But before you call this fight “uneven,” take note of Alpha BRAIN’s strong online presence and huge following (by time of writing, 32,615,376 capsules have been sold).
We’re not here to compare capsule dick-sizes, though. All that matters to us is which one works better?
For it’s not the size of the boat(s), but the motion of the ocean, baby.
Tale of the Tape
|RISE Supplement Facts||B-6 (Pyridoxine HCl)||10 mg|
|Bacopa Monnieri (50% bacosides)||300 mg||Onnit® Flow Blend:||650 mg|
|Rhodiola Rosea (3% rosavins and 1% salidroside)||300 mg||L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Oatstraw Extract (Avena sativa), Phosphatidylserine|
|Alpha-GPC (L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine)||300 mg||AC-11® (Uncaria tomentosa Extract)||350 mg|
|SPRINT Supplement Facts||Onnit® Focus Blend:||240 mg|
|B12 (as methylcobalamin)||1 mg||Alpha-GPC, Bacopa monniera Extract, Huperzia serrata Extract|
|B6||20 mg||Onnit® Fuel Blend||65 mg|
|L-Theanine||200 mg||L-Leucine, Vinpocetine, Pterostilbene|
|*These are not full supplement facts, just a comparison of dosages & ingredients.|
Round 1: Formulas
Both of these stacks are pretty great, and both are slowly but surely working their way into our Best 5 Nootropic Supplements list.
Nootrobox boasts better Memory, Stamina, Resilience (RISE) with enhanced Energy, Clarity, Flow (SPRINT), while Alpha BRAIN offers “clinically-studied” improvements in Memory, Focus, and Processing Speed. Fairly similar claims, both with their own special twist.
But this isn’t a talking match, is it? Let’s look at the formulas:
Nootrobox targets Brain Chemicals & Energy.
We’ll start with RISE. Intended as a daily morning & afternoon pick-me-up, RISE uses a standardized Bacopa Monnieri (our #3 Best Nootropic), a standardized Rhodiola Rosea (top “anti-stress” nootropic), and Alpha-GPC—which supports the brain chemical acetylcholine.
SPRINT, on the other hand, is a use-as-needed complement to RISE. SPRINT uses Caffeine (meh…), yet offsets its jitter with L-Theanine (our #5 Best Nootropic)—the 2:1 L-Theanine to Caffeine ratio used here is clinically shown to enhance cognition.
The rest of the formula offers B6 & Inositol (related to B-vitamins)—which help support neural communication and brain chemistry—B12 for energy metabolism, and Glucuronolactone for… um… because why the hell not??
Combined, RISE + SPRINT reads like an energizing herbal/vitamin mixture. Despite a couple inferior ingredient forms (Alpha-GPC & B6), Nootrobox backs its claims with top-quality herbs and a smart Caffeine:L-Theanine ratio.
Alpha BRAIN hits the Brain Waves.
While Nootrobox sports 2 of our Best5 Nootropics, Alpha BRAIN features 4: L-Theanine, Phosphatidylserine, Bacopa Monnieri & Vinpocetine, in addition to other effective nootropics.
As mentioned, Alpha BRAIN hits the Brain Waves, namely Alpha brain waves (see what they did there?), which feel like “wakeful relaxation.” The Flow Blend’s L-Theanine & Oatstraw work for this purpose, creating a solid alpha formula.
We’re intrigued by AC-11®: Alpha BRAIN is the only supplement using this branded Cat’s Claw herb, and while we’re waiting for the verdict on its true nootropic value, it’s an interesting X-factor ingredient that could make or break this formula.
Additionally, Alpha BRAIN claims this formula boosts communication & verbal processing, which, if true, make this a rare, highly valuable supplement. We’ll stay tuned on Alpha BRAIN’s primary ingredient, AC-11®—but, as it currently stands, Alpha BRAIN’s 4 Best5 Nootropics have a slight edge over the caffeinated Nootrobox.
Round 1… Alpha BRAIN Wins.
Round 2: Dosages
From the get-go, Nootrobox takes the lead on Alpha BRAIN’s 3 “mystery-box” proprietary blends. However, we’ll give credit to the Onnit brainiacs for labeling the formula’s “Driving Force” AC-11® with a hefty 350 mg.
And for the most part, Alpha BRAIN’s prop blend dosages look adequate—except for the Focus Blend: Bacopa and Alpha-GPC definitely need more space than a low 240 mg.
Nootrobox divvies 9 ingredients into 2 supplements—that’s 3 ingredients at 300 mg each for RISE and 6 ingredients for SPRINT—which (from a dosage standpoint) looks better than Alpha BRAIN’s 11 ingredients that are packed into 1 capsule. Thankfully, Nootrobox reveals all ingredients dosages, allowing us to conclude that all dosages are adequate and the caffeine isn’t overwhelming (100 mg ≈ 1 cup of coffee).
Unsurprisingly, we give this round to Nootrobox for their dosage transparency and adequacy. Except for the Flow blend, Alpha BRAIN’s dosages might be up to par—however, if they were, then why not let us know, ya know?
Round 2… Nootrobox Wins.
Round 3: Ingredient Quality
Both Nootrobox and Alpha BRAIN use poor choices of B6 (P-5-P is better) and Alpha-GPC (should’ve gone with Citicoline)—plus Alpha BRAIN uses cheap Tyrosine and has no standardized herbs, except for AC-11®.
We like phosphatidylserine, but not Alpha BRAIN’s plain, soy-derived phosphatidylserine. Their clean label somewhat makes up for this, with only two items listed under “Other Ingredients.”
Nootrobox impresses us with its high-potency, standardized Bacopa & Rhodiola Rosea and top-quality B12.
Despite its slick, Silicon Valley-style packaging, Nootrobox’s label isn’t as clean as Alpha BRAIN’s—still, none of the “Other Ingredients” are waving any red flags.
Round 3… Nootrobox Wins.
Round 4: Price
|RISE: 1 Bottle (30-day supply)||$44.10||1 Bottle (15-day supply)||$32.95|
|Price Per Capsule||$0.74||Price Per Capsule||$1.10|
|Price Per Serving||$1.47||Price Per Serving||$2.20|
|SPRINT: 3 Bottles (30-day supply)||$36.00|
|Price Per Capsule||$1.20|
|Price Per Serving||$1.20|
Since we combined RISE + SPRINT thus far in our Nootrobox analysis, we’ll do the same for its pricing—meaning we’re comparing Nootrobox’s combined $2.67/serving against Alpha BRAIN’s $2.20/serving.
Round 4… Alpha BRAIN Wins.
Round 5: JUDGEMENT
Onto the final round, both contestants are tied up with 2 wins each, both contestants are effective nootropic supplements. Where do we go from here?
The choice isn’t easy… at first. While we’re tempted to round off the “motion of the ocean” analogy with Alpha BRAIN’s alpha-brainwave support (I mean come on, IT’S PERFECT), we’re going with Nootrobox’s RISE + SPRINT.
Not all of its ingredients are on-point, yet Nootrobox uses high-quality, standardized forms for the ones that matter. Most importantly, the manufacturers show us that their formula works by including all of its dosages—this is a HUGE setback for Alpha BRAIN’s ratings here.
Does this mean we lack confidence in Alpha BRAIN? Absolutely not. The supplement works, the formula uses choice ingredients, and the label is clean. Plus we’re excited to see how the AC-11® research continues to pan out—it may be a gamechanger in regards to the ultimate decision of this head-to-head review.
For now, we need to judge what’s present—and with that we conclude…
In the Nootrobox vs. Alpha BRAIN fight, the winner by Unanimous Decision is…