Just like coffee drinks, caffeine pills temporarily boost your memory, focus, and energy. In fact, more than 85% of US residents consume at least one caffeine drink every day. Caffeine pills are one of the most consumed, popular drugs in the US.
In this article, we have briefed about Caffeine pills, how they work, their side effects, and their benefits.
Generally, Caffeine pills act as stimulant drugs. They help you to be alert or stay awake when you feel tired or drowsy. These drugs are portable, easily accessible, and are also cheap to purchase.
Some people including some students, use these drugs to avert sleepiness. They use it to overcome morning fatigue, avert afternoon slumps, or stay awake for long hours during night times.
Biologically, caffeine is called a xanthine derivative, that inhibits phosphodiesterases, thereby increasing the camp levels in cells.
How Do the Caffeine Pills Work?
Caffeine is naturally, a stimulant drug. It increases the activities in the central nervous system – brain, nerves, and spinal cord. Hence, you may feel alert and awake for a short period of time.
Sources of Caffeine
The drinks such as tea, coffee, etc., are natural sources of caffeine. Some industrially manufactured drinks or eatables also have caffeine added to them. They include energy bars, sodas, and energy drinks. Similarly, caffeine pills may have synthetic or natural forms of caffeine.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has estimated the caffeine levels in some common products. They include:
1.) Tea (8 oz) contains 30-50 mg
2.) Coffee (8 oz) contains 80-100 mg
3.) Energy Drinks (8 oz) contains 40-250 mg
However, the pills have varying amounts of caffeine, depending on the manufacturer and brand. Most pills have about 100-200 mg.
Safe Consumption Levels
In general, different individuals have different abilities, when it comes to breaking up the consumed caffeine. It also depends on your sensitivity to the drug’s effects.
After the consumption, if suffer increased heartbeats, stomach upset, lose sleep, etc., it denotes you have taken too much of this drug.
According to FDA, it is safe to consume up to 400mg of caffeine per day for a healthy adult. However, this quantity may vary depending on medical conditions. Hence, it is best to have expert advice before taking any drug including caffeine pills.
Just like caffeine in other forms, caffeine pills may cause some side effects, especially when taken in excess. Some of them may also include:
Heart Rate Increase
Note that, these pills should be used occasionally only. Do not use them to treat drowsiness on your own. If you are suffering from sleep problems, consult a sleep doctor.
There can also be other mild side effects like dry or rash skin, which generally do not demand medical attention. Caffeine jitters can be solved through supportive measures like walking a bit, drinking water, etc.
However, serious conditions like nervousness, irritability, rapid heartbeat, etc., require immediate medical attention.
Are Caffeine Pills Safe?
Generally, consuming caffeine up to 400 milligrams per day is considered safe. However, it may not be a healthy habit. If you use it regularly, you may suffer side effects or develop a dependence on it. Hence, it is recommended to use these types of drugs occasionally only.
Typically, pure caffeine powder is not as same as caffeine pills. It is a potentially dangerous substance. Just an intake of 0.15 tablespoons (1,200 mg) of this powder, can cause toxic effects such as seizures.
Hence, the FDA monitors the manufacturers and ensures their products do not have high levels of concentrated or pure caffeine.
Taking Caffeine Pills Safely
Before using the pills, you can seek medical advice on consuming them. After that, you can follow the guidelines below:
1.) Many drinks or foods like tea, coffee, soda, etc., have caffeine. So, it is best to avoid them while taking these pills. In any case, make sure your consumption does not exceed 400 mg per day
2.) Avoid taking these pills, before sleeping
3.) If you use cold, allergic, or any other medications, seek medical advice before taking these pills.
4.) Some stimulants like alcohol, grape juice, etc., may increase the effects of caffeine. Hence do not combine them in consumption.
What Are the Benefits of Caffeine Pills?
Caffeine also has some health benefits including:
Increased Focus and Memory
Typically, taking caffeine pills increases focus and memory. It also increases alertness. These factors help while working or studying. A study conducted in 2014, confirmed these facts.
160 adults were given 200 mg of these pills. 24 hours later, researchers found, people who took the pills did better in a learning task than those who received a placebo.
Relief from Migraine and Headaches
Taking caffeine pills can help reduce tension headaches and migraines. Hence, some migraine medications such as Midol, Excedrin, etc., contain caffeine. FDA has approved caffeine usage in some pain relievers.
However, American Migraine Foundation suggests caffeine usage no more than twice a week. If you use the drug more, there may be a possibility of increased migraine frequency. They also suggest avoiding caffeine altogether, if you suffer frequent headaches.
1.) Improves athletic performance if taken at an appropriate time, as recommended quantity.
2.) Better focus, concentration, and coordination
3.) Decreases pain and fatigue
4.) Improves physical endurance in high-intensity jobs or exercises.
5.) In Parkinson disease patients, caffeine can also help controlling movements
What Are the Differences Between Coffee and Caffeine Pills?
In fact, there are some differences between coffee and caffeine pills including:
1.) Since coffee is acidic, it usually tastes bitter. So, some people dislike the taste, while others compensate for it by adding sweeteners or creamers. By using pills, such people can avoid the coffee taste, and sugar shock completely.
In addition, caffeine pills are calorie-free, portable, and more accessible than coffee.
2.) In some cases, the coffee can cause digestive tract irritation and heartburn. It can also stimulate the symptoms of GERD. These chances are comparatively less in caffeine.
3.) Coffee gets into the bloodstream through the stomach. Hence, it may take up to 15 minutes to cause stimulating effects. This fact is confirmed by National Sleep Foundation also.
Comparatively, caffeine pills act faster, stimulating the effects. Also, these pills have high caffeine concentration than other foods or drinks
4.) One main advantage of caffeine drinks over pills is that they may contain other beneficial compounds also. For instance, tea contains L-theanine, which prevents the negative side effects of caffeine.
However, pills usually do not have these beneficial compounds. Hence, the consumers taking pills have more chances of suffering side effects comparatively.