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Alpha BRAIN Review: Does It Really Work?

I was recently quoted in Forbes giving my opinion on whether Alpha BRAIN really works. Read on for the full article.

Onnit AlphaBRAIN Overview

Committed to its “total human optimization” holistic health philosophy, Onnit aims to equip consumers with the best tools for peak physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

The lifestyle brand’s product line includes a range of goods within the supplement, nutrition, fitness and apparel categories. One of its top bestsellers, Alpha BRAIN features proprietary blends of vitamins, herbs and amino acids that contain ingredients research suggests may help improve brain functions, including memory, focus and cognitive processing speeds. According to the company, the formula also supports alpha brain wave production, which it says is linked to increased productivity.

Founded in 2010 by Aubrey Marcus, Onnit launched Alpha BRAIN in 2011 as its flagship supplement. The brand has since sold over one million bottles of the supplement.

Onnit has conducted one clinical study on Alpha BRAIN, considering its effects on cognitive function, but more research is needed for experts to validate the cognitive improvement and benefits the product claims to promote.

Alpha BRAIN at a Glance

  • Ingredient list: According to Onnit’s website, Alpha BRAIN is safe for users who follow a caffeine-free and gluten-free diet. The ingredient list includes L-Theanine, oat straw extract, and bacopa.

  • Purpose: Onnnit claims that the nootropic supplement aids the brain with mental processing and flow state, which promotes improved memory and focus.

  • Dosage: Users are advised to take two capsules daily after a light meal.

How Alpha BRAIN Works

Alpha BRAIN is a nootropic supplement that, according to the company’s website, supports improved memory, focus and cognitive function. The formula primarily consists of three proprietary blends available exclusively from Onnit: the Onnit Flow blend to increase alpha wave production, the Onnit Focus blend to help the body produce and sustain acetylcholine (a chemical in the brain that reportedly improves focus and memory), and the Onnit Fuel blend to promote a healthy brain environment by way of optimal nervous system communication and boosting neurotransmitter activity.

Onnit’s website explains that Alpha BRAIN contains clinically-tested amino acids and plant compounds that support the production of alpha brain waves and neurotransmitter chemicals, such as dopamine or serotonin, that relay information in and from the brain.

Alpha brain waves occur when the eyes are unfocused or closed, typically in a relaxed state. Onnit’s website cites research indicating that high alpha wave activity correlates with the brain being in a calm, more focused and organized state. The Alpha BRAIN supplement is specially formulated to increase alpha wave production to maximize these effects of focus, clarity and organization, according to the company.

How Much Does Alpha BRAIN Cost?

The supplement can be purchased online on Onnit’s website or at select retail stores like CVS, Walgreens or GNC. On Onnit’s website, the Alpha BRAIN supplement costs $34.95 for a 30-count bottle and $79.95 for a 90-count bottle. There’s also a “Subscribe and Save” option that gives customers a 15% discount off of each Alpha BRAIN purchase. Onnit offers free shipping for any orders over $150. Various paid shipping options from USPS and UPS are also available. Fees vary based on your location and the shipping option you choose.

With Onnit X Rewards, Onnit’s loyalty program, customers can earn points with each purchase. Points can be used to unlock discounts and get access to exclusive products, per Onnit’s website. First-time purchasers are entitled to the brand’s free trial and 90-day, money-back guarantee for the supplement, which allows customers to keep the product even after requesting and receiving a refund. Individuals who opt for Onnit’s subscription program can cancel or modify their membership any time. Subscribers can cancel at any time and request refunds for products returned within 90 days of the initial purchase date.

The Product

Alpha BRAIN’s formula consists of three proprietary blends and a few standalone ingredients, including vitamins and extracts like vitamin B6 (10 milligrams) and cat’s claw extract (350 milligrams). The blends’ ingredients include:

  • The Onnit Flow Blend (650 milligrams) contains L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, oat (straw) extract and phosphatidylserine. According to Onnit, this blend promotes alpha brain wave production.

  • The Onnit Focus Blend (240 milligrams) consists of L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, bacopa extract and toothed clubmoss extract. Onnit claims that this blend promotes optimal acetylcholine levels, which is one of the body’s neurotransmitters responsible for controlling the nerves, hormonal glands and muscle cells.

  • The Onnit Fuel Blend (60 milligrams) includes l-leucine and pterostilbene. The company claims this blend promotes optimal nervous system communication, further enhancing brain function.

The Fine Print

Onnit recommends all users consult with a doctor before use—especially people taking other medications or individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. The company also says children, pregnant and nursing individuals shouldn’t use any blend of Alpha BRAIN.

What Experts Say

Some of the ingredients of Alpha BRAIN have scientific backing in terms of their brain health benefits, says Brent Turnipseed, a Texas-based board-certified psychiatrist. “Alpha GCP and toothed clubmoss are thought to aid acetylcholine transmission, which may reduce memory problems,” he says, adding that vitamin B6 and L-tyrosine are known to aid general brain health and that bacopa may improve mental energy and focus. “Given that overview of the components, it’s possible this supplement might especially help someone who is older and experiencing some age-related cognitive decline,” says Dr. Turnipseed.

In terms of the price, there are similar products that are less expensive than Alpha BRAIN and produce a similar effect, according to Meg O’Rourke, a registered dietitian based in Rhode Island. “I have personally used comparable products and did notice my memory was enhanced,” she adds.

The Product Experience

As someone with a neurodivergent brain, I was excited to try Alpha BRAIN for the first time based on the supplement’s claimed benefits. I purchased the supplement directly from Onnit’s website. While checking out, I noticed the high price tag specifically, as well as the mixed customer reviews on Onnit’s website. I work from home so I’m often tempted to procrastinate. Needless to say, I’ve been looking for a solution to help provide a productivity boost. It’s safe to say Alpha BRAIN accomplished this effect. After the first day of use, I noticed an immediate difference in my level of focus and mental clarity. I found it easier to concentrate and verbalize my thoughts clearly.

I’ve been using Alpha BRAIN for about a month and am pleased with the results. It’s fuel my brain needs to perform at its best. I’m able to complete more tasks and also feel more motivated to stick to my daily schedule. I try to take Alpha BRAIN daily, but sometimes I’ll skip a day or two. I followed the suggested use instructions and initially took two capsules per serving daily, but found this serving size left me nauseous and with minor headaches. I’ve since decided to limit my intake to one capsule per serving, and it seems to work and no longer causes side effects. Overall, I’ve had a positive experience with Alpha BRAIN, and I’m comfortable recommending it to other users who might be interested in its effects.


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