Below we take an in-depth look at Onnit Alpha Brain to see whether it can aid cognitive function, promote mental clarity and improve memory, as indicated by the manufacturers.
Alpha Brain is a nootropic supplement from well known company Onnit who produce a number of different supplements.
Overall, Onnit Alpha Brain appears to be a very promising nootropic supplement for assisting with improved cognitive performance, with slight improvements in memory formation and recall, as well as focus. However, we do have several small issues with this product that mean we cannot recommend it blindly to our consumers.
Some of the ingredients, such as Pterostilbene, have only been tested in rodents in relation to their cognitive enhancing abilities. Other ingredients however have plenty of clinical support from human trials. What is annoying is that the product consists of several proprietary formulas, and so no individual ingredient quantities are known.
While it is understandable that Onnit are just protecting the formula of one of their most popular products, the lack of ingredient quantities makes it very difficult to establish just how strong the product really is, whether the ingredients are used in therapeutic doses, and whether or not side effects are likely to develop. Vivid (and sometimes unpleasant) dreaming appears to be a very common side effect.
The product is very expensive, especially if consumers are also charged customs duties, which is an additional charge to the price on the website.
The smaller bottle of 30 capsules costs $34.95 and will only last for around 15 days. The larger bottle of 90 capsules costs $79.95. The high price may be the main thing preventing many people from using the product regularly. Thankfully Onnit do offer a good money back guarantee, with added flexibility on returns of smaller bottles, for consumers who dislike the product or who experience side effects.
Alpha Brain is an overly expensive product, especially for international customers.Although we generally like many aspects of Alpha Brain, and the product could be a good nootropic supplement for many people, we cannot recommend it to our readers.
Containing ingredients that have been clinically tested and boasting a 30-day money-back guarantee, OmniMind is quickly rising to the top of the nootropic world.
Find out why people are choosing OmniMind to achieve advanced brain performance, and why it's our editor's top pick.
Read the Nootropic Watchdog OmniMind review here.
Onnit Alpha Brain is a nootropic supplement that has been designed to improve memory, cognitive health and performance, and improve focus.
What is unusual about Alpha Brain is that it has been studied in two small clinical trials; this is rare, as usually it is individual ingredients that are the focus of clinical trials. Onnit makes the following statement about Alpha Brain’s clinical trials:
It has clinically demonstrated in two double blind and peer reviewed trials the ability to help significantly improve multiple areas of cognition. What makes it more unique was that the trials conducted by the Boston Center for Memory were successful on healthy subjects.
Cognitive trials are often conducted on participants with brain damage or cognitive medical issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The trials both appear to be small with only 60 participants in the larger study, and whilst the results are promising, Onnit have definitely hyped up the results of the trials to suit their own promotional purposes. More research is needed, but the results are promising.
In the flagship study over 60 subjects were assessed in multiple areas of cognitive function. By the end of the study, the subjects who were randomly assigned to take Alpha Brain for 45 days showed significant improvement (p<0.05) in the areas of executive function, verbal memory and processing speed.
The product is manufactured by Onnit, a health and fitness supplement manufacturer based in Austin, Texas. The company can be contacted using the information provided at the bottom of their official website.
To help support enhanced mental performance, take a serving of 2 capsules in the morning or early afternoon, preferably with a light meal. To help support an enhanced dream state, take a serving of 2 capsules 4-6 hours prior to sleep. Do not exceed 3 capsules in a 24 hour period.
The manufacturers state that Alpha Brain is ‘Clinically studied to help healthy individuals support memory, focus and processing speed’.
According to Onnit, a study showed that participants taking Alpha Brain had an improved ability to recall words, indicating improve memory, processing speed and recall. The manufacturers of Alpha Brain also state that ‘Alpha Brain creates an optimal brain wave state for creativity, flow and focus’.
