Why We Chose Our Ingredients: What’s in a Lucid™ Stack?

Why We Chose Our Ingredients: What’s in a Lucid™ Stack? - Lucid™

Lucid™ is a mushroom+nootropic super beverage designed to support all areas of wellness while keeping you at the top of your game. Our unique, multifaceted formula supports focus, energy, immunity, and endurance, offering the boost you need without the crash and jitters associated with your typical caffeinated beverage or energy drink.


In fact, it may be your path back from the brain fog and chronic fatigue trap of modern energy beverages. You know–the ones that boost you up with 300 milligrams of caffeine, offer no real support and leave your body and mind running on empty when they wear off. 


We want to be clear: We are not anti-caffeine. But to sum up Lucid™ as an “energy drink” just doesn’t do it justice. In fact, to sum it up as any one ingredient is an atrocity. You need to understand how this intricate, synergistic formula really functions to understand why it’s about to become the most crucial step in your morning routine.


To start, let’s talk about the two energetic components of our Lucid™ formula–the mushrooms and the nootropics. 

Why mushrooms?

While many people may turn up their nose at the thought of mushrooms in their coffee or tea, we understand that mushrooms are magical. In fact, experts believe that mushrooms (as well as the rest of the Fungi Kingdom) have been around for nearly 800 million years–much longer than humans. One mushroom specimen is also the largest known organism on earth today, with it’s mycelium (the underground network of fungal threads) spanning across 1,500 acres. Talk about evolutionary adaptations!


And we aren’t the only ones who think mushrooms are magnificent. Medicinal mushrooms (also lovingly called “functional fungi”) have been used by physicians for thousands of years. In fact, Greek physician Hippocrates, known now as the father of modern medicine, was the first to classify a mushroom as an anti-inflammatory medication to be used for cauterizing wounds in 450 BCE.


Now, thanks to modern research, we know much more about these fantastic little fungi, including the beneficial bioactive compounds they bring to the table (or the teacup, in our case). We’re talking beta-glucans, terpenoids, and numerous vitamins and minerals that can amp up your wellness regimen. 


  • Beta-glucans are a type of polysaccharide that are much more bioactive than other carbohydrates. Because they are bioactive, they are often linked to the positive health effects of many mushrooms.  Many sources believe that beta-glucans are the primary component behind the holistic benefits of any mushroom formula. 
  • Terpenoids, a modified classification of terpenes, are lipids that are believed to give various mushrooms their immunomodulatory benefits

By combining a unique stack of medicinal mushrooms and using an appropriate extraction technique to concentrate these beneficial compounds,  Lucid™ beverages offer the best that nature has to offer. 

What are nootropics?

Nootropics, or “smart drugs,” are a class of supplements that help to enhance cognitive functions, particularly by helping to improve executive functions–a set of mental skills that include working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. Executive functions are at the heart of everything we accomplish, create, and learn each day. 


The most commonly used nootropic in the world is caffeine. The Lucid™ nootropic stack dives even deeper than this surface-level stimulant and includes a diverse blend of brain-boosting compounds designed to enhance focus, memory, and relaxation while boosting mood, creativity, and motivation. 

Does Lucid™ contain caffeine?

Our Lucid™ beverages contain mild doses of caffeine, but less than what you’d get from a traditional cup of coffee. Our Coffee and Matcha varieties contain 45 milligrams of caffeine per serving and the Chai contains 35 milligrams of caffeine per serving. 


While we believe that caffeine is a powerful nootropic with undeniable benefits for focus and energy support, we know that a little can go a long way when adequately matched with other brain-boosting supplements. Our unique blend allows you to reap the best of caffeine (and its synergistic benefits when paired with L-theanine and other nootropics) without the unwanted side effects.

The Nootropic Stack

A black and white graphic depicting all five of the nootropics supplements used in the Lucid stack

Ginkgo Biloba

Key Benefits

  • Improving circulation
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Neurogenesis 

What is Ginkgo Biloba?


Ginkgo biloba is an ancient herbal remedy derived from one of the world’s oldest trees–the Ginkgo tree. Ginkgo was originally used in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to promote healthy circulation and energy flow. According to TCM, this benefit made it useful for pretty much everything–from resolving colds to managing an upset stomach. 


