Who doesn’t love a warming cup of coffee or decadent almond milk latte? And as winter arrives, we’re moving in droves to the local bean purveyor and amping up our regular pumpkin spice late. And though we love it for the taste, the ritual and the energy, coffee does have some nutritional and wellness drawbacks.
Despite the drawbacks, we really do depend on our caffeine: luckily, there’s been a host of new natural alternatives on the market. One of them is Runa—you may have heard of it because the one and only Channing Tatum is one of their big investors (he even traveled to the Amazon for it!). From the perspective of health coach Amina Al Tai.
THE PLUSES AND MINUSES OF COFFEE
Coffee is rich in antioxidants, reportedly supports brain function, energy and can even help you burn fat. Proponents of coffee love it as a pre-workout energy boost due to its purported metabolic boosting properties.
On the other hand, coffee can be highly acidic and for those who have sensitive stomach or digestive disorders, it can be quite harmful. Some modern medicine is also pointing to coffee and its high caffeine content as a possible co-conspirator in our nations epidemic of adrenal fatigue and burnout.
WHY MIGHT RUNA BE BETTER? AND WHAT IS IT?
Runa is a line of all-natural, organic, non-GMO ready-to- drink teas and energy drinks made from guayusa, a super-leaf found only in in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Guayusa (pronounced gwhy-you-sa) is highly caffeinated with twice the antioxidants of green tea. It’s the traditional drink of the Ecuadorian Quechua people. It also has a unique blend of polyphenols and 15 essential amino acids. And unlike some other teas, it’s tannin-free and lacks the bitter taste of its black and green counterparts.
Similar to coffee, it reportedly boosts metabolism, energy and mental clarity. However, this indigenous leaf also supports healthy blood sugar and aids digestion.
Guayusa technically has less caffeine than coffee, but also contains other stimulants such as theophylline (a stimulating and uplifting property found in green tea) and theobromine (a stimulant found in dark chocolate responsible for that euphoric feeling we get with every bite). The unique mix of caffeine, plus theobromine and theophylline result in the balanced effect of this mighty leaf. Each bottle of Runa provides as much energy as one cup of coffee but without the accompanying jitters or nervous energy.
MY RUNA TEST
I put Runa to the test and swapped a bottle of it for my daily latte for a week and I was pleasantly surprised. It certainly gave me an energy boost, but I never felt over-stimulated as I do sometimes with too much coffee. Plus, the gentler blend of stimulants seemed easier on my stomach as well—clean energy indeed. Ever the wellness junkie, I opted for the sugarless version, which was mild and palatable. This organic fair trade energy boost that’s kinder to my adrenals and removes the stomach upset will definitely have a permanent home in my fridge.
Image via Runa on instagram
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