Athletic Alliance’s follow-up to their Nootropic 2.0 is a non-stimulant nootropic offering this time. But does it work, how well and can it match up to its stimulant forerunner? Let’s find out…
About Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0
As we said, Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0 is unsuprisingly a nootropic: a supplement designed with the intention of improving mental performance.
These are getting more and more popular over time as people realise that they can help with everything from learning and focus to memory and exercise.
Athletic Alliance’s Nootropic v2.0 approaches this from the position of a ‘natural ingredient’ product – a bit of a buzzword, but an interesting product. We’re going to look at how these ingredients work and how this compares as a stimulant-free nootropic supplement.
We’re going to briefly compare it to the nootropics on the market and those that are specifically stimulant-free, since these are slightly different niches for nootropics.
Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0 Supplement Facts
The key facts you need to know are that this product is all about mental performance and it has a pretty simple ingredient list, as you can see clearly on the packet. Kudos to Athletic Alliance for being upfront about dosages and ingredients.
Note: There do seem to have either been earlier versions of Brainstorm or geographic-specific versions of Nootropic v2.0 that included caffeine once upon a time. We’re reviewing the non-stimulant version sold direct by Athletic Alliance in the U.S.
As you can see, you are getting some common ingredients for everything from memory to general wellbeing. It also includes directions for use, but here’s what we think…
Directions for Use
This is a simple nootropic that has applications for a wide variety of processes and seemingly contributes to every aspect of mental performance. We recommend taking 4 capsules in the morning to ensure you’re getting the most out of this product throughout the day.
Alternatively, you can go with 2 capsules twice a day if you feel the effects wearing off in the afternoon, or if you exercise in the evening.
However, as a stimulant-free product it can be taken at any time of day without negatively affecting your sleep quality.
Obviously, don’t exceed the recommended dose and be sure to take your capsules with plenty of water.
Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0 Ingredients
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This is an effective choline-boosting compound, which we love to see. It is a pre-compound that produces more choline when consumed, which is important because choline levels improve Acetylcholine levels.
This compound, known as Ach, is key for memory and cognitive function. This is a crucial neurotransmitter that keeps your brain working at its best – but it’s often difficult to get with normal choline sources so a-GPC and Citicoline are the best choices on the market.
Through increasing Ach, Alpha-GPC is a fantastic way of boosting brain function and protecting your brain from the risks associated with aging. The two of these effects in combination are clearly huge for a nootropic and it’s a fantastic addition to the formula.
We think this is going to be the basis for the effects of this product. It’s even more impressive because it’s combined with Huperzine, which is a compound that protects acetylcholine in the brain and stops it from being broken down.
While a great addition, we think the dosage of Alpha-GPC (450mg per serving/ four capsules) in Brainstorm is on the low side of effective. A suggested dosage to gain maximum nootropic benefit is between 400-1,200mg per day.
This is one of the best nootropic compounds for controlling the effects of caffeine and helping with general anxiety effects. The anti-anxiety effects of GABA are great for you generally but, if you’re looking to get a relaxed buzz – like the sensation of ‘flow’ – then this is a fantastic compound.
GABA is useful by itself, though it is commonly found in formulas containing caffeine so it’s a slightly odd one here. You can, however, take this to control any caffeine affects you might have from other intake (like coffee) and help yourself to perform at your best. It’s also going to help you respond well to resistance training and even contributes to better sleep quality.
This is a great compound to keep you focused and relaxed while you’re benefitting from the other ingredients in this product. The experience should be noticeably more focused-relaxed than if there was no GABA.
This is another compound that is perfect for controlling the secondary effects/side-effects of your caffeine intake. It improves focus all by itself, but also brings the best out of your caffeine use, where it boosts the positives and evens out the negatives. Again, not necessarily an ingredient we would have expected in a stim-free nootropic.
Theanine is a focus and cognitive performance booster in its own right, however, where it improves wakefulness and combats fatigue. These are helpful for both cognitive performance throughout the day, as well as improving performance during workouts.
These are obviously both great benefits, better mental and physical performance. This should also contribute to better sleep quality which knocks-on to even more performance in both mental and physical tasks!
This is a compound that is recognised for its effects on brain health – but only in older adults. The science on healthy adults doesn’t seem to back up the claims made about it.
This is a common trend with the less-effective ingredients on the nootropic market: watch out for ingredients that help those who are dealing with aging or existing mental conditions. They don’t necessarily work for the healthy, so be sceptical.
It’s possible these apply to the rest of us, but not proven yet. It’s not a horrible addition – especially if you’re concerned for how you’re aging – but it’s not a powerful nootropic ingredient.
Unlike ginkgo, this is an effective mental-support herb extract that is primarily for combatting anxiety and supporting memory. It helps to regulate mood and combat fatigue, stress, and anxiety all at once – making it a great general-performance choice.
This can do a few things like keeping you focused but level throughout the day, contributing to better sleep quality and daily rhythm, and helping promote exercise recovery. These are huge benefits, but the effects seem to be pretty mild.
This is a general benefit in this product, but doesn’t really set out a huge amount of powerful, specific effects. A good all-rounder, but probably not the effects you’re going to notice in this product.
Huperzine is an inhibitor for a compound called acetylcholinesterase – a compound that breaks down the acetylcholine in your brain. This is a common cause of reduced cognitive effectiveness throughout the day and a significant limitation on your performance.
By reducing the effects of this compound, Huperzine improves your brain chemistry and thus mental performance. It’s a common compound in good nootropics for this reason and it’s a great benefit to Athletic Alliance‘s Brainstorm.
