Alpha Brain Review - Our Real World Experience

Alpha Brain Review

March 13, 2024

Is Alpha Brain effective? In this Alpha Brain review, we assess its advantages, ingredient dosages, and possible downsides as a nootropic supplement. We scrutinize the research supporting its effectiveness and provide insights from our direct experience with this well-known brain enhancer.

Alpha Brain Reviews

Overall Verdict

3.4 / 5 Stars

  • Alpha Brain is a basic nootropic offering. It's not terrible, but it isn't competitive compared to the leading nootropics on the market.
  • From our research and testing, NooCube is currently the product to beat. By combining scientific innovation and proven ingredients, NooCube stands head and shoulders above Alpha Brain in enhancing cognitive function and promoting brain health.
  • NooCube's superior formulation is grounded in the latest neuroscientific research, incorporating a blend of all-natural ingredients that work synergistically to unlock the full potential of your brain. NooCube is effective in bolstering memory and focus, as well as elevating creativity and mental agility.
Best Alternative To Onnit Alpha Brain

Introduction To Alpha Brain, Onnit's Nootropic Endorsed by Joe Rogan

Many grapple with brain fog and lack of concentration, affecting both productivity and everyday activities. This has led to a growing interest in nootropic supplements designed to improve focus, mood, productivity, and cognitive function.

Alpha Brain, a prominent brain supplement created by Onnit Labs, has been the subject of much discussion. Founded by entrepreneur Aubrey Marcus in 2010 and based in Austin, Texas, Onnit Labs champions a holistic approach to enhancing human performance, emphasizing fitness, nutrition, and supplements.

Figures like Joe Rogan have praised its benefits, while others view it with skepticism. This review will examine Alpha Brain's scientific foundation, its safety profile, possible side effects and we'll also consider alternatives.

Alpha Brain's Relationship with Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan, a prominent supporter of Alpha Brain, credits the supplement for improving his recall of words and sentence formation. This has led to a strong association between Rogan and Alpha Brain.

Joe Rogan's Claims

  • "I always take Alpha Brain" 
  • "I feel like I don't want to do anything without it"
  • "It makes word recall easier, I feel like I'm one step ahead"
  • "Everyone I've given this to has the same result"

Benefits of Alpha Brain

Onnit's Claimed Benefits

Alpha Brain claims to offer numerous benefits, including:

  • "Assists mental processing"
  • "Boosts mental performance"
  • "Caffeine-free to prevent jitters"
  • "Facilitates flow state"
  • "Enhances focus"
  • "Supports memory"
  • "Combats brain fog"

Alpha Brain's claims, ranging from assisting mental processing and boosting mental performance to enhancing focus and supporting memory, appear generous on the surface. Yet our experience and analysis of its formulation present a nuanced reality. Despite promising a jitter-free experience due to its caffeine-free formula, the lack of transparency in its proprietary blends makes it challenging to assess the effectiveness of ingredients like Bacopa Monniera, a proven cognitive enhancer, but only at specific doses.

Onnit's assertions about facilitating a flow state, a state of heightened focus and creativity, and combating brain fog, may be overstated given the inclusion of less extensively studied nootropic elements such as Vinpocetine and Pterostilbene. The exclusion of well-researched nootropics commonly found in top-tier supplements also calls into question the ability of Alpha Brain to deliver the advertised cognitive enhancements. Overall, while Alpha Brain isn't without merit, its claims should be viewed in light of its formulation choices and the actual experiences of its users. Does Alpha Brain deliver on its promises or do the negative reviews hold merit?

Our Experience With Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain's performance was a mix of hits and misses, reflecting concerns about its ingredient lineup and proprietary blends. The product features Bacopa Monnieri, Huperzia Serrata, and Alpha GPC, all linked to cognitive improvements [1,2,3]. Yet, the inclusion of these ingredients in proprietary blends obscures the dosage details, compromising our ability to judge their effectiveness.

The core issue with these blends is their concealment of individual dosages [4], hindering our assessment of component efficacy. For effective cognitive enhancement, Bacopa Monnieri, for instance, requires a daily dosage of 300-450mg [5]. The lack of dosage clarity in Alpha Brain makes it impossible to verify its potential benefits.

