The movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper centers around inhuman abilities his character (Eddie Morra) is granted after taking the mysterious NZT-48 Limitless pill. 

Cooper goes from a lazy, sabotaging slob with a bad case of writers block, to learning new languages, beating the stock market, and basically acting like Superman when he's on the drug.

Here's the famous scene when Cooper takes the pill for the first time.

Recently there's been a lot more hype around smart drugs because of the TV show Limitless on CBS starring Jake Donovan. 

It was a similar premise as the movie except Brian Finch was taking NZT-48 (the limitless pill) and using his profound abilities of memory and intelligence to solve crimes with the FBI. 

Some supplement companies have looked to cash in on the success and public interest around the movie and TV show by creating their own "NZT" nootropic pills - take this pill and you can be just like Bradley Cooper and dominate life!

You may, quite rightly, be skeptical about the outrageous claims these companies make, particularly because they rarely back them up with concrete science.

Even worse, most of them don't even list how much of each ingredient is inside their “genius pill” capsules.

Other people have found that by taking prescription medication usually prescribed for conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy, they experience benefits similar to the fictional effects of the NZT pill.

But, these brain booster drugs are only available on prescription and can have unpleasant and potentially serious and negative side effects.

Even if you have no interest in storming the stock market or learning languages on auto-pilot, you may still feel that your brain could do with a boost to function at its best. When you’re busy at work and have back-to-back meetings, for example, you want to know you’re doing all you can to optimize your powers of mental processing, problem-solving, and concentration.

What if I told you there are brain pills designed to boost your concentration, as well as reaction time while enhancing your cognitive abilities and cognitive performance? 

Even better, that these brain pills are made from real life natural ingredients and are available without a prescription.

In this article, we’ll tell you all about the smart pills that are supposedly similar to a real life NZT-48 - including the side-effects and risks that are associated with them. We’ll explain how to boost your brain power through good nutrition and lifestyle choices, and our favorite natural nootropic, CILTEP®.

And, as you’d expect from Natural Stacks, we’ll show you the science and know hows behind the claims and exactly what’s inside the capsules!

If you’re ready to get more from your brain - naturally, safely, AND legally - read on!

Are you tapping into your brain's full potential? Find out in this free short assessment. 


We get this question all the time at Natural Stacks.

Unfortunately, a real "NZT-48" pill doesn't exist. Expecting one of the copies that you buy online to be ANYTHING like the real thing is crazy. This is no different than a pack of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans or a cold glass of butterbeer from the world of Harry Potter. Utter fantasy.

There is no drug available that can have the same mind-blowing effects as the NZT-48 pill in the movie. 

What is the closest thing to NZT-48? There are similarities with the effects of some prescription drugs. But you should remember that these drugs are not prescribed for cognitive enhancement and should only be taken with advice and a prescription from a doctor.

Related: 11 Proven Ways To Generate More Brain Cells, Improve Memory, and Boost Mood


There have been numerous comparisons of NZT to modafinil (or the branded version, Provigil), a drug commonly prescribed for individuals with narcolepsy.

Modafinil is regarded by many (including RollingStone) as the smart drug the movie was based around. 

This "smart drug" was made popular by the likes of Dave Asprey, The Bulletproof Executive, who called it one of his favorite nootropics to take.

Studies show that modafinil can help fight fatigue, increase motivation, improve reaction times and help maintain a sharper focus [1].

It's important to note that cognitive benefits of modafinil are off-label and to take Provigil requires a doctor's prescription.


While modafinil is not considered addictive, scientists warn that it might be psychologically addictive. Plus, as no long-term studies on the effects of this drug have been carried out, the long-term effects on your brain are not yet known.

A BMA paper expressed concern that modafinil may turn out to be harmful to your brain and lead to premature deterioration. They say this might be worth the risk for people who are prescribed these drugs because of a serious condition - for healthy adults who want a boost of brain power, it’s just not worth it [2].

Modafinil may also lead to unpleasant side-effects. While some people find the drug helps them to focus really well on work, other people report it compels them to focus on the wrong thing, such as playing video games or spending hours on their phone. Many people report that it makes it almost impossible to sleep well, brings them out in a rash, destroys their appetite and leads to extreme dehydration [3].

The drug adderall (brand name, Ritalin) is also said to have similar benefits to NZT-48.


Like modafinil, adderall is only available by prescription and is often used to treat conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy.

Adderall is an amphetamine, and like other amphetamines such as speed or meth, it can have very unpleasant side-effects such as chronic insomnia, mood swings, nausea, anxiety, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. In severe cases it can cause serious damage to your heart and kidneys [4].

Like modafinil, adderall is only available by prescription and is not prescribed for cognitive enhancement.

Related: The Ultimate Resource for Nootropics


While some people find modafinil and adderall helpful for boosting brain power, the side-effects can be unpleasant and even dangerous, and there’s a risk the use of these drugs might cause your brain long-term damage. Plus, they are not legally available without a prescription. 

While you might not be interested in boosting your brain so you can conquer the world, you’d probably welcome optimizing your brain-power to help you focus better, learn more effectively and perform at your best, especially if you can do this naturally.

How can you get similar benefits to the NZT-48 pill without the risks?



CILTEP® is a unique blend of natural ingredients that are known to boost memory, focus, and motivation.

