Nootropic Guide: What to feed your brain

Your Brain on Nootropics

There is a supplement on the market right now from Onnit called Alpha Brain. It is designed to enhance focus, mental drive and memory. We're going to look at and review this product, what's in it, how I've used it and my personal results.

Alpha Brain is considered a nootropic. Nootropics are also referred to as smart drugs or memory enhancers. You may also hear neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers. Nootropics are supplements, foods and occasionally drugs that are used to improve mental functions like your working memory or your motivation, and even attention span.

"You get out of it, what you put in it." This life lesson applies to the body, to life, to work, to marriage, to everything. Including your brain.

Ingredients In Alpha Brain

  • Onnit Flow Blend: L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Oat Straw, L-Leucine, Phosphatidylserine, 710 mg
  • Onnit Fuel Blend: AC-11, Vinpocetine, Pterostilbene, 356 mg
  • Onnit Focus Blend: Alpha GPC, Bacopa monniera, Huperzia, 240 mg
  • Vitamin B-6: B6, 10 mg


Alpha BRAIN,is a cognitive enhancing supplement from Onnit Labs, it has 9 completely natural and very well-researched ingredients specifically designed as an effective and balanced nootropic.

Alpha BRAIN's goal is to increase one's focus and mental sharpness while assisting the mind in improving cognition. There are three different aspects of the Alpha BRAIN ingredients and also in enhanced cognition:

#1 Boosting Neurotransmitters

Keeping this simple, a neurotransmitter is a substance, like as norepinephrine or acetylcholine, that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse

Your brain has over 10 billion communicating cells, known as neurons, that make over 60 trillion synaptic connections. So, neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers of the brain. You need these for your brain to work.

Your attention, mood, focus, and awareness, is very dependent on the relative levels of neurotransmitter production.

In other words, if your brain isn't making enough neurotransmitters, you're not going to function so hot.

Water, for example is made up from hydrogen and oxygen. A neurotransmitter has ingredients as well. They're called precursors. Alpha BRAIN has Huperzia Serrata and aGPC which help increase acetylcholine function. It also has the amino acid L-theanine which is abundant in Green Tea and is responsible for that calm focus you can get from drinking Green Tea. Another ingredient in Alpha BRAIN is the amino acid L-tyrosine which is a very big part of the biosyntheses of neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.

Synergisticly put together as part o the Alpha BRAIN formula, these unique nutrients help provide a strong foundation for the body to enhance the body's production and maintenance of these key neurotransmitters.

#2 Mitigating Stress

If you get too much stress, there are certain physiological responses that the body has. Over time they can be harmful to the body's health and brain function.

Inside Alpha BRAIN is a blend of all natural stress reducing compounds that can protect the brain from stress while providing an overall calming effect.

Alpha BRAIN is the only nootropic to include AC-11. This is a very potent extract from an Amazonian plant called Uncaria tomentosa. This plant has been used for hundreds of years as an nourishing herb. AC-11 helps with DNA repair after environmental stress. It also has documented cognitive benefits.

Alpha BRAIN also includes highly concentrated oat straw or Avena sativa, which can alleviate neurological stress and exhaustion. Oat Straw has also been shown to have a positive impact on cognitive performance in healthy subjects. Finally, Alpha BRAIN contains phosphatidylserine. This is, according to Onnit, "a phospholipid cell component known to possess ergogenic properties and promote stress tolerance in high performance athletes."

Alpha BRAIN wants to minimize the level of endogenous stress and provide the tools to handle demanding situations, allowing the mind to remain clear and focused.

#3 Targeting Neurological Antioxidants

Free radical damage (oxidative stress), has been associated with a number of neurological challenges and age-related conditions. Alpha BRAIN includes high quality anti-oxidants which have been shown to be of benefit to cognitive function.

One such ingredient is Pterostilbene. This newly uncovered compound comes from blueberries of all things, has been shown to protect your noggin against free radicals. Another is Bacopa Monnieri which has been used for hundreds of years in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is the traditional system of medicine and health in India. Bacopa helps with memory and longevity. It has both antioxidant and aptogenic properties. The research on the use of Bacopa has shown big improvements with memory and also protection from the deposit of harmful neurotoxic molecules. Wrapping it up, there is vinpocetine. Vinpocetine is a semi-synthetic derivative of the periwinkle plant. Vinpocetine help to promotes blood flow to the brain and it also has some very potent anti-oxidant properties as well. Combined, these three powerhouse antioxidants are essential to maintaining a healthy, functional nervous system. Especially in this day and age!

