Brain Awake claims it can maximize your thinking power, improve mental clarity, and boost energy. While doing a close study of its ingredients it seems the product is not as effective as advertised. It is a weak nootropic stack with only a handful of active nootropic ingredients in it. It’s great that the supplement contains some good supporting vitamins but apart from that, the key ingredients are missing in it. It falls short of being an effective brain supplement. If you are looking for a nootropic stack that really works then we suggest going for the one that contains a good mix of active nootropics, vitamins, and herbs.
With numerous dietary supplements available in the market, it is imperative to conduct in-depth research on these products, their uses and side-effects.
Today we are reviewing one such brain boosting formula – Brain Awake.
What is Brain Awake
Brain Awake is a brain supplement that can help you maximize your thinking power. The brand claims its product is scientifically formulated to boost mental performance and cognition.
Further, Brain Awake claims to deliver powerful brain-boosters and supportive nutrients that can calm and nourish the central nervous system.
Brain Awake is manufactured by Irwin Naturals, producer of soft-gel based herbal supplements. It is based out of California. Klee Irwin is the founder and owner.
In 2011, the company paid $2.65 million in penalties to settle a lawsuit filed in California. The company had indulged in misrepresentation of their dietary supplements. They marketed products that contained an excessive amount of lead than allowed under the states Prop 65. Additionally, one hoodia product was found to contain no Hoodia (1)
Brain Awake Claims
The company makes four major claims about Brain Awake:
Brain Awake Ingredient Analysis
Our research team has carried a careful review of the ingredient list. What struck us first is that the product is marketed as a brain-boosting supplement, but contains limited cognition-enhancing ingredients.
Most of the elements are just supplementary vitamins that play no active role as a nootropic. Here’s a detailed review of the formula:
Folate 200 mcg
Folate naturally occurs in foods like green leafy vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, meat, etc.
It is commonly used by individuals with folate deficiencies and by pregnant women to prevent miscarriage. Studies show it is possibly useful in cases of high blood pressure, depression, gum disease in pregnant women and vitiligo.
There’s limited evidence to suggest that Folate helps with any brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or autism. A study published in Science Direct proves that if pregnant women take folate along with Vitamin B12, it may have a positive influence on the development of the central nervous system of the fetus.
Clinical research proves that folic acid (a synthetic form of folate) may help with depression and age-related cognitive decline. (1)
Apart from this, there’s no other evidence to provide a direct correlation between Folate and cognitive development.
Vitamin B12 & Vitamin B6
As explained above, taking Vitamin B12 along with Folate may help with the development of CNS of the foetus.
Vitamin B6 helps the brain to release serotonin, a chemical that helps to regulate mood and social behaviour.
A study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry indicates that Vitamin B6 & B12 can help with depression by reducing the level of homocysteine in the body. A high level of this amino acid is related to depression and mood disorder.
MCT oil is another popular ingredient that has gained fame recently due to its multitude of health benefits. It claims to aid weight loss, enhance performance, help with digestive and brain disorders. MCT or Medium Chain Triglyceride is known for its faster digestion. Due to this fact, it leads to an instant energy boost.
Proponents of MCT oil claim its use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. However, research conducted by the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias shows there’s limited scientific evidence to prove the same.
Currently, there are limited studies that are also smaller in scope on the use and safety of this oil. We found insufficient evidence that can prove the hyped claims.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500 mg
Commonly known as ALCAR is an amino acid produced by the body to provide energy. It helps in weight loss. There is some evidence that proves taking ALCAR in a supplement form may have benefits in neuroinflammation, which is a causing factor in various neurodegenerative diseases. (1)
The above studies are limited in nature and do not establish sufficient evidence to ascertain its long-term benefits amongst healthy people.
The Bacoside extract is derived from the plant Bacopa Monnieri. It is an Ayurvedic herb considered to be an effective cognitive enhancer. A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine proves that taking a small amount of Bacopa Monnieri extract daily can enhance working memory, attention and cognition by suppressing Acetylcholinesterase activity.
A study published by Rejuvenation Research summarises that the plant helps in alleviating cognitive disorders and oxidative damage. It also leads to an increase in cognitive abilities.
Holy basil is a plant known for its medicinal and therapeutic values. It acts as a natural antibacterial, anti-allergic and analgesic medicine.
A study published in Taylor & Francis shows Holy Basil might help with depression and anxiety.
Apart from the above benefits, there’s no direct evidence to prove its effectiveness in boosting brain performance. More in-depth studies are required to ascertain its correct use and dose.
Alpha Wave L-Theanine
AlphaWave is a trademark by Ethical Naturals Inc; it is derived from L-Theanine. There are no published studies that may prove AlphaWave is more effective than L-Theanine.
Natural tea extract
Tea extract contains caffeine, which helps with brain stimulation and mental alertness. A study published in Molecular Nutrition reported that caffeine is useful in the prevention of depression.
Brain Awake uses Innovatea, a registered trademark by NutriScience. The company claims this extract to be of high quality and free of pesticides.
The only downside of consuming high doses of caffeine is that it may lead to addiction, restlessness, trouble sleeping, and anxiety. A study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence outlines these facets of caffeine consumption.
Piperine is an extract obtained from the black pepper fruits. Brain Awake uses BioPerine, which is the name of the patented formula by Sabinsa Corporation. Piperine is often used to enhance the absorption of nutrients in the body – a process commonly referred to as bioenhancement.
Research published by Arthritis Research & Therapy studies its use as an anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive in the treatment of arthritis. The article concludes that more research is required concerning its use as a dietary supplement.
