Guarana (Paulinia cupana) is a plant native to the Amazon and is especially common in Brazil. It's a climbing plant with distinct large leaves, clusters of flowers, and is best known for the seeds from its fruit that resembles an eye, which is about the size of a coffee bean.
The tribes of Amazon have used Guarana for centuries for its therapeutic properties.
Reduces fatigue and improves focus
Guarana contains higher levels of caffeine than coffee (6-8x more!), but it also contains stimulants like theobromine and theophylline.
This makes it a common ingredient of energy drinks. Caffeine works by blocking the effects of adenosine, a compound that helps your brain relax. It binds to adenosine receptors, preventing them from being activated.
A study found that people who took a guarana-containing vitamin supplement felt less fatigued while completing several tests, compared to those who took a placebo.
Rich in antioxidants
We've already talked about the importance of antioxidants for general health and functioning of the metabolism. Guarana is another plant rich in different antioxidants - caffeine, theobromine, tannins, saponins, and catechins. Its general antioxidant profile is similar to that of green tea.
May aid learning
Different studies have shown that guarana helps with learning, remembering, and memory in general.
Skin is very sensitive to free radicals and oxidative stress, which manifest as signs of aging on the skin - fine lines and wrinkles.
Due to its prolific antioxidant profile, it's a common ingredient of products in the cosmetic industry. Additionally, caffeine, theobromine and theophylline help with aiding blood flow to the skin.
Other potential benefits
Guarana also contains many compounds that may kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria, protect against age-related eye disorders, provide pain relief, boost heart health, and promote weight loss.