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DIY AlphaBrain Stack

Alphabrain DIYThere’s been a lot of hype about Onnit’s AlphaBrain recently, but the price along with some of the ingredients have left many balking.

While some of the ingredients are solid additions, others have nootropic fans wondering why they’re included at all.

Over at Reddit, many users questioned the inclusion of Oat Straw, declaring it useless and with good reason: there is very little clinical or scientific evidence to support its supposed nootropic abilities.

AC-11 is another inclusion that has raised many eyebrows. In a different Reddit post, users denounced AC-11 as a gimmick. One individual, /u/ZombieChalmers,  went so far as to call it “a superfluous ingredient used to differentiate alpha-brain from other products”.

Then there is the issue of cost.

If you’re used to buying powders in bulk and capping them yourself, $34.95 for a 15 day supply or $79.95 for a 45 day supply may strike you as outrageously overpriced.

In this case, the convenience does not outweigh the cost.  Thankfully, there is a way to create a similar stack for way less and without the pointless supplements.

Alphabrain Ingredients

Supplement Amount per serving (2 caps)
Alpha GPC 100mg
Huperzine A .5% 40mg
Vinpocetine 5mg
AC-11® 350mg
Phosphatidylserine (From Soy) 50mg
Bacopa (50% bacosides) 100mg
Pterostilbene 750mcg
L-Tyrosine 300mg
L-Theanine 200mg
Oat Straw (20:1) 100mg
Vitamin B-6 10mg
All supplement and pricing info for AlphaBrain was obtained from Onnit’s site

Getting More For Less

From several supplement sources, you can find replacements for the following:

Supplement Serving Size Cost per 100 Servings
Alpha GCP 50% 500mg 50g for $23.99
Huperzine 1% 20mg 2g for $19.98
Vinpocetine 10mg 1g for $2.99
Resveratrol (chemically related to Pterostilbene) 250mg 25g for $15.95
Phosphatidylserine 20% (From Soy) 100mg 10g for $7.95
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) 400mg 50g for $5.49**
L-Theanine 200mg 20g for $5.33

**125 servings

Cost Breakdown

That’s $81.68 for a 100 day supply of a very similar stack (thus breaking down to $36.76 for a 45 day supply and $12.25 for a 15 day supply). As you can see, this 100 day supply costs only slightly more than Onnit’s 45 day supply. That is awesome savings.

Supply 100 Days 45 Days 15 Days
Powder City Cost $81.68 $36.76 $12.25
Onnit Cost $79.95 $34.95

Many prefer to buy supplements in bulk so as to avoid having to reorder stacks every month or so. Additionally, these supplements are available in smaller and larger sizes for those who want to go smaller or bigger. Bear in mind, the larger the size, the more you save!

While capping your own supplements may seem like a lot of work, it can save you big bucks at the end of the day, not to mention you can customize your stack to avoid publicity stunts and useless “nootropics” like Oat Straw.

What Do These Supplements Do?

Alpha GPC: This is a choline source that is great for improving memory and learning. There are multiple choline sources on the market; however, Alpha GPC has a higher absorption rate. Read more about alpha-GPC benefits.

Huperzine A: This supplement helps with memory retention by increasing acetylcholine levels. Those looking to improve their memory and focus will benefit from an increase in acetylcholine.

Vinpocetine: Vinpocetine enhances memory function and increases blood flow to the brain.

Resveratrol: This antioxidant is perhaps most famously found in red wine and is known for it’s ability to boost cellular health, cardiovascular health, blood flow to the brain, and more.

Phosphatidylserine: This supplement supports a strong memory as well as numerous neurotransmitter system such as acetylcholine, dopamine, seratonine, and more.

NALT: NALT is believed to be easier to absorb/more bioavailable than L-Tyrosine. NALT transforms into L-DOPA, which is a precursor for many neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and more. All of this can result in a boost in mood and cognitive function.

L-Theanine: This is an excellent supplement to reduce anxiety as its stress fighting abilities promote a sense of calm and wellbeing. Additionally, theanine can support a healthy immune system.

By the way, L-theanine and Phosphatidylserine are also part of this before bed stack for concentration. So there’s a reason these ingredients are also together for an expensive formulation like Alpha Brain.

Is it Possible to Make Up for Lost Sleep? Researchers Say No

melatonin and l-theanine for sleepGood sleep begets a good mood and a good life. However, sleep does not work exactly how many people assume.

A recent study from “…Penn State, the University of Crete, the University of Athens and the New York School of Medicine found that after a workweek of little sleep, sleeping in on the weekends doesn’t seem to improve the performance of your brain.”

If you are run ragged during the week, the weekend of extra rest does nothing to help your body. Therefore, it is imperative to have a good night’s sleep EVERY night of the week.

There is no such thing as catching up on sleep.

Fortunately, the supplement stack of Melatonin and L-Theanine has been shown to have a number of excellent benefits related to relaxation and sleep.

Both of these supplements actually have a distinct and specific role, such that when combined they fit together almost perfectly. Using this stack to help with relaxation and sleep is like a good one-two punch. Let’s take a closer look at how both operate.

What You Need to Know About Melatonin

Melatonin is an interesting hormone which occurs naturally in many different living things including humans, animals, and even plants. Basically, this substance is produced by your pineal gland and is used to help signal when it is time to sleep and wake. This hormone controls and regulates our sleep cycle to a very high degree.

The problem, of course, is that many times we tend to damage how Melatonin works.

For example, sleeping with the light on is very detrimental to the proper functioning of this hormone. It is also why sometimes just laying in a completely dark room (even in the middle of the day) can help to make us tired.

Oftentimes, our Melatonin levels become depressed and do not function properly. This depression is an excellent reason to consider supplementation. It does not take long to re-build the proper levels of Melatonin.

What You Need to Know About L-Theanine

This supplement is a naturally-occurring amino acid that is normally found in green tea. It is also a form of Glutamic Acid that is capable of increasing alpha waves in the brain.

These types of brain waves are thought to promote a feeling of relaxed alertness. This relaxed alertness is also thought to help benefit cognition and mental functioning, support healthy blood pressure, and even lead to immune system benefits.

Someone who also uses stimulants like caffeine will find extra benefits from L-Theanine. This supplement actually helps to reduce that jittery and over-wired feeling that results from a number of chemical and natural stimulants. At the same time, it also enhances the cognitive and mental benefits derived from many of those stimulants.

Why This Stack Will Work For You

When used in combination, these supplements work together very nicely. The L-Theanine will serve to help your body calm itself down and relax. At the same time, you will still find yourself with a lot of mental power and brain energy.

Then, after your body is winding down and becoming more and more relaxed, the Melatonin hits.

The Melatonin will then signal your body that it is time for sleep. Since you have already been pre-relaxing (take the L-Theanine about an hour or so ahead of the Melatonin for best results), you should fall asleep much quicker and even have better sleep quality; you will wake feeling more refreshed.

 

For more information on sleep and how it affects the body, check out the study mentioned above!