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Caffeine is a natural stimulant and energy enhancer. Caffeine pills may offer increased alertness, energy, and mental performance.

A quick look at the best caffeine pills

Caffeine is a highly popular stimulant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 80% of U.S. adults consume caffeine on a daily basis.

Popular forms include coffee, tea, cola, and other soft drinks.

There are some risks associated with taking too much caffeine, especially for people sensitive to this stimulant. Alternatives exist for people who do not tolerate caffeine well.

This article discusses why a person might take caffeine pills, how effective they may be, the risks and benefits of taking caffeine pills, and lists some products a person can consider. It also answers some frequently asked questions.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: Products list all ingredients clearly, with manufacturing processes outlined.
  • Safety: Products contain ingredients deemed safe for ingestion.
  • Reputation: Products are from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.

Many caffeine pills are available to buy online. Below are five products that people may wish to try.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for improving concentration: Vali Caffeine & L-Theanine

Vali Caffeine & L-Theanine
  • Price: around $25
  • Dose: 50 mg caffeine and 100 mg L-theanine

These capsules contain 50 milligrams (mg) of caffeine and 100 mg of the amino acid L-theanine.

Some research suggests that caffeine and L-theanine can improve attention, memory, thinking ability, and hyperactivity.

The company writes these capsules are suitable for vegetarians and do not contain artificial preservatives.

Vali also claims it makes this product in the United States at a facility that complies with current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) guidelines.

At the time of publishing, Vali Caffeine & L-Theanine capsules cost around $25.

Best for extended-release caffeine: The Genius Brand Extended Release Caffeine Pills

The Genius Brand Extended Release Caffeine Pills
  • Price: around $15
  • Dose: 100 mg

The Genius Brand sells caffeine capsules using VitaShure microencapsulated sustained-release caffeine.

The company writes that VitaShure caffeine delivers a quick energy boost that continues to release slowly over time. It aims to avoid a caffeine crash.

The Genius Brand claims it can boost concentration.

Each serving provides 100 mg of sustained-release caffeine.

At the time of publishing, The Genius Lab Caffeine Pills cost around $15 for 100 capsules.

Best for a caffeine blend: ProLab Advanced Caffeine

ProLab Advanced Caffeine
  • Price: from around $18.99–$34.99
  • Dose: 200 mg

ProLab Advanced Caffeine is a high potency stimulant. It delivers 200 mg of caffeine in each serving.

The product is made of natural sources, including:

  • green coffee
  • white tea
  • Chocamine, a cocoa extract
  • green tea
  • guarana
  • kola nut

The supplement also contains added calcium, offering 60 mg per serving. According to the company, this equals 4% of a person’s recommended daily calcium intake.

However, with new FDA guidelines, 60 mg of calcium would equal 5%.

A person can choose between a pack of two, three, four, or five bottles.

At the time of publishing, packs of ProLab Advanced Caffeine tablets cost from around $19–$35.

Best for high volume packs: Nutricost Caffeine

Nutricost Caffeine
  • Price: from around $12–$31
  • Dose: 100 mg

Nutricost Caffeine capsules come in 100- or 200-mg servings.

The company writes this supplement contains no other active ingredients and consists of only rice flour and a gelatin capsule.

A person will get a 100-mg dose of caffeine per capsule.

This supplement is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans due to its gelatin content.

Nutricost sells bottles containing 250–750 capsules.

At the time of publishing, Nutricost Caffeine capsules cost from around $12–$31.

Best for a vegan capsule: Zhou Nutrition Energy + Focus

Zhou Nutrition Energy + Focus
  • Price: around $19
  • Dose: 100 mg caffeine, 200 mg L-theanine, 10 mg L-leucine

Zhou Nutrition Energy + Focus offers a blend of caffeine and L-theanine.

The capsules are vegan-friendly and gluten-free.

Each serving delivers 100 mg of caffeine extracted from coffee, along with 200 mg of L-theanine.

It also offers 10 mg of L-leucine. It is an essential amino acid that helps regulate blood sugar and helps the body repair muscle and bone.

The company claims this caffeine supplement can support focus and provides long lasting energy without a crash.

At the time of publishing, Zhou Nutrition Energy + Focus supplements cost around $19.