Because almost none of the individual ingredient quantities used in Alpha Brain are provided, it is impossible to accurately establish the strength of the nootropic. This means that the likelihood of developing side effects is unknown, as well as the actual effectiveness of the product. However, many of the ingredients have interesting preliminary support suggesting that they could aid various aspects of cognitive function.
Bacopa Monnieri needs to be taken daily for an effect to build up over time, but some of the other ingredients could cause a general improvement in energy levels and mental clarity shortly after taking the supplement.
Bacopa Monnieri reduces anxiety and improves memory, and tyrosine could help to reduce fatigue. A-GPC appears to improve cognition.
Vinpocetine could both help to improve mental energy and memory, but the clinical evidence is generally inadequate, as the trials that have been conducted are extremely limited, biased and outdated.
The customer reviews for Onnit Alpha Brain are numerous, and the vast majority of them are positive. Although the list of potential side effects is relatively long, it appears that the most common side effect is vivid dreaming; depending upon the individual, these are a mixture of enjoyable, entertaining, unpleasant nightmares or even exhausting (some consumers report waking up feeling tired already, and then need to continue to take the supplement for the extra boost in mental energy and focus). It is important to bear in mind that even if the product is well-tolerated in general, any of the side effects listed above could occur.
It appears that Alpha Brain does provide a noticeable boost to mental clarity and focus. The ingredients list also supports this, as there are several ingredients that should benefit different aspects of cognitive function. Bacopa Monnieri needs to be used continuously for several weeks for the effects to build up, but many of the other ingredients will have a more immediate effect, with noticeable effects within an hour or two of consumption.
The ingredients are a range of nootropics that may help to improve memory, reduce fatigue, increase energy levels (both physically and mentally), and act as a general cognitive enhancer. However, the amount of clinical support behind each ingredient varies hugely; some have clear evidence from human trials, whilst others have only been researched in rats, with the results extrapolated to humans.
The ingredients used in this supplement are listed below. The product contains several proprietary formulas, and so the individual ingredient quantities used in Alpha Brain are not listed, but the ingredient quantities that are provided are per serving of two capsules.
There are numerous ingredients used in Onnit Alpha Brain that could potentially cause side effects. Without knowing the ingredient quantities, it is difficult to estimate how likely any particular side effect is, but even knowing this, the presentation of side effects varies greatly between consumers because of varying tolerances for various supplement ingredients.
Although Tyrosine is tolerated generally in very high doses, it can cause some side effects including nausea, headache, fatigue, heartburn, and joint pain.
A-GPC can cause side effects in some people including heartburn, headache, insomnia, dizziness, skin rash, and confusion.
Studies have shown that Bacopa leaf causes upset stomachs in participants much more than placebos. This has led to the recommendation that this ingredient be taken with a meal, rather than on an empty stomach, as this will minimise the chances of getting an upset stomach. It may also may cause nausea, cramping, bloating, and diarrhoea.
Side effects of Phosphatidylserine can include insomnia and stomach upset, particularly at doses over 300 mg. It can be made from either plant or animal sources, and so may not be suitable for vegetarians.
Vinpocetine can cause some side effects including stomach pain, nausea, sleep disturbances, headache, dizziness, nervousness, and flushing of the face.
Huperzine A can cause some side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, sweating, blurred vision, slurred speech, restlessness, loss of appetite, contraction and twitching of muscle fibres, cramping, increased saliva and urine, inability to control urination, high blood pressure, and slowed heart rate.
There are hundreds of customer reviews on the official sales page for Alpha Brain. The customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, although there are still some customers who felt no differences whilst using the product. The most common complaints that we found, even amongst the positive reviews, was the high price of the product (especially as international orders often have added import taxes and duties applied) and that the product causes vivid dreams and nightmares in many consumers.
I have been using Alpha Brain for several months now and this past holiday season made me really glad that this awesome product exists. My career is based on multitasking and is hectic without the added bonus of Christmas Rush. This year was so much easier than in the past and I have to thank Onnit for that fact. Even though we broke all previous records for the past two years in one month, I was not having to re-trace any of my steps.
