, or soy products 4/5
Side Effects Potential for significant side effects including nausea, jaw pain, foul body odor, nightmares, jitters, and insomnia 2.5/5


  • The most affordable nootropic supplement on this list.
  • A range of beneficial active ingredients.
  • 90-day money-back guarantee.


  • Has the potential to produce severe side effects.
  • Not widely available and must typically be bought online.

Alpha Brain is arguably the most well-known nootropic supplement on the market, offering benefits like raising motivation levels and improving focus and mental performance. 

One of its main ingredients is alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, or alpha-GPC, which can help boost your mood and physical endurance as it blocks the effect of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine [18].

Bottom Line: 

Despite Alpha Brain being one of the cheapest and most famous nootropic supplements, its side effects may discourage some from using it regularly or as their preferred brain-boosting dietary supplement.

Choosing the Right Nootropics for Motivation: Things to Consider

Choosing the right supplement to raise your motivation means selecting the best motivation nootropics for you. Not all nootropics have equally strong effects on the people taking them. 

Below are some of the points to consider when choosing a motivation nootropic supplement for you. 


Active compounds like B-vitamins and L-theanine are essential for boosting your motivation. Other ingredients like lion’s mane may even stimulate brain cell growth [19].

Understanding the research surrounding each ingredient and whether or not it is an effective nootropic can help you choose the best supplement.

Daily Dosage

Remembering to take pills can become tedious. Choosing a supplement that only requires taking a dose once a day can make it easier to remember and less time-consuming to use. 


Using nootropics for motivation may also be accompanied by other health benefits, including improved mental clarity, helping your body fight fatigue, better cognitive performance, and more successful long or short-term recall and memory. 

Choosing a nootropic with the right combination of benefits is vital.

Potential Side Effects

The side effects of some nootropic ingredients, like certain B-vitamins, may include flushing, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues. Educating yourself on the potential side effects of each nootropic supplement available to you may help you choose the best according to your preferences.

Natural Nootropics

Natural nootropics have a positive effect on metabolic pathways and your body’s dopaminergic mechanisms. If you have a high-stress lifestyle, using nootropics for motivation and energy can significantly benefit your overall well-being. Some of the most popular natural nootropics are:

  1. Caffeine.
  2. B-vitamins.
  3. Creatine.
  4. L-theanine.
  5. Panax ginseng.
  6. L-tyrosine.
  7. Rhodiola Rosea.


Caffeine is a cognitive enhancer that can help boost energy levels and slightly improve mental performance, although only temporarily [20]. Caffeine does this by binding to your nervous system’s adenosine receptors but not activating them. 


B-vitamins play the part of essential coenzymes in your body’s central nervous system and may promote better brain circulation [21]. This means B-vitamins could help treat chronic fatigue and mild cognitive impairment while helping improve focus and mental performance [22].

B-vitamins may also be used to treat a vitamin B1 or thiamine deficiency causing shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, and swollen limbs.


Creatine can help improve cerebral circulation and the amount of oxygen supplied to your brain [23]. This could lead to better short-term memory and reasoning while boosting your motivation levels, too [24].


L-theanine is an amino acid and nootropic compound capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and causing an increase in the activity of alpha brain waves [25]. This means L-theanine relaxes your brain without causing drowsiness and could help raise your motivation due to this improvement in mood.

For more information about L-theanine and its involvement in weight loss and memory, check out our article on nootropics for memory.

Besides improving memory, can L-theanine improve anxiety symptoms?

Choose your answer to reveal what studies have found
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Correct! Wrong!

L-theanine improved anxiety symptoms, lowering the score from 48.6 to 46.1

nootropics for motivation Effectiveness of L-theanine at relieving symptoms of anxiety

Panax Ginseng

Ginseng has a significantly positive effect on cognitive function and could help boost motivation as previously challenging tasks no longer feel impossible [26].


N-acetyl L-tyrosine is involved in the production of dopamine in the human body [27]. Taking a supplement that contains N-acetyl L-tyrosine may help improve mental function under stress [28]. Another benefit of using L-tyrosine is that it could promote mental flexibility, which can help us deal with stress and feel more motivated to continue our work or reach our goals [29]

nootropics for motivation Effect of L-tyrosine in an intervention on stop-signal task L-tyrosine caused a slight improvement in cognitive score during a stop-signal task
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6084775/

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea could help boost your body’s normal dopamine production by facilitating the increase of dopamine-producing cells [30]. Rhodiola rosea could also help improve motivation by reducing your body’s stress hormone concentration. At the same time, there is also evidence that the compound saves injured neurons in the hippocampus of the brain [31]

Another benefit of Rhodiola rosea is its effect on the nervous system, which could help reduce or prevent depression and other nervous system-related ailments. However, more brain research on the topic is necessary [32].


Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the best nootropics for motivation.

What Nootropics Elevate Motivation?

The best nootropics to boost brain function and motivation levels are Rhodiola rosea, L-theanine, creatine, Bacopa monnieri, and citicoline.

What Is the Best Supplement for Motivation?

The best nootropic supplement for motivation is Mind Lab Pro. It is affordable, additive- and stimulant-free, and comprises 11 high-quality, research-backed nootropic ingredients.

What Is the Most Powerful Nootropic?

Mind Lab Pro is one of the most powerful nootropics for motivation.

Is Mind Lab Pro Legit?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate nootropics as it is a dietary supplement. However, Mind Lab Pro is one of the best dopamine nootropics on the market, with all-natural, research-backed ingredients.


If you’re looking to starting boosting energy and improving your mental motivation, nootropics could be an excellent pathway to choose. The majority of over-the-counter nootropics are natural and stimulant-free with very few side effects. 

This means finding the energy and the will to complete daily tasks and work towards your goals doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to access. 

If you are interested in nootropics for motivation and mental energy, the supplements reviewed in this article can provide you with a solid starting point.


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