The Skinny on New Neuro Flavors

Neuro Drinks

Neuro Drinks

I Paid: $1.99 per 14.5-ounce bottle (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 2 stars

Marketing: 5 stars

I like the newly released line of Neuro Drinks in part because they come in bold, retro-futuristic bottles that scream, "Drink of Tomorrow!" in a very mid-'90s sort of way. And I really like them because they've got the cojones to market themselves as not merely good for you, but the nearest retail equivalent to a panacea, the legendary cure for all ailments. Most "performance enhancing" beverages or so-called functional foods content themselves with one or two puffed-up claims that "have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration." But Neuro Drinks? They're like the Mayo Clinic in a bottle.

The three varieties that I picked up had four radical claims each. NeuroSonic will "provide mental energy," "support focus and concentration," "promote healthy aging" (whatever the deuce that means), and "support memory." Trim promotes "healthy weight loss," "better digestive health," "helps curb appetite," and, again, "promotes healthy aging." Bliss "helps reduce stress," "enhances mood," "supports memory," and "promotes a positive outlook."

None of these extraordinary claims have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Instead, you're just meant to take it on faith that a 200 percent daily dose of vitamin B6 (Sonic) or a little dash of pretty well debunked phosphatidylserine (Bliss) will, when consumed orally, make you into a fitter, stronger, healthier, more blissed-out person. (An Oklahoma TV station took these drinks to a local doctor, who said, in essence, that the melatonin in NeuroSleep and vitamin D in Sun and fiber in Trim may have an impact, possibly a negative one, and the rest of the stuff is unlikely to do much of anything.) Nevertheless, the tag line for the entire line of drinks is the hubristic "Operating System for Life."

I am not a doctor, so I can't evaluate the health claims. But I can evaluate the flavor. NeuroSonic tastes precisely like Flintstones Vitamins dissolved in soda water. I'm more amenable to this flavor than most people, but I recognize that it's not an ideal way for a beverage to taste. It's a bit sweet but not cloying, to its credit.

Trim reminds one of those Japanese rice candies that come in the see-through, edible rice paper wrappers: A sort of beaten-down citrus-esque flavor meets rice, with the same hollow sucralose finish that marred all three drinks I sampled.

Finally, Bliss—soda water plus sucralose plus orange flavoring plus berry flavoring.

In summation: If you're drinking for flavor alone, there's not much to enjoy here.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.