NooCube Vs Alpha Brain

Our nutrition expert, personal trainer and writer James Dixon examines the difference between two of the top nootropics on the market in this NooCube Vs Alpha Brain comparison. Read on to find out which one he thinks is best and which one is right for you.

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Written by James Dixon – fact checked by Jason M & the editorial team

James Dixon is one of the key players in the SOMA Analytics’ team. He is a personal trainer and is educated to Masters level in Philosophy. He is a published author and is a keen advocate of high quality nootropic supplements.

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We all suffer from stress and overwork at times – it seems baked into the bedrock of modern life. Anxiety and fatigue often duly follow.

Nootropics can help us with this. So called ‘smart drugs’, nootropic supplements are designed to give you the energy, focus, mental clarity and cognitive power you need to live a better version of your life.

Several spheres of the supplement market seem to be supercharged at the moment. For avid supplement watchers like me, the nootropic market is being particularly bubbly. There are new offerings and improved formulas, backed up by ever more data, seemingly every other week. This can be good; change can be good.

But sometimes the old stalwarts are worth considering. Though nothing in the supplements market is ‘old’ by most measures, there are a couple of nootropics that have set an industry standard for a few years now – which, in such a young industry, is like a lifetime.

I am, of course, talking about NooCube, one of my own personal favorite supplements, and Alpha Brain, another serious contender with a bit of an A-list backing. But which, if either, is better? Which should you plump for if you’re pitching NooCube Vs Alpha Brain?

NooCube Vs Alpha Brain – An Introduction To Both

NooCube is made by Wolfson Brands, who have been steadily working away in the supplement market for over thirty years. Every other top-shelf supplement money can buy is seemingly down to them and their team.

With NooCube, you get a high-quality supplement packed with some of the best-known nootropic compounds available (more on this below).

It is aimed at improving concentration, memory, and multitasking, whilst giving a boost to overall brain function, mental energy and clarity.

Wolfson Brands are based in Cyprus (a good tax dodge if ever there was one), but deliver all over the world and maintain fully FDA approved facilities across every aspect of their manufacturing process.

They offer a 100% 60-day money back guarantee for NooCube, so you can try it out without having to commit to losing any cash if you don’t love it – and they’re pretty confident you won’t feel this way.

Wolfson Brands are known for good customer service and offer fast, free shipping, so you should have anything you order in less than a single business week.

alpha brain nootropic bottle

Alpha Brain is made by Onnit, a large US-based supplement company set up in 2010. Although they lack the full pedigree of Wolfson Brands, twelve years is still a very respectable amount of time in this game.

Alpha Brain is Onnit’s flagship supplement, and is largely known for its celebrity endorsements. Several high-flying athletes use it and it is backed by Joe Rogan, who uses it, promotes it, and owns 50% of the company behind it.

Everything in Alpha brain is natural – ‘earth grown’, as Onnit say – yet potent nonetheless. So far, so much like NooCube. The promised results are also the same – improved cognition, mental energy, and focus, with greater drive and enhanced memory and learning skills.

Both are high-quality supplements. The main thing that will separate them, for me, will therefore be less a matter of how they operate, and the skill and care they bring, than what they include in their formulas. This will, of course, always make or break a supplement.

Where The Ingredients Overlap

As above, NooCube is one of my favorite supplements. Not one of my favorite nootropics – one of my favorite supplements of all. It hits all the right notes, for me.

One of these notes is transparency. They don’t hide anything behind ‘proprietary blends’. You see exactly what you’re getting in each dose, and how well everything is dosed. This might sound basic, but you would be surprised at how often you don’t get these all-important details.

Alpha Brain is a little less clear. They hide the details behind several different blends. These blends all work well, are intelligently created, and have plenty of advocates who have used them to great effect. It’s just a bit of a shame that we can’t see everything in the clear light of day.

Both have a fantastic list of ingredients, though. Let’s start by taking a look at their ingredient similarities:

This is a potent compound we’ve discovered in blueberries, which does a good job in the function and structure of cells. It’s believed to help protect the brain from cognitive decline, and also improve memory and learning, which go hand in hand.

NooCube offer it at a wonderful 140 mcg, while Alpha Brain remains disclosed – all we know is that it’s combined with L-Leucine to bring us 60 mg in total.

Next up, we have Bacopa Monnieri, another ingredient commonly found in good-quality nootropics.

I particularly like it as a form of anxiety relief – it keeps anxiety levels down, allowing for better mental health and clearer cognition. Bacopa Monnieri can also help with memory and learning.

