Alpha Brain Side Effects: An Honest Breakdown Of Each Ingredient

by Dan

Alpha Brain is one of the most popular nootropics in the world, and for good reason — it works. It is backed by some of the most high profile athletes and entertainers, such as Joe Rogan. However, regardless of how much fanfare there is surrounding it, some people really want to know if there are any side effects associated with using Alpha Brain.

This is an incredibly important question to answer when considering using any supplement, not just a nootropic. Everybody is different and reacts differently to specific supplements. It is important to speak with a medical professional before trying any new supplement. Today we will be looking at each individual ingredient that makes up Alpha Brain and whether or not they cause side effects (based on research).

  • AC-11: Also more commonly known as “Cat’s Claw”, AC-11 can possibly cause headaches, vomiting, and dizziness in some people. I have found that I only feel these side effects if I take a supplement or vitamin without eating. This is because it has a negative effect with my stomach lining. There are other very special cases where people with an auto-immune disease (such as multiple sclerosis) caused the disease to become more active.
  • Alpha GPC: This ingredient has been rated as safe when used appropriately. Some side effects could include heartburn, headache, insomnia, dizziness, rashes on the skin, and confusion.
  • Bacopa Monnieri: One study on animals found that there were no adverse side effects when using this nootropic.
  • Huperzine A: This ingredient can sometimes cause nausea, diarrhea, sweating, blurred vision, restlessness, loss of appetite, some muscle cramping/twitching, and other mild side effects. It can also possibly slow the heart rate and cause some gastrointestinal tract blockage.
  • L-Leucine: The most common side effects recorded are fatigue and loss of coordination.
  • L-Theanine: There have been very few adverse reactions recorded in people using L-Theanine. The most common are headache, dizziness, and GI symptoms. L-theanine is drank regularly by green tea lovers.
  • L-Tyrosine: This ingredient has been rated as “likely safe” when taken orally. Some side effects recorded are nausea, headache, fatigue, heartburn, and joint pain.
  • Oat Straw: There are no recorded side effects of oat straw. However, if you are allergic to oat flour, you may want to avoid oat straw.
  • Phosphatidylserine: The most common side effects of this ingredient are only seen in high doses (300mg and up). They include insomnia and stomach upset.
  • Pterostilbene: In a study, researchers found that there were no real side effects when compared to the placebo.
  • Vinpocetine: Many of the side effects that have been recorded using this ingredient are similar to the above — stomach pain, nausea, sleep disturbances, headache, nervousness, and flushing of the face.

While there are some rare side effects listed above, I can honestly say I have only experienced a handful of them (headache and upset stomach). This is because, in my personal opinion, I took the nootropics on an empty stomach and they had an adverse reaction with my stomach lining. I also never took more than the recommended dose of Alpha Brain. In doing so, you greatly risk seeing some of the adverse side effects listed above.

Again, I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be one. If you have any questions about Alpha Brain, definitely reach out to a medical professional for answers.

To end on a funny/positive note, here is a video of comedians’ Joey Diaz side effects stories…

DISCLAIMER: We are not doctors. The opinions on this website are not to be taken as medical advice. None of these opinions have been reviewed by the FDA. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements. We receive free products to review and participate in affiliate programs, where we are compensated for items purchased through links from our site (at no cost to the buyer). See our disclosure page for our list of comped products and affiliate programs. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


  1. Took on an empty stomach this morning with just a cup of coffee, water, and black tea in me and I feel pretty terrible. Headache, nauseous, and oddly enough jaw pain? Thanks for writing this article. I won’t take this supplement again on an empty stomach.

    • Hey Lesia,

      Thanks for your comment. Yep, I almost always take any supplement or vitamin with something in my stomach. I even make sure that I eat a little something before drinking coffee because it is very acidic and can lead to really bad stomach pains.

      Definitely feel free to leave another comment when you try it out again!


    • Ohmygosh, I took two pills on a couple bites of oatmeal and some tea and felt very odd yesterday. My jaw didn’t exactly hurt but I felt like I was struggling to talk and move my jaw for a while.

    • oh my- so glad i’m not the only one. i have had nausea for 4 hours now. I’m like I fetal position in bed. will never take this again

  2. Took two on an empty stomach. About two hours later started to vomit. Feel more anxious and lots of nausea.
    Recommend taking with food. Maybe one pill at a time as well.

  3. I’ve gotten sick from mine the last three times I have taken it (new bottle – have been taking it for three months now) and I always take it at night, But these last three times, by early morning I feel like I have a terrible case of food poisoning or a hangover. I’m a 125lbs (5’2”) female. Should I only be taking them one at a time during the day?

  4. Yes, have been taking for 2 days now. First day on an empty stomach, this morning after eggs and bacon. Both days have experienced this strange jaw muscle “fatigue”. Hard to explain but have had it both days. Almost a “frozen” face feeling when out in the bitter cold for awhile, without the cold sensation. Almost hard to talk, as my jaw muscles feel slowed or not operating correctly. I think I will not take tomorrow and see if it is present.

