TruBrain Review: Testing TruBrain Boost For 10 Days

TruBrain Boost

Nootropics Resource Score

  • Efficacy
  • Quality
  • Taste
  • Value

Pros ūüĎć

+ Potent and Fast Acting

+ Cognition, Verbal Fluency, Memory, and Focus 

+ Tastes Great

+ Portable and Convenient

+ Premium Ingredient Profile (not a proprietary blend)

ConsūüĎé

‚ÄstMust sign up for a subscription (but you can cancel any time if you just want to try it out first)

‚ÄstReasonably Priced, But Must Order In Bulk For Good Discount

‚ÄstVery Potent! Don‚Äôt drink before bed or you‚Äôll be up all night.

What is TruBrain Boost?

TruBrain Boost is a 1oz nootropic shot drink that gives you a cognitive enhancing boost to your focus, motivation, and memory. It was developed by a team of neuroscientists from UCLA with the intention of being the best working, highest quality nootropic drink on the market. The intended use of TruBrain Boost is to help users blast through mental blocks, increase cognitive output, and alleviate stress. For the sake of clarity, TruBrain Boost does have a stimulant-free, non-caffeinated counter-part called TruBrain Daily, but this review focuses primarily on the caffeinated version known as TruBrain Boost.

Why Did I Buy TruBrain Boost?

I am on a mission to find the best nootropic products on the market in 2020. I am consistently testing nootropic drinks, powders, stacks, and single-ingredient pills to find the best nootropics in each category. I have found that the variance in the quality, benefits, and effects of these products is staggering. Even the products with plenty of good Amazon reviews (companies can pay for fake Amazon reviews!) are often made with poor ingredients or bad quality control standards. The ugly truth is that the supplement market, including nootropics, is filled with shady marketing tactics that try to sell you on the promise of instantly solving all your problems. My goal is to shed some light on the supplement market by arming consumers with an objective investigation and firsthand, controlled test of nootropics products before they make a purchasing decision.

TruBrain Boost Ingredient Profile Breakdown 

Caffeine РCaffeine is one of the most widely used nootropic substances in the world, mostly consumed in the form of coffee and tea. Those who consume caffeine experience benefits including increased wakefulness and concentration, increased adrenaline levels, higher power output, higher aerobic and anaerobic endurance, and increased metabolic rates. Caffeine is a widely-used and thoroughly researched substance that is generally recognized as safe by the FDA when consumed in appropriate doses. 

L-Theanine РL-Theanine is an amino acid most commonly found in green tea that provides numerous mental benefits when taken orally in concentrated doses. L-Theanine is highly synergistic with caffeine as it helps reduce anxiety and promotes relaxation. The two substances are often taken in conjunction with one another. Other benefits of L-Theanine include increased focus, improved attention span, and better sleep quality. L-Theanine is a heavily researched dietary supplement and generally regarded as safe by the FDA. 

Uridine¬†– Uridine is a nucleotide base commonly found in beer of all places. In concentrated form, it is frequently used for its cognitive benefits which are believed to be related to its promotion of cellular membrane synthesis. Studies have shown positive results for Uridine’s ability to reduces depression and symptoms of bipolar disorder. [1]

Centrophenoxine –¬†Centrophenoxine¬†is a cholinergic compound that acts as a very absorbable DMAE transporter. It has similar benefits to those of DMAE but is a more effective option as it is more absorbable. Centrophenoxine is believed to improve cognition by reducing the build-up of beta-amyloid in the brain, a process that naturally occurs as we age.¬†

Noopept РNoopept is a synthetic molecule designed specifically for nootropic use that provides cognitive benefits very similar to those of Piracetam, one of the most commonly used nootropic supplements available. Noopept and Piracetam are both touted for providing increased focus, better concentration, better memory, and improved cognition. Noopept has a higher bioavailability than piracetam and therefore requires a much lower dose to be effective. You can read more about the differences between Noopept and Piracetam here. 

