What’s The Truth About “TruBrain”?

By Neuroskeptic | January 14, 2015 12:03 pm

Via Twitter on Monday, I learned about truBrain, a California company who sell “think drinks”. As they put it:

Our team of UCLA trained neuroscientists set out to solve the problem that energy drinks do not – genuine focus… Crafted with the perfect amounts of active nootropics… Loaded with amino acids to fuel the thinking process.

My interest was moderately piqued by this, but then TruBrain blocked a fellow neuroblogger on Twitter. This got my attention.

So what is truBrain? It’s a range of drinks – or alternatively capsules – containing a combination of several nutrients plus a nootropic (‘smart drug’), principally piracetam or the related oxiracetam (in ‘turbo’ packets.)


Of the ingredients, all except oxiracetam and piracetam are the kind of stuff you might find in a health food shop – such as magnesium, L-tyrosine, and DHA. Piracetam is a bit different. truBrain call it the ‘frontman’ of their group of molecular musicians:

John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin. Every band needs a frontman and this gaba derivative is ours. This ingredient leads our blend because of its decorated resume and established reputation within the neuroscience community. It is designed to boost information processing, attention, learning, and memory. This is the premium branded name of our popular blend driver, 2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide.

As Our “Neuro Nerds” Say…

…it’s designed to enhance the brain’s metabolism and boost information processing, attention, learning, and memory. It may increase neurotransmission, mitochondrial function, blood flow, oxygen consumption, cell membrane fluidity, and may have neuroprotective benefits.

So what does piracetam do to you? truBrain seem to be noncommittal on that issue. Their above-quoted description makes no direct claims about piracetam’s efficacy. We’re told that it’s designed to boost memory, and may increase neurotransmission – but does it?

There have been plenty of studies on piracetam and other nootropics. These compounds have a devoted fan-base, many of whom can be found online debating the merits of different drug and nutrient combos (or ‘stacks‘). truBrain is itself a stack. Is there any evidence that this particular stack has particular benefits?

truBrain say that

At truBrain, we demonstrate efficacy with quantitative data – it is in our DNA and what drives our Neuroscience team

However, the only data they present that I could see is a within-subject, non-placebo-controlled study of 7 people who had an EEG at baseline and again after one week on truBrain. They’ve run a larger study, but I couldn’t find the results, which don’t seem to be out yet.

On their ‘The Science’ page, truBrain highlight results from the n = 7 study, such as increased alpha waves and ‘dramatically’ stronger beta waves – but these are within individual subject comparisons. At the group level, the differences were ‘not quite significant’ (p = 0.079 for increased alpha, p value unstated for beta.) Some self-reported mood and cognitive effects are also described, but again with no p values.

If truBrain does increase, say, alpha wave amplitude, can we assume that this is a good thing? Neuroscientists are still debating what alpha waves are and where they come from. I note that some studies have reported that alcohol intoxication increases alpha power and so does being a crack cocaine addict or having PTSD. My point is not to make a case that stronger alpha waves are bad, but rather, to suggest that it is problematic to interpret them as straightforwardly good.


I note something else: all of the ingredients in truBrain have been around for decades, as truBrain themselves point out. In fact, in a (rather good) Reddit AMA from last year, Andrew Hill, lead neuroscientist at truBrain, said that “I have been taking these ingredients [truBrain’s] semi-regularly for over 5 years.”

This raises the question: if you believe that truBrain’s stack is effective, could you just buy the key molecules yourself – as Hill seems to have done previously? Could you buy them on eBay, for instance?

I decided to take a quick look. truBrain’s capsules are sold for $85 per month’s supply (if you buy a year’s worth; it’s more if you pay monthly). So how much would it cost to buy comparable products on eBay? I went through the list of truBrain ingredients given here, molecule by molecule:

  • Piracetam – I couldn’t find any dose information on the website, but according to this blog TruBrain provides 3 grams per day and here it’s stated as 3.2 g. You can buy 1000 g of piracetam (a kilo) on USA eBay for $73, a price of $0.073 per gram. 30 x 3.2 x 0.073 = $7 per month.

For the others the doses are given on truBrain’s website. It’s not clear if these amounts are per day or per pack (you get 44 packs per month). I will assume it’s per pack, as this assumption is more favorable to truBrain.