It is designed to help you study effectively, feel relaxed and at ease in social situations, and boost motivation and concentration at work. It is also designed to cut through brain fog, enabling you to think more clearly and increase your mental stamina.

CILTEP® is used by a wide range of people, from students wanting to optimize their ability to retain information, to executives who need to increase mental endurance and the ability to problem solve. Older people who want to get back a sense of mental sharpness also find it effective. 

The natural ingredients in CILTEP® were chosen as numerous studies have proved they enable brain cells to communicate more effectively with one another and help you to retain memories better and execute mental processes more efficiently.

CILTEP® does this by inducing long-term potentiation (LTP) in the brain.

For a full list of ingredients plus information on the science behind the formula click here.

Getting started using Nootropics can be daunting, but with a little guidance, anyone can get started quickly and safely.

If you aren't sure where to begin, we recommend trying CILTEP®, a natural nootropic featuring a patented, open-source formula for optimal mental performance. 

Take this short quiz to find out if CILTEP® is the right solution for you.

In addition to including CILTEP® in your stack, we recommend boosting your diet with brain foods, regular exercise, and healthy sleep to optimize the health of your brain.


Every mouthful of food you consume has the potential to supply your brain with all the nutrients it needs to perform at its best. 

Good nutrition is essential for cognitive function, focus, and memory. It will also help your brain to repair damaged brain cells and to protect itself against disease.

But which foods are best for the brain?

In order to perform at its best, your brain needs antioxidants to protect it against the ill-effects of stress and pollutants, essential fatty acids (EFAs) to help you concentrate, boost your memory and help your cells communicate effectively, and a range of vitamins and minerals to support all your mental processes and help protect against stress and anxiety. 

Try including these brain-boosting foods in your diet:

Avocados: Delicious in salads or a creamy addition to smoothies, avocados are packed full of nutrients to help your brain function at its best, including healthy fats, vitamin K and folate. Plus they contain the amino acid, tyrosine, which is essential for the creation of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that promotes confidence and motivation.

Beets: You may not have loved them when you were a kid, but beets are growing in popularity because they are so good for you. They are a great source of nitrate which studies show improves blood flow to the brain, delivering essential nutrients [5].

Blueberries: These tasty little superfoods pack a nutritional punch as they are one of the best sources of vitamins C and K and packed full of fiber. The antioxidants in blueberries may also help your brain protect itself from degeneration and stress [6].

Broccoli: One serving of broccoli provides your recommended daily intake of vitamin K which is essential for healthy brain cells and has been linked to improvements in memory [78].

Coffee: Caffeine can help you stay alert by blocking adenosine, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel sleepy. Studies show it may also boost concentration [9].  

Too much coffee can, however, make you feel anxious or jittery. To benefit from caffeine without the ill-effects. You might want to try a quality caffeine supplement [10].

Eggs: Eggs contain many nutrients that are essential for good brain health, including B vitamins and choline. Your body needs choline to create the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which is important for memory and mood [11]. B vitamins are also important in the formation of neurotransmitters.

Related: Acetylcholine article

Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are one of the best sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. EFAs are important for building and maintaining healthy cells, learning, and memory [12].

Green Tea: Like coffee, green tea also contains caffeine which, as we have seen, can help improve focus, alertness, and memory. Green Tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has many health benefits including for relaxation and memory processing [13]. 

Turmeric: This vibrant yellow spice has been flavor of the month for a while now, as it is a powerful anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants. Studies have suggested it may help mental performance by benefiting memory, boosting mood, and helping with the generation of new brain cells. 

Related: Curcumin: Everything You Need to Know About Turmeric Extract

Nuts: Nuts are full of healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E which are all great for helping your brain to perform at its best. Studies suggest that just a few walnuts a day will not only help you concentrate but will also speed up your reaction time and help you process information better [14]. And as walnuts look like tiny brains, that’s easy to remember!


Sleep is crucial for learning and memory as it gives the brain time to rest, and optimize neural connectivity [15].

Studies have shown that sleep is essential for focus, processing, and learning [16].

If you struggle to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, try implementing a night-time routine that helps you to have good sleep hygiene. Switch off electronic devices in the evening and ban them from the bedroom. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening. Try some calming activities late at night, such as reading, listening to music or taking a warm bath.

Related: How to Fall Asleep Fast and Naturally


Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise optimizes the sections of your brain responsible for thinking, memory, and learning [17]. 

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, delivering nutrients that help it to function at its best and stimulating hormones that are crucial for the formation of new brain cells. It also helps you to sleep better, releases endorphins that make you feel motivated and counteracts stress.

Studies suggest that the best way to optimize the effects of exercise on the brain is to practice consistently. To optimize brain health, doctors recommend 52 hours of exercise over the course of 6 months rather than a daily or weekly target [18].


The fantasy or infatuation with Limitless and NZT are based around the abilities gained with minimal effort exerted.

In the end, a real NZT-48 pill is simply a fantasy made to sell movies. Meanwhile, a lot of shady companies have tried to cash in by creating knockoff products. 

Now that CBS has gone ahead and created a Limitless TV show, there should be a huge increase in demand for NZT and overall interest for cognitive enhancers. 

The answer is... yes you can improve your focus, memory, and motivation by following a healthy lifestyle and using good quality, trusted dietary supplements.



















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