Caffeine is known as the most popular legal drug. It’s an extremely effective energy booster that will rise your focus, alertness and wakefulness. Caffeine has many applications. You can find it in coffee, tea, cocoa and many other foods and beverages. However, due to busy and hustling lifestyles, a lot of people pick caffeine pills that sparked huge popularity, without thinking whether they’re completely safe.
The caffeine inside the caffeine pills comes from the natural brewing process or synthetic. They are perfectly safe, under certain conditions. In this article, we’re going to discuss these conditions, who can take caffeine pills, and how much.
It’s extremely important to know when to use caffeine pills and how much. Under the condition of being used as described, you can enjoy caffeine pills and their benefits as much as other caffeine-rich beverages.
We’ll put special focus on the consequences of caffeine pill abuse, when to stop, and when to see the doctor.
What Is The Right Dosage of Caffeine Pills?
Caffeine pills are distributed from different companies. As such, they come with different daily dosage recommendations and package directions. If we had to estimate the average caffeine amount per pill, we’d say that most companies feature pills with between 100 and 200mg of caffeine.
Some may offer more or less, depending on the package, but this dosage is easily comparable to a cup of brewed black coffee. Depending on this same dosage and package directions, you may take less or more pills per serving.
Each product packaging should contain information about how many pills you should take per serving, how long they last, and whether they’re time-released. Keep in mind that the effect your body may produce from caffeine also depends on your constitution and nervous system.
According to the FDA, a healthy amount of caffeine per day that won’t compromise or jeopardize your health is 400mg. Depending on your health state, more or less can be enough for you. Slight exceeding of the recommended 400mg shouldn’t do you too much harm if you’re an adult.
However, within that 400mg of allowed caffeine, it’s important to consider potential caffeine-rich food that you may take during the day such as chocolate, or drinks such as coffee, tea, or some energy drinks. They also contribute to the overall amount of caffeine you take during the day.
Comparably to coffee, 400mg of caffeine can be between 2 and 4 caffeine pills. Also, 400mg of caffeine equals anywhere between 3 and 5 cups of black brewed coffee.
Even though we said that a slight crossing of the 400mg threshold shouldn’t do you harm, it’s possible to overdose caffeine. FDA report states that most of the side effects of caffeine abuse including heart attack and stroke were associated with consuming over 1200mg of caffeine per day.
Although large caffeine consumption, isn’t considered for pregnant women or those who are nursing (due to the risk for babies that can drink caffeine-containing milk) drinking caffeine pills can be safe if you consult with your doctor.
However, pregnant and nursing women, children, and teenagers, as those people with cardiovascular or some other chronic disease are more susceptible to caffeine poisoning.
One caffeine pill can have 100-200mg of caffeine, equal to a cup of black coffee.
You shouldn’t take more than 400mg of caffeine per day, which is 2-4 caffeine pills, or 3-5 cups of coffee.
Side Effects of Caffeine Pills
Caffeine pills can cause the same side effects as general caffeine abuse. With that in mind, the side effects of caffeine pills we’ll list are the same as with caffeine abuse from coffee, tea, or energy drinks. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may have a stronger effect on caffeine abuse.
- You may feel unhappy – Dysphoria which is a medical term for feeling unhappy can commonly occur in people who drink an excessive amount of caffeine, especially if they abuse caffeine pills.
- Anxiety – Now and then, excessive caffeine intake may leave you feeling nervous and anxious as soon as the benefits of caffeine wear off. That may lead to you craving more.
- Dizziness – Caffeine can result in raised blood pressure or nervousness which can easily lead to dizziness and headaches. People who have a migraine frequently are advised against drinking caffeine pills, even though some of their medication can contain a small dose of caffeine.
- Racing heart rate – If you notice that your heart is pounding extremely fast and strong, it may be a result of caffeine. Fast heart rate and dizziness could even be associated.
- Diarrhea – Caffeine pills and caffeine, in particular, can come with a plethora of side effects, and some of them are laxative, leading to frequent bathroom visits which can also include diarrhea
- Headache – As mentioned earlier, caffeine can be a good asset for treating headaches and migraines caused by low blood pressure. Some medicines contain caffeine in them to raise the pressure. However, those who have frequent headaches can be a result of taking too much caffeine.
- Acid Reflux – Caffeine can cause heartburn and GERD symptoms because they cause acidic reflux. When drinking too much caffeine, it can cause the muscles in the stomach to relax. After that, a small opening leaves space for acid to reach your esophagus, which ultimately results in acid reflux and heartburn.
- Shivering – Some people report that taking too much caffeine via caffeine pills leaves them feeling shaking and shivering throughout their bodies.
- Nausea and Vomiting – Similarly abuse of all substances, including caffeine leaves you feeling nauseous and ultimately can result in vomiting.
