PowerFocus Review Summary
Brainpower Nootropics clearly had their hearts in the right place with this one. They have included just about every natural nootropic substance they could get their hands on in this supplement’s formula. However, the end result could still be better.
Dosage isn’t an issue with this nootropic, and there’s nothing that we think will cause anyone serious side effects. But there are quite simply too many ingredients for our liking. Some of these ingredients are superb natural nootropics, while others have no proven nootropic properties.
This isn’t a bad supplement by any means. But we think it would be a lot better if the manufacturer trimmed the formula down to the very best ingredients and let those ingredients really work how they’re supposed to.
Where To Buy PowerFocus
Most of you will have first seen PowerFocus on Amazon. As always though, we think it’s best if you purchase supplements from the manufacturer directly.
Full PowerFocus Review
PowerFocus is a ‘maximum strength’ food supplement made by Brainpower Nootropics.
The company is based in London, UK, and seems to manufacture one product: PowerFocus. When searching for the company on the internet, you will struggle to find anything more than the PowerFocus.co.uk domain.
Manufacturers do this to give themselves the opportunity of branching out in the future. But it is not uncommon to see a company name appearing only in the footer of a website, with all branding attention focusing on a single supplement. As they have chosen the name ‘Brainpower Group’, it’s clear that these guys have a long-term plan.
So, what is PowerFocus?
As the name suggests, PowerFocus was designed to help improve cognitive performance, focus, memory, and mood.
According to Brainpower, PowerFocus contains only 100% natural and herbal ingredients, each of which has been selected only after undergoing strict, double-blind placebo controlled trials which indicated a quantifiable benefit.
This isn’t anything new; everyone claims this about their nootropic stack these days. What this claim does give us is something by which to judge Brainpower.
Do all of the ingredients clinically proven nootropic properties? Have they shown quantifiable benefits? Are there better ingredients that could have been used in their place?
What about the side effects of using PowerFocus? Is there anything better out there?
Let’s take a closer look and try to answer these questions. Here is our full PowerFocus review.
Before we start talking about the PowerFocus formula in any detail, it’s important that you can see the full ingredient list too so you know what we’re talking about.
Here is the full PowerFocus ingredient list as seen on the product label itself:
To the credit of Brainpower Nootropics, they have no done what so many manufacturers do today and opted for a proprietary blend. Instead, they have done the decent thing and made their full formula available, with individual serving sizes and full ingredient disclosure.
It’s really important that we have reliable dosing information for nootropic before we buy them.
Some supplements can get away with it more than others, but natural nootropic stacks that list all of their ingredients as part of one, big, homogeneous ‘proprietary blend’ are always best avoided.
Now, on to the PowerFocus formula itself: does it match up to the claims made by Brainpower? Are all of the ingredients backed up by solid science? Could they have opted for superior, more effective ingredients? Does it deliver enhanced focus, memory, and mood?
PowerFocus Formula Review – Does It Work As Advertised?
We think that this stack will deliver some good cognitive improvements for the vast majority of users.
It contains a good blend of key natural nootropic substances, covering everything from memory support and sharpening focus to helping improve mood.
PowerFocus delivers one of the best cholinergics in existence (Alpha GPC), and the amount of Bacopa monnieri found in each serving is undoubtedly enough to deliver the kind of lasting improvements in memory function that users of natural nootropics are looking for.
It also contains other ingredients that we don’t usually look for in nootropic stacks, but which seem to have some promising potential as reliable cognitive enhancers. We are referring here primarily to Ashwagandha. As the cited study shows, this stuff may prove to be amazingly good at fighting anxiety.
PowerFocus also contains 5-HTP; a natural substance known to help improve mood by influencing the serotonin pathway. Serotonin is one of your ‘happy hormones’: it is behind feelings of empathy, euphoria, and togetherness.
While we don’t necessarily think this stuff belongs in a natural nootropic stack, it is without doubt highly effective at what it does.
That said, there are some issues with this formula that, in our opinion, prevent it from being a truly brilliant natural nootropic stack.
These issues can be summed up as two distinct problems: that some ingredients have no proven nootropic properties, and that some of the ingredients could be replaced with much more effective alternatives.
This directly contradicts the claims mace by the manufacturer about only using ingredients that have demonstrated quantifiable nootropic benefits, and using the very best ingredients available.
This doesn’t mean it is a bad supplement – not at all. But it is worth discussing.
Ingredients With No Nootropic Properties
We’ll start with the most obviously impotent ingredient: citrus aurantium. This is simply the formal latin name for bitter orange.
While the label doesn’t say “citrus aurantium extract”, we can safely assume that they haven’t just squeezed bitter orange into each capsule. We will assume, therefore, that this refers to the most common extract taken from bitter orange; synephrine.
This stuff is now commonly found in weight loss and diet pills. It is used in this way because people (mistakenly) believes that it has a similar mechanism in the body as ephedrine – an incredibly powerful and dangerous substance used for weight loss.
After doing extensive research, we can’t find any evidence to support the notion that synephrine has any nootropic benefits to speak of whatsoever.
Synephrine’s effectiveness as a weight loss supplement is even in doubt. Yet there are few who would even suggest that it might help improve focus or memory function.
