Skip to main content

I chewed ‘brain-boosting’ nootropic gum for a week straight. Here’s how it went

nero gum
Genevieve Poblano/Digital Trends Graphic

As a writer who covers the tech scene, I’m always hearing about people in Silicon Valley doing wild and crazy things to boost their performance at work — things like micro-dosing shrooms or taking drugs like the narcolepsy medication modafinil. These supposedly brain-boosting smart drugs, often referred to as “nootropics,” have been gaining popularity over the years and now appear in a wide range of different products, but the extent to which they actually work is unclear.

Wild claims have been made about the effects of nootropics over the years, but the science surrounding their effects is foggy at best. Most nootropics haven’t been studied in any kind of clinical trial, so it’s hard to know if they work or not.

One nootropic I’ve heard mentioned a lot recently is called Neuro Gum, which contains caffeine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and an amino acid called L-theanine. The caffeine and vitamins are meant to give you energy and improve your focus while the L-theanine, which is known for its calming effects, is meant to keep things balanced out.

However, like most other nootropics, Neuro Gum has never been the subject of a clinical trial. So instead of spending half a year wading through the scientific literature on each of its component chemicals to determine its legitimacy as a brain booster, I decided that the best thing to do was to try it myself and see if it actually works. Who needs objective observation when you’ve got subjective experience?

The experiment

To start things off, I hopped on Amazon, bought a 20 pack of mint-flavored Neuro Gum, and waited eagerly for it to arrive. When it did, I chewed it every day for a week straight.

For the first few days, I only chewed one piece of gum in the morning after a meal. I also didn’t drink any coffee or use any other stimulants that might mess with the experiment, so I was only flying on pure, unadulterated Neuro Gum.

The experience was surreal. I remember walking up to a blackboard on the first day, and there was an equation scribbled on it that it was clear no one had ever been able to solve. I was able to solve it immediately. I could also see in four dimensions, and was suddenly fluent in Japanese.

Just kidding. here’s how it actually went:

The first chew

On the first day, I felt the effects of the gum pretty immediately. It may have been psychosomatic, or it could be that I haven’t been drinking coffee lately so I noticed the effects of the caffeine more than others might. Each piece of gum has 40mg of caffeine in it, plus the vitamin B, which means it’s not far from the 64mg of caffeine you’d get from an average shot of espresso.

The gum had a nice — if a little intense — mint flavor, and the physical effects were surprisingly familiar. It was a bit like doing a bump of cocaine, but without the uncomfortable jaw clenching that often comes with it. I felt both energized and focused, and those feelings persisted for at least a few hours before they went away.

Luckily, I didn’t crash in any noticeable way after the effects faded. I wouldn’t say this gum is a hangover cure, but it definitely helped abate a hangover I was experiencing at the time.

Days 2-4

On day two, the effects were similar but perhaps a little less pronounced. I was focused while I was writing and was able to get a slightly-higher-than-normal amount of work done. On day three, it was again a little less effective. Perhaps I was developing a tolerance to it? Whatever the reason was, I decided on day four that I would chew two pieces of gum in the morning, as the package says to take one or two pieces at a time.

nero gum packaging
Digital Trends

The first two-piece day was remarkable. I would say my IQ jumped by at least 20 points. I was shooting lasers out of my eyes, too.

Not really. Two pieces amplified the effects rather noticeably, but I also didn’t feel cracked out. Again, it felt like doing a bump of cocaine. I had a productive day, and everything was good.

Days 5-7

Days five and six weren’t noticeably different from day four. So on day seven, I decided to kick things up a notch and take three pieces in the morning.

Suddenly, I was punching through concrete walls and… nevermind. You’ve caught on by now. Three pieces gave me a significant amount of energy, and I did some good writing, but I also found myself quite tired within a couple of hours of chewing the pieces. I’m not sure if I was experiencing a general caffeine crash, if the L-theanine was relaxing me too much, or if it was something else entirely. So I did the only logical thing to do in such a situation: I took a nap. Thankfully, I felt fine after that.

The wrap

Overall, my experience with Neuro Gum was a good one. I’ve actually been taking it for eight days now, because I took two pieces this morning just for a little extra energy. I’m on it right now!

nero gum experience
Digital Trends

It’s certainly not the wonder drug from Limitless or anything, but it’s a very practical stimulant, and I’d say it’s worth trying if you’re in the market for something that’ll put some extra pep in your step. If you decide to try it, I’d start with one piece and then graduate to two if that doesn’t do much for you and see what you like. If I end up trying four pieces at once sometime soon and I’m suddenly able to make nuclear fusion work, I’ll let you know.

This whole experience has made me more curious about nootropics, and I may very well try some others in the future. This gum did help me focus, even if its effects may not have been that much different than just taking a caffeine pill — but who knows if another nootropic might do even more for me. Perhaps soon I’ll go further down the rabbit hole and write about those experiences. Anything for science, I always say.

Editors' Recommendations

Thor Benson
Thor Benson is an independent journalist who has contributed to Digital Trends, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, NBC News and…
Get this 14-inch HP laptop for $180 in the Best Buy Memorial Day sale
HP Laptop 14

Often a leader when it comes to laptop deals, Best Buy has a great offer on a super cheap HP 14-inch laptop. Usually priced at $200, this HP 14-inch laptop is down to $180 for a limited time only as part of the Best Buy Memorial Day sale. Now you might be thinking how that's 'only' $20 off but when you consider this laptop is already only $200, that 10% discount adds up fast. Making it more affordable for many on a tight budget, let's take a look at why it's worth it, or you can simply hit the buy button below.

Why you should buy the 14-inch HP 14z Laptop
There's no denying this HP 14-inch laptop is fairly basic. It's well-suited for web browsing or typing up documents via Google Docs or similar, but we wouldn't count on it for anything slightly demanding. It has an Intel Celeron processor along with 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC storage so it's pretty basic in every way. Running Windows 11 Home in S mode means it can cope with simple activities while its 14-inch HD display at least offers BrightView technology to make things look better.

Read more
Memorial Day sales knock $600 off this Asus gaming laptop
asus rog strix g15 deal best buy may 2023 advantage edition promotional render

Looking for gaming laptop deals? Best Buy has one of the best of the bunch with $600 off the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition gaming laptop. Usually priced at $1,700, it's down to $1,100 for a limited time only making this one of the more tempting laptop deals around. If you're looking for a stylish and powerful gaming laptop, you can't go wrong here. Either hit the buy button or keep reading while we tell you more about it.

Why you should buy the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition
Asus has made some of the best gaming laptops over the years. Known to be one of the best laptop brands, that's reflected in the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition. It has a powerful AMD Ryzen 9 5980HX processor which is supported by 16GB of memory and 512GB of SSD storage. For the graphics card, there's a Radeon RX 6800M graphics card with 12GB of dedicated VRAM to help ensure you can play the latest games without an issue. The screen is a delight too with a 15.6-inch QHD display with 165Hz refresh rate and 100% sRGB color gamut for fantastic color and clarity.

Read more
Google’s ChatGPT rival just launched in search. Here’s how to try it
Generative AI in Google Search.

Ever since Microsoft started integrating ChatGPT into Bing search, alarm bells have been ringing at Google. Now, though, the tech giant has started rolling out its own generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool for users as part of its bid to retain its search crown.

In a blog post, the company explains that the new feature (called Search Generative Experience, or SGE) is part of Google’s Search Labs, which lets you test out experimental ideas in Google search and provide feedback to the company. Google says its generative AI will “help you take some of the work out of searching, so you can understand a topic faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights and get things done more easily.”

Read more