Guarana - Benefits, uses and contraindications

What is guarana?

Guarana powder is derived from the fruit of a tree with red berries that grow in the Amazon part of Brazil and Paraguay. The fruits contain high caffeine content (it represents around 3 to 7% of the weight of the dried berries). Therefore, natural energy and thermogenic are the most common guarana extracts and powders.

The benefits of guarana powder are attributed to its high xanthine content. In medicine, one of its uses is as a treatment for chronic respiratory diseases (asthma), and potential properties as a liver detoxification treatment have been discovered. (4)

These types of natural antioxidants can have minor side effects like insomnia. However, in moderate amounts, they do not pose any health hazard.

Guarana benefits

The main benefits of taking guarana extract in powder are:

  • The activation of the nervous system.
  • The increase of respiratory capacity.
  • Reducing the sensation of muscular fatigue.

The peak of its effects occurs between 30-45 minutes after taking and stops after 3-4 hours.

Studies (2) (3) state that moderate doses of caffeine increase oxygen use when breathing, effectively improve performance when training, and reduce pain caused by micro-damage to muscle fibers.

Another benefit of using guarana powder supplements is increasing respiratory capacity and reducing pain. The benefits of guarana powder are:

  1. Reduce fatigue
  2. Improve mood
  3. Improve concentration
  4. Increase respiratory capacity
  5. Less pain when training

Does guarana help you lose weight?

Guarana is not a magic bullet for weight loss. However, like other sources of caffeine, it stimulates the central nervous system. This allows for increasing physical activity, concentration, and productivity.

Caffeine improves mood in the short term, speeds up the heart rate, and raises blood pressure slightly—performance in sports increases due to reduced sensitivity to pain generated when training.

In addition, other components of the powder (theobromine, methylxanthines) can work synergistically with caffeine and enhance its antioxidant effects.

How to take guarana?

Guarana can be taken in powder form and capsule or tablet form. Taking pills is the best option for several reasons. First of all, it masks the taste: in its pure form, the powder is bitter. Second, the capsules allow you to control the dose of caffeine consumed better. Third, they are easier to carry and store in your backpack or gym bag.

Most are recommended not to exceed the maximum dose of 200 mg of caffeine per day regarding the quantities. Excess caffeine intake can lead to serious side effects: nervousness, sleep disturbances, and anorexia.

Unfortunately, not all manufacturers indicate the caffeine content on the packaging. Values ​​are between 30 and 200 mg per capsule. The powder has an average of 50 mg of caffeine per gram so taking 2 grams per day is sufficient. It is recommended to take guarana powder about 20-30 minutes before exercising and at least 6 hours before bed.

The caffeine content in guarana

Gaurana Energizer1 tablet200mg
CAL Guarana1 tablet28mg
Swanson Guarana1 tablet30mg
GNC Guarana1 capsule90mg
Gaurana Max2 capsules200mg

Guarana vs. café

The chemical structure of caffeine in guarana is identical to any other natural source, including coffee, black and green tea, cocoa, and yerba mate. The critical difference between guarana and coffee is the higher presence of flavonoids.

These compounds have antioxidant properties; that is, they can combat the effects of oxidative stress. Some guarana supplements are modified to achieve a “long-acting” type.

Contraindications of guarana powder

The caffeine contained in guarana powder is a central nervous system stimulant. The maximum caffeine recommended per day is about 400-500 mg. Larger doses can cause nervousness, anxiety, and panic attacks. Remember that 1 g of the powder contains about 50 mg of caffeine.

Guarana powder is contraindicated for people with chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system and who take medications to regulate blood pressure. Caffeine can interfere with certain blood-thinning medications, just as it should not be combined with psychotropic drugs and antidepressants.

Does it serve as a fat burner?

Caffeine affects the activity of the central nervous system and, therefore, the thermogenesis of a person. Guarana fruit supplements do not significantly affect the number of calories burned at rest. So burning fat by taking guarana in front of the TV is impossible.

However, taking guarana powder can enhance physical training and eliminate feelings of fatigue. Also, increasing the heart rate quickly makes it easier for an athlete to enter the pulse zone to burn fat. Which ultimately affects performance and energy expenditure in sport.

Guarana powder is derived from the fruits of a tree of Amazonian origin. One of the benefits of guarana is its contribution to flavonoids, a type of antioxidant molecule. Due to its high caffeine content, one of the uses for guarana is as a sports supplement. With this objective, it is recommended to take 2 g of powder or the equivalent in capsules about 30 minutes before training.

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