Guarana Review: A natural source of caffeine
Guarana is something we often see written on an energy drink or maybe even in some beauty or nutritional product, but we really didn’t know too much about it. After doing some research, we discovered that the guarana plant is native to the Amazon and is particularly common in Brazil. The plant grows a fruit which is about the size of a blueberry and it is this berry that has become famous across the world. The word guarana actually comes from native languages in Paraguay and Brazil and it means ‘Fruit like the eyes of the people’. The fruit has traditionally played an important role in native culture and is made into an herbal tea by harvesting the seeds and grinding them into powder. South Americans have used guarana for years as a source of energy and mental clarity. If it works for them, we figured it could work for us also.
Manufacturer and cost
We found several manufacturers of guarana seed powder capsules. PhysioVites sells a 90 capsule formula called Guarana Max for $19.95 (USD). One serving contains 900 mg of guarana which is 22% caffeine. We also found a 30 ml liquid form by Nature’s Answer that contains 1000 mg of guarana and only costs $8.44 (USD). Natrol sells a lower dose formula that contains 90 capsules of 200 mg of guarana for $10.00 (USD), which would allow you to take a smaller dose at first until you see how your body is going to react.
Components of Guarana
There are many chemical components in guarana seeds, but the most active component is guaranine, or better known as caffeine. This caffeine is chemically similar to the caffeine found in coffee and teas and has very similar effects. Caffeine chemically inhibits certain adenosine receptors in your brain which induce sleep and as a result a consumer can feel more awake, experience mild central nervous system stimulation, an increased heart rate and blood pressure. Consumers of caffeine describe experiencing increased alertness, wakefulness and decreased fatigue.
Guarana seeds also contain theobromine. Theobromine is traditionally found in chocolate and is chemically similar to caffeine, but stimulates the heart more than the central nervous system. As a result, theobromine can increase your heartbeat and dilate your blood vessels, in turn causing a reduction in blood pressure.
The final main component is theophylline which is absorbed by our bodies in similar ways as guaranine and theobromine and provides similar effects. Theophylline blocks adenosine which then stimulates the central nervous system and increases your heart muscle’s efficiency and heart rate.
Apparently the combination of these three is what makes guarana so special and allows it to provide a balanced yet effective energy boost.
Pro’s and Con’s
- Guarana is a natural substance that may provide you a gentler caffeine alternative to some of the harsher purified forms of caffeine.
- Overall guarana is pretty affordable.
- Caffeine is not always the best answer for your focus woes, especially if you’re sensitive or react negatively to caffeine.
- Caffeine also can have some negative side effects, such as causing you greater anxiety, higher blood pressure, and stomach upset.
- If you take guarana while taking other supplements or while drinking coffee or tea, be careful by not overloading your body with caffeine.
Guarana is a natural alternative to many of the caffeine pills you see online, and that certain attracted us. The combination of caffeine, theobromine and theophylline seem to be pretty effective, and if used correctly, guarana may just provide us the energy buzz we’re looking for.
Total Score: (3 / 5)
Effectiveness: (3 / 5)
Ingredients: (3 / 5)
Side Effects: (2.5 / 5)
Value for the Money: (4 / 5)