PAULLINIA CUPANA (WHOLE SEED GUARANA)*
TYPE: Whole Seed (Ramas) Guarana
SOURCE: Brazil, Amazon.
A superfood, grown in the Amazon rainforest that has impressive abilities to support brain function? Yes, please. We use a raw guarana berry seed, picked from the Brazilian Amazon, and ground into a powder. Voke’s guarana is in its pure, natural form. Not extracted or processed, just as the native Amazonian Indians have enjoyed it for thousands of years. On its own, guarana can improve short and long-term brain function. When combined in the right proportions with our green tea caffeine, and red beetroot it has an enhanced ability to keep your mind refreshed and focused.
Guarana has been tested for its overall benefit to mood and anxiety. Human studies looked at the seeds ability to improve feelings of alertness and contentment. In a double-blind study, people using moderate amounts of guarana throughout the day reported feeling significantly more mentally alert and content using the Bond-Lader Mood Scale (1). Early stage laboratory research indicates that guarana may offer anti-depressive benefits, although the mechanisms and effects are still unknown (3).
In a double-blind study, guarana has been shown to improve memory, attention and overall cognitive performance (1). Guarana also helps you stay focused and sharp when you have to work on complex, and mentally draining problems. Additional studies show that mental performance improved when having to focus over extended periods of time (2).
Guarana, in combination with other botanical ingredients, has been shown to help our bodies burn more calories throughout the day. Guarana also helps with body weight management by improving overall metabolism. In a double-blind study, participants taking guarana showed significant weight loss and reduced waist size versus a placebo (4,5).
Guarana has been used for centuries as a natural source of energy. In its whole form, there is far less caffeine than most of us assume (in a Voke tablet, guarana provides 2 mg). It has been shown to increase energy while not affecting sleep, though research on this is limited (6). Guarana has been widely tested to aid physical and mental fatigue, and in combination with vitamins and minerals has shown the ability to reduce fatigue during periods of sustained demand (2). It also contains several natural antioxidants for overall physical support.
MALPIGHIA EMARGINATA (ACEROLA CHERRY)*
TYPE: Organic Acerola Cherry
SOURCE: Brazil, Amazon.
The funky looking, distinctive tasting acerola cherry is one of nature’s most powerful fruits. It is a Brazilian native and gives Voke its citrus-berry flavor. It is an exceptional antioxidant and packed full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. In fact,
it is one of the world’s best sources of vitamin C.
Each Superfood Tablet contains 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Our Acerola Cherry is harvested from the Brazilian Amazon, with minimal processing during the drying process.
Acerola is one the most concentrated natural sources of the antioxidant Vitamin C, with about 50X more than a typical orange (1). Vitamin C helps your body produce white blood cells, which are the body’s primary defense against foreign agents and pathogens (2). Vitamin C is also an essential part of producing certain tissue components such as collagen and ceramide, which are important in the health and repair of tissues such as the skin and blood vessels (3).
Acerola is a rich source of beneficial nutrients. In addition to vitamin C, acerola contains several vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, Riboflavin (B2), Folate (B9) and Potassium. It also provides over a dozen types of Flavonoids such as Quercetin, Kaempferol and Luteolin (1).
Research has begun to show that acerola may be a useful anti-inflammatory, helping bodies recover after activity. Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries act like anti-inflammatory drugs by blocking the actions of enzymes cyclooxygenase-1 and 2 (5,6). Additionally, in laboratory tests, the phytochemicals present in acerola have shown an ability to work as an anti-inflammatory (4).
BETA VULGARIS (RED BEETROOT)*
TYPE: Natural Red Beetroot
SOURCE: United States
Red beetroot is naturally sweet, tasty and gives our superfood tablets their light red color. That’s a great perk, but not why we include them. Red beetroot is full of nutritional value and works with the other ingredients in Voke to keep both the mind and body healthy. It has only been in the last 10 years that research has focused on red beetroot as a superfood capable of aiding with human health. Though science has just begun to understand the full benefits of beetroot, it is one of the oldest known palliative foods, with documented use as a natural medication dating back to the Roman times. Beetroot contains several bioactive agents, including nitrates, vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, and betalains. Studies in humans have provided evidence for the benefits of dietary beetroot concerning blood pressure, chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and cognitive function.
