With the endless streams of social media ads, Supplement Gurus, and Biohackers running rampant online it is an arduous task to separate facts from fictions and the winners from losers when looking for that next “it” factor.
Life often can feel like a game of winners & losers.
Especially when looking for an edge in life, like the “right now” kind. When that deadline is hanging over your head, or you have a lousy night of sleep the evening before a big meeting you need something you can rely on and that works with precision.
This series will highlight Brain Box from Core Culture and detail dosing, stacking, and potential uses ( daily, situational, etc…) and how it can potentially help solve some of the challenges of life mentioned above.
The balance of work and play is an ever shifting game of time, money, and energy that sometimes leaves you with very little of each or a surplus of one and not the others. To be able to adjust your state of mind and focus on demand is an essential skill in the modern day of multi-tasking, laptops, cell phones, and blue light spectrum. That’s why I’ve partnered up with Core Culture to put their newly developed products to the test.
My personal pursuit for the last 20 years is to find tips, tricks, and products that offer to ease the burden of the above-mentioned scenarios, and to help turn bad days into good days and good days into great days on command.
— Mike Ulisse
A Little Back-Story
My personal pursuit for the last 20 years is to find tips, tricks, and products that offer to ease the burden of the above-mentioned scenarios, and to help turn bad days into good days and good days into great days on command. This unfortunately cannot be done with “will” alone sometimes.
So, when I was asked to test out Core Culture’s new energy and cognitive enhancement product I put down my 3rd cup of coffee and said ‘YES PLEASE!” Almost anyone can relate to that place where coffee is now needed just to feel normal instead of gleefully motivated and energized.
Brain Box is the product being spoken of and it promises everything mentioned above plus it comes in the convenience of a few capsules that give you the same caffeine dose of a strong cup of coffee. Perfect for when you are on the go or don’t have access to your single origin high altitude endotoxin free coffee beans.
A 30 DAY LOG OF HONEST THOUGHTS BROKEN OUT IN WEEKLY INSTALLMENTS.
Starting in the next installment “week 1” of my experience, I will highlight the introduction to my Brain Box adventures, and keep going for a deeper dive as we head into 30 days of use to measure its extended and continued effects.
For those interested, here is a look at the label/ingredients.
Dosing will start at 2 caps to assess tolerance and move to full dose and then split dosings to really feel out what Brain Box can do and is all about. Each week I'll give details on dosing and other supplements that may be stacked with it.
AT A GLANCE
First Impressions with the product starts when you read the label, you will notice it's not just a dolled up energy pill alone with some caffeine and sprinkled in herbs. This is a well formulated and efficaciously dosed nootropic in the long-term Cognitive Enhancement category. From the cherished Lion’s Mane Mushroom, the nootropic CDP Choline, to the powerful herbal components Bacopa Monnieri and Shoden® Ashwagandha. Those are just for starters and some of the top contender ingredients in the memory and focus boosting world, all natural too, which is a plus for me. And the doses….look at these wonderful doses. Premium sourced and dosed for some serious brain activity. I haven’t even opened the bottle yet and I'm already getting excited.
Also to note, as a bonus Brain Box’s packaging, functional shape, and textured feel has some elevated aesthetic that just emanates that Core Culture is serious when it comes to their brand and customer experience. I know it sounds silly, but to me, coming from years in the supplement space. It really is important that a brand come-correct with the entire product experience. It really matters for educating a customer what the brand is all about. That includes thoughtful packaging and compliant supplement fact labelling. You really can't have an amazing consumer experience without some primo packaging that reads clearly and effectively. I really like the concept of "transparency" using a natural plastic see-through tub and fully broken out ingredient sources with standardizations in the facts panel. The custom logo embossed lid and custom print seals with words of affirmation lead me to believe that no expense was spared in designing this product.
First dose, it's always good to start lower than the full dose to assess tolerance. In this case I threw down 2 capsules (of the 3 capsule max dose) with a large glass of water upon waking and began my routine for the day. I saved about 10-15 mins cleaning and toying with my coffee maker (Self admitted Coffee snob) and went right into getting my kitchen organized, tending to the dogs, and powering up the ol’ laptop for what was going to be a long day of research and zoom meetings.
Within about 15 mins I got that first hit of energy that I used to get from my French Press many years ago and that eye widening effect that is reminiscent of the first time I visited Starbucks and ordered an XL, I mean Venti…. “Is this life real?”
