What is a caffeine pill? Is it safe?

May 12, 2020 5 min read

What is a caffeine pill? Is it safe?

What is a caffeine pill?

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult with your health care professional with any medical or health related questions.

Considered as supplements, this is your caffeine fix taken in capsule form. It may have natural caffeine straight from the brewing process, while it may have synthetic or artificial caffeine.

Caffeine pills provide the same stimulating benefits as coffee and other caffeine beverages.

Note that caffeine pills aren’t exactly the caffeine powder you see in bulk from the retail stores. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration or FDA considers caffeine powder as “potentially dangerous.” [1] Caffeine pills are generally safe, though there are some precautions to note, which we’ll talk about later.

 


Who should watch and limit their caffeine intake?

While caffeine pills are safe for many people, there are certain conditions that need to be considered before taking them. People with the following would need to watch their intake and consult their doctor prior to trying caffeine pills: [2]

  • caffeine sensitivity
  • hypertension or high blood pressure
  • heart disease or a rapid heartbeat
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Children, adolescents, pregnant and those trying to get pregnant should also think twice about taking caffeine pills. If in doubt, it’s best to check with medical professionals before taking a pill.


Are caffeine pills safe?

A small pill would typically have 100-200 mg of caffeine.

If you’re not sure if that’s too much or too little, a regular 8-oz cup of coffee has 85mg. And here’s how much caffeine is in your favorite brand of coffee.

100-200 mg of caffeine sounds reasonable, given that a cup of your favourite caffeine fix could range from 75-400 mg a cup!

However, if your caffeine intake is little to moderate or you’re not a regular coffee drinker, then you may want to go easy on caffeine pills. Especially if you don’t want to experience the pesky side effects of over-caffeination - jitters, anxiety, restlessness.

Viter Energy, however, has 40 mg of caffeine per mint, and is perfect if you want to take it easy on your caffeine intake while still having that extra kick in your morning (or throughout the day)!


 

Another thing to consider is the amount of caffeine a person can take in a day.

Essentially, daily caffeine consumption can go as high as 400 mg. However, note that this is the max. So if you plan to chew on more than one caffeine pill, you need to watch out for the other things you eat, as they may also contain caffeine. As the amount of caffeine may vary from one product and brand to another, be sure to check the package or use an online caffeine calculator.


Coffee vs caffeine pill: pros and cons

Caffeine pills have sparked a debate. Which one is the best form of caffeine fix - a daily cup of Joe or these tiny but mighty pills?

Here are some of the more interesting pros and cons on this whole caffeine dialogue:

Why caffeine pills over coffee

  • Taste and calories. Some people prefer caffeine pills because they don’t like how coffee tastes. If it doesn’t come with the usual bells and whistles - cream, sugar and other add-ins - then it doesn’t do it for them. They would then go for the caffeine pills, which could give them a caffeine jolt without the added calories. Find out how many calories are in your coffee add-ins here.
  • Less acidity. Some people prefer caffeine pills because they don’t get acid reflux from it. Coffee - especially black - may lead to an acidic tummy because of the acidic substances found in coffee beans.
  • Less cholesterol. Coffee has coffee oils like cafestol and kahweol, which may lead to higher cholesterol levels for some, especially for those who prefer boiled brews and espressos. Caffeine pills just don’t have these oils and don’t have the same effects.
  • Fewer trips to the bathroom. Caffeine is a diuretic. So while both coffee and caffeine pills can make you pee more, having caffeine in pill form instead of liquid can help reduce your trips to the bathroom.

Why coffee over caffeine pills

  • Having coffee is more than just having coffee. It’s an experience. Your everyday trip to the nearest barista before work could be an integral part of your morning routine. Or catching up with friends (or a first date) over coffee is in itself an experience that a single caffeine pill can’t replace.
  • It’s harder to overdo your caffeine intake with a cup or two of coffee. With caffeine pills, enjoying the benefits in such a short time can make you pop more and lose count of your daily caffeine intake, leading to caffeine overdose.

Caffeine Pill Addiction

While caffeine dependency is very common (just ask your colleague who travels to Starbucks twice/thrice a day), caffeine pills aren’t classified as addictive. This is according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which reported that unlike heroin, cocaine and other street drugs, caffeine pills don’t lead to addiction. [3]

However, because of the stimulating effects of caffeine in general, caffeine pills could be habit-forming. Hence, there are warning labels found on the packaging and displays of caffeine pill brands.

 


Caffeine overdose: signs and symptoms

Caffeine pills provide the positive effects of caffeine such as the following:

Getting these benefits in just a pop can be so easy that many people tend to do it over and over.

In the unfortunate incident that you go overboard with caffeine pills, the following overdose signs and symptoms will occur: [2]

  • rapid, erratic heartbeat
  • seizures
  • vomiting
  • disorientation
  • stupor

There could also be milder cases of caffeine overdose, manifested in the following:

  • nervousness
  • inability to sit still
  • high levels of thirst
  • tremors, or feeling jittery
  • irritability
  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • wakefulness

Conclusion

When used correctly, caffeine pills can help you get the most out of your caffeine fix.

However, going overboard may lead to adverse effects that can range from mild to fatal.

If you’re unsure about its effects on you, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor or medical professional before taking caffeine pills.

Or if you think the dosage of a caffeine pill is too much, you can try and ease into it by taking less caffeine using caffeinated mints like Viter!

 

Bonus

If you need help comparing caffeine pills and coffee, here's a video which might make it easier for you:
 

Sources

[1] https://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/ProductsIngredients/ucm460095.htm

[2] https://www.healthline.com/health/caffeine-pills

[3] https://www.livestrong.com/article/469171-how-addictive-are-caffeine-pills-what-are-the-side-effects/

Tina Sendin
Tina Sendin



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