A Shot of Genius: A Natural Energy Shot That Leans on FOCUS

The Genius Brand, which is the brand to beat on Amazon, has dropped numerous products within the last few years that have shook the Prime space of the industry. We’re huge fans of their 2018 releases like Genius Consciousness (nootropic) and Genius Joy (mood enhancer), but more recently, they released Shot of Genius, their own take on the popular energy shots you find lining the counters of convenience stores across the country.

A Shot of Genius

Rob Oliver and The Genius Brand want to give you a Shot of Genius!

Therein lies the question: are these shots as impressive as their other products? Is there enough room for “Genius-level dosing” in a small shot bottle?

The Premise: A Shot of Genius

Shot of Genius comprises two products merged: a nootropic and an energy drink. The formula provides the energizing kick of caffeine while also including several (fully dosed!) cognitive-boosting ingredients we love. While this combination already makes it a unique product, Genius went a step forward in terms of its utility. Shot of Genius comes premixed in a small bottle — it’s an RTD product like many that we’ve seen spring up in 2018, but in portable shot form.

This means that a consumer, like a medical student for example, can throw a few shots into a backpack for ease of use. The demographic of Shot of Genius is clear based on its design choices — it’s for people on the go that rely on their cognition every moment of their waking hours. While we’ve lauded Genius for their product designs in the past, we will applaud them for their demographic targeting this time around. By taking away the clunkiness of a consumer mixing a powder into a beverage, Shot of Genius offers a practicality that few other nootropics offer.

Before we get into the details, you can check the prices and sign up for Genius news alerts on PricePlow:

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Genius could have gone for a capsule formulation, but we feel that the “energy shot” format is a more appealing option. There are many people that disdain taking pills. Some investigations have found that 40% of American adults have trouble swallowing pills. Design choices aside, we know you’re all here for the science behind the product. So let’s get into the research.

Ingredients

  • Caffeine Anhydrous (100mg)

    Genius Energy Shot Ingredients

    Just 100mg caffeine lets you pair this with coffee if you want! Some may be irked by the 760mg N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine instead of 750, but we’re taking that bonus 10mg to the bank!

    Listen, we will not sit and tell you that caffeine wakes you up. You already know that. You know it will energize you and take your thinking to the next level. For A Shot of Genius, caffeine will help keep your cognition running at a fast pace.

    100mg, while low, is a good move on Genius’ part, whose first supplement was actually the stimulant-free Genius Pre Workout. While it will make users consume more of the bottles to get intense stimulation, it also allows consumers to enjoy a morning coffee alongside of it. For those that are using it for a late night gaming session, the small amount of caffeine will help you be more alert without impacting your sleep as much as a higher dose would.

    For the Genius customer base, this dose is unsurprising and quite flexible.

  • Alpha GPC (300mg)

    Alpha-GPC is an industry-leading form of choline supplementation. While high-dose Alpha-GPC is popular in pre-workouts (for good reason) as a strength and performance booster, it is also a potent nootropic, since it helps drives up the levels of acetylcholine in your body.[4] Acetylcholine is likely the most important neurotransmitter for learning processes, so more is a good thing!

    The one question is if this is 50% Alpha GPC or a true 300mg dose. Alpha-GPC is a stickier form of choline and must be bound to silica in powders, but we wondered if you could get away with a non-bound Alpha-GPC in a liquid. We asked The Genius Brand and it turns out that you still need to use Alpha GPC 50%, so you can consider this to have 150mg of the active stuff.

  • L-Theanine (100mg)

    L-Theanine, a component often associated with green tea, combines with the caffeine present in Shot of Genius to produce a synergistic nootropic effect within the product. While caffeine is an amazing cognitive enhancer, it comes with side effects like increased anxiety for some (although we’re not really concerned in the case of 100mg caffeine). L-Theanine is a natural counter to the anxiogenic effects of xanthines — the class of stimulants that caffeine falls under.

    A Shot of Genius Benefits

    The Benefits Behind the Shot

    For those that don’t care about all the fun biochemistry behind this synergy, just know L-theanine will help you enjoy the energy boosting effects of caffeine while mitigating the anxiety that comes with caffeine.[5] The end result is that users get more focused when adding it in to caffeine – exactly what we want.

    So why isn’t it in more energy drinks and energy shots? Because it’s expensive! Those high-stimulant energy drinks leave you dumped, but that’s not necessary with compounds like alpha-GPC and L-Theanine to make the assist.

    A focus shot more than an energy shot

    The ratio is where things will be interesting — a 1:1 ratio is ideal for cognitive performance, but may be a bit on the “calm and relaxing side”. So at this point, we can state that this is a true focus shot and less of an energy shot.

  • N-Acetyl Tyrosine (760mg)

    Tyrosine is a precursor to the catecholamines.[6] The catecholamines include all the fun neurotransmitters like epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. You know how we said caffeine and L-theanine is the money combo like a paragraph ago? It turns out that tyrosine is the final uppercut.

    Genius Energy Shot

    The Genius “Energy Shot” doesn’t have a ton of energy it leans on focus instead!

