NooCube Nootropic Review Summary
NooCube has quickly become one of the most talked about natural nootropic supplements on the market. Almost all reputable supplement review sites have done a full and detailed NooCube review. Most of these are positive.
Having taken a close look at NooCube, we think that it seems like it could be a very good supplement for a quite a few users.
The only problem we can really find with it is potency. There is a generous amount of Bacopa monnieri, but its effectiveness is diminished by the cycling necessary with Huperzine A. 100mg of Alpha-GPC is a little short of the 150mg minimum we like to see in a high quality stack. That said, there is plenty of Bacopa. With more cholinergic, some phosphatidylserine, and something to encourage NGF production, this would be a genuinely great stack.
Where To Buy NooCube
As with most stacks, we strongly recommend that you buy NooCube directly from the manufacturer. This gives you a greater degree of protection, and you know who to complain to if your order doesn’t materialize.
Full NooCube Review
NooCube reviews have absolutely flooded the internet in the past couple of months.
Go on any supplement website and I almost guarantee that you’ll see a NooCube review pop up in the ‘recent’ section.
This has been driven by a combination of attractive marketing incentives and the excitement that naturally surrounds a brand new product.
NooCube is indeed an exciting product. It contains a lot of great ingredients, and it promises its users many fantastic benefits, including the rarely heard “improved multi-tasking”.
In fact, in the ‘why NooCube’ section of the nootropic stack’s website, we’re given some pretty high expectations: “It takes just two capsules and as little as 30 minutes to enter a realm of mental clarity and enhanced focus.”
I’m normally very skeptical when all-natural nootropic stacks make vague, grand claims like this. Natural nootropics have only a very subtle immediate effect.
Even the best stacks take several days or weeks to really make a difference. I doubt NooCube will be any different in reality.
But of course, I am just speculating.
The company clearly have a lot of experience when it comes to making supplements (more on this later), and NooCube is backed by a Money Back Guarantee (not always legit but a great sign). Plus, plenty of websites are raving about this stuff.
So does it deliver or doesn’t it?
Let’s take a closer look at NooCube and see if it can really deliver on its promises. Here is our full NooCube review, starting with a look at the formula.
NooCube Formula Review
At first glance, the NooCube formula looks excellent.
The ingredient list is laid out clearly on their website, just above the NooCube reviews from named customers. The product label can now also be found on the website; it is tucked away at the end of the FAQs. Here’s the label as it appears on the website:
It’s really important that you can see the product label before you part with any money. It’s also important that you can see exactly how the formula is laid out, with each individual ingredient’s serving size shown.
Here is a breakdown of the ingredients and a brief overview of what each of them does:
Alpha GPC: A choline prodrug, Alpha GPC delivers choline to the body following oral consumption in an incredibly efficient way. Once it’s choline component has been conferred, the glycerophosphate part of Alpha GPC seems to help support cellular membranes. It is, in this regard, very similar to CDP-choline, except its ability to raise both systemic and brain choline concentrations makes it a more efficient choline supplement than CDP-choline. A vital addition to any nootropic stack.
Uncaria Tomentosa (Cat’s Claw): This is actually a species of vine found only (to my knowledge) in the Amazon. There’s little clinical evidence to support the long-held belief that this stuff aids with fatigue reduction. However, there is a mounting body of evidence suggesting that this extract acts as a powerful anti-oxidant. One trial found that it enhanced DNA repair and immune responses.
Oat straw: This substance has long been thought to be a potent natural anxiolytic (stress reducer). Clinical proof of this is quite thin on the ground, but anecdotal evidence abounds. Its effects are subtle, but it seems to promote a calm mentality, allowing you to get on with your taxing day with minimal stress and maximal focus.
Huperzine A: This is a highly effective acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. That means it stops the production of the enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine. It therefore promotes elevated acetylcholine levels in the brain, which means a more robust and rapid memory, improved information uptake, and more. Huperzine A is also being studied for a wider range of nootropic benefits, notably for its role as an antioxidant. However, unlike other substances, Huperzine A requires regular cycling. We’ll discuss that in the side effects section.
Bacopa monnieri: By now people are probably tired of me droning on about Bacopa monnieri, but it really is an impressive nootropic substance. It is difficult to argue with a study such as the one carried out at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. There, researchers found a “significant effect of the Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on a test for the retention of new information.” We’ve written extensively about Bacopa monnieri and its benefits here.
Theanine: To put it simply, Theanine is an amino acid that makes you feel more relaxed without making you feel any less alert. It isn’t usually found in the diet, although it is present (and usually procured from) green tea leaves.
