Before we start it’s worth mentioning that whilst Alpha Brain and Genius Mushrooms both claim quite a few nootropic benefits, and we wouldn’t say either are bad supplements, but neither of them are best in class. Well at least not the whole Alpha Brain line is bad anyway. But, we’ll talk more about that later.
That means that if you’re looking for the best mushroom supplements for your brain or the best full nootropic stack, you’d be better off shopping elsewhere.
And yes Alpha Brain Black Label does technically contain a mushroom extract in Lion’s Mane, but it’s not really a mushroom supplement per say as that’s a relatively small part of the formula.
That said let’s get down to the side by side of Genius Mushrooms and Alpha Brain.
Alpha Brain Highlights
Alpha Brain is a nootropic supplement manufactured by Onnit Labs. It boasts a blend of natural ingredients, including BacopaMonnieri, Cat's Claw, Oat Straw, Lion’s Mane and Huperzia Serrata. And with the dosages as low as they are it’s pretty much useless. We can’t be certain of the exact dosages due to the proprietary blends, but as most of the blends are smaller than the minimum effective dosage of each individual ingredient it doesn’t bode well.
The supposed aim of Alpha Brain is to improve memory, focus, and mental clarity. It’s not bad, it’s just not great for it’s price point.
If we look at Alpha Brain Black Label, it’s not bad, but it’s incredibly overpriced. For example, if we compare it to Hunter Focus, which is actually a comprehensive nootropic stack, with everything in here and a dozen more ingredients for $20 less, it doesn’t hold up very well. And yes that was the product we rated as number 1 nootropic stack.
Genius Mushrooms Highlights
Genius Mushrooms, on the other hand, is a mushroom-based nootropic supplement created by The Genius Brand. It combines the power of cordyceps, lion's mane, and reishi mushrooms to enhance brain function, support immune health, and increase energy levels. And the catch with Genius is that whilst these ingredients are all well and good, the dosages are too low to get the full spectrum of benefits. Yes, there will be enough b glucans in here to get a decent amount of the immune benefits, but some of the nootropic compounds simply won’t be found in high enough dosages to be interesting. A lot of the extracts either need to be far higher yield, or in 1-3grams to be effective. This is why we generally recommend Nootrum, who have the highest yield extracts on the market.
Genius Mushrooms vs Alpha Brain: The Ingredients
When it comes to comparing the ingredients of Alpha Brain and Genius Mushrooms the only one thing they have in common is underdosing, you’ll still get some benefits from Genius as some of the other mushrooms share compounds, but the amount in Alpha Brain isn’t much use.
Alpha Brain however does include several well-known nootropic compounds like, L-Tyrosine, Phosphatidylserine and L-Theanine. Mathematically speaking though (proprietary blends have to list ingredients from largest to smallest) the most charitable reading we could give means that L Theanine is at the bottom end of it’s dosage range for nootropic and stress benefits and Phosphatidylserine is just below the studied functional dosage, which means it’s still likely to work, but there isn’t really any evidence. Bacopa needs to be dosed at more than double in Alpha Brain as does Alpha GPC.
The cats claw is fine too, although generally a less effective nootropic. The other ingredients are under their effective ranges.
Genius Mushrooms, on the other hand, has a simpler formula consisting mainly of Lion's Mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi mushrooms. The manufacturer transparently lists 500mg of each mushroom. However, it's important to note that studies showing cognitive improvements with these mushrooms often use higher doses as we mentioned earlier meaning the quantities in Genius Mushrooms is at the lower end of the dosages associated with nootropic benefits in clinical research.
How Effective Are They Both?
This one is actually pretty simple, if you’re looking for a focus supplement Alpha Brain will probably function due to the PS, although barely. Which is a shame because PS is one of the more effective and well backed nootropic supplements. Genius on the other hand, is possibly a bit better, but if you’re looking for an immune and overall wellness booster then there are way better nootropic mushrooms. We really don’t recommend Genius Mushrooms though, go get Nootrum instead.
As for Alpha Brain, if you’re really opposed to 6 capsules a day, but are OK with Alpha Brain’s 2, then we can at least see some use case for why we’d recommend it over other options in it’s category. But, that’s really it, and we’d also probably recommend saving some money and just getting a PS supplement.
User Reviews Alpha Brain vs Genius Mushrooms
Surprisingly Genius Mushrooms scores more highly in Amazon user reviews at 4.3* compared to Alpha Brain’s 4.1*. Although, if you read through everything there is quite a clear reason for this. Alpha Brain’s customers simply seem to expect more from the product, being more likely to complain that the product isn’t worth it, even if they did experience some cognitive improvements.
Side Effects of Alpha Brain and Genius Mushrooms
It is worth mentioning that Alpha Brain does include caffeine, which is a relatively low dose, but still not ideal for people who want to avoid it all together. And of course you can expect the side effects of caffeine.
Other than that in general they’re both pretty safe, but can cause mild nausea and some users have reported headaches from Alpha Brain.
The price point of the two isn’t much different, with Alpha Brain being about $5 a month more than Genius, and for the supplements themselves they are both sold at a reasonable price point. There isn’t really much to separate the too here.
Genius Mushrooms vs Alpha Brain Conclusion
Ultimately, we can’t actually recommend either of these products to most buyers. As we stated right from the start there are just better options in both categories.
If we were forced to pick which one though we'd probably go with Genius, but that is really a forced decision.