Best Nootropics for Mood

Best Nootropics for Mood

GABA is essential to brain function, and it can maintain a good mood, memory, learning, and cognitive function. The best natural nootropics for mood-enhancing purposes will be discussed below. Read this article to learn how to increase your GABA levels for better mood and mental function with natural nootropic ingredients.

While several synthetic GABA supplements are available, many of them will not cross the blood-brain barrier properly and may even cause dependence or worse.

In no order of relevance, the best nootropics for mood include L-theanine, L-tyrosine, organic bacopa monnieri leaf extract, methylated vitamin B6, uridine, taurine, organic ashwagandha root extract, and vitamin D. These natural nootropics are available in their purest and most bioavailable forms in Maximum Mind. Continue reading to see how they can positively impact your mood. 


What Are Nootropics?

“The only difference between the master and the novice is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried.”
― Stephen McCranie

First things, if we are talking about the best supplements for students, first we must define what nootropics are.

Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian neuroscientist, coined the term nootropic (pronounced new-tropic) in 1972. He believed that smart drugs should be invented and made widely available for the purpose of enhancing the general population’s brain health and increasing human intelligence.

According to Dr. Giurgea’s findings, nootropics enhance cognition, memory, alertness, concentration, creativity, and attention. They became known as cognitive enhancers, substances that amplify the way the brain’s many cognitive functions operate and how we process information.

Simply put, cognitive enhancers (or nootropics or smart drugs) are prescription or off-the-counter drugs or supplements that enhance cognition. Some nootropics contribute to brain health, while others can be quite dangerous.

Since Marco’s Grounds only works with safe and natural compounds in their purest forms, we will restrain ourselves to natural nootropics that increase cognition safely for most of our discussions.


What Is GABA?

“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.”
— Yousuf Karsh

Although GABA was relatively unknown in popular culture until recently, scientists from Shippensburg University recognized its critical role in the central nervous system in 1950. [1] Today, researchers have undertaken over 2,900 human investigations to elucidate the processes and functions of GABA. GABA has been identified as a fundamental communication regulator in the brain due to these investigations.

Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring amino acid and inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. 

Its primary role is to monitor neuronal activity and intervene when neurons in the brain and central nervous system are overstimulated.

GABA is produced by the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and is required in practically every part of the brain.

GABA is necessary for normal brain function and mood support, and adequate GABA levels offer a variety of mental advantages, including the following:

  • better sleep
  • increased relaxation
  • reduced stress
  • less pain
  • positive mood

However, according to researchers in Drug Alcohol Dependence, low GABA levels can have a detrimental influence on mental health, including depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and drug and alcohol abuse. [2]

Low GABA levels allow the brain to remain overexcited, sending false alarms and inundating it with harmful chemicals and free radicals that can cause quick and widespread inflammation, neuronal pathway blockage, and brain cell death. Although it is possible to regenerate neurons, some practices may be helpful in not only restoring but multiplying them.  

There are numerous strategies for maintaining healthy GABA levels in the brain, but how does it work? Is it possible that your GABA supply could use a boost? This is were the best nootropics for mood can help.


How Gaba Works

“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”
— Michele Ruiz

When a chemical binds to a receptor, it activates the receptor’s action. The agonist is the substance that binds to the receptor. Any chemical created inside or outside the body that binds to a receptor is considered an agonist.

A study found in CNS Spectrums asserts that when a GABA agonist binds to its receptor, it boosts GABA activity, which often results in increased relaxation and decreased anxiety. [3]

GABAergic neurons are neurons that generate GABA.

GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, stopping neurons from firing excessively frequently as a result of overstimulation. As with an effective couples counselor, GABA prevents dialogue from being excessively loud and out of control. Further than that, it promotes calm, clear intraneural communication.

GABA promotes peaceful sleep, relieves mental and physical stress, alleviates anxiety, and promotes a calm mood by suppressing neuronal activity.

Glutamate and GABA play a critical role in maintaining the brain’s overall mental balance. Both must be in balance to function efficiently.

GABA and Glutamate

“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
— Napoleon Hill

The brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate between neurons. Apart from GABA, neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, adrenaline, and norepinephrine are involved in transmitting cell signals.

While GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as an inhibitor, glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that promotes learning, attention, and focus. However, excessive glutamate drives excessive activity in nerve cells and other neurons, leading them to burn out, much like a light bulb left on for an extended period of time.

