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How Safe Are Caffeine Pills?

A person taking a caffeine pill.
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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 30 March 2014
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Caffeine pills typically contain about 200 mg of caffeine each. This amount is roughly the same as a person would get from drinking two cups of coffee. In general, caffeine pills are safe to consume if a person does not take more than the recommended dosage. These pills may not be safe in any amount for a person with a caffeine sensitivity or some medical problem that could be made worse by caffeine. Anyone who has doubts concerning the safety of caffeine pills may need to talk to a doctor before taking them.

There are several reasons why many people choose to take caffeine pills. Some people don't like the taste of coffee or other drinks that contain caffeine, but still have a need for the small burst of energy and alertness that comes from drinking caffeinated beverages. For these people, pills containing caffeine may be the answer. There are also some people who take these pills because they believe that caffeine may help with weight loss and give them more energy for exercising, which can ultimately lead to weight loss. These pills might also be helpful for anyone who needs to stay awake at night for work or to study for school.

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A person who wants to take caffeine pills likely has no shortage of options to choose from. There are many different types of these pills on the market. Even though most pills contain 200 mg of caffeine, it is also possible to find them in a lower dosage. Some pills may contain as little as 50 to 100 mg of caffeine, which is about the same as one cup of coffee. There are also some caffeine pills that are made to be time-released, meaning that the effects won't be felt until a few hours after the pill is taken rather than immediately.

Everyone who chooses to take caffeine pills should be aware of the potential dangers, even though the pills are generally safe to consume. People with caffeine sensitivity or heart problems should likely not be taking pills containing caffeine unless their doctor approves it. Caffeine can also cause adverse side effects in people with no caffeine sensitivity or heart problems if enough is consumed. Anyone who begins to notice he is feeling jittery or nervous and has a significant spike in blood pressure or pulse rate just after taking a caffeine pill should probably discontinue use immediately and check with his doctor.

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Discuss this Article

ceilingcat
Post 5

@Monika - I agree with you. I think it's also important to check and see what the other ingredients in the caffeine pills are. I don't think there is anything wrong with taking them, but at least be informed. It's possible there could be something else in those pills to cause a reaction.

I would also suggest double checking the amount of caffeine in the pill as well. When I was in college a few of my friends tried caffeine pills from the gas station. They were in for quite a surprise, as the pills had a ton of caffeine in them. Way more than a regular cup of coffee! A few of my friend stayed up for 24 hours straight after taking those pills. I don't think any of them have tried any caffeine pills since that day!

Monika
Post 4

@turkay1 - I love tea as well. For me, the energy benefits I get from the caffeine are secondary to the delicious taste. I even sometimes drink decaffeinated tea. I think I would feel ripped off if I replaced my favorite cup of tea with a pill.

Also, it does sound like caffeine pills should be safe, as long as they are taken correctly. However, I can definitely see how people might be tempted to take more than the recommended dose. I mean, it's just a pill, right? I think that would be where potential problems could start.

candyquilt
Post 3

If all it has is caffeine, why wouldn't caffeine pills be safe? Some people say that caffeine pills are addictive but caffeine in general is addictive, so that is not a very convincing argument.

I don't know if there are organic or more natural versions of caffeine pills, but those might be safer than a generic brand one. I agree that if we take the recommended dose, it should be fine for people without any health problems.

My sister takes them in place of coffee and tea because she doesn't like the taste of either and she's never complained about them. I personally love tea and drink tea all day, so that gives me the caffeine I need.

serenesurface
Post 2

@simrin-- I think that you might be sensitive to coffee in general or maybe to something in the pills you took. I take caffeine pills occasionally and I haven't really had much side effects, other than mild anxiety that happens sometimes.

I actually love coffee, I grew up drinking it (from Latin America). But since I have it so often, it really has no effect on me in terms of stimulation and staying awake. At my current job, I sometimes have to work double 10 hour shifts with only a few hours of sleep. Caffeine pills is the only thing that keeps me going at that time.

I don't think we can really generalize that caffeine pills are 'safe for all' or 'not safe.' I think it really depends on the person and how their body reacts to it. My rule of thumb is that whenever I use a new medicine or supplement, I start out with a tiny amount to see how my body will react to it and also to figure what the perfect dose is that benefits me without much side effects.

If everyone listens to their body, I think that caffeine pills can be safe for all.

SteamLouis
Post 1

I used to take caffeine pills or drink a couple of caffeine beverages daily during finals week in college. Even though I took the smallest dose, equivalent of a cup of coffee, I think the effects of both are very different.

I had so many different side effects from the pills that I would have gotten with four or five cups of regular coffee. My heart rhythm would change and I could feel my heart pounding so heavily that I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I also got very bad jitters a half hour to forty five minutes after having a caffeine pill.

The same side effects happen when I have one of those energy drinks that are sold at convenience stores and gas stations. I highly doubt that caffeine pills are as safe as a cup of coffee.

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