What has a nootropic supplement have to do with strength and conditioning?
Well, as more advanced trainees inherently know there is an important connection between the muscle and the mind when seriously developing our bodies.
From Sandow to Schwarzenegger, Hepburn to Karwoski, and Kazmaier to Pudzianowski, all bodybuilding, powerlifting and strongman champions have spoken to some degree on the importance of the muscle/mind connection when engaging in training and competition.
Don’t believe it? Watch the eyes any strength athlete in competition and tell me I’m wrong.
From a personal standpoint, I came to strength training from a background of boxing, martial arts and rugby from which I endured a number of concussive head injuries.
Nothing individually very serious but cumulatively serious enough to know that it has affected the way I think, the speed formulate thought, my general emotive disposition and most importantly my ability to focus consistently.
Some days weren’t working so well for me at the gym mentally.
So I decided to give Alpha Brain a 30-day trial after hearing and advertisement on a Joe Rogan Podcast.
So What is Alpha Brain?
Put simply Alpha Brain is a nootropic supplement. A nootropic is a supplement whose primary purpose is to improve all forms of mental function.
Alpha Brain advertises itself as a “fully balanced” nootropic designed turn up your acetylcholine levels, deliver nutrients and neuro-specific antioxidants to the brain to assist in mental acuity, focus, drive and function.
A side effect component of the acetylcholine boosting elements of this supplement is purportedly an occurrence of vivid, lucid dreaming in some users. This they say related to how acetylcholine levels regulate REM sleep patterns
All pretty heady stuff (excuse the pun). Their product page goes into quite some depth in how it does work but as I am absolutely no expert, I will have to relate to you how it worked for me personally.
How did it work for me?
I have to say I was pretty hopeful because I had a positive experience with Onnit’s T+. So I dove in for a 30 day experiment.
For the first 4 days on one capsule a day I have to say the effects were a little limited but positive. My sleep definitely improved immediately and my general disposition at work and training was improved although in a slight way.
As a 220lb man I took the suggested 2 capsule a day dose after 4 days and I have to say that things started to happen for me.
My first day at work after my breakfast dose was great I was focused and alert and my squat session after work was great. Sleep that night was fantastic as well.
This carried on for the full 30 days of my experiment. In fact I was so impressed I reordered my Alpha Brain supplies so I wouldn’t have a down period where I wasn’t taking them.
One word of warning. Don’t take them to close before you want to go to sleep. I made this mistake and it took me a few hours extra to drop off which messed me up a bit for the next day.
I have yet to experience any actual lucid dreaming but my sleep is more dreamful whereas before I struggled to remember if I dreamed at all.
What do other people say?
The testimonials from other people were also pretty universally positive. A lot of comments were even more exuberant than this review and I found none that were negative to this product at all.
Alpha Brain is also recommended by strength and fitness experts Joe DeFranco and John Romaniello and by and by a number of MMA coaches and fighters.
To be perfectly frank I was sold at Joe DeFranco’s recommendation. There is little of that man’s advice that I would ignore.
If you are sincere on training the body optimally then you should be ensuring your mind’s health as well. I am going continue using Alpha Brain not just because of mental focus improvements I have experienced, but because of the vast improvement I have had with my sleep patterns.
Funnily enough I never bought the product for improving my sleep. In fact I never knew I had that many issues with my eight hours a day of slumber.
But to me it was a superb bonus to my improved cognitive function.
One of the testimonials on the Onnit page say’s categorically that, “this is NOT a Placebo”, and I have to say I agree wholeheartedly. This stuff is the real deal from my experience
I am always reluctant to give a 5 star rating to a product – especially to a supplement – so I will give it a 4.5 score. This comes with the caveat that I’m getting a little crotchety as my move further into middle-age and it probably does deserve a 5 star rating