Caffeine and Guarana

November 15, 2016

What is Guarana?

Guarana is another name for the northern brazilian plant, Paullinia cupana. Seeds from the Paullina cupana plant is crushed into a paste and used for herbal supplements.

Guarana contains guaranine, which is nearly identical to caffeine in chemical structure. For this reason, most of guarana’s effects are the same as caffeine effects. Guarana also contains theophylline, theobromine, tannic acid and saponins.

Although guarana and caffeine have similar effects on the body, guarana is about 2.5 stronger than caffeine. Guarana is also released into the body slower than caffeine, this means that guarana does not cause a “caffeine rush” in most people, but rather gives a slow and steady boost of energy.

What are the effects of Guarana and caffeine?

Guarana and caffeine can be used as a weight loss supplement as it is thought to stimulate and balance the body’s metabolism and suppress appetite. They stimulate the central nervous system to fight fatigue, increases metabolism which increases energy and helps with endurance based activities and have a mild diuretic effect.

However, guarana and caffeine have significant negative effects. They can cause:

  • anxiety
  • insomnia (sleeplessness)
  • heart palpitations
  • increase in blood pressure
  • increase in heart rate
  • hyperactivity

Dependency may also occur with both caffeine and guarana. People with heart problems or a high blood pressure should avoid caffeine and guarana because of their effects on the heart (as listed above).

Caffeine and guarana combined with ephedra and aspirin (commonly known as ECA stack), can be a dangerous cocktail. It makes the stimulant effect of ephedra more powerful and dangerous. Although this combination does result in weight loss, it is also likely to cause high blood pressure, stroke or death.

Guarana and caffeine supplement

Caffeine and guarana an also be combined with other weight loss supplements like hydroxycitric acid and chromium. These combinations are safer than the ECA stack, however, avoid using caffeine or guarana completely if you have heart problems or are sensitive to the effects of caffeine or guarana.

Powder of guarana seeds

via Wikimedia Commons

Many nutritionists do not recommend using caffeine and guarana for weight loss. It is probably more useful when used to fight fatigue and increase alertness than as a weight loss supplement, especially when used alone.

Photo source: Wiki

The information provided has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is intended solely for general information and is NOT to replace advice from your physician or other medical professionals and should NOT be relied upon for any diagnosis, treatment or care. Always check with your doctor before starting any new drug or alternative/natural/herbal treatments and supplements.