Guarana: What is it and what are its health benefits?

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When consuming any element, especially if we do not know it very well, it is important to take care of the amount ingested. In this way, the risks related to the excessive intake of some substances are avoided. In this article, we will talk about one of these, guarana.

Let’s see what kind of element it is, what its properties are, and what benefits it brings to the organism.

What is guarana?

  • Scientific name: Paullinia cupana
  • Family: Sapindaceae
  • Species: Paullinia cupana; Kunth 1823
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Sapindales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Guarana is the name of a plant whose origin and location is attributed to the Amazon. Thanks to the large amount of caffeine it possesses, it is one of the elements used in energy drinks. In addition, it contains other elements very similar to caffeine, which makes the amount of ingested chemicals greater.

It is known by the name of Paullinia Cupana. Due to the many properties it possesses, it is considered a natural element to improve health. Therefore, some people make use of it to enhance their physical capacity, especially in times of great demand.

Properties of guarana(Paullinia Cupana)

The properties of guarana make it appetizing for many people, who see in its contents the possibility of improving their health. The National Library of Medicine of the United States highlights some of its characteristics.

  • Energizing. It is thanks to the catechins present in guarana that, when consumed, the body manages to increase its energy.
  • Analgesic. Specifically in the seeds, you can find ideal components to reduce pain. This is one of the most important properties of guarana.
  • Antioxidants. Catechins also help in the fight against the effects of free radicals, preventing cells from dying in a short time.
  • Diuretic. This characteristic is due to the xanthines, of which there is a large amount in guarana. They also help to take care of the nervous system and the digestive system.

Benefits of guarana

The high content of different substances with medicinal properties makes guarana an excellent choice. Some of the benefits obtained through it are the following.

Improves physical performance

As if it were any energy drink, after consuming a small dose of guarana, the person experiences a considerable increase in energy. This is because it affects the central nervous system, stimulating that area. With this effect, it allows you to perform more activities than usual.

Helps to lose weight

There are two reasons why a person can lose weight thanks to guarana. Firstly, the satiating effect that guarana has makes it easier to control appetite, which makes it possible to reduce the amount of calories consumed every day.

On the other hand, since the amount of caffeine is very high, it helps to increase the speed of metabolism. When this happens, the person manages to burn calories, even without doing any physical activity. All this contributes to weight loss. In any case, nutritionists point out that positive effects will only be obtained if one is constant.

Improves the body’s circulation

One of the best benefits of consuming guarana is that it contributes to good circulation. This allows all the organs of the body, including the heart, to have the essential elements for their functioning, blood and oxygen being two of the most important. The cardiovascular system is one of the most favored in this regard.

Increases sexual capacity

According to some nutritionists, the consumption of guarana has aphrodisiac effects. This is one of the reasons why many people, mostly men, are interested in its consumption. It is attributed with the ability to increase male capacity and vigor.

Increases muscle capacity

Musculature is another part of the body that is favored. In addition to improving blood circulation throughout the body, it also increases energy, making muscle recovery after strenuous physical activity faster.

Risks and contraindications of guarana

Despite the many benefits it brings to the body, the reality is that guarana consumption can also have harmful effects. This occurs when the recommended dose is exceeded. The amount considered safe is 75 milligrams per day. This amount should not be exceeded unless determined by a health expert.

Symptoms associated with excessive consumption of guarana are insomnia, trouble concentrating, stomach upset, etc. Even when consumed in the recommended doses, some of these symptoms may occur. If this is the case, it is best to go to a health center as soon as possible.

The group of people who cannot, for health reasons, consume guarana is very wide. These are some of them.

  • Pregnant women. If the dose is high or if the consumption is for a long time, it can induce abortion. It could also affect the baby during breastfeeding.
  • People with anxiety problems. Due to the high content of caffeine in guarana, it is counterproductive because it could increase the symptoms of the condition.
  • Diabetics. Although some studies indicate that it can improve the condition of diabetics, the reality is that this has not been confirmed. In fact, so far what has been confirmed is that it alters the use of sugar in the body, so it is risky.
  • People with heart conditions. It could increase or otherwise alter the work done by the heart. Specialists do not recommend its consumption in these cases.

In the case of other people, such as those who suffer from osteoporosis or other diseases related to the loss of calcium, health professionals recommend not to ingest guarana, due to the fact that one of the effects of caffeine is to reduce the amount of calcium. In any case, it is best that, after a health examination, a physician determines if the person can use it or not.

After its discovery, and the great positive effects it provides to the body, guarana continues to become more popular. If used responsibly, it is very beneficial.

German Fuertes Otero
German Fuertes Otero
CEO at M.D. from Stanford Medicine: Stanford, California, US, M.Sc. from University of Cambridge: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK and University of Oxford: Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK. PhD at Harvard University Harvard Catalyst: Cambridge, MA, US.

Aunque pueda contener afirmaciones, datos o apuntes procedentes de instituciones o profesionales sanitarios y la información contenida en PharmaSalud esté redactada por profesionales en medicina, recomendamos al lector que cualquier duda relacionada con la salud sea consultada con un profesional del ámbito sanitario.

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