eating a cube

I'm not a morning person.

I'd sooner roll out of bed five minutes before I need to head to work than have an hour to get myself ready for the day.

So when I heard about Go Cubes, a chewable coffee alternative that's actually made out of coffee, I knew I had to test it out. Snacking on gummy cubes on my way to work has to be better than preparing and carrying a thermos of hot coffee around with me, right?

I decided to give the cubes a fair shake and test them out for a full week before reaching a verdict.

Read on to see how the experiment went:

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First off: The science behind the cubes

Go Cubes are made by Nootrobox, a startup with backing from tech investors like Andreessen Horowitz that specializes in nootropics, compounds that claim they can help improve focus or memory.

Each cube, which is considered a food, not a supplement, packs the following:

• 50 mg of caffeine, about the equivalent of a half a cup of coffee

• 500% of your daily allowance of the vitamins B6 (important for processing food) and B12 (important for keeping blood and nerve cells healthy)

• 100 mg of a green-tea extract called L-Theanine, which at least one meta-analysis suggests may help enhance caffeine's effects

Nootrobox's chief operational officer, Michael Brandt, told Business Insider that the company plans to further test its product in clinical trials. The company says that it's currently working with a university in the Netherlands to compare a pill-version of the cubes against caffeine alone and a placebo.

Day 1: First impressions

When my box of cubes arrived, I couldn't wait to open it up and pop one in my mouth. Each cube is coated in sugar, which reminded me of a favorite candy from my childhood called Sour Patch Kids, so I expected a lot of sweetness as I bit in.

As the cube hit my taste buds, I knew rougher times were ahead. And indeed, the aftertaste was basically like drinking nothing but coffee for a week while not brushing your teeth.

Day 1: Second cube

Since each cube is considered only half a dose — two cubes give you the equivalent of roughly a cup of coffee and 100 mg of caffeine — I started in on my second cube of the morning shortly after finishing the first. Thinking that downing it like a pill might be easier, I decided to cut it up into tiny pieces and swallow it with water. But my attempt merely prolonged the cube's inevitable bitter taste.

Once I got past the weird taste, though, I was excited to see the effects of the cubes, especially since I hadn't gotten much sleep the previous night.

For the most part, they seemed to work. I felt alert and energized as the cubes started to kick in, but no side effects like a pounding heart or jittery hands that typically happen when I drink coffee. It felt almost as if I was just naturally more alert.

A little later that evening, my stomach began to hurt a bit, but I decided to write it off as possibly the result of the quesadilla I had at dinner.

Day 1 cube count: 2

See the rest of the story at Business Insider