Daily Dose of Guarana: 200-800mg
Guarana is derived from the seeds of a shrub that is native to Venezuela and Brazil in the Amazon rainforest. These seeds have a very high concentration of caffeine, up to three times higher than coffee. Caffeinated drinks increase mental alertness and fight fatigue in people who may not have enough sleep. Because of its energizing effects, it is used in energy drinks and sports drinks. Guarana drinks are very popular in Brazil because they help keep you awake and increase stamina and physical endurance. Some research shows that when taken with other supplements, guarana may be effective in promoting weight loss. There is evidence that it can suppress appetite and increase fat-burning. Caffeine usually works best to promote weight loss when taken with the polyphenol compounds in green tea. It works to promote weight loss by kick starting the nervous system to induce lipolysis. This is the process where fat is released into the blood stream where it is used as energy during exercise. Most of the benefits on guarana are almost exactly the same as those in caffeine, however unlike caffeine, it does not have any effect in improving mood nor does it improve cognitive ability.
It is possible to get guarana from the fruit itself. There are no other food sources however, and many foods and drinks have guarana as an additive to them. There is no standard recommended dosage but some people use 200-800mg a day. You should ask your doctor before taking it to get the right dosage for you. Side effects are very similar to side effects of caffeine and they include sleep problems, anxiety, restlessness, upset stomach, and quickened heartbeat. Long term use can result into developing a tolerance and psychological dependence to it. People that have certain health problems like heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, overactive thyroid, anxiety, insomnia, and kidney disease should use guarana under the supervision of a health professional.
- Schimpl FC1, Kiyota E1, Mayer JL2, Gonçalves JF3, da Silva JF4, Mazzafera P5. Molecular and biochemical characterization of caffeine synthase and purine alkaloid concentration in guarana fruit. Phytochemistry. 2014 Sep;105:25-36. PMID: 24856135.
- Schimpl FC1, da Silva JF, Gonçalves JF, Mazzafera P. Guarana: revisiting a highly caffeinated plant from the Amazon. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Oct 28;150(1):14-31. PMID: 23981847.