Guarana powder is known to deliver numerous health benefits. This wonder plant is popular for its benefits to reproductive health. In this article, we’ll discuss the various effects of Guarana powder and if it’s effective in increasing libido.
What Is Guarana Powder?
Guarana is formally known as Paullinia cupana, but it also possesses other names, such as Brazilian cocoa Guaraná paste, chengrapi, guaraná gum, macota, and zoom.
This climbing plant is native to Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. However, the population of Guarana is evident in Brazil.
One of the many things Guarana is known for is its impressive amount of caffeine, about twice the average concentration found in coffee beans. This amount makes Guarana powder a potent yet natural stimulant which is why it’s also incorporated into some energy drinks.
This plant is characterized by its bright red fruits, similar in size and shape to a coffee berry. The leaves of this plant are recognized by their corrugated shape and alternating growth pattern.
Guarana Powder Benefits and Uses
Guarana is one of the many botanical medicines, with countless literature supporting its benefits. Here are some of the most notable effects of Guarana powder:
Rich in Antioxidants
Guarana contains numerous antioxidants which help protect cells from the damage caused by oxidation. Antioxidants are essential compounds that prevent cell damage and promote healthy organ function and condition. Antioxidants ensure that your body can fight off free radicals, which can lead to cancer or other grave illnesses.
Guarana possesses caffeine, theobromine, tannins, saponins, catechins, and xanthine. Theobromine and xanthine are vital elements in teas and coffees, so it’s no wonder they are also present in Guarana powder. Furthermore, these antioxidants also exert prooxidant properties, which means they are potentially cancer-preventive.
The caffeine component in Guarana is responsible for improved mental alertness and focus. Caffeine improves mental clarity and alertness by blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates sleep and wake cycles. This can help you stay alert during a long and exhausting day.
This activity of Guarana was demonstrated when tested on breast cancer patients who underwent systemic chemotherapy sessions. Breast cancer patients who experience cancer-related fatigue are administered 50 mg of Guarana orally.
During and after the study, the patients were generally active and didn’t experience any progressive symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Enhance Cognitive Function
Guarana is also known to decrease stress and improve cognitive functions such as memory due to its high concentration of caffeine. However, researchers believe this is caused by Guarana’s increased caffeine content and other stimulating elements.
In a study aimed to determine the benefit of this drug, the researchers administered four different concentrations of Guarana (37.5 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg) to four different groups. After the study, the researchers found that the group administered 75 mg of Guarana extract showed improved memory, alertness, and mood stability.
Weight Loss Benefits
Caffeine is an effective stimulant in reducing body fat and promoting weight loss as it accelerates the body’s regular metabolism. With a faster metabolism, the body can burn fat quickly, leading to weight loss. Since Guarana contains twice the amount of caffeine in coffee beans, it is an effective agent for weight loss.
Furthermore, it was shown in an in-vitro study that Guarana can suppress fat-promoting genes and promote the creation of genes that slows down adipocyte production. Looking at it closely, this anti-adipogenic effect of Guarana is caused by its ability to regular the mRNA responsible for creating these genes.
Aphrodisiacs are natural substances or drugs that increase libido. Historically, aphrodisiacs have been used to cure sexual dysfunction and increase energy during intercourse, which inspired modern sexual enhancer drugs. There are many ways an ayurvedic remedy like Guarana can improve sexual health.
In a study to understand this reaction, researchers administered guarana extracts to rabbits at different concentrations (1, 3, and 10 mg.) Guarana exhibited an induced vascular relaxation effect on the rabbit’s cavernosal tissue, the muscle responsible for the erection of their reproductive organs. This relaxation improved the blood flow in the rabbit’s reproductive region, demonstrating its aphrodisiac effect.
Guarana Powder Side Effects
Guarana demonstrates similar side effects to caffeine as it is its main constituent. These side effects include:
- Sleep problems: Taking large amounts of caffeine can interfere with an individual’s normal sleep cycle and pattern. Since Guarana is rich in caffeine, it can induce insomnia and disrupt sleep patterns in individuals ingesting excessive amounts of Guarana.
- Restlessness: Besides insomnia, Guarana can also cause restlessness because of its significantly high amount of caffeine. This may pose a significant problem for people with ADHD, RLS, and other hyperactivity disorders.
- Increased heartbeat: The stimulating effects of caffeine is caused by its ability to increase the heart rate. Too much intake of Guarana can result in palpitations, tachycardia, and other unforeseen heart complications.
- Potential seizures and convulsions: Guarana side effects can also induce seizures and convulsions due to its high caffeine content. Individuals suffering from these conditions should avoid this product or seek professional advice.
- Medicine interactions: The science behind Guarana’s interaction with other therapeutic medicines is not well-studied. However, it might interact negatively with blood thinners and anti-depressants, so it is important to consult a doctor before adding it to your daily regimen.
Guarana Powder Usage
There are several ways you can take Guarana and incorporate it into your everyday regimen:
- Make Guarana tea: One of the most popular ways to consume Guarana is by making Guarana tea. Simply steep the guarana powder into a cup of hot water or milk and add some honey for flavor.
- Take oral supplements: If you’re particular about the concentration and dosage, you can also take Guarana as a supplement in capsule and tablet form.
- Add Guarana powder to your drinks: Fusing Guarana powder with your favorite beverage is also a great way to make it healthy and tasty, but be careful not to mix it with coffee or other caffeinated drink.
- Sprinkle it on your food: Combining Guarana powder with your desserts and other food recipes is also a great way to get Guarana’s health benefits without too much caffeine.
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FAQs on Guarana Powder
How Much Caffeine Is in Guarana Powder
According to a published paper by New Zealand’s Institute of Environmental Science & Research, most Guarana powders and extracts contain around two to 15% of caffeine by dry weight. This amount equates to approximately 0.2% of methylxanthines, theobromine, and theophylline more than the regular coffee beans.
Does Guarana Increase Dopamine
Caffeine is known to increase levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Since Guarana is an excellent source of this element, it’s no wonder it can enhance these neurochemicals’ production. However, it is important to note that ingesting too much Guarana may harm your dopamine levels.
Furthermore, long-term intake of Guarana in advisable concentration minimizes stress reactions and enhances the body’s resilience to fatigue.
Guarana vs. Coffee
Coffee is a well-known source of caffeine, and Guarana is a potent source of the same element. Both contain caffeine but with slight differences in concentration and content. Guarana is more stimulating than coffee due to its higher levels of caffeine and other compounds like theobromine, which can result in a more vital energy boost for individuals.
In addition, it contains essential minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, and iron, which are also beneficial for overall health. However, Guarana’s enormous level of caffeine might not be compatible with those with hyperactivity disorders or taking other medical conditions.
Guarana is generally safe for consumption within advisable levels. However, if you have any of the above, it’s best to seek professional advice before incorporating Guarana powder into your diet.
Is It Safe To Take Guarana Every Day?
As mentioned above, Guarana is safe for consumption by average healthy adults. However, there isn’t enough literature supporting the extended use of this product. So it’s best to take Guarana powder in moderation and periodically stop taking it for a while if needed.
Also, consider your body’s reaction and adjust the intake accordingly. Seeking a doctor’s advice is vital before adding anything to your regular diet.