Alpha Brain Ingredients & How They Work

Updated on March 3, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

Alpha Brain is a nootropic supplement that supports memory, focus, and mental processing for optimal brain function.

Onnit owes these cognitive advantages to the natural Alpha Brain ingredients.

Since this dietary supplement contains proprietary blends, compared to other nootropics, the ingredients’ specific dosage is not transparent.

To understand more what’s behind its nootropic wonders, let’s delve into this review of Alpha Brain's ingredients that make this supplement safe and effective.

What Is Onnit Alpha Brain?

Alpha Brain is one of the safest nootropic supplements launched in 2011 by Onnit labs. It is also one of the most popular over-the-counter smart drugs and some people even compare Alpha Brain to Adderall.

A review presented top athletes and other known personalities like TV Show host Joe Rogan. They recommend this product because of the powerful cognitive effects you get from it.

onnit alpha brain reviewed

The supplement helps you get into the flow state, the peak level of consciousness, allowing you to focus on complex tasks for 6+ hours without any distractions from outside, helping you think more clearly under stress.

Alpha Brain supports alpha waves’ production to get you in the zone associated with increased productivity and creativity, causing you to achieve lasting mental clarity to think clearly and accomplish tasks with ease.

Aside from the intense focus, our analysis shows it also improves memory functions, particularly verbal memory. A 2016 double-blind clinical study supports this claim that healthy adults who took Onnit Alpha Brain for six weeks have improved their executive functions and recent verbal memory. The said study is also a basis for review.

A review stated that Alpha Brain and Alpha Brain Instant, as a dietary supplement, has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. However, this nootropic supplement is BSCG Certified-Drug Free, which means no toxic substances are in the nootropic product.

Alpha Brain is also caffeine-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and is keto-friendly.

Active Ingredients: What's In Alpha Brain?

The supplement consists of natural ingredients and products combined in three proprietary blends:

  • The Flow Blend promotes Alpha wave synthesis with L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, Phosphatidylserine
  • Fuel Blend assists in nervous system communication with L-Leucine, Pterostilbene, Vincopetine
  • Focus Blend maintains optimal acetylcholine levels with Alpha GPC, Huperzia Serrata, Bacopa Monnieri Extract

Listed below are the ingredients that help you achieve your peak mental performance.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is considered the nootropic form of choline. It is used for people with Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and dementia. It is a compound that aids in the production of acetylcholine precursors in the brain. This brain chemical plays an essential role in attention, memory, and motivation. In various clinical studies and even on a review, alpha-GPC showed benefits in people with brain dysfunction.

Huperzia Serrata

This product is known to inhibit acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine. With its inhibition, acetylcholine will accumulate in the brain, resulting in better working memory function like increased focus whenever you review for an upcoming exam or when your task requires it.

Bacopa Monnieri

When we talk about nootropic supplements, you will usually hear about Bacopa Monnieri. As a memory-specific nootropic herb, Bacopa is known to help improve long-term memory function. You can see significant improvement in people with mild cognitive impairment. This one also helps reduce stress and anxiety while increasing reaction time.


Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that affects levels of certain brain chemicals. The neurotransmitters include dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for regulating mood, emotion, and sleep. Theanine may also modulate brain functions like attention, focus, and reaction time.

Since you can find it on green teas, a supplement with Theanine is your companion to get good sleep and counterbalance caffeine when consumed together due to its relaxing effects.


Tyrosine is an amino acid known to enhance young adults’ cognitive performance, especially when under extreme stress or cognitively demanding situations, based on a review. Moreover, this amino acid supplement also diminished cognitive deficits associated with stressful situations like cold exposure, loud noise, sleep deprivation, and multitasking.

Oat Straw Extract

Oat Straw is essential for cognition and reducing inflammation. It is a common ingredient of nootropic supplements as it improves brain health since the middle ages. While it claims various nootropic benefits, research does not support some of the effects.


Phosphatidylserine is a type of fat that is vital to achieving normal brain functioning. This phospholipid signals the immune cells when a particular brain cell is nearing its life cycle’s end, thus maintaining cellular function. Since phospholipid levels decline in time, supplementing phosphatidylserine can lead to benefits like the slower decline of cognition.

Cat’s Claw Extract (AC-11)

AC-11 is one proprietary extract that is said to promote cellular integrity and DNA repair.

However, there are no reviews and conclusive pieces of evidence that show Cat’s claw’s significant effect on memory and brain health.


Pterostilbene is an antioxidant that protects your brain from oxidative stress and promotes cellular integrity. This antioxidant may help in maintaining long-term brain health, and thus, avoid premature mental decline.


Leucine is a branched-chain amino acid that is said to help synthesize protein. However, reviews show no specific nootropic effects like improvement in focus and mood.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine is a coenzyme for the production of dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and serotonin, affecting alertness, mood, and memory. This vitamin supplement also helps in cerebral circulation as it is needed to regulate homocysteine.

Directions: How to Take Alpha Brain

Take two capsules a day of the supplement, preferably after a light meal. It is recommended to take Alpha Brain earlier in the day to maximize the benefits of the ingredients.

To avoid any untoward effects, you must consult a medical doctor before taking this product if you are pregnant, nursing, have or suspect a medical condition, or are taking any medications.

Remember that Alpha Brain belongs to dietary supplements, and therefore is not regulated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. To be safe, you must stick to the advised dosage.

Alpha Brain Side Effects

According to the Alpha Brain clinical trial, there are no reports of adverse side effects from using this product. This is generally safe and well-tolerated, especially if taken infrequently.

However, since we’re dealing with nootropic blends with no specific dosages, we wouldn’t know if taking Alpha brain capsules is free from any side effects.

Yes, we can review Alpha Brain as safe; However, as per users’ reviews online, there are some common side effects of Alpha Brain that you may expect from the vegetarian capsule.

  • Sleeplessness - Since Onnit Alpha Brain helps heighten your thought processes, alertness, and mood, you could stay awake even hours after taking the supplement. To ensure that this will not affect your sleeping schedule, Onnit recommends taking it in the morning where you can be most productive.
  • Headache - Some reviews show reports of headache upon taking the capsules. Lack of water intake usually causes this side effect due to being too focused, not by the nootropic supplement itself. Alpha Brain could also cause dizziness for new users since nootropics boost your thought processes.
  • Nausea - This side effect could happen if you consume Alpha Brain on an empty stomach. Nausea usually happens to users who are still new to nootropics like Alpha Brain. If this is your first time, you may feel like vomiting at first. But don’t worry! According to reviews, this new feeling would likely subside after your body slowly adjusts to the supplement. To lessen the queasy feeling, you should take the capsules after eating a meal.
  • Stomach issues - If you are still not accustomed to taking nootropics like Alpha Brain, you could experience digestive problems like stomach ache or diarrhea.

Aside from the mild side effects, it's also possible to experience adverse ones if you continue to consume this supplement with other beverages like energy drinks or nootropics.


Alpha Brain ingredients are all-natural and consist of vitamins, herbs, and other organic products that are clinically-tested to be safe. Alpha Brain contains no toxic substances, as validated by the BSCG.

However, being safe does not automatically equate to being free from any side effects. Some ingredients may cause mild effects to the users, especially since the dosages are not transparent. To avoid any adverse reactions, consult your doctor first before taking Alpha Brain capsules.

If you wish to buy this supplement for an exam review or a more focused task, you may visit Onnit’s official website. You can also find Alpha Brain in retail stores even outside the United States.