Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a supplement we could take like Bradley Cooper did in the movie Limitless? A pill designed to help us achieve maximum mental acuity and enhance our cognitive performance sounds nice, but it’s far from being a reality.
While that type of technology, science, and power isn’t available in today’s modern world, the concept behind giving your brain an extra boost has been around for nearly 10,000 years.
Much like any other organ in the body, the brain requires a unique set of nutrients to function properly. These nutrients act as fuel for the different parts of the brain, which are responsible for our movement, speech, thoughts, memory, and much more.
Today, these nutrients are widely available as supplements and can be taken daily to help increase your cognitive performance. Although there are plenty of brands that have entered the brain supplement space, very few are as effective as Onnit’s Alpha Brain. You may also know Alpha Brain as Joe Rogan’s brain pills.
What Is Alpha Brain by Onnit?
Let’s start out with the basics — what is Alpha Brain?
Introduced to the supplement community in 2011, Onnit has truly found a way to help consumers unlock a more powerful brain. Largely targeting your memory and focus, Alpha Brain can also improve your mood, mental energy, and overall health of the brain.
With over one million bottles sold and celebrity-endorsed by Joe Rogan — the man, the myth, the legend — it’s no wonder why Alpha Brain has remained a leader in the nootropic community. They’ve even added a variety of other supplements to their product line that further enhance this supplement.
The name pretty much sums up what you should expect out of this nootropic, but we want to make sure you know exactly what you’re putting into your body and how it’s positively affecting your brain’s performance.
To help you better understand the science behind Alpha Brain, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about it before purchasing.
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What are Nootropics?
Some of you might be wondering what nootropics are and what this term is referring to. Coined by a Romanian chemist in the mid-1960s, nootropics are substances that enhance the brain’s ability to function.
What makes a supplement a true nootropic is when there are no side effects or withdrawals associated with it.
Many people use the term “smart drug” as a slang for nootropic stacks, much like the pill in the movie Limitless. Don’t let this fool you, nootropics are essentially just an umbrella term for a specific group of plants, herbs, extracts, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and much more that contribute to a healthy-functioning brain.
How do nootropics improve cognitive function?
Nootropics are known to improve the brain in five major ways — memory, focus, mental energy, brain health, and mood. A majority of the benefits will come from neurotransmitter synthesis in the brain, but there’s plenty more at play here.
Let’s take a closer look at how nootropics do this:
- Memory – there are two neurotransmitters known to affect learning and memory in the brain, glutamate and acetylcholine. Popular nootropics for memory include Alpha-GPC and Bacopa Monnieri.
- Focus – the neurotransmitters most closely associated with focus are GABA and norepinephrine, but acetylcholine, epinephrine, and dopamine will also play a role in maintaining attention.
- Mental Energy – the body’s main currency for energy is called ATP, which is the molecule responsible for transferring energy from cell to cell. Vitamin B6 and L-Leucine are two ingredients that improve energy without the use of caffeine.
- Brain Health – your brain cells need to have a strong structure if they want to live a long and full life, which is why nootropics will often contain Phosphatidylserine. Ingredients with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties will also help reduce oxidative stress.
- Mood – when the body releases the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, it makes us feel good about what we’re doing at that moment. L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine are two amino acids that can help improve mood.
The brain works in mysterious ways, but we wouldn’t be able to do anything without it. A healthy brain is a powerful brain — and that’s the entire concept behind nootropics and what they’re designed to do.
RELATED READING: Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Supplement List: The Complete Guide
Who is Alpha Brain designed for?
Alpha Brain is designed for anyone that needs a little extra kick to their day, but some will find more use out of it than others. College students, business executives, athletes, public speakers, comedians, actors, and much more can find a use for Alpha Brain.
Even if you aren’t looking for something daily, Alpha Brain can be taken as needed. If you know you’re going to have a day full of chores, Alpha Brain can help you bust through that chore list. Let’s say you’re preparing for midterms or final exams and want to make sure your brain is in tip-top shape — Alpha Brain will help you get there!
The point here is that we use our brains constantly throughout the day, whether we want to or not. Deep down, we could all use a little pick-me-up when it comes time to “zone in” and focus on a certain task or group of tasks. If you are skeptical like I was, you can always do a 7-Day Free Trial of Alpha Brain.
Can Alpha Brain actually improve memory, focus, and mental speed?
Not all supplements are made equal and some will even stretch the truth when it comes to the claims being made by the company. When discovering a new supplement, it’s essential to look past all those claims and start to open your eyes to the reality of the product — what you should truly expect out of it.
One thing that separates Alpha Brain from it’s competitors is the sheer quality of the product. Alpha Brain is ‘Certified Drug Free’ by the BSCG, considered to be the gold standard in testing products for illegal substances or harmful substances.
Another thing that puts Alpha Brain leagues above it’s competitors is that it has been proven to work in clinical trials. A study was conducted in 2015 between the Boston Center for Memory, Boston University School of Medicine, and Williams College that concluded that Alpha Brain had a 12% greater improvement in verbal recall over placebo, along with a 21% faster completion time in executive function assessment compared to baseline. An additional study concluded that resting EEG recordings showed Alpha Brain increased peak alpha frequency, which reflects a state of focus – or ‘flow state’.
Taking a look at Alpha Brain’s official website, you’ll get a good look at the various claims being made by Onnit Labs. Here’s a look at the most prominent ones:
- Improves memory, focus, and mental processing
- Promotes the state of being in a “zone”
- Free of caffeine, gluten, dairy, nuts, and certified drug-free
- Keto- and Paleo-friendly
- Improves ability to remember names, push through complex tasks, perform better under stress, and react more swiftly
- Increase the production of alpha waves and neurotransmitters
Most consumers are well-aware that claims don’t tell the whole story with a supplement. Furthermore, simply stating that a supplement will work is far from what a consumer needs to know before making a proper decision.
That’s why we’re going to take a step further and detail each ingredient found in Alpha Brain — and why Onnit Labs chose to utilize them.
Breaking Down the Ingredients
As we discussed earlier, there are three quality blends in Alpha Brain that are trademarked by Onnit Labs — the Onnit Flow Blend, Onnit Focus Blend, and Onnit Fuel Blend (with AC-11). In total, Alpha Brain contains 11 powerful nootropic ingredients.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at what makes Alpha Brain such a powerful nootropic!
Onnit Flow Blend – 650mg
The Onnit Flow Blend includes three ingredients — L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, and Phosphatidylserine. This blend is designed to target the brain’s production of alpha waves. It’ll help you feel more calm so you can properly get in the “zone.”
Alpha brain waves induce mental coordination, learning ability, alertness, and the mind-body connection.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that plays a large role in dopamine production, which helps us feel pleasure. This process begins with an enzyme called tyrosine hydroxylase converting L-Tyrosine into L-DOPA and ends with L-DOPA being converted to dopamine.
In fact, dopamine will have a further effect on the body when converted to epinephrine and norepinephrine. These three neurotransmitters are often referred to as catecholamines, meaning they are released when the body or mind is under stress.
L-Tyrosine has long been looked at as a possible treatment for ADHD symptoms and is often used with Ritalin.
How much should I take? 250mg-400mg per day
Another amino acid that works wonders in the human brain, L-Theanine is a popular ingredient in most nootropics today. Believe it or not, it’s actually the ingredient found in black or green tea that gives it the relaxing and calming effect.
When combined with a stimulant, L-Theanine helps protect the brain from over-stimulation. This can help relieve the typical jitters or crash associated with stimulants.
In terms of its structure, L-Theanine is similar to L-Glutamine and L-Glutamate. It can also cross the blood-brain barrier and won’t take very long to have an effect on the brain’s ability to function. Not only can it produce alpha waves (relaxing) and theta waves (creativity), but it can also increase the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and GABA in the brain.
How much should I take? 250mg-750mg per day
Phosphatidylserine is one of the two most important phospholipids in the body — with Phosphatidylcholine being the other. Found in the outer layer of every cell, Phosphatidylserine is essential to the fluidity and permeability of the cell. It helps keep the cell health and repair cells that are damaged.
In addition to that, phospholipids are known to contain choline — a precursor to acetylcholine. Combining that with its ability to increase dopamine production and you can start to see how important this ingredient is to keeping us productive and healthy.
Supplementation of Phosphatidylserine becomes more needed as we age, since our levels will start to decline in our mid-20s.
Recommended Dosage: 100mg-300mg per day
To further keep your mind in a calm, peaceful, and relaxed state while maintaining focus, there’s an extremely popular “nervine herb” found in Alpha Brain — oat straw extract. It’s been used by humans for nearly 3 millennia as a source of nutrition.
Now in the nootropic community, oat straw extract is being hailed for its ability to increase production of dopamine and alpha waves in the brain. It is also essential to cerebral circulation by improving nitric oxide levels and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Recommended Dosage: 250mg-400mg per day
Onnit Focus Blend – 240mg
Now that we’ve got the mind in a calm and relaxed state thanks to the Onnit Flow Blend, it’s time to zero our focus into what’s really important. It’ll do this by helping to produce acetylcholine in the brain, as well as maintain those levels.
There are three ingredients we’ll be taking a look at inside the Onnit Focus Blend — Alpha-GPC, Bacopa Monnieri, and Huperzine-A.
When it comes to supplying your brain with choline, there are two major sources that are commonly found in nootropic supplements — Alpha-GPC or Citicoline. Also known as Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, Alpha-GPC is derived from sunflower lecithin or soy lecithin and has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
By delivering choline to the brain, it’ll eventually be converted to acetylcholine — the main neurotransmitter involved in learning, memory, and focus. Outside of that, Alpha-GPC will help produce new brain cells, repair old brain cells, and make us feel more alert.
In terms of weight, Alpha-GPC is about 40% choline while Citicoline is around 20% choline. That’s why a large majority of supplement companies prefer the use of Alpha-GPC.
Recommended Dosage: 500mg-1,000mg per day
There’s no way you could introduce a nootropic stack without one of the most effective nootropics on the market today — Bacopa Monnieri.
Also known as water hyssop or Brahmi, Bacopa Monnieri is an aquatic herb that’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is best known as an adaptogen and memory-enhancer. In ancient India, it was given to people that needed to memorize a long passage.
Bacopa Monnieri will help boost the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and serotonin, leading to its memory and mood enhancement. It’ll also provide antioxidants that help ward off free radicals in our cells and improve neural signaling in the brain.
Recommended Dosage: 200mg-400mg per day
Extracted from the Huperzia serrata plant, commonly referred to as Chinese Club Moss, Huperzine-A is a highly effective nootropic for memory, learning processing, and recall. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that keeps your mitochondria healthy.
While it won’t boost acetylcholine production, Huperzine-A does inhibit a certain enzyme called acetylcholinesterase — which plays a role in the breakdown of acetylcholine. Since acetylcholine won’t be broken down as much in the brain, there will be higher levels of it ready to assist cognitive function.
Recommended Dosage: No more than 50mcg per day
Onnit Fuel Blend – 60mg
With Onnit’s Flow Blend and Focus Blend, you’ll be locked in and ready to complete whatever task awaits you. Unfortunately, that won’t stop your brain from getting tired eventually.
That’s where the Fuel Blend comes in, allowing your brain to keep firing on all cylinders for an extended amount of time. It’s designed to help keep the cells healthy and provide the body with ATP — the energy currency.
There are two ingredients in this blend — L-Leucine and Pterostilbene.
We’ve mentioned several amino acids so far, but L-Leucine is the first one that’s considered an essential amino acid. In fact, L-Leucine is one of the three branched-chain amino acids — commonly known as BCAAs. It’s responsible for a majority of the benefits that come with BCAAs.
Leucine has become largely known for its role in muscle protein synthesis and is popular among bodybuilders or workout enthusiasts. It’ll also help stimulate glucose uptake in cells depleted of insulin.
To make this amino acid more appealing, it can cross the blood-brain barrier much more quickly than any other amino acid.
Recommended Dosage: 500mg-2,000mg per day
If you’re looking for a powerful antioxidant in your nootropic supplement, Pterostilbene is an excellent choice you can’t go wrong with. Commonly found in grapes, blueberries, and the Kino tree (bark), Pterostilbene will cross the blood-brain barrier and stay in the brain for a while.
The effects on the brain are extensive and include the following: increased dopamine production, improved neurogenesis of the hippocampus, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, increased glutathione, and reduced cognitive decline as we age.
Recommended Dosage: 50mg per day
Cat’s Claw Extract – 350mg
Commonly found in South America, Cat’s Claw is a type of vine that goes by the fancy name of Uncaria tomentosa. They can grow to be nearly 100-feet tall and have thorns on them that look like the claw on a cat.
