I got a sample six-pack of Zija Energy Drink in the mail the other day from PlantMiracle. I had at first rebuffed the offer of trying an energy drink since I can't do caffeine (except for a little green or white tea in the morning when I'm fighting off tired Zombie groans of SLEEEEEP!), but then when I was told that Zija does not contain caffeine my interest was piqued.
When my Zija arrived I liked the small size of the cans, and the clean, understated look of the package. This is clearly no Rock Star, Monster or Turkish energy drink (seriously, I see Turkish energy drinks in bodegas in my neighborhood and they frighten me).
I had a long night of blogging and editing ahead, so I popped a top. I was greeted with a faint aroma of Pop Rocks. I found the green liquid to be surprisingly refreshing, and it tasted pretty good. It reminded me a bit of Cell-Nique's herbal Super Green Drink, though I think it tastes better and is easier drinking. Cell-Nique boasts an impressive 95% organic ingredients and 31 superfoods and botanical herbs but I find the taste and texture a bit on the chalky side, and I personally can only drink it mixed with vodka and a spritz of cranberry juice (No, I'm not on my period!).
I will say that I did feel a bit more alert after trying Zija, and I was able to concentrate on working through a few more hours. The "high" was mild, with no crash. I felt no jitters, as I would if I had a full cup of regular coffee these days (I used to be able to consume 4-6 cups of coffee in a night, talking with friends at a diner, but those days are long gone, maybe because of those days).
I'm no Shea Gunther, who wowed with his 7-day marathon of trying energy drinks for Geeks Are Sexy -- but I did notice that I got similar results with Zija when I tried one in the morning, on an empty stomach, as the company suggests.
In fact, PlantMiracle touts the benefit of their product's extracts of Moringa oleifera, an interesting tree I hadn't heard of until Zija came along. Morniga is apparently one of the most useful trees, having been used for centuries for food and medicines. Most of the Moringa tree is edible. It grows in tropical and subtropical, semi-arid lands, originally in the southern Himalays and possibly Africa and the Middle East. Today it is widely cultivated and harvested, and is often promoted as a solution to malnutrition, since it has one of the highest protein ratios of any plant.
PlantMiracle says Moringa is packed with antioxidants, natural anti-inflammatories and all 19 essential amino acids, as well as four times the calcium of milk, four times the vitamin A of carrots, three times the potassium of bananas, seven times the vitamin C of oranges, and more iron than spinach. The company says a morning drink of Zija can promote increased mental clarity and energy levels.
The complex interactions of such herbs in our bodies is poorly understood, although we do know that different people can experience different results (sometimes even the opposite of the intended results). Remember that herbs can have interactions with other herbs you may be taking, as well as prescription drugs. You may want to consult with your doctor or nutritionist before consuming regular quantities of any herbal-based supplements.
Still, with the alarming news recently about the potential dangers of amped-up, highly processed energy drinks, it's interesting to note that more natural, caffeine-free alternatives are coming online. If you're into energy drinks, Zija seems worth a try.
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