Over the years, Ginkgo biloba has gained a reputation for its purported cognition-enhancing benefits or as a potential preventative for various neurodegenerative conditions. Ginkgo biloba is characterized by the powerful antioxidant boost it gives, which lends a hand in fighting off free radicals and preventing tissue damage in the brain and body. Free radicals are thought to lead to memory loss as we age because they damage brain cells and disrupt synapse function. 


Ginkgo is also thought to promote neurogenesis, the production of new neurons in the brain. This is its nootropic superpower–it helps the brain maintain a healthy flow of neurons that control all nerve functions. For that reason, you’ll traditionally see Ginkgo used as a preventative for dementia and related conditions, to help the brain heal from a stroke, or as a general remedy for treating brain damage. 


As a side note, Ginkgo also contains therapeutic terpenoids that are believed to help improve circulation, support immune functions, and promote overall vitality. That’s why you may also see claims that Ginkgo Biloba can improve eye health and circulatory problems.

L-Tyrosine

Key Benefits

  • Aids in neurotransmitter production
  • Supports mood
  • Aids in hormone regulation

What is L-Tyrosine?

L-tyrosine is a form of the amino acid tyrosine, which is responsible for helping the body to build proteins and produce important enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Most significantly, tyrosine is necessary for the production of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine–three of the primary neurotransmitters responsible for regulating the body’s “fight, flight, or freeze” response. 

In other words, tyrosine levels play a major role in the way the body manages stress–an attribute that makes it an “adaptogen.”


In an ideal case, the human body produces enough tyrosine on its own, which is why it is considered a “non-essential” amino acid, meaning you don’t need to get it from your diet. However, in today’s world, a little extra stress support is often needed, hence why this adaptogenic amino acid made it into our full spectrum wellness stack. 


Plus, there’s no need to worry about the risks of over-supplementing with L-tyrosine because the body can break down and dispose of excess tyrosine easily.

BCAA

Key Benefits

  • Supports muscle protein synthesis
  • Prevents muscle damage
  • Supports post-workout recovery

What are BCAA’s?

BCAA’s, or branched-chain amino acids, are essential amino acids, meaning the body cannot produce them on their own and they must be obtained from our diet. More specifically, BCAA’s refers to the essential amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine, all of which are metabolized by the body as a source of muscle energy. 


These amino acids have several functions, including: 


  • Promoting muscle protein synthesis
  • Suppressing muscle breakdown
  • Reducing muscle damage
  • Increase glycogen storage in muscles
  • Suppressing lactic acid production 

All of these benefits come together to enhance physical performance from several angles. For now, research concerning the effects of BCAA’s on the body is limited, but recent evidence suggests that it has great potential for improving athletic performance and reducing muscle damage during long-distance endurance activities and short-distance, high-intensity training.

L-Theanine

Key Benefits

  • Supports a healthy stress response
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Enhances focus when paired with caffeine
  • Reduce caffeine’s side effects

What is L-Theanine?

L-theanine is the most common form of theanine, an amino acid that interacts with with the body similarly to glutamate, a naturally occurring amino acid that helps send nerve signals around in the brain.


You can find theanine in some foods and beverages, like many different types of tea leaves and mushrooms. In fact, L-theanine is naturally occurring in many of the mushrooms in our mushroom stack, but we added an extra L-theanine component because it offers some benefits that are truly amazing. 


First, theanine positively affects the production of GABA, dopamine, and serotonin, which can have a positive impact on mood while lowering stress and improving sleep. Many experts believe that this relaxation effect, when paired with small doses of caffeine, helps to hone focus and improve learning, reaction time, and alertness. In fact, caffeine and L-theanine have some serious synergy–like improved reaction times, improved word recognition, and improved attention


L-theanine may also help you reap the benefits of caffeine without any of the side effects (Bye bye anxiety or elevated blood pressure!). How? Because it helps to prevent caffeine from dilating the blood vessels, allowing it to do its normal brain-boosting shenanigans without the negative impact on your blood flow. Some sources suggest that L-theanine may help to regulate your sleep schedule despite caffeine's tendency to keep you awake. 

Alpha-GPC

Key Benefits

  • Enhance focus, learning, and memory
  • Improve athletic performance

What is Alpha-GPC?

