Okay, so there’s lots of energy drinks on the market right now. When fashion designers and race car drivers are getting their own branded energy drinks, then you know it’s pretty damn universal. Hell, if I wanted to, I could have an energy drink. So. If you’re coming out with a drink these days, how the hell do you stand out from the crowd? And, let’s face it, if you’ve had as many energy drinks as I have, they tend to all come in about three different flavors, “Tasty,” “Oh, that wasn’t so bad” and “Oh for the love of Christ’s mum!” So whenever there’s something new and different hanging around, I have a tendency to notice.
Enter Brain Toniq. Billing itself as a “think drink,” they say they’re the world’s first non-caffeinated “nootropic smart drink.” In fact, here’s from the press release:
“It surprises many Americans that you can get this kind of concentration effect without caffeine,” [creator Scott] Ohlgren states, “but caffeine is not the only alkaloid in the plant world that has a cognitive enhancing effect. It’s just happens to be the most overused.”
Now overuse is obviously in the biology of the beholder, but I can hear the outcry now. “Widge! What the hell? You’re going to say nice things about a drink with no caffeine in it?” And yes, we encourage people to stay up and avoid sleep and get more done by any means necessary. So if a non-caffeinated drink can do the trick, fine. Granted, I might down a few NoDoz while sucking it back, but you know what I mean.
Basically they set out to create a drink to help your brain. And a lot of you people have met the Needcoffee staff in person and you know our brains can use all the help available. So I was eager to try this. So. I generally pop a can and drink before reading the ingredients because I’m just…well, an idiot. So we start with taste.
Taste is good. You can definitely taste the agave nectar (which I was pretty sure was agave even before I read the can) and it’s rather tasty, easy to knock back. No real aftertaste to speak of. The color is a little like chocolate milk, which was a bit odd because the taste and the look of the drink are so completely opposed to one another.
As I was kicking it back, I read the can. 20g of sugar, which is impressive. The side of the can says “No caffeine. No processed sugar. No fake anything. Just pure herbs, natural compounds, and organic agave nectar.” So I like the fact it tastes good without a lot of sugar. The proprietary blend of stuff that powers this drink is choline, eleutherococcus extract, rodiola rosea extract, DMAE and blue green algae. Honestly, the only thing in there I recognize is the algae. Checking out the drink’s site, though, I see that eleuthero is the super-villain name for Siberian ginseng, rodiola is supposed to enhance mitochondrial energy production, and choline is supposed to help “produce the main memory neurotransmitter of our brains.” As for DMAE, “DMAE is natural-occurring substance produced by the human brain through two cholesterol enzymes, and is work primarily by speeding the production of acetylcholine, that crucial neurotransmitter responsible for carrying messages between brain cells.” Why, yes, of course. How silly of me.
So anyway, that’s all well and good, does it deliver? And the answer is: yes. I don’t feel the energy boost that I would from a massive dose of caffeine, but bear in mind you’re reading a review from a guy who has a tolerance level that if you actually knew what it was it would scare the crap out of you. What I did feel was a moderate lift in my brain clarity, which is saying something because my brain is like that storage unit from Silence of the Lambs, just add heavily armed clowns. But no, bottom line: it did as promised and fueled my cranium, but my body still is a bit slumpified even after consuming the whole can. So a brain energy drink? Sure.
Would I recommend you give this a try? Yes. Especially for you types who want to be aware but can’t consume heroic doses of caffeine. For more info and how to order, check out their official site.