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Guarana and cognitive function

Guarana and cognitive function

Advance article alerts. Guqrana of anv on human behavior. Healthy eating tracker Neurosci. Acute effects Increases overall happiness different multivitamin mineral preparations with and without Guaraná on mood, cognitive performance and functional brain activation. L-tyrosine ameliorates some effects of lower body negative pressure stress. Vinod Kumar. Guarana and cognitive function

Guarana and cognitive function -

The effects of these caffeine-containing energy products on mental and cognitive energy are undisputed: several studies have shown that energy drinks increase subjective alertness and improve performance on attention and memory tasks as well as on tests of executive function.

The most common ingredients added to energy drinks and products include carbohydrates e. John's wort , vitamins e. Many of these ingredients are considered generally recognized as safe GRAS by the FDA and have no recommended daily limit; moreover, manufacturers are not obliged to list the exact amounts of these ingredients present in their products.

Thus, the independent contribution of caffeine and other ingredients to the overall effect of an energy product is largely unknown. This deserves further study, especially since toxic exposures to energy drinks that contain caffeine as well as other ingredients are more serious and significantly more likely to result in referral to a healthcare center than toxic exposures to drinks containing caffeine alone.

In this article, the empirical evidence for mood and cognitive effects of common energy drink ingredients, as well as for the contribution of any beneficial effects of the energy product besides that produced by caffeine, are considered. Specific objectives of future research are also highlighted.

First, the mood and performance effects of ingredients examined in combination with caffeine are discussed. That is, only studies in which the effects of the ingredient, of caffeine, and of a combination of the ingredient and caffeine were assessed. Studies were not considered if they did not include the appropriate controls or if the independent contribution of ingredients and caffeine could not be determined.

Second, the mood and performance effects of select ingredients studied alone but not in combination with caffeine are addressed. Finally, other common ingredients for which there is little information are identified. Only a limited number of energy drink ingredients have been studied in combination with caffeine.

These include glucose, taurine, L -theanine, and ginseng Table 1. Interactive effects of energy drink ingredients and caffeine on mood, attention and memory. Abbreviations : ANT, attention network task; BOLD, blood oxygen level dependent.

Both caffeinated and noncaffeinated energy drinks contain high concentrations of sugars, the effects of which have been well researched. With regard to mood, 2 studies reported mixed interactive effects of glucose and caffeine, 11 , 14 3 did not report any interactive effects, 4 , 10 , 12 and 1 did not assess mood.

Interactive effects of glucose and caffeine on measures of attention were found in 3 of the 6 studies, 4 , 10 , 14 but not in the others. Finally, the interactive effects of glucose and caffeine on memory tasks have been more consistent.

Of 4 studies that assessed memory performance, 3 reported that the glucose caffeine combination improved performance working memory accuracy, 11 explicit memory, 4 , 10 and memory speed and quality 4 but 1 reported that the combination did not enhance working memory speed 14 in contrast to caffeine alone, which improved reaction times.

Thus, there is some evidence that interactions between glucose and caffeine have an effect on high-load attention tasks and memory performance. The basis for these interactions may lie in altered pharmacokinetic profiles of the substances when administered together.

Acute administration of caffeine by itself impairs glucose tolerance 24 and reduces insulin sensitivity, 25 causing an increase in blood glucose concentration. Therefore, caffeine likely alters the postingestion glycemic profile of glucose-containing drinks.

Taurine is a nonessential sulfur-containing amino acid thought to play a role in metabolic processes. As the building blocks of proteins and the precursors of neurotransmitters, amino acids are commonly added to energy drinks and supplements, the rationale being that an increased availability of amino acids will enhance protein synthesis and neurotransmitter reserve, thus influencing mood and performance.

However, the exact amounts of amino acids present in energy drinks are largely unknown because amino acids are usually listed as part of the manufacturer's proprietary blend.

Taurine is one of the most common ingredients in energy drinks, dietary supplements, and noncaffeinated energy drinks. One study reported no interactive effect of the substances on attention and memory performance, 11 while the other reported that taurine attenuated caffeine-induced decreases in selective attention reaction time.

The combination also did not influence sleep-deprivation-induced impairments in movement efficiency or accuracy on a fine motor task, but it should be noted that caffeine alone also did not improve performance on the motor task. Nevertheless, it is premature to draw definitive conclusions on the basis of only 2 controlled studies.

L -theanine is an amino acid that is structurally related to glutamate yet is purported to produce relaxant effects. In addition to being a common ingredient in energy drinks, L -theanine occurs naturally in tea.