Magnesium РMagnesium is an essential macromineral that provides countless health benefits including reduced anxiety, migraine/headache relief, and reduced depression symptoms. Magnesium is involved in hundreds of bodily processes, is a natural anti-inflammatory, and is frequently deficient in most western diets. 

Tyrosine – Tyrosine is a natural amino acid that is commonly taken as a standalone dietary supplement to improve alertness, cognition, and focus. It works by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline, norepinephrine. Tyrosine is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.

Carnitine РCarnitine, also referred to as L-Carnitine, is an amino acid naturally produced in the body. Carnitine is responsible for reducing the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles. This can help increase output during exercise and improve recovery post-exercise. L-Carnitine is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by Lonza, a Swiss multinational, chemicals and biotechnology company, but this status has not been affirmed by the FDA.

Citicoline РCiticoline is a naturally occurring brain chemical that is commonly taken as a dietary supplement to improve memory, thinking, attention, and cognition. Citicoline is also known as CDP Choline or Cognizin, the latter being a specific brand name of citicoline.

Monk Fruit, Mangosteen, Nopal Cactus, Cane Sugar, and Blue Agave: These 5 ingredients are purportedly added to TruBrain Boost for natural sweetness as an alternative to using unhealthy artificial sweeteners. While their primary purpose is flavor, several of these ingredients do have health benefits. Monk Fruit has anti-inflammatory properties, Mangosteen is full of anti-oxidants, and Nopal Cactus has anti-viral effects and protects nerve cells. [2]

TruBrain Boost Review: Ingredient Discussion

Quite frankly, I am really impressed with the thoughtfulness behind the ingredient profile in TruBrain Boost. It’s very clear that TruBrain’s ingredient profile was carefully curated to be synergistic and intentionally non-redundant by people who have a deep level understanding of nootropic substances.¬†As we walk through each ingredient this should become more and more apparent in both their ingredient and corresponding dosage choice.¬†Most supplement brands will claim this much about their ingredient profile somewhere in their marketing material, and while TruBrain is no exception, they legitimize their claims with both the credentials of their team members and the depth of their provided research.

The first two ingredients are Caffeine and L-Theanine which notoriously pair synergistically with each other, so well in fact that there are many instances of products consisting only of Caffeine + L-Theanine at a 2:1 L-Theanine to Caffeine ratio. I am personally a huge proponent of Caffeine + L-Theanine as beyond my own positive personal experiences with it there is a lot of scientific research on the safety and efficacy of both ingredients. Caffeine provides many mental and physical benefits (mentioned above), most notably increased wakefulness. Meanwhile, L-Theanine smooths this boost in wakefulness/alertness with focus and reduced anxiety, promoting a state of controlled and calm concentration. The standard dose for most Caffeine + L-Theanine supplements is 100MG of Caffeine and 200MG of L-Theanine. TruBrain Boost is slightly down-dosed to 100MG of Caffeine and 160MG of L-Theanine, a decision likely made due to the presence of other nootropic ingredients. For reference, there is roughly 100MG of caffeine in an 8 oz cup of coffee.

The next three ingredients are Uridine, Centrophenoxine, and Noopept in a 500MG / 250MG / 20MG split. These three ingredients create a nice neuroprotective and memory improvement stack. Uridine is a natural compound that boosts memory functions by aiding in the production of RNA, which is vital to the process of storing memories in the brain. Centrophenoxine is a cholinergic compound that acts as a very absorbable DMAE transporter. In plain English, this means it’s good at removing waste product buildup from the brain and helps you feel the clear-mindedness you normally feel after a good night of sleep. Noopept is a synthetic nootropic substance that has been shown in studies to outperform Piracetam as a neuroprotectant at a far lower dosage. The three of these ingredients are scientifically-backed by studies as substances that provide neuroprotective, memory, and cognitive benefits. [3] [4] [5] Again we see these ingredients slightly down-dosed in the presence of multiple ingredients: Uridine is normally taken in doses between 500MG and 1000MG, Centropehnoxine is typically 2-3 doses per day at 250MG, and a standard dose of Noopept is between 10MG and 30MG.

