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What is Guarana?
Guarana is an herb that contains guaranine, a substance with a
structure and effect similar to caffeine. It is the richest plant source of caffeine
and containes about three times as much caffeine as coffee beans. It
stimulates the release of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These
are responsible for increasing heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and
mental alertness.
Why do people take it?
Guarana can have a mild appetite suppressant effect when used short
term. High blood pressure is also another side effect of guarana because the
supplement increases heart rate. Since it increases heart rate, it is also used
to increase muscle contractility, aerobic endurance, and rate of fat metabolism.
The Lowdown on Guarana.
Like caffeine, Guarana acts as a stimulant to increase muscle
contractility and heart rate. Many products with guarana are advertised as
“natural” or “herbal” to imply a health benefit. This claim, however, is
misleading because the guarana acts like caffeine & is more potent than the
caffeine found in coffee beans. Many health practitioners consider guarana
equivalent to caffeine, making it legal up to 12 to 15 µg per mL in urine. A
woman with an underlying heart condition had one guarana containing
beverage which caused her death. Although she knew not to drink caffeine,
she didn’t realize her guaranine beverage had the same effects as caffeine. In
May 2001, the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) prohibited all US
manufacturers from making energy drinks with guaranine.
Guarana is used in herbal tea, capsules, and sweetened or carbonated
soft drinks. Energy drinks or shots are also common sources of guarana.
Recommendations and Side Effects.
Potential side effects are similar to those of caffeine overdose and
include insomnia, restlessness, anxiety or panic. Like caffeine guarana can
serve as a diuretic, which causes increased water loss via urine. This can put
athlete at risk for dehydration.
Brands and Prices.
Guarana supplements have not been evaluated by a reputable source
to determine which brand provides the best quality or labeled amount guarana.
Contact us at
Do Not Forget.
Supplements are not regulated by the FDA. DHEA is banned by NCAA
and the International Olympic Committee. No supplement can replace the
benefits of a well-balanced diet.
Copyright© EB at Game Time Performance Nutrition