    Tyrosine increases the production of catecholamines in the body while caffeine encourages the body to release more catecholamines into systemic circulation. So you’re fine-tuning both the synthesis and the release of the catecholamines, and it helps caffeine work better. The combination should have you feeling good.[8]

    The dose here is solid, especially for such a small shot bottle. It’s in the middle of a conservative dose and a high dose. We have to love that Rob and his team hilariously decided to go with a unique dose of 760mg as opposed to something like 750mg. It may drive your label-OCD crazy, but we never complain about ten extra milligrams of this ingredient – why not add it?

    While those more in-tune with neurohistology will note that more catecholamines may lead to higher stress — the research on this is mixed. Some studies have shown a reduction in stress, which opposes the conventional wisdom.[7] Specifically, tyrosine helps severely stressed people — aka most of Americans today.

  • Blueberry Leaf Extract (300mg)

    While readers may see “fruit extract” and write it off as a filler, this is the furthest thing from the truth. Blueberries are one of the best ways to improve cognition in healthy or pathological populations, and they add a great flavor to boot. Many industry experts include blueberries as a staple ingredient for anyone seeking to improve their memory and cognition through dietary interventions.

    Taking a leaf extract allows those that aren’t the biggest fans of fruit (or the carbs associated with them) to still enjoy the cognitive improvements attached to blueberry consumption. Prolonged use of blueberries as a nootropic improves memory, focus, and even overall well-being. In addition, blueberries are potent antioxidants that can improve your general health. [9-11]

The Flavor and Sweetener

The Genius Brand Shots

The Smart Choice

Based on the Amazon page, this product comes as a wild berry flavor, and is also sugar-free and free of artificial sweeteners – it’s naturally sweetened with stevia! But note the use of sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and “Flavor Masking Agent” – things that are tough to get away from in these shots.

Conclusion

Finally, a shot that’s more about focus than flat-out energy. A Shot of Genius is one of the coolest inclusive nootropics we’ve seen since energy shots hit the market and nootropics became a focal point of the industry. Reason being, it’s different, and it approaches a more natural crowd who’s only had stiff crack-and-crash drinks marketed to them.

It includes only ingredients that work substantially well at reasonable doses and even accounts for those that can’t tolerate high doses of caffeine. It can be taken alongside coffee, or will work great on its own for those who don’t want that extra juice. If you’re a hard-working student or employee trying to edge out the competition, you may just need a Shot of Genius to push you through to the other side.

The Genius Brand Shot of Genius - Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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References

  1. Ellin, A. (2015, September 21). Can’t Swallow a Pill? There’s Help for That. Retrieved from https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/cant-swallow-a-pill-theres-help-for-that/
  2. Coso, J. D., Salinero, J., González-Millán, C., Abián-Vicén, J., & Pérez-González, B. (2012); “Dose response effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on muscle performance: A repeated measures design”; Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 21; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3461468/
  3. McCormack, William P, and Hoffman, Jay R; “Caffeine, Energy Drinks, and Strength-Power Performance”; Strength and Conditioning Journal; August 2012; Volume 34, Issue 4, 11–16; https://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2012/08000/Caffeine,_Energy_Drinks,_and_Strength_Power.3.aspx,%20full-text%20at
  4. Ferraro L, et al; “Evidence for an in vivo and in vitro modulation of endogenous cortical GABA release by alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine”; Neurochem Res; 1996; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8726961
  5. Cholewa, J; “Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone”; Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University; 2013; https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-39
  6. Pietz J, Landwehr R, Kutscha A, Schmidt H, de Sonneville L, Trefz FK; “Effect of high-dose tyrosine supplementation on brain function in adults with phenylketonuria”; J Pediatr. 1995;127(6):936-943; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8523192
  7. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research (1994, January 01); “Tyrosine and Stress: Human and Animal Studies”; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209061/
  8. Belza, A., Toubro, S., & Astrup, A. (2007); “The effect of caffeine, green tea and tyrosine on thermogenesis and energy intake”; European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63(1), 57-64; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17882140
  9. Wilms, L. C., Boots, A. W., Boer, V. C., Maas, L. M., Pachen, D. M., Gottschalk, R. W., Kleinjans, J. C. (2007). “Impact of multiple genetic polymorphisms on effects of a 4-week blueberry juice intervention on ex vivo induced lymphocytic DNA damage in human volunteers”; Carcinogenesis, 28(8), 1800-1806; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17602170
  10. Krikorian, R., Shidler, M. D., Nash, T. A., Kalt, W., Vinqvist-Tymchuk, M. R., Shukitt-Hale, B., & Joseph, J. A. (2010). “Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults”; Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58(7), 3996-4000; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047325
  11. Mcanulty, L. S., Nieman, D. C., Dumke, C. L., Shooter, L. A., Henson, D. A., Utter, A. C., Mcanulty, S. R. (2011). Effect of blueberry ingestion on natural killer cell counts, oxidative stress, and inflammation prior to and after 2.5 h of running. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 36(6), 976-984; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22111516

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