Seniors test Brainade

By Lauren Seo

Michael Lee ’09, Andrew Lee ’09 and Jason Mow ’09 dedicated their year to creating a natural energy drink that would enhance concentration without causing a crash or any other unhealthy side effects. The resulting product, Brainade, comes in a powdered formula that blends with any refreshment, adding to the drink a taste of agave nectar. The drink is targetted for students.

The three were inspired when Michael and Andrew were up late studying for a history test, and didn’t want to drink another Red Bull.

The pair then began to research natural brain stimulants, bringing in their friend Mow to help with the chemical aspect of the project.

After many tests varying ingredients and proportions, they found optimal results in a combination of organic agave nectar, rhodiola root powder, ginkgo and ginseng. They conducted the tests on themselves, choosing only natural products that would avoid energy or mood swings.

They began testing their product on two groups of ten Harvard-Westlake students, giving one group a placebo as a control factor. They first used IQ tests to determine any improvement in concentration, but the test showed no significant change. Reflecting on the results, the team discovered that IQ tests were irrelevant to testing the product’s efficiency, since Brainade works with focus and attention levels instead of simply intelligence. They came up with memory tests as an alternative, which they will use to test for improvements in the upcoming weeks.

They are also making plans for the product’s potential bottling and distribution, contacting several spokesmen of different manufacturing companies.

“The best part was that we had the opportunity to do things ourselves, rather than being told what to research,” Lee said.