I love that coffee has antioxidants in it, but I sometimes turn to energy drinks for flavor and convenience. When I do, I am always concerned about the chemical content in these otherwise nutrient-deficient options. Runa's energy drinks are the solution to my caffeine woes.
Runa was founded in 2009 by two friends, Tyler and Dan, after graduating from college. Prior to graduation, Tyler had been introduced to the guayusa leaf, a kind of tree leaf that the locals of Ecuador brew like tea. Much like tea leaves, guayusa was known for its caffeine kick. Tyler enjoyed the flavor of the beverage so much that he wanted to introduce it to the world through a variety of energy drink options.
"Both of the drinks sport a caffeine level of 120mg per serving, which is quite a kick in an otherwise small can."
The company believes in responsible business practices. They pay fair-trade prices and give fifteen percent back to the local communities. In addition, the plant needs to be grown with the shade of other plants, ensuring that large-scale operations are more environmentally sound by not advocating clearcutting of existing forests.
I tried both of Runa's energy drink offerings:
- Original Zero: Runa’s original flavor has no calories and no added sweeteners. As such, it’s like an energy drink version of tea. The smooth, tea-like flavors with a hint of lime are delicious, and the beverage is also lightly carbonated. This is the answer to my energy drink cravings when I don’t want all the sugar or artificial sweeteners that you find in many other drinks.
- Berry: I don’t love the flavor of tea like some people do, and Runa has an option for people like me. The berry flavor is lightly flavored, sweetened, and carbonated. There are 17g of sugar from organic cane per can, so it’s only suitable for those who don’t mind the added sugar and sweetness.
Both of the drinks sport a caffeine level of 120mg per serving, which is quite a kick in an otherwise small can. The guayasa leaf also provides a lot of antioxidants to keep you healthy and help your recovery from workouts.
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The only downside I can see for some people, as I mentioned above, is that the drinks do taste like tea. This, of course, is a benefit to the tea lovers out there, but not everyone likes tea. If you are one of these people, you might not love these drinks, but give the berry flavor a try anyway, since its tea flavors are pretty mild.
My Conclusion on Runa Energy Drinks
The products are delicious, healthy, and made by a socially and environmentally responsible company. If you’re buying energy drinks already, you might find these are less expensive, depending on what brand you purchase. And if you get your coffee anywhere but at home or in a gas station, you might also find these drinks to be cheaper, better for you, and possibly even more delicious than what you’re drinking now. I highly recommend Runa energy drinks.
Runa Energy Drinks are available in 8.4oz (pack of 24) size for $38.15 at Runa.org.