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Alpha Brain Side Effects & How to Prevent Them

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Biohacking (DIY biology) is a common term known to many people, especially in Silicon Valley. This DIY biology is the strategy of changing the environment around you & inside you with an optimum goal: to have full control over your biology. Supplements are favorite tools in the biohacker’s arsenal. Some prefer anti-aging supplements, while others hunt for nootropics, or “smart tabs.”

Alpha Brain Side Effects

Certain biohacks are backed by powerful scientific evidence & are likely to be safe & beneficial. How about Alpha Brain? Is it the best biohacking tool? What can you expect after usage? Is it safe? How can you counter the expected Alpha Brain side effects? Let’s explore this popular nootropic and give a verdict on whether it’s good for your brain function or it’s just better to use other alternatives that provide the same effect or even more.

What Is Alpha Brain?

Dietary supplements sometimes are great in pursuit of total human optimization. These products help benefit our general health & well-being, ameliorate performance, and augment cognitive function. Alpha Brain is a nootropic supplement that supports brain function by helping to improve memory and focus and boost mental performance.

Designed & produced by Onnit Labs, it has been one of the prime over-the-counter (OTC) “smart drugs” that swiftly rose to popularity after its introduction to the market in 2011. Indeed, the nootropic is insanely well-liked in many circles due to high plaudits & endorsements from Joe Rogan (an American comedian & podcast host), among other celebrities. The big reason this “smart drug” has been well-liked is that the stuff verily works.

As a great OTC nootropic, it offers strong & useful benefits:

  • ameliorated memory recall & retention;
  • heightened concentration, attention span, & the ability to learn;
  • augmented productivity;
  • improved reaction times.

Alpha Brain supplement contains some of the most notable nootropic ingredients such as L-theanine, phosphatidylserine, L-tyrosine, Alpha-GPC, & Bacopa monnieri to make it so efficacious. To summarize, it is one of a handful of powerful nootropics scientifically demonstrated to work [1]. It’s perfect for individuals new to “smart drugs” & hunting for something a little stronger than a cup of coffee. Indeed, Alpha Brain is ideal when you desire to augment the mind for 4 to 6+ hours. It’s noticeably easier to recall words & form sentences after ingestion. The supplement is available as capsules or an instant drink mix, which is very convenient.

Alpha Brain Side Effects: Detailed Overview

Pills Side Effects

Although it’s one of the safest OTC “smart drugs,” some users may encounter a few negative effects when under the influence of Alpha Brain. That’s just how it is when using cognitive enhancers. Luckily, you won’t experience any serious issues with this supplement. Yet the minor negative effects only occur relatively rarely. You shouldn’t have any worries about this nootropic, but for more in-depth info, let’s take a look at Alpha Brain’s negative effects & how to prevent them.


Some people can encounter this effect during the use of Alpha Brain. Generally, a few first-time users can have minor nausea. Fortunately, minor just means one time using the restroom. It’s not severe & usually goes away once the body adjusts to the nootropic. According to an Amazon shopper who ordered Alpha Brain, he encountered periods of extreme nausea accompanied by hot flashes. This went on for about 8 hours. Thus, although the product works, there’s a likelihood of spending a day close to a toilet due to the nootropic’s negative effect.

Body Odor

Some individuals may notice that their body odor can slightly change & become stronger on days they use the nootropic. While this isn’t a big deal, you probably don’t desire to stink up the co-working space or anywhere you interact with people. If that occurs, ensure to apply a little extra deodorant (to conceal unpleasant smells) when taking Alpha Brain, and you should be good to go.


Not everyone can get head pain after using Alpha Brain. But some individuals experience minor headache issues with this great nootropic. This condition might be due to not drinking adequate water while on the “smart drug.” When using the supplement, you may get “in the zone” and neglect food & water intake. When this occurs, it’s easy to get dehydrated & certainly end up experiencing a minor headache. The best tip is to drink enough water with a squeezed lime while on the nootropic. This will keep you hydrated & is a prominent source of electrolytes.