  • CDP Choline 375 mg – 50 grams costs $40 or $0.80 per gram. 44 x 0.375 x 0.8 = $13.20 per month
  • DHA 200 mg – 180 capsules with 500 mg each costs $26.7 or $0.30 per gram. 44 x 0.2 x 0.30 = $2.64 per month
  • L-carnitine 375 mg – The only ingredient I didn’t find sold on US EBay, but in the UK, 100 g costs £6.98 which is $9.80 or $0.098 per gram. 44 x 0.375 x 0.098 = $1.67 per month
  • L-theanine 300 mg – 100 grams costs $15.11 or $0.151 per gram. 44 x 0.3 x 0.151 = $2.00 per month
  • L-tyrosine 375 mg – 100 grams costs $14.25 or $0.143 per gram. 44 x 0.375 x 0.143 = $2.35 per month.
  • Magnesium 120 mg – 100 tablets containing 500 mg cost $9.95 or $0.20 per gram. 44 x 0.12 x 0.2 = $1.05 per month.
  • Oxiracetam 800 mg (but only 4 doses are provided each month) – 30 tablets containing 750 mg cost $30 or $1.33 per gram. 4 x 0.8 x 1.33 = $4.26 per month.

These figures should not be taken as representative: they are just the result of an hour on eBay. Nonetheless, if I have done all my sums correctly, one could buy the above products which, I believe, constitute the key ingredients in one month’s supply of truBrain, for $34.08, whereas truBrain’s lowest stated monthly cost is $85.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: drugs, media, select, Top Posts
  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    Intelligence is innate. If you have it, fine. If you don’t, become a boss not an employee. Speed, caffeine, armodafinil… nootropics overall have interesting acute effects. Add side effects.

    If I want a polymer to survive decades of weathering, I add about 0.1 wt-% each of a hindered hydroxybenzotriazole UV absorber (Tinuvin 328), a phenolic antioxidant (Irganox 1010), and a free radical scavenger (Tinuvin 292). Does it work in humans? A 1960s’ sunblock was a frank carcinogen (only in sunlight), BHA and BHT chew on your liver, beta-carotene increases lung cancer rates in smokers.

    Simple molecule fluorenol is 39% more effective than modafinil for keeping mice awake. Fluorenol is also an insecticide and algaecide. Take care when feeding your head.

    • Matthew Slyfield

      “Intelligence is innate.”

      Some degree of any form of ability is innate.

      Most of us will never be Olympic class athletes no matter how much we work out. Heck most of us probably can’t even get there with performance enhancing drugs.

      That doesn’t mean that you don’t get any boost at all from either exercise or PEDs.

      Your brain is the same. Yes there is some base level of innate ability, but you can still get some boost from exercise and / or PEDs.

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

        Look at the tachometer in your car. See the red part of the scale? When the arrow goes there, your engine is pushed beyond its engineering specs. Stuff breaks.

        • Matthew Slyfield

          1. Engineering specs tend to be somewhat conservative, your engine is not going to fail instantly if you hit the red line.
          2. Biological organisms are not machines. You can push your limits far more than you can push a machine’s.

          • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

            Convince addicts, nicotine to Paxil. Lenny Bruce. broke, as did John Belushi. Machinery can be repaired or replaced.


          • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

            Lenny Bruce, John Belushi. DEAD. Peer Sellers: “Sellers suffered a multiple-heart attack in California, in part caused by his heavy use of amyl nitrite.”

          • Sebastian_Aguiar_OC

            I agree that nootropics are understudied and there may be long-term side effects. However, there is a distinction between a pure “cognitive enhancer” and a “nootropic.”


            Piracetam was the first to satisfy all criteria.

            “They should enhance learning and memory.

            They should enhance the resistance of learned behaviors/memories to conditions which tend to disrupt them (e.g.electroconvulsive shock, hypoxia).

            They should protect the brain against various physical or chemical injuries (e.g. barbiturates, scopalamine).

            They should increase the efficacy of the tonic cortical/subcortical control mechanisms.

            They should lack the usual pharmacology of other psychotropic drugs (e.g. sedation, motor stimulation) and possess very few side effects and extremely low toxicity.”

            Piracetam isn’t very potent compared to its structural analogs.

            In the period of all clinical trials conducted on piracetam, it has not been associated with any adverse effects. Modafinil is too new to say, but given that its mechanism of action isn’t really known, I am not betting it will be harmless. The classical stimulants are not sustainable.

