This in-depth Alpha Brain review takes a critical look at Joe Rogan’s supplement brand Onnit and their nootropics.
Alpha Brain is one specific nootropic supplement that claims to help increase mental processing speed and attention to think clearly and accomplish tasks.
All of us rely on our brain function in performing specific mental tasks, whether or not it requires conscious and complex cognitive performance or just simple activities that are automatic to us.
However, a decline in our mental function is inevitable as it comes with increased age or other health conditions that affect our cognitive functions.
As you may have already encountered, Nootropics are known as smart drugs that help improve executive mental function, such as enhanced memory, mental clarity, attention span, and motivation.
It also allows your brain to function optimally when doing mentally-taxing tasks or when under distress.
Is this product the best nootropic for you?
Find out more with this Onnit Alpha Brain review as we unravel what’s behind this product, its benefits, and its side effects.
What Is Alpha Brain?
Alpha Brain by Onnit Labs is a world-renowned nootropic brand that has become a market leader shortly after its launch in 2011 with the help of comedian Joe Rogan, who owns the brand. As a complete smart drug, this blend delivers numerous cognitive function improvements as it aids mental performance, helps improve memory, and enhances focus level for optimal mental performance.
It is also one of the first nootropic supplements that cater to the average person and health enthusiasts. Serious biohackers only used most of the smart drugs marketed before Onnit’s Alpha Brain.
This supplement has been known by a significant number of people who aim to target memory deficits, reduce stress, and improve overall mental function.
It is important to note that Onnit’s Alpha Brain is the only nootropic supplement clinically tested to significantly improve executive functions.
In the 2016 randomized and double-blinded clinical efficacy study [R], it was found that healthy adults who used Alpha Brain for six weeks improved their verbal memory and executive functions compared with the control groups.
The study found that the participants who took this supplement experienced a 12% improvement in verbal recall and executive functioning, and verbal memory. 21% faster response time was also noted compared to baseline tests and the placebo run. They also showed higher peak alpha frequency, which is directly related to better brain health.
Benefits & How Does Alpha Brain Work
Have you ever wondered how exactly does Alpha Brain work in improving memory, focus, and mental function?
What does real cognitive enhancement feel like?
Well, you may have already experienced even one moment in your life where you are fully engrossed in something to the point where you forget to think about anything else. That moment when time passes by quickly as you read your favorite book, write your essay, or study your lessons and enter maximum overdrive to cram on everything before an exam.
This intensive focus that you experience is what psychologists call the flow state, the feeling where you feel the most productive. This is the optimal level of consciousness as you are able to tune out noise and clutter and attend to tasks with focus.
The nootropics in the product charge up your cognitive abilities by boosting alpha waves in the brain and producing more neurotransmitters. When you are in this zone, your brain can operate faster, causing your productivity and creativity juices to be at their peak.
If you are wondering, this is not similar to the caffeine rush you get from drinking coffee as these alpha brain waves give you a prolonged, calm, and cool surge of energy to get you to think clearly under stress.
To know more precisely what you can get from taking this supplement, here are some of the product’s benefits as per the Onnit Labs Alpha Brain review.
- Improves and Supports Memory – You can boost and protect your memory functions, eliminating brain fog as it enhances mental clarity with the help of L-theanine. Another thing is the improvement of verbal memory, as proven in the presented clinical study published in the Human Psychopharmacology database.
- Promotes focus – L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine promote attention level and support memory, focus, and alertness, respectively, for better cognitive performance.
- Enhances Mental and Thought processing – Taking this product helps improve mental performance due to the product’s proprietary blend, which carries some of the most potent nootropics like Alpha-GPC.
- Heightened ‘flow state’ – This dietary supplement aids the production of acetylcholine, a brain chemical that triggers motivation, improves several mental and muscle functions that help improve flexibility and movement. It effectively increases acetylcholine levels in the brain.
- Promotes body repair – Aside from the mentioned brain enhancements from taking Alpha Brain, this product also helps the body repair itself. It contains AC-11, which aids in activating DNA repair of nerve cells and enhances the body’s immune system.
