10 Best Caffeine Pills Tested & Compared
The best way to decipher which caffeine pills are right for you is to understand a bit about your caffeine tolerance, and for what reasons you’ll be taking them. There are a wide variety of caffeine pills as well as a wide variety of dosages. Some work best as a pre-workout supplement, others work best as a caffeine alternative without the negative side effects.
You can get them in most convenient stores, as well as online. Here we take a look at the best rated caffeine pills.
10 Best Caffeine Pills
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.
- Affordable price
- 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.
2. Suntheanine L-Theanine
Suntheanine is backed by research as a top product for those that have mild anxiety and depression, but still want the effects of being completely focused and energized throughout the workday.
L-Theanine works as a natural amino acid and is pressed into other natural ingredients including organic virgin coconut oil to create a multifunctional product you can take at any time for any situation.
The price runs average compared to other caffeine pills. There are 60 soft gel capsules per container at one serving size per day. The natural ingredients that give this product an energetic and relaxing effect make it well worth the extra dollars.
- Great for those with mild anxiety/depression
- 90 – day money back guarantee
- For some, it may cause strange dreams.
- Some may notice a reverse affect of feeling fatigue.
3. Weyland Energy
This supplement is the most natural approach to caffeine energy on the market. It’s packed with natural ingredients to maintain energy and aid metabolism.
If you can’t stand the negative side effects of other caffeine products, this is a well balanced and natural approach to energy from herbal sources.
Weyland Energy is the second most affordable on the list. There are 50 capsules per container with a serving size of 2 capsules per day.
- Botanically sourced caffeine
- All natural, herbal ingredients
- Isn’t as strong/effective as other caffeine products
4. Zhou Energy+Focus
This product is effective for those that are sensitive to caffeine. Designed for smooth, temporary energy, they combine 100mg of caffeine with 200mg of L-Theanine into each pill.
Zhou Energy+Focus truly lives up to its name. The ingredients allow you to stay focused and alert without having to deal with the side effects of other caffeine products.
There are 60 pills per bottle and an affordable price. The natural ingredients bring about a smooth and focused energy with the “get energy quick” pills. Serving size is one to two pills per day.
- All natural
- No crash/jitters
- Long lasting
- Some have reported reverse effects of making them drowsy.
5. Nutricost Caffeine
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. Suggested serving size is one gel pill per day and contains 250 pills altogether.
- Soft gel pills
- Lasts throughout the workday
- May have trouble sleeping
6. Jet Alert
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.
- Fast acting (less than 30 minutes)
- A great alternative to coffee
- Simple ingredients
- The caffeine doesn’t come gradually (more of a jolt).
- Not long lasting
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.
- Thermogenic pills - ideal for weight loss
- Takes effect quickly
- It’s not long lasting.
- Has a strange taste
8. Smarter Energy Caffeine
This supplement is effective in a variety of circumstances. Not only does it provide a boost of energy, but also enhances brain function and heightens your focus.
This product is great for people that don’t have much of a caffeine tolerance or are very sensitive to caffeine. The L-Theanine reduces caffeine-induced side effects.
Smarter Energy is very affordable with a ton of great benefits. An all-natural supplement base brings your energy up and levels out without the crash. There are sixty capsules per container with a serving size of one to two capsules per day.
- Fast acting (within 30 minutes or less)
- Money-back guarantee
- For some, it has reportedly given a reverse side effect of drowsiness.
9. Mdrive ATP Active Energy Pills
With 100mg of caffeine and other natural ingredients like Cordycep, and Adenosine, this caffeine pill is great for last minute boosts of energy that keep you focused without the jittery feeling.
Mdrive is most useful when taken before exercising. It gives you energy to fuel you through your workout while boosting your natural energy afterward.
The price is average compared to other caffeine pills. However, this product offers natural, high quality ingredients that maintains natural body energy as well. There are sixty capsules per container with a serving size of one to two capsules per day.
- Slow-release capsules that gradually give you energy
- Doesn’t leave you with that jittery feeling
- You don’t feel crashed afterward
- The smell is displeasing.
10. Sundown Naturals Caffeine Capsules
These pills give you energy all day long, and unlike other caffeine products, this is a time release capsule that ensures you will gradually have more energy over a one to two hour period.
Eight hour caffeine capsules work best for someone who uses a lot of energy regularly. If your job or lifestyle is long hours of physical demand, or requires long hours of focus, this product works best.
Because this product provides longer lasting energy, it is a bit more expensive than other caffeine pills, but well worth the investment for someone that only needs one pill to last an entire day. It contains 100 beadlet capsules per container.
- Provides up to eight hours of energy
- Time released capsules that gradually take effect
- A great alternative to coffee
- It builds your caffeine tolerance at a higher rate.
When to Take 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:
- maximize workouts as a pre-workout supplement
- help with weight loss by boosting your metabolism
- givie you the energy to focus on tasks
Other caffeine pills are best used as:
- an alternative to energy drinks
- an alternative to coffee
- an alternative to caffeinated products that contain negative side effects
These alternatives are derived from natural sources and contain herbal amino acid supplements like L-Theanine to lessen side effects like “crashing” or “jitters”. Please be sure to consult your doctor before using a caffeine pills and find out which one would work best for you.
Let’s 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 extra curricular 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 help explain how and what we measured to gauge which caffeine pills made the cut.
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Caffeine Pills
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! Caffeine has also been linked to reducing your risk for kidney stones, detoxes the liver and helps lower your risk for liver fibrosis, reduces your risk for skin cancer, helps ward off Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, and cataracts, and decreases the consuming-male’s risk for erectile dysfunction. Basically, caffeine benefits everyone. But taking it in the form of a pill only does you good if it actually DOES anything, and actually effectively gives you these benefits.
The first obvious way to gauge effectiveness is whether or not the pill helps you wake up and gets and keeps you energized and alert for a sustained amount of time. Ineffective caffeine pills will not necessarily just cause no change in your alertness and energy levels. Ironically, caffeine pills – when they DON’T hold up to what they have advertised themselves to do – can actually cause drowsiness when they are ineffective. So it is definitely important to find the right caffeine pill that works for you. One way to measure the intensity of the caffeine’s effect is by checking on the amount of caffeine contained in the capsule, typically measured in milligrams.
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.
Depending on your specific need for caffeine pills though, some brands might be better than others. For example, there are great options if you are looking to just supplement your coffee intake at work with a quick and easy pill to help get you through a busy morning without feeling overly jittery or bouncing off the walls. The Suntheanine L- Theanine on our list is a great option if that seems like your goal. However, if you are an athlete looking for a caffeine pill to jump start your workouts and really give you a boost of energy, the Mdrive ATP Active Energy Pills were made specifically with athletes and endurance training in mind. However, your level of alertness should not waver dramatically simply based on tolerance.
Of course, if you are typically consuming an amount far over 400 mg a day, then naturally you are going to experience less of a caffeine kick from a caffeine pill. But a true indicator of a caffeine pill’s effectiveness is whether or not it can keep you energized and have a noticeable effect regardless of your tolerance. (However, if you are not a person who is used to consuming caffeine on a regular basis, taking a simple 200 mg caffeine pill a day certainly should not make you totally crazy and jittery. There should be a balance between both extremes!)
Okay, so 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 in to 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 any one 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 micro nutrients 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.
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 in to 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 does 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.
It is also important to consider how quickly consumers tend to pick up an immunity to the caffeine (if you have to continuously increase your intake of the caffeine pills to feel its effects, then it probably is not worth spending money on.) Another way to add value is for a caffeine pill to have additional benefits and ingredients other than caffeine (so more bang for your buck in terms of nutrition and getting in other vitamins and minerals into your body with just one pill!). Overall, one of the key ways we gauged value was the per serving cost of the pill. Most of the bottles on our list (and on the market overall) range from 60 pills to 250 pills, but the average amount is around 100 pills.
To make it easier on you and your busy lifestyle, we’ve given a greater value to packages with more pills (after all, no body 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 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.
Important Things To Think About Before Use
1. 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. However, you also should be wary of taking caffeine pills if you tend to react very strongly to only a little caffeine (and thus dubbed a “slow metabolizer“). If that sounds like you, than even just one dose or tablet could leave you feeling jittery and shaky, and with a bad case of tummy troubles.
2. Does a caffeine pill fit practically into your lifestyle?
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. For example, if you are an avid morning exerciser (we’re talking morning-morning – like, practically-still-nighttime hours of 4 or 5 am exercisers) and you not only just do not have time to eat a substantial meal before hand, but you physically can’t stomach the sound, thought, or taste of food at that time and/or eating before a workout makes you sick, then you should exercise caution around getting in caffeine.
