Guarana is a fruit-bearing tree that is native to the Amazon basin. It is best known for the seeds from its fruit, which are around the size of a coffee bean.
Also known as Paullinia Cupana, the seeds of the fruit are ground into a powder to make Guarana Extract, which is a common ingredient in supplements and energy drinks.
Guarana is known for its stimulatory effect, which is why it’s often used to promote energy in a variety of products.
In case you didn’t already know, Guarana contains a reasonable amount of Caffeine – and this is the primary purpose for its use.
The purpose of this article is for us to take a close and evidence-based look at Guarana and its Caffeine content.
We’re also going to see what the science says about the other potential benefits of Guarana.
We’re going to break this post up into the following sections:
• What is Guarana?
• Does Guarana contain Caffeine?
• Guarana Benefits
• What’s the Best Dose of Guarana?
• Anything Else To Consider?
So, let’s get things going and start taking a closer look at Guarana.
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What is Guarana?
As we’ve clearly already gathered, Guarana is a tree which is found primarily in the Amazon basin.
It is most famous for the seeds from the fruit, which are ground into a powder to make Guarana extract.
Guarana Extract is a common ingredient in may supplements and drinks because of its stimulatory properties.
It is thought that around 70 per cent of Guarana produced today is used in soft and energy drinks – and the remaining 30 per cent is turned into powder. This powder is for direct consumption in supplements or dilution in water.
Guarana Extract also serves as a raw material for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.
Because it contains Caffeine, using Guarana to boost energy is the most common application. However, it could also have other benefits, which we’ll get into later in this article.
The bottom line here is that Guarana Extract is a grounded seed extract which comes from a tree in the Amazon basin. It is a source of Caffeine and is mainly used for its stimulatory effects.
Does Guarana contain Caffeine?
So, we’ve already cleared up that Guarana does contain Caffeine. But you may be wondering exactly how much.
Guarana contains more Caffeine than Coffee Beans. Quite a lot more, in fact.
It is estimated that Guarana Seeds may contain as much as four to six times more Caffeine than Coffee Beans.
So how much Caffeine does Guarana Extract contain?
It is believed that Guarana seeds may contain up to 3.6 per cent to 5.8 per cent Caffeine by weight.
To put this into perspective, Coffee Beans usually only have up to 2 per cent Caffeine.
Using the average number from the range above, we can work out that:
One gram (1,000mg) of Guarana contains an average of around 47mg of Caffeine.
The bottom line here is that Guarana does contain Caffeine, and generally more than Coffee Beans. One Gram (1,000mg) of Guarana is likely to contain around 47mg of Caffeine.
Now it’s time to take a look at the other potential benefits of consuming Guarana Extract.
So, we’ve already deduced that Guarana can help with boosting energy because of its Caffeine content, but what about some of the other potential benefits?
Here are some of the main claimed benefits of taking Guarana that we’ve seen:
• Could reduce fatigue
• Rich in antioxidants
• Could help with weight loss
• May promote healthy skin
One scientific study from 2008 found that people who took a vitamin supplement that contained Guarana felt less fatigued compared to those who took a placebo.
As well as being a good source of Caffeine, Guarana is thought to have potent antioxidant properties.
In case you didn’t already know, antioxidants are believed to be important because they can help to reduce the damage caused by harmful molecules known as free radicals.
It is believed that the antioxidant activity of Guarana is due to the procyanidin, catechin, and tannin content.
When it comes to Guarana and weight loss, there could be potential benefits. That’s why it’s a common ingredient in some so-called ‘fat metaboliser’ supplements.
We already know that Guarana is a source of Caffeine. Consuming Caffeine could boost your resting metabolic rate by as much as 3 to 11 per cent.
For this reason, it is thought that consuming Caffeine may promote thermogenesis.
Finally, Guarana could play a role in promoting skin aesthetics.
A study in test tubes suggested that Guarana may reduce age-related skin damage.
Another study in test tubes on the use of the topical application of Guarana, Glycerol and Creatine found it may improve skin integrity and produce a tightening effect. However, more research is needed on Guarana as a standalone ingredient for this application.
The bottom line here is that Guarana could have a number of other benefits as well as being a good source of Caffeine.
That being said, we feel that there needs to be more research into this ingredient before drawing any concrete conclusions about the points above.
What’s the Best Dose of Guarana?
Examine.com say that the standard dose of Guarana is 50mg to 75mg once a day, before midday.
They also say that you can take two divided doses of 50mg (one after waking up and one shortly after midday) for a total daily dose of 100mg.
Because Guarana contains Caffeine, it’s probably best not to take it too late in the day, as it could potentially affect your sleep.
Anything Else To Consider?
As always, you should do some of your own research into any supplement you’re thinking about taking for the first time.
That means making sure that you’ve read up about the potential side effects and checked for any possible dangers.
We always recommend that you consult your doctor before trying any new supplement for the first time.
Our recommendation is always to make sure that you’ve got your diet and exercise regime on point before thinking about any supplementation.
Sticking to a good nutrition plan and performing regular exercise such as cycling should always be your first ports of call.
That said, supplements CAN help if they are combined with the correct lifestyle choices and used as directed.
That brings us to the end of our look at Guarana and its Caffeine content.
We’ve explained exactly where Guarana Extract comes from and what it’s used for. It’s a common ingredient in supplements and energy drinks.
It’s a good source of Caffeine and could also have a number of benefits. That being said, we’d like to see some more research into its potential benefits before drawing any conclusions.