The recommended daily dosage of Alpha Brain is two capsules or one sachet of Alpha Brain Instant mixed with water. Although the maximum number of capsules to be taken per day is not explicitly labeled on the product, we can assume that two capsules are the upper limit.
In case you’re wondering about the possible overdosage of the product, take note that this is a dietary supplement, which means that it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Alpha Brain is an all-natural supplement that contains ingredients from plant extracts, which we will be tackling after this.
Another thing to remember is that Alpha Brain is caffeine-free, leaving you with no worries of taking excessive quantities of caffeinated products.
To be on the safe side and avoid possible side effects, it is better to stick to the recommended two capsules daily intake. For those who are pregnant, taking any medications, have or suspect a medical condition, it is better to consult a medical doctor before taking Alpha Brain supplements.
Now that you know how Alpha Brain works, it is time to discuss what’s in the product itself.
The ingredients in Alpha Brain products have three blends known as the Onnit Fuel Blend, Onnit Flow Blend, and the Onnit Focus Blend. These three combinations are said to target different phases for optimal cognitive function.
The supplement facts below are the ingredients present in the three blends of the Onnit Alpha Brain:
- Oat Straw Extract (Phosphatidylserine)
- Cat’s Claw Extract
- Huperzia Serrata
- Bacopa Monnieri
- Cat Claw Extract
- Vitamin B6
We also described each ingredient to help you understand how these components contribute to the overall benefits of Alpha Brain.
- L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine: Both are essential amino acids and good nootropic substances. L-Tyrosine helps you stay focused and mentally sharp, especially when under extreme stress. According to clinical trials, it was shown that Tyrosine promotes mental performance in people with sleep deprivation, those who experience extreme cold and are subjected to multi-tasking. This supports the formation of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in our brain’s reward system. Theanine, on the other hand, is an amino acid found in black tea. This works synergistically with caffeine, which reduces the severity of caffeine’s effects while improving its positive effects. It also induces the release of dopamine and serotonin to promote attention and mental clarity.
- Phosphatidylserine: This fatty substance protects the brain cells and overall cellular function of the brain. It plays a vital role in keeping our memory sharp.
- Oat Straw Extract: This is one of the most prominent natural ingredients in the various brain enhancing supplements. It is said to reduce stress and anxiety and increase the Flow Blend of the Alpha Brain.
- Cat’s Claw Extract (AC-11): It has 350 mg of this ingredient, a proprietary extract of the Uncaria Tomentosa, which promotes DNA repair.
- Alpha-GPC: This is a powerful cholinergic that increases acetylcholine synthesis, the primary executive neurotransmitter of our brain. This will improve our executive function for greater learning ability and faster processing skills.
- Huperzia Serrata: This ingredient inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is important to our cognitive function. This can also be beneficial for treating memory deficit.
- Bacopa Monnieri Extra: Bacopa Monnieri is known to be a reliable natural memory enhancer, as backed up by several clinical trials. Bacopa Monnieri improves memory retention, which is beneficial for those with memory impairment.
- L-Leucine and Pterostilbene: Both L-Leucine and Pterostilbene help improve the neural connection to promote cellular integrity. The latter is also a derivative of resveratrol, a known common antioxidant.
- Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine HCL): It is a popular nutrient used as an energy supplement, which is why it is primarily used on nootropics to increase mental energy. According to the Alpha Brain ingredients list above, the content is free from gluten. This product is vegetarian and formulated with Nu-Flow, a gluten-free extract of the rice hull concentrate.
Side Effects & Safety
Alpha Brain by Onnit supplements is one of the safest nootropic supplements on the market. However, since we are dealing with proprietary blends, we cannot say for sure if the capsule is free from side effects as this will still be dependent on the doses.
However, according to an Alpha Brain review, Onnit does not put the exact doses per ingredient to help us know for sure.
It’s fairly safe for most people if taken infrequently as all ingredients were clinically proven to be safe, and no dangerous side effects were noted so far.
With this, taking Alpha Brain may cause you to experience some minor side effects, especially when consuming more doses than recommended, there is a presence of health condition, or are taking other medicines that may be contraindicated.
