GUARANA (Paullinia Cupana)
Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is a climbing plant native to the Amazon. It is a shrubby, climbing liana, with a flexible and long stem, whose fruit is shaped like a nut seed. When ripe, a guarana fruit is the size of a coffee berry, with a red shell that encloses a black seed covered by a white ring. Brazilian Indians use it as a natural stimulant drink similar to tea or coffee.
As a complement, guarana seeds are used without the outer covering. In most cases, it is roasted and a brown powder is obtained, rich in caffeine and tannins (compounds in some foods with astringent and anti-inflammatory properties). As a supplement, we can find guarana in different formats: seed extract, capsules and pills, powder, in infusions and in bars or energy drinks.
Experts estimate that the energy drink industry uses 70% of the guarana produced and the remaining 30% is turned into powder.
The main component of guarana is caffeine, a substance that stimulates the central nervous system and releases adrenaline. In fact, these seeds contain about twice as much caffeine as coffee beans.
Thus, the benefits of consuming guarana are closely related to those of taking caffeine:
It is a powerful energizer. In moderate doses, caffeine increases alertness and reduces drowsiness. The stimulating effects can start in 15 to 30 minutes. Age, body weight, or medication intake will determine how long it takes the body to eliminate it. In healthy adults, the half-life is about four hours, with a range of two to eight hours, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Improves fat burning and allows for greater weight loss. The high caffeine content increases metabolism by 3% to 11%, allowing you to burn more calories at rest. Guarana supplements can be helpful, as long as a proper diet is maintained.
It is rich in substances from the group of xanthines. Guarana extract contains alkaloids such as theobromine and theophylline. In humans, xanthines stimulate the central nervous system, increase gastric acid secretion, and act as bronchodilators and diuretics.
It has antioxidant properties. Thanks to catechins, which help fight free radicals, that is, slow down cell aging. This antioxidant property can help improve cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers guarana to be "generally recognized as safe" when administered correctly. There is no proven effective dose for guarana. However, most human-based research has found that doses of 50 to 75 milligrams can already provide benefits. These will depend on factors such as weight, medication consumption, individual sensitivity and the way it is taken.
Guarana has low toxicity in low to moderate doses. In high doses, the side effects are generally the same as those of caffeine:
- Anxiety and nervousness.
- Stomach ache.
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure.
Some groups of people who should avoid or limit their consumption are:
Pregnant women: could lead to low birth weight or premature labor.
People with an allergy to caffeine or other substances from the same group such as theophylline.
Children under 12 years old.
People with cardiovascular problems or gastroduodenal ulcers.
People who take medications such as antidepressants.
Remember that the use of guarana and any other supplement should not be a substitute for medical advice and treatment.
Warning: The effects of this product are backed by the empirical experience of ancient traditional medicine with excellent results and the absence of harmful side effects if administered within the correct dosage. The information identified here is not in any way an ordinance or a prescription, the use of these natural products does not replace a medical consultation.