Brainbox hits differently than coffee even though it has a lower amount of caffeine than I am used to for that time of day. There was a state of excitement and wakefulness that felt like I was partially just sleepwalking through my morning routine with just a cup of java (or 3) and my usual stack of brain pills. I could say it was like I was running at 85-90% but thought my battery was fully charged. It seems Brain Box’s first effect is literally waking you up to a full charge. None of that battery save mode.
Very similar to Day 1’s successful events, I did not find the need to add the 3rd capsule in for the max dose yet. Brain Box hits just right for my personal tastes at 2 caps and in a few days I’ll be trying to add that 3rd capsule in likely before lunch to power through that afternoon break and stay super productive, as the days are going to get busier as the week pushes on.
I like to intermittent fast (eating from 12p - 8pm only) at least 5 days a week so sometimes after lunch if I overeat things can slow down physically, but so far Brain Box has kept me in top form. I did sip on a cup of black coffee on day 3 after 2pm, but didnt even finish it. It was more of a craving than a necessity. My mental processing was on point and the leg bouncing and pen tapping showed me I didn't really NEED the coffee, and that I was at equilibrium already.
I was feeling a little sluggish from a late night out, and thought if any time is the right time for 3 caps it will be today. A lot of physical work to do with starting the packing/moving process while fitting in some scheduled meetings and the usual dogs/laundry/dishes routine (the real Gym/Tan/Laundry). Working from home has its benefits, but it also leaves you with a lot more mess to clean up everyday. Those can be distractions from creative work and being able to get in and out of flow state is clutch in this kind of situation. I’ve burned way too much bacon getting too hyper focused on energy drinks and such.
The physical hit of the 3 caps was prominent and for maybe the first hour I had a lot of kick in my step that made the physical part of the day fly by. Not sure if I’d need 3 caps for sitting down to grind on the laptop, but for a workout, cardio, hike, or the like it was right where I like to be. Some may really enjoy that leaning into the desk feeling that 3 caps gives, especially after lacking some REM sleep, or nursing a slight hangover from a wine tasting event ( it just seems so wrong to spit out the wine.)
By 11am I was able to sit down and do some research and make notes on a project, and by 2pm I was ready to dig into some food, since I kind of forgot to eat lunch. A nice tunnel vision effect from Brain Box, you know you are in the groove when it's your stomach that reminds you it's time to refuel rather than random thoughts of Chipotle or the local Sandwich shop. So, 3 caps definitely takes things up a notch and it's a great advantage to be able to play with your dose to achieve specific types of goals each day. Appetite suppression is a check at 3 caps for myself.
The rest of the days started with 2 caps in the AM, and then 1 capsule before lunch and found this to be my ideal set up so far. That nice kick in the step in the AM, and then the cruise through lunch into the afternoon really helps me stay productive and hit flow state for most of the day. I really like that Brain Box does not have a crash or brain fog as the caffeine wears off, and you don’t get that burnt out feeling even after multiple days of use. Likely, the wonderful benefits of the herbs like Ashwaghanda and Bacopa doing their adaptogenic balancing on the bodies energy systems. Those long term benefits are starting to show their game with the Brain Box log. Overall, things are smoothing out so I am less aware of the minute effects from Brainbox, but more easily getting in that flow state where I can stay focused for longer. That is the best sign of a cognitive enhancement product, IMO. Pen tapping, leg bouncing, and talking to yourself constantly are potential signs of going too far down the adrenaline side of energy boosts, and tend to deter productivity. Brain Box is smooth and consistent and that makes for a solidly productive routine.
WEEK 1 SUMMARY
BrainBox Brain Health Support Nootropic hits differently than coffee even though it has a lower amount of caffeine than I am used to for the earlier part of my day. There was a state of excitement and wakefulness that felt like I was partially just sleepwalking through my morning routine when it was just the regular cup of java (or 3) and my usual stack of brain pills. I could say it was like I was running at 85-90% but thought my battery was fully charged. It seems Brain Box’s first prolonged effect is literally waking me up to full charge. None of that battery save mode…and that alone has me questioning my routines up to the point of starting this 30 day log. It’s so easy to get complacent, but Brain Box seems to click something in my brain that requires better work and more attention to detail.
