Among nootropic manufacturer’s, Onnit is perhaps the most mainstream and the most famous. Their flagship supplement is Alpha BRAIN, a “broad spectrum” nootropic formula with ingredients designed to improve focus and mental stamina. In addition to Alpha BRAIN, the company also makes New Mood, a serotonin-boosting formula designed to aid sleep and relaxation. Another formula, called Shroom TECH Sport, hasn’t gotten as much publicity for its mental effects, though it may deserve the chatter.
Onnit claims Shroom TECH Sport was formulated to boost athletic performance by aiding/enabling energy pathways in the body. However, many of its primary ingredients, including Rhodiola rosea, cordyceps mushroom, and ashwagandha, are popular nootropic ingredients in their own right.
We set out to see if this pre-workout formula gave our testers a mental edge as well. Read on to see what our testers thought.
Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin), 3mg
An essential nutrient, B12 plays an important role in numerous bodily functions, including neurological function and development. The particular form of B12 is the coenzyme form most often used to reduce brain fog and promote mental energy due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This form of B12 can also directly participate in homocysteine metabolism.
Chromium (from Chromium Picolinate), 200mcg
This is an essential mineral and element that impacts glucose sensitivity and insulin in the body. Onnit includes chromium in ShroomTECH Sport to theoretically help balance and maintain blood sugar levels during activity.
Shroom Tech O2 Blend, 1500mg
A proprietary blend of ingredients from Onnit.
Organic Cordyceps (whole) Extract, Organic Cordyceps (whole)
This is Onnit’s headlining ingredient in ShroomTECH Sport, and it’s one we’re seeing more commonly in nootropic supplements. The cordyceps mushroom is an adaptogen that has been used in Chinese and Tibetan medicine as a treatment for numerous ailments, though its exact effects on the body still need to be determined through extensive clinical research. There’s also some early but promising clinical research indicating cordyceps extract has significant anti-fatigue properties.
Onnit claims it can boost ATP generation and oxygen utilization and aerobic capacity in the body, and some preliminary research backs their claims.
Shroom Tech Adaptogen Blend, 875mg
A proprietary blend of ingredients from Onnit.
Green Tea (leaf) Extract
Shroom Tech Sport gets some (unspecified) quantities of polyphenols, caffeine, and l-theanine from the addition of green tea. An amino acid that’s becoming an increasingly common ingredient in nootropics, l-theanine promotes relaxation without being a sedative. Research suggests it also helps the brain deal with stress. Often paired with caffeine, l-theanine effects appear complementary to the world’s most popular stimulant. It may also increase brain activity and memory.
Rhodiola (root) Extract
A noted adaptogen with few (if any) noted side effects, rhodiola is an herbal extract shown to boost physical and mental endurance while reducing the perceived symptoms of stress. Rhodiola fights fatigue, and there’s some anecdotal evidence it boost the effects of stimulants like coffee. Generally, a very large amount of rhodiola (over 600 mg) does not seem to boost the ingredient’s effects and may actually reduce them; with rhodiola, less may in fact be more for some users, and some clinical studies have seen effectiveness at doses under 100mg.
Onnit’s website cites some research suggesting a synergistic effect when combining rhodiola and cordyceps extracts. Rhodiola is also a headlining ingredient in stimulant-free stacks like RISE by Nootrobox (which our testers enjoyed).
Ashwagandha (root) Extract
The extract of Ashwagandha roots and leaves have been used in Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu medicine philosophy, as a mood stabilizer, and to combat stress and anxiety. The extract is said to work as a nervous system depressant, bringing about tranquility and relaxation, and making it easier to fall asleep.
Astragalus (root) Extract
One of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s fifty fundamental herbs, Astragalus has been shown to benefit the kidneys and is also linked to some general properties as they relate to anti-inflammatory effects and longevity. It may be adaptogenic in its effects, protecting against the effects of stress and neural decline.
The majority of human research, though, focuses on astragalus’ properties as they relate to the kidneys, though there’s some promising research suggesting it could improve exercise endurance. It generally has poor oral bioavailability (better via injections) and may interfere with some pharmaceuticals because it inhibits the enzyme CYP3A4. Onnit claims the inclusion of astragalus in ShroomTECH Sport positively influences the potency of cordyceps.
Other ingredients: Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water), Maltodextrin.
- Designed to help the body with cellular energy and cardiovascular endurance.
- Take a serving of the greater of 3 capsules or 1 capsule per 50 lbs. of body weight, 45 minutes prior to physical exertion or competition, preferably on an empty stomach.
- When not engaging in planned physical exertion, take a serving of 1-2 capsules in the afternoon on an empty stomach to maintain daily energy.
- Do not exceed more than 6 capsules in any 24 hour period unless otherwise directed by a healthcare practitioner.
What Our Testers Say
“I’m always curious about the physical energy I get (or don’t get) from rhodiola, it all depends on what I’m taking it with. In this case, I felt sustained mental and physical energy. I took Shroom Tech Sport before workouts, as suggested on the label. It doesn’t seem to contain much caffeine, but it gave me at least the same boost, if not more, than some of the high-stimulant pre-workouts I’ve used in the past. It definitely stimulated me mentally, though I noticed the biggest impact on physical performance.”
“Adaptogenic formulas like Shroom Tech Sport often make me feel calm, and this was no exception. I took it in the morning and afternoon, and overall I prefer it to start my day with coffee or breakfast. On days I expected to be otherwise jittery or nervous, like when a quarterly report draft was due, I feel like Shroom Tech helped me stay level headed through it. I’m not sure it helped with my focus, but I felt less fatigued and less nervous than I might feel without it.”
“Like Alexandra, I also enjoyed taking this with coffee, though I liked it more in the afternoon when I’m facing a post-lunch slump. Cordyceps on its own has never been the most potent thing for me, but in this formulation and with these ingredients, I felt pretty good. I’m not sure I’d take it every day, but I’ll keep it handy if I need something to fight a sluggish afternoon.”
“This didn’t help me feel ”˜sharp’ like Alpha BRAIN, which was a little disappointing. However, I never felt tired on days when I took Shroom Tech. I’m going to think of it as more of a hedge against stress and tiredness than a focus or energy enhancer on its own.”
- Shroom Tech Sport contains some caffeine from green tea, so be aware of that when combining with other stimulants like coffee.
- This is a fairly robust adaptogenic formula, especially when starting, we recommend taking on its own instead of stacking with other nootropics.
- Don’t take too close to bedtime, as it may cause some mild difficulty sleeping when taken right before bed.
- Take before a workout to get more out of your session.
Unlike Alpha BRAIN or Alpha BRAIN Instant, Shroom Tech Sport didn’t impart a remarkable sense of sharpness or focus. It DID, however, prove popular among our testers for fighting fatigue and taking the edge off stressful situations. We’re not convinced this is an everyday nootropic, but for times when particularly challenging physical or mental tasks are right in front of you, it may certainly make those situations more tolerable, and less exhausting.