The only positive thing was that it helped me have some pretty rad dreams, but that.s not why I purchased it. If it was sold as a dream aid, i’d probably give it 3 or 4 stars.
Memory was the same, focus was the same, everything was the same. I’ve done a lot of reading prior to and post purchasing. Was skeptical but decided to give it a go.
Folks IMHO you only need these few things to hot wire your brain. Omega 3 fats (fish oil), water, exercise (floods the brain with oxygen), rest/sleep and brain exercises e.g. reading books, playing games. Brain supplements do not work no were near as good as the claims being made and its not just alpha brain.
I bought 30 Alpha Brian tablets about a month ago, and took one a day instead of taking them all in 15 days as the package recommended. Previously I would spend alot of my day struggling to multi-task effectively and would become overwhelmed. The only thing I have changed in the last month has been the addition of Alpha Brain, and I feel as though I can focus more on tasks at hand and can problem solve quickly. This has had a huge impact on my life because the cycle of having to convince myself to start a task before I start and then focus while i’m doing it is eliminated.
The only disappointment is how much I paid… Alpha Brain plus shipping PLUS Canadian Duty. Cost me almost $100 for 30… I’m on the fence about purchasing this product again.
I stopped using it due to very vivid nightmares. Saw no benefits otherwise.
My husband uses alpha brain, and I have watched him go from a total ADD-case-I’m-worried-about-my-husband-because-he-can’t-remember-anything-anymore to mister on-top-of-things-dude-I-remember-stuff! It’s like a night and day difference. He was really feeling run-down even while eating healthy, and doc says he’s ‘healthy as a horse,’ but he became low-energy and forgetful at times to the point where I worried. Alpha Brain completely flipped that situation upside-down. Whenever I tell him I notice his low-energy and forgetfulness/space-casedness returning, he mentions he ran out of Alpha Brain a couple of weeks ago, and needs to get more. I buy him more and there he is again! As Vegetarians who try to eat all-natural and non-GMO, it’s so important to us that your product is so safe and healthy. As a straight-edge ‘no drugs no alcohol’ guy, it’s important to him that’s it’s safe and all-natural, and drug-free. Keep up the amazing work.
Onnit offer an excellent money back guarantee on all their products. There are two options with their refund policy; smaller bottles, such as the 30 capsule bottle of Onnit Alpha Brain, (called entry-sized supplements) do not require a return for full refund (minus shipping & applied discounts).
The guarantee is valid within 90-days of the initial purchase date. We will request feedback regarding the formula in question and then take immediate action to refund the cost of the product. Refunds processed through credit card transactions may take 5-7 business days to post to a bank statement, as this is dependent on the financial institution and not on Onnit’s merchant provider.
Supplement formulas greater than our entry-level options (90ct bottles, multiple bottles of any size, Total Primate Care 30-day supply, etc.) can be refunded in full upon return of remaining product; partial refunds can be granted with no return required. Refunds are only applicable to cost of product, as shipping fees will not be refunded.
Onnit Alpha Brain can be purchased from the official Onnit website. The product comes in two sizes, a 30 capsule bottle and a 90 capsule bottle. Customers can also order two of the smaller bottles together for a slight discount.
The smaller bottle of 30 capsules costs $34.95 whilst the larger bottle of 90 capsules costs $79.95. There is also a ‘Two Smart Pack’ which contains two bottles, each containing 30 capsules, which costs $59.41. Delivery charges may apply. Depending upon the location of the customer, customs charges may also apply, which are not stated on the official website, and are usually paid on the door when the product is delivered. These are usually a percentage of the value of the order, and so can add up quick. One customer stated ‘Alpha Brain plus shipping PLUS Canadian Duty; Cost me almost $100 for 30 (capsules)’.
A small bottle will last for as little as 10 days if taking the maximum number of capsules per day, or 15 days if taking one full dose, as recommended. The larger bottle of 90 capsules will last between 30 and 45 days if used as stated above.