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Have you ever heard about guarana powder and its effects? But are you unsure what exactly you are dealing with and how it differs from coffee or tea? Then you will find the answers here. In our guarana powder test 2021 we answer your questions about the ingredients, effects and side effects of guarana. We also help you with the dosage and suitability of the product and give you recommendations for good guarana powders.




The most important facts in a nutshell

  • Guarana powder is extracted from the plant Paullinia cupana . The fruits contain seeds that have a very high caffeine content. These seeds are used to make guarana powder, which is more concentrated than regular coffee.
  • Due to its energy-giving effect, guarana is often added to chocolate or soft drinks. This addition also drowns out the naturally bitter taste of guarana.
  • Thanks to the tannins, the effect of guarana is slower but longer. The tannins first have to be broken down by the body, so the caffeine is only released in the intestines and does not attack the stomach.

Best Guarana Powder: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for guarana powder

When buying guarana powder, you should pay attention to various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't give your body anything it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for high quality and ask to see the manufacturer's certificates if necessary.

Taste

The most important thing when buying guarana powder is that it tastes good. After all, you should take the powder several times a week or even daily. There is no question that you should enjoy the consumption. Guarana powder is a rather difficult product in terms of taste. The powder often tastes a little "earthy". Some also describe guarana powder as tart or bitter. This is easily remedied by adding it to a smoothie or similar.

Ingredients / additives

The fewer additives guarana powder contains, the healthier it is. Preservatives, fillers or binders reduce the healthy effect of the powder and should therefore not be present. It is also important to make sure that the guarana powder consists of 100 % guarana. If sugar or similar ingredients are also present, the result can quickly be falsified or also become unhealthy.

Compatibility

Compatibility goes hand in hand with the ingredients of the powder. This criterion is particularly relevant for allergy sufferers. If the guarana powder consists of 100 % guarana, it is lactose- and gluten-free. However, care must also be taken during production to ensure that it does not come into contact with certain foods such as nuts. This is an important aspect due to the high reaction of nut allergy sufferers. In addition to tolerance due to allergies, voluntary renunciation of animal food is also an important point. Guarana powder should always be vegetarian and vegan and therefore suitable for vegans.

Solubility

Related to taste is often how well the powder dissolves in water or other liquid. If the product does not dissolve or forms lumps, they often do not taste good when consumed. Therefore, make sure that the powder has good solubility and does not leave any residues. There is also the possibility of removing the set of the powder as in making coffee.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about guarana powder answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of guarana powder and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is guarana powder and how does it work?

Guarana powder is extracted from the guarana plant Paullinia cupana. This bush grows in the Amazon region in Brazil, Venezuela and Peru and belongs to the soap tree family. This bush bears an orange-red fruit that contains about one to three seeds. These seeds contain large amounts of caffeine, about twice as much as in coffee beans, for example. The caffeine content in one seed is about 4 to 8 %.

Guarana Pulver-1

Guarana originated in the Amazon basin in South America, where it has been cultivated by Indians for centuries.
(Image source: skeeze / pixabay)

Guarana powder thus basically acts like coffee as a wake-up stimulant. The high caffeine content is perfect as an energy supplier. When consumed, it has been proven to increase cognitive performance and reduce mental fatigue.(1)

Wakefulness stimulant

The caffeine content in guarana is many times higher than in regular coffee beans. Fatigue is prevented not only by caffeine, but also by the theobromine and theophylline it contains. In one study, it was shown that the subjects' memory performance was increased and they were more alert and attentive.(2)

Anti-stress

Guarana is also said to have calming properties and relieve stress. In addition, it can have positive effects on your mood, according to a study. (3) It is also unusual to find that guarana can reduce anxiety and panic, as caffeine is usually considered to be more of an agitator.(4) This is because caffeine stops the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine is normally responsible for the brain's resting phases and prevents the happiness hormone serotonin from taking effect. Caffeine thus contributes to the absorption of the happiness hormone and the subject is likely to be more cheerful.(3)

Better performance

As one study points out, guarana combined with ginseng enables you to fully utilise your energy and maximise your performance. The absorption of information is said to be significantly improved. In addition, there is a higher blood circulation, which has a positive effect on the brain and headaches.(5) The positive effects on performance and mood are also maintained in the combination of guarana and aspirin.(6)

