CILTEP vs Alpha BRAIN: Which Works Better & is Stacking Good?

by Wesley S

Alpha BRAIN is one of the world’s most famous (and most purchased) nootropics. Onnit’s flagship brain supplement has celebrity and athlete endorsements and a huge fan base. And while Alpha BRAIN itself contains a pretty broad range of natural ingredients, lots of people have started testing it out with other supplements. One of them is CILTEP. (Read our full review of Alpha BRAIN from Onnit for more information.)

Alpha Brain vs CILTEP

CILTEP is a supplement designed to, supposedly, induce long-term potentiation in neurons (think of it as a smoothing of or increasing activity in neural pathways; read our full review of CILTEP to learn more about this Natural Stacks supplement). It’s a controversial supplement, and overall it’s not our favorite, as several of our testers found it completely ineffective. (Unlike other supplements from Natural Stacks, many of which are among the best we’ve tested. These include BioCreatine and Magtech.)

Basically, the science is a bit murky behind whether CILTEP’s ingredients can be processed after digesting. In my personal experience, and several other BrainWiz testers can back this up, stacking it with BrainWiz does nothing to boost the effects of either supplements. Taking both is a bit like just taking Alpha BRAIN, though potentially with a slight risk of dull headaches (which a few users have reported with CILTEP). For more about stacking CILTEP, read our CILTEP and Smart Caffeine stacking review.

We really enjoy taking Alpha BRAIN with coffee, as Alpha BRAIN itself is stimulant-free and seems to benefit from a slight caffeine boost. There are also folks who stack Alpha BRAIN with racetam compounds like oxiracetam and piracetam, as well as noopept. However, these are advanced stacks using very potent ingredients, and overall we don’t recommend beginning biohackers or those new to nootropics start by adding racetam compounds to existing supplement stacks. Side note: Two of our favorite stacks featuring these potent compounds are Lumonol and truBrain, supplements that contain ingredients to bolster choline levels in the brain. Taking a racetam or noopept without enough choline can also result in headaches and other side effects. We think they’re a better route than self-dosing with raw ingredients, especially for people simply looking for a reliable nootropic to improve focus.

When it comes down to it, we’ve had a lot of success taking Alpha BRAIN on its own and with a relatively low dose of stimulants like caffeine (so pairing Alpha BRAIN with a cup of tea or coffee). Pairing CILTEP and Alpha BRAIN is less desirable than just taking Alpha BRAIN on its own.

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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