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10 Alpha Brain Alternatives: Best & Cheapest Drugs in 2024

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There’s a popular saying that goes, “You can’t teach an old drug new tricks.” However, scientists have found that the adage doesn’t hold water when it comes to the human brain. By stimulating the brain the right way, with the right drugs, it can form new neural pathways and ultimately improve mental performance.

Alpha Brain Alternatives

Alpha Brain is one drug that can help boost cognitive function and improve productivity, but there are many other alternatives. Let’s explore the 10 best & cheapest alternatives available on the market, shall we?

What Is Alpha Brain Drug?

Alpha Brain is a dietary supplement formulated to help improve short-term memory, increase focus, and boost motivation. It was made to help people whose day-to-day jobs/activities are mentally demanding and require a high level of concentration [1].

The drug contains L-theanine, alpha-GPC, and Bacopa monnieri, among other ingredients, which are well-known nootropics known to be very effective. Bacopa monnieri has been used traditionally for centuries to enhance brain function. It has also shown to speed up information processing in the brain, reduce reaction times, and ultimately boost memory [2].

Alpha-GPC is a chemical that increases the brain levels of acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter known to improve memory and learning. Although this chemical is produced naturally in the body, sometimes it’s not enough [3][4]. Thus, taking supplements such as Alpha Brain that contain it can help rectify its deficit.

On the other hand, L-theanine is an amino acid often extracted from some mushrooms and green and black tea. It has shown to help reduce insomnia and ease stress and anxiety. With these ingredients, one can see how the drug improves cognitive function.

Alpha Brain is quite popular, and since it got into the market, more than one million bottles have been sold. However, there are individuals who consider other alternatives after using it for a while. One major problem many people who’ve used it have is its side effects. Many have reported experiencing severe diarrhea, nausea, and dizziness.

Whether you’re looking for Alpha Brain alternatives for this reason or are just looking to get started with a good nootropics, you’ll find 10 much better yet cheaper products you can trust for both effectiveness and safety. Read on.

What Are Nootropics?

Nootropics, or “smart drugs,” are dietary supplements, drugs, or other substances that positively impact the brain. Many of them typically improve mental processing speed, boost memory retention, increase alertness, and promote wakefulness in healthy individuals [5]. They are the secret behind the outstanding performance of many entrepreneurs, engineers, top-level executives, and analysts. In fact, many celebrities take such products secretly to cope with stress and maximize performance on set, and many more have opened up to using them.


Today, there are countless nootropics available on the market; some great and others not so good. With so many options available, deciding which one to use can sometimes be a tad challenging. We’ve listed the 10 best nootropics in this article, and we’ll further narrow the list down to help make your decision-making process easier.

Side Effects of Nootropics

Everything has two sides: the good side and the bad side; and nootropics are no exception. While some of them effectively boost cognitive function, they can cause side effects that may be mild or even life-threatening based on certain factors. Factors such as the biological makeup of the individual taking the drug, sex, age, weight, and the type of food eaten at the time of taking it.

Some of the common adverse effects are as follows:

  • headache;
  • nausea;
  • flushing;
  • drowsiness;
  • muscle ache.

More serious side effects may also occur. They include [6]:

  • blurry vision;
  • rash;
  • insomnia;
  • fast heart rate;
  • high blood pressure;
  • blood circulation problems.

It is worth noting that different “smart drugs” may cause varying side effects, but they’re usually similar. What’s more, although it is normal to experience some mild adverse reactions like headache and dizziness when taking a nootropic for the first time, it is advisable to seek urgent medical attention if discomfort lasts for more than a few hours.

There are more side effects that can result from the use of “smart drugs” that aren’t listed here. You may turn to the information leaflet of whatever product you purchase for a more comprehensive list.

Best Alternatives to Alpha Brain

As stated earlier, Alpha Brain is a great “smart drug” in terms of effectiveness, but there are some concerns with its safety. Compared to some nootropics we’ll be listing shortly, Alpha Brain poses a higher risk of side effects, with the most common being diarrhea. If you’re looking for the best and cheapest alternatives to it, here they are.

