Caffeinated Jerky Promises to Perk Up Your Workout
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Among the many reasons you might skip the gym this evening, feeling sleepy or hungry won't be one of them if you eat some Perky Jerky beforehand.

Jerky has long been a favorite for fit folks and people trying to lose weight thanks to its high-protein, low-calorie, and low-fat content. What has made some nutritionists raise a concerned eyebrow in the past is the added unhealthy chemicals, such as preservatives, sodium-nitrates, and MSG. So Perky Jerky, made by Performance Enhancing Meat Snacks, removes all unnecessary artificial ingredients, only using beef or turkey, seasonings, and guarana. Depending on which meat and flavor you choose, one ounce contains 60 to 90 calories and 10 to 11 grams protein.

But what is guarana and what's it doing in your jerky? This small red berry from the Amazon has traditionally been used by natives to treat fevers, headaches, dysentery, and fatigue. It contains a tiny seed that packs about double the concentration of caffeine found in a coffee bean (one gram of guarana is equal to 40 milligrams of caffeine), which is why it's a key component in many popular energy drinks and sodas. Perky Jerky reports to steep their dried meats in guarana, providing 10 to 15 mg caffeine per serving (similar to diet sode or ice tea).

One caveat about guarana: The FDA hasn't studied its health benefits or risks yet, so the jury is still out on whether it's good for you. For now, maybe a cuppa joe would be a better pre-gym choice if you're low on energy.

Would you still try it to help kick your workout up a notch? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!

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