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Both Guarana and Caffeine have a lot to offer and I’m a big fan of them both. But since they’re so similar in many ways, it might be tricky for some folks to choose between them.
If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place.
I started this Supplement Comparison Series for that exact reason!
In each article, I take 2 different supplements and put them head-to-head on their pros, cons, price, side effects, my recommendations, and more to help you figure out which one to use.
In this post, we’ll take a look at Guarana vs Caffeine.
Let’s get started.
What is Guarana?
Guarana is a plant that’s native to the Amazon rainforest.
It belongs to the same family of plant as the everyday Lychee, known as the Soapberry family.
Guarana’s name is derived from the word warana, which means fruit like the eyes of the people in the ancient Tupi-Guarani language.
(Looking at the picture above, it’s easy to guess why. Scary stuff, huh?)
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine (trimethylxanthine) is considered the most popular drug in the world.
It’s a stimulant that’s naturally found in fruits, beans, and leaves of over 60 plants worldwide and the most common sources are coffee, tea leaves, and cocoa beans.
Interestingly, Caffeine’s name is derived from the word kaffee, which means coffee in German.
Benefits of Guarana
Guarana may improve mental function
According to research, Guarana may help boost your cognitive function.
One study compared Guarana with Ginseng to see which helped improve mental function the most.
Although subjects from both groups had improved memory and performance, the Guarana takers completed the tasks faster.
Guarana may improve heart health
Heart disease is one of the world’s biggest killers.
Interestingly, Guarana can help reduce the risk of heart disease in multiple ways.
First, the antioxidants in Guarana may improve blood flow and prevent blood clots. (Source)
And second, Guarana can help lower the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. (Source)
Guarana may help combat fatigue
There are many possible causes of fatigue including:
- A poor diet
- Sleep deprivation
Well, research shows that Guarana may be effective at fighting fatigue.
For example, a study investigated the effects of a Guarana-containing supplement on fatigue.
The results showed that those who took the supplement experienced less fatigue than the placebo takers.
Guarana is antioxidant-rich
Free radical build up can lead to oxidative stress, which is thought to play a key role in aging and many diseases.
Antioxidants are powerful molecules that help neutralise free radicals, leading to less oxidative stress and a healthier you.
If you want to increase your antioxidant intake (hint: you do), then Guarana may be able to help.
Well, Guarana is packed with the following antioxidants:
Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine may help lower the risk of Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is a serious disease characterized by high-blood sugar levels.
It can cause some unwelcome symptoms, such as:
- Sight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Numb hands and feet
The good news is that Caffeine may help protect against Diabetes.
A review of 6 studies found that those who consume the most Caffeine have up to a 30% lower risk of developing Diabetes.
Caffeine may help with weight loss
Lots of cutting supplements and fat burners include Caffeine as a key ingredient.
And for a solid reason too.
A study of 8 young men found that 10mg of Caffeine per kg of body weight boosted fat burning by 13%.
Another study found that a dose of 300mg of Caffeine per day can increase energy expenditure by 79 calories per day.
Caffeine may boost mental function and improve mood
Like Guarana, Caffeine may help boost cognitive function.
For example, a study found that Caffeine improved awareness, attention, and reaction time, compared to a placebo.
Also, a summary of 12 studies concluded that Caffeine consumers have a 16% lower risk of depression.
Caffeine may enhance exercise performance
Research suggests that Caffeine may enhance exercise performance.
For example, one study found that Caffeine reduced perceived force by 5.6%, which may make your workouts feel less challenging.
Another study showed that taking 5mg of Caffeine per kg of body weight an hour before exercise improved endurance by 5%.
Guarana is generally sold in capsules or as a powder.
Typical prices for these are:
- Powder: $24 for 1 lb
- Capsules: $15 for 120
Caffeine is usually sold as tablets or in capsules.
Here are some standard prices for these:
- Tablets: $7 for 100
- Capsules: $7 for 100
Guarana Side Effects
Guarana is well-tolerated by most people, but in high doses, it may cause the following side effects:
- Heart palpitations
Due to the high caffeine content, Guarana shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women.
Caffeine Side Effects
Like Guarana, most people can take Caffeine with very few adverse effects.
But when taken in large amounts, it may cause the following effects:
- Rapid heartbeat
My Guarana Recommendation: Nutricost Guarana Powder
An excellent source of powdered Guarana.
A solid option for those who enjoy the freedom to choose how much Guarana they want to take.
What I like about it
A quick skim through the epic reviews shows that this is a trusted Guarana supplement that’s loved by many people.
Also, I love that this supplement comes in powder form.
Well, you can easily chop and change the dosage to meet your own needs.
(It’s likely that some people will see better results from a smaller dose and others from a higher dose.)
And as a bonus, the powder used is 100% pure Guarana, so you don’t have to worry about any nasty artificial additives.
Some people may not like the taste of pure Guarana powder and would prefer capsules.
If this is you, then you can easily just add your favorite juice to mask the taste.
No big deal, right?
My Caffeine Recommendation: NutraBio 100% Pure Caffeine
A strong and clean Caffeine supplement that comes in capsules.
NutraBio 100% Pure Caffeine is the real deal.
What I like about it
What’s awesome about this supplement is the fact that it’s pure caffeine despite being in capsules.
That’s right. No fillers, binders, or any of that other junk.
Just pure, clean, good ol’ Caffeine.
Also, the Caffeine is HPLC lab tested by a 3rd party.
This is a fancy way of saying that the Caffeine is tested to the highest of standards, so you’ll do well to find a higher quality Caffeine supplement than this.
Some people have reported an upset stomach after taking these capsules.
Guarana vs Caffeine: The Verdict
Thanks for staying to the end of this Guarana vs Caffeine breakdown with me.
These are both great supplements, and either would make an excellent choice.
They are both fairly inexpensive and offer a wide range of health benefits.
For a high-level guide to help you pick which one you should take, here’s what I’d recommend:
You might prefer Guarana if:
- You want to reduce fatigue
- You want to improve heart health
- You want to increase your antioxidant uptake
You might prefer Caffeine if:
- You want to lose weight
- You want to reduce your risk of Diabetes
- You want to enhance your exercise performance
Hope this helped!