  5. Thanks for the article. I took two today for the first, and probably last, time ever. Had a cup of coffee and an hour later a small meal followed by two Alpha Brain with water. An hour or so later I found myself vomiting and shaking tremendously. After that passed I had a serious nap with the chills and finally woke up feeling zonked. I am not allergic to much outside of your standard rag weed and pollen, however I am assuming there is something in Alpha Brain my body greatly disagrees with. Pretty let down but happy to know I’m not alone in experiencing side effects.

  6. I took 2 this morning with a bowl of oats and a little coffee, vomited 3 separate times and had to leave work due to severe dizziness. Perhaps 1 will be sufficient?

  7. Thanks for the article. I took two this afternoon right before a small meal around 1230pm.. 3 eggs. A couple hours later I was feeling nauseous, and was napping by 5pm. I had just started taking this supplement last week, and had similar side effects the first 3 days, so I then stopped for a few days, and restarted today. It’s not the only onnit supplement I’ve been taking, but this is the only one that has changed in the past week. The others are the total gut health, key minerals and B vitamins, all of which I’d still recommend. I just think I’ll stay away from this one unfortunately for now and make sure all the side effects go away.

  8. I took it for around a week, and noticed that though it improves my concentration and alertness, it decreased my social ability. I found myself unable to converse with other people or follow what they say. Has anyone else experienced the same?

  9. I have taken Alpha Brain twice. The first time I took two pills at the same time with a small snack and had a sudden onset of nausea, stomach pain and dizziness shortly after. I had to leave work. I went home and took a very long nap. The second time, today, I took one pill with a small breakfast. I felt fine after an hour or so, so I took the second pill with a snack, followed shortly after by lunch. About 45 minutes after returning from lunch, I started experiencing the same off putting affects of nausea, stomach pain and dizziness and just generally feeling lethargic and crappy. I will say the nausea was worse the first time when I took them both together. Nevertheless, my body obviously doesn’t like something in them, so I will not be taking it again. My boyfriend, however, can take them with no negative side effects, though he hasn’t really seemed to see any of the supposed increase in memory and focus.

    • My wife took two this morning. I’m not sure if she had anything to eat. She said she had eaten a sandwich. She has been sick and nauseous all night. She’s in the bed in a fetal position I hope and hope soon this will wear off. I also took two and I feel fine but I am 200 pounds, she is 117 pounds

  10. I had the side effects as most other people commenting here- however coincidentally it started when I opened a new bottle (with the new alpha-brain label, has a white flower on it) but I still may not have ate much that day. Is it possible they changed the formula after sometime in Feb/March?

    • I have been taking alpha brain on and off for about 2 years, along with other onnit supplements. I had no problems until about 4 months ago I got horribly sick for about 3 days, completely out of the blue. I had horrible nausea and vomited a few times. It took getting sick like this a couple of times before I figured out that I had a just received my usual alpha brain shipment and it too had the new label with the white flower. It makes sense now that someone else has also figured this out. I haven’t been able to take it since, I tried again the other night for the first time in months and got mildly sick again.

  11. You guys are crazy I think they are meant to be taken 1 pill in the morning after food and 1 more after 6 or 8 hours after you eat again can someone try this?

    • Dude, if someone taKes a supplement and then honestly talks about how they felt soon afterwards?? Why TF would you call them crazy?? So it didn’t happen to you…OK. But you DO realize not everyone reacts to ingested chemicals the exact same way. Look up ANY DRUG in the Physicians desk reference and EVERY SINGLE DRUG EVER MADE SAYS “MECHANISM OF ACTION UNKNOWN” all of the biochemistry is an educated guess!!! No one knows for sure. When I read your statement I thought “man, this person needs to understand how truly wrong this statement is”…. Hopefully you won’t get upset and lash out because nobody likes to be criticized….But bro….as my dad always taught me ” THE MEASURE OF A TRUE MAN IS WHETHER OR NOT HES ABLE TO ADMIT HES WRONG, UNDER DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES ” I just hope you step back from now on and really consider your thoughts and words more carefully. PEACE

  12. I have had two bouts of nausea and vomiting in the last two weeks. The common denominator is alpha brain. Never again.

  13. I took 2 pills this morning at 7:40am. By 8:30am my muscles were spasming so hard I couldn’t even focus my eyes to read an email, use my legs to walk down stairs, or speak normally. I puked countless times from 10:30-3:00pm. I’ve been sweating through all my clothes since morning. My muscles have only slowed in movement around 2:00pm. I do not recommend this product to anyone.

  14. I’m really thankful to the author that wrote this piece because I was scared and had no idea what was happening to me.

  15. Just took one on an empty stomach just to find out. A cup of coffee, my daily multi and 1 capsule of alpha brain. 45 minutes later my gut felt what I could best describe as “bitter”, low and behold it happened. Puked it all up. A decent meal is an absolute must. Also, not meant to be taken 2 at a time. 2 a day max, presumably with an 8 hour interval. Just one powers me up for a day

  16. I took two before I had an egg and toast this morning, felt great for three hours and then sudden dizziness, nausea & fatigue. It went away after approximately 5 hours. Don’t think I will even attempt taking this supplement again.

