A morning cup of coffee has become some kind of a special ritual for millions of people around the world.
However, you can get a more pronounced boost in alertness and performance if you try caffeine supplements.
These pills are widely used today as a cognitive enhancer, weight loss supplement, and a way to increase endurance. And this guide will give you the selection of 5 best caffeine pills for different needs, as well as all the details and facts about this compound.
- 1 5 Best Caffeine Supplements on the Market
- 2 Best Caffeine Pills for Studying
- 3 Best Caffeine Pills with Slow Release
- 4 Best Caffeine Pills for Weight Loss
- 5 Best Caffeine Pills for Workout
- 6 Best Caffeine Pills for Energy
- 7 What Is Caffeine?
- 8 How Does Caffeine Work in Your Body?
- 9 Forms of Caffeine Used for Supplementation
- 10 Foods (And Drinks) High In Caffeine
- 11 Benefits and Uses of Caffeine
- 12 How to Take Caffeine Pills Right? Dosage, Side Effects, and Warnings
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
- 14 Wrapping Up
5 Best Caffeine Supplements on the Market
Best Caffeine Pills for Studying
Zhou Nutrition Caffeine & L-Theanine Pills
If you need a focus boost before an exam, then caffeine supplement by Zhou Nutrition can become your go-to option. This blend is among the best caffeine pills for studying and offers you 100 mg of caffeine along with 200 mg of L-theanine, which can balance the effect and enhance your mental clarity.
You should take one capsule when you need a focus boost, but don’t exceed the recommended dosage of 4 caps a day.
The Zhou Nutrition caffeine doesn’t have any ballast compounds and unwanted additives. Also, it’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians because the shells are made from cellulose and rice powder.
Best Caffeine Pills with Slow Release
Genius Caffeine Pills
For those who need alertness but don’t like energy fluctuations caused by caffeine metabolism, here’s an option offered by Genius Caffeine. Being among the best caffeine pills with slow release, this supplement gives you a more even and sustainable energy boost that will also last longer.
One serving is equal to 1 capsule and has 167 mg of NEWCAFF blend (standardized to 100 mg of pure caffeine). Also, the manufacturer added some vitamin C for better absorption.
The capsules designed by Genius Caffeine are hypoallergenic and vegan-friendly. One jar packs 100 servings and may last you long enough, depending on your supplementation needs.
Best Caffeine Pills for Weight Loss
SmarterVitamins Caffeine + MCT Oil Pills
The use of caffeine as a weight loss aid is no surprise. And if you want to speed up your progress even more, then this supplement from SmarterVitamins can help. It’s one of the best caffeine pills for weight loss thanks to the presence of MCT oil.
MCT oil increases the feeling of satiety, causing you to eat less. At the same time, caffeine stimulates your metabolism, thus promoting weight loss. A perfect combo!
One serving of SmarterVitamins is equal to 1 softgel and packs 500 mg of MCT oil, 200 mg of caffeine, and 100 mg of pure L-theanine. The main issue is that the manufacturer uses gelatine and beeswax, so it’s not an option for vegans.
Best Caffeine Pills for Workout
ProLab Caffeine Tablets
Along with effects for weight loss, caffeine is a common component in pre-workout supplements. But why overpay for a ton of ingredients if you can purchase these top-rated caffeine pills by ProLab for your workout boost?
This supplement contains 200 mg of pure caffeine per serving with a bit of calcium to balance the effects of caffeine on bone tissue. One serving is equal to 1 pill, which you can take when you need an energy boost for your training. The manufacturer also offers 2 and 3-pack options for more prolonged supplementation.
The ProLab caffeine can suit vegans and individuals with food sensitivities, and it takes only 15 minutes to kick in, so you will be fully armed during your workout.
Best Caffeine Pills for Energy
NutriCost Caffeine Pills
Finally, the last option among the best caffeine pills for energy and alertness is offered by Nutricost. It’s an excellent option if you want to stock up, as one jar provides you with as many as 500 servings.
Per one capsule, you will get 200 mg of caffeine without any additives. This dose is considered moderate to high, so you won’t need to double up, even though the manufacturer allows that.
The only problem with Nutricost is that their product isn’t vegan-friendly because the capsule shells are made of gelatin.
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant that naturally occurs in coffee berries, cocoa beans, and tea leaves. It’s also the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive chemical.
Caffeine has a bitter and slightly soapy taste because it’s an alkaloid. This taste is the most pronounced in green coffee. Roasting, on the other hand, reduces some amount of caffeine, allowing other compounds to show their flavor. So, when you drink espresso, you can taste all these flavors together making a complex profile.
For its stimulating properties, caffeine is widely used as a component of energy drinks, cola, weight loss supplements, and pre-workout beverages.
How Does Caffeine Work in Your Body?
Caffeine can pass through the blood-brain barrier and affect your central nervous system.
In particular, caffeine can bind with adenosine receptors and inhibit their work. Adenosine is one of the inhibitory neurotransmitters. It builds up in our brain during the day and triggers sleepiness towards the evening hours.
