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Nutropic bars claim to ‘boost your brainpower for life’ with just one bar a day. Can snack bars really improve your cognitive function? Let’s find out with our Nutropic bars review.
Nutropic bars have just hit the market in the United Kingdom and are already making a splash. They promise to boost your brainpower and help you focus by eating just one flapjack a day.
Nutropic is a play on nootropic – the brain-enhancing nutrients that are sold as food supplements – but do the bars really work? And the all-important question, how do the flapjacks taste? We did a taste test to find out (results below), but first, let’s answer a few of your no-doubt-burning questions…
SHORTCUT: Short on time? Here’s the low-down on Nutropic bars if you want a quick answer. Nutropic bars are designed to enhance focus, improve memory and quick thinking, and aid long-term brain health. They contain tried and tested nootropic and brain-boosting ingredients that should do exactly as they claim. On a personal note, I noticed a dramatic improvement in focus after eating just one bar. They’ve won my enthusiastic recommendation for that alone.
What are Nutropic Bars?
As the name suggests, Nutropic bars are flapjack or snack bars with a bonus: they are intended to ‘feed your brain’ by providing it with essential brain nutrients. They are loaded with plant-based brain-friendly ingredients, vitamins, minerals, and healthy complex carbs, such as:
- Norwegian Black oats for a carbohydrate-energy boost. Carbs are the brain’s preferred source of ‘food energy’.
- Omega DHA to support brain function and development.
- Choline for improved communication between neurons.
- Phosphatidylserine for a mood boost and replacing lost neurons.
- Prebiotic fibre to improve gut health (implicated in brain health)
- Plus, vitamins and minerals magnesium, D3, K2, B2, B3, B6, B12 and Folate.
Read more detail on the ingredients below.
What Can Nutropic Bars Do?
Before we look at the Nutropic bars, it’s worth discussing nootropics as a whole for a moment. Nootropics are food supplements or nutrition designed to enhance natural cognitive function by providing for your brain needs. The brain is an energy sucker and consumes more than 20% of our total energy. Nootropics can improve memory and attention span; increase brain energy, performance, and productivity, and protect the brain and body over the longer term.
So, what about Nutropic bars? How do they measure up?
Nutropic Bars promise to:
1. BOOST YOUR MOOD
According to the manufacturer’s literature, eating a Nutropic bar a day can help to boost your mood – encouraging a feel-good feeling within minutes of eating a bar. EDITORS NOTE: It may be the power of suggestion, but I did feel surprisingly good and fired up within 15 minutes of eating a bar.
2. ‘RAISE YOUR MENTAL GAME’
The manufacturer promises a daily Nutropic bar will help to:
- Boost Focus
- Encourage Quick-Thinking
- Improve your Memory
- Enhance Verbal Fluidity
- Aid long-range brain health.
EDITOR’S NOTE: By this point in the testing process, I had already had my morning coffee and I was flagging, so I ate a flapjack snack bar as a mid-morning pick-me-up. It’s early days yet to notice a significant improvement in memory or quick thinking – that would presumably come with longer-term use – but I certainly felt an improvement in focus. From the very first bar. I was impressed.
It’s worth noting here that my sleep and food schedule has been a little off the last couple of months as a result of repeated travel. Whether you’d feel such an immediate reaction may depend on how healthy your sleep/ feeding schedule is and how ‘well fed’ your brain already is. I certainly appreciated the enhanced focus it gave me.
Who is Behind Nutropic Limited?
Here’s more good news: the team behind some of the very best nootropic pills and nootropic-niche products on the market today is also behind the Nutropic bars. The same team produces the phenomenally popular Mind Lab Pro as well as the highly respected Performance Lab range of products. These include Performance Lab Mind, plus Caffeine+, Omega-3, and Performance Lab Energy, to name a few. All of this means that Nutropic bars come from a seasoned and well-respected manufacturer with proven knowledge of the nootropic or brain-boosting market.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m personally a big fan of Mind Lab Pro and take it every day. I find it boosts my focus, brain power and – hopefully – improves my long-term brain health. I forgot to bring them with me on my travels, so these bars have stepped into the breach. All of which explains why I am optimistic for Nutropic bars.
