About Hackers Brew
By blending coffee and nootropics, Hackers Brew promises to deliver less fatigue and inflammation, increased clarity and focus, improved mental energy, eliminated brain fog, and boosted motivation.
According to the company, Hackers Brew is the result of hand-in-hand collaboration with neuroscientists and biohackers, as well as with an organic roaster, to formulate a “perfect blend” of nootropics, cold brew mocha, coconut creamer, and other natural ingredients.
To experience these benefits, Hackers Brew claims you’ll need to drink one bottle about 30 minutes before you need to focus on work. Ideally, you’ll want to drink it before breakfast with a light meal, and the effects will be noticeable within about 30 minutes.
From there, we’re told the “performance boost” will last an entire work day, without side effects. The company claims you could experience even more benefits with continued use.
Sure, these claims sound great on the Hackers Brew website, but what does science have to say? Are there other products like Hackers Brew? Which one will deliver the most value? Let’s answer your questions by starting with the basics.
The 411 on Nootropics & Biohacking
According to the Hackers Brew website, “Nootropics are neuro-enhancing ingredients that improve one or more aspects of mental function.” We’ve been reviewing these kinds of supplements for years (more about this soon), so we’d say that’s as good a definition as any.
The problem is that many of these companies don’t explain exactly how their ingredients are supposed to—in the case of Hackers Brew, for example—increase attention, improve focus, and reduce mental fatigue. In some instances, manufacturers will claim to boost circulation (blood flow), while others will claim to boost acetylcholine levels, which is a key neurotransmitter that sends signals from the brain to other parts of the body.
For an in-depth overview of nootropics, be sure to read The Truth About Memory Supplements.
Taking nootropics to boost your performance is one form of biohacking, which literally means to “hack” (i.e. improve) biology. Other, sometimes more extreme, examples might include implanting magnets under the skin, undergoing genetic testing, or even just using a fitness tracking device to measure heart rate and count calories.
Trendy terms aside, is there clinical evidence supporting Hackers Brew’s claims? That’s what we’ll take a look at next.
What Does Science Have to Say About Hackers Brew’s Ingredients?
The company tells us that their formulation is based on a “whole system” approach, whereby each of Hackers Brew’s ingredients are intended to work in combination with one another. This way, they claim you’ll receive immediate and long-term benefits with continued use.
While there isn’t a label listed on the Hackers Brew website, we’re told it contains the following:
- Adaptogens – According to many naturopathic sources, adaptogens are different substances that stabilize physiological processes (such as decreasing cellular stress). The problem is that, according to The European Medicines Agency, there isn’t a lot of clinical substantiation for the health benefits of adaptogens—in fact, there isn’t even agreement on what the term actually means, or which substances qualify as adaptogenic.
- Good Fats – In a nutshell, unsaturated (good) fats contain substances that can help lower blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. Saturated (or trans) fats, on the other hand, can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and other serious health issues.
- Amino Acids – After proteins are broken down in the body, amino acids are left behind, which are responsible for processes like breaking down food, growing and repairing body tissue, producing energy, and more. There are three types of amino acids: essential, nonessential, and conditional.
- Xanthines – According to WiseGeek, xanthines “are alkaloids and include such common mild stimulants as caffeine and theobromine, which is found in chocolate. Some are used medicinally to treat asthma and other respiratory conditions. Xanthine is involved in human physiology and is an intermediate in the production of uric acid.”
Specifically, we’re told that Hackers Brew contains 13g of sugar, 16g of carbs, and 104 calories per bottle.
Pro tip: The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 25g of total sugar for women per day, and 37.5g for men. This means that at 13g per bottle, drinking Hackers Brew can use up more than one-third to one-half of your daily allotment of sugar.
From a caffeine perspective, we’re told that one bottle of Hackers Brew contains about as much as a regular mocha coffee. However, they claim that “the caffeine’s half-life is doubled, giving you longer-lasting energy.”
