Official Site: www.happycalmfocused.com
If a brain supplement were to ever win an award for the vaguest name, it would probably be HCF. HCF, as written so many times on their website, stands for Happy, Calm, and Focused… which coincidentally, is what HCF is supposed to do for you.
HCF looks very different from many of the other brain supplements we’ve reviewed on this site. It isn’t trying to look “cool” at all, but is rather more reserved, and tries to preserve a more “for the family” look, that is akin to most pharmaceutical products you see in the drug store. If you were to put it in a medicine cabinet, it wouldn’t stand out at all – and perhaps, that’s the type of market they were going for. Of course, not everyone would like other people knowing that they’re using brain supplements, so this kind of branding would appeal to that sort of person.
Going online, this sort of design language can also be easily seen. All the images are mixed between the old and the young, and often including both in the same picture. The website itself contains tons of information on the product, from information about the product, to research, and even a video explaining everything you need to know about HCF.
If you want to read more regarding the ingredients in HCF, you’ll also be glad to see that there’s a few pages dedicated to just the individual ingredients, with in-depth descriptions, tons of sources, and even a supplement facts label.
The website is also quite tame in the marketing language that they use, and any claims they make aren’t too outrageous either.
Vitamin A 1000UI
Vitamin E 1.5UI
Vitamin B1 3mg
Vitamin B2 3mg
Vitamin B3 6mg
Vitamin B6 3mg
Folic Acid 150mcg
Vitamin B12 150mcg
Vitamin B5 3mg
HCF Proprietary Amino Acids 1,350mg
Amino-Acid F (DL-Phenylalanine), Amino-Acid Q (L-Glutamine)
Taking a quick look at HCF’s formula, you’ll notice that a lot of the ingredients they use are just multivitamins and nutrients, and not actually nootropic ingredients. For nootropics, they only have 2: Phenylalanine and L-Glutamine, both included in hefty amounts.
It makes you question whether or not you’re getting your money’s worth with this supplement. Nevertheless, the ingredients mentioned should make you happy, calm, and focused – if that’s really what you’re looking for.
The decision to do this, while marketing HCF as a brain supplement, makes the whole thing seem a little fishy. While we are sure that it does work, it seems a little ridiculous to pay top dollar for what is basically a multivitamin with a couple of nootropic ingredients. You can probably just get a Centrum and a couple of supplements from Powder City and get the same effects for cheaper.
DL-Phenylalanine: As a building block of protein, phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is critical for the central nervous system’s optimal functioning. It primarily functions as a mood enhancer, relieving anxiety and stress, while warding off depression and other diseases associated with a malfunctioning nervous system. It also aids in the production of neurotransmitters like epinephrine and dopamine, producing an increase in focus, concentration, and even motivation. In some studies, the supplementation of Phenylalanine has led to improved memory, enhanced overall alertness, and even an expanded learning capacity.
L-Glutamine: Perhaps the most versatile nutritional supplement today, L-Glutamine is a natural compound that primarily aids in cognition. L-Glutamine boosts the immune system, while increasing energy levels, making it a valuable supplement for athletes and those that need an extra boost of energy on long days. Glutamine also helps in the production of the neurotransmitters Glutamate and GABA, both of which play a key role in memory, reasoning skills, creativity, and even reaction times and problem solving ability.
Overall, the science behind DL-Phenylalanine and L-Glutamine is pretty solid, but we believe that having just two nootropic ingredients in a supplement means that it isn’t in any way well-rounded in its effects or hard to recreate. With most of the ingredients being just multivitamins, it wouldn’t be that difficult to just use powders and a general multivitamin to reproduce these effects.
Effects and Benefits
We gave HCF a little go for thirty days, and we have to say that it was a little underwhelming – at least in the beginning. Diving into the tests, we hardly felt any differences up until around the second week!
When HCF finally kicked in, however, we felt a noticeable increase in mood and focus. HCF kept us energized for a very long time, which allowed us to get a lot of work done in little time. The effects for focus probably weren’t as strong as some other brain supplements we’ve tried, but nevertheless, HCF kept us in really good moods!
While taking HCF, we were able to really feel relaxed and at ease when doing work, despite the looming deadlines that we had to get through and the endlessly surmounting work. HCF not only kept anxiety levels low, but was great in that it helped us manage stress fairly well. It wasn’t so much that it was only easier to get focused at something, but we actually felt good doing something productive! On top of that, we also felt substantially more positive about everything that we were doing.
In terms of memory, HCF also proved to be a good contender as around the third week, we could really notice that we were remembering more and more random things that we’ve learnt throughout the day. It’s the kind of stuff that you don’t even think too much about… Things like random facts and trivia, articles we’ve read on the internet (up to actual direct quotes), and even just the odd name of someone you’ve just met. All of these hinted that we were able to remember more things … even if the information was just bite-sized.