Dosing Schedule (Week 2)
2-3 caps to start Day 1 and Day2
1 cap 3 times per day - Days 3-7 (based on tolerance and need)
*(optional 1 cap early AM/coffee, 1 cap lunch , 1 cap 3-4pm if needed) - know your caffeine tolerance
The first week's log was spent assessing and testing BrainBox at a 2 cap dose, mixed with an additional capsule at lunchtime, and also attempting the full 3 dose max test. It's been a great time playing with BrainBox’s versatility and starting to feel its cumulative effects build up. This is a product that doesn't just rely on its stimulant aspects alone, but harnesses quite a few ingredients that offer cognitive enhancement and adaptogenic benefits the longer you take them.
I wanted to really assess the build up effect of Brain Box so I did a few things like play guitar, go for a nature hike, and also play some video games that test reaction speed and timing. A few key notes I found at the 2-3 cap dose was that in situations where my natural nerves or anxiety are kicking in, I didn't necessarily need the 3 caps or even 2 caps. 1 cap was more than enough to get things cranking along with the natural anticipation of a big climb up a hill, or a video game like a Battle Royale where nerves tune up as the circles close in and your the last of 2 teams standing in the last battle. This to me is the essence of a great product. Something you can customize to your needs, while it helps you learn more about your own natural rhythms.Can you look back and learn from your experience, or are you so stimmed out or crashed that you lose hindsight? It's very important to be able to quantify to improve, and Brain Box allows me to do that with ease.
An example of a day where 3 caps did the trick though was unloading and packing a storage unit early in the AM for the upcoming move back to my former residence. Just overall lack of motivation and a rough morning left me ready for the old routine of coffee, coffee, coffee in my mind, but after 3 caps of Brain Box, coffee had zero presence in my thoughts ( about 15-20 mins after dosing). I literally grabbed a large glass of lemon water and was out the door within 30 mins. Physically, I definitely had a little more heat coursing through my body as the hustle was real at 3 caps. That storage unit had zero chance of breaking my stride!
On another day I decided to drink a cup of coffee and take 1 cap of Brain Box in the AM and then another 1 cap at lunch. To my surprise it was highly effective at boosting energy, but it lacked a little of that tunnel vision I really enjoy at 2 caps. One cap by itself three times daily was really good for the zoom meetings and Battle Royale gaming sessions later in the day where I didn't need to be ramped up on energy and had a little natural buzz presenting and or vying for the title of Champion. Not sure why video games get your nerves wound up, but Battle
Royales do it more than anything else for me. (Gaming is one of the few ways I get to hang out with friends, especially those who moved out of reach.)
Usually after an hour meeting or a few hours of gaming I am zapped out, but I was able to walk away feeling jovial and ready to take on that dreaded kitchen full of dishes and or laundry I had been putting off. Life duties are real! Working from home is both a blessing and a curse at times, and motivation can be scarce when you kind of sit in the same environment all the time. Brain Box definitely makes me feel like staying organized. I already moved my desk around entirely as of last week. In hindsight I didn't know how I was functioning with my former setup. That kind of inspiration from Brain Box is a biohackers dream.
Some of the longer term benefits I am really noticing are likely tied to Brain Box’s adaptogenic effects. Shoden® Ashwagandha, Suntheanine® and Bacopa are really amazing herbal components. and great at reducing the stress response which things like caffeine and or improper diet/sleep can exacerbate. By using them you kind of reel in the extreme responses of the adrenals ( energy/stress system) and find a nice cruising speed without any type of crash.
You can notice a difference in focus and energy to a degree as the caffeine wears off, but it's not the kind of low that breaks your workflow, it's just less “up” and more back to baseline. Same as with coffee, you can catch a buzz with Brain Box, but I find chasing that buzz is not really the best way to stay productive. It's great in the AM though when it's a rough morning, but if going for the marathon work day, the 1 cap three times a day could be the game changer for some of you. I know it really helps me as I get into the early evening.
Lastly, I find that the cholinergic benefits of CDP-Choline have an accumulating effect. The guitar playing and video games have kind of gotten more fluid over the last week. I notice that I am more critical of mistakes and can make corrections. My reaction time is a bit faster and once I get into the zone both the guitar and mouse and keyboard really start to become one with my finger tips. Brain Box definitely potentiates that zone or flow state mode where time just dissipates and you're left with only what you are currently focused on. It even helps writing articles and logs like this one!!! Overall, Week 2 ends with me being in a better state of mind and leaning on Brain Box for that edge it's providing, and with a move coming up I am going to really need it in the next 2 weeks as the chaos of packing and staying productive will reign down upon my schedule.
