Norcodrene: Lower Energy Formula for Mood Support

PES Norcodrene

PES isn’t done revamping their products yet. Right after they revamped Alphamine, the brand has now neutered Norcodrene.

PEScience recently brought the weight loss world to a near standstill when it announced that it had reformulated their wildly popular, powdered fat burner, Alphamine, turning it into more of a glorified energy drink for soccer moms and sorority girls than a true fat burning powder.

The changes apparently haven’t stopped there. In conjunction with the revamp of Alphamine, PES has also gone back and re-done their well-known capsule-based fat burner, Norcodrene.

We can get a bit more behind this change, although we really don’t consider it as much of a fat burner now — it’s now more of a “mood enhancement pill” than a thermogenic.

Since Norcodrene was never really a high-stim product anyway (and there’s a billion excellent fat burners that are), this just might work so long as you know what you’re looking for.

We’ll cover the changes in just a second, but first, make sure to sign up for PricePlow alerts and check the best deal:

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Note: In the above price comparisons, you’ll need to check the labels at each store to see what version you’re getting, or contact them if you’re not sure. If you see “yohimbe” in the label, then that’s the old version.

Norcodrene Ingredients

Noticeable changes right off the bat are the removal of SA2-A™ (Yohimbe extract) and Norcoclaurine (Higenamine). As we noted in our Alphamine blog, the changes to these two formulas may be due to international bans on Yohimbe and other “edgy” stimulants like higenamine. We’re not 100% certain of that, but we do know that from the looks of it, this formula may not have anywhere near the firepower that the previous iteration had.

So right off the bat, we’ll tell you that if you are looking for mood enhancement but not “insane fat burning energy”, you might be in luck:

  • Chromax® (100mg)

    PES Norcodrene Ingredients

    The new Norcodrene has stripped away all of the potent fat burning ingredients and what we’re left with is a “feel good” light energy pill.

    Developed by Nutrition21, Chromax is a patented form of chromium picolinate that offers improved absorption in the body due to its stable molecular structure. We’ve seen chromium supplements used before in various nutrient partitioners and glucose disposal agents (GDAs), but only rarely do we encounter it in a fat burner.

    Chromium is an essential mineral that improves insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, particularly glucose disposal.[1] Animal studies involving chromium also note it may increase glycogen storage and production in skeletal muscle.[2]

    As it turns out, chromium also supports weight loss. One clinical study using Chromax® found that consuming it reduced food intake, hunger cravings, and fat cravings which resulted in decreased food intake and ultimately weight loss.[3] Now, study participants were consuming capsules that contained 1,000mcg of Chromax®, about 10x the dose you’re getting here.

    Will you still see some hunger suppression and appetite control? Possibly, but don’t expect the incredible suppression that the predecessor was known for from its yohimbe, which is now gone.

  • Norcodrene Proprietary Blend

    • Lemon Balm

      Norcodrene Mood Enhancer

      Norcodrene used to be known for fat burning, mood enhancement, and appetite suppression, now it just might help you feel more relaxed.

      Frequently encountered in teas, Lemon Balm is an herb used to reduce anxiety and impart calmness. Most of the research involving lemon balm, as a matter of fact, has been on its effectiveness in eliminating stress and improving sleep quality.[4,5]

      Dieting can be extremely stressful for some people, so including this particular ingredient may help take some of the edge and crankiness people tend to feel when going through long dieting periods.

      As it turns out, there’s not a ton of research on lemon balm as an effective weight loss ingredient, but one study found that an extract of lemon balm essential oils reduced blood glucose and increased insulin levels, which ultimately improve glucose storage and utilization.[6]

      This is the new ingredient that will bring feel good to new levels in Norcodrene. If this can lower cortisol levels, it can help avoid new fat gain!

      It might also calm you down, which is exactly what some are looking for.

    • L-Theanine

      Much like the previous ingredient, theanine is an ingredient most frequently used to reduce signs of anxiety, stress, and fatigue.[7,8] It’s plentiful in tea leaves, which is the reason so many people feel a sense of calm when sipping on a hot cup of chamomile or green tea.

      Frequently we see this ingredient paired with stimulant to help take the edge off and assuage and jitters. In particular, when used in conjunction with caffeine, theanine helps to smooth out the stimulative effects as well as improve focus and cognition.[9]

      Lemon Balm and L-Theanine would make a lot of sense in a higher-stimulant fat burner, as they take the edge off. But since Norcodrene only has 100mg caffeine per capsule and is already on the light side, we wonder if these ingredients are slightly “wasted”. The theanine and lemon balm may actually overwhelm any of the caffeine.

      Again, Norcodrene caters to the low-stim users.

    • Aframomum Melegueta

      PES Tayler Jordan

      PES Athlete @taylerjordanfit holding what we can only believe is PES Select Protein, one of the best protein powders on the market. Hopefully, PES doesn’t screw with Select….

      Traditionally used as a spice in cooking, Aframomum melegueta, a.k.a. Grains of Paradise, also is being increasingly used in weight loss products as an effective non-stimulant fat burning ingredient.

