Alpha Brain Review: Is Onnit’s Nootropic #1?

This is our Alpha Brain review, a nootropic or brain supplement that is made by Onnit and used by famous biohackers such as Joe Rogan. But how does it compare to other market leaders like Mind Lab Pro?

Priced at $79.95, Alpha Brain is claimed to promote:

  1. Memory
  2. Brain Functions
  3. Mental Processing
  4. Focus

But how well does Alpha Brain work?

Alpha Brain Reviews

In this review, we look closer at Alpha Brain's ingredients, side effects, dosages and just our general view of this nootropic to see if it really is one of the best on the market. It has that reputation going for it already, but does Alpha Brain really live up to the hype? It's time to find out.

Product SKU: alphabrain1

Product Brand: Onnit

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 79.95

Price Valid Until: 2029-09-30

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

Onnit Alpha Brain Ingredients | Full Label Review

Alpha Brain Ingredients

Above is the ingredient label for Alpha brain, to take Alpha Brain you are advised to have two capsules daily with a light meal.

Below, is the full list of each ingredient in case you can’t see the image we’ve embedded:

Alpha Brain Ingredient List:

  • Vitamin B6 – 10 mg
  • Onnit Flow Blend – 650 mg
    • L-Tyrosine
    • L-Theanine
    • Oat (Straw) Extract
    • Phopshatidylserine
  • Cat’s Claw (bark) Extract (ac-11) – 350 mg
  • Onnit Focus Blen – 240 mg
    • L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC) / Alpha GPC
    • Bacopa (aerial parts) Extract – 100 mg
    • Huperzia Serrata (aerial parts) Extract [Standardized to 1% Huperzine A, 400 mcg]
  • Onnit Fuel Blend – 65 mg
    • L-Leucine
    • Vinpocetine – 5 mg
    • Pterostilbene

It is also worth noting that the capsules are vegetarian friendly and made mainly from rice hull concentrate – not gelatin or anything else that is meat based.

Before we analyze the ingredients any further, you already know what we’re about to say: proprietary blends! If you aren’t aware, proprietary blends are when supplement manufacturers choose to hide the individual dosages of the ingredients in their product.

The result is that they get to say they have a “secret formula” but are also given the liberty to potentially under-dose their product. You don’t know how much of each ingredient you’re getting – so how can you judge how effective it will be? You can’t. Not accurately anyway.

There are other nootropics out there which achieve good results who do not feel the need to hide the exact dosages of their formula. It’s a very old school method that Alpha Brain is going with here including a proprietary blend.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a good start to a vitamin nootropic stack, but not ideal if it is without B9 and B12. The three B vitamins typically work together to promote your body’s regulation of homocysteine and it’s metabolism.

With higher levels of homocysteine and lower levels of Vitamin B6, B9 and B12 are risk factors of mood imbalance, cognitive decline and brain degeneration increase.

It’s a nice idea by Brain Alpha, but it doesn’t exactly meet our requirements for Vitamin B stack for cognitive function.

Onnit Flow Blend

The first major proprietary blend in Alpha Brain by Onnit, is the Onnit Flow Blend. This includes the amino acids L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine, along with Oat Straw Extract and Phosphatidylserine. But can it get you into that flow state?


This is a far better choice for the AlphaBrain nootropic ingredients list – it’s just a shame we don’t know how much L-Tyrosine we’re getting in this nootropic.

L-Tyrosine is an amino acid in Alpha Brain that deals primarily with stress. It can help support your body’s handling of it both physically and mentally by how it helps your brain to create catecholamine neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine – which help mental processing speed, memory and mood.

These are typically depleted under high stress situations, and an amino acid like dopamine can help keep them at a healthier and higher level. This has been seen in research to help in stressful conditions such as sleep deprivation, fatigue and more – especially with multitasking and working memory.

Again, a good addition to Alpha Brain – but how much is there in here? We’re not at liberty to know.


A commonly used amino acid for cognitive function, and a great choice in Alpha Brain. Again though – we don’t know the dosage, so we can’t vouch for the actual effects of it in this blend.

L-Theanine can help to boost wakeful relaxation via alpha brain waves, which can help creativity – which can help with out of the box thinking and problem solving. It’s a good option to combine with caffeine, it can help keep you maintain that energy from the caffeine without the jitters or energy crashes.

