Odds are if you hadn’t heard about nootropics before the early 2010s, you’ve heard about them now. Nootropics burst onto the scene around that time, and they’ve been trending ever since. Why? Well, with bold claims of making you feel more focused, calmer, and even smarter, it’s no wonder that these unique supplements have been catching people’s attention. Especially after the toll of the pandemic on all of our mental wellbeing…
If you’re dealing with brain fog, fatigue, and poor productivity, nootropics probably sound enticing. But, finding natural, effective, no-nonsense nootropics in today’s crowded wellness market can seem like a steep order.
That’s where Thesis comes in. Takethesis.com is an online brand that’s been a leader in personalized nootropics for years. With all-natural supplement blends that they claim are rooted in science, Thesis promises to bring a new meaning to the term “smart drugs”.
But as someone who’s always reserved a healthy level of skepticism around the efficacy of supplements in general, I decided to try Thesis nootropics firsthand to see what the hype was all about. In this review, I’ll share my experience with Thesis, including my honest reaction after taking their formulas for greater focus, confidence, logic, and more.
Curious if Thesis can introduce you to the valuable world of nootropics, without the BS? Keep reading to learn what’s inside Thesis‘ supplements and whether or not their nootropic blends had any effect on my brain.
What are nootropics?
Any natural or synthetic substance that can positively affect cognition, focus, memory, and other mental faculties, and sometimes your mood, is considered a nootropic.
Prescription stimulants like Adderall for ADHD are included as well. And while prescription drugs work for many, they typically exhibit a high instance of unwanted side effects. Natural remedies that boost mental performance, including organic supplements and dietary changes, are generally more sustainable over the long term. In fact, many ADHD patients first discover nootropics after seeking healthier alternatives to Adderall and other pharmaceuticals.
Read our full comparison of nootropics vs Adderall for more details on the key differences.
How long have nootropics been around?
The use of nootropics first became widespread in the 70s, when Piracetam first became widely known as a treatment for motion sickness, then later was found to boost cognitive performance. This spurred more of an effort toward discovering and developing more nootropics. It’s since become a thriving market, especially after the global pandemic wreaked havoc on mental health and left many with persistent brain fog. Today, the internet is awash with countless brain-boosting products available to consumers without prescription, and most don’t have FDA approval or much clinical data to support their claims.
While we love having options, the wide range of (unproven) nootropic supplements available today makes it hard to know which could work for you. There are dozens of brands, each offering various different nootropic blends, all claiming to be the best in class. Should you really be expected to try them all?
Thesis is on a mission to solve this conundrum. The company emerged to not only offer great quality and transparency around their blends, but also to recognize patients’ need for personalized recommendations from experts.
Let’s dive in to see what nootropics Thesis offers, and how the support they offer differs from typical supplement companies.
What are Thesis nootropics?
Thesis (rebranded from FindMyFormula.com) is a longstanding nootropics company with an impressive customer base of over 500,000 users. Having been in the space for years, Thesis has developed a comprehensive data set of nootropics research that dwarfs those of their competitors. I found this data-driven pitch compelling, and thus decided that I’d give Thesis a shot as my first foray into the world of nootropics in general.
1. How Thesis works
To get started, complete Thesis’ online questionnaire. They only ask for basic info – you don’t have to share specific lab tests or detailed medical history. Next, the Thesis algorithm will process your answers to recommend one or more nootropic blends best suited to your needs, which will be shipped to your house within 1-3 business days.
Thesis recommends you sample their nootropic blends for a month before selecting ones that you believe work the best for you. Of course, you don’t have to stick with just one – and many Thesis customers opt to continue taking two or more blends for varied nootropic benefits as desired. Customer’s purchase data then funnels back to bolster Thesis’s algorithm, further strengthening the reliability of its recommendation engine. Pretty cool, I must admit.
2. What makes Thesis unique
Thesis’ personalized nootropic recommendation algorithm, paired with the ability to try out four unique nootropic blends before selecting your go-to formula, is what defines the Thesis process. They spare you from the difficult, time-intensive testing of individual nootropics on your own, which could easily take months (and cost a serious amount of $). By first paring down your options to the supplements that are most likely to work for you, Thesis takes the legwork out of trying nootropics.
