For many, the need to stay awake and alert at particular periods of the day is a necessity in their daily life.
Coffee has been the go-to stimulant for most people for hundreds of years. Now, there’s a new stimulant on the block- caffeine pills.
In this article, we will be discussing the safety of these pills, telling you what you need to know.
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant drug that is used to improve mental and physical alertness. It may also be used for energy provision. It is found in plants but industrially, it may be artificially produced.
It is one of the most used substances in the world and is found naturally in foods like kola nuts, coffee seeds, guarana, and yerba mate. Nowadays, it is more commonly accessible in stores and shops in preparations such as coffee, tea, cola, chocolates, and other caffeinated drinks and supplements.
Caffeine is also found in some medications – prescription, and non-prescription forms. Coffee is the most common preparation that contains caffeine. It is available worldwide in different forms and specials.
However, caffeine pills are increasingly becoming more popular among people because of their convenience, personal preference and relative ease in obtaining them. They are also cheap when compared to coffee.
Thus, they may well be on the road to slowly replace coffee.
What Are Caffeine Pills?
Caffeine pills contain caffeine, often in its pure form as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, and most commonly, a second additive: L-Theanine, an amino acid found naturally in green tea that enables caffeine to reach maximal effectiveness when they are used together.
While caffeine in other sources is often available as additives or as a small fraction of the whole product, caffeine pills contain concentrated forms of caffeine in pill form for ingestion orally.
A single caffeine tablet contains about 200 mg of caffeine, about the quantity found in 4 cups of coffee and is available over the counter. They are not the same as caffeine powder which is generally frowned on.
Are Caffeine Pills Safe For You?
It is important to check with your doctor before starting out on any medication, including caffeine pills. Generally, caffeine pills are safe for most people and can be used for any of their desired benefits. However, you should NOT take caffeine pills if:
- You have allergies to caffeine, no matter how small it may seem
- If you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or are breastfeeding.
- They should not be given to children under 12.
Before you begin using caffeine pills, you must ensure that you currently do not have a medical condition that may be worsened by caffeine usage, especially allergies to caffeine.
Also, you have to inform your doctor if you are currently taking any other medicines, prescription or non-prescription including herbal preparations or supplements, because caffeine interacts with other medications, lowering or increasing their effects.
If you have anxiety issues, ulcers or other stomach diseases, liver or kidney disease, diabetes, insomnia, seizure disorder, or heart disease, do not take caffeine pills without clearance from your doctor.
The following steps should be taken to avoid any problems with caffeine usage:
- Use as directed by your doctor or read the label on the medication for best practice.
- Medicines may be used on an empty stomach. If, however, you have stomach upset with use, take it with food.
- Factor in additional sources of caffeine in tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolates, and other sources when calculating daily intake.
- Do NOT exceed 400 mg of caffeine in a day.
- If you miss a dose, do NOT double up on dosing.
- Do NOT use caffeine tablets as a substitute for sleep.
- Diabetics should monitor blood sugar closely when using caffeine.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Caffeine Pills?
Apart from the ease and convenience of taking caffeine pills or the decreased amount of money spent on coffee, caffeine pills have little or no advantage over regular sources of caffeine.
The benefits of using caffeine pills are not exclusive to caffeine pills. These pills give you the energy boost and alertness you need to kick start your day, providing you with instant energy necessary for focus and concentration all day long.
Unlike the high gotten from caffeine sources like coffee which give you raw energy but causes great fatigue when it subsides, caffeine pills give you the same amount of energy but with a far less degree of generalized fatigue.
It is also designed to be slowly released in the blood for hours which keeps you going for as long as 12 hours, in some cases.
Caffeine also helps you burn calories more efficiently and faster by increasing fat break down in the body. This, alongside with its effect in suppressing appetite, is useful for weight loss.
It may also restore mental alertness and concentration in periods of fatigue or drowsiness as well as help with short term memory recall and sharpness.
It may also be used to alleviate headache symptoms, especially migraine headaches and to improve athletic performance. They are, however, not meant for everyday use.
What Are The Side Effects Of Using Caffeine Pills?
Caffeine is very beneficial to the body and many of the positive effects have been highlighted. As beneficial as it is, there are side effects that may result from its usage. The following are some side effects associated with caffeine usage, in pills and other forms:
- Increased heart rate
- Increases in blood pressure
- Trouble sleeping
- Stomach upset
- Muscle pain or twitching
Caffeine pills are generally safe, however, if you have certain medical conditions as stated above please see your doctor for an assessment of safety. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, kids and those with an allergy to caffeine should avoid caffeine completely.