BOOST YOUR ENERGY – PAULLINIA CUPANA
Work. While it is a crucial part of our life, sometimes work manages to invade the sanctified time we reserve for our family and self. After a while we begin to suffer from lack of rest as our evenings and weekends that should be relaxing are filled with endless workload. We need to take charge if we want to put a stop to this invasion. We need more energy to enhance our work quality, allowing us to be more energized, productive and able to give full concentration during the working hours, preventing it from dragging into the time we should have spent relaxing and have fun. One such herb has the ability to deliver such effects – guaraná (Paullinia cupana).
Guaraná, also known as zoom due to its energizing properties, is originally used by the people of the Amazon Basin in a variety of preparations of food and drinks, to dull pain and boost their mental and physical energy. The most notable use of the seed is in making a fortifying drink to rejuvenate and energize the people before going out to hunt. In clinical studies, the Amazonian herb has demonstrated positive result in reducing physical lethargy, though the effect is not instantaneous. It can take up to six weeks before the effectiveness can be experienced.
The energy rev up quality of guaraná comes from its caffeine-like stimulant, guaranine, in the seed. The guaranine is a non-water soluble compound and is bound to chemical compounds and proteins, the two attributes help to sustain the release of the natural stimulant, allowing it to work in a prolonged time instead of causing energy crash after three to four hours of use. Chronic overwork can cause persistent fatigue and guaraná works by providing stimulation to the central nervous system. The stimulation may help fight lethargy and increase the stamina. In a study, a low dose of guaraná is discovered to be more effective than a larger dose. The herb can also be used to provide an instant burst of energy such as to prevent drowsiness or to provide power for sport activities or exercises.
The herb is also valuable against mental fatigue and its effectiveness as neurocognitive stimulant has been established. Among the results, guaraná is discovered to provide a speedy recovery from memory lapses, low concentration and sluggish reaction to the changes of surrounding. Participants were able to increase their speed and accuracy in a series of cognitive test without losing focus or endure mental strain. Positive results were recorded on the volunteers’ working memory improvement, up to six hours after taking the supplement where the subjects were able to improve the speed of recalling information when undergoing a series of mathematical test.
Guaraná possesses astringent properties, making it a crucial remedy for the Amazon indigenous people to prevent or treat maladies such as fever and heat exhaustion. The cooling effect is noted to provide calmness and contentment and therefore improvement in attitude.
Individual with caffeine intolerance must avoid the herb as guaranine produces similar caffeine-like stimulation. If under medication or taking any supplement, please seek advice from personal doctor before trying guaraná to avoid any adverse reaction. Individual with pre-existing high blood pressure or heart disease or susceptible to insomnia is strictly advised to avoid taking guaraná supplement or product containing the herb as it can elevate the problem. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not take the herb or products containing the herb due to the herb’s appetite suppressing property.
While guaraná may provide a boost in energy to combat persistent lethargy, adequate rest is crucial for the mind and body to feel fresh, bright and alert. Relaxing activities like a walk in a park, swimming, stargazing, cycling with family or friends or taking a lunch break away from the office can be an enjoyable activity that uplifts our spirit.
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