Plus, when you become a Thesis customer, you’ll also get access to a nootropics expert. This coach is available for consultation at any time to help you optimize your nootropics routine so that you get the most out of these specialized supplements. This includes keeping track of your progress, as well as answering any and all questions you may have about the science supporting each ingredient.
What’s inside Thesis’s unique nootropic blends?
At this point, you’re probably wondering what nootropic blends Thesis has to offer, and what secret sauce ingredients lie within. Thesis currently has six different formulations, each designed to target specific needs:
After filling out Thesis’ online questionnaire, I was recommended all but their Creativity blend. Below, I’ll outline the key nootropic ingredients inside each, as well as review my own personal experience in experimenting with them for the first time.
Energy formula Ingedients
Thesis’ Energy formula is designed to boost energy, fight fatigue, and improve mental stamina. Its ingredients include:
- Choline, for learning and memory
- NAC, for detoxification
- NALT, to support nerve cell communication
- Sabroxy®, for a dopamine boost and heightened memory
- TeaCrine®, for improved motivation, energy, and cognitive function
- Zynamite®, for mental and physical energy
- Caffeine, for energy and alertness
- L-Theanine, for an improved stress response
Review of Thesis energy – did it work for me?
Keep in mind that the power of placebo is well documented, as is the tremendous bias in self-reporting of any kind. These two factors, in combination with the day-to-day choppiness of life in general, make it hard to objectively determine how well supplements of any kind work for a given individual, much less the general population at large.
That said, putting those caveats aside for sec, I took Thesis’ energy blend for 6 days straight, and I definitely felt more ALERT. The results were noticeable and fairly instant – I felt more alive and energetic within the first hour of taking the four recommended pills, and the feeling generally continued late into the afternoon.
Fearful that my morning cup of coffee might overshadow or confound the nootropic’s effects, my routine was to take Thesis’ energy formula first thing in the morning with just a glass of water. It could just be the pill’s healthy dose of caffeine (or again, perhaps just placebo?), but regardless, I no longer craved coffee. Thesis’ Energy nootropics jolted me to full attention and kept my energy high for hours. If you’re looking for a caffeine replacement, or perhaps just an extra boost after a night of poor sleep, I definitely recommend Thesis’ blend for higher energy. Here’s what they pills look like up close:
The one downside? I ended up trying Thesis Energy with coffee one morning and felt pretty jittery. Of course, caffeine (and nootropics!) affect everyone differently, so if you’re eager to give these a shot, try them with and without your normal dose of coffee or tea to see how you feel. For me, I only needed one, not both, but it’s worth testing to find out what works for you!
Clarity formula ingredients
Do you find yourself often feeling foggy or forgetful? If so, Thesis’s Clarity formula may be worth a try. Formulated for increased focus and attention span, the Clarity nootropics are designed to help you more easily enter a flow state.
What ingredients are inside Thesis’ Clarity? Their unique formula contains:
- 7,8-DHF, for neural communication, neurogenesis, and neuroprotection
- Alpha GPC, for memory, neurogenesis, and neuroprotection
- Epicatechin, for improved mood, blood flow, and neuroprotection
- Lion’s Mane, for improved memory consolidation and neuroprotection
- Caffeine, for energy and alertness
- L-Theanine, for a better response to stress
Review of Thesis clarity – my personal experience
In my next phase of experimentation with Thesis nootropics, I decided to sample the Clarity blend for 6 days straight. Note that these six days did not overlap with days I took other nootropics, as I wanted to document my reaction to their blends independently, rather than seeing how I felt taking all of them together at once.
Although the benefits of Thesis’ Clarity blend were admittedly less immediate and noticeable than those I experienced with their Energy blend, I can honestly report that on the days I took Clarity, I found it easy to maintain a state of mental flow for longer. I generally don’t struggle to enter flow and engage deeply with my work, and this remained true while taking Thesis Clarity. What was different for me, however, was the duration of my flow, and I did my best to document these benefits closely through journaling.
To try and make my process as scientific as possible, at lunch each day I recorded how long I was able to stay focused that AM, and then again at dinner, noting how long I had been able to focus in that afternoon. Upon comparing my notes from the week I took Clarity vs the week I didn’t take anything at all, some clear benefits emerged. Overall, I was able to stay in a state of flow for ~35% longer with Thesis Clarity, although I’d be careful not to assume similar results too broadly for a couple of key reasons.