Nitric oxide is vital to almost every organ in the body, including your heart. While some products promote themselves as containing nitric oxide, they actually contain nitrate. The body has two ways it can make nitric oxide, and one is through the stomach by eating foods rich in nitrates. Adding more dietary nitrate into your diet may increase nitric oxide, and provide benefits characterized by insufficient NO.
Red Beetroot is an excellent source of nitrate, with research showing almost 100% of the nitrate in beetroot is bio-available after swallowing in tablet form (1). Dietary nitrate can be converted in the body to nitric oxide (NO), a signaling molecule with essential roles in the cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems.
Increasing nitrates, which are found in Beetroot, in daily diet has been linked to improved cognitive function as a protective agent that enhances blood flow to the brain (2). The nitrates in the beetroot stimulate the part of the brain responsible for working memory and task switching performance (2). Beetroot is a leading source of betalaine, or N-trimethyl glycine, a dietary nutrient that is found naturally in vegetables, such as beets, spinach, and wheat bran. A study published in Neurochemical Research in 2017 revealed that consuming dietary betalaine actually affected the level of osmolytes in the hippocampus, especially during stress, which aided in neuroprotection (4).
Beets are packed with benefits for your body and your brain. The presence of nitrates, folate, and betalains all combined together in one vegetable making it a brain superfood. Beetroot also provides a range of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and iron. What makes a beet red? Bioactive pigments called betalains. These and other bioactive agents have also been shown to be potent antioxidants – collectively far better than other sources such as carrots, tomatoes, oranges and pineapples (1). Beetroot is a rich source of antioxidant compounds, with research showing antioxidants to be a beneficial protective agent against oxidative-stress (5).
CAMELLIA SINENSIS (GREEN TEA LEAF) CAFFEINE*
TYPE: Natural Green Tea Leaf Caffeine
RESEARCH VOLUME: High**
We all know that caffeine is one of the most commonly used and helpful options for short-term energy. Each superfood tablet has a moderate amount (about 75mg) of natural caffeine from green tea leaf. Research indicates that it can improve cognitive function, improve mood and help with physical exercise.
It may make you sharper both short and long-term. In several studies, taking small amounts of caffeine (less than 200mg) has shown an improvement on mental tasks (1). Double-blind studies from Johns Hopkins also found that caffeine helped with memory long-term (2). Research has also shown that caffeine helps with general coordination issues, and other mental agility issues (3, 5). Additionally, daily use of caffeine was linked to improvements in both physical and mental alertness and reaction times (2, 5).
When taken in small doses (under 150mg), caffeine use has been reported to improve mood. Caffeine reaches its peak mood benefit after about 40 minutes, and lasts approximately four hours. In a double-blind study looking at the effect of caffeine, participants reported a significant improvement to feelings of mental alertness and overall contentment, based on the Bond-Lader Mood Scale (8).
Caffeine has been shown to aid with fitness and health in several ways. In addition to improving available energy while exercising, studies have shown that athletes burned up to 15% more calories for three hours after exercise after taking a small amount of caffeine than those who did not (6). Small daily amounts of caffeine also help you keep exercising (4). Taking caffeine one hour before a workout may reduce the perception of muscle pain, maintaining extended workouts especially when sore. Also, when paired with anti-inflammatory agents it has been shown as an optimal way to reduce pain (7).
*All references are from independently conducted, published and peer-reviewed research. Effects are exclusively based on reported benefits from individual ingredients.
**Research support refers to the general volume of study done on a specific ingredient or effect. A lower amount of research indicates less known information and therefore less confidence in conclusions.
Haskell, C.F., et. all. (2007). A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-dose evaluation of the acute behavioral effects of guarana in humans. Journal of Psychopharmacology 21, pp. 65-70.
Kennedy, D.O., et. all. (2007). Improved cognitive performance and mental fatigue following a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with added guarana (Paullinia cupana). Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Northumbria University. Oct. 19., 2007.
Otobone, F.J., et. all. (2007). Effect of Lyophilized Extracts from Guarana Seeds [Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis (Mart.) Ducke] on Behavioral Profiles in Rats. Phytotherapy Research 21. Pp. 531-535.
