Last Updated: November 13, 2020
Editor's Choice

Avanse "LumUltra"

TCE Overall Rating 98.7%

What happens when you take the most potent (legal) memory enhancer – Noopept – and add in a couple of 'clean' stimulants such as Guarana for powerful motivation and mental drive, and a handful of neuro-protectants, and focus boosting plant extracts? The answer is LumUltra - a Noopept based 'super pill' promising to help you develop a smarter, calmer, more focused mind after just 30 days use. But does it work?... Well your emails and reviews seemed to agree with our judging panel who were quick to fall in love with this new 'daily essential'.

Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain Rating: 3rd
Overall Success Rate: 88.6%
Last Updated: November 18, 2020

Alpha Brain
Official Site: www.onnit.com

Background Check

If you’ve been avidly searching for the best brain supplements on the market, the name Alpha Brain will most definitely have come up at least a few times. Alpha Brain is a brain supplement that’s gone through many iterations… the Alpha Brain you see today is very different from the Alpha Brain when it first came out. The company behind it, Onnit, has slowly been shifting itself towards a health and fitness brand, and with that slow change also came the changes in Alpha Brain’s formula.

Checking them out online, you’ll find that Onnit has a pretty interactive site, and the information they have on Alpha Brain is detailed yet concise. There is tons of reading material on the Alpha Brain page if you would like to know more about its ingredients and what they do for the brain, and they even link a lot of sources just in case you’d like to know even more about the ingredients. They also do a good job at including Alpha Brain’s supplement facts label (something that many companies are forgetting about recently).

Onnit itself has grown really well into the health and fitness industry over the last few years, now offering a bunch of different bodybuilding supplements, health foods, and gym equipment… it’s nice to see them really coming to their own now, but with the changes to their company also came changes to Alpha Brain’s base formula. It’s hard not to think that these changes weren’t exactly for the better in terms of brain enhancement, but perhaps to better fit Alpha Brain among the many other supplements they now offer.

On the plus side, Alpha Brain’s customer service was really good and very helpful with any and all questions we had for them. Kudos to Onnit for that!

“Alpha BRAIN® is a complete, balanced nootropic created from scientifically tested Earth grown ingredients to specifically activate vital areas of neurotransmission. This is a nutrient combination for your brain that in a pilot study indicated improvements in verbal memory and executive function, helping you to achieve greater focus, memory, and mental clarity.”

Supplement Facts: 17/20
Vitamin B6 – 10 mg
Onnit Flow Blend – 650 mg
L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine,
Oat Straw Extract, Phosphatidylserine
AC-11 – 350 mg
Onnit Focus Blend – 240 mg
Alpha GPC, Bacopa Monnieri Extract,
Huperzia Serrata Extract
Onnit Fuel Blend – 65 mg
L-Leucine, Pterostibene

 

Formula & Ingredients: 17/20

Looking at the formula, the manufacturers did a good job grouping the ingredients together so that you know what each ingredient actually does, but at the same time, this allowed them to be a little vague on how many milligrams each ingredient actually contained.

On the plus side, Alpha Brain’s formula is actually quite potent, where the manufacturers have only decided to keep the bare minimum ingredients to produce the maximum effects. The ingredients are of pretty high quality too, although we see they are using the cheaper Huperzia Serrata over the more premium Huperzine A.

What we’ve noticed also is that as time went on, Alpha Brain’s formula slowly became more and more bodybuilding-based.

Key Ingredients:

Alpha GPC: One of the most high-quality sources of choline, Alpha GPC aids in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It is a very potent memory enhancer that also has positive long-term benefits for the brain. It has been shown to promote connectivity in the brain as well, creating new connections.

Huperzia Serrata: Derived from the club moss plant, Huperzia Serrata is the lesser, more available version of Huperzine A that works as a cholinesterase inhibitor, which allows an increase of acetylcholine levels in the brain. It is also known to have vasodilating effects, allowing higher amounts of blood flow through the brain and body. Its main enhancements to concentration and mental clarity. Due to the nature of the supplement, its effectiveness reduces when taken continuously, and should be cycled off for 1-2 days every week.

