This tab will give a concise breakdown of each ingredient, including: why we chose it, what effects you can expect, why we chose the dosage we did, an explanation on how it works both scientifically and in layman's terms, and studies that back up our claims.
For an even deeper dive, click here to
L-Theanine is an amino acid that is responsible for an array of benefits, the most notable being the ability to relax and de-stress in a way that does not sedate, but even stimulates. For this reason, it has become the partner in crime to caffeine, taking away all the jitters and anxiety that some users experience as an unwanted caffeine side-effect.
How you will feel: simply put, L-Theanine just takes the stress away. This makes it probably the most diverse nootropic, with some users taking it before bed, and some taking it first thing in the morning. The key distinction is that L-Theanine does not “relax” you in the way that many anxiety supplements and medicines do, where you feel lethargic and sleepy. L-Theanine just highlights all your stress, and presses the delete button on it. Hence, people take it both before a cognitively demanding task and before bed. It can take away your anxiety when it impedes on your focus, just like it can when it impedes on your sleep.
L-Theanine is included in Genius Potion at a strong dose of 400 MG. The goal of this dosage is too smooth out any overstimulation, and negate the chance that any users experience too much of a rush, or a crash with caffeine. With a 400 MG dose of L-Theanine, there should be no crash whatsoever, and the caffeine rush should be smoothed out and prolonged. Additionally, this dosage of L-Theanine should take away stress that may interfere with the users focus. Whether it’s butterflies for a presentation or performance of sorts, or you are cramming in a study session for a test you aren’t prepared for, and you just can’t keep the nerves down enough to focus, L-Theanine at this dose should do the trick. As noted below, there are multiple studies that have shown significant effects from just 100-200 MG of L-Theanine, so we feel very comfortable in 400 MG providing results.
If you would like to read more about L-Theanine, including the science behind it, click here. Otherwise, keep reading to see some of the benefits we have learned from clinical trails.
A systematic review of randomized controlled trails from peer-reviewed journals sought to asses the effect on L-Theanine supplementation on stress and anxiety levels. The findings of four studies indicated significant improvements in reducing stress and anxiety (p < 0.05) with L-Theanine supplementation in healthy adults. Everett, M., Gunathilake, D., Dufficy, L., Roach, P., Thomas, J., Upton, D., Naumovski, N. "Theanine consumption, stress and anxiety in human clinical trials: A systematic review." Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism, vol. 4, 2016, pp. 41-42. ISSN 2352-3859. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnim.2015.12.308.
One study aimed to evaluate the effect of L-theanine on brain alpha waves in healthy young adult males. Twenty male volunteers without physical or psychological diseases were given placebo or L-theanine tablets, and their alpha power values were measured using EEG in frontal and occipital regions. The results showed that L-theanine tablets significantly increased occipital alpha power values in individuals with high anxiety, indicating enhanced mental relaxation and concentration.The study concluded “L-Theanine containing tablets promote the release of alpha waves related to mental relaxation and concentration in young adult males” Song, Chan Hee et al. "Effects of Theanine on the Release of Brain Alpha Wave in Adult Males." Korean Journal of Nutrition vol. 36,9 (2003): 918-923.
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the effects of L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, on memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Ninety-one MCI subjects were enrolled and received either L-theanine or placebo for 16 weeks. Neuropsychological tests and electroencephalography (EEG) were conducted to evaluate the effects of L-theanine on memory and attention. The results showed that L-theanine led to improvements in memory, specifically in delayed recognition in the Rey-Kim memory test. Stratified analyses showed that L-theanine improved memory and selective attention in subjects with more severe cognitive impairment (MMSE-K scores of 21-23) by increasing the Rey-Kim memory quotient and word reading. EEG recordings also showed increased brain theta waves, indicating cognitive alertness, in various brain areas after 3 hours of L-theanine administration. These findings suggest that L-theanine may have potential as an intervention for cognitive improvement in individuals with mild cognitive impairment. Park, Sang-Ki et al. “A combination of green tea extract and l-theanine improves memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study.” Journal of medicinal food vol. 14,4 (2011): 334-43. doi:10.1089/jmf.2009.1374
