6 key brain nutrients in each bar.
IQBARs are formulated around six nutrients shown to support sustained cognitive energy, performance, and health.
3 key body nutrients in each bar.
Our bars are also packed with three nutrients shown to support strength, stamina, and a healthy gut/metabolism.
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Brain + Body Nutrients
4 key brain + body nutrients in each mix.
IQMIX hydration mixes are formulated around four nutrients shown to improve hydration, cognitive performance, and mood.
(Mg L-Threonate) A clinically studied form of magnesium for cognition + mood. Learn More
(8X-Concentr.) A super-concentrated form of Lion’s Mane for the brain. Learn More
(Electrolyte) The most important electrolyte - critical for optimizing fluid levels. Learn More
(Electrolyte) A key electrolyte that supports muscle function and blood pressure. Learn More
No Bad Stuff
Used in Chinese medicine for millennia, the Lion’s Mane mushroom is widely championed for its potential brain benefits. It’s perhaps best known for its demonstrated ability to boost nerve growth factor (NGF) across a host of animal studies. NGF promotes the generation of new neurons, the growth, maintenance, and survival of existing neurons, and the reversal of injury-induced nerve damage. In vitro research has shown Lion’s Mane to also promote neurite outgrowth, a process by which neurons create more expansive cellular connections.
Unsurprisingly, healthier neurons appear to improve brain function! A landmark 2009 study found that when a group of 50- to 80-year-old Japanese men and women regularly consumed Lion’s Mane tablets for weeks at a time, they scored significantly higher than a control group in cognitive function testing. A subsequent 2017 study found that mice demonstrated superior spatial short-term and visual recognition memory after consuming the mushroom. Perhaps the strongest animal research on this topic is that which has shown Lion’s Mane to protect against and possibly even treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.     
Lion’s Mane also appears to have strong anti-oxidant properties. Several in vitro studies in the last five years have shown the mushroom to be highly adept at “scavenging” (i.e., disabling) free radicals and reducing genes’ expression of chemicals that promote inflammation.    Lion’s Mane has also been linked with a reduction in fatigue, anxiety, and depression, in part due to its anti-oxidant capabilities and by promoting hippocampal Neurogenesis. These “feel-good” benefits are likely the biggest reason Lion’s Mane is cropping up everywhere these days!
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) are a powerful alternative brain energy source to carbohydrates and longer-chain saturated fats. When most fats are digested, they are broken down in the intestines, circulated in the bloodstream, and finally metabolized in the liver. In contrast, MCTs are sent directly from the small intestine to the liver where they are broken down quickly and easily into compounds called ketones. While ketones provide near-instant energy to the brain in much the same way that blood sugar from carbohydrates does, they are released in a far more sustainable, crash-free stream.
Extensive literature indicates that MCT’s provide not just cognitive energy, but a higher quality of cognition as well. For instance, a 2004 study found that adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were far more adept at paragraph recall after having taken just a single dose of MCT oil.  A 2010 study took an extended treatment approach, finding that dogs given an MCT-supplemented diet over eight months vastly outperformed their peers across a battery of cognitive tests covering learning ability, visuospatial function, and attention.  In 2015, researchers also found that dogs’ neurons were more capable of metabolizing energy when they were given MCT dosage over a two-month period. 
Additionally, MCT’s has been repeatedly shown to have brain-protective properties. For instance, in 2014, Canadian scientists found that neurons exposed to amyloid proteins - which play a pivotal role in neurodegeneration - have significantly higher survival rates, and lower mitochondrial damage rates, when they are exposed to MCT-rich coconut oil.  Furthermore, when compared to other oils with antioxidant properties like copra oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil, a 2013 study found that coconut oil attenuated oxidative damage in rat brains to the greatest degree.  Given these findings, MCT’s are commonly cited by those in the food community working to debunk the outdated myth that saturated fats are categorically “unhealthy”.
If there was a brain nutrient rockstar, it would be omega-3 fatty acids. On top of energizing the brain, omega-3’s are a primary structural component of the organ itself, representing 8% of its total weight, and the majority of the weight of substructures like neuronal plasma membranes.  Moreover, greater consumption of these acids has been found to correlate with higher gray matter volume in critical components of the brain - especially in its memory center, the hippocampus.   A major driver of this correlation is omega-3’s apparent capacity to induce creation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports new neuron formation. Despite these benefits, 70% of Americans are omega-3 deficient. 