Better digestive system

Guarana is positive for the digestive system because the tannins mean that it only takes full effect in the intestines. It has been used before as a natural remedy for flatulence and diarrhoea. It has been found that high blood pressure and metabolic disorders occur less frequently when people consume guarana regularly.(7)

Antioxidant and antimicrobial

Studies have also found that Brazilian-derived guarana can significantly fight food poisoning, bacteria and fungi.(8) It has been dubbed a promising antioxidant in the food industry. The intake of dietary fibre, especially pectin, has proven to have a positive impact on human health. This is explained by its antioxidant and hypocholesterolemic effects.(9)

What are the ingredients of guarana powder?

Mostly, guarana powder consists of 100 % pure guarana. Rarely, sugar or honey are also added, as is traditionally done in the Amazon population.(1) You can find out which ingredients are contained in pure guarana in the following table(10):
Ingredient Percentage
Caffeine 2.4 to 5 percent
Tannins 5 to 14 percent
Catechin 6 percent
Epicatechin 3 percent
Polysaccharides 30 to 47 percent
Theobromine 0.02 to 0.04 percent
Theophylline 0 to 0.025 percent
Proteins 7 to 8 percent
Sugar 6 to 8 percent

You should make sure that no additives or similar have been added.

When and for whom is it useful to take guarana powder?

It is best to consume guarana powder before you need to perform your cognitive tasks. Whether it is studying or before sports, simply take a drink with guarana immediately beforehand. However, you should not take the powder too late in the evening, as this could make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Guarana powder is useful for all those who rely on their cognitive performance in everyday life. This includes students, athletes and highly concentrated workers. Especially for those who suffer from fatigue and listlessness, guarana could be a great help.

Guarana Pulver-2

Guarana in a green smoothie covers up the naturally bitter taste of guarana powder and is also healthy.
(Image source: Rohtopia / pixabay)

During pregnancy or breastfeeding, guarana, like any other caffeinated drink, should be avoided. The caffeine is broken down more slowly here and thus remains in the body much longer, whereby side effects can occur. If you suffer from high blood pressure or are too young, taking guarana is also not advisable. If you are taking other medicines, make sure you check whether their effect can be altered by the consumption of guarana. Guarana can influence the metabolism of medicines and thus pose a great risk to health.(11)

How quickly and how long does guarana powder work?

Since guarana contains tannins, it does not take effect in the stomach like coffee, but only develops its full effect in the intestines. The caffeine is therefore absorbed more slowly by the body. This also ensures that guarana works less quickly than coffee and not immediately after ingestion. However, the powder lasts much longer than a latte macchiato - not least because it contains more caffeine. Besides caffeine, guarana powder also contains theobromine and theophylline. The energy you feel from guarana can last for up to six hours.

What are the side effects of guarana powder?

Just like other substances that contain caffeine, guarana has certain side effects. Especially if the dosage is too high, one of the following side effects can occur:

  • Insomnia
  • high blood pressure
  • Trembling
  • strong heart palpitations

Long-term overdose can also cause cardiovascular problems. However, most teas and energy drinks containing guarana usually contain a harmless amount. (12) There have been no incidents of negative effects associated with common energy drinks. However, attention should always be paid to the sugar and caffeine content in sweet drinks, as these are often above the recommended limit.(12)

What is the difference between guarana and coffee?

The biggest difference between guarana and coffee is obviously a longer duration of effect. Coffee usually only has a short positive effect on alertness and concentration, whereas the effect of guarana can last up to six hours. This is due to the tannins to which the caffeine from guarana is bound. These must first be broken down by the body before the caffeine is released.

Guarana Pulver-3

Just like coffee, guarana powder dissolves best in warm water. When infused with cold water, lumps form.
(Image source: Free-Photos / pixabay)

The effect of coffee usually takes effect after 15 to 30 minutes, but with guarana it takes longer. On the other hand, the effect of guarana lasts longer and also more evenly, thus providing good conditions for learning.

Can I lose weight with guarana powder?

Guarana per se is not suitable as a dietary supplement, especially exclusive or increased consumption is expressly discouraged. However, guarana also contains alkaloids and fats that can suppress the feeling of hunger when consumed. This leads to eating less often and less, and thus possibly indirectly to the desired weight loss. In addition, the body produces natural heat when guarana is consumed. This natural metabolism ensures that body fat is broken down and converted into energy. However, this too can only be used on a small scale.

Does guarana powder have positive effects on my skin?

The extracts of the guarana plant are also used in the beauty industry. Creams are often enriched with guarana, which is supposed to lead to improved skin texture and less cellulite. However, it cannot be claimed that guarana visibly rejuvenates the skin. Guarana is also occasionally found in shampoos. This is because the ingredients of guarana are supposed to help with hair loss and thus protect against it when used.

What types of guarana are there?

Guarana can be found in various other forms besides powder. The substance is also available pressed as a capsule or tablet. In addition, there are many energy drinks or teas that are enriched with guarana to provide the necessary effect.
Type Description
Guarana powder powder that is dissolved in water and can be consumed pure or with other foods
Guarana capsules small, ready-to-eat portions that can be swallowed like a tablet
Soft drinks with guarana energy drinks that contain guarana and drown out the naturally bitter taste of guarana
Tea with guarana tea enriched with guarana that additionally makes you awake in the long term

How should guarana powder be dosed?

The dosage depends entirely on how much caffeine the guarana powder contains. The amount can vary greatly depending on the region where the powder is grown and the production process. As a rule, 100 grams of guarana powder contain about 1 to 9 grams of caffeine. The recommended maximum dose for an average adult is therefore no more than 5 grams of guarana per day. One study shows that two smaller doses of guarana have a better effect than one high dose.(2)

How do I consume guarana powder?

Guarana powder dissolves in warm water and thus its active ingredients unfold particularly well. It is ideal for use in warm water or teas. You can also add it regularly to your food, but watch the amount you add. Guarana is heat-resistant up to 200 degrees and is therefore ideal for baking. In cold water, the powder quickly clumps together and forms small lumps that don't taste very good. You can also prepare it warm and leave it in the fridge for a while if you prefer to consume it cold. The option of adding guarana to smoothies is often used if you don't find the taste of the powder too pleasant.

What is the shelf life of guarana powder?

Guarana powder will keep for at least two years in regular resealable packaging. It is best to store it in a container that is airtight and impermeable to liquids. This way you can guarantee that your guarana powder will maintain the same quality.

What are the alternatives to guarana powder?

If you don't like the guarana powder, you have the option of consuming it in different dosage forms. These options are answered in the different types of guarana above in the guide. However, if you do not like guarana, there are other ways to get similar effects from the caffeine. A few possible other drinks in this case would be coffee, green and black tea or matcha. I have listed the alternatives in this table:
Alternative Advantages Disadvantages
Coffee very fast effect formation of stomach acid, only works for a short time
Green/black tea contains antioxidants, polyphenols and other bitter substances does not have as intense an effect, works slowly
Matcha contains a lot of caffeine (more than in coffee), contains amino acids and vitamins too much caffeine can be harmful, tastes somewhat earthy

No matter which of these alternatives you choose or whether you decide to use guarana after all, you will find a suitable aid to learning in any case!

Image source: joannawnuk / 123rf

References (12)

1. Schimpl FC, 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. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.08.023. Epub 2013 Aug 24. PMID: 23981847.
Source

2. Haskell, C. F., Kennedy, D. O., Wesnes, K. A., Milne, A. L., & Scholey, A. B. (2007). A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-dose evaluation of the acute behavioural effects of guaraná in humans. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 21(1), 65–70.
Source

3. Ruxton CHS. The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks Nutrition Bulletin. 2008 Mar;33(1):15-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-3010.2007.00665.x.
Source

4. Roncon, Camila & Almeida, Camila & Traudi, Klein & Mello, João & Audi, Elisabeth. (2011). Anxiolytic Effects of a Semipurified Constituent of Guarana Seeds on Rats in the Elevated T-Maze Test. Planta medica. 77. 236-41. 10.1055/s-0030-1250315.
Source

5. Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):401-11. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2004.07.014. PMID: 15582012.
Source

6. Lieberman, H., Wurtman, R., Emde, G.G., & COVIELLA, I.L. (1987). The Effects of Caffeine and Aspirin on Mood and Performance. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7, 315–320.
Source

7. Da Costa Krewer, C., Ribeiro, E. E., Ribeiro, E. A. M., Moresco, R. N., De Ugalde Marques Da Rocha, M. I., Dos Santos Montagner, G. F. F., … Da Cruz, I. B. M. (2011). Habitual intake of Guaraná and metabolic morbidities: An epidemiological study of an elderly amazonian population. Phytotherapy Research, 25(9), 1367–1374.
Source

8. Lucija Majhenič, Mojca Škerget, Željko Knez. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of guarana seed extracts. Food Chemistry. Volume 104, Issue 3. 2007. Pages 1258-1268. ISSN 0308-8146.
Source

9. Dalonso, N., & Petkowicz, C. L. D. O. (2012). Guarana powder polysaccharides: Characterisation and evaluation of the antioxidant activity of a pectic fraction. Food Chemistry, 134(4), 1804–1812. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.03.088
Source

10. Marques, L. L. M., Ferreira, E. D. F., Paula, M. N. de, Klein, T., & Mello, J. C. P. de. (2019, January 1). Paullinia cupana: a multipurpose plant – a review. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia. Elsevier Editora Ltda.
Source

11. Marques, L. L. M., Klein, T., & Mello, J. C. P. (2018). Guarana. In Nonvitamin and Nonmineral Nutritional Supplements (pp. 283–288). Elsevier.
Source

12. Clauson, K. A., Shields, K. M., McQueen, C. E., & Persad, N. (2008). Safety issues associated with commercially available energy drinks. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. American Pharmacists Association. https://doi.org/10.1331/JAPhA.2008.07055
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Schimpl FC, 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. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.08.023. Epub 2013 Aug 24. PMID: 23981847.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Haskell, C. F., Kennedy, D. O., Wesnes, K. A., Milne, A. L., & Scholey, A. B. (2007). A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-dose evaluation of the acute behavioural effects of guaraná in humans. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 21(1), 65–70.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Ruxton CHS. The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks Nutrition Bulletin. 2008 Mar;33(1):15-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-3010.2007.00665.x.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Roncon, Camila & Almeida, Camila & Traudi, Klein & Mello, João & Audi, Elisabeth. (2011). Anxiolytic Effects of a Semipurified Constituent of Guarana Seeds on Rats in the Elevated T-Maze Test. Planta medica. 77. 236-41. 10.1055/s-0030-1250315.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):401-11. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2004.07.014. PMID: 15582012.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Lieberman, H., Wurtman, R., Emde, G.G., & COVIELLA, I.L. (1987). The Effects of Caffeine and Aspirin on Mood and Performance. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7, 315–320.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Da Costa Krewer, C., Ribeiro, E. E., Ribeiro, E. A. M., Moresco, R. N., De Ugalde Marques Da Rocha, M. I., Dos Santos Montagner, G. F. F., … Da Cruz, I. B. M. (2011). Habitual intake of Guaraná and metabolic morbidities: An epidemiological study of an elderly amazonian population. Phytotherapy Research, 25(9), 1367–1374.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Lucija Majhenič, Mojca Škerget, Željko Knez. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of guarana seed extracts. Food Chemistry. Volume 104, Issue 3. 2007. Pages 1258-1268. ISSN 0308-8146.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Dalonso, N., & Petkowicz, C. L. D. O. (2012). Guarana powder polysaccharides: Characterisation and evaluation of the antioxidant activity of a pectic fraction. Food Chemistry, 134(4), 1804–1812. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.03.088
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Marques, L. L. M., Ferreira, E. D. F., Paula, M. N. de, Klein, T., & Mello, J. C. P. de. (2019, January 1). Paullinia cupana: a multipurpose plant – a review. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia. Elsevier Editora Ltda.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Marques, L. L. M., Klein, T., & Mello, J. C. P. (2018). Guarana. In Nonvitamin and Nonmineral Nutritional Supplements (pp. 283–288). Elsevier.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Clauson, K. A., Shields, K. M., McQueen, C. E., & Persad, N. (2008). Safety issues associated with commercially available energy drinks. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. American Pharmacists Association. https://doi.org/10.1331/JAPhA.2008.07055
Go to source
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