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 Retain

Last Updated: October 14, 2020

Brain Retain
Official Site: www.starrwalker.com

Background Check

If the name Starrwalker is familiar to you, then you probably need no introduction to Brain Retain, and the numerous other supplements they offer on their website. Starrwalker is a reputable supplement manufacturer, offering a wide arrangement of products from Aloe Vera, to a cardiovascular cleanser, to electrolytes, and even basic multivitamins… and of course, Brain Retain. They have so many supplements available that just looking at their product catalog, you might get lost in there for hours.

Going online, you aren’t going to find a lot of information on their supplements, and you aren’t going to see many out-of-this-world claims either. After all, that would be pretty difficult to do for each and every one of their supplements, but if you click on the “Click for More Information” button near the bottom, you’ll find some descriptions on Brain Retain’s ingredients, as well as a supplement facts label. This was a pleasant sight.

We first heard of Starrwalker when a friend of our very own editor Martin suggested it to us, recommending it highly and reporting a very positive experience with it. Needless to say, we were very intrigued… but even more intrigued when we learned that Brain Retain was actually not a pill, but rather, a tub of powder that you mix into a drink in protein shake fashion. The only reason we believe this might be beneficial is in the speed its ingredients take to be absorbed by the body. And since this is actually the first supplement we’ve come across in powder form, we just had to test it!

“Representing more than 30 years of neuroscience research, this unique powdered drink formula, developed by Board-Certified Neurologist and internationally recognized leader in nutritional neurology, David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, is designed to enhance brain performance and promote brain health.”

Formula Highlights

Supplement Facts:
Vitamin C 400 mg
Calcium 50 mg
Vitamin D3 1000 IU
Vitamin E 200 IU
Vitamin B1 50 mg
Vitamin B2 25 mg
Vitamin B3 200 mg
Vitamin B6 50 mg
Folate 800 mcg
Vitamin B12 1000 mcg
Phosphorous 50 mg
Magnesium 50 mg
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine 300 mg
Phosphatidylserine 200 mg
Acetyl L-Carnitine 800 mg
Alpha Lipoic Acid 200 mg
Coenzyme Q10 200 mg
Broccoli Seed Extract 273 mg
DHA 50 mg

The first thing you’ll notice with Starrwalker’s Brain Retain is that it is actually quite potent in terms of milligrams… In fact, a lot more potent than what you’d normally see in a smart pill. This is one advantage of using scooped powder over pills – you can fit so much more ingredients in 2 scoops compared to 2 capsules. This is very evident in Brain Retain’s formula.

Higher milligrams does not automatically mean a more potent formula, however. If you take a closer look, you’ll find that only 1/3 of the ingredients used are actually nootropics. The rest are vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients that your body needs. This means that you might be paying a premium price for what may only be 1/3 a brain supplement.

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.

Phosphatidylserine: A nootropic from soy that aids in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. It aids in improving connectivity between neurons and brain cells, while also protecting the brain against aging and aged-related ailments. It’s shown positive effects for improving memory, reaction times, and clarity of thought.

Broccoli Seed Extract (description from Starrwalker): Broccoli Seed Extract contains the patented form of the phytochemical in broccoli called sulforaphane glucosinolate. Extensive research demonstrates that, when this compound is broken down to sulforaphane (its active form), it safely and effectively upregulates the Nrf-2 system, enhancing the production of important antioxidants such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase and activating vital Phase 2 detoxification enzymes.

Overall, Starrwalker’s formula is pretty good, but we would have liked to have seen more of the nootropic ingredients used in the formula in lieu of the other “filler”. Still, it manages to cope, and even surpass many of the other brain pills out there purely because there was so much to go around in a 2-scoop serving size. We would like to see how potent the formula can become if all of it were just filled with nootropic ingredients though.

Rating: 18/20

Effects and Benefits

A few of us here at the office tested Starrwalker Brain Retain over the course of a month, and they noted that the effects were indeed very hard to miss. The fact that you had to take it in drink form by mixing the powder into water meant that you will feel the effects very quickly after consumption. We felt generally a little more focused, and a few of us noted on how it easily clears brain fog.

Over the few weeks, we tested ourselves in a number of cognitive exercises in Sudoku, Chess, as well as some other real-time strategy games, and we found that Brain Retain does something for response time, most notably when playing games where time is critical (Bullet Chess, for example). In many cases, solving problems would become so much more fluid.

What really blew us away was the Brain Retains great memory enhancing properties. Rarely do you see a supplement with Coenzyme Q10 in it, and when you do it isn’t often as high as 200 mg. CoQ10 is an excellent strengthener of the transmitters that affect our ability to store and retrieve information. (ED – We’ll follow up with a deeper review on this aspect at a later date)

Learning was also affected, but to a much lesser degree. While we can’t say that Bran Retain does wonders for memory, there were a few things to note from our experiences. For one, common things would be so much easier to remember. Things that you’d normally forget like names, phone numbers, and bite-sized information like that would actually stay in.