Bacopa Monniera: An Ayurvedic herb that is believed to help promote clear thinking. Bacopa has a protective role in the brain, aiding the synapses and neurons for better connectivity. Bacopa also has antioxidant properties.

Alpha Brain’s formula is pretty good as it is today, but we can’t help but feel that it’s a slightly ‘nerfed’ version of what it used to be. The old formula was a bit more potent than what we have here today, and that’s due to the inclusion of ingredients that aren’t really essential from a brain health point of view.

Effects and Benefits: 16/20

We actually have a few people in our office who have already tried Alpha Brain in the past, but when we gave them a bottle to try out, they were very surprised to see the design changes. The bottle used to be white and green, but is now brown to show how they’ve gone with the “earth-grown” branding.

It was very easy to tell that Alpha Brain was working immediately off the bat. The effects were very easy to spot, and in just a couple days of taking it, we already felt an increase in focus. Everything was suddenly a little clearer, and getting tasks done in the office were a lot better given the fact that no one was actually busy and no one was really hanging around the office pantry or the copier machine as often.

In the time we were using Alpha Brain, you could say we got a lot done. Productivity was at a high peak, and everyone generally felt good. We noticed however going into the first week that the effects would taper off…

Through the duration of the month that we were experimenting Alpha Brain, we also set up a few tests to see whether there were any improvements to cognition. For memory, we looked at increasing numbers of flashing cards, and had to guess at which the one before was. We found only slight improvements in this area. Alpha Brain does have a white paper on their site detailing their scientific findings.

Where Alpha Brain exceled was in improving response and reaction times. In real-time strategy games where time was important like bullet chess, we noticed the ability to think faster as well as more accurately as well.

Some of us also experienced some very vivid dreams while on Alpha Brain, although none of us could completely say we were lucid dreaming.

Potential Side Effects: 16/20

In our month’s experience with Alpha Brain, we did not notice any adverse side effects, although a few of us reported headaches, and there were a couple cases of diarrhea. We believe this may be caused by slight dehydration, which can be fixed by upping your intake of water while on Alpha Brain.

Pricing Options: 16/20

There are two pricing options on Alpha Brain’s website: the 30 capsule bottle for $34.95 and the 90 capsule bottle for $79.95. Take note that the 30 capsule bottle IS NOT 30 days’ supply. At the recommend daily serving of two capsules per day, you’ll run out at 15 days (a bit longer if you cycle it off every week as you should).

The real one month’s supply, however, is the option to get two 30 capsule bottles for the price of $59.41. So please don’t think Alpha Brain is a lot cheaper at only $35, since that will definitely leave you with an empty bottle come the middle of the month.

Alpha Brain itself is pretty competitively priced, even at the $59.41 mark. For the effects you get, it’s of pretty good value… but we can’t just say it’s of the best value for that price point.

Online Reviews: 17/20

Most reviews on Alpha Brain are pretty positive, with many of them noting that it isn’t going to be a quick fix, or that while the effects may not be evident at first, Alpha Brain should be taken for at least a month to see its effectiveness. There were also a few negative reviews.

User Review by Bryan Jackson on Amazon.com

Some people are looking for an instant “fix it” for their bad memory and constant brain fog..i know i was..so i was so disappointed when i finished my first 30 pill bottle and didnt feel any profound effect, so i decided this stuff was bogus. But before i relayed my feelings to my fiance, she had already ordered me a 90 more capsules.

I figured what the heck and stuck with it as part of my daily vitamin regimen..about half way through my 90 pill bottle i started noticing i was getting less muddled at work. Its like when an idea pops in your head and you lose alot of the details over time. I was/am able to hold on to that idea for longer. So seriously, stick with it, you’ll be glad you did.

