Have you ever heard of Guarana soda? Thanks to its super sweet and unique taste, this refreshing beverage has made quite a name for itself worldwide. For some, it’s the perfect way to quench their thirst. For others, it’s a delicious sugary fix that leaves them wanting more. Either way, it’s safe to say that Guarana soda is a fan favorite.
The delicious drink comes from a plant we like to call (you guessed it!) Guarana. In the science world, it’s better known as Paullinia cupana. Native to the Amazon rainforest, this plant is known for the highly caffeinated seeds of its fruit. Today, Guarana is a common ingredient in the soft
drinks millions love and purchase daily.
So how did this beverage come to be? What does it taste like? Is it even good for you? Continue reading to learn more about it!
Where Did Guarana Soda Originate From?
From being used by indigenous groups for medicinal purposes to eventually becoming a mass-produced soda, Guarana has had quite a journey. The popularity of Guarana sodas today can be credited to the origin of the Brazilian soft drink Guaraná Antarctica in 1921. Today, it is a widely loved beverage around the world.
Domesticated in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, Guarana was cherished and used daily by the Sateré-Mawé, an indigenous people in Brazil. Globally recognized as the pioneers of Guarana culture, these individuals used incredible techniques to grow and cultivate the plant (and for a good reason).
The Sateré-Mawé knew and understood the value of Guarana. The plant’s curative properties ensured that members of the tribe lived healthy lives. From fevers to migraines, the highly caffeinated fruit seeds were able to treat all sorts of health concerns. On top of that, Guarana provided people with enough energy to tackle their daily tasks efficiently. It was a stimulant, a tonic, and an antidote all in one!
When missionary João Felipe Bettendorf discovered Guarana in 1669, he was taken aback by its phenomenal therapeutic effects. Stunned in every sense of the word, Father Bettendorf noted that the Sateré-Mawé appreciated the plant as much as Europeans valued gold, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. So, in 1826, Guarana’s berries began spreading throughout Europe for medicinal usage.
Let’s fast forward to 1905, shall we? This year was a game-changer for the Guarana soda. Physician Luiz Pereira Barreto came up with the idea of processing the fruit and was soon able to do so successfully. Voilà! That is how the idea of creating a Guarana-based soft drink officially sprung into existence.
In 1921, the vision transformed into reality as Companhia Antarctica Paulista launched its unique soda formula. Soon, a drink known as Guaraná Antarctica was manufactured and sold in Brazil. And before you know it, the tasty beverage gained a cult following. It is now consumed and sold worldwide, and many other brands have also attempted to capitalize on their versions of the soda.
Today, 70% of guarana is used to make energy and soft drinks, and the other 30% is turned into powder for direct consumption.
What is the Flavor of Guarana Soda?
You can best describe guarana soda’s taste as sweet and tart with a slightly sour aftertaste. Some might say it is reminiscent of fruit like apples and cherries. However, the complexity of the flavor ensures that it is impossible to forget.
What Brands Make Guarana Sodas?
After the popularity of Guaraná Antarctica, several brands set out to release their versions of the soft drink. Though this is undeniably the most famous Guarana soda, other brands like Kuat and Bawls have also put their twist on the beverage.
Let’s face it: the undisputed winner here is Guaraná Antarctica. Initially launched by Companhia Antarctica Paulista, it is now manufactured and distributed by AmBev. Countless people adore the light, refreshing flavor of the beloved Brazilian drink. Today, its multiple variants are available in 12-ounce cans and 2-liter bottles.
Fun fact: Guaraná Antarctica is an official sponsor of the Brazilian National Soccer Team and the New York City Football Club!
Aside from this beverage giant, another famous Guarana soda brand is Kuat. Sold by the globally recognized Coca-Cola company in Brazil, this carbonated soft drink was introduced in 1997 to give competition to Guaraná Antarctica.
Yet another brand is Bawls, a highly caffeinated premium soda. Launched in 1996, it became one of the first drinks in the U.S. to use a natural energy supplement. Thanks to its rich taste and signature blue cobalt glass bottle, the drink instantly stood out in the market.
Visit your nearest grocery store to get your hands on these tasty drinks!
Is Guarana Better Than Caffeine?
Everyone knows caffeine is a stimulant used for focus and energy. What most people don’t know is that Guarana contains way more caffeine than coffee beans. Many believe that the effects of Guarana are more prolonged and less intense, but further studies are needed to back this up.
Who doesn’t love a little bit of caffeine? Commonly found in coffee, tea, and soft drinks, it significantly stimulates your nervous system, heart, and muscles. From increased alertness to enhanced mood, the positive effects of caffeine are endless!
Okay, now listen to this. Coffee only has 2% caffeine. But Guarana? Guarana contains up to 3.6% to 5.8%. What do you think that means?
Well, just like caffeine, several individuals rely on Guarana for all sorts of benefits: energy boosts, better mental performance, and more! The plant also contains two additional chemicals called theophylline and theobromine. Whereas the former treats respiratory diseases, the latter lowers blood pressure.
Though Guarana is undeniably great for the human body (keep reading to find out why!), scientists must conduct further studies to see if it is necessarily better than caffeine. It is also important to note that large doses of caffeine might lead to potential side effects, including headaches and an upset stomach.
Is Guarana Soda Good for You?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about Guarana. The truth is that the Brazilian plant is scientifically proven to have loads of benefits. However, the same cannot be said for the Guarana soda itself.
Before we begin discussing the health disadvantages of this soda, let’s look at all the fantastic benefits of Guarana. To begin with, the plant is super rich in antioxidants that neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.
On top of that, it also enhances your ability to learn and remember things more quickly and easily. And you know what that means? Higher test scores!
But wait, it gets even better. If you’ve been looking for an effective way to lose a couple of pounds, Guarana might be the perfect weight loss solution for you! Why you ask? The caffeine found in this plant is known to boost your metabolism rate. That means you’ll be able to burn more calories at rest than ever before!
And believe it or not, Guarana even holds power to combat cancer. In one test-tube study, scientists found that the plant successfully suppressed the growth of cancer cells in the colon.
It even has compounds that can kill bacteria for good! Seriously. What’s not to love?
Logically, you’d expect soda to have the same never-ending benefits as the plant. But unfortunately, that is not the case.
At the end of the day, Guarana soda is still a soda. That means it naturally comes with all the adverse side effects of carbonated drinks: lots and lots of sugar and calories! For example, one 12-ounce can of Guaraná Antarctica contains a whopping 140 calories and 36 grams of sugar (see below). And according to science, a high sugar intake is linked to diabetes and heart disease.
Your best bet is to keep your consumption of these beverages as minimal as possible. This is not to say that you can never enjoy them! It’s okay to reward yourself with a delicious treat now and then, but be sure not to drink them every day. And if you just really want some Guarana in your system, you can always opt for a healthier way to ingest it.
We hope this guide answered all of your questions about Guarana soda! There’s just something about those darn fizzy drinks. The sweet, smooth flavor is simply too hard to resist.
From serving as a tonic to being incorporated into soft drinks, Guarana’s rise to fame has been sensational! Today, the beverage is an essential part of Brazilian culture, and many customers worldwide enjoy it.
Curious about the taste? Visit Amazon or your nearest grocery store to find out what it’s like for yourself!