Price - 61%
Long-term effectiveness - 45%
Safety - 70%
Short-term effectiveness - 50%
Should you buy it?
Neura-Spark is a very mediocre stack. Regardless of what your specific goals are, I think there are much better products out there for achieving them.
TL;DR – Summary
Not a terrible nootropic, but far from good. Nutrachamps Neura-Spark is a mediocre brain supplement. It uses some scientifically-proven, effective nootropics. But it also uses some ingredients which have no brain-enhancing properties whatsoever. The doses are uninspiring. Neura-Spark is also missing some ingredients which I now think of as core components of a full-spectrum nootropic.
You can definitely do worse than Neura-Spark – Nutrachamps aren’t scamming you. But you can definitely do a lot better too. Take a look at my current favorite nootropics and you’ll see what I mean.
Nutrachamps have gone from being an Amazon-only supplement company to a fully-fledged brand in no time at all. They first launched their range of performance optimization supplements a year or so ago.
Nutrachamps’ main cognitive enhancer – Neura-Spark – has since become one of the best selling nootropics on Amazon. So, I decided to take a proper look and do a full review myself.
According to the official Nutrachamps website, Neura-Spark delivers all of the following benefits:
- Increased energy
- Enhanced focus & attention
- Better memory function
- More mental clarity
- Heightened alertness
They say that all of this is achieved without causing any side effects, using proven, tested, natural ingredients.
Sounds like a pretty incredible nootropic to me!
But then again, every nootropic I’ve ever seen promises these same things. Sadly, I know from experience that very few even deliver on one promise, let alone all of them.
Does Neura-Spark really work? If so, how? Is it safe? What kind of side effects can you expect from this brain supplement? Are there better nootropics on sale right now?
I’ll answer all of these questions and more in my full Neura-Spark review below. Please leave any comments or questions at the bottom of the page. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Here is a list of all of the ingredients in Neura-Spark:
- 500mcg B12
- 300mg Bacopa monnieri (20% bacosides)
- 125mg Phosphatidylserine
- 75mg DMAE
- 50mg Ginkgo biloba
- 50mg St. John’s Wort
- 50mg ALCAR
- 50mg Gotu Kola Extract
- 25mg Rhodiola rosea
- 25mg L-Glutamine
- 10mcg Huperzine A
Here’s an overview of the key ingredients; what they do and how they contribute to better cognition (if they do, that is).
This is probably the safest, most reliable way to enhance your memory retention and recall speed. Bacopa monnieri is a slow burner, but clinical trial after clinical trial has shown the same thing – it significantly improves scores in multiple different kinds of memory tests. If you want to safeguard your memory as you get older, Bacopa monnieri is a great way to go about it.
It has a big impact on the memory function of young people too, just not as pronounced as in older people!
This phospholipid is a necessary component of your cell membranes, especially brain cell membranes. In fact, very large concentrations of phosphatidylserine can be found in the human brain. It is used to create new neurons, synapses, myelin sheaths, as well as playing a role in cell signalling.
We tend to get the required amount from food – plus we can make it ourselves. But just like with DHA, supplementation is a good way to maximize and promote higher mental performance.
My regular readers will know that this is not my favorite cholinergic. DMAE is a choline analogue. It is used to raise choline availability in the brain. Doing this raising acetylcholine levels, which in turn improves pretty much every executive function carried out by the brain. But I have never found DMAE to be a very reliable cholinergic. It doesn’t work for everybody, and it is nowhere near as powerful as the alternatives.
Ginkgo is a favorite nootropic stack ingredient. It is being used more and more often as a standalone supplement among middle aged people who want to promote better cognitive function as they age.
Ginkgo works by increasing blood flow to the brain. Compounds in Ginkgo called Glycosides trigger vasodilation (the opening up of your blood vessels). This allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach your blood vessels, which means better overall mental performance and better brain health. Ginkgo also provides terpenes which increase blood viscosity.
St. John’s Wort
In my opinion this natural anxiolytic is completely over-hyped. People all over the world use St. John’s Wort to help them relax. Some people even use it alongside more powerful antidepressants and anxiolytics – not an advisable practice. But I have never seen a convincing, large scale clinical study which proved St. John’s Wort works for reducing stress and anxiety. I think many of the supposed benefits are the result of the placebo effect.
An amino acid commonly used in sports supplements because of its ability – or supposed ability – to promote energy levels. When used for this purpose, athletes will typically consume about 300mg of ALCAR pre-workout. Consuming any less than 300mg is practically pointless, and you don’t often hear athletes talking about the amazing cognitive benefits of using ALCAR, do you?
Gotu kola is native to Asia and is commonly used in both cooking and traditional medicine. It sometimes comes up in nootropics, but I am yet to figure out why. There are some early, small-scale trials hinting at memory-protecting properties, but after reading this paper, I am serious concerned about recommending the use of Gotu Kola to my readers!
If I was creating my own nootropic, Rhodiola rosea would definitely feature. It reduces feelings of stress and anxiety within an hour or so of taking it. But much more importantly, Rhodiola rosea seems to promote good mental performance during times of acute stress and fatigue. This makes it the ideal addition to a performance-focused nootropic. I do have concerns about the dosage used in Neura-Spark, however. I’ll discuss those below.
Glutamine is a simple amino acid. It is absolutely ubiquitous in the human diet. If you eat like a regular person, then you probably eat lots of glutamine every single day. I think it’s absolutely pointless having this in a supplement. You eat 2g of the stuff when you eat a bowl of pasta – what’s the point of adding 25mg to a nootropic?
Even at high doses, Glutamine does not have any notable nootropic properties. It has no real reason to be in Neura-Spark.
Huperzine A rapidly increases acetylcholine levels in the brain. It gets to work almost immediately, and most people notice significantly greater focus and concentration after 3 hours. A great one to add to a pre-workout or a short-term focus-booster. But this isn’t ideal for a daily stack. I’ll explain why below.
My thoughts on the formula
As I said, there are some good ingredients in Neura-Spark.
However, overall I’m not wild about Neura-Spark.
I don’t think Nutrachamps have made a competitive product here at all. I can think of about a dozen products out there right now that offer better results and better value for money than Neura-Spark.
Let’s go through the main positives and negatives in a little more detail.
Generally speaking the best thing about Neura-Spark is the ingredient range. I would include Rhodiola rosea, Bacopa monnieri, and Phosphatidylserine in my own stack if I were making one.
I don’t think you can do better than these ingredients for their relative purposes.
The main selling point of this stack, if I had to choose one, would be the Bacopa monnieri content.
Each serving of Neura-Spark provides 300mg of bacopa monnieri. The extract is standardized to be 20% bacosides by weight.
Bacosides are the active ingredients in Bacopa monnieri – it’s these compounds which support and enhance memory function. The rest of the plant appears to be inert organic material. As such we want as much bacosides by weight as possible.
The 20% extract is standard for the nootropics industry. There are better extracts out there of course. I’ve used pre-made nootropic stacks containing a 50% extract before. Mind Lab Pro, my current nootropic, uses a 20% extract standardized to contain only the 9 known bioactive bacosides.
But 300mg of 20% Bacopa monnieri extract is plenty to see results in memory function within 12 weeks. Bacopa is a slow burner. Users of Neura-Spark are likely to only see results after week 8, but after that the effects should get consistently stronger with time.
One big problem with Neura-Spark is the fact that key ingredients are dosed too low.
A prime example if rhodiola rosea.
Rhodiola rosea is absolutely perfect for a daily nootropic. It promotes calmness without acting as a sedative and without intoxicating you. This makes it different to synthetic anxiolytics and sleep aids. Even better, it actually seems to improve cognitive function in people under serious stress – studies have found that rhodiola rosea supplementation improves test scores in stressed people.
So I have to wonder why Nutrachamps only added 25mg to Neura-Spark.
That is a tiny dose of rhodiola rosea. Most studies showing good results from Rhodiola rosea have used 50mg or more. The best results seem to come from using more than 100mg, or from combining rhodiola with other anxiolytics.
For me the 25mg in Neura-Spark just isn’t enough.
Then there’s all the dead weight in Neura-Spark. I don’t know why but Nutrachamps decided to support a handful of scientifically-proven nootropics with herbal extracts that do absolutely nothing for your mental performance!
I touched on this problem in the ingredients section above.
Take Glutamine, for example.
This non-essential amino acid is found in very large quantities in common foods like bread, pasta, nuts, milk, meat, fish…the list goes on.
When you eat these foods, you consume several hundred milligrams of glutamine at a time.
My problem isn’t just that glutamine does not have any cognitive-enhancing properties at high doses.
It’s also that consuming 25mg of Glutamine would be completely pointless!
You regularly consume 200-300mg with an average meal. Why would 25mg have a significant impact on your psychology or physiology?
It looks to me like Nutrachamps just added an extra ingredient to Neura-Spark for the sake of it here. There’s no good reason to add 25mg of glutamine to a supplement except to lengthen the ingredients list!
Is it safe to take Neura-Spark? – Side Effects
One good thing I can say about Neura-Spark is that it doesn’t look like it is likely to cause side effects.
Natural nootropics are – generally speaking – safe supplements. They’re designed as safer alternatives to synthetic study drugs. The definition of nootropic includes the words “sustainable” and “side effect-free”, so if a supplement isn’t either of those things, it shouldn’t’ be calling itself a nootropic!
Most of the ingredients in Neura-Spark have been repeatedly tested in clinical conditions and have been deemed safe for regular human consumption.
Things like Ginkgo biloba and Rhodiola rosea are common ingredients in nootropics today. They rarely cause side effects. When they do, they tend to be very mild.
However, there are two issues I want to raise here.
The first issue regards the Huperzine A content.
Huperzine A must be cycled if you are to avoid serious side effects. This is because Huperzine A causes rapid build-ups of acetylcholine in the brain. Extra acetylcholine is great, but too much works against you.
Side effects of taking Huperzine A for too long – or in amounts too large – include:
- Loss of focus
- Difficulty thinking
- Muscle cramps
The side effects get more severe the longer this goes on. My advice is to take a break after your first 2 weeks of using Huperzine A on a daily basis, then after 7 days rest start again. Do this until you are sure that you aren’t experiencing side effects, then increase the cycle by one week. Never use Huperzine A for longer than 4 weeks at a time.
The other issue is the Gotu Kola.
As it stands, much more research is needed on this plant extract. Studies have found that it can cause adverse effects in some participants.
Until it is better understood, I don’t think it’s worth anybody using it – don’t be a guinea pig!
Please remember that I am not a doctor. This is not intended to be medical advice. I don’t know you or your current state of health. All I’m doing here is pointing out the most obvious dangers to me, according to my personal experience and research. You must do your own research and talk to a doctor if you have any doubts before you use nootropics.
Final verdict – Is Neura-Spark any good?
Nutrachamps Neura-Spark is a pretty mediocre nootropic stack in my opinion.
It doesn’t deliver anything that you don’t get from the hundreds of other OK-ish brain supplements out there.
It contains some really great ingredients, along with some total duds.
More than one ingredient provides absolutely no benefit in terms of cognitive performance. I can only assume that these ingredients have been added for the sake of extending the ingredients list; they certainly weren’t added because Nutrachamps saw some exciting new research on their merits.
In terms of value for money, you can do a hell of a lot better.
If your priority is optimal results, then you can definitely do better than Neura-Spark.
Check out my current top recommended nootropics. They all provide their own unique benefits, but they are all extremely powerful brain supplements with a great deal of scientific backing.