User Review by M. Mitchell on Amazon.com

Bought out of curiosity, despite mediocre reviews. Felt mild increase in mental alertness – less scattered when completing tasks. No change/increase in lucid dream state (although I have a pretty vibrant dream life to begin with). Noticed that if I took it and drank alcohol, I get headaches and neck pain. Increased the tension in my jaw. This went away immediately after I stopped taking it. I have a half bottle left because the headaches during weekends outweighed the benefits of a few additional things checked off my to do list. I think this may benefit certain brain chemistries, not my own

User Review by Onyx on Amazon.com

Ineffective for me. I’ve been having trouble paying attention in class for a while and I decided if this product actually helps with that then it would definitely be worth it. Well I’ve been using it for over a month now on different occasions, taking before class, before work, before sleep. The only thing I can say I’ve noticed is that when taking it before sleep I can guarantee I get dreams. During work I feel no different, no enhanced memory for items I might need to grab for work so I continue to write things down.

RECAP: Pro’s vs Con’s

Positives

  • Good for focus
  • Great customer service team
  • Could be great as a workout supplement

Negatives

  • Effects are a bit limited
  • New formula might actually be less potent due to new focus on fitness and health

 

Our Verdict: 88.6%

Alpha Brain is one of the few brain supplements that’s evolved so much in its lifespan. Originally a powerful brain supplement that did have a few quirks in its formula, it has changed into what is now part brain health formula and part pre-workout supplement. Honestly, we would say that we preferred the old Alpha Brain to what it is now… a shell of its former self.

We believe there is still merit in Alpha Brain though. From the standpoint of Onnit, it was probably the natural progression of things and the right decision to make. The effects are pretty much there for focus, and productivity. The vivid dreams I got from Alpha Brain are pretty neat too.

Another good thing is that Alpha Brain’s customer service is really helpful and informative, so if you’re a beginner, this is a good place to start… the price is okay, but it’s nothing to write home about. But for the formula itself, we’re going to have to say it’s a little overrated. If you want something better for the price you’re paying, you might need to look elsewhere. Try our Editor’s Choice for 2015 – here.

Alpha Brain Reviewed by Top Cognitive Enhancers. Rating:88.6%
29,170 views

The Best Brain Supplements of 2020: Your Complete, Personalized Guide

In such a busy, harried world, people look for all the help they can get.

They’ve got problems remembering things, concentrating in school or focusing on a big work project, or being in the best energy and mood level for family and their personal goals.

Nootropics - also known as “smart pills” and brain enhancement supplements - are designed to help address these cognitive issues and improve memory and learning, focus and concentration, problem solving, and overall energy and vibrancy. These supplements are a potential fit for students (usually college students), professionals and business executives, and the elderly who want to enhance their brain power and performance.

Check the Best Smart Pills of 2020

The question, though, is…

Do you know the best brain-enhancing supplement for you?

Our product reviews will answer exactly this. By presenting accurate, up-to-date product information, conducting weeks-long product trial, and raising the alarm on fillers and low-quality ingredients, we’re about to guide you in your decision-making.

We take a long, hard look at the manufacturer, where they manufacture the pill, the website, pricing, customer testimonials, and different authoritative websites that point to how safe and effective a smart pill is.

At the end of it all, we present our Top 5 rated smart pills for your easy reference.

How Do Nootropics Work?

Known by many different names, nootropics act as brain enhancement aids and brain boosters that don’t leave your cognitive wellness to fate.

There are two kinds of nootropics: (1) pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers made up of chemicals believed to have a clear effect on the brain and nervous system, and (2) natural cognitive enhancers, which are mostly herbal or nutrient-based in their composition. Our reviews focus on the second group, which don’t require a prescription, not considered drugs, and thus are allowed to be sold the counter and online via vitamin retail shops like Amazon.

Are natural nootropics actually the savior they’re painted to be?

These plant-based extracts promise improved mental functioning, no less. Their surging popularity, particularly in recent years, can be attributed to their high overall safety value and few and minor side effects compared with their pharmaceutical counterparts.

