Game on: Potential for non-caffeine nootropic ingredient in e-gaming, memory, fluid intelligence, says Enovate Biolife

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

COVID-19 has led to the growth of the e-sports market.  ©Getty Images
COVID-19 has led to the growth of the e-sports market. ©Getty Images

Related tags India Nootropic COVID-19

Indian firm Enovate Bio says the current COVID-19 pandemic has presented growth opportunities for its plant-based nootropic ingredient – EnXtra – in the area of e-gaming.

The company is also planning to explore the use of the non-caffeine ingredient in enhancing memory and fluid intelligence.

Recently, the ingredient based on Alpinia Galanga​ – a plant from the ginger family – was granted a US patent for its properties in promoting mental alertness and sustained attention.  

The efficacy of the ingredient has been supported by four human studies, demonstrating its effects in increasing mental alertness without causing heart or sleep disturbances.

Currently, the ingredient is incorporated in formulas for pre-workout, weight-loss, and nootropics. Delivery formats range from tablets, capsules, shots, and beverages.

The ingredient is also used in supplements targeted for enhancing e-gaming performance, which the company believes is an area for further growth, especially amid COVID-19.

“The recent growth of e-gaming space since the COVID-19 pandemic is a trend which can expand Enxtra growth opportunities,”​ Amol Pathak, director of business and strategy told NutraIngredients-Asia.

E-gaming or eSports is loosely defined as competitive organised video gaming that are often played in front of live audiences.

"In the digital age we live in, many physical aspects are shifting to digital. Sports are no stranger to this, the fact that the 2024 Olympics will have a new category for e-games is proof enough. Professional e-gaming tournaments are also picking up and the category is becoming a rage in general," ​ he said. 

Last year, the eSports market recorded a revenue of US$950 million. Asia and North America are the two largest eSports markets, with China alone accounting for almost one-fifth of the market, according to Statista.

In the case of EnXtra, the supplement is already used in UK brand CtrlEnergy’s Esports Gaming Energy’s ready-to-drink powder. The product is said to enhance mental energy, focus, and reaction time.

Each 5.5g serving contains 250mg of EnXtra. It also contains ingredients associated with eye health, such as DHA powder, lutein, zeaxanthin, and L-tyrosine.

Growth rate

EnXtra has been incorporated in approximately 100 finished formulas “with staggering growth”​ since 2019, especially in the US.

The ingredient was first launched in 2017. In its first year of commercialisation, the company sold about 3.5 million servings, which grew to about 9 million in 2018 and 14.5 million in year 2019.

Last year, this figure doubled to about 30 million servings.

“Since it was launched in the US in 2017, formulators and marketers have tapped into Enxtra’s benefits in diverse ways across product formats targeted towards sports nutrition, active living and cognitive enhancers. ​ 

In principle, the growth potential is limitless also because Enxtra is developed from a natural food [Alpinia Galanga], which makes it well suited for daily consumption,” ​Amol said.

The ingredient is also sold across Asia, Australia, Europe, and Canada with multiple marketing partners. For instance, in North America, OmniActive is the official marketing partner for the ingredient.

More research

The company has been planning for research on the ingredients’ impact on human memory and fluid intelligence.

Fluid intelligence is defined as the ability to generate, transform, and manipulate different types of novel information in real time.

“There seems a need for more science to support the use of natural actives for improving brain cell function, blood flow and age-related cognitive decline. Enxtra has the potential to live up to this challenge in further studies,” ​Amol said.

CEO and founder Jayesh Chaudhary added that the company was open to conducting clinical studies on different ethnic groups.

The company is also planning for a pre-clinical study to find out the ingredient’s mechanism of action, which has been delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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