Zimmer's Smart Gum Recipe!
I want to give a huge thank you to everyone that has contributed to making this recipe a reality. If you support more citizen science and open source engineering projects, please consider donating just $1 to my Patreon. It helps me focus on projects that benefit everyone!
Smart drugs, also called nootropics, began as a big hit with nerds, has spread across Silicon Valley, and now it’s basically a budding industry. While there is a wide variety of substances people are using, I see two very important spectrums. First, there is a spectrum of how effective some of this stuff is. Some is exhaustively tested and seems to have consistent effects, and some doesn’t have enough data or is a proven sham. The second spectrum is legality. There are all sorts of drugs that can improve performance, but some are perfectly legal and some are controlled substances.
So on a scale of effective to ineffective, I’ve chosen nootropic ingredients that have been tested and proven to have an effect. On a scale of legal to illegal, I’ve chosen nootropic ingredients that are legal in the United States. With these criteria in mind, I have selected vitamins B6 and B12, as they are precursors to neurotransmitters in the brain. I have chosen caffeine and L-theanine, as they have been studied in combination and tend to have a strong effect, though some are more sensitive to caffeine than others. I’ve also picked gingko biloba and panax ginseng. Both have been shown to increase mental focus and memory in controlled studies, with ginseng in particular shown to have a consistent correlation with better cognitive function.
This gum essentially consists of three main components. There is the gum base that gives the gum consistency. There is a syrup that hydrates the gum and contains the nootropic ingredients. There is a mix of powdered sugar and green tea. This balances the liquid in the syrup to make the gum solid again. So far as I know, all of these ingredients are vegan. I go a further step and get ingredients with minimal processing, and, because it is sometimes important to others, ingredients that are organic.
½ cup of Powdered Sugar
4 tablespoons of Green Tea Matcha Powder
Gingko Biloba Oil
Panax Ginseng Oil
1/3 cup of Gum Base
2 tablespoons of water
4 tablespoons of sugar
Wooden sticks or kebabs
Wax paper or cupcake wrappers
First, wash your hands. This is messy but please do not contaminate your smart gum.
Mix the ½ cup of powdered sugar with four tablespoons of green tea matcha powder until it’s a consistent color and texture. Gently pour onto parchment paper, and arrange with a spoon until it’s a compact mound. It’s important to be gentle, as too much movement and you’ll have powder everywhere. Make a deep indention in the center of the mound with a spoon.
Next, measure out three tablespoons of water and six tablespoons of sugar in a pot and heat on low to medium heat. This will look like it’s not enough, but it’s fine. Carefully add 1 mL each of B6, B12, gingko biloba and panax ginseng. Stir gently to avoid the sugar sticking to the bottom of the pot. Increase heat until all the sugar is melted and the syrup is mostly clear. Remove from heat.
Measure out 1/3 cup of gum base and place in microwave-safe paper bowl. Measure out six to eight tablespoons of the syrup you’ve prepared onto the gum base. Place bowl in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir with wooden stick or dowels and microwave for 10 second intervals. The gum base pellets should melt, and absorb at least half of the syrup. This part is a balancing act, as you want the mixture very melted, but not boiling, as this will reduce the vitamin amounts in the mixture. In practice, keep an eye on it, and when it starts to bubble, stop microwaving and stir for awhile, and microwave another few seconds when it’s cooled down. This will also help it heat evenly.
When ready, take the bowl out of the microwave and pour the mixture onto the indention in the mound of powder you prepared earlier. It will be molten lava hot, so be extremely careful. Using the wooden sticks, mix the dry powder with the molten gum and syrup. After ten minutes or so, the mix will be cool enough to handle. Knead the mixture like dough, pulling it apart to reveal the inner area that hasn’t had contact with powder, and add some. Repeat until most of the powder has been absorbed.
Split gum into two equal sized balls. Take one balls and rub between hands to stretch it into a cylinder. Split this cylinder into five equal sized balls. One by one, stretch each of these balls into a cylinder by rubbing with your hands. Each of these cylinders should make 10-12 pieces of gum, depending on your jaw size. I’ve often overestimated how large each piece of gum should be, so I would suggest making each piece smaller than you think looks right.
Repeat for each small ball of gum to create 10-12 pieces, and then repeat for the last large ball to create the other 50. If at any time the gum becomes too hard to work with, it can be microwaved again for 5-10 seconds. It will often be surprisingly hot when this is done, and it will stick to your hand and burn, so please be very careful.
When each piece of gum is separated out, add a drop of spearmint oil to each piece for flavor.
This should produce between 100 and 120 pieces of gum. It can be enjoyed immediately or wrapped in wax paper for future use. I like to wrap mine in fancy baking cups!
That’s my recipe! If you’d like to try a sample, I am mailing some of the latest batch out to each and every patron here on Patreon. For any level pledge, even a $1 pledge, I will mail you ten pieces of gum as a one time sample for you to try out for yourself.