Focusene Review: a Natural Alternative to CILTEP
I am what you would call a brain performance enthusiast. I strongly believe that the everyday intellectual requirements of the average person have been on the rise for quite some time.
What this means is that when it comes to mental performance, most of us need a bit of a boost. If you are enrolled in an intellectually challenging degree like me, even if you are among the smartest of your peers, you are bound to feel challenged.
A bit of background about myself: At school, I was always one of those guys who is hardly seen studying. But I knocked tests and exams out of the park on a daily basis.
Things began to heat up once I got into later grades as I found myself spending more and more time with books to break into the top 5 ranks in my class.
I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why this was happening to me. Was it lack of focus? Declining cognitive abilities? Were parties getting the better of me?
I was under a lot of stress owing to this and needed to get myself back on track. That’s when I discovered nootropics.
Nootropics gave me the ability to perfectly balance my social life and education and come out on top. Of course, this didn’t happen in a single day.
I had to find out what nootropics and dosages worked best for my physiology and perfect it through careful trial and error. I’ve started my research from the ground up and right now know enough to make my own personalized stacks.
Currently, pursuing my Masters in advanced computing, I needed every ounce of grey matter to get into the top echelons in my university. This meant squeezing every last bit of ability possible.
While I’m no advanced brain hacker, I make it a point to keep myself updated about the new kids on the block when it comes to nootropics drugs. Most of the ones were quite underwhelming and I usually went back to my original regime.
One day when I was online getting some research done on my study paper, I noticed Focusene on one of the advertisement banners. This piqued my interest and I was soon on the website ordering a 30-day pack.
To be honest, I was actually not expecting a lot out of this as my regular regimen was working fine for me and I’m not a great fan of pre-made stacks anyway. Let’s first find out what we are getting into then.
What is Focusene?
From what I read on their website, it’s purported to fight against symptoms of ADHD, loss of drive, focus and concentration. The difference from most premade stacks is that they have included fully natural ingredients which they claim to give you the equivalent effects of the best nootropics you can buy on the market.
This is going to be a worthwhile test because if this actually delivers the goods, I can save the time I take to mix my own stack plus not have the dreaded post-nootropic crash syndrome. So let’s go ahead and see what actually makes Focusene tick…
One of the things I like about natural ingredients is that they are mostly approved and are on the FDA safe list. This is a huge bonus considering that I plan on taking them regularly to stimulate my brain.
On the other hand, natural means a more ‘generalized’ effect when you take them as opposed to the highly focused (no pun intended) effects of some of the racetams. So they don’t find many takers in the intermediate and advanced nootropic users.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never seen a pre-made stack incorporating this into their product. Dandelions are one of the richer sources (10X more than artichoke, celery or broccoli) of Luteolin, a powerful PDE4 inhibitor. PDE4 breaks down cAMP, a chemical that helps your brain process different cognitive signals.
PDE4 inhibitors have been scientifically proven to increase memory capacity, alertness and general productivity quotient of the brain. While it is found normally in your diet if you consume your veggies, you need much more to help your brain out and hence we use supplements to get our requisite level.
Forskolin has been shown to boost cAMP levels in the brain. cAMP is responsible for major cognitive actions in the brain and is a useful ally to get more focus and concentration going.
When you combine this with Luteolin, it increases the strength and duration of cAMP in the brain cells giving you a much more pronounced effect.
Boosting cAMP levels has the same effect has turning the dial up on your brain signal strength. It dramatically increases the amount of data you can process.
Phenylalanine is an amino acid and a ‘building block’ protein. It is found in abundantly in meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk, nuts and legumes. It is vital for brain functions owing to the fact that it metabolizes into Dopamine and Acetylcholine which regulate all signals in the brain that deals with primary cognition, concentration and focus.
By supplementing your diet with phenylalanine you have more essential proteins that can build as well as repair different areas of the brain.
An amino acid found in green tea, L–Theanine increases GABA activity in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps alleviate stress and tension among other beneficial effects. It stimulates the release of dopamine which helps getting more concentration and focus for that long study session.
L–Theanine can also help people with ADHD symptoms, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia from getting worse. In some cases, mental deterioration was found to have completely stopped.
Also known as ALCAR, it is an antioxidant amino acid derived from L-Carnitine. It’s basically an anti-aging measure that works on a cellular level, specifically in the brain. It is often used as an ingredient in brain boosting drugs or taken directly as a supplement. It has the ability to increase alertness and energy absorbing capacity while also supporting increased neural activity.
ALCAR is effective at alleviating the side effects of stress related to aging and neural decline. It can also protect neurons and even heal cells subjected to damage, such as those caused by diabetes. ALCAR works to counter the acetylcholinesterase by increasing cAMP. Acetylcholinesterase reduces concentration and focus in the human body.
Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)
Bacopa Monnieri is found naturally growing in parts of Northern India. It’s an herb with well-documented nootropic properties which stimulates the brain at a cellular level to deliver fantastic cognitive results. It helps bring down stress and anxiety levels in the individual. People suffering from depression have had better moods when using this.
It has been tested in labs and various people have been found to have positive cognitive effects from consumption.
Ginkgo Biloba is an anti-oxidant that improves blood flow to the brain resulting in greatly increased cognitive abilities. It is derived from the leaves of the Ginkgo tree which is one of the longest living tree species. They are 270 million years old and their medicinal properties have known since the last 20 centuries.
Studies have shown that in healthy people, ginkgo boosts memory and cognitive speed patterns, while some even show that it can help with memory problems caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It controls the progression of dementia symptoms. Being natural, it has no significant side effects and cures a wide range of ailments.
Korean Red Ginseng
Also called Panax Ginseng, it has been used for supplementing cognitive functions for centuries. The benefits include memory enhancement and mitigating stress, anxiety and depression. It has seen use Chinese and Korean medicine to promote better mood, physical and mental well-being.
Korean or Asian Ginseng shouldn’t be confused with American or Siberian ginseng which are less potent and hence not that useful. There is solid evidence that it can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The vitamin B family of drugs serves a vital function of effective metabolism in the body. Vitamin B6, also called as Pyridoxine, has a lot of great benefits for the body, physically and mentally. It is used for treating patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, Down’s syndrome and autism to name a few.
This is found in foods like vegetables, meat and eggs. But since you cannot get your required daily dose, supplementation is recommended. You can also use Pyridoxine in conjunction with other B vitamins.
That’s a lot of good stuff packed in this pill! Let’s put it through its paces and see if it’s as effective as people claim it is.
My Impressions of Focusene
So my pack had arrived in the evening and I couldn’t wait to get started. I took their recommended dosage of 2 capsules in the morning on an empty stomach. To be honest, I felt pretty underwhelmed by it at first. The usual rush of focus that I had when I was on my earlier regime was missing.
There was definitely a tingling sensation in my head, which became more apparent as I was getting ready for classes. By the time the first lecture started, my mind was feeling like it just had an oil change. I was able to focus and solve polynomial functions, which I always had a bit of trouble with, pretty easily.
Normally, when you take hardcore nootropics, you experience a period of hyperfocus and then the inevitable ‘crash’(caffeine, I’m looking at you!). This happens with everyone and it was the same with me as well. I always accepted this as something that’s ‘part of the game’.
Focusene didn’t give me huge wave of cognitive increase, rather regular smaller waves which I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by. I was close to my best throughout the day. And the ‘crash’ never happened. I would prefer this any day to ending a great day with a headache.
Compared to my earlier nootropic experience, Focusene is so refined it feels like a mild mannered sedan next to a sports car and goes about its job almost in the same way too. You hardly realize that you are close to maxing out your brain–speedometer because it feels so smooth and natural.
Let’s get the hood open and see how it manages to give us our mental edge.
How does it work?
So we know what the ingredients are, let’s check out how it works. You might recollect during the earlier section that I was writing about several benefits of various components used in Focusene. Here we will find how all those come together for your perfect nootropic experience.
If you didn’t know already, neurotransmitters are chemical that carry messages to different areas of the brain. Focusene has a lot of neurotransmitter precursors, which are consumed by the body to build neurotransmitters. So precursors are literally brain food.
A look at how it affects you positively on a cellular level:
Is basically the neurotransmitter responsible to attention, learning, motor functionality and the brain’s built-in reward systems. To put is simply, when you ‘feel good’ after finish 3 sets of hard workouts, that’s dopamine doing that to you.
When your brain needs to adapt to new methods or strategies this is the neurotransmitter that you need. It also increases your brain’s capacity for recalling.
Since this is synthesized by the body from Dopamine, it has all its inherent benefits. Additionally, it can also increase blood flow (muscles work efficiently) and the amount of oxygen going to the brain (helps brain think clearer and faster).
Increasing cAMP Levels
To put it simply, cAMP is a smaller messenger compared to the other big neurotransmitters in the brain. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate or cAMP facilitates short-term synaptic transmissions of certain neurotransmitters.
When you increase cAMP neurotransmitters you increase your brain’s capacity to process information quicker. While there are several nootropics out there that target bigger neurotransmitters, this is also equally important and needs to be optimized for performance as well.
I started with natural nootropics and worked my way to the big hitters like racetams and Noopept. But a part of me always prefers the more subtle calming nature of Bacopa and Ginseng.
Even if I hadn’t looked on the website, I would’ve been able to figure out that Focusene had both and in good measure. Why, because I had the same feeling of calmness when I began to take it. This was noticeably different from the ‘other’ nootropics.
Is this an effective alternative to CILTEP?
CILTEP was introduced into the market as a natural alternative to synthetic nootropics like Modafinil, a long-time favorite in the smart drugs community. It has seen reasonable success with people of differing ages, requirements and vocations. It has also been marketed as a ‘Healthy way to stay focused, alert and motivated for hours.’
CILTEP has given me reasonable results but they tend to disappear after a week or two of use. When I’m looking at something in that price range, I would like much more tangible effects. After taking CILTEP it was more of an ‘it’s there, but what is it?’ feeling when it came to cognitive performance. CILTEP works great for many people so if you’d like to see what CILTEP can do for you you should definetely give it a go. You can try it for free – just sign up to my newsletter from the homepage to find out how to get one bottle.
This was probably because I was on a racetam routine and CILTEP just wasn’t strong enough to snap me out of it. Focusene on the other hand had subtle but noticeable effects as soon as I took it and kept getting stronger till it peaked post-lunch.
I’m not being biased here, but Focusene has been a terrific substitute to CILTEP. And the kicker: Focusene is more affordable than CILTEP.
So, Yes or No?
I’ve been using brain supplements for some time now. I started on premade stacks then moved on to stronger methods like racetams. This was to increase my cognitive performance when I wanted to push huge amounts of information into my brain. But as an everyday tool, it was too strong.
With Focusene, I’m thinking of getting back to premade stacks during my ‘off-peak’ days and using racetams only when I need that huge boost. I’ve realized that most days performing at about 70% all day was decidedly better than going at it full-throttle.
So if you want my opinion on this, well, it depends on what you’ve planned for the day. When you absolutely need to be at your best, you’re better off taking your own custom stack. Other days, Focusene has all the ingredients necessary to give you a consistent, non-intrusive boost to your cognitive abilities. Where this shines is the fact that there is very little recovery period after taking this unlike more powerful nootropics.
Do share with your experiences with the community and how it worked for you in the comments section below!
More on ADHD
- Dopamine Deficiency and ADHD: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
- Is Adrafinil an Effective Treatment for ADD and ADHD?
- 8 Best Fish Oil Supplements for Children with ADHD
- 6 Best Vitamin D Supplements for Conquering ADHD
Supplements for staying focused
- An Intensely Focused High With Vyvanse
- 7 Best Natural ADHD Supplements for Staying Focused
- In the Zone: How To Consistently Achieve Flow State Work
- Focusene Review: a Natural Alternative to CILTEP
- 7 Effective Over-the-Counter Medications For Focus and Concentration
- The 3 Best Focus Supplements in 2018
- 8 Vitamins and Supplements That Help Brain Function and Mental Focus
- Sunifiram – A Powerful Ampakine Nootropic for Attention and Focus
- Methylene Blue as a Nootropic: Full Review
- Brain Rocket Fuel: The Best Nootropics for Studying
- My review of Oxiracetam (and comparison to Aniracetam)
- How To Stack Caffeine and L-theanine for Relaxed Focus
- IDRA-21: A Next-Generation Ampakine Nootropic
- The 2 Best Overall Nootropic Stacks (Updated: 2018)