Last Updated: October 09, 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'.

Brain Candy

Last Updated: October 14, 2020

Brain Candy

Background Check

Unlike most other brain supplements that we’ve reviewed here, Brain Candy is a little more difficult to classify. In today’s world of human enhancement via the use of supplements, there are two distinct types: nootropics and stimulants (either caffeine or amphetamine-based). Brain Candy is a little bit of both – part brain enhancer and part caffeine shot. While Brain Candy is primarily a caffeine shot, it has a lot of brain enhancing and nootropic ingredients in its formula as well, that contribute to its effects. In fact, it’s even marketed really as a “Mind Energizing Once-Per-Day Shot”.

Another thing that makes it slightly different from other products we’ve reviewed is that it’s actually a bodybuilding supplement, or at least that’s where it’s purchased from most frequently. You can get it from T-Nation and was previously also available in Bodybuilding.com.

Brain Candy actually comes from a UK company called Biotest that also manufacturers other similar “high performance” supplements for energy, fat loss, protein, and basically anything that you can think of that would help give you an edge.

Checking out their website, it seems that there isn’t really a lot of information readily available, aside from a bunch of testimonials and claims to what Brain Candy does for you. In any case, there is actually more information in the websites of their online retailers like T-Nation and Vitamin Shoppe, which includes a more in-depth product description and even a supplement facts label.

Nevertheless, if you’d like to do some further research on the actual ingredients in Brain Candy, you’re going to have to do it elsewhere as there is only a bare minimum available.

“Brain candy by Biotest is a powerful mind energising product. Take one incredible shot a day to
give a boost to your confidence, relax you in social situations and improve your overall mood.
Using the active ingredient Acetyl-L-Carnitine which has an array of high quality benefits.”

Formula Highlights

Supplement Facts:
Vitamin B6 40 mg
Vitamin B12 1 mg
Base Formulation 4500 mg
Acetyl L-Carnitine, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine,
CDP Choline, DMAE, L-Theanine
Caffeine 300 mg

What makes Brain Candy so distinct, aside from its use of nootropic ingredients, is its large amount of caffeine content. A shot of Brain Candy is a whopping 300 mg of caffeine, which is a lot more than what most people require on a day-to-day basis.

While those in the gym might yield amazing results in terms of a boost of energy and mental focus, those who are in other settings might not particularly like its effects. With a cup of coffee containing 40 mg and can of Red Bull 80 mg, 300 mg is truly MASSIVE in comparison. Instead of getting things done productively, you might just be pumped so full of energy that you would rather just get on the floor and do a couple hundred pushups.

If you do decide to take Brain Candy, you might want to reduce your caffeine intake throughout the day. Overdoing it isn’t going to kill you, don’t worry. However, you’ve heard of the guy who drank too much Red Bull right? And with Brain Candy putting you at 300 mg already there isn’t much room for error.

Aside from that, Brain Candy has some high quality ingredients in its formula as well, and with its base formulation already amounting to a whopping 4500 mg, we’ll have to say that it is quite potent.

Key Ingredients:

Acetyl L-Carnitine: The “enhanced” version of Carnitine that not only aids in fat burn, but also offers benefits to the brain due to its ability to cross the brain-blood barrier. It aids in the production of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for improving memory, learning, problem-solving ability, and general cognition.

CDP Choline: One of the highest-quality sources of choline available, CDP Choline 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 promotes connectivity in the brain as well, creating new connections while also repairing damaged brain cells.

L-Tyrosine: A multipurpose supplement that not only helps in cognitive enhancement, but also in stress relief and mood elevation. It’s highly potent and improves memory and heightens alertness, and has also been found to improve motivation levels upon continued use.

Overall, Brain Candy’s formula is very potent – perhaps too potent. While there are indeed some great ingredients included, with a high amounts of nootropics, the massive amount of caffeine may also be a hindrance.

Rating: 14/20

Effects and Benefits

While we were able to try Brain Candy out, most of us only did so for 10-14 days. In the beginning, it seemed to work really well and was able to give us vast amounts of focus, allowing us to really improve efficiency at work. However, as a couple more days went on, we noticed that this wasn’t the case every time. On some days, the high amounts of energy would just get us very hyperactive and jittery, which would prevent us from actually getting work done. On some days, we would be super productive, but on some, it even made us worse than our usual selves.

After around two weeks, all of us have stopped taking Brain Candy. At that point, the amount of caffeine had just become unbearable (and we have to admit that some of us missed drinking coffee). The effects themselves were great, but the productive days would be canceled out by the days that weren’t so much so.

Without fail, at the end of the day, most of us could feel being completely depleted and fatigued – which really didn’t allow us to do much after getting back home. While there were occasions that Brain Candy helped, it would be very accurate to say that for every situation where it did, there would equally be situations where it didn’t.

While there were some improvements in mood, they were all very minor. We were unable to notice any improvements in memory.

