September gives us lots of reasons to feel tired. Maybe you’re a student, trying to get back on a school schedule. Or maybe you’re a parent trying to savor the last days of summer. Whatever is draining your energy, I’ve got another energy drink alternative for you: Guru Energy Water.
In this post, I’ll outline why Guru Energy Water doesn’t look or taste like a stereotypical energy drink. But that’s no surprise considering Red Bull is older than the people entering college this fall. We’ve come a long way since Red Bull and Monster first hit the US markets. Guru Energy Water is more proof of that.
Time to look inside.
The Energy Drink of the Month for September 2017 is Guru Energy Water.
[EDIT March 2021: This is an outdated picture – see GuruEnergy.com for the updated look.
Guru offers three flavors of Energy Water: grapefruit, lime, and pomegranate. Guru has other energy drinks to offer too, which can all be found on Guru’s Products Page.
Who Should Drink This: Ingredient Preferences
There are so many energy drinks available these days that no one should have to compromise their ingredient preferences and phobias. Not a fan of carnitine? That’s okay. Not sure you trust artificial colors or flavors? That’s fine too! There are plenty of energy drinks on the market to meet all kinds of ingredient combos you may be seeking.
Does Guru Energy Water have the ingredients you’re looking for?
Like with Guru Organic Energy Drink, Guru’s Energy Water is certified-Organic, gluten-free, non-GMO Project Verified, and artificial free. Unlike Guru’s Energy Drink, the Energy Water is Calorie-free and sugar-free.
- Guru’s Energy Drinks (both regular and Lite) are sweetened with Organic cane syrup, Luo Han Guo, and Stevia, but Guru Energy Water is sweetened by Stevia and erythritol
X Artificial sweeteners
X Artificial flavors
X Stereotypical energy drink ingredients such as taurine, carnitine, glucuronolactone
What’s In It: Key Ingredients and Functions
Guru Energy Waters offers a simple ingredient list: carbonated (or “sparkling”) water, erythritol, flavor, green tea extract (the source of caffeine), juice concentrate, and Stevia. Do you know what these ingredients do?
DID YOU KNOW:
- Beverages labeled as containing “sparkling water,” “seltzer water,” “soda water,” “tonic water,” or “club soda” aren’t included as bottled water under FDA’s regulations. These beverages are instead considered to be soft drinks. [Source: Bottled Water Everywhere: Keeping It Safe]
Green Tea Extract
- Regardless of whether caffeine comes from green tea extract, coffee beans, or caffeine anhydrous, it works the same way. The difference between getting caffeine from synthetic sources and getting it from natural sources and getting it from synthetic sources is like getting a diamond versus getting a diamond from a Tiffany bag. In other words, you’re not just getting the benefits of the caffeine, you’re getting the benefits of the whole package.
- Green tea leaves (the kind in nature, before they’re processed) are rich in a type of antioxidant called polyphenols. One family of these polyphenol antioxidants is the catechins.
- Green tea contains six primary catechin compounds: catechin, gallocatechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate (also known as EGCG). EGCG is the most studied polyphenol component in green tea and the most active. [Source: Green Tea, University of Maryland Medical Center]
Drinking an energy drink or energy water made with green tea extract is not the same thing (health benefit-wise) as drinking plain green tea, but when you get your caffeine from green tea extract, you’re getting some of those antioxidants too. Green tea antioxidants have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the leaf of a plant. There is a particular molecule, nicknamed “REB A” that is responsible for the sweetness. This is why you’ll sometimes see brands or ingredient lists that call out REB A specifically – Stevia purity is a big deal.
Finding a high-quality stevia extract is no simple task. Oh sure, we know what molecule is responsible for the sweetness, but isolating that molecule and delivering it is far more complicated than producing table sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar, right? But water doesn’t always taste the same, even if it’s just water. The same goes for Stevia. In fact, tasting Stevia samples was one of the tasks I dreaded most while I worked as a product developer for a major supplement company. One bad sample, and you’d be experiencing a bitter metallic aftertaste the rest of the day (or week: See “A Food Science Horror Story”).
It turns out that some people are Stevia Super Tasters so they will get a bitter metallic aftertaste with Stevia when many others would taste only sweetness. This bitter metallic aftertaste is why stevia is often paired with another natural sweetener, erythritol.
View other drinks on the GreenEyedGuide blog with Stevia: tag = energy drinks with stevia
Erythritol is one of my favorite sweeteners, and we’ve talked about it before in other reviews. Erythritol makes Stevia better when they’re combined. Some people get a bitter-metallic sensation with Stevia extract, but erythritol masks the unfavorable attributes of Stevia. Erythritol is 60-70% as sweet as sucrose and has a very similar taste. It does not raise blood glucose levels and it delivers a cooling effect. While it’s non-caloric like Stevia, it has a molecular size that gives it more mouthfeel. Think fruit juice versus fruit smoothie: the fruit smoothie has a heavier “mouthfeel”.
Erythritol occurs naturally, like monk fruit and Stevia. It’s made through natural fermentation. It’s a sugar-alcohol, like the Xylitol often used in sugar-free gum. With xylitol, however, too much of it can really upset a person’s stomach. With erythritol, a person could consume twice as much – at least 0.66 grams per kilogram of body weight – before they started getting some stomach issues. Additionally, erythritol has been proven through clinical studies to reduce plaque build-up.
Natural Flavors and Juice Concentrates
The natural flavors used in the energy waters match the flavor of the beverage itself. For example, the Pomegranate Energy Water has natural flavor from, you guessed it, pomegranate. The same goes for the Juice Concentrates – the Grapefruit Energy Water features a teeny bit of grapefruit juice concentrate and the Pomegranate Energy Water features pomegranate juice concentrate. The exception is the Lime Energy Water, which has with natural lime flavor but lemon juice concentrate. All flavors and juice concentrates are Organic.
Can You Drink This Every Day? Caffeine Content and Level of Fatigue
Yes, you can drink this every day, but wait until you’re at Fatigue Level 2.
First of all, this is another energy drink that breaks the stereotype that all energy drinks are dangerous concoctions of caffeine and sugar. It has 100 mg of caffeine per can, which is the limit of caffeine consumption per day for those under 18 years old. For healthy adults, that limit is 400 mg caffeine per day.
Second of all, with 100 mg caffeine per can, this product fits FATIGUE LEVEL 2. Fatigue Level 1 is when you’re tired because of dehydration and need (non-caffeinated) water. Fatigue Level 2 is home to several other “energy drinks in disguise”, healthy alternatives that are as strong as an 8-oz Red Bull but seem so much cleaner and healthier.
This doesn’t taste like an energy drink because it’s an energy water. If you’re looking for something with Organic ingredients, low-moderate caffeine levels, light flavor, no Calories, no sugar, no artificial colors or flavors or sweeteners, then Guru Energy Water is a good option for you.
Related Resources: EcoWatch’s List of Healthy Energy Drinks – Guru is on there, as well as some coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks.