Nootropics can provide a variety of benefits to your brain and overall cognitive performance. Mostly marketed as a daily supplement, these unique blends feature ingredients designed to boost memory, focus, energy, and long-term brain health.
If you’re looking to add a nootropic to your daily regimine, you’ve likely come across a hundred different brands that all claim to do the same thing. Most of these brands will include some powerful nootropic ingredients, but can still present risk and harm to your body.
Many people have turned to Brain Awake to give them that boost they need on a daily basis, but is it worth it? How does Brain Awake compare to alternatives, like GenBrain or NooCube? Let’s take a look at what Brain Awake is, its ingredients, and if this nootropic measures up.
What is Brain Awake?
Brain Awake, a nootropic supplement by Irwin Naturals, is a cognitive-enhancer that boasts quick results and long-term benefits. Irwin Naturals is home to a wide variety of products for just about everything, with Brain Awake being one of over 15 products targeted towards brain, mood, and stress.
Brain Awake claims to provide a variety of different benefits, both short-term and long-term. According to their website, the product is designed to:
- Increase focus and concentration
- Improve mental clarity
- Memory and information retention
- Increase mental and physical energy
- Calm and nourish the nervous system
- No jitters or crash
Brain Awake’s claims are pretty standard and realistic, but that’s only relevant if the product actually does what it is intended to. Luckily, that’s what the ingredient list is for
Brain Awake Ingredients
Looking at the back of the Brain Awake label, it’s going to seem quite busy with a lot of stuff going on. This could scare away a lot of people who are just looking for a simple nootropic, but let’s see if they do a good job of selecting quality ingredients.
Included in Brain Awake are:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- MCT Oil
- Acetyl L-Carnitine
- Bacopa Extract
- Holy Basil Extract
- Tea Extract
- Lemon Balm Extract
- Rosemary Extract
- BioPerine Complex
If those ingredients all have proven cognitive benefits, then that would make Brain Awake a very powerful daily supplement. Let’s take a closer look at those ingredients.
Vitamin B6 is one of the 8 main complex B vitamins, plays a major role in our brain and nervous system function. It also helps make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which help to improve mood and reduce stress. B6 is a common supplement for older people who might be deficient.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient commonly found in fish, meat, and milk. It is another one of the eight complex B vitamins and is also known to have strong benefits to the elderly by preventing brain volume loss. It is also known to promote a better mood, prevent stress, and improve energy levels.
Folate (Vitamin B9)
The last of the complex B vitamins in Brain Awake is Vitamin B9. Commonly found in leafy green vegetables, a vitamin B9 deficiency can lead to dementia and depression. When combined with Vitamins B6 and B9, the long-term cognitive health benefits are increased.
MCT oil has been a hot topic in the supplement industry recently. Many people are putting this nutrient in smoothies, coffee, or salad dressings. They are known to give energy boosts and can also be converted into ketones — which are used as energy for the brain.
Acetyl-L Carnitine is a popular and proven supplement designed to boost your cognitive function and energy levels. This ingredient can be found in many nootropics, such as Genius Consciousness and Neurohacker Qualia Mind & Focus. By helping your muscle mitochondria burn fat, it can improve endurance in the body. It is also an anti-aging supplement for the brain that can improve memory, learning, and mood.
This is another ingredient found in multiple nootropics, for example Mind Lab Pro. This amino acid works very well alongside Acetyl-L Carnitine. It helps calm the nerves and promotes a relaxed feeling, but can help improve focus and concentration when combined with Acetyl-L Carnitine.
This popular nootropic has been widely used since traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Not only does it contain anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but can also help consumers retain information, prevent memory loss, improve focus, and increased learning rate.
Holy Basil Extract
Not the same as the basil you use in the kitchen, holy basil is a leafy green plant popular in ancient Indian medicine. It is known as a nootropic mainly for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety while relaxing the brain.
What would Brain Awake be without some good old caffeine. We all know the effects of caffeine, giving you a more energized feeling. The low dose of 52mg and the combination of L-Theanine will help reduce jitters and crash.
Lemon Balm Extract
Found in the same family as mint and similar to rosemary, lemon balm has some promising nootropic properties. Not only can it give you a feeling of relaxation without lethargy, but it can protect the health of our brain, improve cognitive performance, enhance memory, and put us in a better mood.
