The people surrounding me this past month are no doubt wondering why I’ve been so “off” but the truth is I’ve just never been so on.
If you’re here from the ADD-nation and need an abbreviated review I suggest you skip this next part and get right to the review. Those that know me know I don’t do anything short-winded.
Moments of clarity in life have always come to me at times of inconvenience, like midst shower, washing dishes, bedding a woman or the random sleepless 2 a.m.
When the time for action comes, life has a funny way of throwing work or family commitments of priority in front of me. By the time this magical YOU time arrives, well, I’m just too fucking exhausted to do anything about it. It’s a terrible cycle.
Boohoo you say, just put me first for once, just take a day off, just go on a vacation…sure, says the person who doesn’t realize I run my own business (Read: one man army!) in a single income relationship (my gal is in nursing school).
We success driven introverts have one secret weapon y’all extroverts will never: we understand ourselves better than you ever will. I may be the dude who’d give you the shirt off his back or give you my last dollar if you needed it more than I, but don’t catch me wrong for I do plan, I do plot, I do visualize and see every aspect of my life forming as I dream it to be. The pace may be slower than I hope but hey, 12 years ago I was homeless, penniless and sleeping in a tent in Stanley Park. Today I own and operate a successful business with plenty of opportunity and I have a beautiful gal I plan to share my life and build a family with. I can’t complain.
But let’s talk about the pace of life, goals and successes. Last summer I stuck my head in the sand for just 60 days during which I built my own website, started a blog and a YouTube channel. Those 60 days of hard work, focus and exclusivity to only the task at hand has increased my business by roughly 60% over the year prior.
Going online was one of the best things I could have done for my career. In a year I’ve seen over 3000 views on my website, I’m approaching 40,000 views on my blog, and within a few days I’ll see 100,000 total views across the 275+ videos I’ve uploaded. I’ve been spotlighted by other respected coaches in the industry, been featured a couple of times in a local newspaper and done a decent job of developing relationships with other health practitioners (chiro, physio) to further the services for my clients. I’ve even been honored by 2 people who reached out from the US to come up and train with me. I couldn’t have guessed a year ago that I’d be here, doing this.
I’m not listing this out to sound like an egomaniac but I am proud.
What truly intrigues me is how all of this became possible because of 60 days’ worth of serious focus, dedication and hard work.
Why can’t every 60 days be like this? What’s holding me back? Am I just lazy? Undedicated? Do I not want it enough? Do I not feel deserving of the rewards of such work?
Where’s the disconnect?
In my 33 years on this planet I’ve come to realize recently that I’ve gone through cycles of prepping myself mentally and setting up life circumstances with work, family and relationships to allow short periods of time (1-3 months) where I put me first, where the value of my time is more valuable than yours. And near every success in my life has come because of the actions taken in those time frames.
So where am I going with this and how the hell does it relate to a nootropic supplement?
First, go read my Brain Candy series here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. It’ll take you a whole of 10 minutes.
I was able to barter and procure a 1 month supply of the caffeine-free version of Brain Candy (which was recently released to the public in the past week or so). I finished the one month about three days. The novel above is going to help you understand the sheer awesomeness of this supplement and I’m going to give you some tips on how best to use it, should the promise of its results excite you. I’ll compare it against the caffeinated version and lastly I’m also going to issue some strong warnings.
Biotest Brain Candy, Caffeine-Free Review
The difference between the caffeinated (original) and caffeine-free Brain Candy products: The obvious and only label defined difference is the 300mg of caffeine in the original version vs. none in the free version. All other ingredients are the same and in the same dosages.
In my opinion this completely changes the game on how this product is best used, utilized and the “feeling” you’re going to see while on it.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, meaning it turns you into a chatty little bitch who can’t help but vibrate and froth at the mouth when the peak of crack-town smacks you upside the head (like me), then I highly suggest you shy away from the original (caffeinated) version. You’re (I’m) simply best to moderate and spread our preferred caffeine dosages/sources throughout the day. If you ignore me here, as I’ve strongly warned in Part 2 of my first experiment, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for adrenal fatigue.
If you could drink a pot of coffee and then go right to sleep, well, the original version would probably do you best as there was quite a boost that was had from the caffeine and it does enhance the feeling of the product. It gives you ridiculous get-up-and-go! My body just can’t handle running at 120% of norm for days on end like that, whereas my brain can.
