Alternatives to Caffeine in Your Supplement: Yaupon & Guayusa

HomeAlternatives to Caffeine in Your Supplement: Yaupon & Guayusa

Alternatives to Caffeine in Your Supplement: Yaupon & Guayusa

By Zachary Litton | Trending Ingredient Spotlight | 2 Comments | 24 January, 2018

Caffeine has become so popular that even Brigham Young University, the morman backed education icon, has lifted a ban on Caffeine that has lasted more than 6 decades. [1 ] In the wake of the demand for caffeinated products and supplements comes a landslide of warnings and omens about caffeine consumption. For supplement brands, caffeine is both a positive marketing term and a liability. In this blog, we continue the search for cleaner forms of caffeine that overcome the hazards and promote health. 

Two Promising Sources of Clean Caffeine: Yaupon & Guayusa

Yaupon Holly and Guayusa are two promising sources of clean caffeine and both offer other positives that help to clean up the reputation of caffeine-based supplements. 

Guayusa - Ilex paraguariensis 

Guayusa is a South American botanical with caffeine levels that sit between green tea and coffee. It is one of the first documented uses of a supplement to keep one awake at night and through ancestral stories retold natives we know that Guayusa was used to keep their night guards alert. [2] Other uses included as a medicine for gastritis and as a fertility enhancement for women. Perhaps its most common use for native peoples is as an energizing morning tea. In the modern setting, the side effects of Guayusa are diminished from those produced by synthetic caffeine. 

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Guayusa Side Effects

In peer-reviewed studies, Guayusa extract caused the body to produce less epinephrine than both green tea extracts and synthetic caffeine which means it delivers energy without impairing focus or causing the body to become overly stimulated. [5] One of the concerns about caffeine is that too much causes medical issues such as elevated blood pressure and twitches. The study found that Guayusa produced less of an epinephrine response. Thus, the body receives the energy boost to help people stay awake without the loss of focus. 

For supplement brands, these are all good points. First, Guayusa has a long history of use both as an energy substance ( morning tea) and as a traditional medicine. Second, it is all natural and that fact appeals to consumers looking for organic sources of energizing substances, nootropics, and caffeine. Third, it has a broad marketing target which includes, women, students, people who work the night shift, long-haul drivers, and anyone who needs a jolt during the day.

What that means is that as a supplement, Guayusa is perfect as both a general marketed product and one that is user specific. In short, it works well to draw in new consumers who are looking for cleaner forms of caffeine. It also offers many delivery formats from capsules to powders. 

Yaupon - Ilex vomitoria 

Yaupon has documented uses by Native Americans that, thus far, dates back to 1050 A. D. [3]Researchers have found traces of Yaupon in pottery chards from the Cahokia urban settlement in the Mississippi River area. The leaves produce a black tea extract which is near the caffeine level of coffee beans. By weight, Yaupon has .65- .85 percent caffeine in comparison to coffee beans which are in the 1.1 percent caffeinated range. 

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Yaupon is native to America and as a plant, it grows in some of the driest regions. For supplement brands, Yaupon offers many benefits. Beyond just a national source of caffeine is the fact that Yaupon Holly is a rich source of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Medicinally, Yaupon has a documented history of helping with ailments such as bloating, constipation. Additionally, this is an herb that is calming, despite its caffeine content. 

For supplement brands, this is all good news. Yaupon is a nootropic that helps sharpen your focus by keeping you calm. It works in two ways, first, you get the energy from the caffeine and ability to reduce stress and anxiety. [4]

In terms of marketing, Yaupon has a broad target market. Because is it rich in vitamin A and C, it is a healthier supplement, then products made from just caffeine. Its medicinal uses and its long history of use make ideal for supplement brands who want to add a caffeinated diet product to their brand.

Energy and caffeine products are skyrocketing and they are doing so across many vectors. Those range from energy drinks to nootropics and both Yaupon and Guayusa offer clean alternatives for supplement brands. Both offer multiple delivery formats ranging from powders and dried leaf formats. Both combine caffeinated energy with health aspects ranging from traditional medicines to improved intake of vitamin A and C. 

In addition, both of these botanicals have the potential to target multiple consumer groups. Those range from anyone who needs to stay awake, to those who are looking to increase their metabolic rate and even those who suffer from digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation. 

Both of these botanicals have a long history as traditional medicines and both cross over from medicinal to social usage. Both were used as morning beverages in much the same way that millions of people enjoy coffee. 

Can your supplement brand benefit from either Yaupon or Guanusa? As the energy and caffeine market continues to expand, these two botanicals show great promise in reaching consumers looking for an alternative to coffee or for a cleaner form of caffeine in supplement form. 

Knowledge Center

[1] Brigham Young Ends 60-year ban on sale of caffeinated drinks on campus - The Guardian

[2] Ethnobotanical Research at the Kutukú Scientific Station, Morona-Santiago, Ecuador - Bio Med Research International

[3] Ritual Black Drink consumption at Cahokia - Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 

[4] Yaupon Holly – High Caffeine Energy Boosting Tea - Supplement Police 

[5] The Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Nervous System Effects of Two Natural Sources of Caffeine in Healthy Adult Males - Journal of American Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Trending Ingredient Spotlight

Zachary Litton

Written by Zachary Litton

Zach is a senior account executive here at ABH Pharma. Zach has years of experience working with both Supplement Brands & Manufacturers, giving him great insider knowledge of operations & sales methodology that works within this industry. Zach is constantly reviewing new product trends and listening to feedback from industry leaders to better his clients.

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