Focus Formula Review Summary
GNC actually has two products listed on their site under the name Focus Formula. Check the product image below to make sure that this is the one you’re looking for! Both products are made by the same company, Windmill Health Products, although they have slightly different formulas. We will review the other product listed on GNC with this name soon.
In our opinion, this is a pretty mediocre brain supplement. It contains some excellent nootropic ingredients, but they are all under-dosed. They manufacturer has made some poor ingredient choices too; it doesn’t dose Alpha-GPC properly, and instead makes up for it by using the less effective, unreliable, side-effect prone DMAE. Focus Formula is missing some of the best natural cognitive enhancers too. It doesn’t contain many of the substances that we think of as staples in modern brain supplements.
All things considered, this is a middle-of-the-road cognitive enhancer. Users might experience some increase in focus or mental energy, but these effects will be mild. You can forget about long-term physical brain enhancement.
Where To Buy Focus Formula
Focus Formula is sold primarily through GNC. There is an official website, but it doesn’t look very trustworthy to us.
Full Focus Formula Review
It was difficult for us to properly name this review. At the time of writing, there were two products listed on GNC with the name ‘Focus Formula’. They are both made by the same company: Windmill Health Products. They each have a distinct formula, but their branding is very similar (although the manufacturer’s name doesn’t appear clearly on the bottle). Perhaps the company is split testing the formula to see which is most popular. Or maybe GNC has commissioned them to produce a range of generic nootropics.
Either way, make sure that this review corresponds correctly with the product you are considering buying. We will do a thorough review of the other version in the near future.
Anyway, enough of that. What is Focus Formula supposed to do?
Who is it designed to help?
As you can see on the box, this nootropic claims to do four main things:
- Improve concentration and focus
- Enhance memory and recall speed
- Boost mental energy
- Support blood flow
We know that the last claim refers specifically to cerebral blood flow. This is definitely something we might want from a natural nootropic.
Increasing blood flow in the brain means increasing oxygen and nutrient delivery to brain cells. It also means opening up blood vessels that may be severely restricted, allowing more of your brain cells to respire and function properly.
There is a lot of research which tells us that cognitive decline is in part caused – and certainly exacerbated – by poor blood flow in parts of the brain. We touch on this subject this article if you want to learn more.
The other benefits are standard claims for a nootropic. Every brain supplement on the market today says that it can do these things But only a dozen or so come anywhere close to delivering.
So does Focus Formula really work?
Is it safe? Should you be worried about side effects?
How does this nootropic compare to the best products currently on sale?
Find out by reading our full Focus Formula review below. As always, we begin with a detailed analysis of the formula. We discuss the potential side effects, as well as the value for money we’re getting here. In the end, we’ll tell you whether or not we’d recommend this natural brain supplement to anybody. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to share your experiences with Focus Formula, please post them in the comments below.
Focus Formula Ingredients
Let’s take a look at the actual nuts and bolts of this brain supplement to see what’s going on. Here is the Focus Formula ingredients list, as shown on GNC:
That isn’t an impressive formula in our opinion. It is actually a very mediocre looking stack.
We see some good ingredients, although the doses are pretty low.
We also see some ineffective, side-effect prone ingredients which really don’t need to be here; other ingredients should simply have their doses increased.
This formula is also missing some of the key ingredients that make up modern nootropic stacks. There’s nothing to suppress anxiety, and there’s nothing to stimulate physical brain development.
There isn’t a long-term memory booster in here; some bacopa monnieri would have gone a long way!
There isn’t even a potent anti-oxidant like resveratrol or maritime pine bark extract.
Not a great nootropic formula as far as we’re concerned. Anyone looking for a potent, all-in-one daily brain booster should look elsewhere. Same goes for anybody looking for a short-term focus and energy boost.
What We Like
- Uses Ginkgo Biloba
- Sensible dose of caffeine
Although we’re unimpressed with this product on the whole, it does have a few positive points to it.
