Legend has it that in the jungles of the Amazon basin, guarana was born. According to Tupi and Guarani tribal legends, this substance originated when a deity killed a beloved village child. When a more benevolent god saw this injustice, he plucked out the child’s left eye and planted it, thus giving birth to guarana.
In much of South American culture, this ingredient is used in many foods and drinks, and comprises most of the population's caffeine intake. Now guarana's popularity has spread to the US -- an integral ingredient of energy drinks, guarana can now be consumed in at least 104 energy drinks!
The affects of coffee and guarana on your body can be similar, because both the guarana in energy drinks and coffee consist of primarily caffeine. The major difference between the coffee bean and the guarana seed, however, is that a single seed contains 2.5 times as much caffeine as a coffee bean! The guarana ingredient should thus be consumed in far smaller proportions than coffee.
In moderation, guarana consumption can result in some healthy benefits to your body. Guarana can aid in weight loss, and studies show that it may increase alertness and memory retention. Lower doses of guarana have proven more effective than high doses, as demonstrated in a study that tested pilots in the areas of memory, alertness and mood after they consumed different amounts of this substance.
Despite its benefits to your body, guarana still contains an extreme amount of caffeine. Over-consumption of caffeine can result in side effects including dependency, nervousness, muscle twitching, irritability, headaches, insomnia, and peptic ulcers – health effects that are certainly detrimental!
All in all, the guarana contained in energy drinks does pose itself a potential health threat due to its high caffeine level, if not consumed responsibly. Consumed in moderation, however, guarana can help you to be more alert and improve your memory while helping you lose weight, all which are healthy benefits to your body.