Glutamate stimulates the opening of sodium channels in nerve cells and other neurons, preventing them from closing. The neurons continue to fire, causing inflammatory chemicals and free radicals to amass fast and destroy the mitochondria — the neurons' energy-generating core.

A study found in the International Tinnitus Journal claims that when the neurons' mitochondria are depleted, it withers and dies.[4]

GABA acts as an antagonist to glutamate, assisting nerve cells in remaining calm by interfering with neuronal firing, inhibiting inflammatory chemicals, and limiting free radical damage. 

Glutamate should normally be able to convert to GABA.

Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) is a non-essential amino acid that functions as the precursor to glutamate and GABA. It can essentially transform into either of the two, while GABA and glutamate can transform into one another.

However, various conditions might obstruct this conversion process, resulting in excessive glutamate generation and insufficient GABA conversion.


Avoid foods and other substances that contain excitotoxins, resulting in an abnormally high glutamate level. including:

  • aspartate/aspartame
  • casein
  • MSG (and these alternate names)
  • L-cysteine
  • Domoic Acid (common in farm-raised seafood) 


Calcium has a role in the GABA-glutamate drama as well. Excitotoxicity is initiated by glutamate, but calcium is the substance that truly damages the nerve cell. Excess glutamate mixed with an excess of calcium is a recipe for disaster.

Vitamins D and K are fat-soluble vitamins that are necessary for calcium balance. The body can store vitamin D but not vitamin K; thus, daily supplementation may be necessary.

Additionally, you can reverse the flow of excess calcium into neurons and back into bones and teeth by performing the following:

  • magnesium enhancement
  • zinc supplementation to prevent glutamate damage
  • lithium, iodine, and boron levels should be monitored

Neurotransmitter nootropics support appropriate brain chemical levels necessary for peak mental performance.

Symptoms of Low GABA

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.”
— Colin Powell

GABA levels that are abnormally low might cause a variety of life-altering effects. Although GABA is well known for its impact on mood and stress response, it has a broader cognitive effect that you might not know.

GABA plays a significant role in the neural connections that regulate language. If you forget a term or the name of a person or location, GABA fills in the blanks and assists your brain in retrieving it.

GABA calms neurons that begin babbling nonsense in an exaggerated attempt to solve the puzzle of information overload. This enables accurate information to be uncovered without filtering through a deluge of unnecessary data.

Insufficient GABA activity in the body can result in the following:

  • muscle pain
  • aggression
  • insomnia and other sleep problems
  • self-stimulating behaviors
  • difficulty concentrating
  • chronic stress
  • mood disorders
  • convulsions
  • depression
  • poor social interactions
  • anxiety
  • memory problems
  • headaches

Substance misuse is associated with decreased GABA activation as well.

Benefits of GABA

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”
— Maya Angelou


GABA aids in the relaxation of the mind and body and falling asleep, and remaining asleep throughout the night. Insomnia and sleep disruption are connected with low GABA activity.

GABA levels were found to be about 30% lower in patients with insomnia than in people who slept well in one study. A study in Sleep explains that low GABA levels were also associated with an increased number of non-external sleep disruptions. [5]

Consequently, to qualify for the best nootropics for mood a nootropic cannot alter or otherwise adversely impact your sleep.

Delta Brain Waves

Delta waves are the slowest brain wave levels in which cognitive function remains active. This is the brain region where neurons regenerate, neural pathways are repaired, and torn DNA is repaired. The delta state is critical for maintaining cognitive function and peak performance throughout waking hours. 

Yet delta brain waves mostly appear at night. During stages 3 and 4 of sleep, delta brain waves coat neurons throughout the brain with GABA.

Stress Relief

GABA’s principal function is to reduce neuronal activity throughout the brain and central nervous system, in turn increasing relaxation and relieving stress and anxiety.

GABA does this by coating neurons across the limbic system, blocking signals associated with the fear response, or what we commonly refer to as “fight or flight.” The limbic system slows down, the amygdala relaxes, and the central nervous system never receives the message that an impending disaster is not imminent.

In a true life-threatening emergency, for example, GABA will only slightly impair brain communication. It enables the warning to be sent while retaining sufficient cognitive control to deal with the circumstance in the most optimal manner possible.