There’s very little research on Piperine, and most of it talks about its role as a bioenhancer. One study by Planta Medica, demonstrated Piperine increased the absorption of curcumin by 200%.
Based on limited studies, there are claims that piperine may enhance the absorption of other vitamins too. But, there are no studies to prove this claim. Also, more does not always mean better, especially in the case of supplements.
Lemon Balm extract
Lemon balm is a lemon-scented herb that comes from the mint family. It is traditionally used to improve cognition and mood.
A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine indicates that lemon balm can ease stress. However, the study lacks in terms of the sample size used, which is only 18.
Another study claims that it can help in reducing anxiety and depression (1).
The plant holds a lot of potentials, but studies conducted on this herb are not exhaustive. Further research is required to know the long-term benefits and side-effects.
Rosemary is a fragrant herb most commonly used as a culinary condiment. It comes from the mint family. It is known for its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
A study published by Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine indicates that it can help alter brain functioning and enhancing cognition.
Common side effects of Rosemary include vomiting, spasms, coma, and pulmonary edema. Rosemary is an herb with many benefits, but the research studies are not yet conclusive on its safe use as a dietary supplement.
Key Point: We need to remember that plants, when used in their extract form, are much more potent than their whole natural form. Hence, the side-effects are also more pronounced along with the benefits.
Are Brain Awake Ingredients Safe And Effective?
The ingredients used in the Brain Awake formula seem potentially safe. Users can experience some instant mood uplift and energy boost. Certain anti-anxiety ingredients used can help induce calm.
When it comes to its effectiveness as a nootropic, Brain Awake seems like a run of the mill formula. Most of the ingredients used do not actively participate in cognition improvement or supporting brain function.
Elements like MCT, Peprine, Holy basil that are derived from natural plants/fruits are at a very nascent stage of research. Their use as a dietary supplement has not been studied thoroughly. We strongly recommend not to give in to such supplements where sufficient human clinical trials are missing.
Some common side-effects of the ingredients in question can include:
Warnings for Brain Awake Users
How to Take Brain Awake?
The official website states to take 3 soft gels daily with a meal and a glass of water.
Does Brain Awake Provide 100% BrainPower?
The direct answer to this is, no. Individuals may find an immediate boost in energy and mood due to the presence of caffeine and MCT oil. The supportive vitamins like Folate, B6, and B12 in combination, can help in reducing anxiety and depression.
However, when it comes to cognitive abilities, Brain Awake formula is unimpressive that is made with minimal nootropic agents. Barring Bacopa and L-Theanine, most of the other ingredients are either natural plant extracts that do not have proper scientific studies to support the hyped claims or common vitamins that are regular dietary supplements.
If you’re on the lookout for an efficient brain supplement, then Brain Awake is not the right choice.
I drank the packing of the tablets. The result is noticeable – there are clearer thoughts, better concentration, attention. I will not say that it's a very strong effect, but it's there. Minus – very large capsules and not tasty, difficult to swallow. I plan to buy a second package in time.
I received this bottle today and all the pills in it are melted. I would like a new bottle sent to me.
Didn't really awaken anything in me.
Where to Buy Brain Awake?
Brain Awake is available on E-commerce websites like – IrwinNaturals, Amazon, and iHerb.
It costs $17.99 for one bottle that contains 60 liquid soft gels.
The dose specified by the official website is 3 softgels per day. This means 1 bottle will last 20 days.
What is Brain Awake Return Policy?
The official website states that a full money refund is given only if the product is unopened and is sent within 30 days of receipt. For open products the company doesn’t offer a money refund but only merchandise credit that can be used to purchase any other product from them.
Shipping is free on orders above $50. Otherwise, they charge $6.95 as shipping and handling charges.
Is Brain Awake A Good Nootropic For You?
After our thorough research on Brain Awake, our word of advice in dealing with cognitive decline is to take a safe approach.
The first step towards bettering the brain’s functioning is to make amends to your lifestyle. Exercise is a free nootropic that is backed by science to boost brainpower.
A great workout combined with the right brain supplement can do wonders for brain health.
One such product is the Mind Lab Pro supplement. We recommend you to go through its ingredient list where you will find compelling and scientifically backed ingredients that improve cognition.
Mind Lab Pro does not contain any unnatural additives or stimulants – it’s pure 100% brainpower. There are countless customers that can testify to its incredible benefits.
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Mind Lab Pro
Encoding, Storage, Recall, Learning, Test Taking
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Support Brain Energy?
Mental agility, quick thinking and focus
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Mood balance, Stress resistance, Relaxation, Creativity, Motivation
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Supports Brain Protection
Fights toxins and unhealthy structural changes that degrade the brain over time.
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Speed, Process, Attention, Focus, Verbal
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Injury repair, Fluid membranes, Neurogenesis, Anti-aging, Fight depression
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Meets mental performance demand
From day to day and hour to hour
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Helps with immediate and long-term brain health and function
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Free from stimulants and additives
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Caffeine addiction, Nausea, Vomiting, Allergy, etc.
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No Potential Side Effects
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Money Back Guarantee
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30 Days (for unopened product)
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Brain Awake is marketed as a brain booster formula. Sadly, the product doesn’t stand tall for its claims. The formula is rather weak in its cognition-enhancing abilities.
It’s full of ineffective ingredients which are not backed by sufficient clinical trials.
If you are in search of a nootropic that performs its function without any side effects, then we recommend Mind Lab Pro. It is touted as the cleanest brain supplement that has no additives and is 100% vegan - interested to learn more about it?
Last Updated On: February 24th, 2021
Mike is our editor and the main contributor to the website’s content. He’s a licensed nutritionist with an earnest interest in mental health. He has been studying nootropics for the last 7 years.