10 Best Caffeine Pills Tested & Compared
If you find yourself needing a little boost in the middle of the day or halfway through your workout, or if you find that that extra coffee just doesn’t do it for you anymore, it might be worth looking into a caffeine supplement. Hopefully, using our recommendations and custom criteria, we can help you find the best caffeine pill for you and your lifestyle.
Check out our list of the top 10 best caffeine pills!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
backed by navy seals
prevents the jitters
- Smarter Vitamins
- Zhou Energy
- Nutricost Caffeine
- Fused Focus
- Jet Alert
- Bulk Supplements
- Natrol High Caffeine
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Caffeine Pills
1. Smarter Vitamins
backed by navy seals
prevents the jitters
Some users report the product isn't as long-lasting as they hoped
This is another organic and all-natural product that is a great substitute for other forms of caffeine--especially for those of you who are sensitive to it and have to deal with the jitters or crashing.Read more
This FDA certified organic product boosts your mental focus and helps you stay alert to the task at hand. The L-Theanine in the product also eliminates the jitters and keeps you calm without taking away from your focus.
Backed up by Navy Seals, this product has proven to be long-lasting and highly effective. You can take 1 soft gel and, boom you're ready to go.
This product comes averagely priced and is a great alternative to harsher caffeine products.
2. Zhou Energy
Won't give you the jitters
Prevents you from crashing
Gives you long-lasting focused energy
Not as powerful as other caffeine pills
The Zhou Energy caffeine pills will provide you with long-lasting energy that won't make you crash and will ensure you don't get the jitters when you take it. If you want something all natural that provides long-lasting focus then this is a great pick for you!Read more
This product provides mental focus and alertness without the jitters--so you can even take it to get through your social occasions without crashing in the middle of the event.
This product comes in capsules and you only have to take one to fill its effects--although you can take a maximum of 4 a day.
While priced a little above average, it's definitely a great product if you want an all-natural option that won't make you crash or leave you feeling jittery and anxious.
Free of banned substances
Pill can be hard to swallow for some users
Kaged muscle performance is another organic product that is also a certified banned substance free--so you can use it for your competition or races if you need to.Read more
The supplement uses an organic form of caffeine and boosts your energy and focus for those events that are designed to test your endurance and push you to the limit.
You just need to take on easy to swallow the capsule and you will have all of the focus and energy you need.
Great for pre-workout
No added sugars or calories
Acts as a hunger suppressant for weight loss
Made in the United States
May cause an upset stomach
Pills sometimes come inconsistent or off-sized.
ProLab is the bestseller on the list. Made in the United States, this formula was designed as a pre-workout energizer that was specifically designed to complement your dietary goals.Read more
Each pill comes packed with 200mg of caffeine to keep you focused and energized throughout your day. The ProLab formula boosts your metabolism for weight loss without the added sugar and calories.
The ProLab caffeine pill is great for pre-workouts and obtaining your dietary goals. It suppresses your appetite and boosts your metabolism while maximizing your focus and energy throughout the workday.
As mentioned earlier, ProLab is the bestseller on the list. Compared to other caffeine pills, this gives quality energy at an affordable price. People use this for a variety of reasons, from pre-workout to an alternative for other caffeinated products with negative side effects. There are 100 tablets per container with a serving size of one to two pills per day.
5. Nutricost Caffeine
Soft gel pills
Lasts throughout the workday
May have trouble sleeping
An American made product that packs gluten-free, non-GMO caffeine into 250 separate capsules. Now you can have energy without the added sugar or calories that are commonly found in soda and energy drinks.Read more
Nutricost Caffeine packs a punch when you need energy for an extended period of time. If you’re someone that exercises early in the morning and goes to work afterward, this product is for you.
This product has also been popular for weight loss. It suppresses your appetite and gives you energy throughout your workday to keep strong mental acuity.
A popular product for its affordable price. The suggested serving size is one gel pill per day and contains 250 pills altogether.
