Natural caffeine is one of the oldest stimulants in the world. And it’s loaded with health benefits.
It can enhance your mental clarity and focus, and it’s a potent antioxidant… as long as you take it in moderation and it comes from natural sources.
But the problem with most energy drinks these days is the caffeine itself. It’s unnatural and synthetic.
We’ve known for a long time that the antioxidant power of caffeine cuts the risk of dying from heart disease or developing Alzheimer’s.
But now a study from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers looked at 30 years of data from more than 200,000 doctors and nurses — and they discovered that caffeine does much more than they thought.1
The study compared coffee drinkers with people who don’t drink coffee, and revealed that it also reduced death rates from:
- Neurological disorders;
- …and even suicide.
Just one cup a day reduced the risk of death by 6%. One to three cups cut the risk by 8%. The benefits peaked at three to five cups of coffee per day. And that slashed risk by 15%.
In a minute, I’m going to tell you about a much better way to get caffeine and why I recommend it as an anti-aging treatment.
I discovered it while trekking through the Amazon rainforest a few years back. It’s a safe and natural super-stimulant that’s loaded with a form of caffeine you might like better than coffee or tea, and I’ve been recommending it to my patients ever since.
Caffeine is a proven brain booster. A study in the journal Neurology found that three cups of coffee a day reduces your risk of mental decline by more than 50%.2
Caffeine binds to your “adenosine” receptors. Adenosine is your body’s sleep signal. In other words, caffeine blocks the signal that tells you to relax.
The caffeine tells your brain to release “acetylcholine.” This brain chemical speeds up your thinking and sharpens your memory and focus. Within minutes, your mind is ready for action.
But here’s the problem with caffeine from coffee: Pretty soon your body starts pumping out more adenosine to overcome the blocked receptors. When it finally breaks through, you feel that caffeine crash.
But in the Amazon basin, the Guarani tribe introduced me to a much better source of caffeine. Herbal guarana works just like coffee to wake you up. But unlike coffee, it keeps you alert and energetic all day — without the crash.
And the effect on your brain is impressive. My patients tell me they feel more confident about the future.
The patients who do crosswords notice the difference first. Many said they were able to the puzzles in a fraction of the time after taking herbal guarana.
That’s because the guarana berry is full of guaranine — a stronger but slower member of the caffeine family that’s also full of healthy fatty acids.
These fats slow down the caffeine effects of guaranine in your body.
So just like coffee, guarana releases acetylcholine in your brain. But it works more slowly over a period of hours. It doesn’t launch you fast and then let you crash. And you don’t get any of that nervous, jittery energy that you might feel with coffee.
The first time I tried guarana, I went on a long trek through the Peruvian jungle. After 18 hours and 15 miles over rugged terrain my mind was still crystal clear. I didn’t feel worn out at all.
Studies prove that guarana works. Brazilian researchers tested it on rats. Guaranine increased their physical activity and their physical endurance under stress. It also improved their memory.3
I don’t drink coffee much anymore. I prefer the effects of guarana. It wakes me up better than a cup of coffee. I find it sharpens my focus, and helps me maintain clear, reliable memories. And the effect lasts all day.
Guarana berries are too bitter to eat. But the Guarani tribesmen showed me how to make an extract from the seeds. They dissolved it in liquid to make a special energy drink.
And all over Brazil, I saw locals creating their own energy shots by adding guarana extract to teas and soft drinks. Vendors in Brazil even sell these energy shots at kiosks on city streets.
You can buy guarana powder in health food stores and online. I’ve even added it to some of my products. But guarana is powerful. I recommend limiting your dose to about 5 mg per day.
Since the powder is bitter, it’s best to mix it into a sweet citrus drink with a strong flavor. I like grapefruit or pineapple juice. You can also add it to smoothies or yogurt.
And for best results, I recommend taking guarana with a dose of choline.
You see, guarana causes your brain to release acetylcholine. That helps your neurons make faster and clearer connections.
But you have to replenish your stores of acetylcholine. And to do that, your body uses choline.
To regenerate your reserves, I advise choline-rich foods. The best food sources for choline are:
- Beef liver;
- Lean beef;
- Shitake mushrooms.
You can also take supplements to boost your choline.
I recommend 535 mg of choline citrate and 35 mg of its cousin, CDP choline. They each work in different areas of the brain. Take choline after the guarana, or take them both at the same time.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1Ming Ding et al. “Association of Coffee Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Three Large Prospective Cohorts.” CIRCULATIONAHA.115.017341 Published online before print November 16, 2015, doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.017341
2Ritchie, K., et al, “The neuroprotective effects of caffeine: A prospective study (the Three City Study),” Neurology 2007;69(6):536-45.
3Espinola EB, et al. “Pharmacological activity of Paullina cupana in laboratory animals.” J Ethnopharmacol. 1997;55(3):223-9.