Thus, comparatively more controlled studies have assessed the mood and cognitive effects of L -theanine than the effects of some other energy drink ingredients. Ginseng Panax ginseng is a botanical ingredient that has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine.

The mood and cognitive effects of acute ginseng administration have been investigated in several studies.

With regard to mood effects, the largest effect sizes were seen for maintaining energy during cognitively demanding tasks. There has been only 1 study of ginseng in combination with caffeine administered in the form of guarana.

In general, there were no interactions between the substances on measures of mood, attention, or memory, although the combination did produce a prolonged decrease in errors on 1 of 2 working memory tasks. However, despite the overall lack of interactions between the 2 substances, this does not rule out the possibility of interactive effects, since the caffeine content of the guaraná extract was very low.

Thus, future studies must investigate interactions between ginseng and doses of caffeine comparable to those present in energy drinks. A number of energy drink ingredients have been studied in isolation for mood and performance effects.

Although these ingredients have not been studied in combination with caffeine, some of them show promising effects alone and deserve further study in combination with caffeine.

Guarana is a plant native to South America, where it has a long history of use for its supposed stimulatory properties.

The first study reported no effects of any treatments on mood, attention, memory, or other psychomotor tasks in healthy young adults.

While it may be presumed that the effects of guarana in combination with caffeine might be similar to the effects of an equivalent dose of caffeine, some researchers have suggested that other chemicals present in guarana are responsible for its observed behavioral effects; this is because the caffeine levels of the guarana doses studied were too low to produce the reported effects.

A recent review 42 concluded that the cognitive effects of caffeine-containing herbal extracts such as guarana often differ from those of caffeine, suggesting an involvement of other plant chemicals.

Thus, studies of the other active components of guarana in combination with caffeine are warranted. Tyrosine is a precursor of catecholamine hormones and neurotransmitters, including adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine, which are integrally involved in regulating mood and behavior.

Phenylalanine is a tyrosine precursor. The majority of research studies with tyrosine have focused on its beneficial effects under stressful conditions. Reactions to acute stress involve activation of the peripheral and central nervous systems and the release of catecholamines, which depletes catecholamine stores, causing mood and cognitive impairments.

This is surprising, given the evidence that tyrosine improves mood and cognition in fatigued and acutely stressed individuals, the target consumers of energy products. Gingko biloba is used in traditional medical systems. Most research into the effects of Gingko biloba extract on mood and cognition has focused on its long-term use and potential protective effect against cognitive decline.

The results of these clinical studies have been mixed, with some positive findings 62 , — 66 and some negative findings 67 , — 69 reported. Similarly, reviews and meta-analyses have drawn different conclusions, with some supporting 70 , 71 and others opposing 72 , — 74 the efficacy of gingko in counteracting age- and disease-related cognitive decline.

Discrepancies between studies reporting positive and negative findings for gingko may be explained by differences in treatment duration and subject populations: studies reporting null effects were conducted over shorter periods maximum 6 years follow-up in subjects who, in some cases, were already cognitively impaired.

They found that those who reported use of gingko showed reduced global cognitive decline compared with those who used no treatments. However, the results should be interpreted with caution, since the study employed a retrospective cohort design and other confounding variables could have influenced the findings.

The acute and short-term effects of gingko on mood and cognitive performance in young healthy subjects have been investigated in several controlled studies. As for its effects on mood, gingko was reported to improve well-being 75 but not subjective alertness. In summary, the long-term use of gingko has failed to show clear effects on cognitive decline, and the acute and short-term effects of gingko administration on mood and performance have been inconsistent.

A recent review 87 of all placebo-controlled studies of gingko in both healthy and cognitively impaired individuals concluded that the most prominent effects of gingko were observed during complex tasks rather than simple ones, with the greatest effects observed during tests of fluid intelligence and attention.

Herbal extracts contain other phytochemicals, including other methylxanthines e. In placebo-controlled studies, 89 , 90 theobromine produced few effects on mood and attention aside from increases in feeling the effects of drugs.

Theophylline, another methylxanthine present in herbal extracts, has been reported to improve memory speed, information processing, and attention in healthy adults 92 , 93 and to improve attention in elderly subjects. Energy drinks often contain vitamins e.

These vitamins and minerals are essential for effective functioning of the nervous system, and deficiencies have been linked to cognitive deficits and mood disorders.

It is thought that vitamin and mineral supplements are most likely to benefit individuals who are deficient in a given micronutrient at the outset, and thus studies of vitamin and mineral supplements and their influence on mood and cognition must consider the baseline nutritional status of subjects.