What Do Nutropic Bars TASTE Like?
Here’s the big question: what do Nutropic bars taste like? No matter how well they work, they need to be palatable or you’re never going to eat them. Before I go further, I should admit that I’m not traditionally a big fan of flapjacks. There’s such a huge range of conflicting textures and I’m not a fan of dry or chewy options.
With that in mind, let’s reveal the results of our Nutropic bars taste test…
The Nutropic Bar Taste Test
There are four different flavours of Nutropic bars: Apple & Cinnamon, Raisin & Almond, Maple & Pecan, and Salted Caramel. Each is 45g so a decent size for a snack bar.
The snack bars are high in carbohydrates (because carbs feed the brain), ranging from 18g-24g per bar, but are less than 200 calories per bar. It’s worth noting that they are not a protein bar, and the protein content is just 3g per bar.
OUR FAVOURITE BARS ARE…
So, out of the four flavours, which did we prefer and why? I enlisted a couple of additional volunteers for this taste test. One a healthy gym fan aged 40 who is used to eating a protein bar a day, and another my mother… because brain and memory boosting is particularly useful for the over 70s. We all agreed on our favourite bar. Drum roll please…
THE WINNER: SALTED CARAMEL: This bar is our taste test winner for three key reasons.
- It’s very tasty.
- It has a soft and moist consistency that is easy to eat.
- It’s sweeter.
MAPLE & PECAN: This is our second favourite for the same reasons as above – it’s sweeter and moist – but we thought the salted caramel just won it on taste. We were happy with both and could quite happily picture us eating one a day of either of them. (Worth noting that it’s perfectly safe to eat more than one bar a day).
TIE: Raisin & Almond and Apple & Cinnamon: These two bars lost a few points for us because of their consistency. Both tasted nice and were perfectly palatable, but we found them drier and chewier than the other two bars.
It will depend on your personal preference as to which bar you prefer. It’s fair to say all four are tasty, so we’re happy to give the taste of Nutropic bars a thumbs up.
NOTE: Nutropic.com offers a TASTER PACK for £12.99 of all four bars (£3.25 per bar) so you can try all the flavours before you commit to more. Then you can buy the flavour of your choice (12 bars for £34.99 or £2.92 per bar, a discount of 33p per bar.)
Pros of Nutropic Bars:
- All four bars are tasty, but we particularly like the Salted Caramel and Maple & Pecan.
- Created by a respected proven nootropic manufacturer.
- Easy to carry around with you.
- Another nootropic option if you don’t like taking pills.
- From personal experience, they help with focus and mood from the very first bar.
- Includes established nootropic ingredients.
- Taster pack of all four flavours is available.
- Includes free UK delivery.
- Less than 200 calories per bar.
- Gluten-free, plant-based and vegan, made with sustainable materials.
Cons of Nutropic Bars:
- Only available from the official website at the moment.
- Not suitable for anyone with a nut allergy.
Nutropic Bar Ingredients in Detail
Let’s look at the ingredients of these Nutropic bars in detail to work out how effective they should be:
Norwegian Organic Black Oats:
Here’s where the carbs come in. One of the most valuable forms of brain energy comes from carbohydrates, and oats are a potent source of complex carbs, also known as the ‘good’ kind of carbohydrates. These black oats are grown in Norway and boast 40% more unsaturated fatty acids than standard white oats. Many people believe this makes them tastier and healthier. These oats account for approximately a third of the bar.
DHA is the most important type of Omega 3 fatty acid for the brain. DHA is part of every single cell in your body and makes up about 8% of the brain’s weight, so is especially important for brain function and development. The body doesn’t produce much DHA, so it’s advisable to get it from food.
