I’m always intrigued by drinks that claim to do “more” for me. Nearly every drink is boasting some kind of functionality now—every beverage is required to “do” something. Water can’t just be water anymore. Soda can’t just be soda.
I always jump at the chance to give something a shot. In this case, it was the KOIOS Gummy Bear flavored nootropic supplement. The KOIOS drink line includes nootropic supplements as well as nootropic carbonated waters and sodas. The nootropic supplement boasts a roster of health benefits, including science-based body benefits that help the mind. Most descriptions of nootropic drinks are a little vague, sort of dancing around what the exact effect is supposed to be. It’s clearer with the KOIOS drink, where the company insists that their blend of nootropics are like “fitness for the brain”, and improve cognitive function, memory, and focus. There’s also 100mg of caffeine per serving. Sometimes it’s hard trying nootropic drinks, because I’m not sure what I’m supposed to feel. I tried that Kin Euphorics drink awhile ago, and I appreciated the effects of that one. I’ve tried a few in between then and now that simply didn’t deliver any effect for me whatsoever. Disappointing, but every drink can’t be the best. There’s a hierarchy.
That being said, I’m always even MORE interested in trying a drink when the company is confident enough in their product to offer a money back guarantee. I’ve always wondered whether or not those were bullshit. I’ve never tried to get my money back directly from a company, so I’m unsure. If you’ve done this, PLEASE tell me the company and how the process went, I’m really curious (this doesn’t have to be beverage related). KOIOS offers a 110% money back guarantee, and when I read that I was like...okay hold the phone..one hundred and TEN percent? Interesting...what’s the catch?
The ingredients include lion’s mane mushroom, MCT oil, vitamin b6, vitamin b12, and nootropics. The combination of these is intended to give an elevated state of being caffeinated--like having the energy without it being a huge rush or feeling jittery. I’m always looking for drinks like this. I generally have a lot of things to do and need an extra caffeine boost for my day to keep moving without having a big energy crash in the middle of it.
KOIOS ensures that the desired effects kick in within thirty minutes, which was comforting to me. I don’t like taking a few sips of a drink and being flung haphazardly into my day. It’s too vulnerable of a feeling. I like to ease into things, and thirty minutes sounded like a nice window of time.
The powder tub comes with a little scooper inside, meant to fit 5.2 grams of powder that gets stirred into 12 oz of water (this is roughly 30 servings). The instructions say to drink this in the morning on an empty stomach or after an A.M. workout. I had it on an empty stomach at 7 a.m. The powder smells AMAZING like fruity strawberry candy or something. Not gummy bears exactly, but something in the same candy family. I had hope that it would taste pretty good.
I shouldn’t have. It tastes fine initially, but then there’s an overpowering aftertaste immediately after swallowing. Like nasty as hell. The aftertaste is like strawberry candy mixed with musty feet. It has the kind of pungence that overtook my whole mouth. As in, after I drank it, I wondered if my breath smelled bad and I brushed my teeth again because the scent didn’t die down and I didn’t want to smell it anymore. It wasn’t enough to make me gag or react violently, but I wasn’t pleased to experience it. But did it work? Absolutely. Within about twenty minutes I was up and moving around, getting work and household tasks done like I needed to. I didn’t feel a rush, and I didn’t feel that stomach-panic I get from some energy drinks. I still drink energy drinks, but they have a time and place. This was a different energy, like I was just moving around like I should be? Without hesitation. If I had anything to compare it to, I’d choose Bang Energy drink, which I’ve reviewed before. Bang has way more caffeine (300 mg), but it’s the same TYPE of energy, where you’re just moving fluidly and doing things properly without question. I love that feeling, like I’m a well-oiled machine and every cog in my body is just happily moving along with no problems.
I desperately wish this didn’t have that awful aftertaste. They also have a blueberry lemonade flavor, which I’m curious about but hesitant to try. What if it’s worse than this one? I will continue to drink this until this tub is finished. I may consider getting more OR I may move onto something that claims to be similar but may taste better. I’m conflicted because I LOVED the effects. Whether I repurchase or not, I’m rating this as a 6/10 because I don’t like the taste of strawberries and feet. If they change the flavor, it’ll be a 10/10 easy.