Guarana is primarily used to boost energy. It has two times more caffeine than coffee beans, with its content rate at 2-5%. Guarana can be found in many commercialised products including soft drinks, energy shots and capsules. It can also be found in herbal tea.
Guarana's popularity began in Brazil, where it can be found in the soft drink, Guarana Antarctica. Only Coca Cola sells more than Guarana Antarctica in Brazil. Many people outside of South America may not realise it, but Brazil is one of the largest consuming soft drink countries in the world. That, combined with Guarana originating there, has led to the large consumption of this popular stimulant. Guarana is one of the most popular forms of caffeine intake throughout South America.
There are many effects when you consume Guarana, most of them positive. The biggest positive effect comes cognitively. It has been shown several times - through clinical studies - that Guarana can improve memory and alertness. In many cases it can also improve a person's mood. One of the more popular clinical studies done on Guarana showed strong positive effects after a dosage of just 75 mg. It has also been shown to improve cognitive and physical abilities in rats (the latter referring to endurance not strength). The biggest advantage - and one that most people aren't aware of - is that it can help you lose weight. In a 45-week study, people who consumed 75 mg of Guarana per day lost an average of 11 lbs. This is thought o be because it can make you feel full therefore reducing your appetite.
Many people would assume that with all these benefits there has to be some side effects, but in this case, other than some people experiencing jitters, there are no known side effects for the general population. Guarana is considered safe for most people. The only people who should use caution are those with predisposed heart conditions. In these cases, consuming too much caffeine in any form can lead to seizures. It's also wise to use caution if you experience heart palpitations after taking Guarana.
Guarana can be found in nearly one hundred drinks worldwide, including Monster, AMP, Rip It, Jolt Cola, and Mountain Dew MDX. There are a faction of people who steer clear of these types of drinks due to caffeine, but they're most likely unaware of the benefits, which in addition to the ones listed above, also include antioxidant and antibacterial effects. Perhaps they steer clear of these drinks due to high sugar content, artificial sweeteners or other unwanted ingredients that often accompany Guarana!
Whilst there are some people outside South America aware of Guarana and its benefits, it hasn't hit the mainstream yet. Based on the benefits and lack of side effects, it's most likely only a matter of time before Guarana' becomes the next Red Bull. At this point in time, if someone hears the word Guarana, they're more likely to think of the plant found in the Amazon Basin. But chances are they've never heard of it at all. Guarana is a healthy alternative to coffee and xenedrine. It can be taken in capsules or tablets in its pure form as a herbal supplement, as well as in drinks. I predict we'll see a lot more of it in the future!
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