Jaw Pain

Jain pain is another negative effect of Alpha Brain. Some individuals may encounter this issue, often when the headaches start to kick in. This can be attributed to being “in the zone” & tightening your jaw as you focus on a project or task for hours on end. Although the probability of experiencing this condition is minimal, most users report the pain is not bad & goes away swiftly.

Vivid Dreams & Nightmares

After taking the nootropic, some individuals report crazy dreams & occasionally a nightmare that wakes them from their usual slumber. This side effect may be linked with a few of the main ingredients in Alpha Brain. Because it isn’t alarming, it shouldn’t be an enormous concern for most. Alpha Brain’s lucid dreaming is due to an ameliorated level of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which heightens the rapid eye movement (REM) dreaming sleep phase. Don’t use high-enough doses. Acetylcholine may affect the autonomic nervous system, influencing body temperature, heart rate, as well as blood pressure. So raising the doses to chase better dreams could be perilous.

Jitters and Anxiety

With many “smart drugs,” anxiety & jitters can pop up occasionally. However, this shouldn’t be surprising since often nootropic products are also stimulants. The stimulating effect is what triggers the brain to function better. Note that some individuals don’t experience anxiety from Alpha Brain, but a little restlessness can be anticipated for the first 20–30 minutes when the cognitive enhancer’s effects kick in.

Overall, you needn’t worry too much, as these symptoms fade away quickly. Meanwhile, it’s important to note that if you’re prone to anxiety, you should use any nootropics with caution.


Some users do experience sleeplessness when consuming Alpha Brain. Nonetheless, this negative effect should not be pronounced unless you take it at night. You may enjoy this effect in the daytime, especially if engaging in an activity that requires you to be observant. Unless you need to stay up very late or pull an all-nighter, try to ingest Alpha Brain in the mornings or early afternoons. The nootropic has a stimulant effect, meaning that it can be difficult to sleep afterward. Alpha Brain only kicks hard for about 4 to 6+ hours, so you shouldn’t consume it at 7 pm & expect to be asleep before midnight.

Sleeplessness in a Girl

Those have been some negative effects of Alpha Brain. Also, it can cause dizziness or low blood pressure in some users. If you’re prone to hypotension, ensure to consult a physician before taking Alpha Brain. Some adverse effects may occur more frequently among users taking high doses.

Does Alpha Brain Have Any Cardiovascular Side Effects?

Alpha Brain contains choline, which powerfully increases the levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The details on how it achieves this do not explain the physiological ramifications of the action. Huperzia serrata, glycerylphosphorylcholine, & L-tyrosine halt the reuptake of stimulating neurotransmitters. Stopping it might eventually lead to a life-threatening surge of adrenaline-like chemicals in the body. As a result, users may experience heart attacks, seizures, or strokes. These effects may be intensified if exceeding recommended Alpha Brain doses, drinking caffeinated beverages, or using other food or meds having stimulating properties. Besides, there are no warnings on the label or an indication of this issue on the manufacturer’s website.

While Onnit exhibits formulation research that was performed on Alpha Brain, they too only serve to substantiate the positive effects of the formula. The studies are also not peer-reviewed. Although correctly indicating that choline is an essential nutrient, they do not reveal that there is no cause for an individual ingesting a healthy diet to require supplementation. Thus, using the product does nothing more than foster neurotransmitters to perhaps menacing levels.

Furthermore, various users’ reviews depict that Alpha Brain may sometimes trigger minor cardiovascular side effects. Some people complain about experiencing heart palpitations. Depending on the response to the medication, the users may experience elevated blood pressure. So, if you experience a weird feeling in your heart after ingesting Alpha Brain, it’s paramount to see a physician. You may experience great alertness, be more focused, and other benefits, but the chances of cardiovascular side effects can also occur.

