Everything You Need to Know About Caffeine Pills

by Michael Brown on February 1, 2019

 Most of us struggle to stay alert and feeling energized throughout the day. One popular solution to this problem is to take caffeine pills.

Especially for those who do not enjoy the flavor of coffee or other caffeinated beverages, a simple caffeine pill can seem like the best solution to the murky, sluggish feeling that we all-too-often encounter in our day-to-day lives.  

Is it a good choice, though? Read on and find out.

Why Would You ​Use Caffeine Pills?

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A caffeine pill is exactly what it sounds like- a dietary supplement that is made up almost entirely of caffeine. They are not, however, the same thing as caffeine powder, which the FDA has deemed too dangerous for ingestion.

Caffeine pills are often taken simply to enhance alertness and energy, although there are a few other benefits to the drug that we will go into more depth with later on.

What is the Correct Dosage of Caffeine Pills?

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Typically, a caffeine pill is dosed somewhere between 100 or 200 milligrams per capsule. This is an equivalent amount of caffeine as what you could expect to find in a typical cup of coffee.

The FDA requires supplements to have a clear dosage suggestion on their packaging and, depending on other ingredients in the capsule, the dosage might be different from one brand of caffeine pill to the next.

It is advised, however, that children not take caffeine pills unless specifically instructed by their physician and adults should not consume more than 400 mg of caffeine per day.

Who Shouldn’t Take Caffeine Pills?

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We have already mentioned children, but they are not the only people who should steer clear of caffeine pills. Women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant should also avoid caffeine as it is potentially harmful to a growing embryo or fetus.

Men who are trying to get their significant other pregnant should also avoid caffeine as it has been known to decrease sperm count.

Individuals who suffer with gastrointestinal disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, or caffeine sensitivity should also use caution when ingesting the chemical.

Benefits of Taking Caffeine Pills

A number of benefits exist to taking caffeine pills on a regular basis. While it might seem like there are no positives to the drug, there are a number of reasons physicians may still recommend their use to their patients. Below, we will outline some of the most common benefits of caffeine pills.

Headache Reduction

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Caffeine has been known to release chemicals in the body that minimize headaches. You will often find that caffeine is an active ingredient in many over the counter migraine medications. Caffeine is a fast-acting headache relief and, in some hospitals, it is given in its purest safe form to eliminate migraines almost immediately.

Alertness

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If you are struggling to stay awake through the every day grind of your routine, you might find that a caffeine pill can help. Caffeine is an upper, so you will feel more awake after your body begins to digest it.

This is a common technique used by students and night shift workers. A caffeine pill will make you feel more alert and ready to face the challenges of the next few hours- but be ready for the crash!

Improved Memory

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A 2014 study by John Hopkins University found that caffeine has positive effects on long-term memory. A double-blind study was conducted in which one group consumed caffeine before being given a set of information. Another group was given a caffeine-free placebo.

The next day, the two groups were questioned about the information. Those that had consumed caffeine remembered a significantly larger amount of data. Studies are ongoing to determine if caffeine might hold a secret to curing Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Reduce Constipation

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Caffeine is a natural stool softener and laxative. As the chemical deteriorates in the digestive process, the effects on your bowels are fast acting. It is often advised to drink a cup of coffee if you are struggling with constipation. A caffeine pill would do the trick just as well.


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Risks of Taking Caffeine Pills

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There are, of course, certain risks to taking caffeine pills. While the benefits are significant, it is always advised to weigh the pros and cons of any supplement you intend to take. Below, we will outline some potential issues you might experience from the ongoing use of caffeine pills.

Diarrhea

As mentioned, caffeine is a natural laxative and stool softener. This can create some issues if used in excess. One of the issues that some run into is diarrhea. If you are experiencing diarrhea after you begin taking caffeine pills, it’s probably wise to check your dosage.  

Acid Reflux

Caffeine can create acid reflux issues because of its effects on the digestive system. When the digestive system is stimulated, it begins to produce more gas, which backs up into the throat and creates painful, burning symptoms.

Insomnia

Because caffeine is a stimulant, those who overuse the drug often find that they struggle to sleep. If you are addicted to caffeine and consuming it frequently throughout the day, you might find that it affects your ability to unwind and get comfortable at night.

If you are struggling to sleep well, take an inventory of the caffeine you have consumed throughout the day from all sources. Chances are, you have overstimulated your own system.

Irritability

Yes, you read correctly. Caffeine is addictive and many people who use caffeine do struggle with it as an addiction. As with any chemical dependence, if you are unable to get your regular “fix,” your mood is going to deteriorate. If you often find that you are struggling to feel pleasant throughout the day, consider whether overuse of caffeine might be the problem.

Symptoms of Caffeine Overdose

Caffeine is a drug and you can overdose from any drug you take. Caffeine overdose is actually probably more common than y​​ou would expect, so it is important to consider the symptoms of caffeine overdose before you begin using the drug regularly.

Vomiting

Vomiting is the first sign of most chemical overdoses. It is your body’s natural reaction to what it considers to be a dangerous influx of contaminant. It will start with light gagging, then it can lead to violent vomiting followed by dry heaves when the contents of your stomach are empty. This is your body trying to push the caffeine back out of your system.

Seizures

If your nervous system gets overstimulated by the chemicals found in caffeine, it could lead to a seizure. Keep in mind that not all seizures are the same. A petit mal or grand mal seizure could be attributed to addiction, so whether you are convulsing or simply “blacking out,” you will need to take the matter seriously and seem immediate medical attention.

Erratic Heartbeat or Nervousness

Caffeine boosts your heart rate and raises your blood pressure. Caffeine, alone, has been known to lead to heart attacks if taken in excess. If you feel like your heart is beating too rapidly, you might confuse the feeling with nervousness or anxiety. If you are unable to calm down, seek immediate medical attention.

Extreme Thirst

This is another of the body’s natural defenses against contaminants. Your body will try to “water down” the chemical by prompting you to drink more. If you are unable to satiate your thirst, odds are you might be dealing with an early onset symptom of overdose. At the very least, you are extremely dehydrated and should consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Takeaway: Caffeine Pills Can be Beneficial, Just Use Caution

Now that we have fully discussed caffeine pills and covered both the pros and cons of the drug, we will leave you to make your own determination about how it will benefit your individual needs and if it is something you want to try as part of your health regimen.

You should use caution when using caffeine pills, but that doesn’t mean they are completely unsafe. If you are still undecided, consult with your physician. They will have the best idea of how caffeine pills will help or harm you in the long run.

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