Neuriva Brain Performance is a highly popular nootropic stack from Schiff Vitamins. Billed primarily as a memory supplement for older people, Neuriva claims to also help younger, otherwise healthy people with their cognitive performance.
Neuriva Brain Performance original promises to boost focus, memory, learning, accuracy and concentration. You can see how effctive it is in our detailed review. Neuriva Plus, on the other hand, promises to give users more focused concentration support along with better “reasoning”.
How a nootropic can help with your reasoning skills isn’t clear, but that’s for another time!
In this article, we’ll look at both Neuriva Brain Performance original and Plus, examining the side effects and drug interactions. If you have experienced adverse effects from Neuriva, please let us know in the comments.
What is in Neuriva?
To assess the side effect risks of taking Neuriva, we need to look at the ingredients.
Neuriva Original contains just two ingredients. These are:
- Coffee fruit extract: This is an increasingly popular ingredient in brain health supplements. According to some supplement manufacturers, coffee fruit extract improves brain function by stimulanting the release of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This neurotrophic factor controls the growth and maintenance of neurons in the human brain (and thus brain cell communicaton). Increasing BDNF has been found to improve cognitive function, especially in older people experiencing mild cognitive impairment.
Unfortunately, there isn’t really any evidence that coffee berry extract increases brain BDNF levels any more than drinking a cup of coffee. The effects of coffee fruit powder on cognitive fuctioning are unarguable, but that doesn’t mean it makes for a good ingredient in a stack like Neuriva! One thing we can say though is that it has never been linked with serious side effects.
- Phosphatidylserine: A phospholipid found in abundance in the human brain, phosphatidylserine (PS) is a highly effective nootropic for overall cognitive performance and long-term brain health. PS is a fundamental building block of brain cell membranes. As levels decline as we age, cognitive decline sets in. Clinical evidence shows that supplementing with PS improves brain function in multiple ways, including memory, focus, mental clarity and even mood.
We doubt that the 100mg of phosphatidylserine in Neuriva or Neuriva Plus is sufficient to produce the benefits promised by Schiff Vitamins. However, we can say with certainty that 100mg of phosphatidylserine has never been found to cause side effercts (at least not in any published clinical studies).
TL;DR Summary: Are the ingredients any good?
There is some evidence to suggest that drinking coffee raises BDNF levels, but the effect is not very big, at least not enough to noticeably improve brain health. There have been no independent studies showing coffee fruit extract having a significant effect on BDNF (beyond the efect you get from drinking coffee). Phosphatidylserine is an effective nootropic, but 100mg of it alone doesn’t make for a great stack
You can learn more about our take on the Neuriva formula from our in-depth analysis: Neuriva ingredients analysis.
What are the dangers of taking Neuriva?
Both phosphatidylserine and coffee fruit extracts have been studied independently and have been deemed perfectly safe for regular human consumption.
But what about when you take them together as Neuriva?
We think you are highly unlikely to experience any side effects whatsoever while taking Neuriva or Neuriva Plus.
The formula only contains two ingredients, and both have been extensively studied. Neither is associated with any serious side effects, and there is no reasont to think that their combination will make them more prone to causing secondary effects.
Studies on products containing whole coffee fruit extracts or coffee fruit concentrates have exclusively focused on the benefits of such products because side effects are largely absent altogether. Few studies looking at the beneficial effects of coffee fruit extracts even mention adverse side effects.
Phosphatidylserine is also a completely natural ingredient found in commonly eaten foods. Doses of up to 300mg per day have been used in clinical trials and have been found to be essentially side effect-free. Even large amountfs of phosphatidylserine don’t seem to pose any health risks when taken daily for prolonged periods.
The beneficial effects of Neuriva’s ingredients can therefore be said to outweigh the adverse effects.
We aren’t convinced that Neuriva Brain Performance can really improve cognitive functioning as it claims (especially among healthy individuals), but the blend of ingredients in Neuriva can at least be said to be practically free of side effects.
Learn more: Phosphatidylserine side effects.
What about Neuriva Plus?
