Guarana is a plant named for the Guarani tribe in the Amazon, who used the seeds to brew a drink. Guarana is a native species of South America and has stimulating properties when taken by mouth. Guarana is also used to enhance athletic performance and to reduce fatigue. Guarana is an all natural stimulant which contains a substance called guaranine, which is often mistaken for caffeine. Guaranine is safer, and yet more potent as a stimulant.
Guarana also contains large amounts of theophylline, theobromine, and tannic acid. It is rich in saponins which reduce the risk of cancer and boost the immune system. Guarana seed is not water soluble, so absorption is usually slow. While the effects of caffeine only last for around 3-4 hours, the effects of guarana can last for 8-10 hours. Other than elevating the blood pressure, guarana has proven to be harmless.
Guarana enhances the mood, helps with weight loss, and provides a much needed energy boost for most people. The biggest advantage, and one that most people aren’t aware of, is that it can help you lose weight and is found in most weight loss supplement. In a 45-week study, people who consumed 75 mg of guarana per day lost an average of 11 lbs. This is thought o be because it can make you feel full therefore reducing your appetite. Guarana is usually ingested as a powder or mixed with water or other beverages. Many fitness enthusiasts use guarana for its metabolism-boosting effects.
Guarana has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks or advantages of guarana may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. Children should not be given guarana without first consulting their doctor. Other potential side effects include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips or tongue, narrowing of the throat, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, heartburn, constipation, diarrhoea, headache and sleeplessness, palpitations and anxiety.