Benefits of Guarana from the Energy Shot
Guarana is a plant named for the Guarani tribe in the Amazon, who used the seeds to brew a drink.
Today, guarana seeds are still used as medicine. Guarana is used for weight loss, to enhance athletic performance, as a stimulant, and to reduce mental and physical fatigue.
Guaraná contains caffeine, the stimulant found in coffee, tea, yerba mate, colas and chocolate. “Guaraná also contains a whole mix of other compounds that act together to stimulate you over and above its caffeine content,” says Professor Stephen Myers, Director of NatMed-Research at Southern Cross University. In fact, at the University of Tasmania a study comparing the effects of coffee, guaraná and yerba mate showed that guaraná produced the greatest alertness and improvement in the performance of mental tasks. Coffee produced a peak in alertness after about 30-45 minutes then rapidly fell away, while the effects of guaraná were still continuing – and increasing – after 150 minutes. “There might be substances in guaraná that delay the metabolism of caffeine or slows the absorption of caffeine to prolong its effect,” Professor Myers explains.
Another study at Northumbria University in England showed that guaraná’s positive effects on mood, memory and cognitive function don’t all come down to caffeine levels. Researchers found that better results came from doses of guaraná that had 37.5 or 75mg of caffeine compared to doses that contained 150 or 300mg of caffeine (an espresso shot has about 80mg of caffeine, a can of V 109mg). Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology also looked at how people performed at a range of mental tasks after taking guaraná. In these tests, the guaraná was weaker again with a measly 9mg of caffeine, so researchers concluded that the improvements with guaraná were unlikely to come from its caffeine content.
Guaraná is marketed as the rocket fuel behind energy drinks and demonised as a dangerous form of supercharged caffeine, but what’s the naked truth to this Brazilian herb?
Guarana has been used for centuries, as the early natives would use it to make teas that would suppress hunger for weight loss. Guarana is used today in certain energy drinks and weight loss supplements to support weight loss by providing stimulation and combating hunger. Guarana may promote weight loss by kick starting the nervous system to induce the process of lipolysis. This process involves the release of fat into the blood stream where it is used as energy during exercise.
In addition to its energizing and weight loss effects, guarana also provides a number of medical benefits for the body, according to GuaranaStudies.com. Guarana encourages movement of the bowels, which is a beneficial effect for people suffering from constipation. Additionally, guarana is effective for treating other complications of the bowels, including gas and diarrhea, as it helps to detoxify and cleanse the system.
One of the most powerful benefits of guarana is its energizing effects. Guarana has a similar chemical structure to that of caffeine, and the plant seeds provide even higher caffeine effects than typical caffeine drinks, including coffee. Guarana may be more effective than coffee with regards to its energizing power, as guarana is released more slowly into the body to provide sustained energy. The plant directly stimulates the central nervous system and may be taken in small doses to fight fatigue and increase activity levels.