What Are The Best Focus Supplements?
Discover the top 5 best focus supplements on the market today to boost your concentration, performance, and productivity
Reviewed and fact-checked by certified nutritionists.
In this guide:
- Can focus supplements really make a difference in your concentration abilities and overall brain power?
- What are the safest and most effective focus supplements
- The top 5 best focus supplements on the market today, according to nutritionists and performance specialists
Everybody knows what “flow state” feels like: you feel absolutely focused and relaxed, your brain is racing at 200 miles per hour, words and ideas flow effortlessly, and you feel completely “at one” with the task at hand…
When you’re in the flow, everything is so smooth and easy. Your best work, your best ideas, and your best performances almost always occur when you’re in this precious flow state.
Now, imagine if you could summon this flow state on command…
Imagine if you could enter into this state of absolute focus exactly when you need it – whether it’s for an important work task, a job interview, a date, or any event you want to be at your best. Wouldn’t life be so much easier?
Well, that’s the promise of so-called “focus supplements”. These supplements, formulated with brain-enhancing ingredients such as tyrosine, rhodiola, or panax ginseng, are supposed to improve your ability to focus and boost your cognitive function. But do they even work, or is it just fancy marketing?
According to recent clinical studies, some nootropic ingredients like ginger root, panax ginseng, or L-tyrosine may indeed improve alertness and focus, as measured by cognitive tests. Participants who took these focus-enhancing ingredients displayed superior performance during cognitively demanding tasks.
That being said, it’s important to note that these supplements won’t magically turn you into a hyper focused genius, but some studies suggest that they may help to some extent.
In this article we’ll try to answer the following questions:
Can you really increase your focus and productivity using focus supplements? Can they really make that big of a difference in your brain power, or are their effects mild at best? Are there any risks to taking these supplements?
In this guide, you will learn about the safest and most effective focus supplements to boost your concentration and function at your peak whenever you need it. At the end of the article, we also present a selection of several focus supplements known for their efficacy and safety. Our guide has been carefully reviewed by professional nutritionists and dieticians, to ensure high-quality and accurate information.
What are the key benefits of taking focus supplements, according to science*
*All these key benefits have been documented by clinical studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Focus supplements are dietary supplements formulated to improve concentration, attention, and mental clarity. They typically contain a blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other natural ingredients like herbs or plant extracts that may support cognitive function and enhance the brain’s ability to focus.
These supplements are becoming increasingly more popular among office workers, creative people, athletes, and other high-achievers who want to increase their mental sharpness and performance levels.
Here are some clinically proven benefits of focus supplements:
- Improved focus and attention: Several studies have found that certain supplements can improve the quality of our focus, especially during lengthy work-related tasks. They can help us stay sharper, more alert, and more focused during the day – which may in turn improve our productivity.
- Enhanced mental clarity: certain ingredients contained in focus supplements are also known to be very effective at clearing “brain fog”. Many people who take brain supplements (especially those infused with nootropics like panax ginseng or rhodiola) report having a clearer mind and an improved ability to think straight. This can be explained by the several brain-boosting hormones that these active ingredients are capable of stimulating, including serotonin and dopamine.
- Improved cognitive function: Some supplements show promise in enhancing overall brain function, leading to better problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
- Improved memory: Studies also indicate that certain focus supplements may improve both short-term and long-term memory, allowing people to retain information faster and longer.
- Improve mood: Evidence suggests that some specific focus supplements may help to balance mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Increased mental energy: According to studies, some supplements have been found to significantly reduce mental fatigue and boost mental energy and vitality. They can keep our brain sharper and more energetic throughout the day.
How big of a difference focus supplements can realistically make on your cognitive abilities?
The truth is that focus supplements won’t magically turn you into a genius. It’s important to have realistic expectations before taking any brain-optimizing supplements.
With that said, a large body of clinical evidence shows that some supplement ingredients can make a significant difference in your cognitive abilities, enabling you to think faster and clearer, improve your problem solving skills, and boost your focus, among others.
Cognitive-boosting ingredient #1: Panax Ginseng
A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study published in 2019 found that consuming panax ginseng caused a 259% improvement in visual memory compared to placebo.
