Until recently, the importance of choline has been completely understated. In fact, it was not recognized as a required nutrient until 1998. Partly because of this, choline deficiency is super common. While it can be consumed through a diet rich in fish, vegetables, and eggs, we can take it as a supplement for an extra boost.
So here are all the deets on the best choline supplements.
Choline is an essential nutrient similar to Vitamin B. It’s a building block for acetylcholine, a primary, decision-making neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. That sounds, well, kind of important. So it’s no wonder that choline helps with various bodily functions, from aiding brain development and memory to the nervous system, improving muscle movement, and boosting metabolism.
Your liver produces small quantities of this nutrient, but you get most of your intake through food.
If you’re not getting enough choline through your diet, taking a supplement can keep you (and your brain) functioning at its best.
In fact, choline and similar ingredients like Alpha GPC (glycerylphosphorylcholine) are super popular in nootropic products.
One study showed that after going on a choline-deficient diet, over half of the men and over 75% of the postmenstrual women selected suffered a degree of liver damage.
In general, those most at risk of choline deficiency are heavy alcohol users due to alcohol’s damaging effects on the liver, as well as women who are post-menstrual or pregnant.
Pregnant women may especially benefit from taking choline supplements, as this nutrient is essential for prenatal care.
For the average population, choline supplementation can improve mental clarity, memory, and overall health. This is why it’s a common ingredient in nootropic, or “smart drug” supplements.
However, as the benefits of choline are continuously being uncovered, substantial evidence specifically for supplementation is still lacking.
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When it comes to finding the best choline supplement, products containing citicoline are the most popular. The products we selected below prove to be the most effective and popular brain food on the market. All of the supplements selected are GMP certified, use high-quality ingredients, and are from trusted brands.
Best Overall: Double Wood Supplements CDP Choline
Best for Productivity: Vyvamind
Best Bulk: Pure Bulk Choline L-Bitartrate
Double Wood Supplements only put out products of the highest quality. They’re GMP certified, and even display the testing results of each batch, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Second, it is made from high-quality citicoline, a compound chemically identical to choline. However, while choline can be created in the body, citicoline is used specifically for supplementation has proven to be effective.
Lastly, each bottle contains 60 servings, and each serving contains 300 mg of citicoline, at the best value for a non-bulk product on the market.
Altogether, this is one of the most affordable and high-quality products on the market, making Double Wood CDP Choline our top choice.
They also have a money-back guarantee, aregluten-free and soy-free.
Best for Productivity. Vyvamind isn’t strictly a choline supplement. It contains an array of high-quality ingredients. Every serving has 75mg of caffeine, b vitamins, l-tyrosine, l-theanine, and 200mg of CDP-Choline.
If you’re using choline to improve focus and attention without the crash that comes from many “nootropics” with high amounts of caffeine, then this is just what you’re looking for.
L-theanine, for example, has a synergistic effect with caffeine, which means taking the together can enhance the effects of both. (theanine and caffeine are both in green tea.)
When you add tyrosine, choline, and b-vitamins into that formula, you have a great combination that keeps you focused without the jitters or the “crash.”
Vyvamind is very popular for those with ADHD, who prefer to limit their use of medication.
I wouldn’t take Vyvamind as a pre-workout supplement, as it’s designed for mental focus and clarity, but for studying or overall productivity, its quality and comprehensive formula are hard to beat.
Double Wood Supplements Phosphatidylcholine is a form of choline that’s wrapped in a phospholipid. This is the most common form of choline found in foods, so it may be more bioavailable.
However, we’re not convinced by this, so the ordinary CDP choline is our top choice.
Of course, this product has the same high quality as Double Wood’s other products.
Each bottle also contains 210 servings, placing it at an affordable price point. It’s gluten-free but contains traces of soy.
This is a great option if you’re looking to buy in bulk. This Choline L-Bitartrate supplement contains both choline and bitartrate (tartaric acid). The bitartrate may help your body absorb choline quicker than if you were taking choline alone. Keep in mind though, the overall volume of tartrate is less per gram in the bitartrate version.
Pure Bulk has both powder and capsule options.
The power is easy to mix in just about anything, from coffee to a smoothie. It’s flavorless and mixes easily.
So if you’re looking to buy in bulk, this is the best option out there.
Not only is this the most affordable supplement on the list, it also contains choline and inositol. Both ingredients fall under the umbrella of Vitamin B. Choline is essential for brain health and metabolism of the liver, while Inositol plays an important role in keeping your nervous system healthy. Paired together, you have a super affordable supplement that will have you feeling your best.
Natural Stacks states that their Acetylcholine Brain Food will help with cognitive functioning and memory, and they have a money-back guarantee on this claim. This product is different from the rest because it contains acetylcholine as the main ingredient, not choline. However, as I mentioned earlier in this article, choline makes acetylcholine.
It’s also made with organic ingredients.
Each bottle contains 60 servings, much less than the previous option. It’s also a bit more expensive.
This citicoline supplement from Jarrow Formulas checks off all the boxes of what we look for in a supplement. First, it’s a GMP Certified and USDA Organic Certified brand.
It’s also a citicoline choline product, which has its benefits as we’ve mentioned.
Lastly, each bottle contains 120 servings, and each serving contains 250 mg of citicoline (That’s a 4 month supply at a fair price point.) The only downside is the soft gel capsule is not vegan friendly.
This Choline Complex supplement by Pure Synergy is another one that checks all of our boxes. It’s considered a complex supplement because it’s actually made from organic foods rich in choline (vegetables and sprouts).
Not only will your body process its ingredients naturally, but the supplement also contains multiple sources of choline. In fact, one tablet contains 50% of your recommended choline intake.
It’s geared towards prenatal care, so this one’s a great pick for mothers-to-be (although anyone can take it.) And if that wasn’t enough- the supplement is vegan, gluten-free, and receives great reviews. Like our number four pick, each bottle contains 60 servings.
Nested Naturals promises that their Choline Bitartrate supplement counteracts the effects of brain fog, and based on their reviews, they don’t disappoint. Nested Naturals’ choline supplement is vegan and tested through a multi-step process you can view on their website. All the information provided on their product is fact-based, and with 45 servings for under $20, this supplement definitely has great value.
Last, we have the Choline supplement by Country Life Vitamins on the list. This supplement is vegan and a good option for people who aren’t getting enough choline from their diet.
Each bottle contains 100 servings for just under $18.00.
Although rare, overconsumption of choline can cause side effects. Some reported side effects included a fishy body odor, sweating, reduced blood pressure, and nausea accompanied with or without vomiting. Loss of bladder control may occur if consuming over 9 grams daily.
The recommended daily intake is 1 to 4 grams, though, so you would have to take roughly 9 times the recommended amount to experience these effects. In other words, it’s probably not going to happen.
So for brain-boosting effects, choline is a safe, simple, inexpensive supplement you can try. If you’re curious to learn more about another supplement that helps support our energetic bodily functions (while keeping you young), check out our list of the best nmn supplements and best glutathione supplements.