2-3 caps daily - (optional 1 cap early AM/coffee, 1 cap lunch , 1 cap 3-4pm if needed) - *know your caffeine tolerance*
In this third installment in my search for drive and creativity, Brain Box has been my short term life partner, supporting me and nourishing my soul as I climb the mountain of a packing party for a move back to the South , at least the most north the South can get on the East Coast. Staying organized, motivated, and modulating the stress of dealing with movers, utilities companies, and project deadlines has been no easy task. I am grateful to have Brain Box as my travel companion!
First and foremost, when I wake up I have had to be in gear, like 3rd or 4th gear within 15-20 mins. Coffee alone gets me to about 2nd gear. For this urgent requirement I decided to play around with either 2-3 caps of Brain Box upon waking (make sure to hydrate!) or a cup of coffee with 1-2 capsules of Brain Box in the AM and another 1 cap with lunch.
The balance of physical stim and mental focus is interesting between the two options. I find the Brain Box sans coffee hits a bit harder and definitely has a kick to it that the coffee plus Brain Box (1 cap) does not. This is interesting because 2 caps of Brain Box has less caffeine than my coffee.
I would say concerning “get up and go”, it's all Brain Box at that 2-3 caps dose because of the array of active ingredients in the formula versus just caffeine alone. Within minutes you are starting to get the eye widening and foot tapping, and can really get into a groove. Sometimes I blow through my lunch time and get into that growling stomach zone, which breaks my stride. I settled on setting an alarm for lunch to avoid that situation as Brain Box creates that tunnel vision for 4-6 hrs and food becomes a non-thought. Brain Box’s ingredients for the energy and mental performance side really lay a great foundation for the caffeine and make a lot less caffeine worth a lot more bang for the (star)buck. Ashwagandha, Bacopa, and Rhodiola are magical plants with respect to their ability to balance the body and cope with stressors and are definitely part of the synergy going on with all these benefits.
The more physical work I need to do I prefer the 2-3 caps dose of Brain Box for sure. Where the coffee and 1 cap of Brain Box shines is when I am on the phone, waiting on call support, or mostly doing computer related tasks. I pop my Brain Box and then sip on my coffee for 30-60 mins and slowly ride up to that nice flowstate. In recent times as I’ve become more educated and experienced with Cryptocurrency and Technical Analysis, The Brain Box mindset is great to be in as I listen to podcasts or read some charts for the day. The stress can be very real in such a new and decentralized financial sect, so it's good to be focused but not ready to sprint around your apartment. I’ve had to untangle some webs I caught myself in, as I make some mistakes, but I was always able to stay calm and collected. Again a great way Brain Box has shown its versatility over the last few weeks. This is the type of control you want over your cognition and flow state.
Some people may want a set it and forget it product and that's where I believe Brain Box dosing in the 2-3 caps in the AM works great. The beauty of that dosing is once the physical bump of the caffeine wears off you still have foundational energy there to carry you through, or a simple cup of coffee or tea with lunch can bump you right back to like 90% of where you were in the morning. Some of the slower metabolizers of caffeine, those where 1 cup of coffee can last all day, may find they don’t need anything else at all. Potentially, Brain Box could be dosed with lunch for the second half of the day instead of the morning. Avoiding that 2pm lull and hitting the gym right after work, sounds like a solid plan in my book for office workers.
Some things I’ve noticed on the mental side now that we are 3 weeks deep is that I wake up and my brain recalls important points of attention. Did I forget to send an email, or do I have a meeting coming up and suddenly brainstorm a great idea to present? Stuff like that has been happening more regularly. Also, I am not a dreamer during sleep, but a few days a week I have had some pretty profound dreams where I could hear music or on one occasion remember smelling some cookies or bakery items when I woke up very early one morning, and there were no cookies anywhere to be found (darn…) Now that is some lucid dreaming!
The key point I’d say for week 3 was Brain Box has integrated so well with my daily life and has offered more benefits on the foundational level of cognition and wellness than I had before including it in my routine. Also, this has occurred during a stressful period of having to relocate on relatively short notice. The last week of this log will commence as I move into a new place, unpack , organize and continue to stay on top of deadlines for projects and my investments. Looking forward to closing this next week out and starting on fresh soil for the New Year to come. Glad to be partnered with Core Culture and Brain Box while it all goes down!! That's for sure a positive way to start a new chapter in life.