The study concluded that:
“Our results provide clinical evidence of Panax ginseng as a cognition-enhancing medicine.”
Another study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that panax ginseng could produce a significant improvement in brain function, on several parameters.
During an ANT Test (a cognitive test measuring executive function and attention), volunteers who took panax ginseng showed a 95% task accuracy compared to only 92% for the placebo group. Reaction time was also reduced by 4.5%, meaning that panax ginseng enabled participants to make faster mental decisions.
Researchers also found that 4 hours after ginseng consumption, volunteers were able to switch tasks 5% faster (750 ms reaction time for the ginseng group vs 810 ms for the placebo group).
In another placebo-controlled study evaluating the potential benefits of ginseng on fatigue, ginseng was found to significantly decrease fatigue perception compared to placebo.
These findings indicate that ginseng may be an effective natural solution to reduce fatigue and promote healthy energy levels during daytime.
Cognitive-boosting ingredient #2: Ginger root extract
Ginger root extract is another ingredient that can make a big difference in cognitive function. Several studies found that ginger root could: increase focus and attention, increase numeric and spatial memory, and increase the speed of working memory, among others.
In a placebo-controlled study led on 60 middle-aged volunteers, researchers gave a dose of 800 mg of ginger root to evaluate its potential cognitive benefits on participants.
During a Delayed Word Recognition test (a test where volunteers have to recognize recurring words in a series of words), ginger root was able to cause a 11.7% decrease in reaction time, compared to placebo. This faster reaction time led to a significant improvement in performance during the test
Volunteers who who took the ginger extract showed a 85% task accuracy, compared to 74.7% for the placebo group.took ginger root also showed a significantly higher accuracy in numerical tests: people Researchers concluded that ginger root could significantly increase numeric working memory.
Cognitive-boosting ingredient #3: T-Tyrosine
L-Tyrosine, another ingredient commonly found in brain-enhancing supplements, has been clinically found to improve cognitive performance. For example, a large clinical review recently published found that tyrosine can “effectively enhance cognitive performance, particularly in short-term stressful and/or cognitively demanding situations.”
Researchers concluded that tyrosine was “an effective enhancer of cognition”.
In another placebo-controlled study evaluating the effect of L-Tyrosine on cognitive flexibility, participants showed 91% mental accuracy during an n-back test, compared to 87% for placebo.
In a placebo-controlled study the effect of L-Tyrosine on cognitive flexibility, participants showed 91% mental accuracy during an n-back task, compared to 87% for placebo.
Volunteers who took tyrosine also showed a decrease in reaction time during an n-back test, meaning they were able to make cognitively demanding decisions faster.
Other clinically proven brain-boosting ingredients include:
- Vitamin B (B6, B9, B12)
Do you really need supplements, or is a healthy diet enough?
Before we consider taking focus supplements, we need to ask: are these supplements even needed to make your brain sharp? Can’t the same brain-boosting benefits be achieved with the food you eat?
That’s a legitimate question. The truth is: it’s entirely possible to give your brain a significant boost by eating foods that contain the right nutrients. The challenge is that to get the same benefits as supplements, you would typically need to eat absurdly large quantities of food…
For instance, to get a dose of 1,000mg of L-tyrosine (a dose typically contained in brain-boosting supplements), you would need to eat several pounds of chicken per day, which can be impractical.
Some supplements contain about 500mg of gingerol – the active cognitive boosting ingredient present in ginger root extract. To match this, you would need to consume about 50 grams of raw ginger per day, which is practically impossible given the sour taste of ginger.
“The main benefit of brain supplements is that they typically contain high doses of active ingredients to boost brain function. Realistically, it would be challenging to obtain the same ingredient doses via our diet. Supplements specifically designed to improve cognitive function tend to use the clinically optimal dose of each ingredient to produce a clearly noticeable effect in mental clarity, focus, and problem-solving skills.
Who wants to eat 2 kilos of chicken per day when you could get the same brain-boosting benefits by taking a pill with 1,000 mg of L-Tyrosine? Convenience and efficacy contribute to explain why these supplements are so popular among corporate executives, creative people, athletes, and other top-performers.”
Dr. Marcin Korff
Neuropharmacologist and Lead Researcher at the Center for Cognitive Enhancement and Nootropic Studies.