            Bacopa monnieri and its constituent bacosides are much more interesting. As is curcumin and dietary factors like Richard Wurtman’s blend of uridine, DHA, and choline — all three are required as rate-limiting reagents in synaptogenesis.

            Hope you’re doing well, Al, we should get lunch sometime!

  • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

    Almost everything neuroscience that appears in the popular press reminds me of Richard Feynam’s description of cargo cult science. Science in service of making products for mass consumption is kind of sad. I do wish the U.S. would fund whole lot more independent science, especially exploratory science that isn’t required to sell something to get a grant.

    • https://bitsum.com/ Jeremy Collake

      Only thing worse is the anti-depressants the psych industry pushes for the long-debunked “chemical imbalance” theory. None of it is hard science. Published clinical trials of their drugs only barely beat placebo at these highly subjective and hard to quantify “diseases” like depression.

  • Jespersen

    If their product claims to boost cognitive performance, they could just as well showcase a blind trial of subjects’ performance on basic cognitive tasks – the sort of experiments psychologists and doctors have been doing for decades – instead of the power of “alpha waves” – whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. Or would that be too easy to falsify?

    Another thing I noticed is that they always capitalize “Neuroscience” and “Neuroscientist”. Interesting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      Putting neuroscience in all-caps or bold would be too obvious.

    • https://bitsum.com/ Jeremy Collake

      Publishing studies on snake oil would only hurt their sales.

  • Bill C

    If I believed it would work, I might be willing to pay the extra $50 a month not to have to do all the separate ordering and compiling myself. How much do you spend on coffeeshops?
    Seriously, I’m a fan, but I’m not sure the financial analysis is relevant here.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      If you’re willing to pay for the convenience then that’s your choice; but it should be an informed choice, hence my financial analysis.

      Personally I was surprised by the low cost of some of the ingredients on eBay, piracetam especially. Given that this is the “lead singer” of the “group” it is interesting that it can be found so cheaply. I wonder also if a suitable diet would supply all of the other nutrients.

      • Gerry

        for example, there is 1 gram of choline in a single egg yolk

      • geneven

        How would you judge the purity of a drug you bought on eBay, especially something you had never tried before?

        • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

          The same way I’d judge anything else on EBay to be honest – I’d rely on the wisdom of crowds by only buying from highly upvoted sellers.

          • Rob

            You would rely on wisdom of the crowds to buy supplements on Ebay? I don’t think you should be qualified to write an article on supplements :) Anyone who’s looked into Nootropics knows the powder form is cheap – and you also have to keep in mind that the people who TAKE them are entrpreneurs, students, and people who are taking them to get things done more quickly. We will pay more if it means not scooping for 10 minutes in the morning (and really that’s how long it takes to precisely measure all this stuff).

          • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

            You could measure many doses out into capsules (or any other form) in one batch so you don’t have to spend 10 minutes every morning.

      • Karla Buker Marsh

        If you’re “really” getting piracetam, and not baking soda or something that will kill you …

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  • Rixware

    John Lennon wasn’t the “frontman” of the Beatles!

    • Cernan Sixtyeight

      In the Quarrymen and the Silver Beatles he WAS the lead simply because someone had to be officially labeled such in order to get booked and for the ads & PR. Once the final version of Beatles took off, the press gave them nicknames. John’s was “the lead Beatle.” These names were dropped after a few months.

      • Rixware

        Sorry, but that’s just not true. John was, at times, considered the “leader” of the group off the stage, but on stage they always shared lead vocals — even from the earliest days. As such, he was NEVER what we would call the “frontman” — which implies that he was the star of the show, and the other guys were his backing band. That was just never the case, and it is well-documented. (I’ve never read anywhere what you are describing, but it wouldn’t matter. All that matters is how they appeared on stage.)

        • John Smith

          Human beings are not programmed machines. We can’t push our restrictions more than we can push it on the machine. We need to use drugs that potentially increase our brain potential. For example modafinil, phenylpiracetam and sometimes rank to the strong brain boosters.

      • TellDTruth

        Thank God Lennon wasn’t the front man, with his whiny ugly voice.