6. Fused Focus
Combination of caffeine and teacrine
Formulated as a nootropic supplement
A little pricey
May cause nausea and stomach pain
These pills from Fused Focus contain a blend of caffeine and teacrine for a serious brain boost. Although the cost is a little high, these are a favorite for those who need just a little extra help throughout the day.Read more
Most users felt that this 150mg nootropic supplement was just enough caffeine to give them some extra energy without being overwhelming. It’s great for people who want a supplement to carry them through a workout or help them focus while at work. A small number of users reported feeling very sick and nauseous after taking one of these pills, so be wary if you are sensitive to caffeine or other supplements.
These pills come in a very convenient bottle that you can stash in your desk or your duffle bag. There are 30 pills in total, so you may have to restock frequently.
It's definitely on the high end of our price spectrum, these caffeine pills may be a little out of reach for those on a budget. But the great combination of teacrine and caffeine are sure to give you that extra brain power with your energy.
7. Jet Alert
Fast acting (less than 30 minutes)
A great alternative to coffee
The caffeine doesn’t come gradually (more of a jolt).
Not long lasting
Don’t let the packaging fool you; Jet-Alert is one of the most sought-after caffeine pills. Simple, to the point, very affordable, small pills, and doesn’t contain any arbitrary medicinal ingredients.Read more
The ingredients in Jet-Alert are few and simple. Its simplicity makes it non-habit forming. Each pill is packed with 100mg and is no larger than a tic-tac.
Jet-Alert works great for getting a quick jump of energy. This product is most popular among the college community because it kicks in within 20 minutes.
This is the most affordable caffeine pill on the market. The value you get for each pill is well worth the small investment. Potentially, if you were to only take one pill per day, it could last up to 4 months. Each package contains 120 tablets.
8. Bulk Supplements
Gelatin capsules aren’t vegan or vegetarian
Common issue with the amount of capsules and quality control
These caffeine pills from Bulk Supplements are 100% caffeine in a fast-acting pill so they are great for when you’re on the go and need a boost.Read more
These are fast acting and you can expect results within about 20 minutes of taking a pill. With 200mg of pure caffeine, the dosage is more than most typical supplements, so if you’re one of those people who isn’t easily affected by caffeine or have a hard time getting that extra energy, these will probably work well for you.
The quick dissolving gelatin capsule that is easy to take before your workout or at the beginning of your day. Take it with your morning supplements or throw it in your meal prep bag for quick energy whenever you need it. The resealable bag isn’t super portable, so you will have to plan ahead or keep your pills in a separate, more convenient container.
The overall price for these caffeine pills is a little expensive compared to other options on our list, but the dosage and quantity of pills make it a great deal. Unfortunately, customers frequently report an issue with quality control and often receive an inconsistent number of pills in their order; missing pills, empty capsules, and bags covered with powder from crushed capsules are not uncommon. In spite of this, many people were willing to give the pills a high rating for their effectiveness and said they would still be purchasing from Bulksupplements. So, if you’re willing to put up with the unpredictable amount of caffeine pills and potentially messy packaging, they’re worth the investment.
9. Natrol High Caffeine
No added sugar
Tablet form instead of capsules
May cause jitters and headaches
Natrol High Caffeine supplements are a very affordable caffeine supplement with a higher dosage. If you feel like most caffeine pills just don’t do it for you, give these a try.Read more
With 200mg of caffeine, these pills offer plenty of extra energy. Each dosage should last about 3-4 hours, so you won’t need to worry about refueling or stalling halfway through a workout.
These pills come in tablet form instead of in capsules, so they are less likely to break apart and cause a mess. You could also split one of the tablets in half if you want a smaller dosage. The bottle is small enough to throw in your workout bag or purse on the way out the door and the pills are easy to fit into supplement cases.
Each bottle of Natrol comes with 100 tablets and is about the same price as a coffee drink from your favorite corner cafe or chain. With all of the ingredients and effectiveness as most of the pills on our list, the low-cost of these supplements make them a go-to option for those on a budget.