How Long Do Alpha Brain Side Effects Last?

The side effects of Alpha Brain are usually short-lived. Some of the symptoms can be pronounced from the time of ingesting the product but always diminish after a while as the body gets used to the supplement. However, some users may experience a side effect that lasts for more than 4 hours. Perhaps this depends on the dose taken and the health status of the user. Because the supplement affects users differently and the severity may vary, it’s always paramount to consult a physician if any of the side effects last long.

Is Alpha Brain Safe?

Because it’s a powerful nootropic, many people wonder if Alpha Brain is safe to use. Yes, it is, but the long answer can also depend on who you ask. Some individuals who think that the negative effects listed above are painful will not say that the product is safe.

To most users, Alpha Brain is known to be one of the safest & most effective nootropics. And its ingredients are backed by research. Only a few individuals can experience minor side effects associated with this supplement. Overall, this nootropic is well-tolerated. There’s no source stating any major medical issues from taking Alpha Brain. No death, no hospitalizations, no overdose issues. However, everyone reacts to nootropics differently.

It’s always wise to understand that some natural ingredients can give rise to some negative effects when consumed in excessive quantities. This is especially caffeine or similar products containing too much caffeine. Fortunately, Alpha Brain is 100% free from caffeine & stimulants. Safe administration means sticking to the advisable dose of 2 to 4 capsules per day.

Is It Possible to Take Alpha Brain Every Day?

The ultimate answer to this question depends on your body’s response to the medication. In general, it’s not a good idea to take the nootropic every day. Although at the moment there are no studies depicting that Alpha Brain is addictive, it’s normally the case that you do not desire to use nootropic substances daily because there’s a possibility that your body will get dependent on them.

That’s equal for almost every substance, including caffeine, nicotine, & so on. What happens is that the supplement’s ingredients assist the brain by producing some extra chemicals… But then the body may ultimately develop tolerance and adapt to generate less of its chemicals in response to the long-term intake [2].

Here’s the chief tip: It is okay to use Alpha Brain daily for up to 3 weeks. Nonetheless, any longer than that is highly likely to cause negative effects. If you continue administering Alpha Brain daily, these symptoms will become both more likely & greatly worse. The reason for this is that Alpha Brain contains huperzine A.

Huperzine A is a cognitive augmenter. It can dramatically ameliorate memory, heighten focus, & foster motivation. But the way the ingredient functions isn’t suitable for long-term daily use. Huperzine A inhibits the acetylcholinesterase enzyme. The latter is responsible for getting rid of excess acetylcholine. More acetylcholine signifies rawer brainpower, but if it reaches a certain point, acetylcholine can start to work against the brain. Excessive levels of the chemical lead to a decline in cognitive function and eventually to some serious negative effects such as headaches, nausea, confusion, muscle cramps, motivation loss, & the inability to focus. The worse the backlog of acetylcholine gets, the more severe the negative effects become.

Because of that, it’s vital to regularly cycle the use of huperzine A. It’s to give the brain a break so acetylcholine levels can be brought back down to within “usual” limits.

Again, while there’s currently no proof of that happening with Alpha Brain, a prime tip is to only take it occasionally. With that approach, you’ll get great benefits, and you don’t have to worry about the negative effects.

Alpha Brain Alternatives


Various kinds of “smart drugs” exist on the market. You might consider looking for a decent nootropic alternative to Alpha Brain, although it works. Some people consider Alpha Brain not the best nootropic on the market. To some other “smart drug” enthusiasts, it may be very expensive. So, if looking for similar nootropics that do wonders with cognitive function, then check out the following products.

Modafinil & Armodafinil

Modafinil, a racemic mixture of R- and S-enantiomers, and armodafinil, an isolated R-enantiomer, have demonstrated clinical effectiveness in the therapy of excessive daytime sleepiness. They have the same mode of action and produce similar benefits. Both meds are approved to treat narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, & shift work sleep disorder. Besides, they are widely prescribed off-label to reduce the symptoms of other health problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

In some instances, armodafinil is considered a stronger pharmaceutical product with better wakefulness effects. While both meds can have similar negative reactions, some symptoms may be more common in one drug versus the other.

