If you are a bodybuilder, athlete or competitor researching ways to increase your mental intensity with nootropic supplements, then EVL FocusMode and Alpha Brain may already be on your radar.
Both of these nootropic stacks are made by companies that target competitive consumers, and each one is customized for performance-oriented brainpower.
Two leading supplement companies, two smart nootropic formulations – but only one can reign supreme. Let’s find out which one wins in this vs. review.
Tale of the Tape
|Guarana Seed Extract||340 mg||B-6 (Pyridoxine HCL)||10 mg|
|A-Glycerylphosphorylcholine Powder (std. min. 50% A-GPC)||200 mg||Onnit® Flow Blend||650 mg|
|N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine||200 mg||L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Oatstraw Extract (Avena sativa), Phosphatidylserine|
|L-Theanine||200 mg||AC-11® (Uncaria tomesntosa Extract)||350 mg|
|Mucuna pruriens extract (std. min 20% L-DOPA)(Seeds)||150 mg||Onnit® Focus Blend||240 mg|
|Phosphatidylserine powder (std. min. 20% S-PS)||100 mg||Alpha-GPC, Bacopa manniera Extract, Huperzia serrata Extract|
|Huperzia Serrata Extract (std. min. 1% Huperzine A) (club moss)||10 mg||Onnit® Fuel Blend||65 mg|
|L-Leucine, Vinpocetine, Pterostilbene|
Round 1: Formulas
FocusMode is made by EVLUTION, known for its innovative sports nutrition stacks, one of which ranks among our best for testosterone. EVLUTION’s foray into nootropics, therefore, is no surprise: This is a high intensity formula with targeted benefits for high intensity brainpower.
While the Evlution line might make you assume this formula is for focus and concentration while bodybuilding in the gym, FocusMode’s formula is equally valuable in the classroom, in the office, or anywhere an energized mindset is needed.
FocusMode’s N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is a key ingredient, presumably for its anti-stress effects. When the body and mind are under stress, in high-pressure situations, multitasking, intense physical training, or competition, the brain burns through catecholamine brain chemicals faster. When these brain chemicals run low, brainpower drops and attention shortens.
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine supplies the raw materials the body needs to synthesize brain chemicals that are drained by stress.
FocusMode’s Guarana supplies caffeine, while its L-Theanine balances out caffeine stimulation with Alpha brainwave support that replaces jitters with clear-headed relaxation.
FocusMode does not forget about overall brain health – it also supplies a 2X stack of Alpha GPC and Phosphatidylserine (PS) – choline donor nootropics that help to improve the brain’s structural stability and overall healthy function. PS is also one of the best nootropics for memory, and one of our favorite brain nutrients overall.
The formula’s Huperzine A is also more of a long-range brain health nootropic, but its support for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine rounds out FocusMode’s brain chemical support – targeting a important neurotransmitter for focus and concentration that is not supported by N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine.
Mucuna pruriens is the weird curveball in EVL FocusMode.
We are used to seeing it in well-designed testosterone booster supplements, including our #1-ranked T-booster overall. FocusMode promotes Mucuna as supporting neurotransmitter production and mood. They’re really talking about dopamine support, which seems to make sense, but is unusual in nootropic stacks. Maybe FocusMode is ahead of the game here.
FocusMode adds up to a product designed to help you focus more intensely when you need motivation in the gym, recover mentally from exhausting gym sessions more efficiently, stimulate without jitters and achieve a brain chemical state that is primed for performance. It is a good formula for active young professionals who consider physical fitness an important part of their lifestyle.
Alpha Brain‘s strength is harder to define. Where FocusMode is straightforward in its design, Alpha Brain, made by Onnit, has three separate proprietary blends that hide their dosages, but are still compelling combinations:
- Flow Blend: this is Alpha Brain’s hallmark, the “Flow State”. From what we can tell this involves a double dose of l-theanine and oatstraw to raise the Alpha brainwaves that can help with relaxation, clarity, and creativity.
