Cognitive Enhancement Research

cognitive enhancement research

Can Nutrition Impact Cognitive Performance in Rugby Players?

When we started Ruck Science, one of our stretch goals was to develop a non-toxic nutritional supplement that rugby players could use to increase their cognitive abilities in a game situation. Our cognitive enhancement research began in late 2013. Since then, our product team has been researching the cognitive effects of various nutritional supplements, natural remedies and dietary strategies. The result is 80 Brain™ - our flagship cognitive enhancer.

Below, you'll find links and references to detailed cognitive enhancement research focusing on all the primary ingredients in 80 Brain™. If you have comments or questions about this research, please contact our product team for further information.

Ingredients in 80 Brain™


For thousands of years, leaves from the Ginkgo Biloba tree have been a common treatment in Chinese medicine. The plant's cognitive benefits were first documented in 1330 in the Materia Medica for Daily Use. Ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain and acts as an antioxidant.

The broad green leaf is widely known to have restorative properties which combat cognitive decline in alzheimer's patients and those suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. Several cognitive enhancement research papers, referenced below, have also found that in healthy people, ginkgo might modestly boost memory and cognitive speed.

Academic Research

Ginkgo biloba Extract Prevents Female Mice from Ischemic Brain Damage and the Mechanism Is Independent of the HO1/Wnt Pathway

These results suggest that EGb 761 prevented brain damage in OVX female mice by improving grip strength and neurological deficits, and the mechanism of action is not through HO1/Wnt but via blocking the extrinsic apoptotic pathway.

The effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on cognitive functions in aged female rats: the role of oxidative stress and brain-derived neurotrophic factor

Based on these findings, we concluded that GBE supplementation improved cognitive functions by decreasing oxidative damage and increasing the BDNF level in aged female rats.

Specific memory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in middle-aged healthy volunteers

EGb 761 (240 mg once daily) improves free recall of appointments in middle-aged healthy volunteers, which requires high demands on self-initiated retrieval of learned material... This ties in with previous studies which found specific patterns of benefit from EGb 761 in demanding cognitive tasks.


Hypericum Perforatum 'St John's Wort' has been used for around 5,000 years. One of its derivatives, hyperforin has been shown to have cognitive enhancing and memorizing facilitating properties. The same cognitive enhancement research, conducted by the Universidad Catolica de Chile showed that it also has restorative properties that could benefit Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Researchers in Poland have found that Hypericum Perforatumcan can relieve negative effects of stress on spatial working memory. These spatial working memory benefits might prove particularly beneficial to athletes playing rugby.

Academic Research

Long Term Administration of Hypericum perforatum Improves Spatial Learning and Memory in the Water Maze

These findings show that the long-term administration of Hypericum perforatum can improve learning and spatial memory with significant changes in the content of monoamines in several brain regions.

A review study on medicinal plants used in the treatment of learning and memory impairments

Hypericum... extract as an antioxidant agent can be a new type of antidepressant with memory-enhancing properties

Enrichment of memory by using herbal formulations

Mechanism of action... It works by boosting (the) level of serotonin neurotransmitter, it also acts as cognitive enhancer.


This  green leafy plant is known to most as 'Brahmi', acts as an adaptogen. This means that it has the potential to help the body adapt to new or stressful situations. Most early studies into BM considered it to be a potential treatment for the degenerative effects of dementia and alzheimer's.

In more recent cognitive enhancement research, however, Bacopa Monnieri has been shown to have cognitive performance benefits for healthy adults. One academic journal reported that non-impaired test subjects showed improved retention, delayed extinction, and faster reaction times than controls.

Academic Research

Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on cognitive effects of Bacopa monnieri extract

This meta-analysis suggests that Bacopa monnieri has the potential to improve cognition, particularly speed of attention

Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers

These results suggest that Bacopa Monnieri can improve attention, cognitive processing, and working memory partly via the suppression of AChE activity. Enrichment of memory by using herbal formulations.

Chronic Effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on Human Memory

There were three testing sessions: one prior to the trial, one after three months on the trial, and one six weeks after the completion of the trial. The results show a significant effect of the Brahmi on a test for the retention of new information. Follow-up tests showed that the rate of learning was unaffected, suggesting that Brahmi decreases the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information.

Effect of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi) extract on avoidance responses in rat

The BM-treated group showed significantly better acquisition, improved retention, delayed extinction, and faster reaction times than controls.