7 Best Nootropics for Weight Loss | SHED the POUNDS

Best Nootropics for Weight Loss

Nootropics are cognitive enhancing drugs that may also play a role in weight loss. While the effects of nootropics are still being investigated, many show promise for people who are trying to lose weight.

Some of the best nootropics for weight loss include Caffeine, Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, Phosphatidylcholine, Ginseng, Citicoline, and Rhodiola Rosea. These nootropics have both direct and indirect impacts on weight loss or preventing weight gain.

This article will go over what nootropics are, the different types of nootropics, and seven of the best nootropics for weight loss.

What Are Nootropics?

Nootropics are drugs that promote cognitive functioning. They may work to improve memory, creativity, focus, mental sharpness, and more. 

While nootropics are intended to boost cognition, they also have an effect on weight loss.

Although weight loss and cognitive performance may seem unrelated, they are very linked. Peoples’ habits, motivation, and ability to focus on their goals are incredibly important when trying to lose weight.

Many nootropics can also aid with weight loss because they can improve sleep quality and reduce stress.

Chronic stress and not getting enough sleep are two common reasons why people put on weight.

What Are the Different Types of Nootropics?

Nootropics fall into two main categories: natural and synthetic.

  • Natural nootropics come from the environment or are present in the human body. Many of them were used in ancient times for their medicinal and cognitive effects. Natural nootropics include plants, herbs, vitamins, fatty acids, amino acids, among other substances.
  • Synthetic nootropics, on the other hand, are designed in a lab. They were first introduced during the 1970s to help people with cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD. They are often more potent than natural nootropics with stronger effects. Many of them require a prescription to obtain because they have negative side effects. Some of the most popular prescription nootropics include Adderall and modafinil.

Listed below are 7 of the top nootropics that have been found to have a direct or indirect influence on weight loss. It is always best to speak with a doctor before taking any nootropics.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most popular nootropics. Many people consume caffeine every day in their morning cup of coffee. Caffeine is popular for its stimulant and metabolic effects, which can boost weight loss.

Increases Activity and Exercise Performance

Caffeine is able to block a neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning it stops neurons from firing. When people drink caffeine, neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine are able to fire more, which makes people feel more energized and alert.

When people are energized, they are more likely to get moving, then they would be if they were feeling tired.

Caffeine provides people with this extra energy boost, so they are more likely to be active. Caffeine also helps people enhance their exercise performance, typically improving it by 11-12%.

Increases Metabolic Rate

Multiple studies have shown that caffeine is able to speed up your metabolism and promote weight loss.

In one study of lean and obese individuals, caffeine was shown to boost both groups’ metabolic rates by 3-4%. This study also found that caffeine increased the participants’ energy expenditure, with the lean group burning an additional 150 kcal and the obese group burning 79 kcals.

Another study found that caffeine was able to increase fat burn for both lean and obese participants. However, obese participants only experienced a 10% increase in fat burn, while lean participants experienced a 29% increase.

Although additional studies need to be conducted, drinking a daily cup of jo could rev up people’s metabolisms and make them more active, thereby speeding up their weight loss journey.

2. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is a herb found throughout India. In ancient times, this plant was used to improve memory and to treat various brain-related ailments.

Today, various studies have confirmed that Bacopa Monnieri does indeed have cognitive effects. It has been found to lower stress and anxiety, enhance concentration, reduce mental fatigue, and more.

Reduces Cortisol Levels

Other than its cognitive benefits, this herb may also aid with weight loss. There is a well-known link between stress and weight gain. Bacopa Monnieri has been found to reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels, which can lead to weight loss.

Cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone,” makes the body metabolize fats and carbs, so it has enough energy for the “fight or flight” response during stressful situations.

Cortisol also increases the body’s insulin levels, which makes blood sugar drop. Both of these effects can lead to an increase in appetite and make the body crave sugary, high-fat foods.

Typically, cortisol is necessary for the body during stressful situations, and levels will naturally reduce when the stress goes away. However, more and more people are experiencing chronic stress, which can lead to continuously high cortisol levels and weight gain.

Although more studies on Bacopa Monnieri’s effects on stress need to be done, preliminary research has found that it may decrease weight gain in individuals who are experiencing long term stressors.

3. L-theanine

If you’ve ever drunk green or black tea, then you’ve likely had a dose of L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid in tea leaves. It’s well known for the relaxing effect it has on the body.