When converted to phosphocreatine, creatine acts as a high-energy source during intense physical or mental exercise, and a limited number of studies have reported beneficial effects of acute or short-term creatine administration on cognitive performance. Two studies reported that creatine improved mood, attention, and complex working memory after short periods of sleep deprivation, , and others reported significant improvements in attention and memory performance in well-rested participants.

Citicoline is an intermediate component in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, the major phospholipid of cell membranes. It also activates the central cholinergic system, thereby inducing hormone release adrenocorticotrophic hormone, growth hormone, luteinizing hormone , and has been reported to increase brain levels of noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine.

Studies have reported effects on brain activity and energy use that are consistent with increased mental alertness, but no effects on behavioral measures have been reported. L -arginine is involved in 2 important metabolic pathways: nitric oxide production and ammonia detoxification.

It also potently induces the secretion of insulin, growth hormone, and prolactin and the release of catecholamines.

Tea Camellia sinensis is a plant native to China, where it has a long history of consumption for medicinal purposes. The leaves of the plant may be processed in a variety of ways, producing, for example, black, green, or white tea. Green tea extract contains theanine, catechins, and flavonols in addition to caffeine.

Tea has been found to benefit cardiovascular health, but its effects on mood and cognition have been less studied. One study reported that a combination of green tea extract and L -theanine improved selective attention, memory performance, and brain correlates of alertness in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.

A later review concluded that green tea consumption was associated with improved cognitive function in aged individuals but could not establish a definitive link.

The mood and cognitive effects of green tea extract in healthy individuals have not been assessed. Carnitine is an essential dietary nutrient that plays a vital role in energy production. It has been shown to improve mood and cognitive function in individuals with cognitive impairment , — and to improve symptoms of depression, but its effects on mood and cognition have not been evaluated in healthy individuals.

L -tryptophan L -Trp and 5-hydroxytryptophan 5-HTP are precursors of serotonin 5-HT , a neurotransmitter that plays a central role in behavioral and emotional control.

L -Trp is the least abundant amino acid and must compete with other, more common large amino acids for transport across the blood-brain barrier. In comparison, 5-HTP more readily penetrates the brain, , — where it is converted to serotonin, and thus dietary 5-HTP supplements may feasibly enhance brain serotonin levels.

The outbreak was thought to be due to a contaminant in a particular product, and L -Trp was subsequently reapproved in , but there is some evidence of genetic sensitivity to eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome associated with L -Trp. Hypericum perforatum , or St.

John's wort, is a flowering shrub used in traditional medicine. Its antidepressant activity has been examined in a number of controlled clinical studies. Results from most studies suggest it is more effective than placebo for the treatment of mild depression, , it is as effective as some other antidepressants, including amitriptyline, imipramine, sertraline, and fluoxetine, , — and has a more favorable side effect profile than other antidepressant medications, though there are both case reports and in vitro data suggesting it interacts with a number of medications.

John's wort and caffeine on mood and cognition. Yohimbine is an α2-adrenoreceptor antagonist that is sometimes added to energy drinks.

There are a number of other energy drink ingredients for which very little information is available. These substances deserve particular attention, given their widespread consumption by energy drink users. Yerba maté tea is derived from the leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis shrub.

It contains methylxanthines caffeine and theobromine , flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol , saponins, tannins, and vitamins A, B complex, C, and E. It has been reported to possess antioxidant, vasodilatory, antiglycation, and antiobesity properties, although its acute or short-term effects on mood and cognitive performance have not been studied.

Malic acid is an intermediate component of the Krebs cycle, the biochemical process by which food is converted to energy. It is added to energy drinks to increase the bioavailability of nitric oxide donors e. Vinpocetine is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor that has vasodilatory properties and increases cerebral blood flow.

Finally, 1,3-dimethylamylamine is an ingredient that has been widely used in the exercise industry and is also added to energy drinks, but its effects on mood and cognition have not been assessed in acute challenge studies. Following safety concerns, , the FDA issued a warning in July to consumers to avoid supplements containing this ingredient and declared that dietary supplements containing 1,3-dimethylamylamine are illegal.

Overall, there is a lack of empirical evidence for beneficial interactions between caffeine and other energy drink ingredients. This is not surprising, given the wide variety of different ingredients and the general lack of information about the exact amounts contained in energy products.

There have been promising findings for select ingredients that deserve further investigation and verification. Glucose combined with caffeine has shown the most promising effects on working and explicit memory, which could be due to the altered absorption and pharmacokinetic profiles of these substances when administered together.

