Nowadays there are grips of premade nootropics stacks to choose from. I’ve reviewed many of them including the popular TruBrain. New people to nootropics probably don’t remember when Alpha Brain was introduced to the market – it was revolutionary for its time. In fact, Alpha Brain served as my first introduction into the world of nootropics and I soon dove headfirst into much more powerful nootropics like Piracetam.
I still think Alpha Brain is the best premade stack out there with strong ingredients, and it’s still one of the most afforadable stacks. ….
Especially when compared to stacks like Qualia.
In this post I break down each individual ingredient to give you an idea of what is actually in the stack and what you can expect.
L-Tyrosine is one one of my favorite over the the counter nootropics. You can easily hit up your local Vitamin Shoppe and find this mentally energizing nootropic. L-Tyrosine is an Amino Acid required for the synthesis of Dopamine. Dopamine is strongly tied to motivation and feeling energized to tackle your goals. If you feel lethargic throughout the day L-Tyrosine is an effective energizer. I’m glad to see this is a primary ingredient in the Alpha Brain stack.
L-Theanine is a top calming agent. Feeling anxious? L-Theanine smooths out nervous energy allowing a calm and collected demeanor to rise to the surface. L-Theanine is well researched and shown to completely wipe out the negative effects of caffeine. Personally, caffeine gives me the jitters and L-Theanine completely smooths them out.
If you were to take one nootropic consistently out of this stack it would be Alpha-GPC. Alpha-GPC is required for the synthesis of Acetycholine – the strongest neurotransmitter tied to memory, concentration, and focus. Alpha-GPC is the most effective source of Choline and a favored nootropic across the board.
Bacopa is an adaptogenic herb proven in clinical studies to increase memory when taken consistently. Including an adaptogen like Bacopa into stack makes sense – they typically stack quite well with nootropics and deliver powerful benefits to the entire mind body connection.
Oat Straw Extract
Oat straw boasts a load of benefits for the body but the one most interesting is Oat Straws effects on cognitive functioning. A study put out by the Journal of Alternative Medicine successfully demonstrated oat straw changes the EEG spectral frequencies of the brain, leading to increased cognitive performance. It’s also fully loaded with vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium.
This is another potent amino acid contributing heavily to cognitive functioning ad performance. Low amounts of this critical nutrient leads to brain fog and cognitive defecits. Studies prove Phosphatidylserine exhibits considerable effects on the cognition of the elderly and dramatically improves ADHD symptoms.
Cats Claw Extract
Cats Claw is a native peruvian herb growing deep in the rainforests. Cats Claw is supposedly a strong anti-inflammatory and promotes antioxidative effects on the body. Does any of this actually contribute to cognitive functioning? I’m not sure, there isn’t a lot of evidence to support using Cats Claw in this way. It’s an ingredient I believe mostly used as filler.
This is a curious species of club moss with an active compound known as Huperzina A. Huperzine A is reported to exert potent cognitive effects on the brain. It’s benefits are largely due to how this species of moss interacts with the neurotransmitter Acetycholine. As mentioned, low levels of Acetycholine are a root cause of brain fog and memory deficit so anything to help bolster this neurotransmitter is a plus.
I had previously never heard of this compound before. It’s the main component in branch chain amino acids critically necessary for rebuilding of muscle and protein synthesis. I looked around for studies but couldn’t find anything regarding cognitive performance.
Vinpocetine is touted as a neuroprotective agent and may increase blood flow in the brain. I experimented with Vicpocetine long before I tried Alpha Brain and didn’t notice anything remarkable on the cognitive level. It has potential to decrease damage to nerves and cells but may not do anything to enhance brain function.
Examine.com says it best
Low doses of pterostilbene (for a human, 10mg or less usually) seem to hold some benefit for cognition, and are thought to be one of the bioactive components of blueberries (alongside the anthocyanin content). Higher doses may not have said neurological effects, but higher supplemental dosages of pterostilbene (in the 250-500mg range usually) seem to have benefit for reducing cholesterol and glucose in research animals. The reduction in blood glucose and improvement in insulin sensitivity is quite potent, with a few studies noting that it is comparable to metformin as the reference drug.
This was a basic list and description of the ingredients inside Alpha Brain. I recommend you read my official Alpha Brain review for a detailed look into the stack and my thoughts on the stack as a whole.
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