If you have ever watched the movie “Limitless” chances are that you’re familiar with what nootropics like Alpha Brain from Onnit can do. The only difference between Alpha Brain and Limitless is that the former is built through a combination of natural ingredients, unlike the latter which was apparently prepared in the lab. By being an all-natural nootropic, Alpha Brain is meant to attract a market of quality-conscious and health-conscious biohackers. So, how exactly does it fare when put to the test? In this review, we cut through all the positives and negatives of the relatively popular stack.
Unboxing The Alpha Brain Nootropic Stack
Since 2010, the Onnit Lab under the leadership of Aubrey Marcus has been producing all kinds of nootropic supplements. Of all their products, though, it is Alpha Brain that stands out as the most popular.
This is probably because the stack was once endorsed in the media channel of Joe Rogan Experience. This celebrity backing has created a lot of curiosity around the brand something that has often catapulted it to the very top of the markets.
But beyond the hype, is there more than meets the eye? Well, like any other well-made supplement stack out there, this one enjoys a high degree of success although the results may vary from one person to the next.
In our view, the product’s success rate is well over 99%. But what if you fall within the 1% of those who complain that this product doesn’t work for them? Well, the company provides you with a free trial period.
During this period of time, you can use the product for free and determine if it’s good for you or not. Only when you’re satisfied that this is the right product for you is when the company surcharges you and ships you a full order.
So, indeed, the fact that Alpha Brain provides you with a free trial makes them one of the very few companies out there that are worth trusting. And of course, the fact that they are willing to give you time to make this decision means they are really confident and willing to stand behind the quality of their product.
Does It Work?
In our view, this stack enjoys a high rate of success, though, as we have already mentioned, the results are not typical. In that case, the best course of action would be to understand the mechanism behind this product’s functions. And what better way to do that than by understanding the kind of ingredients found inside the brown bottle?
The ingredients' list is a three-in-one blend. There is the flow blend, focus blend, and fuel blend.
Flow Blend (650mg)
This blend comprises L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Oatstraw Extract, and Phosphatidylserine. And as its name suggests, its sole objective is to help improve your workflow and, therefore, promote productivity.
L-Tyrosine – This is an agent known for helping provide stress relief. Therefore, it helps promote brain performance even in high demand and challenging situations. Some pundits, however, would argue that N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine would have done a better job in this case than just L-Tyrosine.
L-Theanine – We all know L-Theanine and the fact that it’s abundantly found in green tea. The thing with this ingredient is that it’s a brain-booster and that’s because it boosts the effects of the Alpha brainwave. Besides that, it promotes meditative mental states in addition to facilitating relaxed concentration.
OatStraw Extract – This particular ingredient is meant to complement the effects of L-Theanine, or so it seems. And the reason for us reaching that conclusion is that Oatstraw is believed to enhance the Alpha brainwave. Compared to L-Theanine, though, evidence of it promoting meditative mental states is quite limited, though.
Phosphatidylserine – PS is an element that’s naturally found in the brain with its main job being to support brain cell membranes. Unfortunately, the one’s natural PS levels may decline with age and as such this noot seeks to replenish its supplies.
The Focus Blend (240mg)
This blend comprises three nootropics namely Alpha-GPC, Bacopa Extract, and Huperzia Extract. So, what exactly do these three aim to help you achieve?
Alpha-GPC – This nootropic is required to boost the concentration of choline in your brain. Choline is an important stimulant whose concentration tends to fall over time. With the acetylcholine precursor, it’s possible to replenish those levels and, therefore, boost your focus.
Bacopa Extract – Sourced from the Bacopa Monnieri plant, this adaptogen is reputed for its ability to boost your memory. That said, long term supplementation of it is required to attain a peak effect.
Huperzia Extract – The role of this particular extract is to complement what Alpha-GPC does which is to boost the concentration of choline in the brain. In particular, Huperzia does this by inhibiting the activity of the acetylcholinesterase which is an enzyme that leads to a premature breakdown of acetylcholine.
The Fuel Blend (60mg)
Just like the Focus Blend, the Fuel Blend brings together three natural ingredients. These are L-Leucine, Vinpocetine, and Pterostilbene.
L-Leucine – This is an amino acid that is used for building muscle and providing energy in the body. Basically, this protein is meant to improve your physical energy and muscle recovery time. Perhaps the idea behind its inclusion in this formula is to boost your physical energy so you can be productive and energetic all day long.
Vinpocetine – The role of vinpocetine is simple i.e. to increase cerebral blood flow and oxygenation in the brain. This can also promote recovery after a stroke.
Pterostilbene – Naturally found in blueberries, Pterostilbene is a natural dietary compound that’s commonly used as an antioxidant. Compared to other antioxidants such as Resveratrol, Pterostilbene is much more bioavailable.
The other ingredients included in this stack include 10mg Vitamin B6 which is provided in the form of Pyridoxine HCI. There’s the ac-11 ingredient which is a patented form of Cat’s Claw Extract containing 350mg of it per serving.
Additional ingredients who amount per serving hasn’t been clearly identified by the manufacturer include Rice Hull Concentrate, Dicalcium Phosphate, and Maltodextrin. The capsules are made from Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose which is basically another way of saying that they’re vegetarian capsules.
Who Takes Alpha Brain
Considering the list of ingredients included in the product and the general brand placement, the stack seems designed for geeks as well as athletes. Joe Rogan, the celeb who endorsed it is a mixed martial artist who also hosts podcasts and stand-up comedy shows. So, clearly, this product is meant to appeal to the needs of folks with extremely busy schedules and demanding careers.
There isn’t really much to worry about as far as Alpha Brain goes. And if you take the product in line with the recommended guidelines and dosage, there really isn’t any major side effect to worry about. However, in case you overdose on it, some of the negative effects you’re likely to experience include:
- Stomach discomfort
- Increased bowel movements
What’s The Recommended Dosage?
The daily recommended dosage of this product is 2 capsules. But unlike a majority of other stacks that are taken on an empty stomach, Alpha Brain pills are best taken alongside a light meal.
Alpha Brain Effects
There are three key effects that this product seems to focus on achieving. First, it increases your physical energy and stamina that you need to be productive. Yet another effect of taking these pills is an improved ability to focus on complex tasks. The “smart drug” has a Focus Blend which mainly operates by increasing your mental speed.
The third and final effect of taking this product is that it boosts your fuel. This is the fuel you need to boost your athletic and work performance. And as the company’s sales copy puts it, taking Alpha Brain is akin to adding “another gear for your brain.”
Pros & Cons
Alpha Brain is a go-to product for folks seeking to get their brains firing on all cylinders. The product is generally well-made especially considering the fact that it contains earth-grown nootropics.
One of the reasons we really like it is that you only need to take 2 pills of it per day. This is quite convenient especially for people who struggle swallowing capsules. Also, this low daily dosage further reduces your likelihood of facing any significant side effects from using it.
The only problem we could pick with it, however, is that they don’t clearly specify the amounts per serving of each ingredient. Instead, they provide the blended amounts and that makes it difficult to determine the exact quantities of the specific nootropics included.
That, however, is a minor issue given the fact that this product continues to attract positive reviews from its users. And to top it all up, the product has been through a double-blind study which was later submitted in the Journal of Human Psychopharmacology confirming the efficacy of this popular noot.
So, in our view, although not perfect, Alpha Brain still meets and even exceeds expectations. Therefore, if you’re looking for a nootropic that boosts your productivity and athleticism, this might just be the right tool to add to your arsenal.