Guarana – Health Benefits, Dosage, Warnings & Side-Effects

Fact checked by Mary Stricklin, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Next time you come across any supplement which claims that it can enhance your body’s energy levels, have a look at the ingredient list on the packaging and there is a very high probability that you will find Guarana on that list. 

It is derived and extracted from an Amazonian fruit and it has been in use for a very long time now because of the incredible health benefits associated with it.

Recently many research studies conducted on the use of Guarana extract and it has now been proved that adding Guarana to your everyday diet might have some really positive effects on your life and body. 

It might be beneficial in optimizing your memory power, help you in fighting fatigue, improve your heart’s overall health and plenty other benefits.

The scientific name of Guarana is Paullinia Cupana and it is a climbing plant which is a native Amazonian plant. This plant is immensely popular and prized because of the seeds which are obtained from the extremely powerful fruit of this plant. 

Guarana belongs to the Soapberry Plant Family and is quite similar to the Longan fruit which is popularly known as “The Dragon Fruit”. It is also quite similar to varieties of Fruits like Lychee and Ackee.

Guarana plant can be identified from its long large leaves and the cluster of flowers. The seeds produced by the Guarana flower are small in size, and they are no bigger than a coffee bean. 

The color of these seeds can vary and often vary from red to brown. The seeds of the plant’s fruits are black in colour and they closely resemble an eye because of the white arils which cover these seeds giving them an unique appearance.

These seeds have been known to have a very high Caffeine content and this is why these seeds find their use as an additive in many Energy drinks for providing instant energy and Soda brands like Guarana Antarctica also make use of these seeds. 

These seeds have numerous benefits and they are quite potent when it comes to elevating the energy levels of its user. Many research studies conducted recently on the benefits of Guarana seeds prove that the benefits of these seeds range from enhancing your skin’s health to promoting weight loss and many more.

Guarana plant is named after the native Guarani Tribe of the Amazon Rainforests who used these seeds to brew a drink and even today Guarana finds its uses in multiple medicinal recipes. 

People often consume Guarana orally for the treatment of Obesity, boosting athletic performance, improving mental conditions, and is also used as an Aphrodisiac.

Potential Benefits of Guarana

Some of the most common benefits of Guarana usage are:

Let us now have a detailed discussion on these benefits.

  1. It boosts the Functioning of the Human Brain

    Several research studies have shown that Guarana extracts can have a powerful effect on your brain boosting your focus as well as memory. 

    Another study conducted at the same university studied the effects of Guarana and compared it with the effects of Ginseng and it was found that when compared to Ginseng, Guaran seed extracts were able to boost attention and focus, and enhance the user’s performance to a greater extent.

    A research study conducted by the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at the U.K’s Northumbria University proved that users who were administered low doses of Guarana showed signs of improved memory performances as well as alertness when compared to a placebo group.

  1. It is quite rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants are considered to be quite beneficial for our body because they help in the flushing out of toxins from our body. They also help in preventing free radical formations and also prevent our cells from Oxidative damages.

    These antioxidants have been studies by researchers worldwide and many research studies have proved that these antioxidants might even protect our body from serious chronic diseases and conditions like Cancer, Diabetes and Heart conditions.

    Guarana seeds and fruits are quite rich in Antioxidants and are known to consist of potent antioxidants such as saponins, caffeine, tannins, catechins and theobromine.

  1. It helps in fighting fatigue

    Coffee is a very popular drink worldwide because it is known to provide quick energy and it helps in fighting fatigue and the reason behind it is the presence of Caffeine in the coffee beans. Research studies have found that Guarana seeds are packed with caffeine and the concentration of Caffeine in Guarana seeds is even higher than its concentration in the Coffee beans.

    Caffeine is known to be a stimulant and it affects the functioning of certain neurotransmitters in our brain and this helps in increasing the energy levels. This is why Caffeine is widely used in certain beverages and performance increasing drinks.

    Guarana is thus widely used in fighting physical fatigue but several research studies have shown that Guarana might be as effective in reducing mental fatigue. A research study published in the journal “Appetite” stated that users reported a decrease in their levels of mental fatigue.

  1. It promotes Regularity

    Guarana has been used for a very long time as a natural remedy for the treatment of constipation and diarrhea because it is known to promote regularity as well as provide relief from digestive distress.

    The presence of Caffeine in high concentrations helps in the stimulation of movements in your digestive tract and this provides relief from constipation.

    It is also believed to be rich in Tannins. Tannins are compounds which are known to prevent the excretion of excess water in your bowels which helps in the fast treatment of Diarrhea.

