What is Guarana?
Scientists and consumers alike have conflicted opinions on guarana, a climbing plant that’s best known for its fruits. While some hail it as the next best thing, others are suspicious of what side effects time may reveal.
But you can make this decision yourself based on the info below.
What is Guarana?
Native to Venezuela and Brazil, the guarana is a shrub or small tree. Tribes in the Amazon basin have been using it for its stimulating properties. A 17th-century missionary wrote that it gave them so much energy that, when hunting, they could go from one day to the next without feeling hungry.
Its seeds look suspiciously like eyeballs with their white and dark brown markings. They’re the size of coffee beans but contain double the amount of caffeine. Regardless, they’re recognized as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration.
If you’re new to the world of guarana, you may be struggling with its pronunciation. That’s absolutely fine as the word is derived from the Tupi-Guarani word wara’ná. This means “fruits like the eyes of the people” or “eyes of the gods.”
So, if you’re sharing your knowledge on this climbing plant, the right way to pronounce its name is “gwr·aa·nuh.” If you need more help, you can check audio pronunciation clips online.
What is Guarana Used For?
Guarana has been mainly used for three purposes:
- Producing Energy Drinks – Guarana is one of the main ingredients in top energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull. This is because of the plant’s high caffeine content. In fact, the seeds contain four to six times more caffeine than coffee beans.
- Formulating Weight Loss Products – Studies on guarana indicate that the plant helps promote weight loss. Since it contains caffeine, it can boost metabolism by 3-11% within 12 hours. This allows the body to burn more calories even when at rest. Some studies also revealed that the plant may suppress the genes that aid fat cell production.
- Boosting Libido – For centuries, guarana has been promoted as an aphrodisiac. According to a 2008 study, it can reduce mental fatigue and enhance cognitive performance. The high caffeine content helps combat fatigue and puts consumers in the mood for love.
What is Guarana Extract?
Guarana extract is a powder produced by processing the plant’s seeds. The resulting product is an extract with highly concentraded caffeine levels. A 1998 study showed that the caffeine content in guarana extracts was 9.8% to 11%.
What is Guarana Extract Used For?
In addition to weight loss supplements and beverages, guarana extract is used to produce over-the-counter health supplements. These, in turn, provide these benefits:
- Improved Overall Health – Consuming guarana supplements help your body’s antioxidant levels. This gives it a better chance at preventing damage caused by free radicals. As a result, you’ll be at a lower risk of aging, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. There have also been studies indicating guarana may help combat cancer cell growth.
- Improved Focus – The plant’s richness in caffeine helps consumers remain focused and maintain mental energy. This is because caffeine blocks the brain's compound to relax.
- Better Learning and Memory – The plant is considered a brain-boosting compound. People who consume its extract have reported paying more attention to their tasks and completing them quicker.
- Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease – Guarana can reduce your risk of heart disease in two ways. First, the antioxidants in the plant improve blood flow and prevent blood clots. Next, the extract decreases the risk of oxidized LDL cholesterol. This, in turn, prevents plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Pain Relief – Amazonian tribes have used the plant for pain management purposes. The caffeine blocks the receptors involved in feeling pain, reducing its sensation.
- Enhanced Skin Appearance – Whether you have it in a supplement or as powder, guarana extract will improve your skin. In fact, the most prominent brands use it in their anti-aging creams, lotions, and soaps. This is because caffeine improves the blood flow to the skin.
- Better Digestion – Guarana extract has been used as a natural tonic for treating digestive problems like constipation and diarrhea. This is another reason why guarana supplements may help with weight loss.
What is Guarana Seed?
The guarana seed is the most important part of the plant. It’s what native tribes shelled and converted into powder to access the plant’s nutrients and powerful properties.
An interesting myth is associated with the seeds. A deity killed a beloved child in the village. To console the villagers, the god planted the boy’s left eye in the forest. He then planted the right one in the village. And that’s how the tribe got both wild and domesticated varieties of the plant.
What is Guarana Seed Used For?
The seed goes into every product featuring the guarana plant on its label. That is after it’s crushed and prepared as an extract.
Where to Buy Guarana?
If you wish to get guarana without any harmful additives, you can purchase dried guarana whole seeds online. You can then use these to prepare different dishes such as guarana bread or sticks.
However, it’ll be easier for you to get powdered guarana seeds.
For instance, you can get this Organic Guarana Seed Powder by Alovitox through Amazon. In addition to all the benefits of the plant, you’ll enjoy 100% organic powders without added pesticides, chemicals, or toxins.
Some powders like the Nutricost Guarana Powder are specially crafted for athletes and active individuals. If this fits your description, these are the type of powder you need to get.
Just remember to ensure you’re buying organic powders. That way, you can get all the benefits of this magical plant without any side effects.
And don’t forget to share your experience. It may take a while for effects like better immunity to be visible. However, enhanced concentration and better learning will instantly show once you start adding guarana to your daily routine.