As Brownlow explains further over email: “We don’t actually eat the berry. Supplements in the form of powder, shots, and even sodas are common and easy to find in Brazil.” Just look for the botanical genus and species Paullinia cupana on the label, along with the plant part (i.e., seed extract).
We recommend you find a thoughtfully formulated capsule with guarana (like mbg’s focus+, which Brownlow is a personal fan of!) since there will be no sugar and other additives, but Brownlow does also dabble in some guarana soda every once in a while for a taste of home. “Guarana soda is the only [soda] I’ll drink once in a blue moon because it’s nostalgic,” she says.
Guarana is a multitalented nootropic. Along with being a natural source of caffeine, this unique Brazilian superfruit enhances cognitive function, including processes like memory, learning, and attention.* Guarana is also a major source of cell-protecting phytonutrient antioxidants like theobromine, tannins, saponin, and catechins. The combination of these compounds supports mental clarity, in addition to contributing to increased energy.*
Not to mention, a 2019 scientific review in the journal Global Psychiatry found that guarana improved reaction time and accuracy of task performance in young, healthy adults.* With all the nootropic accolades on this plant’s CV, it’s no wonder Brownlow passed so many exams (after all, that Ph.D. degree took a minute!).
You might even want to combine guarana with Panax ginseng, if you can—in a 2004 Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior clinical study, guarana was shown to work synergistically with ginseng to promote cognitive performance.*
In addition to plant-origin caffeine from Coffea robusta and arabica, mbg’s focus+ delivers sustainably sourced Brazilian guarana seed extract and Panax ginseng (plus L-theanine and B12) to holistically energize your cells, mind, and body—so you can tap in to all the cognitive benefits (whether you’re still taking exams or not).*