What are the main types of focus supplements?
Focus supplements come in various formats, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages
Brain supplements come in various formats, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages
- Convenient and portable
- Precise dosing of active ingredients
- Often have a long shelf-life
- Can be difficult for some people to swallow
- The absorption rate can be affected by various factors, including stomach contents and individual metabolism
Brain-boosting powders need to be mixed with a liquid before consumption and can offer custom dosing.
- Can be more cost-effective per dose
- Allows for flexibility in dosing
- Faster absorption in some cases
- Less convenient to transport
- Requires preparation time
- Taste can be unpleasant
These beverages are infused with brain-enhancing compounds alongside other energy-boosting ingredients like caffeine.
- Quick and convenient to consume
- Typically contain high-dose ingredients, for higher efficacy
- Often includes a blend of ingredients for compounded effects
- May contain high levels of caffeine and sugar (unless healthier options are chosen)
- Relative lack of regulations
What are the key things to look for in a focus supplement?
- Must use a sufficiently high dose of each ingredient. Low doses are unlikely to work. Many focus supplements use low doses of cognitive-enhancing ingredients to reduce production costs. This can be a problem as low doses are unlikely to produce any noticeable effects on brain cognition.
- Only use natural brain-boosting ingredients that have been clinically studied. There are plenty of commercialized brain supplements that don’t use clinically proven ingredients, or the ingredients they use are backed by very little clinical evidence. To feel a strong and healthy cognitive boost, it’s important to choose supplements that only contain ingredients with clinically proven cognitive benefits. These well-studied brain-boosting ingredients include: L-theanine, ginger root, panax ginseng, caffeine, theobromine, L-tyrosine, among others.
- Produce a significant and long-lasting cognitive boost. Many brain enhancing supplements on the market produce a mild cognitive boost, especially if they contain low-dose ingredients. If you’re looking to boost your cognitive performance, it’s better to choose supplements that create strong and long-lasting brain-boosting effects, using high-dose natural ingredients. Certain focus supplements can produce a major, clearly perceptible cognitive boost for several hours in a row (we present some of these below)
- Moderate dose of caffeine to prevent risk of crashes Caffeine is a powerful natural brain stimulant. And its cognitive benefits are very well studied. However, consuming excess caffeine can cause unpleasant jitters and energy crashes. If you want to benefit from the brain-boosting effect of caffeine without its unpleasant effects, experts recommend choosing a supplement that contains less than 150 mg of caffeine per serving. 100mg is already more than enough to produce a clear improvement in focus and mental speed, and this dose is unlikely to cause a major energy crash (although it can be the case for people who are very sensitive to caffeine).
- Free of any major side effects. To get the benefits without the bad side (jitters, energy crashes, anxiety), only choose supplements that cause no to minimal side effects. In general, supplements made of natural and clinically tested ingredients such as L-theanine or ginseng are very safe and free of side effects. That means they can be taken every day without causing any issues. It’s however always advised to consult with a health specialist before taking health supplements.
- Doesn’t contain any harmful synthetic substances. Artificial substances such as aspartame or ace-k (often used as sweeteners in nootropic supplements, specifically drinks) should be avoided. These chemicals can destroy gut health and have bad long-term consequences on your body.
The Top 5 Best Focus Supplements On The Market Today, According To Nutritionists
To help you choose a supplement that helps you perform at your peak while feeling your best, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best focus supplements on the market. This list was carefully curated in partnership with certified nutritionists, and takes several factors into consideration, including: ingredients quality, health impact, taste, value for money, and verified customer reviews.
01 Alpine Bliss Cognitive Energy Booster
Value for Money
- Provides a strong, sustained cognitive boost a few minutes after consumption
- Uses natural brain-enhancing ingredients in high and safe doses
- Only uses clinically proven ingredients
- Improves mood and well-being thanks to a natural blend of dopamine boosters
- Very well tolerated, no reported side effects
- Low on calories and sugar
- No ace-K or aspartame
- Great taste, according to users
- Uses pure Alpine water with high-quality plant-based ingredients
- Frequently out of stock due to limited production
THE BOTTOM LINE
Alpine Bliss is a premium, fast-growing Swiss brand of flavored sparkling water offering functional health benefits, using clinically studied nootropic ingredients. The Alpine Bliss Cognitive Energy Booster is a fruity brain-enhancing energy drink that is specifically designed to boost cognitive function and performance.