Other than chilling people out, L-theanine has been shown to improve focus and enhance sleep quality, which is essential for weight loss. Additionally, animal studies have found that L-theanine may directly decrease weight gain, but no human studies have been conducted to confirm this.

Improves Focus

One study of healthy participants found that L-theanine increases activity in the alpha wave region of the brain. Alpha waves occur when the brain is in a meditative state, meaning the person is calm yet alert. These waves are essential for improved focus.

Focus is an important element of weight loss. People trying to lose weight need the mental resources to concentrate on their goals. L-theanine may help people remove mental distractions and focus on improving their health.

Enhances Sleep Quality

L-theanine may also enhance sleep quality. This is important because people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to gain weight.

In fact, a study of 60,000 women over a 16 year period found that women who got five hours of sleep had a 15% higher chance of weight gain compared to women who slept seven hours per night. The women who slept less than seven hours also had a 30% higher chance of gaining 30 lbs (13.6 kg) by the time the study ended.

For people with sleep-related weight gain problems, L-theanine may be the answer. Researchers have found that both 250 and 400 mg doses of this amino acid improve sleep quality in people and animals. L-theanine may even help schizophrenic people sleep, which is important since approximately 80% of people with this diagnosis struggle with insomnia.

People who are struggling to get a good night’s rest may want to give L-theanine a try. This amazing amino acid has the potential to provide fatigued individuals with a restful sleep, which can help them lose weight. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Reduced Weight in Animal Studies

Two animal studies conducted on mice discovered that L-theanine may reduce weight gain and fat build-up in the body.

During the first study, L-theanine was tested independently to determine if it had any weight loss effects. Then it was combined with other substances, such as caffeine, green tea powder, and catechins. In both the independent and combined conditions, L-theanine caused the mice to lose weight. It also reduced the amount of fat stored in their bodies and decreased the level of fatty acids found in their blood.

In the second study, researchers gave mice green tea that contained a lot of L-theanine. They discovered that the tea exerted anti-obesity effects on the mice.

While these studies are promising, what works for mice may not work for humans. Human trials need to be conducted to determine if L-theanine has an impact on weight loss.

4. Phosphatidylserine (PS)

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid naturally present in the human body. However, most of the PS in the human body is gained through food. PS has been found to lower cortisol levels and exercise-related stress on the body, which can aid with weight loss.

Lowers Cortisol Levels

Like Bacopa Monnieri, PS may also help lower cortisol levels and reduce stress.

When your body experiences stress, it releases a hormone called ACTH, which activates cortisol. In one study, researchers discovered that PS was able to blunt the effects of ACTH and cortisol. Participants who took PS, and therefore had less of these hormones circulating in their system, felt less stress during a “stress test” than those in the placebo group.

Another study found that chronically stressed participants who took a 400 mg dose of PS were able to significantly reduce their stress levels. These results did not apply to participants with lower levels of stress.

So, for people who are really really stressed out, PS is here to help. PS can help protect people against the effects of cortisol and ACTH, which may help them lose weight.

Reduces Exercise-Related Stress

PS may be important for reducing exercise-related stress on the body. One study found that PS reduces the negative physiological effects the body experiences when it is over-exercised.

Specifically, it helps to decrease muscle soreness and reduces the amount of time it takes to recover post-workout.

Exercise is an important aspect of weight loss. However, no one wants to work out when they are incredibly sore. So, PS may help people who are out of practice working out or those who are working out more than normal keep up with their exercise routine and continue to lose weight.

5. Ginseng

Ginseng is a root that was used in ancient China for various medicinal purposes, including to treat erectile dysfunction and boost the immune system.

Today, ginseng is still valued in China for its benefits to the body. While western researchers are more skeptical about ginseng’s effectiveness, some studies have indicated it could potentially aid in weight loss.

Potential Weight Loss Effects

Some studies have found that ginseng may help with weight loss in a variety of ways.

One study of 10 obese Korean women found that taking ginseng two times per day for a total of eight weeks led to significant weight loss and an increase in the participants’ gut microbiota, which are microorganisms residing in the digestive tract that are important for maintaining a healthy weight.

Another study conducted with mice discovered that ginseng may fight obesity by delaying intestinal fat absorption.

More research needs to be done to determine if ginseng has a significant effect on weight loss.

