Review: Alpha Brain by Onnit – Does it Work to Increase Memory & Focus?

Could Alpha Brain be the Holy Grail of Nootropics?

On my quest to find the Holy Grails of nootropics, naturally I was led to perhaps the largest nootropics brand on the market today, Onnit. Aubrey Marcus, the “Warrior Poet”, founded the company of Onnit in hopes of developing a lifestyle brand based on a holistic health philosophy he calls Total Human Optimization. Their flagship product, Alpha Brain, is a cognitive enhancing supplement made from all earth-grown ingredients – meaning it doesn’t contain any junk like some of the shit on the market.

The dietary supplement Alpha Brain has a strong supporting cast, including Comedian Joe Rogan and Entrepreneur Lewis Howes, both whom I hold in high regard. Joe Rogan mentions that he swallows 4 pills before interviewing fighters at UFC – swearing that it helps him be on his toes and recall information faster (if you haven’t seen this epic interview with Joe Rogan vs Derick Lewis, please watch now!).

I was fired up to try it.

“It seems to fire up your brain at a higher RPM level… I feel like it helps me form sentences better” – Joe Rogan

I instantly purchased 30 capsules to experiment with.  For a few days I waited in anticipation eager to test it. I realized I entered my shipping address incorrectly and mailed it to the apartment next door. I can really use any boost in memory and focus that I can get. Once I got the notification my package was delivered, I snuck over to the complex next door and snagged my package. Success!

Onnit points to a Clinical Trial between twenty subjects between 18 and 35 years old who were recruited to participate in an eight week, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial of Alpha Brain. The study claims significant findings such as:

  • 12% greater improvement in verbal recall over placebo
  • 21% faster completion time in executive function assessment compared to baseline
  • Replicated results observed in the initial pilot
  • Equally as safe and tolerable as placebo

If you aren’t taking Alpha Brain, you are playing at a disadvantage – Onnit

Below are my thoughts after consuming Alpha Brain for 10 consecutive days:

On Day 1, immediately upon waking in the morning I added 2 pills of Alpha Brain to my usual bag of supplements. The pill smells a little bit like wet paint and is about the size of a fish oil capsule. I easily swallowed both the pills and sat down to read. After around 15-20 minutes, I thought could feel the affects of increased focus and concentration, but wasn’t quiet sure. After an hour or so, the sensation faded and I forgot about it. I had a productive day including a great workout and output at work.

That brief moment of increased focus while reading was about the extent to which I physically/mentally felt Alpha Brain for the remainder of the time.

I consider myself to have a normal tolerance towards supplements – not too high and not too low. Usually the recommended dose of whatever I’m taking is perfect.  With 2 capsules of Alpha Brain each day – nothing. To say I’m disappointed would be an underestimate.

One recommendation I am seeing is to take Alpha Brain closer to bedtime – apparently some users experience vivid dreams. I will finish my last remaining pills, but have extremely low expectations.

Overall, I will not be purchasing Alpha Brain again and am skeptical about the rest of the products from Onnit. While I believe that it must have an effect for some people, this product is not for me. The affects of Alpha Brain simply do not justify the price and it’s best to look for alternative products in the market.

I hope you enjoyed my review. Please leave a comment! What has your experience been with Alpha Brain or other nootropics?




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