The product, called Älsa, is available as single-serve packets meant to be mixed into water. The target market is active adults who are seeking greater focus and sustained energy, said company co-founder Thad Hyland.
“I’m over 50 and one of the things that’s most evident to me in today’s world is that with all of the screens we look at there is a lot of energy consumption by devices but not enough to go around for the people using those devices,” Hyland told NutraIngredients-USA.
“The Red Bulls, the Monsters of the world have found a market, but they are very caffeine heavy,” he said. “We wanted to deliver something that delivered steady, gentle, ‘smarter’ energy and also helped users get a bit more mental focus. With all of the stimulation in today’s world, it takes more mental focus than it did twenty years ago to get through the day.
“It used to be if you took some time to read the newspaper, you had a chronological order of how things were happening in the world. Now there is an information flavor of the day, or even the hour. I find that now I sometimes have have trouble separating the useless information from the important information,” he said.
Hyland said he chose Cognizin for Älsa for its proven cognitive support benefits. Citicoline is a substance vital to brain health and is found in every cell of the body, and Hyland said Kyowa has a raft of research backing Cognizin for enhanced focus and health memory function.
As far as energy in concerned, despite his disparagement of Red Bull’s and Monster’s formulation choices, Hyland said he’s not against caffeine. What he wanted to avoid, however, was the boom-and-bust cycle large, immediate doses of caffeine can give rise to. Hence the choice of PurEnergy. According to the ingredient’s maker, ChromaDex, the amalgamation of caffeine and pTeroPure, the company’s nature-identical form of pterostilbene, into a co-crystal (57% pTeroPure, 43% caffeine) both extends the half life of caffeine in the body and slows its absorption, providing a smoother delivery curve.
Älsa has other caffeine-containing ingredients, too, such as extracts of white tea and yerba mate. The result is 110 mg of caffeine per serving, actually more than is contained in a serving of Red Bull. The difference, Hyland said, is how that caffeine is taken up in the body.
“You get a little bit of a natural boost up front. But the PurEnergy delivers its caffeine over a six hour period. You get less caffeine all at once. And PurEnergy delivers some antioxidant benefits,” Hyland said. The drink also contains a suite of vitamins and minerals.
“We thought it was important to do a premium drink,” Hyland said. “Cognizin and PurEnergy are not cheap, but we didn’t want to go with anything that wasn’t a clinically-studied ingredient.”