Does Alpha Brain Work? | What You MUST Know

Tomas Thorne

Last Updated: February 19, 2023

Alpha Brain Work

Does Alpha Brain work?

Well, that depends on how you define “work” and what your experience level with nootropics is.

But essentially…yes!

Alpha Brain works. You will see solid cognitive benefits when taking this over-the-counter smart drug.

It is not as strong as Modafinil and other “prescription” smart drugs. However, there is no denying that Alpha Brain offers impressive smart drug benefits.

We’ll dig into how the nootropic works below, along with so much more.

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What is Alpha Brain?

Now before we dive too deep into the Alpha Brain waters, let’s take a look at what this smart drug is and how it works.

Overall, there’s nothing too complex about Alpha Brain. As one of the premier and most hyped over the counter smart drugs, the nootropic rose to popularity after hitting the market in 2011.

With a plethora of celebrity endorsements, Alpha Brain quickly gained praise from people like Joe Rogan.

But the real reason Alpha Brain gained so much popularity… the reason you’re curious does Alpha Brain really work:

It’s because the smart drug is legit.

We’re not going to beat around the bush here. This stuff actually works. You will find massive cognitive benefits when taking Alpha Brain, including:

  • Enhanced focus
  • Increased memory and retention
  • Better productivity
  • …And much more!

On top of all that good stuff, Alpha Brain is one of a couple of nootropics that have been scientifically proven to offer cognitive benefits [1]. In a randomized, controlled study, researchers found that Alpha Brain led to significantly better performance on cognitive tasks like verbal recall and executive functioning [2].

Is this the best smart drugs on the market? I don’t think so. In my opinion, Modafinil is the best.

Is Alpha Brain ideal for individuals who are new to nootropics and looking for something that offers more cognitive enhancement than a cup of coffee?


Alpha Brain is ideal for boosting cognition 4-6+ hours. It works and you will notice an uptick in productivity and retention.

Work Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain Side Effects and Safety

Great, so the nootropic is effective. But…is it safe?

Absolutely. Research has found that Alpha Brain side effects are rare (they occur in less than 9% of individuals) [2]. When they occur, they’re not severe. Alpha Brain side effects can include:

  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Vivid dreams

Except for the dreams, these are basically the same side effects that coffee has.

Alpha Brain Ingredients

Now, this nootropic does work and you will find cognitive enhancement when using it. But, many will wonder why…

Well, for that, we need to take a look at a few of the active Alpha Brain ingredients. Here’s a quick list of the major ingredients in Alpha Brain:

  • AC-11 Cat’s Claw Extract
  • Alpha-GPC
  • Vitamin B6
  • L-Tyrosine
  • L-Theanine
  • Oat Straw Extract
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Huperzine A
  • L-Leucine
  • Vinpocetine

Now, all of these ingredients off some type of cognitive enhancement on the surface. But from a nootropic benefits point of view, certain Alpha Brain ingredients offer more than others. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look:

  • Huperzine A: There’s been quite a bit of research on “Hup-A” and it has concluded that this is a strong nootropic. Research in healthy participants and those with cognitive disorders all seem to see improvements in cognitive function as a result of taking Hup A [3, 4, 5]
  • Alpha-GPC: This is one of the stronger Alpha Brain ingredients and a great source of choline. As a precursor to one of the stronger brain chemicals regarding cognitive enhancement and overall function, this ingredient can work wonders on your mind [6]. It also works well with many other ingredients featured in this nootropic.
  • Bacopa: This is one of the main Alpha Brain ingredients and offers massive cognitive enhancement for some. It’s been proven to work as a nootropic [7, 8] and many believe this is one of the main reasons why Alpha Brain works. Bacopa is also said to offer stress-relieving properties [9].
  • Vinpocetine: This ingredient is considered a natural nootropic that increases blood flow to the brain and can improve memory in certain individuals [10]. Many find Vinpocetine also increased alertness and mental clarity. In Alpha Brain, this ingredient clears away brain fog.

Does Alpha Brain Work? | What You MUST Know

Now, you’re probably still wondering why Alpha Brain works. You may still want the specifics before buying a bottle of this stuff.

For that, we’ll have to take a look at the science. Instead of my mumbo jumbo and personal tales, let’s dive into the studies.

Does Alpha Brain really work? Well…

Unlike lots of nootropics, there’s actually a really high-quality, randomized control trial that looks at the effects of Alpha Brain [2]. This is one of the highest quality types of studies you can find. This study found that:

  • Alpha Brain offers a 12% increased improvement in verbal recall when compared to a placebo.
  • The nootropic also offers 21% faster completion time when looking at executive function assessment and comparing the results to a baseline.
  • The results observed were replicated in a second study. That means that we can be confident that the benefits were not a one-time thing.
  • Lastly, side effects were observed and the researchers found that Alpha Brain was equally as safe and/or tolerable as the placebo used.

Does Alpha Brain work? Well, according to the study above: yes. The researchers found significant nootropic benefits when compared to a placebo.

Another study conducted on Alpha Brain found verbal memory and overall executive function did increase when taking this smart drug [11].

While it does work, in my opinion, it’s not quite as strong as Modafinil and Mind Lab Pro. These are superior options in my opinion. But still, yes, Alpha Brain works.

