Alpha Brain Review – Best Nootropic Stack?

by admin on August 7, 2014

Onnit Alpha Brain Supplements

Nootropic- Translated from the greek root words meaning “to bend the mind”.  These substances are also referred to as “smart drugs”, or “brain enhancing drugs”.  They are supplements, nutraceuticals and functional foods/herbs that enhance one or more aspects of mental function. These enhanced aspects are working memory, reaction speed and attention.

I got into nootropics a number of years ago with the mindset of “life is short, why waste time forgetting, learning slow, taking 10 tries to get something right, having to turn around in traffic because I did not go the right way, etc”. I always saw great value in being that guy who always knew exactly what was going on, every detail and was mentally on it right away. Being a herbalist, I started making my own herbal brain stacks (combinations of nutrients and herbs) and later, added non-herbal nootropics.

What Is Alpha Brain?

I did not hear about AlphaBrain until listening to a Joe Rogan podcast about a year ago.  Alpha Brain is now a very popular alphabrainnootropic stack.   Joe Rogan, who has been taking it for years, and is indeed very mentally sharp, has a lot to do with that popularity. I realized, after I looked at what was in it that I already included all the ingredients into my own stack. Now I am an all out nerd into herbalism, fitness and wellness so most people could not say this. Alpha Brain is indeed a quite extensive brain stack (11 different nootropic ingredients) – and it can be purchased directly from Onnit.

Onnit actually spent a good amount of money to fund a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group efficacy study on Alpha Brain. Results showed significant improvements were measured in three different categories of mental performance.

Alpha Brain Benefits

onnit-alpha-brainIncreased focus, mental drive, and working memory are the main benefits of a good brain stack. When I use the herbs and supplements found in Alpha Brain, I find my thoughts flowing out more freely, sentences being articulated much better. This is my favorite benefit as I find this to improve the enjoyment of everyday life. Though if you are looking for a miracle, you will never find one. One last thing, many people report much more lucid dreams when on alpha brain. If you want to benefit from this, take 1-2 capsules a few hours before bed for very visual dreams.


Alpha Brain Ingredients

We will take a look at all the ingredients, and I will share my understanding of the action of each:

