no·o·trop·ic. That may be a new word to some of you. Sooo what is it? Quite simply, nootropics are supplements for brain health.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that already.
Nootropics have always been this kind of vague, mysterious area in the health and wellness world. I mean, there’s definitely no shortage of brands out there offering their own “brain health” supplements, promising improved cognition, memory, and focus. Because at the end of the day, that’s an extremely compelling benefit.
But at the end of the day, because nutrition supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, these claims aren’t lab-tested to the same standards that say, prescription medications are. Those are exactly the reasons why we went so deep into our initial research: Are Nootropics legit? Or is it just marketing hype? We found out.
…aaand then we went even deeper with our analysis on the Best Nootropics for ADHD. 🥵 but rest assured, you’re in the right place now.
Here are the three key points that we got from that research:
- Not every ingredient that’s on a nootropic label is actually proven to have significant cognitive benefits.
- There’s a LOT of marketing BS out there in the nootropics space. And price does not necessarily correlate to improved efficacy.
- What works well for me won’t necessarily work well for you, your sister, or your friend.
With that being said, our team has tested several of the most popular nootropic brands out there today. And not to ruin the surprise, but Thesis is at the top of our list. We’ve also got a 10% coupon code for Zenmaster readers. 🙂
Let’s get into it.
- Custom blends
- Personal coaching / support by nootropic experts
- No proprietary blends (AKA no hidden ingredients!)
- Caffeinated or noncaffeinated formulas
- Effective ingredients
- No free trials
- Relatively high monthly cost
In This Post
Who is TakeThesis.com?
The first time I heard of Thesis was actually from an Instagram ad. (Not sure if I had been Googling around for nootropic brands, or if Siri was eavesdropping on my conversations with friends, but that’s besides the point.)
Formerly known as FindMyFormula.com, it turns out that Thesis has been around for years; they’re not just some newcomer to the space. And they’ve got the history to prove it. With over 500,000 customers over the years, they’ve built up a data set of nootropics research that’s so incredibly dense, Thesis says it’s the largest in the world.
And where does that data come from, exactly?
Well, when you sign up for Thesis, they walk you through a fairly short questionnaire that’s designed to learn about you. Then it runs your responses through their algorithm to match you up with the nootropic blends that are the most likely to work best for you. Test those for a month, decide which one you like the best, and that purchase data goes right back into making the algorithm stronger.
So you can imagine that 500,000 customers later, it’s pretty damn reliable, which means their team is even more capable of offering up the perfect blend for new customers.
How’s that for big brain? 🧠
How does Thesis work?
First off, you’ll want to jump on Thesis’ website and start filling out that questionnaire. It’s all basic stuff and doesn’t require any in-depth medical records or anything.
Once you’re done with the survey, Thesis’ algorithm will run through its millions of datapoints to predict which four (out of five) blends have the highest probability of improving your life. Check out (using code ZENMASTER for 10% off 😉 ) and wait.
When you open up the package, you’ll find four blends. For me, they were Clarity, Creativity, Logic, and Energy. Basically, you’ll take one blend for six days, taking note of how it feels in the little daily journal that they include in the starter kit. (The one blend I didn’t get was Motivation, but I guess the survey thinks I’m already all set there.)
Throughout your week taking Creativity, how’d you feel? More productive? Better focus, or less procrastination? Energized? Great. Whatever it is, make note of that. The next week, you’ll repeat it with the second blend, and so on.
You’ll also have the ability to hit up their coaches at any time. I did, just to talk about the fascinating world of nootropics, and had an amazing convo with one of their neurologists, Cindy. It was just one of those awesomely genuine conversations that sometimes life spoils you with. I also learned that all their coaches have a strong background in the health industry: whether they’re neurologists, doctors, pre-med CPTs, etc.
By the end of the month, you should be able to pinpoint which blends (usually two) worked best for you. Remember that they’re unique in their own ways, so you’re basically picking which tools you liked best from the Thesis toolkit. Don’t feel like you have to pick just one.
The whole process is actually a super smart approach to developing nootropics. Because at the end of the day, each blend is pretty radically different — just like our brains. It feels like one of those ideas that’s a total no-brainer.
How does Thesis compare to the best nootropic brands?
You know that saying, “Jack of all trades, but master of none”? That’s most nootropics on the market. Brands do a good job of researching all the most effective, research-backed ingredients — things that improve focus, mental clarity, energy, etc — and then they’ll jam it all together in a pill.
Buuut… that’s not necessarily the smartest move, if you think about it. I mean in theory, some of the benefits could counteract each other, or prevent you from actually achieving the desired effects.
If you’re looking for a nootropic to give you a lot of energy and motivation, but you also want something to calm you down and allow your mind to achieve clarity, how could a one-size-fits-all pill do that? You need to get more granular.
So Thesis takes this other approach of going, “Okay, we coooullld stuff a bunch of effective stuff in one pill, or we could create these different ‘silos’ of mental benefits, and create a unique concoction for each one.”
And that’s exactly what they’ve done. And they’ve done it very well. But before we get into why our team loves that approach so much, we’ve created this comparison table to pit Thesis up against Onnit and Plato, two of the most popular nootropic brands.
My personal review of Thesis nootropics
Short answer: I’ve been loving Thesis since I started using it almost a year ago.
But before I can get into all the whys, I (quickly) want to preface my review with a little background reminder on the world of nootropics. I promise it ties into all this.
Nootropics are a complex little corner of the vitamins & supplement industry. While drugs like Advil will pretty universally help to ease headaches for most people, vitamins won’t necessarily have the same degree of efficacy in everyone.
Let’s take a quick sec to think about how these nootropics blends are made. Researchers sift through all the available studies and anecdotal reports in an effort to find which naturally occurring substances seem to be the best at improving cognitive function. Then they’ll take note of the dosages required for each, decide which ones make the most sense to include in the formula, find the most common denominators, and…
BOOM! 💥 They’ve got a blend that they hope will work for most people – according to the data.
The problem is: that’s a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s a shotgun approach that tries to do everything at once, but at a certain point, the effects all kind of blur together (and maybe even detract from one another).
And even worse, most nootropics and supplements brands hide behind proprietary blends, like Onnit’s Alpha brain here:
On the flip side, Thesis clearly publishes not only which ingredients they include, but also the exact amounts of each ingredient. Why does this matter? Well this way, teams like ours are able to actually cross-check that the dosages in Thesis match up with the ones from the clinical studies where benefits have been proven. It seems like a no-brainer, but this is sadly a rarity in the supplements space. And Thesis is also knowingly exposing themselves to the risk that customers will just buy individual ingredients in bulk and dose things out themselves to save a few bucks.
Why personalized nootropics, like from Thesis, are legit
Other nootropics are trying to be a Swiss Army knife. They’re packing a bunch of different stuff into a couple pills and calling it a day. And while they do include good stuff in there that does work, it’s not necessarily the best approach (in my opinion). You’re also possibly paying for ingredients that your brain doesn’t want or need.
Thesis clearly agrees with me. Because what they’re offering is a complete tool kit. They’re giving you four different tools – a Hammer, a Screwdriver, a Drill, and a Level. They’re saying, “Hey, each of these was uniquely built for specific purposes. And they do each thing very well. But don’t try to use this Level to nail stuff into the wall. Use this Hammer instead.”
It is so insanely clutch.
Do Thesis nootropics work?
While there’s no nootropic in the world that’ll give you some “brain blast” feeling like you’d get from Adderall or intense medications, but in our team’s experience, yes – Thesis nootropics work surprisingly well.
And by “surprisingly well”, I mean when using them 6x/week, they have offered notable improvements to how well I’m able to focus, stay on task, and grind when it’s time to grind. In practice, this usually looks like a clearer mind and an improved ability to just… chill. With the Clarity and Creativity blends, in particular, I just feel leveled out. I’m able to sit down and work, without feeling like I’m just hopped up on too much caffeine or whatever.
And in the world of nootropics, where some brands don’t seem noticeable at all, it cannot be overstated just how awesome these effects have been.
Anyway, that’s just been my personal experience. In a sec I’ll share some reviews I found on Reddit and FB. But first:
Thesis defaults to sending you caffeinated formulas, but if you send their team a quick email before your order, they’ll happily send you a caffeine-free formula. Unlike other nootropics out there, Thesis doesn’t just load their nootropics up with caffeine to trick you into thinking your brain is working better.
A one month supply of Thesis nootropics costs $119, or $79 if you start a monthly subscription. You can take another 10% off by using code ZENMASTER at checkout.
It’s possible that some people who take a particular Thesis blend will experience some side effect(s), while others never will.
Keep in mind that one reason Thesis’ model is so effective is that you’re encouraged to test out multiple nootropic blends, take note of any positive/negative effects they have on your brain’s ability to perform, and tweak formulas over time to achieve optimal results. By this same logic, if you do experience side effects from certain ingredients in Thesis, you’re encouraged to work with their team to identify areas of improvement.
Thesis does not offer free samples, thanks to all the freeloaders out there. However, they do offer a no-questions-asked refund.
You can take an extra 10% off with code ZENMASTER. Every time we’ve checked, this has been a better (or same) discount than coupon sites / browser plugins like Honey.
Oh, and another tip only we’ll tell you: there’s absolutely no harm in checking out with that Subscribe & Save option and saving some money. Even if you’re not sure about Thesis yet, you can easily just cancel your subscription before next month’s shipment arrives.
Thesis nootropic reviews: What are other customers saying?
The customer rating above is taken from Thesis’ website, which I don’t usually love showcasing as the most trustworthy source of social credibility… BUT searching through Reddit and Facebook, things still look great. A lot of folks highlight the same things I’ve shared here.
It seems like I’m not alone in my sentiments on Thesis. Take a look at some that I think do a particularly good job of portraying the overall vibe I got from my research.
tldr; Are Thesis nootropics worth it?
I’m happy to report that this is one of those exciting times when our team discovers a company that’s bringing something truly unique to the market. At first glance it may not seem like it (just another personalized vitamin, right?) but in practice, this model works SO damn well. Just fill out that short survey on their website (which again, uses a truly massive data set), give each of the four blends a shot, take note of which have the most positive effect on your life, and you’re off to the races.
The #1 thing I learned when I started using Thesis is that what they’re really offering is a complete toolkit of nootropics. I mean, I’ve always known that not all nootropics are the same (or even all that similar), but this approach of offering unique blends for different uses is just infinitely better than traditional nootropics that take a shotgun approach. It just works.
I’ll never tell anyone how to spend his or her money. But what I am comfortable saying is that if you’re at all intrigued by Thesis – whether you’re completely new to nootropics, or you’ve been around the block – it’s absolutely worth giving their starter kit a shot. At $79 (or around $70 with code ZENMASTER), it certainly ain’t cheap. But I’m fully on the Thesis train, a full year later.