Can You Take Alpha Brain Every Day?

So it works. But can you take Alpha Briain every day?

Well, you can. Yes.

No studies so far seem to find any negative or addictive qualities to it.

But at the same time, I probably wouldn’t recommend that.

It’s not great to get dependent on something to do work. My view is that it’s great for a boost when you really need to get something done, but it’s not ideal for everyday use.

Rather than using it every day, focus on staying healthy, getting good exercise and sleep, and then use Alpha Brain occasionally when you’re looking to get into beast mode for a couple of hours to finish a project.

Alpha Brain Alternatives

Are there any Alpha Brain alternatives?

Absolutely. I’ve written several guides on nootropics which can give you a bunch more ideas for Alpha Brain alternatives. Check out my guide on the best nootropics and the best nootropics for creativity.

Between those lists, you’ll definitely be able to find something that fits your needs.

But there are two that I think are especially effective alternatives to Alpha Brain:

  • Modafinil

The first is Modafinil.

If you’ve spent any time on this site at all, you’ll know that I love this stuff. In my opinion, Modafinil is far and away the best nootropic for sitting down and grinding through a pile of work.

Basically, Modafinil is a crazy cognitive enhancer. It’s a prescription-only drug in the US and the FDA approved it to treat sleep disorders. It helps with:

  • Shift work sleep disorder
  • Sleep apnea
  • Narcolepsy

Besides those on-label uses, lots of users have reported the insane cognitive boost that this guy gives you. Scientists have found this too: lots of studies have found that it can boost cognitive function and focus as well as improving mood [12].

This guy is my favorite. I typically have a cycle of nootropics that I work through to keep things interesting, but Modafinil is absolutely a go-to of mine.

When I’m looking for something other than Alpha Brain, Modafinil is the best thing available.

Does Alpha Brain Work? | Verdict

Does Alpha Brain work?
Yes, the science that exists offers some pretty good evidence that this nootropic does offer cognitive benefits. And while Alpha Brain side effects exist, they’re not severe or common.

It’s very safe to use.

Can you take Alpha Brain every day? You probably shouldn’t.

It’s not the strongest stuff on the market, but there’s no denying you’ll find some clear benefits from using Alpha Brain.

As the first nootropic that I ever tried, I still use Alpha Brain to this day. And that’s because it still works damn well!

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  1. Onnit (2020). Clinical studies.
  2. Solomon, T. M., Leech, J., deBros, G. B., Murphy, C. A., Budson, A. E., Vassey, E. A., & Solomon, P. R. (2016). A randomized, double‐blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, efficacy study of alpha BRAIN® administered orally. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 31(2), 135-143.
  3. Xu, S. S., Cai, Z. Y., Qu, Z. W., Yang, R. M., Cai, Y. L., Wang, G. Q., … & Li, J. X. (1999). Huperzine-A in capsules and tablets for treating patients with Alzheimer disease. Zhongguo yao li xue bao Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 20(6), 486-490.
  4. Xu, S. S., Gao, Z. X., Weng, Z., Du, Z. M., Xu, W. A., Yang, J. S., … & Chai, X. S. (1995). Efficacy of tablet huperzine-A on memory, cognition, and behavior in Alzheimer’s disease. Zhongguo yao li xue bao= Acta pharmacologica Sinica, 16(5), 391-395.
  5. Zhang, Z., Wang, X., Chen, Q., Shu, L., Wang, J., & Shan, G. (2002). Clinical efficacy and safety of huperzine Alpha in treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer disease, a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial. Zhonghua yi xue za zhi, 82(14), 941.
  6. Cruse, J. L. (2018). The Acute Effects of Alpha-Gpc on Hand Grip Strength, Jump Height, Power Output, Mood, and Reaction-Time in Recreationally Trained, College-Aged Individuals (Doctoral dissertation, Eastern Kentucky University).
  7. Stough, C., Downey, L. A., Lloyd, J., Silber, B., Redman, S., Hutchison, C., … & Nathan, P. J. (2008). Examining the nootropic effects of a special extract of Bacopa monniera on human cognitive functioning: 90 day double‐blind placebo‐controlled randomized trial. Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives, 22(12), 1629-1634.
  8. Russo, A., & Borrelli, F. (2005). Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant: an overview. Phytomedicine, 12(4), 305-317.
  9. Calabrese, C., Gregory, W. L., Leo, M., Kraemer, D., Bone, K., & Oken, B. (2008). Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 14(6), 707-713.
  10. Patyar, S., Prakash, A., Modi, M., & Medhi, B. (2011). Role of vinpocetine in cerebrovascular diseases. Pharmacological Reports, 63(3), 618-628.
  11. Soloman, T. M., Budson, A. E., deBros, G. B., Murphy, C. A., Vassey, E., & Soloman, P. R. (n.d.). A Proof of Concept for a Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled, Parallel Group, Efficacy Study of Alpha Brain(TM) Administered Orally [poster].
  12. Kim, D. (2012). Practical use and risk of modafinil, a novel waking drug. Environmental Health and Toxicology, 27.
  13. Vollala, V. R., Upadhya, S., & Nayak, S. (2011). Enhancement of basolateral amygdaloid neuronal dendritic arborization following Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats. Clinics, 66(4), 663-671.
  14. Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research, 31(4), 231-237.

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