What Are the Properties of Guarana?

What do you know about the properties of guarana? Here, we'll tell you about its effects on health, as well as its risk when combined with alcohol.
What Are the Properties of Guarana?

Last update: 16 January, 2021

Guarana is an exotic plant that’s found in the wild in some parts of South America, especially in the Amazon region. It’s become famous for its inclusion in lots of energy drinks, along with caffeine and ginseng. We’ll talk about the properties of guarana, along with the science that goes along with them.

The first thing to keep in mind is that since guarana is a stimulant, you should consume it in moderation. All those substances that influence the functioning of the central nervous system should be ingested with caution. That way, you can avoid possible side effects and overdose. Also, keep in mind that guarana has more caffeine than coffee itself, with a slower absorption.

Guarana increases cognitive ability

One of the main effects of caffeine is its ability to temporarily increase cognitive performance. In this sense, guarana has an effect similar to coffee, although more sustained over time due to the release rate of the alkaloid.

This plant can be used as an ergogenic aid since the caffeine it has helps reduce fatigue in aerobic and anaerobic sports. At the same time, it can increase physical capacity, according to research published in the journal Sports Medicine.

In addition, we should clarify that caffeine is one of the few supplements with a type A level of scientific evidence, which is the most solid evidence. People use it all over the world, and there’s no doubt about its effectiveness.

The guarana fruit on a branch.

Properties of guarana and its effect on weight loss

Another of the properties of guarana, also due to its caffeine content, is the ability to reduce body fat. Regularly intaking this plant stimulates the oxidation of lipids, according to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

Furthermore, caffeine consumption is also associated with a reduction in insulin resistance. This effect helps prevent problems such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

The studies carried out to date affirm that guarana is capable of activating brown adipose tissue- that is, fat. This tissue has a metabolic rate much higher than white adipose tissue. This is the one under the skin that has negative health effects.

Guarana increases libido

Apart from all of the mentioned effects, experts assure that guarana has certain aphrodisiac properties, which is why it can increase libido. This property can be beneficial for people who have reproductive problems or a lack of sexual desire from hormonal changes.

However, there’s still some disagreement about this effect in the scientific literature. Problems such as this are usually motivated by a disruption in the hormonal axis, and they don’t always have a simple solution, such as eating a certain plant.

As a general rule, these types of problems usually require some drug therapy or, at least, a significant change in lifestyle (diet, exercise, and rest).

Guarana, a plant with beneficial properties

A drink made with guarana.

As you can see, guarana is an exotic plant that people know because of its caffeine content. Thanks to this alkaloid, it’s capable of having positive effects on health. It can help burn fat, as well as increase cognitive ability.

However, you shouldn’t abuse this plant. In addition to the fact that caffeine overdose can be fatal. Also, this substance can create a tolerance if consumed in large quantities on a regular basis, thus reducing its effect.

On the other hand, it’s never a good idea to mix guarana with alcoholic beverages, something that lots of people do nowadays. The effects of caffeine can mask drunkenness, which can cause people to consume more alcohol. This increases the risk of overdosing on the substance.

You should never mix energy drinks and alcohol either and avoid alcoholic beverages, as they are highly harmful.

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  • Grgic J., Mikulic P., Schoenfeld BJ., Bishop DJ., et al., The influence of caffeine supplementation on resistance exercise: a review. Sports Med, 2019. 49 (1): 17-30.
  • Bortolin RC., Vargas AR., Ramos VM., Gasparotto J., et al., Guarana supplementation attenuated obesity, insulin resistance and adipokines dysregulation induced by a standardized human western diet via brown adipose tissue activation. Phytother Res, 2019. 33 (5): 1394-1403.