TruBrain Review: Are These Nootropics any Different?


Our Rating: B+

TruBrain wows with their science-backed, shelf-stable nootropic drinks, but customer service and site issues bring the overall score to a B+.

We determined this rating by evaluating the following factors:

  • Quality
    In addition to clean ingredients, FDA-compliant manufacturing standards and a UCLA-trained team of neuroscience researchers behind R&D bode well for overall quality.
  • Transparency
    TruBrain provides clear and ample breakdowns of their products and the science behind them, but back-end info (company background, sourcing/manufacturing, etc.) could use some beefing and tidying up.
  • Website Experience
    Website ExperienceB+
    Browsing and shopping is a seamless experience on the TruBrain site, but the lack of a consolidated education section/page requires some clicking around.
  • Customer Service
    Customer ServiceC
    While there are multiple contact options, we didn't receive a response from any of them and the return policy is quite restrictive.
  • Value
    Especially at orders of 20 or more shots, TruBrain prices their products competitively for the quality.
  • Brand Value
    Brand ValueA-
    A well-rounded show of innovation, industry disruption, sustainability and more offer a proof of TruBrain's impact on the nootropic supplement industry.
Our Editorial Policy

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Welcome to our TruBrain review!

With 7 single-ounce nootropic drinks to choose from in various targeted formulations, TruBrain is offering a familiar way to enhance focus, relaxation, and more.

Our personal favorite was their Boost shot, which has just the right amount of kick to complement the L-theanine, L-carnitine, and other brain-boosting compounds inside.

In this review, we’ll explore everything you need to know before making that first order, including TruBrain’s background, the science (and scientists) behind the products, how to use them, and our own experience with them.

  • Description

    This nootropic nightcap delivers a potent mixture of GABA, melatonin, 5-HTP, and CBD for enhanced sleep

    TruBrain Sleep contains zero sugars and natural flavors

  • Description

    TruBrain’s best-selling formula, Boost (also referred to as “Strong” on the TruBrain site) brings a balanced blend of nootropics together with 100mg of caffeine for extra pep.

    Our testers noted a sustained, jitter-free boat in energy and focus.

Pros & Cons

  • Pros
  • Effective for focus and energy
  • High variety of formulations and flavors
  • Neuroscientist-led R&D team
  • Cons
  • Packaging issue (see below)
  • Customer service issues (see below)

Born of Burnout: The TruBrain Origin Story

In addition to our correspondence with TruBrain Founder and CEO Chris Thompson, this introductory video gives a very succinct and well-ordered history of TruBrain.

To recap, founder Chris first developed a penchant for “smart drugs” as he struggled against impending burnout as a corporate executive.

It’s personalized healthcare with brainfood tailored to you and your unique brain.

Chris Thompson, Founder and CEO of TruBrain

When he’d had enough of the suits, he moved to Los Angeles and joined forces with UCLA-trained neuroscientists to develop a nootropic product that would empower people to focus, perform, and avoid the issues so many overworked people fight against.

After testing “a ton of brain waves under stress” and figuring out which nootropics they best respond to with his science team, Chris and company set out to build a brand focused on delivering these results to as many people as possible.

TruBrain Founder and CEO Chris Thompson

This is when they started raising funds via Start Engine as they filed patents for nootropics and ketones, culminating in a line of innovative nootropic products (not just drinks, by the way) that has sold more than $15 million to date.

“It’s personalized healthcare with brainfood tailored to you and your unique brain,” Chris says, a boast accurately reflected in the customizable suite of nootropic drinks that TruBrain offers.

TruBrain products

As far as major milestones go, that brings us to today, a time when TruBrain is still searching for partners to help them “hunt for the next big breakthrough.”

Our Review

Everything we look for when reviewing brands falls under these six major criteria (complete with TruBrain’s scores):

  • Quality (A-)
  • Transparency (B)
  • Website Experience (B+)
  • Customer Service (C)
  • Value (A-)
  • Brand Value (A-)

TruBrain earned an overall rating of B+ in our review. We’ll start with the all-important issue of quality.



