Every morning, 150 million Americans start their day the same way: with a cup of coffee. Some of them like it black, some of them like it mixed with cream. Some get a fancy pour over style, some use a Keurig cup. But the vast majority of them are drinking coffee for one reason: caffeine. People love the immediate surge of energy a cup of coffee brings.
Sure, all that energy burns out in a few hours, resulting in an afternoon crash ... but mornings are tough! And people want a boost.
But has coffee's caffeine been coming up short for all these years? Is there something else that can provide the same energy boost, but in a more sustained manner that doesn't result in the afternoon energetic cliff?
Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon basin in South America that contains caffeine. The seed itself, from which the nutrients and caffeine come from, is similar in size to a coffee bean, but these are two very different caffeine delivery systems. Blossom has taken to calling guarana, the burnout bean.
Guarana has been used by tribes in the Amazon for centuries as an aphrodisiac and an energy and endurance stimulant. The benefits of guarana, including its special relationship to caffeine, are well-documented and celebrated with its growing popularity.
The term “guarana” may refer to the plant, its fruit, its seed, or products made from it, but typically guarana seed is made into a paste and/or powder before its introduced more widely into products. The seeds are gathered, washed, and crushed into a powder when dried.
The powder can be mixed into a dough with water and formed mainly into convenient cylinders several inches long that, when it dries, can be shaved again for use in things like tea, energy drinks, and more.
In America, it's been most widely used as an additive to beverages, particularly energy drinks, but on its own it offers a lot more than just a bitter taste.
In fact, despite its otherwise sharp taste, it's often been used as a selling-point, an herbal supplement, and a flavor additive rather than as an active ingredient. The bitterness from coffee-derived caffeine is comparable and thus not foreign to anyone already familiar with coffee.
But there's a reason Blossom uses guarana as an active ingredient for caffeine in our oat milk superfood lattes. The caffeine literally hits different than caffeine from a coffee bean.
how guarana's caffeine works different than coffee's
Guarana seeds contain double the amount of caffeine of coffee beans! That's no typo. These beans are loaded with energy, but unlike in coffee, typically, the caffeine from guarana doesn't release the moment it hits a person's stomach. The tannins in guarana are believed to cause the caffeine to release slower than in coffee.
The effect of this is much more satisfying and skips the abrupt burst of energy and the associated crash of coffee. It also has a longer-lasting boost because of how it more effectively provides the caffeine.
The analogy we like to use is that coffee’s caffeine is like an injection of caffeine, immediately releasing into your bloodstream, causing a massive spike in energy, followed by a crash 2-4 hours later.
Whereas guarana’s caffeine is like an IV-drip, slowly dripping caffeine into your bloodstream, providing sustained, stable energy throughout the day, with no crash.
guarana's additional benefits
Aside from the standard benefits associated with consuming caffeine, guarana has additional advantages.
Energy drinks are a great example of how guarana is used globally. Energy drinks contain their own caffeine and sugar and only a low concentration of guarana is used to enhance the effects of the other caffeine.
Many experiments have shown that guarana improves cognitive performance under harsh testing conditions where users were subjected to a series of challenging mental tasks.
Guarana was much more effective than placebo and caffeine alone as the caffeine is considered a separate influence. It can be used together with things like ginseng, in or out of a vitamin and mineral supplement, and provides reduced fatigue following the stressful and sustained testing throughout the day.
Decision-making performance showed an increase with guarana. Speed of memory improved as well as working memory and attentional processing. Reaction times were not only significantly better, but accuracy throughout the testing was right up there to meet the newfound mental speed and capacity.
guarana as a superfood
While guarana is packed with a higher amount of caffeine when compared to the same volume of coffee, the resulting energy boost is more impactful and longer lasting.
That's why Blossom uses guarana as one of our three superfoods.
With the inclusion of l-theanine and GABA, two natural amino acids, our lattes provide a boost in focus and concentration, allowing you to tackle tasks with clarity and precision, and to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm throughout the day.