  • Scott

    I recently saw a site when I searched for trubrain free trials on Google that is offering truBrain trials that usually cost $50 for free, minus I believe shipping and handling. I tried it and loved it. It’s a little pricey to continue month-to-month, but I think you can order separately now and don’t need to sign up for a “subscription.” I will have to find out before my trial is over to decide if i want to continue, but after a couple weeks, I have noticed a pretty significant difference, compared to other nootropic supplements that I have tried before.

    • Jerry

      I noticed this is your one and only post on Disqus. Posted right after you joined. Very suspicious.

      • Scott

        I’m not sure what you found to be “suspicious.” Honestly, I hadn’t used and don’t use disqus often at all. This was a while ago but re-reading the article I remember it now. This was not long after I used truBrain and really just started using nootropics. I have learned and used a hell of a lot of other products since then but will try not to go off on too much of a tangent here about what I liked and didn’t like. I don’t know if truBrain is still offering these same sample boxes for free anymore, but I have come across a couple other free ones and as someone who was pretty skeptical before I tried nootropics the first time, I know there are probably plenty others like me who would like to try them before spending upwards of $60 with the possibility that you don’t like it. Anyway, it’s no big “secret.” Most of the times I just search for free nootropics or nootropic supplement reviews and once in a while, I will find one or two. Some have been better than others, but just a heads up for those who are curious about them like I was and don’t want to immediately spend a bunch of money without knowing how they will make them feel. Sorry you felt it was “suspicious.” Adios!

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  • 3b

    I learnt about trubrain in 2013 from someone who had had an interview for a job with them. They used to have a longer list of studies on their sire, but it seems like they removed those references and now just put that single eeg study there, not that it makes much of a difference though…

    Noteworthy is that Christoph Michel is also gone from their “science team”, I wonder what made him reconsider.

  • Sunshine

    These supplements sound like a good idea at first. Who wouldn’t want to boost up their brain power. But then I wonder about the long term effects of a person’s brain waves constantly being chemically manipulated. The ingredients are natural, yes, but the doses are higher than found in the common diet and unnatural. I feel like a healthy diet and exercise would achieve the same effects in a safer way.

    • Rob

      Yeah, absolutely. A lot of people see this as the silver bullet and think they can take it for the next 10 years. You kind of have to have a mindset of, ‘instead of drinking a shitload of coffee, or taking aderrall, etc on days when I’m dragging, I now have an alternative that makes me sharp without as many side effects.’ I’m stil skeptical about the longterm effects of caffeine!

  • Angeles Jonske

    This is kind of a ridiculous argument. You can also grow your own
    vegetables, make your own toothpaste, shampoo, change your own oil, cook
    all your own meals, but at some point it makes sense to pay for a
    prepared meal. What’s the price to make your own red bull or beer or

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      But making any of those other things would require time, plus special equipment and skills. It *is* extremely cheap to brew your own beer but it’s difficult.

      In this case, however, you literally just buy the ingredients and swallow them. Maybe you’d need a set of scales to weigh them out but that’s it. And you would save $50 a month!

      • Johannes

        What’s your time worth? People are busier and busier these days so technicalities aside these guys play to a nice pain point in modern day society. If you are sitting at home weighing and separating milligrams of supplements and worrying about the extra couple bucks I would say you need to get a job….

        • Patrick Hughes

          Get a second job, so you can pay other people to do something you can do at home? Why? I’d much rather enjoy doing some menial tasks in a house that a large amount of my income is going towards than going to a second job so that I can afford to pay someone else to do those things. At the end of the day, it usually has nothing to do with the time crunch and more to do with people not wanting to do certain personal tasks because they are lazy, above them, or whatever. Saving $50 a month by spending probably an hour mixing supplements at proper ratios and capping them is a no brainer. Capping supplements is a really quick process, and mindless, something that can easily be done while listening to a podcast or watching a show.

      • Rob

        Yeah, it’s really not that simple. A lot of this stuff is measured with microscoops, .15cc scoops, etc. You get an extra crum in your drink and it can have adverse effects. Realistically, if you’re taking 3-4 Nootropics, it takes about 5-10 minutes. And that’s just to take your morning dose. I’m totally leaving out that you’d have to bring this white powdery substance with you to work in your bag.. Not going to play out well when I get random bag checked at the subway :)

        • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

          If you mix all the ingredients (perhaps with added sugar to bulk it out) first, then when you measure out the individual doses of the mix, it wouldn’t need to be so accurate, as you’d be measuring out a few grams. As to carrying around white powder you could mix it into a jar of (a known quantity of) protein powder / hot chocolate / etc. if that’s a concern.