Thermogenic pills - ideal for weight loss
Takes effect quickly
It’s not long lasting.
Has a strange taste
NutraFX is a supplement that is anhydrous (pills that contain no water) and thermogenic (a metabolism enhancer). Both ingredients are ideal for exercise and weight loss.Read more
This product is great for those that exercise regularly. The ingredients' specific purpose is to act as a dietary supplement and boost your metabolism.
NutraFX contains 200mg of caffeine which provides four hours of energy, alertness, and brain focus. Ideal for those that want to maintain a certain weight or lose extra body weight.
This is one of the most cost-effective caffeine pills on the list. NutraFX contains added ingredients that boost your metabolism and generate energy to get the most out of your workout. The bottle holds 200 capsules with a serving size of only one capsule per day.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Okay, so the effectiveness of a caffeine pill makes sense. But what exactly does the ‘usefulness’ of a caffeine pill refer to? In this case, we mean its practicality, its additional benefits, and the number of adverse symptoms you might experience. Therefore, usefulness simply means its usefulness relative to your lifestyle and how well it fits into it, as well as what it can offer you. Like we mentioned above, some of the caffeine pills on our list were made to be used specifically by athletes and gym-goers. These caffeine pills will typically take effect very quickly, with a much stronger initial release of caffeine and energy. Other caffeine pills are intended to be used by anyone who needs consistent energy and mental acuity for several consecutive hours at a time.
The best, and most useful products though, will offer the consumer multiple uses and multiple benefits. There are several options on our list that are great for taking either before a workout, mid-morning to help you stay focused, when you hit the 3 pm slump and need a boost to get you through the end of the day but not keep you awake all night, and/or just a general aid in keeping you focused to get your to-do list done. As a general rule of thumb, it is a wise decision to opt for a pill that also contains L-Theanine in addition to caffeine. This is because L-Theanine has been proven to help reduce and avoid some of the negative side effects of caffeine – particularly overall jitteriness and the “caffeine crash” that some users experience. Speaking of negative side effects, another metric we used to gauge the usefulness of the product was the number of adverse side effects that consumers experienced.
A caffeine pill can work wonders in helping your mental functioning, but it does not do much good to swap energy and alertness for a whole list of other physical problems. Caffeine has been known to cause (in some cases) serious gastrointestinal issues because it is a diuretic, as well as general insomnia, nervousness, and elevated blood pressure levels. However, it also has many positive side effects aside from increased energy levels, including help in weight control and weight loss, use in asthma and other respiratory issues where difficulty breathing has occurred, and in some instances may help reduce headaches and migraines.
Some of the products on our list come loaded with other healthy micronutrients other than caffeine, which will fit nicely into a holistically healthy lifestyle. For example, Weyland Energy tablets also contain an adequate source of B Vitamins, and the Suntheanine L- Theanine tablets have coconut oil for an added dose of healthy fats. A good caffeine pill will do less of the “bad stuff” (i.e. diarrhea, gas, bloating, high blood pressure, etc.) and more of the “good stuff”. Overall, caffeine pills can be a very useful option for getting in caffeine because they are easy to take, fast, simple, and fit practically into most people’s lifestyles.
We know how important it is to know what we are putting into our bodies nowadays--which is why we took an extra list at the ingredients on each of the caffeine pills we chose for our list. While some are organic, non-GMO, etc. there are some that are not--and you will see that reflected in their overall rating. Some of us are adamant against specific ingredients, and we made sure to provide options for everyone.
So, make sure to take a look at the ingredient list of each product featured on our list and make sure that it is within your own personal preference guideline. It is important to make sure the stuff we put into our bodies are designed to be safe and effective and easy to use. Many people look to supplements like caffeine pills to give them that extra boost to get them through the hardest part of their day. We understand how important these kinds of products are and we also understand how important it is to know that the products we use are pure and accurate and will do what they claim.
