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The Best Energy Drink For Runners: Guayusa

There are varied opinions on the best energy drink for runners. Some swear by coffee. Some guzzle sports drinks. And others opt for a good old glass of water.

And whether you’re a novice runner or training for a marathon, energy drinks are renowned for their ability to boost performance, endurance and recovery. But it’s widely agreed that many energy drinks on the market are loaded with sugar – which, while energising – aren’t ideal for long-term health.

So, is it too much to ask for a runner’s energy drink that’s clean, natural and filled with nutrients?

The Guayusa leaf from Ecuador might be the natural energiser you’re looking for.

Guayusa (why-you-sa) is a caffeinated tea that grows in forest gardens within the Amazon Rainforest. The Kichwa tribes in Ecuador have been drinking it daily for thousands of years, recognising a number of its health-giving properties.

Every morning, the Kichwa people gather to consume the tea, which then gives them the slow-release energy needed to hunt for the day.

While you might not be hunting each morning, let’s look at the science for runners.

What’s The Tea On Guayusa For Runners?

Energy

The Guayusa leaf is loaded with nutrients. But what it’s most famed for is its slow-release energy. Unlike coffee which gives you the spike, jitters and crash – Guayusa releases slowly over 4 – 6 hours, making it perfect for the endurance runner.

Inflammation and Immunity

Guayusa also contains more antioxidants than a cup of green tea, which works to boost our immunity and reduce inflammation. And as many health-conscious individuals are aware, inflammation is basically just our body’s response to harm, such as infections and injuries.

So while inflammation is necessary, over time it can contribute to injury, disease and poor health. So if you’re recovering from an injury, Guayusa might be the perfect post-run drink.

Amino Acids

When it comes to amino acids, Guayusa rules the roost. There are around 20 Essential Amino Acids for the human body, and Guayusa contains an impressive 15 of those.

Amino acids are often referred to as the “building blocks of proteins.” Many runners take amino acid supplements, as they can build muscle, repair tissue and improve immunity. And who doesn’t want that after a long-distance run?

Vitamins and Minerals

Finally, Guayusa is naturally rich in minerals, including magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium and calcium. These minerals work to maintain proper fluid balance, strengthen your bones and aid recovery.

How To Enjoy Guayusa Tea

The list of Guayusa benefits only continues, which is why this little-known leaf is now growing in popularity around the world.

Simple add:

  • One teaspoon per teapot and brew for 7 minutes, or
  • One tea bad per mug, and brew for 2 – 3 minutes, alternatively
  • You can make the night before ready to take in your flask with you on your run

Written by Natasha Fair, founder of Ayusa Tea.

Resources

Ilex guayusa: A systematic review of its Traditional Uses, Chemical Constituents, Biological Activities and Biotrade Opportunities

Essential Amino Acids: Definition, Benefits and Food Sources

Biochemistry, Essential Amino Acids

Amazonian Guayusa (Ilex guayusa Loes.): A Historical and Ethnobotanical Overview

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