The term ‘nootropic’ is derived from the Greek language – it means to ‘turn the mind’. Back in the 1960s, Dr. Corneliu Giurgea, realized that certain substances could boost mental energy and bring about cognitive enhancement quite by accident. He was actually looking for a molecule that could enter the brain and work for motion sickness and vertigo. His team called the molecule Piracetam. By 1973, Gr Giurgea called the class of agents similar to Piracetam nootropics The good doctor only gave the substances a name – Nootropic. Truth is, nootropics have been around for thousands of years and have been in use for almost the same amount of time.
Indian traditional medicine has been using ashwagandha and tulsi (basil) to boost cognitive abilities and bring about better. The Egyptians have their own set of cognitive stimulants, herbs, and potions for those with brain damage. History is proof that man has always looked for ways to enhance cognitive function and found the answers in nature. Many, roots, leaves, flowers, fruits, and off-cuts help the brain function better than it would otherwise. So, not all nootropic agents need to be manufactured in a laboratory.
To be classified as a nootropic, the agent in question needs to fulfill certain criteria:
- The ability to improve brain nutrition and health
- To boost cognition, especially under stress
- Facilitate the communication between brain cells
- The absence of side effects that cause mental harm
- The ease of use by humans
However, the definition of nootropics has taken a turn as nowadays, it includes any substance that helps cognitive performance. Nootropics are now seen as dietary supplements that improve mental performance and provide the user with cognitive benefits. The scope of nootropics is rather unclear as there is no way one can optimally test cognitive health. Cognitive functions must not be confused with intelligence. Nootropics cannot make you smarter but they can help you function better with the intelligence you already possess. The variance in genetics, environment, and stress may also affect the capabilities of nootropics. Nootropics to work but to what extent they may work on you is a grey area.
Now, you may point to your bottle of multivitamins and claim that multivitamins have nootropic benefits too. For proper brain function, the body needs vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Most multivitamin supplements include these nutrients. However, here is where the major difference lies between nootropics and multivitamins – a nootropic supplement includes only those components that are beneficial to brain health and mental performance. Multivitamin supplements include ingredients that work on the body as a whole. They may have nootropic benefits but the focus is on physical health rather than mental alertness or memory retention. So, if you are looking for something to improve cognitive performance, you are looking for a nootropic.
Also known as smart drugs, nootropic supplements vary. The mechanisms each brand or company employs are different. Some take the natural herbal path and include natural remedies to boost mental and physical performance. Others use refined amino acids, healthy fats, and nutrients that can nourish the brain. Yet others employ stimulants like caffeine which can, from long-term use, reduce the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s the question then: Which nootropic supplement is the best? There is no clear answer. Depending on what it is that you are looking for, the nootropic supplement varies. To help you make a more informed decision, we pit two popular dietary nootropic supplements against each other. We compare them for benefits, pros and cons, prices, effectiveness, and ease of use. We also check for discrepancies and would make recommendations only once we are sure that a certain supplement can really help you.
Table of Contents
NooCube or Alpha BRAIN: Which is the Best Nootropic for Mental Performance?
No. #1 – NooCube
NooCube is a natural brain booster. A dietary supplement aimed at replacing stimulants like caffeine and the use of controlled substances to enhance performance. NooCube claims to have several health benefits but mostly claims to affect brain health and function. NooCube does not include the use of caffeine – a common vice with several products but instead uses herbs and vital amino acids to boost overall brain health and improve the way your brain functions. NooCube does not promise when you will see results as that is influenced by age, race, disease, habits, and genes. But it does promise results. Many NooCube users claim to see results immediately but that may be an exaggeration. NooCube does insist on using the product for at least 3 to 6 months to ensure that you enjoy all the benefits the supplement has to give.
NooCube’s Brain Productivity works for men and women of all ages. There is some focus that is laid on those over the age of 50 as this is when certain mental health issues arise – loss of mental clarity, brain fog, mental fatigue, lowered memory recall or even learning. With age, these faculties do tend to decline and NooCube claims to help with these issues. All you need to do is take 2 capsules a day with or without food and NooCube will do the rest.
No. #2 – Alpha Brain
Alpha BRAIN is an offering from Onnit a dietary supplement manufacturer that, like NooCube, gives you an alternative to caffeine and controlled substances. The product is designed to bolster your everyday cognitive function. Alpha BRAIN is BSCG-certified. This means that the supplements do not contain any banned substances and can be used even if you are professionally competing. Onnit Alpha BRAIN uses ingredients to alter alpha brain wave activity. Alpha waves are responsible for the effectivity with which your brain functions. The supplement increases alpha brain wave production and function by boosting acetylcholine production.