- Insomnia – Caffeine pills act fast and result in feelings of wakefulness and restfulness. That can lead to short-term insomnia effects. Even once you begin to feel tired and sleepy, you may not be able to fall asleep. That said, try avoiding caffeine pills in the evening.
- Excessive Thirst – People who take excessive amounts of caffeine may be prone to feeling more thirsty.
- Sleep paralysis – Some people who drink a lot of caffeine pills or caffeine, in particular, may experience an unpleasant experience called sleep paralysis. It manifests as the brain waking up before the rest of the body, leading to hallucinations and dreams manifesting in reality.
- Feeling dependent on caffeine – You may feel the urge to take more caffeine once the caffeine wears off.
According to FDA’s 1200mg caffeine abuse side effects, most symptoms that manifested included
- Extremely fast heart rate and heart skipping beats.
- Feeling disoriented and lightheaded sensation
- Frequent vomiting
- Seizures in those who are diagnosed with epilepsy
Caffeine Pill Abuse
Just because up to 400mg caffeine intake is considered safe, it doesn’t mean it’s safe in the long run. It’s not recommended to take excess amounts of caffeine regularly, as it can lead to more complications.
Caffeine abuse can lead to the aforementioned side effects of taking too much caffeine. In addition to that, it can lead to caffeine addiction. Don’t remember that caffeine is a drug. It is legal, doesn’t make it any less addicting than it is. With that in mind, a high intake of caffeine can lead to severe side effects, but consequences too.
Can You Get Addicted to Caffeine Pills?
A stimulant drug such as caffeine can lead to addiction, and it’s important to recognize it early and be able to find a way to withdraw from the addiction without causing possible side effects. Depending on your metabolic rate and overall health, caffeine may affect you differently.
Caffeine addiction can be particularly worrying and concerning if you suffer from some cardiovascular disease, and other types of problems. Also, it can be risky for people who are falling into a risk group for getting osteoporosis.
Caffeine pills are no exception. Although drinking coffee feels like an experience, caffeine pills are much easier and faster to take. Additionally, they also react faster and cause all the benefits that come with taking caffeine-rich beverages. However, ease of use is exactly what can cause the caffeine addiction.
Symptoms of Caffeine Pill Addiction
Aside from all the symptoms that we highlighted earlier, there are a few other symptoms that can mark caffeine abuse addiction, here they are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- The excitement and feeling hyperactive
- Chronic insomnia
- Muscle twitching
- Not having control of your thoughts
- Flushed face
- Skipping heartbeats
- Constant feeling of thirst no matter how much water you drink
- Frequent urination
- Wide pupils
Caffeine Overdose: Is It Possible?
Unfortunately, caffeine overdose is more than possible, just like with every drug. However, the good news is that it happens so rarely that there’s not a lot of research done on it. Overdosing with caffeine pills is more possible than drinking coffee.
After all, drinking pills is considerably easier than taking other forms of caffeine such as coffee or tea. It could take you as much as 20-30 cups of coffee to get an overdose. Some medical experts suggest that taking one to five grams of caffeine can result in coma or death. Some experts report seeing up to 14,000mg caffeine overdose.
Caffeine pills are often used among students and heavy hustlers who are struggling to stay awake or focused on what they’re doing. However, it’s easier to lose count with caffeine pills than drinking multiple cups of coffee or cans of energy drink.
Some common symptoms of caffeine overdose are:
- Constant vomiting and dehydration
Studies focusing on caffeine pill-induced deaths from 2018 discovered 92 people who died from caffeine overdose. That means that, while rare, it’s more than possible.
Caffeine overdose doesn’t necessarily happen from drinking coffee or tea, but it can happen from caffeine pills and powder (which is more dangerous and shouldn’t be mistaken for caffeine pills)
Caffeine overdose can happen when caffeine pills or powder are mixed with carbonated drinks or energy drinks.
Who Shouldn’t Use Caffeine Pills
With all these things in mind, here are the groups of people who shouldn’t drink caffeine pills to avoid the aforementioned risks.
Caffeine Pills Are Generally Safe
Caffeine pills are a stimulant drug that acts on your central nervous system to make you feel more rested and alert while helping you focus and improve your athletic performance. In moderate quantities, up to 400mg a day, they’re more than safe.
However, while most people can use them safely, people with chronic diseases such as asthma, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and other issues should either lower the amount or not use them a lot.
If you acknowledged that you abuse caffeine or that you’re becoming addicted to it, it’s not safe to quit it all at once. If you plan to withdraw from caffeine use (which you should) your safest bet would be withdrawing slowly and gradually. The good news is that it’s easier and safer to withdraw from caffeine than alcohol.
Luckily, there are a lot of caffeine withdrawal programs that you can participate in and get help on your withdrawal journey. Additionally, getting professional help will allow you to find safer ways to withdraw.
More to Know: Caffeine Pills vs. Coffee: Which Is Better?