Unlike most other brain supplements that we’ve reviewed here, Brain Candy is a little more difficult to classify. In today’s world of human enhancement via the use of supplements, there are two distinct types: nootropics and stimulants (either caffeine or amphetamine-based). Brain Candy is a little bit of both – part brain enhancer and part caffeine shot. While Brain Candy is primarily a caffeine shot, it has a lot of brain enhancing and nootropic ingredients in its formula as well, that contribute to its effects. In fact, it’s even marketed really as a “Mind Energizing Once-Per-Day Shot”.
Another thing that makes it slightly different from other products we’ve reviewed is that it’s actually a bodybuilding supplement, or at least that’s where it’s purchased from most frequently. You can get it from T-Nation and was previously also available in Bodybuilding.com.
Brain Candy actually comes from a UK company called Biotest that also manufacturers other similar “high performance” supplements for energy, fat loss, protein, and basically anything that you can think of that would help give you an edge.
Checking out their website, it seems that there isn’t really a lot of information readily available, aside from a bunch of testimonials and claims to what Brain Candy does for you. In any case, there is actually more information in the websites of their online retailers like T-Nation and Vitamin Shoppe, which includes a more in-depth product description and even a supplement facts label.
Nevertheless, if you’d like to do some further research on the actual ingredients in Brain Candy, you’re going to have to do it elsewhere as there is only a bare minimum available.
give a boost to your confidence, relax you in social situations and improve your overall mood.
Using the active ingredient Acetyl-L-Carnitine which has an array of high quality benefits.”
Vitamin B6 40 mg
Vitamin B12 1 mg
Base Formulation 4500 mg
Acetyl L-Carnitine, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine,
CDP Choline, DMAE, L-Theanine
Caffeine 300 mg
What makes Brain Candy so distinct, aside from its use of nootropic ingredients, is its large amount of caffeine content. A shot of Brain Candy is a whopping 300 mg of caffeine, which is a lot more than what most people require on a day-to-day basis.
While those in the gym might yield amazing results in terms of a boost of energy and mental focus, those who are in other settings might not particularly like its effects. With a cup of coffee containing 40 mg and can of Red Bull 80 mg, 300 mg is truly MASSIVE in comparison. Instead of getting things done productively, you might just be pumped so full of energy that you would rather just get on the floor and do a couple hundred pushups.
If you do decide to take Brain Candy, you might want to reduce your caffeine intake throughout the day. Overdoing it isn’t going to kill you, don’t worry. However, you’ve heard of the guy who drank too much Red Bull right? And with Brain Candy putting you at 300 mg already there isn’t much room for error.
Aside from that, Brain Candy has some high quality ingredients in its formula as well, and with its base formulation already amounting to a whopping 4500 mg, we’ll have to say that it is quite potent.
Acetyl L-Carnitine: The “enhanced” version of Carnitine that not only aids in fat burn, but also offers benefits to the brain due to its ability to cross the brain-blood barrier. It aids in the production of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for improving memory, learning, problem-solving ability, and general cognition.
CDP Choline: One of the highest-quality sources of choline available, CDP Choline aids in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It is a very potent memory enhancer that also has positive long-term benefits for the brain. It promotes connectivity in the brain as well, creating new connections while also repairing damaged brain cells.
L-Tyrosine: A multipurpose supplement that not only helps in cognitive enhancement, but also in stress relief and mood elevation. It’s highly potent and improves memory and heightens alertness, and has also been found to improve motivation levels upon continued use.
Overall, Brain Candy’s formula is very potent – perhaps too potent. While there are indeed some great ingredients included, with a high amounts of nootropics, the massive amount of caffeine may also be a hindrance.
Effects and Benefits
While we were able to try Brain Candy out, most of us only did so for 10-14 days. In the beginning, it seemed to work really well and was able to give us vast amounts of focus, allowing us to really improve efficiency at work. However, as a couple more days went on, we noticed that this wasn’t the case every time. On some days, the high amounts of energy would just get us very hyperactive and jittery, which would prevent us from actually getting work done. On some days, we would be super productive, but on some, it even made us worse than our usual selves.
After around two weeks, all of us have stopped taking Brain Candy. At that point, the amount of caffeine had just become unbearable (and we have to admit that some of us missed drinking coffee). The effects themselves were great, but the productive days would be canceled out by the days that weren’t so much so.
Without fail, at the end of the day, most of us could feel being completely depleted and fatigued – which really didn’t allow us to do much after getting back home. While there were occasions that Brain Candy helped, it would be very accurate to say that for every situation where it did, there would equally be situations where it didn’t.
While there were some improvements in mood, they were all very minor. We were unable to notice any improvements in memory.
