Energy drinks have come a long way since 2003 when all energy drinks looked like Red Bull or Monster. GURU Organic Energy drink is more proof of that. GURU is not your stereotypical energy drink, and in this post, I’ll review the key ingredients, the caffeine content, and if it’s a good idea to drink this every day.
What is “Organic Energy”?
Ask a science nerd like me about “Organic Energy,” and you’ll get a lot of puns. There’s “organic energy,” as in energy that’s inherent or innate. Then, there’s “Organic” as in “based on the study of carbon-based molecules.” But what about carbon-ated drinks?
All puns aside (sorry, not sorry), let’s talk about a carbonated energy drink that is certified-Organic.
The Energy Drink of the Month for June 2017 is GURU Organic Energy.
In this post, we’ll review three key questions. First, who is this for – what do the ingredients say about the target audience? Second, what are those key ingredients, and what do they do? Third, can you drink this every day?
Who It’s For
This is an energy drink without the stereotypical energy drink ingredients that many try to avoid.
Guru Organic Energy does not contain taurine, carnitine, glucuronolactone, or any B-vitamins. It does contain guarana, though, but we’ll get to that. Don’t panic.
Guru is certified-Organic, gluten-free, non-GMO Project Verified, and artificial free. The drink is sweetened with Organic cane syrup and also Organic white grape juice concentrate. In total, there are 30 grams of sugar.
Did you know the word “Organic” has more regulations around it than the words “energy drink”?
There is no legal definition for the word “Energy Drink.” On the contrary, you can’t use the word “Organic” on the label unless the product meets specific regulations and that compliance is confirmed through certification.
What’s In It: Key Ingredients and Functions
Citric Acid and “Apple Acid”
“Apple acid” is a synonym for malic acid, but perhaps “malic acid” sounds more chemical-y to some people. The genus for apples is Malus, and malic acid is what gives apples their characteristic tart taste. Both citric and malic acids are organic acids that occur naturally in fruits like lemons and apples. Some sugar-free energy drinks get carried away with the use of citric acid because it can provide a tartness that makes up for the lack of sugar. However, too much citric acid can sting the tongue. That’s not a problem for Guru, fortunately.
Green Tea Leaf Extract
Green Tea Leaf Extract is the predominant source of caffeine in Guru Organic Energy. In addition to the caffeine, green tea extract also provides health benefits in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This mouthful of an antioxidant is one reason green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet (second only to water).
The catechin and polyphenol content in this beverage are not claimed, so Guru cannot be called an “antioxidant beverage.”
Nonetheless, the more green tea you can get in your diet, the better. If you’re an isolated cell, a test tube, or a lab rat, there’s a lot of evidence on the benefits of green tea. However, it’s harder to prove the benefits of green tea in humans. Nonetheless, here’s one benefit you can count on:
“…the combination of L-Theanine and caffeine can improve speed, performance and accuracy in cognitively demanding tasks – put simply, L-Theanine ‘smooths out’ the stimulating effects of caffeine. – Compound Interest, The Chemistry of Tea
Guarana Seed Extract
Way back in the mid-2000s (before I started this blog, unfortunately), guarana was considered bad because of the additional caffeine it provided. Drinks that had caffeine and guarana were thought to be dangerous because of the cumulative caffeine content. People were rightfully concerned about how much caffeine was REALLY in their energy drink.
Fortunately, companies like GURU now put “Total Caffeine from All Sources” on the labels. While that labeling trend grew, another trend grew to favor natural sources of caffeine. As a result, using guarana became more acceptable.
Did you know that not all ginseng offers the same health benefits? Panax ginseng, also called Asian or Korean ginseng, is the good kind. Siberian ginseng doesn’t contain any characteristic chemical compounds called ginsenosides that make ginseng “Ginseng.” When harvested, ginseng can be dried and bleached to become white ginseng or steamed and air dried to become red ginseng.
If you were a lab rat, ginseng might improve memory. With humans, the data is less convincing. Ginseng allegedly helps reduce stress, but that’s only when it’s sipped warm or when the root is chewed. How convenient that the act of holding a warm object is also attributed to stress reduction. So is the act of mastication (chewing).
Suffice to say, I’m not sold on the power of ginseng, but it either doesn’t help you, or it does nothing. So you can’t lose!
Can you drink this every day? Yes, but don’t.
This product contains 142 milligrams of caffeine from the green tea extract and the guarana seed extract combined. As a reminder, people under 18 should have no more than 100 milligrams of caffeine a day, and healthy non-pregnant adults should have no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day.
This may be a healthier alternative to the stereotypical energy drink, but you still have to watch the caffeine content. GURU Organic Energy has almost as much caffeine as Monster Energy (Guru: 142 milligrams, Monster, most flavors, 160 milligrams). That makes this FATIGUE LEVEL 3! This is not a drink you want to drink every day because you want to save the stronger caffeinated beverages when you are truly exhausted.
Learn more about the “5 Levels of Fatigue” in the best-selling book, “How to Get Sh*t Done When You Feel Like Sh*t.”
Guru Organic Energy is a great alternative to stronger caffeinated beverages like Monster Energy. With 142 milligrams of caffeine, this is not something you want to consume every day. However, with its artificial free, certified-Organic, Non-GMO, gluten-free ingredients, this is a beverage you can be proud to drink.
- GURU Organic Energy – Products
- Compare the Caffeine Content to Other Energy Drinks on Caffeine Informer
Related Resources: EcoWatch’s List of Healthy Energy Drinks – Guru is on there, as well as some coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks.