Energy drinks are everywhere. People drink them day and night hoping to experience more energy, right? And they do get a burst…for a period of time… until they burn out that is.
Energy drinks are all based on caffeine. It might come from coffee, tea, yerba mate, guarana, kola nuts or be synthesized in a laboratory, but in the end, it is all the same stimulant: caffeine.
If you’ve been reading my newsletter for awhile, you’ll know that caffeine isn’t a source of real energy. It stimulates the adrenal glands to produce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Those stress hormones heighten your feeling of being energized via mental alertness and elevated blood sugar that prepares you to fight or flee from danger. But that’s not the same thing as energy that the mitochondria in your cells produce every moment of every day.
What happens if you’re not in an emergency mode and you habitually imbibe caffeine? Eventually, you’re going to rob your energy bank account by exhausting your adrenal glands and your entire endocrine system. Then you’ll feel tired no matter how many Monsters® or Red Bulls® you down.
But many people find they can’t seem to live without that caffeine boost especially in the morning. Without it, they feel sluggish, mentally foggy and even depressed. Their adrenal glands aren’t producing the optimal boost of cortisol that should wake them up feeling refreshed.
Instead of depending on caffeine though, there is another way to experience being energized that doesn’t deplete you. If you want to boost your energy with an herb that nourishes your body while helping to reduce stress, then you’ll understand why I decided to add Peruvian maca to Teeccino Chocolaté to bring you real energy in a cup!
Enhancing Teeccino’s Natural Energy Boost
Teeccino gives you a natural energy boost that we Teeccino fans have all experienced, right? I always love it when we’re at a trade show and word spreads that Teeccino is helping exhibitors get through the grueling pace of the day. By day 2 or 3, we have converts from all over the show swearing that they couldn’t have survived without Teeccino.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to tell that to a coffee drinker whose adrenals are used to being whipped into action by caffeine. Even tea and yerba mate drinkers are often dragging without their morning or afternoon caffeinated cup.
And that brings me to why I decided that it would be a good idea to have an extra boost of energy added to Teeccino.
Adaptogens: herbs that help you adapt to stress
As far back as the ‘70’s when I was buying herbs for Celestial Seasonings, I became involved with a group of herbs that are famed for increasing the body’s resistance and resiliency in the face of continuous stress.
Called “adaptogens”, the term lately has been making waves in the media since it is being promoted by brands making herbal products. A Russian scientist coined it post World War ll in 1947 when the Russians were extensively studying the effects of herbs on astronauts, athletes and the army where people were undergoing extremely stressful conditions. This was in the pre-steroid days when the Russians actually wanted herbs to help people be healthier!
Over time, the definition of an herb that is an adaptogen has expanded as studies have proven more effects these herbs produce. Today, in order for an herb to be classified as an adaptogen, it must have the following effects:
- It must protect and strengthen the body’s resistance against stress from biological, physical and chemical stressors.
- It needs to have a non-specific normalizing effect on the body. (Example: it will normalize either high or low blood pressure.)
- It must be non-toxic and safe for consumption over long periods of time.
- It should produce a stimulating and tonic effect on the central nervous system that is not addictive and doesn’t compromise mental functioning.
We’re talking about the opposite of caffeine. Adaptogens nourish and protect the body from stress while caffeine increases stress!
It is no surprise that a lot of adaptogenic herbs come from parts of the world where extreme weather conditions exist like Siberia and high altitude mountainous areas. Plants have to survive these conditions too and thus their phytonutrients help protect against highly stressful conditions like extreme weather and exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Maca’s many health benefits
Enter maca, an adaptogenic herb that grows high up in the Andes above 12,000 feet, where people have to endure stressful primitive living conditions in freezing cold weather. For thousands of years, Peruvians have been growing and eating this tuber to keep them healthy and energized. Now, extensive scientific studies show that maca helps the body cope with stress while increasing endurance, stamina and energy production.
In regards to stress, maca has been shown in animal studies to lower cortisol levels, increase the size of the adrenal glands, and decrease stress-related fatty acids in the bloodstream. Additionally, studies show maca can help balance your mood and relieve depression, probably due to how much more energized it makes you feel!
In studies on mice, maca has a beneficial effect on memory, which seems to be due to its ability to keep the brain’s neurotransmitters from being recycled. It also has antioxidants, which may also be why the mice improved in their memory retention and cognitive function. They learned and processed information faster ~ now who doesn’t want that?
There are a lot of studies looking at maca and sex hormones with varying results. Maca doesn’t contain phytoestrogens or male hormones like some plants do, but it has been shown to increase the production of testosterone in men and balance hormone levels in women. Maca has been shown in human studies to be helpful for relieving the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause and to help prevent bones loss.
It is theorized that its effect on the sex drive, hormones and fertility comes from how well maca nourishes our glandular system. Inca warriors figured this out. They are reputed to have consumed large quantities of maca before going into battle to amp up their strength and vigor!
Maca is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which means it’s related to broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. It’s rich in minerals including calcium, potassium, iron, iodine, copper, manganese and zinc and its protein consists of 19 amino acids. Maca also contains polysaccharides, polyphenols (antioxidants). macamides and glucosinolates, all of which are considered to be the active ingredients in maca. Due to its tough high fiber, maca is consumed cooked to make its nutrients bioavailable. Studies show that heat is needed for extraction of its active ingredients in water ~ so don’t make a cold brew of Maca. This is why Teeccino’s maca is lightly toasted ~ which also makes it more tasty!
Same delicious Teeccino flavor!
And speaking of tasty, I’ve made Maca Chocolaté taste just as delicious as the original Chocolaté tastes. I bet you won’t taste much difference because toasted maca blends right into the rich coffee and chocolate notes. For awhile, Maca Chocolaté will only be available in the 11oz all-pupose grind bag. We plan to upgrade the tea bags by fall 2018 to Maca Chocolaté, but we have to be environmentally responsible with our current packaging first and use up what we have already printed.
I could go on for some time about maca (and there are lots of websites for further research) but here’s what I suggest: Drink Maca Chocolaté and discover its effects for yourself. I can’t wait to hear what your experience is so please do share it in our product reviews or write a testimonial on our website. You could be the next winner of our $25 award for the best testimonial of the month!