Neuriva Plus has the same active ingredients as Neuriva Brain Performance Original, but with more coffee fruit extract and added B vitamins. These additions will not make the stack better at boosting cognitive abilities, nor will they increase side effect risks. Neuriva Plus has no positive effects or negative effects meaninfully different to Neuriva original formula. We explain this in more detail in our in-depth review of Neuriva Plus.
Common Side Effects of Neuriva Original & Neuriva Plus
That said, some Neuriva and Neuriva Plus users have reported experiencing some side effects while taking the stack. Common side effects reported by users include:
- Stomach cramps
We’ll now go through some of these more common side effects in a little more detail.
headaches is one of the more common adverse effects in supplements designed to improve cognitive function.This is because nootropics usually affect brain cell communication in some way. This can cause buildups of certain neurotransmitters or changes in brain chemistry, which produces headaches.
High Blood Pressure
Some users of both Neuriva and Neuriva Brain Performance Plus have claimed that using the nootropic led them to experience an increase in blood pressure. It isn’t clear how any of the ingredients in Neuriva or Neuriva Plus might cause an increase in blood pressure. But since more than one user has eported this seconary effect, we recommen avoiding Neuriva or Neuriva Plus if you have high blood pressure or are taking blood pressure medication.
Another common side effect of brain supplements is dizziness. This is one we have seen mentioned in excerpts of customer feedback on Amazon, Reddit and nootropics forums. Again, it is unclear why users might feel dizzy after taking Neuriva or Neuriva Plus. The larger dose of coffee fruit extract could be responsible, but this isn’t a common side effect reported in clinical trials on coffee cherry extracts.
Who should not take Neuriva?
So who should avoid taking Neuriva or Neuriva Plus?
Neuriva doesn’t contain anything that we find particularly worrying. We therefore think you should treat it with the same caution and consideration you should give to any new nootropic supplement.
It is wise to avoid Neuriva if you have a history of depression or a history of psychosis. We recommend avoiding nootropics like Neuriva altogether if you have recently undergone acute treatment for any medical condition relating to brain health or mental health. This includes traumatic brain injury, impaired cognitive function, stroke, reduced motor functions, anxiety, depression or psychosis.
We also think you should not take Neuriva if you are currenty already taking other nootropics, caffeine pills or brain supplements of any kind. The nootropics in Neuriva could interact with those other nootropics or double up doses without you realising.
Does Neuriva interfere with any medications?
To our knowledge, neither the original Neuriva formula nor Neuriva Plus are likely to interact with any medications you are currently taking.
Because some people have experienced increases in blood pressure while taking these nootropics, it is possible that one or both of the ingredients interact negatively with blood pressure medication. But we cannot see by what mechanism this would happen.
Conclusion: Is Neuriva Worth It?
Generally speaking, the beneficial effects of Neuriva and Neuriva Plus are going to outweigh any negative side effects. Even the very slight improvements in cognitive functioning you’re likely to get from Neuriva will be greater than any adverse effects.
This is because adverse side effects from Neuriva are going to be both extremely rare and very mild.
However, Neuriva is not the best nootropic on the market right now.
Not even close.
We do think that this brain supplement will have some positive effects if taken daily for long periods of time. Coffee fruit extract – like drinknig coffee itself – does promote BDNF expression in the brain. Phosphatidylserine is also a clinically proven nootropic with great long-term benefits and a fantastic side effect profile.
But beyond supporting healthy brain cell maintenance, neither Neuriva nor Neuriva Plus really do anything remarkable.
There are nootropic stacks you can buy over the counter right now which are so effective and potent that they can act as an acute treatment for ADHD, mild cognitive impairment, and serious burnout.
Our current top rated nootropic, NooCube, combines around a dozen clinically proven ingredients to deliver complete cognitive enhancement. Neuriva may be unlikely to cause side effects, but it doesn’t deliver the goods either!
Brian Johnson is current Editor of Vagarights.com and a long-time writer for VAGA. A former psychologist, Brian is passionate about improving mental health and finding ways to stave off cognitive decline. He is an expert on nootropics, cognitive enhancement and biohacking more broadly. You can see his work on Google scholar.