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is a relatively new nootropic specifically formulated to boost memory, increase alertness, and improve mental acuity. It consists of a blend of 11 nootropics known to improve cognitive function by working in 6 bio-pathways [7]. They include vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin B12, maritime pine bark extract, Bacopa monnieri, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, lion’s mane mushroom, L-theanine, citicoline, phosphatidylserine, and Rhodiola rosea.

Mind Lab Pro Pills

In case you’re wondering if this product is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it isn’t. But this is for good reason. Mind Lab Pro is classified under dietary supplements, and products belonging to this category do not need approval from the FDA or equivalent regulatory bodies. While some people have some concerns about this, many have given the product a thumbs up based on its high level of safety and minimal side effects.

Mind Lab Pro is used by many people around the world to boost cognitive function and ultimately increase productivity. You can actually check it out without fear of any serious side effects.

Brain Pill

According to the information released on the official website, Brain Pill is a “smart drug” specifically formulated to improve cognitive abilities and improve mental health. It is said to work by improving blood circulation in the brain, which in turn prevents forgetfulness and promotes mental alertness.


The relatively new product consists of several natural ingredients that are safe for use. They include folic acid, synapsa, L-theanine, huperzine A, pantothenic acid, phosphatidylserine, ginkgo biloba, citicoline, DHA complex, and vinpocetine. And like Mind Lab Pro, it also contains vitamins B6 and B12 [8].

Brain Pill is often said to have no side effects, but this isn’t entirely true. It is more accurate to say the “smart drug” has limited side effects that are often mild and typically go away on their own without medical attention. However, in a general sense, the product is safe and effective.

This supplement has a lot of reviews, and while some of them aren’t 5-star, the majority of them are. This is expected, as various products work differently in different individuals. Isn’t this the reason we’re looking at 10 alternatives? Well, there are some products on this list that have a higher success rate, meaning that more people will find them effective. We saved them for last, and we’ll discuss them in a bit.

Gorilla Mind Rush

Gorilla Mind Rush (GMR) is a powerful nootropic formulated to improve mental processing abilities, boost memory retention, enhance mood, and increase concentration.

Gorilla Mind Rush Tablets

It is worth noting the effects of this “smart drug” typically last for about 8 hours (may vary from individual to individual). As such, unless you intend to work a night shift or stay awake to study all night, it should not be taken late in the evening or near bedtime. The company behind this product has a non-stimulant-containing version specially formulated for individuals who seek increased concentration but do not need an energy boost. This version is called Gorilla Mind Smooth, and you can find both versions on the manufacturer’s official website [9].

Although relatively few people have used this product, a majority of them love it, and the ratio of positive reviews to negative ones is proof of this. Sadly, at the time of writing this guide, we couldn’t find GMR listed on the website. Also, Gorilla Mind Smooth, the non-stimulant version, is sold out, and there’s no information about whether or not it’ll be restocked, and if yes, when exactly. Other variants are still available on the website, and if you have an interest in the company’s products, you can check them out.

Performance Lab Mind

Like most of the products on this list, Performance Lab Mind (PLM) is formulated to increase mental processing speed, enhance focus, boost memory, and improve mood by fighting stress.

Performance Lab Mind

According to the manufacturer’s website, the product boosts brain energy by up to 13.6% and helps users recover from intense cognitive exertion. While it’s quite impossible for regular users to verify if there’s any truth to this bold claim, they can at least determine whether or not the product is effective. And interestingly, a majority of people who’ve used it give it a thumbs up in terms of both safety and effectiveness.

This product contains ingredients that are vegan-friendly. It is also free of caffeine, soy, and synthetic additives. It contains important nutrients and vitamins, and very importantly, it is certified by the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) [10]. This means it was formulated in a safe and healthy manufacturing plant, a clear indication that the quality of the product is up to standard.

Performance Lab Stim

Performance Lab Stim (PLS) is a product formulated by the manufacturer of Performance Lab Mind. It advertises this variant as a nootropic with peak stim benefits and minimal side effects.

Performance Lab Stim

PLS comes in 100% plant-based capsules that are made from pullulan (fermented tapioca). Plant-based capsules are typically easier to digest, and they facilitate quicker nutrient absorption into the system, which could mean faster onset of effects [11].

This product is relatively new on the nootropic scene, and while there are currently only a handful of reviews, a majority of them are positive.

