Muguka energy drink

The introduction of Muguka Energy Drink is part of an innovative initiative by researchers at Meru University of Science and Technology, who have developed it from the muguka plant, a type of khat.

This product aims to highlight the positive uses of muguka, alongside other new products like miraa wine and chewing gum from both plants. However, the use of muguka has been controversial due to its potential health impacts.

Studies by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have linked regular muguka consumption to mental health issues such as hallucinations and paranoia, as well as physical health problems like increased heart rate and potential addiction.

Despite these concerns, the development of the Muguka Energy Drink seeks to provide a regulated and potentially safer consumption method. This product is part of broader efforts to integrate traditional stimulants into mainstream, controlled use, possibly reducing unregulated consumption's negative effect.

The Muguka Energy Drink is set to hit local kiosks soon, marking a new chapter in the commercialization of muguka. This initiative, spearheaded by researchers from Meru University of Science and Technology, includes other products such as miraa wine and chewing gum made from these plants.

Two lead scientists Prof Joshua Arimi, a food scientist and Dr Patrick Kubai who is a clinical researcher said studies done on miraa and muguka have proved that they contain nutritional ingredients. 

“In terms of value addition we have developed an infusion bag like the tea bags, a miraa chewing gum and energy drink. We are doing this because miraa and muguka contribute at least Sh13.1 billion to Kenya’s economy besides being the key economic driver in areas where it is grown,” Prof Arimi said.

He spoke on Saturday at the close of the 3rd Meru University of Science and Technology International Conference (MUSTIC), themed Science in the Service of Climate Action.

“Our objective is to improve how muguka and miraa are presented in the market which currently is not appealing to consumers. This will also make it easy for government agencies to control consumption of the product by the underage population,” he added.