Overall, we rather enjoyed our experience with HCF. While the effects to focus and memory were good, it felt like it could have been a lot better. Nevertheless, the positive effects to mood were really good and we enjoyed every minute on HCF.
Potential Side Effects
We didn’t really notice any adverse side effects from HCF, and perhaps this was also due to the fact that we felt so good on it. We might have been less observant to side effects just because we were in such great moods. However, in a few instances, one or two of us suffered from some slight headaches. Also, on some days where we seemed to be extra productive, we felt a little lethargic towards the end of the day. While that wasn’t so much of a bad thing, this meant that some days, we weren’t able to get anything else done once we got home.
We aren’t too surprised though, especially seeing that HCF is mostly a multivitamin. However, please try to keep yourself well hydrated when using HCF, as some nootropics can act as diuretics, dehydrating the body.
A bottle of HCF goes for $59.95 on their official website, containing 90 capsules. With the serving size of 3 capsules a day, the bottle should last a whole month’s supply. There are also a number of different pricing plans offered through the website starting from the one month’s supply all the way to a year’s worth of supply. There is also a subscription model available, however, we don’t advise this until you have tested HCF yourself.
If you’re one of those kind of people, they also offer gift cards for sale that you can send to your family members.
Overall, HCF is priced quite averagely. It isn’t too expensive, but we believe that for the price, you could definitely get something else that is just a little better-rounded in its effects.
HCF’s reviews online were rather mixed. A lot of them were positive, but equally, there were also some negative reviews. There are a lot available on Amazon, but just make sure that the ones you’re looking at are actually legit. Beware of overly positive reviews.
User Review by Richard C. on Amazon.com
I ordered HCF about 6 months ago because at 50 years old I was feeling like life was through. I couldn’t understand how people my age and older were still so active. When I turned 45 the change was almost instant. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I HAD NO INTEREST IN DOING ANYTHING. Something had to give. I tried vitamins and all the various fads that promised to end fatigue and give me boundless energy but all for not.
I have a few health issues that I have been dealing with which have required that I take a few medications every morning and every night for the last 22 years. These medications all had numerous side affects that I just dealt with. The changes that occurred in me at 45 though brought about a complete overhaul of my medications that of course led to a whole new batch of side affects that I figured I was stuck with as well.
As a contractor I need to be able to think on my feet, deal with emergencies, schedule sub-contractors, and communicate with home owners,interior decorators and building officials. I also have to do this on more than one job at a time. I had been able to have twelve homes under construction at one time. Scheduling and overseeing concrete on one or two a roof install on that one, drywall on a couple of others…
Before I started using HCF I could maybe handle one small remodel at a time. I gave up fishing, guitar playing,reading…. I just didn’t have the brain power to handle anything. I have only been taking it for a short time and I feel everything going back to a normal feeling.. I HAVE A FIRE IN ME AGAIN. I look forward to getting out of bed and facing my day. Multi tasking is coming back ! My wife started noticing the difference before I did. I’m so glad that HCF is not like drinking a bunch of coffee or energy drink. It has changed my life 24 hours a day! I work better, I sleep better, and I even relax better. – A new HCF peep!
User Review by Jeff Manley on Amazon.com
I have ADHD, depression and anxiety. I’ve been taking HCF, three pills a day, for almost a month, and it does absolutely nothing, aside from making me feel like a downed a Red Bull. Then again, I don’t really respond to ADHD/depression/anxiety medications and they don’t really do anything either. So if you don’t have treatment-resistant whatever, it might do some good. But for me, zip.
- Great as a stress reliever and mood enhancer
- Contains some high-quality ingredients
- Slight improvements to focus and memory
- Little to no side effects
- Formula mostly consists of multivitamins
- Only two nootropic ingredients
- Could be cheaper a lot cheaper to just use a multivitamin and a few powders
- Not as well rounded as most true nootropics
- Can leave you exhausted by the evening
What surprised us the most was the fact that HCF was still able to perform so well despite the fact that it had only two nootropic ingredients. While the formula is mostly just multivitamins, HCF still produces some minor effects to focus and memory, but the highlight here is HCF’s effects to mood.
As far as the benefits to mood go, HCF might just be one of our favorites. It was a great experience to not only be able to do work efficiently, but to also want to do so, and actually feel good doing it. HCF is really able to cut through all the stresses of everyday life and keep you feeling great. On top of that, side effects were more or less nonexistent… aside from a few instances of headache, but even that was very rare.
For the price, HCF comes at around average, but we think that you could probably cut that price by half by just mixing your own powders and supplementing with a Centrum Silver. After all, it’s not that difficult to reproduce this formula when it’s 90% multivitamin. If you’re willing to pay $60 (which isn’t a bad price at all), we suggest you look to other better-rounded options that not only improves mood.
HCF is great as a mood enhancer, but those seriously looking for the best all-around brain supplement will need to keep looking.