TruBrain Review – Nootropic Think Drinks that Work?
When I was a little kid, my mum used to make me drink a bright orange effervescent drink when I was sick. It looked like a soda but tasted very unpleasant.
I can’t imagine ever wanting to drink anything like that again, but when I look at some of the options for vitamin and superfood drinks, I am surprised to find that there are a few products on the market that resemble that self-same effervescent drink!
What do they put inside them and what do they claim to do?
One such drink, TruBrain, looks like it is breaking new ground in the nootropic market, so I wanted to have a closer look at this slick product to see what it claims and what it really does for the brain.
‘Designed to help you carpe more diem’ announces the homepage of this cool brand. With their witty little animations and easy-to-swallow science soundbites, TruBrain seems to have cornered the market in terms of being a new take on nootropic product marketing.
Branching away from purely science-slick descriptions and performance-enhancing talk, they instead opt for a more down to earth approach, making it sound as though their drinks are not just for those who work in tech start-ups.
I mean there are other, normal people out there who are tired of experiencing burnout!
I want to know more about what the product does, or at least what people say it does, so on with my TruBrain review.
Background on TruBrain
Founded in 2012 by two neuroscientists Dr. Andrew Hill and Dr. Aida Attar, TruBrain seeks to apply more easily-digestible scientific thinking to the supplement industry with a new wave of nootropics and a fresh approach to positioning.
With these ‘think drinks’ (drink shots) the clever marketing machine behind TruBrain have found a niche (or perhaps it already existed but they have exploited that niche) in promoting a product that – it is claimed – can put you in the ‘flow’ state of brain activity.
So what exactly is new about this approach?
Companies have been promoting products that claim to do this for almost a decade, but the thinking behind TruBrain is that in a drink format the ingredients are more easily absorbed.
In terms of research, this business wants us to believe it is backed by hard science. Claiming to have ‘measured brainwaves’ in high-performing individuals (such as CEOs, scientists and lawyers), TruBrain say that they have identified optimal brainwave patterns and have used this research in looking into natural supplements that could enhance such brainwave states.
TruBrain also make ‘hi-IQ snack bars’, food bars ‘to help you power past stress, overcome mental blocks, and boost mental output.’
Other additions to their product line are Brüd: ‘focus sticks’ which you add to your coffee to improve focus.
As well as the drink-shots, TruBrain also comes in capsule form.
Unsurprisingly there has been plenty of media coverage of TruBrain. After all, it’s a fun, new way to take your daily nootropic stack, and offers something slightly different to pill-popping. Coverage includes an appearance on MVP – a Shark Tank-inspired show, where NFL and NBA players tried the products on TV.
In 2014, PR Newswire said that TruBrain was ‘defining the emerging nootropic industry’.
What Ingredients inside TruBrain?
TruBrain says ‘The active nootropics in TruBrain, like noopept, have a long track record of performance and safety’
So, what’s inside the TruBrain formula?
The standard formula states the following ingredients:
- Oxiracetam, Piracetam – 800mg / 1000mg
- Caffeine, L-theanine – 80mg / 160mg
- Uridine – 500mg
- Magnesium, Tyrosine – 200mg / 350mg
- Carnitine, Citicoline – 500mg / 250mg
Flavourings: Monk fruit, Natural cane sugar, Mangosteen, Blue agave, Nopal cactus
Firstly, I need to say that because they are transparent about the ingredients this is a huge plus for me. Many nootropics and supplements brands hide behind proprietary blends believing that being honest about their ingredients will lead to imitators making money off their own hard work, but in this case they have proven that this isn’t likely to be a problem.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and see what they do.
Oxiracetam and Piracetam are two of the most powerful and most well-researched nootropics. Proven to improve blood flow to the brain and enhance cognitive function.
Uridine is thought to be involved in aiding RNA and storing memories.
Tyrosine is a building block for dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, so essential in achieving those alpha-waves.
Magnesium deficiencies are known to cause mood dips and contribute to brain fog.
