Guarana is a Brazilian plant, also known as Paullinia cupana, located in the Amazon area. It contains an impressive range of stimulants, including caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. It also includes antioxidants, such as tannins, saponins, and catechins. Interestingly, we use 70% guarana in soft drinks, and the remaining 30% turns into powder.
Here are ten health benefits of guarana:
Rich in antioxidants
Guarana has several antioxidant compounds with remarkable properties. Antioxidants are essential because they counteract other unfavorable molecules also known as free radicals. These molecules can interact with parts of an individual's cells and possibly cause deterioration related to aging, heart disease, cancers and other diseases.
Some studies have found that guarana's antioxidant properties may also fight cancer cell growth and reduce the risk of heart disease and aging skin.
Can reduce fatigue and improve focus
Due to its properties, it is also an excellent source of caffeine, which helps keep the brain alert, maintaining focus, and increasing mental energy. Interestingly, its seeds contain four to six times more caffeine than coffee beans. Caffeine works by blocking the effects of adenosine, a compound that helps relax the brain. It binds to adenosine receptors, preventing them from being activated.
It can help you learn better
Research has shown that guarana can improve your ability to learn and memorize information. One study specifically examined the effects of different doses of guarana on mood and learning. From this study, the researchers concluded that guarana improved test performance, and these people not only paid more attention to their tasks but also completed them faster. However, some also believed that other compounds in guarana, besides caffeine, could be partially responsible for the study results.
May promote weight loss
Guarana may have properties that help promote weight loss. This is because it is a rich source of caffeine, which can speed up your metabolism anywhere from 3% to about 11% in a 12-hour period. A fast metabolism helps your body burn calories faster without any required movement; This means that while you are resting, which means that you will burn even more calories each time you are active. Studies have found that guarana can suppress genes that stimulate fat cell production by replacing them with genes that slow it down.
May improve heart health
Guarana can reduce the risk of heart disease for two reasons; the first is due to its antioxidant content and the second is its ability to lower LDL. Guarana appears to help blood flow, therefore it can prevent clots from forming. Second, studies have shown that guarana can decrease the oxidation of what is considered bad cholesterol, or LDL. LDL is the main responsible for the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. The results of the study show that adults who consume guarana can have up to 27% less oxidized LDL than other people of the same age who do not consume this fruit.
May provide pain relief
People have known the health benefits of guarana for a long time; Amazonian tribes initially used by him as a pain reliever. Guarana's analgesic properties are mainly due to its high caffeine content. Caffeine plays an important role in pain management, as it binds and blocks adenosine receptors (a class of G protein-coupled receptors). The way this works is that when caffeine binds to these receptors, it can reduce pain sensations.
May improve the appearance of the skin
Due to its powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, guarana is popular in the cosmetic industry as an ingredient in anti-aging creams, lotions, soaps, and hair products. Also, its caffeine content helps blood flow to the skin. Studies indicate that these types of cosmetics can improve skin tightness and minimize wrinkles around the eyes.
Has antibacterial properties
Guarana contains many compounds that can destroy deadly bacteria. Among these, E. coli, which lives in the intestines. Although most E. coli bacteria are not dangerous, some can cause mild illness. Studies have also found that guarana can suppress the growth of Streptococcus mutans, which is a bacteria that can cause dental plaques and cavities. The combination of caffeine and plant-based compounds such as catechins or tannins is believed to be responsible for the antibacterial effects of guarana.
May protect against age-related eye disorders
It is very common for many people's eyesight to decrease progressively with age. Other factors that affect this are sunlight, a poor diet, and additional unhealthy habits, such as specific lifestyle decisions. Some of these options, like smoking, can substantially affect your eyes over time, increasing your risk of eye-related disorders. Guarana contains compounds that fight oxidative stress, a major risk factor for age-related eye disorders such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Is Guarana 100% safe?
In really high doses, guarana can cause side effects due to its caffeine content, such as heart palpitations, insomnia, headaches, and tremors, among others. It is not recommended that pregnant women consume a large amount of guarana, as caffeine can help cross the placenta. Too much caffeine can cause growth abnormalities in children and increase the risk of miscarriage. Research has found that doses of 75 mg or less can provide the health benefits associated with guarana.