Omega-3 consumption has been linked to more than just larger brains - it has also correlated with greater memory retention, capacity to learn, and neuronal plasticity. Two 2012 studies found that working memories of both younger (aged 18-25) and older (aged 51-72) adults improved when omega-3 pills were taken for extended periods of time.   Further, studies focusing on 4-10 year-olds found that omega-3 intake was associated with improved reading ability, listening comprehension and vocabulary acquisition, and activation of the prefrontal cortex.    Finally, across animal studies where brain injury occurred, omega-3’s corresponded with greater plasticity through reductions in oxidative damage, learning impairment, and cellular homeostasis disruptions.   
One of omega-3 fatty acids’ greatest conferred benefits is counteracting free radicals and inflammation that contribute to a whole host of maladies from brain fog to stroke. Omega-3’s accomplish this feat by signaling the body to mass-produce the antioxidant protein Nrf2 and “mediator” molecules that prevent, halt, and resolve inflammation.     The impact of these biological mechanisms has been shown to be substantial across structural and emotional cognitive outcomes. For instance, a 2007 study tracked over 8,000 healthy older adults and found that those who regularly ingested omega-3-rich oils were 60% less likely to develop dementia than others.  Additional studies have found that consumers of omega-3’s are less likely to be anxious or depressed.  Long story short: omega-3’s do it all.
Flavonoids are one of the reasons people feel “sharp” after consuming colorful fruits and vegetables. When ingested, these compounds signal the body to prioritize cognitive resources and functionality. For instance, flavonoids have been shown to drive greater blood flow to the brain.    They also appear to increase density of (i.e., strengthen) synaptic connections between neurons, and to activate new inter-neuron signaling pathways.   More fortified, efficient connectivity ultimately drives improved cognition. Across human studies measuring processing speed, executive function, working memory, and learning, flavonoids have been shown to cause significant improvements.   
Flavonoids have also been shown to confer energy, stamina, and nimbleness to the brain. A 2006 study found that healthy young adults who consumed drinks containing cocoa flavonoids self-reported reduced mental fatigue after a period of sustained demand, in addition to outperforming controls across a battery of cognitive performance tests.  A 2016 study came to similar conclusions, finding that healthy middle-aged men who consumed a flavonoid-rich drink self-reported higher alertness than controls, and exhibited better executive function and psychomotor speed.  A 2003 study made the additional discovery that older female subjects who consumed flavonoid-rich Pueraria lobata root appeared to have increased flexible thinking (i.e., ability to switch cognitive tasks). 
The brain is not just more functional and active on flavonoids though - it is also better fortified against oxidation, inflammation, neurodegeneration, and depressed mood. The compound’s most widely cited impact is its capacity to both directly neutralize free radicals, and indirectly offset them by facilitating mass-activation of antioxidant Nrf2 proteins in the body.   Similarly, flavonoids have been shown to both prevent and remediate inflammatory enzymes and their byproducts . And, long-term consumption appears to pay off; studies show that consuming flavonoid-rich foods like berries, green tea, and cocoa over decades correlates with lower rates of cognitive decline.    The cherry on top? Across both humans and animals, flavonoids appear to make all creatures happier.  
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that serves a critical role in protecting the brain over time. Neuronal cell membranes are comprised of fats and cholesterol that are highly susceptible to oxidation and inflammation caused by free radicals. Vitamin E embeds itself into these cell membranes and effectively shields them against free radicals, thus preventing chain reactions of structural damage. Despite vitamin E’s capacity to drastically slow the cognitive aging process, well over 90% of adults in America do not consume adequate quantities of the nutrient. 
