Guaraná (paullinia cupana) is a plant native to the Amazon basin, and is especially cultivated in Brazil. It has been used for thousands of years by the amazonians as a natural remedy for well-being and stimulant for energy, stamina and strength. The fruit of the Guaraná plant is a vibrant red which splits open to reveal white flesh with black circles – for this reason they are sometimes known as the ‘eyes of the jungle’.
The seeds of the guaraná plant are a natural source of caffeine. This is sometimes referred to as “guaranine” but is chemically identical to the caffeine found in coffee. The concentration of caffeine in Guaraná seeds is higher than that of coffee beans and the majority of caffeine consumed in South America comes from the Guarana plant. It is famous in South America, especially in Brazil for its energy-enhancing properties, and has more recently been adopted by energy drinks producers in the USA as a key ingredient.
As a result of this recent, more modern adoption of guaraná as a stimulant or ingredient for energy products, research has been carried out accross South America and the USA to scientifically evidence the properties of guaraná. In Europe, guaraná is becoming more popular also, but the product is still novel to the European market and as such the research has not been formally recognised within the EU. Further reading for the research results can be found below:
- HPLC Determination of Caffeine and Theophylline in Guarana
- Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana
- Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of guarana seed extracts
- Chemopreventive effects of paullinia cupana
- Anti-Platelet Aggregation (clotting, thrombosis) factors in the seed of Guarana