Putting the “noo” in nootropics with a novel sage ingredient

Published: 3-Apr-2024

A proprietary extract offers caffeine-free clinically supported memory and attention benefits, reports Alexis Collins, Director of Product and Brand Strategy at Stratum Nutrition

The market for energy enhancing supplements is diverse and includes various demographics and lifestyles.

In the past, most consumers looking for these products were athletes, gym-goers, e-gamers and college students. During more recent times, that population has shifted and, post-COVID, people from all walks of life are seeking solutions that are tailored to their unique needs. 

According to FMCG Gurus, only 44% of global consumers are satisfied with their energy levels.1 They’re placing a high value on energy and they’re looking for products that can provide both physical and cognitive revitalisation.

Notably, they’re checking for ingredient claims that can support and enhance their energy level; 60% of global consumers want to improve their energy levels during the next 12 months.2

Overall, the energy and focus market continues to expand as consumers increasingly prioritise health, wellness and performance optimisation. However, concerns about the safety, efficacy and long-term effects of some energy supplements remain.

Energy drinks try to offer themselves up as a healthier option to, say, a double-shot, full-fat caramel macchiato with extra caramel sauce … but how much further can we go with “more is better” formulations with peak caffeine levels? 

According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 mg of caffeine/day (4–5 actual cups of coffee) appears to be safe for most healthy adults who are not pregnant. Does that mean we should be hitting this limit?

Putting the “noo” in nootropics with a novel sage ingredient

It’s possible that we already hit one far side of the energy supplement spectrum (fully caffeinated 24/7) and we’ve been swinging towards the other side (get your energy from anything but caffeine) for a few years and will continue to see this trend rise.

Non-caffeinated coffee alternatives combined with growing interest in the health benefits of mushrooms are a great example of this.

Seeking science

Energy drinks have recently received some bad press, which has led to increased regulatory scrutiny and consumer education efforts.

Examples include new Canadian legislation outlawing drinks containing more than 180 mg of caffeine in a single serving, a wrongful death lawsuit concerning Panera’s “supercharged lemonade” and US Senate requests for FDA investigations into whether energy drinks are targeting advertising to audiences who are too young for high caffeine consumption.

Overall, these events don’t seem to be negatively affecting the popularity of energy as a category of interest, but there is a growing demand for evidence-based products and transparency in terms of labelling within the energy supplement industry.

As consumers become more aware of the pitfalls of caffeine, thanks to the rise of bioanalysing influencer podcasts, more end users seek to optimise caffeine usage instead of overloading on it.

Crash-free cognition

What many consumers call “energy” really translates to “enhanced mental focus and endurance” to get tasks done without mental burnout, fog or crashing.

Stratum Nutrition has just launched a sage extract that may help to support attention and memory within the first hour of the first dose — as demonstrated in a published human clinical study with healthy older adults.3

Sage has been used as a traditional remedy for cognitive support for hundreds of years.4 Some species of sage, such as Salvia officinalis, contain botanical compounds that can inhibit acetylcholinesterase (the enzyme responsible for reducing acetylcholine neurotransmitter levels in the brain).

A botanical such as sage that helps to reduce this enzyme keeps acetylcholine flowing in our brain; this is vital when it comes to “sensory gating,” the process that the brain uses to focus and filter out background noise. 

For the knowledge worker who needs to focus and get one more work done before the end of the day — but does not want to sacrifice sleep by ingesting caffeine less than 10 hours before bed — Stratum Nutrition’s sage extract is an ideal experiential ingredient that may help support memory and attention in as little as one hour and support healthy neurotransmitter levels without caffeine.

Not only do sleep issues increase with age, but the CDC also reports that one in 10 US adults (45 years of age and older) cite worsening memory loss. 

Older millennial supplement buyers will soon be searching for sleep-sparing, experiential memory and attention support that can be delivered in their favourite formats (gummies and ready-to-drink beverages).

Stratum’s sage extract works just as efficiently in these forms — as well as standard capsules — with a tea-like herbal flavour and substantiated doses of just 167–333 mg supporting cognitive health claims.

Energy supplements and drinks that can provide a mental boost (without the rush and crash of caffeine) are on-track to be the next big thing. This makes sense as, in many individuals, caffeine may cause sleep disruption after consumption and many caffeine users experience increased anxiety and stress.

Stratum’s sage extract does not contain caffeine and offers nootropic support to those buying into the “non-stim” no-to-low caffeine wave that is 100% traceable, non-GMO and standardised to specific bioactives to help support cognitive health.

With the benefits of being researched to deliver a dependable experience, while being low dose, mild-tasting and easily dissolvable in liquids, we are certain Stratum Nutrition’s sage extract is poised to be the “noo” nootropic.


  1. https://fmcggurus.com/top-ten-trends-for-2024/.
  2. https://fmcggurus.com/reports/fmcg-gurus-joint-and-bone-health-in-2024-global-report/.
  3. A.B. Scholey, et al., “An Extract of Salvia (Sage) with Anticholinesterase Properties Improves Memory and Attention in Healthy Older Volunteers,” Pyschopharmacology 198(1), 127–139 (2008).
  4. N. Culpepper, The Complete Herbal (London, UK): pp 102–116 (1652).

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