  1. Enhances Heart Health

    Research studies have shown that Guarana seed extracts are quite beneficial for your heart’s health.

    A research study conducted at the Medical Center of University of Cincinnati showed that Guarana extracts were able to prevent the clotting of blood which reduced the risk of Heart attacks and heart strokes.

    It has also been proved to decrease the levels of Bad LDL Cholesterol in the blood which helps in controlling and preventing the buildup of Plaque in Arteries to prevent the condition of Atherosclerosis.

  1. It helps in maintaining your skin’s glow

    Because of the high content of Caffeine and antioxidants in Guarana fruit, it is a great addition to your natural skin health care routine. Caffeine protects your skin from the harmful UV Radiations of the sun.

    Caffeine also improves the flow of blood as well as promotes the circulation of blood and slows down the photo aging of the skin.

    Another research study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology stated that cosmetic products which contained Guarana extracts was able to reduce the sagging of skin and wrinkles beneath your eyes.

  1. Might be effective in reducing Cancer growth

    Currently, research studies have been conducted only on animals and vitro models, and these studies have shown that the consumption of Guarana can help in the prevention of growth and spread of various Cancer causing cells.

    One study showed that mice who were suffering from Liver cancer showed a reduction of 58% proliferation and increased the death of cancer causing cells by up to 5 times when they were administered Guarana.

    Another research study showed that Guarana extract might help in the decrease of growth of various cancer causing cells which are known to cause Breast and Colon cancer. It might also be effective in Chemotherapy as it can efficiently kill some cancer causing cells.

  1. It might help in Weight Loss

    Guarana products are very popular because of the weight loss benefits associated with it and this is the reason why Guarana extracts are used in several weight loss products, supplements and pills to help you burn extra fats deposited in your body which will help you lose fat and weight.

    This benefit of Guarana is credited to Caffeine because Caffeine is known to boost the metabolism of the Human body and it also inhibits fat cells in your body and then slows down their production to promote weight loss.

    This has been proved in a research study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”.

Guarana Benifits

Side Effects and Safety

Guarana is considered to be safe for use when consumed orally in amounts generally found in foods and is considered to be safe even when taken as a medicine in limited amounts for a shorter period of time.

However, the consumption of Guarana orally for prolonged periods of time is considered to be unsafe because of the presence of high concentration of Caffeine in Guarana fruit.

It has been discovered that consuming more than 400 mg of Caffeine everyday can lead to some side effects on your body and these side effects depend on the dosage of Caffeine consumed.

If consumed in regular amounts, Caffeine is known to cause side effects like insomnia or sleeping disorders, nervousness and restlessness, irritation and pain in the stomach, nausea, vomiting, increases heart rate, elevated blood pressure, increases rate of breathing, delirium, tremors, diuresis and some other side effects.

Consumption of Guarana in large amounts might lead to headaches, anxiety issues, ringing of the ears, agitation, pain while urinating, cramps in stomach and legs, and irregular heartbeats.

People who have been using Guarana for long periods of time continuously might experience withdrawal symptoms of Caffeine if they reduce their dosage amounts or stop consuming Guarana.

Guarana is considered to be very unsafe when consumed orally or injected in huge amounts and might even be fatal. It is estimated that a one time dose of around 10-14 grams of Caffeine can be lethal and even at lower doses, Caffeine might be poisonous to your body.

However, it also depends on some other factors like the age of the user, their body’s caffeine sensitivity and smoking behaviours.

Special Warnings

Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

When consumed in amounts normally found in foods, Guarana is safe to consume by women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding. However, because of the caffeine content, you should consume Guarana with caution and in small amounts only. Taking guarana in higher amounts might be unsafe because consumption of 300 mg of Caffeine or more everyday has been known to cause birth defects and miscarriages. Caffeine is also known to pass in the breast milk of nursing women and it can have negative infants who are feeding on their mother’s milk.

Anxiety Issues

Higher doses of Caffeine present in Guarana might worsen the already existing anxiety issues.

Bleeding Disorders

Some research studies suggest that Guarana consumption might worsen any existing bleeding disorders because of the amount of Caffeine present in it.

Diabetic Patients

Caffeine in Guarana might have some adverse effects on people suffering from Type-1 diabetes because it may complicate the control of sugar in your blood by slowing down the process of absorption of sugar in your blood.


There is no universal dosage amount of Guarana usage and it depends on a variety of factors like the age, sex and the health of the users. One should always conduct their doctor or physician for knowing the dosage of Guarana which will suit them the best.

When taking as supplements, always follow the instructions mentioned on the packaging of the product.

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