The table below compares each product in this article for price, form, quantity, serving size, dosage, and more.

ValiThe Genius BrandProLabNutricostZhou Nutrition
Priceabout $25about $15$19–$35$12–$31about $19
Formcapsulecapsuletabletcapsulecapsule
Quantity12010060120, 250, 500, 75060
Daily serving size11111
Caffeine dose50 mg100 mg320 mg100 mg or 200 mg100 mg
Vegan or vegetarian?yesyesyesnoyes

Caffeine pills may be suitable for people looking for a convenient natural stimulant and energizer. People may choose caffeine pills over other forms for several reasons.

Some people may not enjoy foods or beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee or tea. Others might not like to consume energy drinks, coffee, and tea as they may contain extra ingredients or calories.

People may also be looking for a higher relative dose of caffeine without drinking multiple cups of coffee for the same effect.

They may be sensitive to acidic drinks, such as coffee, which may irritate the digestive tract.

A person can also combine caffeine pills with other ingredients to help enhance their stimulant effects. This may make them a more effective option for people looking for a strong boost.

Caffeine may be a useful substance as a fast-working natural stimulant. A 2019 study notes this drug’s most well-known benefits include improved mood, physical performance, and brain function.

Additionally, caffeine may temporarily:

These effects are temporary. They only last as long as the caffeine remains in the body.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that caffeine consumption of up to 400 milligrams (mg) per day is generally not associated with negative effects in healthy adults.

However, some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. Each person will have a different tolerance level.

There are some risks associated with taking caffeine, particularly at high levels and in people sensitive to the substance. Additionally, too much caffeine can overstimulate the body, causing side effects.

Some adverse effects of caffeine, especially in high doses, include:

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) notes there is a link between heavy caffeine consumption and issues such as:

Large amounts of caffeine may also cause serious issues in the heart and blood vessels, including:

Children, teenagers, and young adults should avoid taking caffeine pills. This drug may harm the developing nervous and cardiovascular systems in young people.

Withdrawal

Taking caffeine regularly and then suddenly discontinuing use may lead to temporary withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • headaches
  • nervousness
  • feeling anxious
  • difficulty concentrating
  • sweating
  • flu-like symptoms

Overdose

A caffeine overdose is possible in people who take very high doses of caffeine. Extremely high amounts of this drug are toxic and can even be fatal.

Overdose symptoms include:

  • an erratic heartbeat
  • an extremely fast heart rate
  • large muscle tremors or seizures
  • vomiting
  • feeling disoriented or being unable to focus

Anyone experiencing symptoms of an overdose should seek immediate medical attention.

Caffeine pills allow a person to take their preferred caffeine dose easily. People should follow the dosage instructions on each product and monitor any side effects or symptoms they experience.

People sensitive to the effects of caffeine pills may need to lower their dosage or switch to a weaker product.

Do not take more than the recommended dose. Even in people with a high caffeine tolerance, other ingredients in the pills may cause adverse effects.

People should also be aware of any potential interactions between caffeine and prescription and nonprescription drugs.

A 2020 review notes that varying levels of caffeine can affect the absorption and effectiveness of certain substances, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and iron-rich food or supplements.

MedlinePlus states that people should contact a healthcare professional before consuming caffeine if they take certain prescription medications, such as:

Even if product labels claim their pills derive from natural ingredients, they can still pose a risk when taken with other medications. People should speak with a healthcare professional before using any supplements.

According to the FDA, adults can generally consume up to 400 mg of caffeine, or around 4–5 cups of coffee, per day without experiencing dangerous or negative side effects.

However, some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others. Additionally, people who are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding should contact a healthcare professional to discuss how much caffeine they can consume each day.

The FDA also warns that caffeine dietary supplements can be dangerous. Small amounts of pure or concentrated caffeine powder can lead to serious side effects and even death.

For example, half a cup of highly concentrated caffeine powder contains similar amounts of caffeine to 20 cups of coffee. One teaspoon of pure caffeine powder is equal to 28 cups of coffee.

People should ensure that they carefully measure the amount of a supplement they consume and avoid pure or highly concentrated caffeine products that have the potential to cause harm.

