The Beginner’s Nootropic Stack? Reviewing SharpMind By Solaray

by Chad M

Solaray has been producing supplements since 1973.  The company produces mainly herbal supplements and and vitamins, but it also has a line of what they market as functional formulations which include a few nootropic stacks. Today, we are going to be reviewing  a product from that line, SharpMind (click for the best price).

A blend of well-researched nootropic compounds, SharpMind is advertised as a complete brain formula, claiming to improve cognitive function, memory, concentration, learning abilities, and to promote general well-being and reduced stress.  Does the product live up to its lofty claims? Read on to find out.

SharpMind by Solaray Ingredients

SharpMind by Solaray Ingredients

The Ingredients

  • Cat’s Claw – 350 mg
  • GP Horse Chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum) (seed extract) Supplying 25.2 mg (18%) Aescin – 140 mg
    • Aescin, derived from Horse Chestnut, has been shown to possess both  venotonic vascular protective and antioxidant effects.
  • GP Ginkgo Biloba (Leaf Extract) Supplying 14.4 mg (24%) Ginkgo Flavoglycosides and 3.6 mg (6%) Terpene Lactones – 60 mg
    • Ginkgo has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to promote memory. More recently, clinical studies and research reviews have pointed to its efficacy in fighting dementia and neural decline.
  • Dopabean (Mucuna Pruriens) (Bean Extract) Supplying 4 mg (20%) Catecholamines and min. 2 mg (10%) L-Dopa – 20 mg
    • Catecholamine is a neurotransmitter, and L-DOPA is a dopamine precursor commonly used to treat Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Leci-PS Phosphatidylserine Concentrate (Lecithin) Supplying 4 mg (40%) Phosphatidylserine – 10 mg
    • Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid required to maintain healthy nerve cell membranes. It supports cognitive function and the ability to learn and recall new information.
  • Vinpocetine – 3 mg
    • Vinpocetine is a chemical derived from the periwinkle plant and is linked to increased cerebral blood flow. Doctors in Hungary have been prescribing this compound to treat cerebrovascular disorders for decades.
  • Huperzine A (from Chinese Moss {Huperzia Serrata}) – 10 mcg
    • Huperzine A is a compound derived from Chinese club moss that has been used to improve cognitive performance in patients with declining mental health.
  • Other Ingredients: Gelatin (capsule), magnesium stearate, silica and maltodextrin

Usage Guidelines

As a dietary supplement, take one capsule with a meal or a glass of water. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Huperzine A should be used with caution by individuals with known heart rhythm disorders or chronic asthma. Anyone undergoing major surgery should alert the anesthesiologist to Huperzine A supplementations. May potentiate pharmaceutical MAO-inhibitors.

What Our Testers Say

“I took this in the morning with my breakfast, and felt a little sharper, but there was still a bit of fog to fight through. There was no jitteriness, and I felt pretty relaxed, which can come in handy in high-stress days. Both the clarity and the relaxed feeling were gone by late morning.”

“On the first day I tested this, I took one capsule after my workout and breakfast in the morning. I felt a small increase in focus as I was working in the morning. The next day, I took it first thing in the morning, with my pre-workout drink, which has tons of caffeine, and could feel a rush of energy along with accelerated heartbeat. I read that ginkgo can have an effect on blood pressure, so I went back to taking it post-workout for the remainder of the trial period.”

“I really didn’t feel much from this supplement, to be quite honest. I didn’t feel any worse or experience any reduced focus, but there wasn’t a boost that really sent me over the top.”

“SharpMind was a little too mild for me. I took it in the the morning both with and without food, and with and without coffee, and didn’t feel like this stack was “punchy” enough for me.”

3.7 / 5 Score
  • Beginner friendly
  • Stimulant free
  • Pairs well with coffee
  • Cons
  • No energy boost
  • May be too mild
  • Summary
    SharpMind is a very mild stack that most of our testers got the most out of when pairing with a caffeine source. Its effects weren't hugely pronounced, but they were fairly consistent for everyone who tried it on our team.
    Beginner Friendly

    BrainWiz Tips

    • SharpMind contains no caffeine, so it pairs well when you’re already taking in caffeine, like with your morning tea or coffee.
    • Our testers experienced no negative side effects from this supplement. But as with any supplement or nutritional regimen, you should talk to your doctor or medical professional before use.
    • Our testers felt diminishing effects after roughly a week of taking SharpMind. After a few days off from the supplement, taking one capsule of SharpMind produced a desired cognitive boost. We recommend pairing it with caffeine, tea or guarana, and to use it in a “1 week on, 2 days off” pattern in order to keep feeling the effects of the supplement.

    Supplement Summary

    SharpMind is a caffeine-free nootropic stack best for those without a sensitivity to Ginkgo Biloba. Our testers found the effects to be mild, but generally consistent, with only one tester not feeling any effects. This is potentially a good starting stack for beginners. This supplement pairs especially well with coffee tea or guarana, for those who drink caffeine regularly.

    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. I disagree. I found the product highly effective for cognitive enhancement in my intellectually demanding job doing high volume/quality evaluations.

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