For one, placebo could very much be to blame given that I wanted to be more focused, and thus that desire alone could be to blame for my positive results. There’s also a small sample bias. Having only taken Clarity for one week, my self-reported data is a long way from “scientific significance”.
That said, nootropics and supplements are all about how you feel, and the end conclusion remains the same: I felt focused for longer when taking Thesis’ recommended blend for Clarity. If you find yourself being overly fidgety, forgetful, or disengaged at work, I recommend you give Thesis Clarity a shot.
Motivation formula ingredients
The Motivation formula is intended to boost willpower and productivity while reducing procrastination. This formula from Thesis includes the following nootropic ingredients:
- Artichoke extract, for stress management and circulation
- Dynamine®, for crash-free energy and a mood boost
- Forskolin, for improved cognitive function
- L-Phenylalanine, for mood, attention, and motivation
- B12, for energy and nerve wellness
- Caffeine, for energy and alertness
- Theanine, for an improved stress response
Review of Thesis Motivation – does it actually work?
Although I consider myself highly motivated, we all have days when we feel kind of “meh”. Rather than sampling Thesis’ Motivation nootropic every day for six days in a row, as I had with other blends, I instead opted to only experiment with them on days I woke up feeling noticeably uninspired. Interestingly, but perhaps not so surprisingly, these mostly fell on Mondays, although I felt less inclined to face my responsibilities on other days as well.
So, on these days of lower motivation when I took Thesis’ recommended Motivation nootropics, how did they make me feel? Honestly, I’m not sure. When reviewing my journal entries, I don’t notice any strong signs that the Thesis’ Motivation nootropics helped me significantly. It’s possible they acted in more subtle or slower ways because, by the afternoon, my notes indicate that I always felt fully engaged and motivated with whatever I was doing. But I must admit, I felt no sudden rush of motivation or anything super perceptible about Thesis’ nootropics for Motivation.
This may be because I didn’t adequately measure my personal motivation level while journaling. It could also be that on cherry-picking days I felt less motivated and heavily on biased my experience. For instance, I wonder if my results would have been more pronounced if I took Motivation consistently every day? Ultimately, I should probably test Thesis’ Motivation blend more before drawing any hard conclusions. And again, it’s worth noting that everyone’s body is quite different. While I don’t struggle with day-to-day motivation, others clearly do, and thus might see more noticeable results than I did.
Creativity formula ingedients
Thesis’s Creativity formula is designed to spark inspiration, improve verbal fluency, and provide a boost of confidence. It contains:
- Agmatine, for stress management
- Alpha GPC, support for memory, neuroprotection, and neurogenesis
- Ginseng, for learning and memory
- Ashwagandha, to promote calm in stressful settings
- Zembrin®, for mood regulation and blood flow to the brain
- Caffeine, for energy
- L-Theanine, for an improved stress response
My review of thesis creativity
Unfortunately, Thesis didn’t recommend this formula to me, so I can’t comment on its efficacy. That said, it’s one of Thesis’ most popular formulations, and thus seems to work for thousands of happy customers. I’ll update this section when I have a chance to try it first-hand.
Confidence formula ingredients
Confidence is the newest nootropic blend from Thesis. It contains ingredients to target stress and insecurities while fostering a sense of self-assurance. The idea behind the Confidence blend is that it will help users to feel more sure of themselves and stay in the present.
The Confidence nootropic ingredients include:
- Magnesium L-threonate
Review of Thesis Confidence – does it work?
Even the most self-assured among us crave more confidence. That’s because it’s attractive and infectious. As Thesis’ newest nootropic blend, Confidence is recommended for “high-pressure situations” when you want to “expand your comfort zone”, so I decided to reserve mine for situations in which I was meeting new people, which often, for me, means anticipatory social anxiety.
Recording how I felt two hours before leaving to meet new folks (both for business and pleasure), and then comparing that to my notes from just one hour before each meeting, a clear pattern emerged. In all cases, I reported feeling more relaxed and ready for new encounters after taking Thesis nootropics.
Absent any supplements whatsoever, my typical levels of social anxiety generally increase steadily up until the moment I see people. Generally, I turn to meditation to try to remedy that in the short term. However, that didn’t appear to be the case the 6 times I sampled Thesis’ confidence formula, although it’s unclear why. Perhaps it’s a placebo effect. But in any event, I was encouraged to keep trying Thesis Confidence nootropics before performative moments of all kinds.