Fun fact: When I’m not writing about food, I’m writing about the brain, and specifically, what neurosurgical treatments can best address debilitating conditions such as tumors, cancer and strokes. In addition to the opportunity it affords to be even a small part of the work to improve quality of life for persons suffering from these diseases, another reason I love my job is that it has led me to learn more than I ever imagined I would know about what goes on inside the human noggin.
So when I received a press release about IQ Bar, a new nutrition bar designed to improve brain function that was created by a graduate of my alma mater, the convergence of these three worlds was too much for my curiosity.
Founder Will Nitze was inspired to start IQ Bar by a personal struggle with brain function he experienced while studying psychology and neuroscience at Harvard. Well, there must be something in the Cambridge water because Nitze’s brain was probably functioning decently if he got in in the first place.
Nitze describes “suffering from brain fog and mental energy crashes on a daily basis.” This, too, happened to me at Harvard, most likely because I was staying up all night chatting with my crush down the hall diligently completing my pre-med problem sets. Nitze, however, “discovered” this neurological malaise was due to his “sugary, nutrient-poor diet,” and upon replacing carbohydrates with healthy fats and fortifying compounds he felt much better.
My quotes around “discovered” reflect my initial reaction to this statement: Oh, really, kiddo? You correlated feeling crappy with eating crap? That doesn’t sound like fake news but I’d like to see some sources.
Well, this Harvard man did his homework, for a handy hyperlink took me to a page on IQ Bar’s site that listed 57 of ’em in peer-reviewed journals. Nice.
The same page also details specifically how the five key nutrients found in IQ Bars (fiber, omega-3s, Medium-chain triglycerides, flavonoids, Vitamin E) have been shown in clinical studies to promote blood flow, neural function and prevent age-related cognitive decline. For an added bonus, IQ Bars are free of GMOs, grains, gluten, dairy, soy and added sugar.
Of two flavors of IQ Bars I tried, Almond Cacao and Blueberry Walnut, I much preferred the almond cacao—though that’s a no-brainer given I love chocolate and hate blueberries. Both bars had a moist, chewy consistency and a dense, varied texture thanks to the inclusion of large chunks of grains and nuts. I felt satisfied after eating both, but did they actually help me become smarter than the average bear? Hell no, I was already really smart. However, I did remember what level on which I parked my car in my work garage for seven days straight after the taste-test, so that’s something.
Other curious consumers can pre-order IQ bars through the company’s Indiegogo campaign.