    • Yeah. My BP blew up. up 20+ points on the top and 10-15 points on the bottom. And that was on a 1/2 dose. I won’t be taking any more of this.

    • I’m glad I read this. Took it first day with good meal and felt ok. Next day took with a protein bar and I felt dizzy, nauseous, and off. The next day still felt weird and checked my blood pressure and it was a lot higher than normal. My BP is always normal and now two days after I still feel a little off. I have been stressed a little which can cause the BP but I’m curious if it takes a few days for alpha to get out of my system. I never feel off like this unless I’m sick.

  17. I’m so glad I came to this page before I purchased Aloha BRAIN. I’m beginning to wonder how much Joe Rogan was paid to boast about how great ALPHA Brain is!!! Anyone else feel that way?? I’m just happy I’m going to avoid feeling sick to my stomach because I ABSOLUTELY HATE FEELING NAUSEATED!!!!!! LOL
    I’m finding more and more of these products advertised all over the internet these days never seem to deliver what they promise… They promise the world and its almost universally a BIG FLOP FOR MOST OF US….. WE ONLY WALK AWAY WITH AN EMPTY WALLET AND A SICK STOMACH (IN THE CASE OF ALPHA BRAIN)…. What shocks me is that these companies are allowed to literally say their product does ANYTHING (in order to get as many sales as possible) and they get away with it….. There’s zero recourse for the customer…. If, as a surgeon, I promised you that a cosmetic procedure would look great!!! And you end up butured??? OBVIOUSLY you can sue, YOU HAVE RECOURSE. BUT OUR IDIOTIC LAW MAKERS (MOSTLY DEMOCRAT) SEEM TO ONLY PASS LAWS THAT MAKE ZERO SENSE TO ANY SANE PERSON. I HOPE SOMEBODY WITH INFLUENCE IN THE RIGHT PLACES READS THIS…. BECAUSE WE, THE PEOPLE, HAVE BEEN GETTING SCREWED BY THESE PHONY AND POSSIBLY DANGEROUS SUPPLEMENTS (AND OTHER PRODUCTS). PLEASE EITHER MAKE STRICTER LAWS WHEN IT COMES TO WHAT PEOPLE CAN SAY ABOUT THEIR PRODUCTS THEY ARE SELLING OR GIVE ALL OF US PROPER RECOURSE IF WE ARE DAMAGED BY A PRODUCT!!!

  18. I am beginning to wonder if this product is causing me to have migraines. I’ve had to leave work twice now due to migraine attacks causing blurred vision and the worst headache I’ve ever had. Does anyone know if the symptoms are temporary or should I jus discontinue? I have 2 full bottles. UGH!

    • I had the opposite effect. My first bottle was a trial and what I noticed is that the I didn’t have a single headache or migraine for a month.
      When I ran out of the supplement I noticed my headaches and migraine returned. I then and started researching each ingredient and found that headaches were a side effect, was not expecting that. I just bought my second bottle and I’m going to see if the headaches stay away. Could be a coincidence, but I keep a log of my headaches, supplements, medications and diet to show my Dr.

  19. I took two yesterday morning around 0945 and felt fine until after I had lunch at 1300. I completely passed out and woke up at 1630 with dizziness, migraine and confusion. At 2100 I became severely flushed, started sweating, shaking and vomiting; I felt as though my body was just trying to purge everything. I’ve learned my lesson and won’t be taking these again.

  20. My daughter just called me and thought she was dying. She took Alpha Brain and threw up. She is feeling flushed, jaw pain, tingling, severe nausea and weak muscles. How can they sell this stuff. Be Careful People!!!!

  21. Took two last week banana and hard boiled egg. By the time I got to the office one of my eyes started twitching and then I got a headache. Now this is probably a real stupid move on my behalf.. I took two excedrine migraine… within a half hour I broke into a cold sweat and started feeling nauseous so I attributed it to too many stimulants… thank goodness I work at a hotel and my co workers walked me to a room because I felt horrible. Once the dry heaved passed I started feeling better and slept the rest of the day. After reading similar reviews I think I’ll pass on Alpha Brain.

  22. I figured I’d add to the experiences in case anyone’s wondering about a recent case.

    I took it for the first time last week about 10AM after eating breakfast. About an hour later my legs were weak/shaky, I couldn’t focus, very lethargic, and super nauseated. Coincidentally I also came down with something that same day right after those symptoms – so I attributed them to being sick.

    Anyway, I decided to try again today after eating breakfast at about 10AM. I was great for most of the day. Felt very alert and whatnot. But at about 3PM, the same side effects started again. I can’t really stand up without getting super nauseated. And I haven’t had any appetite since I first ate at 10AM. It’s 5PM now and I’m feeling slightly better. But still feeling it.

    I think there’s just something in it that my body doesn’t agree with. I don’t think I’ll be taking it again, but I’m glad it works for some people!

  23. Took alpha brain for months. Had developed some weird joint pains that came and went. Never thought alpha brain could cause this. Been off about a month and no further joint pain (mainly was in my left ankle). Screw this crap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *