Cogniflex is a relatively new nootropic (or “smart drug”) which promises a variety of benefits, most of which are related to improved memory, focus and creativity. They also claim the product will boost your energy but without the crash typically found in energy drinks.
Additionally, the bottle promises to “unlock your mind.” Manufacturer Sure Science claims their formula doesn’t just improve your brain’s performance in the short-term, but that the benefits actually grow more powerful over time with regular use.
If you’re reading this review in a search for a mental edge, you probably already know many of these products will make bold claims. And the claim of increased brainpower over time does border on something from the movie Limitless. So, how good is this product, really?
We took an in-depth look at what these pills claim to do -- and whether those claims are backed up by science. Our complete review provides all the info you need in order to make a smart choice about whether this smart drug is worth your money.
Ready to learn whether Cogniflex is a boost or bust? Read our complete review below.
About Sure Science
Cogniflex is made by a company called Sure Science, although their company website has minimal detail. Only contact information is provided.
They’re located in Santa Ana, California. A P.O. Box is provided for returns, as well as an 800 number with 24/7 availability for questions. However, they provide no info about their company history or production facilities.
This is what’s called a nootropic stack. Instead of containing just one ingredient, it contains a proprietary blend of different “brain boosting” ingredients. We’ll get into an ingredient list in just a minute, but first let’s take a look at the promised benefits.
(Remember, these are claims made by the manufacturer. We’ll take a look at their validity later on.)
According to the official website, the product has five major benefits.
Sure Science goes into detail about how their product is superior to other energy boosters such as energy drinks and prescription medications. Basically, supplement users get a burst of energy without any side effects like jitters, shakiness or the infamous “crash” which occurs with energy drinks.
Do you have difficulty focusing on tasks for extended periods of time? This supplement supposedly improves concentration. They say regular use helps improve memory and just gives you a general feeling of alertness.
Improved memory is a major benefit promoted by the manufacturer. They say just a few days of use results in the ability to remember words and ideas both more accurately and for a longer period of time. Although “enhanced memory” is listed as just one of five other benefits, it’s the one most of the ingredients are geared towards (we’ll show you the specifics later on).
There’s no specific ingredient which increases your brain’s ability to think of new and original ideas. However, the claim here is that all of the products together will increase your creativity. Basically, they say creative ideas will naturally occur because you’ll feel more alert, relaxed and energetic.
Increased Work Productivity
Along the same lines as increased creativity, increased work productivity is more of a by-product caused by the other claims. The idea is that, as your energy levels increase and your stress levels decrease, you’ll be able to complete work tasks faster.
List of Cogniflex Ingredients
Bacopa Monnieri is an herb found mainly in India. A 2002 study found the herb did likely help increase memory capabilities, but only in a very specific situation. In the study, a group of people were asked to memorize pairs of unrelated words. Bacopa Monnieri helped increase both the accuracy and duration of recollection.
Rhodiola Rosea is a flower, and the extract is commonly thought to increase physical and mental stamina. A Russian study from 2000 confirms this claim to a degree. University students who took Rhodiola Rosea for 20 days showed a significant decrease in mental fatigue with an increase in physical fitness.
A clinical study from 2010 found that regular use of L-Carnitine can improve mental cognition in patients who had been diagnosed with dementia. The cognition improvements actually revealed over half of the patients in the study had been misdiagnosed, and didn’t have dementia at all.
Many nootropic stacks will contain at least some caffeine. Studies show caffeine can increase alertness, but you probably already knew that. While some caffeine in a stack is fine, you want most of the ingredients to be more than what you can find in a cup of coffee (we’ll go over this idea in more detail later on).
A 2003 clinical study determined the L-Theanine compound can help adult male brains emit alpha waves. These brainwaves promote feelings of relaxation while also helping to improve concentration. Additional reports suggest L-Theanine can also improve a person’s ability to learn, but more conclusive research is required.
Also commonly known as L-Tyrosine, a 2007 study shows this chemical can be effective at increasing alertness in high-stress situations. Specifically, use of Tyrosine prevents cognitive decline during sustained physical stress such as exposure to cold temperatures, high altitude, prolonged wakefulness and more.
Does Cogniflex Really Increase Memory, Focus and Energy?
You don’t need smart drugs to know some of the manufacturer’s claims seem a bit exaggerated. But they do connect each claim to a legitimate scientific study. We took a look at the studies, compared them to the claims, and figured out what effects you can realistically expect:
Claim: Bacopa Monnieri improves memory consolidation, learning rate and visual information processing.
Reality: The claim is a bit overblown, but the basics are supported. Study participants were given pairs of unrelated words to memorize. Bacopa Monnieri helped participants remember the words more accurately and for a longer time period.
However, the study is also pretty narrow. If you need to perform a task similar to the one in the study, Bacopa Monnieri can help. But an increase in memory retention is a bit different than the claim of improved “visual information processing.”
Claim: Rhodiola Rosea reduces physical and mental fatigue. Test scores are improved by 8.4%. Additionally, stress reduction begins just three days after taking the supplement, with those stress-battling properties increasing steadily over the next four weeks.
Reality: A study does show that Rhodiola Rosea does help reduce mental fatigue, especially cloudy thinking caused by physical exhaustion. However, the study participants showed results after 20 days of continuous usage. Feeling effects after just three days isn’t likely.
Additionally, while the participants in the study were students, the 8.4% improvement claim is unclear. Even if those specific participants saw such an improvement, it’s impossible to predict specifics for other users.
Claim: L-Carnitine helps improve mood and overall mental cognition.
Reality: Doubtful. A small study did show L-Carnitine improved behavior and cognition in 8 out of 14 patients who had been diagnosed with dementia. But improvements were among a relative handful of people all diagnosed with a specific degenerative condition. There’s no evidence a person with healthy brain function will receive the same benefits.
Claim: Caffeine helps increase alertness and mental processing speed.
Reality: While a study does back this up, basically anyone who has ever had a cup of coffee probably already knows the claim is true. However, caffeine is a very common ingredient in practically all nootropics. If you’re simply after a caffeine buzz, there are cheaper delivery methods such as energy drinks, coffee or even caffeine pills.
Also, despite what some of the marketing language seems to imply, this is not an effective substitute for Adderall.
Claim: L-Theanine helps reduce stress and increase relaxation, but doesn’t cause sleepiness or feelings of sedation.
Reality: Probably. A study did suggest regular use of L-theanine increases the brain’s production of alpha waves. These mental waves are related to mental relaxation and improved concentration. While the study was conducted only on young males, the same results are certainly possible in others. However, an increase in alpha waves promotes long-term relaxation, not instant relief from a specific stressful event.
Does It Live Up To It's Claims?
So, how does this nootropic stack “stack up” to the promised benefits? Let’s take a closer look:
Will you get an energy boost? Almost certainly. At the very least, there’s enough caffeine here for the average person to feel more alert and awake, at least for a little while. But that’s really the only ingredient which is specifically known to cause an energy increase.
Rhodiola Rosea’s ability to promote mental clarity during periods of physical exhaustion are backed up by science. However, the ingredient doesn’t actually prevent you from being tired.
Improved focus and enhanced memory are the two promised benefits which are backed up by scientific study. Bacopa Monnieri and Rhodiola Rosea together can improve a person’s ability to focus on and then remember words for a long period of time.
Generally, increasing your ability to sit still and concentrate on one topic can conceivably increase your creativity and work production. However, none of the ingredients here have been shown to increase creative thinking specifically.
Possible Side Effects: Is Cogniflex Safe?
Generally, it’s safe, although there are some concerns you’ll want to be aware of. Mainly, no specific ingredient quantities are listed on the website or bottle.
For instance, while the product has caffeine, the exact amount is unknown. If you have caffeine sensitivity, taking the capsule might give you an upset stomach, irritability or other issues. This same uncertainty applies to all the ingredients.
You can probably take two (or even just one) capsule without much worry. Any potential side effects will likely be limited to mild stomach upset or an allergic reaction. Although you should obviously consult with a medical professional before taking any supplements, we found no concerning reports about serious side effects.
Customer Complaints About Cogniflex
Of course, no company is perfect. After searching online, we found some negatives you’ll want to know about. Here are the top three:
1. Lack of Product Quantity Specifics
We touched on this above but it’s worth repeating: This a proprietary blend, which means they don’t have to tell the customer the exact quantity of each ingredient used. While you know all the ingredients listed are in the capsule, gauging their overall effectiveness can be difficult. Even though the customer can know what’s in Cogniflex, there’s still a bit too much mystery about the blend overall for our liking.
If you’re really only interested in one benefit more than the others, you might want to consider buying that ingredient separately. For instance, Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to reduce mental fatigue during prolonged periods of physical stress. If you’re preparing for an event where you want those specific benefits, such as final exams, a nootropic stack might not be the best choice.
2. Cancellation Fees and Difficulties
We couldn’t find any significant complaints about returning products. However, canceling an order is a different issue. We found quite a few people with complaints related to order cancellation. Here’s an example:
Once you order a product, it’s actually more expensive to try to cancel it than to wait and return it. With a return, you should get all of your original purchase price refunded, but the process could also take a month or more.
Another potential issue is canceling automatic future orders. While the website makes placing a single order seem pretty simple, we found quite a few complaints from people who had been signed up for monthly deliveries without their knowledge.
Truthfully, the fine print does seem to require you to opt-out of future deliveries. Of course, people can hardly be blamed for not reading every inch of the fine print. Make sure you read everything carefully before placing an order.
Another common issues many people talk about online are jitters. This is likely the result of the caffeine. Although the specific quantity of caffeine in the product is unknown, there’s also no specific amount which will cause jitters. Everybody has an individual level of caffeine tolerance, so we can’t really blame the product itself for this issue.
What Do Customers Say About It?
Cogniflex reviews from verified customers aren’t posted on the official website or their official social media pages. So finding legitimate customers reviews was a bit difficult. Information on unbiased sites such as Reddit and Snopes was sparse. However, after searching online for feedback, we were able to draw a few conclusions.
First, the reviews of Cogniflex we did find were very polarizing. Roughly half featured complaints related to unwanted charges, difficulty canceling an order or other problems related to customer service.
However, we also found a lot of people praising the product’s effects on memory. Quite a few of these comments were from older people. Here’s an example:
This man’s age is especially interesting because the ingredient L-Carnitine in particular showed promise in treating age-related cognition issues. Additionally, a study showed the ingredient might also improve mood. Finding multiple self-described seniors praise the product does lend some additional credibility to the ingredient’s effectiveness.
Does Cogniflex Have a Money-Back Guarantee?
Sure Science offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You have a full month to use the product. If you don’t feel the supplement has any benefits, you can call the 800-number available or simply mail the package back to the P.O. Box in California.
Your original purchase price, minus shipping and handling, will be refunded within 60 days. Compared to many supplements, this product actually has a very reliable return policy. Their offices are located in the United States, and their website has clear contact information.
So, is Cogniflex the key to unlocking your mind? Probably not. Our review found that the promises made by the manufacturer aren’t quite able to be delivered on. Taking a few capsules won’t propel you to new creative heights or turn you into a genius.
However, each ingredient does have at least one unique benefit backed by scientific study. Most likely, the blend will produce some benefits to memory, focus and energy levels.
The science behind both Rhodiola Rosea and Bacopa Monnieri is fairly solid. Regular use could increase your ability to remember words and concepts more easily and for longer. Additionally, consistent use could decrease feelings of mental cloudiness during periods of prolonged physical exertion.
But there are also aspects we don’t like. First, there’s no way to know the exact quantities of each ingredient. If you’re really only interested in the benefits found in one particular ingredient, you’ll probably be better off avoiding a nootropic stack. There’s no particular evidence which suggests the ingredients work together to create extra benefits.
Additionally, the multiple claims of unwanted charges and automatic billing are certainly worrying. Customers shouldn’t have to fear that they’ll be billed beyond expectations. You’ll want to carefully read the fine print before making an order. Also, pay with a credit card instead of a debit card. That way you’ll have an easier time disputing any unauthorized charges.
Overall, we do recommend Cogniflex – as long as you temper your expectations. This certainly is NOT a Limitless pill which will “unlock your mind” to send your creativity into the stratosphere or turn you into the next Einstein. But there is real evidence regular use can help improve memory somewhat. If you’re looking to improve mental clarity, especially when your body is tired, these brain supplements can be beneficial.
Where to Buy Cogniflex?
Generally, Cogniflex seems relatively easy to find online. You can order directly from the manufacturer through their official website. Cogniflex is also available on e-Bay.
However, offline is a different story. Wal-Mart and GNC do not carry this particular brand.
Be careful when shopping online. Amazon sells a “brain shield” supplement called Cognitex. This is a different product made from a different manufacturer.
Also watch out for a product called Cogni-Flex (with a hyphen). This is also a different product from a different manufacturer.
Each bottle contains 60 capsules. The recommended dose is two capsules a day. The bottle does say it contains 800 mg, which is likely the total amount of product.
Three different price points are available. The official site sells a single bottle for $48, three bottles for $96 and a five-bottle Monster Pack for $144. The two bundled packages include free shipping.