Most studies on the brain impacts of vitamin E focus on cognitive degradation in the older adult population. For instance, studies conducted in 2002 and 1999 found that healthy, elderly subjects with high vitamin E intakes performed significantly better than others on mental function questionnaires and memory tests.  Another 2002 study found subjects in the highest quintile of vitamin E intake had a 36% reduction in the rate of cognitive decline relative to the lowest quintile - equivalent to an age decrease of 8-9 years.  Finally, a 2011 study linked vitamin E intake to specific brain disorders, finding the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was 15% lower in adults with the highest levels of vitamin E, and that both MCI and Alzheimer’s disease were correlated with vitamin E damage markers. 
Structural protection offered by vitamin E appears to affect more than just cognition. Tests done on mice have shown that when the animals’ diets are supplemented with vitamin E, they showed markedly improved acrobatic prowess and spatial awareness, and lived 40% longer than their peers . Other medical investigations have found vitamin E to confer benefits to the human heart and immune system - researchers have shown association between vitamin E consumption and decreased risk of heart attack, death from heart disease, and upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold.   
Choline – considered an essential nutrient by the Institute of Medicine – is perhaps the most underappreciated brain compound in existence. First and foremost, we need it to properly form brain cells. Choline is a critical component of our neurons’ membranes, and without it, our cells’ structural integrity breaks down.  Additionally, choline metabolizes into key messenger chemicals like acetylcholine, which our brains require to regulate muscle control, memory, and mood.  While the body can produce choline in the liver, it cannot generate enough to meet our needs. Thus, without dietary choline consumption, our brain structure and function degrades.
In addition to neuron health, choline also appears to have a positive impact on memory. For instance, in a landmark 2011 study conducted across 1,391 healthy subjects, researchers found a strong correlation between choline intake and performance on verbal and visual memory tests.  Additional studies have found that subjects with memory deficits, as well as those who have experienced traumatic brain injury, benefit from a memory-boosting and neuro-protective impact from choline consumption.    A wealth of animal research also suggests that choline consumption proactively prevents memory decline if taken regularly. 
Finally, a choline-rich diet has been linked across numerous studies to a heightened level of attention. A 2012 study powerfully demonstrated such a link. In it, a group of healthy women were broken into three groups over the course of a month – one that consumed a placebo, one that consumed 250mg of choline a day, and one that consumed 500mg a day. Not only did the 250mg group perform better than the placebo group on attentional tests, but the 500mg group performed the best of all!  Many believe the correlation between choline and focus is due to choline’s role in the creation of dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters needed for focus and various thinking processes. 
Magnesium comes in many forms (magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, and magnesium chloride are all popular supplements, for instance), yet only one form has been clinically shown to reach neurons by crossing the blood-brain barrier: Magtein® magnesium l-threonate. Once absorbed by brain tissue, research suggests Magtein® imparts a host of cognitive benefits. A 2015 in vitro study found magnesium l-threonate to increase density and energy efficiency within synapses (structures that enable neuron-to-neuron communication), enhancing capacity for learning, memory, and complex thought processing.  A subsequent 2016 study bolstered these findings, demonstrating memory recall improvement of 13% across a group of 50-70 year olds who consumed magnesium l-threonate for 12 weeks. 
Magtein® also appears to improve mood, and has shown promise as an effective treatment for anxiety and depression. In a landmark 2009 animal study, researchers found that Magtein® enhanced subjects’ cognitive control of emotions and produced distinct anti-depressant-like effects. A similar 2011 study showed that elevating brain magnesium via Magtein® eased subjects’ responses to stressful events, which reduced overall anxiety and stress. More broadly, the link between magnesium deficiency and mood disorders is also well established, with a notable analysis of over 8,800 people finding that those with the lowest levels of magnesium intake were 22% more likely to be depressed.5 Most magnesium supplements come up short in addressing the issue, as they can’t reach the brain like Magtein® can.
Magnesium also plays a key role in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Nerve and muscle function, heart rhythm, blood pressure, bone integrity, blood glucose regulation, and calcium absorption all rely heavily on this essential mineral. Thus, it’s no surprise that proper magnesium intake can elevate physical performance. One study found triathletes who supplemented with magnesium for four weeks improved running, cycling, and swimming times, and reduced insulin and stress hormone levels. A 2013 study of elite volleyball players found that taking daily magnesium resulted in improved jumping ability and faster arm movements. Magnesium intake has also been linked with reduced blood pressure and heart disease risk, and improved sleep quality, migraine management, and PMS symptoms.     