One of the key benefits of this cognitive energy drink is its ability to provide a strong, sustained cognitive boost for several hours, without causing unpleasant crashes. Users report a clearly perceptible improvement in mental clarity and focus within a few minutes of consumption.
This is achieved through a unique blend of high-dose natural nootropic ingredients, including a high dose of caffeine from natural source, a high dose of L-tyrosine (significantly higher than the average), a high dose of panax ginseng, a high dose of phenylalanine, and high-purity ginger root extract (present in high dose too).
At least four of these ingredients have been clinically proven to improve cognitive performance due to their brain-enhancing properties (L-tyrosine, caffeine, ginger root and panax ginseng).
The drink is also reported to create a distinct feeling of relaxation and well-being a few minutes after consumption, due to the presence of dopamine-boosting ingredients. Many users report feeling better in their body within 30 minutes of consumption.
From a nutrition standpoint, the drink is also scoring pretty well. The formula contains zero added sugar, just 10 calories per can, and only 4 grams of natural sugar from wild berries. It doesn’t contain any harmful artificial sweeteners like aspartame or ace-K. The drink is also a rich source of vitamin B6 and B12 – two vitamins that promote a healthy metabolism.
Beyond its functional health benefits, the Alpine Bliss formula also performs well on taste, according to consumers. Users praise its fruity wild berries flavor and refreshing fine bubbles. It strikes a delicate balance of sweetness and freshness, and delivers an enjoyable drinking experience.
On the minus side, we note that the drink is quite expensive ($3.95 per can) – which can be explained by the “fancy” ingredients that it contains, including extracts of saffron and ginger roots (some of the most expensive spices in the world). We also note that the drink is frequently out of stock, because it’s produced in limited batches as of now.
Taking all of this into consideration puts Alpine Bliss Cognitive Energy booster in our #1 spot in our top 5 brain supplements.
Value for Money
- Natural supplement
- Contains proven dopamine boosters at appropriate dosage
- Made by a reputed supplement company
- Promote good mental health, memory, and focus
- May contribute to reducing stress
- Rich in vitamins
- May cause jitters
- Limited number of active ingredients proven to boost dopamine
THE BOTTOM LINE
Vyvamind is an all-natural brain supplement that claims to improve cognitive functions like working memory, the speed at which information is processed, and mental alertness.
It is made by SAP Nutrition Ltd., a UK company that says it has done a lot of clinical study to prove that the supplement works and is safe. The formula is made with only natural ingredients in buildings that are FDA-registered and GMP-certified.
The supplement is a mix of six powerful nootropic ingredients that work together to give you the focus, attention, and mental health benefits you need. These ingredients are L-Tyrosine, Vitamins B6 and B12, L-Theanine, Caffeine Anhydrous, and Citicoline.
L-Tyrosine is a well-researched ingredient that has been proven to boost cognitive function, alertness and mental focus. This supplement contains a good dose of tyrosine for optimal brain-enhancing effect. Each of these ingredients has been shown by science to help the brain in different ways.
On the plus side, Vyvamind may help you focus your mind better, speed up the speed at which your mind processes information, improve your working memory, give you more energy, and reduce stress and worry.
After taking the pill, many people say they can concentrate better, have more energy, and feel less anxious and stressed.
That said, Vyvamind is pretty pricey for the market. The supplement also contains a strong dose of caffeine, which could make you feel jittery or keep you from falling asleep. Also, the recipe is missing a lot of important natural brain-boosting ingredients that are in other brands, such as ginger root or phenylalanine – something we could expect at that price.
03 Omnit Alpha Brain Focus Shot
Value for Money
- Compact and easy to drink
- May improve cognitive function such as memory and focus
- Contains several brain-enhancing ingredients in good doses
- Reputable brand
- Quality ingredients
- Lack of ingredient transparency
- Dosage may be inappropriate
- Mixed reviews, results may vary
- Expensive compared to other more effective, better-rated supplements
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Onnit Alpha Brain Focus Shot is a compact, on-the-go beverage designed to improve cognitive functions, including memory, mental speed, and focus. It’s a popular product from Onnit, a Texas-based supplement manufacturer known for its commitment to providing high-quality health and fitness products.
