Content of the material
- All About Caffeine Pills
- How Much Is a Safe Dosage?
- Caffeine pills vs energy drinks
- Caffeine Tolerance
- How do you build a tolerance to caffeine?
- Withdrawal symptoms
- You may experience mental and physical symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, including:
- How to avoid caffeine’s side effects
- What should you do if you have caffeine side effects?
- Downsides of Coffee
- Coffee vs Caffeine Pills: The benefits
- Time Requirements
- Benefits of taking pills
- Caffeine pills or caffeine powder?
- Which Has More Caffeine?
All About Caffeine Pills
Caffeine pills are supplements made with caffeine. They can be made with natural or artificial caffeine sources. As the name suggests, you swallow these pills like vitamins. Because they’re full of caffeine, you can expect an energy boost without the mess or time involved in brewing a pot of coffee.
One of the most famous caffeine pill brands is NoDoz, but there are quite a few on the market. Some caffeine pills, like Zhou Energy + Focus, contain extra supplements like L-Theanine (an amino acid found in green tea), B vitamins, and fiber to help with digestion. Others, like Genius Caffeine, offer slow-release caffeine for steady energy throughout the day.
Pros Fast and easy Simple to control dosage May be easier on the stomach Can contain vitamins and other supplements No calories
Cons May be easier to overdo it No delicious flavors or aromas Can be expensive
How Much Is a Safe Dosage?
Maximum 400 milligrams per day, which is equivalent to 4 cups of coffee or about 2 pills on average, is considered safe caffeine consumption for most healthy adults.   How much caffeine is safe for you is individual. It depends on several factors:Genetic makeupHealth conditionsAgeFoodsDrinksSupplementsMedications you’re takingYour caffeine tolerance, dependence and sensitivity Some other factors that determine how fast your liver can metabolize caffeine and eliminate it from your body to avoid dangerous caffeine overdose.
”Be cautious about using caffeine products to help with weight loss. When used in moderation (400 milligrams or less) by healthy adults, caffeine is generally safe. But too much caffeine might cause nervousness, insomnia, nausea, increased blood pressure, and other problems.” – Katherine Zeratsky, Registered Dietitian Always be aware of the amount of caffeine you are consuming hidden in tea, soda, energy drinks, chocolate bars, gummies, various weight loss, or sports supplements. If you’re taking caffeine in pills, stick to the dosage the manufacturer recommended on the product label, or consult your doctor.
Caffeine pills vs energy drinks
The pros of caffeine pills versus energy drinks are:
• ease of consumption
• convenience of packaging
The cons of caffeine pills when compared to energy drinks are:
• the effects
• the added “inactive ingredients”
• how enjoyable they are to consume
Energy drinks typically contain anywhere between 50mg to 300mg of caffeine per serve.
Caffeine dependence is incredibly common in coffee drinkers.
When that morning cup of coffee quickly becomes a habit, you may find it very hard to cut back your intake. In fact, you can develop a caffeine tolerance in as little as 3 days of drinking a cup of coffee per day (3).
How do you build a tolerance to caffeine?
As you drink more and more coffee, you start building up a tolerance – ie. the effects of caffeine slowly decrease with regular consumption.
Tolerance to caffeine results in a reduction of its stimulatory effects. In turn decreasing the benefits often experienced in exercise performance and mental alertness.
Cutting back to reset caffeine tolerance can be difficult – where many consumers report that they can’t function without their daily cup of coffee.
Reducing your caffeine intake can cause withdrawal symptoms that often last 2-9 days depending on the level of dependency.
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms typically occur around 12 hours after your last cup of coffee or tea.
You may experience mental and physical symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, including:
- Fatigue and grogginess
- Poor concentration levels
- Shifts in mood
- Flu-like symptoms
How to avoid caffeine’s side effects
Because of caffeine’s drawbacks and withdrawal symptoms, switching to a cleaner caffeine alternative such as stimulant supplements is more effective to precisely control your caffeine levels and offset the negative side effects.
Additionally, slowly reducing your caffeine intake will probably be easier on your body than going cold turkey. Wean yourself off coffee gradually to pinpoint your ideal dose for maximum benefits.
What should you do if you have caffeine side effects?
High doses of caffeine can cause chills, agitation, dizziness, headache, vomiting, nausea, fainting, indigestion, lightheadedness, and seizures, according to the Mayo Clinic. You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms occur. You should get emergency help immediately if you show signs of overdose, which include irritability, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, and trouble sleeping. Other side effects, like a rash or dry skin, can occur but do not require medical attention.
What if it’s just a case of caffeine jitters? For minor caffeine ingestion, supportive measures, like drinking water and talking a walk, can help, Link suggests. More severe cases may require intravenous hydration or medications to treat irregular heart rhythm, for example. In life-threatening situations, dialysis may be the best option.
Downsides of Coffee
There is, of course, usually a downside that goes with every upside. Coffee is acidic, and when consumed on an empty stomach – such as first thing in the morning before breakfast – it can do damage to your stomach lining. Pills can do this too, though, so this is a wash.
The biggest additional downside to coffee is the additives people put in it. Sugar is the biggest one by far; added sugar makes coffee a much less healthy beverage. Sugar is full of calories. Sugar feeds bad gut bacteria and increases insulin resistance. Sugar also makes the energy highs of caffeine much higher but makes the crash much harder.