It is also a great antioxidant, which should help to keep your brain young, protecting your body against free radicals and helping to repair cell damage.

NooCube gives you a full 250 mg dose, which is fantastic. Again, we can’t know the exact dosing included in Alpha Brain. However, it is part of a blend that totals 240 mg, so it will obviously have far less Bacopa Monnieri than NooCube.

I love to see this in a supplement, and all the decent ones include it. It’s a powerful antioxidant that can help increase our concentration ability, and that includes our memory and how alert we are. It also helps with stress.

We can find it in tea, but NooCube provides a good dose of 100 mg per capsule. Alpha Brain doesn’t say.

I also like to see L-Tyrosine in nootropics. You get it with both NooCube and Alpha Brain, which makes me immediately like them both.

L-Tyrosine is known for improving and allowing for more sustained focus. It promotes memory and cognition, and can even cheer you up, as the body uses it to create dopamine.

It can also help protect you against stress and anxiety, diminishing the amount of the stress hormone cortisol that the body produces.

As with everything else, we don’t know how much L-Tyrosine Alpha Brain includes. NooCube gives a generous 250 mg.

Cat’s claw is an Amazonian herb known for its generous antioxidant content. As with other antioxidant-rich ingredients, this makes it great for protecting against oxidative stress whilst promoting healthy cellular repair.

Cat’s claw is also thought to boost the neurotransmitters which increase serotonin, keeping you calm yet with an elevated sense of awareness. It can also help in combatting pain. Further to this, cat’s claw has been associated with improvements to learning and memory.

We can actually see Alpha Brain’s content, here, which is a first. At 350 mg, you get a very generous dose with each serving (perhaps that’s why they’ve made it clear). NooCube is slightly less generous at 175 mg.

Finally, you get Huperzine A in both supplements. It is one of the best nootropic ingredients going, so it’s no surprise that two such heavy-hitting compounds use it.

Huperzine A (or huperzia serrata) stops the brain’s production of acetylcholinesterase. Acetylcholinesterase can break down the brain’s neurotransmitters, so you want to limit the amount in your system.

In doing this, you ensure long-term brain health, protecting against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. In the short-term, Huperzine A can lead to improved energy levels and alertness.

You get a generous 20 mg with NooCube. Of course, we don’t know how much you get with Alpha Brain.

Let’s take a look, shall we? NooCube has 12 potently yet sensibly dosed ingredients in its formula. The following will not be found in Alpha Brain.

Lutemax 2020 is a blend of three macular carotenoids – which are found in marigold flowers. This blend is award-winning, and is proven to improve processing speed, verbal memory, and attention, as well as stress response.

Does the word ‘carotenoid’ sound familiar? It’s the pigment that makes carrots orange, and this is what improves your eye health!

Originally, NooCube included Oat Straw Extract (which you’ll find in Alpha Brain). But because Oat Straw Extract includes gluten, they changed it to Panax Ginseng. This is a golden-nugget adaptogen that has been helping reduce stress in people for centuries.

There are also modern studies that prove it lowers stress, boosts mood, and improves our working memory. This sounds like a dream to me, and NooCube offer an effective concentration of 20 mg.

Previously, NooCube had Alpha GPC in their formula, which you’ll still find in Alpha Brain. However, Alpha GPC is soy derived, so NooCube took the decision to change this in order to make their formula more bio-available and allergen-free.

So what does choline do? Our brains use to make something called acetylcholine, which is an essential neurotransmitter for our memory, mood, mental focus, and even our motivation. This is a wonderful addition from NooCube, which they’ve escalated to their patented VitoCholine to make the whopping 250 mg of it immediately available to the digestive system with better absorption.

This vitamin helps the body build neurons and neurotransmitters that aid healthy brain function and a positive mood, which is mostly commonly known to fall victim with age, obesity, and alcohol.

Also known as vitamin B7, our brains love D-Biotin for its ability to help with learning and memory. Those who are deficient in B7 have been linked with struggles in both these areas. And if you struggle with memory, learning will suffer too.

So what’s ‘D’ about this Biotin? D-Biotin is plant-based and 100x more bioactive, whereas Biotin is animal-based.

A lot of us are deficient in B12, and worryingly a lack of it is understood to contribute towards depression, dementia, cognitive impairment and even shrinkage of the brain.

Many are flocking to get their B12 injections for a boost, but NooCube include it in every capsule (2.5 mcg). Well done, NooCube.

Resveratrol is a decent nootropic and testosterone booster found in wine, of all places. It has been linked with increased longevity, though this is more to do with protecting the heart than actually explicitly extending your lifespan.

