Guarana, the time-honored energy provider
The topic is as ancient as up-to-date: the need or wish to stay awake. It could be motivated externally by an upcoming deadline or as well intrinsic, e.g. by the burning desire to dance the night away. And the personal level of energy on hand may not be sufficient to cover the actual need. Although present times may set specific requirements to cope with a multitude of tasks, this issue is not at all a new one. As an example of the past may serve our hunting forefathers. Being on a hunt could mean to stay awake, concentrated and literally focussed for several days. In Western society, coffee is often the means and stimulator of choice. Indigenous tribes of the Amazon region made a different one: Guarana.
Guarana is native of Brazil, grown in the Amazon and Northeast regions of Brazil. Brazil today still is the largest global producer of guarana. The Amazonian Maués Indians not only made use of the extra amount of energy but they considered this plant as “sacred fruit” and used the seed during combats and battles to increase strength and vitality. In fact, we know today hat the variety of contained substances such as caffeine, theopylline, theobromine, tannins and flavonoids not just help to dance the night away but also enfold other precious functionalities. By name these are antioxidant activity and protection agains free radicals, the prevention of diabetes and help in digestive problems.
A specific advantage compared with the stimulating effect of coffee is due to the way Guarana takes effect: It is released more slowly into the body to provide sustained energy. This means that the resulting energy curve will be more consistent and won’t drop away as steepy.
With a view to energizing effects, guarana is best positioned as an ingredient of energy drinks and sports nutrition drinks as well as food supplements. It has bitter and astringent taste with notes that resemble cocoa. Furthermore, it has earthy odor and slightly mole notes. It therefore also adds tasty and functional value to other applications such as chocolate, cookies, cereal bars, frozen desserts or dairy products.
In the following brief movie, pharmacist Karina Luize da Silva gives more insights into product specifics that make a difference.