Administration of L -theanine and caffeine together appears to produce superior effects on mental alertness, attention, and memory. However, taurine in combination with caffeine appears to counteract the stimulating effects of caffeine on mood and attention. Thus, of the multitude of energy drink ingredients, there is some evidence of added mood and performance benefits only for glucose and L -theanine, but these results require replication.

Other substances, such as ginseng, guarana, tyrosine, gingko, theophylline, flavanols, and creatine, appear to produce positive mood and performance effects by themselves in healthy individuals and should be investigated for interactive effects with caffeine.

However, for others e. John's wort, yohimbine , the available evidence appears to indicate detrimental mood and performance effects. Some substances, including green tea, citicoline, carnitine, and L -arginine, have only been studied in older subjects or those with some degree of impairment, low mood, or nutritional deficiency and require controlled study in healthy young adults.

Finally, for all other ingredients, the behavioral effects of the substances themselves have not been well characterized. Future studies in this important area should focus on mood and cognitive effects of the energy drink ingredients in the main consumers of energy products, i.

Caffeine-containing energy drinks and products are also targeted at fatigued individuals in whom the effects may be more prominent. There have been several reviews of valid and sensitive measures of mental energy , — that researchers can consult in the design of their studies to reduce the incidence of negative and discrepant results.

However, without more detailed information from the energy drink manufacturers about the amounts of the different in gredients contained in their products, it will be difficult to design accurate studies to answer some of these questions. The general dearth of information about the effects of ingredients alone and in combination with caffeine is cause for concern, given that toxic exposure to these mixtures of chemicals has more serious consequences than toxic exposure to caffeine alone.

Thus, one area recommended for future research is how energy drink ingredients affect the positively reinforcing and dependence-producing properties of caffeine. If energy drink ingredients alter the positive or negative behavioral effects of caffeine, they will also likely influence its reinforcing potential.

This deserves particular attention, especially given recent findings that energy drink consumption is associated with an increased risk of alcohol dependence and predicts nonmedical use of prescription drugs. The author thanks Samuel P. King for assistance with retrieving references and preparing tables.

Alford C Cox H Wescott R. The effects of Red Bull energy drink on human performance and mood. Amino Acids. Google Scholar. The effect of a taurine-containing drink on performance in 10 endurance-athletes.

Kennedy DO Scholey AB. Scholey AB Kennedy DO. A taurine and caffeine-containing drink stimulates cognitive performance and well-being.

Nutr Neurosci. Warburton DM Bersellini E Sweeney E. An evaluation of a caffeinated taurine drink on mood, memory and information processing in healthy volunteers without caffeine abstinence. Smith A. Effects of caffeine on human behavior. Food Chem Toxicol.

An analysis of energy-drink toxicity in the National Poison Data System. Clin Toxicol Phila. Adan A Serra-Grabulosa JM. Effects of caffeine and glucose, alone and combined, on cognitive performance.

Hum Psychopharmacol. Differential cognitive effects of energy drink ingredients: caffeine, taurine, and glucose. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. Maridakis V O'Connor PJ Tomporowski PD.

Sensitivity to change in cognitive performance and mood measures of energy and fatigue in response to morning caffeine alone or in combination with carbohydrate.

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Effect of caffeine and taurine on simulated laparoscopy performed following sleep deprivation. Br J Surg. Time for tea: mood, blood pressure and cognitive performance effects of caffeine and theanine administered alone and together.

The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biol Psychol. L -theanine and caffeine in combination affect human cognition as evidenced by oscillatory alpha-band activity and attention task performance. J Nutr. Assessing the effects of caffeine and theanine on the maintenance of vigilance during a sustained attention task.

Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana Paullinia cupana extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng. Benton D. Carbohydrate ingestion, blood glucose and mood. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. Gorby HE Brownawell AM Falk MC.

Do specific dietary constituents and supplements affect mental energy? Review of the evidence. Nutr Rev. Effects of caffeine on glucose tolerance: a placebo-controlled study. Eur J Clin Nutr. Caffeine ingestion elevates plasma insulin response in humans during an oral glucose tolerance test.

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Clin Neuropharmacol. The effects of L -theanine on alpha-band oscillatory brain activity during a visuo-spatial attention task. Brain Topogr. L -Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. The acute effects of L -theanine in comparison with alprazolam on anticipatory anxiety in humans.

Nobre AC Rao A Owen GN. L -theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Guarana is rich in caffeine, which can reduce fatigue and improve focus. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a compound that makes you feel drowsy and helps your brain relax.

