mind lab pro vs alpha brain

Mind Lab Pro vs. Alpha Brain: The Ultimate Comparison

David Tomen
David Tomen
9 minute read

mind lab pro vs alpha brainMind Lab Pro® and Onnit Labs’ Alpha Brain® are two popular pre-made nootropic stacks. And both have been on the market for many years.

But which stack is the better of the two? That is what we’ll find out in this Mind Lab Pro vs. Alpha Brain nootropic stack bestseller comparison.

If you want a deeper dive into each nootropic stack, then see my separate and full reviews here:

Mind Lab Pro full review

Alpha Brain full review

Which Nootropic Stack is Right for You?

You must decide what you are trying to fix or support before you can choose which of these two nootropic stacks are best for you.

If you could use detailed help with designing a nootropic stack to fit your needs, please see my article: How to Create the Best Nootropic Stack

Both Mind Lab Pro® and Alpha Brain® are premium, high quality brain enhancers. But each offer unique benefits because of how they were formulated.

The company who makes Mind Lab Pro® calls it “the world’s first Universal Nootropic” and is intended to boost all aspects of cognition.

With over 1 million bottles sold, and thousands of 5-star customer reviews, Mind Lab Pro® has to be the best.


It is if you are looking to unlock 100% of your brain function by optimizing 4 key mental performance categories. This supports energy production, optimizing brain blood flow, supporting Alpha and Theta brain waves, boosting major neurotransmitters, all forms of memory, ongoing brain repair, maintenance, and longevity as long as you are using Mind Lab Pro®.

Onnit’s Alpha Brain® on the other hand is for you if you only want to improve short-term memory, concentration, focus, and increase cognitive processing speed.

alpha brain vs mind lab proMind Lab Pro: The Best Nootropic Stack for Overall Brain Health

Mind Lab Pro® contains 11 multi-tasking natural nootropic ingredients supporting 6 aspects to improve cognitive function. It goes like this:

Brain energy – The combination of CiticolinePhosphatidylserine (PS)Pine Bark ExtractRhodiola Rosea, and Vitamins Band B12 work in synergy. For faster memory encoding, quicker recall and reaction time, and stress resistance.[i]

Brain blood flowCiticoline, Bacopa Monnieri, Pine Bark Extract, and Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 work together to increase brain blood circulation.[ii] The result is to improve memory recall, processing speed, verbal fluidity, creativity, and better brain repair and maintenance.

Brain wavesCiticoline and L-Theanine work in concert to optimize neural electrical signaling for quicker thinking. And support Alpha and Theta brain waves for enhanced creativity.[iii] It keeps you alert and focused while studying and for problem solving.

NeurotransmittersCiticoline, Phosphatidylserine (PS), L-Tyrosine,[iv] L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, and Vitamins B6 and B9 combined increase and support key neurotransmitters including acetylcholinedopamineGABA, and serotonin.[v]

You enjoy better learning and memoryquicker reaction timeoptimal mental performance under high stress, better mood, and less anxiety.

Brain regenerationCiticoline, Phosphatidylserine (PS),[vi] Bacopa Monnieri, and Lion’s Mane Mushroom[vii] work together for brain plasticitylong-term potentiation needed to encode long-term memory.

Mental processing speed, motivation, and longevity all get a boost with this combo.

Neuroprotection & Less Brain Fog – All 11 ingredients in this premium nootropic stack support long term optimal brain chemistry and health for optimal mental performance no matter what your age.

Brain cell repair, heightened cognitive function, membrane fluidity, neurotransmitter synthesis, Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) all contribute for better long term brain healthbrain protection and maintenance.

Mind Lab Pro® is used by professionals, active older adults, athletes, students of all ages, and those in competitive sports and games. Anyone looking for improved cognitive benefits and visual working memory to stay on top of their game.

Alpha Brain: A Great Nootropic Stack for Short-term Memory, Focus, and Processing Speed

Onnit Labs is not a supplement company in the truest sense but more of a ‘lifestyle’ company. Alpha Brain® is just one of dozens of dietary and nutritional supplements, athletic gear, personal care products, books, and clothing.