    • Sunshine

      I’d rather pay the extra per month to get the right amount of each supplement, the correct quality and save time trying to order each one and work out the system of what to take when.

      • BABOSO

        The company will love you. No miracle drugs out there. Unless you see thousands of reviews touting its effectiveness be prepared to consider that some people get psychosymatic effects, just so they feel like something is actually working. How about some green coffee beans?

    • pdw1969

      Lol, you’re right!!!

  • Sunshine

    Everyone can be a “skeptic” about something and just criticize and be a
    Monday morning quarterback, but what do you stand for? What products or
    thesis do you actually support as opposed to try to just tear down and
    debunk this product?

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      I don’t support any products. I’m just helping people to make their own decisions by comparing prices. I don’t sell any of these ingredients.

  • Claude

    Thanks for your review and breakdown of the supposed benefits of truBrain.

  • JTol

    When I first heard about truBrain, I was curious too to see if it would have the effects on me that makers claimed so I tried it out. After completing the Loading Phase I definitely noticed a huge improvement in my attention and generally felt really good. I felt like I could get a lot of work done without getting easily pulled away from the task at hand and felt like I could sustain working a lot longer. It also put me in a really good mood, which I found interesting and great.

    I was then really curious if what I was feeling was the truBrain or just a placebo effect, so I ran a little experiment on myself. I went 2 weeks truBrain-free to wash it from my system, took a baseline QEEG, then took truBrain twice a day for 5 days and did a post-QEEG. The results actually supported everything that I had subjectively felt—decreased delta/theta and increased alpha 2 waves, both statistically significant (p<0.001)!! My baseline delta/theta was above average by 2 whole standard deviations, which is indicative of attention regulation issues, and after truBrain, it completely normalized. The increased alpha 2 and its location is associated with increases sensory attention. There was also an odd thing that happened—some of the front left delta/theta switched to the front right, which is suggestive of elevated mood, supporting the good mood that I had been feeling before.

    I think one of the issues that the company has with publishing their own QEEG study is that there is a lot of variability in people’s brains which messes with the data. For example, I have naturally above average delta/theta, but someone else could have naturally below average delta/theta. TruBrain may normalize those levels for both of us, but if you tried to average our results, the values would cancel out and would show no average change before and after truBrain. They should probably use some other tests to show the efficacy, I’m sure it’s probably only a matter of time. Till then, I personally love truBrain and will be continuing my subscription. I love the stuff, worth every penny.

    • Jerry

      I noticed this is your one and only post on Disqus. Posted a few days after you joined. Very suspicious.

      • false rabbit

        I concur. Sponsored by… truBrain.

  • geneven

    Perhaps you should change the site name to “Neuroshopper”.

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  • Jimmy Hoffa

    One of the trueBrain big wigs, Andrew Hill, tried to persuade Joe Rogan that akido is a useful, and practical martial art. Anyone who believes akido is a legitimate martial art, can’t be that smart. Just thought I would throw that out there.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      Hmm, you mean this podcast? Reddit’s opinion seems to be divided on whether Hill was being dumb there.

      • kbsamurai

        With 25 years experience in Aikido, and having trained police, prison guards, and various people with real need of useful and practical martial technique and mindset, Rogan sounds like the usual pigheaded MMA idiot. Martial skills are always adapted for situation, this has been true of cage fighting as anything else. Hill is not being dumb, just not that experienced. Aikido has spread around the world and there many ways people train now, but if one’s goal is to find the useful and practical in it, it is there to be found. Just as an example, Robert Koga, in the 60’s was an early example of U.S. police finding and adapting aikido training to the needs of policeman. His Koga Institute still today conducts training for police and security professionals and the book he wrote on aikido for police was very influential. Just though I would throw that out there.

