Nootropics, also known as “smart drugs,” and brain boosters, are special drugs that can completely change the way we think and work, in ways that often increase productivity. They promote wakefulness, increase alertness, boost memory, and provide several other cognitive benefits that help increase performance. This is why you’d find people from all walks of life, including college professors, engineers, programmers, analysts, entrepreneurs, and college students among others, using it. Although “smart drugs” are widely known to be effective, most people find it difficult to decide the exact product to choose because of the sheer number of available options in the market. If you’re having a hard time deciding which one to use, this article is for you. It outlines the best four nootropics that are generally regarded as safe. Read on to find out everything you need to know.  

Types of Nootropics

Although there are countless types of nootropics, they can all be split into two broad categories. They include [1]:

  • natural nootropics;
  • synthetic nootropics.

As you’d suspect, natural nootropics are herbs and plants such as ginkgo Biloba and Bacopa monnieri that provide cognitive-enhancing effects. These kinds of brain boosters are usually extracted from the plants and taken as tea. On the other hand, synthetic nootropics are those that are created in a lab. They can be further subdivided into two other categories: dietary supplements and prescription nootropics.  

What Type of Nootropics Should You Take?

With the understanding that nootropics are divided into two broad categories, it becomes a tad easier to make your choice. However, the big question is, “what type should you choose.” Should you go for the natural options or the synthetic types? Read on to find out. Natural nootropics work. They have proven to be effective in enhancing cognitive function in several individuals, as well as in improving brain health [1]. A good number of people take them in tea form to help increase their productivity throughout the day. But there’s a catch. In most cases, natural nootropics do not come in clinically determined doses, and this makes it easy to overdose on them. An overdose can increase the risk of experiencing headaches, nausea, upset stomach, or some other side effects. Synthetic nootropics have equally proven to be effective, and unlike natural nootropics, they are usually available in a fixed dose that ensures their safe use. As for what type of synthetic nootropic is best, nootropic dietary supplements such as Alpha Brain, Mind Lab Pro, and Brain Pill among others, are a great option. They produce the much-needed cognitive enhancing benefits, pose minimal risk of side effects, and are generally safe. However, it is worth noting that because they’re not classified as medicines but as food products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate their safety and sale. Consequently, there’s no guarantee that they contain what’s listed on their fact sheet [2]. Bear this in mind if you decide to choose a product from this category, and only buy directly from the manufacturer, or a trusted distributor. Synthetic nootropics, in turn, are approved and regulated by the FDA; thus, they can be trusted to be safe for use. In fact, most “smart drug” enthusiasts prefer them to all the other types of nootropics.  

The 4 Best Nootropics That Are Both Safe And Effective

Even with the options narrowed down to prescription “smart drugs,” there are still many products to choose from. Here are the 4 nootropics that are generally regarded as safe.  


Modavinil is the perfect alternative to Modalert — a very popular brain booster, that is known for its effectiveness and high level of safety. It is produced by the reputable pharmaceutical company, Centurion Laboratories, which operates in line with regulatory standards. Most people who use this “smart drug” have given it a thumbs up based on its safety, effectiveness, and ease of use. Modavinil is definitely a great option for individuals who are new to cognitive enhancement products to start with. What about Modalert? Check out to find more information about it and other equally safe and effective alternatives.


Armodavinil is a great drug known to provide utmost cognitive enhancing benefits with minimal risk of side effects. It belongs to a class of drugs known as wakefulness-promoting agents that are typically administered in a dose-dependent fashion to improve alertness, boost memory, maintain wakefulness and help increase productivity. Armodavinil produces 12+ hours of cognitive-enhancing effects; this makes it ideal for individuals whose jobs require long hours of focus. Produced by Centurion Laboratories, the manufacturer of Modavinil, Armodavinil equally owns the trust of many “smart drug” enthusiasts.  


This is a generic version of Provigil, one of the most popular cognitive-enhancing drugs known worldwide for its effectiveness, and extremely low potential for side effects. Modafresh is produced by Sunrise Pharmaceuticals and contains 200 mg of modafinil, its active ingredient. Based on reviews from people who’ve used it, it is both safe and effective, and definitely a product for nootropic newbies to give a shot.  


Artvigil is a synthetic “smart drug” also widely known for its strong cognitive enhancing benefits and low potential for addiction. It is an armodafinil-based drug produced by HAB pharmaceuticals — a company well known for working in line with regulatory standards and producing high-quality meds. Note that armodafinil is a drug agent that is similar to modafinil in terms of chemical structure, safety, and effectiveness. It is thought to produce milder effects, and a slightly longer duration of effects, and this makes it ideal for individuals who find Modafresh and Modavinil too strong. Note that the aforementioned products have been selected based on customer reviews, advertised benefits, price, overall safety, and effectiveness. They are most likely to help you increase productivity with minimal risk of side effects. Remember to consult your doctor before taking these products or any other nootropic.


  1. Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic. By Noor Azuin Suliman, Che Norma Mat Taib, et al. Retrieved: December 4, 2021.
  2. Why Aren’t Nutritional Supplements Regulated By The FDA? By Dr. Michael Roizen, MD. Retrieved: December 4, 2021.