Alpha Brain Review: Benefits, Side Effects & More

In this Alpha Brain review, we dive deep into the ingredients, pros and cons, Alpha Brain supplements, side effects of this popular nootropic, and its price tag to see if it really is the best nootropic on the market today.

What is an alpha brain?

If you do not know what Alpha Brain is, you must be one of the few people in the world who has never listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast. On it Alpha Brain is easily one of the most popular brain supplements (or “nootropic stacks” to use enthusiastic parlance) on the market today.

Onnit is now a much larger supplement company than it was when it launched Alpha Brain in 2011. However, Alpha Brain is their best-selling product and is still considered one of the leading noteotropics beginners use to experiment with cognitive enhancement.

So what exactly does Alpha Brain claim to do?

According to, Alpha Brain is a complete brain supplement and delivers:

  • Enhanced focus and learning
  • Better memory retention and retrieval
  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Assist in entering a flow state
  • Inspires a clear dream
  • Optimal Supports Brain Health

This is definitely like a top nootropic stack. Alpha Brain claims to be one of the best nootropics in the world, and they focus on the wide range of benefits that support that claim.

But does Alpha Brain really work as advertised?

Can it really do all of the things listed above, or is this just another supplement that promises the world and delivers nothing?

Is Alpha Brain The Best Brain Supplement On The Market?

In this comprehensive Alpha Brain review, we examine the ingredients, side effects, pros and cons of this nootropic, customer reviews and complaints, and its price tag to see if it’s as good as it claims. First, let’s look at the ingredients.

What’s Alpha Brain?

This is a great question, and the most important question to answer at Alpha Brain review, because it’s the ingredients in a nootropic that make it work!

The active ingredients in Alpha Brain include:

  • L-Theanine
  • L-tyrosine
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • oat straw extract
  • Alpha-GPC
  • Huperzia Serrata
  • Bacopa
  • pterostilbene
  • L-Leucine

Unfortunately, for many of these ingredients, we can’t say for sure how much we’re getting in a serving, as Alpha Brain hides the doses behind proprietary blends.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these ingredients.

L-Theanine: This amino acid helps reduce anxiety, clear brain fog and suppress the side effects of caffeine. We have no idea how much theanine we’re getting in each Alpha Brain pill, so we can’t guarantee we’re getting enough to have an effect.

L-Tyrosine: Tyrosine is another amino acid with potent nootropic effects. Tyrosine increases motivation by increasing the production of dopamine in the brain. But again, we don’t know how much is in Alpha Brain, so we can’t say if you’ll see any benefits.

Phosphatidylserine: Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid used to make new brain cells and to indicate that brain cells are ready to be replaced. Supplementation is necessary as we age because phosphatidylserine levels naturally decrease over time.

Oat Straw Extract: Oat straw extract is often used as an anti-anxiety supplement. Although there is conflicting evidence about its effects, many people report feeling less stressed after taking large doses of oat straw.

Alpha-GPC: Alpha-GPC is an extremely effective cognitive enhancer. It quickly increases acetylcholine levels in the brain, leading to faster mental processing, increased focus, and improved working memory.

Huperzia Serrata: Huperzine A also works by increasing Acetylcholine, but in the opposite direction of Alpha-GPC. Huperzine A blocks the enzyme that destroys acetylcholine, causing a rapid build-up of the neurotransmitter.

Bacopa monnieri: Bacopa monnieri leads to significantly better memory function after 6-12 weeks of consistent supplementation. The benefits are much more pronounced in older people with mild memory decline. However, there isn’t enough Bacopa monnieri in Alpha Brain health to really have a big effect on your memory.

Pterostilbene: Pterostilbene is a synthetic form of resveratrol, the powerful antioxidant found in red grapes. Pterostilbene is much more effective in nootropics than resveratrol because it crosses the blood-brain barrier much more easily than resveratrol.

L-Leucine: Leucine does not have any nootropic benefits. This amino acid is found in high amounts in almost all foods that contain protein. We suspect it is used by Onnit as a filler in Alpha Brain. There is certainly no benefit to be gained from including it here.

Problems with the ingredients of Alpha Brain

There are several major problems with Alpha Brain’s formula.

The first and most serious of all is the use of proprietary blends. The only reason anyone would hide their formula behind proprietary blends is to hide from being ripped off. Other nootropics use similar ingredients to Alpha Brain and they proudly display all of their ingredient servings on the bottle. So why would Onnit hide theirs?

Another problem is the use of unproven filler ingredients. The main culprit here is Leucine; this Alpha Brain ingredient has no nootropic benefits at all. In fact, it has no benefits as a supplement other than providing protein. So it can only be included to bulk the pills themselves.

Finally, there are the doses. Given the size of the proprietary blends in Alpha Brain, some of the most effective natural nootropics in this stack cannot possibly be dosed the way they should be to produce maximum benefits.

All in all, this is not the market-leading nootropic formula that Onnit makes of it. Alpha Brain was formulated in 2011 and has not changed since. You only see that when you look at the label!

Does alpha brain work? † Our experience

The best way to rate Alpha Brain is to take it. There are just no two ways left.

That’s why I tried Alpha Brain for three weeks to see if it really delivered the cognitive improvements it promises.

Unfortunately I found the whole experience quite disappointing.

My first morning on Alpha Brain was actually much better than I expected. I started by taking a capsule with a cup of coffee, toast and eggs. Within about an hour I felt significantly more focused and mentally energized than usual.

The rest of the morning I did feel a bit more ‘turned on’ than usual. My memory was not sharper (as measured by memory tests I performed regularly). But subjectively, I felt a bit more spirited mentally.

However, that’s about all I got from Alpha Brain. By the end of the afternoon, all the effects I might have experienced had finally worn off.

How Good Is Alpha Brain Review?

So how well does Alpha Brain compare to other nootropics on the market today?

Unfortunately, the answer is not so good at all!

Alpha Brain was invented in 2011. At the time, it was arguably one of the best nootropics out there. Today it looks outdated, too small and too expensive.

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