Which Nootropics Are Most Effective for Stress Relief and Anxiety?

Nootropic supplements are most frequently used to enhance cognition, learning, memory and reasoning but many of these compounds also have implications for mood and stress relief.
Taking nootropics for anxiety can address some of the underlying neurochemical causes of anxiousness in the brain.
These anxiolytic nootropics can improve your mood, make you feel more relaxed and lessen the effects of social anxiety and shyness.
Which nootropic stack or supplement you use depends on what kind of results you are looking for and the specific type of anxiety you are experiencing. Here is a look at how Nootropics work for anxiety relief and which ones are the best anxiolytics.

Nootropics and Anxiety

Anxiety can be caused by many different factors, but one common source has to do with GABA deficiency in the brain.
GABA (gamma aninobutryic acid) is a neurotransmitter that is produced by another neurochemical called Glutamate. It is the primary anti-anxiety neurotransmitter which actually has an inhibitory effect on the central neverous system.
When GABA levels are low, your nerve cells can become overactive, transmitting signals more frequently than they are supposed to. In mild cases, this can be experienced as a sensation of nervousness or general mental strain but it can also lead to compulsive behavior, panic attacks and even seizures.
When GABA levels are normal or slightly higher, you are less likely to experience chemical anxiety and will feel more relaxed and generally at ease. This is why so many sedatives work by stimulating GABA receptors.
For example, alcohol is a GABA stimulant and a CNS depressant which is well-known to relieve symptoms of anxiety. Since alcohol comes with several negative side effects it would not be considered a nootropic. There are several nootropics that can activate GABA production to give you the calming benefits that you are looking for.
Because GABA itself can not cross the blood-brain barrier, one thing to keep in mind is that direct GABA supplements are actually not very good at reducing anxiety. That means that it is not effective at inhibiting signals in the brain that cause anxiety.
You will need a GABA precursor or intermediary that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier instead. This means that the supplements you take have to be able to leave your circulating blood supply and enter your brain tissue in order for it to be effective.
All of the nootropics listed below are able to do this which makes them effective as cognitive enhancers and anti-anxiety drugs.

Best Nootropics for Anxiety

1) Phenibut

Phenibut is generally agreed to be the best nootropic for anxiety relief, though it is not recommended for daily use.
Phenibut is a derivative of GABA, but one that is able to traverse the blood-brain barrier. It is an agonist of GABA-b receptors causing a mild sedative effect which can relax the user and cause slightly diminished control over actions.
Some people compare this effect to drinking small amounts of alcohol– a fitting comparison because alcohol also stimulates the GABA-b receptors. For serious bouts of short-term anxiety, Phenibut can be a good choice but there are some potential negative side effects with long-term use.
You can purchase Phenibut over the counter as a supplement in the USA but in many other countries it is a prescription drug.

2) Aniracetam

Of all of the racetam supplements, Aniracetam is considered to be the best for treating social anxiety and other forms of stress. Aniracetam is a powerful mood enhancer because it stimulates the AMPA receptors that control Glutamate.
As mentioned previously, Glutamate is necessary for the production of GABA and so taking Aniracetam powder will have an indirect effect on GABA. Aniracetam is also documented as temporarily diminishing social inhibitions making it easier for introverted or shy individuals to come out of their shell.
Other benefits of taking Aniracetam can include increased energy, focus, communication and motivation skills.

3) Noopept

Noopept is a hit-and-miss anxiolytic with some people saying it works incredibly well and others not feeling any mood enhancing effects. Similar to the racetams, Noopept activates AMPA receptors and increase Glutamate uptake.
Noopept supplements have been shown to cause higher amounts of dopamine and serotonin in the cerebral cortex. Noopept has been cited as 1000 times more potent than Piracetam and as much as 200 times stronger than Aniracetam.
Effects of Noopept also have a longer half-life compared to Aniracetam meaning you can take it once a day and experience reduced stress levels for several hours at a time.

4) Picamilon

Picamilon is a very interesting nootropic that is similar to Phenibut in that it is a GABA derivative which can cross the blood-brain barrier. Reviews of this supplement tout it as a treatment for anxiety, depression, mental fatigue and persistent negative thoughts.
Unlike Phenibut, Picamilion is much safer and has fewer known side effects. Picamilion is also mildly stimulative instead acting like a sedative. This means you can use it on a daily basis and stack it with other nootropics to increase your energy levels and motivation.

5) Inositol

This natural supplement is also known as Vitamin B8 and was first discovered as a chemical in cerebrospinal fluid. It is another nootropic that can cross the blood-brain barrier to increase GABA neurotransmitter release.
Taking Inositol for anxiety is many and very effective user experience logs say they feel an improvement in their mood within an hour or two. Inositol supplements can promote feelings of security, well-being and relaxation.
This compound is also being investigated in conjunction with more serious mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, and other mental illnesses.