I would also highly recommend that before choosing which version to use, you assess the reasons for which you’ll be using it. Do you need some pep and the ability to focus intently on a task at hand? Maybe Fridays are your department’s meetings and you have to present in depth material to your team? Well after the 4 previous stressful days at work, come Friday you’re just a wreck. Brain Candy, original (caffeinated) version to the rescue. Wake, slam it, get your bang on! The world shall be your whipping boy today.
If you’re a student who has a 15 page literature review ahead of you, well, being tweaked out on that much caffeine is really going to hurt your ability to sit still and focused that long. The caffeine free version will have you in full on genius mode in no time. Ever felt your keyboard get super-hot while your hands cramp from the sheer speed at which you’re typing? It’s an interesting experience.
I was direly hoping the caffeine free version of Brain Candy would not be 1980’s orange Popsicle flavor as the original version is. I was praying it would be the same great flavor as Biotest’s Alpha-GPC product. While it’s not absolutely terrible, both versions are the same fake orange flavor, are very sweet and leave a lot to be desired. They’re not disgusting but starting your day off with BANG: FAKE ORANGE is not the best thing in the world. Biotest has never been the company to care too much about flavoring systems (save for their Metabolic Drive proteins) so I highly doubt we’ll ever see some designer flavors come about with Brain Candy. But one could beg for a pineapple, green apple or grapefruit flavor, no??
I mentioned in Part 2 of the first experiment that this product did cause some stomach upset the first few days I was taking it. I’ve given a few bottles away of the caffeinated and caffeine free for friends to try and half of them tell me the same thing. Being the only one I know who’s used the product for months at a time, I can say that for me, that stomach upset pretty much goes away after the first couple days. I’m sure it could be completely negated by slamming your Brain Candy with breakfast but I’m sure the product works better if you do what it says and slam it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
Have you ever tried a supplement and for the first two weeks it’s the best thing you’ve ever tried but 3 weeks later it’s doing nothing for you? I can name half a dozen pre-workout products that fit in that category. Down-regulation or the body getting “used to” a supplement where you stop feeling the positive benefits is always a big concern in performance enhancing (in this case, brain power) supplements. I’ve done two experiments on this product, 4 week of the original version, a 2 week wash out, then 2 more weeks of the original, then a 1 month wash out, then 30 days of caffeine free…it’s all the same: when you’re on, YOU’RE ON! When you’re not drinking the elixir, within a few days your super powers disappear. It’s brutal when words were coming out of your noggin so fast you couldn’t even process your own genius and then all of a sudden you’re stumbling for the words to something you mastered years ago. I hate feeling dumb. There is ZERO down regulation or getting used to in either version. I will again proclaim the caffeine free version tops the original as the latter really caused me some serious adrenal fatigue with the caffeine overkill (300mg per shot). The coming off (I’m doing a 2 week wash out of the caffeine free version now) of Brain Candy this time has been much smoother but I really miss the peak of brain performance when “on.”
How long do you feel the effects and can I make them even better?
The short answer on how long you’ll feel the positive benefits is: all day. From 15 minutes after you slammed the bottle till the time you sleep, there is no off button. With the original (caffeinated) version the caffeine wore off about 5 hours after dosing and the transition to the continuing brain performance benefits was FAR LESS because a body kick and a brain boost are two very different things! With the caffeine free version it’s just genius mode all day, the product doesn’t quit until you’ve decided it’s bed time.
Another unique way I’ve seen others on T-Nation suggest usage is to use the system come-down and save a few dollars by being on Brain Candy for 3 days followed by two days off, repeating in this cycle over and over. They claim it leaves them feeling mostly the same. While I can see this working for someone on a budget, right now I’m 3 days off Brain Candy and there is quite a difference. My super powers are diminishing quickly back to my normal. I can afford and understand the sheer value of this supplement so I see no reason to micro cycle it like this.
What happens when you take more than the suggested dosage? Oh man. I realize and many have commented that when I speak of Brain Candy I sound like a drug addict. Hell, I even use druggie terms. I’ve never touched any illegal drugs ever in my life but I do realize I sound like an addict (as I’ve known many). So, you know, for sake of this experiment (riiiiiiight) I sacrificed myself and have tried (with original and caffeine free version) consuming 2 bottles in a day. The only thing it does is ensure stomach upset and a thinner wallet. Taking more than the one bottle first thing in the morning does absolutely nothing for brain power, physical performance or energy levels. Nothing. So don’t bother trying, I’ve failed it for you.
