If you’ve even been to Brazil, then you’ve probably noticed that guaraná (pronounced gwa-ra-NAH) is quite popular. The first exposure I had with guaraná is when I took my first taste of a huge bowl of açaí (pronounced ah-sah-EE) and it was delicious!
Aside from the complexity of trying to pronounce those words, the fact is that it had me bouncing off walls. I didn’t realize it at the time, but guaraná is a stimulant and contains caffeine. Studies are finding that guaraná can help boost memory, fatigue, and focus! (1)
Guaraná improves short-term memory.
The enhancing effects of guaraná is due to the caffeine content and actually contains more caffeine than any other plants in the world. It’s brain enhancing effect is due to caffeine being bound to tannins and vegetable proteins, which makes it being more slowly absorbed in the body. As a result, it helps memory, focus, and attention for a longer period of time. (1,2)
In one study, participants who took 75 mg of guaraná extract showed improved scores on working memory for up to 6 hours of taking the supplement. The guaraná extract allowed participants to focus their attention and remember more quickly. There is not much concern for any caffeine-related side effects since only 9 mg of caffeine is found in a 75 mg guaraná extract. (2)
Guaraná reduces any memory related fatigue.
Fatigue is a common symptom for those with prolonged mental exertion because the brain uses 20% of the entire body’s chemical energy. (3)
In another study, researchers found that when including supplement vitamins, minerals, and guaraná, memory fatigue can be reduced for up to 60 minutes after ingestion, while cognitive performance increased. The participants reported that mental speed and accuracy was enhanced and they felt less mentally exhausted after the test was completed. For this reason, guaraná would be a good supplement to take prior to a prolonged test period or anything else that requires sustained mental focus. (4)
Guaraná can improve mood and alertness.
If you’re experiencing stressful or tiring situations, then taking a small does of guaraná extract can help boost your memory and attention processing.
In another study, participants were given a 75 mg dose of guaraná extract before taking test of cognition and mood. The results show that participants experienced a much consistent mental alertness and contented mood. This study clearly shows that even the smallest dose can improve significantly. (5) Furthermore, MRI scans show that increased traffic neurotransmitters in the areas of the brain that is responsible for memory and attention processing. (6)
Is it safe?
It appears that guaraná contains a substance that is called guaranine, which is safer and much more potent to caffeine. Guaranine has always been confused with caffeine, because caffeine can be found inside of nuts that produce guaranine and no one has been able to successfully separate guaranine and caffeine. Through years of research, scientists have found that guaraná contains a greater amount of stimulant than any other plant in the world that is rich in saponins. They are natural and effective for use. (7)
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