With an unknown dose here in Alpha Brain, we can’t really comment on how well it will work for you. But it is taking a step in the right direction when it comes to effective nootropics for cognitive performance.

Oat Straw Extract

This however, is not a great ingredient when you’re taking Alpha Brain. Oat Straw is one of those ingredients that you see in numerous supplements, but doesn’t really have much to offer you in Alpha Brain.

Also known as Avena Sativa, Oat Straw mainly helps with a mild boost in blood flow, which could to some extent help get more nutrients to your brain via your blood.

It’s not enough to make a noticeable difference though. There is one study which shows that Oat Straw could help brain function, however this was solely funded by a company who was also selling Oat Straw as a supplement. It’s not a great one to have faith in.

Also, side note: no dosage displayed for this in Alpha Brain.


Phosphatidylserine is one of the better options that you see in most nootropic stacks – one that you would dose effectively so that the user would know how much they were getting.

It’s a phospholipid, which is a fat which makes up around 15% of your brain’s fat. It can help with memory, focus, and even helping to fight cognitive decline.

Phosphatidylserine’s main function is for helping neurotransmitters like dopamine and acetylcholine. It can also help brain cell energy, glucose metabolism and even Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) which is what helps with brain cell repair and maintenance.

Again, great choice in the Alpha Brain supplement. No one is debating that this was a solid by Onnit Alpha Brain – but come on with the dosage. We need to know how much we’re getting and if there’s enough for it to have an effect.

Cat’s Claw Extract

Cat’s Claw is not a great option in a nootropic in Alpha Brain. We’re not sure why it’s in Alpha Brain, or why it is in such a high dosage that Onnit agreed to disclose.

Cat’s Claw is a herb which has been seen to help in some cases to help with joint inflammation, and to an extent, your immune system. There is some evidence of it helping in these areas.

However, there isn’t any real evidence of it working to help treat anxiety, boost processing speed, focus, cognitive performance or indeed anything that would appeal to someone taking Alpha Brain.

It’s not an ideal candidate for this nootropic supplement.

Onnit Focus Blend

This is the second proprietary blend that we’ll be covering in our Alpha Brain review: the Onnit Focus Blend. This consists of Alpha GPC, Bacopa and Hyperzia Serrata.


Alpha-GPC is more commonly seen in the bodybuilding space as it can help with both mental and physical performance. This supplement in Alpha Brain can help to increase your brain’s availability of acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter that helps a lot with memory formation, brain function and general focus.

This is a good choice for Onnit Labs to use in Alpha Brain – as not many nootropics do. However, how much of there is actually in Alpha Brain?

Although their heart might be in the right place, without an actual dosage for this in Brain Alpha, it’s harder for us to decide how effective it actually is.

Bacopa Monnieri Extract

Who doesn’t love Bacopa Monnieri? When you have a full-spectrum version of it standardized to 20% bacosides or more in around a 150 mg dose – it’s an absolutely killer nootropic.

However, whether there’s that many bacosides in Alpha Brain remain unknown. There’s also only 100 mg in this supplement. It’s a shame that it hasn’t been given a proper dosage in this Alpha Brain nootropic.

When taken in the right amount, Bacopa Monnieri can help a lot with memory, learning and may even help reduce the speed of forgetting knowledge. It can also help cognitive performance under stress and helps boost your levels of acetylcholine, serotonin and GABA.

Possibly one of the best ingredients in Alpha Brain for memory.

Huperzia Serrata Extract

This is a herb that is used in nootropics primarily for the fact that it contains Huperzine A. Huperzine A can boost your levels of acetylcholine in your brain by inhibiting the enzyme that usually breaks it down.

With more acetylcholine, your brain gets a big boost in numerous areas including focus, concentration, memory and more. However you shouldn’t take a lot Huperzine A as the build up of acetylcholine can lead to side effects.

There’s 400 mcg of Huperzine A in Alpha Brain. Most doses are recommended to be around 125 mg. So this is far more than double of that. You should definitely feel the effects, but your risk of side effects will be dramatically increased.

Onnit Fuel Blend

The final proprietary blend in our Alpha Brain review. Again, only 3 ingredients here; L-Leucine, Vinpocetine and Pterostilbene. Let’s look at those benefits, side effects and everything else in-between.


