I would say that the best nootropic (for real) is to sleep early (by 8:30pm), and wake up at 3:30/4am, and meditate.
It balances all hormones, supports the natural biological clock of all organs, improves mental performance, as well
as emotional health.
As for enhancements on top of that, or a “replacement”, one can use a nootropic formula, such as Total Recall, one capsule in the early part of the day.
For those who are light weight- try opening the capsule and eating only half of it.
With all my formulas, less is more, so it’s about ‘activating’ a response from the mind/body, and riding that vs taking more and more.
Neuro Support formula (previously The Lions Mane), is also one of the best sellers for cognition/mood/stamina.
Taking 1 capsule in the morning can set the day to be more productive. I find for myself that I can open the capsule and just take a little bit on the tongue- for a more milder effect.
As a rule of thumb with all nootropics, is to find the sweet spot and ride it. The effects may come in waves and fluctuate.
The cleaner formulas, such as the ones I created, can have moments of subtle effects, and other moments of more pronounced feel to them. That is part of going the pure way, rather than a punch in the face so to speak (with caffeine or chemical nootropics).
I am a big proponent of maintaining balance in the body, and that the cognitive function is enhanced as a result of establishing inner balance using Adaptogens and gentle herbs (which lead to longevity of our cells), rather than disrupting the balance and taxing the adrenals, as with caffeine and chemicals (which all lead to adverse effects in the long run).
Another wise way to work with nootropics is to stick with one type of formula per day, and avoid mixing between different ones. The reason is that these are herbs that change brain chemistry, so in order to avoid confusion, headaches, and restlessness, it's best to stay with one formula per day.