Onnit Alpha Brain is a nootropic supplement with claims that it helps support cognitive functions, including memory, mental speed and focus. Fairly premium pricing within the market, is there any truth in the claims made? We’ll go into more detail but the short answer is no, and as such we do not recommend this product. If you’re looking for something around the same price bracket but with more scientifically backed ingredients, we recommend Hunter Focus, available via https://www.roarambition.com/hunter-focus
Alpha Brain FAQs
Is it safe?
With natural ingredients and a lack of caffeine, Alpha Brain should be safe for the majority of us to take with little fear of side effects. Always check for allergens and discuss with a medical professional before use.
Where can I buy Alpha Brain?
You can purchase alpha brain directly at https://www.onnit.com/alphabrain/, though it is also available via amazon and some other online retailers.
On the Onnit alpha brain webpage the customer reviews are quite positive, with 3.7 out of 5 stars. This should be taken with a grain of salt however as, especially on the host websites, the incentive for the company to pay for/ write fake positive reviews is high. If we take a look at the complaints made we can see that there’s a combination of complaints about customer services and a number of people complaining that the product seemingly had no effect.
On Amazon we have a slightly more favourable 4.5 out of 5 stars rating but again this should be taken with a grain of salt as fake reviews on amazon are highly prevalent. Surprisingly on Amazon if you take a look at the 1 star reviews you’ll see numerous complaints of sickness, including dizziness and nausea.
Ingredients in Alpha Brain
Alpha brain is made up of three proprietary blends, namely the Onnit Flow Blend, Onnit Focus Blend and Onnit Fuel Blend. There’s two outlier alpha brain ingredients not included in either blend, with Vitamin b6 and Cat’s claw extract. Let’s break this down to see what’s effective here.
Onnit Flow Blend (650mg)
A type of amino acid, the body makes L-Tyrosine itself and also absorbs it from many foods that will be available to most diets. It’s an essential component for the production of several important brain chemicals and there have been multiple studies suggesting the nootropic effects. The issue here is dosing, as realistically you’d need at least 500mg of L-Tyrosine alone to start to experience any benefits, and we think this is unlikely considering the four other ingredients we need to squeeze in to this 650mg blend.
L-theanine is a naturally occurring, non protein amino acid found in tea that is typically used for it’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety levels. The claim made by Alpha Brain here is that L-theanine is “shown to promote attention and reaction time” which seems a tad strange given what we know of this amino acid. That being said, there have been studies that show L-Theanine is particularly effective as a nootropic in subjects suffering with anxiety but we’re not confident the dosing is correct as again, if it were, it wouldn’t leave any room for an effective dosage for the other ingredients.
Oat straw extract
When it comes to oat straw extract it has been found to improve cognitive function, but only in older adults that have already displayed a decline in mental performance. We believe this would be an effective ingredient for the older generation, but again it all comes down to the dosage and while we could only, through conjecture, determine it’s unlikely the previous ingredients were correctly dosed, we know for a fact that the dosage here would be ineffective as the tests that yielded results were dosing between 800 and 1,600mg.
Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance that is known to protect brain cells, which helps to prevent damage to our brain function associated with ageing. There have been tests done that suggest supplementing Phosphatidylserine can help normalise cortisol levels within the brain, reducing stress. The dosing here is the most likely out of the lot to be properly dosed as it only requires around 100mg, but this isn’t clear and could just as likely be under dosed as everything else.
As a whole Onnit Flow Blend leaves a lot to be desired. The right idea is there, with carefully chosen ingredients that have supporting evidence from clinical trials, but they stopped short of effective dosing which leaves us fairly disappointed.
Onnit Focus blend (240mg)
Alpha GPC (139.6 mg)
There having been many studies on Alpha GPC, with mixed results. Aiding in the brains production of a chemical called Acetylcholine, this brain chemical is important for memory and learning functions. There has been some indication that supplementing Alpha GPC can result in increased cognitive functioning, but the dosing that found these results were 1,200mg, which of course leaves a lot to be desired here.
Bacopa Extract (100mg)
Alternatively known as Waterhyssop, this is a naturally grown ingredient and is most commonly found in India. Although further research is necessary, there has been many studies suggesting that supplementing Bacopa helps support cognitive functions such as memory recall, as well as helping you to process thoughts in your brain at a faster rate. Same old story here however, as the standard dose of Bacopa is 300mg.
Toothed Clubmoss Extract (0.4mg)
Although further study is required to secure this inclusion as purely medicinal, there have been studies suggesting that the active component (huperzine A) is effective at improving cognitive abilities and even the mood of the participants. The dosage here is actually bang on, so this inclusion is a welcome one and effectively dosed at that.
Out of everything included in the focus blend we’re once again left quite disappointed. One ingredient out of them all being properly dosed doesn’t leave us with a tonne of confidence for the efficacy of this supplement. Let’s hope things improve moving forward.
Onnit Fuel blend (60mg)
The first showing of the fuel blend here seems a bit of an odd inclusion for two main reasons. The first reason is that L-Leucine is primarily used as a workout enhancer, as it’s function in the body is that when cells sense it, they begin protein synthesis. In terms of nootropic effects though, we weren’t able to find any sort of studies that suggested any. The second reason is that the dosage most studies supplemented were in the 1,000’s of milligrams. Though we can’t state outright exactly how much of the fuel blend is made up by L-Leucine, we can see clearly that it’s not gonna be enough to have any effect.
The only other ingredient present within the fuel blend, we once again find ourselves scratching our heads as there is no known research of pterostilbene as a nootropic supplement to be found anywhere.
Overall the fuel blend can maybe be seen as a way to diversify the effects of Alpha Brain from simply nootropic to more of an all rounder, but this lack of focus in one area has only distracted from potentially more effective nootropic dosages in the other blends.
Cat’s Claw Extract (350mg)
Use of cat’s claw dates back thousands of years, as it was used to ward off disease by the indigenous peoples of South and Central America. In the modern day there have been very few quality clinical trials on cats claw and in terms of nootropic effects we weren’t able to find anything. There’s some suggestion it may help prevent the build up of plaque on the brain, so perhaps the point of this inclusion is to help prevent any decline of brain function. Being unsubstantiated however, we remain skeptical.
Vitamin B6 (10mg)
Vitamin B6 is a very vital nutrient for the upkeep of healthy nerve cells and brain development. However for healthy adults it’s very easy to achieve the daily recommended amount through diet alone as Vitamin B-6 is present in a majority of the food that we eat. Our bodies will only absorb what we need and the rest we simply urinate out, so unless you suffer from any kinda of malabsorption syndrome or have a deficiency present, it’s inclusion here is likely to yield no effect.
All in all we have to say, we’re not very impressed. If you purchase alpha brain, we believe you may experience some nootropic benefits due to the two properly dosed ingredients. However with the amount you’re spending, and with the amount of dud doses we just can’t recommend Alpha Brain. The amount of ingredients that have legitimately positive results via clinical testing show promise, but once you take a deeper look into the individual components it starts to fall apart.
Hunter Focus gets our full recommendation as an alternative to Alpha Brain. Where Alpha Brain offers 45 servings for $79.95, Hunter Focus provides you with properly dosed, effective ingredients with powerful nootropic effects at 30 servings for $90 over at https://www.roarambition.com/hunter-focus