Northbound’s All-Natural Blend: A Stevia-Sweetened Nootropic

Northbound Nutrition All-Natural Blend

Northbound Nutrition has released a new naturally flavored and sweetened version of their popular nootropic supplement Blend.

Even before we started really getting into the world that is nootropics, we were keen to Northbound Nutrition and their clinically dosed Pinnacle Pre Workout. We’ve also previously covered the brand’s top-tier, brain-boosting supplement Northbound’s Blend.

We’re back today with a new and different version of Blend,  that is all-natural!

But can they make it taste good enough — or do the sucralose-haters out there even care, or do they just want an awesome formula like this with no artificial nonsense?!

More info on this all-natural cognitive enhancer is ahead, but first, take a moment to check the best deal and sign up for alerts from PricePlow:

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All-Natural Blend Ingredients

Fans of the original Blend by Northbound will notice several similarities between the two products, but there are a few changes including a lower caffeine dose, different from of choline, and the absence of any artificial sweeteners, colors, flavorings, etc. This is the all-natural Blend after all!

  • Taurine (2g)

    Northbound Nutrition All-Natural Blend Ingredients

    The All-Natural Blend carries a lot of the same ingredients over from the original form, but the notable differences are in the caffeine content and choline form used.

    More commonly seen in pre workout formulas, taurine also plays a valuable role in cognitive boosting formulas as well. First and foremost, taurine activate GABA and glycine receptors in the brain, which reduces anxiety and fosters a sense of calm.[1] The multi-faceted amino also has been shown to induce long-term potentiation, synaptic activity, memory formation, and signal BDNF.[2,3]

    Maybe there’s a reason all of those energy drinks contain Taurine after all?!

  • Acetyl L-Carnitine (1g)

    Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is the brain-boosting form of carnitine due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). ALCAR provides the front half of the “learning neurotransmitter” acetylcholine by cleaving its attached acetyl group[4], and works with choline (seen here in the form of Choline Bitartrate) to enhance production of acetylcholine.

    ALCAR is also great for combatting mental and physical fatigue,[5,6] so if you find yourself constantly run down and stressed, consider giving ALCAR some daily use.

    Coming from a flavoring standpoint, this is the ingredient we’re afraid will be a bit tough to mask without sucralose – so we’re really excited to try the all-natural blend and find out. Stevia-based supplements are typically a bit worse, and that’s fine, we just can’t have this tasting too much worse!

  • L-Tyrosine (1g)

    L-Tyrosine

    For the best effects from tyrosine, choose the regular L-Tyrosine version!

    Another carryover from the original Blend formula is L-Tyrosine. This amino acid serves as a precursor to several other key neurotransmitters in the body, specifically dopamine and noradrenaline.[7] With tyrosine, you’ll experience better focus, cognition, and overall mood, particularly since it also combats feelings of stress and anxiety.[8,9]

    As all of our followers on the blog know, we believe that standard L-Tyrosine is the best form of tyrosine, so you know we’re loving this part of the formula!

  • Choline Bitartrate (1g)

    Choline is a staple component of nootropics formulas due to its ability to enhance acetylcholine production in the body. With acetylcholine you’ll experience better learning, increased focus, and greater attentiveness.[10]

    As we covered in our articled answering Which Form of Choline is Best?, this is a good but not great form of choline — but they more than make up for it with the dose! We’d have rathered they kept the Alpha GPC used in the original form of Blend though, but when we have a gram of the bitartrate version compared to lower doses of the other formulas, we indeed get similar effects.

  • Organic Caffeine (125mg)

    Northbound Nutrition All-Natural Blend Hand

    With Blend in hand, you’ll always have the mental willpower and focus to stay on task.

    As we’ve seen with the other energy-based supplements from Northbound, they’ve again opted for Organic caffeine derived from green coffee beans. Users of the original Blend will note that the caffeine content has been substantially lowered from 215mg to 125mg here in the all-natural version.

    Organic caffeine provides a smoother, more sustained release of energy compared to the upfront, “in your face” feeling of anhydrous. The smoother energy surge is exactly what you want in a nootropic supplement, as the point is to get focused and more alert, not be jumping off the walls like some want with a pre workout.

  • BioPerine® (5mg)

    To aid the absorption of all the nootropics in Blend, Northbound Nutrition includes 5mg of the patented black pepper extract BioPerine®. By inhibiting certain enzymes in the body, BioPerine prolongs the “life” of the other compounds included here, ensuring they’re put to use and not just excreted without yielding brain-boosting benefits.

  • Huperzine A (100mcg)

    Northbound Nutrition All-Natural Blend Pumpkin

    At home or on the go, Blend helps you stay in the zone no matter where you are.

