Popularity of brain supplements has been growing rapidly over the last couple of years. But in my opinion, not fast enough. Sure muscle supps, nutritional, and multivitamins are important, but what’s more important than your brain? It’s the central hub, the controlling factor – without it your muscles and other bodily health are irrelevant.
Not only that, but in today’s society, there are soo many distractions that make it nearly impossible to focus. Studies show that no matter how good at multitasking you think you are, focusing on one task at a time is always better. In fact, your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. Good multitaskers have what I like to call, mental agility. That being said, the main factors you should consider when buying a brain supplement are how well the product boosts focus, mental agility, memory and of course, overall brain health.
Now lets jump into the detailed reviews. Having recently graduated from a tough college, I am no stranger to brain supplements. The following (in order of awesomeness) are my top ranking brain supplements.*
- Product Name
- Overall Rating
- Controlled/Clinically Studied
- Featured Claims
- SmartX by Cerebral Success
- $47 (with coupon "shq")
- Memory, Focus, Processing Speed
- Memory, Focus
- BodyQuick by BrainQuicken
- Memory, Reaction Speed
How Our Rankings are Conducted
Not all products are created equal. When ranking supplements on SupplementHQ, we focus on 3 main criteria to determine which product is best.
- Each supplement is tested by members of our team. We take notes throughout the day. For brain supplements, we like to measure improvements using brain fitness tests like lumosity.com.
- We review the ingredient profiles extensively. For proprietary formulas, we analyze total mg count and the order of the listed ingredients. We then compare these two factors to recommended dosages for the specific ingredients. For example, if a product has a total proprietary formula of 600 mg but contains ingredients that require 2 grams to be effective, the expected effectiveness is low.
- Lastly, we compile real testimonials from others across the web. This can be really hard to find authentic reviews, but real customers often provide great insights. Clinical studies are awesome as well, but few companies spend the money to have these done.
1. SmartX by Cerebral Success
SmartX comes in as our #1 pick… as expected seeing as we created it. We study, test, and review supplements all day, every day. So who better to create a top-notch brain supplement than us? Cerebral Success has had products on the market for 3 years and recently won investment from Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank!
SmartX contains the best, science backed nootropic brain supplement ingredients available. This product is manufactured by a 3rd party GMP certified facility and 3rd party purity tested. In a recent clinical study, SmartX was shown to increase processing speed by 26%, improve memory reaction speed by 14%, and increase brain waves correlated to focus by 55% after only 7 days! Few companies bother spending the money to conduct studies.. but we did.
If putting our own product in the number one position seems too bias – we have included 9 other satisfactory options.
We believe in and use SmartX on a daily basis. I personally am prescribed Adderall, but prefer SmartX for its more natural (yet still effective) feel.
>> Use coupon code “shq” for 20% off! <<
Excelerol has a decent list of ingredients that provide a strong boost of focus and mental energy. Ingredients like Guarana extract help to provide a clean energy comparable to that of conventional caffeine.
Excelerol is one of the highest priced brain supplements listed in this review at about $99 per 90 capsules (2 per serving). Does it warrant this high cost? Debatable, because other brain supplements like SmartX have similar ingredients for a lower cost. But does it work. In my opinion, yes.
3. BodyQuick by BrainQuicken
BodyQuick has been around for a long time and is more fitting of its company name: BrainQuicken. This product works as a neural accelerator to increase the speed of neural processes in the brain. This is just fancy lingo for common effects from all brain supplements. This product packs a lot of strange and varied ingredients, but also includes the essentials.
BodyQuick tries to bridge the gap between fitness and cerebral supplements, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a brain supplement of great quality.
4. Alpha Brain
Another good product in the brain supplement category, Alpha Brain, provides a solid combination of nootropic ingredients to help boost focus and memory.
We really like the available product sizing options. Don’t have enough for their 90 count jar? No problem. Get a 30 count bottle, or even a “Go Pack” of 4 capsules.
Check out the full alpha brain review here.
5. Procera AVH
This is a very popular supplement mostly because of the fantastic marketing the company has done and the expensive commercial time they have paid for.
