Summer might be over and we’re all back to the grind of work or school (or both), but that doesn’t mean our brains got the memo. It’s hard transitioning and refocusing when we just miss the sunny beach, boat and patio days. Enter: brain juice. When you feel like you are running low on the creative juices, facing a mental block or just need a little energy boost, there are tonics for that – and they’re easily accessible all over the city. Before coffee (hard to imagine, but there was a ‘before’ coffee), medical specialists made tonics and elixirs, which are drink mixtures designed to improve your health. So the next time you are struggling, grab one of these drinks to sharpen your mind and boost your brain’s reaction time.
12 Blue Lavender Latte
The ‘blue’ in the blue latte comes from either Blue Algae, Spirulina or Butterfly Pea Flower – depending on where you get it. All of which naturally detoxifies your body and boosts cognitive function and brain function and will give you an all-day clear consistent energy. It’s also the prettiest drink, so there’s that.
Where to get it | Bel Café (spirulina), Blenz (butterfly pea flower), Body Energy Club (blue algae)
11 Turmeric Elixir
Turmeric is a known mostly for being anti-inflammatory, but it’s also good for your brain. Curcumin, which is part of what makes turmeric, has a lot of medicinal properties, like helping your brain form new connections, promoting the growth of brain cells and increasing overall memory function.
Where to get it | Prado
10 Ginger Chai Latte
Ginger boosts brain function by reducing any inflammation in the body and brain, improving reaction time and memory and appears to protect against age-related brain function loss. Ginger also reduces fatigue by improving blood circulation and blood sugar levels.
Where to get it | Railtown Cafe
9 Cacao Tumeric
In order to feel your best – it’s important to catch some z’s. Vancouver-based health brand Blume specializes in organic, vegan, and responsibly sourced superfood blends that will take your latte game to the next level and fuel your mind, body, and brain for optimal energy. Seven flavors to choose from but our new personal fav – the Cacao Tumeric Blend will aid in your quest for more routine beauty sleep thanks to their magical Moon Mylk. Smooth and creamy with a chocolatey finish. Sweet dreams, indeed!
Where to get it |Online via itsblume.com, Edible Canada, Welk’s, Body Energy Club, YYOGA locations, Greens Organic and Natural Market, Be Fresh Local Market, Walrus, The Soap Dispensary and many more!
8 Brain Tonic
A silky and refreshing tonic made with Brahmi, Gotu Kola, Yerba Maté and Lemon. Brahmi and Gotu Kola in the drink are herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine. They both improve memory and improve spatial learning and the ability to retain information by enhancing the nerve cells that are linked to learning and memory.
The Yerba Maté has caffeine to give you energy and mental focus, but less than coffee so you don’t get the jittery side effects.
Where to get it | Leisure Center Lounge
7 Moonshine Mama’s Turmeric Elixir
All of the Moonshine Mama’s elixirs have Turmeric and Ginger (see above), but the Sour Cherry flavour in particular will help extra with the brain boost. Sour cherries improve circulation, aid in cell repair, and promote brain health. The Spirulina also promotes brain health and increases energy and endurance and the Berries give that bit of natural sugar to get a buzz going.
Where to get it | Body Energy Club
6 The Buzz Mate
Made of 4 energizing ingredients – Yerba Maté (see above), Guarana, which is used in most energy drinks, has 4x more caffeine than coffee, Matcha, which has the combination of caffeine and l-theanine to provide a stable and extended boost of energy and White Ginseng, which is chinese medicine’s key to vital energy and clear thinking.
Where to get it | David’s Tea
5 Cacao Mylk
The Raw Cacao in the mylk is the key ingredient to increasing your energy and mood. Several studies have found the polyphenols found in cacao, improve brain function and blood flow and increase your mood and energy levels. Flavanols increase the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes the muscles of your blood vessels, improving blood flow and blood supply to your brain, helping your focus more.
Where to get it | Glory Juice
4 Bulletproof Coffee
Most people by now have at least heard of Bulletproof Coffee and if you’ve been skeptical until now, don’t be. The combination of the MCT Oil fat and the caffeine in Bulletproof Coffee increases energy, your mood and fires up your brain power. It also raises testosterone levels, giving you more strength.
Where to get it | Festal Cafe
3 Pink Latte
The main ingredient being Beets (and no, it doesn’t taste like it), contain nitrates which improve mental and cognitive function by dilating blood vessels which open blood flow to the frontal lobe of the brain – which is the area associated with higher-level thinking, such as decision making and working memory. Also, it will improve your mood too, because who doesn’t like pink drinks?? Photo credit | Blume
Where to get it | Be Fresh
2 Brain Train
Turf is soon to open downtown as well, but if you find yourself in the Kits area for now, the Brain Train is a winner for mental focus. Made of adaptogens Chaga and Mesquite, and superfood Lucuma. Chaga mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides, which help our body to convert food into usable energy, leaving you with a more enduring & sustained mental energy. Mesquite powder is not just for barbecues and is actually a good source of magnesium, which is known to cure psychiatric dysfunctions like stress and anxiety. Lucuma has vitamin B3, which help your cells to function properly, leaving you happy, awake and super focused.
Where to get it | Turf
1 VitaSave Protein Coffee gnuFuel
Coffee 2.0. For energy without the crash, gnuFuel is solid option for those in need of a pre or post workout pick-me-up. Made using cold brewed organic coffee, this drink contains 5 grams of plant-based fibre and 10 grams of protein to help repair and rebuild your muscles. The portable pouch is super convenient for when you’re on-the-go.
Choose from blueberry latte, cafe latte, or salted caramel latte. (SO good.)
Where to get it | Vitasave