Bienfaits du guarana

The 8 benefits of guarana (and its side effects)

INTRODUCTION

Here are the benefits of guarana:

  1. Reduces fatigue and improves alertness
  2. Improve your memory and learning ability
  3. May help lose weight with an appetite suppressant effect
  4. Rich in antioxidants
  5. May improve heart health
  6. May improve the appearance of the skin
  7. Has antibacterial properties
  8. Few side effects

What is guarana?

The 8 benefits of guarana as a food supplement

1. Reduces fatigue and improves alertness

Guarana, extracted from the Paullinia cupana plant, is famous for its effectiveness in reducing fatigue and increasing alertness. This ability is mainly due to its high caffeine content, higher than that of coffee. In fact, guarana seeds contain between 2% and 8% caffeine, compared to 1% to 3% for coffee beans. This high concentration of caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, improving responsiveness and alertness.

The natural stimulants found in guarana, such as caffeine, theophylline and theobromine, also contribute to this improvement in alertness and concentration. These compounds work by blocking adenosine receptors, a molecule involved in the control of sleep and wakefulness, which reduces the feeling of fatigue and increases attention and reaction time. This property makes guarana a popular ingredient in energy drinks intended to support periods of prolonged mental effort or nighttime work.

2. Improve your memory and learning ability

Research has shown that guarana can improve learning and memory ability. One specific study looked at the effects of different doses of guarana on mood and learning, where participants received either no guarana or 37.5 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg, or 300 mg. Those given 37.5 mg or 75 mg of guarana had the highest test scores, suggesting that other compounds in guarana, besides caffeine, may be partially responsible for these effects.

Another study compared guarana to ginseng, finding that while both improved memory and test performance, guarana specifically helped participants stay more attentive and complete tasks faster. Additionally, animal studies have shown that guarana can improve memory. These findings illustrate that low doses of guarana can improve mood, learning, and memory, thanks to compounds found in guarana, in addition to caffeine.

**Application example:** Individuals preparing for exams or learning new skills could experience an improvement in their retention and comprehension skills by integrating guarana into their routine, thus benefiting not only from the stimulating effect caffeine but also the cognitive properties of other guarana compounds.

3. May help lose weight with an appetite suppressant effect

Guarana is renowned for its weight loss promoting properties, acting as both a metabolic stimulant and a natural appetite suppressant. Its high caffeine content plays a key role in increasing metabolism, allowing the body to burn more calories at rest. Studies have shown that guarana can increase calorie expenditure by 3 to 11% over a 12-hour period.

In addition to its metabolic effects, guarana acts as a natural appetite suppressant, helping to maintain a feeling of fullness throughout the day. This effect can reduce overall calorie intake, making weight loss easier. The alkaloids found in guarana, such as guaranine, are also credited with fat-burning properties, contributing to better weight management when dieting.

Studies in animal models have demonstrated that adding guarana to the diet prevents weight gain, insulin resistance and metabolic dysregulation by activating AMPK, an enzyme that stimulates metabolism. Additionally, guarana promotes the expansion of brown adipose tissue, known for its calorie-burning ability.

**Application example:** People looking to reduce their weight can incorporate guarana into their daily routine to benefit from its effects on metabolism and appetite, while following a balanced diet and regular exercise program .

4. Rich in Antioxidants

Guarana is an exceptional source of compounds with antioxidant properties, including caffeine, theobromine, tannins, saponins and catechins. These compounds are essential for combating oxidative stress and preventing premature cell aging. Antioxidants play a crucial role in neutralizing free radicals, potentially harmful molecules that can interact with cells and cause diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Test-tube studies have shown that guarana's antioxidant properties may help fight the growth of cancer cells, reduce the risk of heart disease, and reduce skin aging. Additionally, guarana's antioxidant profile is similar to that of green tea, known for its many health benefits.

**Application example:** Incorporating guarana into the daily diet can help strengthen the body's natural defenses against oxidative damage, contributing to better overall health and reduced risk of disease chronicles.

5. May Improve Heart Health

Guarana may play a beneficial role in heart health in two main ways. First, the antioxidants found in guarana appear to promote blood circulation and may prevent the formation of blood clots. These effects are crucial for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Second, studies have shown that guarana can reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, often referred to as "bad" cholesterol. LDL oxidation is a process that contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease. It was observed that adults consuming guarana had up to 27% less oxidized LDL than those not consuming this fruit.

6. May Improve the Appearance of the Skin

Thanks to its powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, guarana has become a popular ingredient in the cosmetic industry, used in anti-aging creams, lotions, soaps, and hair products. Additionally, the caffeine content of guarana promotes blood circulation to the skin.

In vitro studies have demonstrated that the antioxidants in guarana could significantly reduce age-related skin damage. Additionally, animal research indicates that cosmetics containing guarana can decrease sagging cheeks, improve skin firmness, and minimize wrinkles around the eyes.

**Summary:** Guarana, due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, is a common addition in cosmetic products. It can help improve blood circulation to the skin, reduce age-related damage, and minimize unwanted features such as sagging skin and wrinkles.

7. Has antibacterial properties

Guarana stands out for its remarkable antibacterial properties, contributing to the fight against various pathogens. It contains a range of compounds capable of inhibiting or killing harmful bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E. coli), a bacteria residing in the intestines of humans and animals, and often associated with foodborne infections.

Studies have also shown that guarana can suppress the growth of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), a bacteria that causes dental plaque and tooth decay. The combination of caffeine and other plant compounds like catechins or tannins is thought to be responsible for the antibacterial effects of guarana.

**Summary:** Thanks to its unique compounds, guarana can inhibit or eliminate pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli and S. mutans, providing protection against certain infections and contributing to oral health.

8. Few side effects

Guarana enjoys an excellent safety profile and is widely available for consumption. Research indicates that guarana has low toxicity when consumed in low to moderate doses. However, at high doses, it can cause side effects similar to those of excessive caffeine consumption, including:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Crises
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Maagklachten
  • Tremors

It is important to note that caffeine can become addictive and lead to dependence in large doses. Pregnant women should avoid or limit guarana consumption because caffeine can cross the placenta. Excessive caffeine consumption can cause growth abnormalities in children or increase the risk of miscarriage.

Although there is no recommended dosage for guarana, most human-based research has found that doses as low as 50 to 75 mg can provide the health benefits associated with guarana.

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