- Good serving of phosphatidylserine
- Phosphatidylserine quality is good
- Side effects will be very rare
- Just two ingredients
- Whole coffee fruit extract basically unproven
- Not worth $33 for these two ingredients
- Other stacks provide 100mg of phosphatidylserine PLUS 6-10 other proven ingredients for the same price
- No short-term focus boosters
Neuriva is one of the top-selling nootropics in the world right now. While the nootropic does definitely have some strong selling points, we have absolutely no idea how Neuriva has become so popular. It contains just two ingredients – phosphatidylserine (PS) and coffee fruit extract. PS is a great nootropic, and quite expensive. Coffee fruit extract is less powerful and lacks conclusive scientific proof. There are better nootropics out there right now than Neuriva.
Neuriva Review: What does this nootropic do?
Neuriva is a brand-new brain supplement. It was launched little over a year ago, but it quickly gained a lot of attention among bio-hackers, nootropics users and the wider health industry. Made by Schiff Vitamins (the nutritional supplement giant), Neuriva is marketed as a high quality, complete nootropic stack. But what does it claim to do exactly?
According to Schiff, Neuriva offers a diverse range benefits to users. Specifically, Neuriva claims to enhance:
That is almost every aspect of cognitive function and brain performance. Neuriva positions itself as a complete brain supplement. If it can really deliver on all of these promises, then it will definitely be a comprehensive nootropic.
It’s worth noting however that Neuriva doesn’t mention mood, stress, or anxiety. Nor is there any talk of promoting neuroplasticity on the Neuriva website. This means it is not as “complete” a nootropic as many others currently on the market.
The question we need to answer is, does Neuriva do all of these things?
Is Neuriva worth the money? Is Neuriva safe? What is actually in Neuriva? Is it right for you? Is it genuinely the best nootropic on sale today? Find out by reading our full Neuriva review below.
Let’s get straight into it. Here is a list of the Neuriva ingredients along with doses:
- Phosphatidylserine – 100mg
- Whole Coffee Fruit Extract – 100mg
Here is what the label looks like, showing the Neuriva ingredients, doses, and more details about the formula:
That’s right; Neuriva contains just two ingredients. Many other Neuriva reviews have made a big point of this fact, including the review by Brian Johnson at VAGA. Two ingredients is certainly a surprise. If you look at what benefits Neuriva promises to deliver, you imagine the formula to contain a lot more than two ingredients. Especially these ingredients! Let’s take a closer look at each Neuriva ingredient to see what it does, what the science says, and what we make of the dosage.
Phosphatidylserine – 100mg
Phosphatidylserine is a very common nootropic ingredient. You will find phosphatidylserine in lots of brain supplements. There is a very good reason for this; phosphatidylserine works. It is a reliable cognitive enhancer with practically no downsides (except the cost – more on this below).
We’re not surprised to see it in Neuriva then. Any complete nootropic needs some phosphatidylserine, and Neuriva wants to be a complete nootropic.
Phosphatidylserine is a naturally-occurring phospholipid. Phospholipids are fatty acid molecules found in every single cell membrane.
Phosphatidylserine is particularly prevalent in human cell membranes. It is a necessary component of your cell membranes, especially your brain cell membranes. Without enough phosphatidylserine, you cannot properly maintain and replace your brain cells over time.
We can see the effects of this in real time. As people age, their phospholipid levels gradually decline. This results in a gradual slow down in brain cell maintenance, which is then reflected in a decline in cognitive function.
While we do generally make enough phosphatidylserine ourselves, it is worth supplementing with it if you want to guarantee optimal brain cell maintenance and growth.
Studies have found that phosphatidylserine supplementation drastically improves cognitive function, even in younger people with no demonstrable symptoms of cognitive impairment.
This may be because of phosphatidylserine’s other function – cell signalling. Phosphatidylserine acts as a trigger for apoptosis (programmed cell death – and important part of the cell lifecycle). When a cell is ready to die and be replaced, phosphatidylserine tells your white blood cells to destroy it. Low phosphatidylserine levels would mean this process becomes slowed down.
