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Caffeine Pills: Caffeine is a plant-derived, alkaloid stimulant found in colas, coffee, tea and chocolate. These supplements come in 100 and 200 mg tablet form are also available at department stores and online.
- Cup of brewed caffeinated coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine.
- Instant caffeinated coffee contains 80 mg.
- A medium-sized glass of brewed or instant ice tea has 40 mg of caffeine.
Caffeine Pill Side Effects
A potent vasoconstrictor that increases norepinephrine in the brain and plasma epinephrine in the bloodstream, caffeine also:
- Blocks release of the neurotransmitter adenosine, a chemical exerting calming effects on the body. The lack of adenosine in the bloodstream stimulates release of adrenaline from your adrenal glands
- Increases heart rate, dilates pupils and promotes a surge of glucose into your bloodstream
- Raises blood pressure within 30 minutes of ingesting caffeine supplements or drinking caffeinated coffee
- May increase serum cholesterol in people consuming over 500mg of caffeine per day
- Stimulates secretion of stomach acid. Individuals sensitive to caffeine may experienced worsening heartburn, indigestion or constipation
- Inhibits release of vasopressin, an anti-diuretic hormone regulating body fluid tonicity. (Caffeine is a known diuretic that could increase urine output while causing mild dehydration unless body fluids are replenished)
These tablets energize both physically and mentally when a person needs to remain alert and awake for a short period of time. Truck drivers, students cramming for tests and athletes take caffeine pills to give them the stamina they need to drop off a load on time, pass a test or perform better during a sporting activity.
Although you will feel the effects of caffeine quicker after drinking a cup of coffee or tea (within 15 to 20 minutes) compared to taking caffeine pills (within 30 to 45 minutes), people take caffeine pills because they may not like coffee or tea and for their convenience.
Where to Buy
Click on this link to see a list of places where to buy caffeine pills. Here is image of locations where caffeine pills available online.
Are They Safe?
A John Hopkins study involving heavy users of caffeine identified common withdrawal symptoms affecting those who stopped taking caffeine pills. These include:
- Headache (sometimes severe)
- Fatigue/chronic tiredness
- Daytime drowsiness
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering
- Nausea, muscle/joint pain/flu-like symptoms
Onset of withdrawal symptoms started affecting caffeine abusers between 12 to 24 hours following cessation of caffeine intake. Peak intensity of symptoms occurred within one or two days. Symptoms endured for about a week before they started diminishing. Subjects craved caffeine pills even after seven days of not taking them and withdrawal symptoms began abating.
Although rare, you can overdose fatally on caffeine pills. The FDA recommends not exceeding 400 or 500 mg of caffeine per day. However, if someone were to consume 1000 mg of caffeine in a short period of time, roughly one to three hours, they could suffer projectile vomiting, altered consciousness, severe stomach cramps and seizures. In the few death by caffeine overdose cases on record. The primary cause of death was ventricular fibrillation, or an irregular, rapid heartbeat disturbing the flow of blood to and from the heart.
Caffeine stimulates production and release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates pleasure centers in the brain. Dopamine, serotonin and GABA, are all implicated in the process of becoming addicted to a substance, whether it’s caffeine, alcohol or heroin. While taking caffeine pills for a few days because you want to achieve short-term goals won’t make you addicted to caffeine pills, taking them daily for several months could cause you to suffer withdrawal symptoms when you do stop taking them.
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