Grade: A-

In addition to clean ingredients, FDA-compliant manufacturing standards and a UCLA-trained team of neuroscience researchers behind R&D bode well for overall quality.

Starting with what forms the most immediate impression—the packaging—TruBrain uses 100% eco-friendly packaging made from recycled paper and zero plastic.

However, after tearing the top off of each 1 oz pouch (sometimes awkward in itself), you’re often left with half-torn-off fibers that partially block the opening.

tru brain shot packaging is difficult to open and drink from

Understandably short on label space, TruBrain opts to include label cards with each order instead of trying to squeeze the supplement facts, ingredients, etc. on the packages themselves.

The card includes supplement facts and ingredients for all seven products, along with helpful descriptions of each on the back.

7 unique formulas
7 unique formulas - how it works

As for the ingredients themselves, here’s a quick synopsis accounting for all seven nootropic drinks:

  • Active nootropics: between 4-9
  • Supporting micronutrients: Vitamin C (usually 500% RDA)
  • Sweeteners/Flavoring: Organic blue agave, organic cane sugar, natural flavors, organic pineapple/grapefruit concentrate, xylitol, erythritol
  • Preservatives: Nisin and Polylysine (natural), sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate
  • Proprietary ingredients/blends: Functional oils and natural flavors

TruBrain’s formulation rationale is clearly evidenced by their adjusting of the nootropic profile to serve distinct functions with each product. 

For example, GABA and melatonin show up in the Sleep shot, where CBD and L-theanine make an appearance in the Flow shot, and so on.

However, there is much less divergence between the three grades of their “standard” nootropic, as the Non-Caff, Boost, and Extra differ only in the amount of stimulants (caffeine in Boost and adrafinil in Extra).

TruBrain Non-Caff, Boost, and Extra

Behind R&D is a team of neuroscientists who both develop and test the product, including Dr. Andrew Hill, Founder and Director of the Peak Brain Institute. 

Switching to a broader perspective, TruBrain manufactures their products in compliance with cGMP (current good manufacturing practices) in an FDA-registered facility.

According to Chris, TruBrain works with a food and beverage law firm to “Obtain compliance guidance where needed on topics related to the formulation, manufacturing, processing, labeling, packaging, advertising, and distribution of our products.”

The company is vertically integrated; TruBrain directly oversees product development, manufacturing, marketing, shipping, and more between several USA-based (Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Michigan) locations.

TruBrain's operations and partners support communities here in the USA

Overall, TruBrain makes a compelling case for quality across most major factors, earning a quality score of A- in our TruBrain review. 

TruBrain Product Catalog


TruBrain makes seven nootropic drink formulations, including:

  • Sleep
  • Mellow
  • Matcha
  • Mushrooms
  • Medium
  • Boost
  • Extra Strong

Though they’re most popular for their prepared nootropic drinks, TruBrain also offers Brain Aging capsules, a Nootropic Powder Stick, and a Nootropic Bar, all of which come with nootropics like L-theanine, Noopept, and/or others.

  • Description

    Fortified with science-supported herbal and fungal (just being honest) adaptogens, TruBrain’s Mushroom shot is best for managing everyday stressors.

    Our testers noted a steady sense of calm that persisted for 3+ hours after use.

  • Description

    One of their most robust drinks, Mellow contains seven nootropics like L-theanine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine, along with functional oils.

    This one has 4 grams of sugar, but it comes from organic cane sugar and blue agave.

  • Description

    Loaded with 8 nootropics, including 100mg of caffeine, Strong is the all-around workhorse of the TruBrain nootropic drink collection.

    Thanks to the balanced nootropic profile, the caffeine rush was tamed into a steady flow of jitter-free energy.


Completely carb- and sugar-free, TruBrain Ketones are made with raw ketone ester, zero stimulants, and not much else.

TruBrain uses a highly absorbable form of ketones that would make any organic chem teacher blush: D-Betahydroxybutyrate.

Plus, this shake-ready ketone powder comes in the correct flavor (see below).

TruBrain Ketones
TruBrain Ketones
  • Description:

    TruBrain Ketones uses clean, mineral-based ketones to provide electrolytes, making this supplement the ultimate workout partner.