With 2 capsules a day, Alpha BRAIN can increase alpha brain waves to help you sleep better, dream better, and improve overall brain health. Once you have a healthy brain environment, your brain functions better; giving you all the benefits.
What Results Do These Nootropic Supplements Claim to Give You?
Because both supplements are nootropics, there is a lot of overlap in the results. Here is a list of what you can expect from NooCube and Alpha BRAIN.
|NooCube||Onnit Alpha BRAIN|
Let’s compare. NooCube seems to work towards overall brain functioning and improving the cognitive processes that will eventually affect the way you work and sleep. Alpha BRAIN is more task oriented. If you have trouble focusing on a given chore that requires undivided cognitive function, Alpha BRAIN helps you stay on point till the chore is complete. This is what flow-state is. The ability to stay in the zone. When it comes to the number of benefits that can be had from either supplement – NooCube seems to take this round by a point.
How Do NooCube & Alpha BRAIN Work?
Any supplement is only as good as its ingredients. For the most part, both supplements have a similar formula. They share quite a few ingredients. Let’s first see what the common ingredients do to improve cognitive function. The exclusive ingredients will follow suit.
Ingredients Common to Both Supplements
- Bacopa Monnieri
Known as ‘Bhrami’ in Indian traditional medicine.
- Bacopa monnieri has been used for helping with issues like anxiety, and memory loss and for treating epilepsy.
- It has even shown proficiency in improving brain function and aiding stress alleviation.
- This water plant acts as an antioxidant and suppresses the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
- For the human brain, Bacopa monnieri boosts brain function and helps with spatial learning and retention.
This is an agent found in grapes that has excellent bioavailability – meaning that the body can use it efficiently. Pterostilbene is even better when consumed with resveratrol as they can together act synergistically to promote health (NooCube includes resveratrol).
- Pterostilbene is an anti-oxidant that slows down the aging process by ridding the body of free radicals that cause oxidative stress.
- This ensures long-term brain health and the absence of free radicals helps to protect brain cells. It slows down cognitive decline and may even be able to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
- Found in green and black tea, l-theanine is an amino acid that helps to ease anxiety, and stress and promote sleep.
- When paired with caffeine, l-theanine has shown promising results to increase focus as it can cross the blood-brain barrier emanating a feeling of calm and concentration.
- The amino acid may also reduce brain fog, memory problems, and delayed reactions.
- It is also great for blood pressure control and better immune function.
- Another amino acid, l-tyrosine is critical for the production of neurotransmitters and other brain chemicals.
- It is also a catecholamine precursor which is known to aid cognitive performance under stress.
- It is usually found in supplements to help with narcolepsy, insomnia, anxiety, and depression as it curbs the function of the stress hormone cortisol.
- It even helps with appetite suppression and weight loss.
- Alpha GPC
- Alpha glycerophosphocholine is a cholinergic compound used to improve cognitive function and athletic performance.
- It supports cell membrane maintenance and may even curb mild cognitive impairment.
- It can boost cerebral blood flow, boost cognitive performance and memory, enhance thinking and solving skills and add to brain energy.
- Oat Straw Extract
- Avena sativa, as it is also called, can improve nutrient-rich blood flow to the brain by increasing the production of nitric oxide.
- It also reduces inflammation and curbs the chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers.
- Studies prove that oat straw can boost brain power and enhance memory function, concentration and attention.
- Cat’s Claw Extract
Native to the Amazon Rainforest, Cat’s claw is a wood-like vine and is now stable in the nootropics market.
- It has been marked as a mood, memory, and cognitive enhancer by increasing BDNF – a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, in the brain.
- It also protects brain and nerve cells from inflammatory agents.
- Huperzia Serrata/ Toothed Club Moss
A firmoss that is, now, a staple in nootropic supplement formulae.
- Used as a cognitive enhancer, Toothed club moss promotes memory by protecting the nerve cells and is now being investigated as a possible remedy for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Exclusive NooCube Ingredients
This is a trademarked, clinically – backed marigold extract. It includes lutein and zeaxanthin isomers.
- These compounds can improve cognitive functions and mental health.
- Support a sense of calm and enhance mood.
- It also advances better sleep quality and positively influences eye health and vision.
- Another grape seed extract, resveratrol has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- It also protects the brain from wear and tear, leaving it less prone to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and dementia.
- It even works for skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, and acne.
- Vitamin B1, B7 and B12
- Thiamine or vitamin B1 can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It slows down the cognitive decline that comes with age.
- Biotin or B7 protects the brain and central nervous system. It aids in memory function and is a defense against cognitive disorders. It also helps the nerve cells communicate with one another.