Next up in the TruBrain Boost ingredient profile is Magnesium at a dose of 200MG, which comes in once again at the lower end of the spectrum. Magnesium is usually taken at a typical standard dose of 200MG to 400MG. Magnesium deficiencies are extremely common in developed countries, second only to Vitamin D deficiencies. Magnesium deficiencies cause a plethora of different issues including several that directly affect cognition. Magnesium has been shown in studies to improve sleep quality, alleviate migraines, and reduce stress and anxiety. Working synergistically with the Magnesium, Tyrosine is also present in TruBrain Boost at a dose of 350MG, just under the lower end of the typically used range of 500MG to 2000MG. As mentioned above, Tyrosine has been shown in studies to improve cognition, enhance memory, and reduce stress and anxiety through the regulation of dopamine, adrenaline, and thyroid hormones.

The last two active ingredients in the TruBrain Boost ingredient profile are Carnitine and Citicoline at 500MG and 250MG doses respectively. Carnitine, also referred to as L-Carnitine, is typically taken in doses of 500MG to 2000MG, while Citicoline is frequently taken in doses of 250MG, twice daily. Carnitine has been studied for its mental and physical fatigue-reducing effects that can improve concentration over extended periods of time. Citicoline is a popular and commonly used nootropic compound that breaks down into choline in the brain, which has been linked to improved cognition, memory, and learning.

TLDR: The TruBrain Boost ingredient profile is simple, comprehensive, and backed by significant scientific research. The dosages for all ingredients lie on the lower end of typical ranges, which gives users some latitude for drinking more than one TruBrain Boost shot in one day. 

TruBrain Boost Review: Benefits, Taste, Side Effects

My expectations going into this test were very high based on the quality of the ingredient profile alone. Before even trying TruBrain I was fairly confident that the benefits would be quite good, but I was still concerned about two things: potential side effects as well as taste. Taste is a category I personally don’t weight so heavily because I am willing to choke down a less than delicious drink if it has high quality effects.

Benefits: TruBrain Boost did three main things for me: it boosted my mental function and cognition by ~20%, eliminated my brain fog, and improved my overall mood all day long. These benefits manifested roughly 20-30 minutes after taking TruBrain Boost each day. The ‘20% boost in cognitive function’ is obviously a subjective estimate, however, I based it on substantial increases in work productivity and¬†noticeable difference in my¬†ability to think and operate more clearly, particularly in high stress, live-action situations such as meetings, social conversations, gaming. After taking TruBrain, I was able to think one or two questions ahead in meetings, take the lead in conversations, and perform far better in both strategy and reaction-time based games. Beyond that my brain fog dissipated completely after taking TruBrain, and stayed away after the 4th day of consistent use. These benefits likely contributed to my improved mood curing this 10-day test, though I did notice an additional overall reduction in frustration throughout the test period.¬†

Taste: That being said I quite enjoy the taste of TruBrain Boost. It’s both very tangy and very sweet, with just a very slight hint of chalkiness, but nowhere near as chalky as many nootropic drinks I’ve tried, especially the ones that come in powdered form. The flavor profile is fruity and has what seems like a slight citrus undertone, but not quite enough for me to be sure. Would I want to drink a whole glass of this stuff? Probably not, although in shot form the taste is actually quite enjoyable. I would compare it to a 5 Hour Energy shot in terms of tanginess, though the flavor profile isn’t quite comparable. Overall, I would objectively give the taste a solid 9 out of 10, only taking off a point because I think it may be too tangy or too sweet for some people to enjoy.

