Stevia by any other name would taste as sweet

On our Active Wellness blog, we’ve discussed the harmful effects of sugar consumption. We’ve also shown the hard-to-access monk fruit as a wonderful zero-calorie sweetener. But what can we use as a sweetener that doesn’t have harmful effects and is easily available?

Given the dual epidemics of diabetes and obesity, it’s a good thing that there’s a natural sweetener that has shown virtually no side effects with long-term usage. Unlike artificial sweeteners, stevia has the benefit of zero calories but doesn’t produce adverse effects.

The raw leaves of the stevia plant can be 20 to 40 times sweeter than cane sugar, while the powdered derivative is 200 to 300 times sweeter! What this means is that a little bit of stevia goes a long way. For example, a single teaspoon of stevia extract may have the same sweetening ability as an entire cup of sugar. This ratio varies between brands.

The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycodes (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside). Studies have shown that stevia seems to help in balancing blood sugar levels. Usage of stevia by diabetics has shown significant results. In one of the studies, type 2 diabetic patients took either one gram of stevioside with a meal or one gram of maize starch. The group taking stevioside had a reduction in blood sugar by about 18 percent. 1

Does stevia taste as good as sugar when added to beverages and food? It depends: Some are more concentrated, some contain filler, some have artificial flavoring and some are extremely diluted. Some stevia extracts may also leave a bitter after-taste. And, because stevia is so intensely sweet, it’s important to use it sparingly when replacing the sugar that is generally called for in baking. It may take a bit of trial and error before you decide on the form (liquid or powder), the substitution ratio (sugar vs. stevia) and your preferred brand.

Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix uses high quality stevia extract from organic stevia leaves as a sweetener, in addition to the mild sweet taste of the organic brown rice solids. (link to What are brown rice solids blog) Drink to your health!

  1. Soren Gregersen, Per B Jeppesen, Jens J Holst, Kjeld Hermansen, Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in type 2 diabetic subjects, Metabolism Clinical and Experimental Jan 2004 Vol 53, Issue 1, Pages 73-76.

Caffeine-sensitive? Try Kenzen Ten4® with natural caffeine.

Athletes are always looking for that competitive edge. For example, some swimmers shave their entire bodies; many runners swear by carbo-loading; jockeys are known to fast before races; extreme behaviors become run-of-the-mill—all in pursuit of heightened performance and victory. One performance enhancer that is drawing more attention from elite athletes is perfectly legal: caffeine.

Caffeine has always been the perennial best friend of high school and college students—whether as a wake-me-up or a means to stay awake while cramming for exams. Triathletes and distance runners have used caffeine as an energy booster for decades, but in more recent years, those involved in short-burst sports are also taking advantage of this stimulant.

Natural sources of caffeine include seeds, leaves, nuts and berries. In Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix, there are 80 mg per serving of natural caffeine from organic matcha green tea. The caffeine in organic matcha green tea not only may help boost energy, but it also may create a calm type of awareness. In other words, organic matcha green may well provide you with a pick-me-up feeling without the jitteriness that caffeine from other sources may cause. The natural caffeine in organic matcha green tea binds to the naturally occurring phytonutrients to slow down the absorption of the stimulant, giving it a slow release effect, resulting in up to six hours of enhanced alertness or physical performance.