It’s found in nootropics due to its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and ability to repair DNA. When it comes to the brain, it will also help increase the production of acetylcholine and improve cerebral circulation (blood flow to the brain).
It’s best to avoid Cat’s Claw sourced from Uña de Gato and stick to the Uncaria tomentosa like Alpha Brain does.
Recommended Dosage: 100mg-300mg per day
Vitamin B6 – 10mg
The final ingredient found in Alpha Brain is one of the eight B-complex vitamins — Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine. Like most b-vitamins, Vitamin B6 plays an essential role in breaking down the food we eat into energy.
As far as neurotransmitters go, Vitamin B6 helps synthesize dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, melatonin, epinephrine, and GABA. It’ll also enhance blood vessel health and regulate homocysteine levels in the blood.
Recommended Dosage: 2mg per day
Dosage, Packaging, & Pricing
Just by looking at the packaging of Alpha Brain, you can tell it’s about to get you in the zone and focused. The all-black bottle is attractive, while the white lettering and gold accents keep it classy. Right on the front, it reads “Memory & Focus,” that way there’s no confusion for consumers.
Intended for daily use, each bottle comes with 90 capsules (45-day supply). Two capsules per day isn’t a difficult bargain for an enhanced cognitive experience!
The ingredient label clearly lists the ingredients used and details the dosage of each blend — including the dosage of Vitamins B6 and Cat’s Claw Extract. Here’s a quick look at those again:
- Onnit Flow Blend – 650mg
- Onnit Focus Blend – 240mg
- Onnit Fuel Blend – 60mg
- Cat’s Claw Extract – 350mg
- Vitamin B6 – 10mg
Each 90-capsule bottle will cost you a total of $80, but you can also purchase a 30-capsule bottle for $35 if you don’t intend on taking this supplement daily. The 30-capsule bottle will last you 15 days. You can pick up a bottle here on Onnit’s website (use code BRAINFLOW for 10% off).
Getting the Most Out of Alpha Brain
Below, we’re going to look at three other products by Onnit Labs that can maximize your cognitive function when taken with Alpha Brain:
Alpha Brain Instant
If you don’t feel like taking pills each day, you should try out Alpha Brain Instant. Alpha Brain Instant can be mixed into any drink and comes in a fantastic natural peach flavor. The dosages will also be a bit stronger than the original Alpha Brain.
As you can probably guess, New Mood will target your mood, stress response, and ability to wind down after a long day. Taking this supplement at night after taking Alpha Brain in the morning will create the perfect 1-2 punch.
Shroom TECH Sport
Shroom TECH Sport utilizes the power behind functional mushrooms (Cordyceps and Astragalus) and herbal plants (Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea). It’ll help improve cellular health and cellular energy. Joe Rogan has also mentioned that his go-to pre-workout stack is 4 pills of Alpha Brain and 4 pills of Shroom Tech Sport.
Of course, you can get everything you need for a more focused and alert mood throughout the day with Alpha Brain. These supplements listed above are just to provide that extra boost to the extra boost you’re already receiving from Alpha Brain.
Staying relevant in the nootropic community is difficult to do, so there’s definitely a reason Onnit’s Alpha Brain has been able to maintain stability in an ever-evolving market. Their formula contains a wide range of nootropic ingredients that come with substantial scientific-based evidence to support them.
If you’re looking to increase your mental focus, mental energy, brain health, memory, and mood, Alpha Brain is right for you. You can pick it up here on the Onnit website. It’ll help you get through those long days with ease, help you explore what your mind is truly capable of, and will lead to a healthier brain long-term.
Alpha Brain is designed to help you get more out of your day and it will certainly do that when taken appropriately. Feel free to give this supplement a try if you’re having difficulty maintaining mental acuity from morning to night.
And if you have any additional questions regarding this product, feel free to reach out to us immediately and we’ll be happy to help!
Onnit Alpha Brain Free Trial & Coupon Codes
If you are hesitant to shell out the money for Alpha Brain at first, you can do a 7-day Alpha Brain Free Trial.
Also, if you use code ROGAN or BRAINFLOW at checkout on the Onnit website, you can get 10% off your entire order.