Research-Based

TruBrain Review – How Good Are These Nootropics?

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By Jack Cincotta

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

TruBrain-Review

The world of nootropics can be difficult to navigate, especially since there are so many different products available these days. 

And nootropic supplements certainly have their appeal, since many people are looking for a boost in brain power, enhanced alertness, and less stress, among other things. 

But of course, the brain is a very powerful machine, so it’s critical that these supplements are actually research-backed and scientifically proven to do what they claim.

After all, you don’t want to be putting something in your body that supposedly enhances brain health, but all it does is give you expensive urine or troubling side effects.

That’s why I’m going to go over all aspects of the TruBrain drinks in this review to see the overall quality, effectiveness, safety, and value. So, continue reading this TruBrain review to see if it’s a line of nootropics worth buying

TruBrain Review: Info Overview

  • TruBrain produces a variety of nootropics or brain food supplements crafted by neuroscientists
  • Their main line consists of seven different nootropic drinks to fit various needs
  • They offer Sleep, Mellow, Matcha, Mushrooms, Medium, Strong, and Extra Strong formulas
  • Each formula comes in a 1oz pouch, and contains many ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and special nootropic compounds
  • TruBrain shots are designed to reduce stress, fight fatigue, improve energy, boost focus and memory, and enhance overall brain power
  • You can buy anywhere from 10 to 60 drinks at a time, with mix-and-match availability
  • Pricing is around $2.25 to $4 per pouch
TruBrain Drinks

About TruBrain

The TruBrain company is focused on producing the best, highest-quality “brain food” supplements. 

It initially started with their TruBrain custom drinks (which is the focus of this review) but they now also offer supplements for keto, anti-aging, and even snack bars for brain performance.

But as I mentioned, this is about the “OG”, the custom TruBrain drinks.

These drinks are crafted by UCLA-trained neuroscientists. Although the 1oz pouches they come in may seem small, the TruBrain shots are designed to pack a big punch to help you reduce stress, fight fatigue, and boost brain power and cognitive function.

TruBrain Nootropic Drinks

The personalized formulas in TruBrain drinks contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, nootropics, amino acids, and other ingredients designed to give you the exact brain benefits you need, based on your situation and goals.

There are currently seven different TruBrain custom drinks:

  • Sleep
  • Mellow
  • Matcha
  • Mushrooms
  • Medium
  • Strong
  • Extra Strong

TruBrain Benefits

The benefits of TruBrain are somewhat dependent on which drink you pick. But in general, the TruBrain drinks are advertised to deliver any one or more of the following benefits:

  • Anxiety and Stress Reduction
  • Improved Focus and Mental Clarity
  • Enhanced Memory
  • Better Motivation and Attention
  • Enhanced Brain Plasticity
TruBrain Back Labels

Anxiety and Stress Reduction

There’s not much that can ruin your day as much as anxiety and stress can. Not only does increased stress feel bad, but it can also negatively affect your productivity, performance, and overall life quality. And how many people today deal with stress due to work, family, health, or who knows what else?

And the TruBrain drinks are designed to decrease anxiety and stress, so you don’t have to let these get in the way of your life. They have various ingredients which they claim will improve relaxation and calmness while reducing stress, such as GABA, theanine, and tyrosine. 

Improved Focus and Mental Clarity

Brain fog is another common complaint for many people. Some days, you just can’t seem to clear your head and do focused, productive work. 

However, TruBrain claims to fight off brain fog and give you more focus and mental clarity with many brain enhancers, such as caffeine/theanine combo, noopept, and lion’s mane.

Enhanced Memory

Memory issues can range from something very small (“where’d I put my keys”) to something much more serious, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Now, TruBrain doesn’t claim that their drinks can reverse serious brain degeneration and memory impairment. But they do say that TruBrain shots have a number of ingredients that may help with learning and memory, such as uridine. 

Better Mood and Motivation

Some days, you just don’t feel like working; we’ve all been there. And motivation can fall even lower when you face a demanding schedule and have to be at a high level of productivity day in and day out.

