Provasil vs Alpha Brain – which is the better brain supplement? Which is safer? Before diving deep into our comparison, here’s a quick summary from our team!
[Provasil vs Alpha Brain At a Glance] For us, Provasil wins this comparison. It’s got a transparent formula that clearly shows you each ingredient and its respective dose on the label. Alpha Brain uses proprietary blends on some of its ingredients which prevents us from assessing them from safety and effectiveness. While Provasil has many ingredients that are underdosed and are missing a few core nootropics, it’s cheaper than Alpha Brain ($46 vs $80). So, is Provasil the best brain supplement you can buy right now? It’s not, but it’s definitely better than its competitor which only has good marketing going for it!
Provasil vs Alpha Brain – The Basics
Provasil is a nootropic (brain enhancing) supplement comprised of natural ingredients that are said to help boost cognition and loss of memory in older people.
If you look at their website, you’ll see that Provasil is also marketed for younger folks, especially students and those who want to improve information retention.
Each Provasil bottle has 60 capsules in it. You’re supposed to be taking 2 capsules with a meal every day.
Alright, so those are the basics. However, you might be wondering, does Provasil actually work? And how does it compare to Alpha Brain?
If you want, you can read our full Provasil review here. But to summarize it quickly here, Provasil is a decent supplement with a solid reputation online. It’s not as popular as Alpha Brain, but it has better effects on the brain based on our experience.
Provasil is 100% natural but it has a few downsides that we feel need to be addressed. Read on to see our report on ingredients’ effectiveness and side effects.
Alpha Brain Overview
Alpha Brain is one of the first nootropic supplements to go mainstream. Before its company Onnit became popular, the term ‘nootropic’ was more of an underground phenomenon.
Thanks to Onnit’s extensive marketing campaigns, and some huge celebrity ads, they became a massive fitness brand, and Alpha Brain became one of the top-selling products in its category.
So, what can Alpha Brain do for you exactly?
According to its manufacturers, it:
- Boosts you focus
- Improves memory function
- Enhances brainwave activity
- Relieves mental stress
The ‘brainwave’ part is intriguing. The Onnit website doesn’t really go in-depth with science on this, but their marketing material says Alpha Brain will promote your alpha brain waves. These waves are on a frequency which is linked to calm focus and a ‘flow state’ – a state where you’re totally absorbed in what you’re doing.
Sounds pretty impressive!
But are these claims true? Does Alpha Brain really live up to the hype? And is it better value for money than Provasil?
Let’s check their ingredients to find out!
Provasil has 15 ingredients, Alpha Brain has 11. They only have 3 ingredients in common:
- L-Tyrosine – This can help with focus and mental willpower during stressful situations, as it replenishes your dopamine levels. Provasil contains only 100mg per serving, which is too low (the recommended dosage for cognitive benefits is 500mg per day), while Alpha Brain contains it in unknown amounts so we can’t tell if it works.
- Bacopa Monnieri – This is a long-term memory-booster. It helps boost communication between your neurons. Bacopa takes between 8-12 weeks for it to reach full effects.
- Phosphatidylserine – PS is a foundational brain nutrient that supports the structure and integrity of your neurons. It can help boost memory in older folks.
One key difference between the competitors is that Provasil shows all of its ingredient doses on the label. While Alpha Brain does not.
Alpha Brain uses what’s called a ‘proprietary blend,’ which puts a few ingredients together as a single number on the label. You can only see these ingredients’ combined dosage, not their individual doses. Why is this problematic? Because, it prevents us from being able to tell if the ingredients are optimally and safely dosed.
More on that below.
For now, let’s check Provasil and Alpha Brain’s unique ingredients.
Provasil’s Unique Ingredients
Provasil’s active ingredients are:
- Vitamin C – an antioxidant needed for the growth of all tissue in your body, as well as the protection of your brain cells. Good choice!
- Vitamin B9 – This is one of the best B vitamins for older people as it helps get rid of harmful amino acids that can clog up your brain capillaries.
- Vitamin B12 – Similar in effects to vitamin B9 in terms of brain health, while also supporting energy conversion from the foods you eat.
- Biotin – Biotin helps you skin hair and nails the most, however, studies show it could also offer some support to your cognitive function if you’re deficient in it. Most people aren’t since biotin is found in many foods.
- Choline Bitartrate (150mg) – Choline is typically a great memory nutrient and a building block for your brain cells. However, Choline ‘bitartrate’ is the worst form of choline for this. It has low bioavailability, meaning, very little of it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline would be much more effective!
- N-Acetyl L-Carnitine (100mg) – This is a great brain antioxidant that can help fight off some symptoms of aging.
- Ginkgo (leaf) (60mg) – Ginkgo can help brain blood flow and circulation. The dosage in Provasil is a bit too low, as the recommended Ginkgo dose is 120-240mg per day (provided it contains 12% terpenes, 6% flavanols).
- L-Glutamine (45mg) – Glutamine is a popular sports supplement because it can help support your gut health as well as muscle recovery. However, the optimal dosage measures in grams, Provasil only has 45 per serving which is odd!
- Phosphatidylcholine (30mg) – PC offers similar benefits to Phosphatidylserine in terms of memory, but it’s also underdosed so the effects will not be as strong.
- Asian Panax Ginseng (30mg) – Panax Ginseng is good for mood, but here’s the bummer… it’s yet another underdosed ingredient in Provasil.
- Resveratrol (25mg) – Resveratrol is an excellent choice. It’s an anti-aging compound that can protect your cells from free radicals caused by stress, toxins, and other factors.
