Brite is an herbal energy drink that is currently being marketed aggressively. It is even for sale in one leading UK supermarket. It comes in various flavors the ingredients of which vary slightly.
- guarana extract,
- green tea extract,
- guayusa extract,
- ashwagandha extract,
- matcha tea,
- ascorbic acid (vitamin C),
- natural caffeine.
The website of the manufacturer tells us that Brite uses ingredients and dosages that are safe and effective, utilising the power of nootropic superfoods organic Matcha, Guarana and Guayusa to provide a long-lasting boost.
Brite is based on peer reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials and studies that can be found here.
It does not tell us the dosages of the ingredients, and I am puzzled by the claim that the drink is safe. A quick search seems to cast considerable doubt on it.
- green tea
And it can cause the following adverse effects:
- Abdominal spasms (from overdose)
- Fast heart rate
- Gastrointestinal (GI) upset
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- Increased respiration
- Increased urination
- Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
- Muscle spasms
- Painful urination (from overdose)
- Rapid breathing
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Stomach cramps or irritation
- Withdrawal symptoms
Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It can cause the following adverse effects:
- sleep problems,
- irregular heartbeat,
- ringing in the ears,
Guayusa is a plant native to the Amazon rainforest that contains plenty of caffeine. Its adverse effects include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Energy Crashes
- Upset Stomach
Ashwagandha is a plant from India; the root and berry are used in Ayurvedic medicine. Its adverse effects include:
- stomach upset,
Matcha tea also contains a high amount of caffeine. It is associated with the following adverse effects:
- digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, or diarrhea,
- sleeping disorders,
- cardiac arrhythmia.
Caffeine is a chemical found in coffee, tea, cola, guarana, mate, and other products. Adverse effects include:
- stomach irritation,
- nausea and vomiting,
- increased heart rate and respiration,
- chest pain,
- ringing in the ears.
A case report documented a case of myocardial infarction in a 25-year-old man who presented to the emergency department with chest pain. The patient had been consuming massive quantities of caffeinated energy drinks daily for the past week. This case report and previously documented studies support a possible connection between caffeinated energy drinks and myocardial infarction.
Yes, the adverse effects are predominantly (but not exclusively) caused by high doses. Yet, the claim that Brite is safe should nevertheless be taken with a very large pinch of salt. If I like the taste of the drink and thus consume a few bottles per day, the dosages of the ingredients would surely be high!
And what about the claim that it is effective? Here the pinch of salt must be even larger, I am afraid. I could not find a single trial that confirmed the notion. For backing up their claims, the manufacturers offer a few references, but if you look them up, you will find that they were not done with the mixture of ingredients contained in Brite.
So, what is the conclusion?
Based on the evidence that I have seen, the herbal drink ‘Brite’ has not been shown to be an effective nootropic. In addition, there are legitimate concerns about the safety of the product. I for one will therefore not purchase the (rather expensive) drink.