Focus Factor

Focus Factor is yet another interesting Alpha Brain alternative. It was specifically formulated to help improve focus, concentration, and memory. The product consists of a powerful combination of vitamins and minerals, plus neuro-nutrients that improve brain function.

Focus Factor

When it comes to Focus Factor, there’s no question about its safety and effectiveness, as it has been used by thousands of individuals, and most of their reviews point to the fact that it has very few adverse reactions.

The product is based on a patented ingredient combination formed by the manufacturer. Furthermore, in-house studies show that most adults who take the supplement will achieve improved memory, focus, and concentration within as little as 6 weeks.


Phenibut is a product quite different from the others we’ve listed so far. Unlike the rest that falls under the dietary supplement category, it is an actual drug with approval from certain medicine regulatory bodies. It is actually a central nervous system depressant, and research shows that it might decrease anxiety and have other effects on the body [12]. However, its use and classification vary from country to country.

Phenibut Drug

In the USA, it is classified as a supplement, and it is sometimes taken recreationally. On the other hand, it is used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, depression, and alcoholism in Russia.

Phenibut works by increasing the levels of certain brain neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals are known to be linked to mood, focus, concentration, and the wake/sleep cycle. By taking it correctly, the product can help boost mental acuity and ultimately lead to increased performance [13].

It is worth noting that this product is often marketed under the brand names Fenibut, Anvifen, Noofen, among others. Thus, you might not find it as Phenibut.


Modafinil, often marketed under the brand name Provigil, is one of the most popular “smart drugs” currently used to enhance cognitive abilities. It is generally regarded as “the world’s first safe “smart drug,” as it came at a time when people had to trade a high level of comfort for cognitive enhancement.

Modafinil Smart Drugs

However, modafinil has not always been classified as a nootropic. It was originally developed in France by professor Michel Jouvet to treat narcolepsy [14]. Due to the positive results the drug provided, more research was conducted on it in the 1980s to ascertain the full range of its safety and efficacy. In 1998, it was approved by the FDA for the treatment of narcolepsy. Later in 2003, the FDA extended its approval to cover the treatment of shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Remember when we’ve mentioned something about “smart drugs” with a higher success rate earlier? Modafinil happens to be one of those drugs. This, coupled with its high level of safety, has made it grow in popularity over the years. Thus, it became one of the world’s most popular nootropics.

It is worth noting that it is a prescription medicine and thus cannot be purchased over the counter (OTC) for a sleep-disorder-related issue. As a cognitive enhancer, it is only used off-label.


Armodafinil, popularly known by the brand name Nuvigil, is a safe and effective stimulant approved by the FDA to treat excessive sleepiness caused by OSA and other sleep disorders. It might interest you to know that the drug was actually modeled after modafinil. In fact, it is its R-enantiomer, meaning that its chemical structure differs only slightly from modafinil.

Armodafinil Tablets

Armodafinil is actually stronger than modafinil by about 1.33 times, and this is good news, especially for people who find modafinil effective but experience side effects when taking it. To put this in perspective, a 150 mg armodafinil tablet provides the same effectiveness as a 200 mg modafinil tablet [15]. Thus, similar results can be achieved with Nuvigil at a lower dose, and a lower dose translates to lower chances of experiencing side effects.

This product is a prescription-only medication in many countries, and it can only be purchased by presenting a valid doctor’s prescription. People who take it to increase alertness and focus, promote creativity, and boost memory use it off-label.


Adrafinil is a safe and effective nootropic and a great alternative to Alpha Brain. It does a great job of increasing alertness, boosting memory retention ability and creativity, and promoting wakefulness in individuals with certain sleep disorders.

Adrafinil Nootropic

The drug was formerly used in France to improve the mental capabilities of elderly individuals. However, its use for this purpose was discontinued in September 2011. Adrafinil is quite similar to modafinil in terms of effectiveness, but it has a relatively slower onset of effects, which ranges from 45–60 minutes when it is taken by mouth [16].

How to Prevent Tolerance to Nootropics?

Developing tolerance to nootropics is one of the things many people looking to start taking them fear most. While this is actually a thing, there are ways to prevent the development of tolerance to these drugs.

