Guarana is a plant extract present in many energy drinks. It contains several bioactive compounds and may have various health benefits, such as increasing energy levels and enhancing cognition.
Guarana is an extract from the seeds of an Amazon Basin plant known as Paullinia cupana (P. cupana).
Research has since uncovered a variety of other potential uses for this versatile plant extract.
This article will discuss some guarana benefits, as well as risks and side effects.
Naturally occurring stimulants exist in popular food and beverages, such as:
P. cupana seeds contain all three chemicals, making guarana an effective energy booster and a common ingredient in popular energy drinks.
Guarana also has more caffeine than coffee. A
The authors suggest one of the reasons might be the way caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, which are involved in sleep.
This can reduce fatigue and increase:
The authors indicate that more studies are necessary. It is unclear whether the benefits were solely from guarana’s high caffeine content or other bioavailable substances.
Guarana appears to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a
The study compared the efficacy of guarana powder against caffeine in reducing inflammation in rats with elevated cholesterol. The guarana powder had a more pronounced anti-inflammatory effect than the caffeine.
Antioxidants target the free radicals that harm cells. Free radical damage can lead to issues like heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants slow or even prevent this damage.
The study found that the guarana water’s antioxidant action improved the worms’ resistance against oxidative stress.
The signs of guarana’s anti-aging properties included:
- extended lifespan
- reduced muscle function decline
- fewer signs of genetic neurodegenerative disorders
However, more studies are necessary to see if these effects apply to human aging.
Researchers used roasted P. cupana seeds and fresh acai seed berries to create a guarana-acai (GA) extract, which they tested on earthworms after tail amputation.
The GA extract hastened the worms’ healing process. After 24 hours, cells exposed to GA had a higher concentration of collagen, without any abnormalities.
The study authors suggested that the GA extract might benefit postsurgical wound healing.
After analyzing the effects of four different diets fed to Wistar rats for 18 weeks, researchers concluded that guarana powder prevented:
- weight gain
- insulin resistance
- metabolic dysregulation
This occurred because guarana appeared to:
Study participants receiving radiation for head and neck cancer experienced pain relief from guarana. They took 100 milligrams (mg) of dried guarana extract each day for 3 weeks.
Guarana’s pain-modulating effect may be from its caffeine content. Caffeine may
In the study, guarana was observed to:
- inhibit pancreatic fat-digesting enzymes
- decrease cholesterol’s solubility
- reduce cholesterol absorption
- decrease the intracellular level of cholesterol transporters
Guarana may improve the efficacy of some types of cancer treatments, according to a
The study examined the effect of guarana on cultured breast cancer cells with and without chemotherapy medication.
Guarana improved the medication’s ability to slow the growth of the cancer cells. After 72 hours, the cancer growth had decreased by more than 40%.
Folate-dependent toxicity is thought to promote inflammation and damage tissue.
A 2017 study investigated eyesight and guarana consumption in older adults. The study found that those who reported good vision also consumed guarana more regularly than those with poor or regular eyesight.
Study authors theorize that guarana:
- decreased cell death
- modulated gene expression
- affected protein levels
Guarana may be protective against aging-related eye disease.
Guarana is generally considered
Guarana side effects are most often related to its caffeine content and may include:
- reduced fertility
- elevated heart rate
- stomach irritation
- increased tolerance
- psychological dependence
Guarana may be safe to take daily if a person monitors their caffeine intake from all sources to avoid caffeine toxicity.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends
Like caffeine, a person may experience insomnia if they take guarana too close to bedtime.
Abruptly discontinuing caffeine use may result in withdrawal symptoms. If a person takes guarana daily and wants to stop, they should cut back gradually.
People taking stimulant medication may want to ask their prescribing physician whether guarana is safe for them to use.
Guarana is an extract from the plant Paullinia cupana. It has several bioactive chemicals, including the stimulants caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine.
In addition to how it can help a person feel more awake and alert, guarana benefits may include anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects.
Guarana side effects are similar to those resulting from caffeine. It may be safe for people without medical conditions to take guarana daily as long as they monitor their overall caffeine intake.