Today we’re taking a look at two products from Achiva Native Energy: the
Achiva Energy Beans and the Achiva Energy Drink Mix. Both of these products make use of the amazing properties of chia seeds combined with coconut water, caffeine, and a few other ingredients to provide a long lasting energy boost which hydrates, energizes, and even provides a bit of nutrition.
(UPDATE: Since this article was first published, it appears the Achiva Energy Beans have been discontinued and are no longer available on Amazon or the Achiva website. The Energy Drink Mix is still available as of this writing.)
The Chia Seed and Achiva Native Energy
Chia seeds are all the rage these days, and it is pretty easy to see why. If we take a look at the USDA database for nutritional info it becomes easy to see just what a powerhouse of energy and nutrition the chia seed truly is. A single 100 gram serving of chia seeds provides a huge boost of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and a substantially filling snack.
While we know for sure that chia seeds are a great source of nutrition, many additional health benefits of the chia seed have been suggested, but further study is required to confirm these observations. Yet early findings look quite promising for the medicinal properties of the chia seed. To quote a study from the Natural Standard Research Collaboration:
“The available human and non-human studies show possible effectiveness for allergies, angina, athletic performance enhancement, cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD), heart attack, hormonal/endocrine disorders, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, stroke, and vasodilatation. Some evidence also suggests possible anticoagulant, antioxidant, and antiviral effects of Salvia hispanica [the chia plant].”
I can personally attest to the energizing power of chia seeds: I love the things! I put them in smoothies, cereal, mix it in with yogurt – there are a million ways to use them, and they all pretty much result in instant energy.
When I first got turned on to chia seeds, they were hard to find locally and prohibitively expensive. Eventually I had the foresight to order them online, and now I usually order this 12oz bag from Nutiva on Amazon for about $8 a bag. They are actually dirt cheap if you order them online, and then there are always plenty to use liberally.
But when it comes to Achiva’s chia seed based energy products, there is more at work than the substantial boost provided just from the nutrient rich nature of the chia seeds. If you’ve never had chia seeds for yourself, one of the great joys of making something with them is watching them expand. Each chia seed can absorb up to 10 times its weight in water, so when you soak them, these tiny little seeds expand into delicious little energy packets – perfect not only to provide you with a source of calories and nutrients, but also bringing some serious water along for the ride to help you keep hydrated. This is what Achiva refers to as the “gelling” effect
The gelling effect not only allows chia seeds to pack a huge source of hydration with them, but it also helps slow the digestion of the seeds and the Achiva energy blend. The result is a slow release which provides sustained energy – not a short shot up for a perilous crash downwards. Well, that’s the theory at least. How well does it work in practice?
Review of Achiva Nutrition
The nice folks from Achiva Nutrition provided me with some samples of their Native Energy Drink Mix as well as their
Achiva Energy Beans. Looking at the ingredients list, I noted that they are in many ways more or less the same thing. The energy beans are a sort of dehydrated, mini-version of the drink mix. Each contains chia seeds, coconut water, some fruit juice or flavoring depending on the variety, a bit of evaporated cane sugar, agave, and a touch of caffeine.
A Look at the Achiva Energy Beans
In this photo, you might notice that there is only one packet of the
Energy Beans squirreled away in the middle of the drink mix packets. Despite the fact that Achiva was kind enough to send me a pack of Energy Beans in each of the same four flavors they included for the drink mix – mango, raspberry green tea, chai tea, and pomegranate – I couldn’t stop eating the energy beans and managed to consume the other 3 packs before I even did the photo shoot for this review! Woops!
As a regular consumer of caffeine, the amount of caffeine in Achiva Energy Beans is pretty minuscule – enough for for a tiny pick me up, but far from even a moderately caffeinated beverage. But what it does provide is a great snack with a bit of long lasting nutritional value. When I snack on some Achiva Energy Beans, it is a much healthier alternative than just about any snack food I might otherwise reach for. The combination of all natural ingredients and the clever blend geared for an energy boost keeps me feeling nourished after a snack instead of loaded with sugars or caffeine. For the energy beans, I am definitely a fan!
Drink Up! Testing the Achiva Energy Drink Mix
Before I ever tried out the energy drink mix, I knew the Energy Beans were a clear winner, so I was excited to test out the Energy Drink mix as well! I enlisted the help of my ApaViata glass water bottle to mix up some liquid energy and chose the Mango drink mix flavor.
When I opened the packet of energy drink mix, I was pretty surprised with how much was inside – and since much of it is super-absorbent chia seeds, it was bound to expand even more when I added water! I filled up my ApaViata bottle and dumped in the drink mix, and I was shaking it vigorously to mix the contents when I realized I’d made a mistake. Each packet of energy drink mix is designed for use with 12 ounces of water, but my ApaViata bottle holds 18 ounces! (See our full review of the ApaViata Glass Water Bottle)
No big deal – my energy drink was a little more watery than it should have been, but oh well. The instructions say to let it sit for about 15 minutes after adding water in order to let the chia seeds absorb plenty of moisture and swell up. After about 15-20 minutes, I came back to find this:
Since it was a bit watered down, I couldn’t taste much of the mango flavoring. But even in subsequent experiments with the proper amount of water, I don’t find much flavor to Achiva Energy Drink over the taste of chia seeds. Although it may be a bit bland, it is certainly not a bad taste – but if you are looking for something super flavorful, this is definitely not it.
For the million dollar question: does Achiva Energy provide the energy boost it advertises? The answer is a resounding yes – for me, anyway. I definitely get a nice boost from drinking Achiva – it can satiate both hunger and thirst, provide a noticeable increase in energy, and is a great way to help get the blood flowing before a work out, or just a nice way to start the day off on the right foot. Since it has a small amount of caffeine and sugar, I get a bit of a boost after drinking it, but the combination of nourishment from the slowly-digesting chia seeds and the super low-dose of caffeine and sugar insures that there is no crash on its way to make me pay for my pep.
Made from all natural, healthy ingredients and delivering what it promised, I’m quite pleased with Achiva’s products – its hard to argue with something that works well and makes you feel energetic!
Don’t Hesitate to Hydrate!
If staying hydrated is your goal, Achiva’s products and the helpful properties of chia seeds can provide a great way to keep your energy levels up and your body properly hydrated. But always drink plenty of water! For other excellent ways to stay hydrated where ever you go, check out our Best Hydration Packs for Running or browse the reviews section to find the perfect water bottle from our many reviews.
Easy Way To Get A Boost Of Energy
Achiva Energy is a Chia Seed-based energy solution, packed with nutrition and a bit of caffeine for a bit of an extra boost.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.