This unique herb comes with needle-like leaves is also related to the mint family and lemon balm. The herb has shown to improve memory speed and has antioxidant properties to heal our brains. The ability to lower anxiety can also lead to more concentration.
BioPerine is found in black pepper and gives it that unique taste. It has a lot of cognitive benefits attached to its name, including increased dopamine and serotonin levels, better memory, improved attention span and enhanced reasoning abilities. It also has properties that can help heal the immune system.
According to Brain Awake’s ingredient label, the capsules also contain flaxseed oil, gelatin, purified water, glycerine, beeswax, St. John’s bread, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide. The product does contain soy and tree nuts, so make sure to check for allergies.
Dosage, Packaging, & Pricing
Unlike many nootropic supplements, Brain Awake is very clear about the dosages of each ingredient. They also list out the serving sizes so the consumer can have a good idea of what they’re putting in their body.
Here’s a look at the dosages of each ingredient:
- Vitamin B6 – 10mg
- Vitamin B12 – 500mcg
- Folate – 200mcg
- MCT Oil – 1000mg
- Acetyl L-Carnitine – 500mg
- L-Theanine – 100mg
- Bacopa Extract – 300mg
- Holy Basil Extract – 200mg
- Tea Extract – 52mg
- Lemon Balm Extract – 30mg
- Rosemary Extract – 30mg
- BioPerine Complex – 6mg
At first glance, you’ll notice that the 60 capsules inside each bottle is more than most brands offer — with the standard being 30 capsules. At second glance, you’ll notice that the serving size for the above dosages are 3 capsules. This is the recommended serving size to take with a glass of water every morning.
That’s a lot of pills to take at once, especially considering most brands offer similar results with just one pill. For those that aren’t big fans of consuming pills, this will definitely turn you away with Brain Awake.
The good news is, one bottle (60 capsules or 20 servings) will only run you $18 and is cheaper than most nootropics on the market today — like most of Irwin Naturals’ products.
As far as the packaging, they don’t waste time with many claims other than “Think Clearly… Works Fast!” right under the brand name. It looks like your typical packaging for fish oil and other nutrient supplements.
Pros vs. Cons of Brain Awake
Many nootropics will include powerful ingredients, but they go wrong when they add too many ingredients or try to get too “cute” with their ingredients. There’s a lot to like about Brain Awake, but it doesn’t contain the type of power a lot of people are looking for.
There has also been some negative reviews from users that enjoyed the product at first, but grew out of it over time.
- Very inexpensive
- Comes in liquid soft-gels
- Proper doses are detailed on the label
- Bacopa Monnieri is one of the most effective nootropics on the market
- Combining L-Theanine and Acetyl L-Carnitine is a big plus
- Combination of Vitamins B6, B12, and Folate reduces cognitive decline
- Need to take 3 pills for a full serving
- Potential side effects
- Could cause birth defects and other reproductive harm
- Some users have reported nausea after a while
- Some ingredients are more targeted toward elders
- Low caffeine content
- A lot of fatty oils that support brain health, but not function
- Could’ve made use of more powerful nootropics like ashwagandha, or citicoline
- MCT Oil is most effective when on a keto diet
Claims vs. Reality
Brain Awake definitely has ingredients that promote cognitive performance, but a majority of the ingredients are more geared towards brain health. This can be beneficial for the older crowd, but the younger crowd might not see the same benefits.
The Bacopa Monnieri extract and combination of L-Theanine and Acetyl-L Carnitine are promising, but I’m not sure it would be enough to excite people. I wouldn’t expect this to be that brain-boosting difference maker in the morning that everyone is searching for.
The overwhelming amount of reviews that reported nausea after continued use is another downside of this product. You will definitely want to do be cautious when purchasing this product, as there are plenty of other better options out there.
Final Review of Brain Awake
When I look at the ingredients in Brain Awake, I don’t see it helping your cognitive performance as much as it helps with cognitive health. For those that are experiencing the normal cognitive decline from aging, this product can help prevent and heal that damage. In younger people, it can help prevent you from getting to that point in the first place.
As far as it being a major brain-booster that will give you immediate results, I wouldn’t trust this as much as I would other brands on the market. Outside of that, it doesn’t seem like it will do too much harm other than some users reporting nausea.