Not a great idea Onnit Labs Team. We’ve got nothing against L-Leucine as a workout supplement – but as a nootropic ingredient, it’s unlikely to do much of anything in Alpha Brain.

L-Leucine is an amino acid that you typically see in BCAA supplements. It can help to some extent to promote muscle growth, but it is not one of those ingredients that can help with cognition, focus or memory.

You’re unlikely to get much benefit from it in Alpha Brain. However, if you’re a Joe Rogan fan and like to work out as much as he does – it could potentially help you in that area.


This is a much better choice in the Alpha Brain ingredients. Vinpocetine comes from the Periwinkle plant and can help to a noticeable extent with boosting blood flow to the brain as well as reducing inflammation.

This can help a good amount of blood, oxygen, glucose and other nutrients get to the brain in bigger amounts which could help more with cognition. We’re glad Onnit decided to disclose the amount of Vinpocetine in Alpha Brain. There’s 5 mg which has been seen in research to have a pretty desirable effect.


Doesn’t make too much of a different in Alpha Brain, but it is still good to see on their list of ingredients. Again, we would’ve loved to have an actual dosage for this nootropic.

Pterostilbene has various antioxidant properties for Alpha Brain. Using it can help reduce oxidative stress, and help with brain health in the long term. Using this to fight aging free radicals can help fight general cognitive decline overtime and other problems you may encounter as your brain ages.

Onnit Labs Alpha Brain Reviews

Alpha Brain Formula Summary

When it comes to the ingredients and dosages in Alpha Brain, we have to say on the whole there are some great ideas in there – they’re just poorly executed.

It’s the proprietary blends in Alpha Brain. How can you know how effective something is if you don’t know how much of it you’re getting? It makes it much harder for us to judge how effective it really is.

Which is annoying, because a lot of the ingredients in here show promise for cognition (for example the Bacopa Monnieri). Not only that, some of the ingredients in Brain Alpha like the Huperzine A have been linked to causing side effects.

A lot of changes need to be made to his nootropic before it can be justified as the nootropic it has the reputation for.

Alpha Brain Side Effects | Is It Safe to Use?

There are some risk factors when it comes to Alpha Brain. Mainly with the Huperzine A.

Huperzine A has been linked to causing side effects when taken in a large amount. A regular amount is considered 125 mcg, Alpha Brain supplies 400 mcg. In our opinion, this constitutes a large amount.

Without breaking down as much of your acetylcholine levels, the chances of experiencing side effects increases much more, including:

  • Brain Fog
  • Confusion
  • Poor Focus
  • Cramps
  • Headaches
  • Poor Motivation
  • Poor Well Being

And more. You can help to stop these side effects by taking a week off every month from using Alpha Brain, but there is still a risk. Wouldn’t you just want a nootropic you can take every day without a fear of poor cognition and headaches?

Not only that, there’s also potential side effects from the proprietary blends. You don’t know how much of most of the ingredients you’re getting in Alpha Brain, so it makes it difficult to know how what kind of risks you’re taking.

Review Summary: Is Alpha Brain The Best Nootropic?

That is the end of our Alpha Brain review. As you can see, there’s a lot of work that needs doing to this nootropic.

Don’t get us wrong, a lot of the ingredients have some good research that may help to support cognition, but with with the side effect risk from Huperzine A, and the fact that you don’t know the dosages of half of the ingredients in here – and that one of them is primarily a bodybuilding amino acid (I know, right?) revisions definitely need to be made.

If you’re looking for a nootropic to kickstart your day stronger than a cup of coffee would, Alpha Brain is a step in the right direction, but it is not what you’re looking for. There are better options out there on the market, that don’t have Joe Rogan to promote them, that are honest about their dosages and the effects speak for themselves.

Our #1 Brain Supplement:
Mind Lab Pro


Mind Lab Pro is by far the best nootropic we have come across on the market.

With clear dosages, 11 clinically backed ingredients and totally vegan - it is one of the cleanest most effective nootropics out there.

Mind Lab Pro may help to improve:

  • Memory
  • Focus
  • Concentration
  • Mental Processing
  • Brain Fog Reduction

And more. If you're looking for an effective option with clinically backed ingredients - you have to read my Mind Lab Pro review.

- Mind Lab Pro Review -