Anderson, T., Fogh, J. (2001). Weight loss and delayed gastric emptying following a South American herbal preparation in overweight patients. The British Dietetic Association, Journal of Human Nutritional Dietet, 14. pp. 243-250.
Boozer, C., et. all. (2001). An herbal supplement containing Ma Huang-Guarana for weight loss: a randomized, double-blind trial. Int Journal of Obesity Related Metabolism Disorders. Mar 2001; 25(3). pp. 316-24.
Campos, M., et. all. (2011). Guarana (Paullinia cupana) improves fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing systemic chemotherapy. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jun; 17. pp. 505-12.
Belwal, T., et. all. (2018). Phytopharmacology of Acerola (Malpighia spp.) and its potential as functional food. Trends in Food Science & Technology 74 (2018). pp. 99-106.
Carr, A., Silvia, M. (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients, special issue: Vitamin C in Health and Disease.
Pullar, J., Carr, A., Vissers, M. (2017). The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Care. Nutrients: 2017 Aug; 9, pp. 866.
Padmaja, V., Nayak, A., Eshwaraiah, M. (2017). Evaluation of Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory (In vitro and In vivo) Activity of Petroleum Ether, Ethyl Acetate and Methanol Extracts of Malpighia emarginata (DC). Global Journal of Pharmacology 11 (2). pp. 21-27.
Chopra, M., et. all. (2017). Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory activity of ethanolic and ethylacetoacetate extracts of sweet cherry. European Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research, 4(9), pp. 860-863.
Bhargava., P., et. all. (2016). Screening Acerola (Malpighia emarginata) Genotypes for Protection against LPS-Induced Inflammation in Macrophage Cells and Selectivity to Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) Activity. [online] available at: https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.30.1_supplement.1174.24. Accessed Aug, 2018.
Clifford, T., et. all. (2015). The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease. Nutrients 7, ISSN 2072-6643.
Presley, T., et. all. (2011). Acute effect of a high nitrate diet on brain profusion in older adults. Nitric Oxide 24, pp. 34-42.
Kelly, J., et. all. (2013). Effects of short-term dietary nitrate supplementation on blood pressure, O2 uptake kinetics, and muscle and cognitive function in older adults. Am J Physiol Comp Physiol 304: R73-R83.
Knight, L., et. all. (2017). Betaine in the Brain: Characterization of Betaine Uptake, its Influence on Other Osmolytes and its Potential Role in Neuroprotection from Osmotic Stress. Neurochem Res. 42 (12), pp. 3490-3503.
Lobo, V. et al. (2010). “Free Radicals, Antioxidants and Functional Foods: Impact on Human Health.” Pharmacognosy Reviews 4.8: 118–126. PMC. Web. 29 Aug. 2018.
GREEN TEA LEAF CAFFEINE
McLellan, T., Cladwell, J., Lieberman, H. (2016). A review of caffeine’s effects on cognitive, physical and occupational performance. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 71, pp. 294-312.
Borota, D., et. all. (2013). Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans. Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 17, No. 2.
Lieberman, H., Wurtman, R., Emde G., Coviella, I. (1987). The effects of low doses of caffeine on human performance and mood. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 92 (3), pp. 308-12.
Cox, G., et. all. (2002). Effect of different protocols of caffeine intake on metabolism and endurance performance. J Appl Physiol 93, pp. 990-999.
Stafford, L., Rusted, J., Yeomans, M. (2006). Caffeine, mood and performance: a selective review. University of Portsmith. [online] available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279339777_Caffeine_Mood_and_Performance . Accessed Aug, 2018.
Astorino, T., Roberson, D. (2010). Efficacy of Acute Caffeine Ingestion for Short-Term High-Intensity Exercise Performance: A systematic Review. J Strength Cond Res 21 (1), pp. 257-265.
Gliottoni, R., et. all. (2009). Effect of caffeine on quadriceps muscle pain during acute cycling exercise in low versus high caffeine consumers. Int J Sport Exerc Metab. 19 (2), pp. 150-61.
Mitchell, et. all. (2011). Differential contributions of theobromine and caffeine on mood, psychomotor performance and blood pressure. Psychology & Behavior 104, pp. 816-822.
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— Haily U.
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