These capsules contain theanine that has been naturally isolated from green tea. Theanine is a fast-acting relaxant that can interact with your brain to produce higher concentrations of GABA which in turn relaxes your nervous system. It does this without making you feel drowsy or losing the ability to concentrate.
Each vegetable cellulose capsule holds 250mg of theanine mixed with rice flour to act as a natural bulking agent. One packet contains 30 capsules, and you can choose to take either 1 or 2 per day. They are suitable for both vegans and vegetarians and can be used to enhance relaxation or reduce nerves.
There is so much informative detail on the packet, accompanying leaflet and website that I immediately began to feel confident in brain feed and the potential of this supplement. When I investigated the product page on the website, I was quickly directed towards scientific studies that demonstrated the effect of theanine.
The packaging looks professional, and although I was surprised that the capsules didn’t come in the standard plastic bottles like so many others. Still, I quickly saw the benefit of the paper pouches because I could slip them quickly into a pocket. When I read the information on the pack, I was intrigued as to how the effect would feel because I find it hard to imagine a feeling of relaxation without a drowsy sensation.
Who is Brain Feed?
Brain feed is a UK company with their head office in Manchester and close associations with Newcastle University. They were founded in 2014 with support from the Newcastle University foundership programme and set out to create effective supplements based on recent scientific research. Their products use active ingredients that often have a positive effect on a wide range of body systems, but brain feed focuses on the impact they provide to the brain.
Most of the supplements they produce contain only one or two active ingredients designed to provide a specific effect. They use natural isolate nutrients and traditional herbal remedies that have a good base of scientific research behind them. They then formulate their products to deliver it in the most effective way possible. To ensure that their products are consistent and the results are repeatable; they keep an audit trail during production to ensure that standards are always met.
Awards and certifications
All of Brain feed’s products are produced to rigorous Good Manufacturing Practices standards. To ensure that quality and safety standards are always adhered to, certificates of analysis are required for every ingredient. Then when the final product is complete, every batch is tested to verify it contains the correct amounts and stability data testing is used to inform the best before dates.
I would have awarded a higher score if: There were examples of the certificates of analysis available for customers to see.
Ease of use
The theanine comes in standard-sized capsules which I personally find easy to take with a mouthful of water. Although the packaging is simple, it is surprisingly effective because it reseals and the flat shape makes it easy to take with you wherever you’re going.
The capsules have no noticeable flavour and added no taste to the water as I swallowed them. Although this may seem standard for capsules, some do produce odd flavours. In the past, with other supplements, I’ve been able to tell if a product’s been stored too long because it developed an unpleasant musty flavour.
How effective are they?
After about half an hour, I noticed sensations of relaxation. Although I didn’t immediately chill out I felt quite calm, I soon forgot about the theanine and just got on with my day. When I looked back, I realized that I got more done than expected and was more relaxed and even more focused. It didn’t feel like a potent relaxation but stopped me from being so easily distracted.
I continued to use the theanine over ten days. I mainly took them with my evening meal to help me wind down in the evening but I also tried taking them in the morning once or twice too. After a while, I didn’t notice any particular sensations, but I got into much calmer and focused routines, particularly in the evening. I agree that they didn’t make me tired, but I preferred the effect in the evening when I was planning to relax and read or watch TV.
I would have awarded a higher score if: The relaxation effect was more consistent.
Value for money
A packet of 30 capsules will cost you £22.99, which works out at about 77p per capsule. This is priced as a premium product, but it’s quality and the safety standards applied in its production add to its value. You could likely get similar supplements elsewhere for less but finding a brand you can trust where the products are based on research, can be worth paying for.
I would have awarded a higher score if: you could buy a larger packet with a slightly reduced price.
You may also be interested in reading our round-up of the best multivitamins UK, or my review of Living Nutrition’s cognitive blend with Lion’s Mane.