    Plus, it comes in the correct flavor: Chocolate.

Wait, Coffee?

Alright, so it’s still a nootropic, but we felt this deserved its own section, if for novelty’s sake only: the Nootropic Coffee Kit from TruBrain.

It definitely sounded the gimmick alarm at first, but when we learned that each stick of (liquid) nootropics contains L-theanine and alpha GPC, our skepticism gave way to nerdy adoration.

This is because L-theanine is the perfect doppelganger to caffeine, helping to curb the jitters with a calming effect, while Alpha GPC is used in trusted supplements like Onnit Alpha Brain to facilitate executive functions like memory, learning, and more.

And wouldn’t you know, they even threw in the beans.

great coffee is all about the beans meme
That’s right, Mocha Joe.

Nootropic Coffee Kit
Nootropic Coffee Kit
  • Description

    Crack this stick open and drip a shot of L-theanine and alpha GPC into your morning Joe to turn it into a nootropic cocktail.

    You can order the sticks only if you’ve already found “the beans,” or bundle with TruBrain’s coffee.



Grade: B

TruBrain provides clear and ample breakdowns of their products and the science behind them, but back-end info (company background, sourcing/manufacturing, etc.) could use some beefing and tidying up.

We’re not asking for access to lengthy white papers and itemized vendor lists, but as both customers and reviewers, we need to be able to access the following information in order to build trust in a brand:

  • In-depth product information
  • Background on the brand
  • Manufacturing and supply chain basics 
  • Policies (shipping, return, etc.)

When it comes to transparency, the TruBrain website delivers most convincingly with their product and category pages, which provide ample information on how each product works, its unique highlights, ingredients, usage tips, and more.

TruBrain website

However, the company background info is scattered through a few more obscure areas like the FAQ section and the Start Engine (investor) page. 

The investor page also contains a video of CEO Chris Thompson touting his wares on CNBC, which at least provides a decent foundation on the products and the team. 

There is a section on their 10-Drink Trial Page entitled “Say Hello to TruBrain” that provides a cursory introduction, but upon clicking “learn more” under the snippet, we were led to a blank page (title, no text).

As for a general map of the supply chain—where and by whom sourcing, manufacturing, etc. is done—TruBrain provides one (an actual map, shown above) on their Start Engine investment offer page.

Though this provides a basic idea of TruBrain’s structure and operations, we found ourselves hoping for more elaboration in the content to confirm details.

It’s easy to access shipping and return policy information, and we appreciate the contact info (email and phone) being listed in the left corner of the site’s footer, so you can access it from any page instead of schlepping over to the proverbial “contact” page.

Finally, Chris was very forthcoming in our interview process, providing clear and direct answers to our questions. We award TruBrain an overall score of B for transparency.

Our impression in the transparency department is that the bones are there in terms of what we need to know—especially product info—but filling in and organizing in a few key areas (more sourcing info, company history, etc.) would bode well both for customer education and TruBrain’s own trustworthiness.

Website Experience


Grade: B+

Browsing and shopping is a seamless experience on the TruBrain site, but the lack of a consolidated education section/page requires some clicking around.

Harping on design is secondary to our purposes as health and wellness product reviewers, so as long as the site isn’t on the same level as this beautifully ironic gem, we tend to prioritize these factors more heavily:

  • Ecommerce experience (browsing, shopping, etc.)
  • Performance on mobile devices
  • Educational/Additional Resources

We’re fans of the custom drink page layout, which allows you to view and shop all 7 of their drinks before customizing your order of 10-60 drinks and adding to cart, all without ever leaving the page.

TruBrain website which allows you to view and shop all 7 of their drinks before customizing your order of 10-60 drinks and adding to cart, all without ever leaving the page.

Conveniently, you don’t have to click on each nootropic drink to learn more, like most ecommerce stores, as the details are all featured on the category page itself.

However, it was a little jarring to see offers for 3-packs and 8-packs of drinks—quantities that are apparently unavailable from the main store—as upsells only.

The 3-pack makes more sense, as they may not want to ship orders of that size, but making the 8-pack available for new customers seems like a front-page move. 

