Guarana is a Brazilian plant native to the Amazon basin. Also known as Paullinia cupana, it’s a climbing plant prized for its fruit.
Guarana extract is made by processing the seeds into a powder. Amazonian tribes have used guarana for centuries for its therapeutic properties (1). It contains an impressive range of stimulants, such as caffeine, theophylline and theobromine. Guarana also boasts antioxidants, such as tannins, saponins and catechins.
01. Increases alertness and cognitive performance
Whilst research into caffeine and performance is widespread, a study from the University of Tasmania showed guarana produced greater alertness and improvement in the performance of mental tasks than coffee.
02. Not associated with the ‘crash’ of coffee
The same study showed that coffee produced a peak in alertness after about 30-45 minutes then rapidly fell away, while the effects of guarana were continuing – and increasing – after 150 minutes. “There might be substances in guarana that delay the metabolism of caffeine or slows the absorption of caffeine to prolong its effect, and forego the crash typically associated with coffee.’
03. Rich in Antioxidants
Guarana is loaded with compounds that have antioxidant properties. These include caffeine, theobromine, tannins, saponins and catechins. In fact, guarana has an antioxidant profile similar to that of green tea (6). Antioxidants are important because they neutralize potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. These molecules can interact with parts of your cells and cause damage linked to ageing, heart disease, cancers and other diseases. Test-tube studies have found that guarana’s antioxidant properties may combat cancer cell growth and reduce heart disease risk and skin ageing.
04. Can Reduce Fatigue and Improve Focus
It’s an excellent source of caffeine, which helps you maintain focus and mental energy. In fact, guarana seeds may contain four to six times more caffeine than coffee beans. Caffeine works by blocking the effects of adenosine, a compound that helps your brain relax. It binds to adenosine receptors, preventing them from being activated.
A study found that people who took a guarana-containing vitamin supplement felt less fatigued while completing several tests, compared to those who took a placebo.
05. Improve your ability to learn and remember.
One study looked at the effects of different doses of guarana on mood and learning. Participants received either no guarana, 37.5 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg or 300 mg.
People who received either 37.5 mg or 75 mg of guarana achieved the highest test scores. Since low doses of guarana provide low doses of caffeine, it’s believed that other compounds in guarana aside from caffeine may be partially responsible
Another study compared guarana to ginseng, another brain-boosting compound. Although both guarana and ginseng improved memory and test performance, people who received guarana paid more attention to their tasks and completed them faster. Furthermore, animal studies have shown that guarana can improve memory.
06. Promotes weight loss
Guarana is a rich source of caffeine, which may boost your metabolism by 3–11% over 12 hours. A faster metabolism means your body burns more calories at rest. What’s more, test-tube studies have found that guarana may suppress genes that aid fat cell production and promote genes that slow it down.
07. May Boost Heart Health
First, the antioxidants in guarana appear to aid blood flow and may prevent blood clots. Second, studies have shown that guarana may decrease the oxidation of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL cholesterol can contribute to plaque build-up in your arteries. In fact, adults who consume guarana may have up to 27% less oxidized LDL than adults of a similar age who don’t eat this fruit.
08. May Provide Pain Relief
Historically, guarana was used by Amazonian tribes as a pain reliever. The pain-relieving properties of guarana are due to its high caffeine content. Caffeine plays a role in pain management, as it binds and blocks adenosine receptors. Two of these receptors — A1 and A2a — are involved in stimulating feelings of pain (22). When caffeine binds to these receptors, it can reduce sensations of pain.
So, there you have it…..
…caffeine has widely been associated with increases in alertness, cognitive activities and sports performance. This is backed through research and Guarana has a better profile than coffee offering better performance without the crash and additional health benefits. Research suggests 50-100mg dosage to see these benefits. It’s no wonder it has been used for centuries by Amazon tribesmen before hunting expeditions.
OSN utilises Organic Guarana in 2 products. Organic Performance Pre-workout and Organic boost. Performance pre-workout is blended with additional herbs and superfoods to support sport performance and recovery. Organic Boost is a capsule that is blended with additional cognitive enhances to support energy, mental alertness and clarity to support you through the day.
Our guarana plants are grown in plantations located in Bahia in the northeastern part of Brazil. The location offers factors that all help raise healthy guarana plants—sufficient humidity, well-distributed rainfalls and fertile soils.
Harvest of our organic guarana fruits happens once a year and only when the guarana is fully mature. If only a few reaches maturation, the guarana fruits are picked individually by hand. If the whole bunch is ripe, the stem is manually broken off or snipped with a scissor.
Because our plants have been grown in naturally fertile soils, we do not need to use any artificial fertilizers on it. All throughout its life, the guarana plants are also free from herbicides, fungicides and other chemicals that could potentially harm the plants and those who will use its fruits.