I first heard about guarana about two years ago, my friends were talking about this vial of ‘liquid ecstasy’ you could buy for $1.25 from the health food store. Those who engaged in binge drinking too much for their liking swore that this was good for those ‘recuperating’ nights where you still wanted to go out. I think it was highly glorified, because it is basically just a caffeinated feeling, not an e feeling. As I write this, after having one mochachino and two guarana pills, I am jittery and anxious to the point where I keep making typos. Try not to take too much guarana!

Guaraná (apparently pronounced gwa-ra-naa, but everybody I know has always pronounced it ga-ra-naa) is a berry that grows in Venezuela and the northern parts of Brazil. The name 'Guaraná' comes from the Guarani tribe that lives in Brazil. Guaraná plays an important role in this culture, as this herb is believed to be magical, a cure for bowel complaints and a way to regain strength. They also tell the myth of a 'Divine Child', that was killed by a serpent and whose eyes gave birth to this plant.

There are some dangers associated with guarana:

  • It is possible to overdose on caffeine or guaranine. The fatal dose has been estimated at 10 grams, taken at once. To put this in perspective: the average cup of coffee contains 65-130 milligrams of caffeine; some very strong Guaraná-based beverages contain 350 milligrams.
  • People with cardiac problems or a high blood pressure should avoid Guaraná (and smoking or drinking coffee, for that matter)
  • As with all stimulants, dependency may occur.

I got the facts from br.guarana.com