Consequently, to qualify for the best nootropics for mood a nootropic cannot raise your stress levels via cortisol spikes or otherwise.

High Blood Pressure

Certain data suggests that GABA may aid in the reduction of hypertension.

Normal blood pressure naturally decreases during the night as a result of the body's sleep mechanisms. Hypertension may indicate hyperarousal, a state of alertness that makes sleeping and staying asleep difficult.

Persistent sleep disruption and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can result in hypertension and high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level can aid with sleep.


A properly functioning GABA system aids in the development of neurons by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

BDNF is a protein found in the brain that stimulates the growth and survival of new neurons. 

Maintaining adequate BDNF levels is critical for overall brain growth and cognitive function. Low BDNF levels have been associated with diminished brain plasticity and mental illness, according to researchers in Developmental Neurobiology. [6]

On the other hand, research indicates that increased BDNF levels promote learning, memory, cognitive function, and overall brain health. Consistent BDNF levels may help to prevent age-related cognitive impairment.

GABA Sources

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”
— Bill Bradley


Nutritional health is one of the most effective ways to protect cognitive function, and the foods we eat have a significant impact on brain function and mental performance.

GABA-containing foods or foods that promote GABA synthesis include the following:

  • berries
  • citrus fruits
  • nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds
  • wild-caught seafood, including shrimp, mackerel, and halibut
  • leafy greens like spinach and broccoli
  • cacao and cocoa
  • whole grains
  • tomatoes
  • organic soy, fava, lentils, and other beans
  • potatoes

GABA Supplements

While GABA supplements frequently promise to deliver the same advantages as naturally occurring GABA, their mechanisms vary and may be incompatible with those of the body.

However, scientists in an article published in Frontiers in Psychology have found how GABA supplements operate in the body and how well they cross the blood-brain barrier. [7]

Additionally, certain GABA supplements may cause dependence, increased glutamate levels (which can cause the early death of brain cells), and other undesirable side effects. Additional research is needed to establish the mechanism of action of supplementary GABA, especially how GABA affects the neurological system.

Maximum Mind as the Best Nootropics for Mood

“You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”     
— Zig Ziglar

Certain herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals boost GABA levels via increasing the frequency and duration of GABA channel activity rather than by binding directly to GABA receptors, as a typical agonist does.

Below are some of the best nootropics for mood. These natural smart drugs increase GABA activity, which aids in reducing stress and anxiety, promoting a balanced mood, and the improvement of sleep.


A study found in Nutritional Neuroscience elucidated that by reducing glutamate uptake, L-theanine protects GABA levels. [8] As such, L-theanine is regarded as one of the best nootropics for mood. L-theanine can decrease glutamate concentrations by functioning as a glutamate antagonist and binding to glutamate receptors.

It is found in green, black, and oolong teas and some medicinal mushrooms.

Theanine supplementation has been shown in the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy study to boost brain serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels by roughly 20% [9], which then will result in noticeable cognitive benefits and mental performance boost.

Theanine as a nootropic supplement also decreased psychological and physiological stress reactions in human research while enhancing mood, relaxation, and sleep quality. Maximum Mind L-theanine supplementation can provide you with the fantastic benefits of better mood and relief. 

Note: there’s an effective dose of L-theanine from organic green tea leaf extract in each dose of Maximum Mind.

Read more about L-theanine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out the best caffeine and L-theanine combination here.

Organic Bacopa Monnieri Leaf Extract 

With continuous, long-term use, bacopa may increase the number of GABA receptor sites. Bacopa promotes the production of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine: all of which are important in cognition, memory, mood, and overall brain health.

It has been demonstrated to enhance cognition by lowering anxiety and boosting neural transmission, improving learning and memory retention.

Bacopa may “upregulate expression of a specific type of presynaptic glutamate receptor, mGluR 8, which is thought to protect neurons from excitotoxicity (the part where glutamate can kill brain cells as we discussed above). Their downregulation occurs concurrently with hyperexcitation,” according to research found in Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. [10]

However, bacopa works overtime, and gains are much greater at 8-12 weeks than at 4-6 weeks in clinical trials. Maximum Mind provides an efficacious dose of premium bacopa as our extract contains a staggering 50% of active bacosides to boost your mood and improve your sleep.

For these reasons, bacopa is one of the best nootropics for mood.