The Focus Shot is available in two flavors: Tropical and Peach, both of which have been praised for their refreshing and pleasant taste.
One of the key advantages of the Alpha Brain Focus Shot is its unique blend of ingredients. It contains high-quality brain-boosting components such as lion’s mane, n-acetyl-l-tyrosine, theanine, KSM-66 ashwagandha, Cognizin citicoline, and InnovaTea natural caffeine.
Some of these ingredients are known to support cognitive functions thanks to their proven nootropic properties, including tyrosine, theanine, and natural caffeine.
That said, this supplement also comes with a few flaws. First, the product lacks transparency about the specific doses of each ingredient. This could be a concern for individuals who want to know exactly what they’re consuming.
Further, several customer reviews say that the product didn’t work for them, which may be due to inappropriate ingredient dosage. Compared to other dopamine supplements, this one has slightly less favorable reviews, although reviews are still positive overall.
Additionally, while it’s slightly cheaper than the capsule version of Alpha Brain, it’s still somewhat expensive compared to other similar products on the market.
04 Focusaid Clean Energy
Value for Money
- Improves mental sharpess, attention and focus
- Contains several natural proven brain-enhancing ingredients, including rhodiola and panax ginseng
- Positive consumer reviews
- Use safe artificial sweeteners, including stevia
- Relatively high in calories (40 calories per can)
- Sugar content could be lower (around 7 grams)
THE BOTTOM LINE
Focusaid Clean Energy is an energy drink that aims to improve your energy levels, thinking and focus, notably by using the effects of natural brain-enhancing ingredients. The company has a strong, established reputation in the emerging fields of better-for-you energy drinks.
The formula contains a good amount of caffeine (100 mg), which gives you a quick burst of energy. It also has other natural ingredients like GABA for stress relief, rhodiola for better focus, and panax ginseng for learning and memory.
These ingredients work together to give you a cognitive boost. Specifically, rhodiola is known to influence neurotransmitter dynamics in the brain, and panax ginseng is reputed for improving memory and cognitive function.
All the active nootropic ingredients in this drink have proven benefits, and consumer reviews are positive overall.
Another positive point about Focusaid Clean Energy is that it doesn’t use unhealthy artificial sweeteners. Instead, it uses organic agave nectar and stevia to add a sweet taste that makes the drink palatable and enjoyable (which is not always the case for healthier energy drinks, which often have to sacrifice sweetness for health).
When it comes to sugar, Focusaid Clean Energy has about 7 grams, which is not excessively high but there are other drinks with less sugar. However, it’s important to know that this is added sugar, so if you’re watching your sugar intake, it’s something to keep in mind.
On the downside, Focusaid Clean Energy is quite high in calories for a drink (40 calories). So if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, this might not be the best choice for you.
05 Mind Lab Pro
Value for Money
- May improve brain health and mental function by boosting dopamine
- Designed for busy professionals, students and athletes
- Rich blend of quality brain-boosting ingredients
- Well tolerated formula
- Very expensive
- Mixed reviews
- Limited efficacy
THE BOTTOM LINE
Mind Lab Pro is a dietary brain supplement made to improve brain health and mental function. It is aimed at athletes, students, and busy workers who want to improve their mental sharpness.
Mind Lab Pro is a mix of 11 different ingredients that are good for the brain and can help improve brain function and overall health. The product doesn’t contain any drugs and uses more than one method to improve brain function. It is made by a company in the United Kingdom called Opti-Nutra Advanced Nutraceuticals, which was founded in 2015.
Mind Lab Pro costs $69 for one bottle with 60 pills. If you take the usual dose of two capsules per day, one bottle will last one month.
On the plus side, we note that the formulation is very clean and uses well tolerated ingredients.
On the other hand, the price of $69 per bottle may be a bit high for some people. Further, we note that many users reported feeling minor to no improvement at all in clarity and focus, and reviews are mixed, despite the quality of formulation. This may be due to a limited concentration of dopamine-boosting active ingredients.
Like any supplement, results may change from person to person, and it might not work for everyone.