  • Alpha Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline- Derived from lecithin, a phospholipid derived from egg yolks and certain oily memory-supplementscrops. Choline is an essential nutrient and plays a huge role in brain function. Specifically for brain function, cholines role is in providing structural integrity of brain cells and is very important for the signaling that occurs between brain cells. Choline is a precursor to the major neurotransmitter acetylcholine which has been studied to mediate memory, intelligence and mood in the brain. Keep in mind, a good percentage of the population does not meet the recommended adequate intake of choline. To add to this, another study showed that 6 out of 26 men developed choline deficiencies while consuming the adequate intake of choline. Based on this, it is my opinion that most everyone can benefit, at least performance wise, with choline supplementation like what is found in Alpha Brain.
  • Huperzia Serrata– This is a plant commonly known as northern firmoss and Alpha Brain contains an extracted compound called Huperzine A. Huperzine A inhibits the enzyme in the brain that breaks down acetylcholine. You could say it is a choline synergist. It has been shown to be effective at just 200-400mcg which is in the dosage range found in Alpha Brain. I see no safety issue here and it seem that it would benefit cognitive performance in most.
  • Bacopa Monniera– Also known as Brahmi, this is an Indian herb that I am very fond of. It has been used for thousands of years to promote intelligence as a neurological tonic and cognitive enhancer. It is being studied for its neuroprotective effects as well. Brahmi also inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine and increases blood flow to the brain as shown in this study. Brahmi works best when used in the long term as it is a neuro protective and basically a brain food that brings accumilative effects. Personally, I think they should have added more Bacopa in the blend.
  • Vinpocetine– Derived from an alkaloid in the Periwinkle plant, vinpocetine dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the brain. It also acts as a neuroprotective. It is used in Eastern Europe to treat age related memory impairment. It may play an important role in preventing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Because of this, I recommend consistent long term use.
  • Pterostilbene– This is an active plant compound related to the popular anti aging compound resveratrol. It has been studied to improve memory.Though it does seem to improve memory within weeks of administration, long term use is where it would really shine as it benefits and functions as an antioxidant in the brain.
  • Uncaria Tomentoso– Also known as Cat’s Claw, this is a woody vine that grows in the jungles of south and central America. I have experience with this herb though I was not aware of any nootropic or cognitive enhancing effects. I have used this as an immune strengthening/regulating herb. It is traditionally used to treat and prevent cancer as well as regulate autoimmune disorders. I was, though, aware of an Alzheimer’s preventative potential with this herb. Upon research it seems to be an MAO inhibitor (prevents breakdown of neurotransmitters) and prevents amyloid plaque buildup in the brain which is a very good thing.
  • L-Theanine– I am a consistent user of this amino acid which sticks around in the brain for 8-9 hours after consumption. Theanine acts to slow the brain waves down which is always good in today’s frantic world. Theanine is like meditation in a pill. It slows brain waves down from anxious beta waves into calm relaxed alpha waves. At 250mg this is a very effective and safe dosage in Alpha Brain.
  • L-Tyrosine– This is simply a precursor to dopamine which is what provides you with your focus and drive to accomplish. The dosage looks good here.
  • Vitamin B-6– This very important vitamin is required for the manufacture of neurotransmitters and also the communication from one nerve to another. It has many other roles, dosage seems good.
  • Phosphatidylserine– This is a phospholipid that makes up cell membranes and is very important in the communication between brain cells. It also plays a role in preventing cognitive decline in the elderly.
  • L-Leucine– I am actually not aware of any nootropic effects from leucine and am not sure why it is in this supplement.

My Experience

Having taken all of these ingredients, I can say that they certainly have improved my cognition. I do notice an improved reaction time as a martial artist with some of these compounds alone. Taken all together, I believe the effects would be more dramatic. I also really enjoy the enhances verbal articulation that these ingredients give me. Remember that the art of nootropics really shines in the long term. You will improve in the short term but think of these nutrients as what they are – food. Brain food nourishes, protects and builds your brain over months and years.  I have recently started taking Alpha Brain in an effort to compare this with the other brain herbs I have used.  After 30 days, I will update my review here.

Alpha Brain Drawbacks

Really the only thing I see wrong here is a slight underdosing of Bacopa which is too bad because it is an extremely beneficial herb for the brain – especially long term. Also I know that the Cat’s Claw herb has active compound which is very difficult to extract and at this time, I am not sure if the Alpha Brain extract is an effective one or if the dosage is high enough.

Best Practices – How And When To Take Alpha Brain For Best Effect

Since a number of the ingredients are lipid-soluble and will not be absorbed without the presence of fats, always take your dose with a meal, or at least an oily little snack. I recommend taking 2 caps with breakfast and then 1-2 more with lunch if you need higher mental function later on. If you are seeking lucid dreams, take 1-2 caps with dinner.

Do I Recommend Alpha Brain?

It depends on you. How deep are you into nootropics? If you are like me and spend hours each week studying and practicing this stuff, and have the time to put together your own ingredients, then you could make your own stack. This way you can make sure there is enough of each ingredient and it can be tailored to your needs.

But- if you are interested in saving time and are simply looking for enhanced mental performance, you absolutely benefit from this supplement. In fact if you take this in the long term I think it can go a long ways in preventing brain degeneration on top of the enhanced mental performance. Most people do not have the time to put stacks together and are better off buying the Alpha Brain formulation.   Alpha Brain can be purchased from Onnit by clicking the banner below:

Alpha BRAIN by Onnit

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Steven Benton February 24, 2016 at 10:29 am

What did you think of 30days on Alpha Brain?


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