“When caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, this doesn’t stop adenosine from building up. That’s why if you drink coffee to relieve the symptoms of sleep deprivation, you may feel a lot more drowsy when caffeine effects start to reduce.”
Along with blocking adenosine receptors, caffeine also impacts some physiological processes in your body, such as:
- heart rate;
- blood pressure;
- metabolism speed (as a result of the two above);
- gut motility;
Along with that, caffeine has a slight diuretic effect, which in some cases can put a load on your kidneys.
Forms of Caffeine Used for Supplementation
Today, most modern supplement brands use synthetic caffeine as the main component of their products.
But don’t worry:
The caffeine molecule is stable. So, it doesn’t matter if it’s lab-made or derived from coffee beans — the effects will remain the same.
If you take a look at the labels, you may see either ‘caffeine’ or ‘caffeine anhydrous’ in the ingredients. Let’s define the main pros and cons of each form below:
- Caffeine. Basically, it’s the same form of caffeine you can find in your Americano cup. Or, in softgels — because this form of supplementation also uses a water-based or fat-based caffeine solution. The main pros are safety and the ability to relieve tension headaches by acting as a slight vasodilator. The cons, however, are the ability to induce anxiety and stress response as well as diuretic effects.
- Caffeine anhydrous. ‘Anhydrous’ means that the water and additional components have been removed, and you have only pure caffeine powder in your supplement. The main advantages of anhydrous caffeine are more precise dosing and higher potency. But the latter is also a drawback to some extent, as it’s easier to overdose with anhydrous caffeine or get some unpleasant side effects.
“One heaping teaspoon of powdered anhydrous caffeine is equal to the consumption of 28 cups of coffee, which is far beyond the toxic amounts.”
Now, let’s outline the primary forms of supplementation you can get today. Note that the caffeine powder isn’t included here because it’s very easy to overdose on it. So, when choosing caffeine supplements, you will likely encounter the following options:
- Caffeine capsules. Caffeine capsules contain a precisely measured amount of caffeine powder along with some additional compounds locked in a shell. These supplements have a longer shelf life and can suit people who don’t tolerate a bitter taste.
- Caffeine softgels. Softgels are very similar to capsules but contain a liquid form of caffeine dissolved either in water or in oil. Also, they have faster delivery and more potent effects compared to other types. The only drawback to using them is possible gelatin content, which makes them unsuitable for vegans.
- Caffeine tablets. Finally, there are caffeine tablets. It’s typically the cheapest supplementation form available. Pills are convenient to swallow, but they might be affected by moisture if there’s no coating.
“Caffeine can also be used as an injection solution to help premature babies breathe more regularly.”
Foods (And Drinks) High In Caffeine
Surprisingly, foods with caffeine aren’t limited only to chocolates and hot cocoa. Today, caffeine is a popular additive to many processed foods, including puddings, morning cereals, and even frozen yogurt.
Of course, these products don’t contain the same amounts of caffeine as you’d find in an average Americano serving. However, if you have caffeine sensitivity or are trying to improve your sleep, it’s better to carefully read the labels and avoid even small amounts of this stimulant.
Speaking of caffeine drinks, below are just a few options and their caffeine content
- espresso — 212 mg per serving;
- Americano — 77 mg per 6-8 oz serving;
- latte — 32-36 mg per 100 ml;
- hot cocoa — 2 mg per 100 ml;
- coca-cola — 8 mg per 100 ml;
- yerba mate — 70 mg per cup;
- green tea — 25-30 mg per 8 oz cup.
“Caffeine amount in energy drinks varies from brand to brand but is generally higher compared to other caffeinated beverages. So, you need to control the consumption to avoid an overdose.”
Benefits and Uses of Caffeine
While caffeine is widely used and researched, it remains perhaps the most controversial chemical.
So, let’s take a look at some proven benefits of caffeine and reveal a few common misconceptions about it.
Caffeine Can Boost Your Energy
That’s the thing most of us appreciate about caffeine.
Along with blocking adenosine receptors, caffeine also triggers the production of epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two mediators are responsible for the ‘fight-or-flight’ response. Both of them speed up synaptic connections between neurons so that neural impulses can travel faster.
And that’s what causes the panic-like symptoms in certain individuals after they consume high amounts of caffeine. If you’re one of them, please control your caffeine intake and choose less potent supplements and smaller doses.
Caffeine Can Help Prevent Type II Diabetes
One of the reasons behind type II diabetes is insulin resistance, which is when your body cells fail to respond to normal amounts of insulin and build tolerance over time.
A systematic review of 18 studies reported that caffeine consumption was associated with a 7% lower risk of developing type II diabetes.
Researchers are still trying to identify the reason behind this correlation, but it’s a very promising result.
Caffeine Doesn’t Affect Your Blood Pressure
Surprisingly, yes. Caffeine has little to no impact on your circulatory system. Some studies even support the hypothesis that those who consume moderate amounts of coffee and green tea are at lower risks of stroke. However, this may be due to other compounds, such as phenols or antioxidants, which can also be found in coffee and tea, so this hypothesis still needs evaluation.
