Can Guarana Help With Weight Loss? Know Science

Can Guarana Help With Weight Loss Research & Evidence

Unless you are a fan of energy drinks, Guarana may not sound quite familiar to you. But for those of you who are into fat burners, you might have come across this in the formulas of Phen24 or Zotrim. Typically known for housing a range of stimulants and antioxidants, Guarana is a plant-based ingredient that has caught interest in the weight loss realm. Some experts claim that guarana has the potential to support weight loss by ramping up the fat-burning process.

Since we have been doing individual research on various weight-loss ingredients for quite some time now, we decided to delve into the science behind guarana’s influence on the body and how that helps you lose weight. Here’s what we found.

Key Findings
  • Guarana is a natural herb packed with antioxidants and naturally occurring stimulants, including caffeine.
  • It has a centuries-old history as an alternative medicine because of its beneficial effects on health and wellness.
  • There are some studies that have established guarana’s positive impact on weight loss in conjunction with a healthy diet and physical exercise.
  • Guarana is high in caffeine, so it may not be suitable for caffeine-sensitive users.

What Is Guarana?

What Is Guarana

Originating from the Amazon basin, Guarana (scientifically called Paullinia cupana) is a natural plant-derivative that’s been used by the natives as traditional medicine for centuries for its stimulating characteristics. Because of the presence of high levels of stimulants (caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine), it has become a popular ingredient in several energy drinks. Of late, it is also attracting the focus of weight loss supplement manufacturers for its purported fat-burning and appetite-curbing ability.

In fact, Guarana seed is packed with the highest dose of caffeine (2% to 8%), which is even higher than the coffee beans (1% to 3%) – the most popular stimulant, although the two have different plant chemicals. The effect of guarana on energy and mood is believed to be more sustained because it releases caffeine slower than coffee.

Now, aside from being a powerhouse of stimulants, Guarana is also rich in antioxidants because of the presence of saponins, tannins, and catechins. This is the reason why it is believed to be helpful in reducing weight.

Let’s take a closer look at whether the weight loss claims of guarana are true, what evidence we have, and more.

Does Guarana Promote Weight Loss – What Scientific Evidence Do We Have

Does Guarana Promote Weight Loss What Scientific Evidence Do We Have

As mentioned earlier, guarana has a high caffeine content in addition to having solid antioxidative properties. Researchers have found that both of these have a positive effect on weight reduction, although caffeine has a more direct influence on fat mass.

Let’s begin with a study published in 2019 conducted to evaluate the effects of Guarana supplementation on obesity and insulin response. The scientists fed lab rats with low and high-fat diets, with and without guarana supplementation, for 18 weeks. At the end of the trial period, researchers found that guarana reduced weight gain significantly and improved insulin response. An increased insulin response will regulate glucose levels, which can then control sugar and carb cravings.

In 2017, another research paper was published about the effects of guarana on adipogenesis (the formation of fatty cells). The findings concluded that guarana has the potential to inhibit fat cell formation and accumulation by slowing down the genetic expressions associated with adipogenesis.

Now, while the above studies work as concrete evidence for guaranas’s potential to help with weight loss, one of the studies was conducted on animal subjects.

Other Studies

Moving on- We found a couple more scientific research involving guarana and weight management tried on human subjects.

There is a clinical trial to examine the effect of an herbal formula containing guarana along with Ma Huanga and other ingredients on weight loss and other parameters. Sixty-seven obese men and women were given the supplement for 8 weeks, and at the end of the trial period, researchers found that there was a significant reduction in weight and body circumference in people who were actively treated with the supplement.

There are two things to note here. First, the findings concluded that the herbal blend has a short-term effect on fat loss. Researchers recommended additional research to assess the safety of long-term use. Second, while the result was promising, it could have been the cumulative effect of the mixture, and it is hard to conclude how much of an impact guarana would have on weight loss on its own.

There is another similar study conducted to investigate the effect of YGD (a natural mix containing yerba maté, guarana, and damiana), and resveratrol on fat cell formation. Similar results were found in the previous study. The supplement exhibited anti-adipogenic effects when in combination, but guarana’s independent effect on the same remains inconclusive.

Supporting Interventions – Caffeine On Weight Loss

Supporting Interventions Caffeine On Weight Loss

All the above studies that you went through so far involved guarana independently or in combination with other ingredients. If these studies proving guarana’s positive effect on fat loss and weight reduction appear slim, then you might want to take a look at the widespread research on caffeine’s influence on weight loss. Given that Guarana has high caffeine content, it can be safe to assume that this herb will show a similar effect.

One of the early studies to examine the effect of normal caffeine on obesity showed that consumption of coffee can raise thermogenesis in the body and improve energy balance. While increased thermogenesis promotes fat-burning, boosted energy increases athletic performance, enabling you to train harder. Both of them open pathways for losing weight faster.

A more recent meta-analysis also demonstrates that caffeine consumption leads to a reduction in body composition and weight as caffeine increases fat oxidation in the body. Additionally, it also effectively curbs appetite, which prevents the accumulation of new fat.

Is Guarana Safe To Use

While Guarana is a natural ingredient supplement, the fact that it has a large amount of stimulant, particularly caffeine in high quality cannot be ignored. It may cause headaches, nausea, or dry mouth condition. High doses of guarana can lead to caffeine toxicity, causing tremors, insomnia, anxiety, hypertension, or dehydration in sensitive users.

That said, it may not have the same effect on everyone, so unless you are extremely sensitive to caffeine, it is recommended that you stick to the minimum dose that’s effective. For reference, the daily suggested dose of Guarana is 200 to 1000 mg and should not exceed this.

Remember that Guarana may interact with other medicines therefore, it is advisable to take the advice of a healthcare practitioner if you are under any medication or treatment.


Guarana has surely shown promising results in weight loss, as evidenced by the available data. It has the ability to trigger fat metabolism, leading to energy balance and reduced body fat. There are only a few studies, though, that have actually shown guarana’s independent effect on weight loss. But if you see, study after study has established a positive effect of caffeine in weight reduction parameters, which means similar results can be determined in the case of guarana, which is high in caffeine.

These results, however, are from short-term usage. Given that the herb is loaded with stimulants, more wide-scale interventions are required, particularly involving humans, to understand its safety in long-term use. Until then, we recommend you be watchful if you are using guarana in any supplement or consult a healthcare professional before you do.