The main one is the sensible use of caffeine.
Now, we don’t care where people get their caffeine from. Once you have extracted caffeine, it is just caffeine. Whether it’s from guarana, coffee, tea, or you’ve synthesized it in a lab, caffeine is caffeine. Once it hits the blood, it affects the body in exactly the same way regardless of where it comes from.
Of course, if you’re consuming it through plants then the origin does matter. But when we’re talking extracts, all we care about is the purity and the dose.
50mg of regular caffeine is a good dose for providing a rapid increase in focus and mental energy.
This is about as much caffeine as you get from a shot of espresso – enough for you to feel it, not enough to really cause any serious problems.
If you have a good tolerance to caffeine and you’re looking for a nice, sharp kick at a certain time each day, then 50mg is a good dose to use.
The only other real strength of this product is the Ginkgo Biloba content.
Each serving of Focus Formula provides 60mg of Ginkgo Biloba. This incredible plant contains a range of compounds – namely terpenes and glycosides – which cause vasodilation in the brain. In other words, these compounds force your blood brain’s blood vessels to dilate, allowing more blood to flow through them.
This means more oxygen and nutrients being delivered to your brain cells. It also means some brain cells that are perhaps being starved of oxygen might be ‘revived’ and allowed to function properly again.
As you might have guessed, this increased circulation leads directly to improvements in cognitive function. Several studies have found that Ginkgo biloba supplementation helps with multiple different aspects of mental performance, from working memory to attention span.
Some studies have found that Ginkgo Biloba supplementation may also help reduce the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Yet other studies have found the opposite to be the case. More work is needed in this area!
Ginkgo Biloba is well tolerated, and side effects are rare. It is an incredibly reliable nootropic, with its effects being fairly uniform across users of all kinds.
The 60mg we get from Focus Formula is a low dose by industry standards, but it is sufficient to bring about the benefits outlined above.
What We Don’t Like
- Missing most of the ‘staple’ nootropics
- No long-term memory enhancers
- No long-term brain growth support
- No anti-oxidants
- Dud ingredients – lots of dead weight here!
That’s a lot of negatives, we know! That’s why despite the positives outlined above, we wouldn’t recommend this nootropic to anybody. It just doesn’t provide the value for money we’re used to, let alone the end results. Other brain supplements on sale today can deliver so much more; some can do a lot more for the same price.
One of the biggest issues is all the dead weight. This formula just contains so many useless or sub-standard ingredients that we couldn’t possibly recommend it to our readers.
Take GABA for example.
This neurotransmitter has been a popular choice among nootropic enthusiasts for some time. We understand why; in theory, GABA is a superb cognitive enhancer. it is the main central nervous system depressant. It causes feelings of relaxation, a lowering of inhibitions, and a rapid reduction in anxiety.
It does this without making you feel sedated or drunk (alcohol works on your GABA receptors, hence the similarity of effects).
Yet that is only the GABA that we create endogenously in the brain. You cannot use any exogenous GABA, regardless of where you get it from. That’s because GABA cannot effectively cross the blood-brain barrier. Not only that, but it is poorly absorbed in the gut.
GABA is a good ingredient on paper, but in reality it has little to no effect on cognitive function, mood, or anxiety levels.
We also don’t like how sub-optimal ingredients have been used to make up for poorly dosed quality nootropics.
For instance, Focus Formula does contain Alpha-GPC, but we don’t know how much exactly. All we know is that it is less than 200mg. It is listed alongside Phosphatidylserine (PS) in a 200mg prop blend. PS is a brilliant nootropic, so we hope that it isn’t dosed too low.
However it is dosed, less than 200mg is a sub-optimal dose of Alpha-GPC. To make up for the low cholinergic dose, the manufacturer has topped the formula up with DMAE.
This is an unreliable cholinergic. It works well for some people, but for others it doesn’t produce any benefits whatsoever. For a small but sizable number of users, it causes some really unpleasant side effects, such as hyperactivity and a loss of ambition.
