I’ve been interested in nootropics, or “brain doping” as some like to call it, for quite some time now. I have however been sceptical towards many nootropics and the “subculture” surrounding them, but I wanted to give Alpha Brain by Onnit a chance, considering it’s one of the leading products. NootroFit from the Netherlands supplied me with a trial.
Nootropics are substances or drugs that have positive impact on the central nervous system. Unlike stimulants, they are supposed to actually improve brain function, not just kick the whole organism up a notch.
Pharmaceutically nootropics are interesting as drugs against dementia, which is why they are being researched as such and not as nootropics for healthy people trying to improve their efficiency. This is why most information on nootropics comes from people experimenting with them, which in turn leads to an overlap of nootro-nerds and fans of LSD and Ayahuasca. Hippies with an affinity towards drugs are among my Top 10-most irrationally hated groups of people, which is why I’m not a big fan of reading through endless pages in message boards online. When I heard about Alpha Brain from Joe Rogan I was interested, but still sceptical. After all he isn’t my main information source when it comes to substance abuse. Hearing Jocko Willink speak about Alpha Brain won me over however. If a Navy SEAL and Hardcore Kid who doesn’t even drink coffee takes it, it’s probably okay for me.
Alpha Brain consists of several herbal extracts, vitamin B6 and amino acids. In conjunction all these are supposed to make understanding complex issues easier, support memory function and improve apprehension.
Two capsules in the morning with a light meal are supposed to improve function all day, taking them in the evening can help make dreaming more intense and vivid. I took my Alpha Brain in the morning.
My take on it
I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I have a pretty high tolerance for caffeine and I’ve been experimenting with using nicotine as a stimulant before, so would this be different? Or would it do nothing at all?
I was pleasantly surprised pretty quickly. Something did happen, I felt as if I was functioning 5-10% faster, any brainfog, caused by a lack of sleep or the boredom of everyday tasks, was gone instantly and I felt as if I was taking in more information from my surroundings. All that was not unpleasant, I was not restless or jumpy, instead I felt a little more present than normal. Concentrating on a task was easy and the improved focus helped battling procrastination. I was pleased with my improved mental capacity.
It is possible to combine Alpha Brain and caffeine, according to the Onnit-people it enhances the effects, but I didn’t notice much when taking the Alpha Brain with a cup of coffee instead of a glass of water.
One afternoon I faced doing nothing. To be honest, I was pretty scared of boredom on steroids, but it’s possible to just let your thoughts wonder when taking Alpha Brain, maybe it’s a tad more efficient.
My favorite thing about Alpha Brain, as weird as that might sound, was going to bed with a very satisfying feeling of tiredness. Being overly present apparently results in being overly tired, but that’s fine with me. My naps got a little more infrequent though.
When it came to sports I didn’t notice any difference. I guess that applauds my mental state when approaching the barbell or the mat.
Using Alpha Brain was an interesting experience and I will probably take it again some day. I did however wonder, if it makes sense to use it daily. When using it again I will probably give Alpha Brain Instant a try and use it to focus the improved energy on a specific task ahead. While it’s nice to have a little extra random access memory day to day, it’s not necessary.
Alpha Brain is a good nootropic for beginners like me and people that don’t want to work through a bunch of online guides before mixing up their own concoction. When confronted with a high stress situation, a test or a due essay, Alpha Brain will do its part in staying on top of things, and that without crossing any legal boundaries, without shaman guidance and without batik dye t-shirts.
Disclaimer: If a maker or seller of a product provides me with a product free of charge or for a reduced price, I do not feel obliged to provide a positive review of said product. I do my best to provide my readers with my own experiences with and thoughts on everything I review.