When browsing the site from our phones, we found no formatting issues (weird image sizing/placing, wonky buttons, etc.) or anything else that threw a spanner in the works.

On the education side, TruBrain doesn’t offer a dedicated blog and/or “nootropics 101” section, but their robust category and product pages cover what most customers would be typically looking for—at the expense of extra clicking around. 

All this considered, TruBrain earns a B+ for website experience.

Customer Service


Grade: C

While there are multiple contact options, we only received a response from one of them and the return policy is quite restrictive.

Any direct point of contact with the company in question falls under our definition of customer service, as do their shipping and return policies.

TruBrain offers phone, email, and live chat services, which is our standard for an ace as far as services offered is concerned.

TruBrain's FAQ

However, after calling the phone line and being directed to a voicemail, we never received a response.

The email service responded in 10.5 hours from our initial email. We first received an auto-response to let us know our email was received, and the actual response adequately answered our question respectfully.

Finally, the live messenger directed us to the email service, informing us that their agents were busy, but we had already sent our email inquiry at that time. 

As for shipping, the TruBrain Trial product ships for free within the United States, along with all orders over $55, and TruBrain quotes a solid shipping window of 2-4 business days (claiming that orders usually ship the same day they are placed).

Finally—and frankly—the return policy is rough

According to the FAQ page, the order in question must have been delivered to the customer within 7 days of the request of the return, and it cannot be opened or tampered with in any way.

To TruBrain’s credit, they do at least crack the door open for a more reasonable return process with the proverbial “We’ll do our best to make things right, just contact our team” statement, but this isn’t too confidence-inspiring when placed right next to the official return policy.

Understandably, our impression is a mixed one here: the framework for an excellent customer service department is there (phone, chat, email), but the response was lacking in some areas. The shipping policies are pretty solid, but the return policy definitely needs help.

Balancing the good and not-so-good, TruBrain earns a C for customer service.



Grade: A-

Especially at orders of 20 or more shots, TruBrain prices their products competitively for the quality.

Price doesn’t translate to value if you don’t understand the context (competitors’ prices), how the quality of the product compares to the price, and the value of the solution the product(s) provides.

Focusing on TruBrain’s nootropic drink line, here are the price ranges according to the size of your monthly order (not all individual drinks are priced the same):

Order Size 10 15 20 30 60
Price $35-$39 $45-$52 $49-$65 $65-$79 $125-$155
Average Per Serving Price $3.70 $3.23 $2.85 $2.40 $2.33

For a quick comparison, a month’s supply of Qualia Mind (22 servings) costs $139 for non-subscribers, which reduces to $6.32/serving.

Closer to TruBrain’s end of the price spectrum—in fact, beyond it—is Onnit Alpha Brain at $79.95 for 45 servings, whittling down to $1.78/serving.

Of course, Qualia Mind is very much in a tier of its own when it comes to quality—sporting around two dozen nootropics—where the ingredient comparison between TruBrain and Alpha Brain is much closer.

Finally, TruBrain expands the use case for nootropics a bit with a portable, liquid product.

unnamed 16

Taking all these factors into account, TruBrain earns an A- for value.

Brand Value


Grade: A-

A well-rounded show of innovation, industry disruption, sustainability and more offer a proof of TruBrain’s impact on the nootropic supplement industry.

This is where we measure the total impact a company has had on its industry (and any outside communities), which includes innovation, philanthropy, public nutrition impact, and more.

Though TruBrain certainly wasn’t first to the party in the broader picture of nootropic supplements, offering a customizable suite of drinkable, single-serving nootropics counts as innovation in our book.

According to CEO Chris, the TruBrain science team has completed two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies—an EEG validation and a pilot study—to “Validate the efficacy of our Nootropics formulas with quantitative EEG data.”

When hooked up to sensors that measure brain activity (EEG or electroencephalogram), test participants were measured to have fast variant alpha waves, meaning their brains were in a state of wakeful relaxation well-suited for productivity. 