Other ingredients, such as Vinpocetine and Pterostilbene, while promising, lack robust human studies to affirm their nootropic claims [6,7]. This factor, combined with the modest benefits observed, suggests possible underdosing or reliance on ingredients with unproven effects.

Notably absent are well-established nootropics like Lion's Mane Mushroom, Rhodiola Rosea, or Citicoline [8,9,10], often found in leading nootropic supplements for their documented cognitive enhancements. Their omission might account for the less impactful results observed during our evaluation.

Our experience with Alpha Brain highlights the value of transparent, scientifically validated formulations in nootropics. The limited benefits we encountered likely trace back to the use of proprietary blends and certain ingredient choices. Clear information on what we're consuming, in what amounts, and the reasoning behind these choices is essential for consumers.

Research And Evidence

Questionable Research Methodologies

Although some ingredients in Alpha Brain have been linked to improved cognitive functions in humans, much of the research has been conducted on animals or in vitro. Complicating matters, many of Alpha Brain's ingredients are obscured by proprietary blends, making it difficult to gauge their effectiveness.

This suggests that Alpha Brain's claims of supporting cognitive functions, memory, and focus may be overstated.

Onnit Alpha Brain Clinical Trials
A 2016 randomized controlled trial reported that after six weeks, Alpha Brain significantly improved verbal memory in healthy adults compared to controls. However, several factors undermine the credibility of these findings:

The study was funded by Onnit, the creator of Alpha Brain, which introduces potential bias.
No other trials or scientific papers have corroborated the results. Repeatability is a cornerstone of scientific discovery, and the lack of replication raises questions about the findings.

The study's conclusion highlights the need for additional research.

Ingredients - Ineffective Dosages in Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain Ingredients (click to reveal)

  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCl)
  • Onnit Flow Blend (650 mg): This proprietary blend consists of Bacopa Monniera Extract, Cat's Claw Extract (AC-11), Huperzia Serrata Extract, and Oat Straw Extract
  • Onnit Focus Blend (240 mg): This blend includes Alpha GPC, Bacopa Monniera, and Huperzia Serrata
  • Onnit Fuel Blend (65 mg): This blend comprises L-Leucine, Vinpocetine, and Pterostilbene
  • L-Tyrosine
  • L-Theanine
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Alpha GPC
  • Bacopa Monniera
  • Huperzia Serrata
  • Oat Straw Extract
  • Vinpocetine
  • Pterostilbene

Surprisingly, this detailed review of Onnit's Alpha Brain reveals that crucial nootropics are included in insufficient dosages to be effective.

Alpha Brain contains a range of natural ingredients, including acetyl-L-carnitine, Bacopa monnieri, oat straw extract, phosphatidylserine, and others. These ingredients can be effective nootropic ingredients:

Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that plays a crucial role in cellular metabolism and energy production. According to a review of several studies, acetyl-L-carnitine may improve cognitive function in individuals with mild cognitive impairment and age-related memory decline [11]. The effective dosage of acetyl-L-carnitine is between 500 to 2,000 mg per day [12].

Bacopa monnieri is an herb commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for its potential cognitive-enhancing effects. According to a systematic review, Bacopa monnieri may improve cognitive function, particularly memory and attention [13]. The effective dosage of Bacopa monnieri is between 300 to 450 mg per day [14].

Oat straw extract, derived from the aerial parts of the oat plant, is rich in flavonoids and has been used traditionally to improve cognitive function. According to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, oat straw extract may improve cognitive performance in healthy adults [15]. The effective dosage of oat straw extract is between 800 to 1600 mg per day [16].

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that plays a crucial role in cellular membrane function and communication. According to a review of several studies, phosphatidylserine may improve cognitive function, particularly memory, attention, and executive function [17]. The effective dosage of phosphatidylserine is between 300 to 600 mg per day [18].

Alpha Brain Ingredients Label

Overall: 3.4 / 5 Stars

Responsive Table
Test Result
Attention 3.8
Cognition 3.6
Memory 3.2
Mood 3.0
Stress 3.3
Brain Health 3.1
Learning 3.5
Overall 3.4/5


  • Contains proven nootropic ingredients.
  • Includes diverse cognitive enhancers.
  • Marketed by a well-known company.


  • Uses proprietary blends.
  • Underdosed key ingredients.
  • Lacks transparency in formulation.
  • Missing some key nootropics.
  • Some overstated claimed benefits.
  • Lacks rigorous scientific testing.

