Everyone is talking about it at the moment: guarana or guarana extract.
But does Guarana have benefits? And what are the benefits of Guarana?
Usually, we find Guarana in the food sector of several supermarkets. Here it is used particularly often as Guarana powder in different foodstuffs.
The choice is huge: Whether chewing gum, energy drinks with guarana or juices, which were enriched with guarana powder.
The Brazilian plant is considered a rocket fuel for the brain and has been used for hundreds of years due to the benefits on the performance.
In this article, you will learn everything about Guarana’s benefits.
What is Guarana?
Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is a climbing bush that grows in the Amazon in Brazil, Venezuela, and Peru. Guarana belongs to the family of soaptree plants and has large leaves and flower clusters. However, it is best known for its fruit, which is about the size of a coffee bean and carries the true secret of the plant. The orange-red fruit contains one to three seeds.
The black seeds are about 1cm long and white at the top. The guarana seeds are the reason why the plant is a true energy booster. And these seeds are responsible for most Guarana benefits.
They are rich in caffeine because they contain 4 to 8% caffeine. This is twice as much as e.g. contained in coffee beans. These contain about 1 to 2.5% caffeine.
As early as the late 17th century, the Jesuit missionary Joao Felipe Bettendorff (1625-1698) noted that the Satere-Mawe, an indigenous tribe in the central Amazon region of Brazil, greatly appreciated Guarana as an “energy supplier”.
He observed that guarana was consumed inter alia to reduce fever and to relieve headaches. Back then, people attributed many benefits to Guarana.
In the 18th and 19th centuries Guarana was consumed both in Europe and in the US, and then inexplicably disappeared from the pharmacopeias until it reappeared a few decades ago.
Today Guarana is used to benefit weight loss, but above all guarana is considered as an optimal brain awakener and benefits the increase of physical performance and energy levels.
Some people also use Guarana to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or even as an aphrodisiac.
How does Guarana Benefit the Body?
As several double-blind placebo-controlled studies have shown, Guarana Extract improve subjects’ cognitive performance and reduce mental fatigue.
In addition, Guarana has been found to benefit memory performance, increase awareness, and positively influence mood. These effects can not be attributed solely to the caffeine content of guarana.
This is between 2 to 7.5 percent, which is four times higher than that of coffee. Guarana seeds thus have the highest known caffeine content.
However, in addition to caffeine, guarana also contains minor amounts of various other beneficial substances, such as tannins or theobromine, and theophylline. The psychoactive properties of guarana are probably also due to the relatively high content of these other ingredients.
The indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon have been trading Guarana for a long time. So also the satire Mawe Indians. They grow Guarana in their own plantations and produce not only for regional trade but also ship to Europe.
The annual production is about 4,000 tonnes of roasted seeds, which go mostly in the soft drink industry but are also sold by pharmacies and health food stores.
The effect of guarana on the human body has been known by the Indians in the Amazon for many centuries. They grind the Guarana seeds and make Guarana powder. Add the guarana powder to boiling water and prepare something similar to coffee.
With its stimulating effect, Guarana powder is also added to chocolates, energy drinks or other foods. As a result, its very bitter taste is somewhat mitigated. Guarana powder also contains the theobromine and theophylline.
They are considered to be beneficial wake-up agents and are therefore often found as an ingredient in energy drinks.
Anyone who buys guarana powder to take advantage of its benefits should remember that it dissolves in warm water. Here, the active ingredients unfold easier and the bitter taste is reduced. But, the Guarana benefits remain the same.
In cold water, the very fine powder often clumps together and forms muddy lumps, which are harmless but do not look shabby.
Guarana for More Energy
Coffee is not for everyone. The bitter taste and the short-lived energy make many look for an alternative. In this case, Guarana can be a perfect choice. One of the main advantages of Guarana over coffee is its duration of action.
Guarana energy lasts much longer than coffee because the activator is absorbed more slowly by the body. This is because the contained caffeine is bound to tannins, which must be mined in advance.
This results in a sustained release of energy for up to six hours – a strong contrast to the energy crash often experienced with coffee. Guarana also contains theobromine and theophylline.
The two are just like caffeine purine alkaloids, which provide your body with energy.
Because coffee contains only one of these three alkaloids, but Guarana contains three, Guarana provides much longer-lasting and stronger energy, as an Australian study from 2004 proves.
They examined the psychological and cardiovascular effects of Guarana and Yerba Mate and compared them with those of coffee – the result: Guarana is by far the most effective.
In addition, not only does guarana contain higher levels of caffeine than coffee, but it also contains other alkaloids and fats that suppress the sensation of hunger and thirst in many consumers.
The natural heat that guarana produces within the body is known as thermogenesis, a natural metabolism of your body that aids in the breakdown of stored body fat and its conversion into energy.
This makes Guarana beneficial for weight loss.
10 Guarana Benefits
Not only does Guarana have a refreshing effect on you, it also has many other benefits that can optimize your mental and physical performance and help you get the most out of your energy potential.
