Nootrobox’s Expensive ‘Cognitive Enhancement’ Pills Are Less Effective Than Coffee

SPRINT turned out to be snake oil.

Did you ever spend any of your hard-earned dollars on alleged brain-hacking, ingestible products from the start-up formerly known as Nootrobox, but now known, apparently, as HVMN? Well. Those of us who didn’t are laughing at you. Turns out, you were better off walking to the nearest street corner and just buying a cup of coffee.

In a study conducted by HVMN (it’s pronounced “human” because Latin, I guess), the company found that one of its nootropic supplements — a “cognitive enhancement” called SPRINT — was actually doing, uh, not a whole lot. It promised that its ingredients had been “selected for their immediate cognitive effects, specifically for their effects on alertness, focus, memory, and reaction time.”

Instead, you’d have seen better results by just ingesting some caffeine like the rest of us low-tech schmucks. “As we expected, the caffeine had some positive effects, but the SPRINT formulation they gave us was not really effective,” said Arjan Blokland, head of the Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology at Maastricht University, told CNBC after testing the stimulants. A bottle of SPRINT pills costs $40 for 60 pills. One or two pills is HVMN’s recommended dose — the pills are still for sale on the company’s site — and you’re not supposed to take more than eight in a single day.

“In healthy young students, caffeine improves memory performance and sensorimotor speed, whereas SPRINT does not affect the cognitive performance at the dose tested,” the study concluded. Time to go biohack something else, I guess.

Nootrobox’s Pills Are Less Effective Than Coffee