L-Tyrosine: Although it is a humble amino acid, L-Tyrosine is incredibly good at moderating your stress levels. It plays a key role in the production of dopamine and noradrenaline. To be more precise, it helps you stay focused during periods of acute stress. This can be in the gym, when under intense pressure at work, or simply when tired. One study actually found L-Tyrosine to be particularly effective at reducing stress during periods of “extended wakefulness”.
Vinpocetine: Vinpocetine is a brilliant natural nootropic substance. It is known to act as a powerful anti-oxidant, and it is also thought to improve cerebral blood flow much like Ginkgo biloba.
Pterostilbene: Pterostilbene does not require too much explanation. It is simply a dehydrated form of resveratrol; the anti-oxidant that shot to prominence when it allowed newspapers to extol the benefits of drinking red wine. Supplementing resveratrol is thought to support overall health and longevity.
This is a very simple formula. There’s certainly nothing surprising here. All of these ingredients have known nootropic benefits. Ingredients like Bacopa monnieri and Alpha-GPC have been shown time and again in robust clinical trials to have potent nootropic properties.
However, the ingredient list is only half the story. Much ore important are the individual ingredient serving sizes.
Nootropic substances are almost always very dose sensitive. That’s why it’s so important to not just look at ingredient lists. We need to look at doses.
NooCube Ingredient Dosages – Positives & Negatives
Here’s a close-up of the NooCube label so you can see the dosages better:
On the whole, the serving sizes in NooCube are quite good.
The Bacopa monnieri is, in our opinion, dosed perfectly. In a supplement that seeks to enhance memory function and recall, we expect to see somewhere between 150mg and 250mg of Bacopa monnieri per serving. If the stack also contains a sizable amount of CDP-Choline, Ginkgo biloba, or Alpha GPC, then it can reasonably use less Bacopa monnieri.
Both the Oat Straw and the Cat’s Claw also seem to be dosed well. While most studies looking at Cat’s Claw have tended to use as much as 250mg daily, we don’t think that it is necessarily bad to use less.
After all, most of the studies showing benefits of Cat’s Claw have been done on mice, so knowledge of appropriate dosage is thin at best. There is also little evidence attesting to Oat Straw’s effectiveness as an anxiolytic, so arguing over correct dosage is pointless.
The low Alpha-GPC dose is a fairly big drawback of the NooCube formula.
Most leading nootropic stacks will contain a cholinergic.
Cholinergics are compounds which raise acetylcholine levels. By increasing the availability of acetylcholine (a key neurotransmitter), you can reliably improve working memory, learning, and general mental acuity.
Cholinergics are typically analogues of choline. Simply taking choline is not an effective way to raise acetylcholine levels as it fails to cross the blood-brain barrier. So instead, we use compounds like Alpha-GPC or CDP-Choline.
However, in most leading stacks, we expect to see well over 100mg of Alpha-GPC. We certainly expect to see more than 50mg.
Of course, 50mg of Alpha-GPC can still have a noticeable, positive impact on cognitive function. But it is always going to be blunted unless combined with another cholinergic.
Huperzine A Dosage – 20mg?!
Some of you may look at the 20mg Huperzine A serving and think “what the hell?!”
Quite rightly too. A 20mg serving of Huperzine A would be absolutely ridiculous. That’s why we got in touch with the manufacturers and asked them to clarify.
It turns out that there is a slight mistake on the label (or perhaps inaccuracy is a better word).
According to a NooCube representative we were in touch with, the 20mg actually refers to Huperzia Serrata, not Huperzine A.
Huperzia Serrata, AKA firmoss or toothed clubmoss, is the plant from which Huperzine A is derived. It is very low in Huperzine A content; from the 20mg of Huperzia Serrata in NooCube, you’ll be looking at around 100mcg of Huperzine A (assuming a 0.5% potency level for the HS).
While 100mcg of Huperzine A is not a particularly large serving, it still requires cycling. You will need to take a break from using NooCube every couple of weeks to allow your acetylcholinesterase levels to return to normal. That said, the perfect cycle length is not yet known, so some trial and error testing is necessary.
We advise starting off taking a break every 4 weeks, and then trying 5 weeks if you don’t experience any side effects. Some of our review team who use Huperzine A usually take a week off in between cycles.
Effectiveness Of Bacopa Monnieri Reduced With Break
Bacopa monnieri works bets when taken for a period of 6 weeks or more.
Ideally, you would take Bacopa monnieri continuously for longer than 12 weeks. That’s because the main benefits of Bacopa monnieri supplementation only become truly pronounced after 12 weeks of continuous use. Fortunately, these benefits do not peak and subside; instead, they plateau, continuing to become more pronounced but in a gradual, manageable, sustainable way.
Many of our review team take it practically indefinitely.
