Guarana is a plant which gets its name from Amazon’s Guarani tribe. It is a woody perennial shrub with orange-yellow seedy fruits found mostly in Brazil and Amazon basin. The herb is also referred as Brazilian cocoa, zoom and Paullinia cupana. It is known for containing a huge amount of caffeine and hence it is used to make appetite suppressant and stimulant. In Latin American nations, the powder is used in making various soft drinks and a number of other beverages.
Guarana seeds are also used for medical purposes. Other notable uses include weight loss, physical fatigue reduction and athletic performance enhancement. The medicinal uses include the treatment of fever, headache and backache, etc. In food manufacturing sector, it has been used for long as a flavouring ingredient.
Guarana is said to be safe for human consumption when used in food preparations or beverages in moderate amounts. However, the same things can prove to be fatal when you take in high amounts, mostly owing to the excessive amount of caffeine. However, caffeine sensitivity can vary from one person to another and factors like health and age.
Side Effects of Guarana
As a matter of fact, most side effects of Guarana are caused by the excess amounts of caffeine. If it is taken in elevated amounts, the repercussions can be serious. They can be largely avoided if you reduce the usage or take it in reduced amounts. Below listed are major documented side effects of Guarana:
1. Diuretic Effect
Guarana can lead to onset of diuretic effect to an extent. People with urinary issues should seek medical advice before using it. Its caffeine may also cause urinating pain. People with kidney problems should evade its consumption as far as possible.
2. Risk of Bleeding
Guarana eating or drinking can increase risk of bleeding. If you are taking a blood thinning drug, avoid taking Guarana.
3. Diabetes Hiccups
Studies indicate the caffeine present in Guarana can affect sugar processing in people with diabetes.
5. Heart Problems
Guarana consumption can also lead to irregular heartbeat in some users.
6. Elevated Blood Pressure
Usage of Guarana can lead to blood pressure like in some people. However, those who drink coffee regularly will suffer less.
7. Pregnancy Risk
Women who are either breast feeding newborns or have conceived would do well by not taking Guarana. Caffeine consumption in excess can lead to miscarriage.
8. Mood Swings
Caffeine consumption can also make some people low or depressed.
9. Osteoporosis Risk
The caffeine can wash away calcium from your body and the loss may lead to onset of weak bones. In elderly people, this can step up risk of Osteoporosis. You may counter this by eating foods rich in calcium or by taking calcium supplements.
10. Allergic Reactions
Guarana consumption can also lead to allergies in a number of users. The allergic reactions can be in form of throat and tongue swelling, breathing hardships etc. You may need medical intervention to resolve such issues.
Since the caffeine in Guarana can act as a stimulant itself, those taking stimulant medications like amphetamines need not take it. It will result in overactive nervous system. The results can be increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Taking Guarana with antibiotics is not advisable too. It can lead to side effects like headache and jitteriness. Those taking medications for asthma should preferably evade taking Guarana to let the heart function normally. Ideally, you should discuss such health issues with a doctor before starting any new medication along with Guarana.
Avoid over consumption of Gurana as it can cause undesirable side effects.