Bawls’ guarana beverages have been an underground favorite for LAN gamers for many years. Their highly-caffeinated beverages have been rather successful, despite their limited distribution channels. Previously you had to order a case online, but now Bawls is now starting to show up in convenience stores and major department stores like Target.
If you’ve read our other Bawls Guarana articles, then you know a little bit about the interesting taste of guarana, and how the ingredient is starting to show up in energy drinks targeted towards today’s hip young whipper-snappers. Even gamers need to watch their figures (we don’t just get the chicks with our M4D 5KiLL5), so there is increasing demand for a sugar-free energy drink that still lets you game all night.
What is guarana?
Guarana (pronounced gwa-ra-NAH) is a creeping shrub native to Venezuela and northern Brazil in the Amazon rain forest. The fruit are small, bright-red, and contains black seeds.
Guarana seeds are rich in caffeine and contain up to 4-8% caffeine, more than coffee beans, which contain approximately 1–2.5% caffeine. The seeds are also rich in tannins and xanthine alkaloids theophylline and theobromine.Guarana is a South American shrub, whose berries contain guaranine, and is a popular ingredient in energy drinks outside the US, and is commonly used in “health tonics” in Brazil and hispanic countries, and Bawls is the first (and currently only) US company to use it in a commercial beverage.
Previously, Bawls Guarana Exxtra (their sugar-free version) was only available in 10-ouce bottles, which is easy to run through quickly. Now their tasty clear sugarless concoction is packaged up in a large 16 oz. can. Not only do you get more, but you save your meaty palms being shredded against a metal cap. The metal can also works better on the CoolIt USB Beverage Chiller (reviewed here), which helps prevent your refreshingly bubbly beverage from transforming into warm swill.
The new 16 ounce version has 50% more caffeine than the 10-ouce bottle, delivering a whopping 150mg of caffeine (about the same as a tall latté) per can. The amount of caffeine per ounce is still the same, but there is more soda in the container. Since the caffeine is derived from guarana, it is not required to be listed in the Nutrition Facts label. The ingredients in the beverage are listed below.
Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Natural Guarana Extract, Citric Acid, Caffeine, Sucralose, Potassium Benzoate (as a preservative), Acesulfame Potassium, Artificial Flavor. Warning: This product contains high levels of caffeine.
I down a few of these in the morning, which is definately more refreshing than coffee, and I felt a little jittery, but definately alert. The new larger can and wide mouth definately lets you pour more into your system quickly, and before you know it you’ll exceed your RDA of C8N10N4O2.
Now if Bawls would just create a sugar-free version of their ultra-chuggable G33K B33R…