In order to know how to avoid tolerance, it is important to first understand how it occurs. In short, it is caused by taking the pills too frequently. People who consume certain nootropics every day soon notice that they no longer respond to the same dose they may have been using previously. In order to reach the same level of cognitive enhancement they were achieving in the past, many increase their daily dosing more and more until they abuse it.

But how does one prevent this? Well, the products shouldn’t be taken daily but only on days when they’re really needed. Many “smart drug” enthusiasts advise using nootropics only bi-weekly or three times a week at most to prevent the body from getting used to the active ingredients contained in them.

Another way to prevent this is by sticking to drugs that have a lower potential to cause tolerance. Modafinil is one product that poses an amazingly low risk of tolerance, and there are studies to back this up. In one of the studies, participants who underwent treatment with the drug for about 2 months showed no signs of developing tolerance, change in mood, or desire to abuse it [17].

The Verdict: Alpha Brain Alternatives

Alpha Brain is a great nootropic, and there are individuals who wouldn’t take anything else for cognitive enhancement but it. However, many people seem to experience discomfort that sometimes lasts for several days after taking it. Whether you’re running away from issues associated with this supplement or just looking to get started with nootropics, there are lots of alternatives for you.

Alpha Brain

We’ve listed 10 products in this guide, and they can be drawn into two categories: supplements (the first 6 products) and actual drugs. A good way to narrow the list down and make a pick is by deciding what category you prefer the most. While some do not like drugs and always look for supplement alternatives, there are those who believe that drugs produce much faster results.

We understand how difficult making a pick can still be, so we’ll further help you narrow it down. If you do not have a problem taking drugs and are considering making a pick from the last 4 products, modafinil and armodafinil may be great options, and here’s why. Modafinil is one of the oldest developed products on the list, and lots of studies have been conducted on it to confirm its level of safety and effectiveness.

Besides the fact that most of these studies produced great results, hundreds of thousands of people have used the drug over the years, making it one of the most reviewed products on the list. Interestingly, a majority of these reviews are positive.

At this point, it is worth noting that while the type of nootropic you decide to take matters a lot, where you source it is also important. There are lots of counterfeits on the market, and unless you’re 100% sure about a supplier, it may be best to avoid them. We have several guides that discuss how to do that and the best places to get high-quality nootropics at a low price; you can check them out. However, if you don’t have the time to read a full article, you could simply check out,, and You may also check reviews on platforms like Reddit, Trustpilot, and the like to help you with your decision-making process.

Remember to consult a doctor before taking “smart drugs” or any other drug. Also, endeavor to report any discomfort you experience as soon as possible to reduce the chances of having it blow up into more serious problems.


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  3. Alpha-gpc: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, and Interactions. Retrieved: May 4, 2021.
  4. Changes in the Interaction Between CNS Cholinergic and Dopaminergic Neurons Induced by L-alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine, a Cholinomimetic Drug. By M. Trabucchi, S. Govoni, F. Battaini. Retrieved: May 4, 2021.
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  6. What Are Nootropics? Written by Barbara Brody. Medically reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS. Retrieved: May 4, 2021.
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  8. BrainPill Reviews: Is Brain Pill Nootropic Supplement Legit? Retrieved: May 4, 2021.
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  10. Performance Lab Mind. Retrieved: May 4, 2021.
  11. Stim – Performance Lab. Retrieved: May 4, 2021.
  12. Phenibut: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and Interactions. Retrieved: May 4, 2021.
  13. 16 Phenibut Uses + Side Effects, Dosage & Natural Alternatives. Written by Carlos Tello, PhD. Medically reviewed by Jonathan Ritter, PharmD, PhD, Puya Yazdi, MD. Retrieved: May 4, 2021.
  14. Modafinil. Retrieved: May 4, 2021.
  15. Armodafinil versus Modafinil in Patients of Excessive Sleepiness Associated with Shift Work Sleep Disorder: A Randomized Double Blind Multicentric Clinical Trial. By D. V. Tembe,A. Dhavale, et al. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  16. Adrafinil. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  17. A review on modafinil: the characteristics, function, and use in critical care. By Seyed MohammadReza Hashemian and Tayebeh Farhadi. Retrieved: May 4, 2021.