A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover, and double-blind trial tested the cognitive enhancing properties of L-Theanine, as well as its effect on stress-related symptoms. 30 healthy adults were randomly given either L-theanine (200 mg/day) or placebo tablets for four weeks. After L-theanine administration, scores on the Self-rating Depression Scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-trait, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) decreased (p = 0.019, 0.006, and 0.013, respectively) for stress-related symptoms. PSQI subscale scores for sleep latency, sleep disturbance, and use of sleep medication also decreased after L-theanine administration compared to placebo (all p < 0.05). Verbal fluency and executive function scores improved after L-theanine administration (p = 0.001 and 0.031, respectively) for cognitive functions. Stratified analyses showed that verbal fluency scores (p = 0.002), particularly letter fluency (p = 0.002), increased after L-theanine administration compared to placebo in individuals who had lower pretreatment scores based on median split. In short, L-Theanine was shown to alleviate stress, promote better sleep, increase verbal fluency, and raise executive function scores. The study conservatively concluded “L-theanine has the potential to promote mental health in the general population with stress-related ailments and cognitive impairments.” Hidese, Shinsuke et al. “Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Nutrients vol. 11,10 2362. 3 Oct. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11102362
A double-blind, placebo controlled study, tested mental performance post L-Theanine supplementation on subjects between the ages of 50-69. Subjects took one capsule of 100 MG per day of placebo or L-Theanine for 12 weeks. The study found that L-Theanine “increased the number of correct answers and decreased the number of omission errors in working memory tasks”. The conclusion of the study was that “L-Theanine may contribute to improving attention, thus enhancing working memory and executive functions” Baba, Yoshitake et al. “Effects of l-Theanine on Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged and Older Subjects: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study.” Journal of medicinal food vol. 24,4 (2021): 333-341. doi:10.1089/jmf.2020.4803
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid, most notable for being a dopamine precursor. In layman's terms, L-Tyrosine gives you that sharp focus that you need to cut through tasks, effectively and efficiently. On a high enough dose of L-Tyrosine, you just know what needs to get done, exactly how to get it done, and not only that… but you want to get it done. Focus and motivation are probably the two most common descriptors for L-Tyrosine.
Dopamine is the “feel good” neurotransmitter, your brain is constantly seeking it, and the tasks that it associates with the production of dopamine can be the difference between a productive day, or a lazy day. However, whether it’s from bad habits, poor diet, a condition like ADD or ADHD, or just over-working, it’s not uncommon that one may seek to gain from increasing dopamine production. Timing and mood both play key factors as well. If you know you have to get work done, but you just can’t bring yourself to do it, it’s likely that an increase in dopamine could help not only get the work done, but enjoy doing it. Or what if you have something that is extremely cognitively demanding- like a deep work session for learning a new skill, a big game or presentation, a job interview, etc., and you need all the mental acuity and sharpness you could get? L-Tyrosine to the rescue!
Once ingested, L-Tyrosine is converted into dopamine through a series of enzymatic reactions in the body. The first step in this process is the conversion of L-Tyrosine to L-DOPA (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) by the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase, which requires oxygen, tetrahydrobiopterin (a co-factor), and other co-factors (like the alphabet vitamins). This conversion occurs primarily in nerve cells (neurons) that contain tyrosine hydroxylase. L-DOPA is then further converted into dopamine by the enzyme aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC), which removes a carboxyl group from L-DOPA, resulting in the formation of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in transmitting signals in the brain and is involved in regulating various physiological and psychological processes, including mood, movement, reward, and motivation. Once dopamine is synthesized, it can be released into the synaptic cleft, the small gap between nerve cells, and bind to dopamine receptors on the adjacent neurons, transmitting signals and influencing various physiological and psychological functions. Dopamine can also be taken back up into the presynaptic neuron by dopamine transporters, where it can be stored or recycled for future use.
All of that is to say, L-Tyrosine increases the production of dopamine in the brain.
L-Tyrosine is most often used at a dosage of 500-1,000 MG per day, with some users electing to go as high as 1,500. In nootropic blends and energy drinks, the dosages usually stay in that range, or even lower, with some of our competitors including a dosage well-under 500 MG. With Genius Potion, we wanted to pack a punch with a dosage of 2,000 MG, which in synergy with our 1,000 MG dose of DL-Phenylalanine, is surely to deliver a wild ride of focus and cognition. To get an idea of what you can expect, below is a compilation of trails on L-Tyrosine and it’s benefits.
A double-blind, placebo controlled study investigated the effect L-Tyrosine would have on physical and mental performance by giving soccer players either a sugar free placebo drink, or a sugar free drink with L-Tyrosine midway through their exercise, while tracking performance. The results showed the group with L-Tyrosine significantly out-performed the placebo group. Coull NA, Watkins SL, Aldous JW, Warren LK, Chrismas BC, Dascombe B, Mauger AR, Abt G, Taylor L. Effect of tyrosine ingestion on cognitive and physical performance utilising an intermittent soccer performance test (iSPT) in a warm environment. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Feb;115(2):373-86. doi: 10.1007/s00421-014-3022-7. Epub 2014 Oct 19. PMID: 25326727.
