Introducing Peak – a new line of mood drinks a new line of canned functional beverages made with natural nootropics which support the way your brain functions – helping your mood, energy and focus. We chatted with co-founders Louie Syred and Ben Whales about setting up a business championing wellbeing, the mission behind the brand and building a healthy start-up:

What’s the story behind the business and what inspired you to create Peak?

BW: We’ve been friends for nearly twenty years. Bonded by mischievous schoolboy antics, we were inseparable as teenagers. Our paths began to split as we entered young adulthood, as we both dropped out of school before the age of 16. I went on to build an established career in finance with Goodwood and Louie became the creative director of an international CBD brand.

Years later we rekindled our friendship after a chance meeting on Brighton beach and the flame was reignited. Although we’d ended up in entirely different career paths, we immediately found common ground again. We both shared the frustration with how cultural drinking habits affected our health and potential. 49% of Gen-Z suffer from poor mental health every day. As a neuro-divergent person, Louie has struggled with self-medicating his ADHD, and I was no stranger to the social pressure surrounding drinking. It seemed as though the perpetual coffee-alcohol loop was the culprit and so we set out on a mission to reimagine these daily rituals.

How did you discover nootropics and why do you use them in Peak drinks?

LS: In late 2019, Ben and I wanted to find natural ways of influencing how we felt without all the nasty side effects. Before Peak, I spent four years in the cannabis industry. I visited some of the best farms in Colorado and spoke to plant scientists at the forefront of their research. I learned that most of our ailments stem from inflammation and deficiencies in the body and personally witnessed the positive impact CBD could have on my own physical and mental wellbeing.

I was there at the height of the CBD boom in the US and then watched it unfold in real-time across the UK. That’s when I realised CBD was just the beginning. We had two main issues with CBD, it doesn’t taste good and it’s inconvenient. Naturally, it’s an oil that doesn’t mix well with liquid and when consumed in food or drink, you lose up to 85% of the efficacy to your digestive system. We had to find a better way, and that’s when I discovered natural nootropics—a category of functional ingredients with various brain-boosting and mood-enhancing properties. We spent 2020 testing a bunch of plant-based nootropics and researching the ultimate blends for awakening and quietening the mind.

Tell me more about Neurodivergence. what is it? How does it impact your life, and why is it important in today’s world?

LS: Neurodivergence (or ND) essentially means ‘brain difference’. It covers a whole spectrum of diversity, from ADHD, Dyslexia to Autism and more. It’s thought that up to 40% of the population could be ND, with the majority of those people still undiagnosed. ND is closely linked with hypersensitivity – this means a heightened reaction to your environment, so you experience certain aspects of life much more intensely. Hence, neurodivergent people are more susceptible to stress, anxiety, depression and burnout. There’s a high portion of people reading this who will relate. So, understanding neurodivergence and hypersensitivity is the first step to figuring out how your mind works and what it needs to be well and function at its best.

What’s one myth you’d like to bust about nootropics?

BW: They’re just performance-enhancing drugs for crypto bros and gym monkeys. Nootropics are essential lifestyle tools that can be used to help anybody be and feel their best.

If nootropics are ingredients usually consumed as supplements, why did you choose to launch them as a drink?


  1. Who remembers to take their supplements?
  2. Supplements aren’t accessible or novel. They’re not something you can share with your mates or enjoy in a social situation.
  3. Energy and alcohol are huge markets, but neither of them were created with the next-gen in mind – we’re combining the two ideas by making beverages for stimulation and relaxation and calling them Mood Drinks.

You talk a lot about mental wellbeing and performance – how do you keep yours in good health whilst building a start-up?

LS: Mental health has been misconstrued and stigmatised as mental illness. It makes much more sense to liken mental health to your physical health. We’re now fairly good at understanding what poor physical health looks like and the daily habits we can adopt to achieve good physical wellbeing. Unfortunately, we’re much less attuned to what poor mental health looks like, and the tools and daily habits needed to achieve good mental wellbeing.

Building a start-up is like choosing to embark on three careers simultaneously whilst also taking the fast-track option for all of them. It can be a very intense experience with exaggerated highs and lows, but it does not need to be toxic. As founders, we make sure we’re aware of each other’s needs and how they differ (ie. what drains us, what energises us, what hours we’re most productive, how we like to spend our days and what rest looks like). That’s the foundation of a healthy company and team – the rest works itself out.

You mentioned that Peak is more than just a drink, so what is it exactly?

LS: Peak is the mission and, I suppose, a state of mind. It’s you recognising what makes you unique and then deciding to prioritise how you feel to help you reach your potential. As a brand, we want to make that journey more accessible and enjoyable with tasty and refreshing drinks that naturally guide your brain in the right direction.

What advice would you give someone looking to start using nootropics to improve their wellbeing?

BW: Start to understand when you feel at your best. Ask yourself: “what state of mind is desirable for me?” Is it calm, creative, energised, or focused? Then start looking into natural nootropics to help you achieve that state of mind. Do some research into recommended dosages, but don’t believe everything you read. Test things out for yourself and monitor your body’s response. It’s a journey inwards, it takes patience and self-awareness. But, if all that sounds too much – try Peak!

For further information on Peak, see here