Side Effects: TruBrain Boost is the only pre-made formulated nootropic stack that has given me no side effects whatsoever. Based on the caffeine content I was expecting a small crash or even a ‘hungover’ feeling the next day, but was pleasantly surprised when I experienced neither after 10 days of consistent use. I decided to stick to just one TruBrain Boost shot per day since I was experiencing such great results with that dosage. Based on the ingredient profile, I would expect some sort of dependence and/or tolerance to develop with excessive use of multiple servings per day. That being said, each ingredient is down-dosed enough to make two servings in a single day completely reasonable.

 

TruBrain Review: Ordering, Shipping, and Unboxing

Ordering:¬†If you’re going to order TruBrain I recommend going directly through their website, as that’s where you’ll get the best deal. Alternatively, you can buy through their Amazon listing, though the price per unit is more expensive. You can currently order a trial pack of 10 TruBrain Boost shots for $29, or $19 id you use promo code ‘trubrain19’. You will automatically be opted into a monthly subscription after this, which is something I personally dislike, though you can immediately cancel the subscription as you won’t be billed for it until 10 days after your trial expires (when your next order ships).

Shipping: Shipping was completely satisfactory. I ordered TruBrain Boost late at night on a Monday and it arrived on Saturday Morning at 9 am for a total of ~4.5 days shipping time. Accurate tracking information was provided in a timely manner and several shipping status emails were sent. If you want 2 days shipping, you’ll have to order through Amazon, which is more expensive.

Unboxing: The packaging and presentation of TruBrain Boost are very simple, but still feels premium. The box containing the 10 trial shots is quite small and wastes no room. Inside was just the 10 TruBrain shots, and two informational cards, one about the product, and the other soliciting investment in the TruBrain company. Here’s a¬†picture of everything laid out:

TruBrain Review: Price

TruBrain Boost currently has several different pricing options depending on how many you want each month and how many months you pay for upfront. The trial pack of 10 TruBrain Boost shots can be purchased for $29, or $19 with the promo code ‘trubrain19’, which comes out to $1.90 per serving. I have broken down their current price structure for bulk discounts below:¬†

Per Month Cost

Quantity 1 month 3 month 6 months 12 months
20/mo $49 $44 $39 $34
30/mo $65 $58 $52 $45
60/mo $125 $112 $100 $87

Per Unit Cost

Quantity 1 month 3 month 6 months 12 months
20/mo $2.45 $2.20 $1.95 $1.70
30/mo $2.17 $1.93 $1.73 $1.50
60/mo $2.08 $1.87 $1.67 $1.45

Total Upfront Cost

Quantity 1 month 3 month 6 months 12 months
20/mo $49 $132 $234 $408
30/mo $65 $174 $312 $540
60/mo $125 $336 $600 $1044

The best deal, or lowest unit cost, would be paying upfront for 12 months of 60 TruBrain Boosts per month, which would yield a per-unit cost of just $1.45, which is a bit less than an average cup of coffee. The most expensive option as far as unit cost goes still isn’t that expensive, coming in a $2.45 per shot. When compared to other nootropic drinks, or even just premade formulated nootropics in general, TruBrain’s pricing is actually quite good. For comparison, Genius Consciousness, a very popular, but inferior, powdered nootropic drink mix that I reviewed in the 12 Best Nootropic Drinks roundup, costs approximately $2.53 per serving and there are no bulk discounts offered. In my honest opinion, TruBrain Boost is a much higher quality product than Genius Consciousness. Here are some general price comparisons:

TruBrain Boost: $1.45 – $2.45 per serving

Genius Consciousness: $2.53 per serving

MUDWTR: $1.33 per serving

Coffee: $1.95+ per serving

If price is a big concern for you, you may be wondering what it would cost to reverse engineer the ingredient profile and mix your own version of TruBrain in pill form for cheaper by ordering the individual ingredients in bulk.

