What is guarana?
Guarana is a plant with large red berries that grows in the Amazonian part of Brazil and Paraguay. Guarana fruit contains caffeine, which accounts for 3-7% of the weight of dried berries. Plant fruit extract is used in energy and various types of sports nutrition. The caffeine in guarana is believed to be more beneficial than regular coffee caffeine.
Caffeine from guarana extract is characterized by a smoother rate of increase and decrease - a kind of “prolonged” action. A special role is played by the high content of xanthines in the plant - natural antioxidants and substances that affect the production of nitric oxide. It is these substances that allow guarana to be attributed to superfoods - the most healthy products for health.
However, cons and possible contraindications of guarana are precisely the high caffeine content. It is harmful to caffeine-sensitive people, and can provoke not only a violation of the heart rhythm and excessive sweating, but also create a feeling of anxiety. In addition, guarana extract in powder may adversely affect sleep quality.
What is guarana for:
- long-acting power engineer
- increases strength in sports
- fights free radicals
How does it work?
Like any other source of caffeine, guarana is not an energy in itself. The plant does not contain energy and does not transmit it to the body when eaten. It is only about stimulating the central nervous system of a person, due to which there is a release of reserves - and a noticeable increase in energy, focus of consciousness and total productivity.
Caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline and dopamine, leading to short-term improvement in mood. In addition, the heart rate accelerates, blood pressure rises and strength indicators increase (primarily due to the release of calcium from the sarcoplasm). The intensity of the effects depends on the dosage - while guarana is one of the leaders in caffeine content.
Guarana Extract Powder
The main advantage of guarana extract is its long working time. Regular caffeine begins to act after 30 minutes, the peak level occurs after half an hour or an hour, and after 3-4 hours the action ends. In the case of guarana, the effect can persist significantly longer. In addition, there is less effect on the acceleration of the heartbeat, as well as less irritation of the gastric mucosa.
Scientific studies show that moderate doses of caffeine increase the use of oxygen by the body, affecting the overall energy expenditure and at the same time improve strength performance. In simple words, when using supplements with guarana, an athlete is able to run a distance faster or lift more weight without feeling that the load has increased¹.
Useful properties of guarana:
- reduces fatigue
- improves mood
- improves concentration
- gives a surge of strength and energy
- increases stamina
- reduces hunger
Since caffeine affects the production of the fat-burning hormone adrenaline, guarana can help you lose weight. However, it’s exactly helping - fat burning will still require active physical training, and the substance itself does not affect fat reserves. However, guarana helps to get rid of a feeling of fatigue, gives a feeling of a surge of energy, and also reduces appetite.
In addition, by increasing the heart rate associated with taking caffeine, it becomes easier for an athlete to enter the fat-burning zone of the pulse - which, ultimately, directly affects energy consumption during training. Another advantage of guarana for weight loss is changes in the processes of thermoregulation of the body, leading to an increase in the production of sweat.
How to take guarana?
Most often, guarana can be bought in the form of a powder of dried and grated berries, as well as in the form of capsules or tablets. Taking guarana capsules is easier for a number of reasons. Firstly, it masks the taste - in its pure form, the substance is noticeably bitter. Secondly, capsules allow you to better control the dosage of caffeine consumed. Thirdly, they are easier to take and store in a gym bag.
As for dosages, most often we are talking about taking a portion of guarana powder, equivalent to 50-100 mg of caffeine. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers indicate the direct content of active substances on the package, so it is recommended to start with small doses, increasing them in the absence of stimulating effects. Guarana is taken 20-30 minutes before playing sports, and at least 6 hours before bedtime.
Guarana content in additives:
- Guarana extract powder - 40-70 mg per 1 g
- Guarana capsules - 30-200 mg in 1 capsule
Contraindications and harm
Since the caffeine contained in guaran belongs to the stimulants of the central nervous system, it is necessary to carefully consider its use in large doses. The total daily amount of caffeine in excess of 400-500 mg can provoke nervousness, a sense of causeless anxiety, as well as panic attacks. Recall that in a cup of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine .
In addition, guarana is harmful in diseases of the cardiovascular system, high blood pressure, as well as when taking a number of medications. It does not mix well with antibiotics and antidepressants, and its caffeine can enhance the side effects of certain medications (for example, anticoagulants).
Possible harm to guarana:
- heart rhythm disturbance
- excessive sweating
- feeling of anxiety and anxiety
- sleep disturbances
Guarana is a plant whose fruits contain a large amount of caffeine. Guarana also includes a number of flavonoids that affect the metabolism of caffeine in the body - they provide both a “prolonged" effect and a smaller effect on the heart rate and the gastric mucosa. Guarana extract is often part of energy and fat burners for weight loss.
- Paullinia cupana Supplement - Science-based Review on Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, source
- The protective effects of guaraná extract (Paullinia cupana) on fibroblast NIH-3T3 cells exposed to sodium nitroprusside, source
- Guarana: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning, source