Carnatine and Citicoline are known to help break down glucose and fatty acid so they can be used in metabolic processes in the brain (such as the formation of acetylcholine).
It’s clear that the neuroscientists behind this product have done their research and have created a product that is well within the probabilities of causing benefits and can be classed as a functional food supplement.
Are There Any TruBrain Side Effects?
Users of racetams (Oxiracetam and Piracetam) have been known to experience headaches and irritability. L-Tyrosine should be taken with caution and has been found to interact with other medication.
Does TruBrain Actually Work?
The ‘science’ behind TruBrain is that it ‘increases blood flow to the brain, which delivers more oxygen and glucose to neurons. This improves the brain’s “plasticity” or ability to make new connections. In addition, our formula provides raw materials, like magnesium and choline, that naturally support your brain’s metabolism and function’
The makers clearly know their stuff, and although I don’t want to dispute the science, I have a few concerns about taking supplements to improve daily brain functions. TruBrain claims that;
While present in many whole foods, one cannot attain beneficial amounts of nootropics from eating whole foods alone
Therefore suggesting that only their product will provide you with these brain-friendly nutrients. So by telling us that we can’t possibly be performing optimally by eating normal food, they have cleverly created a need where there wasn’t one before.
Here’s an example of what the makers of TruBrain say makes their product different: they cleverly debunk caffeine for not being able to guide you into an ideal state of focus, which is quite impressive seeing as caffeine is, and has historically been proven to be the original and best stimulant (which works by blocking adenosine – the ‘sleepy’ neurotransmitter).
Caffeine is – according to these guys – under par as a nootropic as it ‘does very little to support the biological processes of thinking’.
Overall I’m left confused and a little let down by the ‘evidence’ they quote in marketing TruBrain.
They haven’t provided links in the Science section of the site, instead opting to give research journal page references, which I am assuming people really won’t actually look up. After all, I didn’t!
TruBrain Customer Reviews
The reviews on the TruBrain site are all very positive, so I’ve looked at Amazon to see if I can get a cross-section.
they work but way too sweet4-star review
nothing super noteworthy3 stars
they work!5 stars
absolutely horrible taste1 star
How to Take TruBrain
The drink is 30ml, only 26 calories and is recommended to be taken once per day. The idea is that the ‘delivery’ method of the nootropic is more effective than a pill or a capsule.
Any Money Back Guarantee?
Unopened packages can be returned for a refund within 30-days of purchasing.
Where to Buy TruBrain
What’s the Cost of TruBrain?
TruBrain is a fairly expensive nootropic option, especially if you don’t opt for the subscription model. It is available in different size boxes, either 20 (for $49 per month), 30 (for $65) or 60 (for $125).
However you can opt for a trial – 10 drinks for $19. This is only a 5-day trial though as they recommend taking 2 drinks per day. So at almost twenty dollars for less than a week that’s a pretty high price to pay.
There is a subscribe-and-save prepay model (3-months, 6-months or 12-months) and you get a 10%-30% discount accordingly.
My Verdict: TruBrain
TruBrain is a popular brand and you can see why.
They blazed the trail in the early days of nootropics, taking a new look at the marketing and format of taking these brain nutrient supplements. It looks pretty cool and they have made a great effort to make the science more digestible.
On the positive side it is backed up by reliable science, strong marketing, and the manufacturers have been transparent about the ingredients and their amounts. You really know what you are taking and it is therefore a product with integrity.
On the negative side it is an expensive way to take nootropics, with added ingredients that may not work for you and your lifestyle. I see no reason not to take these powerful nootropics in a pill form and the drinks aspect is a bit of a gimmick for me. I am more tempted to stick with a nootropic capsule that’s still easy to take, like Mind Lab Pro capsules or a healthier alternative like Supergreen TONIK green powder supplement, both of which work out more cost effective.
Saying that there will be people out there (and clearly there’s a huge following) who don’t want to give up on a good gimmick, it will suit their lifestyle and make them feel like the drink is all part of the goodness.
Although expensive, these think-drinks might just have the niche for a quick daily nootropic fix-in-a-shot.