Consuming too much caffeine can lead to serious side effects. The FDA has linked two deaths to pure and highly concentrated caffeine products in the United States.

A person can consider the following factors when purchasing a caffeine pill:

  • Dose: The caffeine dose per capsule or tablet should not exceed the FDA daily recommended allowance. If a person is not used to taking in higher doses of caffeine on a regular basis, they may wish to start with a lower dose product.
  • Safety: Supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Some manufacturers make unsupported health claims or include added ingredients in their products. A person can look for products that have been tested by third-party labs to ensure the product only contains what it lists on the label. They can also avoid brands that make extreme claims about what their products can do.
  • Cost: Some caffeine pills can be expensive. A person can consider their budget and how often they will take a caffeine supplement before making a purchase. Some brands offer multipacks, which may make them more cost-effective over time.
  • Form: Caffeine supplements can come in capsules and tablets, which may not be suitable for everyone. People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet should check that their chosen product does not contain animal products, such as gelatin.

People should remember that natural or herbal caffeine alternatives are not risk-free. They could still trigger potentially harmful drug interactions in people with health conditions or people who take prescription medications.

Discuss these with a doctor before taking any caffeine supplements or alternatives.

In addition, the FDA does not regulate these products. Therefore, it can be difficult to guarantee that their ingredient labels are 100% accurate and that they contain no other harmful or active ingredients.

Buyers should make sure they choose products that have gone through independent laboratory testing to verify their purity and safety.

Two potential alternatives to caffeine that can increase alertness are ginseng and maca.

Ginseng is an herb that people have used for over 2,000 years for various reasons, including as a stimulant. However, the NCCIH states that many studies investigating the effects of ginseng are of low quality, and more research is needed.

Maca may also be beneficial for people who are sensitive to caffeine or for those who are looking for an alternative. A study from 2006 suggests that maca may reduce tiredness. However, this research only investigated the effects of maca on people who have gone through menopause.

In a 2021 animal study, maca improved physical fatigue in mice by strengthening muscle structures. However, these results have not been replicated in humans.

Overall, there is a lack of research into the effects and safety of maca.

As an alternative to drugs, people may benefit from the following to help them feel more awake and alert:

  • drinking more water
  • taking a cold shower
  • taking a brisk walk
  • working under brighter lights
  • eating regularly throughout the day

A person can consider discussing caffeine pills with a doctor if they are intending to take these on a regular basis.

If a person feels they need caffeine pills for fatigue, a doctor may be able to run tests to find out the cause of a person’s tiredness and suggest an appropriate treatment.

If a person develops any of the following side effects after taking caffeine pills, they should seek medical attention:

  • palpitations
  • raised blood pressure
  • severe anxiety

Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about caffeine pills.

Is taking caffeine pills healthy?

Most people can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day. Caffeine pills may be healthier than getting caffeine from other sources, such as energy drinks, as they may not contain sugar or other added ingredients.

It is also easier to know how much caffeine a person has consumed. Supplements will list the dose per serving on the product label.

However, a person should discuss taking caffeine pills with a doctor before starting. Caffeine pills can interact with medication and cause side effects.

If a person needs caffeine pills to boost their energy, they can also discuss other ways to improve fatigue with a doctor, such as exercise and drinking water, which may be healthier than taking caffeine pills.

Additionally, people taking caffeine pills should limit the caffeine they consume from other sources, such as tea and coffee.

What is the most effective caffeine pill?

People will react differently to varying doses of caffeine. As such, the most effective caffeine pill for one person may not be effective for another. It will also depend on what effect a person would like to get from a caffeine pill.

Some caffeine pills claim to aid concentration, while others aim to provide people with a boost of energy.

To find the most effective caffeine pill for them, a person should consider how high they would like each dose to be and the purpose they would like the pill to serve.

Caffeine pills allow people to take measured doses of the stimulant in a simple form, which may provide energy and a boost in alertness and mental performance.

Other ingredients could help enhance the effects of caffeine or provide additional benefits to the body.

However, it is vital to use caffeine wisely and follow the instructions on the label. Before trying supplements, people should consult a doctor, particularly when taking other prescription medications.

People sensitive to caffeine may want to avoid caffeine pills and try alternatives, such as drinking more water or going for a brisk walk.