- Focus Blend: Bacopa monnieri, Alpha GPC, and Huperzine are a strong nootropic trio, but not laser-targeted on focus. Bacopa monnieri is the strongest in that regard, supplying antistress and brain chemical benefits that may sharpen attention; Huperzine-A, meanwhile, assists with the acetylcholine brain chemical that is tied to vigilance and attention.
- Fuel Blend: Leucine, vinpocetine, and Pterostilbene. In this blend, the vinpocetine and Pterostilbene makes sense as cerebral circulation enhances, which in the way improves the “fueling” and energy metabolism of the brain.
Alpha Brain’s biggest mystery, however, is AC-11® — a patented water extract of cat’s claw, a woody vine used in South American tribal wellness practices. AC-11® is rare in nootropics because Alpha Brain has an exclusivity agreement, making it the only nootropic allowed to use it. There is potential in AC-11®, but performance-enhancing benefits are theoretical; most research points to it supporting long-range brain health.
Onnit’s Alpha Brain has elusive nootropic benefits – much less stimulating and intensity-driven than FocusMode, but more creative in its design and quite possibly more clever and its stacking strategy.
- FocusMode is straightforward, powerful stripped-down of a formula, like a bodybuilder leveraging focus to pump more iron;
- Alpha Brain is more complex, like a tennis player drawing on creativity, mental clarity, strategy and relaxation-under-pressure to win
Ultimately, FocusMode’s crystal-clear nootropic focus — which can benefit many different demographics — wins out. Close round, though.
Round 1… FocusMode Wins.
Round 2: Dosages
EVL FocusMode has a transparent label, showing dosages of every single one of its ingredients. All of them look well-dosed, with L-Theanine on the high end, and Phosphatidylserine on the low end. If we’re reading correctly, PS is 20 mg for FocusMode, which is WAY low, actually.
Alpha Brain is a great nootropic stack but we are perpetually annoyed that most of its dosages are hidden.
The three primary Alpha Brain blends look okay at first glance, but there’s simply no way of knowing. The exception is the AC-11®, supplied at a good 300 mg dosage. AC-11® is an automatic win for Alpha Brain regardless of dosage, since Alpha Brain is the only nootropic supplement that is allowed to use this ingredient.
Due to its solid N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine dose, potent L-theanine, and its clean label transparency that shows all dosages…
Round 2… FocusMode Wins.
Round 3: Ingredient Quality
FocusMode’s previous formulation had several premium ingredients, but the revised formula ditched them for mostly plain forms. We’re giving it a point for using the N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) form of Tyrosine, which is enhanced for easier absorption, but that’s it.
Standardized is a good marker of quality, but it loses any advantage if it is standardized to low levels of actives, which is what we see in EVL FocusMode.
Alpha Brain, meanwhile, has one shining star quality ingredient: AC-11®.
When it comes to ingredient quality, neither of these products measures up to the best nootropic stacks. But bue to the exotic potential and exclusivity of its branded cat’s claw extract, we give this round’s victory to…
Round 3… Alpha Brain Wins.
Round 4: Price
|1 Bottle (60 capsules)||$19.99||1 Bottle (30 capsules)||$34.95|
|Price Per Capsule||$0.33||Price Per Capsule||$1.17|
|Price Per Serving||$0.67||Price Per Serving||$2.33|
Round 4… FocusMode Wins.
Round 5: FocusMode vs. Alpha Brain JUDGEMENT
Both of these nootropic supplements do a good job of choosing their brain-boosting ingredients and formulating for their respective audiences. And while those audiences may be similar – competitive, performance-driven individuals – the approach of these supplements is quite different.
Alpha Brain is elusive, with hidden dosages, stacks within stacks, and is somewhat scattered approach to brain nourishment. Adding to the mystery is AC-11® cat’s claw that, while exotic and sexy, is not yet backed by a lot of research to validate its massive potential.
FocusMode is direct, straight to the point, and powerful. All dosages are shown, and each serves a specific purpose. It’s like getting a fuel-efficient car that still delivers a lot of horsepower.
Due to its clean, direct design and premium ingredients (and the fact that it is much cheaper to buy), Best5 declares that the winner of this EVL FocusMode vs. Alpha Brain nootropic supplement battle is: