Guarana: interests of its richness in caffeine?

Guarana is one of the foods richest in caffeine. Indeed, Guarana has been consumed for a long time in traditional Chinese medicine for its therapeutic properties. Its main benefits come from its composition in guaranine, which is simply caffeine. Indeed, caffeine is present in different forms in food: guaranine (Guarana), caffeine (coffee), theine (tea), mateine (mate), etc. This molecule is also present in cocoa, kola nut, but also in energy drinks to provide a "boost". Indeed, caffeine is known to stimulate the body and reduce fatigue. Guarana is therefore an interesting source of caffeine, even if it is important not to abuse it. This article summarizes all the current knowledge related to caffeine in Guarana.

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More caffeine than coffee

The Guarana is recognized as one of the most caffeine-rich foods, and this is ahead of coffee and tea. In fact, Guarana contains between 3.5 and 5% guaranine. It is generally recommended to consume between 2 and 4 g of Guarana per day, which corresponds to 100 - 200 mg of guaranine (i.e. caffeine). On their side, coffee contains about 140 mg of caffeine per cup (240 mL), and tea has between 10 and 125 mg of theine per cup. Guarana is therefore very interesting to enjoy the benefits of caffeine.

Here is a comparison of the usual caffeine contents of products of current consumption with that of Guarana.

Instant coffee cup (237 mL) Cup of decaffeinated coffee (237 mL) Tea cup (237 mL) Regular caffeinated cola beverage (355 mL) Energy drink (250 mL) Dark chocolate bar (28 g) Milk chocolate bar (28 g) Bag of hot chocolate powder Pill against sleep

Source: Caffeine (n.d.). CAMH. https://www.camh.ca/fr/info-sante/index-sur-la-sante-mentale-et-la-dependance/la-cafeine

Benefits of caffeine

Guarana has many benefits due to the caffeine it contains. Generally speaking, caffeine is considered a general body stimulant, meaning that it increases Warning and alertness. In addition, it has many indirect benefits related to adrenaline. Indeed, caffeine plays a role with adenosine. The latter is a nucleoside that allows the brain to avoid being in a state of permanent excitement (brain activity inhibitor). This adenosine is thus essential to the protection of the brain.

However, caffeine is able to bind to adenosine receptors, thus preventing adenosine from binding to them. Caffeine is said to be an adenosine receptor antagonist. This indirectly leads to the release of adrenaline, because adenosine is no longer there to block it. This release of adrenaline promotes several fatigue-fighting benefits: a faster heart rate, increased blood pressure, improved physical and mental performance. Caffeine can also cause an improvement in mood and level of alertness, as well as benefits on the respiratory system (increased frequency and amplitude of breathing movements) and at the gastrointestinal level (laxative, stimulation of intestinal contractions...).

Nevertheless, stopping a habitual consumption of caffeine can present withdrawal symptoms (fatigue, headaches, irritability) that gradually fade in the following week. On the other hand, too much caffeine can lead to palpitations, hypertension, nervousness, or insomnia. It is therefore prudent to remain Warning about its consumption.

Advice for use and precautions for use

  • Consume between 2 to 4 g of Guarana powder per day for pleasure or for its properties. Guarana contains between 3,5 and 5 % of caffeine in a general way, therefore 2 g of Guarana brings 100 mg of caffeine.
  • Individual doses of caffeine considered safe for the adult population are 3 mg / kg body weight per day, spread throughout the day. For example, a 50 kg woman can consume up to 150 mg of caffeine spread throughout the day without risk. On the other hand, a 70 kg man can consume up to 210 mg of caffeine spread throughout the day.
  • It is possible to integrate Guarana in the following preparations to facilitate its intake: drinks, water, juices, smoothies, dairy, compote.
  • Guarana is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women and children.
  • People with high blood pressure are advised against consuming Guarana. This is because it increases blood pressure and may interact with anti-hypertensive medications.
  • People suffering from cardiovascular disorders, gastric ulcers, diabetes, epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, hyperthyroidism should seek medical advice before consuming Guarana.
  • Consumption of more than 2 g of Guarana (100 g of caffeine) may affect the duration and patterns of sleep in some adults, particularly when it is close to bedtime.
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