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'.

True Focus

Last Updated: October 14, 2020

True Focus

Background Check

Now Foods True Focus is actually one of the older brain supplements we’re reviewing on this site, and was actually only brought to our attention when a reader asked us whether it would be okay for his dad to use it. To be very frank, we’ve never thought of how Now Foods True Focus could help with brain enhancement before, and perhaps you haven’t either. That’s possibly because they’re targeting a much different market. Unlike diehard nootropic users and brain enhancement aficionados, Now Foods seems to be catering for the whole family.

Now Foods has a very large list of featured products they sell on their website ranging from supplements for fitness and health, for the brain, for personal care, and even actual foods like virgin olive oil. There’s just a certain reassurance we get from their website… perhaps due to the fact that the company is pretty large and well-rounded in its products. Or perhaps it was just due to the fact that it’s one of the supplements out there that didn’t seem to try so hard to “sell us” into True Focus.

Diving deeper into their website, you’ll find that it is actually quite organized and informative. Most of the information that you might need to know is already contained in there, without the need to conduct your own research elsewhere. On top of that, they still do a good job at conveying how True Focus helps you, without going over the top with unsubstantiated claims and sensationalized marketing hype.

There is also a supplement facts label readily available for view, so that’s also pretty nice.

One thing we’d like to point out though is that while they do sell directly from their website, more sales are actually being conducted from online retailers like Amazon and iHerb, and while they do not have many reviews on the website itself, there are many on Amazon.

“Norepinephrine and Dopamine are key neurotransmitters for the maintenance of alertness
and mental acuity and for promoting a feeling of general well-being. These two neurotransmitters
are produced in the body from amino acid precursors primarily L-Tyrosine and L-Phenylalanine.
This conversion process also requires Vitamins C and B-6 as cofactors. NOW® True Focus™
combines these important nutrients with other ingredients like Ginkgo biloba and DMAE to
maximize mental agility without the stimulating side effects of caffeine or ephedra.”

Formula Highlights

Supplement Facts:
Vitamin C 36 mg
Vitamin B6 12 mg
Potassium 10 mg
L-Tyrosine 800 mg
L-Phenylalanine 300 mg
Taurine 100 mg
Grape Seed Extract 80 mg
Potassium Ascorbate 60 mg
DMAE 60 mg
Ginkgo Biloba 40 mg
CoQ10 10 mg

True Focus’ formula is actually quite peculiar. It doesn’t use too many of the ingredients we’re used to seeing, and one could describe the ingredients they use to be a little old. There are plenty of very potent nootropic ingredients like Ginseng, Phosphatidylserine, and Acetyl L Carnitine that would have been nice to see in True Focus.

We’d say that True Focus’ formula list is quite bare, and is really lacking a few key ingredients. First off, even a simple form of choline would greatly enhance the formula. Alpha GPC and Citicholine would be great, but others are good too.

The milligram distribution is a little imbalanced. All the milligrams are far too low, except for L-Tyrosine, which is also absurdly high. It shouldn’t even be advised to double your dosage since that would be way too much L-Tyrosine.

DMAE is also a questionable choice. While it does have some positive effects to memory, an alarming study had revealed a connection between the substance and cell and tissue death in the body. Since then, Australia and Canada have been quick to ban the substance, with reports of other countries following suit.

Key Ingredients:

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.

L-Tyrosine: Also known as 4-hydroxyphenylalanine, it’s one of the 22 most important amino acids used by the body to synthesize proteins. It also serves as a precursor to a number of important neurotransmitters in the brain, increasing levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine – all of which have a key effect in improving alertness, focus, and attention in the brain.

Grape Seed Extract: A nutritional supplement that has been touted at offering nootropic benefits for memory and in preventing age-related damage to the brain. It’s been used by both the Egyptians and the Greeks for thousands of years, offering a number of health and therapeutic benefits. Grape Seed Extract is also a powerful anti-oxidant, reducing free radical damage and oxidative stress inside the body.

Overall, we think that Now Foods True Focus is a pretty average brain supplement that has an outdated formula containing few nootropic ingredients. It has barely enough potency due to the fact that 90% of the formula’s weight is in just one ingredient, L-Tyrosine.

Rating: 12/20

Effects and Benefits

A few of us at the office decided to test True Focus extensively, reporting our experiences on it for a duration of 30 days.

In the beginning, the effects were rather nonexistent. None of us were able to feel a discernable difference on the whole first week. No improvements on anything at all. We believe this may have been due to the low potency of True Focus’ ingredients (aside from L-Tyrosine). Needless to say, we were already a little disappointed on first impressions.