GABA – An In Depth Look At This Nootropic

nootropicsThe modern market has numerous new drugs and supplements designed to treat, manage or remedy various kinds of conditions and diseases. Others are simply designed to help users achieve healthy lifestyles, increase brain and endurance performance or simply elude different risks. Brain and memory boosting supplements for instance have become very popular and are on high demand. In a rapidly shifting environment that requires maximum efficiency, concentration and alertness, expanding memory function, cognitive abilities and energy is something everyone is seeking. This creates a huge demand for nootropics and meds that can increase brain function. GABA is one of the names you will repeatedly come across in reviews, articles, journals and research materials about brain and cognition supplements. Here is a detailed description of the compound including what it is, its uses and guide:

What is GABA?

GABA (Gama Amino Butyric Acid) is a common name among nootropics and it can be found as an ingredient in various kinds of nerve settling meds. It is a natural compound produced in the brain and acts as a neurotransmitter. In actual sense, GABA acts by blocking communication to the brain thus reducing nervous activities. It is these neurotransmitter effects that make GABA a natural tranquilizer and it is sold under the real brand name or listed as part of the ingredient list in other products. GABA is a supplement used by various kinds of people ranging from business owners and managers who want to remain active and alert the whole day to women with pre-menstrual nervousness and bodybuilders. While the compound is chiefly known for its sedative effects that help improve mood and focus, it has other secondary impacts that make it useful for people seeking other benefits. Natural production of GABA in the brain can be facilitated by eating diets rich in fruits, vegetable, tea and red wine.

What is GABA used for?

GABAAs aforementioned, GABA suppresses neural communication in the brain immediately reducing nervous activities. This causes a feeling of calmness and relaxation unlike edginess and anxiety. GABA acts on GABA receptors which then send signals to the brain to immediately reduce neural activities and focus on single thing. Although purported claims suggest GABA was discovered in 1863 in Berlin Germany, nothing could be more outlandish since the neurotransmitter concept was yet to be conceived. The compound may have been isolated as an amino acid then but it took close to 90 more years before J. Awapara and Eugene Roberts identified it as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in 1950. Low levels of GABA in the brain have since been linked to depression, anxiety, epilepsy and chronic pain. On the other hand, high levels of this compound are associated with boosted moods and a calming relaxing effect on your overall nervous system. It is also claimed to increase the production of HG (human growth hormone) which is why bodybuilders love it. However, people use GABA of various reasons that include the following:

  • To improve moods
  • To reduce anxiety and nervousness
  • To improve sleep and sleeping patterns
  • To remedy premenstrual symptoms (PMS)
  • To treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Other people use GABA to try and relieve pain and discomforts from injuries, improve their workout endurance, increase growth of lean muscle, burn fat and lower blood pressure. The sedative effects of GABA supplements make them quite easy to use for any requirement that involves pain and stress relief or increased strength and endurance.

Research on GABA

Although people use GABA for various reasons that it seems to remedy, little to no research has been done to verify these benefits. Most published reports supporting the use of GABA in all the above mentioned areas are generally weak and not quite comprehensive as you would expect. According to current medical opinion, GABA taken as a supplement is less likely to reach the brain and all the perceived benefits are merely a benign placebo. Within the 50+ years since GABA was identified as a neurotransmitter, several research studies have been published on its effects on humans and animals. However, most of them focus on the mechanics of action. Back at the beginning of the millennium, there were claims that research about GABA was intentionally suppressed to promote sales of the then existing drugs such as valium. Today, there are thousands of research studies made on how GABA works and communicates to the brain. There is currently insufficient information about the health benefits and risks of using GABA as an oral supplement. Its safety has also not been pondered enough.

How to take GABA

GABA is taken orally by the mouth and placed under the tongue to provide an immediate sense of relaxation. Before you take this supplement, it is important to choose a proper dosage for your unique condition or requirement. Those who want to relax and go to sleep can take 500mg-1000mg at least one hour before going to bed. If you want to kill stress, take 750mg divided into three daily doses of 250mg per service. It is advisable to take GABA pills on an empty stomach for fast and efficient absorption. GABA is only effective when it reaches the brain. If this does not happen, there will be no benefit at all yet you may still suffer the mild side effects. If you are taking the pills for stress (meaning splitting the dose into three parts) take them at least one hour before your next meal. Some people have difficulty swallowing the pill. Fortunately, you can still use the powdered form which is dissolved in water or juice. It is just as effective as the pill supplement.


Many nootropics have hit the market and it can be a little daunting landing top quality options. GABA is one of the most researched inhibitory neurotransmitters when it comes to nerve relaxation and memory boosting. However, most research is aimed at determining how GABA influences communication in the brain. It is therefore important to use this supplement only after prescription from a qualified professional doctor. Taking GABA for recreation or any reason without proper direction from a physician can be dangerous especially if you are on other meds. What’s more, you should purchase from credible licensed distributors who can guarantee top quality supplements.