Mark Pierson is a Senior Research Associate at Johns Hopkins University with a Master’s of Science degree in clinical psychology
Brain Booster is a premixed dietary supplement that is formulated by Naturamin to naturally enhance cognition. Their website advertises Brain Booster as a nootropic that increases the brain’s ability to learn, remember, and focus. Given these claims, I was excited to give Brain Booster a try and test these assertions. I decided to take Naturamin’s recommended dose of Brain Booster (i.e., two tablets equal to roughly two grams) per day over the course of a week in order to review the product.
Here are the purported Benefits of Brain Booster posted on Naturamin’s website:
- Cheaper per serve than most energy drinks
- And much better for you!
- Heighten clarity of mind
- Boost your mood and enhance your memory
- Reduce anxiety Promote focus and energy
- Make you feel more alert
- Increase your learning power
- Decrease some depressions
- Encourage healthy brain development
- Enhance your nervous system
Note. The above benefits were posted here verbatim from Naturamin’s website and are not endorsed by SmarterNootropics.
Naturamin’s packaging for Brain Booster is compact, opaque, practical, and the light-blue label is aesthetically pleasing. Upon opening the container, there was a large cotton swab intentionally tamped atop of the tablets to prevent moisture contamination. The nearly one-gram tablets (i.e., 871 mg) are dark purple, contain no artificial coloring, flavoring, or preservatives with an aromatic scent of raisins.
Ingredients & Their Functions
|Each Tablet of Brain Booster Contains:||Quantity in milligrams||Percent|
|Bacopa Monnieri Herb Extract||100||11.49%|
|Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract||60||6.89%|
|Panax Ginseng Root Extract||30||3.45%|
|Acetyl Levocarnitine Hydrochloride||200||22.97%|
|Centella Asiatica Herb Extract||17.5||2.01%|
|Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)||0.05||0.01%|
Brain Booster contains 11 ingredients, however, four of these core ingredients amass to 85% of the supplement’s total contents. One tablet of Brain Booster primarily contains choline bitartrate (300 mg: 34%), acetyl levocarnitine hydrochloride (200 mg: 23%), tyrosine (150 mg: 17%), bacopa monnieri herb extract (100 mg: 11%). Choline is a water-soluble nutrient, related to B-complex vitamins, which is a necessary precursor molecule to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (i.e., one of the primary neurotransmitters associated with learning and memory). (1) Brain Booster does not contain egg, milk, nut or animal products; however, choline is naturally present in these foods. (2) Acetyl levocarnitine hydrochloride is a naturally occurring molecule found in the body, though often taken as a dietary supplement, which aids in transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria for breakdown in order to bolster cellular energy production. (3) Preliminary research has been conducted that provides evidence that acetyl levocarnitine may be a viable treatment to reduce dementia symptoms for patients with Alzheimer’s disease (i.e., a mental disorder that manifests as memory loss). (4) Tyrosine is an amino acid precursor to dopamine (i.e., another neurotransmitter associated with learning and memory) and norepinephrine (5); interestingly, tyrosine has been noted to increase cognitive function under stress (6) and help sustain working memory while multitasking. (7) Brain Booster also contains bacopa monnieri, which is an herbal extract that prevents acetylcholinesterase from breaking acetylcholine into acetate and choline for neuronal reuptake (i.e., the net effect allows for acetylcholine transmission to postsynaptic neurons, thus propagating its excitatory effects), aids in synthesis of acetylcholine, and increases cerebral blood flow. (8) All in all, this combination of ingredients was intelligently amalgamated for acetylcholine production and transduction.
The Brain Booster Experience
I am a nootropics novice and rather skeptical person, so I was excited to try Naturamin’s Brain Booster. I have had my fair share of dietary supplements (e.g., multivitamins) over the years and to be frank, many of them taste disgusting. These tablets pretty much taste like they smell: like raisins. At first, I ate a light meal in the morning and took a half dose (i.e., one tablet), which is recommended by Naturamin to get started (Note. they also recommend that no more than five tablets should be consumed within a 24-hour period). This ‘cognitive enhancement’ and ‘focus boost’ trial could not have come at a better time as I had looming deadlines for a large report at work. Within 20-30 minutes, I sensed that my ability to focus on reading through and replying to emails was improved. I generally do not enjoy the task of begrudgingly combing through my inbox and deciding which emails can be discarded or warrant a response, so I was pleased to be able to focus and get this done. The next day, I took the recommended full dose of Brain Booster (i.e., two tablets), because I had a growing ‘to-do’ list at work full of tasks that required mental sustain. Much to my surprise, there was a noticeable increase in my stick–to–itiveness: I was able to focus on the task at hand and ignore distractions. I also noticed a marked clarity of thought; it seemed like there was more head space for ideas to flow easily. This clarity was analogous to upgrading the RAM on your computer allowing more memory to be cached. These effects typically lasted around 4-6 hours, but this cap might have more to do with fatigue than the supplement’s tenacity. Brain Booster did not have a stimulus-like effect – nor is it advertised as such – though when combined with caffeine, I was able to sustain mentally strenuous tasks for long periods of time before I hit a mental ‘wall’ and needed to take a break or call it a day. I am a regular coffee drinker and typically drink two cups of black coffee every morning. I postponed my morning coffee to avoid confounding the effects of Brain Booster for the first few days. When I drank coffee in combination with this supplement, my ability to concentrate for long periods of time (e.g., from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) was enhanced. It seems as though the nootropic amplified the effects of caffeine or vice versa. Caffeine tolerance varies from person to person and Naturamin recommends talking with your medical doctor before taking stimulants with any supplement. Given that I am a habitual coffee drinker, I felt comfortable ingesting both substances in tandem.
In Summary – Exceptional Brain Booster
In general, I was impressed with Brain Booster. In my own opinion, the product provides the purported effects as advertised, especially in terms of increased focus and heightened mental clarity. The price seems a bit steep at $35.99 for 30 tablets (i.e., 15 doses); although, in my opinion, this is a healthier alternative when compared to energy drinks for those ‘all-nighters’ at roughly the same price per serving (not to mention Naturamin’s money back guarantee). If you are interested in more information about Brain Booster, Naturamin has a fairly extensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on their website.
- (1) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/94/6/1584.abstract?sid=3af7108c-0055-49f4-9dfb-52bd432c1dfd
- (2) http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=50
- (3) http://pharmaxchange.info/press/2013/10/activation-and-transportation-of-fatty-acids-to-the-mitochondria-via-the-carnitine-shuttle-with-animation/
- (4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1444880
- (5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6885965
- (6) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0361923094902003
- (7) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091305799000945
- (8) http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/rej.2013.1431