Alpha BRAIN vs. Alpha BRAIN Instant: Which Is Better?

by Wesley S

Alpha BRAIN is Onnit’s flagship supplement, and this popular nootropic has been dominating the brain enhancer market since 2010/2011. While the packaging has changed a bit, Onnit’s proprietary formula (itself a combo of proprietary “blends”) has basically remained the same. Except, that is, for a recent product development that brings with it more change than may meet the eye.

Alpha BRAIN vs Alpha BRAIN Instant

The Evolution of Alpha BRAIN

With the announcement of Alpha BRAIN Instant in late 2015, the manufacturer has introduced a new form of their favorite supplement. At first glance, Alpha BRAIN Instant is just Alpha BRAIN in a powdered form, as opposed to the standard capsule, with some flavorings to make it a pleasant drink. But while each form of Alpha BRAIN contains the Onnit Flow, Focus, and Fuel blends, the proportions are actually different between the two varieties.

Find out which flavor of Alpha BRAIN Instant we preferred in our full review.

Alpha BRAIN Instant vs Alpha BRAIN

So What’s Different?

Onnit claims Alpha BRAIN Instant has one big advantage: “The advantage of the powdered drink mix over original Alpha BRAIN is that you save the time it takes for the body to dissolve the capsule. The nutrients get delivered right away to your stomach, expediting absorption and how quickly they can cross the blood-brain barrier.”

But there’s another major difference, namely in the ingredients themselves.

The difference is in the amount of Onnit’s Flow and Fuel blends in each version of the supplement (the amount of vitamin B6 and Focus blend are the same in both). One serving of Alpha BRAIN Instant has 1,150 mg of their Flow blend, which contains l-tyrosine, the calming l-theanine, oat straw extract, and phosphatidylserine. A serving of Alpha BRAIN original has only 650 mg of that proprietary blend.

Alpha BRAIN Instant also contains more of the Fuel Blend per serving, at 71 mg versus normal Alpha BRAIN’s 65 mg. That particular blend contains l-leucine, vinpocetine, BioPerine black pepper extract (for increased absorption), and pterostilbene.

What Does This Mean for Me?

Our testers enjoyed both Alpha BRAIN and Alpha BRAIN Instant, and they’re among our favorite nootropic blends, especially when it comes to stimulant/caffeine-free stacks. In fact, several of us have been taking Alpha BRAIN fairly consistently for upwards of 5 months with consistent effects. (A few of us, however, get a better experience by cycling off the supplement occasionally, as tolerance may build with some of the ingredients.)

Alpha BRAIN Instant may take the edge in that it actually is a bit faster-acting; if you don’t like swallowing pills or are looking for a tasty morning beverage, it may also be worth a try. Alpha BRAIN’s original formula, as a capsule, is easier to pair with your morning coffee. We’ve found both to be similar in the length of their effects.

Individual experience may vary; the choice may truly come down to taste, routine, and whether you want to wait an additional few minutes for the earth-grown formula to kick in.

Looking for the Best Price on Alpha BRAIN?

Onnit isn’t known for releasing a lot of huge discounts on their products, but they are pushing hard on getting people to try Alpha BRAIN Instant. For the latest discounts, check out our piece on Alpha BRAIN coupons to get the best and most up-to-date deals on their nootropic formula and other supplements.

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

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