One placebo controlled study tested the effect of L-Tyrosine supplementation on cognitive tests- one half of easy difficulty, one half tougher difficulty. The L-Tyrosine group significantly outperformed placebo on the tougher portion, leading the researchers to confirm their theory that L-Tyrosine increases cognition when cognitive demand increases. Colzato LS, Jongkees BJ, Sellaro R, Hommel B. Working memory reloaded: tyrosine repletes updating in the N-back task. Front Behav Neurosci. 2013 Dec 16;7:200. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00200. PMID: 24379768; PMCID: PMC3863934.
One study contrasted the efficacy of two amino acid supplements with pharmaceutical medications, L-Tyrosine being the amino acid candidate to be compared to the pharmaceutical drug Ritalin. The study tested 85 people aged 4-18 years old, diagnosed with ADHD, across 8-10 weeks, leading the researchers to conclude “the amino acid protocol may be equal in efficacy to potent, pharmaceutical ADHD medications” Hinz, Marty et al. “Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with monoamine amino acid precursors and organic cation transporter assay interpretation.” Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment vol. 7 31-8. 26 Jan. 2011, doi:10.2147/NDT.S16270
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study tested the effect of L-Tyrosine on proactive vs reactive control during task switching performance, to assess the compound's effect on cognitive flexibility. Among 22 healthy adults, L-Tyrosine promoted cognitive flexibility compared to placebo, leading the researchers to conclude that their findings support their idea that “[L-Tyrosine] can facilitate cognitive flexibility by repleting cognitive sources”. Steenbergen L, Sellaro R, Hommel B, Colzato LS. Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility: evidence from proactive vs. reactive control during task switching performance. Neuropsychologia. 2015 Mar;69:50-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.01.022. Epub 2015 Jan 16. PMID: 25598314.
This study examined the effects of tyrosine ingestion on performance during both a multiple task battery (designed to measure working memory, arithmetic skills, and visual and auditory monitoring) and a simple task battery (measured only working memory and visual monitoring). The results showed that tyrosine significantly enhanced accuracy and decreased the frequency of list retrieval on the working memory task during the multiple task battery compared to placebo.The study suggests that tyrosine may be effective in maintaining working memory when competing demands degrade performance. John R Thomas, Park A Lockwood, Anita Singh, Patricia A Deuster, Tyrosine Improves Working Memory in a Multitasking Environment, Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Volume 64, Issue 3, 1999,Pages 495-500, ISSN 0091-3057
This study aimed to determine if administering a dose of L-Tyrosine could prevent a cold-induced working memory deficit. The subjects performed a computer-based memory task in a cold environment and the results showed that accuracy of the task was reduced in the cold. However, when subjects were given tyrosine prior to the task their accuracy improved, bringing it to the same level as when the task was performed in a warm environment. The study suggests that L-Tyrosine may alleviate cold stress-induced memory impairments by preventing cold-induced deficits in brain catecholamine levels. Shurtleff D, Thomas JR, Schrot J, Kowalski K, Harford R. Tyrosine reverses a cold-induced working memory deficit in humans. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1994 Apr;47(4):935-41. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(94)90299-2. PMID: 8029265.
This study aimed to examine the effects of tyrosine on stress during an episode of continuous night time work involving one night's sleep loss. The subjects performed a battery of performance tasks and mood scales for about 13 hours, without sleeping. Six hours after the experiment began, half of the subjects received 150 mg/kg of tyrosine, while the other half received a placebo. The results showed that tyrosine administration improved performance on a psychomotor task and reduced the probability of lapses on a vigilance task. These improvements lasted for about 3 hours. The study suggests that tyrosine may be useful in counteracting performance decrements during episodes of sustained work and sleep loss. Neri DF, Wiegmann D, Stanny RR, Shappell SA, McCardie A, McKay DL. The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1995 Apr;66(4):313-9. PMID: 7794222.
