So, I’m not going to beat around the bush. I’ve tried a fair few of supplements in the past, whether it’s to help with my anxiety, weight loss, concentration, or whatever else. In each of those experiences, I’ve really only ever noticed minimal changes (if any) so they’ve not really boosted my confidence in using them in the long-term. Recent news reports saying that most vitamin supplements contain zilch of the good stuff hasn’t filled me with confidence either.
But, I’m an optimist if nothing else. I’ll give anything a go to see if it works. We’re all different, after all: things work for some, not for others.
I was given the chance to try out two products from Focus Supplements that were new on the market. One of them, D Mannose, is a powder that’s supposed to help with bladder health and your immune system, whilst the other, Caffeine and L-theanine, is a supplement capsule aimed at boosting concentration and your mood.
As a little side note, I’ve been in and out of the hospital for the past six months thanks to a broken foot/ankle/heel/whatever else that doesn’t seem to be making any progress – this is important as, it’s safe to say, my mood hasn’t been top notch recently.
With that in mind, I was particularly keen on trying the caffeine capsules as my concentration and energy-levels have been whack. Basically, these capsules blend caffeine and L-Theanine (an amino acid) together to help support cognitive function by increasing energy levels and boosting blood flow to the brain.
As I say, I’m pretty sceptical at this point so when I first tried the capsules, I wasn’t expecting much. My first mistake was taking them at lunch after a big cup of coffee. Not taking it seriously, I was full-on jitterbug in the afternoon. I definitely had more energy but it wasn’t too enjoyable at the time.
I got into a routine of having a morning coffee and taking the caffeine capsules at lunchtime with my food. Leaving enough of a gap between the coffee and the capsules worked a treat, and managed to give me the energy boost I needed for an afternoon of hard work and finding things to get distracted by. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to do this, but it also has helped reduce my urges for an afternoon snack too – so that’s quite a good added benefit.
Being the clumsy clutz I am, I also had a memorable first time using the D Mannose. As it’s a powder, I read the instructions for putting a spoonful into the water and just grabbed a spoon and did as I was told. I didn’t realise that the spoon mentioned in the instructions was not only IN the container of the powder but also about a tenth the size of a normal spoon… So, that was fun.
When I’d figured out how to do the very-easy-that-a-child-could-do-it method of portioning the powder, all was good in the world again. D-mannose is a sugar found in cranberry, so it has similar benefits to cranberry juice and it’s pretty tasteless. Drinking it with juice, I did notice a slightly-sweeter taste so I just put less concentrated squash in my drink to balance it out.
I’ve not got a bladder infection (as far as I’m aware), so I can’t really comment on how it helps that but I will say it was hardly noticeable in the drink and it dissolves instantly. With some powders, you can get a bit of a powdery taste/feel with them but not here.
So, in a nutshell, I’m pleased to say that both products seem to me to be of a high quality. The d-mannose is something that I can keep in the kitchen for whenever I need to use it or fancy a bit of a bladder detox, but I’m really impressed with the caffeine capsules.
When taking them, I could definitely notice them working and they have helped me the past couple of weeks get through work that I would normally have felt too much of a zombie to complete. I’m not just saying this because I got to try them out, but I will be continuing to use these capsules. Like I say, just don’t take them too close after a cup of coffee/energy drink – you’ll get the shakes and it’s not a cute look.
Another thing I noticed was that I never got the post-coffee crash when I took the capsules, which is always a bonus. Also, I forgot to mention that they’re both vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, soy-free, GMO-free and free of chemicals and preservatives – so, it’s good stuff.
Disclaimer: I was sent a sample of the products from Focus Supplements in exchange for a review on my blog. All thoughts and opinions are my own.