Alpha-GPC is the one of the most popular cholinergic supplements, a type of supplement that helps the body produce choline. Like other dietary cholinergic supplements, it is a phospholipid, meaning it helps to make up the structure of the cell membrane and regulates crucial cellular processes. Alpha-GPC also helps your body produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps to maintain your cognitive and muscular functions.


Many people don’t get enough choline from natural sources, such as eggs, beef liver, chicken, or soy. Research supports some potential benefits of alpha-GPC supplementation, especially memory enhancement and support for preventing cognitive decline as we age. In some other countries, in fact, Alpha-GPC is sold as a prescription drug for managing Alzheimer’s disease, but it exists only as a dietary supplement in the U.S.


In addition to strengthening focus and clarity, which can improve athletic performance in its own right, some sources suggest that Alpha-GPC supplementation improves power output and possibly growth hormone secretion, which may benefit athletic performance and muscular gain. 

The Mushroom Stack

A black and white graphic depicting the four mushrooms in the Lucid stack

Lion's Mane

Key Benefits

  • Improves cognition
  • Increase growth of nerve cells
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Reduce stress and related symptoms

What is Lion’s Mane?

The Lion's Mane mushroom, scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus, is a medicinal mushroom thought for centuries to improve cognitive performance and energy, balance mood, and boost immunity. 


Lion’s Mane is estimated to be composed of about 60-70% polysaccharides, including at least 35 completely unique beta-glucans–the bioactive compounds responsible for such a wide range of health benefits. For instance, Research has described Lion’s Mane’s antioxidant activity as “moderate to high.” Other research suggests that Lion’s Mane may boost the activity of gut bacteria that functions as part of the immune system, and various studies have confirmed this potential immune-boosting benefit


Most often, though, Lion’s Mane mushroom is linked to enhanced cognitive performance, increased neuronal growth, and mood support, making it an icon in the world of nootropics. A 2015 animal study found that lion’s mane may help reduce anxiety and depression. Another 2018 study also supports these results, concluding that lion’s mane could potentially be useful for treating depressive disorders.


A 2017 study found Lion’s Mane to increase object recognition and memory in mice. Further animal research found that the medicinal mushrooms may even help prevent cognitive decline caused by neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s. 


Human evidence is limited, but one older study did evaluate the benefits of the medicinal mushroom on cognitive performance in older adults. This research concluded that daily consumption of mushroom extract for 4 months improved cognitive performance in adults between 50 and 85 years of age compared to the placebo control group. The cognitive performance scores decreased after discontinuing the extract.


Research has also confirmed that Lion’s Mane extract may encourage the growth of new nerve cells and may stimulate faster healing within the nervous system. Another study found that daily doses of Lion’s Mane extract resulted in faster nerve regeneration in rats with nerve damage compared to control subjects.

Tremella

Key Benefits

  • Moisturizing effects
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Improves skin cell growth

What is Tremella?

Tremella is an edible mushroom that has been used for centuries to promote vitality and longevity, and is sometimes referred to as a “yin tonic,” or a concoction that can help to improve moisture and energy (blood) flow in the body. According to ancient practitioners, this can have an overall positive impact on the body’s many organ systems to help boost heart, brain, lung, stomach, and immune system functions.


Thanks to modern research, we now know even more about Tremella’s health potential. A 2017 study reports that Tremella reduced the incidence of human skin fibroids caused by hydrogen peroxide, likely due to Tremella’s high antioxidant content, which can help to ward off free radicals that damage tissues.


Tremella’s anti-inflammatory effects are also one of its key benefits. A 2017 study describes this effect, verifying that Tremella could reduce the development and spread of inflammation in the body. According to this research, Tremella may be useful for managing certain inflammatory conditions, though the researchers call for more human trials. 


A report from Kaunus University of Medicine found that beta-glucans, a prominent polysaccharide found in most mushrooms (including Tremella), may stimulate the immune system. Combined with Tremella’s potential ability to prevent free radical damage and lower inflammation, these immune-stimulating benefits may help promote overall health and ward off illness and disease.


Alongside the ability to prevent tissue damage, Tremella may help to protect against neurodegeneration. One 2007 study found that Tremella tea helped to promote the growth of nerve cells and to decrease the incidence of cell toxicity related to many neurodegenerative diseases or to age-related cognitive decline. 

Cordyceps

Key Benefits

  • Increases endurance
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Benefits heart health
  • Helps to manage fatigue

What is Cordyceps?