Potential Side Effects
A few side effects we experienced included occasional headaches, and sometimes, heart palpitations. These, however, only occurred in a few instances, and were rectified easily. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, some might be more susceptible than others. To be safe, please discontinue taking Brain Candy if any complications arise. Perhaps the most inconvenient of all these side effects would still be the lethargy and fatigued feeling at the end of the day.
Since Brain Candy also contains caffeine, which can act as a diuretic, your body will lose water faster, and so you should remember to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
A pack of Brain Candy costs $36.00, which consists of 16 shots. At the one shot per day serving size, this means that a month’s supply (if taken every day) actually costs $72.00, which is on the higher end of the price spectrum. There is also a smaller pack consisting of 4 shots for $9.99.
While the recommended daily serving is usually just a suggestion, we highly urge you to pay heed to this one. We highly advise against taking more than one shot of Brain Candy per day just due to the fact that it has 300 mg of caffeine per shot. It’s generally agreed upon that the maximum daily consumption of caffeine is 400 mg, so there isn’t really much room for error – even when taking just one bottle per day. Brain Candy should not be taken by minors.
The price itself is of average value, due to the fact that the formula is so highly potent, but what brings it down is the fact that it doesn’t do much aside from increasing your energy and focus. While the ingredients are there to support it, perhaps the amount of caffeine simply overpowers the rest of the formula. There are better options out there for the same price (or lower) that do better jobs than Brain Candy, while being better-rounded in terms of effects.
The majority of the online reviews we found were in health and fitness related forums, like Bodybuilding and T-Nation. However, there were some expert reviews available as well. The reviews were mostly mixed, with many attesting to Brain Candy’s effectiveness, but equally many complaining about some caffeine-related side effects.
Expert Review by Unorthodox Nutrition
Did I experience all the amazing effects that they state on the site? Well no. Some of the claims are flat out ridiculous and are blatant nonsense (if you claim to finish a 2 hour project in 15 mins it either means you weren’t working very hard to the first place or you were high!). It’s not a owner supplement that will change you from a burger flipper to a CEO over night. Only you can do that with hard work and dedication (not to mention a little help).
Is this a good supplement? Yes it is. If you apply some common sense (as you should with all supplements) it can have a positive effect on your productivity and work load. If you have a major deadline or assignment, or you know work is going to be crazy, then it can certainly help you.
Worth a look.
User Review by ndiddy on Amazon.com
To preface I am not on any weird meds and took on an empty stomach with no food ingestion for 15-20 min afterwards. I tried it for 3 days straight as well. Heres what I found:
1.) A decrease in hunger, when I ate breakfast I was noticeable more “nauseous” (not the correct term) but I just couldn’t eat like I normally do.
2.) I felt like I had a ‘brain cloud’ all day, I just didn’t feel right all three days. From other reviews I thought I would feel this zen like feel, I actually felt better the days I didn’t take it.
3.) I also noticed a crash around 1 pm (I took it at 5:30 am)and needed some caffeine around then, definitely did not make me eager to train or anything like that (although its not supposed too)
4.) I noticed no increase in mood, confidence,(don’t really have a problem with that) or general ‘feel good’ feeling.
I did notice an increased sense of concentration while taking it, but the way I felt for the majority of the day way outweighed in a bad way the increase in concentration.
Now I am not going to say stay away or bash this supplement, I think Biotest makes great supplements but this is my honest review of what I felt. I guess I just don’t do well with no-tropics. I might also not tolerate caffeine as well as I thought, so if they come out with the caffeine free version I might give it a try.
- Great as a focus and energy booster
- Potent formula and contains some high quality ingredients
- Convenience for taking as a shot
- Website lacking any clear information and sources
- Caffeine content (300 mg) may be a little too much
- Little to no effects on memory or mood
- Not as well rounded as most true nootropics
- Poor value at $72.00 for a month’s supply
- Some caffeine-related side effects are present
From a company that makes many other popular supplements, we had some mixed views on Biotest’s Brain Candy. While the formula was quite potent and had a lot of nootropic ingredients, the amount of caffeine was ridiculous and simply overpowered the rest of the formula.
Brain Candy was really good on the days that it actually worked, but for the most part it was sort of hit-and-miss. It would work some days, and others it would not. Every productive day would be canceled out by days that wouldn’t be so. For a true brain enhancer that actually affects the brain positively, try to avoid caffeine – or at the very least, take a nootropic with caffeine, and not a caffeine-based shot with some nootropic ingredients.
Fortunately, there weren’t many adverse side effects, and if any, they only occurred in rare instances.
For the price of $72 a month, you’re going to be better off getting a brain supplement with more value that actually aids in memory and mood, and then buying a caffeine supplement as well.
If you aren’t hitting the gym so often, you really shouldn’t be using Brain Candy – and even then, you probably should only be using it as pre-workout.