Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Mike Tyson Is the Latest Celeb to Step Into the Wellness Ring With Nootropics


Wesana Health, along with investor and former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, have launched a collaborative functional beverage line with Jones Soda.

The psychedelic life sciences company Wesana Health, founded by former NHL player Daniel Carcillo, says the new range of craft sodas is focused on supporting mental focus, clarity, and brain health.

Tyson, an investor in Wesana Health, has used a range of psychedelic and nootropic substances to support his own mental health journey.

“This project is especially important to me because so much of my personal growth has resulted from natural therapies,” Tyson said in a statement. “I am grateful that now, because of our partnership with Wesana and Jones Soda, everyone can enjoy these delicious beverages that provide a cool combination of functional, nutritional ingredients with a bold taste and signature Jones twist.”

What are nootropics?

Nootropics include a range of botanicals and substances also called “smart drugs” and even “legal psychedelics.”

They include adaptogens, caffeine, ginseng, and creatine, and they’re aimed at improving overall mental performance.

Image courtesy Bluebird Provisions on Unsplash

Nootropics can behave similarly to small doses of psychedelics, a practice called microdosing that has been linked to increased awareness and improved mental clarity.

“We are so pleased to develop this first-of-its kind nootropic supplement alongside Jones Soda and in partnership with Mike,” said Mark Wingertzahn, PhD, Wesana’s chief scientific officer.

“Our proprietary blend of nootropics and adaptogens underscore that physical health starts with taking care of your mental health. Having a healthy mind in a healthy body leads to higher levels of productivity and performance.”

Functional beverages

The Jones launch builds on the growing trend of functional beverages.

Earlier this week, Olipop, the three-year-old low-sugar soda alternative that features nine grams of plant-based fiber as well as prebiotics for gut health, announced it had raised $30 million in a Series B funding round. It’s now available in more than 10,000 stores across the U.S.

Musician and “American Idol” judge Katy Perry recently launched De Soi, a line of botanical-based aperitifs aimed at improving mood and mental clarity.

katy perry de soi
Image courtesy De Soi

Last year, model Bella Hadid joined the wellness category leader Kin Euphorics as co-founder. The botanical blends are aimed at improved mental wellbeing.

Likewise, Academy Award winner Brad Pitt’s Enroot, a line of James Beard chef-formulated teas includes herbs and botanicals aimed at boosting mood and mental wellbeing.

For the nootropic sodas, Jones worked closely with Tyson and Wesana’s science team to create the products. The launch features two flavors: Tyson’s Punch and Tiger’s Blood. Jones says the flavors are both fruity and crisp and “great complements to the functional nootropic experience.”

“At Jones, we are really excited to be a part of this meaningful project,” said Jones Soda president and CEO, Mark Murray. “Through the use of these naturopathic therapies, Mike Tyson has been able to realize a lifestyle that balances the persona he is known for publicly with his own deeply thoughtful and peaceful nature at home.”

Mental health and healing

Wesana Health has been leading the dialogue around mental health over the past several years. Carcillo suffered from traumatic brain injury as a result of his years playing professional hockey. Psychedelics helped his recovery.

“We are focused on improving neurological health and wellness. We started with post-concussion syndrome psilocybin assisted psychotherapy, and we believe there are other symptoms within the TBI constellation that can be helped by MDMA and by other psychedelics,” Carcillo told Forbes last September after the company announced it was backing research into MDMA for brain health. Wesana is also studying the effects of psilocybin as a potential treatment for TBI-related symptoms. 

Image courtesy Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash

The Jones announcement comes as the Covid pandemic enters its third year. Already at epidemic levels, mental health issues increased during the pandemic, with 40 percent of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorders—an increase from one in ten prior to the pandemic. Rates of sleep and eating disorders, alcohol consumption and substance use, and chronic conditions all saw increases during the pandemic.

Psychedelics have shown significant promise in treating mental health issues, particularly in the case of treatment-resistant depression, which affects as many as 30 percent of sufferers.

“Everyone thought I was crazy, I bit this guy’s ear off,” Tyson told Reuters about his infamous 1997 fight against Evander Holyfield.

“I did all this stuff, and once I got introduced to the shrooms … my whole life changed,” he said.

“To think where I was – almost suicidal – to this now. Isn’t life a trip, man? It’s amazing medicine, and people don’t look at it from that perspective.”


Probiotics for Lung Health? Why the Lung-Gut Axis Matters

When was your last lung-gut axis check-in? It may be key to your lung health, a probiotic expert says.

Issa Rae and Tazo Partner to Support Independent Coffee Shops and the ‘Communities They Inspire’

In a collaboration aimed at uplifting local communities, actress, producer, and entrepreneur Issa Rae has joined forces with specialty tea brand Tazo.

Sustainable and Healthy Omega-3s Are No Longer a Myth

With so many benefits to our health, can omega-3 fatty acids also be healthy for the planet? What's the best sustainable source?

Social Media ‘Scroll Holes’ Are As Bad for the Planet As They Are for Our Mental Health

There are lots of dark sides to social media, namely the scroll hole. What impact is this having on our mental health and the planet?

With Dos Hombres Mezcal, ‘Breaking Bad’s’ Walter and Jesse Are Finally Good Guys

From 'Breaking Bad' to Dos Hombres Mezcal, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul prove good stories stand the test of time.