Traditional uses of Cordyceps include increasing blood flow and oxygen flow throughout the body, improving stamina, and boosting immunity. Now, Western interest in the mushroom has spurred even more research and we better understand the potential benefits of Cordyceps. Aside from having an array of benefits related to its beta-glucan content, Cordyceps contains one bioactive compound not found in other mushrooms–cordycepin.


Cordycepin is a bio-metabolite that was originally investigated for its antibiotic potential, but that research fell through to a much wider therapeutic potential. A review published in 2020 highlights cordycepin’s potential benefits as an anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging compound, among other benefits, and describes it as “a most valuable medicinal mushroom for helping in maintaining good health.”


Cordycepin is, of course, only part of the Cordyceps mushrooms. The whole mushroom may have even greater benefits, particularly for improving athletic performance and endurance. 


Some evidence suggests that Cordyceps may help to increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body, which researchers believe may help to improve physical performance by improving oxygen flow in the body during physical activity. A 2004 placebo-controlled study, for instance, found Cordyceps to increase fitness levels in older adults. 


In a 2016 study, mice were able to continue swimming significantly longer after taking cordyceps. A placebo-controlled study from 2006 confirmed similar results in humans while doing exhaustive running exercises. . 

Maitake

Key Benefits

  • Immune boosting effects
  • Improves heart health
  • Benefits digestion

What is Maitake?

The Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondrosa) has made a name for itself in the world of wellness–both as a delicious cuisine and as a powerful adaptogen, meaning it may "adapt" to the body's needs in order to resolve imbalances that cause various mental and physical challenges. For now, though, most of the research available focuses heavily on its potential benefits for boosting the immune system. 


One beta-glucan found in Maitake, D-fraction, is known to have a strong effect on the immune system by boosting the production of lymphokines and interleukins that improve your overall immune response. One study compared the immune boosting benefits of Shitake, Maitake, and a combination of the two. The research found that the combination extract was the most active in terms of stimulating the immune system defense response. On its own, maitake was second-most effective at stimulating immune reactions.


Further, Maitake is believed to help regulate the body's stress response, which may improve how we deal with stress and negate some of the adverse effects related to stress. 

Mushrooms + Nootropics = Superior Support

To recap, our unique blend of functional mushrooms and brain-boosting nootropics is designed to offer full coverage wellness support. In other words, it’s a blend that can help boost your performance while also helping to keep you well and improve your performance over time–something that most energy drinks and coffee blends just don’t offer. 


When it’s all said and done, this nootropic + mushroom super blend adds up to offer these benefits and more:


  • Increases endurance
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Helps to manage fatigue
  • Boosts immunity
  • Supports cardiovascular health
  • Supports digestion
  • Protects against cognitive aging
  • Improves neurogenesis
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Enhances focus, learning, and memory
  • Supports a healthy stress response
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Supports a balanced mood

How Does Lucid™ Guarantee Quality?

Our Lucid™ mushroom stack is made with 100% USDA certified organic, fruited body mushrooms that are hot water extracted. Our GMP-compliant nootropic stack includes a selection of compounds that work synergistically, both with each other and with the mushroom stack, to provide superior benefits.

What does that mean?

When dealing with products that are this diverse and multi-faceted, it can be difficult for consumers to understand how to track the quality of different ingredients. After all, the quality concerns related to mushroom supplements are different than those related to our nootropic ingredients. 


Many manufacturers use these quality complexities to their advantage–they assume that the consumer won’t dig too deep and will be satisfied by a vague description of their quality standards. We make no such assumptions. In fact, we want you to question the quality of the products you put into your body, and we want you to have the tools to do so effectively. 


When it comes to mushrooms and nootropic supplements, there are a few things to consider–like where ingredients are sourced and made, whether mushroom mycelium or fruiting bodies are used, and the extraction techniques used and how they may affect the bioactivity of ingredients. 


We’ll break this all down as it pertains to Lucid™ beverages:

Processed Using GMP Manufacturing Standards

In a product with this many moving parts, ingredients must often be sourced from different suppliers. That means that the suppliers have a heavy hand in the final quality of the product. This is where the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards come in. 


