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.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

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…
Upgrading to a 4K monitor? Amazon has a 27-inch for 20% off
The Innocn 27-inch Mini LED 4K Gaming Monitor on a white background.

Amazon has a great deal on a 4K gaming monitor that you might not ordinarily consider. While monitor deals are typically full of Dell, Alienware, and HP models, Amazon has a $160 discount on the Innocn 27-inch Mini LED 4K Gaming Monitor with a USB-C connection. It normally costs $800 but it’s currently down to $640, so it’s a fairly tempting proposition. If you fancy trying something a little different from the mainstream brands, take a look at what else it has to offer below.

Why you should buy the Innocn 27-inch Mini LED 4K Gaming Monitor
While you won’t see Innocn on any of the best gaming monitor lists, on paper it sounds very promising. Its 27-inch panel is a 4K one with resolutions of up to 3840 x 2160. Alongside that, it has a refresh rate of 160Hz with a 1ms response time. Colors wise, it has 99% DCI-P3 Adobe RGB color gamut support with HDR1000 ensuring everything should look gorgeous. Whatever you’re playing will look more vibrant while it’s also a good option for video or image editing.

Read more
Quick! This MSI gaming laptop dropped from $1,500 to $1,000
The MSI Stealth 14-inch gaming laptop at a side angle.

One of the better gaming laptop deals comes via Best Buy with a huge $500 off the MSI Stealth 14-inch gaming laptop. It normally costs $1,500, so with the price down to $1,000, you’re getting a seriously good deal for the latest tech. If you’re keen to know more, keep reading while we take you through everything.

Why you should buy the MSI Stealth 14-inch gaming laptop
MSI is one of the best laptop brands around despite not being quite as big a name as some rivals. Its penchant is gaming hardware and that’s shown in the MSI Stealth 14-inch gaming laptop. It has an Intel Core i7-13620H processor along with 16GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage, so it has all the key components you could need. Alongside that is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card with 8GB of dedicated VRAM.

Read more
How to unjam a printer and stop it from happening again
Clearing a jam on the HP Smart Tank 5101 isn't easy.

There are few things as frustrating as a paper jam. Unfortunately, it's all too common for paper jams to happen when you rush to print labels for express shipments or need hard copies for a meeting. That's true on even the best printers.

A printer jam not only stops your progress, but also demands immediate attention because you won't be able to print until it's cleared. It could be a serious mistake to ignore the issue and try printing again since that could damage the printer.

Read more