The clinical trials have made it clear that 100mg is enough phosphatidylserine to see significant improvements in brain performance in a couple of weeks (if using it daily). That’s one good ingredient with a more than sufficient dose – a thumbs up for Neuriva.
Coffee fruit extract – 100mg
We’re a lot less enthusiastic about this Neuriva ingredient. Unlike phosphatidylserine, coffee fruit extract lacks conclusive scientific proof and a long history of successful use as a nootropic.
Considering that Neuriva only contains two ingredients, we are a little disappointed to see that they’ve gone with coffee fruit extract for one of them!
The argument behind using coffee fruit extract as a nootropic goes like this.
Some studies have apparently found a relationship between the consumption of some compounds in whole coffee fruit and increased levels of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is a brain-specific growth factor; it modulates the growth, proliferation, and differentiation of brain cells.
BDNF is most active in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal fore-brain – the areas most central to executive cognitive functions, learning, and abstract thought.
Increased levels of BDNF will encourage the growth of new neurons, dendrite branches between neurons (dendritogenesis), and synapses (synaptogenesis). Clearly then, BDNF has the potential to massively affect brain development and function. This has been observed in clinical investigations.
Decreased BDNF levels are actually correlated with decreased hippocampal volume, and BDNF appears to be the mediator in the relationship between environmental enrichment during childhood and cognitive ability (with enriched environments correlating with higher BDNF levels). Interestingly, BDNF is even involved in the development of stress response (reference).
The question we then need to ask is – does Whole Coffee Fruit Extract really increase BDNF levels in a meaningful way?
We’re not convinced.
We’ll explain why below!
What we like about Neuriva
Overall, we’re not particularly impressed with Neuriva. As a short-term nootropic, it lacks power, and as a long-term brain supplement, it lacks substance.
However, there are some good points to Neuriva’s formula that are worth discussing.
One major benefit of Neuriva is the good dose of Phosphatidylserine it provides. Phosphatidylserine is a fantastic nootropic. Multiple robust clinical trials have proven that phosphatidylserine supplementation improves cognitive function and helps slow down the onset of severe cognitive decline.
Taking enough phosphatidylserine every day will improve memory function, support good focus and concentration, and promote healthy brain cell development.
The 100mg of phosphatidylserine we get in Neuriva is a very good serving of this proven nootropic.
What we don’t like about Neuriva
We are not impressed with Neuriva at all.
There are a lot of things that we dislike about this nootropic, but we’ll try to start with the most serious issues.
The main problem with Neuriva is the lack of ingredients.
This product is sold as a premium, all-in-one brain supplement. The manufacturer, Schiff Vitamins, promises users that they’ll get a wide range of significant benefits from Neuriva. But looking at the Neuriva ingredients list, we just don’t see it.
The Neuriva ingredients list is two substances. Other complete brain supplements combine anywhere from 8 to 20 different ingredients to deliver total brain enhancement. They combine potent cholinergics, complimentary herbal extracts, and amino acids to produce complete cognitive enhancement.
We don’t see how Neuriva is going to deliver the same kind of benefits as the leading nootropics today with just two ingredients. This is particularly true when you consider the ingredients Neuriva contains.
Phosphatidylserine is a great nootropic, but it is a slow-burner and very general in how it enhances brain function. It doesn’t have much of a “kick” like other cognitive enhancers do. You wont feel a significant increase in focus, concentration, or information processing speed like you do from other substances (e.g. Citicoline).
But Whole Coffee Fruit Extract; that’s a completely different story.
In our opinion, the “scientific evidence” showing that WCFE increases BDNF levels is not really proof at all. The study quotes by Schiff Vitamins on the Neuriva merchant page shows a 143% increase in BDNF levels after WCFE consumption. But if you read the study, you’ll notice that the study had a subject pool of 10 (reference)!
That’s nowhere near enough people to prove that this effect is real or that WCFE will reliably increase BDNF levels for you.
So really, Neuriva is just a phosphatidylserine supplement combined with a small dose of coffee fruit extract which is yet to be properly proven as a nootropic.
Neuriva’s ingredients list doesn’t sport any of the nootropics known to rapidly heighten focus, accelerate decision making, help with working memory, or protect the brain from free radical damage.
Neuriva is not the complete brain supplement it claims to be!
What about Neuriva Plus?
Neuriva Plus is an attempt by Schiff Vitamins to make their nootropic a little more comprehensive.
In our opinion, this attempt fails miserably.
Neuriva Plus is just the original Neuriva formula coupled with some B vitamins. Here is the Neuriva Plus formula:
This is not a formula that gets us excited. This nootropic will deliver few benefits beyond what you get from the original Neuriva. The B vitamins might give you a little more pep, and folate is a good supplement to take if you think you are deficient.
But this is pretty much the same brain supplement as the original.
And like the original, it is not a particularly powerful nootropic.
Neuriva cost: Is it worth the money?
As we’ve said, the main problem we have with Neuriva is the general lack of interesting ingredients and the fact that Whole Coffee Fruit Extract has not been extensively tested in large-scale clinical trials.
So do we think Neuriva is worth the $32.99 price tag?
Of course it isn’t.
Phosphatidylserine is very expensive to buy individually, but it just doesn’t make sense to spend $33 on a supplement that is just 100mg of phosphatidylserine (plus some coffee, which costs next to nothing).
You will find 100mg of phosphatidylserine in most of the best nootropics on the market today. These brain supplements typically combine phosphatidylserine with several other ingredients to deliver improvements in concentration, mental energy, memory function, reaction speed, and mood.
The top nootropics today are priced very similarly to Neuriva.
So why would you pay the same money for a supplement that gives you significantly fewer ingredients?!
Neuriva Plus – which is just Neuriva with some B vitamins – is priced at a ridiculous $49.49. So that’s an extra $17 for some B vitamins!
Is Neuriva worth the money?
No, it is extremely overpriced. You can get far more powerful and far more comprehensive nootropics for the same price.
Neuriva side effects: Is it safe?
Is Neuriva safe?
We have many reservations about Neuriva regarding potency, diversity of benefits, and value for money. However, we do not have any real concerns when it comes to safety and side effects.
In our opinion, Neuriva looks like a perfectly safe brain supplement.
Side effects are going to be extremely rare with this nootropic.
Phosphatidylserine has been thoroughly tested in lots of different clinical trials, and it has never been found to cause notable side effects, nor is it thought to pose any long-term health risks.
Whole coffee fruit extract has not been tested as thoroughly as phosphatidylserine, but our understanding is that this ingredient is just a full spectrum coffee bean extract. As such, we think it is highly unlikely to cause adverse side effects.
So on the whole, Neuriva appears safe.
CAUTION – Disclaimer
Please be careful if you have any pre-existing conditions that might make the Neuriva ingredients dangerous. You must do your own research carefully before using any nootropics. We do not know you or your medical background. We are not doctors, and this is not medical advice. If you experience any side effects while using Neuriva, stop immediately and seek medical attention.
Review summary: Is Neuriva a good nootropic?
We would not recommend Neuriva to anyone looking for a complete, full-spectrum brain supplement.
Nor would we recommend Neuriva to anybody in need of a brain supplement that is going to give them a noticeable, rapid increase in focus, energy, processing speed, or memory function.
If you read our full Neuriva review above, you’ll quickly learn why.
Neuriva combines just two ingredients – one effective but slow-acting, the other completely unproven in our eyes.
So really, we think you’re just paying $33 for 100mg of phosphatidylserine. Since so many top quality nootropics contain 100mg of phosphatidylserine on top of lots of other effective, proven nootropics, we don’t see why anybody would buy Neuriva over its far superior competitors.
No matter how you look at it – potency, range of benefits, value for money – the best nootropics on sale today all have Neuriva beat hands down.
Take a look at our current top-rated nootropic and you’ll see what we mean!