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NZ’s energy drink game changer

After working for a large energy drink company and then losing family to a brain-related illness, Angus Brown set himself the challenge of creating a drink that improves mental performance and physical capability when one is fatigued. Now recognised globally, Brown’s co-founded food technology company Ārepa, produces a blackcurrant nootropic drink that studies show works wonders.

Unique to other beverage companies, Ārepa has ditched the typical caffeine and sugar used to boost mental focus and instead is working with neuroscientists to create formulas that have a positive effect on the human brain.

Developed by leading neuroscientist, Professor Andrew Scholey, the smart drink holds unique ingredients including a variety of New Zealand blackcurrants and extracts of New Zealand pine bark. Due to New Zealand’s unique climate, the home-grown blackcurrants contain the highest levels of anthocyanins found in any fruit. Referred to as ‘nootropics’, these ingredients are the compounds that support cognitive function.

But does this drink work? A recent peer reviewed and published study conducted by the University of Auckland has proven that drinking Ārepa does in fact reduce mental fatigue when you need it the most.

Lead by Dr Andrea Braakhuis, the study investigated the benefits of the drink with stressed athletes, given the increase in demand Ārepa had seen in this demographic.

The study involved 24 healthy rugby league players who were randomly assigned a treatment of 250mls of Ārepa or 250ml of a taste and carbohydrate matched placebo, followed by a washout period and cross over.

Scientists tested Ārepa’s impact on cognitive performance by using validated testing procedures. The test occurred on-site following a training session of intense physical exercise, where the players would be in a fatigued state and their mental clarity at most vulnerable. The study found the total score, accuracy and average time per response had improved significantly after the players had consumed Ārepa.

Braakhuis says the results were the first of their kind to show the effect of the drink on mental performance in athletes.

“With growing evidence that anthocyanin-rich New Zealand blackcurrants vastly improve brain functions from clarity to focus, this study is the first to suggest that Ārepa supports optimal cognitive function after fatiguing exercise.”

One of Ārepa’s studies involves scanning the brains of participants using an electroencephalogram machine. The non-invasive technology picks up electrical signals that inform the scientist everything from short term mental performance to long term brain plasticity. 

After witnessing mind blowing results, Brown says the University of Auckland has helped reinforce that he has developed the winning formula.

“From the sports field to the boardroom, mental fatigue is everywhere. There is increasing pressure to ‘be switched on’ and to function at a really high level at all times. Our formula ultimately improves how the mind works, particularly under stress, in this case physical, and has benefits for all types of consumers.”

 “Optimal cognitive function is beneficial for athletes, not only because performance in many sports requires motor control, coordination, decision making, timing and teamwork, but further, it is important in reducing the stress involved with athletic competition.

Since Lockdown, Ārepa’s sales have seen a steady monthly growth rate of 27 percent with the company also being featured in global food trend reports as the future of Mental Wellness. The brand has successfully launch in Australia remotely and is aiming to launch in the US later in the year.

Find Ārepa in your local New World Supermarket or Health Store, or search for your nearest stockist at drinkarepa.com/pages/store-locator.

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