Official Site: www.onnit.com
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.”
Vitamin B6 – 10 mg
Onnit Flow Blend – 650 mg
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, Vinpocetine, Pterostibene
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
- Good for focus
- Great customer service team
- Could be great as a workout supplement
- Effects are a bit limited
- New formula might actually be less potent due to new focus on fitness and health
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.