We have compiled a list of 10 advantages of Guarana for you:
1. Natural energy boost
The caffeine content in Guarana is many times higher than in coffee beans. That’s why Guaraná is a wonderful energy booster. The substances caffeine, theobromine and theophylline naturally stimulate the body and prevent fatigue.
2. Help with ketosis
The caffeine contained in the guarana seeds stimulates the nervous system and induces lipolysis. In lipolysis, fats are split in the fatty tissue. The resulting fatty acids are released into the blood. They can be taken up by the liver and used to form ketone bodies. They are the fastest and most stable energy sources for your brain. With their help, you get into the ketosis. This means that your body only gains energy from fat and not from carbohydrates. This will optimize your mental capacity and your ability to concentrate.
3. Natural Stress Aid
Also known as a magical fruit, guarana has soothing properties. It can actually help relieve stress and improve your mood. According to researcher C. H. Ruxton, the caffeine contained has a positive effect on mood.
For more than 15 years, they conducted a study examining the relationship between caffeine intake and cognitive and physical performance.
They also looked at the influence on the mood and found out that there is a connection. So you can increase your alertness and improve your well-being: Caffeine not only awakens but also improves your mood.
A study by the University of Cardiff in Wales and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge also demonstrated these effects. The subjects were asked about their caffeine consumption after their mood and this improved significantly.
This is partly because caffeine stops the action of the body’s own messenger adenosine. This is responsible for the resting phases of the brain cells and prevents the happiness hormone serotonin from acting.
Caffeine counteracts adenosine and promotes the uptake of serotonin. So you will most likely be happier and master challenges in a great mood.
4. Better mental performance
Guarana can also help to optimize your learning and support your mental performance. As a study from 2004 shows, Guarana combined with ginseng allows you to fully utilize your energy supplied better.
In this study, the cognitive effects of guarana and ginseng were tested. It was found that the combination significantly improved the speed of information acquisition. This fruit has the potential to improve blood circulation and thus promote better mental health. The better the blood circulation, the freer your head is and the less likely you will be to suffer from migraines or headaches.
5. Better digestive system
As a natural remedy for bloating and diarrhea, Guarana was formerly used throughout Europe to treat water retention. Because it does not work in the stomach, but only in the intestine, guarana has some positive effects on your digestion. The fruit can also be useful in curing bowel problems, helping to eliminate the slags and toxins that have accumulated in the gut. Guarana acts as a natural detoxifier and cleanses your digestive system of harmful substances.
6. A natural aphrodisiac
Guarana is known throughout the world for its natural aphrodisiac properties. The presence of caffeine in this fruit enriches the innate libido stimulating properties. Thus, regular use can help to lead a better sex life.
7. Good for the cardiovascular system
Since guarana contains a high amount of caffeine, it has a positive influence on the cardiovascular system. Caffeine stimulates the vasomotor center, causing the heart to bounce more often and more vigorously, increasing the heart rate and blood pressure slightly. Your cardiovascular system gets started and your body is stimulated. This is also proven by the Australian study by the University of Tasmania.
8. Help with menstrual pain
Women who suffer from severe abdominal pain during their menstruation will love Guarana. It regulates the cycles and also helps in eliminating premenstrual symptoms. Women who feel exhausted during their period can use Guarana to improve their energy levels.
9. Blood-thinning effect
Because guarana contains catechins and caffeine, it can be used as an antiplatelet agent. These ingredients help to reduce the risk of various cardiovascular diseases, e.g. To reduce thrombosis or blood clots because they have a blood thinning effect.
10. Natural painkiller
Caffeine in guarana stimulates blood circulation. The better the circulation of your blood, the lower the pain of an injury. It can act as a natural painkiller and therefore help if you suffer from constant headaches or even migraines.
Side Effects of Guarana
Because guarana contains caffeine, it can interact with certain medications, just like coffee, and cause over-effects when over-administered (over 300 mg), such as:
- Strong palpitations
- High blood pressure
Unlike coffee, however, guarana has no toxic effect. Nevertheless, Guarana should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation, or if you are suffering from high blood pressure, the caffeine only increases it more. You should not overdo Guarana. Just stay with a reasonable intake.
An average adult should not consume more than 5 g guarana a day. At this level, no side effects are expected. With guarana in powder form, the caffeine content can vary greatly, which is due to different growing areas and manufacturing processes.
5 g guarana powder can contain between 45 and 450 mg. Therefore, you should always pay close attention to the manufacturer’s information, so you do not overdo the consumption. With adequate guarana intake, you risk so little risk.
Conclusion: Guarana Benefits
Many organic hackers use Guarana in combination with other brain foods. So you not only get the power of the Guarana extract but other effective plant compounds, such as the extract of Brahmi and Ginkgo. Ginkgo biloba is known as another thought-pot.
Together, these ingredients provide a unique combination to enhance your overall mental performance and give you more energy.
Do you want to convince yourself of the effects of guarana extract? Then give it a try and give us feedback on your experiences.