Do you watch ABC’s show Shark Tank?
Of course you do. And if you’ve sat through a Shark Tank marathon, you might remember the bespectacled young nootropic entrepreneur who got torn to shreds by most of the sharks… except one.
SmartX is the result of that show appearance and that shark investment. But does it have any bite as a nootropic? Let’s find out.
A 17-ingredient(!) nootropic complex, SmartX (by Cerebral Success) is perhaps best known for receiving an investment from real estate magnate Barbara Corcoran on the popular ABC show Shark Tank. SmartX is claimed to:
- Enhance focus, memory, mental energy & brain health. SmartX claims to boost these four areas via neurotransmitter and brain wave support.
- Improve mental agility & reduce fatigue. These benefits are claimed to come from SmartX stimulating the central nervous system.
- Boost blood flow to the brain, which increases delivery of all the nutrients in the SmartX formula.
SmartX Supplement Facts
|Ingredients||Amount Per Serving|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||20 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCL)||10 mg|
|Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)||400 mcg|
|Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin)||20 mcg|
Cognizin®, L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, Glucuronolactone, Caffeine Anhydrous, Bacopa Monnieri Extract (50% Bacosides), DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), Schizandrol-A, L-Glutamine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Phosphatidylserine, Vinpocetine, Huperzine A
With 17 ingredients, SmartX might set a new world record for number of compounds crammed into a nootropic capsule.
Niacin, B6, Folic Acid, and B12 are B-vitamins that help neurotransmitters, and are good basic ingredients for a nootropic formula–though SmartX uses cheap forms of B6 and B12, and would be better off using P-5-p and methylcobalamin. But the B-vitamins are minor ingredients here; the real star of the show is…
SmartX Proprietary Blend
SmartX’s 1365.1 mg blend is divided among 13 ingredients. It’s frustrating that we can’t see the dosages of each one. BUT, the first ingredient listed (and therefore the biggest dosage in the blend) is our #1-ranked Nootropic:
Plus, SmartX uses Cognizin® citicoline, a quality brand and global citicoline leader. Citicoline is our #1 because it’s an “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” brain-booster, helping with mental energy, neurotransmitters, brain circulation, brain regeneration, neuro-protection and more. It’s a GREAT leading ingredient, also featured in our #1-ranked nootropic stack. You will feel Cognizin® energize and sharpen your brain.
Let’s quickly run down the other SmartX proprietary blend ingredients, keeping in mind that dosages get smaller as you go down the list:
- L-Theanine: Alpha brainwave booster, for calm-yet-alert brain state
- L-Tyrosine: Boosts cognitive brain chemicals; fights stress hormones
- Glucuronolactone: Found in energy drinks, ZERO nootropic activity
- Caffeine Anhydrous: Ugh. It is what it is: A familiar stimulant drug
- Bacopa Monnieri: Versatile nootropic helps learning & stress reduction
- DHA: For brain cell integrity; not nootropic but helps fight dementia
- Schizandrol-A: Might increase dopamine for relaxed, happy mood
- L-Glutamine: Helps make glutamate, a brain-boosting neurotransmitter
- Alpha Lipoic Acid: Not nootropic, but a brain-protective antioxidant
- Phosphatidylserine: Helps brain in many ways, felt as sharp memory
- Vinpocetine: Increases brain circulation for sharper memory and focus
- Huperzine A: Acetylcholine-booster, mostly for age-related brain decline
SmartX supplies ALL FIVE of our Best 5 Nootropics: Citicoline (as Cognizin) #1, Phosphatidylserine (#2), Bacopa (#3), Vinpocetine (#4) & Huperzine-A (#5).
Overall, the SmartX formula is strong, with a few weak spots: PS is a fine nootropic, but it’s way far down in the blend–making us think it’s a tiny dosage. DHA, in the middle, is not really nootropic–and needs BIG dosages for any brain benefits. Finally, the caffeine and glucuronolactone are “energy drink” ingredients… not true nootropics.
On the plus side, right at the top (and therefore biggest dosages in the blend) are L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine–both excellent nootropics that back SmartX’s benefit claims. The L-Theanine might also help to take the edge off the formula’s caffeine.
SmartX emphasizes focus, memory, mental energy and brain health. Other claimed benefits include better alertness and less anxiety. For the most part, these claims check out. When we look at the formula, especially the top 3 ingredients in the blend, we see nootropics that would feel like a surge of mental energy and a sharpening of attention… balanced out by feelings of calm relaxation.
Who Takes SmartX?
SmartX targets younger people; the Shark Tank presentation said it was intended for students. Ironically Barbara Corcoran was compelled to invest in SmartX because her husband had some age-related brain fog. But really, SmartX is more designed to help with studying, learning & work productivity.
Any Side Effects?
SmartX says that the formula’s ability to boost blood flow to the brain may cause headaches in some. Other SmartX side effects, rarely reported, include jitters, nausea and loss of appetite… which are all likely tied to the formula’s caffeine content. We’d suspect other caffeine-related side effects too.
- Great ingredients. SmartX is 5-for-5 on our Best 5 Nootropics, and adds some nice quality touches by using branded Cognizin® citicoline and Bacopin® Bacopa extract.
- Sensible formula. SmartX is claimed to work primarily by boosting neurotransmitters and brain waves; the ingredients used in the formula seem to back these claims.
- Backed by a guarantee. SmartX offers a 30-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t like it, they say they will give you a complete refund.
- Too many ingredients? 17 ingredients is a LOT for one formula; it makes us think they might be spread too thin, with dosages too low to deliver benefits.
- Proprietary blend. We cannot know the dosages of any ingredients in the SmartX proprietary blend, making it hard to tell if it will work.
- Controversy. SmartX has been criticized for making irresponsible and overblown brain health claims, and some online consumer complaints allege that they use Autoship Scam tactics.
Pricing & Buying Info
- $45 for a single bottle; 30 capsules
- Available on the SmartX website and other online retailers
Final Word on SmartX
We’ve questioned the dosages and criticized the caffeine, but there’s an X-factor (ha, ha) at work, too: SmartX has changed their ingredients a few times, and each time they reformulate, they make the product better. They want it to work. The latest formula now features Cognizin, which would work on its own, and is surrounded with a great supporting cast of “neurotransmitter/brain wave” nootropics. The end result is a well-designed formula that may help students seeking better learning and concentration.