Well, TruBrain is designed to give you a boost in motivation, so you can put in your best efforts even on the days when you don’t feel like it. Their drinks contain a number of ingredients that may enhance mood and motivation such as caffeine, centrophenoxine, and tyrosine. 

Enhanced Brain Plasticity

The researchers at TruBrain went a little nerdy with this benefit and said that the ingredients in these drinks can enhance brain plasticity. 

But what is that, exactly?

Well, brain plasticity is basically the brain’s ability to change and reorganize itself in a beneficial way as a result of one’s experiences.

In turn, this can lead to more efficient and effective ways of thinking, doing, and creating. So, think of it as “better brain power”. 

Altogether, the TruBrain drinks seem pretty enticing for anyone interested in nootropics. But how effective is TruBrain actually?

Read on to find out!

TruBrain Ingredients

As I mentioned earlier, there are seven different TruBrain formulas, so there are some different ingredients.

But there are actually a lot of similar ingredients that overlap, so I’m just going to list off each ingredient and then let you know which formulas have that ingredient in it. 

And you can always check out the ingredients on their page if you want a specific view. 

So, below are the TruBrain ingredients:

  • Noopept
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine
  • N-Acetyl Tyrosine
  • Centrophenoxine
  • Magnesium Glycinate
  • L-Theanine
  • Uridine Monophosphate
  • Caffeine
  • Matcha Green Tea
  • Adrafinil
  • Functional Oils
  • GABA
  • 5-HTP
  • Melatonin
  • Vitamin C
  • Lion’s Mane Extract
  • Rhodiola Extract
  • Guayusa Powder
  • Rosehip Extract
TruBrain Formulas

Noopept

Noopept is somewhat similar to the effects of piracetam, and it is thought of as a highly concentrated racetam compound. 

There is some evidence that noopept has stimulatory effects. And it also seems to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress after brain trauma. So it may be helpful for preventing brain degeneration.

Included in: Matcha, Mellow, Medium, Strong, and Extra

Acetyl L-Carnitine

Acetyl l-carnitine is a particular form of the amino acid, l-carnitine. 

It can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. And there is evidence that acetyl l-carnitine has neuroprotective effects and can help prevent cognitive decline. 

It also seems to increase acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNF) (which is important in nerve cell growth and function), and energy production in the brain. 

Included in: Matcha, Mellow, Medium, Strong, and Extra

N-Acetyl Tyrosine

N-acetyl tyrosine is a form of the amino acid, l-tyrosine. 

Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine and norepinephrine, which are important neurotransmitters for motivation, mood, alertness, and other things.

These neurotransmitters get depleted during stressful or cognitively demanding situations.

So, tyrosine supplementation may help restore levels of these brain chemicals and help people have better cognitive performance, especially when under stress.

Included in: Matcha, Mellow, Medium, Strong, and Extra

Centrophenoxine

Centrophenoxine is a compound that seems to be able to increase acetylcholine, which is important for learning and memory. 

This compound may also have antioxidant effects and reduce the risk of dementia. Overall, it seems to have effects that protect the brain from damage.

Included in: Matcha, Mellow, Medium, Strong, and Extra

Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium, which is more easily absorbed.

Magnesium has a number of benefits for brain health and cognitive function.

For example, magnesium can increase GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that can promote calmness. And magnesium also reduces cortisol, a major stress hormone. 

Plus, magnesium is necessary for many cognitive functions, and it seems to protect against the damage from brain injuries.

Overall, magnesium may help with stress, sleep, mood, and cognitive function.

Included in: Matcha, Mellow, Medium, Strong, and Extra

L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves. It is most known for its ability to increase alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with a state of calm focus. 

Theanine can also increase GABA and serotonin too. 

And there is evidence that theanine supplementation helps to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and enhance attention, focus, and other aspects of cognition (esp. when paired with caffeine).

Included in: Matcha, Mellow, Medium, Strong, and Extra

Uridine Monophosphate

Uridine monophosphate (aka “uridine”) is an important brain nutrient; and it often is lowered in people with cognitive impairment. 

