Alpha Brain from Onnit is one of the most popular preformulated nootropic stacks on the market.
It’s highly touted by a list of celebrity high-performers including Joe Rogan who swears by Alpha Brain to help him have more engaging podcast interviews and enhance overall creativity.
The following article is a comprehensive review of Alpha Brain, including an in-depth evaluation of its formula and how it compares to other leading nootropic stacks like Mind Lab Pro and Qualia Mind.
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What Is Alpha Brain?
Alpha Brain is a preformulated nootropic stack that helps to promote cognitive functioning, sharpen focus, and improve memory and learning. Many users rave about its abiity to boost all-around thinking abilities, mental processing and recalling past events. In addition to all these properties, this nootropic supplement is caffeine free, dairy free, gluten free, nut free, and keto and paleo friendly.
Is Alpha Brain Any Good?
Alpha Brain’s formula consists of premium quality ingredients. The combination of ingredients in this product catalyzes the communication within the central nervous system, increases neuroplasticity, and creates an environment for optimum functioning of the brain.
In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study design, Alpha Brain was found to encourage verbal memory, enhance cognitive, and executive functioning among the participants.1Todd M Solomon, Jarrett Leech, Cynthia Murphy, Guy DeBros, Andrew Budson, and Paul Solomon, A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, efficacy study of alpha BRAIN® administered orally, J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 This blend is made to deliver lasting mental clarity, help with forgetfulness, sharpen focus on multifaceted tasks, think clearly under stressful situations, and respond more quickly.
Alpha Brain Ingredients
Alpha Brain’s Main Ingredients include:
- Oat Straw Extract
- Cat’s Claw
- Alpha GPC
- Bacopa Monnieri
- Toothed Clubmoss/Huperzine A
L-tyrosine, also sold as NALT, is a common mood-enhancing nootropic also used to promote alertness and attention.
L-tyrosine serves as a precursor to dopamine and enhances the development of vital chemical components in the brain to upregulate nerve cells communication.
It may help to manage symptoms of chronic anxiety, depression, insomnia, and narcolepsy.2Mirjam Bloemendaal, Monja Isabel Froböse, Joost Wegman, Bram Bastiaan Zandbelt, Ondine van de Rest, Roshan Cools, and Esther Aarts, Neuro-Cognitive Effects of Acute Tyrosine Administration on Reactive and Proactive Response Inhibition in Healthy Older Adults, eNeuro. 2018
L-Theanine can substantially elevate alpha band frequency activities which in turn relaxes the mind without instilling drowsiness.
It also plays a crucial role in maintaining mental alertness and attention.3Anna C Nobre , Anling Rao, Gail N Owen, L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008
As a phospholipid phosphatidylserine generally protects the brain cells by encapsulating them and helps with transferring neuronal signals.
Oat Straw Extract
Oat Straw Extract is organically sourced from the stems and leaves of the sativa plant.
Studies on adult human participants demonstrate its potential to augment brain function and promote cardiovascular health.
Also, a few in vitro and animal studies indicate that it may help with mood swings and chronic inflammation.5Rachel H. X. Wong, Peter R. C. Howe, Janet Bryan,, Alison M. Coates,Jonathan D. Buckley, and Narelle M. Berry, Chronic Effects of a Wild Green Oat Extract Supplementation on Cognitive Performance in Older Adults: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial, Nutrients. 2012
This dietary supplement is used for a variety of health concerns, including rheumatoid disease, auto-immune disorders, gastric issues, viral infections, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.
In the European continent, this ingredient has been used as a prescribed medication for the management of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientific literature has explored and demonstrated its potential to facilitate the learning process, maintain mental focus, acuity and improve physical performance.7Adam G Parker, Allyn Byars, Martin Purpura, and Ralf Jäger, The effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, caffeine or placebo on markers of mood, cognitive function, power, speed, and agility, J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015
Bacopa Monnieri contains active composites known as bacosides, which have been found to have antioxidant effects on the brain and nervous system.
It is also known to have various potent properties including, anti-inflammation, memory retention, and the ability to quickly process information.8Carlo Calabrese, N.D., M.P.H.,corresponding author1 William L. Gregory, Ph.D.,Michael Leo, Ph.D., Dale Kraemer, Ph.D., Kerry Bone, F.N.I.M.H., F.N.H.A.A., and Barry Oken, M.D., Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial, J Altern Complement Med. 2008
Toothed Clubmoss/ Huperzine A
Toothed Clubmoss/Huperzine A indirectly promotes healthy acetylcholine levels in the brain.
Toothclubmoss contains trace amounts of Huperzine A.
Huperzine A encourages acetylcholine signaling and promotes cognitive function and also plays a crucial role in neural mechanisms of memory, and executive function.
It has also been found to establish neuroprotective functions and the brain antioxidant defense system.9Maung Kyaw Moe Tun and Seth B Herzon, The pharmacology and therapeutic potential of (−)-huperzine A, J Exp Pharmacol. 2012
Multiple studies have shown that dietary L-leucine supplementation promotes glucose homeostasis, regulates food intake, and maintains energy equilibrium.10João A.B. Pedroso, Thais T. Zampieri, and Jose Donato, Jr., Reviewing the Effects of l-Leucine Supplementation in the Regulation of Food Intake, Energy Balance, and Glucose Homeostasis, Nutrients. 2015
Pterostilbene is a natural antioxidant dietary compound.
Studies have implicated this ingredient to be helpful as an anticarcinogen, and anti-inflammatory substance.
It may also help to modulate symptoms of neurological disorders, manage vascular diseases, and manage diabetes. 11Denise McCormack, and David McFadden, A Review of Pterostilbene Antioxidant Activity and Disease Modification, Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013
Alpha Brain contains filler ingredients like maltodextrin, vegetable cellulose capsule, and rice hull concentrate.
These substances are used to improve the flavor, thickness, or shelf life of the product. It does not contain any animal by-products, gelatin, preservatives, starch, or wheat. These are made up of either pine or poplar cellulose.
It is always recommended to consult your physician or medical doctor prior to introducing any smart pills as a short- or long-term dietary supplement.
Alpha Brain vs Mind Lab Pro
Alpha Brain and Mind Lab Pro share several main ingredients in common, including, bacopa monnieri, L-theanine, L-tyrosine, phosphatidylserine, and vitamin B6.
Even the ingredients that are different are relatively interchangeable.
For example, Alpha Brain includes Alpha-GPC while Mind Lab Pro includes Citicoline.
The 2 glaring formulaic differences for me is Mind Lab’s use of Lion’s Mane and Alpha Brain’s use of proprietary blends.
It’s hard to get a sense of how much of each ingredient they use since they are bunched together as proprietary blends.
- 11 All-Natural Nootropics
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This isn’t the worst thing in the world but is important to keep in mind when deciding how much of each nootropic you want in your day.
Alpha Brain also offers 15-day or 45-day supplies whereas Mind Lab Pro’s bottles are good for 30 days. The price is pretty much even.
Alpha Brain vs Qualia Mind
Qualia Mind is another preformulated nootropic stack, known as an industry leader with a large ingredient list.
Qualia Mind and Alpha Brain have 5 ingredients in common which include Alpha GPC, bacopa monnieri, huperzine A, L-Theanine, and Vitamin B6.
Alpha Brain contains a few crucial smart ingredients which are not present in Qualia Mind including cat’s claw extract, L-leucine, oat straw extract, phosphatidylserine, pterostilbene, vinpocetine.
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Qualia Mind in total contains 26 nootropic ingredients split between 7 pills per serving with hefty doses of each ingredient. However, 1 bottle of Qualia can run $120 for a 28 day supply vs a 15 day supply of Alpha Brain for $35. When deciding between these 2 stacks its important to keep in mind what ingredients are important to you and how much you want to spend to get them.
Alpha Brain vs Neurofuel
Neurofuel (formerly Cilitep) is a more basic nootropic stack that is also quite popular.
- Simple Ingredient Formula
- Full Safety Testing Transparency
- Enhance Focus and Concentration
- Boost Mood and Motivation
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It only contains one similar ingredient to Alpha Brain, Vitamin B6, along with 4 other total ingredients which include Artichoke Extract, Acetyl L-Carnitine, L-Phenylalanine, and Forskolin. Despite the small ingredient list, many users rave about Neurofuel’s ability to sharpen focus and boost memory and learning capabilities.
A 15 day supply of Neurofuel costs $30 so it’s very comparable to Alpha Brain. Considering the similarities in cost and the 2 opposing formulations, it might be best to run your own experiment and see which one works better for you.
Is Alpha Brain Safe?
Yes, Alpha Brain is very safe and highly effective.
It is recognized worldwide and has been studied for decades by scientific experts.
Studies demonstrate its ability to act as a powerful memory booster and prescribed by doctors throughout the European continent for a variety of cognitive memory disorders.
Alpha Brain Reddit Reviews
“The benefit of Alpha Brain may be in its ability to assist the user in retaining vast volumes of information.” – Posted by u/Neuropharma
“Alpha Brain has lots of good ingredients, those ingredients are supported by peer-reviewed double-blind studies.” – Posted by darbyhouston
Alpha Brain Amazon Reviews
“This product is amazing. After taking 2 my thoughts become clearer and my actions seem to have more intent. I’ve noticed this clarity that is astounding. If you are a cerebral person, this product is for you.” – by Daniel S.
“So I’ve been taking this for a little over 2 months now and I definitely feel more energetic (but not in a weird caffeinated, upper, cracky sort of way), I’m able to focus on work and side projects better, I am in a better mood, and I just feel better and enjoy life more now that I’m taking this wonderful supplement!” – by Ryan A. Dupont
Joe Rogan and Alpha Brain
Joe Rogan promotes, uses, and is a part-owner of Onnit (maker of Alpha Brain)
Joe Rogan is a sincere promoter of Alpha Brain.
He uses Alpha Brain on a regular basis and is also a part-owner of the parent company of Alpha Brain, namely Onnit.
“It seems to fire up your brain at a higher RPM level… I feel like it helps me form sentences better.” – Joe Rogan
Alpha Brain is an effective dietary supplement which will suit a regular day to day life. It can be taken twice a day after a light meal.
The majority of users have not reported any harsh effects. However, some consumers have occasionally experienced mild headaches, jaw pain, nervousness, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, lucid dreams, blood pressure fluctuation, and gastrointestinal distress.