The premium price for a month supply of Alpha Brain® narrows its appeal to working professionals and athletes. Those looking for a quicker response time, better focus, and help with short-term memory.

Not likely a good option for stay at home moms, young students, or the aging brain.

Natural ingredients – Onnit’s tagline that Alpha Brain® is made with “earth-grown nutrients” is mostly true. Common sense tells us that L-TyrosineL-TheaninePhosphatidylserine (PS)Alpha GPC, L-Leucine, Pterostilbene, and the herbal extracts are made in the lab. And not plucked from the garden. But you will not find stimulants or caffeine in this stack. Which is a good thing.

Unique ingredients – You’ll only find Oat Straw extract and Cat’s Claw extract in Alpha Brain®. Not in most other premium nootropic stacks. Both are effective nootropics proven in clinical studies and in daily life. They also use Huperzine-A which is a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which makes acetylcholine more available.[viii] You need acetylcholine for concentration and focus.

Alpha Brain® is used by healthy young adults who want their brains to work a little bit better. Some report it helps boost short-term memoryfocus and concentration, and provides a bit of a boost to cognitive processing speed.

Mind Lab Pro vs. Alpha Brain: Key Similarities and Differences

Mind Lab Pro® and Alpha Brain® both have clinical studies supporting their use as effective nootropic stacks.[ix] [x]

Mind Lab Pro 4.0 ingredients
Mind Lab Pro ingredients

Mind Lab Pro® provides a clean label detailing exactly how much and type of each ingredient makes up their stack.

Alpha Brain® however uses “proprietary formulas” meaning they tell you about each ingredient in their stack but not the exact amount in each dose.

Mind Lab Pro® can be used as a daily supplement and is safe for most to use long-term. I have been using Mind Lab Pro® every day for the last 7 years.

But Alpha Brain® can only be used safely every 2nd or 3rd day because it contains a high dose of Huperzine-A which needs to be cycled.[xi]

Mind Lab Pro® encapsules their ingredients in 2 NutriGels® which are vegan-friendly capsules made from tapioca for quick digestion and bioavailability.

alpha brain ingredients
Alpha Brain ingredients

Alpha Brain® uses 2 regular vegetarian capsules which are not as effective in quickly dispersing its ingredients once you swallow the capsules.

Mind Lab Pro® uses the highest-quality ingredients available in a 2 capsule dose and the only “additive” or “other ingredient” is NuFlow® Rice Concentrate used as a flow agent during encapsulation.

Alpha Brain® also uses high quality ingredients but unfortunately also include the “other ingredient” Maltodextrin which is used as a thickener, filler, or preservative.

The problem with Maltodextrin is it can spike blood sugar and is a very bad idea for those with diabetes or insulin resistance. It’s also been found to enhance E. coli adhesion to cell walls in your intestines. Promoting the survival of salmonella leads to all kinds of chronic inflammatory diseases. And this additive suppresses antimicrobial defenses leading to inflammatory bowel disease.[xii]

You would think that a lifestyle company who have been around since 2011 and who use the tagline made with “earth-grown nutrients” would know better and avoid toxic additives. But that’s not the case with Alpha Brain®.

mind lab pro vs alpha brain redditMind Lab Pro: The Best Nootropic Stack for Long-Term Cognitive Enhancement

Mind Lab Pro® contains 11 brain enhancing ingredients which include: Citicoline, Bacopa Monnieri (full spectrum extract), Lion’s Main Mushroom extract (fruiting body and mycelium), Phosphatidylserine (from Sunflower lecithin), N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT), L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea (3% rosavins, 1% salidrosides), Maritime Pine Bark Extract (95% proanthocyanidins), and NutriGenesis Vitamin B6, B9, & B12.

I encourage you to click through and read my full review for each of the ingredients used in Mind Lab Pro®.

Because it will soon become clear that using Mind Lab Pro daily can improve energy, increase brain blood flow, support brain waves, boost short-term, working- and long-term memory, quicker reaction time, and you’ll feel better overall. Mind Lab Pro® is truly a universal nootropic stack for long-term cognitive enhancement.

