Nootropics For Motivation: How They Help & Which Are Best

Motivation is a complex concept that often has a similar controversy as the chicken or the egg argument. Should motivation come before you are driven to do something or does it come after?

The reality is that how and when we feel motivated is not always within our control and it is important to remember that motivation is ever-changing. Waiting around for motivation to come is a recipe for disaster and rather you should make an effort to try and cultivate motivation and take advantage of it when it is present.

Cultivating motivation is something that many people are not aware of and is an excellent way to help with your productivity, self-efficacy, and morale. Motivation can be elusive so it is important to take a multi-faced approach.

By following motivation-promoting activities, supporting your mental clarity and focus, and taking care of your overall wellbeing, you set yourself up to create a strong sense of motivation to get you through the day.

What are nootropics?

Nootropics are a subset of supplements that aim to help support and sometimes improve cognitive function, mental clarity, and focus. Nootropics have been popularized in recent years because of the increased need for people to be on top of their mental game.

Nootropics have also been referred to as “smart” supplements. While the molecules in these supplements won’t improve your intelligence, they can offer support to your brain, which in combination with other activities like studying, could give you the mental boost you’re looking for.

The gaming community, students, and the general public can all take advantage of the brain support that nootropics have to offer. As opposed to normal supplements, nootropic supplements aim to specifically target and support your nervous system. Having a targeted approach to supplementation can allow you to ensure that the desired bodily system is well supported and taken care of.


Motivation is often thought of as the push to get up and go, but in reality, it is much more than complex.

Motivation comes in two distinct flavors, intrinsic and extrinsic. Understanding the kinds of motivation can help you to gain a better understanding of what motivates you and how to take advantage of it to get more out of your day.


Intrinsic motivation is a form of motivation that is fueled by enjoyment and satisfaction. With intrinsic motivation, the process of performing a task and completing it is to enjoy it and get satisfaction from it.

Intrinsic motivation can be thought of like a volunteer healthcare worker. The volunteers are motivated by the enjoyment of helping others and the way it makes them feel. Intrinsic motivation is oftentimes thought of as the better form of motivation because it sticks around for much longer and is often a stronger motivator.

Doing something because you enjoy it is a much smaller pill to swallow than having to do something you dislike to get a reward or gratification.


Extrinsic motivation is the motivation that is fueled by the promise of reward. With extrinsic motivation, the end result is what is desired and the things to get to that are simply obstacles you must overcome.

A great way to think about extrinsic motivation is to think about performing a job that you don’t particularly care about for a large sum of money. You are motivated to do the work because of the reward of payment at the end of the week.

Extrinsic motivation can be an effective motivator, but at its core, it represents a poor ideology and is less resilient when compared to intrinsic motivation. When the reward is removed, the desire and drive to do the task vanish with it. Because of this, intrinsic motivation is much more resilient and can stand the test of time.

How nootropics can help with motivation

Nootropics and their ability to support your brain may seem unrelated to an intangible concept like motivation but in reality, they are closely tied to one another. Motivation consists of the drive to do a task and the actual action of performing that task. Nootropics can help to support your brain throughout the entire process.

Motivation is a complex concept that needs many different variables to align to occur. These variables include having mental clarity, the ability to focus, and the desire to perform a task. Nootropics can aid this process by supporting mental clarity, focus, and cognitive functioning.

The best nootropics to help support motivation

Nootropics cover a wide range of different molecules that can be supplemented to assist the brain and nervous system. From things as simple as magnesium, all the way to complex molecules like mitoquinol the number of nootropic molecules available is enormous.

In addition to the sheer number of nootropics, there is also a wide variety in the quality and sources of certain molecules.

Below is a closer look at four of the most bioavailable and highest quality nootropics available. Utilizing the power of supplements can help to facilitate mental clarity which can take you far in your ability to get and stay motivated.

Zembrin® Kanna extract

Zembrin® Kanna Extract is a purified and concentrated extract that is derived from a plant known as Sceletium tortuosum. The extract is an excellent nootropic that interacts with the brain in a way to support decision-making and emotional response.

Zembrin® Kanna works thanks to its unique blend of molecules and its targeted effects within the brain. An fMRI study found that Kanna extract is able to interact with the emotion, memory, and decision-making region of the brain known as the amygdala. This interaction is thought to reduce the reactivity of the amygdala and thus provide the support to decision-making and emotional response which can allow you to better focus and stay motivated.

Ginkgo extract

Ginkgo extract is a refined extract that is obtained from the Ginkgo Biloba plant. The plant is native in China and has been utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Ginkgo extract is an excellent nootropic because of its ability to support healthy cognitive functioning.

While the exact mechanism of how Ginkgo Biloba supports the brain, it has been proposed that it works by helping modulate nerve signaling, supporting blood flow, and also acting to help alleviate free radical toxicity and associated oxidative stress.


MitoQ, also known as mitoquinol, is a modified version of the CoQ10 molecule. CoQ10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is found within the membrane of the mitochondria that helps to keep free radicals of the mitochondria in check.

Factors like age can cause CoQ10 levels to decline which leaves the mitochondria susceptible to damage by free radicals. Damaged mitochondrial membranes reduce the efficiency at which they produce ATP which can negatively impact energy levels and cellular performance.

MitoQ can act as a nootropic for those with diminished CoQ10 levels. MitoQ’s modified CoQ10 structure allows it to be readily implemented into the mitochondria’s selective membrane and re-establish antioxidant levels.

Neurons are cells within the body that require a large amount of resources and energy. By supporting mitochondrial efficiency in neurons impacted by low CoQ10, you can effectively re-energize your neurons and give them the energy they need to give you the most focus, mental clarity, and motivation.

Other ways to promote motivation

While supplements like MitoQ Brain are a great way to bolster your brain and nervous system, there is a large mental component to motivation that also needs to be addressed. You can have the healthiest, most supported mind in the world, but if you do nothing else to foster motivation you will most likely not achieve a state of motivation.

Below is a look at some tips to help foster your inner motivation.

Create goals

Too many people sit around waiting for motivation to strike. In some instances for you to be motivated about something, you need to understand and be reminded of the bigger picture. Writing down goals is a great way to remind yourself of the bigger picture and what you are working towards.

We all encounter aspects of work or tasks that we dislike which can hinder motivation, but by reminding yourself of the bigger picture with your goals you can get motivated and get through it.


Momentum is an important concept for not only getting motivated but also sustaining motivation. Momentum refers to the act of doing something. Rather than wait for motivation to take you, start working and let your motivation catch up. This tip plays off of the fact that as you get more invested in an activity, the more likely you are to complete it.

A great example of utilizing momentum to increase motivation is at work. Most people find it hard to get to work in the morning. If you power through the morning resistance to work, you will be more likely to get into a groove and feel good you are accomplishing something. Before you know it your motivation to complete the task will begin to help you and allow you to get through it.


Motivation is something that most of us could do with more of. The tricky thing about motivation is that it is not something that we can just turn on, but rather it must be cultivated by creating an environment that is conducive to feeling motivated.

Focusing on supporting your cognitive functioning through nootropics and utilizing motivation-promoting activities is a great way to help you get the motivation you need.

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Reviewed by: Kai Man Yuen/ BSc., PGDipSci., MSc.

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