There are many nootropics on the market these days. One of them is VitaStrength NeuroMax, a brain enhancing supplement promising better brain function. Its naturally-derived formula is supposed to help enhance focus, memory, and clarity. It’s also supposed to help ease stress and improve mood.
The company also claims that it will help overall with having better memory-making abilities and better memory recall. But does it actually work? Let’s take a look at the active ingredients and a few other aspects of this capsule.
Here’s a look at the main ingredients in this nootropic. They’re in order from biggest dose to smallest dose. Milligrams and micrograms given are the amount in one capsule.
250 mg St. John’s Wort
This plant has been used as a brain medicine across the ages. It’s primary purpose is as an antidepressant and mood enhancer. While this herb has promising abilities, like the ability to prevent nerve cells from reabsorbing some chemical messengers in the brain, there is no conclusive evidence as to it’s power as a nootropic. It helps to boost mood in this formula.
150 mg Glutamine
Glutamine is naturally found in large amounts in the body as an amino acid. It helps to make proteins in the body and in the brain. It can be used to treat a variety of mental issues, such as depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and even ADHD. It’s a precursor for both neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA in the brain. Normal amounts of this substance are required for proper brain function and a lack of glutamine can cause depression. In this supplement, it’s meant to help with lowering stress levels and helping with optimum brain power.
125 mg Phosphatidylserine Complex
Phosphatidylserine complex is an important chemical for the body, particularly in the brain. It has traditionally been used for Alzheimer's disease and other issues involving mental function. It can help with treating depression and other disorders such as ADHD as well it works by acting as part of the cell structure for neural cells. It has been shown to improve memory, as well as attention and language skills, in elderly people..
100 mg Bacopa Monniera
This plant has been used in traditional European and Eastern medicines for years to improve cognitive function. It is said to help increase some brain chemicals involved in mental processes. It also increases the rate of dendritic growth, which improves overall brain function. It is aids in protecting the brain from Alzheimer's and other mental illnesses.
50 mg Ginkgo biloba
Like many of the other plant extracts in this formula, Ginkgo is said to increase circulation in the brain, which leads to better brain function. Its properties as an antioxidant result in an increase in memory recall and overall cognition. This herb is actually prescribed as an anti-Alzheimer's medication in Europe. That’s because it has protective properties over the nerves in the brain.
50 mg N-Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl
This amino acid helps with better memory recall and increased energy. It does this by increasing circulation to the brain and passing quickly through the blood brain barrier. It acts as a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals in the brain. Since free radicals damage to the brain's ability to work properly, reduced amounts of them from the N-acetyl L-carnitine can counteract age-related memory problems. It can also help improve levels of concentration and motivation.
50 mg DMAE Bitartrate
This substance is naturally created in the brain. It works by increasing levels of acetylcholine, which is one of the most important neurotransmitters concerning memory storage and recall. It also helps keep neural cell membranes healthy. Low amounts of DMAE results in that feeling of “brain fog,” so proper amounts help keep thinking sharp and fight memory deficits.
2 mg Vinpocetine
Vinpocetine, a synthetic chemical that mimics vincamines, promotes blood flow to the brain and is believed to help protect brain cells from trauma and injury. By increasing blood flow to the brain, it increases nutrients like glucose and oxygen that are stored and utilized directly in the brain. This means quicker and more efficient information processing and better memory and concentration abilities.
10 mcg Huperzine-A
This chemical is derived from the Chinese Club moss plant. It works by essentially turning off the acetylcholine regulation system in the brain. Since acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter, the result is an increase in the chemical, which means better memory storage and recall and a better learning ability overall.
The manufacturer recommends that you take one or two capsules per day. I find that this may not be enough given the amount of certain substances. For example, a good dose of glutamine as a nootropic would be 2 or 3 grams. One NeuroMax pill contains only 150 mg of glutamine, which isn’t enough to have a profound effect. This seems to be the case with most of the ingredients across the board. Many of these ingredients probably don't work as effectively as they could because they are severely underdosed in this supplement.
Overall, the supplement has low side effects. Here are a few of the side effects that it can cause.
- St. John's Wort can result in severe depression in some users that already take antidepressants. It can also reduce the effectiveness of many common medications.
- Many of the compounds found in this supplement can interfere with cancer drugs, such as chemotherapy medications. You should not take the supplement if you are actively being treated for cancer.
- Some of the other nootropic substances in the supplement can result in side effects like severe headache, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, or irritability.
If you go to the manufacturer’s website, they claim that they have worked with a laboratory to create and manufacturer NeuroMax. Unfortunately, so have many other brands. NeuroMax is what is referred to as a white label rip by some people. What this means is that there is one manufacturer making this pill. Then, different brands, like VitaStrength, buy the pills and put their own label on them. The result is that there are several different nootropics out there that actually have the exact same formula. Each and every gram of every ingredient is the same. At least each pill is made in an FDA inspected facility in the USA and all of their natural ingredients are sourced with good manufacturing processes.
Overall, users seem to be pleased with this product. They claim that it really helps to get rid of their brain fog. It helps with better focus and better memory recall. I find this a little surprising, given that the most powerful nootropics in this pill are in such small doses. The herbs that are in large doses do more for mood and stress than for the mental processes involving memory. And perhaps that’s why users like it- it makes them feel less stressed, and in turn they’re able to think better.
The biggest customer complaint has been that taking two capsules a day initially will cause headache. Other than that, customers have seem to be satisfied with the product. Those customers who have had to return the product state that customer service was quick and easy when they invoke the 60-day love it or your money back guarantee.
The biggest problem that I see with VitaStrength’s sole nootropic is that it isn’t special. Since it’s a white label rip off, there are other pills out there on the market with the exact same formula.
That being said, the fact that it’s all natural is really great. The ingredients themselves are very promising, although I feel like the supplement focus here is to reduce stress and anxiety, as opposed to increase cognitive function. The fact that side effects are minimal is great.
I would only rate this supplement at a 2.9 out of 5. I give it a lower rating because I feel like the true nootropic ingredients are severely underdosed. The active ingredients need to be doubled, and some even tripled, before it could be considered a very powerful nootropic. Overall, it would be a good nootropic to try if you are just beginning to get into brain supplements since the doses are small.VitaStrength NeuroMax
Final Verdict: 2.9 out of 5.
As of updated published date 10/23/2017