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'.

Study Buddy

Last Updated: November 18, 2020

Study Buddy

Background Check

Study Buddy by Brainiac Supplements is one of the newest brain supplements on the market. It’s basically the new kid on the block, and due to that, there’s not a lot of information about it up on the web. The website itself was created and launched early in 2014, so Study Buddy is actually just about to turn one year old today online.

Our first impressions with Study Buddy was that it seemed a little too generic. In an industry where so many pharmaceutical companies are trying to differentiate themselves with either edgy design or trying to look more like a ‘big pharma’ product, Study Buddy looks really tame, using an all-white bottle with just the words Study Buddy printed on it. It looks so generic that we think that if that were ever on a shelf in a supplement store, you’re definitely going to walk pass by it at least a couple time – even if you’re actually looking for it.

Taking matters online, it seems like this sort of branding is also matched by their website, which is really just a generic white page with a logo on the top left corner and a picture of a bottle and a short product description. There are also page menus that don’t really make a lot of sense. We know they’re trying to be smart with the B-Empowered, B-Equipped, B-Educated, and B-Helped menu tabs, but they’re all just really vague and make looking for information on the website a little confusing.

While there isn’t a lot of sensationalized marketing hype here, you’ll also be hard pressed to find any information about the product that’s actually useful. There isn’t a lot of talk about the ingredients in Study Buddy, nor is there a supplement facts label on their website. Again, everything is just so vague and generic.

“Use your brain; don’t keep letting it use you. Leverage a resource designed specifically for students to get all of the results, with none of the risk. When you see, firsthand, what it’s like to use a scientifically-formulated, doctor-recommended nootropic supplement, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to study without your ‘Buddy’.”

Formula Highlights

Supplement Facts:
Vitamin D3 5000 IU
Thiamine 25 mg
Riboflavin 10 mg
Niacin 30 mg
Folic Acid 400 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 40 mg
Zinc 15 mg
Copper 1 mcg
Selenium 300 mcg
Manganese 5 mg
Study Buddy Cognitive Blend 998 mg
Choline Bitartrate, Bacopa Leaf Powder,
Acetyl L-Carnitine, Ginkgo Leaf Powder,
Caffeine, Alpha GPC, Gotu Kola Herb Powder,
Boron, Huperzine Serrata Extract

Right off the bat, we can already see that Study Buddy suffers from many of the problems that most other supplements also have. While we can say that there are a few good nootropic ingredients, the formula itself is rather impotent due to the sheer number of ingredients they’ve decided to include.

Furthermore, the fact that they go to such lengths just to hide Study Buddy’s supplement facts label on their website is beyond us. Perhaps they get nervous when a panel of experts critique their choices of ingredients and their dosages?

The formula is good, but we believe that it could be better… and at this stage, it’s easier to do so since they’ve only just begun selling. They aren’t in any way major

First off, the choline source they’ve selected is rather low in quality. A better choice would have been CDP Choline, or at the very least, they could have added more Alpha GPC. Both are great and have better bioavailability, which means that they are more readily absorbed by the body. Guarana would have also been a better choice for an energy enhancer than caffeine. It’s a herbal alternative that is much more potent, not only on its effects on energy, but also with brain enhancing properties.

While not many will agree with us, we would have swapped out Huperzine A for a different nootropic simply because of the fact that you can’t take it every day (as opposed to what their website suggests). Huperzine A is very potent, but unfortunately, builds up tolerance really quickly. To get the maximum use out of it, you almost most definitely have to cycle it off for a couple of days a week from your regimen.

Finally, we would also lose all the other filler ingredients. Although vitamins and minerals are great for the body, most people already get adequate amounts from their diet. Most people also still take multivitamins, so there shouldn’t be a need for the extra filler.

Key Ingredients:

Alpha GPC: One of the most high-quality sources of choline, second only to Citicholine, 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 promotes connectivity in the brain as well, creating new connections while also repairing damaged brain cells.

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.

Ginkgo Biloba: America’s best-selling herbal supplement that helps benefit the brain in two ways: improved blood flow to tissues and organs, and as an antioxidant preventing oxidative damage to cells. Ginkgo is believed to greatly help with memory and concentration, while also working on reducing brain fog. In studies, Ginkgo has also shown to prevent age-related decline and similar brain illnesses.

Overall, Study Buddy has got some things wrong in its formula, but it also has some good points. Keep in mind that it’s still a relatively new brain supplement, so newer iterations will definitely iron out any creases. For a newcomer, it isn’t doing too bad, and definitely has enough time to reformulate.

Rating: 15/20

Effects and Benefits

A few of us here at the office decided to give Study Buddy a little go for 30 days, and we have to say that it was a little underwhelming. The effects were immediate even upon first use, but they were very subtle.

The first thing we noticed was an increase in focus. We believe this is mostly due to the caffeine in Study Buddy, but we generally felt more alert and energized. Doing undistracted work was very easy, and Study Buddy even made a great coffee replacement as some of us noted losing the urge to go to the pantry to top up a mug of Joe.

Study Buddy also helped with memory as over the course of our experience, we noticed learning and remembering things becoming much easier. There would absolutely be no forgotten names or phone numbers, thanks to Study Buddy.

Mood also generally improved. Everyone taking Study Buddy was generally more positive and less stressed for the majority of the test, although the effects again were just a little subtle.

Rating: 14/20

Potential Side Effects

Some of us experienced a few side effects while on Study Buddy, however, fortunately, there wasn’t anything too severe. Experiences included slight headaches (possibly due to dehydration), diarrhea (could also be due to dehydration), and stimulant crashes – although few.

We believe that the caffeine may have something to do with these side effects, so if you are intolerant to its effects or have had any problems with caffeine in the past, stay away. We also advise you to drink plenty of water while on Study Buddy, as it is a little easy to get dehydrated when focused.

If you experience any adverse effects or allergies, please stop taking Study Buddy immediately.

Due to the inclusion of Huperzine in the formula, you should not take Study Buddy daily. For best results, we advise you to cycle it off for two days every week.

Rating: 14/20

Pricing Options

A bottle of Study Buddy costs $47.99, which includes 56 capsules, or 28 servings (recommended daily dose at 2 capsules). This means that you might actually be out before the end of the month, but if you’re following our advice on cycling it off for a couple days every week, you should be perfectly fine.

Brainiac Supplements also offers 2 bottles or 3 bottles as a bundle, at $79.99 and $99.99. We believe that you should order a single bottle first though to test yourself and the effects it has on you, before going immediately for the 2 or 3 month supply.

Rating: 16/20

Online Reviews

Customer testimonials on Study Buddy are rather few at the moment, with mostly expert review sites having reviewed them. The public opinion is generally positive though, but we believe this is due to the fact that Study Buddy is still relatively new.

Expert Review by Brainreference.com

Study Buddy is advertised as the number 1 doctor recommended study aid, although no evidence is brought to support this claim. The formula is a blend of scientifically proven ingredients approved by the FDA as dietary supplements in accordance with the Dietary Supplement Health Act, according to the manufacturer. Consumer reviews claim the product works and actually accomplishes its benefit claims at full potential. However, we should not dismiss consumer reviews which claim no effectiveness whatsoever for the formula.

Although there are many study aid formulas on the market Study Buddy actually has the credentials for working. The product is however a little pricey and there are definitely cheaper alternatives out there.

As for all dietary supplements, we recommend caution and advise you to get a healthcare provider’s opinion before use.

User Review by Shelby on Brainreference.com

This stuff is awful! It smells terrible and tastes terrible. It made me so sick just hours after taking it. It made me vomit, gave me a headache, made me irritable. The next morning I was still sick to my stomach and dizzy with a headache. Twice this has happened to me. Never again.

Rating: 18/20

RECAP:

Positives

  • Slightly above average all-around nootropic
  • Not too many negative reviews online
  • Has a few great ingredients

Negatives

  • Website lacking clear information and sources
  • Effects are too subtle to make much difference
  • Formula not potent (too much filler)
  • Inclusion of Huperzine means it needs to be cycled
  • Poor value even at $47.99 for a month’s supply
  • Side effects are present (mostly caffeine-related)

Our Verdict

Brainac Supplements’ Study Buddy isn’t something that we’d easily recommend… even to people looking to study. Although there are some good ingredients in its formula, it still suffers due to the fact that it has too many ingredients, which further dilutes the potency of the good ingredients. The problems Study Buddy has here are pretty minor though, and can be easily rectified with some tweaks to the formula. They’re almost there.

The effects themselves are rather too subtle for our liking. While Study Buddy takes effect almost immediately after popping your first capsules, the effects aren’t anything to be raving about. There’s a substantial increase in focus, followed by memory over the next few days. You’ll also feel generally better, but then again, that could probably be attributed to a number of things.

For the price of $47.99, Study Buddy isn’t that expensive, but considering that the effects aren’t that noticeable either, it’s of pretty bad value, even at that price point.

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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 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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