This Month: Guarana

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Looking for energy? Most people turn to coffee. But many energy-support supplements contain an alternative source of caffeine, guarana.

What: Guarana grows on a vine that’s related to maple trees but is native to the Amazon basin. The fruits of the plant are about the size of coffee beans but can contain significantly more caffeine than coffee beans.

Where: Guarana is available on its own and in a host of energy drinks and teas. Guarana extract is also used to supply the caffeine in a number of South American sodas.

Why: The caffeine in guarana works just the same as the caffeine in coffee. It improves focus and alertness, increases strength, reduces the pain you feel while working out and boosts lipolysis, which is the release of fat from fat cells.