provided by Core Nutritionals
written by Marissa Roy

First off, I figured it was fitting to write this article with a dose of Core ZONE in my system. I won’t lie, I’m an avid coffee drinker, and usually 1-2 cups of coffee gives me enough juice for the work day.

Giving up some of my daily caffeine intake for something other than coffee is a trade-off that really needs to be worth it. Lately, my favorite coffee combo been a scoop of Core’s Chocolate Mocha Pro with almond milk and cold brew, but I knew I needed to give ZONE a shot before finals week this semester as I have a literature review to write and a manuscript for a research paper. I am drinking the sour candy flavor, and it tastes exactly like liquid Spree candy.


Core ZONE is an energy, mental focus and clarity supplement birthed from our pre-workout product ZAP, another energy and focus product that has now been discontinued. ZAP, however, had 400 milligrams of caffeine (the rough equivalent of 4 cups of coffee) in a very small scoop, making the dose too potent for anyone with a lower tolerance, or wanted the mental focus effects outside of the gym.


ZONE sits in the “pre-workout” category of our website, and contains 150mg of caffeine per serving. However, don’t let that fool you – some of the other ingredients help amplify the effects of the caffeine. I would say that one full scoop will give you the equivalent feeling of 3-3.5 cups of coffee. It’s pretty potent, and I would recommend going with 1/4-1/2 scoop your first go-round to assess your tolerance regardless of your habitual caffeine intake. If you’re more sensitive to caffeine, you can sip on half a scoop through the first couple hours of your work day and see how you like it.


ZONE is specifically formulated for people like you and me – students, go-getters, business owners, and workaholics that need to get into their zone to produce the best work in the most efficient manner.

Can you use ZONE for the gym? Absolutely. However, you are only going to get energy, mental clarity, and focus out of this product, which is missing some benefits of comprehensive pre-workout products.

Briefly, our pre-workout FURY not only includes overlapping ingredients for energy and mental focus, but also blood flow and prevention of muscle fatigue. When you work out, your blood flow is what gets nutrients to and waste product out of the muscle so that you can train harder and longer. Ingredients like Creatine, Beatine, Glycersize, and L-Citrulline travel through the blood stream to hydrate, nourish, and power your muscles to get the most out of your training session.

FURY is our comprehensive pre-workout product. It’s 375mg of caffeine (3.75 cups of coffee) per serving, so a touch more than ZONE. You could definitely stack ZONE and PUMP (our stimulant-free version of FURY) to get a zoned-in, flow-state workout with all the benefits of a comprehensive pre-workout product.

Using ZONE for Work or School is a great move for anyone who isn’t a coffee drinker or is looking for something with more of an edge for high-demand important projects and assignments.

If you’re dragging in the mornings getting to work, or are planning on pulling a few all-nighter’s studying for finals, I can assure you that ZONE has a BIG leg up on your local 7-11’s energy drinks for a number of reasons.

  • Bacopa Monnieri– A brain and memory boosting compound that has a significant effect on the retention of newly-learned information. Scientists hypothesize that this ingredient impacts your hippocampus, a horseshoe shaped area your brain that’s crucial for the encoding, storing and retrieval of memories. This ingredient has also been shown to relax the effects of caffeine, essentially taking the edge and jitteriness out of caffeine’s effects without removing the alertness or vigilance.
    • Clinical Effective Dose: 300mg
    • We included: 300mg
  • Neurofactor® – This compound has been shown to enhance the natural production of BDNF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This compound is crucial for neural plasticity, AKA the flexibility of your mind to make and strengthen new connections, as well as neurogenesis, the ability of your brain to develop more neurons.
    • Clinical Effective Dose: 100mg
    • We included: 100mg
  • CDP-Choline– Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, which is the main neurotransmitter that stimulates muscle contraction. Acetylcholine also plays a large role with the hippocampus and memory formation. The version of Choline in this product (CDP-Choline) is able to cross the blood brain barrier, an extremely selective filter that protects our brain from foreign substances. So theoretically, CDP-Choline may selectively benefit memory function more than supplementing regular Choline in the right dose.
    • Clinical Effective Dose: 250-500mg
    • We included: 500mg
    • …and that’s not even all the Nootropic ingredients we included, just three of the main ones. Take a look at the bottom half of our label.
  • Dose accordingly– The best part about a powdered supplement is that you can dose as you need without wasting any product. You can half-scoop a study session, double dose for an overnighter, or just stick with one scoop.
  • B Vitamins– shown in research to be beneficial for cognitive functions and aspects of physiology and health. However, B vitamins have increasingly positive effects at or above 100% of the RDA, and even 100% of the RDA can sometimes still leave large proportions of the population at risk for deficiency.
    • Monster Energy Drinks include Vitamin B3, B5, B6 and B12 at 100% of the daily value
    • Bang Energy Drinks include Vitamin C, B3, B6, B12, and Magnesium at 50, 25, 25, 25, and 2% of the daily value, respectively
    • Reign Energy Drinks include B3, B6 and B12 at 50% of the daily value
    • Not to mention none of the energy drinks include the actual milligrams per serving. So… what is 25-50% of the RDA doing for you and your cognition? Something called the lovely placebo effect, otherwise known as nothing.
    • Now, you can take a look at the top half of ZONE’s label:
    • Vitamin B6 has been shown to be associated with the greatest number of cognitive function indicators at levels up to 750mg per day with no negative side effects, as you can see here we include 100mg which is ~50x the daily value.
    • Vitamin B12 has been shown to reduce the levels of a compound called homocysteine (Hcy) that is neurotoxic (yes, toxic to your brain cells), and doses up to 400x the RDA (1000mcg) are accepted with no negative side effects. As you see here, we include 1/10th of that, which is still 40x the RDA.

Sorry to get super-science-y on you, that’s the neuroscience nerd in me talking. But hopefully, you can  take some value from that section and realize why ZONE  is so superior to any run-of-the-mill energy drink for your productivity needs.

What being on Core ZONE feels like:

I’m having no trouble staying on task, I’m alert, and my brain is working quick to come up with and articulate the ideas passing through. I can focus on whatever I choose to give my attention to. Even with a minor distraction here and there, I’m able to jump right back on task and get things done.