The commitment to the DHA form of Omega-3 in Nutropic bars (as opposed to the less beneficial EPA) proves the manufacturer knows its stuff.
Older adults may experience additional benefits from DHA. DHA has been shown to protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Indeed, people with Alzheimer’s Disease have been seen to have lower levels of DHA in their brain and liver.
Nutropic bars contain 150mg of DHA per bar which is a good contribution to the recommended 250mg per day, and an improvement on the usual 100mg most people tend to consume. The DHA Omega3 in Nutropic bars comes from microalgae, as opposed to fish, so it’s purer and more potent.
Choline is one of the most crucial nutrients for the brain. It is essential for the creation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that strengthens communication between neurons. As such, it is vital for optimal brain functioning.
The benefit is quicker thinking, a better attention span, improved memory, enhanced processing speed, and more. Choline is often used for the treatment of age-related cognitive decline, memory loss and others.
There is 100mg of choline per bar which helps to contribute to the recommended intake of 425 mg daily.
Here’s your feel-good factor. Phosphatidylserine helps to boost dopamine which gives you a welcome boost in mood. That may be the most significant benefit for younger adults. Older adults may also benefit from its role boosting communication between neurons and creating new neurons to replace those lost as we age. Supplementation is useful for older adults and may help to slow age-related cognitive decline.
The Phosphatidylserine in Nutropic bars comes from sunflowers and is included at 100mg per bar. That’s slap bang in the middle of the daily recommended dose for Phosphatidylserine.
There is increasing scientific evidence that your gut health influences your brain health – and a healthy gut helps to keep brain health optimum. To that end, Nutropic bars also contain prebiotic fibre from chicory root. Prebiotic fibre feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut to aid digestion.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Nutropic bars contain several vitamins and minerals. They include:
Vitamin D3 – Neuroprotective and plays a significant role in the brain. Read more about vitamin D3’s role on the brain here:
B-Vitamins, including folate, Niacin, B2, B12. B-vitamins help to protect the brain against cognitive decline and help it to perform optimally.
Magnesium – Magnesium is crucial around the body, especially for its role in energy production (and remember, the brain uses 20% of our energy). The brain’s primary form of energy, ATP, needs to bond to a magnesium ion to be effective. Ensuring the brain has the magnesium it needs helps with cognition. More on magnesium for the brain.
Vitamin K2: Vitamin K2 is a promising – if under-studied – vitamin that may hold promise for the tackling of age-related cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s Disease. More study is needed.
Safety/ Side Effects
The bars are made in a facility that handles nuts, and some flavours do contain tree nuts. As such, they are unsuitable for anyone with a nut allergy. Otherwise, all ingredients in Nutropic bars are natural and safe; there are no concerns if you take more than one a day, for instance.
How to Take It?
Nutropic Limited recommend eating one Nutropic flapjack a day at a time to suit you. I like to take it mid-morning or mid-afternoon when I would normally hit a productive slump.
Who Can Benefit from Nutropic Bars?
While anyone can benefit from Nutropic bars, children and pregnant women should not eat them because they contain vitamins and minerals that are not tailored towards these groups.
Otherwise, any adult can benefit from Nutropic bars. Younger adults may like the boost in focus and potential improvement in sharp thinking, while the bars also have ingredients that can protect the brain over the longer term.
Older adults may appreciate the fact that several of the nutrients included have been shown to tackle age-related cognitive decline.
Nutropic bars are new to the market at the time of writing (August 2022) so it’s impossible to state categorically how well they work in the longer term. However, what we can conclusively say is that they contain tried-and-tested nootropic ingredients that are scientifically proven to help boost focus, sharpen thinking, and protect and preserve long term brain health.
I’m impressed that each flavour tastes nice, though I prefer the sweeter taste and moist consistency of the Salted Caramel and Maple & Pecan the best.
On a personal note, I am super impressed at how much more focused I felt within minutes of eating a bar. I can’t swear it will be the same for everyone, but I certainly reacted well to the Nutropic bars and will happily continue eating them.