AC-11 The Rainforest Super Herb

AC-11 — The Rainforest Super Herb has been shown to repair DNA in clinical studies. It is included in the Alpha BRAIN formula to help the body improve mental drive and eliminate mental fog. AC-11 is the perfect marriage of the rainforest's secrets with the miracle of today's advancements in phytonutrient science.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC has been shown to be well absorbed, easily crossing the blood-brain barrier. Once delivered, it helps support brain function and learning processes by directly increasing the synthesis and secretion of acetylcholine. Heightened acetylcholine has been linked to memory, focus, mental drive, and REM sleep states.

Huperzia Serrata

Huperzine A is a naturally derived acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Acetylcholinesterase (AchE) is responsible for the breakdown of Acetylcholine, and so by inhibiting AchE, more acetylcholine is made available to the brain.

Bacopa Monniera

Clinical investigations show that it has strong antioxidant properties and may protect mental function in certain adults, while animal models have provided evidence that Bacopa improves learning skills. Bacosides, the active compounds in Bacopa, play a protective role in the synaptic functions of the nerves in the hippocampus, the seat of memory. Inside the hippocampus, nerve impulses are transmitted across the synapses and Bacopa is believed to help the body prevent the degeneration that impairs cognition.

Why I take it and how it's helped

Alpha BRAIN may very well not be right for you. You may already think clear, you may have focus and good mental processing already. You legitimately may not need Alpha BRAIN.

Let's look at Joe Rogan for a second. Dude is pretty funny (speculative) and he's a comedian. He's also calls the fights for the UFC. He's an expert in Brazilian Ju Jitsu, has his own pod cast and from watching him work and perform, regardless of whether you find him funny or not, he's quick. He thinks fast and on his feet. Very rarely do you see this guy flustered or tongue tied. Mr. Rogan also has opinions. Well thought out and articulated. Bottom line here, Joe doesn't need Alpha BRAIN. Yet he uses it. Daily? Why? Well, if you're cynical, you're thinking "because they pay him." But if you really want to know why, look at his job(s). Look how hard this guy works. The traveling he does, the exercise and workouts he does, the dude's pretty jacked. He's in great shape and trains hard and eats right.

Supplements are just that. A supplement. It's in addition to. So before you decide to order a big bottle of Alpha BRAIN, make sure you got your head on right. Literally. Are you taking care of your brain? Are you clean and sober? Do you challenge your brain? Do you read? Play chess? Work out your mind as your body? Look if you don't use it, you lose it and there is no magic pill to bring it all back. Period. End of story.

Supplementing with Alpha BRAIN is to give you an added edge. Joe Rogan is under a lot of stress. Travel, exercise, speaking in public, time zone changes, sleep patterns interrupted. That stuff takes a toll.

Alpha BRAIN tunes you up. You need an extra edge? This is it.

I've been Onnit (pun intended) over six months now and I have noticed increased cognition, clarity, more active REM sleep (not quite lucid but the brain is definitely emptying the recycle bin at a greater intensity) and my ability to recall information is up especially under stress.

I eat right, train my body hard and strive towards living a life worth living. I have not always functioned that way. Like many, I have struggled with addiction, depression and self doubt. Don't misunderstand, Alpha BRAIN will not cure any of that, what it will do is provide you and your brain with the nutrients your body needs to function optimally. I believe that, even in my early 40's I function more optimally now than I ever did in my 20's because I have decided to live at my highest potential. I have stopped settling for an ordinary life and my day is centered about doing extra ordinary things. One can not be extra ordinary on an ordinary diet. One can not create success in one's life with an ordinary goal or dream. Average may be OK for some, but not for me. I want that extra edge that I get from Alpha BRAIN. If the brain is compared to an engine, Alpha BRAIN is the supercharger.

Bottom line. The brain is your most important organ. You must nurture it and protect it. Treat it like a muscle. Exercise it, feed it right and give it the appropriate amount of recovery.

More by this Author

Comments 2 comments

Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 2 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Interesting and well written hub! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on nootropics... sounds like something I need today! :)

David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 2 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Thank you Abby! Appreciate the kind words - let me know your success with Nootropics!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article