This month we examine another energy-drink-in-disguise, the health benefits of the ingredients, and the caffeine comparisons to similar products. This product has one of the simplest ingredient lines I’ve ever seen, and it lives up to the “Healthy Energy” proclaimed on the label.
The Energy Drink of the Month for March 2017 is MATI Healthy Energy.
There are six flavors available, and all of them are delicious (though taste is subjective): Citrus, Cherry, Tropical, Peach Mango, Passion Fruit, and Berry Pomegranate. They all have the same caffeine content, 30% juice, and the same number of Calories and grams of Sugar. They vary in the fruit juices, but they all have guayusa leaves, apple juice, lime juice, and natural flavor.
Key Ingredients and Benefits
Guayusa is a natural source of caffeine. Pronounced “gwhy-you-sa”, this plant is the Amazonian cousin of yerba mate. While the leaves of guayusa are brewed like tea leaves, the lack of tannins means less of the bitter, astringent taste that’s characteristic of green, black and white teas.
Guayusa leaves contain twice the antioxidants of green tea, and MATI is equivalent to three cups of it, according to the “Nutritional Equivalents” on the can. Guayusa also contains essential amino acids, though the energy drink itself contains only 1 gram of protein. Traditional use of guayusa includes consumption before nighttime hunting trips, as the guayusa gave the hunters mental strength, courage, and focus. It’s not clear what “mental strength” is, exactly, but you can count on almost any caffeine source to increase stamina and focus.
All six flavors of MATI include apple juice, which isn’t surprising when you realize fruit juices are solely responsible for the beverage’s sweetness. With no added sugar, you need a juice that is naturally sweet, like white grape or apple juice. But apple juice provides health benefits with its sweetness.
The main benefits of consuming apples comes from the antioxidants known as polyphenols. Apple juice concentrate contains approximately 20 ppm epicatechin, and 70 ppm chlorogenic acid. For context, 200 grams of apples contains about 21 milligrams of catechins. The largest group of polyphenol antioxidants in apple juice is the flavanols (50%), followed by the hydroxycinnamic acids such as chlorogenic acid (43%).
Apple consumption is linked to reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes. These benefits are associated with the polyphenols in apples, but processing the apples into juice does reduce the polyphenol content. For example, some polyphenols like the flavanols have an affinity for the cell wall and thus get retained in the mash.
- Lime Juice – helps control pH and thus acts as a natural preservative in a beverage with only fruit juices and caffeine; controlling pH helps limit the growth of yeast, mold, and other bacteria that like to thrive in juice beverages
- Natural Flavors – fruit juice can add a lot of its own flavor, but it may not be strong enough to cover the taste of guayusa; a natural flavor is great way to make sure the taste of the beverage doesn’t drift too much through the beverage’s shelf-life — in other words, a natural flavor will make sure the product tastes as yummy on Day 1 as it does the day before it expires
MATI has 110 mg caffeine per can, which is slightly less than the caffeine in Red Bull 12-ounce Editions, and less than a Starbucks bottled iced coffee. MATI has slightly more caffeine than the similar drinks that contain 100 mg caffeine, such as Steaz, Nawgan, and Go Girl.
Fatigue Level 2
During the GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge (Day 8), we talked about how Fatigue Level 2 is basically where all the healthy energy drink alternatives live. At Fatigue Level 2, you’re not just dehydrated-tired, but you don’t need a full-powered kick of a stereotypical energy drink. This drink fits Fatigue Level 2/Borderline Level 3 situations because is has the following characteristics:
- Fruit juice-based (30% Juice)
- Lightly carbonated
- 110 mg caffeine
To learn more about how carbonation and juice play a role in a drink’s potency, visit the 5 Levels of Fatigue page. The 5 Levels of Fatigue system helps people reap the benefits of caffeine while avoiding addiction, dependence, tolerance, and toxicity,
This energy-drink-in-disguise lives up to its Healthy Energy label. With only 45 Calories per can, 11 grams of sugar (all from juice), and 110 mg caffeine from guayusa leaves, this is an energy drink we can all get excited about.
Review the entire ENERGY DRINK OF THE MONTH SERIES
- Get your copy of MY BOOK: “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks — How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely”
- HELP ME TURN MY BOOK INTO AN AUDIO BOOK – SUPPORT ME ON PATREON
- Explore the CAFFEINE INFORMER database
- Need help with quitting caffeine? I HIGHLY recommend this guide: Awake: How to Quit from Caffeine for Good
- CONNECT WITH GreenEyedGuide