June 5th 2018
What is Guarana?
Guarana is also known by Latin scientific name Paullinia cupana. It is a fruit-bearing tree native to the Amazon Basin (South America). It is especially common in Brazil, which is why it’s also known as Brazilian cocoa. The seeds of the Guarana plant are ground up into a powder and used in traditional Amazonian medicine. It is primarily used for its stimulant properties, which is also what we use it for in the Queal Flow.
Guarana has a particularly high caffeine content and also contains other xanthines and phenolics, like catechins, tannins, and procyanidins. As a source of caffeine, it is used in a myriad of energy drinks and soft drinks. Actually, nearly 50% of the world usage of Guarana can be traced back to the soft-drink industry. A full breakdown of the compounds in Guarana powder:
Caffeine, Tannins, Catechin and epicatechin, Procyanidins B1-B4, A2 and C1, Polysaccharides rich in glucose and xylose, Dietary fibres including pectins and xylans, Carvacrol, Caryophyllene, Limonene, α-copaene, Estragole, Anethole & 4-(dimethyl propyl)-phenol
What does Guarana do?
In other words, why did we put Guarana in the Queal Flow? The main reason is; It is an excellent source of caffeine, the stimulant properties of which help maintain focus and mental energy (alertness and wakefulness)
However, we use Guarana, and not just straight-up caffeine, for a reason. The other compounds of Guarana appear to have a positive effect on learning and cognition. These effects have not been studied extensively.
Rat studies suggest that there may be a cognitive enhancing aspect of Guarana that is independent of the caffeine content, but no human trial has been performed as of yet.
There also appears to be a slight improvement in secondary memory performance and reaction time associated with Guarana. Again the improvements are shown to be unrelated to the caffeine intake. Here there has been some research on human subjects, though more research is needed to fully ascertain the effect and causal link.
Guarana as part of Queal Flow
As explained above, the addition of the powdered Guarana seeds in the Queal Flow adds a dose of caffeine, which increases wakefulness and alertness. The additional compounds in Guarana are shown to have various positive cognitive effects with regards to reaction time and learning.
The consumption of caffeine often leads to a certain “jitteriness” in people. In the Queal Flow, we’ve added L-Theanine to counteract this. That way you maintain the stimulant properties of the caffeine, without the jitteriness. Leaving a calm focus. Read more about L-Theanine and its properties and effects in a separate blog here.