6. Citicoline

Citicoline is a compound that is found inside human cells, especially within the organs.

Citicoline is a very promising nootropic for weight loss. Some studies indicate it may be able to regulate appetite and reduce body fat.

May Regulate Appetite

One study discovered that citicoline may influence appetite. During the study, researchers gave participants either 500 or 2,000 mg of citicoline per day.

While participants did not have any significant changes in weight during the six-week study, those in the higher dose group did report a reduced appetite.

So, citicoline could help people regulate their hunger, which could lead to weight loss over time.

While additional research needs to be conducted to confirm this, this is an exciting result, which indicates that citicoline could help people achieve their weight loss goals.

May Reduce Fat

Citicoline may be able to directly reduce fat deposits in the body.

One study recruited female taekwondo and judo fighters. Fighters in the experimental group were given 1g of choline twice per day. They received this dose every day for a week. At the end of the week, the fighters had a competition during which they were weighed to see if they had lost any weight.

By the time of the competition, the women who were taking citicoline reduced their BMIs by 15%, which was significantly higher than the placebo group. However, the sample size was very small, so more research needs to be done to see if these results will generalize to other people.

7. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is a plant found throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Historically it was used as a treatment for several mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression. Today, it is known to help decrease stress, improve exercise performance, and reduce fatigue, which are all essential for losing weight.

Decreases Stress

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen, which is known for promoting homeostasis in the body. Adaptogens have also been found to reduce stress, although the mechanisms by which they do this are unknown.

As we’ve learned, experiencing too much stress is undesirable if you are trying to lose weight, since stress is able to throw your body out of whack and lead to weight gain.

One study found that ingesting 400 mg of Rhodiola Rosea per day was able to reduce stress in 101 participants who were experiencing various work and life-related stressors. These effects took hold within just 3 days, meaning this plant works fast.

If people want to reduce their body weight, reducing their stress with Rhodiola Rosea may be a good start.

Improves Exercise Performance

Rhodiola Rosea may permit people to exercise harder and longer.

During one study, Rhodiola Rosea or a placebo pill was given to participants before a cycling race. The participants who were given Rhodiola Rosea finished the race significantly faster than those who were given the placebo.

In another study participants were given either 200 mg of Rhodiola Rosea or a placebo pill before cycling. Participants who took the Rhodiola Rosea were able to exercise for 24 seconds longer than the placebo group. While 24 seconds doesn’t sound too significant, it could be the difference between winning or losing a close race.

Researchers believe the reason Rhodiola Rosea may improve exercise performance is because it decreases how hard exercisers perceive their bodies are working, thereby permitting them to exercise longer and harder than they normally would.

For individuals trying to exercise for weight loss, having a dose of Rhodiola Rosea sure couldn’t hurt.

Reduces Fatigue

Being overly fatigued is directly related to weight gain. Researchers have found that people who are sleep-deprived eat more calories, especially carbohydrates, than those who are well-rested. Tiredness can also affect your eating habits and mood, which can lead to weight gain.

To reduce fatigue, why not try some Rhodiola Rosea?

Two separate studies of 60 and 100 fatigued participants, respectively, found that Rhodiola reduced tiredness and made the participants feel more attentive and alert. The participants who took Rhodiola also experienced enhanced concentration compared to the placebo groups.

For people trying to reduce fatigue, enhance concentration, and potentially lose some weight, Rhodiola Rosea may be the perfect nootropic.


Nootropics are drugs that enhance cognitive performance. However, they also have been shown to have a profound effect on weight loss.

Some of the best nootropics for weight loss are Caffeine, Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, Phosphatidylcholine, Ginseng, Citicoline, and Rhodiola Rosea.

These nootropics have both direct and indirect effects on weight. Many of them influence sleep, stress, and fatigue, which all have an impact on weight.

Some of them have more straightforward effects, such as influencing metabolism, fat loss, and other factors directly related to inducing weight loss or preventing weight gain.

Hopefully, this article helps you find the nootropic that is right for you and your weight loss journey.

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Before using meal replacement shakes and exercising, I was obese and on track to having high blood pressure at the age of 25. I'm glad to say I lost 50 pounds and am living a healthier lifestyle than before. Now I like sharing what I learned when I first researched what meal replacement to drink and the best way to lose weight. Learn more about me here...

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