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Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

Guarana is a fruit from the guarana plant (called Paullinia cupana), a rainforest vine native to the Amazon region in Brazil. Paullinia cupana is the most caffeine-rich plant in the world. Guarana seed extracts provide a natural source of caffeine for medicines. Guarana-containing products include Up and Go tablets or WAYK chewable tablets.

Who is it for?

Guarana is a stimulant that can reduce tiredness and increase alertness, thereby improving your focus and concentration. Guarana has been used to provide a helping hand to students, drivers, people working long hours, athletes, new parents, gamers, and many others. There is also some evidence to suggest that guarana may benefit cardiovascular disease, cancer, and weight loss, but this has not been fully established.

How does it work?

Caffeine works by blocking the actions of adenosine, a natural chemical produced by the body to signal tiredness. Guarana's highly concentrated dose of caffeine and its tannin molecules allow for a more efficient, long-lasting energy release than synthetic caffeine. This may help to prevent as much of a caffeine crash.

Who should not take the medication?

Do not take guarana if you are allergic to it or another ingredient listed in the product. Ensure you follow the age restrictions for the specific product you are taking.  

You should speak with your doctor or pharmacist before taking guarana if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any medical conditions such as high blood pressure, anxiety, or heart rhythm problems. If you take any prescription, over-the-counter or herbal medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist to check if they are safe to take alongside guarana.

Are there any side effects?

As with all medications, some people may experience side effects. If you are not used to caffeine, you are more likely to experience side effects. These can include nausea and vomiting, insomnia, nervousness, headache, heart palpitations, and diarrhea. You should speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about any side effects.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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