One study looked at the effects of different doses of guarana on mood and learning. Participants received either no guarana, People who received either Another study compared guarana to ginseng , another brain-boosting compound.

Although both guarana and ginseng improved memory and test performance, people who received guarana paid more attention to their tasks and completed them faster Furthermore, animal studies have shown that guarana can improve memory 18 , Low doses of guarana can improve mood, learning and memory.

Compounds in guarana, along with caffeine, are responsible for these effects. Obesity is a growing concern, as it has been linked to many chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer Interestingly, guarana may have properties that help promote weight loss.

A faster metabolism means your body burns more calories at rest Guarana contains caffeine, which may aid weight loss by boosting metabolism.

It has also been found to suppress genes that aid fat cell production and promote genes that slow it down. However, more human-based studies are needed. Guarana has been used for centuries as a natural stomach tonic to treat digestive problems like chronic diarrhea and constipation 1. Tannins are known for their astringency, which means they can bind and contract tissue.

This allows tannins to waterproof the walls of your digestive tract, restricting how much water is secreted into your bowels On the other hand, guarana is rich in caffeine, which may act as a natural laxative. Caffeine stimulates peristalsis, a process that activates contractions in the muscles of your intestines and colon.

This may relieve constipation by pushing contents to the rectum Low doses of guarana do not provide much caffeine, so they are more likely to have an anti-diarrhea effect. High doses provide more caffeine and may have laxative effects.

The tannins in guarana may relieve diarrhea by preventing water loss. Meanwhile, the caffeine in guarana may relieve constipation by stimulating contractions in your intestines and colon that push contents toward the rectum.

Heart disease is responsible for one in four deaths in America First, the antioxidants in guarana appear to aid blood flow and may prevent blood clots Oxidized LDL cholesterol can contribute to plaque build-up in your arteries. However, most research on the connection between heart health and guarana comes from test-tube studies.

More human-based studies are needed before recommendations can be made. Guarana may aid heart health by improving blood flow and preventing blood clots. Two of these receptors — A1 and A2a — are involved in stimulating feelings of pain This is one reason why caffeine is commonly found in many over-the-counter pain relief medications.

Studies have shown it can significantly enhance their effects The caffeine in guarana may provide pain relief by blocking adenosine receptors, which are involved in stimulating feelings of pain.

Due to its strong antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, guarana is popular in the cosmetics industry as an ingredient in anti-aging creams, lotions, soaps and hair products.

Moreover, its caffeine content aids blood flow to the skin Test-tube studies have shown that the antioxidants in guarana may significantly reduce age-related skin damage 9.

Guarana has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, making it a common additive in cosmetic products. It may aid blood flow to your skin, reduce damage linked to aging and minimize undesirable features, such as saggy skin and wrinkles. Animal and test-tube studies suggest that guarana may protect against DNA damage, suppress cancer cell growth and even trigger cancer cell death 34 , 35 , Another test-tube study found that guarana suppressed the growth of cancer cells in the colon, as well as stimulated their death Scientists believe that the potential anti-cancer properties of guarana stem from its content of xanthines, which are compounds that are similar to caffeine and theobromine.

That said, though the results of test-tube and animal studies are promising, more human-based research is needed. Publish with us Subjects. Publications Journals. Login Register Reset Password. English English.

Home Journals Global Psychiatry Volume 2 : Issue 2 November Fanaras Konstantinos. Reinhard Heun. Global Psychiatry Volume 2 : Issue 2 November About this article. Previous Article.

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Multivitamins that contain Mind power and focus may Fat loss transformation both mood and cognitivs performance, according vunction a study. Guarana Healthy eating tracker a native species of Guaranaa America and has stimulating properties when taken by mouth. Guarana is also used to enhance athletic performance and to reduce fatigue. It has been used in the past as an aphrodisiac, diuretic, astringent, and to prevent malaria and dysentery, diarrhea, fever, headache, and rheumatism. The active ingredient in guarana was formerly called guaranine tetramethylxanthinebut was later found to be caffeine. Sales cotnitive energy products functio grown Mood enhancer techniques and tips in recent Guarana and cognitive function. Manufacturers claim that the products, Guaranna the form of drinks, shots, supplements, and gels, enhance physical and Mind power and focus performance, while users believe the products promote concentration, alertness, and fun. Most of these products contain caffeine, a mild psychostimulant, as their foremost active ingredient. However, they also contain additional ingredients, e. This article reviews the available empirical data on the interactive effects of these ingredients and caffeine on sleep and cognitive performance and suggests objectives for future study.

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