Alpha-GPC is the most potent choline source out of all the dietary supplements on the market. What is choline? Choline is an essential nutrient- one that your body both needs, and cannot produce on it’s own. In the context of nootropics, the main benefit of choline is what it converts to: acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for memory- both formation and retention, reasoning, concentration, cognition, and is one of, if not the, biggest markers for neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Alpha-GPC becomes an important nootropic when you consider three things:
- 90% of Americans are deficient in choline
- Low levels of acetylcholine (the neurotransmitter choline converts into) are extremely persistent in those suffering from cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases, and in fact may be one of the causes
- Alpha GPC is the most potent source of choline. When it comes to choline supplements, you have three main options. CDP–choline, which crosses the blood-brain barrier, but is 18% choline by weight. Choline Bitartrate, which is 40% choline by weight, but does not cross the blood-brain barrier. And finally, you have Alpha-GPC, which is both 40% choline by weight, and crosses the blood-brain barrier.
The best part about Alpha-GPC is that it’s not like one of those background supplements that you take with the hopes that it has some benefit on your long term health, but you can’t feel or notice in any substantial way. Alpha-GPC has benefits that you will notice. The increase in memory referenced earlier is not negligible, you will actually notice it in your day-to-day life. You should have a note-worthy increase in your mental energy and performance.
Thirteen clinical trials involving 4054 patients were evaluated, and the results showed that Alpha-GPC significantly improved cognitive symptoms such as memory and attention in patients with degenerative, vascular, or combined dementia disorders. The supplement was found to be superior or equivalent to reference drugs and placebos, and its utility in relieving cognitive symptoms differentiates it from other cholinergic drugs. Parnetti, L et al. “Choline alphoscerate in cognitive decline and in acute cerebrovascular disease: an analysis of published clinical data.” Mechanisms of ageing and development vol. 122,16 (2001): 2041-55. doi:10.1016/s0047-6374(01)00312-8
One double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, took 261 patients affected by mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer and gave them either Alpha-GPC or a placebo for 180 days. Efficacy was tested by measuring Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS), the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Behavioral Subscale (ADAS-Behav), all items of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-Total), and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale. In every metric, the patients receiving Alpha-GPC showed significant improvement compared to placebo. The study concluded- “The results of this study suggest the clinical usefulness and tolerability of [Alpha-GPC] in the treatment of the cognitive symptoms of dementia disorders of the Alzheimer type.” De Jesus Moreno Moreno, Maria. “Cognitive improvement in mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia after treatment with the acetylcholine precursor choline alfoscerate: a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.” Clinical therapeutics vol. 25,1 (2003): 178-93. doi:10.1016/s0149-2918(03)90023-3
DL-Phenylalanine is a combination between the amino acid L-Phenylalanine and its synthetic companion, D-Phenylalanine.
L-Phenylalanine is an amino acid that is converted both to dopamine and phenylethylamine (PEA). Acting as a precursor for tyrosine, Phenylalanine converts to L-Tyrosine in the liver. Once L-Tyrosine crosses the blood-brain barrier, it is converted to L-Dopa. L-Dopa is broken down into a number of neurotransmitters, most notably dopamine. While another tyrosine source adds to the user's total dopamine increase, we did not include this compound just for the dopaminergic activity alone. L-Phenylalanine is also a precursor for the neurotransmitter (it is contentious whether it is considered a neurotransmitter by its purest definition) phenylethylamine (PEA), as previously referenced above. Low levels of PEA are a typically overlooked biomarker for ADHD that often goes unaddressed. Most treatment solutions for ADHD function by acting on dopamine while many ADHD patients are found to have low levels of PEA. This disparity may be reflected in the segment of the population who suffers from ADHD but struggles to find relief in standard ADHD medications. More on this later.
D-Phenylalanine is a synthetic version of phenylalanine and is known to alleviate discomfort and majorly increase pain tolerance. The compound is believed to inhibit the breakdown of enkephalins: natural chemicals in the body that block pain signals in the brain.
As we briefly discussed above, PEA can be a biomarker for ADHD, which is typically not what comes to mind. This study shows that children who were diagnosed with ADHD had lower levels than those in controls, while this study shows how when children suffering from ADHD were given Ritalin, those who responded well had normal PEA levels, and the non-responders had low levels. What does this suggest? For those who suffer from ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms, and find little relief from anti-depressant drugs or supplements, PEA may be the missing link.