- And last but not least, vitamin B12 protects the brain from atrophy – the loss of neurons that is a result of oxidative stress or age.
Exclusive Alpha BRAIN Ingredients
- L-Leucine is a BCAA – a branched-chain amino acid, that provides the neurons with a steady supply of glutamate which is oxidized for energy.
- It is also more easily absorbed into the brain from the blood than any other amino acid.
- This action influences learning, and memory, and prevents neurological disorders.
- Vitamin B6
- This vitamin lowers the levels of homocysteine – a protein in the brain. High levels of this protein could lead to cognitive decline.
- It also influences the production of neurotransmitters.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid that is a major component of cell membranes. PS is synthesized in the liver and other organs and transported to the brain where it is concentrated in neuronal membranes.
- PS is essential for neuronal function and has been shown to be beneficial for brain health.
- This compound has several nootropic benefits. It can curb memory loss that results from aging, ease depression symptoms, and treat ADHD.
- It can also boost athletic performance.
*Note: All ingredients are naturally occurring and are in no way habit-forming.
How Are NooCube & Alpha BRAIN any Different?
One point of difference is found in the formulae. NooCube uses pterostilbene and resveratrol, in the amount of 140 mcg and 14.3 mg, respectively. Studies show that the combined use of these elements proves a lot more beneficial to the user. Alpha BRAIN uses pterostilbene alone.
Another difference is the results. NooCube is meant for healthy individuals who wish to prevent or arrest the cognitive decline that comes with age. It also claims to boost overall cognitive function while keeping the brain healthy and powerful. Whereas, the Alpha BRAIN formula focuses on keeping the mind focused on the task at hand and helping the brain tackle the task. It centers its attention on alpha brain waves and their influence on brain functions rather than the brain as a whole.
Where & How Can You Get These Cognitive Enhancers?
You can get NooCube directly from the official website, Click here to visit. NooCube is available in bottles of 60 capsules each.
- A single bottle would cost you $64.99.
- If you opt to buy 2 bottles, you get a third bottle for free for $ 129.99.
- The biggest savings are for the 6-month supply for $194.99 – you pay for 3 bottles and the other 3 bottles are free.
NooCube also offers you a 60-day money-back guarantee. On your purchase, regardless of which package you opt for. Free shipping accompanies each purchase.
Should you wish to purchase Alpha BRAIN, you could go to its official website or buy it on amazon or other e-commerce stores.
- A bottle of Alpha BRAIN would cost you $79.95.
- If you chose to subscribe, a bottle or bottles would be sent to you whenever you chose. With subscriptions, rebills are done at 15% off the total value of the bill. Onnit provides a 90-day money-back guarantee on the first purchase you make. Free shipping is available only on orders that exceed $150.
Q1. Would these products be affected by prescription medication?
Ans.: Considering that both supplements are natural, they should not. However, please consult your physician before you start the use of any supplements. This is particularly vital if you suffer from any preexisting medical conditions that you are currently being mediated for.
Q2. Are these products habit-forming?
Ans.: No, neither product is habit-forming, as none of its ingredients cause dependency.
Q3. Would these products make one smarter?
Ans.: No. Nootropics cannot make you smarter. They can help you use your current IQ better and more efficiently. Nootropics affect the way you use your brain and not the capacity it has.
Q4. Would the benefits stop if the use of the product is stopped?
Ans.: You will see a definite improvement once you start using nootropics. These effects are more likely to dissipate once the use of the supplement is stopped.
A Quick Comparison
To make a better decision as to which product is best for you, below you will find a short, summarized version of all the information we have.
|Unique Feature||Focuses on enhancing overall cognitive function and slowing down age-related decline.||Focus on the ability to remain ‘in the zone’ and with the ability to stay focused when working.|
|Audience||For all ages above 18, but the emphasis on those over 50||For all|
|Refund Policy||60 days||90 days|
|Where to Buy?||Click to visit the Official NooCube Website.||–|
Summary & Verdict
As far as cognitive enhancers go, both NooCube and Alpha BRAIN do a pretty decent job. They both improve mental energy, and mental clarity, reduce brain fog and use clinically tested ingredients to improve mental processing speed.
However, when you take a closer look, you will see that NooCube offers you a little more than Alpha BRAIN.
- NooCube has more benefits, is clear about ingredient dosages, and uses the right blend of ingredients.
- Also, NooCube can boost brain activity even when you are not involved in a task.
Whereas, Alpha BRAIN centers its focus only on task-oriented mental function.
When adding a nootropic to your daily routine, you would be looking for something that will help you throughout the day, even to help with sleep – NooCube does that. For these reasons, we recommend NooCube as the better option when compared with Alpha BRAIN.