That is why the RunnerClick team spent so much time reviewing each product we featured on our guide here. We want to make sure we are presenting the best products available and that you are getting accurate and up to date information. Our goal is to help you determine what caffeine pills are best suited for your unique wants and needs and lifestyle. We made sure to include several different types and formulations so you can have plenty of options to choose from!
The effectiveness of each product on this list is determined by a few factors. For example, many of these supplements contain additional ingredients that either provide additional boosts of energy or help their core ingredient, caffeine, in being more effective. Another way that the effectiveness of each product can be defined has to do with dosages since a product that requires fewer servings to provide the same amount of caffeine is clearly more effective.
There is little point in buying a supplement if it is not going to be effective and if it does not do what it claims it will do. So of course, you will want to be sure any caffeine pill you choose to use will be safe and effective and that it will give you the boost of energy you want and need without the nasty side effects of some other supplements out there.
Here at RunnerClick we made sure to find the best caffeine supplements to present to you on our list. Our review team tested each product and made sure to focus on how effective they were and how well they delivered on their promise of additional energy and stamina. We made sure to compare every product so only the best of the best made it onto our list!
One thing any user needs to be mindful of when choosing any supplement to add to their heath and wellness plan is what it will taste like. Many supplements do a great job at delivering what they promise but one of the biggest complaints many users have is that they often have a bad taste or leave a bad after taste once they are taken. When the taste is really off-putting it can make it difficult to take the supplement. While this is not as big of a concern with an occasional supplement like a caffeine pill, it is still something worth considering as you look at your options.
As we reviewed the various caffeine pills we tested we made sure take the taste into account. While most pills have some sort of taste some are much worse than others and we did our best to include the supplements that have the least offensive taste. Because much of this comes down to personal preference and individual levels of tolerance, it is hard to say all of the pills featured on our list are free from a bad after taste, they are some of the ones that had the least complaints of the products we tried and tested.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Before you get too far along in your search for the best caffeine pill, always be sure to check with your doctor or a healthcare professional to see if a caffeine supplement is right for you. Some people are very sensitive to specific substances, and you may be prone to nausea, headaches, anxiety, or other negative symptoms as a result of caffeine.
For some of us, being able to take a caffeine pill to get our energy needs would solve a bunch of problems, especially practical ones. However, you need to consider your schedule and your lifestyle because caffeine pills might not be the best solution for your caffeine intake.
It is important to remember that caffeine pills are not meant to be a long-term fix. They are meant to be used in the short-term, now and then when you need a little pick me up. If you are constantly feeling tired or low on energy you need to discuss it with your health care provider to make sure there are no underlying health issues- such as sleep apnea or hormone imbalances that are causing you excessive daytime sleepiness. Do not use caffeine pills more often or in higher doses than what is recommended on the label!
When you first use a caffeine pill or supplement you need to start slow and low. Start with the lowest recommended dose and don’t use more than one does in a day until you know how you react to it. If you have never used a supplement like this before you will not know how your body will react and you could have a bad reaction to the higher dose of caffeine.
Other Factors to Consider
Regular caffeine consumption has been linked to a myriad of health benefits. The basic ones, – aka the ones that you probably know about already and the main reasons that your morning coffee is already a standard part of your daily routine – include increased alertness and awareness, sharper problem-solving skills, increased logical reasoning, and improved cognitive thinking ability and even better memory. For athletes, caffeine carries a whole unique list of benefits.
Some of these include a faster reaction time and improved athletic performance due to a spike in energy to the blood and muscles as well as increased stamina during endurance events, relief of post-workout muscle recovery and the speeding up of muscle recovery time after an intense workout by teaming up with carbohydrates to more quickly and efficiently replenish the muscle’s glycogen supplies, a reduction in chronic inflammation, may help in preventing weight gain, and even help those athletes who suffer from asthma but opening up airways. However, that’s not all!
