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The Mental Sharpness Drink – Fig, Cashew, Guarana & Cacao

With a caffeine boost from guarana and an energy lift from figs, FOCUS is a great way to kick-start your morning, increasing alertness and providing your brain with a boost.

What is ‘FOCUS’?

FOCUS is a mouth-watering mix of organic figs, cashews, guarana and cacao, designed to help you stay on top of your game, all day long.

With energy rich figs and creamy cashews, a cheeky hit of energising guarana and a burst of antioxidant-rich cacao, FOCUS has all the ingredients you need to stay alert and ready to take on any challenge that comes your way.

Grab a bottle of FOCUS and go seize the day!

 

The science behind FOCUS

Guarana

Grown in the Amazon basin of northern Brazil, guarana is a plant from the maple family. For hundreds of years Native Amazonians have used the plant’s bright red berries to make energy-boosting drinks. Legend even tells the story of Guaraní tribes drinking guarana berry tea to boost their endurance on long hunts.

Scientists now know these energy-boosting effects are thanks to the high levels of caffeine found in guarana berries1 – around four times the amount found in coffee beans2. Caffeine helps us to feel more awake because it blocks the action of adenosine, a chemical that causes drowsiness3.

Similar to the effects of drinking a coffee, a number of studies have found that a single dose of guarana* can improve memory, mood and even thinking speed4,5. In fact, research shows guarana consumption can even boost ability to perform challenging mental tasks6,7.

You might not face Amazonian dangers in modern day life, but these studies suggest food or drinks containing guarana extracts can help you perform at your best. Each bottle of FOCUS contains around 80 milligrams of caffeine – the same amount as a shot of espresso. Teamed with the powers of cacao, cashew and figs, it’s a sure-fire way to wake up your body and mind.

 

Cacao

Cacao beans are a rich source of flavonoids, plant chemicals that have antioxidant effects. Diets high in flavonoid-rich foods have been linked with beneficial effects on brain health, including improved memory and learning8,9, leading scientists to believe that cocoa-rich diets could help to protect against conditions like Alzheimer’s. Studies also show that drinks or chocolate containing high levels of cocoa flavanols can boost blood flow to the brain, improving performance in mental tasks10,11.

 

Figs

A good source of carbohydrate, figs provide your body and brain with energy. They’re also rich in hunger-busting fibre, an important nutrient which keeps waste moving through the digestive system12,13. Studies show fibre-rich foods can keep us feeling fuller for longer, which means you’re less likely to be tempted by sugary snacks come mid-morning. With almost 15 per cent of the recommended daily intake of fibre, FOCUS is a great way to score some health plus points.

 

Cashews

Packed with monounsaturated fats, cashews are a heart-healthy food, with studies showing people who regularly include nuts in their diet have a lower risk of heart disease14 and cancer15.

By combining high-energy fruits (like figs) with healthy fats from nuts, your body gets a slower release of sugars into the bloodstream16, which means you get a more sustained release of energy.

 

When to use FOCUS

With a caffeine boost from guarana and an energy lift from figs, FOCUS is a great way to kick-start your morning, increasing alertness and providing your brain with a boost.

It’s also ideal for renewing your energy levels before a workout17; as well as boosting alertness, caffeine rich drinks can reduce perception of fatigue, making exercise feel easier.

 

*Effects seen with doses from 37.5 mg and up

 

References

  1. Schimpl, F. C., Da Silva, J. F., Gonçalves, J. F. D. C. & Mazzafera, P. Guarana: Revisiting a highly caffeinated plant from the Amazon. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 150, 14–31 (2013).
  2. Moustakas, D. et al. Guarana provides additional stimulation over caffeine alone in the planarian model. PLoS One 10, (2015).
  3. Smith, A. Effects of caffeine on human behavior. Food and Chemical Toxicology 40, 1243–1255 (2002).
  4. Haskell, C. F., Kennedy, D. O., Wesnes, K. a, Milne, a L. & Scholey,  a B. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-dose evaluation of the acute behavioural effects of guaraná in humans. J. Psychopharmacol. 21, 65–70 (2007).
  5. Kennedy, D. O. et al. Improved cognitive performance and mental fatigue following a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with added guaraná (Paullinia cupana). Appetite 50, 506–513 (2008).
  6. Scholey, A. et al. Acute effects of different multivitamin mineral preparations with and without guaran?? on mood, cognitive performance and functional brain activation. Nutrients 5, 3589–3604 (2013).
  7. Pomportes, L., Davranche, K., Brisswalter, I., Hays, A. & Brisswalter, J. Heart rate variability and cognitive function following a multi-vitamin and mineral supplementation with added guarana (Paullinia cupana). Nutrients 7, 196–208 (2014).
  8. Letenneur, L., Proust-Lima, C., Le Gouge, A., Dartigues, J. F. & Barberger-Gateau, P. Flavonoid intake and cognitive decline over a 10-year period. Am. J. Epidemiol. 165, 1364–1371 (2007).
  9. Crichton, G. E., Elias, M. F. & Alkerwi, A. Chocolate intake is associated with better cognitive function: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study. Appetite 100, 126–132 (2016).
  10. Francis, S. T., Head, K., Morris, P. G. & Macdonald, I. a. The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people. J. Cardiovasc. Pharmacol. 47 Suppl 2, S215–S220 (2006).
  11. Field, D. T., Williams, C. M. & Butler, L. T. Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in an acute improvement in visual and cognitive functions. Physiol. Behav. 103, 255–260 (2011).
  12. Barolo, M. I., Ruiz Mostacero, N. & L??pez, S. N. Ficus carica L. (Moraceae): An ancient source of food and health. Food Chem. 164, 119–127 (2014).
  13. Baek HI et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Ficus carica paste for the management of functional constipation. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 25, 487–96 (2016).
  14. Luo, C. et al. Nut consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 100, 256–269 (2014).
  15. Wu, L. et al. Nut consumption and risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr. Rev. 73, 409–425 (2015).
  16. Moghaddam, E., Vogt, J. A. & Wolever, T. M. S. The Effects of Fat and Protein on Glycemic Responses in Nondiabetic Humans Vary with Waist Circumference, Fasting Plasma Insulin, and Dietary Fiber Intake 1. J. Nutr 136, 2506–2511 (2006).
  17. Veasey, R. et al. The Effects of Supplementation with a Vitamin and Mineral Complex with Guaraná Prior to Fasted Exercise on Affect, Exertion, Cognitive Performance, and Substrate Metabolism: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 7, 6109–6127 (2015).
Laura Tilt

Laura Tilt

Laura is an experienced dietitian and health writer who believes in the power of food to improve health and wellbeing. After studying a bachelor's degree in nutrition, she moved to London to complete a Masters in Public Health Nutrition followed by a diploma in Dietetics, becoming a Registered Dietitian in 2012.


You can find more details about Laura over at her website, www.tiltnutrition.co.uk
Laura Tilt

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