In their defense however, their three main ingredients are 3 good ingredients. The AVH in Procera AVH stands for Acetyl-l-carnitine, Vinpocetine, and Huperzine A. Effective as these 3 ingredients can be, the company shares no information on the amount of each ingredient. To rank higher, we would like to see some more high end ingredients that complement the big 3.
Braino, from Amazon Nutrition, has been around for a long time. It contains some of the best and most essential brain supplement ingredients available. Braino works to boost brain blood and oxygen circulation, as well as increase nutrient uptake. Additionally, this brain supplement contains Huperzine A, Vinpocetine, and Choline, which help boost acetylcholine levels to improve focus and brain cell communication.
One great thing about this company is that they disclose the exact amount of each ingredient. This makes my job as a brain supplement review expert easy :).
Overall, a solid product, but a not so solid price. At a sales price of $78 a bottle, you would be better off with one of the higher rated products.
The name may sound like a prescription drug, but it is in fact a supplement. Doxiderol has a make up of good brain enhancing nootropic supplements, but few of them. To rank higher, Doxiderol would need to expand its ingredient base, including some essentials like Huperzine A. But hey, at least its lack of additional ingredients keeps it cheap.
Eurekas is another small company packing a solid punch. With over 60 five star ratings on Amazon, and an overall rating of 4.5 stars, you really can’t go wrong. Eureka’s formula however, seems to be lacking some of the more essential ingredients. Like Huperzine A, and Vinpocetine…Without these, it’s hard to compete with the big boys in the brain supplement industry.
Eureka and SmartX seem to be the only two brain supplements targeting the college student market – however, Eureka’s formulation seems to be a little more on the conservative side.
Don’t get me wrong. This is a fine product, with a good combination of solid, all natural ingredients. Probably better suited for the elderly rather than college students though. There is a reason why its so cheap… the ingredients are cheap.
Neurofuse is another nootropic based brain supplement to recently hit the market. According to their website, the company was started by 2 Harvard roommates, and promotes reviews from Harvard alumni. Personally, I have a couple of issues with their marketing. For starters, I hate the “free trial if you enroll in our monthly subscription service” model. This obviously has nothing to do with the product itself, but to me, is a devious business model. But on to the product…
The ingredients are decent but the proprietary blend is only 555 mg. There is no way they can pack sufficient quantities of each listed ingredient for them all to be effective. Overall, Neurofuse is a mild product with a high price point. However, if other brain supplements are too intense for you, Neurofuse might be a great choice.
Despite the huge amounts of various good ingredients packed into this product, reviews are pretty bad. And the reason why is fairly obvious. With a proprietary blend of 692 mg spread out over such a large amount of ingredients, there is simply no way that there are sufficient quantities for the ingredients to be effective. Not only that, but this product requires 4 capsules per serving. So basically, to obtain the amount of ingredients needed, one would need to take 8 or more capsules. Kinda makes the 120 capsules seem like a joke doesn’t it? But hey, at least its cheap.
Brain Supplements vs. Prescription Medication : If you are under the age of 26 or have children, you most likely have heard of Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse. These are prescription drugs prescribed to individuals with ADD and ADHD and are amphetamines. For those with the aforementioned diseases, they work to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain. For those with normal brains, they work as a super drug to enhance focus and mental agility – at a cost. These drugs have a number of side effects ranging from psychological instability to cardiovascular trauma.
A growing amount of students use these prescription medications without a prescription (with a “normal” chemical make up in the brain). This is dangerous and a growing concern. It is estimated that as high as 26% of college students have taken or take ADD medication illegally. The negative health and legal consequences are not worth it… especially when there are safe, healthy, and effective alternatives like brain supplements.
Brain supplements work within the natural framework of your body. The most effective supplements work to increase blood flow, provide needed and rare nutrients, stimulate communication between receptors, and improve brain cell growth and protection. A good brain supplement is not only effective in increasing focus, memory, and mental agility, but also works to strengthen and protect the brain.
So are brain supplements Adderall alternatives? The answer to that question depends on your intended use. Brain supplements are NOT for disease treatment. But if your adderall (or other ADD medication) use is for nothing but enhanced focus and mental energy – brain supplements are a much better option.
How’d we do? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below. Share your experience with brain supplements OR even brain drugs. Let us know what works for YOU.