What makes DL-Phenylalanine so amazing is all the different mechanisms of action. The one biggest takeaway most users get from this supplement is the mood boost. A user can expect to have a euphoric glow that lasts the whole day. Acutely we have noticed that whenever someone is looking for a supplement to increase their mood, all they need is 500 MG of DL-Phenylalanine a day for a week or two, and they couldn't become sad if they tried. For example:
In one double-blind study, 40 depressed patients were split evenly into two groups. One group was administered DL Phenylalanine at a dosage of 150-200 MG every 24 hours, the other was administered imipramine at the same dosage and frequency. There was no statistical difference between the two treatment groups across multiple assessment metrics. The study concluded that DL-Phenylalanine may have substantial antidepressant properties. It is also important to note that DL-Phenylalanine was at a very low dosage, while imipramine was at its standard effective dosage. Beckmann H, Athen D, Olteanu M, Zimmer R. DL-phenylalanine versus imipramine: a double-blind controlled study. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr (1970). 1979 Jul 4;227(1):49-58. doi: 10.1007/BF00585677. PMID: 387000.
One study (Bornstein RA, Baker GB, Carroll A, King G, Wong JT, Douglass AB. Plasma amino acids in attention deficit disorder. Psychiatry Res. 1990 Sep;33(3):301-6. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(90)90046-8. PMID: 2243904.) examined plasma amino acid in 28 ADD patients, with 20 control subjects. Among other amino acids, phenylalanine levels were significantly lower among the ADD subjects when compared to the control group. This suggests there is a deficit with amino acid transport, absorption, or both. DL-Phenylalanine increases both phenylalanine and tyrosine levels, as seen in the next study:
One double-blind placebo-controlled study tested the efficacy of DL-Phenylalanine for relieving adult hyperactivity ADD.. “The mean global rating of improvement approached significance as compared with placebo. A significant improvement was noted on mood and mood lability” Wood DR, Reimherr FW, Wender PH. Treatment of attention deficit disorder with DL-phenylalanine. Psychiatry Res. 1985 Sep;16(1):21-6. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(85)90024-1. PMID: 3903813.
20 certifiably, and clinically determined to be (classified by the International Classification of Diseases, measured across three separate clinically accepted metrics and additionally evaluated by experienced psychiatrists), depressed patients were given 75-200 mg/day of DL-Phenylalanine for 20 days. 16 of the 20 had positive responses and improved their condition, so much so that 12 were discharged with no further treatment. The study concluded that DL-Phenylalanine may have substantial antidepressant properties.
23 subjects with endogenous depression, following unsuccessful treatment with common antidepressant drugs, were given DL Phenylalanine daily, at either 50 or 100 MG, or 15 days. Impressively, 17 of the subjects obtained a complete euthymia between days 1-13. No adverse reactions, which are common among antidepressants, were recorded.
Huperzine-A is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. In other words, for the duration of time Huperzine A is active, it inhibits acetylcholinesterase, the neurotransmitter responsible for breaking down acetylcholine, effectively leading to a temporary pile up of acetylcholine in the brain. This leads to mental stimulation, elevating focus and alertness, without the physical stimulation that comes with most stimulants.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study took 34 pairs of students of similar memory quotient (MQ), physiological health inventory (PHI), gender, and class were separated into two groups- one receiving Huperzine A (100 MCG), the other a placebo, for 4 weeks total. At the end of the trail, the students were given memory tests and learning tests, with the Huperzine A group out-performing the placebo group. The study concluded, "The Hup capsules enhance the memory and learning performance of adolescent students." Sun QQ, Xu SS, Pan JL, Guo HM, Cao WQ. Huperzine-A capsules enhance memory and learning performance in 34 pairs of matched adolescent students. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1999 Jul;20(7):601-3. PMID: 10678121.
In this review, 20 randomized clinical trials involving 1823 participants were analyzed. Although most of the trials had methodological limitations, the results suggest that Huperzine A may have positive effects on cognitive function, daily activities, and overall clinical assessment in individuals with AD. Specifically, improvements were observed in cognitive tests such as Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Hastgawa Dementia Scale (HDS), and Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS), as well as in activities of daily living assessed by the Activities of Daily Living Scale (ADL). One trial indicated enhanced global clinical assessment using the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR). Yang G, Wang Y, Tian J, Liu JP. Huperzine A for Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 23;8(9):e74916. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074916. PMID: 24086396; PMCID: PMC3781107.
A meta-analysis covering six trials involving 454 patients, Huperzine A led to significant improvements in cognitive function tests and clinical assessments. It also showed positive effects on reducing behavioral problems and improving daily activities. Adverse effects associated with Huperzine-A were mild and similar to those experienced by the control groups. The study concluded Huperzine-A has the potential to enhance general cognitive function, global clinical status, behavioral disturbance, and functional performance in AD patients. Li J, Wu HM, Zhou RL, Liu GJ, Dong BR. Huperzine A for Alzheimer's disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD005592. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005592.pub2. PMID: 18425924.