Caffeine РNutricost Caffeine Pills Р$9.99 for 250 servings: $0.040 per serving
L-Theanine РNutricost L-Theanine Powder Р$15.95 for 625 servings: $0.026 per serving
Uridine – Nootropics Depot Uridine Monophosphate – $19.99 for 60 servings: $0.333 per serving
Centrophenoxine – Nootropics Depot Centrophenoxine Powder – $14.99 for 100 servings: $0.150 per serving
Noopept – Nootropics Depot Noopept Powder – $12.99 for 250 servings: $0.052 per serving
Magnesium – Doctor’s Best Magnesium Powder – $15.00 for 500 servings: $0.030 per serving
Tyrosine – Nutricost L-Tyrosine Powder – $17.95 for 715 servings: $0.025 per serving
Carnitine – Nutricost ALCAR Powder – $12.95 for 200 servings: $0.065 per serving
Citicoline – Nootropics Depot Citicoline Powder – $35.99 for 120 servings: $0.300 per serving

That brings us to a grand total of $1.02 per serving after an up front cost of $155.80 for buy all the individual ingredients. If you are motivated enough to go through the trouble of sourcing each ingredient, you could probably find better deals than I was able to and bring the total cost per serving down closer to ~$0.90 or so. That being said, you’ll still need to make sure you are sourcing your ingredients from reliable brands and undertake the process of mixing the correct doses into each pill. This involves keeping track of many different nootropic powders and being extremely precise with your measurements as mixing up the dosages on any of these ingredients could cause seriously harmful side effects or in some cases be fatal. For example, caffeine becomes a very dangerous ingredient when consumed in high doses. Beyond this, you would consistently have different amounts of each ingredient left, which could get unwieldy quite quickly.

TruBrain Boost Review: 10 Day Test Notes & Data

I journaled daily notes on how I felt each day throughout the 10 daytrial period and tracked my percieved levels of cognition each day. The notes are a bit jumbled as they are just my thoughts and feeling jotted down in the moment throughout each day.

Day 1: Took my first TruBrain boost at about 10 am on a Saturday morning. The taste is very strong, tangy, and sweet, but overall pretty nice. Brain fog has completely disappeared within 45 minutes. My mind is totally clear which has brought my stress levels down a bit. Played several games of Dota and performed unbelievably well. Transitioned right into writing articles and I felt more productive than ever. Wary of a potential crash, trouble sleeping, or ‘hangover’ tomorrow morning.

Day 2: Woke up feeling completely fine. I did not have any trouble falling asleep, although I did feel the effects of TruBrain start to gradually wear off around 8 pm or so. I took my second TruBrain Boost shot at 9 am this morning. Within 30 minutes I felt a heightened state of cognition and awareness with a steady stream of energy. The energy increase is not restless energy that stimulants usually make me feel, but more so a clean boost of wakefulness and willingness to do whatever my mind tells me to do.

Day 3: Woke up feeling better than usual for a Monday morning. Drank my third TruBrain Boost shot at 9 am and sat down at the computer to get to work around 9:15 am. Productivity while on TruBrain definitely increases, but it’s in a different way than with other nootropic supplements I have tried before. TruBrain makes me more content to be working in the moment and keeps my brain unblocked and the good ideas flowing. I still feel the need for the occasional break, but I am able to jump in and out of tasks and projects with ease. There is definitely a level of stress and anxiety reduction.

Day 4: I took my fourth TruBrain Boost shot at 9 am on Tuesday morning and was really looking forward to it after the previous 3 days of benefits. Tuesdays are heavy meeting days for me, and usually the most exhausting day of the week. Of any day so far, this was where I felt the most benefit manifest through improved cognition, awareness, verbal fluency, memory, and mood. I wasn’t dreading meetings like I usually do and actually felt much better at leading productive conversations. I was one or two questions ahead and had no issues remembering the status of certain projects when asked, without looking at my notes.