As we mentioned above, this is an important compound for its combination with alpha-GPC. Huperzine is a piece of the product that helps protect the acetylcholine that you’ve increased through a-GPC, and this makes for an awesome combo.
This is a clever ingredient choice and one of the stronger inclusions. As with alpha-GPC, this ingredient is probably going to be doing most of the work in this product.
This is another herbal extract that has been included for its adaptogenic and anti-fatigue properties, according to Athletic Alliance.
We’re fans of the anti-fatigue effects since these are going to positively effect both physical and mental performance. In a stimulant-free nootropic, these are some of the most important effects, since there’s no caffeine to combat fatigue.
The adaptogenic properties are less-specific and they’re less-directly-useful. Adaptogens are protective anti-stress compounds, but their effectiveness and practical benefits aren’t always clear. It’s mostly that fatigue and stress are protected against, rather than reduced.
The doses required for significant protective effects in Rhodiola are relatively high since you’d usually eat it, but the benefits may be relevant here. Overall, we’re big fans of the anti-fatigue effects, but sceptical of the adaptogenic ones.
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Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0 Formula Analysis
To an extent, this product is going to do exactly what it says it will: the effects are better mental performance and some modest benefits to exercise. It’s got a weird half-and-half between athletic goals and mental ones.
Huperzine and a-GPC are the key players so far, offering the most well-designed and effective benefits to brain function. These are a classic combo, but they are available in other products, so it’s not a huge selling point by itself.
We also really like the inclusion of theanine, as this is one of the most effective and well-balanced ingredients around. It works better with caffeine, however, so this alone doesn’t make this a better product than others on the market which include both.
The inclusion of Rhodiola, Bacopia, and Ginkgo don’t offer the same significant effects as these – they’re just not as effective. They combine to produce some positive changes, primarily in the form of anti-fatigue effects, but these aren’t huge.
This is a good product and the overall effects of the formula are positive, but it doesn’t pack huge potency like some alternatives on the market. The choice to go stimulant-free is a good one, but it does need to be matched with premium ingredients and dosages – and only half of them live up to this need in Brainstorm.
A good product and one that could be great with some more high-end ingredients. There is a mild feeling that the real punch of this product is missing, since there are only three powerful key ingredients and then some weak secondary choices.
The design philosophy isn’t as tight as we’ve seen with some better products, but the ingredients themselves do all contribute. The result is a product that struggles to stand out from the field, even if it is a good choice in its own right.
We like this product, and these aren’t damning criticisms, but they are relevant. It’s got the feel of a product that is a 3.5-4 out of 5, rather than a true market-leader. It works, and pretty well, but not maximally.
Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0 Benefits
The main benefits here are going to be increased mental performance (especially memory and focus), as well as anti-fatigue. This combination can show up in many practical ways – from better exercise performance to improved studying or work performance.
These are pretty general benefits and you may see them seeping into every area of your life. This is the point of a nootropic, and it’s one of the reasons that a product like this has such an immense range of benefits, and why they’re getting so popular.
Who Should Use It?
This is a pretty good product and it does have some positive effects for pretty much everyone. It’s not the most intense product but it’s a product with a lot of range: it’s going to be useful whether your day is non-stop with work, exercise, admin, or studies.
The overall effects are pretty mild, but they’ll be noticeable. The overall design of the product is pretty good and consistent, with the main benefit being anti-fatigue and improved cognitive performance (especially memory).
These are the key benefits we’re looking for in this kind of product, so it’s a good start. However, it doesn’t have all the non-stimulant ingredients we’d like to see – especially Tyrosine (a great combo with theanine).
Any Potential Side Effects with Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0?
This product is not likely to have many side-effects, since it does cut out stimulants and thus the low-level side-effects you’d expect. This means you don’t need to worry about caffeine jitters, associated digestive risks, and the possibility of headaches.
This doesn’t mean the product is completely without risks – it’s possible to suffer with reduced tolerance to these ingredients. Poor tolerance for high-concentration theanine can cause some mild headaches, but this dosage is healthy for anyone with normal tolerance for these aminos.
The overall profile of this product is a healthy one but discuss it with your doctor if you are concerned that you have any specific intolerances.
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Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0 Summary
- Some great ingredient choices
- Decent price
- Good Acetylcholine boosting complex
- Secondary ingredients leave a fair amount to be desired
- Not a good enough price point to be an economy product
- Doesn’t compete well with premium products
Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0 Pricing & Where to Buy
The price of this product does put it closer to an ‘economy’ choice than a premium one, but not enough that it’s going to be an easy choice. It’s still a good product at a good price point, but we think spending a little more could have a big return.
If you like this product or you’re looking to try it, we do recommend getting it from popular providers like GNC. This is one of the best prices and it comes with good sales semi-regularly!
Athletic Alliance Nootropic v2.0 Review: Conclusion
Overall, this is a pretty good stimulant-free nootropic, but it does fall short of our favourites by a little way. It’s an effective and reasonable choice, but it’s not blown us away – it stands near the middle of the pack when compared to nootropics, and slightly better among stimulant-free nootropic supplements.
While there are some good ingredients, there are also some that aren’t up to the standards we’ve seen elsewhere. The inclusion of some weaker herbal extracts isn’t really setting this product apart, and does let it down slightly.
The focus on Huperzine, a-GPC, and Theanine is what we like best, while the secondary ingredients aren’t up to the same standard. The result is a half-amazing, half-underwhelming product.