Brain fog? There's no shortage of new products claiming to boost mental energy, sharpen focus and improve concentration. There are even a couple of intriguing options to power up that morning coffee.
Good Day Energy Chocolates are the brainchild of entrepreneur Simeon Margolis and Dr. Andrew Goldman, who started researching how to provide "functional ingredients in a sweet delivery," Margolis said. The result is candy-coated chocolate balls that contain taurine — said to boost neurological development — alongside caffeine from green tea extract. A box of eight candies — 120 calories and 16 grams of sugar — is equivalent to two cups of coffee and can help deflect that midafternoon mental lull, the company says.
"It satisfies a sweet tooth, and the doses are controllable," Margolis said. "This generation eats food like it's fuel, but it has to be convenient and taste great."
Good Day also makes what it calls an anti-inflammatory version (with turmeric), one for calming (with chamomile flower extract) and one that it says promotes sleep (with melatonin). $3 per box. Available at Whole Foods, Sprouts and Lassens. gooddaychocolate.com
Patricia Gutierrez came up with the idea for BrainGear when she noticed she was having trouble remembering things. She worked with a team of neurologists to create a liquid supplement containing ingredients such as the antioxidant acetyl L-carnitine, which proponents say can be used to address compromised circulation in the brain, and choline, said to bolster cognitive health. The 10-calorie, fruit-flavored drink "is absorbed into the gut immediately," said Gutierrez, the company's chief executive, who added that for many users, it replaces their conventional energy drink. $3.99. braingear.me
Super-surfer Laird Hamilton has made a brain-boosting coffee creamer the cornerstone of his superfood line, Laird. With its base of MCT (medium-chain triglycerides — basically a healthy fat that is said to serve heart and brain health), the product also contains a (completely indiscernible) calcified seaweed and red palm oil.
"I've heard people say that one of the most nutritious things they do is drink coffee," Hamilton said. "I wanted to figure out how to get something in that coffee they can benefit from." The slightly sweet powdered creamer takes the caffeine-spike out of the beverage and, Hamilton says, "sharpens the ability to focus without the crash." $16.95. lairdsuperfood.com
The newly launched Know Brainer is, according to founder Shari Leidich, "the thinker's creamer." She has combined MCT oils with organic butter from grass-fed cows and flavors like vanilla, mocha and hazelnut into single-serving packets that can be squeezed into a cup of hot coffee.
"I was inspired by the sherpas who put yak butter into tea and then climb Mt. Everest," she said. "The combination of these ingredients is metabolized by the liver, and the energy is sent straight to the brain. When the body is satiated, the mind is sharp."