Guarana, also commonly known as Paullinia Cupana and Brazillian cocoa is a climbing plant from the maple family found in the amazon region of South America and Brazil. Best known for its fruit that carries a similar appearance to coffee beans. Guarana has twice the concentration of caffeine than a regular coffee bean making it an intense stimulant if you’re ever looking for an extra kick. Its color is red on the outside with a white and brown center, I think it looks a little like eyeballs.
The black seed almost the size of a coffee bean in the center is the part that you harvest for its caffeine.
Guarana is named after a native tribe that spread throughout Brazil and Paraguay called the “Guarani”.
They used Guarana as herbal tea by drying the seed and pounding it into a fine powder. The most traditional and common form of guarana is the powder form, but you can also find it in capsules or beverages (Common in Brazil).
The main benefit of guarana is to keep the body awake and alert. It also promotes concentration and presence of mind.
In Brazil, many soft drinks brands and carbonated drinks use guarana extract. It is also common in energy drinks for athletes to recover from strain or ache in the legs.
It was also known to its magical effect on restoring a person’s energy.
Some studies claim that it is effective for weight loss when used with other supplements. Since it may suppress appetite and increase your bodies tendency to metabolise fat, so it is often supplemented to aid with weight loss.
Guarana is also famous for its cognitive effects aside from being a stimulant.
As I conduct some research over the web, I came on a lot of studies where Guarana was used to improve cognitive performance and mental fatigue.
Guarana, when combined with multi-vitamins and mineral supplements, has been shown to improve overall mental performance.
Some studies also show that it has curative effects for heart problems. It keeps the arteries elastic and healthy. It also prevents the formation of inflammatory compounds and blood clotting.
Other uses of guarana include treatment of on-going diarrhea, fever, headache and migraines, joint pains, fluid retention and malaria. It prevents and slows down the progression of diseases by reinforcing, stimulating, and forcing the body to react.
Chemical Makeup of Guarana
Guarana is rich in guranine, a chemical very similar to caffeine that stimulates the Central Nervous System (CNS), heart, and muscles. It also contains polyphonic compounds such as tannin, and alkaloids like theophylline and theobromine.
The effects of guarana seen as the same as caffeine, but it is generally safer if taken in small doses. It is safe for adults to take it as long as you view it as medicine, taken in small doses for short periods.
However, Guarana has side effects when it is taken in large amounts or high doses and for a long period. It can cause insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, increases heart rate, and blood pressure.
Guarana can cause diarrhea to worsen, causes anxiety and agitation, and may also cause symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. It might make bleeding disorder worse.
So be sure to take it in moderation but I personally love to keep some of this around the house. I add a small does into my morning blend on low energy days, when you have things you need to get done.