The primary minimum standards for meeting GMP requirements are identity, purity, potency, and safety. In other words, the ingredient must be verified to be what it says it is, it must be verified in its purity and potency, and it must be in a usable form that is considered safe to consume–meaning it’s free of contaminants that are recognized as harmful by the Food and Drug Administration, the government agency that oversees GMP regulations. 


By sourcing only GMP-compliant ingredients and manufacturing our products in GMP-compliant facilities, we know exactly what we’re working with and what each batch of Lucid™ contains. 

Summary

The GMP-compliant label helps to ensure that products are what they say they are, available in the concentrations they claim to offer. 

Mushroom Sources: Mycelial Biomass vs Fruiting Bodies

While mushroom mycelium vs fruiting bodies seems to be a great debate, the science is pretty well settled–you want mushroom supplements made from fruiting bodies if you want the bioactive compounds medicinal mushrooms are known for. 


For context, mushroom supplements can be made from either the mycelium or the mushroom’s fruiting body (or sometimes a combination of both). The fruiting body is the stem and cap portion that most people associate with mushrooms. The mycelium is the underground network of cell-signaling “roots” that help the mushroom sustain life.


Many companies use mushroom mycelium in their products. Mycelium is grown on blocks of grain (like rice or oats). When harvested, the entire blocks are thrown into a blending machine and mixed up with the mycelium. This method is cost-effective and allows the company to legally describe its product as a “mushroom” product.


Aside from the fact that mycelial products are essentially just grains laced with a small amount of mushroom material, they contain far fewer bioactive beta-glucans than fruiting body products. In fact, fruiting bodies contain a beta-glucan content of around 30 to 40 %, while the beta-glucan content of the mycelium is much lower–around 5-7 %.


In other words, mushroom supplements made from fruiting bodies are more potent and pure, providing more bioactive beta-glucans (and therefore greater benefits) than mycelial products. 

Summary

Mycelial products, sometimes described as “mushroom biomass” products, are much less pure than mushroom products made from fruiting bodies. For the highest concentration of bioactive compounds, you want mushroom supplements made from fruiting bodies only. 

Mushroom Extraction: Hot Water Single Extraction

Our Lucid™ mushroom extract is made using a pressurized hot water extraction technique. That means it’s single-extracted directly from the whole mushroom. 


When you look at different mushroom formulas, you’ll often see the term “double extraction” thrown around, usually as a differentiator of quality. These companies are inferring that their double-extracted products are better than single-extracted products. The math adds up, but unfortunately, the science doesn’t. Here’s why:


The first extraction method used in this double-extraction process is hot water extraction. Hot water extraction is the best technique to use for mushrooms because it breaks down the mushroom’s chitin–polymer layers that lock in the bioactive compounds. This is important because chitin is difficult for the body to break down, so the beta-glucans in whole mushrooms (or whole mushroom powder made by drying and grinding whole mushrooms) are not very bioavailable for the body. 


The second part of this “double extraction” technique is usually an alcohol extraction. The idea is that whatever is leftover after the hot water extraction is then removed with the alcohol. In other words, the double extraction technique is meant to target both water-soluble and alcohol-soluble compounds in the mushrooms. 


The problem is–alcohol nearly eliminates the beta-glucans in the extract. So, again, if you want a mushroom extract that delivers the most bioactive compounds, you want hot-water-extracted mushroom concentrate. 

Summary

We use hot water extraction for our mushroom concentrate because it extracts the bulk of the beneficial compounds and creates an extract that is potent and biologically active. Alcohol extraction, the second part of a “double extraction” technique, destroys these beneficial compounds and should be avoided.

What Does Lucid™ Do?

With a better understanding of the superpowers that make up the Lucid™ blend, you’re probably wondering–what does a Lucid™ beverage do? How does it make you feel? And how do you use it to your advantage?


The answer is simple. Lucid™ is made to replace your daily “get up and go” beverage, whether it’s your morning coffee or the tea you grab to get over that afternoon slump, but the big picture is even greater. This mushroom+nootropic blend is made to work in the now and in the future, delivering the boost you need at the moment while supporting the body’s growth, healing, and vitality over time. 


In other words, you just take your Lucid™ beverage every day and expect to experience compounding effects over time that help you align with your greater self–centered, focused, and ready to take on the world. With several sugar and gluten-free flavor options (Columbian Coffee, Masala Chai, and Japanese Matcha), you can do Lucid™ your way to upgrade your body and mind.


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