As per the user experiences, here are the most common side effects of Alpha Brain to look out for:
- Stomach ache – If you are not accustomed to taking dietary supplements such as Alpha Brain, you may experience some stomach issues.
- Nausea – Taking Alpha Brain may cause you to feel nauseous, especially when consumed on an empty stomach. This is also prevalent for those who are still new to nootropics. But don’t worry! This feeling tends to subside when your body slowly adjusts to the supplement. To avoid having nausea, especially for beginners, it is recommended to take Alpha Brain capsules with a light meal. If the vegetarian capsule itself makes you queasy, you may try taking Alpha Brain Instant mixed with water to calm your stomach.
- Headaches – Users report having episodes of headaches when taking Alpha Brain. However, this is not usually caused by the supplement itself but by dehydration. Remember, being ‘in the zone’ is not enough reason for you to forget your water intake! You must stay hydrated to avoid this side effect.
- Lucid dreams – Some users report that one interesting side effect of Alpha Brain is having vivid lucid dreams. This is said to occur when you take the supplement near your bedtime. This is most likely caused by Bacopa, which helps support deeper sleep and promote relaxation. Your brain also remains active, causing you to have these lucid dreams.
- Anxiety – Due to an elevated mood caused by the supplement, you may feel ‘jittery’ as your cognitive performance improves.
- Insomnia – Since the supplement helps you to think more clearly and focus on accomplishing tasks, you may feel awake more than ever. To promote a good night’s sleep, it is advised to take the supplement early in the morning to make full use of the productivity gained from taking Alpha Brain.
The side effects of Alpha Brain’s can be lessened if not avoided if you follow the recommended dosage, preferably after a meal. Taking this for more than 2-3 weeks may also cause some of the side effects mentioned above.
It is also possible to experience adverse side effects if you consume Alpha Brain supplement together with energy drinks or other brain enhancers.
Alpha Brain Instant vs. Alpha Brain Capsules
Alpha Brain Instant is a nootropic drink mix available in different flavors. This supplement’s content is also the same as the ingredients present in the original Alpha Brain capsules.
The choice between the two rests upon the users’ preference. If you don’t like swallowing pills or you want to have a burst of different flavors for added taste, then Alpha Brain Instant is the best one for you.
Alpha Brain Instant comes in trendy pouches, and its powder is easy to dissolve. The flavors available are Alpha Brain Instant Meyer Lemon, Ruby Grapefruit, Coconut Lime, Natural Peach. Blackberry Lemonade, and Pineapple Punch.
Onnit Alpha Brain and Other Nootropics: Differences and Similarities
Let’s compare this to other products:
Alpha Brain vs. Adderall
Adderall is a standalone nootropic, unlike Alpha Brain, which contains different nootropics. They both work by boosting the brain’s chemical production, which leads to motivation, alertness, and attentiveness. The good thing is they are known for their long half-life, remaining in your system for hours. This means that if you take the pills in the morning, it will likely stay for the whole day.
However, it is worth noting that despite Adderall being the best nootropic compound due to its powerful effect, it has a fair share of side effects like low sex drive and anxiety. Mixing it with alcohol may also be life-threatening as it may lead to alcohol poisoning.
To top it off, Alpha Brain is the safer alternative to Adderall. It is a natural drug-free nootropic supplement that pretty much does the same thing as Adderall, albeit healthier.
Alpha Brain vs. Mind Lab Pro
Since both are nootropics, they were developed to improve focus, memory, and cognitive performance. They are also both caffeine-free supplements and carry a total of 11 nootropic ingredients.
Alpha Brain and Mind Lab Pro are both flagship nootropic supplements, so whichever you choose, you can get the best and high-quality product offered.
With the content almost the same, the next thing you might want to check is the price tag. Alpha Brain costs a bit higher than Mind Lab Pro, although both are in the same high-price range in the nootropic market. But when it comes to the user ratings, Alpha Brain is said to lead the race both in the physical and online stores.