Sodium is a nutrient required by the brain for cognition and mood regulation. As an electrolyte – a mineral carrying an electrical charge – it regulates fluid distribution across brain cells (neurons), allowing them to carry out critical functions like nutrient metabolism. It also facilitates communication between neurons and throughout the nervous system at large. Sodium’s role in brain function is underscored across numerous studies on dehydration – a state of water and electrolyte deprivation. For instance, 2011 research on a cohort of young men showed that at even low levels of dehydration (loss of less than 1% body mass), visual vigilance and working memory suffered significantly. A separate 2011 study on young women found that exercise-induced dehydration of just 1.36% degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, and lowered concentration.
Sodium also regulates fluid distribution and hydration within the body. Research clearly demonstrates that when the body is chronically dehydrated, gastrointestinal, circulatory, and urological functions begin to break down. Perhaps the most commonly cited effect of dehydration, though, is reduced athletic performance. A 2017 meta-analysis of 28 studies on this phenomenon found that even mild dehydration lessened athletes’ overall muscle endurance by 8.3% and muscle strength by 5.5%.3 Interestingly, dehydration appears to more heavily impact fixed-intensity exercise (e.g., running on a treadmill on a constant speed) than variable-intensity exercise (e.g., running a marathon) – why this is the case has yet to be conclusively determined.
Medically low sodium levels, a condition known as hyponatremia, are experienced by just 1-2% of Americans, which may lead one to believe sodium deficiency is a non-issue. If you’re a health-conscious individual, this is not the case for two primary reasons. First, a healthy diet centers on whole foods and, according to the CDC, 70% of sodium consumed comes from processed and restaurant foods (i.e., not whole foods). Health-conscious individuals also exercise regularly (which reduces sodium levels via sweat) and often observe a low carb diet (which keeps insulin low and causes higher sodium depletion via urination). Second, the vast majority of sodium deficiency occurs at a sub-medical level. Thus, your brain and body very well may be consistently operating at sub-optimal levels because you’re consuming a sufficient amount of sodium rather than an optimal level of sodium.
Potassium is a nutrient that confers a host of direct and indirect benefits on the brain. Like sodium, it’s an electrolyte – a mineral carrying an electrical charge – that regulates water balance throughout the brain, allowing for hundreds of biochemical reactions within and across neurons. Also like sodium, it facilitates the inter-neuron signaling needed for bedrock nervous system functions like cognition and sensation. However, potassium is best known for the ways in which it complements sodium. For instance, higher sodium consumption in the absence of potassium correlates with higher blood pressure, and chronically high blood pressure correlates with memory loss and other cognitive declines.   Inversely, potassium intake decreases blood pressure, thus decreasing odds of damaged microvessels in the brain and downstream cognitive issues. 
As the third-most abundant mineral in the body, potassium also plays a key role in numerous bodily processes. Roughly 80% of all potassium in human cells resides in muscle cells, and a potassium deficiency can weaken the body’s ability to generate nerve impulses required for muscle contraction. When we exercise, our cells draw potassium out of our cells, causing muscle fatigue if that potassium is not replenished. The most important muscle in the body is of course the heart, and research shows that medically low potassium levels (a condition known as hypokalemia) increase risk of an irregular heartbeat. Finally, multiple studies have linked low-potassium diets with increased calcium loss through urination, and thus a reduction in bone density.  One study in particular found that across 62 healthy women aged 45-55, those who ate the most potassium had the highest overall bone mass.
Despite potassium's critical role in brain and body function, a 2003-2006 review found that just 3% of Americans met the adequate daily intake. This was not always the case! Thousands of years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ Paleolithic diet contained a 16-to-1 potassium-to-sodium ratio; today’s standard American diet flips that ratio with a 2-to-1 sodium-to-potassium ratio. While mild deficiency is unlikely to cause severe health issues, it can certainly cause you to feel “off your game” with symptoms like fatigue, malaise, constipation, and muscle weakness. What typically leads to far worse deficiency and symptoms is vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, and/or copious alcohol consumption. Under any of these circumstances, potassium replenishment via supplementation becomes especially important.