The Modvigil Blog doesn’t just limit itself to Modafinil related stories and subject matter. This blog has discussed the fallacy of using fake drugs seen in the movies such as 21 Jump Street. We’ve looked at other stimulants as well. However a new trend has emerged in the competitive marketplace for your mind. “Brain Drinks” are being produced at an astonishing rate, with well over ten brands jockeying for position.
But the question remains: How well do these products work, if at all?
Brain enhancing beverages are an evolution of energy drinks, which exploded onto the scene after Red Bull’s great success driven by viral marketing and extreme sports sponsorship. Energy drinks rely heavily on caffeine and guarana, which itself is merely a fruit which contains a very high dose of caffeine. Effectively they are coffee for the non-coffee drinker. These stimulants have shown to increase performance and alertness to a small degree, but no more than coffee or similar drinks would.
As a result of the mundane nature of energy drinks, new companies have emerged that claim to provide actual mental benefits on top of energy. These “smart drinks” tend to feature words and imagery associated with the brain. For instance, Neuro Sonic, a leading company in the field with a wide variety of drinks targeting specific situations, boasts a logo that suggests cognitive enhancement. TrueToniq, a company manufacturing several all-natural drinks, boldly presents the ‘I’ and ‘Q’ in its name to suggest increased mental ability.
What Ingredients do Brain Drinks Have?
Smart drinks seem to love reminding customers that they are NOT energy drinks. To that end, they highlight a more modest quantity of caffeine. Most of them are chock full of important vitamins and minerals. Taurine is a commonly included ingredient as it’s an essential acid in the body and it seems to be responsible for almost everything important, from cardiovascular function to neurotransmission.
It’s easy to look at the back of one of these drinks and think “Hey, that’s a lot of stuff I’m supposed to be taking!” The reality is that most people don’t realize that the vast majority of vitamins, minerals, and miscellaneous amino acids are readily available in the food you eat. In developed first world countries a standard diet covers the vast majority of compounds necessary for life. There’s a reason doctors generally don’t prescribe vitamins except in obvious cases of deficiency. Most experts say don’t waste your money.
But these fancy tonics have more elaborate ingredients, don’t they? Indeed most of them feature a few key ingredients that they claim are responsible for increased mental output. Neuro Sonic uses L-theanine and Choline. L-theanine is not by any means a fraud. Scientific studies show that it improves concentration and mood when combined with caffeine. It also has the paradoxical effect of being a relaxer, which seems to take the jittery edge off of caffeine and reduce the classic caffeine crash.
However a relatively high dose is needed to notice these effects. How much can be found in Nuero Sonic’s products? Well that’s unclear. Their label calls their mish mash of ingredients a “Proprietary blend” of 475mg. Tests for L-theanine showed it to be more effective in doses of 250mg up to 1200mg per day.
Choline is an essential building block for some neurotransmitters and is also helpful in protecting the liver and colon. It’s considered more important for pregnant and breastfeeding women to take in. However, as is the case with most of the other essential vitamins and minerals, Choline is easily found in most people’s diets. In addition, the body is capable of synthesizing Choline if not enough is present.
When I went to look at TrueToniq’s products on their website in order to know more about the ingredients, I was met with an “Under construction” page. It seems that while they’re more than happy to sell you some “all-natural enhancement”, they aren’t very open about what’s inside the drink you’re taking.
Are Brain Enhancing Drinks Safe?
This is a logical question, since many of these drinks refuse to give detailed explanations of their ingredients. Certainly they follow FDA protocols in the US and conform to other countries’ regulations. Most of the ingredients are perfectly fine in moderate, or even large doses, and there probably IS a legitimate effect on the body. However most of the ingredients are already inside you right now. Just because you haven’t heard of something doesn’t mean you’re not getting it from somewhere else.
There’s nothing that would suggest that these drinks are dangerous, but the real question remains: Are they beneficial?
The answer is that they probably are, to a small extent. But let’s consider the value of a smart drink. The average price of one of these drinks is $2. It’s possible to buy in bulk and save a bit, but shipping is quite costly for a case of cans.
Instead of an expensive drink with mild enhancement, The Modvigil Blog would again recommend Modafinil to you. Instead of a few hours of increased energy and focus, you could have the whole day for the same price as your drink. What’s more, you’d be taking something that’s been tried, tested, and proven to work. No questionable subjective reports. No mysterious ingredient lists. Just a reliable, popular way to increase your performance day in and day out. Modup.net is my preferred provider of Modafinil and their prices work out to be even cheaper than buying one of these dubious drinks. If you truly are interested in improving mental ability and performance, then you should give it a try.