Can Guarana Help You Lose Weight?
Guarana is a shrub that grows in Venezuela and the northern part of Brazil.
The plant is a creeper and has now become extremely popular in the United States due to various benefits of the seeds of the Guarana plant.
Native tribes in South America used Guarana to treat various ailments like fever, hypertension, headache, diarrhea, dysentery and neuralgia.
It was also used to fight fatigue, reduce signs of aging and also to detoxify the blood.
What Is Guarana?
The Guarana as we know is made from the seeds of the plant, specific species can contain about 6 percent to 7 percent caffeine, almost three times more than what is present in coffee. Guarana seeds are known to be high in tannins, theobromine and xanthine alkaloids theophylline.
In the place of its origin, Guarana is consumed as a health drink, in the United States. However, Guarana has become a significant ingredient in energy drinks. The high caffeine content works as a stimulant, and some claim that Guarana has appetite suppressing properties along with the capability of speeding the fat burning process.
Studies have been conducted on Guarana and these have shown that it is the caffeine content in Guarana that is responsible for weight loss; this conclusion was reached because those who consumed decaffeinated Guarana did not lose weight or experience an increase in metabolism.
Other health aspects of Guarana include better memory, higher levels of focus and lighter mood.
Guarana seed extracts or supplements should not be consumed without consulting a physician, mainly because the natural substance can result in drug reactions if you are on medication. For example, consuming Guarana with MAO-inhibitors can cause severe headaches.
Is Guarana Safe To Use?
Since Guarana contains a high concentration of caffeine, Guarana should not be used by those who have pre-existing health conditions like high blood pressure, epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, kidney problems and thyroid issues.
There are no specific studies that have proven any side effects of Guarana, however it is not recommended for pregnant women since they are advised to avoid caffeine.
Guarana should never be consumed with ephedra since this can cause serious issues like increased heart rate, harmful fluctuations in blood glucose levels and other fatal reactions.
Some general side effects that you may experience when you consume Guarana for the first time are giddiness, cramps in the abdomen and vomiting. The high caffeine level sometimes also result in sleep issues, restlessness, quick heartbeat and some anxiety disorders.
Using Guarana For Losing Weight
Guarana contains high levels of caffeine and alkaloids like theobromine and theophylline, these compounds curb appetite to a large extent. The caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and increases the metabolic rate too.
It has also been known to have a mild diuretic effect and even though no published research has proven this effect, there are various people who believe that Guarana can be used as a weight loss aid.