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Caffeine is a natural stimulant and energy enhancer, commonly found in drinks such as coffee and tea. Caffeine pills offer a simple way to take this drug. When used correctly, people may enjoy several benefits, including increased alertness, energy, and mental performance.

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

Caffeine pills may be suitable for people looking for a natural stimulant and energizer in a simple product. Individuals 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 these 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.

Caffeine pills also often combine with other ingredients to help enhance their stimulant effects. This may make them a more well-rounded option for many people.

Caffeine is a highly popular stimulant. A 2014 study estimates that 85% of the United States population consumes at least one caffeinated beverage daily. Popular forms include coffee, tea, cola, or other soft drinks.

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

Additionally, caffeine may temporarily:

Importantly, these effects are temporary and 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) a day is generally not associated with negative effects in healthy adults.

However, some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, and each individual will have a different tolerance level.

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, those who are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding should contact a healthcare professional to discuss how much caffeine they should 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 liquid highly concentrated caffeine powder contains similar amounts of caffeine to 20 cups of coffee, and 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 stay away from 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 also linked two deaths to pure and highly concentrated caffeine products in the United States.

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

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

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) notes that there is a link between excessive caffeine 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

Using caffeine regularly, then discontinuing use may lead to temporary withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • headaches
  • nervousness
  • feeling anxious
  • difficulty concentrating

Overdose

A caffeine overdose is possible in people who take very high doses. 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 signs 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 symptoms. Those 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 medicines. People should speak with a healthcare professional before using any supplements.

Many caffeine pills are available to buy. Below, we list six products that people may wish to try.

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

Vali Caffeine & L-Theanine

Best for improving concentration

These capsules contain 50 mg of caffeine and 100 mg of the amino acid L-theanine. Research suggests that caffeine and L-theanine can improve cognitive performance, concentration, and alertness. The capsules are suitable for vegetarians and made in the U.S.

Cost: At the time of publishing, Vali Caffeine & L-Theanine capsules cost $45.98.

Performance Lab Caffeine+

Best for a gentle boost

Performance Lab Caffeine+ provides a gentle boost of caffeine with other ingredients to help energize the body naturally. Each serving provides 50 mg of natural caffeine, along with B vitamins, L-theanine, and L-tyrosine.

Cost: At the time of publishing, Performance Lab Caffeine+ starts at $44 for one month’s supply.

ProLab Advanced Caffeine

Best for a caffeine blend

ProLab Advanced Caffeine is a high-potency stimulant, delivering 255 mg of caffeine in each serving. The product derives from six natural sources, including coffee, tea, and cacao. The supplement also contains added calcium.

Cost: At the time of publishing, ProLab Advanced Caffeine costs $14.42.

Nutricost Caffeine

Best for a gelatin capsule

Nutricost Caffeine capsules come in 100 mg or 200 mg servings. The supplement contains no other active ingredients and consists of only rice flour and a gelatin capsule. It is a simple and pure option but may not be suitable for vegetarians as the gelatin comes from animal sources.

Cost: At the time of publishing, Nutricost Caffeine capsules are available starting from $11.95.

Zhou Nutrition Energy + Focus

Best for a vegan capsule

Zhou Nutrition Energy + Focus offers a blend of caffeine and L-theanine. Each serving delivers 100 mg of caffeine extracted from coffee, along with 200 mg of L-theanine. The capsules are also vegan-friendly.

Cost: At the time of publishing, Zhou Nutrition Energy + Focus supplements cost $14.96.

BulkSupplements Caffeine

Best for a simple supplement

BulkSupplements offer a simple caffeine solution, with a capsule containing 200 mg of caffeine with no added ingredients. These may be a suitable option for people who prefer a pure product. They are available in both gelatin and vegetarian-friendly capsules.

Cost: At the time of publishing, BulkSupplements Caffeine capsules cost $11.96.

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 those 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. Ensure to 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 a 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 combat tiredness. However, this research only investigated the effects of maca on people who have gone through menopause.

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

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 medicines.

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