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Brainstack Review

Brainstack is a nootropic blend that comes from Maven Labs and is engineered to help increase the users focus and increase productivity.  The lab believes in user feedback and they formulate Brainstack, similarly to a software developer, by using feedback from consumers to adjust and refine their formulas. For example, the original formula for Brainstack contained Vinpocetine and Oatstraw. Despite positive research to support the effects of Vinpocetine, Maven Labs decided to remove it because of users having a negative reaction to the substance.

Maven Labs sent us a sample to test and review for a month; before we discuss the results of the trial, here’s a break down of the ingredients and dosages of Brainstack:

GPC Choline (175 mg)

Huperzine A (150 mcg)

Hericuium Erinaceus (300 mg)

L-Theanine (120 mg)

Caffeine (60 mg)

Bacopa (200 mg)

Pterostilbene (50 mg)

Mucuna Pruriens (200 mg)

GABA (200 mg)

Vitamin B-6 (15 mg)

Vitamin B12 (100 mcg)

Acetyl-L Carnitine HCL (300 mg)

GPC Choline (175 mg): included to “enhance memory, mental focus, attention and cognitive ability.” GPC has demonstrated benefits in patients for orientation, attention, memory, language, and mood most research has been done around those with degenerative cognitive diseases and did significantly benefit memory and other cognitive measures. Is GPC Choline effective: Yes [1]

Huperzine A (150 mcg): Included to “enhance memory, cognitive function, and have neuroprotective effects”. Huperzine A is derived from the Hupertzia Surrata, which has been used by Chinese herbalists and healers for centuries as a fever reducer and an anti-inflammatory. Huperzine A is an alkaloid compound that has been proven to be a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and a very useful tool in combating cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s. Is Huperzine A effective: most likely, yes. [2]

Hericuium Erinaceus (300 mg): Included to “enhance focus, memory, increase nerve repair, detoxes liver, ward off alzheimer’s, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.”  Results obtained in studies suggest that Hericuium Erinaceus (Yamabushitake mushroom) is effective in improving mild cognitive impairment. It stimulates nerve growth factor. There have been several different compounds synthesized from the Yamabushitake mushroom that have shown positive results in preventing cell death and retarding the progression of Alzheimer’s. Is Hericuium Erinaceus effective: yes. [3]

L-Theanine (120 mg): Included to “improve focus, sleep, immune system strength and blood pressure control.” An Amino acid most commonly found in Green Tea, L-Theanine has been shown to decrease serotonin levels, Blood pressure, and increase Alpha brainwaves, which are associated with Human relaxation. It also has a synergistic effect with caffeine.  Is L-Theanine effective: yes. [4]

Caffeine (60 mg): Included to “enhance focus, enhance memory, increase stamina, detox liver, ward off Alzheimer’s, increase mental stamina, and ease depression.”  Probably the most well known ingredient in Brain stack, caffeine has well known effects.  While I didn’t find much proof that caffeine eases depression, my research did inform me that Caffeine does have some detoxifying effect on the liver. However, that research points towards those effects come from caffeine in conjunction with coffee not other drinks.  Is caffeine effective: yes. [4]

Bacopa (200 mg): Included to “increase brain function and memory.” Studies suggest that the use of Bacopa can help memory retention, specifically in people ages 40 – 65. It’s also been helpful in the reduction of beta-amyloid deposits in animal brains inflicted with Alzheimer’s. Is Bacopa effective: yes. [5]

Pterostilbene (50 mg): Included to “fight off and reverse cognitive decline, lower blood lipids, and lower cholesterol.” pterostilbene has been shown to be a potent modulator of cognition and cellular stress. Is Pterostilbene effective: yes. [6]

Mucuna Pruriens (200 mg): Included to “boost energy levels, focus, concentration and promote deep sleep.”  Mucuna pruriens can significantly restore the endogenous levodopa, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin content in patients. Nicotine adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and coenzyme Q-10, that are shown to have a therapeutic benefit in Parkinson’s disease, have been found present in the Mucuna pruriens. Is Mucuna Pruriens effective: yes. [7]

GABA (200 mg): Included to “promote deep sleep, calmness, lucid dreaming, and reduce anxiety.” Previous studies revealed that various GABA agonists and the GABA uptake inhibitor tiagabine promote deep sleep in young individuals and/or rats. Is GABA effective: GABA was decreased from 300mg in the original formula to 200mg in the current formula. GABA does not cross the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB), but the people at Maven Labs claim that many consumers stand by it’s usefulness and that other research claims that GABA can affect the brain through channels other than the BBB. We are highly skeptical. [8]

Vitamin B-6 (15 mg): Included to “increase energy, regulate mood and proper brain development.” Vitamin B-6 is proven to be essential in metabolic processes of Amino acids, hemoglobin synthesis, gene expression and more. Is vitamin B-6 effective: yes. [9]

Vitamin B12 (100 mcg): included to “decrease fatigue, decrease lethargy, and decrease stress.” vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) in the form of hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin injections has been widely used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Hydroxocobalamin is a nitric oxide scavenger and is proposed here to act as such a scavenger in CFS treatment. Is Vitamin B12 effective: yes, while it’s not in the form of hydroxocobalmin, Vitamin B12 is well-known supplement. [10]

Acetyl-L Carnitine HCL (300 mg): included to be “a powerful anti-oxidant and reduce fatigue.” Statistical analysis shows significant effects of Acetyl-L Carnitine HCL’s treatment of fatigue, in particular in patients with Multiple Sclerosis related fatigue. However, it is important to note that many media sources are currently accusing Carnitine of potentially being a causative agent of cardiovascular disease. [11]


Maven Laboratories seems to have put together a good comprehensive Nootropic with a heavy roster of well-tested compounds. Many of Brainstacks ingredients are seen in other well-trusted nootropics and is comparable in price to products like Alpha Brain. All of the BrainStack ingredients fall under the DSHEA guidelines for a supplement, and most have clinical trials to back them up.













1 comment

  1. vida   •  

    My name is vida i heard of the drugs from a lady who work with children to help their growth
    my son is 10years has a delaid speech and his brains is slow in picking things is this drugs good for him and how will i get one.

    Thank you.

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