Kim Kardashian recently posted an article on her app entitled “My Favorite Drink Right Now.” The article detailed her recent love affair with Neuro Drinks, a beverage company purveying elixir-like beverages claiming to provide specific health benefits. They’re sold beneath enticing names such as Sonic, Trim, and Gasm and have a body-related promise beneath each one.
This might seem like a departure from the usual kinds of products you might expect Kim to promote — weight loss teas, for example, or low-calorie shakes. Rather than weight loss, these drinks promise improved sleep and reduced stress among their apparent benefits — and Kim claims to have been experiencing exactly that. She claims to reach for one when she needs some hydration, is craving protein, or is enduring an especially busy day.
“They fit within my diet, too,” Kim K tagged on to the end of her post, “since all eight of the drinks are under 50 calories.”
But of course, that’s not why she likes them. They keep her “stress-free all day,” she claims. With three kids, including a newborn, and married to the ever-controversial Kanye West, we imagine that despite her wealth and fame the 37-year-old reality star needs all the stress relief she can get.
The drinks were casually mentioned on her Instagram: “A big thank you to my friend Diana Jenkins @drinkneuro for letting us use your amazing home & stocking us with the best Neuro drinks all day!!!” As part of that interview with Elle, a lineup of a few flavors of Neuro was inconspicuously placed in the background.
The drinks’ slogan is “Drink with a purpose.” But is there really a purpose to following Kim’s lead on this one?
Each health promise is affiliated with relevant ingredients. The drink claiming to promote energy, for instance, contains caffeine and L-Theanine. Another iteration, Neuro Trim, promises “a new you” on the label; it’s dosed up with low-calorie fibers such as glucomannan and chicory root inulin to “keep you focused on your trimming goals.” Neuro Bliss is dosed up with L-Theanine, vitamin D, and chamomile, all intended to lower cortisol levels and leave you feeling stress-free. Neuro Bliss is Kim’s favorite flavor.
We asked a diet expert whether these drinks worked, and whether there are cheaper alternatives. We can’t all throw down like Kim K — each 12-pack retails for $26.
“I’ve seen these things floating around; honestly, they look like just another scammy, trendy expensive bottled water,” Adrienne Johnson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University who specializes in interactions between diets and culture, explained. “Like Powerade or Kid Fuel or any of the designer waters, Neuro drinks are just using the trend of the moment (brain aerobics, neuro training) to market their beverage.”
Of course, there are benefits to drinking the vitamins in these beverages — but unless you’re missing something from your diet, you may be getting enough of these select nutrients already.
But if you just genuinely enjoy these beverages, or are really just trying to eat and drink like Kim K, is there really any harm done?
“I’d say there’s a degree of risk inherent in any unregulated ‘lifestyle drink’ that combines supplements,” Johnson told The Daily Meal. “The Neuro Sleep drink contains melatonin, which can disrupt sleep cycles if you take too much of it.” Johnson also noted that the drinks contain caffeine and cautioned against overdoing it. Each Neuro Sonic drink, intended to boost energy, contains the equivalent of one cup of coffee.
The drinks also add artificial sweeteners such as sucralose to your diet, which have come under scrutiny before.
There are more natural ways to get some of these nutrients, Melissa Bailey, MS, RD, LDN and Liz Smith, MPH, RD, CNSC, both clinical dietitians in Philadelphia and the writers behind Two Hungry Work Wives, told Refinery 29. "In general, a lot of the active ingredients in these drinks can be found from more natural sources, such as green tea or coffee, which we would prefer to drink instead," they said.
But other than these considerations, the only real risk is a dent to your bank account.
So drink them or don’t, just be a conscious consumer. And we recommend approaching celebrity diet habits with some skepticism — their choices can be pretty weird.