        • cleohbjj

          I’ve trained BJJ for many years and have seen high ranking aikido blackbelts attempt to hang with strong BJJ white and blue belts. It’s actually quite sad when you think about how long the aikido folks train to get ranked. I appreciate the discipline and tradition of the art but it isn’t entirely practical and is far from effective in a fight or even sport grappling, kick boxing or MMA. As I heard a coach say to a young BJJ student while rolling with an aikido black belt, “watch your wrists and go for the choke”

  • pdw1969

    I’ve used the drinks and it’s benefitted my 64 year old brain, especially in improving my failing short term memory, which fades with age and drives me nuts lol! Just two days ago I lost my bankcard but I knew it was in the house so I thought back to when and where I’d last used it and actually remembered and went straight to the shirt I’d worn then and plucked it out of the pocket of the shirt. That’s literally the first time in years I’ve been able to use my short term memory effectively. I rest my case. It may not work for everyone, but it’s worked for myself and I will continue to use it.

    • Alexandra Smith

      Are you still continuing to use it?

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  • Scott

    How do you feel about Modafinil and/or Armodafinil? Ever try the ones from Modapharma? Was thinking about trying it out because of all the hype about it being the first “real” smart drug.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      I’ve never tried it so I can’t really comment. I think there’s good evidence it wakes you up. If you’re already awake I’m not sure it makes you smarter.

      • Keith Brandt

        You can still purchase the precursor drug addrafinil on line. It causes heart palpitations but will keep you up. Good to add a theanine supplement to relax and Choline supplement to avoid the headaches.

    • Rob

      I just started taking Armodafinil. It’s only been a few days.. I’m really taking it cause I’d like to get off taking ADHD drugs like Aderrall. It’s definitely kept me awake, but makes me a bit too hyper as well. Not really my cup of tea, but I know a lot of people find it useful for long days or binge working

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  • http://jodyroyee.tiritstime.com/ Jody Royee

    Thank you for all the work you did on this comparison! That saved me a whole lot of labor online. I’ve been doing a good dose of various brain balancing and optimizing things over the last 10 years.

    Supplements require proper absorption into the system. If our gut is not healthy then throwing a bunch of supplements in it will not serve us. clean and healthy Food, Sun, Earth, Water and Air are going to be our 1st line of support for our whole body.

    Don’t treat symptoms, treat the whole person. We are primarily energetic and electrical beings and when things are not flowing on the circuits efficiently, properly and smoothly then our lives go haywire.

    If you understand electricity you will be more equipped to understand how we work as a conscious being in a bio-electric body. Grounding is our 1st job. Grounding our energy into our body and grounding our body to the earth and getting the cycles or loops to flow clockwise is key. Just like any kind of alignment, our energy must be in proper alignment, harmony, balance and attunement. Just like tuning a radio dial or a piano. Just like the energy in your homes should be grounded. check out http://www.earthing.com or http://www.earthingyou.com

    We don’t need a vitamin D supplement, we need appropriate amounts of sun on our skin.

    We don’t need chemical supplements we need natural medicine which can be as simple as pure organic ingestible essential oils from plants. Look at the power of just Peppermint essential oil.

    Go outside and spend an hour without shoes on dirt, sand or grass. Sit down and put your palms and feet on the earth and see how you feel without any cell phone or electronic equipment near you. Your energy field will synch with the Earth’s biofield and that’s when your body is happiest.


    As soon as you hear the words “clinical studies” you know it’s likely overstated results. Don’t you think if something was a miracle drug it would be touted by more than just the companies who manufacture the products as well as sell them? Excellent analysis by the writer in covering this story. Beware of testimonials where someone takes one dose and starts feeling the results. Feeling the results could mean simply it gave the user a buzz, or nausea… Never take these ads at face value. Do your research and very importantly, be sure that you’re checking that there’s no interactions with other meds or supplements you’re already taking. For the most part, miracle drugs do not exist.

  • Keith Brandt

    I have been experimenting with stacks and nootropics for over a year and have to agree with the Neuroskeptic- it is a lot cheaper over a year to buy your own. One item no one has addressed is the tolerance that is built up to the oxi and piracetam. Almost all racetams have a threshold of efficacy, and tolerance. Bacopa monneirri, gingko biloba and the catechins from green tea can all be task/ brain assistive for long term use, without building up a tolerance. Agmatine sulfate is a better NO assist at getting oxygen to the brain (main fuel source) and that in itself will allow the other nutrients and supplements to get in there and work. Don’t forget that some kind of fat is required to drag the stuff across the blood brain barrier. If you really want to experiment with your brain, do a little research first. Noopept has been around for a long time and still seems to be the best of them all. Of all the supplements and nootropics I have tried, nothing at all beats getting 9 to 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Your brain is a phenomenal machine but you have to allow it to repair itself daily…. Heads up!

