Guarana

Guarana 

 

If you’re tired, literally, of the same coffee routine every morning then guarana might be the answer. Blended coffee drinks are normally highly unhealthy and leave you feeling tired and groggy halfway through the day. Guarana, on the other hand, contains more caffeine than the average cup of joe and even contains ingredients that allow it to be released slowly through the body. So should you be supplementing guarana, and can it replace coffee altogether? All of those answers and more, ahead.

 

8 Quick Facts

  1. Guarana is named after the Guarani tribe of the Amazon. They traditionally used the seeds of this plant to make a drink and even a type of bread.
  2. Guarana is used widely in South America and is a huge source for the areas’ caffeine needs.
  3. Guarana is now a popular energy supplement used as a way to reduce both mental and physical fatigue or exhaustion.
  4. Popular energy drinks like red bull actually contain Guarana extract
  5. It is occasionally used as flavoring in candies and beverages.
  6. Guarana contains a small compound called tannins, this is what causes the energy it provides to be released slowly, unlike traditional caffeine sources.
  7. The side effects of Guarana are similar to those of caffeine, as it contains caffeine as well as a few caffeine-like ingredients.
  8. It is recognized as safe or generally safe by the FDA

 

What is Guarana?

So what is Guarana, and does it differ from caffeine? Guarana is a small South American fruit that bears a strong resemblance to an eyeball. It contains small seeds, which are actually highly similar in size to a coffee bean, however, the difference in the fact that they contain twice as much caffeine. They also contain the ingredients theophylline and theobromine which are similar to caffeine but produce slightly varied effects on the body.

So what makes Guarana so different from other caffeine sources, besides the fact that coffee beans don’t resemble any part of the human body? As previously mentioned it contains tannins. These are small molecules which help the natural energy contained in the seed to be released into the body slowly. This means that the energy one gets from Guarana is received slowly, and comes with no harsh crash or spike in alertness.

 

What are the benefits?

Beyond simply being a better way to consume caffeine, Guarana comes with a lot of added health benefits. This incredible seed does not only help reduce fat and increase energy, it is good for so much more. These include

Fat BurnerGuarana has been used for centuries to curb appetite and suppress the pangs of hunger. It is still used for this today, which is why it is often used as a dieting supplement. In addition, it is thought to assist the body in releasing fat into the bloodstream, which helps it to be converted to energy during exercise.

Blood Thinning – Certain heart conditions can lead to your doctor prescribing you a blood thinner. Guarana is a great natural blood thinner and can help you avoid blood clots and other heart complications.

Mental Alertness – Due to the fact that it contains caffeine, this seems like a fairly obvious one. Guarana is a great source of energy, containing more than coffee and most other sources. Plus, it helps you avoid that 3:00 pm crash that too many of experience after using coffee to get us through the morning.

Stomach Health – Guarana can even be used to naturally detoxify your system as it encourages bowel movements and can be helpful in fighting constipation and bloating.

Benefits of Guarana

 

What are the sources?

There are no natural ways to get guarana other than through the plant itself, or it is used as an additive. Many leading energy drinks contain it as an added ingredient, however, most likely a physician would prescribe guarana extract in a powder form that can be mixed with water or another drink. Physicians may also prescribe the extract in the form of a supplement pill which gives you all the benefits of Guarana, in a much more convenient way. One example is Balance Guarana from LFI Labs.

 

Easy Recipes

If you want to harness the full power of guarana but you don’t really really want to drink a Monster Energy drink, smoothies are your best bet. This guarana smoothie recipe is from Smoothie Ninja and it contains fresh fruits and honey for sweetener as well as guarana extract.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 tsp of Guarana Powder
  2. 1 cup of unsweetened yogurt
  3. 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  4. 1 tbsp clear honey
  5. Papaya (optional)

Instructions:

Place all of your ingredients in a blender, ideally a Ninja Blender and process it until it’s smooth. Depending on your preference for consistency you can add in milk during the blending process.

This is a great way to not only get the energy you need to kick-start your morning but also to take a break from coffee and switch to a healthier alternative.

 

What conditions can it alleviate?

There is evidence that Guarana can be used to alleviate the symptoms many different conditions. Such as:

  • Poor mental performance
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Heart problems
  • Joint pain
  • Fluid retention
  • Low blood pressure

Before using guarana to treat any of these conditions it is best to consult a medical professional to determine if it is the right choice for you. As well as if it would be effective for you specifically.

 

What is the recommended dose?

As guarana has a very high concentration of caffeine, it is best to consult a physician to determine if it is the right choice for you. Most people who use it use between 200 and 800 milligrams, but there is no strict standard dose of guarana. It is best not to use it every single day or for very long periods of time.

 

Guarana Dosage

Concerns / Interactions

While caffeine may be regularly consumed by millions of people around the world that doesn’t mean it is completely safe. There are many health complications that can arise from ingesting too much caffeine in a short period of time. Here’s a quick breakdown of who should feel safe consuming guarana, and who should consult a physician or avoid it all together. Visit WebMD for more information. 

If you are a healthy adult over the age of 18 it is considered generally safe to ingest guarana.

If you are pregnant nursing or may becoming pregnant. If you have a heart condition, diabetes, or anxiety, then take caution before ingesting guarana.

If you are currently taking other amphetamines or supplements then it is best to avoid guarana completely.

Guarana Use

 

Related: Ditch the Coffee for These All Natural Tonics

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