Spearmint Extract an Ergogenic Aid?

by Matt Weik

There’s a new ingredient making its rounds in the supplement industry, and this time it’s spearmint-based. A company called Kemin Foods has created a product called Neumentix. This product is a spearmint extract (Mentha spicata L.) which when consumed has been shown to improve performance as well as cognition. There are currently several supplement companies on the market looking to potentially add this ingredient to their products.

What does it do?

Users who have consumed this product showed improvements in mental focus, reaction time, hand-eye and foot-eye coordination, memory, sleep, productivity, and more. Not only is this ingredient great for those who work long hours, but also athletes who need better focus for performance reasons. It gives the user the ability to reduce oxidative stress, increase neurotransmitter levels, promote new neuron growth, and protect neurons in the brain. This is extremely important considering research is showing that starting in your early 20’s, there is a 10% decline per decade when it comes to our working memory.

The Kemin website states that, “Working memory is part of short-term memory that allows you to store and manipulate information while working on another task. It is controlled by the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Working memory supports cognitive abilities such as sustained attention, focus and concentration. There’s also evidence to show working memory supports physical performance, such as movement and reaction time.”

After researchers conducted multiple studies looking at the benefits, they mentioned that, “These data confirm previous work, and show that Neumentix cognitive benefits are accompanied by improved physical performance, thus providing further support for Neumentix as a safe and natural nootropic.”

At the ISSN conference, Kemin Foods commented on their launch of Neumentix saying, “Neumentix stands out in the nootropic market because of its demonstrated efficacy and safety. It’s been studied in three clinical trials and has also recently earned GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status. Data from this Makoto study gives supplement manufacturers the flexibility to formulate with Neumentix in a variety of growing categories, for both cognitive and athletic performance.”

What does it mean?

According to research, “The global nootropic market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.9% by 2024, while the US sports nutrition market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% by 2022.” If you have been following my work, you know I’m a huge fan of nootropics. I think when they first came out, their lack of acceptance was simply due to ignorance by the consumers. No one was willing to give them a fair shake because everyone was too worried about the next big stimulant-based pre-workout to be launched.

Nootropics have many amazing benefits regardless of how you plan on using them. If you are a businessman and need to mentally be more focused and on point during the day, they can help keep you dialed-in and productive. In addition, with their memory-enhancement properties, they can also help you retain more information throughout the day without forgetting key bits of information.

From an athletic standpoint, you could look at the bodybuilding world and how competitors and recreational lifters alike, focus on each and every contraction of a set. With a solid mind-to-muscle connection, you can ensure you’re squeezing every rep to further break down the muscle fibers to help them grow back bigger and stronger (assuming you are providing them with adequate rest and nutrients). Similarly, athletes from all sports can benefit from added mental awareness and focus when playing.

As the research is showing, we are going to see a boom in the nootropic market and for good reason—they work. The only question we may have is what products will we see them in? Will we see them popping up in pre-workouts to aid in mental focus? Will we see them in a standalone nootropic product to aid in maintaining laser-sharp focus and clarity throughout the day regardless if it’s at work or home? Or will we see “brain-enhancement” products specific for aiding with memory, concentration, cognition, and attention?

We already know that there are big mass market brands out there producing products in the “memory” category already, so will they too introduce something like Neumentix to their products or will we see this more prominently in the sports nutrition world? Only time will tell. But, one thing is for sure, I’m glad to see nootropics weren’t hung out to dry and forgotten about. I’m excited to see who jumps on this opportunity first and includes Neumentix in their formula. I, for one, will definitely give them a try.


Source:

1.) P. Falcone, et al. “Effects of Natural Nootropic Spearmint Extract on Physical Performance in Young, Healthy Individuals.” International Society of Sports Nutrition annual conference. 2017

2.) S. Daniells. “Spearmint extract may enhance reaction time, focus and agility: Human data.” Nutraingredients USA. Online. June 30, 2017

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