Now, yes, caffeine might raise blood pressure. But the thing is, the effect is likely to occur due to genetic response and it’s also usually short-term.
Overall, healthy individuals don’t experience any adverse effects from drinking coffee, but if you’re prone to hypertension, it’s better to watch your intake.
Caffeine Helps Improve Physical Performance
The presence of caffeine in many pre-workout supplements does have a scientific base.
Our bodies perceive the ‘fight-or-flight’ situation mentioned earlier as a signal for intense physical work.
Adrenaline released during this reaction speeds up the heart rate and promotes hyperventilation in the lungs. Both of these effects are essential when it comes to hard training.
Along with that, caffeine can break down body fat and make it available as an energy source; studies on dogs show that, but the evaluation of the human models is still required.
“Speaking of weight loss, the results are a bit mixed here. Although caffeine can really boost metabolic rates, especially in obese people, these effects usually diminish in regular coffee drinkers.”
Now, coffee beans are rich in B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients may also travel into your morning cup. Here’s why they’re beneficial for your physical performance:
- B vitamins take part in glucose metabolism and deliver this compound to cells, helping you recover faster between exercises.
- Magnesium is important for post-workout recovery, as it can calm the nervous system and reduce cramps and pain.
- Potassium regulates fluid balance and helps neural cells communicate, which can speed up your reaction time.
Note that if you opt for a natural source of caffeine rather than pills, be sure to choose organic coffee, as it’s free from pesticides and additives.
How to Take Caffeine Pills Right? Dosage, Side Effects, and Warnings
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic suggest that the tolerable upper limit for caffeine consumption is 400 mg. This is an equivalent of four cups of regular coffee, ten cans of cola or two servings of an energy drink. If you’re a healthy adult, you can consume this amount of coffee without experiencing any adverse effects.
Most supplement brands that produce energy pills typically offer you 100-200 mg of caffeine per serving. This is equal to moderate amounts and can also be tolerated well by most users.
Be sure not to exceed the recommended dosage to avoid getting affected by side effects from caffeine pills, such as:
- tension headaches and migraines;
- elevated blood pressure (if you’re initially prone to hypertension);
- upset stomach and abdominal cramps;
- excess urination;
- rushing heart;
- muscle tremors;
The fastest way to reduce the symptoms is to drink large amounts of water and allow excessive caffeine to flush out with urine. However, if the symptoms persist for an hour or more, it’s highly advised to seek medical help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are caffeine pills safe?
Yes, if you don’t exceed the recommended dosage. Most modern supplement brands offer about 200 mg of caffeine per serving, which is equal to 2-3 cups of a regular Americano or 7-8 cups of green tea.
What does a caffeine crash feel like?
Caffeine crash may occur if you have consumed 100-200 mg of caffeine while being already tired. As mentioned earlier, taking caffeine doesn’t stop the production of adenosine in the brain. So, after 3-4 hours, when almost half of your caffeine intake has been metabolized by the liver, the adenosine receptors gradually start working as usual, causing you to experience a severe drop in performance and focus. Other symptoms of caffeine crash include headaches, irritability, and fatigue.
How long does it take for caffeine to kick in?
If we’re talking about drinking coffee, typically, caffeine kicks in 40-45 minutes after consumption. Due this time, 99% of caffeine will be absorbed by your cells. Note that caffeine enters into your bloodstream right after your first sip — through the mouth, esophagus, and stomach cells.
Now, if you take caffeine supplements, you may need to wait a bit longer:
Usually, the peak concentration is reached 60-70 minutes after consumption. However, the boost from caffeine pills is more pronounced and lasts longer.
Some manufacturers offer fast-release caffeine formulae as well.
How can I flush the caffeine from my body fast?
You can drink a glass or two of water after every cup of coffee. This will trigger the excretory system and flush the excess caffeine.
Alternatively, you can drink decaffeinated herbal teas. While providing the same flushing effect, these beverages contain active ingredients that can interfere with caffeine jitters and help you calm down.
How long does caffeine stay in your body?
The half-life of caffeine in the human body is about 4-6 hours. This means that if you consume, say, 200 mg of caffeine, the half of this amount — 100 mg — will still remain in your system 4-6 hours later. If you wait for another 4-6 hours, then the amount of caffeine in your blood is likely to reduce to 50 mg and so on.
50 mg and lower won’t have a significant impact on your sleep. However, if you drink another cup of coffee or take a stay-awake pill later in the afternoon, the content of this stimulant in your blood will increase again and you may experience insomnia at night.
Caffeine is a stimulant that is widely used around the world. Due to its ability to block adenosine receptors and boost alertness, caffeine supplements remain a ‘lifesaver pill’ for students, athletes, and individuals who have an irregular working schedule.
Caffeine has proven positive effects on physical and intellectual performance. It can work as a metabolism booster and even as an antioxidant.
However, the supervision of a healthcare specialist is highly recommended, especially if you want to use caffeine pills. A doctor can help you avoid unpleasant side effects and choose a supplement that will suit your needs the most.