U of M students develop natural alternative to Adderall

In the University of Minnesota's "Entrepreneurship in Action" class, students learn how to take their businesses from a simple concept to the marketplace--a valuable skill for young people hoping to take their skills to the real world. 

Just ask Shoubhik Sinha and Andrew Koblas, two students getting a crash course in how to avoid a crash from caffeine. The pair is calling their product Neurowl, a little capsule that's the culmination of an entire year of work.

Each pill of theirs contains 100 milligrams of caffeine and 200 milligrams of L-Theanine, a calming amino acid usually found in green tea. It helps increase focus and mental functioning, they say, the same as a cup of coffee but without the jitters or crash down the line. 

"The caffeine makes your blood vessels rigid, while the L-Theanine relaxes your blood vessels so as to not cause the high blood pressure that causes the jittery effects of caffeine," Sinha said. 

The pair is marketing the product as a healthier alternative to coffee, energy drinks and even some drugs originally intended to treat ADHD like Adderall or Ritalin. 

They've developed a website to sell the product and hope to get it on the shelves of local stores before the end of the semester, but not everyone is sold quite yet. HCMC Addiction Specialist Dr. Gavin Bart said Monday that while the dosage seems safe, proper rest and stress management remain better ways to improve your GPA. 

"As long as it's a pure product, it's a safe product," he said. "Does it work? Well, that's a different question."