There’s no shortage of institutional knowledge at TruBrain, considering R&D is powered by a team of UCLA-trained neuroscientists.

unnamed 17

The 100% recyclable packaging signals a serious commitment to sustainability, and finally, the use case couldn’t be more important amidst the post-covid (“post?”) exodus to remote work, which is far more distracting and less paradisiacal than we all expected. 

Though we couldn’t find much in the way of philanthropy, TruBrain makes a convincing case for their impact on the nootropic supplement industry, earning an A- for brand value.

Our Experience

Our team received all seven nootropic drinks that TruBrain makes:

  • Sleep
  • Mellow
  • Matcha
  • Mushrooms
  • Medium
  • Boost (Strong)
  • Extra Strong

In every case, the liquid was very viscous, bordering on syrupy.

We don’t see this as good or bad, but be aware that some coaxing is required to get the entire drink out—one reason why you shouldn’t throw it back like a standard shot. 

Sipping is the way.

Most of the flavors were sweet and sour, sometimes to the point of serious tartness, but we appreciate that TruBrain had to counteract the taste of some stronger flavors with natural flavors while making the product low in sugar, sodium, etc. 

Overall, the taste was fine, especially if you live the sweet and sour life. 

As for the effects, we felt the most energized and productive with the Boost shot, which did not cause a crash after several hours of increased, but jitter-free focus.


The Mushroom shot is our second favorite, exerting noticeable effects on stress without sedating us out of a productive state.


We’ve already griped about the tear-off top, but otherwise, the pouches are easy to use and conveniently sized, and the 100% eco-friendly material is always great to see.

Our team’s general impression of the TruBrain nootropic drink line after sampling most of their products is a decidedly positive one: we noticed lasting increases in energy and focus without any weird side effects, crashing, etc.

TruBain FAQ

Does TruBrain work?

Results vary per person, but our own experience with TruBrain and the supporting data confirms their nootropic drinks’ usefulness for focus, energy, and other brain health applications.

How long does TruBrain take to work?

It should take no longer than an hour at most to notice the effects of TruBrain’s nootropic formulas. However, some people may require several uses to notice any effects, while others will notice effects on the first use.

Is TruBrain a good investment?

We aren’t financial experts, but you can learn more about Trubrain’s profitability, existing investor community, and more investment-related details here.

What does TruBrain taste like?

Most TruBrain flavors are sweet > sour, not unlike your everyday fruity candy, but with a considerably more natural flavor. The Mushroom shot is the most notable exception, adding that characteristic umami flavor to the mix.

What ingredients are in TruBrain?

Here is the ingredient list for TruBrain’s Boost shot: Noopept (20mg), Acetyl-L-Carnitine (500mg), N-Acetyl Tyrosine (350mg), Centrophenoxine (250mg), Magnesium Glycinate (200mg), L-Theanine (160mg), Uridine Monophosphate (500mg), Caffeine (100mg), Purified Water, Organic Blue Agave, Xylitol, Citric Acid, Organic Cane Sugar, Natural Flavor, Pink Grapefruit Concentrate, Monk Fruit (Luo Han Guo), Nisine & Polylysine (natural preservatives).

Check here to see ingredient lists and supplement facts for their other products.

How much caffeine is in TruBrain?

Boost contains 100mg of caffeine, and the Extra Strong shot contains both 100mg of caffeine and 150mg of adrafinil, another stimulant. None of the other TruBrain drinks list caffeine as an ingredient.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to their FDA-registered facility, well-credentialed science team, and unique formulations, TruBrain makes a strong argument for overall quality.

CEO Chris Thompson and his team have plenty of relevant and well-presented insights to share about TruBrain products, but the background story and supply chain could be more detailed and consolidated.

The customer support department is well-equipped (phone, email, and messenger), but did not respond to our questions.

The site is easy to navigate and shop from, and the products are competitively priced for the quality.

Finally, TruBrain is making an impact on the nootropic supplement space with their innovative drinkable products, research-backed formulations, sustainable packaging, and more.

TruBrain earns an overall score of B+ in our review. We recommend their nootropic drinks to anyone looking for an effective defense against brain fog, mental fatigue, and the general chaos of life.

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