Potential Side Effects of Alpha Brain

Most ingredients in Alpha Brain are deemed safe for the majority of users. However, some may cause mild side effects, such as headaches, nausea, and dizziness, particularly in high dosages. In case of severe side effects, discontinue use and consult a physician.

Main problems experienced with Alpha Brain

  • Mild Headaches:
    Scientifically termed cephalalgia, mild headaches are a common side effect experienced by some Alpha Brain users. These headaches might be due to the body's initial response to the supplement's potent ingredients.
  • Gastrointestinal Discomfort:
    Digestive issues such as bloating, flatulence, or stomach cramps (technically known as dyspepsia) may occur when taking Alpha Brain. These discomforts are often transient and subside as the body adjusts to the supplement.
  • Sleep Pattern Changes:
    While Alpha Brain is designed to enhance cognitive function, it may inadvertently affect sleep patterns. Some users report experiencing difficulty falling asleep, or insomnia, while others report more vivid dreams or even nightmares, which are scientifically known as oneirodynia.
  • Lightheadedness or Dizziness:
    Some individuals have reported feeling lightheaded or dizzy (medically termed vertigo) after taking Alpha Brain. This reaction could be a result of the supplement's impact on blood pressure or cerebral blood flow.
  • Allergic Reactions:
    As with any dietary supplement, there's always the risk of an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include skin rash (urticaria), difficulty breathing (dyspnea), or swelling of the face, lips, or tongue (angioedema). If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue use immediately and consult a healthcare professional.
  • Nervousness or Jitters:
    Caffeine and stimulants can cause excessive stimulation leading to feelings of heightened nervousness or anxiety.

If you're interested in nootropics that provide brain health support, greater mood enhancement properties and memory support there are better options than Alpha Brain. The best overall nootropic in our view is NooCube.

NooCube vs Vyvamind


4.9 / 5

Unlike Alpha Brain, NooCube is formulated to improve multiple aspects of cognitive function, including memory, focus, and mental clarity. It contains a wider range of ingredients than Alpha Brain, including Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, and Bacopa Monnieri, which have been extensively studied and shown to have significant cognitive benefits.

Alpha Brain contains some promising ingredients, but it's primarily focused on energy and alertness. Overall, Noocube is a more comprehensive and evidence-based nootropic supplement than Alpha Brain.


Alpha Brain sits somewhere in the middle of the nootropic spectrum. It offers a mild cognitive boost and some brain health benefits, but it might not be the groundbreaking solution some users are searching for. It's advisable to look into other, possibly more innovative, supplements before deciding on Alpha Brain.

Our comprehensive review of nootropics is here to assist you in finding a supplement that suits your needs better, whether that's for enhancing work productivity or improving focus and memory. It's important to note that what works for one individual might not work for another. If you're in search of a product with a solid foundation in current research, NooCube is a more robustly formulated alternative that also offers a wider range of cognitive benefits.


Do nootropics work?

Many nootropic ingredients and formulations have been shown to improve attention, memory, and learning, while others may promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety. For example, caffeine is a commonly used nootropic that can increase alertness and reduce fatigue, while L-Theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, has been shown to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Are nootropics safe?

Nootropics that contain natural ingredients and have undergone clinical testing are generally considered safe when used properly. It is important to follow recommended dosages and to avoid taking more than the recommended amount. It's also worth being aware of any potential side effects and if necessary consult with your doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions.

What should I expect from a nootropic?

When taking a nootropic supplement, you should expect to experience some improvement in cognitive function, such as enhanced memory, concentration, and mental clarity. The effects of a nootropic will vary depending on the specific ingredients and dosage of the supplement, as well as individual factors such as age, overall health, and your lifestyle.

Which nootropic should I buy?

Popular nootropic supplements include NooCube, Mind Lab Pro, and Vyvamind. NooCube contains a blend of ingredients that may improve memory, focus, and overall cognitive function. Mind Lab Pro is designed to support brain health and cognitive performance through a variety of ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, and plant-based compounds. Vyvamind is a premium nootropic supplement that focuses almost exlcusively on cognitive function and mental performance. Read DBEM's guide to nootropics to see how the leading nootropic brands compare.


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