Rating: 12/20

Potential Side Effects

A few side effects we experienced included occasional headaches, and sometimes, heart palpitations. These, however, only occurred in a few instances, and were rectified easily. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, some might be more susceptible than others. To be safe, please discontinue taking Brain Candy if any complications arise. Perhaps the most inconvenient of all these side effects would still be the lethargy and fatigued feeling at the end of the day.

Since Brain Candy also contains caffeine, which can act as a diuretic, your body will lose water faster, and so you should remember to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Rating: 14/20

Pricing Options

A pack of Brain Candy costs $36.00, which consists of 16 shots. At the one shot per day serving size, this means that a month’s supply (if taken every day) actually costs $72.00, which is on the higher end of the price spectrum. There is also a smaller pack consisting of 4 shots for $9.99.

While the recommended daily serving is usually just a suggestion, we highly urge you to pay heed to this one. We highly advise against taking more than one shot of Brain Candy per day just due to the fact that it has 300 mg of caffeine per shot. It’s generally agreed upon that the maximum daily consumption of caffeine is 400 mg, so there isn’t really much room for error – even when taking just one bottle per day. Brain Candy should not be taken by minors.

The price itself is of average value, due to the fact that the formula is so highly potent, but what brings it down is the fact that it doesn’t do much aside from increasing your energy and focus. While the ingredients are there to support it, perhaps the amount of caffeine simply overpowers the rest of the formula. There are better options out there for the same price (or lower) that do better jobs than Brain Candy, while being better-rounded in terms of effects.

Rating: 15/20

Online Reviews

The majority of the online reviews we found were in health and fitness related forums, like Bodybuilding and T-Nation. However, there were some expert reviews available as well. The reviews were mostly mixed, with many attesting to Brain Candy’s effectiveness, but equally many complaining about some caffeine-related side effects.

Expert Review by Unorthodox Nutrition

Did I experience all the amazing effects that they state on the site? Well no. Some of the claims are flat out ridiculous and are blatant nonsense (if you claim to finish a 2 hour project in 15 mins it either means you weren’t working very hard to the first place or you were high!). It’s not a owner supplement that will change you from a burger flipper to a CEO over night. Only you can do that with hard work and dedication (not to mention a little help).

Is this a good supplement? Yes it is. If you apply some common sense (as you should with all supplements) it can have a positive effect on your productivity and work load. If you have a major deadline or assignment, or you know work is going to be crazy, then it can certainly help you.

Worth a look.

User Review by ndiddy on Amazon.com

To preface I am not on any weird meds and took on an empty stomach with no food ingestion for 15-20 min afterwards. I tried it for 3 days straight as well. Heres what I found:

1.) A decrease in hunger, when I ate breakfast I was noticeable more “nauseous” (not the correct term) but I just couldn’t eat like I normally do.

2.) I felt like I had a ‘brain cloud’ all day, I just didn’t feel right all three days. From other reviews I thought I would feel this zen like feel, I actually felt better the days I didn’t take it.

3.) I also noticed a crash around 1 pm (I took it at 5:30 am)and needed some caffeine around then, definitely did not make me eager to train or anything like that (although its not supposed too)

4.) I noticed no increase in mood, confidence,(don’t really have a problem with that) or general ‘feel good’ feeling.

I did notice an increased sense of concentration while taking it, but the way I felt for the majority of the day way outweighed in a bad way the increase in concentration.

Now I am not going to say stay away or bash this supplement, I think Biotest makes great supplements but this is my honest review of what I felt. I guess I just don’t do well with no-tropics. I might also not tolerate caffeine as well as I thought, so if they come out with the caffeine free version I might give it a try.

Rating: 15/20

RECAP:

Positives

  • Great as a focus and energy booster
  • Potent formula and contains some high quality ingredients
  • Convenience for taking as a shot

Negatives

  • Website lacking any clear information and sources
  • Caffeine content (300 mg) may be a little too much
  • Little to no effects on memory or mood
  • Not as well rounded as most true nootropics
  • Poor value at $72.00 for a month’s supply
  • Some caffeine-related side effects are present

Our Verdict

From a company that makes many other popular supplements, we had some mixed views on Biotest’s Brain Candy. While the formula was quite potent and had a lot of nootropic ingredients, the amount of caffeine was ridiculous and simply overpowered the rest of the formula.

Brain Candy was really good on the days that it actually worked, but for the most part it was sort of hit-and-miss. It would work some days, and others it would not. Every productive day would be canceled out by days that wouldn’t be so. For a true brain enhancer that actually affects the brain positively, try to avoid caffeine – or at the very least, take a nootropic with caffeine, and not a caffeine-based shot with some nootropic ingredients.

Fortunately, there weren’t many adverse side effects, and if any, they only occurred in rare instances.

For the price of $72 a month, you’re going to be better off getting a brain supplement with more value that actually aids in memory and mood, and then buying a caffeine supplement as well.

If you aren’t hitting the gym so often, you really shouldn’t be using Brain Candy – and even then, you probably should only be using it as pre-workout.

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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 dopamine, 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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