From a clinical perspective, based on a summary of the available evidence, WebMD lists caffeine as “likely effective” for temporarily boosting mental alertness, which seems to work even better when combined with glucose. However, there’s no clear indication that this increased alertness actually translates into improved performance in real-world tasks.
Outside of this, you probably recognized that all of the other ingredients listed for Hackers Brew aren’t ingredients at all—instead, they’re simply classes of ingredients. In other words, we’re not told what kinds of good fats, xanthines, or amino acids Hackers Brew contains. As such, it’s next to impossible to gauge what you might realistically expect from consuming them.
But will these ingredients cause any harm?
Will Hackers Brew’s Ingredients Cause Any Side Effects?
If you experience any side effects at all from drinking Hackers Brew, the clinical evidence indicates it probably won’t be anything worse than mild digestive upset.
Although Hackers Brew only contains about as much caffeine as a mocha, if you’re especially sensitive to stimulants though, it can also lead to insomnia, nervousness, and restlessness. This effect might be boosted by the presence of xanthines, another type of mild stimulant.
Side effects or not, how much will you pay for Hackers Brew?
How Much Does Hackers Brew Cost?
A 10-pack (no amounts listed for each bottle) of Hackers Brew will cost you $65, plus shipping and taxes, which will be calculated based on your location.
All Hackers Brew bottles are shipping cold and will need to be refrigerated as soon as you receive them. If stored properly, they should remain fresh for 14 days.
Important note: According to the company’s website, since it’s a hand-crafted product, it can take 1-2 weeks for your order to arrive.
You can either place a single 10-pack order, or you can sign up for Hackers Brew’s subscription program. Here, you’ll pay $130 per month and will receive two 10-packs per month.
What about returns? Outside of instances of wrong orders, spoiled products, or damage, it doesn’t appear Hackers Brew provides refunds. If you find yourself in one of these situations, customer service can be reached at (424) 256-8108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are There Any Reviews for Hackers Brew? What About the Competition?
There was very little online feedback for Hackers Brew at the time of our research, leading us to believe that it was a very new product. We did find one in-depth review on 9to5Toys, who noted that the cold brew was smooth to the palate, although you’ll need to make sure it’s shaken well (otherwise, it might have a grainy texture).
In the end, they concluded, “It’s hard to speak authoritatively based on my six-drink trial, but I can definitely attest to the fact that it makes me more productive than a typical espresso-based drink at Starbucks does.”
In addition to popular nootropic capsule-based supplements like Geniux and Neuroflexyn, more and more nootropic coffee blends are making their way to market, including grounds from Kimera, Beluga, and Hyperfocus. However, if you’re looking for a ready-made cold brew nootropic, Hackers Brew seems to be your only option.
From a company perspective, Hackers Brew was founded by Elias Ladopoulos, a former hacker who received some notoriety back in 1990 after he and his hacking group Masters of Deception (MOD) crashed the AT&T telephone network, after which he spent six months supervised camp facility.
Since then, Ladopoulos has worked as a security engineer in the trading industry and founded Kinetic Global Markets and Supermassive Corp.
What Can You Really Expect From Hackers Brew
Once you sweep away all the marketing, it appears that Hackers Brew is a cold brew mocha with a generalized blend of ingredients and extended release caffeine.
Given this, if you enjoy a daily mocha (especially cold brew) but are looking to save some cash by avoiding your local coffee house, then Hackers Brew might be right up your alley. Just remember that, at $6.50 per bottle, you might not be saving a whole lot of cash with Hackers Brew.
We can also imagine Hackers Brew being especially attractive for those who tend to experience crashes after consuming traditional coffee beverages, due to the rapid metabolism of the caffeine and the ultra-high sugar content. Just remember that Hackers Brew doesn’t contain an insignificant amount of sugar, either.
However, if you’re simply looking for a caffeine boost, we’d imagine that you might achieve much the same effect by taking a capsule or two of time release caffeine, bottles of which can be purchased online for as little as $12.
Did you decide to purchase Hackers Brew? Did you choose it for the money savings, the extended release caffeine, the nootropic ingredients, or something else? Tell us about it in your review below!