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Guarana: Benefits and Side Effects
Guarana, Paullinia cupana, is a native climbing evergreen vine of the Amazon and can be found in Venezuela and the northern parts of Brazil. It is a berry that has many uses, including those to increase fat-burning ability and increase energy.
Guarana soft drinks are wildly popular in Brazil, and have been marketed in other countries world wide as energy drinks. It is available in other forms, including chocolate bars, chewing gum, powder, syrup and capsules and these products may be difficult to find outside of the Brazilian marketplace but can be found in some health food stores across the United States.
Guarana can be found in many sports nutrition products but can be taken alone in dosages of 50 to 250 milligrams divided throughout the day.
Guarana is chemically identical to caffeine and is also known as guaranine. It has been used for thousands of years by native Amazonians to help maintain their stamina and increase physical endurance.
The seeds have seven per cent more caffeine than most plants, including coffee beans. The biggest difference between the caffeine found in coffee beans and that of guarana, is that guarana’s caffeine is released much more slowly, providing longer and more sustained stimulation. Directly stimulating the central nervous system and increasing metabolism, guarana is becoming more popular with body builders.
Guarana is not known as a prohibited supplement by any sporting authority, but as with caffeine, can only be taken in small doses so as to not exceed the allowed caffeine intake limit that is enforced by sporting authorities.
Known as an adaptogen, guarana is also noted for appetite suppression to be used in conjunction with a low-calorie diet and plenty of exercise.
Other uses for guarana are detoxifying the blood, reducing intestinal gas, obesity, dyspepsia, fatigue, arteriosclerosis, neuralgia, diarrhea, dysentery, migraine relief, rheumatism, and cellulite reduction.
Precautions must be taken when including guarana into your regimen. As with any caffeinated product, guarana may cause insomnia, trembling, anxiety, palpitations, urinary frequency, and hyperactivity. Guaraná should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation. People with cardiac problems or high blood pressure should also avoid the use of guarana.
Copyright: Remedium 2005
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