Note: there’s an effective dose of organic bacopa monnieri leaf extract at 50% minimum bacosides, in each dose of Maximum Mind.

Read more on bacopa on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the health benefits of bacopa here.

Methylated Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is required for the production of GABA. Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is required for the creation of serotonin and GABA, and while it is found in a range of foods, accumulating evidence suggests that systemic inflammation may affect vitamin B6 metabolism.

B6 aids in the conversion of glutamic acid (GAD) to glutamic acid diacetate (GABA). GAD requires B6 to catalyze and control GABA synthesis from glutamic acid.

In animal investigation found in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, B6 supplementation increased the amount of GABA and the activity of GAD in mouse brains. [11] 

Vitamin B6 also interacts with vitamin B12 to maintain long-term brain health and as such is one of the best nootropics for mood.

Note: there’s an effective dose of methylated vitamin B6 in each dose of Maximum Mind.

Read more about methylated vitamin B6 on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive and why you should never consider non-methylated B vitamins.


Taurine is also one of the best nootropics for mood and stress. It is an amino acid that is required for a variety of chemical processes in the body. Scallops, tuna, tilapia, octopus, turkey, chicken, seaweed, and beef contain it.

Because taurine preserves the membrane of neurons, it aids in cell adhesion. When neurons aren’t harmed by mood alteration, they can work better. As a result, after consuming taurine, you will be more active and aware of your surroundings. This significantly decreases stress and improves confidence in our daily lives.

Taurine supplementation can also boost short-term memory by making it simpler for neurons to connect with one another. According to research published in Taurine, it will also aid in long-term memory by keeping the brain’s neurons healthy [12].

Taurine has several advantages, ranging from being a permeation enhancer that allows other beneficial compounds to enter your body more quickly to being a potent antioxidant. However, the major reason taurine is one of the best nootropics for mood is that it can help you recall things better, lowering your chance of experiencing mental breakdowns, which leads to lower mood deterioration.

Without question, forgetting or being unable to remember basic things may throw us off balance. However, supplementing with taurine, which is included in Maximum Mind, might help us improve our memory and restore our calm. This is why taurine is one of the best smart drugs for mood.

Note: there’s an effective dose of taurine in its free form at 99% purity in each dose of Maximum Mind.

Read more about taurine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the benefits of taurine here. 

Organic Ashwagandha Root Extract

Ashwagandha, often known as “Indian Ginseng,” is a common Rasayana or medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha is a supplement that might help high achievers feel better physically and emotionally when it comes to cognitive enhancements and physical well-being.

As one of the best cognitive enhancer for mood, ashwagandha can significantly help with mood and anxiety alleviation by reducing cortisol, the important stress hormone.

According to the Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines, Ashwagandha increases cognition and memory and the capacity to do everyday duties [13].

Consequently, ashwagandha’s stress-relieving properties and its ability to improve memory and cognitive performance make this ancient root one of the best nootropics for mood.

Note: there’s an effective dose of organic ashwagandha full-spectrum root extract, standardized at 10% withanolides, and less than 1% withaferin A in each dose of Maximum Mind.

Read more about ashwagandha on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or dig deeper into the benefits of ashwagandha here.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is mainly acquired from exposure to sunshine or supplementation. It is the main reason sunlight creates a mood enhancement. Until recently, the cognitive effects of vitamin D supplements were under-appreciated. Vitamin D receptors have been revealed to be widespread in the brain, since then and we understand that vitamin D is one of the best dietary supplements.

Vitamin D3, in particular, has neuroprotective properties that may assist in the brain’s defense against cognitive decline as well as chronic mood and memory difficulties.

Vitamin D3 has been shown in studies published in the Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation to assist in the removal of amyloid plaques associated with cognitive dysfunctions such as dementia and other forms of severe cognitive impairment [14], making it one of the best nootropics for mood.

Vitamin D3 and other D vitamins are required for appropriate brain development and cognitive function as we age. However, current research reveals that vitamin D deficiency is so widespread that many experts consider it a worldwide health issue.

Make sure you’re receiving enough D3 by stepping outside on sunny days and supplementing with a high-quality, absorbable form like the one in Maximum Mind. It’s also worth noting that there aren’t many plant-based sources of vitamin D3, the superior form, but Marco’s Grounds gets its D3 from North American wild lichen, making it vegan-friendly.