The same can be said of green coffee bean extract.
Unlike synephrine, this stuff is known to be an incredibly effective and safe fat loss supporter.
But like synephrine, it doesn’t seem to offer any benefits in regards to focus, memory, mood, or overall cognitive functioning.
Tyrosine can be incredibly effective for some users. We know that it supports memory and learning as it is used to synthesize noradrenaline and dopamine, which are closely linked to focus, learning, and staying concentrated when under pressure.
However, it ceases to have any significant nootropic properties when it is dosed as low as it is in PowerFocus.
Tyrosine is usually taken in amounts ranging from 500mg to 2g. The 50mg in PowerFocus is never going to do anything spectacular for your ability to stay focused under pressure.
Lots of people don’t need to supplement with Tyrosine (as it is a commonly-occurring amino acid), so if you are going to include it in a stack, make sure it is justified.
Another ingredient that needs discussing here is 5-HTP.
Like Tyrosine, it can be said to have some pretty profound effects on cognition.
However, unlike Tyrosine, 5-HTP is usually taken by people who think that they have some kind of serotonin deficiency.
Taking 5-HTP doesn’t automatically lift your mood; instead, it makes it easier for your brain to create enough serotonin if it struggles to do so normally.
Inferior Ingredient Selection
We are here talking primarily about the choice of cholinergics in this stack.
While we spoke highly of Alpha GPC earlier, the 70mg in PowerFocus is far below what we expect to see in a top-of-the-range, professional quality natural nootropic stack.
This would mater a lot less if Alpha-GPC were combined with CDP-Choline. Both of these substances confer choline to the brain, but they also have other, peripheral benefits that compliment one another.
However, in PowerFocus, Alpha-GPC is partnered with choline bitartrate.
This is not a bad cholinergic by any means; it still increases choline availability in the brain, and thereby increases acetylcholine levels when necessary. But it is not the most effective cholinergic either.
If Brainpower were serious about only including the best ingredients possible, then they would have dropped choline bitartrate and relied entirely on Alpha-GPC or CDP-Choline.
The particular strain of Bacopa monnieri used could also be much better.
Bacopa is one of our favourite nootropic substances. If we had to construct a stack out of just two ingredients, it would be that and CDP-Choline.
But the best stacks on the market today use Bacopa extract that has been standardized to provide 40% bacosides by weight, not the 20% we get from PowerFocus.
It is the bacosides we are interested in, as it is the bacosides in Bacopa monnieri that give it its ability to improve memory function so profoundly in just 10 weeks. With their stated obsession for providing the best of everything, it’s strange that Brainpower didn’t opt for a more potent Bacopa monnieri extract here.
PowerFocus Side Effects
As PowerFocus is composed entirely of 100% natural and herbal ingredients, we think it’s highly unlikely that it will cause significant side effects for the vast majority of users.
The only two things that you might have to be careful of is the 5-HTP and the Guarana Extract.
5-HTP is typically taken by people who feel that they may have some kind of serotonin imbalance. It is taken to treat feelings of anxiety, demotivation, or a lack of empathy. It does not improve the mood of everyone, and if you don’t think you have any problems with your serotonin production, this isn’t something we think you should go messing around with.
Artificially raising your serotonin levels can have long-lasting consequences. While 5-HTP doesn’t affect serotonin the way drugs like ecstasy do, playing with your ‘happy hormone’ production is not something you should do unless you really feel that you need to.
Guarana extract is found in many nootropics because guarana contains caffeine.
Many people think that the caffeine in guarana is different in nature to the caffeine found in coffee beans. These people are mistaken: caffeine is caffeine.
And since caffeine is caffeine, consuming too much of it from coffee or from guarana leads to exactly the same side effects: anxiety, hypertension, jitteriness, and insomnia.
However, the amount found in PowerFocus is actually quite small, despite the serving of guarana being quite large. The amount of caffeine delivered by PowerFocus should be enough to help you stay awake for a little longer without putting you at undue risk of side effects. That said, if you have any kind of stimulant sensitivity, it is best to exercise caution when taking supplements like this.
PowerFocus Review Conclusion – Should I Buy PowerFocus?
As we stated early on in this PowerFocus review, we think this stuff is capable of enhancing cognitive function for most of you who do end up trying it.
It contains reliable, safe, and highly effective nootropic substances. When taken together, these substances can help support the full spectrum of brain function: focus, concentration, mood, memory, and learning.
It also contains polyphenols from green tea, helping to keep the brain healthy in the long-run.
However, PowerFocus also contains ingredients that have no scientifically-verified nootropic properties.
Synephrine seems to have limited use as a fat burner. We haven’t even seen any experts suggest that ti has use as a nootropic.
The stack also under-doses one of its best ingredients (Alpha GPC) and relies instead on choline bitartrate to do most of the acetylcholine boosting.
The same under-dosing story can be seen with Tyrosine. This stuff works wonders for keeping you focused and clear headed when under pressure, but 50mg wont do a great deal for anyone.
To put it simply, while this stuff will probably work for a lot of you, and while it does seem to be highly safe for most users, we think better stacks are available.