For our purposes, resveratrol is good for improving cerebral circulation – the blood flow to and around your brain. This ensures that your brain has all the oxygen and nutrients it needs to fire on all cylinders.

Resveratrol has also been linked to improved mood, long-term memory, and learning. You get 14 mcg in NooCube, which is a very workable dose.

All The Extras Of Alpha Brain

This brings us on to Alpha Brain’s list of extra ingredients, some of which NooCube used to include but have since changed.

It all begins with Alpha GPC, a well-known compound used for protecting against cognitive decline.

Alpha GPC should ring-fence your long-term brain health. It may also help you to think creatively and decisively in academic contexts. It contains acetylcholine, which should help you to make split-second decisions whilst keeping you alert.

NooCube used to include this, but as it is soy derived they changed it for their patented form of Choline called VitoCholine, in order to make NooCube allergen-free and more bioavailable.

You get a good dose of vitamin B6, which should help to reduce fatigue whilst enabling proper brain function and serotonin regulation.

You also get phosphatidylserine with Alpha Brain, which should lower cortisol levels, helping to fight stress, whilst aiding your memory. Phosphatidylserine levels in the brain diminish with age, so it’s important to keep on top of them.

Finally, you get L-Leucine. I quite like L-Leucine as a supplement. It slows down protein degradation and may help with hypertrophy (muscle growth).

However, it serves no purpose here. There is no information as to why it might be worth including in a nootropic.

Then there is oat straw, which is thought to be good for promoting enhanced cognition. It can also help to fight stress and anxiety, and may even be an aphrodisiac!

It is anti-inflammatory, which is always welcome, and some people even claim that it is a decent antidepressant. It contains the amino acid arginine, which helps to create nitric oxide. In turn, this will dilate your body’s blood vessels, allowing for better circulation.

Oat straw can also increase alpha brain wave function, which is usually associated with relaxation and happiness.

NooCube used to include this, but as it contains gluten they changed it to Panax Ginseng Concentrate.

NooCube & Alpha Brain Side Effects

Both NooCube and Alpha Brain are made from completely natural ingredients. They are herbal supplements, in the main. This means that there are few, if any, side effects associated with either.

You shouldn’t suffer any ill effects from taking either NooCube or Alpha Brain.

My main concern is with Alpha Brain’s use of proprietary blends. With only a couple of exceptions, we don’t know how much of any given ingredient they use in their formula. This makes it hard to guarantee any level of safety or efficacy.

In real terms, this doesn’t make much difference. The formulae in their blends don’t seem to be overly potent, and there have been few side effects reported by users. However, it’s a gripe worth bearing in mind.

NooCube is safer, even if only theoretically.

NooCube Pros & Cons

NooCube ProsNooCube Cons
Effective, useful ingredientsPlenty of user testimony
Good scientific backing
Clear labeling at mostly optimal doses
Safe and free from side effects
Excellent money-back guarantee
Proactive in improving their formula

Alpha Brain Pros & Cons

Alpha Brain ProsAlpha Brain Cons
Most of the ingredients are high quality and usefulProprietary blends mean you can’t be sure of doses,
efficacy, or safety
Plenty of user testimonySeveral ingredients with either no nootropic
purpose or no scientific validation


When deciding between Alpha Brain and NooCube, I would go with NooCube.

Everything in its formula has its place – everything is usable in a nootropic context, dosed well, and everything is backed up by good research and hard data. The formula is transparent, so you know exactly what you are getting.

I also love how NooCube are proactive in making alternations and improvements to their formula. They listen to what their audience want, such as gluten free, or soy free. They already had a great product and aren’t afraid to continue improving it. I love that.

Alpha Brain is decent, of course. It deserves its reputation. However, some of the added ingredients are pretty spurious additions in comparison. It does bug me that we don’t know how much of anything we are getting, too. The best supplements always showcase exactly what’s in them.

I would stick with NooCube – I certainly have. Wolfson Brands dominate the market for a reason.

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This article was written by: James Dixon – SOMA Analytics PT, Nutritionalist & Published Author

James Dixon is one of the key players in the SOMA Analytics’ team. He is a personal trainer and is educated to Masters level. He is a published author and is a keen advocate of high quality nootropic supplements. James enjoys helping others to reach their peak both physically and mentally and believes that expressing his knowledge through his writing is an effective way to positively impact the wellbeing of others on a larger scale.

Latest Updates:

✎ April 19, 2024: Checked ingredients and information for updates and changes. Formatted text. Resized/adjusted images. Added tables for pros and cons. Checked discount codes.