Of course, this drawback only exists if you get coffee with cream and sugar in it. If you drink straight black coffee or espresso, it’s much better for you. Pills get the edge if you’re not capable of or don’t enjoy drinking black coffee, but if you do, they break even.
Coffee vs Caffeine Pills: The benefits
There are many benefits to taking either coffee or caffeine pills. Both have their own unique benefits to offer, and each probably works better than the other in different cirucmstances.
As they both share the same main active ingredient, caffeine pills and coffee (and energy supplements for that matter) tend to share the same core set of benefits. The benefits of coffee and caffeine pills include:
- Rapid reduction in fatigue
- Significant increase in mental and physical energy levels
- Increased motivation and elevated mood
- Sharper focus
- Faster reaction times
- Longer attention span
Taking caffeine pills and drinking coffee are equally associated with these many benefits. Caffeine is, after all, one of the most powerful natural nootropics in existence. It is an incredibly potent stimulant, known to have almost instant and quite significant effects on the body and the brain. So whether you take caffeine pills or the drink known to provide a huge dose of caffeine, the effects are going to be very similar.
However, there is a difference in effects between caffeine pills and coffee. Caffeine supplements have benefits distinct from coffee, and vice versa. Broadly speaking, caffeine pills tend to have more pronounced effects than coffee, particularly if they are broad-spectrum caffeine pills contianing nootropics and anxiolytics. Coffee, conversely, tends to produces an initially higher spike in energy than caffeine pills, but without having the kind of effects on cognitive performance you get from caffeine pills. For most people, coffee produces more side effects, given that it peaks faster and tends to stop working sooner than caffeine pills. At the same time, it is easier to accidentally overdose on caffeine with caffeine pills and energy supplements than it is to do so through coffee.
The benefits of caffeine pills include:
- Sustained increase in mental and physical energy
- Rapid reduction in fatigue
- Heightened concentration and focus
- Faster reaction times
- Reduced anxiety and improved mood
- Better overall cognitive performance
- Easy caffeine dose management and consistency in effects
The last benefit here is huge for us; one cup of coffee is not line another, but every caffeine pill is identical. This makes dose management easier and gives you a consistent, predictable excperience. Of course, many of these benefits are contingent on you using a high-quality, balanced, full-spectrum caffeine pill comprising multiple different natural ingredients which both enhance caffeine’s effects and minimize side effects. Cheap, generic caffeine pills will not deliver such a broad range of benefits. Nor will they have such low side effect risks.
The main benefits of drinking coffee over taking caffeine pills are:
- Fewer nootropic effects
- Less intense experience than caffeine pills
- Coffee is delicious
- Coffee is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols beneficial to health
Clearly, coffee has some impressive benefits that caffeine pills cannot offer. Conversely, there are things that caffeine pills do which coffee cannot. So in a fight of caffeine pills vs coffee, who wins? How can we really say whether caffeine pills is better than coffee or the other way around? Before we try to answer these questions, let’s look at the negative effects of caffeine pills and coffee.
Another “cost” many people might not think about is the time involved with getting coffee. If you work in an office and your coffee comes from the break room, you still have to spend several minutes getting up and moving there, retrieving your cup, and returning to your desk. Depending on your coworkers or the machinery involved (like a Keurig), you may need to spend additional time brewing. Alternatively, you may have to travel to your nearest coffee shop and, well, shop, and that takes time.
A regular coffee habit can eat up hours of your day. And, sure, some of that time is beneficial. Getting rest breaks to let your brain percolate on various tasks can be hugely beneficial for productivity. Still, though, that’s a highly personal variable so it’s not something we can readily consider.
Meanwhile, taking a pill is a matter of a couple of seconds. There’s no travel time, there’s no time spent socializing in the break room, nothing. All you do is pop a pill and get back to work. It’s kind of dystopian, but some people like it.
Coffee also encourages bathroom breaks, by being a diuretic and by involving consuming plenty of water. Taking several minutes for bathroom breaks every hour or so can be disruptive, or it can be beneficial, for much the same reasons. You won’t be socializing in the restroom, probably, but you still get the ability to do things like check the news on a phone, or just let your mind check out for a few minutes.
We’ll give the edge to the pills here, but keep in mind that the breaks can be beneficial and that spending SOME time away from work isn’t always a bad thing.
Benefits of taking pills
Caffeine has been linked to many health benefits. Some of these benefits are felt shortly after consumptions. Others take a while to manifest. Here are some of the temporal benefits caffeine in your pills may offer:
- Reduced pain perception
- Reduction of headaches
- Decrease in depression
- Quick energy boost
- Reduced constipation
- Sharper mental focus
- Improved memory
- Ability to stay awake
- Enhanced athletic performance
Caffeine pills or caffeine powder?
Caffeine powder has been criticized not once and even linked to some vibrant souls’ death prompting the FDA to step in and ban some pure caffeine products in 2018. The bone of contention was how the bulk powder products were labeled – they were poorly labeled posing health risks.
Poor labeling led to some people, especially those unfamiliar with proper caffeine dosage consuming deadly amounts of powder. To cut a long story short, today, it is rare to come by powdered caffeine. So, for both convenience and safety’s sake, you’re much better off sticking to consuming it in pill form.
Which Has More Caffeine?
Caffeine pills typically have 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, while the average eight-ounce cup of coffee has 95 milligrams. Looking at it that way, these caffeine sources seem fairly similar — but keep in mind that you may be drinking multiple cups of coffee. And some coffee brands contain way more caffeine than that!