The Effects on Sleep
Last experiment, in Part 2, I showed you a unique perspective on how the original (caffeinated) version of Brain Candy was affecting my sleep. I’ve mentioned my Zeo to Zen experiment here and will have the next installment coming soon. For sake of comparison of the caffeine free version vs. original here’s what happened with my sleeping patterns while on the caffeine free Brain Candy (the time frame of supplement use was pretty much the whole month of July):
Tanked! By over an hour. I’ll explain more later.
Deep Sleep (the sleep that truly recovers your physical body):
Higher than it’s ever been! Even despite the lack of total sleep. So what got lost?
REM Sleep (the type that organizes your brain; think defrag of your hard drive):
Scary tanked! 15 minutes lower than any month’s total this year (1:20 vs. February’s low of 1:35)
Note: The amount of times I woke and how long I was awake during the month wasn’t affected.
So what does this all mean and why did this happen?
Quite simply: with the caffeine free version my natural introvert plotted a monster coup d’état. I was able to process so much of my day (think increased computer CPU speed) while awake and have room in my brain power (think computer RAM increases) that come the end of my day I would sit in my living room and plan, plot, organize and create action for the next day. I discovered more about the patterns of my life, the reasons for all my successes, the reasons for all my failures and developed a calm about it all that would freak most extroverts out!
I see everything and it further calms me. Direction becomes extremely clear when you have this vantage point on your life.
So who wants to or even can sleep when you’re that motivated to change?
I’m not arguing the body needs sleep, I’m just warning you, the first month (or two) you use a product like Brain Candy (especially the caffeine free version) you may find yourself trading sleeping time to plot the next few years of your life. I’m already doing the smart thing and getting back to improving my total sleep.
Warnings and Suggestions of Brain Candy Usage
To caffeinate or not to caffeinate, that is the question!
If you need to tackle this day, the people in your day, or the physical task that’s not the norm, I highly suggest you opt for the original (caffeinated) version. From groggy to genius monster alpha male in about 15 minutes. For the introvert, mildly social anxious person (especially one that doesn’t drink to create inhibition) trust me, the original version is magic here! Liquid courage and confidence.
If you’re a brain person, not a body person (meaning living in your brain is what drives your body vs. the energy of your body is what drives your brain) then the caffeine free version is for you on the regular. Crank me up 10 I.Q. points and trust me, I’m getting shit done! Students, you have no idea how easy those grades are going to creep up and how much time you’re going to save yourself in studying by utilizing this product (even if just for tests and study cramming; I get you on the poor student thing).
To negate the adrenal fatigue: now that both versions are available for purchase one could be savvy and simply mix one bottle of the original (caffeinated) version and one bottle of the caffeine free version in a cup and then pour it back into the two bottles, effectively cutting the caffeine down to 150mg, which is a MUCH more manageable dosage. Running a bottle of the original Brain Candy on days where you need body energy and on days you simply need a calm mental focus you could slam a bottle of caffeine free Brain Candy instead. By finally releasing the two versions, Biotest has given us a supplement we can highly tweak out and experiment with to see how it can work in various situations, personality types and stimulant sensitivities.
I’ve already covered my warnings of the original version in Part 2 and Part 3. Read them there.
These warnings are for the caffeine free version:
Everyone wants change. Everyone wants a better financial position, a better relationship with their spouse, a better relationship (or possible control) with their children, a better sense of self, less stress, more calm, a boost in ability to process your day without frustration, an increased ability to handle all the stupid or awkward interpersonal situations that can arise. We all want it, we all want more.
Hear me on this: ARE YOU IN A PLACE IN YOUR LIFE TO TRULY PUT A MAGNIFYING GLASS ON THIS LIFE? Are you ready to see yourself for the lazy bastard you really can be? Are you ready to conquer your procrastinations? Are you ready to rid yourself of all the toxic people in your life? Are you ready to lessen the stress you’ve been running on these past years (or decades)? Because it all equals the same thing: reflection and realization of what must change, what must go, what must be worked on and built by YOU.
This is what the caffeine free version of Brain Candy has done for me. The boost in nootropic-driven brain power works exactly like Biotest advertises on T-Nation. As I have no financial ties to Biotest, I’m simply a fan of their products; I’ve just given you the goods on how this product works FOR ME. Take it how you want. It’s going to cost you about $90 to figure out what a month of Brain Candy will or will not do for you. If you feel my experiences can help you decide if this product is for you and your challenges ahead, just leave me a comment below; I do my best to answer them all.
So what’s next for me? I just smile at that question. For the answer is “a lot.” But after this first month of caffeine free Brain Candy which has enlightened me, my next phase shall be to map action. Let’s see how it turns out!