The Huperzine A content of NooCube means that it is unsuitable for continuous use for such a long period, even at 20mcg.
As such, the potential for Bacopa monnieri to really ‘get going and do its thing’ is severely diminished.
This is quite a serious problem, as Bacopa monnieri is one of the main ingredients in NooCube.
NooCube Side Effects
There’s nothing in the NooCube formula that makes us overly concerned about side effects.
The 100mg of Alpha GPC is not enough to cause some of the side effects associated with over-use of cholinergics. There isn’t any caffeine, nor are there any synthetic stimulants or brain drugs.
The only thing that really needs to be considered as far as side effects are concerned is the Huperzine A content.
As discussed above, the dosage shown on the label is very misleading. This hasn’t been done on purpose. We spoke to a NooCube representative and it seems that they have just been careless with their labelling.
The 20mg of Huperzine A shown on the label actually means 20mg of Huperzia Serrata.
Huperzia Serrata is the plant from which we get Huperzine A. The Huperzine A content of Huperzia Serrata is typically around 0.5%. That gives us about 100mcg of Huperzine A in NooCube.
You cannot take 100mcg of Huperzine A continuously every single day. Huperzine A blocks the production of acetylcholinesterase. This enzyme is what breaks down acetylcholine in the brain. Without the ability to regulate acetylcholine levels, you will get a build up of that neurotransmitter in the brain, and that will cause side effects.
The ideal cycle length of Huperzine A is not exactly known, but we can roughly gauge it by how much you are taking. With 100mcg daily, we recommend starting with a week break every 4 weeks. If you experience no side effects whatsoever, you could try lengthening this to 5 weeks.
Who Makes NooCube?
NooCube is made by Dubai based ERGO Group Ltd., the company behind Testogen; a leading natural testosterone booster. I’m not familiar with the product, but a friend of mine who uses those kinds of supplements has informed me that it’s “apparently not bad”.
They also make PhenQ; a “slimming” supplement that is also apparently “not bad”, judging by the online reviews.
In fact, the registered address for ERGO Group Ltd. seems to be the same address given for Bauer Nutrition; makers of a wide range of supplements, from whey protein powders to creatine capsules, and including Testogen.
In any case, NooCube’s manufacturers clearly have a right to claim that “we offer supplements of the highest quality…based on our pioneering and well-researched formulas to help you achieve the best results possible.”
After doing a little more digging, I found that ERGO Group Ltd. are more than a supplement company. They are in fact an investment management company, with significant interests in multiple sectors, including “health & wellness”, to quote their website.
That’s not a bad thing at all. If you’re handling tens of millions of dollars of other people’s money, you’re going to spend it as wisely as you can. This is especially true if these investors are expecting a handsome return.
I’m therefore not surprised to find that ERGO Ltd. have put a lot of investment in their customer service as far as NooCube is concerned.
The NooCube website states: “Not only will we be on hand to offer you guidance on everything from diet, healthy living, exercise and nutrition; but we’ll also advise you on how to use NooCube – in a way that’s right for you.” Very reassuring!
Does NooCube Represent Value For Money?
With a price tag of $39.95, we think NooCube definitely represents good value for money.
For less than $40, you are getting a very generous helping of Bacopa monnieri, Vinpocetine, Oat Straw, Cat’s Claw, and pterostilbene.
Of course, since NooCube doesn’t seem to be suitable for daily use for the vast majority of users (because of the Huperzine A content), then the effectiveness of the likes of Bacopa monnieri is reduced.
NooCube Review Conclusion
NooCube contains some really good ingredients, and the dosages are all very reasonable.
Our only complaint, and it is quite a small complaint, is about the dosages in NooCube. There is no real concern regarding side effects (except from the Huperzine A if it is used continuously for too long). No, the danger is from effects being too weak.
The only cholinergic in the stack is Alpha-GPC, of which we have 100mg. That isn’t a great deal of cholinergic, even if it is such a potent, effective one.
In a professional, high quality nootropic stack we would want to see at least 150mg of a cholinergic like Alpha-GPC or CDP-Choline, and ideally more than 200mg.
This stack is also missing something to distinguish it from the crowd. If the manufacturers had included something to facilitate long-term adaptation, such as a NGF-promoting agent, or something else to support long-term brain health, or something which makes it a short-term superchareg stack (like caffeine), then they would have a superb supplement on their hands.
The Huperzine A content also reduces the effectiveness of the Bacopa monnieri. This isn’t fundamentally a bad thing, but it is true.
As it stands, NooCube looks like it will probably deliver some benefit to a fair few users. Side effects are unlikely if you take regular breaks. If you want to try it, we see no reason not to give it a run.