The standard and safe amount of caffeine contained in one pill for most over the counter caffeine pills is 200 mg. (For reference, 400 mg of caffeine per day is a recommended safe amount for adults. One caffeine pill and two cups of coffee a day will easily get you to 400 mg, so be wary of your consumption because it may be unsafe to regularly consume more than that day in and day out.) Be wary of caffeine pills containing amounts of caffeine far exceeding 200 mg, as these might not only be dangerous but also prove ineffective. The pills on our list all contain around 200 mg and have received rave reviews for helping keep you awake and energized.
What is your caffeine tolerance?
Before you start on a caffeine pill daily regimen, you should consider your current caffeine intake and tolerance. If you are like the majority of people, you can safely handle around 400 mg a day. (Though some people can handle more thanks to genetics! A particular gene -CYP1A2- controls an enzyme that dictates how fast the body can break down caffeine. One variant of this gene enables the liver to break down caffeine faster, and individuals who inherit 2 variants from both parents are “fast metabolizers,” and thus break down caffeine at a faster rate and ultimately have a higher tolerance.)
However, if you are one of these people that are a “fast metabolizers” then take caffeine pills with caution. You might not feel the effects like others would, and thus be tempted to take more. However, with caffeine pills, the negative side effects of caffeine may be stronger and more intense than they are with coffee, teas, or other food or beverages.
Do you suffer from regular insomnia?
If you are one of the 60 million Americans who have insomnia, then you need to be extra careful about caffeine, especially when you are ingesting it. If you find yourself unable to fall asleep at night, despite exercising normally, eating a healthy diet, and having a relaxing bedtime routine that may involve yoga, light stretching, deep relaxation breathing, reading, etc., or if you fall asleep but tend to wake up during the middle of the night with your mind racing and unable to fall back asleep for several hours, then caffeine even afternoon or 1 pm might further disrupt your sleep or make it harder to fall asleep.
And then, after a restless night lying awake, you are totally exhausted and zombie-like the next day, and might feel the need to reach for cup after cup of caffeine to keep you awake (which will later result in yet another bad night of little to no sleep). This can be a vicious cycle, so if you have insomnia, limit your caffeine intake to just 100 mg or less a day – and probably stay away from caffeine pills.
The caffeine pills on this list are all useful depending on its purpose, and how often you intend on using.
Certain caffeine pills are able to:
Face it: life is stressful and sometimes it feels like one big juggling act. When it comes to your family, you are always there! And you definitely work your butt off at work or at school to get things done, get ahead, and achieve your full potential. And then, of course, there is every single extracurricular activity you have before and after your work day and that is on top of a rigorous training and workout schedule. The bottom line is, it sure is easy to get burned out. And it can happen quickly!
Everybody knows the importance of getting a full eight hours of sleep at night to let your body and mind recuperate. But then again, there goes life, getting in the way! Between late nights at work, at school, or jumping around from meeting to activity to your kid’s sporting events to early mornings rushing off to get your long run in or head up the carpool, you are lucky to average six hours of sleep at night. Enter coffee. And then you find yourself pouring about three more cups just to make it to your lunch break (not to mention the amount of, ahem, bathroom breaks, you have to take).
Alas, there is a better alternative! And even more so for us athletes and runners. The caffeine pill is an excellent option for helping to keep you awake and alert, and it is easy to take. Plus, depending on which kind you choose, they can be so strong that they last you for hours. But not all caffeine pills are created equal, so we have come up with the ten best options on the market now. The list of criteria below helps explain how and what we measured to gauge which caffeine pills made the cut.
One of the pros of coffee is that, when bought in bulk and brewed at home, it can be pretty cheap. In order to compete, and to justify a caffeine pill over a homemade cup of joe, the caffeine pills should not totally break your bank. They should be easy to budget for your weekly or monthly expenses. The pills on our list are not only ranked high by users because of their effectiveness and usefulness but also because they are affordable. And affordability and value do not stop at just price. We consider the total value of the product – things like how many pills are contained in a container or bottle, how many pills you need to take to feel the effects and how often you have to incorporate the pills into your daily routine.