Caffeine on an empty stomach may not have an effect on all people, but for most, it can wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal and digestive systems. If you can incorporate caffeine pills into your lifestyle without them infringing on your schedule, then they will be useful, and may just end up being the best thing for your routine!
3. 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 after noon 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.
4. Do you have heart arrhythmia?
A heart arrhythmia is when the heart beats out of regular rhythm, or when it skips a beat or beats twice very fast. Contrary to what many people believe, caffeine does not actually CAUSE heart arrhythmias to happen, but people who have already have a heart arrhythmia (due to other factors) may need to be careful when consuming caffeine because of caffeine’s effects on blood pressure, which may lead to a faster heart rate. There is not strong evidence suggesting that caffeine has really unsafe effects on heart arrhythmias, but people with heart arrhythmias or chronic heart problems need to always know how much caffeine they’ve consumed in a day, and in general, know their personal needs and limits.
5. Do you have high blood pressure?
While caffeine in substances other than coffee might not be linked to high blood pressure, you should still be wary of caffeine consumption in pill form if you have high blood pressure. This is because the caffeine in coffee has been shown to possibly cause on average a 2.4 mm/hg increase in systolic blood pressure if more than 500 milligrams per day is consumed. While this is a relatively small increase, the effects can be dramatic.
For people who already have high blood pressure, that kind of increase could lead to a number of health risks and complications, and so should be avoided. If you are unsure of whether or not your daily caffeine intake is causing a rise in your blood pressure, but suspect that this might be the case, then try monitoring and checking your blood pressure any time between half an hour and two hours after you’ve had your coffee, tea, etc. If your blood pressure increases by five to ten points above its normal amount, then you may have a sensitivity to caffeine. If so, slowly cut back on your caffeine consumption to a smaller, safer amount of about 200 mg per day.
6. Are you pregnant?
Science has long warned against the dangers of caffeine and pregnancy. Caffeine is absorbed through the placenta, and while you might be fine from a little caffeine, your baby’s developing body is not. Not only can a baby’s immature metabolism not metabolize caffeine, but caffeine’s stimulating effects will still take hold on your baby – meaning irregular sleep patterns which can upset development.
Studies have linked caffeine with birth defects, preterm delivery, premature delivery, and a risk of low-weight at birth. Studies have also proved a link between miscarriages and caffeine consumption in mothers. If you are pregnant or suspecting you might be (or are trying to get pregnant – there have been links between caffeine and infertility in extreme cases of over consumption of caffeine) then ditch the soda, tea, and coffee.
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: 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 micro nutrient, 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: 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 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: 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 lunch time, 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: What are the symptoms of caffeine overdose?
A: There are several symptoms that usually happen when one overdoses on caffeine. The first to be experience include feeling restless, nervous, and just generally jittery. Heart beat 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. 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!
Check out a few of our sources:
- Top 25+ Caffeine Health Benefits, Caffeine Health Based Website Article, Sep 11, 2017 ,
- Caffeine: How much is too much?, The Mayo Clinic Webpage Health Article, Mar 08, 2017 ,
- WHEN AND HOW TO TAKE CAFFEINE WITH L-THEANINE: TOP 5 TIPS!, Liftmode Blog Article, Nov 26, 2016 ,
- Caffeine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Dosing, WebMd Informational Nutrition Article, Sep 12, 2017 ,
- Can't Sleep? Neither Can 60 Million Americans, National Public Radio Health Blog Article, Mar 20, 2008 ,
- Caffeine and Heart Arrhythmias, Caffeine Informer Health Article, ,
- Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy, American Pregnancy Webpage Article, Sep 02, 2016 ,
- Caffeine: How much is too much?, The Mayo Clinic Nutrition Article, Mar 08, 2017 ,
- Medicines in my Home: Caffeine and your body, FDA Informational Health PDF Article, Sep 14, 2017 ,
- Are Caffeine Pills Bad For You?, LiveStrong Blog Article, Sep 15, 2015 ,
- Caffeine Overdose Symptoms: Signs, Cases and Prevention, Caffeine Informer Article, Sep 15, 2017 ,
- Surprising Foods that Contain Caffeine, National Sleep Foundation Article, Sep 14, 2017 ,