Alpha Brain: A Great Nootropic Stack for Short-Term Cognitive Boost

Alpha Brain® contains proprietary blends using L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Oat Straw extract, Cat’s Claw extract, Alpha GPC, Bacopa Monnieri, Huperzine-A, L-Leucine, and Pterostilbene.

I encourage you to click through and read my full review for each of the ingredients used in Alpha Brain®.

Because it will soon become clear that you cannot use Alpha Brain® daily since it contains 400 mcg of Huperzine-A. But if used long enough you should feel a boost in short-term memoryfocus and concentration, and slightly faster cognitive processing speed.

onnit alpha brain vs mind lab proMind Lab Pro: The Clear Winner for Overall Brain Health & Optimization

Mind Lab Pro® is without question my favorite pre-made nootropic stack which I’ve used daily since late 2015.

And the rest of the world has come to know Mind Lab Pro® since which has propelled it to the bestselling pre-made nootropic stack on the planet. With well over 1 million bottles sold.

Now, there is no doubt Alpha Brain® is a popular and good quality pre-made nootropic stack. Also well known around the world by the neurohacking community.  And good for focus, concentration, and faster thinking.

But overall, Mind Lab Pro® comes out the winner because it works as advertised, it is pure, price competitive, and is safe to use long-term by most people.

If I still haven’t convinced you then I highly recommend trying each supplement for a month and then see what you think. I am confident you will come to the same conclusion as I have in this comparison review.

Get: Mind Lab Pro®

Get: Alpha Brain®

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] Shevtsov V.A., Zholus B.I., Shervarly V.I., Vol’skij V.B., Korovin Y.P., Khristich M.P., Roslyakova N.A., Wikman G. “A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work.” Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):95-105. (source)

[ii] Rohdewald P. “A review of the French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), a herbal medication with a diverse clinical pharmacology.” International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2002 Apr;40(4):158-68. (source)

[iii] Mason R. “200 mg of Zen” Alternative and Complementary Therapies. July 2004, 7(2): 91-95. (source)

[iv] Slominski A., Zmijewski M., Pawelek J. “L-tyrosine and L-DOPA as hormone-like regulators of melanocytes functions” Pigment Cell Melanoma Research. 2012 Jan; 25(1): 14–27. (source)

[v] Petkov V.D., Stancheva S.L., Tocuschieva L., Petkov V.V. “Changes in brain biogenic monoamines induced by the nootropic drugs adafenoxate and meclofenoxate and by citicholine (experiments on rats).” General Pharmacology 1990;21(1):71-5. (source)

[vi] De Simone R., Ajmone-Cat M.A., Tirassa P., Minghetti L. “Apoptotic PC12 cells exposing phosphatidylserine promote the production of anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective molecules by microglial cells.”Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. 2003 Feb;62(2):208-16. (source)

[vii] Lai P.L., Naidu M., Sabaratnam V., Wong K.H., David R.P., Kuppusamy U.R., Abdullah N., Malek S.N. “Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 2013;15(6):539-54. (source)

[viii] Raves M.L., Harel M., Pang Y.P., Silman I., Kozikowski A.P., Sussman J.L. “Structure of acetylcholinesterase complexed with the nootropic alkaloid, (-)-huperzine A.” Nature Structural Biology. 1997 Jan;4(1):57-63. (source)

[ix] Abbott-Imboden C., Gonzalez Y., Utley A. “Efficacy of the nootropic supplement Mind Lab Pro on memory in adults: Double blind, placebo-controlled study” Human Psychopharmacology Clinical & Experimental Vol 38, Issue 4, July 2023 (source)

[x] Solomon T.M., Leech J., Murphy C., DeBros G., Budson A., Solomon P. “A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group, efficacy study of alpha BRAIN® administered orally” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 12, Article number: P54 (2015) (source)

[xi] Li, Y. X., Zhang, R. Q., Li, C. R., & Jiang, X. H. (2007). “Pharmacokinetics of huperzine A following oral administration to human volunteers.” European journal of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics32(4), 183–187. (source)

[xii] Nickerson K.P., Chanin R., McDonald C. “Deregulation of intestinal anti-microbial defense by the dietary additive, maltodextrin.” Gut Microbes 2015;6(1):78-83 (source)

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