If you’ve heard of the term “nootropic stack,” it means different herbal or nutrient-based nootropics “stacked” together to achieve your own cognitive targets.

Types of Natural Nootropics

  1. Neurotransmitter enhancers - These increase the activity of brain chemicals responsible for mental sharpness. Examples are acetylcholine, and other neurotransmitters.
  2. Vasodilators - Boost blood flow to the brain via widening the blood vessels.
  3. Antioxidants - Preserve and protect brain cells from the damage caused by free radicals roaming in the body

A high-quality nootropic can change your brain wellness and make you limitless in many different ways. These include enhanced memory, increased attention to detail, outrageously good focus, increased alertness, better mental and visual acuity, improved learning and thinking, managed stress, better mood and energy, and a generally renewed sense of life and brain performance.

This is why this product review guide will help you in so many ways to know a nootropic inside and out. From the ABCs of the product formula to the overall verdict, you will have an informed choice of what to choose for your next nootropic bottle or product.

What Should You Look For In A Top-Rated Nootropic?

  1. Offers essential vitamins and nutrients - Your brain gobbles up an unbelievable amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and nutrients for it to properly function for life’s everyday demands. The nootropic you deserve provides these crucial components and more. Ginkgo biloba, Bacopa monnieri, Panax ginseng, and more - the list is endless, but only a few good ones deserve your attention. Click here for the top-rated ingredient list for a smart pill.

  2. Backed by clinical data and experts - The best nootropics have a solid scientific basis through independent, third-party research data on their effectiveness and benefits.

    There’s no reason for a credible health care expert not to endorse a well-created supplement for brain enhancement.

  3. Superior manufacturing standards - It’s not just about the ingredients, but also creating the product with the highest standards of production. The best supplements are manufactured in the United States, in a laboratory registered by the FDA. The manufacturer should be GMP certified as well!

  4. Independent reviews (Not just Amazon!) - Reviews can be bought and unverified, so keep an eye out for them. Our reviews, for instance, maintain their independence through a circle of product testers that really get to the bottom of things and assess individual product performance and quality.

What Should You Avoid In A Brain Enhancement Supplement?

  1. Improper dosage - Incorrect levels of each active ingredient - yikes! This leads you to believe that you’re getting optimum value and not the cheaper, over-hyped product that it actually is.

  2. Insufficient return policy and fraud - Reputablecompanies offer 100% money-back guarantee since they are confident enough that their product works. Read the fine print and don’t just trust what you see on the surface.

  3. “Free trial” offers - Does it seem too good to be true? Then it probably is. If you have to enter your credit card details to get to try a product for a month for free, then it’s not free.

Let’s combine your due diligence in research and our honest, in-your-face product reviews that won’t leave you guessing and wanting more information.

The Best Smart Pills On The Market In 2020

We have dutifully compiled the top 5 brain enhancement supplements based on our independent review, product trial, and well-vetted product information. Here’s what we’ve come up with to help you make a smart decision on smart pills today.


Our Winning 5 Brain Boosting Supplements for 2020

#1 LumUltra

LumUltra
Overall Success
Supplemental Facts
Formula & Ingredients
Effects & Benefits
Side Effects Free
Value for Money
Online Reviews
Price per serving
$1.97
Money back Guarantee
60 days
Price
$47.97
A+Overall Grade

Pros

  • Incredible results from a potent, fast-acting formula
  • Effects are very well-rounded: improvements to memory, focus, mood, energy
  • Formula is a fantastic combination of potent Noopept and many other natural nootropics
  • Information online is very detailed and simple to understand, love their design and content
  • Premium ingredients at a great price (daily cost is cheaper than a cup of coffee!), we suspect this won’t last long, they might be trying to reach a certain market share then raise their price.
  • 90-day return policy!

Cons

  • They communicate everything via ticketing for quality assurance reason, so if you don’t know how to place order online, then you are out of luck
  • Might want to supplement with a multivitamin (only contains B12)

Why It’s TCE-Approved:

Avanse Nutraceuticals’ LumUltra (New and Improved) blows all our editors away with an innovatively new formula utilizing the potent Noopept, in combination with select key natural nootropics. Hands down, LumUltra is the best cognitive enhancer we’ve ever reviewed, and will probably top our list for a very long time.

#2 Brain Pill

Brain Pill
Overall Success
Supplemental Facts
Formula & Ingredients
Effects & Benefits
Side Effects Free
Value for Money
Online Reviews
Price per serving
$2.66
Money back Guarantee
67 Days
Price
$76.99
AOverall Grade

Pros

  • Good market presence, or product recall
  • Availability of scientific studies delving on ingredient and product levels
  • Proprietary ingredients for uniquely positioned benefits
  • Discounts and savings for bulk orders

Cons

  • Relative shortage of customer testimonials
  • Lacking imagery around supplement facts and product labeling

Why It’s TCE-Approved:

We are impressed by the speed and precision at which BrainPill responds to brain enhancement needs – and without unwanted effects that could turn off first-time users. The benefits are sustained and evident from the first dose, and this doesn't happen every time with nootropic products.

#3 Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain
Overall Success
Supplemental Facts
Formula & Ingredients
Effects & Benefits
Side Effects Free
Value for Money
Online Reviews
Price per serving
$1.98
Money back Guarantee
30 days
Price
$59.41
A-Overall Grade

Pros

  • Good for focus
  • Great customer service team
  • Could be great as a workout supplement

Cons

  • Effects are a bit limited
  • New formula might actually be less potent due to new focus on fitness and health

#4 Prevagen

Prevagen
Overall Success
Supplemental Facts
Formula & Ingredients
Effects & Benefits
Side Effects Free
Value for Money
Online Reviews
Price per serving
$2.00
Money back Guarantee
30 days
Price
$59.95
B+Overall Grade

Pros

  • Unique formula and ingredient “Apoaequorin”
  • Website is rich in information and resources for further reading
  • Clear video on website that explains Prevagen in simplistic way

Cons

  • Little to no effects on focus and mood
  • Poor value at $59.95 (better nootropics available at that price)
  • Studies on Apoaequorin are still quite limited today.

#5 Neuriva

Neuriva
Overall Success
Supplemental Facts
Formula & Ingredients
Effects & Benefits
Side Effects Free
Value for Money
Online Reviews
Price per serving
$2.27
Money back Guarantee
Price
$32.99
BOverall Grade

Pros

  • Low to no side effect potential
  • Offers targeted benefits for five areas of brain function
  • GMO and caffeine free
  • Vegan-friendly supplement

Cons

  • Contains only two major ingredients, which are relatively standard in nootropics
  • Lack of ample clinical research presented
  • Soy lecithin content is a potential allergen

Sources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690227/
  2. https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/cognitive-enhancers-what-they-are-how-they-work-and-what-is-in-the-pipeline/11117394.article?firstPass=false
  3. https://health.usnews.com/wellness/mind/articles/2018-09-27/what-are-nootropics
  4. https://www.fda.gov/inspections-compliance-enforcement-and-criminal-investigations/warning-letters/peak-nootropics-llc-aka-advanced-nootropics-565256-02052020
  5. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/fortifying-your-memory-with-supplements
  6. https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/natural-brain-boosters
  7. https://www.managedhealthcareconnect.com/article/role-nutrition-prevention-cognitive-decline
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3311304/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3423755/
  10. http://theconversation.com/the-economics-of-the-money-back-guarantee-80876
  11. https://ispe.org/initiatives/regulatory-resources/gmp
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545206/
  13. https://www.npr.org/2018/07/30/629800775/some-amazon-reviews-are-too-good-to-be-believed-theyre-paid-for
  14. https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/auto-renewals-endless-charges-complaints-1282.php
  15. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-side-effects
  16. https://reviewmeta.com/blog/amazon-flooded-with-millions-of-fake-reviews-in-2019/

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