In our busy world, staying energized is a must. Whether you need the added boost to get back at work, help you study, or keep up with family, most of us are always on the lookout for something to give us an extra kick of caffeine. Guarana has become one of the most popular go-tos for people on the move. This natural source of caffeine has found its way into energy drinks and even supplements that can energize us and help with weight loss. The big question, however, is does guarana have caffeine? The answer is a resounding yes. Guarana seeds have an estimated 3.6% to 5.8% of caffeine. We’ll break down what that looks like in relation to other popular caffeine sources below. Let’s go!
What Is Guarana?
Guarana paullinia cupana is a plant found in the Amazon. Guarana, which is found in several energy drinks and supplements, is derived from the seeds of this plant. For years, the people of South America have used guarana to help boost their energy levels. This herb has found traction in the west since it was added to sodas and energy drinks which allowed people to experience its boost to their energy levels.
Guarana’s Caffeine Content
Guarana seeds feature a moderate level of caffeine. Often, the caffeine is extracted from these seeds. This allows it to be added to products we consume regularly. Whether the product in question contains guarana seeds or guarana extract it still contains caffeine. Guarana seeds have an estimated 3.6% to 5.8% of caffeine. This means 1 gram of guarana seeds contains roughly 47 milligrams of caffeine. This is one of the highest concentrations of caffeine found in any plant.
Let’s see how guarana ranks when compared to other caffeinated foods, beverages, and stimulants.
|Caffeine Pills||200 milligrams|
|Awake Chocolate||110 milligrams|
|Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bars||20 milligrams|
Is Guarana Dangerous?
Anything that features caffeine has the potential to be dangerous. This is especially true for those who have sensitivities to the substance. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant, but it can be manufactured and added to other products. This is why knowing the amount of caffeine in the foods and drinks we consume is so important.
When it comes to guarana and the dangers involved with using it, most of those dangers are thanks to the caffeine inside. To avoid any unwanted issues with guarana, or caffeine in general, it is best to avoid going over the FDA’s recommended daily amount. By doing this, you can avoid any unwanted side effects of too much caffeine. Read on below for signs you’ve had too much caffeine throughout the day.
- Fast heart rate
- Upset stomach
Guarana in Supplements
When guarana is used in supplements, things can get a little more dangerous. Guarana extract is often used in these products. This extract is derived from processing the seeds and removing the caffeine inside. As with any supplement, guarana supplements should be kept out of the reach of children and used responsibly.
Let’s learn more about the caffeine content of a few of the most popular guarana supplements available.
|Guarana Energizer (made from extract)||200 milligrams per tablet|
|KAL Guarana (made from seeds)||28 milligrams per tablet|
|Swanson Guarana (made from seeds)||30 milligrams per capsule|
|GNC Guarana (made from extract)||90 milligrams per capsule|
|Guarana Max (made from extract)||200 milligrams per 2 capsules|
Guarana in Energy Drinks
The most popular energy drinks on the market use caffeine and a mixture of additives to help us feel alert and awake when we need a jolt. There are even a few out there that also add guarana to the mix. When checking the ingredients list of energy drinks that add guarana, the amount is typically not mentioned. For this reason, it’s best to use caution when drinking these energy drinks and only consume one to two per day.
Here’s a look at a few of the most popular energy drinks on the market that contain guarana.
|Monster Energy (16-ounce can)||160 milligrams|
|Rockstar Energy (16-ounce can)||160 milligrams|
|5 Hour Energy (1.93 fluid ounce bottle)||200 milligrams|
|NOS Energy (16-ounce can)||160 milligrams|
The Benefits of Guarana
Like a lot of things that contain caffeine, guarana does have a few benefits when used properly. According to Healthline, several of these benefits are supported by science. Take a look at them below.
- Rich in antioxidants
- Improves focus and fights fatigue
- It may help with weight loss
- It may treat chronic diarrhea and constipation
- Pain Relief
- It may promote heart health
- Improves the look of skin
- It may fight certain cancers
- Fights age-related eye issues
- Features antibacterial properties
As you can see, guarana is somewhat of a double-edged sword. While it has several benefits for the body, it can also be very dangerous if taken too much. If you choose to use guarana in the form of energy drinks or supplements, do so in moderation. This is the safest way to reap its benefits and avoid the dangers involved.
Featured Image Credit: joanna wnuk, Shutterstock