  • Dan

    I read the bottom paragraph. It seems like price is the issue. Myself, I would rather spend a little more for the convenience.
    Keep in mind, tho, if it were an extra $100, I’d buy the parts to make the whole.

  • DiegoJD

    DO NOT START THE TRIAL PACK! It’s a SCAM!!!! They will automatically enroll you in very difficult to cancel subscription making you think the trial was a 1 time purchase.

    • Karla Buker Marsh

      I cancelled mine after getting a backup of boxes–I’m bad at taking supplements regularly. It was not a big deal to cancel.

  • No one is innovant

    Very shady way of selling their products.
    You can’t just buy but have to subscribe.
    You can’t unsubscribe by yourself and have to send them an email to do so.
    When I asked a refund on the subscription I didn’t ask they told me 2 things :
    > Learn to read
    > this product is made for you so we can’t take it back
    What is bullshit. It only means they are a marketing company not making their product.
    And about the effect of their product I found out it worked well for a week then since no more focusing effect I am expecting from such a product.

  • https://www.macroaxis.com/ Sam Lampert

    Great read thanks for sharing! Brain health optimization and cognitive stimulation has now become one of the most advanced breakthroughs in function enhancements. You can now improve your cognitive functions by using the right nootropics. Checkout sites like https://corpina.com/astaxanthin/ to learn more about concentration enhancing drugs and nootropics.

  • Scott Kinney

    I have taken liquid-form TruBrain for over a month, and feel no better / no worse than the day I started. Seems very expensive, which may in part be due to their extremely 5-star marketing and packaging of this product. The “boost” liquid tastes better than the one you are supposed to take on a daily basis, but I certainly didn’t get any “boost” after taking it. After a month of faithfully taking TruBrain, I don’t find that I am focusing any more sharply than pre-TruBrain days, my concentration is no better, my occasional “brain fog” is still as foggy as ever. I had great hopes that I would derive some benefit from taking this product, but so far I feel / observe no benefits whatsoever. An expensive attempt to better myself, I guess you could say. I seriously doubt that I will be purchasing this product ever again, nor would I recommend it to anyone.

  • Iroverooooo

    So uhhhhh Piracetam is illegal to sell as a medication or supplement in the US


    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      Hmmm… this is interesting given that TruBrain describe their product in such terms on their website

      “You could try and provide your body all the nutrients your brain needs to succeed, but not without considerable time and effort. The proven more convenient method would be to supplement your diet with TruBrain.”

      And the same page reveals that piracetam is the first listed ingredient in TruBrain…

      • Iroverooooo

        I have been using this product for a few months and I love it. I started researching it to see if it’s safe for my 7 year old who is brilliant but a liiiiitle ADHD (I’ve had him tested twice he does not have ADHD but jfc his behavior is sooooo hyper and distracted) when I came upon the Wikipedia saying the main ingredient is not legal to sell in the US. If you have more info I’d love to hear it bc I do want to believe in it. But I’m a skeptic like you. So.

  • Pingback: Nootropics: Enhance Your Brain Without the Mindf**k – CLASH()

  • Arturo Martinez

    Eat peanuts, drink Monster, got it.

  • Pingback: Brain Optimization Supplements | Limitless Brain()

  • Christopher Helton

    I started my 2 a day yesterday, within 30minutes fo drinking my trubrains i can tell a HUGE difference in how my mind feels and works, im a PC multiplayer gamer, and it enhances my gameplay abilites without a doubt, and this is on day 2, i cant wait to see how well this works after drinking a steady dose everyday for 2-4 weeks for optimum results!

  • MasterPeaceYeah

    Nootropics are just the future of brain enhancement. I believe in the years to come every food or drink will be conceived with an added formula of smart drug in it.

  • https://bitsum.com/ Jeremy Collake

    Apparently everyone but me is on Adderall. I watched that awful Shriva Netflix docucrap “Take Your Pills”, patiently waiting for the horrid effects of taking amphetamines regularly, only to be left with the conclusion I better get on this “rocket fuel” to compete. Darn docmentary might as well been a drug commercial.

  • GS099


No brain. No gain.

About Neuroskeptic

Neuroskeptic is a British neuroscientist who takes a skeptical look at his own field, and beyond. His blog offers a look at the latest developments in neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology through a critical lens.


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