      Research demonstrates that Grains of Paradise extracts significantly increase energy expenditure and accelerate the loss of brown fat.[10,11] Increased energy expenditure means your body is burning extra calories each day which ultimately result in greater weight loss and visibly reduced visceral fat.[12]

    • Kola Nut

      Derived from the Kola tree, Kola nuts are a caffeine and theobromine containing nut traditionally used in many West African countries as a medicine and part of cultural rituals. As a fat-loss ingredient, kola nut stimulates the forebrain (which increases focus), suppresses hunger, and acts as a diuretic.[13]

      Note there’s only a tiny amount of kola nut in this proprietary blend, so don’t expect huge results from this lone ingredient.

  • Caffeine (100mg)

    The sole ingredient to remain the same from its predecessor, and in the same dose, is caffeine. As a stimulant, caffeine is probably the most well known and widely used of all stims. It’s great for increasing energy, focus, and motivation, while also helping stimulate lipolysis, a.k.a. “fat burning.”

    Just not that the fat burning benefits don’t dramatically increase the more caffeine you take in, and that’s part of the reason there’s only 100mg of it in each capsule.

    For the low-stim user

    100mg per capsule is quite mild in this day of Venti Starbucks drinkers and 300mg pre workouts. If you’re looking for the opposite of that overconsumption, Norcodrene may be for you.

That’s it? Yep.

PES Alphamine Energy Drink

Honestly, Norcodrene’s change-up doesn’t upset us as much as Alphamine’s did. We wish they would have kept the OG Alphamine and called the new one “Alphamine Lite” or something.

Just like Alphamine, the “fat burning” part has been neutered. The good news with Norcodrene is that the “feel good” part has been kept and possibly improved… and it was never high-stim in the first place.

We almost think that this belongs more in our “mood support” category than it does in the “fat burners” at this point on the main PricePlow site. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you’re in luck.

Dosing

To assess tolerance, take one (1) capsule on an empty stomach 30-45 minutes before breakfast and an additional (1) capsule 5-6 hours later. Once tolerance has been assessed, an additional (1) capsule may be added to the morning serving.

PES recommends  to not exceed three (3) capsules in any 24 hour period, and to not use the product for longer than 8 weeks without taking a 4 week break.

Takeaway

For stimulant lovers, there’s not much to get excited about here. And that’s a bit of the point – it’s not a supplement for “excitement”, it’s a pill for chilled-out mood-enhancement.

PEScience

PEScience keeps changing… but some of these reformulations leave some core users in the dust.

While not as egregious as the Alphamine re-do, PEScience’s Norcodrene reformulation takes out some of our favorite fat burning ingredients from its predecessor and what you’re left with is a caffeine pill that helps you feel more relaxed with a dash of fat burning capacity.

We’re honestly not sure whether we should call it a “lite fat burner” or a “feel good energy pill”, but it’s pretty clear that PEScience is targeting a broader part of the market, and is moving away from the high-stim market. That’s fine – there’s plenty of other companies doing that.

In an effort to please everyone internationally, we just fear that they’re going to please no one locally within their industry, but given the lack of low-stim options, this might work in PES’ favor.

Is it the worst formula out there? Definitely not, it’s just not what anyone at PricePlow is looking for right now. You might be the opposite. This is another step in the taming of PES and sidles their products right along the more generic fat burners on Amazon that don’t seem to have as much intensity to them. Once again, we’ll be revamping our Top Fat Burner List and neither Norcodrene nor Alphamine will be appearing on it going forward, and that breaks our hearts.

We can only pray they don’t do anything to their Select Protein.

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Note: In the above price comparisons, you’ll need to check the labels at each store to see what version you’re getting, or contact them if you’re not sure. If you see “yohimbe” in the label, then that’s the old version.

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References

  1. Frauchiger MT, Wenk C, Colombani PC; Effects of acute chromium supplementation on postprandial metabolism in healthy young men . J Am Coll Nutr. (2004)
  2. oginski EE, Mertz W; Effects of Chromium (III) Supplementation on Glucose and Amino Acid Metabolism in Rats Fed a Low Protein Diet . J Nutr. ()
  3. Stephen D. Anton, et. al. Effects of Chromium Picolinate on Food Intake and Satiety. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics. August 2008, 10(5): 405-412. doi:10.1089/dia.2007.0292.
  4. Cases J, et al; Pilot trial of Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract in the treatment of volunteers suffering from mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances . Med J Nutrition Metab. (2011
  5. Wetherell MA, Hyland ME, Harris JE; Secretory immunoglobulin A reactivity to acute and cumulative acute multi-tasking stress: relationships between reactivity and perceived workload .Biol Psychol. (2004)
  6. Chung MJ, et al; Anti-diabetic effects of lemon balm ( Melissa officinalis) essential oil on glucose- and lipid-regulating enzymes in type 2 diabetic mice . Br J Nutr. (2010)
  7. Kimura K, et al. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol. (2007)
  8. Owen GN, et al. The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. Nutr Neurosci. (2008)
  9. Giesbrecht, Timo, et al; “The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness”; Nutritional Neuroscience; 2010
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15261983
  11. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv/60/1/60_22/_article
  12. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8962959&fileId=S0007114512005715
  13. Herbal Ephedra/Caffeine for Weight Loss: a 6-month Randomized Safety and Efficacy Trial.” Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord., 2002 May; 26(5):593-604.
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