    To bolster the effects of ALCAR and Choline Bitartrate, Northbound Nutrition has included a 100mcg dose of Huperzine A, a powerful acetylcholine extender. Huperzine supports acetylcholine levels by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine in the body.[11] Contrast this to ALCAR and Choline Bitartrate, which directly increases acetylcholine production, and you’ve got a “best of both worlds” approach for supreme acetylcholine production and survival.

    Huperzine also exerts some neuroprotective (protecting against glutamate” and neuro-generative benefits.[12,13]

On the Formula

“Regarding the formula, there’s several reasons for the tweak.  I think you’ll find this formula is more focus-centric.  As a complete generalization, we’ve seen consumers that favor all natural products tend to prefer lower stimulants as well.  The goal here is to offer a variety of products playing off our original full clinical line.  Basically, have products available encompassing a good, better, and best structure.  With that, the all natural BLEND would represent our mid level nootropic within our family of products.  Externally however, we feel this is a top tier product.”

— Northbound Nutrition HQ

Flavors Available

The All-Natural Blend is currently available in three flavors:

Northbound Nutrition All-Natural Blend Hair

All-Natural Blend on the mind with not-so all natural hair.

  • Cosmic Swirl (Orange and Pomegranate)
  • Italian Ice (Lemon & Lime)
  • Strawberry Cupcake (Strawberry and Cake)

Stevia-sweetened supplements are always a challenge, so it’ll be interesting to see how Northbound handles it.

And if you don’t care about sucralose and want more caffeine, then head back over to our main post about Northbound Blend, a product we definitely loved.

Takeaway

The new rendition of Blend is a definite “must try” if you’re a nootropics buff that wants a little less caffeine with their brain-boosters, or a member of the “no artificial stuff” crowd that’s interested in delving into the expansive world that is nootropics but wants to “drink your focus”.

Either way, All-Natural Blend is a worthy addition to the Northbound Nutrition lineup and is on our list of nootropic formulas to test drive. This is a company we sometimes forget about, as they rack up sales on Amazon, and then they come out with a killer product and we remember how much we love their stuff. Time to keep them in the cross-hairs!

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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 on your own.

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

Note: In the widget above, look for the naturally flavored option. At the time of publishing, only the standard flavors are available.

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References

  1. Nguyen TTH, Bhattarai JP, Park SJ, Han SK. Activation of Glycine and Extrasynaptic GABAA Receptors by Taurine on the Substantia Gelatinosa Neurons of the Trigeminal Subnucleus Caudalis. Neural Plasticity. 2013;2013:740581. doi:10.1155/2013/740581. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3863572/
  2. Del Olmo, N., Suárez, L. M., Orensanz, L. M., Suárez, F., Bustamante, J., Duarte, J. M., Del Río, R. M. and Solís, J. M. (2004), Role of taurine uptake on the induction of long-term synaptic potentiation. European Journal of Neuroscience, 19: 1875–1886. doi:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2004.03309.x http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2004.03309.x/abstract
  3. Caletti G, Almeida FB, Agnes G, Nin MS, Barros HMT, Gomez R. Antidepressant dose of taurine increases mRNA expression of GABAA receptor alpha2 subunit and BDNF in the hippocampus of diabetic rats. Behav Brain Res. 2015;283:11-15. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2015.01.018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25612506
  4. Dolezal V, Tucek S. Utilization of citrate, acetylcarnitine, acetate, pyruvate and glucose for the synthesis of acetylcholine in rat brain slices. J Neurochem. 1981;36(4):1323-1330. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6790669
  5. Malaguarnera M, Gargante MP, Cristaldi E, et al. Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) treatment in elderly patients with fatigue. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2008;46(2):181-190. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2007.03.012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17658628
  6. Vermeulen RCW, Scholte HR. Exploratory open label, randomized study of acetyl- and propionylcarnitine in chronic fatigue syndrome. Psychosom Med. 2004;66(2):276-282. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15039515
  7. Yeghiayan SK, et al; Tyrosine improves behavioral and neurochemical deficits caused by cold exposure . Physiol Behav. (2001)
  8. Deijen JB, Orlebeke JF; Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress . Brain Res Bull. (1994)
  9. Dollins AB, et al; L-tyrosine ameliorates some effects of lower body negative pressure stress . Physiol Behav. (1995)
  10. Hasselmo ME. The Role of Acetylcholine in Learning and Memory. Current opinion in neurobiology. 2006;16(6):710-715. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2006.09.002. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2659740/
  11. Zhao, Q; Effects of huperzine A on acetylcholinesterase isoforms in vitro: comparison with tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine and physostigmine.; State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences; 2002
  12. Ved, H; Huperzine A, a potential therapeutic agent for dementia, reduces neuronal cell death caused by glutamate.; Division of Biochemistry, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; 1997
  13. Ma, T; Huperzine A promotes hippocampal neurogenesis in vitro and in vivo.; State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University; 2013
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