Rating: 18/20

Potential Side Effects

In our month’s experience with Brain Retain, we did not notice any adverse side effects, although a few of us reported headaches, and there were a couple cases of diarrhea. They’re all nothing too major, but still worth noting. Please keep yourself well- hydrated when taking Starrwalker’s Brain Retain.

The weight-conscious might also be a little disappointed to find out that the 2-scoop serving of Brain Retain will set you back on your daily goals by 150 calories. That’s more than a can of Coke.

If you experience any adverse side effects or allergies, make sure you discontinue Brain Retain from your regimen immediately.

Rating: 19/20

Pricing Options

A tub of Starrwalker Brain Retain costs a $86.23, which is already a little on the expensive side… but it gets even more shocking when you find out that that tub will only last you half a month. At 30 scoops with a 2 scoops a day serving, you might find out that you’ll run out before you even start completely benefiting from all of Brain Retain’s effects.

A tub of Starrwalker Brain Retain costs a $86.23, which is already a little on the expensive side… but it gets even more shocking when you find out that that tub will only last you half a month. At 30 scoops with a 2 scoops a day serving, you might find out that you’ll run out before you even start completely benefiting from all of Brain Retain’s effects.

The price wouldn’t actually be that bad if the formula was just purely nootropics though. But with the fact that more than half of it is just filled with cheaper ingredients that you can find in a $10 multivitamin, we can’t help but feel a little cheated here. But hey – on the plus side, you’ve got the option of Chocolate and Vanilla flavors with your drink.

Rating: 15/20

Online Reviews

While there were definitely a lot of positive reviews on Brain Retain on the web, the vast majority of them kept complaining about the one same thing: Brain Retain’s high price.

User Review by Vincent Lloyd on Brainopinions.com

I decided to try Brain Retain after hearing about it from a colleague of mine who was very satisfied with the results. I purchased a bottle and after two weeks I could definitely see improvements in my memory, concentration, learning capacity and overall alertness. I decided I will buy it again and I recommended the product to everyone who wants a fast solution for improving their mental performance.

User Review by Mary-Anne on Brainopinions.com

Brain Retain price is indeed high, but I think it is worth the money! This delicious drink helps me stay focused and alert every single day. I take it in the mornings and I enjoy its effects the entire day. I really love it!

Expert Review by Brainreference.com
3.1/5 Stars

Starr Walker Brain Retain is one of the many nootropics available on the nutritional supplement market. Its particularity is that it comes in a flavored powdered form that makes it a more pleasant alternative to common dietary supplements sold as capsules or tablets harder to ingest. The great disadvantage of the formula is the monthly price. This is one of the most expensive products of its type but this high price is not supported by any scientific data or by consumers.

Expert Review by Smartpillcomparisons.com

Starr Walker Brain Retain receives our recommendation due to the amount of high quality ingredients found in the formula. However, it is important to note that Starr Walker Brain Retain is the most expensive supplement we have reviewed, coming in at $84.54 for just a 15-day supply. It is also important to note that Starr Walker Brain Retain is sold in powder form, so it may not be best for all people.

Rating: 19/20

RECAP:

Positives

  • Fantastic improvements to memory recall and verbal fluidity
  • From a reputable company with many different products
  • Great source of multivitamins and nutrients
  • Good all-round effects on focus, clarity, problem solving ability

Negatives

  • Heavy price at $172.46 for a month’s supply (That’s three times as much as most brain pills)
  • Mixing drinks every day can be a hassle
  • Not as simple as pills/capsules

Our Verdict

It’s always great to order from a supplement manufacturer that already has so many products under its belt. You can be assured that you get a pretty good supplement. We felt confident when ordering Brain Retain, and we have to tip our hats to Starrwalker, because few companies can make us feel confident in buying their products like that. The data they provide in downloadable format is superb.

Brain Retain is a great supplement that focuses more on improving your focus and clarity, but ends up having a profound effect on memory. It also helped with reaction times, and speed in problem solving and we witnesses some moderate effects mood improvement.

The ALCAR may have you needing the toilet and at 800 mg, you may find a little weight loss, so be wary if you are already on a weight loss plan. Consult with your physician with both formulas.

Overall, Brain Retain is a good formula, but we still believe it could have been a lot better. It already had a foot up against brain pills due to the milligrams you can put in two scoops vs. two capsules, but it failed to take advantage of this by stuffing a lot of filler into its formula. On top of that, the fact that it was priced so expensively – three times what most brain pills are priced at – is a little insulting.

Nevertheless, if you can afford it, it’s a great option by Starrwalker, especially if you like Vanilla or Chocolate. Then again, you might be better off getting a few different brain pills, a multivitamin, and a few gallons of milk… after all of that, you’ll still have some change to spare.

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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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