Ease exercise with guarana
Most athletes are aware that caffeine can help when you need a pick me up but now a paper1, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, has helped unlock the secret behind why…
Researchers performed a ‘double-blind crossover study’ on volunteers who were asked to perform 100 leg extensions, after either having a caffeine tablet or a placebo. Whilst the volunteers were performing the exercise they had the activity of certain brain areas monitored as well as being asked about their perception of how easy or hard the task was.
It was found that when the volunteers had had caffeine there was lower activity in the part of the brain associated with movement planning and preparation and this corresponded with a lower perception of effort, i.e. people found it easier.
In short caffeine appears able to affect the brain in such a way as to make exercise appear easier, it is not just a case of it speeding up metabolism.
It’s not all about coffee
When we think of caffeine most of us think of coffee, but there is actually another natural product which contains even more caffeine and could help those involved in endurance sport.
Guarana is a flowering climbing plant whose fruits produce a seed similar in size to a coffee bean. The seeds contain more caffeine than a coffee bean however (there is about 2–4.5% caffeine in guarana seeds compared to 1–2% for coffee beans) and are thought to be one of nature’s richest sources of the natural stimulant.
Guaranaseeds can be ground down like coffee beans and produce a powder which is said to release its caffeine slower than coffee and so doesn’t give you the sudden high and then lowseen with coffee - thus giving it the potential to aid endurance athletes for longer periods.
Available as a straight powder, which can be added to juice, water or smoothies, BodyMe’sguarana powder is some of the highest quality guarana available – having been grown organically in Brazil.
Prices start at just £6.49 and 20p from every bag bought goes to the Healthy Planet organisation to help preserve the world in which we live for future generations.