Day 5: Hitting my stride. The cognitive benefits experienced thus far are substantial and undeniable. No negative side effects or tolerance have manifested at this point. It is tempting to ‘push’ it and take two TruBrain boosts in a single day, however, knowing the ingredient profile, multiple shots in one day could definitely lead to some mild tolerance/dependence, most likely from the caffeine.¬†

Day 6: I have noticed lasting improvements in reduced brain fog, improved sleep quality, improved mood, and improved memory that I believe to be linked to the magnesium, citicoline, carnitine, and tyrosine, though it could be mainly from the magnesium. I was likely deficient in magnesium before getting the daily supplemental dose that’s included in TruBrain Boost.

Day 7: More of the same. I definitely feel the same benefits each time I take TruBrain Boost, though each day seems to bring small improvements over the previous (likely my magnesium deficiency disappearing). 

Day 8:¬†Wrestled for 2 hours coaching a college kid from my alma mater. I felt incredibly good. I was able to think clearly, see shots and openings I normally wouldn’t have, and predict my opponent’s movements a fraction of a second earlier than usual. My cardio felt great despite not getting on the wrestling mat in quite some time and I was mentally engaged for the duration of the session.¬†I know this is only one data point, but I’m seriously wondering how much of a benefit this could have been to me in my collegiate wrestling career. I experienced serious live-action cognitive benefits that resulted in quicker thinking, faster reaction time, and overall better athletic performance.¬†

Day 9: My ability to learn and immediately implement new tactics while gaming has drastically improved. While the productivity benefits for general work are great, in my experience TruBrain Boost really shines when it comes to live-action, in-the-moment, stressful situations such as gaming, sports, or social conversations.

Day 10: The 10th day was not particularly different from any other day apart from further solidifying my observance regarding TruBrain’s effectiveness in the “think-on-your-feet” situations. At this point, I have decided to make TruBrain Boost my “daily driver” nootropic for when I’m not testing other nootropics.

My Diet, Exercise, and Sleep While Testing MUDWTR

While it’s normally important to maintain consistency in diet, exercise, and sleep, it’s even more critical when trying to track experiential effects in an anecdotal test. With the sample size being just one person, me, I am essentially only able to measure 10 data points in the 10 day TruBrain Boost review trial if each day is one data point. Every time I don’t get a good night of sleep or eat something terribly unhealthy, it invalidates that day, since feeling bad could easily be attributed to either of those factors and not the effects of TruBrain Boost For that reason I put a lot of effort into maintaining consistent and healthy diet, exercise, and sleep routines throughout the duration of the test.

Diet:

Morning: TruBrain Boost

Noon: Oatmeal with raisins and nuts

Afternoon: Salad with chicken or a sandwich with deli meat and plenty of vegetables

Dinner: Some type of meat, usually chicken or steak, with a side or two of vegetables, usually broccoli, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, etc.

Late Night Snack: This varies a lot, but usually it’s a scoop of peanut butter, a greek yogurt, or the occasional scoop of ice cream.

Exercise:

Sunday: Upper body workout with body weight exercises. (push-ups, pull-ups, situps, etc.)

Monday: Short and intense cardio (warm-up + stretch + 1 mile at a high pace)

Tuesday: Lower body workout with body weight exercises. (Squat jumps, burpees, lunges, etc.)

Wednesday: 3+ mile run

Thursday: Supplemental weight lifting (biceps, triceps, calves, etc.)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Stretching/Yoga routine

TruBrain Review: Conclusion

TruBrain Boost is the best premade nootropic formula I have ever tried, and I have tried almost every reputable formulated nootropic pill and drink on the market. In my 10 day test, I personally experienced undeniable positive cognitive benefits to an extent that I had not previously felt with any other nootropic product. Beyond this, TruBrain Boost is the only formulated nootropic product that I experienced absolutely zero negative side effects with, which is something that may not be true for everyone. The ingredient profile is clearly well-thought-out, logically dosed, and expertly curated. The ingredient quality is professional-grade and the manufacturing process takes place in an FDA-certified factory that uses Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs). At this point in time, I drink TruBrain Boost almost every single morning unless I am testing and reviewing a different nootropic product.