Advertised as the "clean and intelligent think drink," Brain Toniq at first reminded me of those cure-all potions sold by itinerant quacks in the early nineteenth century. I spotted it on the shelves of a local health food store and, feeling a bit fuzzy-brained myself from reading too much Bruno LaTour, thought I'd give it a try.
I have consumed a host of (athletic) performance enhancement beverages in my lifetime but have never sampled a drink that explicitly promises to rejuvenate my cranium. Perhaps because such drinks are few and far between? Brain Toniq might agree as it claims to be "the first organic, kosher, botanical-based, non-caffeinated think drink specifically designed for those who need more mental focus and clarity."
At home I checked out the website: "Who is Brain Toniq For?" and read a sidebar. Answer: "Students, teachers, writers, entrepreneurs, researchers, programmers, systems analysts, GTD fans, artists, musicians, or anyone else who realizes that their ability to get things done is directly tied to their ability to focus" (italics mine). So, basically everyone on this planet, save, perhaps, really lazy newborn infants.
Before my first cautious sip of this 80-calorie beverage, I perused the ingredients: choline, eleuthero root extract, rhodiola root powder, and blue green algae extract. I expected this list to be proceeded by some sort of marketing tag that read, "Hand-crafted by the finest witches in Salem, Massachusetts." But, alas, only a warning from the FDA telling me Toniq "is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."
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Brain Toniq strongly resembled sugar-free RockStar energy drink: fizzy, lemony, and with an earthy je ne sais quoi. Maybe that was the blue-green algae. And the effect? Sadly, I did not go on to design a bipartisan recovery plan for the economic crisis, or a widget to stop the Gulf oil leak, or a fail-safe way to always win at musical chairs. I do, however, now understand the psychology behind impulse purchases.