Note: there’s an effective dose of vitamin D3 extracted from North American wild lichen in each dose of Maximum Mind.

Read more about vitamin D on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive.


Tyrosine is a key amino acid that plays an important role in mood. In its active form, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine (NALT), the amino acid L-tyrosine replenishes neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin, required for a balanced mood.

It is one of the building blocks of dopamine. Low levels of dopamine can lead to depression and other mood disorders. 

The brain is simply incapable of maintaining a high degree of mental balance for an extended amount of time. One explanation for this is L-tyrosine deficiency.

A highly engaged, agitated brain consumes excitatory catecholamines at breakneck speed. This feel-good surge of mental energy and productivity may lead to spurts of good mood, but once your body’s natural tyrosine stores are depleted, your brainpower is depleted as well and your mood levels start to drop.

N-acetyl-L-tyrosine is the ideal type of supplemental tyrosine for reversing spiky moods. However, it is critical to keep in mind that NALT’s cognitive advantages are most noticeable in high-stress and activity situations.

Tyrosine can help increase dopamine levels, improve your mood, and make you feel happier. It can also help to improve cognitive function and memory. So if you are feeling down, tyrosine may be just what you need to boost your mood.

Tyrosine supplementation has also been shown by researchers in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance to significantly reduce the typical drop in cognitive function associated with sleep deprivation, i.e., “all-nighters.” [14]. This also will naturally have a beneficial effect on your mood if you are sleep deprived.

This is why NALT is naturally one of the best nootropics for mood and brain supplements.

Note: there’s an effective dose of L-tyrosine as NALT at 99% purity in each dose of Maximum Mind.

Read more about N-acetyl-L-tyrosine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or find out more about the benefits of L-tyrosine here. 


Dietary uridine is converted to uridine monophosphate in the liver and then excreted in the blood.

Dietary uridine is found in a wide variety of foods. In order to reap the numerous outstanding benefits—particularly those associated with cognition—that come from uridine, which is primarily absorbed through diet, supplementation may be essential.

Supplementation with uridine has been found to cross the blood-brain barrier easily. To obtain CDP choline, uridine must be transformed in the brain. Additionally, choline is required to synthesize acetylcholine, a critical neurotransmitter involved in memory, mood regulation, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions.

Uridine is one of the best nootropics for mood due to the following reasons. According to a study published in Nutrition Reviews, the combined effects of uridine promote and increase neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to reconstruct and adapt in response to learning and brain training [16]. A practice that is undeniably healthy to mitigate mood swings. 

Given a choice, most people would prefer to experience more positive moods and emotions than feeling sad or down all the time. According to an article from Biological Psychology, uridine showed a dose-dependent reduction in depression-like behaviors in rats, both alone and in combination with omega-3 fatty acids, thought to be due to both compounds’ influence on phospholipid metabolism and cell membrane fluidity [17].

Additionally, it has been researched and shown to improve depression associated with bipolar disorder in adolescents through a similar mechanism, according to a study in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Pharmacology [18]. An article in Bipolar Disorder also found that administration of uridine to healthy adults increases phosphomonoesters levels in the brain, which are thought to play a role in depression and bipolar disorder [19].

All this evidence supports the benefits of uridine in improving mood and cognitive performance without causing brain fog. Consequently, uridine is one of the best cognitive enhancers for mood because of its various advantages. Through assisting in the regeneration of neurites, the primary process by which neurons grow into axons or dendrites.

Note: there’s an effective dose of uridine at 99% purity in each dose of Maximum Mind.

Read more about uridine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or read more about the benefits of uridine here.



"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." 
— Thomas Edison

The best nootropic for mood, such as Maximum Mind, helps your mental keenness by boosting your mood and exonerating any known side effects from stimulants, such as coffee. 

While GABA may be obtained from several sources, as discussed above, it is important to augment the number of GABA receptors by constantly consuming or supplementing foods promoting GABA instead of directly using GABA supplements that can have more bad than good. 

However, the best nootropics for mood like L-theanine, organic ashwagandha root extract, uridine, organic bacopa monnieri leaf extract, L-tyrosine, vitamin D, and more are all included in Maximum Mind. They will help give you that calm mood you need to perform at your best.

Why not benefit from the best smart drugs for mood in their purest form along with other clinically studied compounds for increasing brain activity and health with Maximum Mind?



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