We would have much rather the Alpha-GPC content be dosed properly (and that dosage given to us) than a low dose be compensated for with DMAE.
But the main problem with Focus Formula as we see it is the lack of quality ingredients.
It is missing many of the ‘staple’ nootropics that make up the best brain supplements today.
As mentioned above, it doesn’t have a central, solid, properly dosed cholinergic component.
It doesn’t contain any long-term memory enhancers such as Bacopa monnieri.
It doesn’t contain anything to stimulate physical brain growth and development.
It doesn’t contain any potent antioxidants like Resveratrol or Maritime Pine Bark Extract.
These are really necessary components of a comprehensive nootropic stack in our opinion. The nootropics industry has progressed rapidly over the last few years. The bar has been raised again and again over the last 2 years. We hold every new stack by the standards set by the best products currently on the market.
A supplement billed as a full-spectrum nootropic needs to provide these key components. It needs to provide at least a few of them. Focus Formula is missing too many staple ingredients to really qualify as a competitive brain supplement today.
Focus Formula Side Effects – Is It Safe?
For most users, this focus and memory supplement isn’t going to cause too many issues. So long as you use it infrequently, follow the manufacturer’s advice, and you consult with your doctor before you proceed, you should be able to use this product without serious side effects.
However, that is a lot of “ifs” to take on board.
The caffeine dose, while sensible, still makes Focus Formula unsuitable for long-term, daily use. For us, taking a caffeine supplement every day is just a bad idea. It can quickly become an addiction, and the long-term effects of heavy caffeine use can be serious.
You need to carefully measure your existing caffeine intake before you start adding in more through supplements. If you’re already a heavy tea and coffee drinker, or if you’re using other supplements that contain caffeine, more may not be a great idea!
Common side effects of using too much caffeine include:
- Stomach cramps
- Shortness of breath
- Energy crashes
More long term effects include:
- Chronic hypertension
You need to take caffeine seriously. It is a powerful stimulant. Caffeine overdose can be fatal in extreme cases. It is vital that you judge this carefully and that you let your doctor know what you’re planning to take.
Huperzine A is also a concern when it comes to side effects.
Huperzine A needs to be cycled. If you don’t cycle it properly, then side effects are basically inevitable.
Common side effects of too much Huperzine A (or over-extended use) include, but are not limited to:
- Lack of focus
- Loss of motivation
- Low mood
- Muscle cramps
There is no one-size-fits-all cycle length for Huperzine A (check out the cited article to learn why). Our recommendation is that you use it for 7 days before taking 7 days off.
If you experience any side effects whatsoever while using Focus Formula, stop using it and seek urgent medical attention. Your doctor should know what you’re taking already.
Remember the following things while you read our reviews:
- We are not doctors
- This is not medical advice
You absolutely MUST do your own research. Before using any brain supplements, talk to your regular family physician. We don’t know your personal medical history so we cannot possibly anticipate all potential problems. Stay safe – talk to a medical professional!
If you are experiencing serious or rapid cognitive decline, DO NOT try to treat it with natural brain supplements. Seek proper, expert help right away.
Focus Formula Review Conclusion – Does It Work?
In our opinion, this is a mediocre focus and memory supplement.
It uses sub-standard ingredients instead of just dosing the best substances properly.
It is missing the substances that make up the central core of the best nootropic stacks today.
Some of the ingredients make it completely unsuitable for long-term, regular use. Side effects are a concern, and it needs to be cycled.
It has its up sides, but these aren’t enough to counterbalance the negatives.
If you want to see real improvements in focus and memory function, then you are better off using a more refined stack. Ideally you want one that is designed for long-term repeated use. Above all, you don’t want to be worried about cycling and side effects.
Check out some of our top rated nootropics at the moment and you’ll see the difference. For us, Focus Formula just doesn’t cut it in today’s marketplace.