Guarana: caffeine from the jungle

Guarana is supposed to make tired people happy. The liana, which belongs to the soap tree family and originally comes from the Amazon region, has five times the amount of caffeine compared to a coffee bean. Therefore, the Guarana plant is also known as a caffeine liana. In Germany, guarana is known and loved above all in the form of powder as capsules or as an energy drink. Side effects are similar to those that can occur even with consumption of other foods with caffeine.

Guarana as powder, tea or capsules

These are the small red fruits of the Guarana plant, which contain the valuable but bitter-tasting seeds, also called nuts, inside. These are not only rich in fats, proteins and starch, but also have a high concentration of caffeine.

In contrast to the caffeine contained in the coffee bean, the caffeine of Guarana seeds unfolds only gradually, because it is also bound to tannins. In order for the caffeine of guarana to release, the tannins must first be broken down. This has the effect that the caffeine of the guarana plant can be present in the body for up to six hours, and thus just as long as it can have its effect.

Invigorating effect thanks to caffeine

The Guarana seeds have been used for centuries by Indians in the Amazon region for medicine and personal care. These also refer to Guarana as "wara", meaning "fruit of youth". Especially during multi-day hunting trips of the Indians Guarana played and plays a role.

It is used as an energy reserve, at the same time guarana should also be able to dampen the feeling of hunger and thirst, but at the same time strengthen the concentration. Usually, the peeled and dried Guarana seeds are ground to a powder of light brown color, floated with water and sweetened with honey. Traditionally, the Indians produce so-called "Bastones" before the hunt. For this purpose, the seeds of guarana are ground to powder, mixed with water and manioc starch to a paste. This is dried and smoked, then looks like a loaf of bread.

When hunting, the Indians then use a hard fish bone several times a day to scrape off some of the "Bastone". This is dissolved in water and drunk to increase energy. In this country, however, there are easier ways to get the effect of Guarana. Guarana is sold in the form of powder or capsules in pharmacies as well as organic markets.

Side effects of guarana

The effect of guarana is called a gentle alternative to coffee for the body. In contrast to coffee, caffeine from guarana should neither attack the gastric mucous membranes nor have side effects. But it should prove its antipyretic and performance-enhancing effect. However, over-consumption may cause side effects such as sleep problems, headaches or palpitations. Other side effects may include tremors, inner restlessness or diarrhea.

As a powder, it is difficult to dose. 3 grams of Guarana powder dissolved in water correspond approximately to a caffeine content of 150 milligrams. 50 to 200 milligrams of caffeine correspond to one to four cups of coffee. This amount increased daily is classified as harmless. Guarana is not recommended for pregnant women, during lactation and for people with hyperthyroidism and hypertension.

Guarana in energy drinks

In the form of drinking ampoules, powder or capsules Guarana is also used by athletes with the aim of increasing their own performance. In the 90's Guarana gained popularity especially in the form of energy drinks. Well-known energy drinks or soft drinks with extracts from Guarana are Antarctica® from Brazil, Kuat® from the USA and Kicos® from Germany.

By the way: If you want to enjoy Guarana, you do not have to take Guarana capsules or powder. Meanwhile, there are numerous foods that contain guarana as an extra addition, such as gummy bears, chocolate or chewing gum. These are usually provided by the note "contains guarana". The originally bitter taste of guarana is by no means noticeable in these foods.

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