Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

Many people in the world have come to rely on caffeine for its energizing properties in order to get them going in the morning. You can find it in your Guayusa, tea, coffee, and energy drinks. But did you know there are different types of caffeine? The caffeine found in Guayusa is different from that in the energy drink. There are two categories of caffeine: synthetic and natural. The two sources have very different benefits and side effects. Does it matter if you use artificial caffeine or natural caffeine? In this article, we are going to discuss and explore the differences between them, and hopefully, it will give you a better understanding of how to choose the right type of caffeine for your needs.


Synthetic caffeine? Natural caffeine?

What is natural caffeine?

Natural caffeine is a naturally occurring compound that is found in plant sources, such as cocoa bean, coffee bean, tea leaves and Guayusa leaves.

Fun Fact

Natural caffeine has been consumed by people for centuries and used as a stimulant long before the introduction of synthetic caffeine. Did you know that Guayusa has been used for centuries among the indigenous people in South America. In the past, Guayusa was used as a stimulant for those who had to work long hours in the jungle. The Guayusa tea delivers energy and alertness so that workers can continue to work. Now more and more people all over the world drink it to stay awake and focused throughout their day.

If you’re looking to take a break from your daily cup of coffee and still get the benefits of caffeine, that’s where ‘Guayusa’ comes into play. Click here for more information about Guayusa.

Guayusa Leaves - coffee alternative
Guayusa Leaves
guayusa tea
Guayusa Teabag

What is synthetic caffeine?

Synthetic caffeine, created in laboratories, is the product of chemical synthesis and does not occur in nature. Synthetic caffeine is typically found in energy drinks.

Fun Fact

Did you know that the Nazis were the first to develop synthetic caffeine during World War II. The Nazis were unable to receive goods including caffeine because of embargoes, so synthetic caffeine was created in order to maintain a supply chain. The use of synthetic caffeine for drinks, especially energy drinks has become the norm ever since because the demand for caffeine has risen dramatically.

The Only Similarity

Caffeine is caffeine; the molecule structure between synthetic and natural caffeine is the same – C8H10N4O2. There is no difference in the stimulative effect of natural and artificial caffeine on the body and mind. Because of that, consumers today may have trouble identifying what type of the caffeine is used in the products – natural or synthetic. Don’t worry, we will discuss how to identify between the two later.

caffeine structure - C8H10N4O2
Caffeine – C8H10N4O2

How natural and synthetic caffeine are different

  • The biggest advantage of synthetic caffeine over natural caffeine is the cost. The artificial products are much cheaper than their natural counterparts. It is more difficult and expensive to source and extract the natural caffeine.
  • Synthetic caffeine absorbs into the body much quicker than natural caffeine and this will lead to a peak in stimulation much sooner. However, it will also wear off more quickly too – so be careful! This is unlike Guayusa. Guayusa’s natural caffeine is released in a slow, sustained fashion which gives you hours of clean energy without the jitters or crash (that’s why people have switched to Guayusa from coffee). This is likely due to the polyphenols that slow the digestion of caffeine.
  • Drinks that contain synthetic caffeine often come with other compounds that are harmful to your body. For example, energy drinks are laden with processed sugar which has been associated with a variety of negative health concerns while natural caffeine sources like Guayusa are rich in antioxidants and nutrients which promote healthy living.

How to distinguish one from the other?

It is almost impossible to identify between synthetic and natural caffeine by taste. The easiest way to tell whether a product contains natural or synthetic caffeine is to look at the ingredients list. If it is natural caffeine, it will be labeled as the plant form, like ‘Guayusa’. Otherwise, you will see ‘caffeine’ on the label for a product containing synthetic caffeine. So next time, if you want to see if it’s the right type of caffeine for you – just read the ingredients.

Ingredient list : Energy Drink vs Guayusa
Ingredient list : Energy Drink vs Guayusa

Conclusion & Recommendations for healthy living

You should now have a better understanding of picking the right type of caffeine for your need. Natural and synthetic caffeine both have their merits and drawbacks. However, I still recommend that people should drink Guayusa, coffee or tea rather than energy drinks for their overall well being because these natural drinks are full of other nutrients that the body will benefit from.

Guayusa teabags
Pure Guayusa – 20 Biodegradable Jumbo Pyramid Teabags (5g each – 100g Total)

Please note that this article is not intended to provide medical advice, you are encouraged to seek the advice of your doctors or other qualified health care provider when treating a medical condition.


Artificial vs Natural Caffeine: the difference between Energy drinks and Guayusa
Synthetic caffeine vs natural caffeine