NeuroBox Subscription Review + Coupon – May 2018
NeuroBox is a subscription box dedicated to improving brain performance. Expect to see snacks and supplements, a puzzle or brain teaser, and a mindful tool or activity.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: NeuroBox
The Cost: $45 a month + shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: 5 to 7 full size items worth $75 per month including snacks, beverages, supplements, puzzles, brain-stimulating activities, and more. (All products will be cruelty free.)
Ships to: US for $7 and Canada for an additional cost
NeuroBox May 2018 Review
I am interested in the idea of brain health and thought this box had an unusual premise when compared to other subscription boxes out there, so I was eager to see what was inside:
The box came with this information card. On one side was a list of the items in the box and on the other side, there was a mental exercise to try.
There was quite a lot of product literature in here, including one coupon code where it actually wasn’t clear which product/brand the code applied to. Oops.
This is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, including the peel and pulp of 60 blueberries. (It definitely has a fruity flavor, although not necessarily a blueberry flavor, but it also has figs and dates which serve to make it less tart.) You can read more about the memory-enhancing ingredients here, including links to a lot of actual studies, which is nice.
Kimera Koffee (1 oz) – Buy 12 oz for $21.95
I am not a coffee drinker so my husband was the guinea pig for this one. He says that if you like American roasts, flavor-wise, this will work for you. This has L-theanine which is supposed to be calming, as well as taurine (an amino acid found in a lot of energy drinks) and alpha GPC, a phospholipid found in the brain. (He drank this on a lazy Sunday morning when concentration wasn’t necessarily required, though.)
Akua Life Neuro-Stack (28 count) – Buy 120 Capsules for $58.88
This is an Amazon-only brand for the time being. Also please note that although the bottle says “120,” inside the bottle was a baggie containing 28 capsules. This is a week’s supply (you are supposed to take four of these at a time; they are veggie capsules).
NeuroBox let us know the incorrect capsule count was a manufacturer issue and to rectify, they will be sending out a full bottle of another Nootropic supplement in all subscribers’ June boxes. This bottle will not count towards the $75 promised value next month.
The main ingredient here is lion’s mane mushroom, which hasn’t been thoroughly tested by Western methods yet but has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine (so it is unlikely to be harmful, though of course, drug interactions are always a concern). It has some antioxidants and has been used to help with Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and depression. This is a good time to get on my soapbox and say you need to see a doctor if you have any of these conditions, and also you need to fully disclose to your healthcare provider any supplements you are taking. (Please note this may be contraindicated for people with allergies or asthma.)
Anyway, it can take up to a month to see the effects of this supplement, but this amount is at least enough to make sure you’re not going to have any negative side effects before you commit to a full bottle. For what it’s worth, I’ve been interested in mushroom supplements for awhile because I hate, hate, hate to eat mushrooms (the texture makes me gag) but I know they are being found to have more and more beneficial compounds in them.
Synapse Herbal Supplement (8.4 fl oz) – Buy 12 Cans for $34.99
I was really expecting this to have caffeine in it and pleasantly surprised to find that it did not. (I am on blood pressure medicine so I have to watch it with high-caffeine supplements.) The main active ingredient is acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is also involved in muscle activation as well as learning and memory.
This also has citrulline and agave nectar for energy (the agave nectar does provide some calories, but the whole can has only 30, which isn’t so bad). It also has creatine, which, with consistent use over time, may lead to a few pounds of water weight gain (creatine is pretty well studied in bodybuilders; it is actually effective as a muscle gain supplement) and various other herbs and compounds that stimulate blood flow as well as calming substances like L-theanine.
But how does it taste? Not bad. It has a tart fruit flavor that is moderated by the sweetness of the agave nectar and there is a bit of a floral or herbal undertone that is not unpleasant but definitely a little unusual.
I am not sure that I would regularly purchase this at almost $3 per can, but I do like the idea of a caffeine-free beverage with these sorts of effects. (This also has some potassium and I think that definitely helped rehydrate me after some yard work that made me sweat a lot…)
Urban Herbs Smartea Pants – Buy a Full-Size Bag for $14
I actually don’t know the package weight for this canister versus a full-size bag so I can’t make a direct value comparison. It may or may not be possible to purchase this, as the supplier seems more dedicated to supplying practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine as opposed to the general public. This is a tea made with Chinese herbs and white tea (so it should be light on the caffeine, but not completely caffeine-free) that is supposed to improve focus. Very few of these herbs have been tested via Western methodologies so I can’t necessarily analyze them the way I would with other supplements.
But, I did go ahead and brew and drink this. I was worried it would taste medicinal (not my favorite thing in the world) but it was actually pleasant. And that is after I forgot about it completely and left it brewing in the mug for like an hour. (This is something I tend to do. Maybe I need the focus-enhancing properties here!)
I can’t say whether I see an improvement in focus yet, but I have brought this into work to drink during afternoon lulls and this is certainly enough product to thoroughly assess the effects over time.
Brainwright Flexi Puzzle – Retail Value $7.99
Every month you’ll receive a puzzle or brain teaser item. I hadn’t heard of this before, but I actually really like it. I’ve always been good at spatial reasoning tests and such, and there is something much more satisfying about manipulating an object with my hands instead of doing something similar on an app.
Here are a few shots of inside the booklet that comes with the toy.
And here are the first few puzzles solved, so you can see it in action. These were easy for me, but I haven’t tried the more advanced levels yet.
Verdict: There were six items in this month’s NeuroBox. The coffee was sample-sized, and I couldn’t find that particular tea package on the supplier’s website, but other companies sell full-size canisters of tea that are about the same size. The supplement was accidentally a week’s supply but was not the full 120 capsules. So, I’d say there were four full-size items and two sample-sized items, with the caveat of the issue NeuroBox is fixing. 28 capsules is a lot more than you typically get with a sample size (Bulu Box usually gives you one or two pills of anything they provide, for a point of comparison).
I couldn’t calculate a value since many of these items aren’t available for individual sale. I don’t know that I ever would’ve found most of them on my own, and I would say they definitely all stayed true to the box’s mission while providing an interesting mix of traditional Chinese remedies and Western-style supplements.
This box costs $52 including shipping, which means the items have an average value of $8.67. Obviously the bar and coffee and Synapse drink are going to be less than that, but I estimate the supplement and tea to be a fair amount more, and the puzzle toy is right around $8, which is pretty close. I might like to see one more item, or a larger size of one of the existing items, to round out the value a little bit. You can also use a coupon or sign up for a longer-term subscription to improve the value.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, this was May’s box. Boxes ship out on the 15th so if you signed up now, you’d receive the June box as your first one.
Coupon – Use code NEUROFOUNDER10 to save 10% off your first box!
Value Breakdown: At $45 a month + $7 shipping for this box, you are paying an average of about $8.67 per item.
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What did you think of the May NeuroBox?