To make it easier on you and your busy lifestyle, we’ve given a greater value to packages with more pills (after all, nobody wants to have to remember to buy these things on a regular basis! They need to last!). When bought on Amazon.com, single bottles range from $6 to upwards of almost $20. But what is most important here is to consider the per/serving cost (aka the cost of one single tablet, to know how much you are going to pay in the long run). For the most part, the products on our list average around 6 to 7 cents per pill, but can get as expensive as 30 cents.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Q: Is caffeine a drug or a food additive?
A: According to the FDA, caffeine is technically classified as both a drug and a food additive. This means it is used in both medical drugs (mostly pain relievers and medicines to help keep you awake) and, obviously, found in foods and beverages (particularly coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate products).
q: Q: How much caffeine is recommended for adults?
A: While there isn’t a recommended amount you should be getting into your diet (i.e. caffeine is not an essential macro or micronutrient, so it doesn’t have recommended levels), the “safe” level of caffeine consumption for adults according to the FDA is 400 mg. Most adults average around 200 mg a day, which is about 2 5-ounce cups of coffee, or one daily dose or tablet from the caffeine pills on our list.
q: Q: How do I change my caffeine habit?
A: If you have an overly high tolerance to caffeine, and suspect you might be consuming too much, the best way to change your habit is to cut back slowly. First, you must start paying attention to exactly how much caffeine you are getting in a day, to know where your starting point is. But quitting cold turkey is likely to make you suffer serious and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms like a headache, lack of focus, and general malaise.
Instead, try cutting back one cup of coffee or soda at a time, or even cut down by half amounts if a whole one seems like too much. Eventually, your body will adjust. And definitely, know what you are consuming. If you are struggling to give up your hot coffee or tea simply because of taste, or just the warmth it provides (physically and emotionally – hot beverages can truly be just comforting for the soul!), then luckily coffee and most teas can be decaffeinated. Caffeine can be hidden in certain products, especially some over the counter medicines. You might be getting in caffeine in ways you are not even aware of, so check the bottle and read labels.
q: Q: How long does caffeine stay in the body?
A: Caffeine is typically absorbed through cellular membranes within 45 minutes after initial consumption. From there, it takes the average adult 4 to 6 hours for half of the caffeine consumed to be metabolized. So if you drink 2 cups (about 200 milligrams) of coffee at 7 am, by lunchtime, 100 milligrams will have been metabolized and digested. By 4 or 5 pm, another 50 mg will have been digested, and by about 8 pm, only 25 mg of the original 200 will still be remaining.
q: Q: What are the symptoms of caffeine overdose?
A: There are several symptoms that usually happen when one overdoses on caffeine. The first to be experienced include feeling restless, nervous, and just generally jittery. Heartbeat will start to rise, and you might feel nauseous and anxious. Things start to get really serious when heart palpitations or cardiac arrhythmia sets in, you lose total focus and can’t sleep, start to sweat and feel dizzy. You might actually end up vomiting, and in very extreme cases, you could go into cardiac arrest.
q: Q. What foods and beverages have higher amounts of caffeine?
A: Obviously coffee, teas, and caffeinated sodas (like Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and Dr. Pepper) have caffeine. However, even decaffeinated coffee and teas have slight amounts of caffeine. Chocolate has caffeine (darker and bittersweet chocolates have higher amounts than sweetened or milk chocolate, and white chocolate actually has none!) Coffee flavored products like Mocha Ice Creams, frozen yogurts, and yogurts have caffeine and so do some breakfast cereals. If you are concerned about even the smallest amounts of caffeine, read labels before you buy!
q: Q: Is it possible to get addicted to caffeine pills?
A: Yes, just as you can become addicted to the caffeine found in coffee and soda, you can also get addicted to caffeine pills. This is why you should never use any supplement for longer than recommended and never exceed the maximum daily dosage. You also should not be using caffeine pills on a daily basis either as the more you use it the more your body will come to depend on it and the more addicted you will become!