Last Updated on March 8, 2021 by James Matthews
If you’re looking for natural wellness beverages blended with nootropics, there are two major names you’ve probably come across: Teonan and Four Sigmatic. They have a lot in common: offering nutritional supplements, mostly in the form of drinks, that use superfoods, functional mushrooms, and other natural ingredients.
So let’s look at some of the core similarities and differences between Teonan vs. Four Sigmatic to help you decide which company offers the products and experiences that are right for you.
What’s The Same
There are a few key similarities ot go over.
The key ingredients in both products are adaptogenic plants and functional mushrooms. Adaptogenic plants are a group of plants, usually roots or herbs, that promote a wide range of whole-body health functions. Most significantly, adaptogenic plants help with the management of stress and support immune health. Certain adaptogenic plants can also help with specific things, like digestion or inflammation. For Teonan or Four Sigmatic they use adaptogenic plants, to help with stress and immune health benefits.
Functional mushrooms are specific breeds of mushrooms that have been processed in a way that activates and extracts specific medicinal and supplemental benefits. They can help with anything from digestive and immune health, to preserving brain and organ function, or even preventing or fighting cancer. Their benefits and functions can vary wildly. So, companies that normally use them will highlight and categorize the specific benefits offered by the mushrooms that they’re using.
It’s also important to note that functional mushrooms are not psychedelic or in any way psychoactive. They can, however, interact negatively with certain medications because of the potency of their medicinal properties. Therefore if you’re on any medications you should check with a doctor before adding either Teonan or Four Sigmatic to your daily routine.
The Names & Philosophies
Four Sigmatic takes its name from the chart that’s used to categorize the health benefits and the density and variety of nutrients in all foods. Health foods are categorized with a 2 sigma or higher, superfoods are 3 sigmas or higher. There are only a small handful of four sigma foods in the world, less than a hundred in fact, and they provide the greatest number and variety of beneficial nutrients and supplements.
So as the name might suggest, Four Sigmatic believes in making those foods, and the nutrients they provide, as accessible as possible by creating products that allow you to incorporate them into your daily routines. Most of the products are drinks, including coffees and other drink mixes. They favor a more scientific european approach to wellness, and focus on researching benefits and new products that involve the traditional use of Nordic resources.
Teonan’s name, on the other hand, is a clipping of the word Teonanacatl. If you think it sounds like something from pre-colonial Central America, that’s because it is. Teonanacatl was the native Mexica word for a psychedelic mushroom used in rituals throughout South and Central America. (I’d like to pause again to remind readers that neither Teonan nor Four Sigmatic products contain psilocybin or any other psychedelic substance.)
By taking their name from a sacred indigenous plant, Teonan seeks to highlight the ritual of using natural products, and if anything makes the health benefits an added bonus. They focus on making drinks that can be enjoyed as part of daily rituals, and seek to bring beauty into the world through their products, corporate practices, and what they enable customers to do by using their products. Their philosophy is more holistic, and focuses on incorporating ancient wisdom and traditions into modern health and wellness research.
Currently of the two companies, Four Sigmatic has a wider range of product offerings. Their core listings are around coffee, cocoa, and other drink mixes, but they also offer skin care products, protein powder and protein packs, and ready-to-drink “shots” (think a bottle of 5-hour energy but with superfoods and supplements instead of caffeine and chemicals.)
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Because of the range of products they offer, you’re able to customize your experience and supplements to a greater degree. If you want black coffee, for example, you have the choice of ground vs instant. Plus, you have several choices as far as which functional mushrooms you’d like in your mix depending on which benefits you’d like to cultivate. The same goes for their other product lines; you can sort by the type of product you’d like or by the benefits you’re looking for. Their products are all about fitting exact products and benefits into an existing routine.
All of Four Sigmatic’s products are vegan, organic, non-GMO, and fair trade certified.
All of Teonan’s products are also vegan, organic, non-GMO, and fair trade. They’re also fully gluten-free.
Currently, Teonan only has five products available for purchase, all of which are instant hot drink mixes. It’s much more limited, but allows them to offer extremely high quality control, and a tailored experience. They offer black coffee, cafe latte, turmeric latte, matcha latte, and hot cacao instant mixes. Each has different compositions of adaptogenics and functional mushrooms, so customers do have control over the specific benefits and supplements they’re getting instead of being stuck with a one size fits all product.
And again, Teonan tailors their products around rituals and experiences. So for example, their turmeric latte is caffeine-free and contains digestive and calming elements, while their higher caffeine matcha latte contains ingredients that boost energy and endurance, and support immune health. They’re more focused on the moods and mindset that you’d have while drinking a specific product, and tailor the benefits that drink offers around it. It’s all about a single, holistic experience that you can establish as a routine or ritual.
Because of the differences in the products offered, it’s hard to make a proper one to one comparison of pricing. If you’re looking purely in terms of getting natural supplements, like adaptogenics and functional mushrooms into your body, Four Sigmatic has cheaper options. Their ground coffee and similar options come in right around a dollar a day. If you look at instant mixes, like lattes, Four Sigmatic is a bit cheaper there as well, though not by much.
You pay about three dollars more for a pack of ten of Teonan’s instant drink mixes, and all of their offerings are the same price. Because of the smaller number of product offerings, and the focus on the quality of experience it’s a price difference that feels worth it.
Both Four Sigmatic and Teonan offer both one-time and subscription style purchase options, with discounts of about 20% in both cases.
So, on the whole, Four Sigmatic has a slight edge on price, but it balances out in terms of quality and experience.
Your Purchase Supports…
One of the main differences between Four Sigmatic and Teonan are the factors of external support and culture. Profits from Four Sigmatic support education and awareness efforts. They have an online academy that teaches people about the benefits of superfoods and functional mushrooms. The academy is free of charge and covers topics like healthy eating and the wide-reaching benefits of mushroom agriculture. Classes are taught by Mycology professor from the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. Four Sigmatic has also published a book, which covers many of the same topics.
They also tour the country, providing in-person education and samples in the interest of teaching people about the benefits of functional mushrooms and the nutrients they provide.
Four Sigmatic is also dedicated to supporting local farms and other local suppliers, including the 14-generation farm that Four Sigmatic’s founder runs and grew up on.
Teonan also uses local organic suppliers. For now, their involvement in the broader community involves a partnership with and donation to charities. Specifically, they support 1% For The Planet and the Pachamama Alliance.
1% For The Planet is an organization whose members (which include Teonan) donate at least 1% of their annual profits. Those donations are then split between a variety of conservation organizations, including the National Forest Foundation, Protect Our Winters, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Plastic Oceans, the Surfrider Foundation, 350.org, Earth Guardians, and Fair Trade Certified.
The Pachamama Alliance is an organization that aligns more closely with Teonan’s vision and philosophy. The Pachamama Alliance works with indigenous people, and advocates on their behalf, as well as fighting to protect primarily indigenous lands, but ultimately preserve natural wealth in all areas.
Both Teonan and Four Sigmatic offer excellent products, and are a great way to experience the natural benefits offered by functional mushrooms and adaptogenic plants. The main difference between Teonan vs. Four Sigmatic is their philosophy on the way that these natural products can be incorporated into your life. Four Sigmatic wants you to be able to add them into existing routines, where Teonan wants to help you create routines and experience the fusion of ancient wisdom and ritual. If you value price and modernity, Four Sigmatic should be your choice. If you value tradition and experience, Teonan is the better option.