There is some evidence that uridine can improve the function of cell membranes and may decrease brain inflammation. Plus, it may have cognitive-enhancing properties. 

Included in: Matcha, Mellow, Medium, Strong, and Extra

Caffeine

Caffeine is a widely used psychoactive substance. It blocks adenosine and increases serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

This may improve mood and alertness, while also increasing energy and attention. Caffeine has cognitive-enhancing effects, especially when paired with theanine (to help counteract some of the jitters and improve focus). And it can even boost memory and processing speed.

Overall, it’s pretty obvious why so many people use caffeine on a regular basis.

Included in: Strong and Extra

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha green tea is a specific form of powdered green tea. 

Matcha has a combination of caffeine and theanine, which may offer cognitive enhancement. 

And matcha green tea may be able to support attention, memory, and even mood. Plus, the catechins in it, especially EGCG may offer anti-inflammatory effects.

Included in: Matcha

Adrafinil

Adrafinil is a pretty potent stimulatory compound that increases dopamine and (possibly) serotonin.

It is eventually converted into modafinil, which has actually been used to prevent excess sleepiness.

There is a decent amount of evidence showing that adrafinil can improve mood and reduce depression, while also enhancing attention, alertness, and memory, among other things (especially in the elderly).

Included in: Extra

Functional Oils

I’m assuming Functional oils refers to various essential oils for relaxation. However, TruBrain doesn’t list what these are, so I can’t really review this ingredient.

Included in: Sleep and Mellow

GABA

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning it helps to slow things down in the brain. And it is known for providing feelings of calmness and relaxation. Plus, it is necessary for sleep onset.

However, supplemental GABA isn’t very effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier. But there is still evidence that GABA supplementation may help improve sleep while reducing stress and anxiety. 

Included in: Sleep

5-HTP

5-HTP (which stands for 5-hydroxytryptophan) is a chemical compound that converts into serotonin. And serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in mood, well-being, sleep, and more. 

And there is evidence that 5-HTP supplementation can improve depression and boost mood, while also benefiting sleep.

Included in: Sleep

Melatonin

Melatonin is the primary sleep hormone, and it is a key regulator of sleep/wakefulness. As a supplement, melatonin may help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep while also improving overall sleep quality and duration. 

Included in: Sleep

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. It also plays a role in neurotransmitter systems and even nerve cell function.

And having enough vitamin C seems to be important for preventing cognitive impairment.

Included in: Included in: Matcha, Mushrooms, Mellow, Medium, Strong, and Extra

Lion’s Mane Extract

Lion’s mane is a type of medicinal mushroom that seems to have benefits for brain health.

Compounds in lion’s mane have been shown to increase BDNF and increase nerve cell synthesis, which may benefit overall brain function.

Plus, lion’s mane may protect against brain inflammation. And it also has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. 

Included in: Mushrooms

Rhodiola Extract

Rhodiola is an herbal adaptogen, which means it helps the body manage stress. 

Certain compounds in Rhodiola seem to buffer against stress while, at the same time, increasing key neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine.

By preventing excess stress, Rhodiola may reduce cognitive decline and improve cognitive function while also decreasing anxiety and depression. 

Plus, Rhodiola may offer neuroprotective effects (meaning it protects the brain from damage). 

Included in: Mushrooms

Guayusa Powder

Guayusa powder comes from the Guayusa tree, which is found in the Amazon region. 

Guayusa contains theobromine and caffeine which may offer stimulating and protective effects on the brain.

Plus, guayusa has various antioxidants that can help protect against inflammation in the brain. 

Included in: Mushrooms

Rosehip Extract

Rosehips are rich in vitamin C, polyphenols, and other antioxidants. And these effects may protect against brain inflammation. 

Included in: Mushrooms

Does TruBrain Work?

I’ll get right to it. It is likely that the TruBrain drinks will work as nootropic supplements.

Every product has well-researched ingredients and pretty solid dosages. 

The different ingredients in the TruBrain formulas have been shown to increase key neurotransmitters, reduce brain inflammation, promote the growth and strength of nerve cells, and improve brain blood flow, among other things.

And it is for these reasons that TruBrain may likely improve cognition, reduce stress, enhance mood, and boost memory, among other things. 

Overall, I really like what the researchers did with this TruBrain formula as it is definitely well thought-out and detailed. 

TruBrain Box And Drinks

Claims vs. Reality

Of course, just because it may work, you still have to be realistic.

And when it comes to nootropics, in particular, people can get a little too excited or unrealistic about the possible benefits.

So, let me be clear: it’s unlikely that TruBrain will turn you into this high-powered, super smart and creative, stress-free genius. 

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be benefits. In fact, there could be a lot of potential benefits, such as a decent improvement in memory, attention, focus, alertness, and energy. Not to mention mild to moderate reductions in depression, anxiety, stress, and brain inflammation.

And when it comes to nootropics, that’s about as good as you can ask for. 

Who is TruBrain Best For?

TruBrain is best for anyone looking to enhance their brain power and overall mental health. 

With that being said, which product you choose depends on your goals. 

But keep in mind that you can buy more than one and use whatever one you feel is most beneficial on a particular day.

Mellow, Medium, Strong, and Extra all have very similar formulas, but the amount of stimulants increases as you move upwards in strength, so keep that in mind. And Matcha is actually very similar in its formula to these other ones too, just with matcha in it.

And then there are the “specialized” formulas: Sleep and Mushrooms. The Sleep product should be obvious as to who it’s for. 

And the Mushrooms product is geared more towards people who want the most natural product. 

TruBrain Drink Bottles

Is TruBrain Safe?

TruBrain has many different ingredients, some of which are pretty stimulating, so it’s important to be mindful of possible side effects.

Keep in mind that the higher up you go in terms of product strength, the more likely it is that you’ll have side effects (so, Extra has a higher side effect chance than, say, Mellow). 

Listed below is a list of possible side effects (not all-inclusive):

  • Anxiety, jitters, nervousness, insomnia, and restlessness
  • Increases heart rate and blood pressure
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach, nausea, stomach pain, etc.
  • Pins and needles feeling
  • Chest pain

All TruBrain products are made in FDA-approved, cGMP-certified facilities. It is unclear what the specific allergen information is. 

How to Take TruBrain

All you have to do is rip open the shot of whatever TruBrain product you have and drink it down. 

You can take it with or without food. 

Also, the makers say you can take one to two per day, usually in the morning or early afternoon.

But just take one of the Sleep drinks, and of course close to bedtime for this one. 

TruBrain Drink Labels

Where to Buy TruBrain

You can buy any of the TruBrain drinks on the TruBrain website.

You have the option to buy 10, 15, 20, 30, or 60 pouches at a time. 

And you can choose whatever combination of the seven products you want to fill that number total. So, it’s a pretty personalized experience. 

Additionally, you can choose either a one-time purchase or the Subscribe & Save option to save 10%.

Below are the regular TruBrain prices:

Below are the Subscribe & Save TruBrain prices:

Overall, TruBrain is pretty pricey. But keep in mind that they’re designed as a pretty top-notch nootropic formula with many well-researched ingredients. It’s just up to you to decide if the benefits are worth it after trying it out.

Returns

You can only return a product if it has been within seven days since you’ve received it. And you must return it in its original form and packaging for a full refund, minus shipping and handling.

Final Verdict: TruBrain Review

That concludes our TruBrain review. And overall, I’m impressed with their personalized nootropic drinks. 

There are seven different TruBrain formulas, but they all contain well-researched ingredients known for benefiting brain health and enhancing many aspects of cognitive function.

With TruBrain, you may get a boost in attention, memory, focus, alertness, and energy. Or even a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression, while also boosting sleep.

It depends on which product you choose, but it’s also nice that they give you the option to choose whatever combination of drinks you want. 

It’s pretty pricey, but this is a case of “you pay for what you get”. And overall, that’s why I recommend it as one of the better nootropic brands out there.

Overall Rating: