Bio-hacking Silicon Valley & San Francisco entrepreneurs are a booming market for cutting-edge nootropic stacks.
That’s why Nootrobox exists.
With a distinctly “geeky” edge, Nootrobox takes a science-based, transparent approach to creating nootropics that seem to target the start-up culture. Hell, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is even an investor in the company.
But are the Nootrobox supplements themselves as smart as the demographic they’re designed for? Let’s check it out.
Nootrobox is a San Francisco-based supplement company founded by two Stanford-trained computer scientists/”bio-hacking” experts. Nootrobox offers four supplements intended for stacking. The two Nootrobox formulas that are most nootropic-targeted, covered in this review, are:
- RISE: A “synergistic stack” said to create a “smooth, clear mental state” or “flow.” It’s billed as a daily cognitive performance nootropic, but the product name and description suggest it is popularly taken in the morning to help start the day feeling sharp.
- SPRINT: Caffeine-driven formula said to put you in “mental high gear” to help “get the job done.” They say to take it 30 minutes before intense focus is needed– exams, deadlines, studying–and suggest its nootropic effects will last between 4-6 hours.
RISE Supplement Facts
|Ingredients||Amount Per Serving|
|Bacopa monnieri (50% bacosides)||300 mg|
|Rhodiola rosea (3% rosavins and 1% salidroside)||300 mg|
|Alpha-GPC (L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine)||300 mg|
SPRINT Supplement Facts
|Ingredients||Amount Per Serving|
|B12 (methylcobalamin)||1 mg|
RISE’s Bacopa, our #3 Best Nootropic, supports brain chemicals and brain circulation. Rhodiola, another top nootropic, fights stress and helps regenerate brain cells. In this formula, Bacopa and Rhodiola are both standardized to high levels of “active ingredient” compounds–a sign of premium quality.
Alpha-GPC, a type of choline, supports the brain chemical acetylcholine. There are better choline forms available (like Citicoline, esp. Cognizin® found in today’s best brain supplements, but Alpha-GPC is still a decent nootropic.
- RISE has a nice mix of nootropic activities, and its herbals are potent, superior-quality forms… but we’re not really seeing the “formula synergy” that Nootrobox claims it has.
L-Theanine, known for instilling a calm-yet-alert mindset, is our #5 Best Nootropic and the biggest ingredient in SPRINT.
B6 and Inositol (related to B-vitamins) are good choices for supporting neural communication and brain chemical status, but the B6 is presented as the lesser form (P-5-P B6 is much better for mental performance, which is why you see it in our #1-ranked nootropic stack).
B12 is likely included for its energy metabolism benefits; SPRINT uses the superior methylcobalamin form.
Glucoronolactone is the real X-factor here… popular in energy drinks, but it lacks nootropic research.
- SPRINT’s formula reads like an energy drink with a clever twist: Soothing L-Theanine that “takes the edge off.” Plus, the 2:1 Theanine-to-Caffeine ratio is clinically shown to enhance cognition.
Both RISE and Sprint WORK. RISE might work better with a different form of choline than Alpha GPC, but there’s no denying Rhodiola and Bacopa are amazing mind-enhancers–especially in the potent, standardized forms used here.
With 100 mg of caffeine, SPRINT works in the same way a cup of coffee works, but with L-Theanine forcalm & clear mental energy. SPRINT’s other compounds appear to add modest support for memory and mood.
Nootrobox demonstrates smart formulation through and through. It’s hard to find much to criticize in this premium-quality, well-designed nootropic stack.
RISE’s advertised “attributes” are memory, stamina and motivation.
- Memory and stamina check out; motivation does not. We’d add “stress resistance” to the benefits, though, since RISE supplies two powerful stress-busting adaptogen herbs. Alpha GPC’s acetylcholine effects boost memory and focus. Other brainpower benefits tied to RISE’s ingredients include learning, mood and mental quickness.
SPRINT’s advertised “attributes” are energy, clarity, and flow.
- When we look at SPRINT, we see energy drink ingredients that are cleverly balanced with nerve-soothing L-Theanine. As a result, SPRINT might feel like drinking green tea (a source of L-Theanine): Calm, quiet alertness that’s great for studying, concentrating, working and learning.
Who takes Nootrobox?
Geeks. There, we said it. Nootrobox has a heavy Silicon Valley/Tech-Startup/Nerdy-Propellerhead vibe. One of Nootrobox’s founders has even said, “Nootropics aren’t just for tech millionaires,” which hints at their origins and their audience. With that, RISE and SPRINT seem to be designed for younger populations who seeking a short-term brainpower burst for academics, programming, and work productivity along with ongoing daily support for overall mental sharpness.
Any Side Effects?
These two nootropic formulas are well-designed, with quality ingredients and fairly simple stacks. Plus, their formulators are smart enough to know that L-Theanine effectively takes the edge off caffeine–this is Nootropic Stacking 101, but you’d be amazed how many formulas miss this key combo. Overall, Nootrobox adds up to an excellent overall tolerability profile and no big side effects concerns.
- Made to be effective. Nootrobox formulas mostly use the best available nutrient forms, and do a very good job of hitting research-backed brain health dosages.
- Formula transparency. Nootrobox shows the exact dosage for each ingredient, so we can better evaluate the formula. No proprietary blend “mystery dosage” nonsense.
- Two formulas that fit. Nootrobox has a “yin/yang” thing with RISE & SPRINT: They balance an intense “mental burst” formula with gentler daily support for thinking better.
- Caffeine. Nootropic makers may “spike” supplements with caffeine to give the impression their formulas are working. It’s a cheap shortcut. Caffeine is not a nootropic.
- Glucoronolactone. Evidence for this compound, which is popularly used in energy drinks, is way too scarce to warrant its inclusion in any nootropic formula.
- Dangerous claims, saying one compound “may have potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.” This is a big FDA violation. Nootrobox’s “tech millionaires” should know better.
Pricing & Buying Info
- RISE: $49/30-day supply
- SPRINT: $15/10-serving bottle
- Available at Nootrobox website only
Final Word on Nootrobox SPRINT & RISE
Nootrobox makes great nootropic supplements. Apart from a couple of potential ingredient upgrades, there’s not much we would change. BUT, when it comes to FDA compliance and brand credibility, Nootrobox loses points with irresponsible health claims and quotes (likely) used without permission. Still, if you’ve got the money, Nootrobox is a quality nootropic investment that will bring strong mental performance returns.