- DHA (5mg) – DHA is the no.1 brain ingredient anyone can take. It’s what most of your brain’s fat is made of. If you already aren’t aware, DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that governs everything from your mood, memory, focus to executive function. Supplementing 500-1,000mg of DHA every day is a great way to support your mental performance.
Alpha Brain’s Unique Ingredients
- Vitamin B6 (10mg) – This nootropic B vitamin is known for having mood-balancing properties, helping you to feel less stressed.
- L-Theanine (Unknown Amount) – This is the compound that’s responsible for Alpha Brain’s reported alpha wave benefits. L-Theanine acts as a neuromodulator – helping to boost your brain’s focus and relaxation at the same time. The feeling is kind of similar to that after meditation. It’s a good ingredient, but since it’s in a proprietary blend, we can’t tell if the dose is high enough to work.
- Oat Straw Extract (Unknown Amount) – We aren’t sure why this was included in Alpha Brain. Onnit claim this can boost your focus and mood, however, there isn’t any peer-reviewed clinical data which suggests that. As far as we know, this ingredient does nothing. If it did, we’d know about it as oats have been a staple part of a human diet for a long time.
- Cat’s Claw Extract (350mg) – Another unproven ingredient we’re afraid. Cat’s Claw is said to do many things, but none of those have been proven in clinical research.
- Alpha GPC (Unknown Amount) – Alpha GPC is a highly efficient and bioavailable form of choline. It penetrates your blood-brain barrier to boost Acetylcholine levels, which are associated with better memory. Again, though, we don’t know the amount of Alpha GPC in Alpha Brain.
- Toothed Clubmoss (Huperzine A) (Unknown Amount) – This is an ingredient that stops the breakdown of Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps you form and retain memories as well as boosts concentration. That said, Huperzine A needs to be cycled every few weeks to avoid headaches and other side effects.
- L-Leucine (Unknown Amount) – Leucine is not a nootropic ingredient. It’s more commonly found in bodybuilding products. Athletes take 5g of L-Leucine before or during training to boost muscle recovery and growth.
- Pterostilbene (Unknown Amount) – Pterostilbene is a more beefed up version of Resveratrol. Both are antioxidants, but Pterostilbene seems to be more bioavailable, and so more of it ends up in your system to protect brain cell function.
Our Thoughts on the Ingredients in Provasil vs Alpha Brain
Provasil is more transparent with the ingredients, but many of them are underdosed and ineffective.
Still, if we had to pick, we’d choose Provasil’s ingredient formula over Alpha Brain. Not just because the ingredients are better researched, but also because you know exactly how much of each ingredient is going into your body.
With Alpha Brain, you don’t know that. You only see doses of a few ingredients. Others are lumped together into a proprietary blend. Generally, we advise to stay away from proprietary blends. Either the company is hiding a weak formula or they’re not confident in it, or they’re afraid of formula theft. In any case, other supplements offer us transparency, so why settle for anything less?
Alpha Brain looks generally safe. It does contain Huperzine A which can cause headaches, memory loss (ironically), and other side effects if you don’t cycle it every few weeks.But taken per manufacturer’s recommendations in the short-term, Alpha Brain is unlikely to cause you even mild side effects – provided you’re a normal healthy person.
Provasil is also a safe supplement. Many of the ingredients are very lightly dosed so they’re unlikely to have any strong effects at all.
If you’re looking to buy the best brain supplement, it’s worth looking into what other people are saying online.
While this can’t give you a completely accurate picture on what you’ll get from a product, it can give you a rough idea as to whether or not it’s a scam.
Expectedly, both Alpha Brain and Provasil boast good 4- and 5-star reviews on their websites. However, if you filter through the reviews on Amazon you’ll also notice some 1- and 2- star ratings from users who weren’t happy with the effects of Provasil and Alpha Brain.
Price and Value For Money?
Provasil will cost you about $80 on Amazon, whereas the official website charges a drastically lower price of $46. So obviously, buying directly is the best route if you plan on buying Provasil.
However, in our opinion, even $46 is too much for a supplement with underdosed ingredients. Not to mention Provasil also lacks some core nootropic ingredients (like Lion’s Mane Mushroom) to help boost memory and cognitive function.
Alpha Brain costs $79.95 if you buy one-time only. But if you subscribe to a recurring monthly order of Alpha Brain, you can get it for $67.96. This is even more expensive than some of our current top rated nootropics supplements, but doesn’t offer the same value in terms of effectiveness and formula transparency.
Conclusion on Provasil vs Alpha Brain
Provasil is a decent nootropic. It’s got a few good ingredients that may support your long-term memory, especially if you’re an older person. But it has downsides too. Many of Provasil’s ingredients are underdosed. Also, Provasil doesn’t address focus, mood and other aspects of mental function.
Alpha Brain is the inferior choice in our eyes. The way we see it, this product’s popularity is thanks to Onnit’s incredible marketing efforts. This supplement is endorsed by celebrities, and so you’ll naturally get plenty of sales from that. Alpha Brain is definitely not popular because the formula is so amazing. We’re talking about a product with a couple of proprietary blends containing several unproven ingredients.
In conclusion, while Provasil has some issues of its own, it’s definitely a cut above Alpha Brain because it’s cheaper and it’s got a more transparent formula so you know exactly what you’re buying.
If you’re curious to find out which are the best brain supplements currently on the market, click on the image below to see our top 3 (we’ve picked them out of over 25 that we tested).
We’ve picked the top three leading nootropic stacks on offer right now to support your goals.