Aside from treating several health conditions, these drugs are popular among Silicon Valley executives, programmers, IT professionals, students, military, astronauts, factory workers, etc., as powerful cognitive augmenters and productivity boosters. There’s no denying that modafinil and its “twin brother” work. They both are well-tolerated and safe for use. Scientists have even dubbed modafinil the “world’s first safe “smart tab.” Studies depict that modafinil and armodafinil have a low incidence of negative effects & low abuse potential [3]. You’re not likely to get addicted to either of the drugs.

Peak plasma concentrations of these meds are achieved at approx. 2 hours in the fasted state. Food effect on their overall bioavailability is considered minimal; nonetheless, time to reach peak concentration may be delayed 2 to 4 hours in the fed state. The R-isomer of racemic modafinil has a half-life of approx. 15 hours, while the S-isomer has a half-life of about 4 to 5 hours.

Armodafinil & modafinil are probably the most favorite nootropics on the market today, meaning that they are a great alternative to Alpha Brain. If you want 10 to 15 hours of boosted productivity or insanely great brainpower to overcome those challenging tasks that require super brain function, then opt for either of these medicines [4].

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro (MLP) is another great alternative nootropic to Alpha Brain. These supplements are similar in that they both are blends of safe ingredients that have cognitive-augmenting properties. But in our experience & research, MLP is a little stronger & lasts longer. The other thing most people like about MLP is that it seems to ameliorate creativity to a heightened level.

This is a big dissimilarity: both modafinil/armodafinil & Alpha Brain get you to focus & be super productive, but some people tend not to have as many excellent, novel, & creative ideas while using them. With MLP, you can get the work that needs to be done without sacrificing the quality & originality of your ideas. And it even ameliorates your mood. Without a doubt, no one can argue with that. Generally, MLP comes with well-studied and well-dosed ingredients, & it generally provides the most consistent results.

MLP supplement acts as a memory & mood ameliorator that can assist in augmenting focus, motivation, & drive. It’s easy to get rid of brain fog as well as mental burnout with this product. MLP is for anyone seeking to foster test-taking performance, concentration & focus at work or mental processing speed. Overall, if you’re looking for the #1 Alpha Brain & modafinil alternative on the market, MLP is indeed our first-rate recommendation.

The Verdict: Alpha Brain Negative Side Effects

In summary, Alpha Brain is one of the safest & most effective nootropic supplements available on the market. It contains a bunch of known, researched, & well-tolerated substances. It rewards users with the best cognitive results to help them perform better. It ameliorates several brain functions, including attention, decision-making, memory, remembering, etc. The prime way to get “in the zone” is to use Alpha Brain. It’s indeed not a menacing “smart drug.”

Its negative effects are controllable & don’t cause you many issues, especially if the supplement is used properly & taken in the morning hours after a fat-filled breakfast. Without further ado, Alpha Brain is one of the first-rate beginner nootropics you can get today.


  1. A randomized, double‐blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, efficacy study of alpha BRAIN® administered orally. By Todd M. Solomon, Jarrett Leech, Guy B. de Bros, et al. Published: February 15, 2016.
  2. Substance dependence. Retrieved: April 13, 2021.
  3. The Atypical Stimulant and Nootropic Modafinil Interacts with the Dopamine Transporter in a Different Manner than Classical Cocaine-Like Inhibitors. By Kyle C. Schmitt and Maarten E. A. Reith. Published: October 17, 2011.
  4. The off-prescription use of modafinil: An online survey of perceived risks and benefits. By Rachel D. Teodorini, Nicola Rycroft, and James H. Smith-Spark. Published: February 5, 2020.