It did get a little better over the second week though. There were some slight improvements to focus, but they were very subtle. It would just be very easy to get your head down and get focused at things that you have to do.

Mood also improved generally. Everyone at the office noticed being generally more positive and less stressed out in the midst of numerous deadlines and projects that we were all currently undertaking.

By far the biggest improvements came to memory though. At first, we could remember simple bite-sized information more easily: that phone number someone gave to you, the name of someone you just met, or the exact quote your friend said yesterday (when bringing it up in an argument). After a while, remembering things in general became much more efficient. It would be easier to learn new things, which is definitely a plus. On top of that, the effects on memory seemed to compound… the effects only got better and better the more we used them.

Our experience was okay. There were some really good effects to memory, and to a much lesser extent, to focus and mood, but it was indeed a little slow to start.

Rating: 14/20

Potential Side Effects

While none of us experienced any side effects with True Focus, a couple of us reviewing True Focus noted being a little bit foggier when on it, especially in the first 1-2 weeks of taking it. Nothing major, but perhaps it isn’t the best choice if you’re looking to get focused and productive.

Of course, as a precaution, if you experience any adverse effects or allergies, please stop taking Now Foods True Focus immediately.

Rating: 15/20

Pricing Options

A bottle of Now Foods True Focus costs $19.99, however, prices may vary depending on which online retailer you are ordering from. A bottle includes 90 veggie caps, with the recommended daily serving of 2 capsules, meaning you’ll actually get around a month and a half’s use of Now Foods True Focus.

Really, for the price, we’re going to have to say that you’re getting a pretty good deal. It isn’t the most well-balanced supplements, but for the price, it’s okay. Nevertheless, if you’re serious about looking for the best available, you’ll have to keep looking.

Please note that True Focus contains DMAE, so please check first whether or not it is legal in your country before ordering.

Rating: 19/20

Online Reviews

Opinions online regarding Optimind are slightly toward the positive side, but negative reviews point out the supplement either simply not working or that the effects were too subtle to actually make any difference.

User Review by Mike on Amazon.com

Makes focusing easier. I find myself fixating visually on things around me after taking it, making it apparent that it is working. Subtle but helpful. If I want to feel the effects sooner than later or don’t have an empty stomach, I break the capsule and hold the powder under my tongue. Absorbs faster, but tastes pretty horrible, as mentioned by some others. I have found a marked decrease in my imagination and creative ability after ingesting however. Great for focusing on reading or mindless work, but for it’s affect on my creativity I will likely be experimenting with other nootropics in the future. I’d still buy again for its practical application at work.

User Review by Gymrat780 on Amazon.com

Does the exact opposite of what it’s suppose to do. I chose this product to aid me in my studying for the bar exam. I was treated for ADD when I was a kid, but as an adult I have not used ADD meds. I thought, this product might help me focus a little bit more for the rough 2 months of studying for the bar exam.

For me, this product gave me what I can best describe as a real “foggy” head feeling. It made me feel like I was drugged up, and it actually made it 10x harder for me to concentrate. I found I would make really stupid mistakes in my bar exam practicing because I felt really out of it.

At first I thought it was because I was just really tired and had been drinking too much coffee, but as soon as I stopped taking this product, the foggy feeling went away. I should also mention, I didn’t go crazy with the dosage. I had these effects on two pills of this product a day.

I do NOT recommend this product.

Rating: 16/20

RECAP:

Positives

  • Cheap price
  • Great for memory and as a learning aid
  • No adverse side effects experienced

Negatives

  • Outdated formula
  • Effects to focus and mood are minimal
  • Formula is a little impotent
  • Too much milligrams into L-Tyrosine (might be easy to overdose)

Our Verdic

It’s really great every time we see a company manage to succeed so much that it is able to have countless products under its name, however, this does not mean that every product is as exceptional as it can be. That is the case with Now Foods True Focus. Its formula is pretty outdated, using very few potent nootropic ingredients. The formula definitely needs some work, especially in comparison to some of the big dogs in the brain enhancement industry.

The effects themselves were pretty substandard. While there were some great positive effects to memory, the effects on focus and mood were so subtle that you’d most likely miss them, unless you were actually looking for them. On the flipside, we did not experience any negative side effects at all (although some noted that it can cause brain fog – the opposite of what it should do).

For a supplement that claims to give you “True Focus”, it doesn’t… but perhaps you may forgive that when you see the low price at $19.99 for a month and a half’s supply.

We’ll recommend Now Foods True Focus for those looking for a good boost in memory, which can help in studying or learning, but for those looking for the best all-around brain supplement, you aren’t going to find it here.

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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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