When it comes to safety and research, Mind Lab Pro’s clinical trial is not published, nor is it available online. In contrast, Onnit Alpha Brain’s clinical trial is published for ready consumption from the readers.
However, it is important to note that Onnit labs could not disclose the exact dosages of all ingredients present in Alpha Brain, which may be a huge factor when deciding its safety for the individual user.
Alpha Brain vs. Modafinil
Despite being both nootropics, Alpha Brain is all-natural. At the same time, Modafinil is a synthetic and prescription-only drug to treat narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder that causes daytime drowsiness and sudden sleep attacks.
When it comes to cognitive benefits, Modafinil offers more than 12 hours of increased attentiveness, learning, and optimized working memory compared to Alpha Brain’s 6+ hours of enhanced concentration, memory, and improved verbal recall and mental processing speed. With this, Modafinil is indeed better when we talk about its potency and duration.
While they both have the same effects and purpose, they greatly differ in terms of their safety and side effects. This huge difference is testified by the fact that Modafinil is illegal in most countries without prescription, as opposed to Alpha Brain, which is a dietary supplement that is legal and drug-free.
Modafinil also causes a range of unexpected side effects, including headaches, nausea, insomnia, diarrhea, rhinitis, dyspepsia, and vertigo. So although nothing compared to its effectiveness, the side effects that come with it should also not be taken lightly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We have gathered frequently asked questions and answered them for you.
How Long Does It Last?
Alpha Brain lasts for more than 6 hours. According to Alphabrain review of some users, the effects may last more than 8 hours.
Do Brain Pills Work?
The answer is both yes and no, as research on brain-boosting supplements is also ambiguous itself. According to Dr. Michael Genovese, a clinical psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Acadia Healthcare, while some of the ingredients in these smart drugs are beneficial, the studies have been inconsistent.
Another point is, since the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate nootropics, unlike other medications, we can’t know for sure if the said content in the label is present in the supplement.
Take note that simply taking one or two nootropic agents often results in no significant change, as explained by Dr. Alex Dimitru of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine. Instead, it is better to take clinically-tested and validated supplements with overlapping benefits. Nonetheless, you must still consult your physician regardless of the pill’s general effectiveness to avoid adverse effects.
While certain brain pills help improve cognitive functions to help you stay productive, eating a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and fish, staying physically active, and getting enough sleep are also ways to support brain health.
Is It Safe?
Alpha Brain is backed up by research, so its formula is tested extensively in clinical trials to ensure safety.
To ease your worries, Alpha Brain is BSCG (Banned Substances Control Group) certified, which confirms that the supplement is free from harmful substances.
Drug tests of various performers who use Alpha Brain before competitions also indicated no harmful content. This was done by several renowned anti-doping labs in the United States like the U.S Olympic Committee (USOC), Anti-doping Agency (WADA), and the U.S Military.
Moreover, Alpha Brain also undergoes extensive tests at the Onnit Lab to ensure that the pills are free from harmful contents and illegal stimulants.
Where to Buy Alpha Brain?
Alpha Brain can be bought with no added effort of storming physical stores as you can easily place your order directly at Onnit.com.
You can also buy Alpha Brain outside the U.S as Onnit has international retailers and authorized partners in more than 20 countries. According to reviews on Reddit, Onnit.com also ships to New Zealand.
To know if this product is readily available in your country, you can look for the list of authorized Alpha Brain stores from their official website.
If you wish to buy their products, including Alpha Brain, Onnit offers free shipping on all orders over $150 and has Money Back Guarantee for all products. Aside from these, you can also subscribe to save money since you can buy Alpha Brain at 15% off MSRP or make use of the Alpha Brain free trial.
Onnit Alpha Brain is a 100% natural dietary supplement that aims to target attention and executive mental functions to cap it off. Its positive factor is the availability of published clinical trials, which ensure its safety and effectiveness.
Despite some reported side effects and downsides like the unknown doses in the label, the fact that it produces the result you want with zero noted toxic substances and with no legality issues, Alpha Brain can be considered one of the best smart drugs in the market.
If you want to know more about the users’ experiences, you can check Onnit Alpha Brain reviews online to help you decide better.